January 20, 2013

January Thaw

I'm thinking BEACH and SUN and SURF this week as we prepare to take off for Key West, Florida so my project this week reflects that.  The photo is taken from my last beach experience in Costa Rica.

Just for fun, I used a Lesley Riley TAP paper* transfer to put it on fabric and stretched it over a canvas frame. Okay, but the fringing proved very difficult to get straight. AND my photo has shadows from the window frame!! Natural light is good but hard to control.

The latest project was much more successful. In the beachy mood I selected some of the GRAPHICS FAIRY's super images plus one from an Graphique (an Etsy shop) and stitched up a whole set of pillows to grace a beach house or any house you want to fell beachy.

I got a little more ambitious and added cording on the square and the rectangular ones. Mom had always taught me to cut the cording fabric on the bias but I found that it works as well or even better cut on grain and it doesn't eat up so much fabric when cutting. Just be sure when you are attaching two pieces for more length that you attach them on an angle. When it is folded over the cord the seam will not be a big lump.

If you look for this image and the shell on Graphics Fairy you will not see them in this beautiful turquoise. I altered the image using befunky. Use the Duotone function and you can change any two color image to any other two color image. It's great fun and somewhat addictive.
Well, I will not be posting here next week but if you want to see some real sun and sea stop over at my travel blog after Sunday and see some photos and adventurous accounts.
If you are really into travel and geography I also post to Panoramio where the pics are selected for GoogleEarth. See my stuff here.
Check out my Etsy shop if you want to purchase these or check out my other items.

January 13, 2013

A Kitchen with a French Accent

This photo captured in the market of Aix-en-Provence in southern France is a favorite of mine, as was the trip that provided it.

It has become a major feature in my kitchen.
Enlarged onto a 24" x 36" canvas (thanks to Uprinting.com)
it hangs above a small desk.
Because the wall is quite large and plain it still seemed to be a bit "lost" and  I decided it needed some friends. So I went looking for plates as the solution.
My first choice was Quimper but my budget said "NO!"
I found these four in a catalog from Jefferson's Monticello  Odd that they were in a catalog pertaining to Colonial times but the description said they were of the type Thomas Jefferson "would have encountered on his trip to France"! OKAY! That's good enough for me because the were the right size, color and price and I try to 
not think about the MADE IN CHINA stamped on the back.
I did not stop the Quimper Quest however. One day while browsing our nearby Medina Antques Mall, I spied two plates at a fabulous price and latched onto them. They now live in my corner cabinet with some others found mostly on Ebay. This may become another blog topic someday.
A trip to the Country Living Fair in Columbus, OH in September turned up this cute little rooster who sits on top of the cabinet. (SHHH! He's made in the Philippines)

This week some new touches were added when I acquired some great Moda toweling that I wanted to display and not actually get all wet and dirty. They were changed into pillows.
The beehive and the grains image are from the wonderful GRAPHICS FAIRY and the Boulangerie one was a graphics download from Etsy. The Grain sack pillow is made from Osnaburg fabric which I love but I have ordered more of this toweling because I love it so much. Watch for some in my Etsy shop THIMBLEFINGERS.

January 6, 2013

Pretty Kitty Pillow Tutorial

I've been seeing a number of animal-shaped pillows lately and I made a very small one for a friend but I really wanted them to be larger so I tried a new "helper" from the web called BlockPosters.  It is a free site that lets you print out your image on multiple sheets that can go through your printer and then reassembled into a larger "poster".

I swear by Lesley Riley TAP paper as the BEST transfer media for fabric and I am very stingy with it. Two sheets are required to make this pillow that stands 16" tall and 12"at the widest point. I had to commit to two full sheets since with BlockPosters I couldn't sneak in small images around the edges of the sheet as I usually do.

My adorable kitty image is from the ever-popular GRAPHICS FAIRY. She has this great little empty sign hanging around her neck just waiting for you to fill in whatever you would like. Without much thought, MILK PLEASE just popped into my head due to the sweet pleading look in her eyes. HER eyes because she is wearing a pink ribbon?? 


Here are the two printed transfer sheets.
I like to trim off as much extra white as possible because the blank area will transfer a slight translucent visible area on the fabric. Below is the top half of kitty all trimmed out.
Both halves are now trimmed and ready to go. They are face down on my fabric on my ironing board but awaiting one last touch. I need to insert the text on her little sign. (Forgot to photo that.)

At this point, I have ironed and peeled back the top sheet of transfer paper as well as the separate  piece containing the text (REMEMBER: all text must be printed in reverse!)


Now I peel back the bottom half. Lesley Riley TAP paper is a dream to work with. It does not require heavy and extended ironing. Just make sure your iron is HOT and the transfer will usually begin to separate from the fabric on its own. Lift an edge and slowly peel. If it doeasn't pull back easily just reapply the hot iron to the transfer for a moment and then try again. You can keep reapplying the heat as needed.

Now trim around kitty leaving a seam allowance and a border of an inch or two to give it some dimension and cut a backing piece to match. Pin and sew leaving a small opening in the lower edge for stuffing.
Then sew up the opening by hand or machine. I prefer hand sewing for an invisible stitch.
And here she sits on a newly covered cushion on my really shabby chic rocker that may be a blog topic in the future.

If you love this little guy but would rather have one made for you, stop over to my Etsy shop where I am taking orders. Take me there!