Monday, October 28, 2013

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas on Design Wall Monday

I was able to get a bit of sewing time in and finished putting together all the blocks for my Twister quilt.

The fabric is Aspen Frost by Basic Grey. Great vintage-y looking prints and I love the olive/aqua/red color combination. I added that yellow-y green-y gold outer piece. It isn't in the collection but is another one of those Basic Grey Grunge fabrics and I love.
With the outside borders this should measure about 75" square and will look lovely in my living room this holiday season - can't wait to display it!

Here's a close up of some of the fabrics.

Have you had a chance to check out the photos from the Houston Fall Quilt Market on the Jolly Jabber blog? You can see them here. I love getting an advance look at the upcoming fabric lines but I will say it makes me want them NOW! LOL - I have no patience. There is a new line by Gina Martin called "Sewing Box" -- love the colors and the graphics. And Sandy Klop's newest collection of American Jane, "Ducks in a Row" is calling my name.

Hope we all have productive weeks!
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2013

I LOVE the Blogger's Quilt Festival !  I am blown away by all the awesome quilts and stories that are shared. A feast for the eyes and the heart!

My submission this time around is for the Scrappy quilt category -  my latest Halloween quilt --

Trick or Treat Triangles!

This quilt measures 50 X 68  and it is a charm quilt - it has 88 different Halloween fabrics!  The triangles are 9" tall which was a nice size to show off the larger prints. I used the Creative Grids 60 Degree Triangle Ruler to cut it out - you can see it here.  This ruler makes fussy cutting a breeze.

Here are a few of my favorite prints -

Bride of Frankenstein and friends...look close and you can see some little creature peeking out of her hairdo!

Witchy underwear... at the top of this piece it says  "witches undies, scarey screamy,have a happy halloweenie"!

Hearses... notice the casket bouncing out the back - LOL!

Mummies with heart!

And Dracula overlooking assorted items hanging on a clothesline!

Hope you enjoy looking at all the quilts as much as I do!

Happy stitching-
carol fun


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Come on down to my sewing studio!

Hello -- glad you stopped by... I'd love to show you my new underground lair, I mean sewing studio! Right this way down the stairs. You can check out some of my samplers along the way,

Ta dah!!  (Click on any of the pictures to make them bigger - there is lots to see!)

This is where I plan to spend LOTS of time. The center sewing command base is composed of two different IKEA tables pushed together to make a 58" square.

To the right is my Janome and that blank space on the left is where my Juki should but. Unfortunately it is in the shop right now and I miss is terribly! In the center is a 3 tier stand filled with pincushions. I love pincushions!

Back in there right side corner is my ironing station. This is a big piece of plywood covered with batting and a cute new cover. (Its Moda's tape measure fabric in twill - very cute but not accurate - their inch is waaaay bigger than a real inch!) The board is sitting on a 9 cube bookcase from Closetmaid. You can get them at Target. All those fabric bins are filled with bits of this and that.

Next to the ironing board are my giant scissors. I have a thing for oversized items. Notice the thimble trash can next to the ironing board in the last picture. Its yellow and I have had that can for almost 40 years. The scissors are wood - I think I got them at Hobby Lobby or Micheals or Joanns. I spray painted them with an orangy red and a shiny metallic.

Moving to the right I have my new design wall. It is two sheets of that insulation board covered with a gridded flannel I got at equilter. I like the idea  of the gridded flannel, but it doesn't seem as sticky as the batting I use to use for a design wall. I'm still pondering this choice.

On the wall next to the design wall are more oversized objects. I have had these buttons for years. I bought them at Joanns and I picked up some cute tubular trim (like a thick shoe lace) to tie in the holes. I don't like empty button holes - yeah, I'm weird that way.

Turning to your right again is my cutting table. This is another IKEA purchase. It is a kitchen island called Stenstorp. Very sturdy. The bins on the shelves came out of the kids department at IKEA, I'm showing the back sides, the fronts are a light mesh.

On my table are some wire baskets I picked up on clearance at Target. Loved the color. I have rulers in the bread basket one and odds and ends in the two tier stand. The crock is Fiestaware. And I am very happy with how my spool quilt looks hanging behind the table. Such a happy quilt!

Around the corner from my cutting table are the doors to the storage room, the bathroom and the laundry room. That funky spot was perfect for my stack of chickens and I'm happy I hung that loooooooong sampler over the door way. It use to hang in my kitchen and I like that I can enjoy it every day in this spot.

And now to the biggest element in the room... THE FABRIC SHELVES!

This is 5 Billy bookcases from IKEA. They are bolted to the wall so they aren't going anywhere. A lot of storage space for a good price - $99 each. And I was able to start arranging my stuff on the shelves too. I love my stuff!!

Chickens, and cards and socks...

Lots of little things my boys made in school...

a doll I made years ago. She guarding my charm squares.

So that is the working area of the room. Now to the left of the shelves is the sitting area... but it is not finished.

