Craft Room Re-do Re-Do

I loved the stripes in my old craft room.  But I needed more sewing space, especially with my new machine.  And the carpet was a minefield of hidden dropped pins. Also very difficult to keep clean of thread and craft crap.  At least that is what my excuse was. And since there was so much going on in the space, I was wanting some clean and bright walls while we were at it. 

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

So here is my new craft/sewing space.  Quite possibly my favorite room in the house. Because I love to be in there.  Because it super functional for my sewing/crafting wishes.  And because it is pretty to look at.

It is this clean and organized all of the time.  Insert sarcasm font.

Here is what we originally started with when we moved in.  Pink and wallpaper.

the before

And then here was the stripes and small table of the original craft room makeover.

IMG_2984
craft room

So let’s start with the big stuff.  The walls are painted with the leftovers from the basement- Sherwin William's Eider White.  And the floors are a bamboo hardwood. 

I had a minor freakout the night before the were installed that they were going to be too orange.  As in Honey Oak orange. I may have been seen laying out a whole section of the wood out of the box on top of the ugly honey oak ones in the kitchen. At midnight. To judge if the oranges were different.  But after they went in I love them and they are so much nicer than carpet in the space.  Just a quick sweep and they are clean.  At least the floor part.

Derek made the amazing massive sewing table modifying this plan from Ana White as well as the smaller table that pulls out to give me an L shaped workspace and so that I don’t have to constantly move up and down.  Life-changing.  Both the space on the table and the ability to swing my chair to the side for a quick cut or press.  He knows the way to my heart is building furniture and he does it so well.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

I painted the bottom of the table solid black and glazed the top with a gray paint using my tried and true method with gray acrylic paint.  It is difficult to get a good picture of the finish next to the window, but most people who come into the space think that it is stone before they run their hands over it to see it is wood.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

That was not my intention with the glaze, but I love that it turned out that way. 

I love that my machine is directly in front of the window so that during the day I can look out into the backyard.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Let’s also pretend that I just snapped that photo and the midwest is looking that green this time of year.

Now let’s take a spin around the rest of the room.

The cutting table is the same, just spun around.  It still gives me a lot of floor space (and enough room for an air mattress when we need an additional guest bed).  I got rid of the ironing board, but added a an ironing space modifying this tutorial, making it instead with just a piece of plywood rather than an entire table. The cover is removable like a fitted sheet for washing purposes.  And when I need a really big cutting surface, I just take off the ironing board.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My fabric scraps and works in progress are housed in the cubbies underneath.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My bulletin board is simple…a cork board with fabric stapled around it.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My grandmother’s sewing accessories are in shadow boxes on the wall and I recovered her sewing chair for an extra space when friends come to sew.  It is tucked into the corner.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My design wall remained the same.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And the Kona color card moved next to my bookshelves.

Derek made some simple forward facing bookshelves like these to hold a sampling of my craft/sewing books.  I have found seeing the covers instead of just having them stacked on a shelf reminds me to use them more-either for specific projects or just for the general inspiration of pretty pictures.  Not all of them fit, but I rotate them around with ones stored the typical way to keep things fresh.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

The roman shade is also DIY with selvedge fabric from Spoonflower.  I loosely used this tutorial and backed it with blackout lining so it can be dark in there for people to sleep if the space is needed for another guest space.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And that print is just perfect for a sewing room.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Also above my sewing table is my friend Lauren’s print.  I love the colors and the sentiment. 

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Notice the seam ripper is well accessible next to my machine

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And some more organization pics if you are into that.  I keep my fabric organized using the mini bolts method as explained here.  It has helped so much with finding what I need.  The top shelf is fabrics other than cotton.  Then my prints organized by color, with some subsections (i.e. Christmas).  And then my solids organized by color.  Don’t worry, my stash has increased a lot since I snapped these pictures.  Especially the solids.  My serger is below that.  My sewing table is so big, I also can keep it out if I am going to be using it frequently.  My precuts and patterns are on the bottom shelf.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Non-sewing craft supplies and batting are on the opposite bookshelf.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And rulers, ironing supplies and large amounts of fabric are on the shelves over the chair.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Whew! Sorry for the picture overload, but I always love looking at where people create and how they organize.  I have learned a lot about how I want a space to work for me when I am sewing and crafting and I think this space fits the bill perfectly.   I think I named most of my sources, but let me know if you are curious about something I missed. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

I am linking up with-

TDC Before and After

The Briar Rose Quilt

Sometimes it is nice to sew with some pink. And strawberries.  And frogs.

Briar Rose Quilt

And sometimes it is nice to make a simple quilt and let the fabric do the heavy lifting.  Especially when it is so pretty.

Briar Rose Quilt

I spent a lot of time trying what to sew up with my charm pack of Briar Rose by Heather Ross.  I had many ideas and a couple of them even made to the design wall. 

But I just did not want to cut it up too much.  Those frogs. 

Briar Rose Quilt

Briar Rose Quilt

And the other whimsical goodies hiding the patterns.

Briar Rose QuiltBriar Rose Quilt

So I ended up a pattern I have done before-this quilt by Elizabeth Hartman.  It is a great pattern for a beginner and the fabrics can shine.

