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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We're Okay

For those of you, Charlie, that were concerned about our well being, we're okay.  Thanks for caring by the way.  I spent most of the week of May 19 with my younger sister.  We were making more stuff for her home.  The project started last summer during the middle of the rehab following Mom's hip replacement.  Sis and I decided we needed something to distract our minds from the whole hip replacement, rehab and moving of our 95 year old Mom.

Does it match the paper?  Not quite sure.
We visited several fabric stores that specialized in drape, home decor and upholstery fabrics.  It was really fun to see all the new fabrics, trims and styles.  Sis had one window that had been a challenge for the entire time they had lived in their home.  At a store named Cutting Corners we discovered the perfect solution.  Swatches were taken and even some fabric was purchased to take home to get the effect.  Sis made a decision about the style and fabric.

The ensuing months were crazy for Sis.  When the drape and window treatment finally made it to the top of her list, the fabric was missing from the store.  Later, she discovered the trim was 3 yards short of her needs.  Let it suffice to say she dealt with the issues in a calm and professional way.  Well, when she was talking to the store owner.  That trauma is now all behind her.  Last week we completed the last of the window treatments and table covers.  Sis still has enough fabric to make some accent pillows.  Here are some shots of what we did last week.

Double this view for the number
of things we made.
Day One:  Sis makes valences for two windows.  This pix is showing only one.  Did I mention the curtain rods kept sagging?  Wooden dowels, tape and non slip material finally over came that issue.  I recovered the window seat cushions.  The fabric for the seat cushions had a pattern.  The fabric was a roll end with cut off of both ends leaving one third  about 10" shorter than the other two thirds.  I did more work with a pencil figuring dimensions and placement than I did sewing the cord edged pillow covers.  In the end I managed to keep enough fabric for a couple of pillows for the bed and cover the two pillows without piecing anything!

Day Two:  Mom day.  Went to training on a new program for Mom.  Spent time with Mom at the apartment filling bird feeders and greasing the poles to keep ants out of the stuff.  Took Mom out for meal.  Then we shopped for trims, etc. for the tiebacks for the new dining drapes.  Mom looked around JoAnns fabrics in a very wistful manner.  A store that had meant so much fun for her in years passed held only sad reminders of what she could no longer do.  Back at Sis's home, we settled for a glass of wine and relaxed for a while.

You have to look closely to see the tassel!
Day Three:  Tassels.  Yes, two tassels took a large part of our day.  Figuring out how to reattach a different cord was challenging.  Especially since the hole was only big enough for about one and a half cord!  The tassels started out looking like a hula dancer.  Each addition or trial addition changed the location of the tassel to different parts of the world.

One addition made it look like a voodoo doll, another added what appeared to be dread locks.  Each addition sent us into gales of laughter.  Finally by the end of the day there were two elegant tassels, drapes massaged into soft folds and two sisters with more good memories.

Day Four:  This had to be a get it done day as Sis was leaving town the next morning.  One table runner and two scarves needed to be fashioned from the remaining fabrics.  The kitchen dining runner needed to be cut in a manner that had the main thistle centered on both sides.  And it needed beaded trim sewn into the pointed ends.  Cutting took time but not as much as the figuring where and how to cut.  As with the pillows on day one there was enough fabric left for a couple of accent pillows.  And with careful work, matching beads at each point.

The two table squares for the formal dining were a whole different story.  The original plan was for the black fabric to be lined with the accent fabric as done on the drapes.  The accent fabric was several inches short of the amount needed.  The bead trim for the black scarf was in three pieces.  Sis decided to have two separate scarves.  I cut the black material and Sis began the work of making a shirttail hem in the very thick velvet material.  She said a few words as her machine was not happy sewing the thick material.  She, also, had to piece the beaded trim that was in three pieces.  Zigzagging the ends together was yet another challenge.  She completed the task.

Scarves scrunched in formal dining area.
Meanwhile I was working on getting the largest possible square scarf out of the 40 x 54 piece of material.  Measure twice cut once is a carpenter's and seamstress rule.  I did that but to no avail as I measured the wrong number.  That did not do much more that just make me have to sew an additional couple of seams.  The 20" fabric was cut into 5 strips, sewn to the 40" square, pressed back over itself and topped with a trim.  Used a decorative stitch that looked good on the back without showing on the front.  Notched corners finished and that was done.  It took two sewing machine needles to work this metallic material and trim.  Sharp needles were critical for this project.

Since Sis's machine did not like the velvet material, I applied the trim.  I broke one needle and severely bent a second working with the heavy material and heavily corded trim.  By the end of the evening, Sis was thrilled to have the scarves on the table, drapes in place, valences and cushions all

It was really fun working on these projects with my Sissy.  After living so far apart for so many years it is a joy to have time with her.  Now to get some time in with my other two sisters!

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