Friday, January 30, 2015

The Ugly Duckling of Quilts

Hi Everybody!

I've been plugging away on the backing of my ugly quilt and, frankly, I'm going to have to stop calling it ugly pretty soon because the backing I am making for it is awesome. Just awesome.

The pattern is not mine but it can be found over at Lucy's Quilts! You have to email Alicia asking for the pattern and she asks that you make a small donation in her name to Lutheran World Relief but it is  well worth it! I'm already thinking about the next quilt I am going to make out of this pattern!

Here's where I am at with my version of the quilt.

As you can see it has a stained glass window effect to it. I have a few details that I am adding to make it my own but I am having a great time working on it. I'm hoping to have it all pieced together by the end of the weekend. 

It's going to be too pretty to be the back of a quilt so it will definitely be the quilt top for my picnic quilt. 

What's everybody else working on this weekend? 

Have a Happy Friday!


Don't forget you can always follow along with more fun by following me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Under the Weather

HI Friends!

Just wanted to check in with everyone. I was under the weather all last week---took a medication that wiped my entire system and haven't felt much like myself lately. I have managed to start working on the back of my ugly quilt. Since I decided that I wanted it to be a picnic blanket, I wanted the back to be pretty durable. I had been holding onto about a half dozen pairs of adult and kid jeans and thought I would cut them up and make the back of the quilt with those.

At first I was just going to slice 'em, dice 'em and then re-sew them back together but then I came across a denim quilt pattern somewhere on the internet (I swear I wasn't looking for it) and just knew I had to make it.

I will share where to get the pattern next time (it's gorgeous) but for now just a shout letting you know I'm around and still working....and maybe a few pictures.

Someone decided the quilt top was appropriate for dress up!

The girl who just started walking!

My squares so far. Yes-my cutting area is a disaster

My pile of jeans!

Here's hoping this week goes better. Hope you all have a good week!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

One Ugly Quilt

Hello Friends!

I am just moving right along! No sooner did I finish the basket (and by accident, an apron), than I picked the next project to tackle and it is a doozy!

Number 12!

It's actually pretty appropriate that my next project is to make our "wedding quilt" into a picnic blanket. My husband and I will be celebrating our 8th year of marriage next month, so it would be nice to have this done by then.

I only started quilting about nine years ago. After not finishing the first quilt I attempted (the procrastination runs strong with me), I decided I could totally handle making a queen size quilt. I saw the pattern for this quilt in American Patchwork and Quilting from August 2005 and immediately loved the 1930's reproduction fabric and-what looked like-the simplicity of the whole thing.

What's amazing is that after at least three moves, I still have the magazine!

I was so excited to make this quilt for us, I even convinced my darling soon-to-be-husband to come to JoAnn's and help me pick out fabric. Frankly, I'm not sure what I was thinking when I picked out the fabric-it's so dark not happy bright colors like in the original quilt and I'm pretty sure that one of the fabrics in upholstery fabric.

I'm pretty sure you belong on a chair, buddy!

Even though I had taken a quilting class by this point, I hadn't been taught how to properly cut fabric nor the importance of 1/4" seam allowances. Also, when I started piecing the quilt, I didn't even have a sewing machine and I was hand piecing it. Looking at it now, I do see a train wreck but I also can see how far I've grown as a quilter.

I'll be honest: I'm giving you tiny little pictures and writing a whole bunch because I am trying to save you from the ugliness that is this quilt.

It's just so ugly.

But, I never threw it away and last summer when we were spending so much time outside without a big enough blanket for all of us to laze about on, it dawned on me: why not make that ugly quilt into an awesome picnic blanket! I've got some great ideas that I will share with you as the project progresses on how to make this quilt a family picnic blanket.

Ok. The moment of truth. Here it is.
These are the borders that I added this afternoon. 

Pretty much how I've stored it for the last eight years. 

Someone wanted his picture taken!

From far away, it doesn't look so bad. 

It actually looks much better in the pictures than it does when it's hitting you in the face. What's amazing is all the 9-patch blocks are 3" x 3" and the instructions had me cut out each block 1.5" x 1.5"! That sounds so ludicrous to me now.