Briar Rose Quilt

I quilted it with my favorite wave and backed it with some girly purple polka dot. 

Briar Rose Quilt

Since I do not have any little girls in my house and the little one who lives here already has plenty of quilts, this one is going to be a baby gift. 

Briar Rose Quilt

I copied my friend Jaime’s great idea and put the quilt label on the binding.  It is unobtrusive and easy. Perfect.

When the fabric line comes up later this month, I may have to get some more of those frogs.  And maybe the strawberries. In a couple of colors.

A Little Glimma

These Glimma triangles have been sitting on my design wall for a long time.  Possibly since January.

And they finally made it into a quilt.

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

For us.  That will stay in our house and we snuggle under watching TV.  Possibly my favorite kind.  Right after the kind that little boys snuggle under.

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

It was a super simple quilt…just a charm pack with some solids from my stash mixed in and cut into triangles.  I used the cardboard that came with the charm pack as a triangle template and hacked away.

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

The solid is quilter's linen and I love how it looks as well as how soft it is.

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

This is the first quilt I quilted with my new machine.  Quilting used to be one of my least favorite parts of making a quilt.  Not anymore.  I wanted to keep it simple and just did straight lines. Free motion quilting will be up next.

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

The back is some IKEA fabric we picked over Spring Break. 

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

And I may have discovered a new quilt picture-taking spot.  Unfortunately those flowers only bloom once a year and the entire street can see me battling to take a picture of a quilt. Over a fence. In the wind.

Maybe I should keep searching...

New Kid on the Block

Last weekend was very exciting for us.  And by us, I mean me and Carter.  After not so patiently waiting a couple of months for it to come in, my new sewing machine has arrived.  The Bernina 750 QE. (If you follow me on Instagram, pretend to be surprised)

new Bernina 750 QE

And Carter got a new box to play with.  Win win.

new Bernina 750 QE

Did I need a new sewing machine?  No.  My old Bernina was still doing great.  But it was missing a number of things that you can’t get on a mechanical machine. 

My grandmother passed away a couple of months ago and with the money from her estate we wanted to get something to remember her by.  Something that 10 years from now we wouldn’t have to try to remember what we had used the money on.  Something that when I look at it, I will think of her.  For my other grandmother, it was the grandfather grandmother clock that sits in our foyer.  But we did not need two clocks.

We kicked around a couple of ideas, but nothing was perfect.  So we did nothing.  Then Derek mentioned a sewing machine.  The one I had gushed about months before (the Bernina 750) but then promptly did not think much of because of the price and the “lack of need” for a new one.  He is awesome.

new Bernina 750 QE

It would be something that would bring me a lot of joy.  And something I will use very frequently.  Perfect.

Best husband ever.

new Bernina 750 QE

I had loved my previous Bernina and when the new 7 series came out, I knew that’s what I wanted.  There is a bit a learning curve obviously going from my old machine to the new one with all the bells and whistles.  And with a touchscreen. 

new Bernina 750 QE

It is much larger (and heavier) than my old one.  When we get to know each other a little better I will do a more thorough review of what I like and don’t like and specifically why I chose this machine.

new Bernina 750 QE

What about my old machine?  We thought about trading it in, but we decided to keep it and house it in the basement.  One of things I do not like about sewing is how solitary it can be.  Just me and my room.  Carter has limited interest of playing in there and honestly with all the pins and rotary cutters, it is not best place for him.  So my hope is to be able to do some simple piecing on old machine while he is playing in his area in the basement.  And since Derek has already won the “best husband” award, the man room will now include a sewing machine.

And my old will be the machine I travel with to sew with friends.  Which happens more often than I would have thought.

So if you need me, you know where I will be…

Quilt Design Wall

Meet my old quilt design wall. 

IMG_0010

Difficult to visualize quilts on.  Especially without a ladder.  And prone to destruction by toddlers, dogs and the vacuum.

I am lucky to have a devoted space to my crafting and even luckier to have a huge free wall.

Quilt design wall

Perfect. 

Derek was not well versed in quilt design walls for some odd reason.  I explained the basic premise of wrapping batting over something light so that cotton fabric would stick to it.  And it should be large as we had about a 7 foot square to work with.  And since it was going to be permanent, I wanted something that looked nice. And not temporary.  Almost like a framed piece of art. 

This is what he came up with-

Quilt design wall

Well the wall, not the quilt.  That was me. But you get the idea.

So how did we do it?  Here is the how-to if you want your own.  This makes one approximately 6ft x 6ft design wall.

Quilt design wall

Materials:

13 6-foot 1x2 boards

4  6 1/4 foot  pieces of molding for the facing

Paint

Duct tape

Foam backing for vinyl siding equal to the interior of the frame size. 

Finish nails and about 16 3-inch wood screws (A finish nail gun is your best friend on this project)

A couple of straight pins

An exacto knife.

7’ by 7’ sheet of batting

 

Quilt design wall

1. Make an L-shaped frame out of 1x2. Use 8 1x2s to make 4 “L’s”.   We used a nail gun and finishing nails.

2. Screw your four L’s into studs on the wall in a frame shape. By making the L shaped frame out of 1x2 it provides a 3/4” interior lip to screw into the wall and creates a 2 1/4” inch frame that is perpendicular to the wall.

