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?


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