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Around the Block, August CKC

Saturday, 28 July 2012


Just a quick note. Going through the stats for the blog, I see that Muddle Puddle is at 992 page views. I think that warrents a celebration! When it crosses 1000 I will have a random draw give away for the followers. The prize will be chosen with regard to the interests of the member. Whopee! And thanks for the intrest; for all 1000 clicks.

On another note, Mr. Muddle has agreed that this bench would make an excellent anniversary gift.
(next month)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Those sheety people!

Yes I am one of them! Those sheety people. This is a totally new found passion. Collecting used (ahem, vintage) sheets. Odd it may be, but it makes so much sense, when you think about the yards and yards of fabric at a mere fraction of the cost of fabric off the bolt. And I have been "researching" sites that specialize in the collection and the up-cycling of  them. (Researching = lots of blog reading, googling, and generally having another cuppa before back to the real work at hand)

Found my first armful at Riddle Used Store in Athabasca, Alberta. Brought them home. Laundered and line dried. While inspecting my new found trove of treasure, I wondered things like:

What parameters should there be for this collection? Fabric content? Colors? Patterns? Every darn piece that I can get my paws on?

How does one decided if it is "vintage" or just used.?

What kinds of things can be done with these sheets?

What is Mr. Muddle going to say about my latest hoard, collection.

Some of the answers were found here, a photo on flikr and at All About Vintage Sheets by In Color Order

Found and joined two flikr groups to help navigate the warps and weaves and for general photographic inspiration. They are  Vintage Sheet Patchwork Swap and Vintage Bed Sheets and Pillowcases Repurposed.

And now with humility and enthusiasm I would like to present a catalog of the first collection. If you have any comments, pro or con, of advice for this novice sheeter, PLEASE leave me a remark. Much obliged for any advice. All measurements are approximates.

#1 Must be July 
no iron Percale; 50/50
Flat, 72x104 before hemming (says tag)
Stevens UTICA; J.P. Stevens & Co., USA

 This is my very favorite. Bright colours. VG to EX condition. Over sized poppies and daisies on a diagonal. I see aprons, cut on a bias for extra swish.

#2 Tuesday's Tulips
100% cotton, flannel
Flat, a bit shorter than #1 (more shrinkage over time due to fabric content?)
Made in Turkey

Broken in but even wear throughout. Good for backing a patchwork.

#3 Cio Baby Blue
100% polyester. A brushed soft finish on top, silky under.
Flat, 65" x 99"
Made in China

The Italian cherubs and urns are so romantic. The light blue sub-print gives it dimension.

Excellent condition, nice drape. House dress (is there enough yardage?), bunting pennants (quick to dry)

#4 Perfectly Posied
50/50, Flat 90x95 
Made in UK
good to middlin' with fading in center and brighter edges.

Posies of pink and purple violets backed by a pink rope trellis. Quite light weight. Good for tenting making on a sunny day.

#5 Springtime plaid
50/50 Fitted queen
fair to middlin' with fading in center, light stains, brighter edges.
Made in China

 Diagonal Plaid in spring shades. It would be easy to cut the blue strip out for bias tape.
#6 Drap House
50/50 Fitted Queen
Fair (good around sides) with rust stains
Cut and sewn in Canada with imported fabrics.
Haha, love the info on tags. Last time I checked, no one was picking cotton in Canada.

The colour combination of the blue, pink, green and grey is appealing.  Could see piecing it with monochromatic prints in those colours.

#7 Mad About Plaid ver 1.0 (right side of photo)
50/50  Fitted Twin
Westpoint Stevens, USA
Backing for a boys pieced blanket.

#8 Mad About Plaid Ver 1.1 (left side of photo)
100% slubbed cotton Pillow Case
Faded but lovely softness, almost like flannel

#9 running out of names.....
50/50 Pillow case

Lovely machine embroidered edge. Ready made apron trim.
#10 (left) #11 (center)  & #12 (right)

Pillow cases

 #10 Texmade, Dominion Textile Inc, Canada
It has soft yellow stripes behind the flowers. The colours are very soft.

#11 The only truly "vintage" item found. All I can make out on the tag is Made in Canada. There is a 2" tear on both sides from something poking right through. It will make nice squares for piecing.

