Saturday, January 23, 2010

Morgandy's First Birthday gift

For a few hours on Mondays, I babysit  the adorable baby next door. Today is Morgandy's first birthday. For this occasion I created a new rocking chair back to replace a rattan one that had been punched out by a 4 year old boy. Of course I've had this chair for a while. I took all the loose joints apart and re-glued them. It is now really sturdy. Then I pulled off all the bits and pieces of rattan. After a final cleaning;  I got my canvas and began painting.

Morgandy means 'Little One by the Sea.' So of course I painted a little girl at the edge of a big body of water. I used unprimed canvas and acrylic paints. I knew this would work because I painted a skirt with acrylic paints 30 [or more] years ago. They do make the fabric stiff, but in this case it would make it better to be stiff. I do not like acrylics for my regular wall quilts because I do not like the stiffness. The painting is simple, and was easy. The assembly was hard. The back is larger at the top than at the bottom; it is also curved.  Because of my distracted, grieving mind I first sewed it together making the top 1" too narrow. This is tough stuff to sew, but rips out easily. Then of course I had to repaint a bit to cover those lines. After sewing to the correct size, I trimmed the corners and turned it right side out. This is very hard stuff to work with. Getting it turned right side out is a job in itself. I intended to quilt it. However just stitching a band around the edges, was difficult. I used a #16 needle, the largest I had. At this time, I decided not to quilt. It was even difficult to bury the thread from this little bit of sewing. However, by stitching that band, I had 4 pieces of canvas acting as one at the edge where it will get the most strain. I think it is strong enough for a little girl.

Then I used carpet thread to sew it into the existing frame. That was the hardest job. After I had the top installed [little over 8 hours], I wished I had my old grommet maker. If you are going to do something like this, and I highly recommend it, use grommets to line up with the holes and then it can easily be laced into place. I feel writing about my mistakes, helps any reader avoid them. One of those, "do as I say, not as I do" sort of things.  I do hope this was a good learning experience for you; it sure was for me.


JYA Fiberarts said...

What a lovely birthday gift for this little girl! I am sure it will always be special to her.

Mary Ann Littlejohn said...

A lovely thoughtful gift.

LynnDel said...

Thank you for sharing. I learn so much from you!

Gloria said...

What a great idea and a very nice gift too. Thank you for sharing all you learned along the way.

Connie said...

Thank you for sharing. It is very lovely and will no doubt be a family heirloom. I appreciate your sharing about your mistakes too.