Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Quilting Quilt Alongs

I actually finished a quilt along on time! (well, the top anyway)  Wonders never cease!

It's the Star Light Star Bright quilt along from Happy Quilting, and I love the way it turned out.

I picked the floral fabric first, then chose the others from it.  The gray is a DS print and the other 2 are JoAnn's.  They are all nice and thick, so I got lucky finding higher quality fabrics.  All I knew going in was that I didn't want to do one of the usual backgrounds (white, gray, dark gray, etc.).  I chose Kona Pool, and I am so glad I went outside my comfort zone.  I made the 28" blocks, and changed the pattern slightly so that all 4 fabrics were in each block, and the centers were 1 piece instead of a four-patch.  I even made a mockup to keep up with the colors (nerd.)  I think this one will be an 18th birthday/high school graduation gift for my baby sister.

This next one was also a Happy Quilting QAL from last summer, called Star Surround.  I finished it last month, so if I can quilt it in 2014 I will consider it timely!

I love it so much.  It was one of the more time-consuming and finnicky projects I've done (so many points), but it was worth it.  It has my favorite colors (it's a bundle from The Intrepid Thread which included some Koi, Shelbourne Falls, Art Gallery, and a few others).  LOVE.

Now just need to figure out how to quilt them!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Valerie's Quilt

2 blog posts in one day!  What then?!  I'm officially giving myself a gold star for productivity today.

Last fall, a friend of mine was going through a rough time.  After several months of health problems, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and on top of that had an infant.  Luckily, she was able to have her thyroid removed, but then had to make the unpleasant choice to do radiation since her surgery margins were too small.  So with all that and some other issues going on in her life, I decided she definitely deserved a quilt!

Her favorite colors are orange and blue, so I knew I wanted to go more aqua and have a dark gray background.

It's a free pattern by Joel Dewberry.  The gray is Kona Coal (I think?), and the other fabrics are all from Jo-Ann's.  Lots of Denyse Schmidt in there, including the plaid binding.  It's quilted with an allover stipple.

The backing is flannel, also from Jo-Ann's, that I got during one of their $2,79/yard flannel sales.  It matches perfectly and makes the quilt nice and snuggly.

I didn't really get to take many pictures, as she was having a particularly rough day so I decided to bring it over way before planned.  In fact, it hadn't even been washed and I finished the binding just before snapping pics and running out the door.

But she loved it, so it was a success!! We were just at her house for her son's 1st birthday party, and the quilt was on the bed with a book on top.  Perfect.  I kinda want to make one for myself :)

One of my lovely assistants.  In hiding most of the time from the kids, but nothing brings him out like fabric on the floor.

There you have it, blogging about a quilt I finished 5 months ago.  Better late than never!

Cradle Makeover

Since I have a tendency to think up and even start projects and not finish them, I’m really excited to show one that actually turned out just like I wanted. 

A few months ago while wandering a thrift store, I found a dirty 1980s wooden cradle, complete with Strawberry Shortcake sticker decals.  Now, I loved Strawberry Shortcake dolls as a kid, but it definitely needed a facelift.  It’s obviously handmade and was probably a special present for someone, so it makes me happy to give it new life.

It was priced at $12.99, but after AN HOUR of standing in line, the clerk accidentally rang it up for $2.99.  Oh well – I’m worth more than $10 an hour so I don’t feel too guilty about this little discount. J  P.S. An hour wait is insane.  A lady had 4 grocery carts full of clothes and random, sometimes broken stuff.  It was like watching Hoarders in the making – she would also grab little things near the register and shove them in the carts.  Weird.

Here it is after some paint, accents, and a new little blanket:

The overall cost: less than $10.

I would have liked to get a well-lit pic, but at least the stuffed animals were emptied.  

The details:
The white paint was a $3 sample pot, and the pink and navy are basic craft paints.  I freehanded the stars with a gold Sharpie, and even though a few several ended up looking like deformed starfish, I like the overall effect. 

Papillon supervisor.

I measured the inside and made the blanket roughly the same size with some scrap minky and Heather Bailey fabric. 

Even though it was supposed to be a Christmas present, I made the Valentine’s Day deadline so I’m counting it for that.  Maddie LOVES it and it looks great in her room (even with the ugly inherited blue walls).  She puts her stuffed animals in, rocks them, covers them with the blanket, and says “Nigh Nigh”.  So cute!!  

Here's a bona fide before and after comparison:

And finally, this pretty much sums up my life:

T-Rex needed a good scrub down.  Her curls!!  I die.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Poppin' Tags

Part of the excitement of a new-to-us, bigger house is getting to put our own stamp on it.  But the reality of having 2 small kids in daycares + medical bills + heating said bigger house with an  old and horribly inefficient heat pump means we don’t have a lot (any) extra money lying around.  The upside is that I now have a perfectly valid excuse to frequent thrift stores for bargains and upcycling projects.  Bargains are in my blood – my Mamaw (maternal grandmother) was the yard sale queen, and after many early Saturday mornings being dragged around, I’ve had extensive training.  I’ve scored a few finds recently that are helping to decorate the house a little and make me happy in the process.

P.S. Yes they are all icky flash pictures as they were all taken post-bedtime.

I found the white lamp base at Goodwill for $5, all it needed was a quick wipe-down with the magic eraser and it was as good as new.  A few days later, I got lucky at Target and found the lamp shade on clearance for $5.06.  So, for $10 I have a great accessory for my desk in the office!

Not sure what is up with the wooden bowl here - it isn't beat up at all!

All of these little bowl-thingies (possibly ash trays in prior lives) are going to live in various places to hold keys, bobbins, thread, etc.  The biggest splurge was the star at $3.99 from Mega Thrift, the other two were $0.49 each at Salvation Army (what?!). 

P.S. The local Salvation Army is new to me.  It’s in a shopping center that used to be pretty sketchy, but it’s being made over.  The workers are awesome to chat with and their prices are so much better than Goodwill and other thrift stores around here.  The only downside is the number of bargain hunters – the furniture in particular goes really fast.

This desk was an AWESOME find for $9 at ReStore.  I have a fold-up sewing desk that I love, but it’s a pain to open and it already holds my serger and other machine (that’s another story).  Plus, the small surface area made it terrible for quilting, and there isn’t much leg room.  In other words, it’s only ideal for small projects, like clothing, and I didn’t want to have to move machines around.  So I began looking for larger desks or a table, but couldn’t find anything sturdy, low enough to accommodate my shortness, and with tons leg room for multi-tasking.  This meets all those requirements, and because of the lacquered/kinda ugly top I can even pin on it without worries.  Although this could probably use a coat of paint to combat the 70s brown, it’s in pretty good shape and mostly needed a quick cleaning.

Finally, some top sheets (vintage and probably Target).  The vintage one will definitely be a quilt back.

Yay for thrift store finds!  Cheap and with personality, can’t beat it.  I have a few others that I’ve made over, just need to take the obligatory before and after shots J