Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Adding Furniture Reupholsterer To My Resume

After going two weekends without doing any crafting or sewing, I have been making up for lost time like a maniac this week. It is pretty exhilarating to be checking off projects from my to-do list. This evening's adventure involved recovering my chairs with some new fabric from Anna Maria Horner's new Drawing Room line of fabric.

The chairs turned out better than I could have hoped and the recovering process wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be. I left David in charge of removing the staples while I ran over to my neighbor's place to borrow his staple gun (Hi Harry!). It took about two hours from start to finish, which included a lot of fussing in the beginning - I blame the nerves.

Here are the Before pictures. As you can see, the seat fabric is pretty tired. The cream fabric started out pretty cute, but the light color couldn't hold up to all the tushies sitting on it but it was able to hold on long enough for me to find the right replacement.

And here are the After pictures!

And now I must finish the second bedroom/office. The new fabric is just too cute for the ugly rug and bad paint job. How did I just add two more things to my to-do list?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My First Common Threads Quilt Block

I did it. I finally did it. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I should do for Rebekah's quilt block. There was so much pressure and I am going to admit right here that I was/am freakin' nervous. But I swallowed my nerves and made the first cut into the fabric.

My original design idea got tossed out the window this afternoon when I saw some lovely quiltspiration on a blog. I changed the design up and went with this hourglass design instead. Hopefully, Rebekah considers diamonds squares and if she doesn't mind that my seams don't quite match, then we have ourselves something a little wonky as well.

Craft-free Memorial Day Weekend

I took the weekend off from crafting and sewing and went out to Montauk to spend some time with friends, beach, sand and fresh air. It was really lovely. Here are a couple of pictures of the beach to make up for my lack of productivity.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm In The Mood For Provence

I hope these aren't considered fighting words, but I have the best mother in the whole world. She is an amazing and inspiring woman and incredibly creative and talented. My only complaint is that she lives just far enough away that weekend sewing dates just aren't that practical.

So this is a surprise present for her, and because I can't keep a craft secret, I am now racing against time. I had to post about it but I do want it to be a surprise for her. So now, it really comes down to how often my mom checks this blog. It is up to fate and my mom's internet surfing habits.

I picked five different Provence style fabrics and am going to follow this simple quilt pattern from a lovely book that Lisa's mom gave me when I went to visit her in Ohio. I think it is going to be perfect for her family room.
And Mom, if you are reading this, you better act surprised ; )

Fabric Shopping In Buenos Aires - Part II

Although the garment district in BA was not quite what I expected and I sadly didn't have that much luck, the adventure was not in vain. This lovely stretch jersey was hiding in the corner and caught my eye right when I was about to leave the store. It is perfect for a summer dress. I haven't decided on what style I am going to go with but I am leaning towards designing something on my own. I'm so Project Runway.

Blogging My To-Do List

Last year, David and I had ourselves a good "Small Bedroom Weekend Challenge" where we redid our tiny second bedroom, making it into a functional office and tv room plus storage for all of my sewing materials. It was an amazing feat worthy of any design show on HGTV. We even scored an awesome desk, two gorgeous chairs and two bookshelves from a local vintage furniture store.

The chairs are great but the material covering the seat has seen better days. I have been patiently searching for the right material and thanks to Anna Maria Horner, my search is over. The fabric arrived last week and I can't wait for a free moment to recover these lovelies. I have never recovered a chair before so it should be a fun challenge.

So here are some "before" pictures of the chair and the new fabric. Nimbus the cat sold separately.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Common Threads Virtual Quilting Bee

I alluded to an exciting development in my "Good Bye, I am leaving for Argentina and you can't stop me" post but didn't want to get into too much detail since it was still in the planning stages. But now that we are in full force, I am going to spill the beans.

On one of my many online craft/quilt/sewing surfing adventures, I came across of group of women that started an online quilting bee. I couldn't believe what a brilliant idea it was, and then I saw the blocks getting made, I had to physically restrain my heart from beating out of my chest. They were gorgeous, original and inspiring. Of course, my first reaction once I got a hold of myself was "how can I get myself invited into this quilting bee?"

Since it had already started and these women didn't know me, I realized that my getting asked into that specific bee wasn't likely, but I also realized that maybe, just maybe, I could start my own. I started asking around to my crafty friends, was turned down by a bunch of you (you know who you are) and was so excited when two awesome ladies agreed wholeheartedly.

A three person quilting bee just wouldn't do so I pulled out my ace in the whole. I tried to be cool when I emailed my online crafting buddy but I was so nervous. What if she thought the idea was stupid? What if she didn't think my quilting was up to her level (because her stuff is so dang good)? I hit send and waited. Thankfully she was interested and went on to mention that she had a couple of friends that she wanted to invite.

The next thing I know, I am part of a thirteen person online quilting bee called Common Threads. We are going to do one quilt a month for 13 months. I now get to know, work with, and learn from these amazing, talented women.

You can follow the button on the right side of the page to the Common Threads blog. We also have a flickr group for even more pictures documenting all of the blocks and quilts as they develop.

This is so exciting! Dreams really do come true.

Here Comes the Bride

's maid purses...

It is funny that no matter how long I have been sewing and how many purses I have made, I still get a little nervous when I make a custom purse order, especially for a wedding. But as usual, all that worrying was a waste of time. Theses seven clutches turned out so cute. AND I finally figured out a stabilizer for the clutches besides purse frames.

After a little online sleuthing, I found something called plastic canvas. It is plastic meshy/griddy material that is used for needlepoint. It turns out that it is also perfect for stabilizing a fabric purse. It is flexible and can be easily cut with scissors but really gives the bag some much needed structure. I still used fusible interface on both the exterior and lining fabric but the plastic canvas really did the trick. Just check out the posture on these beauties.

I experimented on a sample bag to work out the kinks and lucky for me, since now I have a new clutch too.

Argentinian Adventures

Hello again! I am back from an amazing trip to Argentina. It was really better than I imagined. And true to my word, I went immediately to the Once, the garment district in Buenos Aires. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, although deep down, I was hoping it was something like New York's garment district. It was in the fact that once you are in it, there is shop after shop of fabric stores. The presentation was very different though, with giant rolls of fabric. I was a little overwhelmed to say the least, but the adventure was a lot of fun.