Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No Sewing, Finishing Projects

The last 2-3 weeks, I haven't been sewing much but I have been busy. Doing what? Finishing home decorating projects, I have a tendency to paint and change a room but then I don't get around to the finishing touches. I have been reading many decorating blogs lately and found wonderful inspiration plus these decorating blogs have just gotten me motivated to finish a few projects.

My first project started the first of summer. I purchased a design consultation from
Layla at The Lettered Cottage (check out her before and after pictures of her kitchen, amazing) and sent her these pictures of my front porch. I needed some suggestions to point me in the right direction. It is a great space but since the pool, we don't use it as much but part of that reason might be the sparse decorations.

Layla suggested painting my furniture black. I liked this suggestion but we had just put up dark bronze outside lights and we live on a gravel road (forgot to mention that to Layla). The dust from the road would be a problem on the black furniture so I picked a dark brown, called Java Bean and it doesn't show the dust too badly. Here is the corner of the porch. I gave a friend the wrought iron chairs, threw a tablecloth on the iron table, added some folding wooden chairs. I am still looking for small seat cushions for these chairs.

Close up of the tablecloth made by my Grandma.

I bought this tin cannister at Joann's years ago.

The new and improved seating area. The fabric for the pillows came from Joann's, the rug from Wal-Mart (it is an outdoor rug and was around $50). The wicker coffee table was found a couple weeks ago at the flea market and was just what I was looking for. This was the last piece I purchased for the porch and I am so happy I was patient and just didn't buy something. I had most of the accessories in my garden, I just moved them onto the porch. I found the little stool at the flea market.

All the ferns were used for the wedding reception and they really flourish on the covered porch.

The north side of the porch has the side door and the one we always use. See hubby's boots, he uses the bench every morning to put on his boots before work. Still looking for a bigger picture, wooden piece or something for above the potter's bench. By the way, the potter's bench was purchased years ago at a unfinished furniture store in my husband's hometown. We hauled it home in the back of the Suburban, thank goodness for all that room.

Both pieces on the top shelf, came from Joann's and were purchased the same time I bought the fresh flower tin. Found the wooden crates last year in a cute little store.

View from the north stairs.

Back door:

Front of the porch, sitting on the glider

Front steps.

See the brown caned rocker?
Below is the before - $5 for the rocker. It isn't in the best shape so I don't let any big guys sit in it!

Here is the after:
View from the table:

One more picture across the front of the porch.

One more chair.
I should point out, all the furniture except the $5 chair and the wicker table , I had on the porch or in the garage. A coat of paint made it look so much better.

I am so pleased with the changes and all of Layla's suggestions. They were just the inspiration I needed to get started on my porch. I have had so much fun looking in flea markets, making the pillows and moving things around. I am planning on adding some mums and pumpkins in a few weeks . More fun.
I sit out on the porch quite a bit now, especially while talking on the phone or reading a magazine.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Remember when I first blogged about Meredith's challenge quilt and posted the guidelines? Well, Meredith did each of the extra credit points and started with 70 points for the challenge. The judges did not see her curved piecing and thought she was counting the flower applique twice, so they did not allow her the 10 points for the curved piecing. The curved piece is in the middle row top piece and the quilt shop owner saw it as she was hanging the quilt. She quickly recalculated the points and Meredith tied for first!!!

While the quilts were hanging, customers were allowed to vote for their favorite. One guess the winner of the People's Choice Award? You got it, my quilt girl, Meredith.

She has 2 gift certificates to use now and the December challenge has just been announced. I am sure the gift certificates will be spent for this challenge.

Our local museum is having a quilt show in September, Meredith is entering 3 quilts. I am so proud of her.

Thanks again for all the kind comments, Meredith and I appreciate it so much.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Quilt

Meredith's quilt placed 2nd in the large quilt division. She won a gift certificate to spend at the quilt shop. I am so proud of her. Thanks again for all the kind comments, we were both thrilled to read each and everyone.

On another note, my nephew's wedding was gorgeous, he was a very handsome groom and is bride was stunning. I tell you 20 hours in a car in 2 days is hard on a body, I am watching TV and trying to stay awake for Design Star.

Friday, August 21, 2009

First Day of School, Sewing and a Quick Trip

Yesterday was the first day of school around here. Meredith and Kaitlyn are freshmen in high school, hard to believe. At the dinner table, they had some great stories to tell.

I usually am taking the pictures but I had hubby snap one of all the girls.

I had this Kwik Sew 3419 cut out in red knit for over a month. Thought I better get is sewn up, the days are feeling a bit fallish. Here it is:

I know in a week or two it will be 90+ degrees again but I am through sewing summer items but not quite ready to sew fall garments. Several reasons why:
  1. I really haven't thought about what I need or want for fall.
  2. I don't have any fabric for fall.
  3. The desire isn't quite there yet either.

