Saturday, December 21, 2013

Vintage Crewel Embroidery

I love vintage craft. Knitting, crochet, crewel embroidery, macrame, hook rugs, and sewing really had an amazing hey-day in the 60's and early 70's. I scour second hand stores and Ebay for vintage fabrics, books, magazines and craft kits. I sometimes sell the kits online at my Etsy store. But there are times when I can't resist a kit for myself, this is such a time...

This is a crewel pillow kit from Bucilla called Multi Fleur. The design is printed on a lovely linen and stitched with wool crewel yarn. I picked the design because of the many different stitches. There is laid work, couching, ribbed spider, chain and French knots, among the more basic stitches. Each moment I spend on this project is pure joy  :-)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Felt Fox

I have been working on a cute little felt fox...a Christmas gift for my daughter. She is 9 and better able to appreciate handmade dolls then she was a few years ago. I am making a pattern as I go and will eventually put it on Etsy for sale. She measures about 7" tall, and has button joints, making her arms and legs movable, When complete she will have dresses and knitted accessories..I will post more as she develops.  I am having so much fun making her!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Craft Show... IThrive Artisan Gift Boutique

Getting ready for an upcoming craft show. I haven't had time to make ton's of stuff, but I will have a few hats and of course... owls. November 2nd from 10-5, 750 Galapago Street, Denver CO

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Simple Way to Upholster a Bench- tutorial

I love refinishing and upholstering or re-upholstering furniture. My mother always collected old furniture and found fun ways to make it fresh. She taught me how to use power tools, how to sand off old paint and stain or paint tables and shelves or dressers. As a person who loves textile and fabric I naturally became intrigued with how to recover the fabrics on old furniture. I like to choose simple obvious techniques, I want to be able to easily figure out how to wrap the fabric, where to secure it etc...

I was so excited about this project that I forgot to take pictures of a few steps...but I can still give you a good idea of how to  pull this off.

Begin by painting the legs of your bench and any other part of the bench that will be seen. This is my old weathered red bench after I painted the legs.

The bench was 14" by 47", I bought a piece of green foam at Joann Fabrics that was 20" by 48". I cut it down to 13" by 45" (use a bread knife). I then laid out a long piece of quilt batting, laid the green foam across the top and began to wrap the batting around the foam by slowly rolling and smoothing. Make sure that there is some extra batting hanging of the edges on both sides to fold up on the next step.

Once the batting seemed even and smooth, I used safety pins to keep it in place while I basted it down to itself to keep it from shifting while working with it or sitting on it. You will need to trim a few of the layers on the short edges to get the batting to fold up smoothly, then baste.

I made a dumb mistake when I purchased my fabric for the project. I bought enough to cover the top of the bench and the sides of the foam, but not enough to wrap to the underside of the bench itself. When calculating your fabric take the length and width, then add the depth of the foam (mine was 2"), then add another 2-3 inches per side. My bench was 13" by 47" so my fabric should have been at least 23" by 57", it wasn't.

I has to add extra fabric around the entire edge to make up for the problem. The end product turned out okay, but I wished I had just done it right the first time.

Turn the fabric right side down, put the wrapped foam on top and center it, then put the bench upside down on top of the foam. I turned my fabric under on the edges as I go, because I don't like raw edges, but it's not necessary, as no one will likely ever see it. Using a powerful staple gun, staple at 4"-6" intervals. It is good if the staples don't go all the way in, as you may need to make adjustments, and it is much easier to remove them if they aren't completely embedded.

The corners will be tricky, you will have to tuck and pleat and just mess around with it till it works. The best way for me to explain it is imagine you are wrapping a present and tucking the edges into a triangle-ish shape to fold up the sides.

Turn the bench right side up to see if any adjustments need to be made. Then turn upside down and fix any issues, then staple about every 2 inches, tap down any staples that are sticking out.

Ta-da! I don't love the green stripe of color, but I didn't have much choice. All in all I am happy with the finished product.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Crochet Ottoman Cover

I found a wonderful old pleather (plastic-leather) ottoman at the local antiques mall. It was coming apart at some of the seams, and I couldn't wait to get it home so I could cover it in patchwork. Then a friend mentioned I could crochet a cover for it... Brilliant!! I went out and bought some bulky Lambs Pride and dove right in...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

New & Old- Vintage Kitchen Curtains

I have a thing for vintage linens, I comb thrift stores for old sheets and pillow cases that aren't terribly worn or faded. They make beautiful patches for quilts, or quilt backs, they are great for dresses and skirts, bag linings and of course kitchen curtains! I just bought my very first house, and the first order of business after unpacking, was to make curtains for our windows above the kitchen sink.

I took two different patterned vintage sheets, lined them with white fabric so they wouldn't fade from the sun, and added some rick-rack for fun...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Log Cabin Mug Rug

I just wanted to post a quick pic from the class I taught this weekend at the Denver Public Library at Cherry Creek. This is a traditional hand stitched log cabin square with cotton-poly batting and cotton quilt fabrics. I will be teaching this class twice more this summer, at Schlessman and University Hills. The class is free and all materials are included.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Handmade Hermoine Doll from Harry Potter

I was recently commissioned to make a special doll for a co-worker. For the last year her and her 10 year old daughter have been reading the Harry Potter books together, and they are about to finish the last one. She said her daughter loved Hermoine and asked if I could make her a doll. I meant to take pictures while I worked, but was having so much fun I forgot!

