I’ll save my ‘holy crap – it’s 2014!’ post for tomorrow… Since I’ve been lax in posting over the last month, I wanted to share the last finishes of the year with you. I’m lucky enough to have a job in which I’m paid to be off on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. We spent a lot of that time hosting friends and family over, so I did a lot of cooking.
For Christmas, we didn’t host. Instead, we went to my mother-in-law’s home for dinner. I’d hosted Thanksgiving, so I didn’t really mind not preparing the massive meal. I think, though, next year, I will insist on hosting, if only because we have more space.
For New Year’s Eve, we hosted the third annual Nilbog New Year, at our home. No idea what Nilbog is? Watch Troll 2, which is possibly one of the worst movies made ever. Then follow it up with Best Worst Movie. Basically, hubby and I invite our friends over for a themed party, to watch Troll 2, and eat green colored foods. This year, we mixed things up a bit, and watched the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra as well. For food, I made French onion dip (adding green food coloring), spinach and artichoke dip, served sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, and sugar snap peas, and made shepherd’s pie. I dyed the mashed potatoes on top of the shepherd’s pie green, as well. We also made double-decker bologna sandwiches for the climax of the movie, which were a huge hit.
So, yeah, there was a lot of time in the kitchen, and a lot of time dedicated to cleaning up the house. Hubby also rearranged furniture before New Year’s Eve, freeing up some space in my sewing area. I took advantage of the free space and moved things about, to give us better flow. Once I finished that, though, I wanted, desperately, to have a new ironing board.
Now, I’ve resisted buying a new ironing board. A standard ironing board is pretty well useless for me, because it’s so narrow, and I just don’t iron clothing much any longer. Everything I buy is wash and wear.
At the same time, I’ve been sitting on a yard of aluminized fabric, meant for an ironing board cover for two years. Yup, TWO years. I bought it September of 2011, at the WI Quilt Expo.
I finally figured that two years was enough, so I roped hubby into accompanying me to Menard’s. There, I purchased a 2′ X 2′ square of plywood, a home-use staple gun, and 1/4″ staples. When I got it home, I laid two layers of batting on, followed by the aluminized fabric, and stapled it to the board. I probably should have stopped, and taken some in progress photos, for anyone who wants to make one themselves. Seriously, though, it’s super easy!
After that, I decided that I should start making more stock for my eventual Etsy shop, so I made another couple of softies:
Zeb picked out the fabrics for this one – I left my fabric cabinet open and he insisted on these. All in all, not bad choices. I deviated a bit, and used brown safety eyes with black pupils, instead of solid black safety eyes. I think they work well here, with the softer, creamier color palette. The ears on this softie are a bit floppy, when following the instructions. I will likely add batting or interfacing to the next mouse, to keep them upright.
And this is where I get a lot of pleasure from making softies… Sometimes I end up with fabric that I just do not know what I’d do with. I do most of my patchwork in tone-on-tones, or small prints. Bold, graphic prints are fun for large blocks, or backings, but I only had about half a yard of this on hand. It was practically destined to be come a softie. Again, I used the brown safety eyes with the black pupils. I think they stand out better here, than if they’d been solid black.
Both of these softies are stuffed more firmly than my previous attempts – I love it. In order to accommodate that extra stuffing, I had to alter my construction methods a bit. It adds a bit to the finishing, in the way of hand-sewing, but I think it’s a trade-off worth making.
Linking to Lynne’s Fresh Sewing Day post.