Friday, November 20, 2009

Doll House Tour

I'm opening up my rehabed doll house for tours. I've finished three more rooms. The tour begins with the living room.

Allie brought her Sailor Moon dolls to be guides. In case you don't know, Sailor Moon is a Japanese anime teen superhero. These dolls are some of Allie's favorite childhood toys. I used scrapbook paper for wall paper throughout. The picture frames are also scrapbooking supplies. Of course I had to have a Virgin of Guadalupe in a prominent place.

I made this entryway table by sawing a cheap wooden armoire in half. The photo shows Allie and my sister's two older kids when they were little. Alex wasn't born yet, nor was my sister's younger daughter, Maria.

I love this coffee table, and you can get a peek into the kitchen.

Here's the den. I used an old postage stamp to put a picture of Sojourner Truth over the fireplace. I've got to get the picture to stick to the frame better.

Of course there is a cat near the fire.

I used more stamps to make pictures over the desk. I guess I have an abiding interest in small things, as I started a stamp collection many years ago, though I haven't worked on it in ages.

Here's the bathroom, which has the original "marble" flooring and striped wallpaper. I bought these vintage bathroom fixtures on Ebay. It was inspired by the bathroom in my aunt's house. When she moved in (in the 70s) it had beautiful lavender and green tile work and lavender tub and toilet. She's kept it true to the original, and I've always loved that bathroom. The pictures over the tub are sequins and beads glued to sandpaper.

The curtain was embroidered on my sewing machine to match the wallpaper. I made the towels with ribbon, vintage rick-rack, and iron-on tape.

If you want to see the kitchen and patio, and other project pictures, the posts are here. The bedrooms are almost done. My next task is to make the bedding.

If you want to learn how to make big giant pictures, check out Susan's very helpful post. It's incredibly easy.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Latticed Strippy Quilt (60 x 80)

I was going sorting through a pile of pin basted quilt tops, and I ran across this strippy quilt. Because of the construction, it needed only minimal quilting, and so I decided to get it done.

This strippy is made from blocks I foundation pieced on 6" squares of leftover flannel. Because I use a lot of flannel sheets as quilt batting, I end up with odds and ends that can be used for foundations. Once I have enough of these blocks for a quilt, the batting is already there and I only need to add the backing.

The trick is to make the finished blocks bigger than the flannel foundations. When you're piecing, extend the strips beyond the foundations and then trim the finished blocks a half inch bigger than the foundations--these finished at 6.5". That way you can seam them without all that bulk, or in this case, join them with lattice strips.

Here's a picture of the quilt from the back. You can see the cotton extends beyond the flannel foundations, which was from an old sheet.

When you use the lattice construction--which I learned from another blogger whose name I unfortunately don't remember--You cut lattice strips (say 2.5 or 3", but you choose) and iron them in half lengthwise. Then you place four blocks side-by- side, with right sides up in a 4-patch arrangement.

You can see from the photo above, that you align the raw edges of your lattice strip with the raw edges of two blocks, and then sew with a 1/4" seam. Then you iron the lattice strip down and top stitch the folded edge to the other edge of the 4-patch formation, abutting but not overlapping the blocks. Then you repeat the process, joining the 4-patch blocks in the cross-wise direction.

Gee I hope that made sense.

Once you have a bunch of these 4-patch blocks, you join them together in the same way with longer strips.

I had this big piece of pastoral farm print for the back, courtesy of my mother. It's funny, because when Alex was little, I made him a vest from this exact fabric. I quilted the quilt in rows, just to secure the back to the front and middle. All the strips were already attached to the batting. The finished quilt is very warm and snuggly.

I've made other quilts from blocks pieced on foundation flannel before. You can also piece them conventionally, and because the block tops are bigger than the block foundations, when you sew them together, you avoid sewing through too many bulky layers.

I also make a few more of my diamond strippy blocks. I really like how these are coming along.

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...