DIY Applique Dishtowels + BONUS Scrap project

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Here’s a FRILLING project for you.  Check out these lovely dishtowels Aurelia and I made (Unfortunately I went off and forgot to photograph the ones A made, so here’s only mine – sorry, Rae).

Want the full How-To?  Really the sky’s the limit with embellished dishtowels – you could use fabric paint, rick-rack or other trimmings, buttons, all sorts of things.  But here’s what we did:

Start with whatever dishtowel you want to use-we got these at Hobby Lobby- and an applique fabric.  We used this Alexander Henry bird fabric, and cut out the bird and flower shapes to applique onto our dishtowels.  For a different look you could use any patterned fabric and cut out whatever shapes you’d like. 

Apply iron-on adhesive paper to your fabric…

…then cut out the shape you want to use as your applique decoration. Follow the instructions on the adhesive paper package.  Be careful not to adhere the paper to your ironing board (ahem, Aurelia).

Next, remove the backing paper from your newly-cut applique.  Iron it onto your dishtowel. (oops, forgot to photograph this step.)

Then use your sewing machine to satin stitch around the edges of the applique.  We recommend working on a scrap piece for a bit before trying it on your dishtowel because it takes a few minutes to get the hang of satin-stitching around an image. 

Next, you can embellish more.  Yes, I know, MORE FRILLS.  I chose to embroider, as it is my current go-to embellishment:

I free-handed the script, then used a simple back-stitch to stitch it up.  Then I added some quick little flowers using the detached chain stitch.  I think these would be cute with a bit of rick-rack added to the edge as well. 

When A and I weren’t looking my mom used some of the scraps to embellish a onesie for Baby, who was happily playing on the floor while we crafted.  She pieced together various petals, stems and leaves from the original fabric to make this design, then stitched around it in bright pink thread:

You could do something similar with virtually any fabric scraps you have lying around. Cute, huh?  Here’s Baby rocking her FRILLINGly embellished onesie.

Needlepoint Revolution!

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Needlepoint isn’t just for grandma’s anymore.  Check out some cool needlepoint styles I’ve been seeing lately. (click on the photos to follow the links).





April 6, 2011 12:54 PM | Comments | Categories: Crafts + DIY | Tags: , , , , , ,

Oooh, Pretty: Huck & Jo

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Go check out my friend Dani’s lovely Etsy shop, Huck & Jo.  She makes adorable baby items like crib sheets, blankets, burp cloths, bibs, etc. as well as home-greening items like cloth napkins and, my personal favorite, reusable sandwich bags.  And her fabric choices are always so right on. Next time you need a lovely handmade baby gift, look no further than Huck & Jo.

Some of my favorites:

Cowboy Bib

This guitar-themed blanket with coordinating crib sheets

Huck&Jo’s signature reusable baggie. Not just for sandwiches!  And you get to choose your fabric!

And adorable burp cloths; trust me, when you have a baby, you can never have too many burp cloths.  We keep one in every room of our house.

I LOVE buying handmade.  It’s good for the earth, good for the crafters, and good to own lovingly-crafted items.  Yay for everyone!  If you’re not convinced, check out Simple Mom’s post on why handmade makes sense.

-Fran

March 16, 2011 6:52 PM | Comments | Categories: Baby, Crafts + DIY | Tags: , , , , , ,

A Frilling Philosophy: Love is the Anchor

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My neighbor knocked on my door this morning to tell me that his car and mine were broken into last night, with the windows smashed.  Somehow thieves got into the garage and broke into our cars.  They stole our GPS, and some quarters I had in the console for parking meters, and made a big mess of broken glass. Nice.  Happy Monday to me, right?

The police officer I spoke with explained that usually in these situations it’s a person who is drug addicted and looking for quick cash and items they can quickly sell for cash; just smash and run, don’t bother with anything big.  It seems like a lot of trouble to go to, to break into a locked garage, smash windows and all, just for a few bucks.  And of course it leaves me with all the trouble of cleaning up, getting a new window, calling insurance, and whatnot.  Sad and annoying.

My lovely friend and Midwife for Baby’s birth, Angelika, used to tell me when I was pregnant and feeling all the things you feel when you’re pregnant: “Throw some love at it.”  Whatever is going on, whether you’re feeling angry or afraid or peeved or sad or whatever, it never hurts to throw a little love at the situation.  So today I can get upset, or I can rear back and hurl some love from afar at the sad guys who smashed my car to feed a sad addiction.

So, the project I was planning to show you today appears to be appropriate for today:

Remember when I mentioned that I was dreaming of embroidering things with maritime images? Well, this is my first effort — pillowcases.  (I ONLY like crisp, clean, white linens.  For me, no other color will do; my sheets have gotta be white — there’s nothing more inviting than a bed freshly made up with clean white linens.  Which means I have a closet full of white pillowcases just waiting to be embellished.)