#12 Sears Made in Canada. Love the graphic line drawing of poppies on this one.

#13 Yippee Ki-eh!
50/50 Fitted Toddler and case
The Bibb Company, Macon Geordia USA
copyright 1998 oliveira Brandwein Design, Inc

This could work into a great barbeque apron for the grill master of the the chuck wagon.

One other item worth mentioning was a natural cotton, duvet cover from IKEA. Think it would be good for interlining a pieced blanket to support the more delicate fabric.

Well my sheety friends, there you have it. Having probably lost all my non-sheety friends by now; if not thanks for hanging out even though you may wonder if I am three sheets to the wind; the first foray into the world of vintage sheets. Will probably learn to be more discerning as I go. However, in my defense, I did know enough to leave the "very '80's" patterns and the brown patterns behind.

Thank you, in advance for any and all comments and suggestions.



Sunday, 22 July 2012

How do I feel? Sew, sew

Have only got about half of the lilies weeded, this week. Went ahead with pictures, inspite of this, as I wanted to catch their first blush of beauty, for you.

There is a bit of a bug, making it's rounds. Becky Boo had a difficult day when she was here on Wednesday. Three days later I woke up from a poor nights sleep, feeling less than stellar.  So today I spent mostly indoors and on light duty.

My sewing machine has been calling. I gave you a teaser of what I was going to do here, and now, made this today:

The free pattern is from a great site for fabric aficionados. sew 4 home 

I also finished another pennant banner.

 It will go great with the blue and white polk-a-dot one. When the garden shed's exterior is finished and I can hang them up to celebrate. Handsome Nephew left for the weekend to go sky diving. I pray he comes back in one piece to finish up.

We are having a lovely summer (it's about time, I say) With the unusually early spring and very summery summer, we have been seeing winged things that are not normally in this locale. The yard has been full of butterflies this week. Hard to get nice pics of them though. They like to close their wings when they are sitting. And without a zoom lens, I try to creep up on them but either I startle them or they just flutter off because they want to look at another pretty flower.

And here's one more lovely lily to gaze upon.
Enough about me. What did you do this week?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


 The garden shed is getting siding this week! Yesterday held a quick trip to the city for some building supplies. Of course there is time for a nip into a charity shop.

What is it about sifting through the wares at  these places that gives one's heart such a lift? The pleasure of finding a little a little treasure that someone else has finished loving. The possibilities that arise from the unused craft and sewing supplies. Inspiration abounds at every corner. One could fix this, make that, reinvent and refurbish forever. I have to be mindful of the time I can devote to these endeavors and  focus on the projects that I will find the most rewarding.

In a sewing shop, I found variegated serger thread and this nifty thread cutter that hangs from a lanyard.

At the charity shop I found the bias tape (for future pennant bunting)  A roll of hydrangea wall paper boarder, and three tops with bling. The tops will be reinvented into shopping bags. The wall paper will just hang around and be beautiful.


At the building supply store, I bought green painters tape. I am going to try stamping on it to make washi tape. And I absconded with a handful of Formica colour samples. They will make neat-o tags.

A Canadian hardwood cutting board (NIP) and a glass butter dish rounded out the day's finds.

I am not going to tell you what I am going to do with this.

It will be a lovely surprise.

But not today, as good-looking nephew is coming to work on the garden shed. And the rain from Sunday has made it easy to pull weeds. The lilies are starting to bloom so I want to tidy them up and then tour you through. Have an excellent day, my friend.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Bastille Day at Wellington Garden Centre

Wine tasting at a beautiful garden center. What a perfect thing to do on a perfect evening in July.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to work in such a place?

Everywhere you look is another beautiful vignette.

Strolling the grounds, I don't believe it is possible to take a bad picture.
 A little wine turns the evening into a special affair.

 Robin can't resit a chance to fool around. ("The devil made me do it!" he would say)

So many blossoms. Here are only a few.

Ever the practical ones, we went home with a new hoe. Next time though, I think I bring home this:

I will sew cushions for it and put it in a shady spot. And then when you come over, we will relax on it and enjoy our iced tea.