Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Experimenting

Sometimes the only way to figure out what you like is to try different things until you find something you like. I am linking up with WIP Wednesday today at Freshly Pieced so I'll talk about experimenting a little with hand quilting first in case the quilters visiting are not interested in my experimenting with cabinet decoration. :) And if you are visiting from WIP Wednesday, welcome! I hope you stay for a bit and look around and if you like what you see please feel free to follow my little blog.

So I started out yesterday with hand quilting my Bloom Bloom Pow quilt designed by Lee of "Freshy Pieced". This little quilting frame was quickly ditched. Basically, it was off the quilt the first time I had to move it. Too time consuming! This was also my first time hand stitching with Aurifil and let me say; I can see what all the fuss is about. It was a noticeable difference in how smooth the thread runs through the quilt layers with no snags or knots. It's a good thing I love it because I've purchased quite a bit of it lately.

 

This was the second bloom I hand quilted. It's okay. It's not perfect but I'm keeping the quilt and not entering it in any shows so I can live with little imperfections.

Here is the first bloom from the back. I started out rocking the needle in the hand quilting fashion. Then I thought I'd just do a regular straight stitch. You see all the wonky stitches going off on the diagonal? That's where I tried doing a regular straight stitch. So now I see the reason for rocking the needle and taking several stitches before pulling the thread through. I'm always learning even after 16 years of quilting. I think the stitches in the back are supposed to be smaller but this is the best I can do so far. I am using shirting fabric for the backing that I got for $1.00 a metre back in the spring at a charity fundraiser.

Now, on to decorating little wall cabinets for my studio. I've had these little pine cabinets for years as I wrote yesterday. I was originally going to tole paint them but now I just need to get them up on the walls and start using them to stash things so I decided to go with a quicker method.


Here they are after being painted. I should have taken a before shot but hadn't decided to blog about them until after painting. I first primed with white primer as they were just bare pine (and I sanded them first because they were quite dusty from sitting around for years). Then I painted them with some paint I had leftover from painting my IKEA kitchen cart. I case you would like the same paint:
I used Martha Stewart Living paint from the Home Depot. The colour is "Sea Glass".
Sorry, that picture came in sideways somehow. After I painted them I let them dry for a couple of days. Then I sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper and really roughed up the edges and corners to get a shabby chic type of look. (Or maybe a, we-just-found-these-in-great-grandpa's-garage-and-they've been-here-for-years look.)
Here you can see the roughed up corners.
Here they are after sanding. The smaller one I got on clearance because the right side door was falling apart when I bought it. That just ads to my shabby look, yes? I also painted the metal leaf parts with white primer when I did the primer coat and sanded that off too to make it look like a patina on the metal. It didn't really come off the chicken wire on the large cabinet but I am happy with how it looks.
I used an old paint roller handle as a stir stick because I didn't have one handy. After the paint was dry I stuck it on my solvent ink pads so see how the ink colours would look on the paint. I only have three solvent ink pads so my choices were forest green, blue and red. I decided the red was the best of the three.
I stamped on the small cabinet with the red but thought it was too bright so I muted it a bit with "Perfect Pearls" powder. To do this, lightly dust the pearl powder onto the wet ink so as not to smudge it (I did smudge one... on the front! Darn it!)
Here are the stamped images with the powder on them.
Then lightly brush the excess powder away with a large brush.
And there you have it. Muted and sparkly. Now we're for sure closer to the shabby "chic" range of the spectrum.
Here are some stamps on an angle so that the light catches the pearl finish.
This was the ink I used. This is permanent ink so be careful. (My ink pad is getting a bit dried out.) I tried using the "perfect medium" that comes with the perfect pearls but I'd had it around for too long and it went wonky so I had to throw it out. I also tried a water based white ink called "Ink It Up!" but that didn't work well either. You need to clean solvent ink off your rubber stamps with a special cleaner. I used "Cleans It". It's best to clean them right away. I then used my rubber stamp cleaner from Stampin' Up to condition the rubber. The stamps are called "Nature Walk" from Stampin' Up.
And here is my finished cabinet. This is the not-so-good- side where I had tried a few inks.
This is the better side.
Here is the front. I like just the few stamps at the bottom. (The eggs were the one I smudged.)
I decided to leave the bigger one as it was with no stamps. My husband is hanging them in my studio for me as I type. I plan to keep thread in the larger one. I'm not sure what to put in the smaller one.
Here is the inside. I sanded the bead board backing a bit but left the shelves unsanded in the hope that they will be easier to dust.
So what do you think of my little project? Is this something you would try? Would you stamp the large one too?
Thanks for visiting my blog today and making it all the way to the bottom of this post! :)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Back in the Saddle Again