Quilt design wall

Quilt design wall

3. Cut up a 1x2 into 2 pieces that measure about 1 foot a piece.  This does not need to be exact.  Install these two pieces horizontally into the studs in the middle of the frame.  These will serve as supports for the vertical pieces.  Quilt design wall

4. Nail 4 1x2s as vertical supports-on the two sides onto the frame and two in the middle, crossing over the horizontal pieces in the middle.

Quilt design wall

Quilt design wall

5. Paint the exposed edges and the molding.  I painted before we started anything and tried to be strategic about only painting what was going to show.  However, as you can see by the painted 1x2s above I over painted.

6.  Measure and cut your foam (the kind they use behind vinyl siding) to your inner frame size. Make sure it fits with a little bit of space on the edges (about a half inch).  He had to duct tape two pieces together to get one this size.

Quilt design wall

7.  Wrap that sucker with batting.  We secured it with duct tape on the back and stuck a couple straight pins in the front close the the corners.  Pins/staples/anything sharp would be a bad idea on the back because of the potential poke factor on the front.

Quilt design wall

8. Stick it back up there inside the frame.

Quilt design wall

8.  Cut molding to fit the frame and nail it to the edges of the wood around the frame.  The batting layer is now enclosed and won’t move.

IMG_0011

9. Caulk your nail holes and your mitered edges.  Honestly we still have not done this step.  It is functional without it but prettier with it. 

Quilt design wall

And you are ready to go.

I have been using my design wall for awhile and it has been invaluable.  The cotton fabric just sticks right to the batting.  It is like temporary art.

Right now it is sporting some triangles.

IMG_0013

I received a couple of charm packs of Lotta Jansdotter’s upcoming line- Glimma and after adding some solids (all from my stash) the design wall was put to great use.  Making sure the triangles were not forming any funky shapes.  And that the colors played nicely together.  Because random takes a lot of planning.  That is what a design wall is for.

And providing great fabric to look at while I sew.  IMG_0017

Hmmm….maybe I need two design walls.

I Spy Quilt

Now this quilt is not going to win a beauty contest…

I spy quiltI spy quilt

But someone is already a big fan.

I spy quilt

We can’t play “I spy” yet.  But the “eh?” game is fun.  In case you are not familiar with that one, it involves pointing to different pictures and saying “eh?”. 

I spy quilt

And if people do not tell you what it is, you keep ehhing until they do.  A little more strongly of course.

I spy quilt

Super fun.  Oh and making sure the car squares are still there is another super important daily task.

Awhile ago I participated in 2 swaps for different 5 inch novelty fabrics. I got lots of great ones and I knew whatever I made was not going to be a showpiece, but I wanted it to be as pretty as possible and tone down the busyness.  While still making it fun of course.

So ultimately I decided to do a simple pattern with Kona ash as the solid to hide the love I hope it will receive.

There is so much fun happening on the front, I decided to keep it simple on the back. 

I spy quilt

With some ABCs for some extra learning and ehhing of course.

I spy quilt

Since it was so busy, I also went with simple straight lines for the quilting.I spy quilt

I spy quilt

But my favorite part of this quilt is his insistence to look at it every day.

I spy quilt

And maybe even move beyond the ehhing game.

Cutting Up the Color Card

I have loved my Kona color card for awhile.  So pretty to see all the fabric possibilities lined up just waiting for you to buy them and make something beautiful.

IMG_5128

Except there was one problem.  The fabric swatches were glued down.  So when you wanted to see how two colors played with each other, you had to try to finagle the cardboard to try to get them somewhat in the same vicinity while not bending the heck out the card. 

I don’t think I need to tell you how well that worked.

So I cut it up.

IMG_0008

It was a little scary making that first snip.  But then it was almost liberating…is that weird?  Take that color card!

But then how to store them? A quick google search gave me lots of ideas.  A hole punch and a ring.  A jewelry case separated by color.  All good ideas but I wanted them to be easily accessible and visible.  And moveable of course.

Then my time working in special education came to the rescue…velcro strips. 

If you are not familiar with what I am talking about, we use velcro strips a lot.  For reinforcement systems to communication modalities to sensory issues, velcro is where it is at.  I have spent many many hours putting velcro on the back of pennies. So this is the most unoriginal idea ever.

So I bought strips of velcro and cut the soft side into small pieces.  And them stuck them on the back of each and every little square.  Which takes a very long time. There are 243 of those babies.

Then I stuck the rough side velcro strips onto an old canvas I had laying around from another previously abandoned project.

cutting up the kona color card

A little little color sorting and sticking later, I have this completely functional and not to mention somewhat pretty piece.cutting up the kona color card

The best part? You can take them off and move them anywhere.  Or rearrange them in any way.  Or just look at al the color possibilities.

cutting up the kona color card

So when I am trying to match solids to colors in patterned fabric, I just swipe them from the strip.

cutting up the kona color card

Or when I want to see certain colors together…just pull them off and move them around.  And return them back to the strip later of course.  Can’t lose any of the colors in the mess I call a craft room.

cutting up the kona color card

I added a couple of velcro strips around the craft room so I can stick them anywhere.  Like over the sewing machine…

cutting up the kona color card

Or even on the bottom of the canvas-

cutting up the kona color card

I am not sure why I did not think of this earlier.  Or why it makes me so happy.  Maybe I should have pinned up the color card for display a long time ago. Or done some self-reflection about why little pieces of fabric stuck to a canvas make me smile.