Next time my mom comes to visit I will have to get her to teach me some more advanced embroidery stitches, as these are quite remedial.  Nevertheless, I’m happy with these little guys; I’m glad I made them.  Because today they are a nice reminder to me that, sometimes if you toss a little love at a sorry situation, it can help anchor you in a more mindful, patient, loving frame of mind.

-Fran

March 14, 2011 5:01 PM | Comments | Categories: Crafts + DIY | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Frilling Friday: 3/11/11

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Happy Friday!
Guess who slept 8 hrs last night?!  MY BABY.  my very own baby.  Of course, I myself wasn’t actually allowed to sleep 8 hrs due to a barrage of early morning texts from family members who shall remain nameless, who got overexcited about the tsunami that hit the West Coast this morning, posing absolutely no danger to San Francisco (unless you happened to be surfing).  Grrrrrr from a Mama who hasn’t slept a full night in four months.  However, after looking at the news and seeing the terrible destruction that happened to the folks in Japan, I won’t be too upset over a little lost sleep in comparison.

I’ve been thinking about Lent, looking inward, reflecting, and doing some spring cleaning, mentally, emotionally, and in my home. That said, here are some FRILLING things I found this week:

Carrie’s ideas for celebrating Lent with kids, including this Lenten calendar project.
Project Simplify, from Simple Mom.
Martha Stewart’s Spring Cleaning Checklist; I mean, I prolly won’t do all that stuff, but…
These little boats by Ann Wood Handmade are so lovely and creative, I can’t stop staring at them.



Aurelia introduced me to Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos and they are yum, light, springy (hint: I would tweak this recipe by adding pickled jalepenos to the slaw).
I’m drooling over Anthropologie’s dinnerware collection—love the colorful pallete and vintage-inspired designs.
Affordable and stylish: poster art
Oh how I love pom-poms ! (via poppytalk)  These make me so happy:

Have a happy weekend!

-Fran

March 11, 2011 10:55 AM | Comments | Categories: Parties | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

San Francisco Quilter’s Guild Show 2011

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Well, I’m a bit late in posting about my visit to the SF Quilter’s Guild show.  That’s because it was a bit, ahem, underwhelming.  There were some lovely and intricate quilts, but I was hoping it would be a bit more cutting-edge.  This is San Francisco, after all – a mecca of creativity and edgy artwork.  I guess I was expecting to see a bunch of up-and-coming quilters pushing the boundaries of the artform, inventing, reinventing.  Don’t misunderstand, the quilters there, mostly ladies (although I did spy a few men wielding a needle and thread, Bravo!), were skilled in their craft; but the show looked like any other quilt show I’ve ever been to. Meh.

Anyhow, here are a few of my favorites from the show.

Sue Mary Fox’s rendition of a Van Gogh painting

I was intrigued by these felt flower garlands in one of the booths:

I liked this piece by Marcia Stein, which made me think of me and my girlfriends someday when we’re old and gray (hopefully we will wear cuter shoes).

I was also disappointed with items for sale; most of it was quilting fabric, and of the finished items, most were old-fashioned, not memorable, nothing I wanted to bring into my home as a cherished souvenir.  I was hoping for some cool quilted placemats, or a table runner, or some such.  But what I came away with was this:

…a lovely basket handmade in Ghana by a Ghanaian family.  The lady at the booth informed me that her aunt crafted this particular one.  Her baskets are beautiful, durable, washable, and collapsible; I had a very hard time choosing which one to come home with me.  We used this one as our picnic basket this weekend at Point Reyes, but I think it will eventually hold my knitting. I also purchased a small one for Baby, which I’m using as my embroidery basket until she grows up enough to use it — a girl’s gotta have a Tisket-Tasket-basket.

March 9, 2011 12:00 PM | Comments | Categories: Crafts + DIY, Travel | Tags: , , ,

Ooooh, Pretty: Organization

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I think I’m getting a spring organizing bug, because lately images of lovely, organized spaces have been inspiring me.  And seeing craft supplies gorgeously arranged and organized just begs me to be creative:

via Scissor Variations

I wish I wish I wish this were mine:

via apartment therapy

also via scissor variations

via flickr

from SouleMama

via sfgirlbybay

I’m dreaming of someday having an office/studio/craft space.  I would paint the walls my favorite shade of white: Casablanca, by Sherwin Williams.

What inspires you to be creative?

-Fran

March 7, 2011 10:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Crafts + DIY, For the Home | Tags: , , , ,
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fran & aurelia

Fran likes knitting, cooking, reading design blogs, curating her home, and wearing chunky jewelry.

Aurelia likes baking, fashion, hosting lovely dinner parties, and laughing at clever and witty things.

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