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41  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: Tips for Straight Lines? on: November 10, 2008 11:22:14 PM
How far along in it are you? I am a very novice needlepointer, but I find in my graphite drawings, the lines always look more satisfying once I'm farther in to the piece. Maybe you just need to keep going so the larger perspective evens things out? Perhaps smaller stitches would help as well. Or possibly you should use a fabric with a finer weave, like a nice silk.
Good luck, it sounds really intriguing! Can't wait to see the finished project.
42  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Re: Sewing tablecloths for a wedding reception...How do I hide seams? on: November 10, 2008 11:11:47 PM
Speaking as a meticulous perfectionist, I have to agree with steiconi. No one is going to notice the seams on the sides. For the tops, just iron the seams flat so they don't interfere with wine glasses and such. Cover the tables with something pretty if necessary.
Or, you could buy pre-made tablecloths to cut the tops out of (or even use sheets from a discount store, since the dimensions will be wider than typical bolts of fabric) and then there won't even be seams on top! You could use a color coordinating with your wedding colors if you can't find anything that matches the muslin perfectly. And then you'll have all that muslin leftover for pattern testing! Smiley

Or maybe, if you really can't stand having the side seams show, maybe you could do something in your centerpieces that includes long trailing bits that drape over where the seams are. Curling ribbon, paper flower chains, tinsel-y stuff, etc.
43  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: Hope for my Hope Chest! =o) on: November 10, 2008 10:47:07 PM
The flowers look so pretty!
44  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Re: Fabric wall decal + gravity = problem on: November 10, 2008 10:43:18 PM
What kind of fabric are you using, and what kind of starch? I've only done this once, on a vertical wall, not a ceiling, but I used undiluted starch from the grocery store and it's holding up really well (even when it was wet, it stayed up, but my fabric was really light). Maybe try strengthening your starch solution or using something like tape or tacks to hold up the fabric until it dries.

If you can't figure anything else out, I've had a lot of luck with those 3M poster hangers--they are very strong and don't leave any residue behind, nor do they strip paint from the wall even after being up for a year.
45  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Pink Dandelion Silhouette Canvas Painting! on: November 10, 2008 10:17:46 PM
That's gorgeous! I have this random beveled wood panel my ex left behind ages ago, which I gessoed to cover the terrible country blue he'd used on it and then let sit around because I didn't know what to do with it, but I might try something like what you have going on here! Hope that's okay!
46  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: our KITSCHY apartment!! old louisville,ky [MUHCO pics] on: November 10, 2008 09:46:13 PM
Oh my god, I've had some of that exact tooth fabric for years and never known what to do with it!! What a brilliant solution--thank you!

Your whole apartment is totally charming.  Smiley
47  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / starch+fabric wall decal, plus painted light switchplate (dino-deer showdown!) on: November 10, 2008 09:42:45 PM
Hi all, first post (now I have 10, actually so I'm editing to put the pics in place of the links). Sorry for the low photo quality--nighttime pictures with a webcam, boo!
Like many folks who rent, I am stuck with white boring walls that can't be painted per my lease. After looking at a bunch of craftster threads, I was reminded of the technique of applying fabric to painted walls using laundry starch, and decided to give it a go.



I wasn't really sure about that fabric when I started, and up on the wall with that awful light switch, I was afraid I'd wasted a lot of time. So I decided to paint the light switch cover with acrylics. (I was talking to a friend on the phone who gave some creative input on subject matter: "Paint a dinosaur shooting laser beams!")


Then up on the wall it went--now they are having a showdown! I like them both a lot now. Funny what those little details can do.



The dino light switchplate I just did with acrylics--later I will spray it with some sealant to prevent chipping. Since switchplates are so easily replaceable, I am not worried about my lease.

For the deer, I didn't take pictures of the process but it's pretty simple.

First, I found an image I liked online and traced it straight from my computer screen to tracing paper.
Next, I traced that onto some graph paper. I touched up the graph paper version where my tracing was inaccurate. I did a bunch of stuff where I measured the dimensions of the graph-paper deer and the wall where I wanted to paste it, figured out aspect ratios and everything, but then I realized I could just convert my 1/4" squares to 2" squares and that would be a good size for my wall. The final dimensions on the wall are something like 36x56 inches.
Then I cut two large pieces of kraft paper and taped them together so they would be big enough for the full size deer. Using my quilting ruler, I made a graph of 2" squares on the kraft paper and used my smaller picture as a guide for drawing the larger one. Then I cut out the kraft paper deer and ironed it on a low setting to keep it from rolling back into a tube. I taped it on the wall to see how I liked it.
It looked good, so I marked a few spots for later reference when hanging the fabric, so it would be even. I then pre-starched my fabric (a slippery something--maybe acetate?--it was a curb find!) with spray starch and an iron. I felt like a 50s housewife, haha. The spray starch made the fabric MUCH more manageable, and I think it slightly diminished fraying as well. I used the cheapest brand of spray starch in the store. And I pretty much always recommend ironing any fabric before use (if it *can* be ironed, of course); I couldn't believe the difference in my sewing years ago when I just started ironing more often.
Next I laid the fabric on the floor and tried to decide if I wanted to pin it or weight it. (Oh that reminds me: measure twice, cut once!! I thought I had enough fabric but the deer's antlers got a little chopped off in one area. oops.) I don't have sewing weights and I don't eat canned goods, and I was feeling too lazy to pin at this point (drawing the graph took a long time!). So I decided to just wing it, going slowly and carefully. I used a uni-ball pen to trace because a sharpie would have left marks on my hardwood floor.
Now here is where I diverted from plan a bit. I intended to go over the outline with some fray-check to keep the threads from unraveling. If I'd been able to use a sharpie, that would have been nice too, for the visibility. However, it worked without either one of those things so while they might have helped the process, it's not a big deal.
Finally, it was time to put it up! I used some low-tack masking tape to hold the deer in place in just a few spots along the top edge (the deer's back). Then I went to town with some "Sta-Flo" liquid starch, undiluted, and a foam brush. (I put a towel down underneath in case of drips.) I used a gentle touch while saturating the fabric, and allowed the fabric to tell me where to go, since I was worried about it stretching out of place and coming out crooked. On the edges, I tried to follow parallel to the cut, to minimize pulling any threads lose. Once most of it was up, I took off the tape and finished covering all areas. That's it, really!

A couple last thoughts: Since the fabric is a synthetic, I don't think there is any risk of bleeding onto the wall since the color is bonded to the fiber differently than in cottons or other natural fibers. If I'd used cotton, I would have prewashed in warm water just to be safe.
Also, the pen marks on the edges DO bleed a little bit; I noticed this as I glued it up. I am hoping they will wash off with soap and water or a little rubbing alcohol when it's time to take it down, but if you are worried, you can just cut inside the lines of your pattern, or use chalk or something else washable.

Thanks for checking out my project! It's the first crafty thing I've done in ages and it felt so good to be making things again.
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