Just thought you might like a quick taste of the quilt blocks as they come together. I’ve got about 11 of 32 completed to date. It’s slow going, but at least it’s going…
I can’t imagine the chairs turning out any better. I’m pleased as punch with the colors and the way my breakfast nook now shows off my style!
I should also mention that this project was inspired by my neighbor Sue and her daughter Kristen. They are incredibly creative and truly the best neighbors I could ever hope for.
Here’s how I did it:
Per my last post, we found a fantastic table and chairs at our local thrift store. I’ve chosen the mustard/grey/cerulean fabric and I’m so excited!
It’s been slow going, but I did manage to get the seats re-covered.
The hardest thing about covering the seats was getting the corners to lay down and look professional. The best tip I can offer is just to keep stretching and folding until you get to a place where it looks right.
Once you’ve got your corners just the way you like them, staple the crap out of them. Seriously. Make sure the corners are really secure by stapling in several places.
In addition to covering the chairs, I started on the table. Here is a great tutorial on how to distress cheap furniture. I’ll post my results as well so you can see for yourself how it works out!
Thanks for checking in!
Today was an awesome day! We have been complaining for over a year that we don’t have a dining room table. So, today we set out for a day of consignment store hunting. To our surprise, we scored huge on our first stop at Goodwill.
We found an old dining room table, 4 chairs and a cool old coffee table for less than $150…That’s less than the cost of a chair at Crate & Barrel! So, now that we have these super awesome finds, we have to figure out how we’re going to bring them into the 21st century.
This is where the duel comes in. The hubby and I have different ideas… Here’s where we agree: The chair seats will be re-covered, and the wicker chair backs will be painted to contrast the wooden frames. Here are some pictures of the chairs and the fabric that each of us like…
I think we should pull the grey and the mustard. Although I absolutely love the blue, I don’t currently have any other blue in my house. I’d paint the table mustard, and the chairs grey. I’m not sure about the wicker…maybe the tan color.
My other half feels that we should go with red and mustard. I have to admit, this scheme would probably mesh a little better with some of the items we have haphazardly thrown together. I think we’d paint the table red and the chairs mustard. we could pull the green from the fabric for the wicker.
Everyone please share your opinions and ideas. I’ve got a few projects this week, so feel free to mull it over through the weekend. ;o)
Recently my co-worker told me that I have control issues. I have to say I was genuinely shocked and intrigued, because I seriously always thought of myself as a very laid back, go-with-the-flow kind of person. As I reflected a little deeper into my soul I realized that what I thought was a mild case of intolerance to surprises is actually a deep rooted need to be clairvoyant! I realized that I have been so afraid of every step of my quilt because I can’t see the final product until its complete. That seriously freaks me out!!
Tonight I finally pieced together a quilt block!! The satisfaction it gave me to see the 8 separate strips melt into one 12.5 inch square of art was unbelievable. Even as I pulled the organizer card full of strips from the stack and laid the strips as they would be sewn together I felt an uneasiness. I just wasn’t positive that the pieces would all mesh, and I just couldn’t see the actual block in my mind.
I had thoughts of putting off the sewing for another night. I thought that I should clean up my glade, or work on an unfinished project (actually, those would have both been excellent options), but ultimately I went for it and I’m so glad I did!
Per the directions, I sewed together pairs of two patterned fabrics. Elizabeth recommends piecing together the pairs in a chain to save thread and time. Additionally, each time I paired the strips, I pressed the seams open. After 3 pairs were made, I sewed the pairs together and then added the grey sashing.
I chose to press my seams open, based on the book’s recommendation. Some quilters don’t think this is necessary, and some even say that pressing the seams open can affect the structural integrity of the finished quilt. Personally, I was thrilled that there was a definite opinion given in the book, since I had such a hard time deciding whether to wash the fabric or not.
Since I had already cut all of the lime fabric for this quilt, I’ve decided that I’m going to make this quilt again using blue toned blocks with lime sashing. Although I’d love to move on to another quilt, this is a great one to build my skills, and I think if i hustle I might be able to get it done for my nephew’s christmas gift.
When I decided that I didn’t like the lime, I went to a couple of different fabric stores to try to find a grey. I found that it was too overwhelming, so I sent an email to my favorite local craft haven, Fancy Tiger. I was so excited when Jaime emailed be back with a recommendation for Kona Cotton in Medium Grey. I absolutely would recommend this tactic if you’re faced with a situation where you’re trying to match something really specific.
