Friday, 27 June 2014

plastic etagere

Since a while I see in the internet self-made etagere's (is this the right word in English too?). I thought that if you make it from plastic dishes it might be a nice idea for the kids play kitchen. 
I bought a plate and a little bowl, that have been cheap and simple but from stable plastic. 
I drilled holes in the middle of each piece. Not necessary to buy a special drill, I did it with a wood drill and it worked fine.
I took a threat bar, cut it to the right length and fixed the dishes with screw nuts. On the top I fixed a wooden knob that I painted red.
The dishes have been simple yellow and I decorated them with red flowers that I punched out of waterproof adhesive foil. 
First use has been on the birthday table of my youngest, filled with chocolate and bonbons.
I think later they can use it for their play kitchen, where both boys still like to play often. Okay, the elder one started lately cooking magic potions there with his friends :-)
In the internet you can find many offers to buy nicer bars and knobs to build your own etagere, for example with flea market dishes or grandma's old plates or whatever you like. My one here is the fast and economic way :-)


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

e-mail addresse

Recently I saw, that my e-mail address isn't shown in the "about" site. I corrected that now. 
I don't want it to be found automatically by spam-sending-programs, so I hid the address in a little doodle. I hope it is safe and still for honest persons readable. 


Monday, 23 June 2014

Baby Quilt - quick and easy

For encouraging beginners to do a quilt, I wanted to know how long a very easy quilt would take me, so I could estimate the time a beginner might need. Therefor I didn't agonized my head, but took a tutorial from Elizabeth Hartman (look here). I even took the inch measurements from the tutorial, normally I do everything in cm. The tutorial is for using up charm-squares, but I haven't had any and took fabric from my stack. 
This is what came out and really in an amazingly short time:
The longest it takes me to chose the fabric (like normal), but cutting and sewing has been a quickie. It would have been even faster, when I didn't decide to change one of the colors. What is now light green has been yellow before, but it didn't look right to me when I finished the rows, so I replaced those pieces. 
The back has been even faster, it is just a piece of white molleton and a stripe of apple fabric on top and bottom. As it is a baby size quilt, I like the back to be cozy.
For the sandwich I used a very thin cotton batting. The hole quilting took less than an hour. I meandered with a leave twine all over the quilt, interrupted by some wonky apples. 
Without the binding, I don't think the hole quilt took me more than 4 hours of work. I guess a beginner could do also in two evenings of 3 hours each, what do you think?
By the way, the size of the finished quilt is 32'' by 38'' (or 81cm by 97cm).
It has been nice to finish a project that quickly and I felt so productive too! I think I will try out some more easy projects without a lot of thinking. This is probably the right for a relaxing summer. Also I know some babys that might need a blanket :-)


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Last minute knight tunic

Yesterday we had a feast with all the friends of our boys. The occasion has been our youngest fifth birthday, but he wanted to invite only 4 friends and so the big brother could have his friends too, which are mainly the elder brothers. The theme was "chevaliers tournament" and we had all afternoon 7 knights and 2 princesses running around our garden and in the evening the parents too, for a nice BBQ on a big fire.
My husband prepared most of what you need to be a real chevalier, as helmets, swords and shields. As a last minute project I made some tunics for my boys from old T-Shirts of their dad. I just cut of the sleeves and draw dragons and lions on front and back.
I found the pattern in the internet and printed them out in black. You could see the form lightly through one layer of T-shirt and I just had to trace the outline with a fabric marker. 
We had a hobby-horse too. I drew the form of the head on an old board and my husband cut it out and fixed it on a stick. I painted the face and fixed a piece of moleton that I cut in as mane. It has been a very brave horse that carried friendly all knights during the tournament and also a princess, when she had to escape from a black knight.
This has been our Midsummer feast! Not very traditional, but fun!

And now it is officially summer! Still two weeks to go for the school holiday, but already it is summer feeling when it is so warm outside and the air smells of hay and flowers and the cicadas chirp until late in the night (I am not sure they are stopping at all :-)) and the kids love that they can go out rarely dressed...

