Friday, February 6, 2009

Pantry Privacy

At the bottom of my basement steps are some shelves I use as a panty to store extra food stuffs. It's rather unsightly and I wanted a quick, cheap way to hide it. Adding wooden doors would block part of the hallway and be too much work for me. So, I took the opportunity to experiment with using a painter's drop cloth. I bought a 6' by 9' cloth for $10 at Lowes, where I also picked up a package of cafe curtain clips,  some picture hanging wire, and a couple chair brace brackets (to hang the curtain from the ceiling). Two hours later, I was done! I love quick projects!

I love using drop cloths for home projects. They're a great way to get lots of heavy cotton fabric cheap, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. The size they list on the package is approximate. Mine was probably 6' by 9' before the seams and hems were sewn, but were a few inches shorter when I measured them.
2. Don't think you're getting a single large sheet of fabric. My cloth had a seam running the 9' length, but they can put a seam
 anywhere they want - it's just a drop cloth, after all! If I want yardage that I'm going to cut and re-shape, I buy the 4' by 15' size. Every package I've bought of that has been a single sheet of 48" wide fabric. After washing, it's been about 47" wide by 13 feet long.
3. Beware of ironing the cloth before you wash it. There could be some really gunky sizing on the fabric that comes off on your iron. This is the voice of experience speaking here. Luckily, it washed
 right off the iron after it cooled, but still....
4. Of course, the hems around the edges won't necessarily be straight. You may have to cut and re-hem. I did on the top and bottom of my curtain, but the sides were straight enough for me as is.

A Plethora of Pillows

OK, there's not really enough pillows to call it a plethora, but I like the word, can you blame me? Now that our old couch and chairs have been reupholstered, I was motivated to accessorize them with some funky pillows the kids could cuddle up with during movie watching and wii playing.

The triangular and the ball-shaped pillows came from the book Simple Sewing with a French Twist by Celine Dupuy. The triangular one is especially easy, made from two squares of fabric,
 and is quite nice to lean against. The large patterned round one gets used a lot as an ottoman. It has piping around the top and bottom edges and measures 24" in diameter by 12" tall. 

The square ones on the couch are filled with down inserts, and the floor pillows are stuffed with polyester fiberfill and shredded foam. The shredded foam is, of course, a mess to use, so work with it outside on a calm day to maintain your sanity! But the end result is really comfortable.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Knitting for Our School Auction

I belong to a needlework ministry at our church, Wrapped in Prayer, and we recently filled a gift basket with hand knits and other cozy items as an entry in our church's school auction. In my spare time, I knit up a hat using this pattern called Foliage from, created by Emilee Mooney. Of course, as so often happens to me, I gave it away before I took a photo! The best I could do was a get a shot of the whole basket, and a closeup of the hat through the cellophane gift wrapping. You'll just have to go to the link to see the pattern. It was a great pattern to work with - very clear instructions and easy to do. I love knitting hats - one skein of yarn, low committment, done!