Monday, January 30, 2012

Hemming Rectangles

Rental houses are a beautiful thing. My previous experience with renting, a dorm room, came with a delightful lady Martha. She cleaned my bathroom every week. I miss her.

As a couple, we're buyers, project hunters. Our first condo had no toilet; our first house seeped cat pee. Trend? But here we are, Mellon St., renting. Hot water heater blows? Call the landlord (true story). Our real lesson in this house: live with it. We don't live with anything. We pull up every scrap of vinyl flooring, yank out every dated light fixture, paint every. single! wall. Now in a rental, I'm learning to work around the existing. For instance, our kitchen floor is red and white checkerboard. Bold statement. The walls are light blue, and I'm forbidden paint. Fine IKEA-esque pallet, but not one I would pick. I've largely ignored it, but we've been here a year with no plans to leave. Time to integrate.
Exhibit A: red checked floor
I don't finish rooms well. We've never lived anywhere longer than a year or two, so I tend to decorate military style: paint the walls and arrange the furniture. Live in it just long enough to feel comfortable but avoid repainting. Recently I've set a goal to finish rooms. Produce our style art/decor or find antiques at flea markets and create a "look".
This week I approached a small project toward accepting the kitchen floor: Tea towels. They're whimsical, color-embracing. The birds remind me of Eric Carle. A little "Very Hungry Caterpillar" hanging from the oven.

 The towels for our kitchen were practice for a wedding gift set: tea towels and quilted pot holders. All the straight line sewing left my mind wandering, thinking of times when all wedding gifts were handmade. You weren't just giving the happy couple stuff to fill a new house. You were supplying time. The bride would have to make the necessities if you didn't. Wedding gifts allowed a honeymoon phase. I suppose giving "time saving" kitchen gadgets serves the same purpose, but in a less romantic way.
Kitchen set for the happy couple - she doesn't read the blog:)

Quilted petals

Asymmetrical diagonal quilting - I was really pleased with this one
That concludes my stitch work from the weekend. Hemming rectangles and applying bias tape. It's almost a shame to condemn them to a life of wiping spills.


  1. So cute! Since I don't live with it, I dig your kitchen floor :)

  2. both sets look so good! i still love my handmade placemats, by the way!

  3. I'm learning to appreciate the floor. If I had to choose, I prefer bold statement to all neutrals.

  4. I'm working on some towels for my own kitchen -- thought I'd "learn the ropes" on myself, and then make gifts to give away. Found some waffle-weave muslin at Joann's, and I'm contemplating some new (clean if only temporarily) dish towels. :)

  5. You make red checkerboard and blue wall look wonderful!! And your handmade gifts are a vanishing art! It doe this old grandmother's heart good to see the art resurrected:)


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