In the Center

We’re getting ready for an open house this weekend, so, of course, I’m finishing up some decorating. While I’m not going to be able to get all the decorating done that I’d first hoped, I will be able to take the stark edge off by not having bare walls.

For some unknown reason I’ve got a vision of beauty for my dining room more than the other rooms in my house so once again I found myself working there. I found the perfect glass containers at Old Time Pottery and created centerpiece.

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Dining room centerpiece

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The view of the dining room from the kitchen.

Return to the Spring Chicken

Between moving and birthday’s and Mother’s Day and baby showers, I’ve had to put my Spring Chicken Sampler on hold. However, life is beginning to stabilize again after all the moving and living, so I’m back and ready to finish up this project.

I realized with this project that the dimensions it was going to be were not that far off from a crib size baby quilt. So, rather than have this be put in the “oh, it’s so pretty, but what do I do with it” pile that a sampler would get put in, I decided to up the finished size of the quilt and make it into something useful. In order to do that, I had to add a six inch row to the middle and add sashing (which I already had planned on) and an additional border to it.

The additional middle row I decided to make a row of nine patch on point blocks. I couldn’t find a pattern for a 6″ block, but what I did find was a 12″ block that had a 6″ center that was a nine patch on point. The pattern I pulled it from, called Nine Patch Star, is found here. I followed the directions under the first two sections, Making Nine-Patch and Making Center Block, then I stopped. What I ended up with was three blocks that looked like this.

Six inch middle row

Six inch on point nine patches for the middle row

I’ve finished sewing the individual rows together. Next up, sashing and borders!

Blocks:

Row 1: Dutchman’s Puzzle and King’s Crown

Row 2: Nine Patch on point

Row 3: Rosebud Block and Sarah’s Choice

All three rows

All three rows lined up as they’ll be on the quilt. Sashing and borders to come.

First Finish! It’s A Baby Quilt!

This last weekend included a first for me. I completed my first quilt! It was a baby quilt for my  sister-in-law’s shower. I had waited till the week of the shower and I fully intended to buy her something due to my rather busy schedule. Then, I saw the cutest fabric and new I had to make it into a quilt for her and the new baby. I also knew that if I tried to piece a top I wouldn’t have time (this was late Thursday night, the shower was on Saturday afternoon and my Saturday morning was already booked). However, the fabric I’d found was printed in squares that gave it a vaguely quilted feel, so I decided to do a small quilt sandwich with the fabric just as it was and do a wholecloth type quilt.

This would be my first full quilting job. I’d done some small samples before, but I hadn’t quilted anything full scale yet and I was a little intimidated. I got around my mental block with that, however, by adjusting my schedule to include a small window on Saturday that I knew I could run and get a backup present if I absolutely had to. 🙂 With that safety net in place, I was ready to jump in!

I started in on the quilt first thing after dinner on Friday night and got it finished in the middle of the night, but it was soooooooooo worth it!

For the quilting, I did an all over stipple pattern, to keep it simple. For the binding, due to the fact that the quilting got done a little bit after I normally go to bed, I decided to do a “cheating” binding to help me get some much needed shut eye. It’s not really cheating; it’s also called a roll over binding. I need to do a quick finish and that’s what worked for me. At that point, with all the time jammed into the quilt so far, I wasn’t letting any stinking binding keep me from finishing!

Here’s some pictures of my first ever finished quilt!

(Click on the images to view them larger.)

The Crafting Domain

I’m so excited. And, no, I can’t hide it! I’ve got a fantastic new craft room set up. While I was very happy with the corner that I had in the last place, I can’t say I’m very sad to leave it behind with a new larger space.

I’ve set it up so I have a U-shape around my sewing machine. On the left is more table space, which I will use mostly for cutting, but I can also use it for quilting a larger quilt (once I get my skills up to that level…). On the right is my bookshelf with all my supplies I like to have on hand and the ironing board. I actually have space to have the iron and ironing board set up all the time!

I’ve got a second bookshelf which will be general storage and the bedroom has a built in nook with shelves that are perfect for storing fabric, etc.

I’m so pumped to get my space set up. I’ve already made one item here, a purse for mom, so I know that it works very well. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sew something! 🙂

(Click to view pictures larger.)

New Bag for Mom

*Edit: The first link was incorrect. I’ve updated it with the right URL. *

I decided to take a break from unpacking in order to make my mom a birthday present. Since the last bag I gave her was large enough to lose a small child in, I decided to make another bag for her that was a more normal size. I found the fabric on clearance and thought it was just perfect for her. I used the same Buttercup purse pattern that I used to make my prototype purse. Making the prototype was a good decision, because the quality that I was able to put in this one was so much better.

On the inside, I put an inset zipper pocket on one side and a small pocket on the other. The purse is held shut with a magnetic snap.

Happy birthday, Mom!

(Click to view pictures larger.)

Dining Room Reveal

This post is a little late in coming; those who have been to our house recently will know that the dining room was finished being painted a couple weeks ago. However, to share the fun with those who maybe don’t get to see the house in person, I wanted to share the new color schemes. Here’s a shot of the dining room/sitting room wall in the original orange and gray.

Original colors of the sitting room and dining room

Original colors, orange and gray, of the sitting room and dining room

While striking, it’s definitly not a color scheme that I personally prefer. 🙂 So, I decided to paint it green. The color I picked was a deep green and I’d never painted with a color this dark before. There was some learning curve on how to get it to go on right. For example, I first was worried because the color it was going on wet was so much lighter than the color I was expecting.

The paint went on a different color wet than dry

The paint went on a different color wet than dry. The color on the left is dryer than the color on the right. The finally dry color is slight darker than even the color on the left.

However, after some patience and breath-holding, the paint finally dried to the color I wanted. Now, I love my beautiful dining room!

Finished dining room with the new dining room table and chairs

And it’s finished! The complete dining room with the new dining room table and chairs.