Friday, January 28, 2011

I Feel.... Shabby Chic!

So I have recently been inspired by French/English Victorian Shabby Chic design, colors, and decor, and decided to start to transform my office/design space/ creative room into a French Shabby Chic paradise. This was inspired by many different things, one being that my family is about to move to our first house EVER... YAY! Which means that I will need to redecorate all of the rooms all over again... What a bummer! ;) The french shabby chic inspiration actually came from my recent design of my daughters Barbie blanket, in which I was looking for vintage silhouettes, crochet scallops, and light pink flourishs. i originally thought that I would gear my daughters bedroom towards a "Barbie in Paris" theme, but I now think that I will focus this attention to my office instead. My daughter will still get an awesome room designed, but I think I will take teh French theme for myself. The secong inspiration for my new office design is Michaels, yes, the craft store. Michaels is currently carrying a GORGEOUS french shabby chic line of decor, made by Ashland home decor. So, I purchased a dusty rose wire dress form, a couple of decorative hangers with the eiffel tower and victorian skeleton key designs, and a couple of stacking boxes in teh same basic style. What I am planning is to paint my new office a light dusty rose/ petal pink, with cream trim, and use black accents - such as shelves and knobs - around the room. I also want to invest in some glass apothecary decanters to hold my various nick knacks, and perhaps drape chiffon and pearls around the room in different ways. I also am on the lookout for Victorian mirrors and picture frames; I'd like to have one main picture frame hanging on the wall (I saw the perfect one at the Road to California Quilt show this past weekend), and would like the smaller picture frames for applique work that I would like to design to embellish my walls. The applique work I'd like to incorporate would include various silhouettes of women, a chandalier, bird cages, skeleton keys, the eiffel tower, fleur de lis, and a crown, all of which would be embellished appropriatly, and mounted on a beutifully quilted background in a shabby chic appropriate style. My main goal is to turn my office/design space into a "happy" inspiring place to be. As of right now, all of my inspirational pictures are just copied and pasted to a Word document, but as soon as I have something concrete to show, I'll take a picture and get it uploaded in here ASAP!

My word of advice to everyone out there.... Let the world inspire you! There are so many things worth being inspired by, wether it be an old vintage mirror, or a beautiful combination of colors, or a picture of a bird. Once you get inspired, don't get in your way; let the creativity flow with every inspiration/ thought that comes to mind. This is how great things happen!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I receive a box from Hancock Fabrics which, in addition to my 5 yds of Peltex#70 (to be used on another project), contained various 1 yd cuts of cute "Barbie" or Barbie looking fabric. Upon receiving the box, I noticed that one particular cut of fabric was exceptionally soft, and it fueled my creative interest for my latest design. To add to the creativity that was already begining to form, my daughter walked into the room and gasped saying, "Mom! It's Barbie! Oh, I love it so much!" I immediately went into my craft room (which is a disaster right now :( ), and began pulling out all of the various left over cuts of soft fabrics that I've been storing over the past year. What I came away with was a wide assortment of minky's, flannels, and satins, all in a Barbie approved color scheme.
With the fabric and "The Quilted Fish's" "Bloomin' Trellis" pattern in hand, I went to work cutting all of my wonderful fabric down to 5" squares. After cutting roughly 50 some odd squares, I proceeded to sew them together, randomly, in a diagonal fashion until I had 4 columns and 6 rows.


Now, I had originally planned to continue to follow the "Bloomin' Trellis" pattern, and add gathered ruffles along the sewn 'ditches', creating a lattice look, however I'm not so sure I'm going to go that route anymore. I feel as though the gathers would be too much, however, if I don't do the gathers, my uneven/ not-lined-up edges and corners will show. Hmmm... I might have to think on that one a little longer. Anywho, it's still in the works, so no need to decide on that just yet!

After sewing all of my 5" squares together, I decided to add a 12" border of white minky dot around the edges. This would allow for me to get creative with various applique's, as well as allow for a 1 1/2" satin border.

Then I began to think, "What am I going to applique onto the blanket?" Originally I had planned to use the design included in the "Bloomin' Trellis" pattern, but since this is a "Barbie" blanket, I decided to do some online searching for Barbie related designs.

My goal for this blanket was for it to look cute and girly, yet sophisticated and shabby chic. I immediately envisioned a Barbire cameo silhouette in each corner, complete with a ruffled/scalloped frame around each. I looked online and found a darling "vintage" Barbie silhouette, and cropped it to an approximate 3.5x5" size. For the cameo frame, I crocheted a scalloped edging using thin cotton yarn and a 3.5mm hook. To finish the look off, I gave Barbie a pink satin bow for her hair, and a pearl necklace. The result...

Then all I needed was a top and bottom applique design to finish everything off. For the top, I went with a girly heart swirl flourish, cut out of a light pink rose embossed minky; and for the bottom I chose the classic Barbie logo, cut out of hot pink satin.

Here's a wide shot of the whole top piece, and my daughter, who is absolutely in LOVE with her un-finished blankie...

SO, it's not completely finished, but almost. As soon as Joann's put's their minky on sale from $15/yd to under $9/yd, I'll be down there buying the backing, batting, and light pink satin binding to finish this blanket off. As of now, I'm thinking of quilting it using the stitch in the ditch method for the center, and then carrying that through the edges of the blanket, creating a 4 1/2" diamond grid over the whole thing. I think I might do this using a pink thread, so that the quilted diamond grid stands out against the white. I don't know... just an idea, it might change tomorrow!