Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sitting Room Renovation: We have paint!

I am pleased to report some great progress on my small sitting room renovation. 
The fixture is hung and I love it! 

And the walls have paint!  Wait, did I really pick that color?

Ok, when my husband and our nanny saw this color on the paint chip they were supportive but I did detect a little bit of doubt.  When they saw it on the walls they were full on freaked out.  It is very pumpkin pie.  If you wanted to be mean you could say it was orange.  My husband's exact words were, "Honey, I know you love Halloween but ..."  He couldn't even finish the sentence.  Because he was afraid I would kill him.  The color is actually a Behr shade called "Mulling Spice".  I felt that I was taking a risk in chosing this color and without any window treatments or other decor it is really hard to see what I'm going for.  What I wanted was an unexpected nuetral that was warm and maybe even brassy without being harsh.  And my plan is to add great prints and lots of color to the room with the curtains, upholstery, etc.  See, like this:

The photo above is from the most recent Mackenzie-Childs catalogue, it shows their Highland collection.  Lately I'm very drawn to this type of over the top pattern on pattern.  More is more I say.  Look how they have the turquoise painted shutter next to the orange-ish wall.  Unexpected right?  On their own those 2 colors would probably just look weird together but add in all the prints and suddenly it looks just right to me!  Usually I chose more conservative colors and patterns for our house.  But, you know how you see something in a store or a magazine and you think, "that is really cool but I don't know if I could live with that everyday in my house"?  Well, with this little room I'm just going for it.  I am pressing ahead with my original vision - undetered by the strange looks even my painter gave me when this color when up on the walls!  Next up are window treatments and an upholstered chair.  I will keep you posted...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mod Sampler Quilt in City Weekend Fabric: Top Finished

With Halloween sewing behind me and the fabric for some new drapes on order I was free to work on my Mod Sampler Quilt.  I have finished the top and I like the overall look, but let's just say there are some problems...

First problem - I didn't square up my blocks before I sewed the rows.  I checked several of them before I sewed the rows and they were pretty darn close to 8.5" exactly so I skipped the rest of the blocks and I really wish I hadn't.  After the rows were together I had to lop off the side of the left hand column in order to get a straight edge.  Not good:

Second problem - My sashing on the left and right sides was very stiff.  I pinned it to the quilt top and trimmed it to the same length once it was pinned in place.  The Moda fabrics I used in the blocks seemed to grow a bit as they were sewn and the sashing didn't.  As a result the sashing is an inch too short at the bottom corners.  Also, not good:

I'm trying to figure out what to do the save this quilt.  I'm considering a few options and I'd love to get some advice from any more experienced quilters who might be reading this.  So far I'm thinking I can either:

1.  Press ahead, make a backing and quilt it up as is.  I can trim the outside sashing to 1" after it is quilted and bind it in white.  This doesn't do anything for the patched blocks in the left column though.

2.  Take a step backward and rip out the sashing and the rows.  Square up my blocks and remake patched blocks that got trimmed.  Essentially, start over with just a stack of blocks to be sewn into a top.

3.  Rip out the sashing and the rows and instead of reassembling in the original order use some of the remaining City Weekend fabric in my stash to cut 8.5" squares.  I could probably piece something close to a twin size quilt using the pieced blocks I have and the new whole squares.

SIGH!!!  I don't know what to do.  I guess I'm leaning toward #2.  Any suggestions?  Help!!! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Modern BOM: September

I have fallen behind on my BOM sewing but I found some time this past weekend to get the September block sewn...

The September block for the Modern BOM looks very simple but was actually a bit complicated to construct.  You cut squares and then cut them into triangles (not half square triangles), then other squares get cut, sewn together and then cut into a traingle.  Then you have to use the triangles you created as templates to cut angles into your background pieces, etc.  A seasoned quilter has probably used these techniques in the past but I am not a seasoned quilter so there were a couple of new-to-me construction techniques involved in the creation of this block.
To get good results you have to be very precise and also careful not to stretch your triangles out of shape as you sew and press.   I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out.  I love all the nice pointy, points that I was able to achieve.  Fun, fun.

I pulled fabric to make this block again in pinks with a print as the background and solid triangles.  Anyone else sewing along with this BOM over at SewMamaSew? 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Simplicty 2569: Finished Witch Costume!

I am pleased to say that I finished my daughter's witch costume just in time for Halloween.   
It is fully lined in black cotton voile.  The self drafted collar mirrors the lines in the peplum.  There is a little faux placket that addes some interest to the bodice and a gathered organza sash at the waist.   

I made her hat using black felt and some scraps left over from the dress and this tutorial at Project Run and Play.  It is stitched onto a padded black satin head band that I had hanging around the house. 

Her broom came from one of those 60% off Halloween decor sales that seem to be happening in every store you walk into these days.     

I'm pretty proud of the dress.  I probably spent a little too much time on it for a dress that would only get worn once but Halloween is my favorite holiday so this dress feels special to me and I was willing to put the extra time and effort into it. 

I can't wait to see what she will chose to be next year when she is old enough to speak her mind on the subject.  I hope that everyone had a great holiday!