Je vous souhaite un très beau été,

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Second (or last?) Top

Finally I finished the second Top, to wear over too tight or too short T-Shirts. Again I used an old men's shirt - this time it is from my uncle! 
I wanted to make it a little more sloppy than the last and probably that has been a mistake. Again I didn't had enough material in one piece, so the front is kind of patchwork style. I am quite proud, that you nearly can't see that there is a vertical seam in the middle. Two a bit more visible seams are on the sides. 
After I produced like this a big piece of fabric, I cut the front much too large and had to adjust two times the width. Back and front have the same shape and I decided to add a little extra to the front and form a triangle with the fixation of the shoulder straps. This too I had to open up again once, to adjust the length of one triangle side.
It started to get really on my nerves, but now it is ready. It hasn't been very warm yesterday, so I took a T-Shirt with sleeves to wear under it for the photo.
(Click on the photos to see them larger)
Looking at the photos I think the straps might be still a cm too long. Should I shorten them?


Thursday, 12 June 2014

Flower mirror

Our corridor is a bit boring white and too narrow to place a piece of furniture. On one side is a painting and a very small shelf to place keys and handkerchiefs and stuff, as well as a door. On the other side are only two doors and a piece of white wall in between. 
I bought a little mirror with a large frame around and asked my husband to fix a holding for two test-tubes. I thought it might be decorative to put in some flowers, who are duplicating in the mirror.
I also decorated the mirror frame with a stripe of masking tape.
I like it, but I would buy the next time the mirror a little bigger.


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Summer Top

After about 20 to 40 times of washing my t-shirts are starting to shrink. Since a few days we are having really hot summer and I found at least three tops that are still okay in width (ufff, it's not because I am getting fat) but I think they are too short (I don't like worrying what can be seen, when I am bending down).
Today I took an other top of mine as example and an old shirt of my husband and created a top that is to wear loose over a tight jersey top.
The front is made out of the back of the mans shirt, as it provides the most fabric. For the back I reused the button border and the front of the shirt. The mans shirt had been slim fit, so the width of the top is the absolute maximum I could cut. I could imagine making it the next time even wider. 
It has been quickly done, except of the bias tape. Therefor I cut one shirt sleeve in stripes, sewed those together, folded and ironed them. 
So, this light green shirt is now safe to wear again for the summer. I like the casual fit and I think I will make at least one more top. 

Bon weekend prolongé de Pentecôte et a bientôt,

Friday, 6 June 2014

Wedding Quilt

This week I can congratulate my sister in law and her husband for their first wedding anniversary. This is reminding me on the biggest quilt I ever made. I wanted to give them a very special gift for their wedding and of course the first thought was "sew something long lasting". So a quilt! 
For making the quilt more personal I asked my mother in law for some old family fabrics (old bed sheets, tablecloth, ...) She gave me plenty and she also embroidered the monograms of bride and groom. From the grooms side I got only an old shirt of him that has been dark beige instead of white but it turned out to be a good contrast. Also I added a lot of my collected white and beige fabrics.
Because of a lot of other things going on I started sewing only 3 week before the wedding and worked every day to finish. And what can I say: It turned out exactly as it has been in my mind (rare) and I really loved the finished product and can think of nothing I should have done different (very rare)!
It has been quite hard to take photos of that quilt. I had to step on a ladder to get it on one photo lying on the grass. The finished size is about 2,10m by 2,70m. 
The front has the two monograms in the center surrounded by borders of different fabrics. Big triangles helped to turn the center in the right orientation. Already in this state the quilt has been very big. It has been faster growing than I expected - I still had plenty of other fabrics I wanted to try out.
To get a rectangular shape I added two lines of squares separated by the whitest fabric. A small beige border is separating the different zones and all held together by a white all around border.
The backside is pieced with all the scraps from the front and bigger parts of bed sheets. 
The quilting has been the hardest job, as I chose a quite voluminous inlay. The sandwich has been heavy and I had to use the dining room table to find place for this fabric masses. I had very sore shoulders to pull and push the quilt under my little machine. I decided against an all over pattern and used different patters for the different zones. This photos has been made after the first washing, so already a slightly shriveled look. Click on the photos to enlarge them for seeing the details.
You can't probably see on the photos, but the quilt turned out very straight and flat. There are no sloppy parts or waves in the surface. I have been so happy with the outcome and I hope it will be in use for a long time ... 
Happy anniversary N & C!


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

More children cooking

Nothing new today. I can just show two other sets for children cooking: chefs hat and apron. One in blue and one in rose. 
Otherwise I am working on a little blanket. I found the inspiration here. In fact I liked it so much I would have copied it exactly, if I had the right fabrics at home. I hadn't, but I love the paper-boat and will use that idea.