Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Now that my sewing room is in order, I've resurrected some UFOs.  This quilt languished because I couldn't decide whether it was done, or if I was going to try to make it bigger.

At one point I made these blocks to make it bigger, but I didn't get the color placement right in some of them, and so I'm not crazy about the blocks.  I think I've decided that the quilt is done in it's current incarnation without the extra blocks.  At 42 x 42" it's big enough for a wall hanging or table topper.  Not that I need either, mind you.  I think that's also why this project got stalled.  I have decided that if I finish it, its purpose will eventually become clear.

I also brought out my basket blocks and I've actually been sewing up more of these.  They're 6" blocks, so I'll need lots of them to make anything of consequence.

I love ric-rack, and I'm using it for the handles of the baskets, sewing them up in same-color batches while I've got the right color thread in the machine.

They're very cheerful.  If you zoom in on the pictures of the first quilt, it has ric-rack too.  Maybe I'm working in a series now.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Calm Before the Storm

I was so excited about the color play possibilities (and the acrylic stash eating potential) of my zig zag baby afghan, that I decided to hook up another one right away.  I pulled all the blues, yellows, oranges and whites from my acrylic stash and set out to make a lap blanket.  Or maybe it'll be another baby blanket that I'll put aside for the next baby that crosses my path.  It doesn't matter, because I'm just thinking about the next row and what colors might come next.

This color scheme is appropriate: these are calm sea colors to meditate on as I restart the school year.  Classes start next Monday, so I'm gearing myself up for yet another year.

After I started the afghan, I sidetracked myself with some knitted mittens for an Afghans for Afghans campaign that's winding up.

These were all free patterns from Ravelry:   Marlene's Mittens by Alaina Privette,

Matrix by Kerry Palm, made in the child's size.

and Midwestern Mittens, Extra Chunky by Lion Brand Yarn, which makes up so fast they're like potato chips: you can't knit just one (pair).  The green-blue ones are made with one strand of worsted wool and one strand of vintage mohair held together, which makes for a very warm pair of mitts.

This has been a wonderful summer, but like all the others, it's ended much too quickly.  I always feel like I could use another month off.  Oh well, there's next summer to look forward to.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sewing Room Re-Do

My sewing room wasn't that bad, but 

it needed painting and it seemed like every cast-off piece of mismatched furniture ended up there.  Note especially the twin bed, an 80s white laminate with gold accents, that was my (now 25 year-old) daughter's first bed.  I liked having a daybed in the room, but it wasn't quite as stylish as I'd wanted.  The desk I use for my sewing machine is a thrift store find, used just the way I found it.

I gave the room a DIY rescue.  First the bed got reconditioned with Mod-Podge and four rolls of Target wrapping paper.  

Laminate takes decopage very well.  Apply the Mod Podge, wet the paper and stick it down, apply more  Mod Podge.  Easy.

For the head and foot board, I tore the paper into random chunks and overlapped it.  This fit the paper's overall design.

The bed got new linens and pillows.  I spray painted the old drawer pulls silver to match the paper.

The desk drawer fronts got some textured paintable wallpaper and a coat of Benjamin Moore's Pink Popsicle.  Then I highlighted the textured parts with the same beige paint I used to paint the room.  It also got new drawer pulls.

The drawers got the remaining wrapping paper, and the larger drawer bottoms were covered with a layer of cork, since they were warped.

Since my ex-husband's passing earlier this year, we ended up with some of his furniture.  This table, which had lived in this room years ago when we were married, came back.  I've got the sewing machine on it for now, but once the paint cures, it will go on the pink desk, and this will be my cutting table.

These bookcases came up from the garage.

I decided to display one of my old Singers.

My button collection went into jars I found around the house.

 The daybed is popular with the cats

and it's a favorite place for me too.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

A Dollar Eighty-Nine

I had a good run at the thrift stores recently.  I picked up this Aunt Martha quilt booklet to add to my collection of vintage ephemera.

Among the patterns are these cute appliques.

On the same trip, I found this 1923 crocheted lace booklet.

Some of the illustrations are pretty corny.

This cross-stitched doily has a nice blank space in the middle for a transfer.

The deal of the day was that I got this double bed 95% embroidered quilt top from a Paragon kit.  I have a minor obsession with embroidered quilt kits.  This one is made up of three printed panels in the Baltimore album style.

There's only one stain, between the second and third motifs on the bottom, and the embroidery is very well executed.

The embroidery is complete except for the places where the patterns meet,

...and this one piece of border.  This top was $1.89.  There was another kit, maybe 10% embroidered, in browns and golds, and they wanted MORE for that one.  I think I got the better deal.  A few more stitches and the top will be completed. 

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...