Monday, December 27, 2010

Townhouse Redo on the Cheap: Living Room

Continuing our tour of the townhouse I redecorated - next up is the living room!

We bought the coffee table from craigslist.  It matches the buffet she already had that's being used as a media cabinet.  

The TV was mounted when I got there but I decided it needed more definition so when we found the two black picture frames at Target on clearance for $15 each, we had to have them!  She didn’t have many pictures actually printed out since this is the age of digital photography, so we filled the slots with scrapbook paper that she can change out as she gets photos printed.  

I found a few more vases and the lantern at Marshall’s or Home Goods.  The basket on the coffee table is hers and we filled it with those cool balls from The Christmas Tree Shoppes.  The rug is from Target.  I recovered the pillows she already had by cutting up clearance curtains from Target that matched the rug.  Now here I made a mistake – I just sewed the pillow entirely into the pillowcase and didn’t leave a way to open it for cleaning.  Didn’t see the 1 yr old cousin slobbering all over it in my crystal ball :D  

The metal sculpture over the pellet stove was on sale for $4 from The Christmas Tree Shoppes.  The vase is from Marshall’s.  

We found a neat painting at Target that went with the color scheme and hung that on the wall between the bathroom and closet.  

I’m really proud of my roommate for picking out the new couch and loveseat all by herself!  Right before I moved out, I sold her old forest green leather couch and loveseat on craigslist and didn’t get to help her pick replacements.  I love the style so much I might get something like that for my new place!  There's the ottoman that started it all in front of the window.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Snow fell all day yesterday in the Midwest making my Christmas very white!  I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  

P.S. I can't wait for the sales to start tomorrow so I can stock up on fabric for next year's projects ;)  I'll be posting pics of what I made for everyone hopefully next week. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Townhouse Redo on the Cheap: Entryway

Remember when I said my former roommate let me redecorate her townhouse?  I was dumb and didn’t take any before/after pictures before I left, but recently went back to visit and now have some afters to share!

The table here used to be her coffee table.  It’s Mission style and a bit too high for a coffee table, so I moved it to the wall you see when you first walk into the house.  I sewed the table runner with fabric leftover from the custom ottoman cover and more clearance JoAnn fabric.  The lamp and shade are from Target.  I think I got the vase from Marshall’s and we got the branches super cheap from The Christmas Tree Shoppes.  She already had the artwork on this wall.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More Bliss Blocks...

Over the weekend, I whipped up a few more Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt-Along blocks.  I'm liking these color combinations much more than the earlier ones I'd made.  This is Moda Bliss fabric.  For the white background in some of the blocks, I used scraps from a LQS.  I just love the one that has tiny little birds on it!  I'll try to take a close-up picture later.  Enjoy!

the newest 3 blocks

this one has birds in the center

so does this one!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Quilted Flat Iron or Curling Iron Cover Tutorial

I went on a trip with the friend who dubbed me Phone Home... and she was bragging to another friend about how great my flat iron cover was and that I made it myself and I'm a genius yada yada (she really gives me too much credit!).  I had to sheepishly correct her and say, actually that's my Vera Bradley flat iron cover and I didn't make it.  So I was thinking about that for awhile and thought, why couldn't I make that?  I have semi-serious sewing skills - I can do it!  

I looked for a tutorial online but didn't really find much to help me out.  I ended up studying the construction and materials of my own, and came up with this tutorial to make your own.  As a side note, for your own, you may want to adjust the fabric measurements to make them a teeny bit larger.  I was working with a scrap that just happened to be as wide as my measurements.  It works great, but is just a tad on the snug side.  This is a long one, but there are plenty of pictures!

The inspiration - my Vera Bradley flat iron cover.


Fabric for outside 8" x 12.5"
Batting  10" x 15"    I used Fairfield Nature Fil bamboo batting just because I    
                           had some leftover.  You'll want to use the kind that is dense
                           enough to quilt without fabric on both sides.
Bias tape or fabric to make it - at least 44"
Basting spray or whatever you use when quilting


Cut out the fabrics and batting.  Spray the basting spray onto the batting and center the fabric on top of it, smoothing in all directions to get rid of bubbles.  

Machine baste the edges of the fabric down all the way around.  Now it's time to machine quilt it - any design you like!  I tried a repeating loopy loop on this fabric.  This was the first time I've quilting without a fabric on the bottom, but it turned out fine with this dense batting.  It should end up looking like this:

fabric & batting open-faced sandwich

Trim the extra batting off the edges of all sides.  Now we'll make the rounded corners.  I took a drinking glass as a template and drew around it, then cut along the line I drew.  Do this to all 4 corners of the cover and the silver lining fabric.

rounding the corners using a drinking glass

Next, I made my own bias tape for binding.  Cut your fabric strips 2" wide and sew them together either using a diagonal seam or a straight across seam.  I did straight across to save time.  Press seams open.  Press fabric in half length-wise with wrong sides together, like this:

If you need a better guide to making the bias tape, here's a good article from  Scroll down to "Joining the binding strips" and check out the pictures below it.  Set the bias tape aside for a moment.