Today's plan was to iron and add on the borders. Now the quilt top is complete. Now to get to the backing which I think is going to be pretty interesting!

What do you do when a project doesn't turn out the way you wanted? Toss it out or try and redeem it in a brand new way? 

Happy Sewing!


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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Basket Fixing


Man, this Focus stuff is tough! I want to work on anything except the project at hand.

My first pick of the year was to fix and paint this little basket I keep in my living room to hold toys for the kids.

After more sanding and four layers of black spray paint, I finished! It took me a little longer than I wanted because of having to spray outside and cold/rainy weather.

A litte uneven after one coat.

Looking better after the third coat. 

Once the fourth coat was dry, I hot glued black felt to the bottom.  My kids like to push it around on the hard wood floors and I noticed they were kind of scratching them. 

My husband took more action shots while I tried not to laugh too hard. 

Nope, I laughed. 

I usually don't look so happy trimming felt. 

So happy to be done!

I set it out the next day, filled it with toys and someone was very happy to see her toy box back!
Looks good, right? 

Bonus! I even got a video of one of the kids pushing the basket...oddly enough, not the one who usually does. 

And yes, if you listen close enough, my husband and I are talking about our youngest pooping in her diaper while sitting on the kitchen table. You're welcome. 

The first project is crossed off The List! I was looking over The List and realized that I accidentally finished another project; #15 was to fix an apron that had a broken tie. I'm not sure why that made it to the list, but I'm counting it! Eleven days into the new year and I've completed two projects! Awesome!

What's everybody else working on? Let everybody know in the comments!

Remember, you can always follow along on more fun at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Have a great week!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

First Project of 2015

Hi Friends-

I picked the first project of 2015! If you look on The List, the first part of it is all of the projects I had started and never finished. Using a random number generator my next project is #21: Fixing and painting a little wooden basket I have in the living room.

I purchased this little guy at a garage sale a couple of years ago and keep small, seasonal toys (right now it has a Fisher Price Nativity) in it. It's a nice way to keep toys in the living room but have them easily out of sight for the 10 minutes a day when the room is tidy.

However, the bottom of the basket is starting to come off, the paint is chipping and my youngest likes to push it around while on her knees and it is starting to scratch the hardwood floors. So I started sanding it then I will spray paint it black and then attach a piece of black felt to the bottom so it can still slide but won't scratch up the floors.

I've got some action shots this time that my husband took:

In the picture above, I'm actually vacuuming up the sawdust. Yes, I did start sanding in the kitchen-it was not a great idea. 

I'm vacuuming my pants in this one!

Frankly, that's as far as I've gotten. I thought I was all prepared for school to start again yesterday but I'm not. I'm hoping to have it done by the end of this weekend!

What's everybody else working on? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Goal: Focus

Happy New Year Friends!

2014 was a great year and I'm looking forward to 2015.

Even though I kind of like resolutions, I'm not going to make any big ones for the blog this year. I am, however, going to to rely on just one word to help keep me on track. My word for the blog this year is Focus.

The more I think about it, the more I realize it applies to many aspects of my blog.  I am easily distracted by other projects, I don't stick with the lottery, sometimes I am so eager to just finish a project that I don't focus on the one in front of me and it isn't always done as nicely as I would like.

The first thing I am going to focus on is I have re-tooled The List. I went through all my craft stuff, the ideas that are circulating through my head, the commitments I have made to other people and all of the projects I have finished since I started the blog. For 2015 I am going to focus only on the projects on my List, using the Lottery system to determine which project comes next, and I'm going to start by working on all the projects I have started but never completed. Once all of the projects I have started have been completed, I will move on to the rest of The List.

I really want to focus on making sure I perform quality workmanship, pay (more) attention to details and finishing details. I want to focus on improving my craft and spending more time doing a little research and even practicing various techniques before working on my final project.

What does this mean for the blog? I don't know. I don't know if there will be more or less posts but I do intend on sharing any helpful tutorials I find along the way. I'm just hoping to stay focused on the project at hand and making quality projects.

Focus will follow me through the blog and my personal life but I think it's going to bring good things to both.

Happy New Year! I can't wait to see what we all craft together!


I am totally not at all worried about 21 unfinished projects and 67 projects I haven't even started! Check them all out here!