" ". The Smiling Cat

Friday, May 11, 2018

Tassels: How to Create Broomstick & Yarn ChubbieTassels-Another Easy, but Great Tutorial From Sew4Home

Tassels can be the finishing touch of many home décor projects. Unfortunately, they can be expensive and the selection of colors and styles are limited. Fortunately, this doesn't have to be a problem for you...!
Tassels are actually easy to make, the materials are inexpensive & if you sew or craft-you are likely to have most of the materials on hand.

Do you know how to make your own tassels...?
They are quick, easy, versatile & just plain fun..!
Again, tassels are a wonderful embellishment for linens, cushions, tote bags, afghans etc. This Sew4Home tutorial shows you how to create two unique & classic tassel styles. Just follow the link above.
First, the Broomstick Tassel which is made with sleek embroidery floss wrapped as a hanging loop and the Yarn Chubbie, which looks like a fluffy, little dancing doll.
This tutorial is part of Sew4Home's Fast Friday series of projects that are about whipping up something wonderful, with items on hand & in no time at all.
Sounds Good- 
They share very basic sewing & crafting lessons-which will add to your skill & lead you in new directions..!

Broomstick Tassels:

& Yarn Chubbies:

These tutorials are for medium-sized tassels, but it's easy to adjust the size. Go larger for home décor projects, like floor cushions. Or, if you like, you can make them smaller to wear as a pendant necklace or tiny as elegant earrings.


On a floor pillow:

Use as a key fob:

You can also look up this previous tutorial by Sew4Home:

Click to Enlarge

This tutorial was written for embroidery floss because it is inexpensive, easy to find & the options are nearly endless. Floss comes in silk, metallic and variegated color options as well as the traditional Pearle cotton. This tutorial was meant for holiday sewing projects-stockings, ornaments, table runners & more.

Looking for a challenge...?


Or Something Simple & Sweet:

A Tassel Blanket

Isn't this a sweet photo.....?!

One more project from Sew4Home, they have the nicest patterns:

BoHo Fringe Scarf

 Just an additional note:  I came across this article from Vogue Magazine which says tassels & fringe are making a comeback in home decor. This fringed mirror is taken from Instagram's "The Perfect Future". I kinda like it...!

                                                                  Fringe Benefits-Vouge Magazine

 Well, I think that's all I have to say about tassels at this moment. I hope you found this useful and/or at least interesting.

Hope you are having a great day....!

The Beginning of Catitude..................

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Different Point of View: Log Cabin Ribbon Patchwork

One of the things that makes life so interesting.....Everyone has a different point of view! I probably would never thought of using ribbons to create a log cabin block, but for Elaine Schmidt whose passion is ribbons, it's a natural.

Lazy Log Cabin Ribbon Patchwork:

This is ribbon patchwork, one of the techniques that is featured in her book: "How to Make 100 Ribbon Embellishments". Which is available at: Amazon.com

This is called the Lazy Log Cabin pattern because it really is a short-cut version of the traditional pieced patchwork block. Except, the piecing uses rows of ribbons, placed side-by-side, to imitate the look of fabric. 

The block starts with a center square of ribbon that is fused to a base fabric. Surrounding rows of ribbon are then positioned around the square in rows. Each row covers the raw cut edges to the previous row, creating a very quick and neat log cabin block. Machine zigzag or decorative overcast stitches can be sewn along all the edges, where the ribbons abut. It would be interesting to mix fussy cut fabrics with the ribbons as a border.......
I'm going to put some thought into this and I'll let you know what I come up with-

Any suggestions?


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bohemian Fringed Cotton Dinner & Cocktail/Buffet Napkins

 Recently my friend, Debbie, and I sorted through a large bag of fabric given to us by another friend.  The lady was elderly and sadly, just didn’t see well enough to sew any longer.  In my share of the fabrics was quite a bit of this heavy, cotton, linen-like fabric, both in bright, raspberry  pink & a nice spring green.  It reminded me of the fabric used to make Indian saris.  I wasn’t sure what to make of it, so I put the fabric aside until I came across a pattern at The Purl Bee Blog.  Their blog has loads of craft patterns of every kind.  Their pattern was simple enough, but the ‘sari’ fabric was too loosely woven for this pattern.  So, I changed it a little & this is what I came up with….


The fabrics had been cut into a few large pieces, so I was only able to cut four 22” squares for the dinner napkins of each color.  The remaining fabric I cut into 12” squares for the smaller, cocktail napkins.  Since the fabric has a woven stripe, I had to be sure that I had the same number of stripes on each square.  Also, the fabric was much the same on both sides, so didn’t have to worry about the right or wrong side.  I began by pressing a 1” fold all the way around.

