Things I learned today, while sorting through my Granny’s thread stash:
- I love knolling (although technically this wasn’t knolling, as I wasn’t arranging everything at 90 degree angles..but they were round things, so some leeway would apply, yes?)
- I have a peculiar affinity for button thread — every time I find a spool I squee inside. I have no idea why.
- I desperately want my thread spools to be tidy so it angers me beyond reason when manufacturers don’t put that little slit in for the loose end of the thread to go into. It’s such a tiny thing! Why wouldn’t they just do it always? (I forgive the wooden spools, but the plastic ones have no excuse!)
- Very little orange thread, despite much of this coming from the 70s. Though I did hate the orange crayon, I don’t know why Granny had so little.
- I have such a sense of knowing her through this ritual– so much of her love was expressed through sewing (and cooking)
Also, I have a veritable museum of thread types:
- American Thread Co.
- Geneva Glace Finish
- Star Mercerized (Will Boil) – I am getting the sense that boiling thread was a big deal?
- Belding Corticelli Pure Silk Buttonhole Twist
- Brother Embroidery Thread (Made in Japan) — I think this one must have been mine
- Centennial 100% Spun Polyester Sewing Thread Best Value in 200 Yrs
- J&P Coats
- Dual Duty Plus – NEW! Dacron Cotton Wrapped 25¢
- J&P Coats Dual Duty Plus – Mercerized Cotton Covered Polyester 99¢
- Coats & Clark
- Mercerized Sewing – Boilfast (™) 15¢
- Pure Silk Twist
- All Purpose – Dual Duty
- Super Sheen 15¢
- Fruit of the Loom Spun Polyester
- 100% Polyester
- Dekor 100% Viscose
- Nylon Seaming Size A 25¢
- Quilting Cotton Mercerized
- Silk Finish Cotton Sheen
- Molnlycke Spun Syntet
- Molnlycke Wrights 100% Polyester (Did someone buy someone else?)
- Stitch N’ Time Polyester
- Suisse (™) Symbol of Excellence Long Fiber Polyester 60¢
- Super-Spun (™) Polyester – The Perfect Thread for All Fabrics 75¢
- Polyspun Permanent Press
- PolyPlus 100% Dacron (for permanent press knit stretch)
- Mercerized Sewing Colorfast 25¢ (and 15¢ – both 125 yards! Price hike!)
- Trusew 100% Spun Polyester
- Zayre Dept. 94
If you’ve come here in search of beautiful handcrafted art, you’re also in luck. It’s a rare day when I don’t feel compelled to make something — jewelry-making, knitting, sewing and photography are most common, though I’ve dipped my toes into a wide variety of other crafts, such as blown glass and manipulated Polaroids.
So, I’m in love with a laser cutter. I suspect it will be a deep and lasting relationship. Here’re the fruits of one of our first rendezvous…
I <3 the laser cutter.
I’m teaching an introductory sewing class at TechShop: Sew Your Own Dog Toys!
It’s a 1.5 hour long class Tues. the 28th of April at 7pm.
Here’s the class description and sign up info
Via susan_z (and ovrclokd and others):
The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
- What I create will be just for you.
- It’ll be done this year.
- You have no clue what it’s going to be
- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.
The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to put this in your journal as well. We all can make stuff!
Last Saturday aklikins and I took a “Impressionistic Fingerpainting” class with Allen Montague at Jerry’s Artarama in Raleigh. Yes, it was fun! (I had to get over a little bit of “ew– messy!” and “is this OK/good enough/right?” and “I’m never going to get this out from under my fingernails”1) but once I got over those self-self mental roadblocks it was a blast.
And, joy-of-joys, I’m kind of happy with the result:
Yes, it’s sort of cheating, in a paint-by-numbers, Bob-Ross-Happy-Trees-sort-of-way, *BUT* for someone (namely me) who has never been pleased with anything that she’s done that started with flat white space and ended up as something to hang on a wall2, it’s AOK. Good, even.
1 Five days later, there’s still a good bit of relcalcitrant Carbon Black under my primary background-covering thumbnail.
2 Photography, somehow, doesn’t “count” in that it also feels like I cheated in that whatever I took a picture of *was there* …all I did was push a button. Way crazy and wrong in many ways, of course, from the “provable” (fiddling with settings and whatnot) to the more subjective (did I “see” something that someone else wouldn’t), but that doesn’t keep the inner “you don’t do art, you just make ‘crafts'” critic3 from going on and on.
3 For the record, *I* don’t think that “crafts” are any less “worthy” than “art” (dang, could this post have any more quotes???); however, this is the same inner critic who insists that “thinner is always prettier”…clearly she’s a little bent.
I made this for him (ETA: tutorial I used )
Remember how I made antlers for my Meep for a Christmas costume?
Remember how I lost an antler?
Someone wrote about finding my antler in a News & Observer article!!!:
“WHAT THEY FOUND
Here are a few items the Crabtree Rotary Club found on the side of Glenwood Avenue on Saturday.
- A business card for a Raleigh police sergeant
- A bag of rotten celery
- Reflectors torn up from the roadway
- A pint-size drinking glass
- A wrench
- A reindeer antler from a car-top Christmas decoration
- Two losing lottery cards
- Crust from one slice of pizza
- A pair of sunglasses “
I am sure it is too late to recover the lost antler (though that didn’t stop me from leaving a message from the guy quoted in the article) but GEEZ! What are the odds?!?
One night last year I was doing some midnight-madness crafting, and apparently wrote myself a “lesson learned” note about sewing. While searching for stashed Christmas presents recently, I found this note and so I’m including it here for my reference (and perhaps your amusement) — my updated comments/explanation are in itals.
To remember while sewing:
- Think about which direction you’re sewing in before you put the pins in (elsewise, as you’re sewing merrily along the little pinses will sneak up and pokify your fingers1)
- Figure out the size of the buckles you’re using *before* cutting the straps
- Line everything
- Don’t panic
- Use more pins — always
- Put all the the things (like straps) on before the final joining of lining to outside (yes, it’s the world of frustrating to turn your finished bag rightside out only to find you’ve neglected to add the straps in)
- Like riding a motorcycle, sew *ahead* of where you are (don’t watch the tips of your fingers — watch 5-6″ ahead of the foot)
- Stop with needle in down position (otherwise the fabric will sneak away when you turn your head)
- Leave lots of thread when you cut the thread at the end of a stitch line (otherwise, the thread will creep out of the needle and you’ll have to rethread)
- Making the iron hotter will *not* make things go faster
- Topstich everything
- If something has an inside and an outside, iron both pieces before proceeding
- STOP *before* the stupid starts (that one I’d do well to remember across the board)
1 Yes, I anthropomorphize a little…
I made Meep a holiday costume:
I lightened the background of the photo some — or tried to, at any rate — so you can see the antlers!