Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Thread Is A Staple

It is finally time to reupholster those hideous dining room chairs!  I changed them about 10 years ago, and since then my taste has drastically changed (for the better I think).  I've put it off for long enough, so today my thread is a staple!


When I first got my dining set, this was the fabric that was on the cushion.  I have nothing against floral, but this certainly wasn't my taste even ten years ago.


One day, back in the day, I went to JoAnn's an perused the Home Dec fabrics.  Very different than the original, and very safe but much better than before!  

As you can see over the years the fabric wore out and ripped.  We eat dinner at the table 90% of the time.  Even though the table has become my 'studio' and my machine is firmly set up 100% of the time, we still use it for nearly every meal.  It can be a pain in the butt, and I don't much like having to clean up my space...since I took it over, I guess it's the least I can do!


The first step was to take the worn and ripped layer off.  The hardest part was carefully taking out the staples.  I used a screw driver and pliers to pop them out, but all the while I was being so careful!  Last thing I needed was another accident!


What did I settle on for the new fabric?  A couple months ago my daughter Britt and I went through her fabrics.  I think she had an entire tote full of Home Dec fabrics, most of which she gave to me. Among her stash were 2 pieces of Anna Maria Horner Drawing Room. 



There was just enough of the top color to finish the four side chairs and the bottom color would work for the two end chairs.  


I stretched, pulled, folded and stapled.  Over and over and over again.  The back ended up looking like a hot mess, but really who will see that?!


With the first one under my belt, I was on a roll.  Five more to go...

home dec fabric
Modern fabric on not so modern chairs?!  Let's just call it eclectic!


Keeping it centered was my main goal.  


I think they turned out pretty good!


By the end of the day each chair had a miraculous makeover.  It was easier to put off for months (years) instead of dealing with it, a lesson I learn over and over again.

I will say between removing the staples and using the staple gun was hard work!  My hands and wrists were feeling it by chair number four!  

I'll take thread over staples any day!  It sure was a nice change and something completely different to do.

Have you ever reupholstered anything?  Do you like it?  I'm sticking to once every ten years and only chair cushions!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Small Things

I feel good about not spending money.  Even on fabric.  I'll admit it's hard and it can be a struggle.  There is just so much out there to want!  

Fat Quarter Shop has been having some great Birthday specials every day and when it was the thread day, I had to restock.  How can I quilt without thread?!  Its essential, a necessity!

Aurifil Thread
I added some white (2024), Light Blue Grey (2610), Dove (2600), Beige (2314) and Light Beige (2310).  All neutral colors that I will use over and over again.  A good score and a good price!  



Hooray for solids!  I was lucky enough to have won this charm pack!  Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts was celebrating her third year of blogging with a week of giveaways.  She is so gracious and generous!

The fabric feels wonderful and the colors, well you know!  Just a rainbow of smiles!  


I'm trying to come up with a project for this stack sooner rather than later.  Got any suggestions?!  I could just stick it on my shelf and look at it day after day after day, but I'm kind of tired of doing that!  That leads to frustration.  You can only hold on to and look at fabric for so long, right?  I need to get over it and start slicing and dicing!  


New thread, new fabric...no excuses!  


While taking pictures of one of my Wave Wall Hangings (which I will share soon), I accidentally snapped a picture.  I was all ready to delete it until I saw it.  Quilt Porn/Centerfold shot!  It reminded me of a tidal wave, which seemed pretty fitting considering it was all about the waves on this piece!

LINKING: 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Thankful for Power & Cable Again...

I love a good storm.  The rumble of thunder, the flash of lightning and the sound of rain.  I know when it's over there will be a freshness about the air, the lawn will flourish, the flowers watered.  However...

This is Tennessee!  And you can't really rely on accurate weather forecasts.  Around 7pm last night, we lost power.  ARGH!  With that, we also lost all access to cable!  Double ARGH!  I am totally lost with out those comforts, shoot I can't watch TV, let alone sew on bindings!

My kids were sweet enough to load the laptop with Pirates of the Caribbean movie, so you know, Johnny Depp helped me through!



It could have been worse!  I had just enough light to finish gluing my hexies down for some pillows.



I have two 18" x 18" pillows in the works using 1" hexies.  For some reason  hexies and polka dots are my favorite combination!



