February 14, 2011 § Leave a comment
It’s been a creative weekend. For those of you who don’t already know, A and I are expecting our first child in April. I keep reading all these pregnancy guides that talk about how it’s normal to want to start nesting and tidying the house in preparation for the new arrival. Wishful thinking in this household I’m afraid! Instead, my creative juices aren’t so much flowing as gushing, absorbing everything in their path! Another trip to the Vernissage has encouraged this weekend of crafty indulgence, as has the discovery of a second-hand shop that sells clothes by the kilo! Now I’ve realised there’s an art to getting the most from a per kilo shop. Things not to buy there: winter coats, shoes or jeans. What to buy: lightweight, cashmere jumpers and bedding. There’s another second-hand shop directly across from this one but they sell ‘per item’ so it’s a tactical consideration where I go for certain items.
So, as I was saying, it’s been a craft-fuelled weekend. Some my creative activities include:
- collecting twigs from the park and preparing them for a forthcoming project
- finished off A’s Valentine’s card
- adding to my ‘Industriale’ jewellery collection (more details of that to come)
Well, this wasn’t enough for one weekend. I have been brewing up some ideas in my head, ever since I saw the tutorial on Smile and Wave for baby blocks. I know that there are still a couple of months to go before ‘Pocket’ is born and even after that it will be quite some time until he will be able to handle the blocks effectively but still, I can’t imagine I’ll have much time to sit around making such things once he does finally make an appearance! So, finding the second-hand shop was just the excuse I needed to set me on my way.
After seeing the tutorial, I had visions of super-soft felt blocks with lovely appliquéd lettering on them so Pocket can learn his alphabet (do you think I might be a pushy mother?!!). Given my continuing quest to make my world a little greener, recycled felt seemed like the perfect place to start this project. Now, I’ve promised myself that this blog is not a rant about how much we waste or how people should live; I have simply decided that I can do my bit to improve my usage of the world’s resources and if people feel inclined to do the same, great! Just a little thought to keep you occupied: it takes 2,905 gallons (11,000 litres) of water to produce one kilo of cotton textile- find out more here.
So with this in mind, I have been reading a lot about felting recently and found the easiest way to make felt is with good quality jumpers (at least 50% wool) and your old friend, the washing machine. Technically, this technique is called fulling but I’m not going to split hairs. Having grabbed a bargain load of jumpers from my new favourite shop, I followed the advice on Craft Stylish. As they say, some fabrics seem to work better than others and there appears to be little rhyme or reason behind it. I have to admit that some of the fabric intended for use never quite made it as, once I had complete a wash, I actually rather liked one of the slightly shrunken jumpers (pure cashmere) and have claimed it as my own!
Anyway, although the block tutorial doesn’t have lettering, I decided to give it a go – note that my sewing skills are a little on the rusty side and I recently had to take my sewing machine to be fixed only to find that I had just put the needle in the wrong way round! But never has inexperience or over ambition prevented me from having a go and I spent a cosy evening in with A cutting out letters from a printed word file (can’t remember which font now!) whilst we watched LA Confidential.
Well, everything was looking good and I had nice, neat stacks of felt squares all ready to accompany my lettering. Then I got started on sewing the letters onto the squares……hmmmmm! Well, lets just say it wasn’t a roaring success and my resultant work was not something I wish to share with the blogging world! So a quick abandonment of the letters (P’s not going to be able to read for a while anyway) and I was back on track. And here are my finished blocks – stuffed with all the little bits of scrap fabric I knew I’d been saving for good reason.
Lets just hope he likes them……