Thursday, November 15, 2012

Improv Sewing Placemat

I heard about the Merrily We Sew Along group through ImagineGnats and it sounded like fun. I love to draw in real life so why not in sewing? The project of the moment is improv placemats. I mostly just wanted one :) not lots. When I saw the improv thread borders and drawing I knew immediately what I wanted to do: icebergs! Why?

I'm totally and completely obsessed intrigued with the combination of ice and water especially when the ice is gigantic. Anything like icebergs, Arctic or Antarctic, ice shelves, glaciers, crevasses is just the best. It's visually arresting to me especially as photographed and filmed with the incredible Frozen Planet series because then you get to see it in motion. I watched it on the Discovery Channel for the 3rd or 4th time this week. Let me tell you David Attenborough (the narrator) is one of the voices of my childhood.

The placemat is a semi-abstract simplified field of Icebergs and ocean. The foreground ice is the darkest blue, the middle ground is medium blue (like colors fade with the atmosphere/distance in real life) and what looks a bit like negative, or blank, space is filled in with light blue icebergs, ice floe and the ocean. It was difficult to get that light blue detail to show with my phone camera. You can click on the picture and get a larger view of it.
Yes, I have a real camera but I give myself leeway when crafting/sewing to not pull out my heavy duty gear. The back of the placemat is an Alexander Henry Halloween print. I love Halloween and I figured the tree limbs and varied background colors would go well with the different blues I was using and the all over threading.

The border is also medium blue. The more squiggly the lines were the more I liked it. When I finally felt done with the thread-painting I looked up and saw this much on the spool (above photo). Phew! Just enough. I used my grandmother's vintage mercerized cotton. You're "not supposed to" use vintage thread for sewing as it's integrity may be compromised by age or dust or what-have-you. I really like to use it for something and not have it just lying around and I figured it'd be better to use with this than with high stress seams on clothing or a bed quilt.
It was originally only 15 cents and seems to be colorfast even if you boil it. That's good... not planning on boiling it but at least I know that's an option. Am I the only one that cringes when I have to turn some things inside out? It feels like I'm ruining it all wadded up like that and getting tugged on. You get a peek at the batting and clipped corners as a bonus. Bam! You're welcome.

It did occur to me that my icebergs also look a bit like a seismograph chart. That's cool. I like geology too. Icesmeismographberg.

If you want to join the Merrily We Sew Along there is a flickr group and there will be various projects coming up. Come sew and be merry!


  1. i love this so darned much!!! the story, the placemat, the thread, awesome!

    1. Thanks to you for the sew along! It was so much fun to make and I always like seeing what other folks do.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! It's not even close to the kitchen 'cuz I can see it better on my bedside table-where it makes me so happy!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.