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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: material_pakrat
Date: 04-23-2007, 09:21 PM (1 of 26)
Well I have finally finished my last project. And I am still wondering whether it really will be my last.

After picking up so many tips from all of you wonderful people, I almost thought I could achieve anything. But it also gave me a major case of foot in mouth syndrome.
After agreeing to help make some curtains for my son's school, I was asked to help come up with an idea to use a large space in the front foyer for Internation Year of Planet Earth. I suggested a static display mixed with a changing one. At the moment I am enjoying quilting, so I thought a quilted wall hanging that we could change with the seasons. Major mistake!!

After a bit of consideration I sent a calico blank for one of the art teachers to draw on to give me my template. Then the applique and quilting began.

By the way, it is 2.8 metres wide and 2.4 metres wide (110 * 94 inches). I did everything that you aren't supposed to do. I have mixed pure cottons with pure polyester. I had to do a quilt as you go method just so I could get everything layered properly. Then after using the satiny curtain lining for the sky, I couldn't find a colour that was any good for the river. So out came the paints, and the bleached calico. The only problem with that was the blue and purple splashes that went all up the walls in laundry. :sick:

Originally I wanted to do some embroidery to highlight different areas of the tree trunks, but I at least realised that I had bitten off more than I could chew. So I tea/coffee/vanilla dyed some calico to get the variations in the trunks.

The leaves on the trees are just tacked on with really big stitches. So when winter arrives here we are going to take tham off and have the bare tree trunks. Then we will add a koala in the tree, a big grey cloud and a birds nest. In spring we will add some new green leaves, eggs in the nest, fish, and some flowers coming out. Still a bit stumped for summer, but I have a while to think about that.

I really had no idea what I was getting in for, but it is finished at last. But then to add insult to injury, I have just found out that it isn't just for a year, but two.... 2007-2009. :yawn:

I have put up some more pics of various stages of making the wall hanging.

By the way - I know rivers dont run along the sides of hills like this one does, and I will give a chocolate bar to the first kid at the school who comments on it!
Cheers, Soph.

I'm happiest when I am sewing!
User: material_pakrat
Member since: 12-13-2006
Total posts: 220
From: HeyJudee
Date: 04-23-2007, 09:38 PM (2 of 26)
WOW Soph...great job. :up: I can't imagine tackling something like that. Love the plans for changing it for the seasons. Don't know what you do over there in the summer but what about someone fishing on the river bank or going down the river on a canoe or boat. Again...congrats on a job well done!
TTFN from
User: HeyJudee
Member since: 01-25-2005
Total posts: 1366
From: material_pakrat
Date: 04-23-2007, 09:49 PM (3 of 26)
Thanks Judy.
That's a great idea for summer. I am cheating and trying to do things that I can complete sparately on a smaller scale and then "tacking " them to the canvas. So someone fishing shouldn't be that difficult. But famous last words too!!
Cheers, Soph.

I'm happiest when I am sewing!
User: material_pakrat
Member since: 12-13-2006
Total posts: 220
From: PaulineG
Date: 04-23-2007, 10:00 PM (4 of 26)
That should be good for several years worth of good report cards!

Fabulous job.

Maybe a stripe of zinc across the fishermans nose.

BTW - maybe the broken leg would've hurt less but nowhere near as worthwhile - don't you feel proud (albeit stressed and exhausted)?
User: PaulineG
Member since: 09-08-2006
Total posts: 901
From: lendube
Date: 04-23-2007, 10:07 PM (5 of 26)
Wonderful, Soph! I think you did a great job. It'll be one of those things that they'll find at the school 20 years from now and comment on how someone actually took the time to make this way back then!

Without the explanations it just struck me as well done. What a learning experience for you. Be proud.

Lennie :up:
User: lendube
Member since: 08-06-2006
Total posts: 1548
From: pinecone
Date: 04-23-2007, 10:46 PM (6 of 26)
Wow, what a great job you have done. For summer you could do a picnic scene with a basket, watermellon and there is some red and white check material I have seen with ants prtinted on it. Maybe a Sunbonnet Sue holding an umbrella with rain drops?
You get a gold star.
User: pinecone
Member since: 03-10-2007
Total posts: 59
From: AndreaSews
Date: 04-23-2007, 11:10 PM (7 of 26)
Oh my goodness, that is some fine artwork!
Now how are you going to convince them that your sewing skills aren't quite up to snuff for class play costumes???
--Hanging onto my secret, I am...
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: PaulineG
Date: 04-24-2007, 05:06 AM (8 of 26)
Wise girl Andrea. I wish I had - the school production is coming up - I'm sort of hopeful - they haven't asked yet - but it could just mean it'll be a last minute rush.
User: PaulineG
Member since: 09-08-2006
Total posts: 901
From: grandma C
Date: 04-24-2007, 07:53 AM (9 of 26)
Pauline, I bet your children are the envy of the school population. Just to think their Mommy took the time to invest so much to create a better school environment.
Perhaps you might want to enlist the art department of the school and get som help from the kids in the rest of the project and be the designer instructor. Just a suggestion to share the learning experience with the students and to share the stress. That would work for the costumes if that comes up. Perhaps the Home economics dept might participate also.
You are an awsome artist. I loved your methode for giving texture to the tree trunk.

User: grandma C
Member since: 01-15-2007
Total posts: 263
From: PaulineG
Date: 04-24-2007, 08:43 AM (10 of 26)
Belinda - I'd dearly love to take the credit (and a bow) but modesty compels me to point out that Soph (material pakrat) is the artist in question.

