Saturday, September 19, 2009

Because I'm a dufus (sometimes), that's why!

I went to Joann's today to see if I could score some iron-on vinyl. Because they said (over the phone) that they had it. They lied. But that's not the story I'm here to tell.

I wandered around a bit, because tomorrow is the beginning of a big sale, and I have a big pile of coupons and was scoping out what I might want to come back and get, at 40% off.....

Wandering about leads to trouble.

Along the way I passed some table cloth material.... I lingered a bit at those, thinking about getting some more fabric to make a few more table cloths. We used to get those flannel backed vinyl table cloths at Walmart and they were good for at least six to eight months before starting to crack or rip. For less than $3.00, they were a hit with me. Clean up was a breeze after dinner, etc.

Then they changed how they make them and what they make them with. The vinyl was now about the thickness of newsprint. It lasted about as long as newsprint would last, too. Within a week, we'd have the first tear. Karen griped about them and asked if we could just use table cloths. In a moment of weakness, I put one on the table and then I was the one griping. More laundry, stains, flimsy, etc.

Right next to the table cloth material at Joann's was some flannel backed vinyl. But it didn't feel much better than the Walmart ones. Next to that, things got more interesting. There were two grades of upholstery vinyl. One was $9.99 a yard and one was $12.99 a yard. The 9.99 type had flannel backing. The $12.99 stuff was very heavy, and just cloth on the back.

Since they didn't have the iron-on vinyl I went in there for, I decided to use my coupon on 2+ yards of the lower grade upholstery vinyl. I figured this imitation "hide-of-the-nauga" might make a decent table cloth. I grabbed some premade binding and figured I'd just slap that around the edges and call it done.

So out the door I went. I came home and carefully measured the table. I added six inches for the drop..... long enough to hang down and look decent, but short enough that Michael wouldn't get all tangled up in it, because he spends a lot of time at the kitchen table. I used my quilting ruler to make it nice and rectangular and cut the excess away.

I was just about done cutting the excess off the side when I started screaming.

Yeah, you probably saw that one coming. My mad math skillz strike again. Table width plus drop equals....


A table has TWO sides? ..... each way? .....who knew!?

Right about now, my dad is reading this and probably doing a face-plant into his keyboard, muttering "Oh Joy! I bought you the pencils and paper, sharpened them even, drove you to school......"

He probably wants a refund for school supplies. Poor guy - he tutored me for hours and hours and hours in math, geometry, and logical thinking..... I got through high school math by the skin of my teeth, and he was gray by the time we were done. It was his sage advice that I never go into the computer field, as I was a tad short on the logical thinking abilities. Ahem...Don't ask me how the heck I ended up working on a computer all day, every day, for decades. I have no idea how that happened.

I've gotten a little better over the years. But this was just ......

Yep. A bone-head move.

Well, after I stopped screaming, I sort of sat in a stupor thinking, "How can I salvage this?" My first idea was to get back in the car and go buy more. I really need to start going with my first ideas more often. They are usually quicker in execution!

But no. My Mom raised a frugal Scot. She did her job very well. I was going to find a way to make it work, if it killed me.

It's a little easier to fix a mistake like this if you have a stash hiding upstairs. I looked through my stash, but found nothing suitable. I snuck into the Ms. Ellen Stash (thank you, Ellen!!) and looked for something that would go with the beige vinyl. I found a cute print that looked promising and there was a little over a yard, which I figured would be enough.

I cut strips of fabric. I raided my batting trash bag, and pulled out pieces and sewed batting strips together too.

I'd always wanted to try sewing batting scraps together and hey, it works!

I turned down one edge of the fabric strips and slipped the batting strips under the edge and stitched it in place. Then I sewed the fabric to the vinyl, and top-stitched it (which served to catch the hem on the back).

My idea about running back to get more fabric would have been way quicker. I was just going to use the purchased binding and make something quick and easy.

But I like this better.

I like it so much, I think I may do it on purpose in December, with Christmas Red vinyl and a Christmas print!!

I would never have thought of doing this, if I hadn't screwed it up originally.....

Next time it will be way easier. I won't cut the sides incorrectly, so there will be no need for batting. I will just make a very wide binding that encases the edge of the vinyl....



Yvette said...

Sometimes it just pays to be a dufus!

That looks great!

Karene said...

YOU ARE AMAZING !!!! Gorgeous tablecloth.

Jacque said...

That is beautiful!! I love looks like you always meant for it to look that way! No way would someone think it was a "fix" - great job!!
Your frugal sis,

Kris Meares - Tag Along Teddies said...

Hey Joy! I just popped in to collect your OPAM list of finishes for the month, but had to leave a comment after reading about your math mishap! I can sooooooo relate!! My math skills are below zero and if I double check something, you can be certain I'll have two very different answers! :0) On the upside, your tablecloth may have taken longer to make but looks fabulous ... and of course ... you MEANT it to be just like this! :0) Bear Hugs! KRIS

Carol said...

Making lemonade out of a lemon issue :) Looks good.