Right now is a repository for laundry that needs to be taken upstairs and quilts that need to find a home. I'm still waiting for my son to bring over the table for the television. I am happy that my chicken quilt fit perfectly in that wall spot. The chair is a comfy IKEA one and the couch (which is covered in a Debbie Mumm quilt and laundry) is another IKEA purchase. I like that it is small and can be folded flat to be a bed. It had a great price ($149) and a funny name - Balkarp - yeah ball carp - my son wondered if this is the Swedish equivalent of a honey badger and isn't sure he wants to sit on it - LOL!

So there it is. I've already been able to spend some quality time sewing and I look forward to lots more hours in this room. Hope you enjoyed the tour and to my local friends who want to tour - call me!! I'd love to show you around.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

W.i.P. Wednesday

Well here is a project that was no where on my radar until my BFF Stephie brought over the one she was working on. A Twister done with a Basic Grey Aspen Frost layer cake. As soon as I saw hers I had to have one of my own and we were off to Fabric Shack in a blink of an eye.

Now mine is a little different from hers - she did a 6 X 7 block layout and I did a 6 X 6 layout and I used a different fabric to frame mine.

This is going together lickety split - last night I had all the layer cakes sewn together and put on the framing border. It was late and I told myself that I'd just cut out one row and then go to bed -- yeah -- that's a line that ranks right up there with "I'll only eat one cookie" or "the check is in the mail". I couldn't go to bed until I had ALL the blocks cut out!

This morning I got a couple of the rows sewn together and it is a fun project. There will be more Twisters in my future...maybe one with Kaffe Fasset fabrics.

Here are some close ups of the fabrics in this Aspen Frost line -- love the little snowmen!

And this ornament print is going to be my border.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, October 21, 2013

Getting back into the routine on Design Wall Monday

So I've been in my house for almost 2 weeks and I'm settling into what I hope will be my new normal routine. I was able to find a little time to sew and it was heavenly. I found all the pieces to this quilt, that was the one I was working on when I moved, and I really enjoyed putting it all together.

This is BIG BIG quilt. I finished 91 X 106. It may be the largest quilt I ever made. I plan to give this one to my oldest son. I think it will look good in his house.

The pattern is Ballerina by Jay Bird Quilts. You can see it here. It went together nicely using the Creative Grids 12" 60 degree Triangle Ruler. I may do another version of this for me... but smaller. I need to think about it for a bit.

Right now I have a ton quilts I want to work on. I started sewing together a layer cake to make a Twister quilt. And I found a bag with a strippy Christmas quilt I started eons ago that would be nice to get finished for this holiday season. And there is a QAL starting on Stitched in Color's blog - you can check it out here - and I'd like to play with it. And I'd like to do another quilt with Kaffe Fasset fabrics... have you see his new collection? Go here and drool. And I bought a jelly roll of Sandy Gervais new line - Soho Chic - see it here - and yesterday I picked up the fabric I want to use for the background and the border to make it into this quilt - Windspinner - a pattern by Praire Grass Patterns that you can see here.

I think this definitively shows that I need more hours in a day!!! LOL '

Hope you have a fun and productive week - I'll post some pictures of my new studio later this week - promise!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

More Before & After House Pictures

I know,I know, I know I said I'd be right back with more pictures but all this renovating and moving in stuff is taking waaaaayyy more time than I anticipated. Thanks for all the lovely comments on my post last week. It isn't easy taking pictures in a small kitchen - you really can't back up enough to get a good wide shot. I even thought about going outside and getting on a ladder and taking pictures through the windows but ladders and I don't usually come to a good end.

So here is a picture of what the living room/dining room looked like when I bought the house. The viewpoint is as you enter through the front door - okay but tired.

And now the view when you open the front door!

Lots more going on here. This room has cove ceilings with a little molding to separate it from the walls and the windows have the original cornices which have matching trim. The couch and the table and chairs are from IKEA (I heart IKEA). The back of the couch doubles as a quilt rack and sports my Butterscotch Scrap Jar quilt. On the wall by the dining room table is my Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler - love that piece and have never hung it before.

Now turn slightly to your left..

New flat screen TV sitting on.... another piece of IKEA furniture. I love that it provides space for the cable box and space to display seasonal decorations and QUILTS!!! I have ten quilts folded and displayed behind the glass doors. (You might be able to see it better if you make the pictures bigger - sorry for the glare off the TV - I'll try to get some better close ups later.) Now that quilt on the wall to the right of the TV needs to be moved over a smidge to be more balanced with the samplers. And I'm thinking about putting something above the TV.

Here's another view...

That big round ottoman/coffee table is also a storage unit. The top comes off and it has wheels on it so it is easy to move around. It came from Front Room Furnishings as did the rug. It is hard to tell but the rug has a ferny leaf sculptured into it. And there is a cute little yellow end table from Target next to my chair.

This is the table (yeah that is pretty evident). I have on a nice Fall runner and I've had the big leaf plate for years. I like this table but I have plans to change it out for the round version. I can use this one in the basement so it won't be abandoned. The round version expands to an oval which would be nice when I have company for dinner.