The quick trip? My nephew is getting married in Birmingham, Alabama tomorrow evening. Hubby and I were going to head to our daughter and son-in-law's home in Illinois tonight and then drive the rest of the way tomorrow. Well, the high school softball scrimmage was canceled last night and is on for tonight. We couldn't miss their first official high school event and it would be over too late to head out after that (parent meeting after scrimmage). Saturday morning will find me up at 4 a.m. getting ready to go. I have a new Lucky Magazine to look through, maybe I can do some fall garment planning. So driving to Birmingham on Saturday, turning around and heading home at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning. the best part will be spending time with the newlyweds, it is just the 4 of us going.

Remember this Burda Blouse I made last month. I wore it to work and decided it just wasn't me, a quick glance in the mirror in passing made me do a double-take, yuck was the first thought. That is exactly what Kaitlyn told me when I got home, too! The blouse is in the give-away pile.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thank you

Thank you so much for all the kind comments on Meredith's quilt, she had a huge smile on her face while reading them. She wanted to post a thank you on my blog, but school softball started last week, practice twice a day, in fact. So she is either at practice or sleeping or watching TV gaining strength for the evening practice.

The challenges had to be in on the 15th and are being judged this week, so I will let you know.

Me sewing? I made a quilt for my bed (hubby's bed, too) and it is off being quilted. Pictures later.

That is all the sewing, right now. School starts Thursday, so I will have a bit of time to do some sewing again (at least I hope).

Oh, wait, I did some sewing. Kaitlyn and Meredith were heading with a group to a local lake for boating and tubing. Kaitlyn needed a one piece swimsuit, I had just enough fabric to squeeze out the swimsuit. Here it is - I saved the day:

Saturday, August 08, 2009

My Daughter the Quilt Designer

It started out with our local quilt shop's newletter and the information about a quilt challenge, Summer 2009. That hooked Meredith, she wanted in. The categories
  1. Small Quilt (40" x 52" or smaller)
  2. Large Quilt (larger thand 40" x 52")
  3. "Other" project (purse, table runner apron, etc)

First she started sketching and planning:

Here is the challenge fabric and if you been a reader of this blog, you know this isn't even close to anything she would pick. So her face fell when she saw it.

The challenge is set up on 150 points and here are a few criteria that you can have in your quilt and receive an automatic 10 points.

  • Mitered border or binding (check- binding)
  • a pieced border (check - look below the flower)
  • applique (check - flower)
  • a stripe fabric (check)
  • one or more curved seams (check - at the top middle section)
  • project label (check)
  • polka dot fabric (check)

So far Meredith is 70 points out of 70.

Now here is the part the judges will award points (up to 20 points each).

  • Original design
  • use of color
  • overall appearance
  • workmanship

Off to pick out fabric, Meredith was planning a small quilt but after she picked out her fabric she liked it so much she decided a large quilt was in order.

Here is the quilt, with many angles. You will notice there are a few changes from the original sketch.

Can you tell her pieced border is a flower pot? Pretty clever on her part.

Did you find the challenge fabric?
Now here is part of the quilt label and I have to admit she was pretty clever. My dad (her papa) was stationed in Germany and likes to teach them a few German words here and there. So Eine Blume means One Flower.

I am so proud of her, she did an amazing job and really enjoyed it.

Monday, August 03, 2009

My Sewing Machine

We returned home on Thursday from vacation, listened to my messages, yea, the sewing machine is cleaned and repaired. So Friday, off to bring her home.

And here is a recap of that trip:

Blow-out on interstate, able to get off and pull over on the exit ramp. The spare tire will not lower, two people stopped to help. We live on a gravel road and the lime from the gravel did something to the mechanism (or whatever it is called). So, I call a tow truck, they tow my Envoy to a tire shop and they put on a used tire so I can get my machine and get home.

So this is the financial recap

Tow truck - $50 (thought I had towing insurance, thought wrong)

used tire - $43

machine repair - $63

new parts for the spare tire mechanism - unknown at this time

My sewing machine back in my sewing room - Priceless!!

I did a bit of sewing on Saturday, put binding on Meredith's latest quilt, a challenge quilt. Pictures soon, we have to embroider the quilt label.

Now I need pictures for this post - so here is Kaitlyn and dad para sailing at Hilton Head. Meredith and I kept our feet on the ground!

One of my favorite pictures from vacation, it was taken at Coastal Discovery Museum, which was very interesting and fun.
This was such a relaxing morning, we took our time and followed all the paths, plus the scenery was stunning.

My shorts are from Burda Style magazine, this is the only picture, I will give details later.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Dolphin Cruise

We are back from Hilton Head and what a wonderful vacation. Thought I would share a video from our 1-1/2 hour dolphin cruise.

In my mind, I thought the dolphins would jump out of the water more. Probably a Sea World commercial idea, all the same, it was very fun to see the area by boat and to watch the dolphins.

Not sure my teenagers thought the same thing, did you see their thrilled faces?

Next blog post, a story about my sewing machine.