Anyways all I know is I love how it has functioned so far.  And I love looking at the colors while I am busy cutting.  Even if it does make me weird.

cutting up the kona color card

Elephants on Parade

I have another quilt that I could not wait to share, but it had to arrive at a little one’s house before I could show some pictures.  His momma is one of my blog friends and I did not want give her a sneak peek and ruin the surprise.elephants on parade quilt

The quilt got sent to Henry Woodward (of The NewlyWoodwards fame) and I hope he enjoys it as much I did making it.

elephants on parade quilt

His mom also made him some beautiful quilts(check out this houndstooth) so I almost sent something else.  But one thing that Carter has taught me is you can never have too many quilts to play on when they are little.  Because three of them are usually in the wash with spit up on them. Or should be in the wash because you have dabbed spit up off of them 9 times.

elephants on parade quilt

I picked up the elephant fabric and blue shot cotton at a local fabric store during a quilting retreat back in April.  And I loved it so much that I almost made Carter another quilt.

elephants on parade quilt

But while he is good for quilt modeling, this one belongs to Henry.  I did buy enough elephants to make another one just in case I find some spare time.  Ha.

The back is simple with some polka dots and more snuggly shot cotton.

elephants on parade quilt

elephants on parade quilt

Welcome to the world Henry!

Plain Spoken

I have found that I enjoy having quilts stay at my house instead of always being given as gifts.  And this one not only gets to stay at our house, but at the foot of our bed so I can look at it every day.

plain spoken

It is the Plain Spoken Pattern from the The Modern Quilt Workshop.  It was my very first quilting book I bought and I am so glad they put modern in the title so that a novice like me would add it to her amazon shopping cart years ago.

In the book they say the key to the pattern is the number of solids you include-the more the better.  I believe this one has 20 something different Kona solids in it. 

IMG_5124

It is twin sized and when it is folded it fits long ways across our king size bed.  I went with an analogous color scheme to fit our master bedroom and I am thrilled how it turned out. 

plain spokenThe next time I put one together though (and there will be a next time) I think I will go with a more complementary scheme.  Which is one of the things I love about this quilt design…you could take it in so many ways.

plain spoken

I think I am going to call the The Itch.  It is super soft but I decided it would be our seven year anniversary quilt.  I thought about being cute and putting seven shapes on the back to symbolize the seven years of wedded bliss, but then changed my mind as I could not decide the placement and frankly I was running out of fabric.  And time.  So solid back it was.

On top of having this to keep us warm all summer long, a bonus to this quilt was Weeks Ringle, one of the authors of the book, came to speak to the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild a couple of weeks ago.  She was a great speaker and brought many amazing pieces that she let us pass around.  And I got to show off my Plain Spoken to her along with others who had completed one of her patterns.  It was super exciting as showing off your quilt to the author of the pattern does not happen everyday.

And for those out there who were wondering what impetus I had to finish this quilt, I would like to say that I was self-motivated as there was no looming baby shower.  But no, you are correct, I was binding like a mad woman the night before Weeks got here.  Full disclosure.

plain spoken

A twin is by far the largest quilt I have made thus far and while I need to get better at my basting and quilting technique as well as allow more time for binding, it did not take as long as I thought it would and I happy that I was able to tackle a larger project.

Which is good because someone is going to need a quilt for his big boy room you know…

Lawn Chair Quilt

My baby sister is getting married this summer so I wanted to whip up a quilt to help them celebrate for a shower gift.

I was eyeing a pattern that was beautiful but would require a whole lot of time as well as precision in the piecing.

Yeah I chose something else.

Otherwise it would be more likely to become quilt to be given to her at a future baby shower.

I used the Lawn Chair pattern from Moda Bake Shop and half of a A Stitch in Color jelly roll.

Lawn chair quilt

I love the fun colors and the way it looks like a woven lawn chair. And the fabric.

Swoon.

IMG_7925

Oh and how easy it came together.  In a non-precise sort of way.

On the back I added my paper pieced LOVE to make it more wedding-ish.

Lawn chair quilt

Lawn chair quilt

 

Lawn chair quilt

Now it has a home on their couch.  And all that snuggling underneath since this spring been so…well it looks nice at least.

Habitat Challenge

Last Thursday was the Habitat Challenge Reveal Night at Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild. Yeah!

The challenge?  We each received 8 fat eighths of Habitat fabric by Jay McCarroll (of Project Runway fame).  We could use any solid fabric or other Habitat print in addition to our challenge packet.  Here is what I came up with-

IMG_5503

I was planning on originally using the solid gray as my major background color.  But I happened to set the challenge fabric next to a blue shot cotton that I had planned on using for the lining on a pair of pants for Carter.  I loved it so much that the blue replaced the gray.  And Carter still has no pants.

