Shed window curtains

Hm. Well, this is a semi-success. On the one hand, I needed curtains in the shed windows, because the sun coming in makes it too hot in the height of summer, and the lack of insulation makes it too cold in the depth of winter. And the curtains took 20 minutes to cut and sew, another 5 minutes to hang, and I do love the fabric I used for this, Robert Allen’s Folkworld pattern in the Aquatint color way, which I used a little under two yards of, at $15 / yard on remnant clearance at fabricguru.com.

BUT — I think maybe this isn’t what I want for this space long-term. I had waffled and waffled, thinking about map prints and space prints and finally settled on this one because I like it so. I do like it! We used the same print in his Admiral colorway for the backing cushions in our eat-in area, and it’s perfect there, we get so many compliments.

This is equally charming, and the animals are certainly appropriate to the garden. I particularly like how the gold thread I used picks up the gold of the flowers; I think it’s an interesting decorative element added to the curtains.

BUT, I think maybe I should’ve gone with my original plan and just stuck to off-white to match the interior monk-like paint job (or grey, the color of the chair and accent pieces). Because the star of the show in my shed really is the garden, and this fabric (which I bought 6 yards of, so enough to also do coordinating curtains for the long French doors AND probably the little single window on the opposite side) is sort of too pretty in its own right. It’s actually distracting me from the garden’s loveliness, rather than complementing it, I think.

Hm. I suppose I will leave these up until I have time and energy to go buy off-white fabric and re-do them, which may be a while. They can be functional, at least.

But that said, if any locals reading this has an interest in some 5′ long curtains (just covering a 4′ wide opening, without excess), let me know? I’d be happy to sell them to you for cost, so $25.

NOTE: They’re not perfectly sewn, because I was thinking it was just for my shed, and it didn’t matter if it wasn’t perfect — one end is a little long on one, so you may want to re-sew the bottom hem, though if you use clips, it’s easy enough to just hang one a little higher to achieve an even hem at the bottom; that’s what I did. ALSO, I think I didn’t really have the tension set right on the machine, as the thread doesn’t seem to be laying quite right. I mean, it’s fine, but not if you’re someone who actually knows anything about sewing. 🙂

Or if anyone’s interested in the remaining yardage (a little over 4 yards, 54″ wide), I’d happy to sell you that at cost too ($60). I’m trying to think what I can do with it other than sell it. It’d make cute playroom cushions, but I don’t really need anymore of those. It’s upholstery fabric, so a little heavy for a dress. Maybe someone with little kids (or a daycare?) could use it.

(Non-locals, if you want it badly enough to pay for shipping, that’s fine too. 🙂 )

And hey, if any locals coming to upcoming Maram’s Tea and Textiles meet-ups (Aug 3, 24, 31) wants me to show you how to hem basic curtains like this, it’s SO EASY, and I’d be happy to. You do have to either use my machine, or bring one you know how to thread. I can try to thread another machine, but I’m no expert, so no guarantees.

#marammakerspace
#serendibhome
#blog

Central themes for Maram

Thinking about how we’re describing our central themes for Maram right now — I’ve been using futurist, heritage / culture, and sustainability. But in a lot of ways, I really think it all falls under tech, just not in ways people are used to thinking about tech. ‘Tech’ as ‘application of complex, structured skills’?

Tech (futurist): 3D printing, wearable electronics

Tech (heritage): sashiko embroidery, stranded knitting, sourdough bread-making, beer-making, ethnic heritage cuisines

Tech (sustainable): worm composting, decorative mending

And I really want to keep interrogating that, especially given the gender divisions that people keep wanting to reinforce, where some types of tech get coded male, and some get coded female.

I swear, sometimes I want to start a men’s textile arts group, just to start pushing back against this. Maybe I can hold a free ‘learn to crochet class’ for men in our community. Or ‘learn to sew on a damned button.’

Would anyone come? Model this kind of knowledge and skill for your sons, dads! Let your daughters see you with a needle in that big, manly hand.

Sketching out a MakerFaire

Does it look like the beginning of a MakerFaire? It does!

Maram is going to be hosting a set of demos at the OP Main Library August 25, 2-5 — save the date! 3D printing, an embroidery machine, a poetry booth, spice grinding, and more… Free and open to the public. 🙂

A picture of a piece of white paper. There is a sketch of a table layout, with a large central table labeled ‘writing’, surrounded on three sides with additional smaller tables, labeled with various crafts, with a large walkway between the inner and outer table.

Monthly “Who Are We?” Post

Once a month, I’m trying to do a little explanatory post about Maram! 

So, a group of us (more volunteers are welcome!) have been working on a new non-profit org, that’s trying to open up a local makerspace in the Oak Park area, covering the areas of tech, textiles, writing, cooking, and gardening. 

We were finalists for the Big Idea Grant, and while we didn’t win, we’ve raised some funds from generous donors to help get us off the ground. We hope to lower costs and barriers to making, so that we can share skills and help give Oak Parkers and our neighbors more access to tech and resources.

We’re in the process of securing a space where members can use shared machines and enjoy co-working on creative pursuits; we’re also planning on have free days where anyone can just stop by and be introduced to 3D printing, lasercutting, sewing and embroidery machines, and more — but in the meantime, we’ve started offering workshops, with more coming this fall. 

Do you want to learn more about canning or kombucha-making? Maybe 3D print your own vase design, or some cute animal hooks for your child’s room? Take a free workshop and learn to crochet or knit? Try some fiction writing or memoir? All of those, and lots more, are coming; we’ll be posting our fall schedule very soon. Get in early, as some things do fill up! 

(Since we’re a non-profit, we have full scholarships and sliding scale available — please don’t hesitate to take advantage of that. Funds raised go to pay our instructors a fair rate, and if there’s any left, it goes towards securing a permanent space, but what we really want is to share the joy of making with as many people as possible. (If you’re interested in donating to us, donations are tax-deductible, and I’d love to talk to you!))

Check out our MakerFaire at the main library, Sunday, August 25, 2-5, and join our FB group (or sign up for the newsletter), to stay informed about upcoming talks, demos, workshops, and courses.

If you’re interested in teaching for us, details are on our website! And if you’re interested in helping organize, drop me a note (PM or e-mail, mohanraj@uic.edu), and I’ll be sure to include you in the next planning meeting.

Maram Makerspace FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/532627290547230/

Maram Makerspace FB page: https://www.facebook.com/MaramMakerspace

Website (with newsletter sign-up too):  http://www.marammakerspace.com

(And as a bonus, some of us are gamers / interested in game design, so we’ve set up a little Maram Makerspace gaming affinity group too, which you can find here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1246790552165856/— we’ll be doing some board gaming soon!)

This week’s Maram events at our house, 332 Wisconsin, Oak Park: 

Wednesday 7/17: 10-3, Maram Creativity / Productivity Retreat ($5)
Wednesday 7/17: 3 – 4:30, Maram Planning Meeting (all are welcome)
Saturday 7/20: 2 – 3, Maram Info Session (learn about us! all are welcome)
Saturday 7/20: 3 – 5, Tea and Textiles (free)  
Saturday 7/20: 5 – 10, Board Game Potluck (free)

Please RSVP if attending.