There are also two 18" x 18" pillows in 2 1/2" hexies.  I've made pillows with this size before, Cheerful Spring and was excited to do it again!  Here's a link to a fabulous tutorial at Modern Handcraft ~ Modern Hexagon Tutorial.  You will love making these!

I used my favorite tool the ever popular Hera Marker to mark some lines for machine quilting.  


As for the storm and power, we got the power back on at 10 pm.  Still no cable, no Internet, no sense staying up!

I finally went to bed after the movie only to be jolted a few times by the loud crack of lightning!  Really LOUD!  Turns out one street over a bolt hit a huge oak tree and that sucker went down!  

The cable finally, finally have I said finally (?) came on at 2:15 pm today!  Now it must be time to get back to work and get these pillow finished!  


LINKING:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Charity Sew ~ Pillowcases

This past Saturday was our monthly Music City Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  Our mission for this day was pillowcases.  Lot's of pillowcases!  

A couple times a year we dedicate a day for Charity sewing.  This time a new Charity was selected, The Ronald McDonald House of Nashville.  Having a sick child takes an emotional toll on a family.  The RMHC provides housing and comfort for families.  It allows families to stay together, to refresh and rest.

Pillowcases seemed like the perfect idea!  Our Charity Committee contacted Riley Blake Designs to see if they would be interested in donating fabric.  They were!  And they were more than generous!  Bolts and bolts of fabric were sent!  We were blown away with their generosity!


We had a very enthusiastic group of members and guests show up!  The machines were humming, rotary cutters rolling and irons steaming!


Stefanie started by giving us a demonstration on how to make a rolled pillowcase.  I've made one before, but a refresher was definitely in order!  For my pillowcase I used this tutorial from All People Quilt.  They are fun, fast and super easy.  


Katie and Callie were the designated cutters!  They were flying through the bolts with precision and speed.  Callie may or may not have cut herself...


The floor became our friend when it came to rolling the fabric.  Lindsay started us off with the drop and roll dance!


Ashley, Lindsay and Veronica totally rocked!  Everyone did!  Among the steady hum of machines going, there was also the steady hum of laughter and chatter.  


The fabric that Riley Blake Designs donated was gorgeously adorable!  Here's a few of the combinations...now you know this is going to put some big smiles on some little faces!


In four hours, we made 110 ~ YES...110 pillowcases!  Rewarding, to say the least! Thank you ladies for all your hard work!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Treading Water

It's Wednesday, NO Thursday!!  Do you ever feel like you are barely keeping your head above water?! That's my week so far!  

With custom orders and my husband's birthday surprise, I've been in the waves, under the waves and over the waves!

Husbands are a funny lot!  I always struggle with what to surprise him with for his birthday or any holiday.  This year I decided to make him his very own Lava Flow.  Our dream vacation was Hawaii a few years back and I know he fondly dreams about it all the time...more like obsesses over it!


I messed around with it, adding and taking away...cutting and trimming.  And eventually ended up with something I was happy with.



Turned out, once he figured out that it was Lava, he really loved it!  Men!



I was asked if I could make this mini bigger...as in 18" x 36".  She will be moving in to her new home by the ocean and wanted something to hang over the sofa.  I needed a challenge, so began I did!



I got out the BIG mat for this project!  Wouldn't it be fun to have a cutting table this big?  I guess I do, but I mean to leave up forever!



I started with a wall of strips!  Having yardage was such a help.  I could cut a strip from selvage to selvage and be sure it would be long enough.



The most aggravating part of this process was cutting the curves.  Only because this girl needs to change her blade!  



I am over the moon happy with this!  But the true test, will my customer be happy?!  I sent a few pictures and much to my relief, she was thrilled!  Sweet!  Can't wait for the quilting!


It's funny how everyone has a different vision.  One lady told me she loved these, but to her it reminded her of mountains.  The Blue Ridge Mountains.   And another custom request was born.  Try #1.

This is the first version.  She thought the white and grey looked to beige.  In this picture it kinda does.  I wanted a little texture, so I used 2 different whites and several greys.  In person it looks more white!  Plus, she wasn't happy with the dark blue ~ too much!



No problem, just whack off the bottom and change it up!  Try #2.  I was sure the top would end up being okay in the end.



She wasn't sure.  I didn't want her to be unhappy with it.  Sometimes it is hard to mix two visions together, but we'll get there.  Whacked off the top and stuck with one white a few grey.  Try #3.