IMG_5508

IMG_5502

I then quilted it with random vertical and horizontal lines to mimic the lines of the inserted fabric.

IMG_5504

And the back is another Habitat print.

IMG_5506

IMG_5507

As a beginner with the whole quilt thing, I love it when people share their process.  So here is how I got to my finished product.

I started with this….just strips inserted at right angles.IMG_5490

Yawn.

I knew I wanted to cut it up and re-orient sections but I worried about making it look awful.  I needed to do a test run before I started  hacking into the fabric.  So instead of using modern technology, I went the old fashioned way of scissors and tape.

I printed out the picture of the quilt and started hacking away.

IMG_5491

I took a picture each time I made a cut so I would remember the steps in case I liked it. 

IMG_5492

IMG_5497

My picture was not square to begin with so I was not worried about things matching up perfectly.  I just wanted to make sure it would not be ugly.

IMG_5499

I was satisfied that it was more interesting than what I was starting with, so I started the same process with my quilt, but this time with a rotary cutter and a sewing machine.  It did not turn out like my original picture because more math was involved to make sure things would line up correctly, but it gave me a general idea. And I was happy with the random finished product.

There were so many awesome quilts at the reveal…it made for a super fun night.  Check out our Flickr photostream to see all the talent.

And for those you wondering if I have given up my procrastinator ways of quilting, the answer is a resounding no.   I was binding this baby until an hour before I left for the meeting.  After not getting much sleep the night before.

But it is complete and I think it is going to return to it’s roots of the craft room.  Carter has been playing on the pink Project Plume challenge quilt while I am sewing and he has requested something a little more masculine.

IMG_5540

Much better.

Now he just needs his mommy to get on those pants.

DIYer is to Paint Deck as Quilter is to-

My beloved paint deck has a new best friend.

IMG_5126

But this one stays in my sewing room.  And it unfolds to reveal all of this color goodness.

IMG_5128

So now when I am working on a quilt (or pillow, or pants for the little man) and I want a coordinating solid, I can just whip out my handy card and find the perfect match.

IMG_5127

Before I had to hope my computer screen was an accurate depiction of color.  I will let you guess how that turned out.

Or I had to be limited to the colors that my local stores carried.  And when I needed more and they were out and I had no idea what color I had bought I was up a creek.  But no more with this baby!

I have done two solids quilts in the past- an easy color box baby quilt and a zigzag quilt that was my (late) entry in the Robert Kaufman No Prints Allowed Challenge through the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild.  Just looking at the Flickr group for that challenge makes me not miss prints for awhile.

With my handy card I decided that I needed to make a quilt for the end of our bed.  In solids please.

Because the master bedroom has gotten the short end of the decorating stick and I am starting to enjoy actually keeping the quilts I make.  And I like to forget all the other sewing projects currently in progress to start a new one.  Much more fun.

Just looking at the fabric makes me happy.

IMG_5124IMG_5123

Now all I need is some long nap vibes…

Zig Zags

Another quilt is actually going to stay at our house.  Bringing the grand total to two. Both of which are residing in Carter’s nursery.  I wonder who is the current favorite at our house…

IMG_4679

I could pretend that this quilt was finished in the month since he joined us.  But that would be a lie as it has been sitting in the nursery and I just had not had time to snap pictures or blog about it.  Carter is a great baby who is sleeping wonderfully and is not fussy, but honestly “showering” and “take a nap” have been added to the daily to-do list so I feel just a little bit productive.  Quilting (and blogging obviously) have been neglected.IMG_4681

This quilt was my version of the Robert Kaufman No prints Allowed Challenge at the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild.  We were given a charm pack of solids in a specific colorway and challenged to make a quilt using every single color in the charm pack as well as any other solids we chose.  I chose the bright colorway as I already had a place in the nursery in mind for the quilt.  And as I had already made a quilt using this charm pack and wanted to switch up the design to something more complicated.

There were so many creative ideas that people came up with…well in March when the challenge was due.  And I had the quilt top completed then and shared it with everyone.  I swear as there is even photographic evidence that will not be posted here.  I thought I looked cute and obviously pregnant when I got dressed that night…but really I just looked like I had been enjoying too many quarter pounders.

Back to the quilt-I decided to do opposing zigzags with my charm pack with a white background.   I strategically put the blue/green and orange zigzags on one side, so folded on the chair in the nursery they would appear to match the color scheme.

IMG_4680

For the quilting, I did zigzags that mimicked the colored sections and moved further and further apart as they moved away from the center of the quilt.

IMG_4682

My lines aren’t perfectly straight and I got really sick of repositioning my walking foot each time I had to change my angle, but I am happy with how it came out.

IMG_4685

The back is simple and cuddly orange flannel.

I love how it looks on the rocker and it already has gotten a lot of use at night when I am feeding the baby boy and freezing.

completed nursery

Of course my favorite pictures of the quilt are these-

IMG_4689

IMG_4697

Anything is more fun with a baby on it…well at least I think so.

Nursery Reveal

We made it!  The nursery is officially complete even before he has decided to make his arrival.  It has taken a lot longer to put together than I envisioned back in January when we started this project, but considering the construction, all the DIY, our insanely busy spring and that I am the ultimate procrastinator, it is really not that surprising.