I have been working on a few really awesome projects, so I hope to have some great pictures and posts soon. Please let me know if you have any questions about my quilt in progress or anything else!
Last week I finished getting all of the strips cut for the quilt. I was so relieved to finally be able to move forward, but at the same time, I also felt really good about how comfortable I’ve grown in working with fabric.
Per my previous post, I’m working out of the book “The Practical Guide to Patchwork” by Elizabeth Hartman, and as she suggests, I took a pack of card stock (8.5″ x 11″) and laid out one for each block. Then I got busy dispersing my strips.
Unfortunately, next came my step backward… I decided that I don’t like the Lime sashing, as well as another one of the patterns used for the strips. I had been somewhat unsure since I purchased them, but laying them out together seems to have settled it.
I thought at first that I might just be second guessing myself, but I realized that the feeling I have is not fear that it won’t be good enough, it’s a feeling of being certain that I don’t like the color/pattern. So, instead of pushing on with what I’ve got and losing steam on the whole project (or not liking the final product), I decided it’s important to me that I listen to my heart and find another pattern.
www.Fabric.com has the whole Joel Dewberry Heirloom collection in all of the colorways, so I’ve been taking a gander at some patterns I might use instead. I’m not sure what solid color to use for the sashing, but my instinct is drawing me toward the mustard color in some of the patterns. I think it might have been the mustard and lime combo that was too much…
I’ll be back in no time with more updates, and I’m planning to start sewing some strips together shortly. I’ll also be posting some great tips from a my experience with re-vamping my master bedroom, complete with an attempt to stencil a wall.
If you’re interested in quilting, check out Elizabeth Hartman’s blog Oh, Fransson! She gives all sorts of tips for beginners, as well as a million great ideas and delicious pictures.
Thanks for checking in!!
This morning we slept in a little and when I went to let the ladies out of the coop Wynona made a bee-line for a grove of vines that grows along our fence. Normally, she’s very concerned about breakfast, so I was very suspicious. I’ve seen her disappear into these vines before, and I had a hunch that she might have a little nest in there.
Since I thought that she might have some business to tend to, I let her have her space while we went for a latte. When we got back, I headed out for a back yard egg hunt and this beautiful site is what I found. Apparently, she’s been laying for 2 weeks or more, since there were a total of 13 eggs in the nest.
I immediately called my mom and dad like a mom calls grandma and grandpa when her baby takes a first step. My mom reacted like a grandma would, excited and proud of Wynona, and I loved sharing that with her. My dad reacted like my dad, calm and reserved, providing lots of directions and asking logistical questions. I’ve come to understand and appreciate his funny way of showing excitement.
For those who don’t know much about chickens, here is a brief lesson on chickens and eggs: A hen lays 1 egg every 24-48hours, as long as she’s a happy camper. If she’s stressed or unhealthy, she won’t lay. She does not need a rooster to produce an egg. If no rooster is present then no fertilization will take place, and you’ll have a tasty breakfast food, instead of a baby chick. If you don’t collect the eggs, she will lay an egg each day and then go about her daily routine, and when she is happy with the number of eggs in her nest she will return to the nest and start incubating them.
Wynona and Belina are Polish Hens, which is an ornamental breed. Some resources I’ve found call them a Bantam size, others say they are a Dwarf. Either way, they are significantly smaller than a “laying” breed (large breeds that are consistent large egg layers).
Since we didn’t get to these puppies when they were fresh, we can’t eat this batch. I’m going to mark a couple of them and try putting them in the nesting box to see if we can train them to use it. Belina is at least 3 weeks younger than Wynona so I don’t think she’s quite ready to lay. It could be any day now, so I’ll be paying special attention if she starts playing Houdini in the coming weeks.
Backyard chickens are an incredibly easy pet, and they are so funny and interesting. If you don’t believe me, ask Capt. Picard. He was SOOO mad at me when I brought them home and now he really loves them.
If you like fresh eggs and want to have a lot of fun, I would definitely encourage you to find out of hens are allowed in your municipality. Some great resources are: www.backyardchickens.com or your local urban homesteading chapter. Also, Murdoch’s and other ranch and home supply stores will often have message boards where you can contact people near by with chickens, as well as poultry experts on staff.