Less white, maybe a little blue.  Better, but more blue please.  Try #4.

The entire time, I'm getting a bottom here, a top there and putting them together for the fun of it!  



We still haven't quite reached the perfection!  I will keep going until it is right.  After the grocery store, the dentist, the laundry...I hope to get this buttoned up!

Monday, June 15, 2015

New Bloggers Blog Hop

There's this little thingy, thing going on!  It's called the New Blogger's Blog Hop. It's a wonderful way to meet new bloggers (who quilt), learn some mad blogging skills, ask some serious technical questions (lots) and hopefully gain some new friends in the process. 


So, let's begin...starting with...me, Jayne!  (Argh!  Get ready for a picture!)  I'm not a fan of getting my picture taken, but here it is!  
  
I started quilting in 2005, kicking and screaming.  Sometimes, we as parents have to do things for our children, just to make them happy, or in my case so my daughter would stop asking me over and over to let her teach me to quilt.  She is the culprit, she made me do it!

From that first quilt, you know it! I was hooked.

Once I learned, grew and seemingly found my artistic calling, I never looked back!  I love getting in the zone!  Thinking outside the box, putting a twist on a design, bold, bright, unique ~ that's what I like, that's what I LOVE!  Give me solids or give me...solids!

I live in Tennessee, just outside if Nashville.  We moved here 20 years ago from Portland Oregon.  I have a super supportive husband, two grown children and a sweet little pit bull mix dog!  A good life!

I think a good way to learn more about who I am, is through my quilts.  Quilters tend to put their heart and soul in their work.  It's a lot like standing in front of an audience in your underwear! 


Some old, some new!  My latest finish is this Black + White = Illusion quilt.  I finally got to make a black & white quilt!  One thing checked off my never ending, always growing bucket list!

Black + White = Illusion
I've been working on a birthday present for my husband, waiting until the last minute too! It's so hard to figure out what to get him every year!  Our favorite vacation was finally going to Hawaii a few years ago.  So, I decided to give some lava a try, taking inspiration from our trip, and made him his first Mini Quilt!  

Let's The Lava Flow

I started blogging as a way to ~drum roll~ document my quilting journey.  While that's still true, it has become much more!  I've met so many delightfully kind and talented people, icing on the cake!  I've learned tips & tricks, methods & madness, and inspiration & awe!  

My favorite quilting mantra is don't give up!   Getting part way through a project, looking at it and gagging...try to work through it!  Usually I say a few choice four letter words, take a deep breath and power through, reminding myself over and over...it's only fabric...and guess what, most of the time it turned out great!  You just never know what you will get. 

Blogging tip:  
Don't let the fear of writing stop you!  My first few posts took forever to write. After which I insisted my daughter proof read and frankly, just fix them!  Eventually, she all but refused to do it, and I had to sink or swim!  I highly recommend hitting the 'check spelling' button, but even so mistakes happen!  

Quilting tip: 
It's better to buy more fabric than you think you will need.  It allows for cutting mistakes, or maybe you need more blocks than you thought, and of course it's always nice to build your stash!

I found this funny quilting tip:
For smoother sewing or pinning, run the needle through your hair to oil the metal a bit. Have you ever heard of this before?!

My question to you:  
If you could spend a week quilting with anyone, who would it be?!  A designer, a friend, a blogger?  I would love to spend a week quilting with my sister, Debbrah.  And my daughter. I envision hours of fun, rolling on the floor laughing, serious girl talk and maybe a quilt or two!  

This is my 'Hive' for the New Quilt Bloggers!  Sewcial Swarm.  Very fitting for our lovely hive of blog-ettes! Our 'Queen Bee' is Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination !  


Sewcial Swarm - 2015 New Quilt Bloggers


I hope you get a chance to check out the other blogs in this week's Blog Hop!  


Robyn of Hoops & Thimbles

Shayna of Wife. Mom Creator  

Francine of MochaWildChild    

Huge thank you to our host's!  Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs, Stephanie @Late Night Quilter, and Terri Ann @Childlike FascinationYvonne @Quilting Jetgirl.

Thank you for your time, effort and organizing this event!

A few facts about me:  
I am a Virgo, my favorite tool is a Hera Marker, I love avocado's, if I was 30 years younger, I would fill my body with tattoos (I have three), I swear like a sailor,  I am accident prone, I love Improv quilting the best, I always have 'white noise' in the background.