Saturday, January 9, 2016

New Year, New Stuff

Oh man, I made so much stuff for Christmas that I wanted to show off, but I couldn't until after the holidays! Now that I'm less busy and everyone is enjoying their gifts, I can share what I made with you all.

First there was a quilt I made for my mother-in-law. I've never made a quilt before, but I got her this book about pioneer friendship quilts and thought it would be nice to try my hand at one for her. It's entirely machine sewn. If I'd had more time, I'd have liked to have done it by hand, like most of my other projects, but time was a factor and I think it turned out just fine. (The binding around the edge was done by hand, so that makes me feel better.) The whole thing is about two feet square; just a little thing you might put on the coffeetable or the back of a cozy chair for a touch of color.

I made my boy a strap for his bass guitar, and stamped it with a pattern I based off of one in my files. I have a folder on my computer where I stash pictures of vintage leatherwork. It's so neat the way you can take a handful of plain-looking stamps and work them together to make beautiful patterns. Even if I don't have exactly the same stamps, I try out a few similar ones until I come up with something I like.

You can see a few test patterns on scraps here with the inspiration picture and a close-up of my interpretation. I dyed it a nice medium brown but didn't get a picture because I was busy getting things wrapped and put under the tree. It turned out beautifully. I was so pleased.

Sorry it's a little blurry. Or is it? Where'd I leave my glasses, darn it...

Everyone is a child at Christmas, and needs a toy to play with. Dave wanted a replica Colt so I ordered him one from Western Emporium. (That's a fun place to click around; lots of things to look at. Go ahead, take a look. I'll wait.... Back? Okay, so like I was saying...)  I wanted to make him a holster to go with it, but didn't have a pattern. I contacted a friend in France who does saddle restorations, Alain Eon, and asked him if he had a pattern he'd share for this specific make of pistol. He sent it straightaway and I made a few adjustments, came up with a pleasing design for the edge, and whipped this up. It was a tense time, waiting for the gun to show up so I could be sure that I had made the holster to fit just right. It came in the mail with less than 36 hours to Christmas morning. I slipped it into the holster and breathed a sigh of relief -- perfect fit! 

After the holidays, we went to a gun show. Not my usual thing, but I figured there might be some old gun belts or something there for me to look at. I found a sorry-looking magazine case for only three dollars that I picked up because sometimes it's handy to have little boxes on your belt to hold things like a compass, lip balm, dog bags, and keys. After a clean and condition, they look great! 
Before: aww, sad!

After: ooh, pretty!

Can't think of anything else I've done right now. Sure I'll think of more things later. Until then, I hope your new year is a happy one, and you make lots of awesome things in it!

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