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Topic: Cat pee curtains to sentimental and functional gift - info heavy :)  (Read 21149 times)
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eternallyeve
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« on: December 02, 2007 10:53:55 PM »

Ok, let me explain 'super ugly'...

Many years ago mum had curtains made from a swan print fabric for curtains in her house. Now I know it was a favour but some of the curtains had the print upside down and a few had the top brown lines on the bottom instead. In addition, it's a cotton fabric.... let me explain just how bloody hot mum's house gets and she hung these things on the 3 west-facing windows that cop the worst of the afternoon sun. Really quite futile.
One of the upside down ones  Cheesy

So I finally convinced her to replace the curtains and they were banished to the depths of the linen cupboard. Over the years as mum's dear old cat got more and more senile she took to sleeping in the aforementioned linen cupboard and unfortunately had a few 'accidents' that went unnoticed (I can hear the chorus of *ewwww* right now). Of course when mum gave me the washed but still slightly smelly fabric I couldn't in good conscience throw it out (I still ask myself 'why?').

Now along came my Christmas crafting ideas and I got to Nanna on my list. She is the worst person to buy for, never mind craft for. She has no hobbies, doesn't collect anything and hates knicknacks. She does however have a far-flung family (*ding*, idea!). I decided to make her a lap blanket that incorporates her family. This way she will be reminded of what she means to us and she can get a hug from her family (via her blanket) anytime she wants. I originally planned a simple 2 colour square block quilt since I have never done anything more complex, but I was inspired by the family tree quilts and although this is not exactly the same I incorporated the tree image since it centred on family.

I picked up a lovely heavy cotton weave from the op-shop for about $3.00 that I wanted for the backing and realised that mum's smelly old curtains matched perfectly. I washed and soaked and washed some more and cut the fabric into squares and rectangles before randomly resewing to create an abstract tree top (didn't really want swans swimming on a tree trunk). I used the top border print for the trunk and teamed it all with left over white and green cotton and a stained old tan sheet. It has no inner batting since the backing fabric is so heavy.

(L - R) Backing fabric, old sheet, white and green remnants

You can just see how the swan fabric was cut and quilted together to make an abstract treetop
Each photo is printed in black and white on green cotton and cut into a leaf shape. Early generations start at the bottom and work up to the youngest at the top, not all the family is there though.
near each new generation are freehand stitched words reminding Nan who she is to us: Granddaughter, Niece, Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Nanna, Great-grandmother, Friend. The wrens (Nan was a WREN in the war - Women's Royal English Navy) were embroidered on separate fabric and attached. My first freehand embroidery too, from a photo.

Backing was attached with right sides facing, turned right-side out and a border seam added.

Finished size: 87cm (34") x 127cm (50")
Total cost: $3.00, all materials second-hand or remnants (and super-ugly Wink)

All comments welcome
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lucylost
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2007 11:03:21 PM »

This is really impressive! As I was reading your story, I had a hard time imagining how the cat pee sheets could turn into anything remotely attractive. But, you made it work! Smiley I really like the textural details form the wren and the leaf outlines.
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M Fox
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2007 11:04:34 PM »

What a thoughtful gift!  You've done a terrific job on all of your sewing and embroidery, and incorporating the "cat pee curtains" into a tree-theme is just, well, I had to pick my jaw up off the keyboard!
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2007 02:12:26 AM »

Wow what a brilliant idea, an amazing transformation and really thoughtful, I'm sure your nan will totally love it Cheesy
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Alli_Lucy
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2007 05:01:59 AM »

Wow, beautiful!  I'm sure she will love it.
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2007 05:10:37 AM »

So lovely!!  The story is beautiful as are the special touches you added.
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2007 06:06:54 AM »

Thank you for your lovely replies  Kiss

I really do hope she likes it, I've been nervous about it since the finish. Nan is just kinda picky about gifts. To be honest I'm hoping for some tears when she gets it, I'll update after Christmas.

I had no idea what to post when I first saw this challenge - I have never entered one before - but then I realised halfway through my project that it fit the bill nicely!

Thanks again,
Eve
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2007 11:57:54 AM »

This is so special  Cheesy
Very nice job.
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April Rose
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2007 03:36:02 PM »

This is my FAVORITE ugly to awesome project so far! This is amazing!! You can tell how much effort you put in.
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2007 04:01:15 PM »

Fantastic!!...what a thoughtful gift for your Nanna  Grin
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2007 04:21:33 PM »

She will love it! Much better than the cheap Knick Knack that she would have to dust! I'm sure she will spend many hours looking at the pictures and remembering times with her family. Take a bow! I think you deserve a round of aplouse Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2007 04:33:43 PM »

I really like this alot..it really came out beautifully...let us know what your Nanna says about it...i would love to give a gift like this!!! Grin
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amelie
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2007 06:31:04 PM »

Wow, that is so gorgeous and extremely thoughtful. The embroidered birds are especially lovely. I'm sure your grandma will love it!  Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2007 02:56:37 AM »

Thank you all for your wonderful feedback, I was afraid I had turned off some people with the title  Undecided. Honestly, they were just smelly, not like totally gross or anything.

Quote
This is my FAVORITE ugly to awesome project so far! This is amazing!! You can tell how much effort you put in.
Thanks April, you made my day with that comment!
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« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2007 03:56:12 AM »

I think she will love it. Its better than some nasty bit of plastic with no love put into it. Its the kind of thing you can look at for hours.
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« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2007 04:21:30 AM »

Very cool job!  I bet she'll love it.
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2007 08:45:25 AM »

TRULY a labor of love! Smiley  I think you are a wonderful person to put such love and huge amount of labor into this, she will LOVE it!
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2007 11:09:44 AM »

I think this is really neat, and it provoked a few little tears in my case and I don't even know you!  I think she will love it.
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« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2007 12:59:26 PM »

That's such a wonderful idea, and it turned out so well.  I bet you Nanna will love it.
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bioluminescence
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2007 10:55:16 AM »

Can't see how she could not like it.

BTW the title was hilarious--HAD to look!

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swimfinsmom
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2007 05:56:29 PM »

Just knowing of someone who was willing to put that many hours into making a really great gift gives me a big dose of Christmas cheer.  THIS is what Christmas is supposed to be, not the huge lines of unhappy people I saw everywhere I went today on my errands.  Thanks for sharing this project with us!

Catherine  Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2007 09:18:48 PM »

Thank you all.

Quote
Just knowing of someone who was willing to put that many hours into making a really great gift gives me a big dose of Christmas cheer.  THIS is what Christmas is supposed to be, not the huge lines of unhappy people I saw everywhere I went today on my errands.

Thanks swinfinsmom! I agree, I try to craft every year and I always procrastinate. This year I started in October since I also have a baby son this year. Time is treating me well and I only have a few more things to do, I will post the rest shortly. I always try to make something that the person will really like - I hate making dust-collectors! Thus I have broadened my horizons this year into plush toy making, quilting and baby toy making. Much fun (and frustration) had by all  Grin.

Eve
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« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2007 10:04:14 AM »

That is a lovely gift.   I love the swan print. I would love to find something like that.

Maybe your Gram is the kinda of person that does not like to be fussed over and doesn't like to show how much she likes things?? Just a guess based on someone I know.

Whatever her reaction, I bet she will love it deep down.  Wink
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« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2007 10:22:34 AM »

Simply wonderful. What else can you say!? It will make a great present.
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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2008 10:43:42 PM »

Beautiful work.  You're so lucky you still have a Gran to craft for.
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sorrowtkm
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2008 10:54:44 AM »

I am honestly impressed! Great job!!! Smiley
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