More ideas for Vintage tablecloths

Last time I was telling you about my recent flea market finds – vintage tablecloths.  They are so simple, vibrant in color and nothing like tablecloths today.  I mentioned that I had made clothing out of them before and here’s the jacket I was telling you about.  See how fussy cutting can make the perfect placement of the design.  The tablecloth center on the back and the corners on the front.

In the latest issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine they took a vintage tablecloth and made it into a quilt.  They added an irregular border with matching colors to offset the beautiful center design.  Check out the July/August issue.

Antique shops, flea markets and online are great places to find tablecloths.  Some are very collectible.  Be sure to check for stains and holes when purchasing them.

Summer is on the way….

It was a beautiful weekend!  We went to the big flea market with friends on Friday, ate kettle corn, french fries and corn dogs!  I paid for it later with a stomach ache, but it was worth it.  I love digging through the rows of “treasures” looking for something unexpected.  I usually look for the old linens that are such great textiles.  I especially like the vintage tablecloths, they are always beautiful and sometimes unusual.

Two weeks ago I went to a flea market and found two tablecloths.  One is a blue and white pattern that reminded me of a bandanna.  It was square and not very big, but in great condition.  It was $8, so that was a good deal.  I also got another one with purple and gray flowers on it.  In the past I have made skirts and jackets from tablecloths.  The borders on the vintage ones make great hemlines on wrap skirts.  If cutting out a jacket you have to use the “fussy cut” approach.  Go for the print, not the grain line.

I’m not sure what the purple and gray one will turn into, but the blue and white one is actually on my table on the porch.  It was perfect with my blue denim cushions and white wicker furniture.  We had the ‘unofficial” opening of the porch this weekend.  My husband scrubbed it down, while I scrubbed all the furniture. The candles and flowers still have to be done, but at least I got the cushions out and could relax when the work was done.  Take time to enjoy your neighborhood yard sales and flea markets, you don’t know what you might find.

Take Manhattan

Recently, I shared some new books that I bought.  One of them was called Twinkle Sews, well I made my first pattern from the book.  This top is called Take Manhattan and I made it from some linen I bought at Vogue Fabrics in Chicago.  It really cute and so comfortable.  It has a loose drawstring collar and a kangaroo pouch pocket. I paired it with a pair of dark brown linen drawstring pants and I was set for a long day.

I will tell you that you need to make sure you have a fresh ream of paper,  plenty of ink in the printer and a big roll of scotch tape before you set off to print the patterns that come on the CD in the book.  This pattern was 56 pages, that all had to then be taped together to make the pattern.  The pages are marked on each corner, so it is easy to put the big jigsaw puzzle together.

I also recommend that you have previous sewing experience before starting these project because there is little direction as far as cutting it out and putting it together.  Just go slow and read everything carefully several times before you dive in.  Otherwise, the patterns are adorable!

A Tribute to Dad

I know that this Sunday is Mother’s Day and we should be doing a mom tribute, but this past week marked the 10th anniversary of my dad’s passing.  Dad and I were very close.  He attended all my high school sports events, took me to horse shows, showed me how to shoot a bow and how to do upholstery, along with lots of other things.  When we were kids weren’t allowed in the basement, unless we had our shoes on because there were tacks and staples around from his latest side job.  Dad learned how to do upholstery while working for the airlines and from there took on various projects as additional income.

I recently took on a side job myself that involved 3 cushions for a breakfast nook that measured from 84 to 90 inches long and 18 inches wide.  To top it off they guy wanted them made out of crocodile vinyl, which means you can’t use pins and you have to be careful not to stretch it.  So needless to say I had a few challenges.  It 2+ hours to mark and cut out the fabric, 4 hours to sew the cushions and the help of my husband to cut the foam.

Everything is ready, first I wrestle (and I do mean wrestle, even worked up a sweat) the foam in the the 3 cushions covers, get the seam held together with binder clips from the office supply store, call my husband to give me a hand and then hit my first problem – the 3 inch foam cushion will not fit under the head of the sewing machine.  Now what.  I wrestle the foam back out and found zipper tape I had bought last fall and proceeded to put zippers in the cushions.  Wrestle the foam back in for the second time (times 3) and then we are closed.

I’m a perfectionist of sorts and want things to be right.  Well, I didn’t like how the cushions didn’t look full, so once again I wrestled the foam out, wrapped the foam in batting and wrestled them back in for the 3rd and final time.  Now they look good. see what you think.

Thanks Dad for teaching me the skills to wrestle crocodiles and sending down a few words of wisdom when the going got tough.

A $5 Remnant

Since I got back from Chicago I have sewed up 3 of my fabrics, don’t worry, there is still lots to go.  This piece of tie dyed knit was $5 for the 1 1/2 yard piece.  I’m not really a blue person, but it was fun, it felt great and how could I lose for $5.  If I made it and didn’t like it was no big deal.

I used Sandra Betzina’s Vogue Pattern #1173.  I wasn’t sure if it would look like a maternity top or not, but it didn’t.  You can’t really see the detail of long darts in the front, but they are very flattering.  Make sure you read the directions first because the darts are sewn so they show on the outside as a detail.  I just went about my normal sewing know how and sewed the darts right sides together and didn’t get the detail.  It was fine that way too.   I think it is going to be a comfy cool top this summer with a lot of style.  I just won’t tell anyone that it was $5.

