Monday, November 28, 2011

I finally finished the quilting portion of my mother-in-law's quilt.  I ordered some fabric for the binding online since I wasn't brave enough to go to the craft store on Thanksgiving weekend.  I hope it comes soon so I can finish this up.
I did some echo quilting, which is the first time I've done anything but stitch in the ditch quilting.  I drew the lines in pencil, but I think it'll come out in the wash.
It's not entirely even.  Hopefully she won't notice.

I also spent the weekend re-covering a lampshade.  I couldn't find tutorials online for how to do a tapered lampshade like this, and after an hour of working with it I found out why...because re-covering a tapered lampshade is a GIANT PAIN.  Seriously, don't even bother. 
I do like how it turned out, though.  But next time I want to re-cover a lampshade I'm definitely going to hit the thrift store and pick  up a cheap drum shade.  This was awful.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Floor pillows

My house is small.  Tiny small.  It's so small that the two-bedroom apartment we lived in before had more square footage than our three-bedroom house.  It's SMALL.  However, I really don't mind.  It's definitely not as spacious as the houses featured on HGTV (even as their owners lament how little space they have), but it's cozy and I can take our living room from totally trashed to clean enough for my mother-in-law in no time flat.  As our kids get older it'll probably feel smaller, but for now it's nice.

However, it does mean that we have to use our space thoughtfully.  Our living room has an awkward little alcove that we weren't utilizing well.  We just parked a big blue recliner in front of it and stowed plastic totes of kids' toys behind the recliner.  This week I moved the recliner (and hopefully this weekend it'll be on the curb) and turned the space into a little reading nook.  The bookcase below shows a small portion of the kids' book collection, and an old school desk I picked up at a secondhand store. 

It needs something on the wall, though.  I'm debating between a huge, blown-up photo or a mobile.  It also needs a floor lamp because it's pretty dim back there.

Someday when the kids are bigger we'll probably get a beanbag chair, but for now I want to sew a few large floor pillows for the kids to sit on while they read.

Just as an aside, I often accuse my husband of buying toys for the kids that are really more for his own nostalgia.  All those toy trains and Legos?  Yeah, more for my husband than the kids.  So I'm being totally hypocritical in making this space because I would have LOVED a space like this when I was a kid.  However, since the kids have already spent time playing back there, I think they'll like it too.

Anyway, floor pillows.  I bought a charm pack of fabric a while back because it was on sale, not because I had any idea what I'd do with it.  I mean, one charm pack isn't enough to make a quilt.  But I think it'll be a nice-sized lounging pillow. 

Now I'm starting to understand why quilters have so many projects going simultaneously.  There's just so much to do! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Tonight I was working on quilting my mother-in-law's quilt, and I ran out of white thread.  Weird, huh?  Anyway, since I couldn't do any more work on her quilt I decided to do some work on my own personal project.  Lately I've felt guilty working on my project because I really do need to hustle on hers to get it done my Christmas, but this evening I was able to work guilt-free.

I really wanted to make a log cabin quilt in a barn raising arrangement out of scraps.  Just scraps.  And I actually pieced a block made half of colored scraps, half of white scraps.  But it just didn't seem right to me.  So instead, I decided to make a housetop-style quilt with all of my scraps (and some fat quarters, since I didn't have scraps in every color).

Here's what it looks like so far.

It's weird-looking.

However.  I do think that once I have more colors - purple and red and green - it'll look better.  I do wish that I had stayed with a narrower range of hues in each color, and I also wish I had skipped the white sections, but hey, it's a learning experience.  In any event it'll be really bright, and will be cozy on the rocking chair in my living room.

After Christmas I'm also going to start sewing some floor pillows for my kids' reading nook, and an ottoman for the rocking chair.  I'm going to get a lot of sewing and quilting stuff for Christmas so I'll definitely put my Christmas break to good use. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quilting the star quilt

I've been busy lately - work has been crazy and my husband has been working shorter and fewer shifts, so he's around the house more.  More husband time = less quilting time.  Which isn't a bad thing, but it does make me a touch nervous about finishing my mother-in-law's quilt by Christmas.

Right now I'm at the quilting stage (no pictures, sorry).  Since this is a gift for someone else I'm trying to go slow and be careful, and it's turning out okay so far.  I've only worked on the white portions of the quilt.  I'm still debating about how to quilt inside the star.  We'll see.

I'm also getting ready for Black Friday, because I got some great coupons in the mail for my local Jo-Ann store.  I have a tough time finding quilting fabric I love at Jo-Ann.  I do buy flannel and fleece to sew things for the kids, but most of the quilting fabric isn't exactly my taste.  However, I have a couple of coupons for 40% off one item or 20% off your whole purchase, and I might use them to stock up on fiberfill, wide backing fabric, and other stuff that isn't as fun but is really necessary.  I love a deal.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Giant star quilt top

Let me tell you how much I love this quilt top.

Forgive the picture - it was a windy day.

It's big.  It's a pretty pattern.  The pinks and yellows all play together nicely, I think.  I wasn't so sure when I bought them.  And it's something that will be so bright and cheery for my mother-in-law, who will likely still be recovering from her surgery at Christmastime.

I'm not a talented or experienced quilter, so I'm almost embarrassed of being proud of something like this because I know it has its flaws.  But come's so PRETTY!

I'll be excited to quilt it up.  I can't wait to give it to her.