Mason-Dixon Rubber Stamping
July 20, 2005
I thought I’d put the fear of rubber stamps into you, and show you what could happen if you continue your lackadaisical blogging-from-the-mountain-whenever-you-feel-like-it-like-a-freakin’-oracle approach. If you leave me to my own devices, know this: the needle-felting? That was just a start. I have other crafts yet to explore. And just so we’re clear, know this: at the Other Crafts? I am Not So Good. Today, we take on (1) rubber stamping and (2) sewing teeny tiny stitches with that awful, fiddly stuff called sewing thread.
This all started when I was flipping through the August issue of Martha Stewart Living, wondering whether I should let my subscription lapse after all these years. I admire what Martha has done for Good Taste in America, but she makes me cranky with all that domestic perfectionism (yes, I’m still scarred from when she told us to avoid unsightly creases in our table cloths by rolling them in archival tissue paper and building an appropriate storage facility for these 5-foot long logs of fabric; I mean, I’m as eager as the next nut to improve my Fine Linens Maintenance Program–that’s why I was reading that article in the first place– but I do not want to feel like a slovenly slattern because I FOLD the dang things).
But all doubts vanished when I saw that this month had two most excellent how-tos: On page 64, ‘Repairing Heirloom Quilts’, with instructions for sewing on a label:
And on page 112, ‘Rubber Stamp Designs’, with vital techniques for stamping on eggs, twigs, shells, leaves and feathers.
You know what’s coming, right? A rubber-stamped label for Taro’s quilt-inspired blanket.
I have a Past. My Past includes this collection of rubber stamps:
I’m pretty much over the Rubber Stamp Thing. (Although if My Paper Crane or
Amy Ruppel or Making Fiends made rubber stamps, I’d fall right off the wagon.) The kids and I get them out on rainy days and stamp all over the place, though, and it’s great fun. I love the rickety look of a stamped word. (And wouldn’t those ink-stained alphabet stamps make a cool intarsia or needlepoint design?)
To make the Taro Tag, I cut up a muslin pillow protector and did some test-stamping with my one and only pad of fabric ink, which was kind of a lighter color than I would have liked. Everything was going great until I got to the part where I wanted to stamp ‘2005’, and I realized that I don’t have any number stamps. This is where a solid elementary school education, and a habit of watching movie credits until the very end, can come in handy. I made the date in Roman numerals. I hope I got it right, ’cause Taro’s dad went to Princeton and I don’t want him to bust my chops about it.
Next came the sewing part. To frame the Roman numerals, I raided my fabric mini-stash for a spritely Kaffe Fassett print, appropriately called Roman Glass.
I threaded a needle with orange sewing thread (elapsed time: 30 minutes), and I sewed the white patch to the Roman Glass and the Roman Glass patch to the back of the blanket (elapsed time: 6 days). Just kidding. It seemed like a long time, is what I ‘m saying. Here’s the result:
I’m not kidding about the stitches being small.
Confident of more frequent postings from Tennessee, I remain,
your loving pal,
P.S. The ‘Buffy Rocks’ and ‘My Little Sis Can Out-Eat Yer Little Sis’ t-shirts will go on sale soon. I’ve got a feeling that a Buffy Fan Club is on the way.