cleverchickadee


Sew this is what I am up to… by quornflour

Sew this is what I am up to….

 

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For the last few nights I have been working on a commission quilt.
I am happy with how it turned out.

Here are some pictures.

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My etsy shop: http://quornflour.etsy.com/
 

via Sew this is what I am up to….

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Instagram and Puppyface by quornflour

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I have been experimenting with Instagram, it is fun putting filters on photos of Umlaut, but I am not sure I get it. Which I hear is silly since I love taking pictures of my food before I eat it, who doesn’t really?
I am only an hour or so in, I wonder just how many photos of Umlaut I can post.

If anyone can shed light on how Instagram is a social network, I’d appreciate it.
In the meantime, more picks of the pup.

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Instagram and Puppyface.

via Instagram and Puppyface.



Bottle Cap Table by quornflour

A few years back I decided that I needed more color in my life.

If you knew me you might laugh at that statement. Anyway.

I always liked bottle cap art. The way they are used in shrines and other art forms to add a bit of color here and there. So I decided that I wanted to cover a table in them.

One of the things I liked about the idea of a table covered in bottle caps, is that crown caps (most commonly used for beer and “fancy” sodas,) is that they are all the same size.

Most of the instructions I found called for gluing, or putting them in a frame and then covering them with a lacquer or epoxy.

I wanted the texture.

First it came to collecting bottle caps. This table takes roughly 3.8 beers per day for a year, so either get drinking or ask for friends to help.

I had friends all over saving bottle caps for me, so that I could get a nice variety.

Then I picked up some ¾” – 1″ Crown Bolt Weather Strip nails, I got a mix of brass, copper and nickel. The caps are about a ¼” high so you need them to be able to go thru the cap and then into the table. Be careful not to get finishing nails since you will need something with a flat top to lay flush against the cap.

I also needed a table, so I searched on craigslist for the jokkmokk table from IKEA, it is made of pine and fairly inexpensive to start with and a pretty sturdy table, (I also use one for my sewing table).

Often you can find them for around 50-100$ usually missing a chair. It is about 150$ new, so avoid paying more than it sells for in the store.

Really most any pine table would work, this was just fairly cheap and accessible.

Pine is good because the wood is soft enough to pound the nails into and the jokkmokk is just the right size to evenly place bottle caps is you need it to be straight.

So in addition to loads of bottle caps and nails you will need a hammer and needle nose pliers.

Trust me, trying to use your fingers instead of pliers will only lead to tears.

If you want to paint the table, do so before you start. I painted mine black with a matte water based enamel.

Start at a corner and work your way around the table, try to keep them evenly spaced and count to make sure you have the same number along the sides. If you want to be super meticulous you could make a grid, but I was just winging it, so I didn’t.

It is super helpful if you can get a second set of hands for the border to help hold the nails in place, or make some starter caps, by putting the nail into the cap separately so that you can hold it in place with your hand.

Place the nail at the center of the cap holding with the pliers and hammer into place.

Once you have your border in place, lay out the rest of your bottle caps then working your way around the outside of the table work inward, nailing each cap in place. This takes a while, but in the end it is totally worth it.

If you wanted to you could then set these with an epoxy or lay a glass top over it, I didn’t bother because I like the texture and how it ages over time, because the caps are the same size the table top is even.

You may want to invest in a steam pressure cleaner in the event you ever plan to clean this.

I also painted the chairs to add to the color and I use it in my kitchen.

Simplified instructions

You will need:

Getting to work

  1. Place first bottle cap at the corner of the table.
  2. Using needle nose pliers hold nail at the center of the cap, hammer into place.
  3. Works your way around the table into the center, lining up each cap as you go.


Say it Ain’t Sew by quornflour

I was trying to find some photos that go with a recipe I want to post; I did not find them, not yet anyway.

So I figured I would tell you how to make a super adorable pin cushion.

You will need 2 scarps of quilters cotton that you can cut into cut 2 squares (one each) 4½”x4½”

Then cut those down the diagonal into triangles. If you want to make it interesting use 4 different coordinated fabrics.

Sew the triangles back together into squares (right sides together using a ¼” seam allowance), using alternate fabrics.

Using a zig-zag stitch sew the two squares together (right sides together) on three sides.

Turn right side out and hand stitch the edges on the open in so there is only about enough room to fit your finger with stuffing in the hole.

Then stuff it.