But before you scroll down to see what we put together, let’s walk down memory lane with the befores to see what we we were working with. 

What the space looked like when we moved in-

DSC00918

And then what it really looked like for 2 and half years…..affectionately referred to the junk room.  Don’t know where to store something?  Throw it in there.  Need to paint some cabinets?  Scoot some crap around and have at it.

IMG_3130

And now here it is waiting patiently (unlike Derek and I) for it’s new occupant-

completed nursery

completed nursery

completed nurserycompleted nursery

completed nursery

Back in the beginning when we were planning the space, my first idea was an orange and aqua color scheme but no real theme.  I figured once we knew if we were having a boy or a girl we could add blues or pinks to make it a more gender specific space.  Of course, I figured a lot of DIY and sewing was also going to be in the cards.

One of the biggest projects in the room (and our first) was the window seatcompleted nurserycompleted nursery

Because of the window configuration, limited furniture was going fit on that wall anyway and I thought that an architectural feature that was also functional from a storage and seating standpoint would make the room.

After the construction and painting was going, we started to pick up random items we found that we thought we be good fits in the space.  Hmmmmm…somehow we had a lot of animal things so that is the loose theme we decided to run with.  However, I am a big believer in adding things that you love and not just because of a theme. 

completed nursery

completed nursery

Items with personal significance were also something I wanted to incorporate in the space.  We have not shared baby boy’s name with anyone (but my mother-in-law has a pool going if anyone is interested).  However, the first initial is common knowledge.  So of course I had to incorporate that.  On the gallery wall are also photos we took at the San Diego zoo during our last vacation (technically baby’s first).  After he is born, the clip art hand and footprints will we replaced with his (and yes I realize my stand-in has a disproportionate hand to the size of the foot…I was just using those to make sure I liked the idea).

But personal items don’t end with the gallery wall as I wanted things that meant something to us, but not scream “look at my name" all over the place (although I know some curious family members that were voting for that tactic).

For example, I needed some bookends and I love that this has his birth month stamped on it.

completed nursery

Or that all of those blankets were handmade for him by generous friends and family.  And that the silver scooter reminds us of Italy.

completed nursery

And that cross from the Vatican in Rome was the very first thing we ever bought for, at the time, our future baby.  completed nursery

I won’t bore everyone with the personal significance of everything in the space, but overall I tried to have at least one item with meaning on every shelf.  However, don’t get me wrong, some things are in the room because they are fun and I like how they look.  Like this…

completed nursery

I guess you could also say that DIY was a major theme in the space.  The only pieces of furniture that were store bought were the crib and the chair.  We either made or “revised” everything else.  I have already talked about most of those projects as we embarked on them but in case you missed them check out the abacus, dresser, changing table, bookshelves, stump table, pinwheel mobile, quilt and bedding

The space also had to be functional besides nice to look at.  We have never done this whole baby thing before, but from what I have heard, they can be messy.  So every single cloth surface (minus the chair that is stain protected) can be thrown in the washing machine.  Every pillow and cushion cover is removable and the although it took forever to find curtain fabric that I loved and could be thrown in the wash, I was ultimately successful.

The curtains are also not just for looks.  I made four panels that stretch all the way across for light control.

completed nursery

I am still planning on adding black out lining to the back of them for even more light control, but I decided not to sew them together as I read varying reports about the washability of black out lining.  So it is getting hemmed separately and then just clipped behind the panels.

The cushions also remove from the window seat easily to access all the storage underneath.  In addition, the neighbor kids have shown me that they make great hiding places.  Maybe we need to drill some more air holes.

completed nursery

Also every item that is hanging on the wall in baby’s reach is securely fastened to studs with screws.

completed nursery

And the ultimate storage area also went through a little makeover.

completed nursery

Lots of clothes and other baby paraphernalia waiting for him, but we still have tons of room that I know we will fill in the future.

completed nurserycompleted nursery

And finally just some more pictures of details of the space that I love…

completed nurserycompleted nursery

completed nurserypinwheel mobilecompleted nurserycompleted nursery

completed nurserycompleted nursery

completed nursery

abacus makingcompleted nursery

pinwheel mobile

So what do you think?   You can see from some of the pictures that a furry friend already likes to spend time in the space.  Although this is normal position…

completed nursery

…trying to will the stuffed animals that make noise when you squeeze them from the crib into his mouth.

Want to know where I got something?  Here is the source list for everything in the space.  Just got a little too long for a single post.

Missed the other nursery posts and want to see the DIY how-to?  Catch up with the window seat construction, abacus, dresser, changing table, bookshelves, stump table, pinwheel mobile, quilt and bedding

A Quilt First

This is the first quilt that I have ever made that is not going to be given as a gift.  That is actually going to stay at my house.   Can you guess where?

Baby J quilt

Actually it is quite a miracle I was able to finish it without a deadline such as a shower etc.  But the whole “finishing the nursery before he makes his appearance” deadline helped me complete it.  Not that the nursery is totally done or anything.  Almost.