I've had that Aerosmith song stuck in my head today... "I'm back. I'm back in the saddle again." Can't you just here Steven Tyler's voice? Anyway, my crafting studio is now up and running and fully functional minus my two glass top tables as I still need to order the tressle legs for those. (Now I'm singing "I Want Money" in my head. Just kidding!) I am so happy to be able to get "back in the saddle" and back to work on my projects.

 I have my Bloom Bloom Pow quilt pin basted and ready for hand quilting. This is my second time hand quilting (first time was 9 years ago) so I'll let you know how it goes. I want each bloom to be quilted with thread that more or less matches its colours so this is the perfect opportunity to try out all those Aurifil threads I bought on sale last month. I figured it would be easier to just hand quilt it than to keep changing the threads in the machine. Plus, it will be a nice project as fall comes on.
I have the binding sewn onto the Baby Love quilt so I am ready to start hand sewing that down now too. Both of these projects were quilt-a-longs and I still have my "String of Pearls" quilt to finish piecing too. Quilt-a-longs are fun but they do seem to generate a lot of U.F.O.s.

I'm also working on a secret project of my own design so I'll fill you in on that one when I can.

I painted a couple of little wall cabinets that I've had for years. I finally came to the realisation that I will probably never tole paint them as I originally intended. (I haven't tole painted in years.) I decided to paint them up in my favourite Martha Stewart paint turquoise colour. I plan to rough them up a bit with sand paper and maybe rubber stamp on them too so I'll write a blog post on them when they're finished. I think they will work out well for holding my growing thread collection.

In life news: I landed a part time job and have an interview for a full time one this week. Fingers crossed because it's a job I trained for in school. My kids are heading off to their first day of school at their new school on Thursday and for my daughter it's her first day of Kindergarten. I got my son registered for hockey and the registration for dance for my little girl is next week. I'm going to be busy! :) Fortunately, with our new posting, my husband is expected to be home every night. (We'll see!)

I am sad to see summer go but fall is a lovely time of year too. Is everyone else out there wrapping up summer projects and getting ready for fall? Or in the southern hemisphere getting excited for spring? The change of seasons is refreshing, isn't it?

Friday, 23 August 2013

Getting There

It's week two of us being at our new place of residence and things are coming together. All of the house is organized now except for the basement. The kids playroom is in another area of the basement and it is pretty much finished and ready for use. I am feeling that it could be a while before I have the completed studio to show you so here is my progress so far. Sorry for the cell phone shots. (That will make the "it's all done now" shots look all that much better right?)

 This is the view from the basement stairs looking over the bannister. You can see my collection of rubber stamps on the white wall shelf. The dresser below them is full of fabric. The cardboard along the wall contains two glass desktops that I plan to use as cutting tables as soon as I purchase some adjustable tressle legs from IKEA. The table is covered in things I still need to sort through and find a home for.
 This wall along the stairwell is pretty much finished. I was going to buy 'expidits' from IKEA but then we spotted these white display shelves at Walmart at a fraction of the cost and they actually work better in the space. The craft storage unit mounted on the wall was bought a couple of years ago with a Michael's gift card from my brother. The cabinet under the hat boxes on the right contains my grandmother's sewing machine that you see in my blog header.
 Here is another shot of the wall of crafts supplies from another angle. This wall has supplies for quilting, knitting, card making and rubber stamping.
And here is another look at the table of shame. ;) A bit more work to do here. And my little home office area is at the end of the room. My sewing table is not in view but it's covered in fabric that I need to find a home for. I am hoping the shelves on the tressle legs will be able to house some of it.

