Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Hazards of Haphazard Sewing

Vincent Van Gogh, Drawing of a Woman Sewing
I think I know, now, why quilts are supposed to be these year(s)-long labours of love, involving many hours of sewing by the fire on the prairie while wolves howl outside your log cabin. I'm already getting sick of trying to applique my birds onto my quilt, and I'm not even stitching by hand! Trying to sew around all the curves and corners is definitely more time-consuming than I thought, and Walnut is not helping. He will insist on sitting on the rest of the quilt the minute I turn away, rendering it incapable of turning and rotating.

I am also learning why doing some research and planning before attempting projects might be a good idea. In the past, I've always just started on projects with minimal prep, and it usually more or less works out in the end. Well, apparently quilting doesn't work that way. The IKEA bedsheet I chose as the base (top?) of my quilt is extremely thin, almost sheer, which in itself is not a problem, except that it also has really loose weave. It reminds me almost of cheesecloth. So, all in all, not the sturdiest fabric to be zig-zag stitching all over; it's stretching and bubbling and getting relatively enormous holes in it as the thread pulls. I think it's still workable, especially since I'm of the "it's not a flaw, it's just character!" school of thought, but a little more foresight on my part would've prevented this unnecessary character. Also, I realized that I have no clue what kind of design to use for the actual quilting part.

I've been doing a lot of research on the amazing Leah Day's site, The Free Motion Quilting Project, and sadly just now realizing what an amazing, intense, creative art quilting actually is. I had no idea that quilts could be that cool! This makes me want to go to quilting shows and get quilting books and subscribe to quilting blogs and generally learn everything I can about it, but I do not need another hobby! So I'm going to learn what I can for now, just to finish off this quilt and my t-shirt quilt, and I'll try not to be tempted by this hmmm-that-looks-pretty-easy cat quilt.

After I finish the applique-ing, I think I'll take a break from this quilt and work on something for this week's Sew Weekly challenge: working with dyes, fabric markers, and paints! I have enough leftover from this IKEA bedsheet to make a fantastic light, gauzy scarf, which I want to stamp all over with cats, kind of like this example one. Because, you know, I'm not enough of a crazy cat lady as it is.

Only 485 pounds!
Speaking of cats in fashion, though, I came across these awesome cat flats that are, unfortunately, not that cute and ultra-expensive. I'm wondering if I might not be able to get some cheap black imitation-suede flats from Target or Payless (I'm sorry, but wearing thrifted shoes just feels squicky to me) and just embroider on a cuter cat face in gold thread myself. Gaaah too many ideas, too little time! Also, too many things to learn, as I've no clue how to embroider.


  1. Hi! I just discovered your site and have been working my way forward from the beginning. You make the cutest clothes, and I find your level of productivity inspiring. I'm very soon going to be borrowing/blatantly-ripping-off your amazing idea of making used sheets into dresses (currently in the mail: batman, star wars, and land before time sheets. There are never any good ones in my local thrift stores, but etsy came to the rescue.)

    Anyway, you may very well have come up with a cat shoe solution since this post that I just haven't read yet, but as I recently discovered this etsy seller I thought you might be interested. She has hand made shoes with all sorts of cute animal faces, including cats.

    I can't wait to catch up on everything you've made in the last year!

    1. Hi Sarah! I'm so glad you are enjoying reading my blog! I do so hope you make some awesome sheet dresses -- I totally loved The Land Before Time (at least until they got to what, the eighth movie and it started being slightly ridiculous) -- and would love to see what you come up with!

      Thanks for the link, and I actually did end up making my own cat shoes. If you click on the "Cat Fashion" tag it should come up.


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