Thursday, December 29, 2011

An accidental collector finishes a project

It seems headline worthy - an accidental collector finishes a project!  You might know this about me - I accidentally collect things.  I didn't know this was a defining characteristic until my mother-in-law was visiting and she admired some mixing bowls I had displayed in my kitchen.  She asked if I was collecting them and after I said that I wasn't collecting them, I looked about my display again.  It sure looked like I was collecting them!  Three sets of mixing bowls on the chrome shelf and two sets in the built in cabinets made a collection, even if the collector was aware.

I have this repeated over and over around my house.  I find something I like - usually at a garage sale or auction - and mysteriously I am drawn to more of the same.  Multiples make me happy.  My grandparents had the same affection for multiples and antiques and junk.  This may be the reason their estate auction was a three weekend affair.  

My grandpa's farm related collections included rusty nuts and bolts.

Hub caps for all kinds of cars and trucks.

Drills.  Lots of hand-held drills.  I mean can you ever have enough hand-held drills?

Oil cans of all shapes and sizes.  I love these and I love that I have one of the tiny oil cans from his collection that my dad bought for me at the auction.  There was more - a lot more!

So, you can see that it is in my DNA.  I collect.  I also live in a small house and have to ruthlessly edit - constantly.  If not, we seriously could have a feature on Hoarders.

One of my overall goals for self-improvement is to finish projects.  I am really, really good at getting inspired, even buying the supplies for a project and then carefully storing it away.  No more!

Several years ago, my dad brought me these awesome sacks - some were used for seed or feed, some were used by banks to transport money and one was even used for ballots.  I loved them right away! I promptly washed them and stored them in a decorative tin in a guest room.  Then, I found some modern cloth sacks that were used to contain rice and bread mixes.  These were added to the tin, and a collection was born!

I decided that my mom might help me with two problems.  The first was that we have two new, beautiful chairs for the living room.  We needed pillows for them and they needed to look more rustic/old-fashioned to help marry the more modern style of the chairs with our other rather vintage-inspired pieces.  I shopped for pillows online and at a few favorite boutiques and the things I found were the wrong size or the wrong shape or the wrong fabric.  Ugghhh!

The second problem I have is that I have a lot of unfinished projects/collections/crap in my house that either needs to be finished/used/displayed/donated/figured out in the coming year.

My mom is an excellent sewer and really patient when I have an idea and we have to figure it out as we go. We set up our sewing station in the living room and annoyed my husband with sewing machine noise and talking out our patterns and plans as we went.

Here is the result of our vintage cloth sacks turned pillows.
We first made pillows out of muslin left from a quilting project and fiber fill left from who-knows-what project.  We carefully measured and cut the cloth sacks, keeping as many seams and details as we could.  It took some basic math and a lot of guts to make the first cut on the vintage material.  We all survived and only broke mom's sewing machine on the last stitch on the last pillow.  Overall, a success.


Crystal Cattle said...

Two pillows are awesome. I love feed sacks. One the blog posts I am featured this week was feed sack bags.

Home on the Range Exchange said...

These are wonderful. You are much more brave than I, to cut those sacks.

I enjoyed the pictures of the collections....Made me feel at home!