The body is made with linen fabric.

The hair is wool, I used Lambs Pride bulky, because it is a single ply.

The sweater and skirt are made of a dark grey knit and the cloak is a suiting fabric.

The tie is a red ribbon painted with glitter paint. She comes complete with wand and magic bag.

I would be happy to make a similar doll or other custom order, find me on etsy...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fabric Design

I just bought a graphics tablet, I'm new to computer design and have always drawn with traditional media. Creating on a tablet with artist software is really fun, though, there is a serious learning curve! I am using Painter 12, and teaching myself to use layers and color and tools galore.

Mod Dandelion is my first official solo fabric design, for the Mod Wallpaper contest on Spoonflower.

This is my second attempt at a fabric design, I did some color changes and I really love it in teal...

I feel like a whole new wonderful world of design has opened up!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

L. Simone Embroidery and Handbags

The SPUN exhibition opens next week, I am giddy with excitement!

Along with the embroidery pieces in the Threads Studio at the Denver Art Museum, I have been invited to sell hats, handbags and little plush owls at the museum gift shop.

Here are the little owls all bagged up and ready to go...

And here are a few of the purses...

In my hurry to get them to the museum, I forgot to take pics of the hats :-(

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Threads Textile Studio at the Denver Museum of Art

I've been crazy busy during the last 3 months preparing for the Spun exhibition  and the Threads Textile Studio at the Denver Museum of Art. I am honored to have several pieces of embroidered art included in the permanent exhibition in the textile studio.

This first piece is embroidery on wood, titled Mothership. The language is Sindarin, an elvish dialect (JRR Tolkien) and it is written in an elvish script called Tengwar. The word emilchair in Sindarin translates to mothership in English.

It is a wooden cabinet door that I stained with both jade green wood stain and green tea wood stain (frame). I then added a two part crackle medium. Once it was dry I rubbed brown oil paint into the cracks to age the wood. Hundreds of holes were then drilled into the wood, lastly the door was embroidered using a large needle and a chunky acrylic yarn.

The next piece is called Love the Hare. A small piece of toile from Spoonflower fabric designer Peacoquette. I added fun details to these well loved literary characters...

Lastly comes Peacock, an Art Nouveau inspired applique and embroidered work. This piece showcases many different types of embroidery stitches.

The new textile exhibition opens on May 19th, 2013...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Memory Lane

I was going through some old pics and found a couple of projects I really enjoyed making over the last couple of years...

                               Hand Embroidered Felt Bird   

This bird was hand stitched out of wool felt and then hand embroidered with lazy daisies using two strands of embroidery floss. The bird is constructed using a blanket stitch.

I used an Echino fabric for the underside.

The pattern for these birds is available free from Spool. It is super simple to cut and stitch, and can be used to make mobiles and other lovely crafty items. I made quite a few and scattered them around the house, sitting them on shelves and giving them as gifts.

Colorful Lap Quilt

I made this quilt for my little girl, I wanted her to always feel wrapped in my love. It has alternating log cabin squares, with solid squares. I added the owl applique and a couple of flowers for fun.

It is hand quilted with embroidery floss. Some of the floss has started to fray. Next time I will use a perle cotton.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fish Cushion

I found a wonderful plush fish pattern in a vintage 1970's Better Homes and Gardens craft book. I knew it was going to be tedious, but I had to try it. Each scale had to be cut sewn stuffed and embroidered. The finished product was gorgeous!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Embroidered Applique Peacock

I have been working on this project for weeks! 
This piece will soon belong to the Denver Art Museum, for their textile exhibition.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

How to Organize Your Fabric Stash

I live in a small house with a non existent craft room, which is why I was so excited to come across a blog with instructions for creating small "bolts" of fabric that can fit on a shelf. In an earlier post I talked about wanting to organize my fabric madness with comic book boards, and I finally did it
The boards are a bit thicker than mat board, and measure 7" by 10". You can wrap amounts as small as half a yard, up to about 3 yards. Its fun to organize all the prints by color.

I enjoy seeing them in the shelf in my living room, and they always get compliments! It makes preparing for a project so much easier and enjoyable. I just need to find enough room for another 50 fabrics!

Hand-stitched Quilt Block

I will be teaching a hand-sewn mini-quilt class at the Denver Public Library this summer. We will be doing a blanket stitch edge, as time doesn't allow for a hand-sewn binding.
...stay tuned for more info...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Adventures in Crackle

I am working on a project in which I will embroider into a wood cabinet door. During my research phase I looked online for instructions on how to use a clear crackle over wood stain. There is little or no info on this topic. I found an article on  using clear crackle over acrylic paint on wood, which was helpful.

The following explains how to use a clear crackle medium over a freshly stained wood door. I decided to go with a 2 step process, using Helmar crackle medium  This product is available online at Amazon and other online craft vendors.

These are the other products I am using: Minwax water based tinted stain in Antique Jade, Minwax oil based wood finish in Provincial, and the Helmar crackle medium steps 1 and 2.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ikea Hack

Have you seen the Ikea Hack blog? There are great projects and redo's made with Ikea furniture. I love this idea, its a footstool with new feet!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Funky Vintage Patterns!

I have accumulated an incredible amount of vintage craft books, knitting books and patterns galore. I have begun selling them in my Etsy shop. I am adding a few every week and have a long way to go.