Tuesday, July 28, 2015

WOW!  I'm such a bad blogger!  Sorry I haven't checked in for so long!  So I have a lot to catch up on.  I've been super busy with projects, building a house and new studio (I'll post on that when I have all the photos organized) but today I wanted to share a project I made for my Great Nephew, Caden!

Caden loves pirates and maps and adventures, like his Dad.  I wanted to create something for him that he could play with now but keep in his room, even as he grows older.  So I created this...

I had a (embarrassed to say) large pile of old jeans.  You know the "I can do something with that" kind of pile.  So I started out by cutting each of the states (following a pattern I bought off Etsy from CarolinaSquirrell) being careful to highlight special features, such as pockets or embroidery, etc.   See next photo, IL has a pocket with a PEACE sign on it!  How fun this was!

My next step was to connect all the states and attach them to a large piece of duct cloth (or is it duck?)  Double faced, iron on interfacing worked perfect for this step!  I just needed to make sure that there was enough overlap of the states to keep them from separating.  Some states were thicker than others so this was a bit of a challenge but it worked out.   I then outlined each state with a zig zag stitch being sure to use a heavy needle in my machine.

I even included Alaska and Hawaii in the bottom corner!   I wanted to have this large and soft enough that he could lay it on the floor, or drape over his bed, but I also wanted to give him the ability to hang it on the wall one day so I added plenty of grommets along the top edge.

Finally, because Caden is a little pirate and lives in Virginia, I found a cute pirate boy patch and attached it to his home state.  I had a bunch of really cute pirate flag charms (left over from my invitation making days) and thought these would be a perfect way for him to track all the states he has explored!  I tied a little red string to 50 charms and attached a little safety pin to them.  I asked Caden's mom for a list of all the states he has visited and went ahead and "pinned" those states, sending a baggie of remaining charms to his mom (he's was only 4 after all).

This was such a fun project for me to make, not just because it was for Caden, but in general.  I can imagine it made from anything; recycled T shirts would be really cute.   I love the idea of reusing rather than buying new.  Like I always say, "It's not always what it is.  Sometimes it's what it can be"