Baby J quilt

I used the Coming soon… pattern from Camille Roskelley that I picked up when I took her class back in September.  It came together fast and I love how it turned out.

Baby J quilt

I did a very simple back with a soft brown flannel.  There is just something about flannel on the back on baby quilts.

Baby J quilt

I did a simple wave on the quilting which made it all crinkly and cuddly.  I incorporated some of the sheet fabric in the piece in the back as well as the binding to tie the bedding set together.

Baby J quilt

I love how it looks on his crib and makes me all the more ready for his arrival.  Just have to complete the nursery first.

(Disclaimer: I know the quilt, stuffed animal and pillow should not be in the crib when he is in there….but for right now it makes me smile and I like how it looks.  Once he is actually sleeping in the crib (which will hopefully be quickly since he is going to be such an awesome sleeper…wink wink), the crib will be safely empty.)

Want  more details on his other bedding? Click here.  Or the DIY abacus?  Click here.

Procrastination

Some things never change….another baby quilt with not the best pics because I finished it minutes before a friend’s baby shower. 

As in pacing in front of dryer worried that we were going to be late after setting a new personal best time for hand sewing the binding.

I have not learned and maybe never will.  But on the bright side I now have baby accessories to drape the quilt on.  Maybe that will help the incredibly quickly taken pictures.

new wave quilt

new wave quilt

I used the New Wave quilt pattern that I found on Oh Fransson.  Since they are not finding out the gender, I picked the yellow, orange and green color palette.  Did I mention that I love how it came out?

new wave quilt

And the back….which only looks transparent because of the whole standing in front of a window thing.

new wave quilt

This is the first time I attempted free motion quilting on my new machine and I am happy with how it came out even without my standby free motion partner of red wine.

 new wave quilt

To make the patterned fabric stand out even more, I just did random loops in the white border areas.

new wave quilt

I also loved how it made the pattern come through to the back.

new wave quilt

Hopefully the new baby will love it and maybe next time I will learn my lesson. 

I wouldn’t hold my breathe though.

Quilt Guild Changed My Life

Well the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild did at least.  My friend, and fellow officer, Lauren,coined this phrase and I am stealing it.  Or borrowing it I should say.

Let me back up a minute….

A little over a year ago, I was complete quilting newbie.  I loved reading modern quilting blogs and thinking of all the cute baby quilts I could make for my friends.  I had taught myself to sew and had made a total of two small quilts.  Which I was very proud of but I knew I still had no idea what I was doing.  And I had actually given those quilts to people so hopefully they did not know what good quilts were supposed to look like.  So I continued to stalk blogs and admire all the pretty pictures.  And dream of what I could make someday…..

Then one day one of my favorite blogs (Jacquie)  posted that they were having the very first modern quilt guild meeting that next week in Kansas City and invited every one in the area interested to the meeting.

I admit, I almost did not email her.  Have I mentioned that I had made a total of two quilts?  And I had no idea what I was doing?  And I would know absolutely no one there except through some lite blog stalking? 

But I did email her (proclaiming my newbieness of course) and stepped out from behind the computer and I went…..which was exactly one year ago.

img_1024

And it was awesome.  That day I met 34 awesome women and was so inspired.  And I was not even the only newbie there.  And some of them had even read this little blog. A.ma.zing..

Over the past year the small first meeting grew into 96 members and the amazingness has not stopped.  They welcomed newbie me onto the officer’s panel as the secretary and the fun has not let up.  With these girls even writing by-laws had it’s perks.

img_1895

I have learned so much.  More than a book, blog, or class could ever teach because at each monthly meeting there is so much knowledge sitting in that room being shared with each other.  (In case you were wondering I just learn things, I don’t think I have shared anything valuable yet).  And the inspiration…..I leave every meeting  ready to run upstairs and start sewing.  Without the guild I know my quilting would have hit a stand still by now.  But instead it is still going strong.  Just ask the four unfinished ones sitting in the craft room currently.  Or my new fabric buying addiction.

And finally the people.  This is the best part.  Because they are real and not just behind the computer.  We are a community.  I have made great friends that share similar interests and are tons of fun, all because of the guild.  And my new sewing machine is all a result of the guild.   Let’s not forget that.

My fellow officers have worked so hard to make this year and this guild a great big success and I can’t thank them enough for letting me be part of it.  And forgiving my newbie blank looks.  Check out what Jacquie, Shea, Jaime, and Lauren had to say about the guild…..and to look at all their beautiful quilts.

So Happy One Year Anniversary to the Kansas City Modern Quilting Guild….I hope you liked your love letter from me.  I am so excited to see what the next year has in store. and I am so happy that I will be a part of it!

Baby Windowpanes

The reason that I started to learn to quilt was because all my friends started to have babies and I wanted to make cute things for them.  This makes baby quilt #6 (with a couple more in progress of course since I can never finish something 100% without starting something new).

IMG_3137

And I still love making them…..

IMG_3138

This took just a charm pack of fun fabric and a solid color for the background. It pieced together very quickly and I love the windowpane look.

And the back in a cream soft flannel with a pinwheel….

IMG_3139

I think I am in love with that curvy stitch on my sewing machine…..

