Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DIY: A Quilted and Embroidered Amsterdam

Tell me if this has ever happened to you:

You're perusing your fave teaching, sewing, art-making blogs and you start to feel a little, I dunno, crappy. Because, well, look at all the amazing stuff those bloggers taught/stitched/created! How did they get all that taught, when I'm still reminding kids not to double stack artwork on the drying rack?! When did they have time to stitch that skirt when I'm still suckin' at putting in a decent zipper?! Wait, someone above the age of 10 made art?! I don't even have a single idea in my head to create from!

If this has ever happened to you, then you and I are in the very same boat, friend. And that boat has a name. I like to call it (not The Love Boat, you goober) The Big Blog Illusion. Which I realize is a crappy name for a boat but bear with me.

 Have you heard of The Big Blog Illusion? I didn't think so because I just now made it up. Lemme tell you why I coined this phrase. As blog reader, I often feel overwhelmed and totes slack-tastic when I read my fave blogs. Sometimes it's inspiring and I'll actually get up off the couch and attack that DIY...but sometimes, it's disheartening. 

However, as a blogger, let me fill you in on a wee secret: The Big Blog Illusion is just that, an illusion. Most of the time, the DIYs you see on this blog were made over the course of weeks if not months. That's the trick. Nothing that I ever share with ya'll was made overnight or over a fortnight (do you even know how long I've wanted to use that word on this blog?!). I'm a starter/work on-and-off for a while/put it to the side/pick it back up again/finally finish it weeks later kinda gal. So when I finally get around to sharing my project, it looks like this Big Fat Hairy Thang that I magically completed in a blink. Not so. Take this Quilted and Embroidered Amsterdam DIY for 'zample.
Hubs and I ventured to Amsterdam two summers ago. You'd know this if you could see my hubs now, his beard is down to his chest and his hair is to his shoulders, hence the nickname Ginger Jesus. When we returned I started looking through photos from our vacay and really loved this cityscape...
But really, what's not to love?

So when I saw this illustration in The Usborne Book of Art Ideas, I was all, hey! That's Amsterdam! Ooooh, I wanna make that right now!

And, here we are, Two. Years. Later.
(Ya'll need to get your Kitten Mittens on these Usborne Books for your art room, they're amazingness, no lie.)
But, since this is a DIY post, Ima gonna digress for uno momento. Just in case you wanna make your very own Two Year Long Quilted and Embroidered Amsterdam (which won't take you two years unless you are totes slacktastic like me). 

From my stash, I picked out gingham, striped and solid fabrics that I thought looked nice together. After cutting these into 2" X 3" shapes, I stitched them together vertically to create buildings and then stitched those buildings together to complete the cityscape. This was then stitched to some yellow background fabric and I began to embroider the buildings. Not being one of my fave things in the world, I only worked on the embroidery when traveling as it's my only craft that travels well. Which is one of the reasons it too me so stinking long.
 Now, lemme address that feeling of never having any ideas. I am not a pull-anything-outta-the-air-and-make-it-amazing kind of person. Are you? If so, I envy you and secretly hate your face. I struggle coming up with an original idea. Knowing this, my ideas usually grow out of whatever I'm currently working on. Like these planters, ya'll. I made them at a workshop (DIY here) right after I had started my embroidered Amsterdam. 
(Have ya'll ever tried satin glazes? I use Stroke and Coat by Mayco with the kids...but for me I love using these pastel color that have a lot less shine.)
So, where am I going with all this jibber-jabber? I guess what I'm trying to say is this: if you ever start to feel down like you never ever get anything accomplished after perusing those blog faves of yours,  just think of me. And my Two Year Long Embroidered Amsterdam Adventure and think, "Shoot! Ida at least had that embroidery done in a fortnight, ya'll!"

Chat with ya soonish!














18 comments:

  1. ohhh I so understand. I have ideas but no time. Working full time and being a mommy is really hard on my time management. I try to post on my blog but it takes hours and or days to post. Hang in there buddy! I think you are totally an AMAZING person!

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    1. I can't even use children, a clean house or cooking as my excuse! I have more time to spare than most....I just use it unwisely! Btw, thanks. You know I think you are the bee's knees!

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  2. Love that - Big Blog Illusion - so true - the more I look at blogs the more I feel like a slacker. And don't get me started on Pintrest. That makes me feel like I'll never have an original idea again. Anyway - this post made me laugh out loud so thanks for the chuckle.

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    1. One of my fave DIY blogs (a beautiful mess) actually has several writers...when i found that out, I sighed a big ole sigh of relief! Can I get me some DIY help up in here puhlease?! Glad you got a chuckle :)

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  3. This is so sweet! I can't wait to show my kids... It might be great inspiration for a project!

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    1. Hey, Thanks for the inspiration!! http://minimatisse.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-creative-little-girl.html

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  4. Love to see my hometown in this post! Your embroidered Amsterdam looks really great!!

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    1. Aw, thank you for commenting, Liz! How fun. I love your hometown :)

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  5. Ha! Your blog is one of those blogs I look at and go ' OMG! So amazingly creative! Must make ALL the things! Case in point: your mazing dresses, art, and this quilt.

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    1. Thank you! And thank you for your kind words :)

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  6. Amsterdam will look great, when it's finished :o)) Love your bright and breezy style.

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    1. Thank you, lovely! Those pastel colors are my fave...mostly because they remind me of summer!

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  7. Your post just made my day. I do not teach, I don't do much art (I do like Van Gogh and Munch though) and I have only recently taken up sewing and knitting. I started following your blog because it is always to colourful and happy.
    Just this morning I thought while everyone around me is finishing the most amazing items, I just get frustrated. I wanted to finish my very first dress for my dad's birthday on Friday but do not have enough time until then. Now I feel a bit better about it, so thank you!

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    1. I'm glad you feel better! When I beat myself up for not having finished something, I find that I start to resent the project...and have a bad attitude when approaching it. That's no fun! It's okay to recharge and relax...for as long as you need, I say! It's your body/mind's way of letting you know it needs a break. I used to worry when I couldn't finish something. Now I know it's just "break time" and go back to watching cat videos on youtube ;)

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  8. Love the quilt and really love the colors of the glazes in the planters!!
    I began my blog just for me because it was a fun way to record cool photos and ideas. It has evolved into trying to expand to a larger audience and that made me put in more of an effort to make things 'just right'. That, like you said, takes time. I have learned so much from doing it and seeing what others do, so it is worth the effort. I work part time so do have whole days where I can spend playing and getting my one post just right....and at the same time hours later will wonder where the time went or feel like I should be visiting my husband or out in the garden...or my dog is whining to go for a walk...
    I am glad you put in the effort for your blog-because it is informative and fun to see all the creations from you and your students!

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    1. Oh, I know. I often think: should I really be spending all this time on a post? But, like you, I love doing it! It's fun to just throw stuff out there and see who bites, who becomes inspired, who you hear back from :) Thank you for dropping by and commenting, I appreciate that!!

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    2. Cassie, I don't even have a blog, but I get overwhelmed by all of the amazing quilting and sewing blogs that I follow. You do some very creative and mind-blowing work here and with the kids in the classroom, and I absolutely LOVE your quilted Amsterdam and your planters. I would be thrilled to even come up with the ideas, let alone think about completing them in a fortnight or even two.

      P.S. I found your blog through your Aunt Kim. I think we need to come visit you for a day just for some inspiration.

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)