FABRIC-ENVY

I have fabric-envy this afternoon. Let me explain. One of the many ways I support myself is by freelancing as a personal assistant. I worked this morning with a lovely pregnant client, 2 weeks shy of her due date. In an effort to prepare for the baby ‘s arrival I am helping to organize her home by sifting through boxes of creative projects and years of teaching. Today, I sorted (by color) 13 boxes of fabric she accumulated in the hopes of one day making/selling homemade baby toys. Vintage fabrics, used clothes, upholstery fabric, sweaters, etc. I don’t think she quite realized what an ideal task this was for me. Sorting pretty fabric by color!? I’m such a dork…but I remember throwing temper tantrums when I was a kid if my pajama’s didn’t color co-ordinate. And I don’t believe I was an unruly or snob of a kid– I was a bit of a tom boy, in fact. (Siblings, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). But COLOR…well, everything is color to me. I can’t quite explain it, but my emotions are far too heavily swayed by color.

I’m very glad my closets aren’t swelling with too many boxes of fabric, but I do have a wee case of fabric envy. I often run to the thrift store down the street to find fabric for some hair-brained project. Often I try to make the project too quickly without taking the proper steps or thinking it through. I can spend months without sewing inspiration and then wammo, I get an idea and I want to produce it INSTANTLY. So, I’m trying to learn to be a less impatient sewer and project maker.

iBook quilted pouch, handmade by frutz

Here is a project I made a while back. It’s a quilted pouch for my Apple iBook and it is invaluable to me. I found the quilted blue fabric in the Mission district of San Francisco and the striped blue fabric (for the lining) at a nearby Goodwill store. The pocket on the outside is just the right size to fit a CD/DVD + computer cord. If I ever make another one I’d perfect the design with an additional pocket or two and perhaps a unique button on the flap. But my little white laptop slides into this pouch “just so” and can then travel in any bag or suitcase without a care.

quilted iBook pouch (closed view)

quilted iBook pouch, handmade by frutz

Another recent project involves 2 kitchen chairs my fiance found on the street a while ago. The streets of San Francisco are the Giving Tree of found objects. Rents may be high, but I swear, if you have a little patience and creativity, you never have to purchase a single item of furniture. Between Craigslist.com (God bless you, Craig), thrift stores, and the generousity/laziness of residents who leave things out on the street, you are all set. You’d be hard-pressed to find a piece of furniture in my home which I bought. Some people might find this horrific, but if you’re a bit flexible in your expectations and needs, you can have a pretty chic home for very little. It’s by no means high lux, but my home is colorful, cozy, funky, and inviting. Our home is like a rotating gallery– we have some things which I will admit I hate, but they serve a purpose and when we find something of better quality/style, the old item goes out onto the streets and the new piece comes inside.  Many things I’d like to refinish or paint or change in some way and I slowly get around to those projects. Which leads me back to the kitchen chairs– I recently recovered these found objects with a beautiful, but un-loved sweater. I’m not a huge fan of the wood finish on the chairs, but hey, I may one day get around to changing that. But for now, I’m pretty happy with the chairs’ new outfit.

before

before

after

after

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