Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Scrap Maps

This is one of those projects that has been on my "Oh, I have to do that sometime" list.  That is not the same as a "to do" list, a real "to do" list implies actually doing the project, but the "gee, I'd really like to make one of those someday" list is more like a mental Pinterest board, it's nice if you have a spare few hours but no real expectations either way.

But oddly enough, I found a spare few hours to make these maps, which turned out to be a lot of fun. And a good refresher course in geography!  I found this tutorial on See Kate Sew, and did my United States map using this tutorial. I did enlarge my map a bit more, but that's just personal preference. I also put my paper printed map behind my muslin piece and traced the outlines of the states onto the fabric before cutting it apart, it made it much easier for me to reassemble. So, beginning with the west coast, I started laying out my pieces.


I did have a good time picking out my fabrics, but I cheated, instead of only using scraps, I went into the fabric stash. Not that I needed to, just look at a small pile of my scraps.


But really, I couldn't help myself.

Here is my finished map of the United States. I just love it!


And then, because I just couldn't stop myself, I decided to make a world map too.

Using the same idea, I found a printable (simple) World Map, printed and enlarged it to be a similar size as the US map. I thought it would be fun to use a light blue "ocean" for the background on top of the muslin for this map, so I began with that, again tracing the shapes onto the blue fabric first.


I did go a little off track with this one, I meant to do just the different continents, but I ended up doing some of the countries in different fabrics. I got carried away in the heat of crafting, it happens.

Also, there are so many teeny, tiny islands, that I would still be sewing today trying to get them all on there, so I took some artistic liberties there as well.

Overall, I liked it when it was done...but not as much as the US map. I felt like it needed something. Then my husband suggested putting the N-S-E-W symbol on the side. What can I say, the man is a genius (occasionally).


I hand embroidered the symbol off to one side and that really made the whole thing pull together for me.


I love the way these came out, and they were very fun to make, sort of like assembling a puzzle. Now, to find the perfect place to hang them.....kids' bedroom or the playroom.....hmmmmmm......

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

That Old Silverware Tray

It started this holiday season when I bought new silverware.

This is monumental. This is huge. It is the very first set of matching silverware I have ever owned. Ever.

So, now instead of 7 or 8 pieces of mismatched cutlery, we have a lovely new service for eight. And I was really excited to bring it home, get it washed and in the drawer only to discover that the old silverware tray didn't have enough spaces for all my new utensils. Grrrr.

About a week later, I found a new tray that I liked and would fit both the drawer and all the silverware. Yay!

But then I was left with an extra silverware tray.

What on earth do you do with that? There was nothing wrong with it and I didn't want to just throw it away, so I let it sit on my washing machine for a week and put it out of my mind.

Until one night while I was sewing and couldn't find my seam ripper on the mess that my side table had become. And while I was grumbling and hunting in the sewing box, scattering the scraps of fabric and getting caught in my spools of thread, I had one of those rare AHA! moments.


I went and got the silverware tray, perfect for scissors, pencils, sharpies, seam rippers and various other must haves for the sewing/crafting area.


It works perfectly! It fits on my side table like it was meant to be there. And now I can find everything, things have a place and aren't just scattered on the table.

Now, let's just hope this burst of tidiness will last!