Chicago Adventures – Kaffe Fassett

This time last week I was having lunch with Kaffe Fassett.  Well, me and probably 200 other people.  He was the luncheon speaker for the day.  I signed up for this event because I thought maybe it was time I tired my hand at a big bold fabric quilt.  I also signed up because they were not having the Bernina fashion show this year.  The fashion show last year was fabulous!! 

Anyway, back to Kaffe.  I don’t know much about him as a designer other than his big bold prints.  He talked about where his inspirations come from and how he translates them in to prints.  He gathers from architectural designs he see in buildings, tiles and tapestries.  These then get transformed into fabric, knitting and home decor patterns.  He’s a man of simple and quiet demeanor.

I thought I would be all inspired after his presentation and would run right down to the vendors area to buy fabrics for my big bright quilt.  Well, I didn’t.  I really wasn’t that impressed with him, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be.  It also doesn’t mean that I won’t buy his fabric for something some day.   Everyone is inspired by different things, so decide for yourself.

Chicago Adventures – Art Quilt Class

This year I took a class at the Quilt Festival.  I wanted to take something that I normally don’t do and not have to lug a lot of supplies with me.  This one was great.  In the fact, the the kit fee provided everything and I only had to bring scissors, an apron, a trash bag and rubber stamps if I wanted.  It all fit in a ziplock bag – YEAH!

This class was so out of my comfort zone.  I don’t paint and I don’t rubber stamp.  Just ask my friend Karen about the Christmas card incident. We did both in this class.  We used tissue paper that we fused to Steam a Steam Light (I love, love, love this product), then paint washed over, added some stamping, foiling and Angelina to it.  We also painted and stamped a piece of fabric.  We also embossed stamps into puffy foam (which I usually despise) and painted a brown paper bag. Remember, I don’t paint or rubber stamp, so I’m asking lots of questions and counting the hours till the afternoon when we get to sew.

After all of our fabric/tissue creating, we fused it batting and put a piece of felt on the back, then added decorative stitches.  Yeah! Hooray!  A sewing machine.  I was very pleased with the outcome and will proudly hang it in my studio.  I probably won’t do it again, but it stretched my boundaries which is what a class is suppose to do.

Our teacher was Rebekah Meier and she has a new book coming out, so check out her website.  I encourage all of you to reach out and try something new.

Chicago Adventures – Vogue Fabrics

The first stop in my Chicago Adventure to the International Quilt Festival was at Vogue Fabrics on Roosevelt Road.  I had my patterns in hand and a list of things I was looking for.  The store is nothing fancy by any means, but talk about fabric selection!  Trust me, we have nothing like this in Cleveland.  It’s well organized and marked into sections, so you know where to look for what.  My mission was knits.

After doing the once walk through to see what was there, I began my selections.  I asked for some assistance from a wonderfully fun young lady named Amanda.  She was easy to talk to and fun to bounce ideas around with, we had a great time!  I selected some beautiful bamboo knits, cotton knits, power mesh knits and a fun tie dyed knit.  As you know, I love Marcy Tilton’s patterns, so keeping her style and techniques in mind I went to work having Amanda cut yardage that would give me some things to play with.

Vogue Fabrics also has locations in Evanston and Lansing, so if you are up that way it’s well worth the stop.  Allow yourself  plenty of time to look because there is a lot to take in.  The festival will not be in Chicago next year, so it looks like I’ll have to plan a Vogue shopping trip instead.

International Quilt Festival Chicago

 Just back from the International Quilt Festival that was held in Chicago this weekend.  What a wonderful event!  If you didn’t get a chance to go check out the virtual tour on their website  There were over 425 vendors, classes and exhibits to put you into creative overload.  You also left with a well used credit card and a lighter wallet.

This spring event has been held in Chicago for the past 8 years, but next year will move to Cincinnati.  The reasons given for the change was better parking, more food and hotel options and less traffic.  I couldn’t believe the traffic!  It’s noon and we are at a dead stop going through Chicago on a Thursday.  I didn’t think it could be worse, but it was when we got back on the highway at 3:00PM.  The fall event will remain in Houston and supposedly is even bigger than this event.  I can’t even imagine!

So over the next week or so I will be doing mini reviews and thoughts on the things I bought, saw and visited while I was there.  We’ll call them the Chicago Adventure.

Book Review

I recently got two new books and can’t wait to make things from them.  The first one is Twinkle Sews by Wenlan Chia.  The garments are very fashion forward, but simple in their lines and construction.  The book includes full size patterns for every size and fabric layout for cutting.  The directions are minimal, so recommend you have some basic garment construction skills.  Wenlan Chia also does knitting books, so if you are a knitter you may want to check those books out too.

The second book is Carry Me 20 Boutique Bags to Sew by Yuka Koshizen.  These bags are unbelievable! They are wonderfully constructed and has very detailed drawings on how they are to go together.  This isn’t a purse pattern like you pick up at your local sewing or quilting store.  The bag details are fabulous.  I’ve got a few pages marked, so now I just need to get started sewing them.

If you are like me, you hate to order books online without seeing them.  I got both of these books at my local library first to check out.  If your local branch doesn’t have it ask them to do a search at other libraries for you.  There is no extra cost for the search, but may take a little longer to get it.