Monday, September 1, 2008


When clearing my room and redoing it for use - stashes
of items i had saved for "possiblilities" came into view.
Wow! T-shirts!
As a family we used them as everyday wear - two sons,
one daughter, four athletics, lawn mowing husband
and my dirty part time job - we had collected an
abundance of T-shirts....and worn them to soft, full of
holes soon to be rags. Our rag bags were abundant so
I decided to reuse these in a creative way.
First i saved them by throwing them in a large garbage
bag...after collecting 3 large garbage bags and moving
them from place to place to place i had to come up with
a better way. At the same time i had to justify why i
even needed to save them.
If i could create some neat looking storage for a t-shirt
that could be visible, useful, and ready to use that would
be i set out to cut up the shirts...

First lay out the shirt on a flat surface...hold at tail of
shirt to get the front and back as close to even as possible.
Remember these shirts are well-worn and stretched out...
nothing will be absolutely perfect on this...think recycle!
Get a really really good pair of gingher are
great but as i get older the fiskars softouch with the spring is
way worth the money!

Try to have as few wrinkles in the back as possible and
the sleeves flat also. Turn the shirt so you are at the side
of the shirt.

Make your first cut along the bottom hem...determining if
you will actually use it will come later...if it is really thick
i have opened the hem up and cut through it. If you don't
want the hem area...cut it off and start with the bottom of
the shirt.

The size of the strips will be a healthy 1 1/2 inch...approximate
this and it will vary as you go - you do not need a ruler.
If there are holes it is okay...try to use them or include
them in your strip.
Cut your strip ALMOST to the other side...DO NOT CUT
off the strip....leave about 2 inches along the far side of the
Move all the way up the shirt toward the sleeves...and keep
in mind you need to include a joined area from front to
back of the t-shirt.

I try to use as much of the shirt as
possible and it is possible to use every inch including the
neck but sometimes you might want to skip that heavy i have in the photos.
Once you have the shirt in strips, bunch them and move
the shirt so you have the attached side close to you...

Open the hem area (VERY IMPORTANT) make a cut across
the bottom of one strip AFTER the jointed area.

If you
open this up and have done it correct then you should have
a strip still attached to the bottom of your shirt.

On my shirt you can see pen marks as to the 2nd and 3rd are making one long strip of you cut up
the shirt.

Continue to cut as you move and layout the remainder of the can stop at any point and use the last bits for rags!

Now is the time to recruit help...I cut the shirts and then give
the pile to my he watches baseball he can roll
the entire pile into a neat and colorful ball...if at some point
the strip is cut you can tie or loop them together.

The inside part of the rolled fabric
does not have to be perfect but as i approach the end of my
strip i try to even out the strips and smooth out the ball of
fabric because i display them in a basket!

I love balls of torn
fabric, beans, noodles, twine, on a tray or basket.
When i am ready to make a rug or pot holder or trivet the
material is ready...the color is seen....i grab what i need and
I create!

I have a store on and have created some Southern
Lady Toe Rugs from t-shirts....very simple but it is also useful
for home or office use. If you do not have time or t-shirts and
want to visit my store please will love the Toe Rugs...
from the creating Lady Under the Oaks!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer Project

A trip to grandma and grandpa's house should always
include some really neat project that mom or dad would
never think of completing!

Since we like to pick up things that others discard. I had
found this chair on the side of the road. It was water
stained grey and the legs needed to be cut to get rid
of wear and rot.

The first day we painted it white (any light tinted color
would do) and let it dry in the sun...didn't get a photo
of that...used a water-based paint because I get it all
over me and knew my grand-daughter would also!

After it dried I dug out my collection of acrylic paints from
over the years and we tested them out on the chair.
A nice subtle paint job would never do and so we decided
not to paint anything the same color and switched them
from side to front to inside to back! It was least
grandma had a good time...i think Sajarie did also!

The seat had a really neat pattern (it did not show up till we
put the white paint on) so we decided to paint each
section its own color and the pattern also included circles
between each square so of course that too was different.
And grandma did not worry about overlaps or paint going in
different areas...we just played and enjoyed ourselves.

I think now i might put a thin line of black around the different
squares of the seat and maybe more design on each color or
section of the chair for interest! Why not! This is really a fun
project and it is all imagination!

Cutting the legs a little made the chair friendlier to the short legs of a
child. This is definitely a work in progress - updates as we moved along.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Major Accomplishment

Close friends of our family had the weddings of their two
daughters in the same year and two years later had three
grandchildren within two set of twins and
a cousin...whew! All i had to do was think of a quilt...
my biggest thought was how active the families were
and to have a quilt that could be used and used and
washed over and over and still hold up. I had purchased
a lot of fish print material and had also found quite a bit
of batik with the bright and durable colors that appealed
to i came up with this trio.

Jackson Anthony's quilt had to be a little masculine yet
tie in to his sister's and also his cousin..I had to include
a touch of pink plaid. I also attempted a wak-n-stack block
along one edge but ran out of patience. The back is a
majority of the dark blue fish batik with some of the light
blue frogs...this is really a lot of little boy friendly prints and
colors...very pleased with how it looked.
SusieQ's Quilts quilted it in a varigated thread overall pattern.

Monroe Paisley's quilt had to include some of her twin brother's
colors and also her cousin Savannah. Her quilt was still feminine
and bright and quilted in a sturdy overall pattern by SusieQ's Quilts.

