Making Table Linens with Oakshott Cotton

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of Sew Mama Sew’s Oakshott Cotton Table Linens Challenge.  When I received the fabric I was curious about its unique iridescent color.  It is 100 percent mercerized cotton and has a lovely sheen to it.  On closer inspection I realized that this was partly due to the way the material is woven. Its weft and warp are woven from too distinct yet complementary colors.  So that’s when the ideas for napkin making began to swirl in my head.  I really wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to showcase these lovely colors.

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I have a favorite set of napkins that I really love that served as inspiration for the napkins that I made.  They are made from a very different fabric but I really loved the way the edge was done with a rolled hem and I wanted to re-create this look.

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I know that not every one has a serger with which to achieve this look so I decided to come up with a method for a rolled hem look without a serger.  Since I am also a knitter I decided to see what would happen if I tried to accomplish this look with the use of yarn.

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So I chose to use yarn in complementary colors similar to the ones used in the weft threads.  I chose the same color thread in both the needle and the bobbin to match the yarn color I chose so you would not see the thread color as it held down the yarn along the edge of the napkin.

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I sewed the yarn down with a zig-zag stitch on each of the four edges.  Then once I was done I trimmed close to the yarn edge without cutting through my zig-zag stitch.

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For a more detailed tutorial click here.

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I am happy with the end result. I feel as though these napkins can be used in both a more formal setting as well as a more casual one.  Also, you can get creative with your yarn.  Some of the yarns I used also had an iridescent quality as well.  Also one of the yarns I used is made of variegated tones that darken and lighten as it goes around the edge of the napkin.  So with your choice of yarn, which is endless, you could greatly change the look of the napkins.

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I feel like this makes for a fun and quick project that is practical while also letting you express your self creatively.  I can’t wait to see what napkins you make!

Be sure to head over to Sew Mama Sew the week of October 22-25 th to check out the highlights from this challenge. You can also enter to win some Oakshott Cotton fabric of your own!!

I’m lucky enough to have these guys join me in this challenge.

Michelle White            Falafel and the Bee

Jessica Skultety         Quilty Habit

Nicole Neblett             mama loves quilts

Sara Peterson            knottygnome crafts

Anjeanette Klinder

So go check out their blogs and see what everyone is making!! Napkins just in time for the Holidays!!!

 

 

 

 

 

A Gal With A Plan

Does it ever seem like it takes you forever to finally do something that you’ve wanted to do for ages? I feel that way about lots of things all the time, but now I’m so excited that at least on one front, we are finally moving forward. Imagine that I have pom-poms in my hands and I’m doing a little cheer because I’m so happy that hubby has finally bought a new TV. This purchase will have a snowball effect in our house, so I think that must be why we waited so long to finally hit the enter button on our Amazon Wishlist. So what gave us the go-ahead? Hubby finally found a new job and it means we will not have to move. Woot, woot! We’ll get to stay in our house and I’ll be able to work on all these projects I’ve been planning. Work will continue at Lease Haus!

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It will be weeks before the new TV and the media console I picked out arrive, so it gives me plenty of time to get our guest room in order. You see, the guest room will inherit the old TV and media console that is currently in our living room. The guest room, really more like storage room, will morph into a hangout spot for my son and his friends. Here’s what it looks like now.

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We’ve been a one TV family for so long, it will really be nice to have a spot for kids to play video games or watch movies while adults hang out in the living room (or I can watch Call The Midwife while hubby watches football).

I’m not going to go into the details about the new TV and media console in this post. I’ll wait until they arrive that way I can better show you why we picked what we did and how it works in the space. What I’m really more excited about is getting the guest room set up. I even did a mood board a few weeks ago and I already have some artwork and fabrics purchased to use in the room.

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I did the mood board on Olioboard.com, but I’m not very pleased with this website because I can’t figure out how to make the image larger so y’all can see it better. I tried to recreate the mood board by just copying pictures onto a blank page to save as a PDF. Then, I thought it might be a waste of time because essentially everything going into this room is already in the house and I really won’t buy very much. When you get down to it, to finish the guest room all I have to do is move around some furniture, sew some pillow covers, buy some picture frames, and buy some lamps. Should be easy right?

Here’s what I already have that will go in the guest room.

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The bird prints coordinate nicely with the colors in the fabric and I think they’ll look nice in a rustic wood frame. I’m flirting with the idea of refinishing the end tables, but I’ll probably wait to decide that after I put them in the room and see how everything works together. It took me a few days to realize that I should move our living room end tables into the guest room and upgrade to nicer end tables in the living room. The TV stand will fit nicely, but the TV will hang on the wall and the speaker will stay in the living room. I think the pillow fabric I bought looks good with the curtains I’ve had forever. I plan to pile pillows on the daybed, so it looks something like this.

Hopefully that will be nice and comfy for all the gamers and guests who come to visit. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the pillow and framing projects, plus the lighting plan I come up with for the room.

What projects have you finally been able to tackle after months of waiting? Do you use any rooms in your house for a different purpose than they were intended?

Food Photography

foodpic2I really enjoy baking and gardening.  This summer I had my first Texas garden and I really enjoyed it.  I had a very prolific cherry tomato plant that gave me fresh tomatoes almost daily.  As far as baking goes I’ve finally found a biscuit recipe that I like and I’ve enjoyed making freshly baked biscuits whenever the need arises.  So I’ve found that as I’ve enjoyed both of these hobbies they’ve also lead to another enjoyment and that is of taking pictures of the objects that both hobbies produce, no pun intended!

The eggplants above weren’t grown in my garden but came from my local farmer’s market.  I had never seen baby eggplant and they were so beautiful that I had to take them home and see what I could do with them.  I ended up making an appetizer with them but I thought that they were so perfect that they needed to be photographed on their own before they were made into something else.

Also, you can see the cherry tomatoes I mentioned.  In July I could have taken this same photograph daily, as my tomato plant was loaded with dozens of these rosy orbs. I’m glad I did take these photographs because they bring me enjoyment even now as we roll in to fall.  I can appreciate the taste of summer through them. But I also love that they are not only a memory of a yummy treat or delicious salad but in and of themselves they are beautiful subjects worthy on their own as works of art.

So through my appreciation of food I have come to find a love of food photography.  I love the way it shows everyday objects, things we take for granted, on an elevated scale.  Through photos we can savor and appreciate the taste and sustenance these foods bring in an almost holistic way.

Photographer Katie Davies first made me take notice of this art through her photographs and since then I’ve taken notice whenever I see food photographs in books or magazines.  How are the shots composed?  What message are they trying to deliever? How do these photos make me feel?  They help me to appreciate art in the everyday.

Have you taken photos of your food?  Do tell.