Friday, October 21, 2011

Flinging, Folding, and Finding

I know I haven't posted much lately, but honestly, I just haven't been sewing. The house rearrange is almost complete, just the last "what do we do with this?" items to figure out. My sewing room is functional but not completed. I still have a pile of stuff to go through in the small room next to the sewing room. The fact is, I probably won't be done with that pile for a long time. Some of that pile can be put away as soon as I get the fabric folded on mini-bolts. Some of that pile may end up tossed, and some of it will just sit for a while so I can figure out what I want to do with it.

As I've been moving things, I have been trying to go through as much as possible. We have donated several loads of stuff to thrift stores, and thrown out things that cannot be used by us or anyone else. I came across two boxes of things that belonged to DH's great-aunt. She passed away earlier this year at 104. I have been given things from her several times over the years, and I use what I can and pass on what I can't. Sometimes going though things from someone so much older that I am is really fun. I have had some great vintage fabrics in excellent condition in a few boxes I've gotten from her, and some other things that sadly had dry-rotted. I found a few fun things in these last two boxes, and I thought I would show you.

Here is an eyelet setting punch still in the original box. This thing is HEAVY! I have a new eyelet punch and it is about the same size, but maybe half the weight. Of course, this old one was actually made in the USA :-)

Here are some paper fasteners in the original box, also made in the USA. I had never seen paper fasteners like this before. The box is almost full. I think the paper box is very cool looking.

I found some string blocks in the boxes too. Some are assembled, but I may end up taking them apart. I have no idea when these blocks were made, almost every kind of fabric is in these, double knits, polyesters of every kind, satins, and silks. The only cotton I saw was the muslin foundations. The blocks that are sewn together have HUGE seam allowances, I'm talking like 1" seams. As I was looking at the blocks, I noticed several places the fabrics don't cover the foundation piece. I think I might take the assembled blocks apart, and cut all the blocks down to a size where the foundations will be completely covered, then reassemble them, trying to use all the blocks. I might not do that, but that is my plan right now. I'd like to keep as much as the original work as possible, but I don't want it to just fall apart if I keep areas that are not sewn well.

These string blocks are so different than mine. The most obvious difference is the fabric choice, I use 100% cotton. I never use muslin for foundations for string blocks, I use paper and tear it away. I don't like the added thickness of fabric foundations. The biggest difference visually is that my strings are much narrower. If I can cut a 1 1/2" strip, I do, so all of my strings are narrower than that, or possibly wider at one end, and just too wonky to cut a strip.

I love these old string blocks for a completely different reason. DH's great-aunt was using what she had, and trying to make something pretty from her scraps. She didn't do it the way I do, but that is fine. I'd like to finish this project that she never had a chance to finish.

This pile here? This is what I'll be working on tomorrow. I need to be folding more scrub fabrics onto mini-bolts so I can get them put away. DH is gone to a scooter rally this weekend, and aside from helping with the twins and doing normal housework, I have the weekend fairly free.

My daughter and her family will be here from South Africa on November 1st, so I am trying to get a few things done before they come. Their visit is one of the reasons my sewing room is not a priority right now. I have gotten a couple meals in the freezer, to use on days where we will busy all day. I'd like to make a couple more meals to put in the freezer, and maybe some cookies and such too. I'm trying to be pretty organized about meals, because I will be feeding a lot of people, and we'll be busy sight-seeing, visiting, and shopping while they are here. People from all over will be in town to see them. I actually wrote a menu for the whole time they are here, so I won't be stuck every day at dinnertime, wondering what to make. I am flexible if something else comes up, but I feel better having taken the time to make a plan. I can make all of my shopping lists before they get here too, which will really be great and save us time. I want to get all the visiting in while I can, and I figure pre-planning will help to that end.

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