Monday, August 23, 2010

make your own chenille baby quilt

first off, I apologize for the bad pictures, I did not realize the camera was in the wrong mode, until I was done with the project

Here is a baby blanket/quilt I made for a friend, I just found a cute piece of fabric and layered it on top of four layers of muslin (five layers, one yard each) to make my own chenille.  The process of making my own chenille happens to quilt the top.  This is not too hard, but it takes a long time (4-6 hours) and a lot of thread
here are my five layers lined up on top of each other

then you sew diagonal lines down the back.  I just use your presser foot as a guideline, and do them 1/4" apart.  I did mine a little bit wider, because I wanted my quilted lines to follow the diagonal lines on the argyle print, so I just quilted on front, using the argyle for my guideline.  This made the chenille a little wider than I normally prefer, but I still like the look. 
next you get one of these nifty chenille cutters (scissors will work, but make it more difficult)
I got mine at Michael's, I don't remember how much, but I had a 40% off coupon.  You can always find a good coupon to Jo-Ann's and get one there too

you cut the bottom three layers (make sure not to cut the top layer, or the top layer of muslin)

next bind your quilt, there are some good tutorials out there, here is one I like 

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then you wash it a couple times, and it looks like chenille

after I made this quilt, I found another great tutorial for a similar blanket, with a twist. I think I will try it her way next time
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Saturday, August 7, 2010

basement remodel

we have lived in our house just over four years, and I never liked my basement.  so much so, that I would go weeks without even going down there.  Finally, I convinced my husband that it was time to make it a little more my style.  I do not have great before pictures, but here is what I have
I never cared for this fireplace, and I love fireplaces!  I just felt this one belonged in a log cabin, not in my home

this pucture is taken part way in to the project, that is why it is a mess, and there is a random chair in the background (note the bookshelf with the color drawers in the background, it was also made over)
I hated the color (or should I say non color) of the walls, so dank and blah
and I really hated the dingy carpet.  My husband has fought me for years on ripping this fireplace out (understandably, due to all the work it would take), but I have always dreamed of a red brick fireplace.  When I told him he could finally get his surround sound if he helped me remodel, he was on board. (it did not hurt that  TV would not fit above the fireplace unless we got a different mantle, at least not a TV big enough to please my husband) Good thing too, because there is no way I could have ripped that fireplace out myself.

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with a sledgehammer, my hubby went to town, and I carried all the rocks outside to be hauled to the dump (and that was no easy task, those things are heavy!).  We still have the mantel in our shed, trying to figure out if it is worth trying to sell

after ripping it all out, my husband did all the wiring, behind walls, and through the ceiling for his surround sound.  In the mean time I put up all board and baton following this tutorial (my husband said I could have my board and baton, but I had to do it myself, he was not interested in helping with that. the board and baton cost about $300)  then my husband put brick around the fireplace.  We chose to use thinbrick. it ended up costing us about $300.  while he mortered the brick, I followed him closely, wiping up morter, and cleaning morter off brick, before it dried.  The brick was by far the most challenging part of the remodel, we had to work fast, glue them on properly, clean up morter and cut them properly.  It is also my favorite part of the remodel.  I am so glad I talked my husband into doing it for me. we ordered our mantel from a local mantel company.  I was really happy with the price of the mantel, but in hindsight, we should not have paid for the corbel's They were $60 each, and I saw similar ones at home depot for $8 each.  We ordered our mantel untreated, and painted it ourselves.  I have always loved the look of stained wood, but I was worried it would stick out with the white board and baton, so I just painted it white.  I figure I can always strip the paint and stain it if I end up regretting it.

after the brick was in, I caulked my board and baton, sanded and painted (it took me 3 coats).  Then I painted the yellow.  I had home depot match the the restoriation hardward yellow, it is a great shade of yellow.  

we picked out some new carpet, this is where most of our budget went. it is also the only part we hired out.

Then I made the shelves on either side of the fireplace.  I was inspired by this.  I used her plans for the cameron system as a guideline, and made adjustments to fit my needs and my space.  Anna has great plans, and even though I made a lot of mistakes, I learned a lot.  Next time I build something though, I am going to follow her exact plans, and not try to customize anything to my needs, that is where my mistakes came in.  I used MDF because it is supposed to be easier (the boards are really straight) and cheaper than solid wood.  I love the look of solid wood, so next time I want to use that, but I am glad I did no on my first project, because of all the mistakes I made.  It was a pain to have to pre-drill all my holes though (another downside to using MDF).  I am proud to say I made these all by myself, mistakes and all.  I spent about $300 on these total (including paint and wood, and hardware and supplies). 

I am still debating about painting the brass slats on the fireplace using either black spray paint, or an oil-rubbed bronze spray paint (I know rustoleaum makes a good one)

I love how the board and baton really lightens up the dark basement

below is the bookshelf I "updated" I just picked out some scrapbook paper to match the color of the drawers, and cut it into strips (because the drawers were kind of like beadboard, they were not flat) and then I modge podged them on.  I love how they give it more pop, and make it a little more girly, since I do have two daughters and no sons.

I still need to paint the doors white (one is done, it is in the garage, that is why there is a missing door)

I love how everything turned out, and I love to spend time down there now.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

I am back

okay, so it has been a while.  Do you remember all that sewing I did in the spring?  Well, I may have burned out.  Or maybe it is because summer is here, and there are all these fun things to do outside with my family, and I don't have much desire to be in my basement sewing away.  Maybe it is because no one close to me is having a baby too soon, so I don't have gifts to make.  Maybe it is because I am just lazy.  Either way, I do have a couple projects to post, but I have to get the before picuters off my husbands computer first.  Don't give up on me

in the mean time, I am drooling over this awesome giveaway.  Yes, I know I was given a serger a while back, but now that I have started to use it, I am hooked.  I want to serge everything, and the one I have just can't do it all, like this one can.  Plus, many people want to borrow my serger, and they are people I love, who do a lot for me, so I let them.  However, it makes me nervous.  I would love to have one that I can have all to myself, and then I can share my other one.  I want this one because if its differential feed, my other one has a differential feed, but does not ruffle well.  Ruffles are in right now.  I would love this to finish my ruffle curtains and to make all the cute ruffle skirts I see tutorials for in blog land, my little girls would looks so cute in them.  I want to have a new serger to make lots of clothes for my girls, actually, and lots of baby gifts for my friends.  My old serger does not have instructions, and it is hard to find tutorials for it, because they don't sell that kind anymore (I have googled and googled), so I feel limited in my possibilites.  This new one makes me feel like my possibilities are endless.  Okay, so I have never actually won a giveaway, but a girl can dream, right?  and what a giveway this would be to win.