how i make a make do…

beginning...

my design and a slice of wood bowl I’ll use for the cow to perch upon

I was, at one time, really intimidated by the thought of making make dos.  Now, they’re my favorite projects.  Though time-consuming, make dos are just good, clean, fun!

valdani color selection

valdani color selection

Today’s project is The Cow Jumped Over the Moon.  I’ve chosen to keep my color palette simple, using three of my favorite Valdani perle cottons: 6, P3, and H212.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I start out punching the cow….

ever faithful

ever faithful

…and Ellis helps things along.  With his kind attention, I’m able to complete the cow and the moon.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’d like all my colors to blend into one another, so…

cuppa joe

cuppa joe

…into the coffee bath, where my cow and moon will soak over night.

squeeeeezzzzeee

squeeeeezzzzeee

I want the coffee to add some mottling to the lighter parts of the cow and moon, so I squeeze the punch needle.  Squeezing allows some of the coffee to remain ~ more in parts and less in parts.  I’ll hang the embroidery up to dry naturally and then sew it to some backing.

stitch

stitch

I chose a ticking fabric for the backing, pinned the right side of the fabric to the right side of the embroidery and got my sewing machine into the ready position.  When I sew a make do or pillow I try to catch the outermost row of punching with the needle, instead of sewing along outside the edge of the punch needle onto the weavers cloth.  That way, when I turn the piece right side out I see embroidery next to backing rather than embroidery, then weavers cloth peeking through, and then backing.

inside out

inside out

Now that the stitching is done, I cut the excess fabric away from cow and moon and snip-snip all the way around.

right side

right side

I left an opening in both the cow and the moon for stuffing purposes.  I’ll use some left over quilt batting that my mother-in-law saved for me to stuff both pieces.

spool and dowel

spool and dowel

I have this spool, that has a hole all the way through it, into which I’ll glue a dowel.

glued

glued

concept

concept

My thought is that I’ll attach the spool to the slice of bowl using a screw.  Then, the cow will sit on top of the dowel, if all goes well.  First, I want to cover the bowl slice with clip art.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve decided to use images of cows and moons which I cut out and Mod Podge to the bowl.

all covered

all covered

Now, I’ll sand the bowl and distress it heavily.

distressed, crackled and antiqued

distressed, crackled and antiqued

Next step, attach the spool/dowel.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m using a 2″ drywall screw and I start it from the center back of the bowl.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe screw goes all the way through the bowl and a good ways into the dowel, ensuring a stable and secure make do.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI drive the screw into the back far enough that the head of the screw is deeper than the surface of the back.  I put a little bitty bit of batting into the hole, cover the batting with a little piece of clip art, distress and antique the clip art, and then step back to take a good long look…… and, OH, MY, GOSH…. I HATE it!

lilly

lilly

I look at Lilly and Lilly looks at me.  She knows the base of my make do, which I just spent HOURS making, is all wrong….

otis

otis

I look at Otis, and he can’t even meet my eye.  He knows.  It’s awful.  It just won’t do.

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om…. om…..

So, I spend a few days meditating….

*sigh*...

*sigh*…

a few days feeling sorry for myself….

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zzzz…..

and, a few days snoozing.  And, now I’m ready to start again.  This is not atypical.  I usually encounter at least one moment of despair along the yellow brick road to make do land.

new clip art

new clip art

I removed the spool and dowel and covered the base in one item of clip art.  I found this particular piece on the New York Public Library site.  I like the soft colors and the vintage feel, also, the font that was used is very appealing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This combination feels like a much better fit to me.  I’ve added some metal bits from a salvaged antique trunk and I’ve covered a plain wood dowel with the same clip art I used on the base.

dowel into cow

dowel into cow

Now, the dowel is fitted into the cow and the edges are ready to be hand stitched together.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Add the little moon, and ….

ta da

ta da

There you have it, my journey through the creative process.  You can visit the Cow on Etsy by clicking here.

 

What are you working on today?  Whatever it is, I hope it sails along swimmingly!

 

rebecca

19 thoughts on “how i make a make do…

  1. Rebecca, Thank you for sharing your work, your home and especially your furry friends. Always a treat to see what your paws are up to. Blessings, Pat

  2. You did a beautiful job & make it look so easy……I Love how you use found objects to re-purpose…..Thanks for sharing ! Your pictures of your furry babies are great !

  3. Pingback: ticking horse pattern…. | the simple quiet

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