IMG_3140

I also made a light weight blanket with a fun boy animal print.

IMG_3133

This was super easy.  I just got a yard of fabric I loved and sliced it, turned different sections around, and inserted white.

IMG_3134

More snuggly flannel on the back.  This was the first time I attempted a machine sewn binding.  I have to say it was so much faster than a traditional hand sewn binding (like on the quilt) and I was so happy how the front looks.  But it was a little wonkier on the back than I would have liked.  Oh well I guess that just means more practice.  Hopefully Baby K won’t mind.

We had a great time at the shower and Sarah, the mom-to-be, looked so cute.  Sarah is actually the friend that convinced to start a blog and that people would actually read it (besides her and my mom). 154117_592771270129_66801178_33502088_2849917_n

So now you know where to direct your hate mail/fan mail to.

Hope Baby K loves his new quilt!

Swapping

Last week at the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild we had a holiday swap.

And it was super fun as this is the first swap I have participated.  Because of the unfortunate potholder incident.

The “rules” were that we could make anything for any holiday and we were going to do it in November because most guild members are going to be super busy in December with all sorts of handmade gifts.

I should be one of them.  And I should have also been super busy in September and October as well with this task.  But the procrastinator in me is going strong and I have not started one Christmas gift yet.  So much for getting any sleep the week before Christmas again.

Oh well.

Anyway for the swap I used some left over Figgy Pudding jelly roll to make a fun Christmas accent pillow.

IMG_3107

It came together super quick (even for me) and I just used four blocks of disappearing nine patch.  It is a fun and easy pattern that a simple google search will lead you to many tutorials for.  And this time I was not even ripping seams 5 minutes before I had to leave for the meeting.  Stupid potholders.

IMG_3106

But the most fun part of the swap by far….

IMG_3123

My new Liberty of London scarf!  Somehow even being the last to choose in my group, I scored the swap item that the president, Jacquie, made.  It is gorgeous and so soft.

IMG_3128

And backed with a great autumny orange shot cotton.  Of course I wore it to work the very next day and got tons of compliments. 

As if the scarf was not enough, I also received two fat quarters of Kate Spain’s 12 Days of Christmas.  Which is perfect as I had just ordered fabric from that line for my very own Christmas quilt that I am going to get to as soon as all the drapes and Christmas gifts are complete.

Christmas is still months away….right?

The Creative Connection

Take two people who have never met in real life and put them in a car together for 10 hours and then make them share a hotel room and three days together.  How do you think that will turn out?

Well some of my co-workers were worried but fortunately for me…..fabulous.

IMG_2889

Kim at NewlyWoodwards emailed me last spring after she had won tickets to the Creative Connection in Minneapolis and wondered if I wanted join in the fun.  Sure, we had not met in real life but had emailed and commented frequently on each other’s blogs and thought we would get along great.  Right?  So after phone conversations to make sure each other were not 50 –year-old men we signed up for classes.

We took fun classes like quilting with Camille Roskelley….

DSC_0043

Creative Connection 2010

Creative Connection 2010 

And felting with Betz White……

Creative Connection 2010

Creative Connection 2010

And met of tons of fun creative people…..

Did I mention that the Pioneer Woman was there?

Creative Connection 2010

Everyone was a little excited.  And in our excitement, Kim and I were one of the first in line for the luncheon (insert joke here).  So we got really great seats to hear her speak. 

In our beeline to the front, we somehow found ourselves at the famous person table.  So while the Pioneer Woman was speaking, this was our view.

Creative Connection 2010

Don’t worry we tried to played it cool.

And then Ree and I enjoyed wine together.  Note to self: slip off the nametag next time.

DSC_0021

All the meals at the event were so well decorated and creative.  Amy Butler and Mary Jane Butters spoke at dinner and I would share those pics but the lighting was really tough and they are blurry.  AKA I have a lot to learn about photography.

At dinner this giant burlap bag of amazing goodies was at our chairs.  Paint, fabric, glue, modpodge, jewelry etc. provided Kim and I an hour of ohhing and ahhing at the hotel.

DSC_0030

But our fun did not end at the event itself.  We also enjoyed a little shopping of course.

Kim scored some great finds for her new old house at an salvage/antique shop.

DSC_0036

DSC_0033

And then we went to a place that I had been dreaming about since I knew I was going to be in Minneapolis.  A place that most of you will not understand my excitement about because you do not live 8 hours away from one with their very limited online shopping.

IKEA.

We met up with some other fun bloggers (Cindy, Allison, Suzanne and Allison) and had a great time together on my maiden IKEA trip.  I think my text messages to my husband were anxiety provoking to him in terms of the bank account that night.

“this just might be the promised land”

“i am thinking about a road trip to denver/austin/chicago/minneapolis with a large car could be fun”

“now we are off to the mall of america”

DSC_0050

DSC_0045

DSC_0044

I will save my purchases for another post, but let’s just say Kim’s car looked like this on our way back to Des Moines.

DSC_0054DSC_0053

I am happy to report that Kim and I were still chatting away when we pulled up at my car 5 hours later.  We had an amazing time together and I can’t wait to meet up again.

Maybe denver/austin/chicago/minneapolis ?