My response to Andrea related to keeping her sewing a secret from the school. Something I have failed to do but I'm not anywhere near as skilled as either Soph or Andrea. Which hasn't stopped me from being asked to make curtains, computer covers and costumes in the past. (And a tshirt for a teddy bear mascot that won a prize).
User: PaulineG
Member since: 09-08-2006
Total posts: 901
From: temom
Date: 04-24-2007, 08:53 AM (11 of 26)
Amazing! Congratulations on an incredible job very well done.
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
From: DorothyL
Date: 04-24-2007, 09:11 AM (12 of 26)
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: MaryW
Date: 04-24-2007, 09:19 AM (13 of 26)
Excellent work!
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: Pcat
Date: 04-24-2007, 11:21 AM (14 of 26)
That is gorgeous and soooo clever! Start practising the word "NO" for all the other projects you will be asked to do!

A possible idea for fall: stitch the leaves onto the grass and add a person with a rake...

User: Pcat
Member since: 04-17-2007
Total posts: 20
From: bridesmom
Date: 04-24-2007, 12:07 PM (15 of 26)
Very impressive piece. I don't think I would have undertaken something like that, but you did a great job.
Tickled pink with my Innovis 4000D
User: bridesmom
Member since: 01-21-2004
Total posts: 2026
From: Magot
Date: 04-24-2007, 12:11 PM (16 of 26)
What a fabulous school resource - no wonder you are exhausted. Great job.
love and kisses, Jan
Cells a Speciality
DNA to order.
User: Magot
Member since: 12-22-2002
Total posts: 3626
From: smessier
Date: 04-24-2007, 02:45 PM (17 of 26)
That is absolutely gorgeous! It looks like you put your heart and soul into it. You are very talented.

User: smessier
Member since: 09-03-2004
Total posts: 114
From: cshortsew
Date: 04-24-2007, 05:11 PM (18 of 26)
That is beautiful! The school is very lucky to have such a dedicated mom to help with projects.
Projects Completed in 2007:
Sewing: biscuit quilt, 7 baby dress sets, piggy pillow, 7 baby pants, eyeglass holder, purse, 5 baby outfits, toddler dress set
Crocheting: red purse, piggy slippers, sweater shawl, 5 pr. sock trims, 89 squares, baby sweater, 2 afghans, toddler harness, baby poncho, baby dress
Other: 14 Autism pins
Works in progress:
Sewing: toddler overalls & shirt
Crocheting: vertical stripes afghan
User: cshortsew
Member since: 06-28-2006
Total posts: 380
From: plrlegal
Date: 04-24-2007, 05:55 PM (19 of 26)
Material Pakrat that is awesome. Despite what everyone says, costume making is very rewarding when you see it on stage, especially when children are wearing them. I think anything you do that you are giving of yourself and your inspiration and talent can be stressful and tiring but also very rewarding. The wall hanging is awesome and as someone posted, look to the school art department for more inspiration. You will be amazed at what kids come up with that we, as adults, would not think of and it will make the kids feel as if they are a very important part of adding to their school environment. I think when people, kids or adults, contribute to their surroundings, they take more pride in keeping it nice so that it will last.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: vickki
Date: 04-24-2007, 09:30 PM (20 of 26)
Congratulations on a job well done....Hold your head up high...
User: vickki
Member since: 08-21-2005
Total posts: 374
From: pucktricks
Date: 04-25-2007, 11:35 AM (21 of 26)
An idea so you're not constantly having to retack down stuff (I got this from a book, and have used it). But lots of buttons all over the quilt or hooks. Then you can just button or hook everything on, so it will not be constant work.

But aside from that suggestion, it looks absolutely amazing, and the first kid who comments on the river, just tell them it's art, and art doesn't always have to look like reality. :bg:

User: pucktricks
Member since: 03-31-2004
Total posts: 570
From: DorothyL
Date: 04-25-2007, 11:53 AM (22 of 26)
and the first kid who comments on the river, just tell them it's art, and art doesn't always have to look like reality.

And give the child a candy bar for being smart enough to notice and brave enough to comment!!
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: pucktricks
Date: 04-25-2007, 04:12 PM (23 of 26)
Okay, give them a candy bar. And then give yourself one for all the hard work.

User: pucktricks
Member since: 03-31-2004
Total posts: 570
From: material_pakrat
Date: 04-25-2007, 05:48 PM (24 of 26)
Thank you everyone for your comments. Now I feel like I could tackle the world... AGAIN!

Lucky or me we don't do school plays or things like that, so I wont be asked to do costumes. But being a small catholic school word soon gets around to other schools that I can sew. And I have already been asked whether I can sew debut ball dresses. That is one thing I will not tackle, because I know I can't do them. It is one thing having a small scale dress that looks ok on my daughter, but another to make sure someone elses dreams become reality. They all laugh when I refer them to the seamstress I have already picked out for my daughter's dress.... my daughter is only 4!!

But reality sewing has caught up to me again ... hemming school pants, new clothes for bean-pole daughter, quilts that I promised Mum and Hubbby etc etc etc. But it is fantastic to sew an item and have the majority of it done in a day.

Thanks for all of your suggestions everyone, and seeing it will be changed each season for the next 2 years, I will keep you updated on how it is progressing.
Cheers, Soph.

I'm happiest when I am sewing!
User: material_pakrat
Member since: 12-13-2006
Total posts: 220
From: Brenisback
Date: 04-25-2007, 09:53 PM (25 of 26)
Project looks nice. :up:

People come into your life ...for a Reason a Season or a Lifetime.
User: Brenisback
Member since: 09-20-2004
Total posts: 228
From: JustSewCrafty
Date: 04-25-2007, 11:48 PM (26 of 26)
Absolutly Beautiful! I love all of the different fabrics- it gave it wonderful texture. VERY impressive. :)
May your bobbin always be full-
"Sewing is the new black"
User: JustSewCrafty
Member since: 10-04-2006
Total posts: 168
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