Updating what’s happened since the last post:
- Wild weather & 2 days without power
- “Tissue fitting” a valance
- Starting our summer travels
We had another amazing wind storm on Sunday, April 15th, which blew things all over the neighborhood. Not only did everything get blown of the porch, one shutter and some flashing also blew down. But the loss of electricity due to a blown down wire was the real problem.
Imagine my feelings when I checked the status of my power and found this! I had already been feeding the fireplace for several hours when I found this message. We have natural gas heat, but the furnace needs electricity to blow the heat around, so it was back to basics for me. Also, no electricity means no pumping water from the well: no washing up of anything, and no toilets. Fortunately, my gas range still worked, so I could eat hot food.
The whole experience made me very happy that I wasn’t in Puerto Rico, where power outages are apparently the new normal.
Tissue Fitting a Valance
These valances are one of my #2018Make9 projects, and it is a big one! Since I’m designing it myself, I needed to make the pattern pieces myself.
I want to be sure I could match the pattern of the fabric across the front of the valance, even though the front would be in 3 or 5 pieces separated by inverted box pleats.
Since the dictum “measure twice, cut once” applies to sewing as much as to wood working, I decided to tape all of the pattern pieces together and tape them above the windows, just to be sure I didn’t make any mistakes in my calculations or pattern drawing. You can see how the pleats break up the front face and create the different pieces in these photos.
I also ran into a bit of a nasty surprise when I examined the fabric again. The pattern repeat isn’t straight across the fabric, but instead is dropped down by half the pattern depth. The diagram of the new layout I needed to develop illustrates this better than I can describe it.
Each pattern repeat is represented by four quadrants on the diagram. The upper left quadrant is marked with an “X”, and the lower left is blank. There are two pattern repeats moving across the fabric from left to right. The second, grey shaded repeat has its upper quadrant on the same level as the lower left quadrant on the first, orange shaded repeat.
If the sounds and looks complicated, it is because it is. The placement of the pattern pieces on the diagram is completely determined by the need to match the patterns across the face panels (the largest pieces).
I like sewing for the house, and in general I’d say that home dec sewing is really easy. However, it is also easy to make it complicated, and the choice of fabric is the biggest source of complication. Newbies should pick solid fabric, or fabrics with small, very regular patterns printed on them.
Honestly, I am having a great time with this project! It is a sort of visual puzzle, and I love visual puzzles. So far, I seem to have the issues under control. The “tissue fit” shows that patterns are correct, and the pre-planning of the layout indicates that a reasonable pattern match can be achieved. Next step: The actual layout and cutting of the fabric. This is so exciting!
Today’s the Day!
We are going to pick up the new RV today, and haul it to Verona Beach State Park for the “shake down cruise”. The park is close enough to home that we can run back and forth as needed to tweak our setup and get everything we need in place. More later!