I am reasonably certain that the only craft at which I am not a virgin is that of making fancy, feathery headwear. I LOVE hats and fascinators, and I put feathers on everything I can. So, naturally, when my friend invited me to a fancy afternoon tea at a castle, my first thought was “I’ll have to make a new hat.”
So that’s what I did tonight. She and I got together and made some cute pieces for our date on Sunday. When I don’t have a ton of time to mess around, I like to start with feathers that are pre-arranged, and then add embellishments.
Breanna’s hat is flashier, which I love for special occasions. For those of you who don’t already know about the infamous “bird nest” here is a picture of the hat I made and sported for The Muse’s rehearsal dinner.
In addition to the millinery power hour, I also managed to get another set of blocks cut. I was so intimidated by cutting at first, but now I definitely have the hang of it, and I’m excited about how quickly I’m getting them done. I think I might tackle the Lime blocks this weekend, since Lime promises to be the biggest challenge. Here are my blocks sitting in a row in the drawer. So pretty!!!
I have a lot planned for the weekend, but I have promised myself that time will be made for yoga and crafting.
The most frustrating thing about learning to knit is everything. It takes hours and hours of practice to get the fine movements of knitting committed to muscle memory, and then there’s the part about counting. I have always had trouble with counting along, probably because I have the attention span of a fish.
That said, I really, really, really want to be a good knitter. I love knitted goods, and I love the idea of wearing something that I’ve made, or making something beautiful and luxurious for a friend.
I was in a store down town recently and I saw a super cute but super simple scarf. Of course, it was $80, and of course, I immediately decided that I could make it myself. In the process of Googling a pattern for it, I found another pattern for a gorgeous cowl/scarf at http://www.etsy.com/shop/phydeaux It’s called Embraceable, and even though I am not even a beginner, I went ahead and bought the pattern for $5.00.
I learned how to knit in the English style in college and I’m kind of okay at it, but it is sooooo slow. When the Muse (my sister-in-law) learned that I was knitting in the English style, she suggested that I try Continental style knitting, as it takes fewer movements, and can be a lot quicker. So, I thought, I’d better learn to Knit continental style, and I’d better get practicing.
There are a lot of really great resources on YouTube for knitting. The resource that I’ve liked the best so far is Knittinghelp.com. There are videos on every topic you could ever imagine, and they are really clear and easy to follow. I found an excellent video to help me learn the continental knit and purl stitches.
I was explaining to the Muse that I have been practicing on some scrap yarn, so that I can really get the hang of it, and she suggested that I start practicing by making 9″ x 9″ squares. I can keep it simple and get some practice on the squares, and then I can sew them together into an afghan. I love that I’ll be practicing and working on a larger project at the same time!
I bought some beautiful Blues, and I thought this might make a good baby blanket for a future baby boy.
The thing I love most about this project, is that since I’m working it one square at a time, I can introduce a new color any time I feel inspired. Also, I can make it as large or small a I want.
I really hope you’ll visit knittinghelp.com. If you are already an awesome knitter, you could check out her tutorials on Fair Isle knitting. She really is incredible.
I’ll post a picture of my first square when I finish it. That could be a while. In the interim, I’ll be cutting blocks and making some fascinators for a fancy tea party I’m attending on Sunday.
As promised, tonight The Expert came over and rescued the quilt (and my sanity). My favorite thing about The Expert is that she is an Expert at all things that I am not, which is to say, everything.
She showed me how to straighten the fabric, and it was as easy as a little snip and a long rip. Once we got a straight edge, she supervised as I cut my first set of strips. It went really well, and I am pretty certain that I have the confidence to move forward!
My goal is to cut one set of strips (1 fabric pattern’s worth) each night. That puts me right around the end of next week. Then, I’ll have a few vacation days so I can really get busy!
I’ve searched for a good tutorial on straightening fabric, but I couldn’t find one I liked. I’ll keep researching and provide a link or make my own soon.
In the interim (while I’m not quilting or working), I’m also trying to learn to knit. Fall is rapidly approaching, and there is nothing better than a deliciously warm scarf on a crisp autumn evening! I found a pattern that I adore, but it’s for intermediate knitters. Since I’m not really even a beginner, I’m trying to practice everyday. I have found some incredible knitting resources on YouTube, and I’ll share them in my post tomorrow.
Thanks for checking in!