Lay the outside fabric face down on the table with the batting up, then put the silver fabric shiny side up on top of it.  You can machine baste all this if you want, or you can omit that part.  

Take your bias tape and fold one end of the tape in on itself 1/2" so you have a nice folded edge instead of a raw edge there.  Starting with this folded end, pin the bias tape to the outer edges of the silver fabric.  The raw edges of the tape should meet the outside raw edge of the sandwich, and the folded edge of the tape should face in. Tuck the corners so it lays nicely.  Stitch using 1/4" seam.

All sandwiched & pinned

Bias tape sewn in place
Fold bias tape over to the outside of the fabric and pin in place, carefully rounding corners.  Edge stitch.

Pinning the tape on the outside

It should look like this.  Kind of reminds me of a pot holder!

Close up of corner.  Don't look at my jagged loopies!

Fold in half length-wise & pin along open edges.  We're going to leave one short end and about 2" of the long edge open so you can slip the curling or flat iron inside like a sleeve.  You may want to skip pinning that area so you don't forget (like I might).  Now, sew right on top of the previous edge stitching from the opening all the way to the folded side of the cover.  I backstitched a few times when beginning and ending just to give some extra reinforcement.

Don't forget to leave an opening!  Mine is on the left-hand side.

Extra close-up

Here's what the opening should look like
Voila!  You're done.  Here's the inspiration and the imitation.  Not too shabby, eh?  Like I said earlier,  I'd make the next one a little wider (meaning 9" or 10" rather than 8"), but that's just what I had to work with at the time.  It works great, but is a tad snug.  

I hope this tutorial was clear enough and had suitable photos.  Let me know if I can change it to make anything more clear!  Also let me know if you try it and how yours turns out!

© E Thompson 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happening tonight!

I am going to see Michael Buble tonight and I can't hold in how excited I am!!  I'm sitting on the floor right in the middle :D  Hopefully I'll have great pictures to post tomorrow.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Works in Progress

I can never wait until a project is completely finished to show it off!  Here are a few peeks at my current projects.

Moda Verna by Kate Spain Friendship Braid quilt.  Pattern can be found in Pam & Niki Lintott's book Jelly Roll Quilts.  It's about halfway done.  This is what I made from my Scrap Bags!

Jelly Roll Sampler quilt-along blocks in Moda Bliss.  I loved the fabric online, but I'm not sure this was the right choice of project.  I'm just not totally in love with what I've made so far.  What do you think?

Friday, November 26, 2010

To-Do list

Since I've become more comfortable with my quilting abilities, I've added things to my ever-growing mental to-do list.  It's time to write it all down so I don't forget!  Lately I've been perusing Etsy for fabric scraps to make fun little projects since I don't have a large fabric/quilting/craft budget for the time being.  What a great selection!  I wish I'd thought of this before.

As I mentioned, my church quilt group makes quilts for the children in the oncology ward at the local hospital.  When I saw this adorable Alice in Wonderland fabric, I couldn't help buy smile and think this would be perfect to brighten up a little girl's day!  So, an Alice quilt has to be in my to-do list.

I've always been a Barbie girl and have to put a Barbie quilt on the list too.  I really like the modern black and pink prints like this:

I'm thinking of making a quilt for my brother, but haven't figured out what kind of fabric to use.  What do you think?  Any fabrics that you're dying to make into something fabulous?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm at my grandma's house, enjoying all the yummy food.  Hope you're doing the same!  Don't forget to check out the Purdue marching band leading the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!  Boiler up!  

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Nearly New in OKC, OK

A coworker recently told me about a good consignment store in Oklahoma City, OK.  I read some reviews before setting out, and all of them were raving about how excellent it is.  When I arrived at the address, the place looked like an abandoned warehouse and I thought to myself, Pam, where in the world did you send me??  I was concerned to get out of my car, but I did, and I'm very glad of it!

Nearly New had a wide variety of middle to high end designer brands in a variety of prices.  I saw a pair of white satin Louboutin heels (not my size), a Chloe leather bag, an Armani bag, and lots of designer clothes.  I almost shouted with glee when I slipped on a pair of Chanel ballet flats that fit.  And at the ridiculously low price of $35, how could I pass them up?

It's hard to tell, but they're quilted!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oklahoma wanderings, part 1

My dad came to visit me a few weekends ago and we went exploring rural Oklahoma.  Lots of red dirt!  We went to a place called Red Rock Canyon and hiked around a bit, then had a picnic lunch.  It was definitely an unusual geographic area.  When I think of canyons, I guess my mind goes straight to the Grand Canyon, which we visited when I was younger.  Not the same kind of canyon here in OK...