And now what I call the "bump out". As you enter the front door this area is to the right. You can see the top of the couch in the picture, as it is right behind the couch.

These two chairs (from Pier 1) set off my whole color scheme for this room - taupe and YELLOW!!! Let's face it you don't see a lot of yellow in furniture and you know how I LOVE LOVE LOVE yellow. And the little round table in the middle is a personal favorite.

I bought this table for $15 in a resale shop in Greensburg, Indiana. It wasn't yellow (imagine that -LOL!) It took two coats of primer,two coats of yellow and some glazing to get to this point (I spent more on paint than I did on the table) but I love how it turned out. Just what I wanted for this spot. The lamp is from Hobby Lobby (purchased on sale... does anyone pay full price at Hobby Lobby?)

And turning slightly to your right again, you've circled back to the front door and my new decorative shelf unit that serves as a replacement for a mantle and a foyer display.

This too came from Hobby Lobby and I'm very happy with all the display space it provides. I was able to show off some cross stitch and some quilts and lot of seasonal Fall decor. This will be fun to change all year round.

So I probably should have taken some close up shots of stuff but I probably already put you into picture overload. I am happy with that the room has shaped up like I envisioned it and I've been able to use a lot more quilts in here than I thought. As I sit here and type and look around the room there are 19 quilts of various sizes in this room -- OMG - that a lot of quilts!

Lots of friends asked about the status of my studio .... well it isn't pretty. It was the last space to be finished and while I moved a lot of stuff in early I shouldn't have. It had to be moved around several times to accommodate the floor issues and everything got very dusty. I have got some of the stuff put away but there is a still a small mountain in the middle of the room to sort through. Keep in mind I didn't take this picture until after I had been working down there for a while and there was a LOT LOT LOT more stacked up that I've gotten out of this space.

YIKES!! This is gonna take a while... and yes that is a cheese head on the top of the pile. Sooooo I'm off to get my car serviced today (way overdue) and oh did I mentioned that most of my weekend was consumed by problems as my son's house. It rained here A LOT- 3" in 2 days - and he got water in the finished part of his basement. Lots of wet vacuuming and soaking up water, followed by calls to companies to remedy the problem and me being the one to be there when they come. (He wasn't goofing off, he had a big case to present in the 1st District Court of Appeals for his job with the city of Cincinnati, so I helped out.)

Hope you are having a great week!
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Moved in - before and after edition

I know that times flies but I had no idea that almost a month has passed since I last posted. I haven't done much crafty stuff in that time - a little knitting and cross stitch but I haven't turned on my sewing machine at all. And why this dry spell? Well I finally got moved into my new place.

Would you like to see some pictures? Oh I hoped you would. First let's step back in time and view the kitchen in its original 1953 condition with a mid-70's update.

A dearth of cabinets and counter space...

Refrigerator and stove crammed next to each other with one tiny inaccessible cabinet above...

New kitchen same view as first picture...more cabinets, a dishwasher and counter space..

turning your view to the right...what was a open space of nothing is now a 12' solid surface counter with TONS of cabinets and drawers...

and pivoting again to your right...stove, microwave and more cabinets...
and a final turn to complete the tour... the space where the refrigerator and stove were crammed together... new fridge and TONS of pantry cabinets with pull out shelves

Now the decorating isn't complete but you can get the picture. I waiting for special order mini blinds and I going to jazz up the tops of the cabinets with more chickens and greenery and those giant utensils on the counter are going to get hung over the doorways. I'm very happy with the tile floors and the ceiling fan. It isn't a big space - about 10' X 12' - but we certainly packed a lot into it. My contractor has also been working on another kitchen remodel this summer - a BIG budget project in the neighborhood of $50K - he and his crew have all remarked that I have more storage in my little kitchen than was in the big budget remodel and from the pictures he showed me, I agree. All the cabinetry is from IKEA. The style is called Adel. There are so many great built in features. Quiet close doors and drawers... and oh how I love the drawers... very deep, lots of space. The corner cabinets have these pull out lazy susan racks that let you access everything with ease. The kitchen staff at IKEA have some amazing computer programs that help you design your layout and see what it will look like in 3D - very cool.

So this is one room of my new house. In the next couple of days I'll show you other spaces. I know you want to see my sewing studio but that is the one space that isn't finished yet... insert frowny face. The laminate floor has turned into quite a production as it got wet twice (both accidents) and taking it up and putting it back down isn't easy. But that said, the rest of it is looking wonderful. There is tons of light - we put in 6 fluorescent fixtures and additional fixtures too. My bank of IKEA book shelves in the black brown color really display my fabric nicely. There is still a mountain of stuff to sort and put away and I'm chipping away a little each day. So until that task in complete there won't be much craftiness but there will be plenty of decorating. I have a drill and I'm not afraid to use it... off to hang some pictures!

Happy stitching-
carol fun