Monday, March 7, 2011

The busy work of catching up

Thrift and quilt store treasures
On Friday night, the girls were out and about to celebrate my 50th birthday, with shopping and a wonderful dinner of chicken souvlaki.
I am just a little dumbfounded about becoming 50. I remember back when that sounded impossibly, um, mature.
Now that I am chronologically 50, I have to admit I haven't really matured all that much. And neither have my friends. Thank heavens!
We always have a good time, some laughs, and much joy scouting out little thrifted treasures.
First stop -- the quilt shop. I found some yummy Amy Butler fat quarters, along with some from Fig Tree and Co. I also got a metre from the Basic Grey range, and .8 (all that was left on the bolt) of a cute Riley Blake stripe.
Then, it was off to thrift store row -- there are three of them all next to each other.
I scored a linen shirt to cut up and make a pillow back (you leave the buttons and the pocket on so that it forms a tidy way to remove the pillow form for washing). Kajsa Wikman uses the technique in her book Scandinavian Stitches
The shirt was reasonably priced at $2.99, so I was able to add to my collection of little china flower pins, for equally good prices.
The last stop was very exciting because the store was holding a 50 per cent sale. So, I found another shirt-to-pillow conversion candidate -- this time for $2. I love the blue and white ticking. It's a designer cotton shirt, so the fabric is a bit thicker than usual, but it has been well cared for, so it is wonderfully soft.
The pre-pillow conversion 
Today, I did the busy work involved in preparing them for their conversions. After they are washed and dried, I cut up the front, starting at the side seams and going right up to the collar button. Then, across and down the other side.
The arms removed next and sliced open (you get some good pieces for little embroidery projects) The back is usually a nice open canvass -- and if there is a pleat in the back, even more fabric.
Linen doesn't come cheap in our part of the world, and worn in, good quality cotton is so nice to work with and turn into other things.
Once I do the hack and slash thing, I use my quilting ruler and rotary cutter to square everything up. I also tack the top and bottom shirt plackets together so they are not flopping around when I'm doing the pillow construction. But it wasn't all deconstruction today, I also managed to put things together. I did
another infinity scarf -- this one for me.
Shoe bag (detail)
I also did a pair of new cuffs for a pair of jeans that I love, but they had become ragged at the bottom of the legs. A little bit of corduroy later and they are back in the wardrobe lineup -- and looking rather swish.
Lastly, I finished up with a shoe bag for my mother to cart her shoes to her elder day care program. I'd already done two, but both have been misplaced. I'm hoping third time is the charm!


  1. We are SO mature!
    No we're not!
    Yes we are!
    YOUR MOM!!!


    Friday was delightful, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you create with your treasures :D I think you could have picked a more appropriate fabric for SHOE bags tho ;)

    I washed the sheet I bought, and will use it for foundations for my next quilt. The flannel blanket got washed as well - I was planning on using it as "batting" in a quilt that only needed a very THIN middle layer, but it's in such good condition I think I'll keep it for our bed instead of cutting it up - what a bargain for $4!! It was less expensive than the sheet, LOL!!!

  2. Well happy birthday! I'm sorry I missed it, I knew you girls were going out but didn't pick up it was your birthday. I'm very glad you treated yourself to lots of lovelies!
    I'd love to see a picture of these finished cushions, come on Nancy, share the love!

  3. Re: the cushions I will indeed post a pic or two -- just as soon as I get the front parts put together.
    Thank you for your wishes, dear Wendy! We should organize a crafty day via Skype. Time differences be darned...


Thank you for visiting Heaven is Handmaid! If you are having trouble making a comment, please feel free to e-mail me directly. You will find my e-mail address in my profile.
Have a handmade kind of day! :-)