Then keep stuffing it until you just can’t stuff it no more. It will fit a lot of stuffing. You can even use bits of scraps too if you want.

Then sew it shut.

Ta-da!

Don’t you feel fancy now?



Road Trip – Episode 3: Road Food by quornflour

It seems there are a lot of people who seem to think of Road Food when on a road trip to be primarily junk food or fast food. This need not be the case.

 

I have some friends who find the local BBQ of the place where they are while others stick with the same fast food chains. There was a time where my road trips were filled with corn nuts and red licorice.

Now I like to a mix. I have a bag with an ice pack that holds bread, peanut butter and jelly and at any time a variety of other snacky foods. I like to maintain foods that do not require utensils or extreme preparation.

When I land some place I like to see if there is a locally owned place that is especially good, or a diner, or if visiting friends: gather groceries and make a nice meal.

My first night on the road I stayed with my aunt, we hit the grocery store and prepared a feast of cheese, salmon, veggies and a host of other finger friendly foods.

Last night we had a “Mexican Feast” of soft shelled tacos and strawberry mango margaritas made from scratch and not too sweet.

Really I am just telling you this, not because I have anything profound to say, or because you can eat healthy on the road but really because I want to show you some pictures of some delicious food I have had on this trip.



Road Trip, Episode 1: On the Road Again by quornflour

So we have been silent for a while, busy really with everything. I spend two weeks on the road for work, which was good, but busy. Then when I returned I had other stuff to catch up on and settle into place so that I could get ready for vacation.

Where I work you start with 3 weeks of vacation time. In the past I have used maybe a week at a time here or there, worked part of the time and carried a week or so over and then repeated.

This year I decided that since I had carried a fair amount over, and I started getting a fourth week I should take a real summer vacation. I love road trips, and I have a handful of states left to get to.

The Great American Road Trip seems to be a bit of a lost art. I do not know that many people who just head out on the road to see what is out there.

I have this need to get to all 50 states, I am fairly certain it is something I get from my Grandmother Marie and her sister Helen. I believe that just because you can travel all over the world, which is great, does not mean you should not travel all over the US as well. I know people who have been to more foreign countries than states. The US takes up such a large chunk of land; really you should try and see as much of it as you can.

Currently left I have:

  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • Arizona
  • Nebraska
  • Missouri
  • Iowa

My current goal is to cut 4 states off that list. I have three weeks, but I also have another part of that plan.

Years ago I had a blog on the now defunct blogging site Vox. There I became friends with this fellow crafter Flamestitch who makes super cool bags. If you do not have one, go get one, right now, I will wait.

So I have a Jeep Wrangler: the Helen Marie. One day I decided that it would be super awesome to have a pink Naugahyde soft top for my Jeep. I figured I could probably figure it out and make it myself, but I also thought that it might not be such a bad idea to talk to someone who really knows the materials. This is where Flamestitch comes in. She comes from a family of upholsterers, people who know what you can and cannot do with certain fabrics, what fabrics and threads to use, what machines to use. I figured, this is the person I want to work with on this. Trouble was, I had never actually met her. So I contacted her to see if she would be game, and she was.

So I decided to take 3 weeks off, head to Columbus create the top and then see how much time I have left after that. To the road I go.



Organic Sewing by quornflour

I find that folks often offer up that they have a sewing machine and do not really know how to use it. I am pretty sure they are hoping I will offer them lessons.

Some folks even outright ask, or ask if I know someone, hoping I might offer.

Thing is, unless you want to know how to make a basic quilt; I am not going to teach you.

It is not that I am being snobbish, it is just that well: my sewing skills are crass. I can make stuff, but my process tends to be organic, I just put stuff together until I end up with whatever it was I wanted to make.

I look at the way things are made, where seams are, what the shape of the cuts are and then just wing it.

There are no rules.

Like the other day, I was thinking I needed a tote, but then when I was looking at the fabric, I decided a little overnight bag for an upcoming vacation with matching tote was a much better idea. I dug out some D rings and zippers and started cutting fabric and assembling. In the bag I had this great bag that I can use for my upcoming vacation, but if you want the pattern, well I would have to retrace my steps to figure out what it was I did in the first place.

So if you want to learn to sew, I say just go for it. Unless you plan on going on Project Runway or something, the technique does not really matter, from what I have seen on PR I am not even sure technique always matters. There isn’t a right or wrong, there just is.

Sit back, have fun and go for it!

 




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