Monday, June 30, 2008


Here is one of the finished new chairs. I love how it turned out. I am feeling ready to move on to the bigger project.
In the interim, my husband has lowered the table, so it is at a more appropriate height for our family. Now, on to the dining chairs and plywood seats...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Trial Run

I picked up two of these chairs at the local thrift store a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't a fan of the fabric, but I had this other fabric in my stash from a previous visit to the local dig-n-save. I think that it is a wise idea to try out reupholstering these chairs first, before I tackle our dining room set.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Blog - Tigerlily Tinkering

I was invited to start contributing on a collaborative craft blog with some good friends of mine. I met this lot of talented, bright, successful, lovely women years ago and we've all kept in touch although we are now living in various parts of the world. I am looking forward to working with them, being inspired by them. While I will continue to post here, please visit us at Tigerlily Tinkering too!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Doll Clothes Disaster

I've decided that some crafts are best left to others. Doll clothes for example. The girls and I went to a local park yesterday and on our way home we spied some dolls on the curbside. They had been well loved one day in the past and we picked them up, took them home and gave them a good bath. The only problem? They were naked and were in need of some clothes. I thought that using some of the left over vintage pillowcase fabric from the swap was the perfect idea and so I set about trying to make some clothes while the girls were napping. I used one of the dresses from the curbside as a pattern (it was too moldy to keep and use) but have since failed to make anything that I actually like. I think I am making the whole thing too complicated. I will give it one more try and if I am not happy I will be on the lookout for doll clothes at this weekends garage sales.

Vintage Sheet Swap - more fat quarters!

This past weekend a church in our neighboorhood was having a 'Trash & Treasure' sale. I hit the jackpot and purchased an entire lot of vintage pillocases for $1. I cut them up and sent them off to Oh Fransson! for the swap. This brought my total contribution to 40 fat quarters. I can't wait to see what I get back. The suspense is killing me! The deadline for the swap is June 30th so stay tuned in early July to see what comes back to me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Challenge

If you can believe it, my husband and I picked up this table and chair set at a garage sale last weekend. It is an Ethan Allen, solid cherry set that seats up to 12. The set came with six chairs, two of which have arms. The set fits beautifully in our dining room. The set was sold by a family that now has grown children - so the best part is that the table chairs are all 'kid-tested' and gently used. This means that I won't ever worry about the inevitable spills or normal childhood wear and tear (i.e. scratches, permanent markers, tape, paint, etc.) The only hitch is that the table is a little tall for our taste and the fabric on the chairs is not our style (plus the previous owners had cats and Dan is VERY allergic to cats). So, my new challenge is recovering, and firming up, the seats.

It all seems very straightforward at the moment. Buy some fabric, get my husband to make some plywood seats and cut down the legs of the table by an inch, recover the seats with the aid of a staple gun, and I'm done. I am sure that I am in for more of a challenge than that, however. The upside at the moment is that JoAnn is having a 50% off sale on all their home decor and upholstery fabrics so at least I should be able to find a great print that we like.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wall hanging complete

Here is the completed wall hanging for my Mom for her birthday (August). I am happy overall with my first attempt. I did have success making my own binding strips (Thanks Jacquie for the tip on where to find a tutorial!). However, I fell short when it came time to put the binding on the quilt. Instead of sewing it on like a normal person would, my brain short-circuited and I top-stiched the whole thing. It doesn't look bad, and I am pretty proud of how I was able to troubleshoot the corners, but it just isn't the way that I would like it to be. I guess that is what this was for - practice. For the larger, next quilt I will definately do a different quilting pattern, with a different color thread. I will also do the binding the way that I actually want to have it done. I will also be sure to attach a hanging sleeve on the next one. This one will just have to have a dowl stiched to it for hanging. The last thing I have to say is that I forgot to sign this one. Silly of me really. I will be sure to include a small 'signature' patch on the backing next time too. much to learn!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Contribution: Vintage Sheet Patchwork Swap

Here are my contributions to Oh Fransson!'s vintage sheet patchwork swap. I am so excited to be a part of this as I L-O-V-E vintage fabrics, but haven't ever has the opportunity to work with them. This is also my first blog swap and I love the energy floating around about it. You can see the groups progress at Flickr. My quarters are cut and bundled and they will go in the mail on Thursday. The deal is that you get back as many quarters as you contribute - I am sending in 23. I technically only found one sheet to cut into with the others being various vintage fabrics. I am already looking forward to my return package in the mail and can't wait to begin brainstorming project ideas!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Amy Butler, con't.

Surprise! I had another e-mail from the library arrive in my inbox while I was away in TN for a second (gulp!) book by Amy Butler. "In Stitches" is now on my mantel awaiting a second read-thru. The patterns are even in great shape! I am amazed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Amy Butler

I got an e-mail from the library telling me that the copy of Amy Butler's Midwest Modern that I had reserved had come in. I was so excited. I brought the book home and hid it away until after the kiddos went to bed. I covered myself with mosquito spray, grabbed a (big) glass of wine and curled up in the backyard to get lost in it. I only meant to be out there for 30 minutes - it's a good thing it is staying light out until 9pm these days because I was out there for 90 minutes pouring over every page. What a lovely book. I am looking forward to trying out the Blue Sky hat for myself (and one for my sister-in-law too!)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

More baby blocks

Just before coming down with the flu, I finshed up a set of three more baby cubes. I did one 6-inch in yellow tones, one 5.5-inch in green and one 5-inch in purple. The purple one has already been gifted at a recent baby shower for my cousins wife, but these two will hang around for awhile until more babies are born. They each have one jingle bell in the middle to give them a rattle effect, and the taggie ribbons look great. Next time I may go for a set of 3 4-inch cubes...I seem to be liking the smaller ones better these days.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Crazy-9 Patch Squares - Quilted

Here's some pictures of three of the nine Crazy-9 Patch squares that have been quilted into a wall hanging. I decided that rather than do more reading on how to quilt something I should just dive right in and try. I am relatively happy with the results. Here are some things that I learned:

1) Spray adhesive worked better than basting pins for this project.

2) Backing fabric NEVER stays smooth or taught. I have to remember to pull on it constantly to keep it from bunching.

3) Batting can cause problems for bunching as well - it doesn't lay as smooth as I expected.
4) I'm glad that I left an extra three inches of batting and backing around all sides as I quilted. The project shifted so much during the quilting process that I really did need all that extra.

5) Everything looked much better after trimming :)

6) Now I must learn how to make my own binding. I have the fabric picked out and know that it should be 2.5 inches wide then pressed, but sewing it to the project is still a mystery to me.
7) I am now brave enough to tackle the remaining 6 squares that are pieced and ready to go. However, I may switch up the quilting pattern and try quilting in the ditch instead.
8) Quilting patterns that sew up like a pillow prior to quilting (see Amy Butler's Lotus Brick Path Quilt) are becoming more attractive to me - but I am still nervous about the fabric bunching problem.