Monday, November 23, 2015

Erasing the 80's

I've been busy working, but no sewing or blogging seems to be happening, unfortunately.  This past weekend my daughter Erica and I took on a project I've been longing to do for some time--erasing the 80's fake "aged" brick fireplace.  Of course this ended up being one of the hottest weekends ever in November, but we pressed on. Having done many painting projects, we are well aware that prep takes five times as long as the fun painting part.  There was a lot of cleaning, wire brushing, vacuuming, soot removal, and washing. We let the brick dry overnight, then Erica did all the taping.
 She did a really good job and we commenced with brushes and rollers. 
First coat went on fairly quickly and we let it dry for about 3-4 hours.  
Second coat made the transformation even better.  There was some touch up after a few more hours, including wiping off some of her cat Lucy's dusty fireplace exploration paw prints, but by Sunday night the 80's were gone forever. I couldn't wait to start staging the mantel.

An idea I pinned on Pinterest worked out sublimely with these doilies my husband's maternal grandmother crocheted so many years ago.

 Love the filet crochet one with its curly fringe. 
The rest of the room is a complete disaster, but the mantel is ready for the holiday!

Last year my sister-in-law Laura gave me the beautiful linen towel and the pheasant gravy boat.  Paired with a length of grapevine garland and a glittery pumpkin platter, the fireplace is ready to glow over the 27 we are feeding this year for Thanksgiving.  Lots of work to get ready for the crowd, but looking forward to the love and laughter and fun of being together. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tuesday's Orts

Tuesday's Orts--bits and pieces of events and thoughts that land here occasionally.
  • One of my two jobs had an office move, luckily while I was out of town, and things are slowly coming together.  Here's hoping the 90's reception room furniture will be gone soon, as it is killing the buzz in the newly painted and carpeted space.  
  • Traffic Rant:  For heaven's sake, pull all the way forward into the parking space, especially if you have a big ass vehicle and are parking in a tiny lot--other people would like to get by.  Sheesh!
  • Despite the incredible disaster area my sewing room currently is, I have been sewing.  After carefully measuring and cutting, the first of two outer borders went on to the Bullseye quilt for my brother.  I did have to ease the borders a bit, but it worked out.  Then the second outer border side sections went on.  I laid out the remaining border pieces over the quilt top and cut them to length.  Only then did I notice I had cut duplicates of the side pieces--which would be too short for the top and bottom sections.  I took the high road and decided this gave me a DESIGN OPPORTUNITY for corner blocks.  Since I had so many extra circles from cutting out the centers of so many blocks, it was natural to continue the theme in the corners.

The acorn print worked well with the brown inner border and the green final border fabrics, I thought, and unified the corner bullseyes.

 Lucy agreed.

After a local search for dark green print, the outer border fabric I ordered from an Ebay seller.  It is a Kansas Troubles print from a line a couple of years old and the fabric is simply yummy in quality and hand.  I think it goes well with the Thimbleberries print that was originally the outer border before I started expanding the quilt to queen size.  Both have small leaves scattered all over.  
  • Halloween on Saturday night--that brought a mixed bag of  trick or treaters.  In years past we have had literally hundreds of visitors to our door.  This year was about 100.  DH Grant again resorted to giving out handfuls of candy, even earlier than last year.  My favorite costume was a little girl in a one piece unicorn with floppy legs that "ran" when she did.  Adorable.  My favorite trick or treater, of course, was Cove. 
  •  Once again, DD Elaine and her friend came up with a great costume idea for their two boys.  
Here are Hans and Franz, ready to Pump You Up (Saturday Night Live lives on!).  Cove/Hans is flexing pretty hard right there. My contribution was making the weightlifters belts. 
 Cove appears to have gotten at least some of the chocolate in his mouth!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Design Wall Monday

The Timber Quilt is still hogging all of my cutting table/design surface, but the small Halloween wall hanging I shared a couple of DWM ago is finished.  


I buttonhole stitched around most of the larger elements, and did a tiny zigzag around those windows and the door.  The house was made from leftover charm pack scraps.  The whole wall hanging is about 16x20ish.  Binding and hanging sleeve were completed Sunday and it is now gracing the powder room.  In other Halloween themed news, at long last my version of Any Witch Way, a quilt I started in 2009, is finally hanging up in my dining room for the season. 

This is from Quiltmaker magazine and is available as a PDF on their website now.  I changed the borders and added free-pieced names a la Tonya Ricucci (Word Play Quilts book).  

My witches have eyebrows and noses in addition to the lips the pattern called for.  Quilting was done by Georganna Hawley.  The black border has pebbling and cobwebs in the corners, which look great in person but are hard to photograph.  I'm so happy with how it turned out and look forward to seeing it every year.

See more Design Walls on Judy's Patchwork Times

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Not a Pinterest Fail

Pinterest fails are famous on the web, but once in a while a trial works out.  I saw these pumpkins made out of canning jar lids on several websites, and remembered the large bag of leftover lids from the mason jars that my daughter and son-in-law gave out as favors at their wedding--four years ago--which I still had in a closet. 

Getting the lids evenly coated took about four coats, but I'm not a very experienced spray paint user.  The pumpkins called for 24 canning jar lids.  After watching a couple of videos, I chose to use large zip ties to hold them into the pumpkin shape. Fortunately, I also had some of those on hand.  The only thing I purchased for the project was the spray paint. 

That worked pretty well and was more secure, I thought, than raffia or yarn. 

I had just enough cinnamon sticks in the cupboard to make two pumpkin stems.  I hot glued the sticks together and into the center, and used the raffia to cover up the glue.  I also cut a couple of circles of scrapbooking stock and hot glued those to the pumpkin bottoms to help keep the sticks in.  Pretty cute, huh?  I gave DD Elaine one and kept the other.  I haven't got any real pumpkins yet, but grandson Cove (20 months) visited the pumpkin patch the other day with his mom and dad. 

He had a good time riding in the cart with the three big family pumpkins and carrying around a warty gourd.  Not pictured is a tiny pumpkin that represents his baby brother arriving in March.  Cove spent the night with Mimi and Papa last night and the better part of today and we had a great time playing, as usual. We look forward to meeting our next grandson in another few months!  This grandparent gig is the best :)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Spooky Break

I'm taking a short break from the Timber Quilt, which has progressed to a lot of completed sections:
And just four additional blocks before assembly into a top. However, since my new deadline for this quilt is Christmas, I'm paying attention to a long neglected small project for Halloween. 
I designed this to use up some cherished charm pack scraps of a Minnick & Simpson Halloween line. Everything else came from stash and my own scraps. I've pin basted for black buttonhole stitching/quilting and may bring the backing to the front to finish. I'm happily home from work this morning as my doctor is out of town today and Monday. 

After being sick and then out of town, not to mention the dang heat, there has been little sewing happening. Time to remedy that!