Savannah Lynn's quilt had to include some of each of her i put in the
dark batik and some of the fish green
and yellow of Jackson's and Monroe's. Her
backing stayed
true to pink and bright...The overall quilting done by SusieQ's

Quilts made this a good sturdy drag-a-round quilt for Savannah
to grow up with.

Having tried to take photos of the quilts i have made in the
past i wanted to find a new way that worked...If i remember
to take photos they usually have been too dark..or blurry.
I thought a natural setting would set these three off nicely
so i went outdoors. I have an old stretcher quilt frame that
is set up with "c" clamps so i pinned the quilt to the board(it's
wrapped with fabric) and hung the board with fishing line to
an oak limb. There was a breeze blowing so the quilts took
off flying and then i also remembered the background and
had to move around to exclude distractions. Here are
examples of the problems.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

Trying to decide what projects need the most attention the fastest!

Here is one that will have to wait a little longer...
I have finished the top and have enough
to complete the backing with some leftover squares and
pieces along with large piece of black...
This is a kit i bought and thought it would be fun to do....
i really like plaids.
Difficult to sew on flannel when it is 100% humidity and
over 90 outside.

Now this has become a favorite project....
Since my husband loves to fish and we do try to go out
as much as possible...
even vacationing in the down there in the clear,
clean waters is really fun. (i have to see land at all times though)
Anyway it was hard to judge the size of the catch by the fillet
after cleaning and the fish tales were stretching past the
limit of i started keeping record!
Of course this time my fish was the biggest and i really took
care to get a copy of it. This guy was big...and i have a print to prove it.
(more about the finished idea)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

And this is now

I Love It! First all of this is due to a great deal of guts and patience on
the part of a lotof husband first. He had to put up with
all and i mean every small piece being removed from the room.
It filled about an 10 x 15 foot section of living room and also
another bedroom, boxes in the unused shower and bathroom
and down the hall.He then painted the room, closets and ceiling
a warm yellow..(a freebie) and put in laminate hardwood floors...
So we started with a clean slate.
Next a young lady who is a professional organizer, had seen my messes
and still loved me said she would undertake a makeover.
She is very patience, loving (which you need when
you have to throw stuff away or give it away), and has great ideas.
and she was coming to florida for a vacation to visit my daughter!
So i got busy, emptied the room...throwing away what i really did not
need or want, opening plastic bags and boxes, grouping things
together as i took it all out.

Nicole came to an empty room, looked at what i did have in the
way of storage units and we started to move things back in.
Shortened the shelves and moved the top halves into
the closets. There are lights in the closets so it is all visible.
The angels i created were already in large totes so they went
up in the closet and are accessible when i want to work on
them....She refolded each piece of upholstery fabric and grouped
them to size. The other side of the closet is the innards for quilts
and pillows and specialty fabrics. This is still a work in
progress. The top of the shelves in the room are for laying out
instructions but i have not lost my habit of stacking.

My work table is in the center of the room. It is a very old dining room
table with an Xbrace under it. We put a board there to use for storage
of large totes both above and under. Some of those are also a work
in progress. The table affords room for both the serger and sewing
machine and cutting if necessary and lots of room to spread.
I put the ironing board by the windows and hung the thread holders
on the wall.

All of my rulers, measuring tapes, are in my tool chest. There is a
drawer full of fasteners like stick pins for quilting, curved safety pins.
A drawer for straight pins...A drawer for needles!...A drawer for cutting
tools. I now know how many scissors i have and also where they are.

So this is the room from another angle...the sewing table...breakfront
with cottons, ironing board (antique wooden). My seating is a swivel
stool...right now it works okay and i can get down easier than i can
get up! I do get a lot of light from the windows but it is shaded light
because of the canopy of oaks. Lighting is definitely another issue
we are working on. The baskets on the breakfront hold antique linens,
gloves, handkerchiefs.

Inside the breakfront is the cottons i have...mostly separated into
colored grouping. At least i can see them. The very large fabric
pieces are in the lower unit. The drawers hold the paints, glues, bags
and tissues.

The stack on the floor in front of the shelves is the t-shirts i am to be
working on...that is one of the issues of the room. I need somewhere
to put things coming in and out. I thinkthat will be easier as i get used
to the room. There is an area under the ends of the work
table that would hold items...and it is very accessible.
I use baskets to store my etsy angels, rugs, and pins. I also
use XL zip-loc bags to hold UFO's so they are visible and i can grab
and on for a while and put away.

This is the storage section under the table...getting rid of the cardboard...and tossing
some more will clear this out. I believe now that i can see most of the things and can reach
them I will be more apt to create and give.

From out of a mess....

This is the mess! Eight years of accumulation, stacking, saving, shopping, digging for
something and not finding it....I gave up.

I had lots of really neat things i just could not get to them or use them.

I could not reach the fabric i had put in this really neat breakfront i inherited
from my parents....
and i had used every inch of these way over my head storage shelves...but what was in
the boxes...clear but still what was in the boxes?

I had taken the doors off one closet but it really wasn't very useful...or used to its best

And if i got real creative and dug deep enough i left piles everywhere...very depressing
and not productive at all.

Loved the tool chest my husband had given me for Christmas a few years ago but couldn't
reach it and did not use it....also the antique dresser and type tray.

My work table was not functioning well either...couldn't work on it.

I love this stash of really rich upholstery fabrics i had acquired a couple of years ago, but
could not really see what was there.

That very tall shelving unit (really two units together) i could not reach because of the
stacks in front of it....i had just about given up...and the door stayed closed and i sewed
in the living room.

I needed help.