Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The joy of creating

I'm in the middle of a time where the creative life has taken a necessary back seat to more immediate needs...like working a full time job.  I have to be very intentional to make time for art.
This is not always easy but it sure does make me appreciate the projects I make time for, more than ever before.
Here's one that I've been daydreaming about doing for, literally, months: a curtain topper made from vintage handkerchiefs.  And I finally finished it on Sunday!
The first thing I had to do was clear off my sewing machine table so I could use it.  Then, I found some fabric I love in my stash, and cut out and sewed a ~50" scrunchy curtain rod cover from it.
If you ever do this -- give yourself about 3x as much time as you think you need.  You wouldn't believe how long it takes to turn the cover right side out once it's sewn!  My recommendation: don't use shiny, slippery fabric like I did!
 Next, I got out my two huge piles of vintage hankies -- I've been collecting them for years and years.
 It's always such a delight to thumb through them -- I love each and every one.
 They've been hand picked by me in antique and thrift store, or received as a gift.
 For the purposes of this project, I chose lots of dark blue to match my master bedroom, plus lighter blues, pinks, flowers, and lacy whites.
 Next -- even though the hankies were stored clean and pressed, I gave them all a good going over with an iron.  Since there were over 50 of them, this took a while.
Once that was done, I got to the fun part: assembling the curtain topper!
I used plain pins that I ran beeswax over, to make them slide more easily into the fabric.
I have a "studio", or craft room, but I always find myself doing my creating somewhere other than the intended space; in this case, it was my kitchen table!  I began by knotting the hankies on one end and pinning them to the rod/rod cover.
I pinned, rather than sewed, because I know I will have to take it all apart to launder it properly.  And, I felt it would be more versatile -- allowing me to move the colors and styles of hankies around.
It was very time-consuming, but I loved every moment of playing with my beautiful collection!
Included are a handkerchief from my home state of California, one I carried on my wedding day, and one with my monogram "L" on it.
Here's what it looked like, finished, prior to hanging.
 And, all hung up with the sun shining behind it!
 I love the look of each handkerchief's little "top knot" standing up.
 I cannot tell you how I was filled with peace and happiness when I'd made this dreamed-of project a reality in my home!
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11 comments :

Kathy said...

Laurie I LOVE the way it turned out! I have entertained the notion of doing the same thing and tried just knotting them on the rod but didn't like how short it made them. Your method is perfect plus the hankies are not damaged. I may have to give it another try. Thank you for the inspiration!

Claudia E said...

Laurie, I really love this idea. I've toyed with doing the same thing but haven't for quite a while. Thanks for the instructions. You have made it much easier than how I was going to do this.

Lorraine said...

This is absolutely genius. I have a stash of hankies but not quite enough to do something like this. Gives me hope though that someday I will get them out where they can be appreciated! Thanks for the inspiration.

Createology said...

How very blissful that you can now enjoy your beautiful vintage hanky collection each and every day. It looks amazing and such a brilliant idea. Creative Hanky Bliss...

Patty Antle said...

I've been thinking about this too, Laurie. I want to make one for my laundry room. Thank you so much for the tutorial. Yours looks wonderful. Good job and I'm so happy for you finally getting it done!

Pallas said...

Such a clever idea Laurie, and it turned out so pretty. I too have a large collection of old hankies, but haven't used them in mass like you did here.
Where were you from in California? I was a transplant to California at the age of 11. I consider it home, even though I was away for a number of years, and now only live there part of the year.

Rebecca Freed said...

Love how this turned out! So pretty!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Laurie this is so sweet! I need to collect more hankies so I can do this.
hugs,
Linda

Marrianna said...

This is a gorgeous project. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I don't have enough hankies to create something like this and probably wouldn't do it anyway. I am, however, actually thinking of making prayer flags to hang around my home. I've been clearing and cleaning out the house and my BFF and I are having our annual garage sale next weekend. And there is STILL more to get rid of.

Send you mailing address and I'll mail you a few vintage hankies as a thank you for the ETSY book you gave me.

Blessings and GREAT JOB!!!

Marrianna

Abby / Linda said...

Wonderful display of your beloved hankies! Such a clever idea!

pasqueflower said...

Love that topper! I have a box full of my Aunt Dot's vintage hankies. Hmmm.