So what do you think so far? This is a much nicer space than I had in the other house. I wouldn't even dare post pictures of that space. I am finding I am running out of spots to stash things already. Yikes!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

I survived the move :)

Hello! I am just popping in with a quick "Hi" to say that I have survived my move to Wainwright, Alberta. I am drowning in boxes now and have not even begun to unpack my quilting and crafting supplies. Sadly, the kitchen took top priority out of necessity with the living room and kids rooms coming in a close second and third. Hopefully soon I can be back to my normal quilty life. My moving company "Premier Van Lines" did a great job and a big thank you goes out to our driver Paul (even though I'm sure he'll never read this here). He was absolutely fantastic with me, a total stress case, and with my kids. He even let them sit in the cab of his truck and blow the air horn and gave them gummy bears too! He will be highly praised on the satisfaction survey I can tell you.

I just called my fabric supplier to check on the status of my Briar Rose order and so far only 9 out of 24 bolts have arrived at their warehouse so I am not sure when I will have that in stock but will write a post as soon as I have it.

I took a little road trip yesterday to a town about 60 km away called Vermilion and found a fantastic quilt shop there in their local mall! It's stuffed full of all kinds of great quiliting supplies with kids toys and snow globes too! I bought the batting for this quilt there. Now, which box is it in? I imagine it will need some serious time on the ironing board too when I find it. Anyway, I guess my unpacking break is over. Better get back to it. I miss all of you in blogland. :)

Friday, 2 August 2013

Maybe I Have Good Karma

Maybe by hosting some of my own giveaways recently I created good Karma for myself? I won three giveaways last month. Two of the prizes have come in so I have a few pictures to show you of my wins. :)


This adorable Peter Rabbit fabric is from Rachel Riley of The Life of Riley. I was just over on her blog and her hexagon owl quilt is amazing! I was showing this fabric to my daughter and we were naming the characters and she said, "Where's Mr. Todd?" (the fox!). He must have had an impact on her but he's a less savoury character so I guess that's why he's not on this fabric. Ha ha! I will make something for my little girl with this. Probably a quilt to snuggle under to read Peter Rabbit stories. :D Thank you so much Rachel if you're reading this.

This roll of 2 1/2 inch strips of Chicopee is my win from Flare Fabrics for entering my funny quilting story at "Canadian Quilt Talk". I was featured in "Quilter's Corner" on episode 2. Here is the link for yesterday's pod cast (episode 5). And here is my post about being featured on the pod cast.

Pretty lucky eh? Now, what to sew... what to sew. I must think about that. :) This last photo is of the contents of a couple of grab bags I bought yesterday in that little quilt shop in Irma, AB. The grab bags were $5 each and each had 15 two and a half inch strips. I put the Chicopee along the bottom and it looks like some of the fabrics from the grab bags would work with the Chicopee. Serendipity!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

New Thread to Take to My New Home

Life is getting busy around here with the upcoming move. The packers are coming on Tuesday! The truck will be loaded a week from today. Yikes! We just came back from a "destination inspection trip" to see our new house. We will be living on the military base again as it is not in the cards to take on a mortgage right now. The house we have been allocated is stunning! I am over the moon with happiness. It is a duplex and it's only a few years old. (This is very rare with Canadian military housing.) We have met the neighbours in the other half of the duplex and they are very nice.

Anyway, on the way back today I stopped in a little quilt shop in a little village that's about 20 minutes out of my soon-to-be town. (The village of Irma.) I found Aurifil Thread 50% off! (Also rare around these parts.) So I snapped up the last box without a second thought.

 This is the outside of the box with the lovely sale sticker on it. ;)
 These are the Threads on the inside.
 Plus, before I went on the trip, Carla from Cora Quilts told me about an online shop in Canada called Tristan Threads that was clearing out Aurifil thread. So naturally I had to order from them and the thread was in the mailbox when I got home.
All of the threads are 28 wt. except these three 50 wt. From what I understand, 50 wt. is the best for piecing. Does anyone out there know if 28 wt. also works for piecing? It seems to be more recommended for quilting the finished quilt. I have bought all these spools (39!) based solely on hearing great things about this thread on blogs. So I hope it lives up to high expectations. I'm sure it will. Please feel free to comment and educate me on how best to use my purchases. Now, if only I wasn't so busy moving and could be sewing.

Things are going to get quiet here on 'Daydreams of Quilts' during the move. I will have no Internet for one thing. I hope to be up and running again soon though. My Internet should be hooked up in the new house on August 13th. Fingers crossed that my computer survives intact. It's only 200 km down the highway so I hope for the best. (However, lots of oilfield equipment gets moved down that highway. We had to move onto the shoulder several times during the trip out and back!)

Thank you for stopping in and checking out my beautiful threads.