Well, yesterday’s clock activities were called on account of rain. Well, and lots of thunder and lightning too. We actually got measurable rain yesterday. Most welcome here. Yes, I know, it won’t be long before I’ll be whining about the rain. But, I’m now an Oregonian (for the last 34 years) so I’m fine with the rain. I’ve actually missed it.
I digress . . . today I went to lunch with my best friends — my sister-in-law and my ex-secretary from Economics at the UO. Actually, they are both my ex-secretaries, but my sister-in-law moved on to other departments at the UO before she retired. When I got home, I decided to start working on the Ikea clock.
The pieces are about 2″, so I cut out some 2.5″ squares (or almost squares). Some of them were not perfect, but I knew I’d be trimming, so I didn’t really care. The important part would be that they would need to be pressed flat. No room for wrinkles here. My plan of action was that I would paint a little modpodge on the surface of each piece and then put it face down on the wrong side of a piece of fabric. This worked very well, but I quickly discovered that this is not something you should do on newsprint. The dampness caused by the modpodge can have the ink transferring to your fabric pieces, so make sure you put down some plain, clean paper. I then got to thinking that the fabric required a bit of smoothing, so I ran back into the kitchen and grabbed a silicone spatula from the drawer in the kitchen. It worked pretty well, but there was still a bit of unevenness and texture to the pieces. I decided that was okay with me. When you get older, you really don’t care about somethings anymore, right?
After getting the fabric stuck down to the pieces, I needed a method for trimming the fabric flush with the edges of the hexagon pieces. You can’t wrap the fabric over the edges, or they won’t fit together when you’re done. My small rotary cutter wouldn’t work, as the screw for the blade and the guard got in the way of getting close enough to the edge. I tried a box knife, but it pulled at the fabric and was unsatisfactory. My regular rotary cutter was sort of okay, but still, the screw that holds the blade and the guard didn’t let me get as close as I needed to. So, shhhhh — don’t tell anyone — I took the guard off the rotary cutter.
You must promise, if you do this, that you are not under the influence of anything and that you will be as careful as possible while trimming the blocks. It worked wonderfully and I was done in no time.
Next, once the pieces were fairly dry, I needed to put another coat of the modpodge over the top of the fabric. This is a bit dicey — you have to get the fabric wet enough to make sure it will adhere and seal well, but you can’t get it too wet or it will make the fabric move (and possible fray the edges) and it will leave brush marks in the finish. But, soon they were all coated and drying.
Next, you have to deal with the actual clock itself. These pieces do not come off the clock, so you have to cut your hexagons and get the fabric on as steadily as you can. If you happen to have a tremor like mine, this can be problematic. Those of us who have a tremor can tell you that as soon as you try to do something where you really need to hold still, the tremor gets decidedly worse.
All done! I’m not sure I’m pleased with it yet. I may decide to recover a few of the pieces and change the arrangement, but I like it a lot better than the original clock, and I think once my room is painted, it will be a nice addition to the wall.