Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer craft series: outdoor bunting

I understand that by implying that I'm going to do a "series" of anything that I'm basically dooming myself to some degree of failure.  A series implies (according to Merriam-Webster) a "number of things or events of the same class coming one after another in spacial or temporal succession."  Since I have a history of struggling with the temporal part of my day to day life, we'll see how this goes. What can I say?: I have a lot of ideas, but many of them get permanently lost between the non-physical space of my mind and their potential manifestation in the physical world ... so, like I said, we'll see how this goes.

During the past two weeks, I've gone crazy using the sewing machine because it's been so idle since the great Valentine Project of 2012.  Last summer, I really wanted to make a bunting for my back deck. While I did finish the tablecloth that I had planned to do, I never got around to the bunting I wanted to make to go with it.  Typical.  How easy could this project be? Just trace a bunch of stupid triangles, cut them out, and sew them together ... Well, that's far too difficult to complete in one summer when one is essentially unemployed.  (Right?)

I have to say, I did have some difficulty cutting out the triangles because I don't have a work surface to spread out a project like this. I prefer working on the floor (90% of my K-12 homework was completed on the floor) and I decided to use this strategy for the triangles.  I was really shocked when I woke up the next day and my legs were killing me.  I found myself limping and wincing up and down the stairs for at least two days.  So, a word of advice: If you're going to spend 45-60 minutes cutting fabric on the floor, understand that if you're squatting the whole time it will feel as if (duh) you did 60 minutes worth of consecutive squats and lunges a la' The Firm.  Work at a table. (Most people probably already follow that rule. I hope.)

Once I cut out all of the triangles, I connected them with a line of white rick-rack and sent them through the machine.  This particular fabric is an water-resistant/fade-resistant outdoor fabric that I picked up at Jo-Ann.  It feels a lot like plastic-y canvas.  I used pinking shears to cut it, and it doesn't really fray or snag which is really helpful. We'll see how well this keeps its color since the sun will be beating on it all the time.

I think the one mistake I made centered on the way I sewed this together.  The triangles are connected by the rick rack, BUT the triangles are not actually connected to each other--do you know what I mean?  The top corners of the triangles may touch or overlap, but they're not secured. As a result, the rick rack can spin and twist when the wind blows, and it's impossible to untwist the whole thing now that it's secured in place.  (I used a staple gun to install five staples under the bannister and then used fishing line to tie the bunting to the staples as if they're hooks.)  I'm not sure if I care about this ... right now, I don't.

Since the bunting's in place, I decided to just keep the tablecloth out there full-time too.  It's a different pattern from the bunting, but the same kind of outdoor fabric.  It makes the deck feel like another room rather than just a deck.  Who would think some bunting and a tablecloth could do that?

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