Friday, January 15, 2010

Time to Sew

Hello Everyone -- The small January "thaw" has inspired me to start on some new sewing projects, as well as some "old" unfinished projects. Some of my friends have asked to see some of the canvas fabric that I have available to make my reversible tote bags with, so, instead of lugging my book of fabric samples all around town, I have come into the new age and discovered the SmileBox Slide show! As you can see, the first slide show is devoted to canvas fabrics, so you can browse at your leisure. For some reason, when it downloaded it cut off a couple of the titles of the fabric, but if you want that particular piece of fabric, we will figure it out, don't worry. There are plenty of other canvas fabrics available that I do not have yet, so if there is a particular color that your are looking for, please let me know, and I will find some things for you to look at. I love custom orders!

I have two "sewing" things that I am excited about. As a Christmas gift, I gave my special neighbor girl and friend who is in elementary school a fully stocked Mary Engelbreight sewing kit and a certificate for me to give her sewing lessons on the machine. I was not sure whether or not she would like this gift, but she was thrilled, and we are both looking forward to it. So now we have to pick out a project, and she can dig through the mounds of my fabric to choose her favorite.

The second thing is that, in addition to using upcycled sweaters to make my vintage jewelry flower brooches, I have discovered that you can use sweaters and sweaters/coats in combination to make beautiful, one-of-a-kind creations. I stayed up all night last night working on my first two creations. It is so exciting making something out of nothing.

Come hell or high water, I am posting some of my flower brooches on etsy tomorrow, and I have also made some special Valentine brooches for etsy. I will also list the two Nordic sweater coats that I am working on now when they are finished.

I hope that everyone has a good weekend. Next week I hope to do a feature on making some very beautiful Valentines Day ornaments. So, please check back!

Stay Well and Happy.


robins nest treasures tote bag fabric selections

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 11, 2010 Burrrrrrrrrrrr -- Confessions of a Fabric Lover

Hello out there in cyberworld! Greetings from Pittsburgh, PA, where the 3 rivers are almost frozen over and the Steelers are washed up!

My name is Robin and I'm a virgin blogger, so be gentle with me. I don't tweet, or facebook, or myspace, etc., YET, but I have a feeling I will be entering into that arena in the near future.

I recently started my own business -- Robin's Nest Treasures -- which you will hear more about in the days to come. I have a store on etsy which I am beginning to stock as we speak. I make purses, briefcases, tote bags, and flower brooches using upcycled sweaters and vintage earrings and pins. I also make sweet aprons for ladies and girls. My most beautiful and unique item are my silk floral teacup wreaths which feature antique teacups, vintage ladies' gloves and handkerchiefs on a silk floral wreath. You can see my store at

Please check back weekly the next several weeks as I will be adding new items every week.

I will start my blog with a confession. I am in love with fabric! I love to look at it, feel it, smell it, imagine all of the things that I could make with it (but often ultimately never do)! Moda, Tina Givens, Robert Kaufmann, on and on and on. I will share more of my favorites with you in the months to come. There are several great quilt shops in my area that I can, and sometimes do, spend hours in -- Quilters Corner in Finleyville, PA and Piecing It Together on Babcock Blvd. in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, PA. I am always on the hunt for a sale.

My only comfort is knowing that I am not alone. I routinely hear women in quilt shops saying that they have to sneak their fabric purchases into their houses because their husbands have threatened them with divorce if they buy one more yard of fabric to put in their ever-growing "stash".

Last summer I converted my third bedroom into my sewing room. I was so excited at the prospect of fitting all of my fabric and sewing supplies into one room! It was heaven for about 2 months until I grew out of it. I tried to convince my Mother that the fabric fat quarters and half yards must engage in hanky panky at night while I am sleeping, and in the morning, I find them multiplied threefold, but she just gave me the "mother look".

Hold on fabric -- enter my discovery of the world of upcycled sweaters! After much research and experimentation, I developed a way to make purses, briefcases, etc., as well as beautiful flower brooches out of recycled pieces of sweaters and vintage earrings/pins. This put my fabric compulsion on hold. Hurray!

But wait..... I then focused my quests on local thrift stores for sweaters and vintage earrings and pins. The jewelry is easy to organize and does not take up much room, but, oh no, now I have bags and bags of sweaters in every color and pattern you could possibly want. The good news is that these flower brooches have proved to be my most popular item. So, I will reorganize, and reorganize, and make room for the sweaters. Even better news -- I hear there is a whole new area of design making custom jackets, coats and sweater coats out of recycled sweaters! I'm in love! I really do have a life - Ha, Ha - Just ask my friends - if they will admit that they know me!

But, for the time being, my mantra must be -- I don't need any more sweaters -- I don't need any more sweaters! When I go to the thrift stores, I will not look at the sweaters, I will only look at the jewelry!

So, now the time has come to start sewing and make some beautiful things with all of my "stash", sweaters and fabric alike.

It is cold outside and I am cozy at home with my precious kittys Henry Frank II, and his sister Bunny. Henry is the orange tabby -- the ornery one.