Anyway, on our hike we came across an armadillo that was rooting around in the brush.  We were only 10-15 feet away from it and I shot this little video.  My first encounter with a live armadillo!

On our travels, we also meandered past a herd of buffalo.  They mooed rather loudly at us.

There's more, but I've been trying to upload the rest of the pics for a few weeks now and it never lets me, so this is to be continued...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My current online obsession

I don't remember how I found this website, but I'm definitely hooked!  Remodelaholic has the most amazing projects for home decorating - I can't wait to try ALL of them!  

The one that has me itching to go to the craft store first is the Pottery Barn inspired mosaic wall art.  When I first saw it, I thought it was glass tiles and would be expensive to recreate.  I said 'shut-the-front-door' when I discovered it was made from a piece of wood, a little paint & Modge Podge, and scrap book papers!  SO cheap.  I'm going to the store tonight to pick out papers and see if I can get an off cut or scrap of wood from Home Depot.  This is the perfect project for the big blank wall in my living room.  I'll use grey paint for the "mortar" and sea green papers with some pearly whites mixed in.  This project will be a nice break from my sewing machine :D

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Don't hate me because...

I bought a J. Crew sweater for $0.40 yesterday.  Black, 100% cotton, v-neck, my size.  $0.40!! 

Or a Tory Burch black & white striped polo shirt for $2.00! 

It was a good day at the thrift store :D  I could have bought the J. Crew cheetah print calf hair mocs that I've always wanted for $10, but they were a size to big (wah wah).  Maybe next time!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Moda Scrap Bag Review

I've fallen in love with Moda fabrics, especially the Jelly Rolls.  If you have a hard time (like me) decided what fabrics go together, they are the perfect solution!  You get around 40 strips of color coordinating fabric that are 2.5" wide and 42" long.  Cheap, they are not!  Each one contains about one pound of fabric and costs around $35, but you can find them a tiny bit cheaper if you're lucky.  

Recently I stumbled across a great alternative - the Moda Scrap Bag!  These little gems contain the leftovers from making Moda Layer Cakes and are also generally color coordinated, but you never know what you're going to get.  You may get half a bag full of the same print, or you may get each strip unique.  These bags weigh 1/2 pound, so are half as much as a jelly roll.  The strips are usually 32" long, not 42" like the jelly roll.  These are important considerations when purchasing for a pattern intended for a jelly roll.  Scrap bags are hard to find and generally cost $10 to $12 each.  Some websites let you choose from the patterns they have available, while others do not.  I haven't been able to find these in an actual brick & mortar store.

I've been hunting these elusive creatures down for the past 2 months or so and stumbled across a large amount of them on ebay recently.  The seller generously provided combined shipping and so I snatched up 4 scrap bags for $34.  I bought 2 each of Verna and Fandango, and eagerly awaited their arrival!  
When they came, it turns out one of the Fandango bags had 1 strip of Fandango on the outside, and the rest were Awesome. I was disappointed not to have as much Fandango, but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes!  

Each of my bags had about 30 strips in it, without any duplicates.  Most did have a selvedge edge.  They ranged from around 2.5" to 3.75" in width, and most were 30" to 32" long.  There were a couple shorties in there that were only 6" long.  I've already started trimming the Verna down to 2.5" and have them sorted into cools vs. warm colors to make a Friendship Braid Quilt from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam & Nicki Lintott.  I'm so excited and can't wait to show you how it turns out!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Give Away Time!

Adrianne at Little Bluebell is giving away a Moda Bliss fat quarter set to one super lucky winner!  Go check it out. but be warned, if you win, we're splitting the loot!  Giveaway ends Nov. 3.

Another great giveaway is being hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  In honor of her birthday, she's giving away a charm pack of Moda Bliss and 12 Days of Christmas to two lucky winners!  How fun :D   Ends 10/29.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

State Fair Fun!

Last month I entered some of my crafty items in the State Fair and they actually placed!!  How awesome is that?  I didn't win any money (only for best of show), but I did swell with pride when I saw my items displayed behind the glass with ribbons pinned on them :D

100% Recycled Category - my apron made 1st place!

Household Recycled Item - Stitch purse made 7th place!

Recycled Useful Item - plastic bag dispenser made 5th place

Sewing: Place Mats - made 7th place

Here are some of my favorite items at the fair.  I didn't make the following items, but wish I knew how!

I love the quilt in the center.  The blocks are so simple but a nice way to display special fabric.

I wish this had turned out better.  I've seen sunbonnet Sue, but never a cowboy!  Adorable :D

This was gorgeous!  3-D Southern Belle - on my to-do list!

This fall picture is made entirely of fabric!  

What a cute pumpkin :P


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