I used these pressed lines as a guide to stitch a slender & tight zig zag seam all the way around each square.  I stopped and pivoted at each corner, and back-stitched securely when the stitching met the beginning again.
Then, I pulled out the threads to the stitched line to create the fringe.  This was a bit time consuming, but something to do while watching T.V.  The fabric was loosely woven, so it was pretty easy to pull apart.

I trimmed the fringe here & there, and it really fluffed-up after being washed.  Here they are in the green fabric:


I had started making mitered corner dinner napkins from the green fabric.  But, it was very tricky to keep the miters corners sharp.  After making the first set of dinner napkins, I decided to make the rest with the fringed edges.

2 (2)

Both sets are nice, but I think I prefer the fringed version.
Both sets are available in my home shop.

Well, that’s all for now.  Have a safe & happy Halloween…!-Carole

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Virginia Rose China-Homer Laughlin China

I still love to learn, and learning more about vintage items is one of the reasons I love shopping for ‘treasures’ at the second-hand stores.  You never know what you’ll find & what you can learn about.  With some of the items I buy, it’s difficult to find any information.  But, with other items there is loads of information.  For example on my last trip, I found these cute, little Shabby Chic dessert plates:
Tucked away in a corner, I almost over-looked them.  I took a second look & noticed the pretty raised rose pattern & the curved platinum gilt edge.  I checked for damage & found only a few minor chips on the back, which actually adds to the Shabby look.  On the back also was the company name Homer Laughlin, and the pattern name “Virginia Rose”.
At least I thought it was the pattern name.  I looked it up online and found that “Virginia Rose” describes the plate’s shape, not the pattern (I didn’t think it looked much like a rose).  Also, the Homer Laughlin Company is a very popular brand.  It was established in 1871 by Homer and Shakespeare Laughlin, two brothers who lived in East Liverpool, Ohio. For well over a century, this company has produced high-quality, American-made pottery.  It is the largest producer of home and restaurant porcelain dinnerware in the USA.  In fact, Homer Laughlin pottery is very collectable, and there are books and web sites dedicated to this manufacturer's products.  There are collector's clubs, such as the Homer Laughlin China Collectors Association, which have been created to support collectors, buyers and sellers.  Many of their products, such as Fiesta ware, are readily available and sellable in today’s collector's market.  Some of the Fiesta ware pieces are quite pricey. 
The Virginia Rose dinnerware was designed in 1933, by Fredrick Rhead and HL produced so many pieces of this shape that many of the patterns were never given names.  Hundreds of different decorations were produced until the late 1960’s. Virginia Rose continues to be a popular shape with collectors.
DSC04314 (1) 
The Virginia Rose has embossed roses spaced around the rim and was produced on a white or yellow glazed body.  There were two other embossed designs, Marigold & Republic, which are often confused with the Virginia Rose. All three shapes were decorated with decals which are either identical or very similar.
There are two popular rose patterns, the “Fluffy Rose” and the pattern of my dishes, the “Moss Rose”, produced 1934-65.
My “Moss Rose”:

Here are examples of the “Fluffy Rose” pattern from:  TGL Direct.com –Which has loads of vintage china for sale, & an interesting, informative blog.

Isn’t it a beautiful pattern…?!  So pretty & feminine.

DSC04311 (2)
The date of manufacture can be determined from the back stamp- the first mark is an internal mark.  The 64 is 1964, N is the plant #4, and 8 stands for August.
For more information, go to the Homer Laughlin website:   http://www.hlcdinnerware.com/about/history

Hope you are having a great day-Carole


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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Amazing Hand Embroidered Wedding Dress-TWO NERDY HISTORY GIRLS

Back in the day, 1734, proper young ladies prepared for their future as a wife & mother.  This wedding dress is truly a labour of love:

A Very Special Embroidered Wedding Dress

According to the Nerdy History Girls:
"The bride, Elizabeth Bull, was born in Boston in 1716. While we often tend to think of New England in the early 18th c. as a primitive colony in the wilderness, Boston was a sophisticated town, connected to all the world's seaports by its ships. As the only daughter of a wealthy merchant, Elizabeth was not only taught fine needlework, but had access to silk threads from the best shops in London and silk cloth from China. She also had the time to devote to perfecting her skill, as well as a genuine talent for color and design."

Imagine all the hopes & dreams that went with stitches in this dress.  I hope she had a happy ending!

Follow the link for more pictures & info.

Hope you're having a great day-Carole