Friday, July 29, 2011

Something from Nothing

The almost-finished police van, here still missing taillights, blinkers, and a front grill.

I am not much of a hoarder; in this land of houses without basements and candle-melting attics, you don't have much storage space unless you're willing to devote an entire room to your stuff.  And with 4 kids in a 4-bedroom and 6 bikes taking up all the space in the garage, we don't have any room to spare.  So I've gotten good about donating outgrown toys (except Legos, we NEVER part with Legos), passing along outgrown clothing, even tossing most of the endless artwork that comes home from school (after taking a digital photo of it, of course).

But I will admit to a weakness in the fabric department. I have a hard time throwing anything greater than 2" in any dimension.  Which is downright pathological, when you really think about it.  I have 2 large bins of scrap fabrics left over from prior projects, some of it over 10 years old, and I am certainly not using it up as quickly as I'm adding to the stash.  After baby girl's pink pony quilt (all new fabric, of course - what prior project would have used pinks and florals?) I was left with another small pile of leftovers that I just couldn't part with yet.  I'm not sure if it's having grown up in a waste-not-want-not home, or if it's just my own crazy.  Probably the latter; my mother doesn't sew.  But I can't resist the feeling of making something from nothing, like this pillow sham to match the pony quilt:

If you look closely, you'll see just how small some of the scraps were... On the upside, the pink pony scrap pile did shrink considerably

And when I finally got around to making Little Brother the police car he's been begging for (his brothers got Pokemon, he figured he deserved a plush toy of his own), it was great to be able to dip into the bin and get out the old t-shirts, and the scraps of silver lame, heat-n-bond, and felt, and, after a few days of drawing, measuring, cutting, and stitching, have made his little heart glad.  All without buying anything new or, worse, bringing 4 kids shopping at Joann's. 
Starting out with 3 t-shirts, a photo for inspiration, and a paper template.

Heat-n-bond, the secret to easy applique.  All the windows and doors were appliqued.

Snuggling with his police van before it's finished.  I had to sneak it away at night to sew on bumpers and paint on words and lights.

So easy to justify this particular bit of crazy.

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