Time for the Bedroom

This month I’m updating the bedroom and I’m doing it on a budget of $0 because, also this month, I am not spending money on anything but essentials. And, yes, a nice bedroom is pretty essential, but I’m sticking to my guns (or rather wallet) here.

Luckily for me the room was just painted in November so I don’t have to worry about that and I, because I’m a fabriholic, have a ton of fabric I can choose from to do the pillow, etc upgrade. I’m keeping the bedspread and bedskirt because they are in excellent shape and I really like them.

This is the bedroom before:

bedroom1

bedroom2

Pretty boring.

I’ve, so far, picked these fabrics as my palette. I’ll also throw in some off-white muslin and maybe try my hand at screen printing, since I have all that equipment also. Which is one of the reasons I’m on a spending freeze right now.

20130104-DSC_0139

This week I got the pillow shams and one set of pillowcases done. It still looks a little boring, but it’s getting better.
20130104-DSC_0130-EditNote: the lines in each pillow are creases that I didn’t iron out because I was too excited to try the pillowcases on the pillows.

I’m also planning on hanging pictures since I have a ton of picture frames in my craft room and plenty of pictures to print. And if I run out of ink I’ll have my husband buy those – although ink is an essential, right?



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Weekly Sewing Project – Week 3

This week I switched it up from pillows to art quilts. I am doing (sort of, kind of) the Quilt Along with Melody. Her quilts are completely fused so that’s what I did this week. I started by cutting out arcs and fusing them to my 6-inch blocks.

One of the things Melody warns about is using commercial fabric for this type of fusing. She uses only  hand-dyed fabrics. She did tell us that the commercial stuff will fray, even with the fuse stuff on the back. And they do fray. Since this is a practice piece that will only (if that) be displayed in my house, I wasn’t concerned. However, if I do decide to continue in this vein (which, at this point is not likely) I would have to purchase hand-dyed fabric or learn to dye  myself.

At this point I decided that the I needed more arcs and maybe some stripes or something. Of course, I didn’t take pictures along the way, but here is the quilt top finished:

I really like the colors but I’m not so sure about the rays. I also like the border.

I fused the quilt to some batting and sewed the backing on in the method that Melody calls escape hatch finish. I had read in one of the comments on her post that if you sew two opposing sides first and then fold the seam allowance over when you sew the other two sides it would  make sharper corners. I tried that, but for me, not so sharp corners. Plus, once you get the quilt turned and ironed flat your supposed to take the back off the fusible on the backing and iron it all shut. I forgot to do that.

Then I sat down to quilt. I practiced for about a minute, maybe less, and decided I could free motion quilt even though I haven’t actually done free motion quilting for a few months. I also decided that I was going to quilt a spiral starting in the middle, even though I have never been able to do that, even WITH practice. So, yeah, it pretty much came out completely wonky. I tried to cover up the wonky spiral by free motioning (I don’t think that’s a real word, but I’ll go with it) some leafy shapes over the spiral. It actually turned out not too horrible. But then I decided to use a machine stitch for the edges — edges that were pulling up since, I read later, it’s not such a good idea to put some fused items right where you turn the fabric. And then even more stupidly I used a stipple stitch — a MACHINE stipple stitch. It turned out horrible. Really horrible.

I would put a closeup but it’s too horrible for that.

Lessons learned:

  • Commercial fabric does fray with the fuse everything method.
  • Using a variety of fusibles is not a good idea. Some of them didn’t stick very well (I think the FineFuse) and some of them were pretty stiff (Heat&Bond), so next time I’ll stick to just the WonderUnder.
  • Practice free-motion quilting BEFORE you try it on an actual project.
  • DO NOT use the machine stipple stitch. EVER.

So, would I do another quilt completed fused? I’m not sure. I think I may try a hybrid at some point. Next week I am going to make a Liberated Quilt using the same (non-fused) fabrics as this one used.

This quilt is about 15″ square. It’s a bit small, I think, for this design, but a perfect size to try this application. I think next week’s quilt will be a similar size. Plus, it’s the perfect size to actually finish in a week.

Weekly Project Check-in

Behind again. Sigh. I’m not behind in getting the project done. It was done Saturday last week, I’m just behind in getting my blog post done. I pretty much suck at blogging. I need to add that to my daily routine (which I don’t currently have, but that’s a post for another day!)

Last week’s project was another throw pillow.

The fabric was left over from week one’s green pillow. I used the wrong side for the border pieces and the right side for the middle. To tie both the piecing together and the fabric to the trim I added some orange stitching.

I made the cording with some cotton fabric I had lying around. It’s hard to tell from the picture (Note to self: more close-up pictures!) but the cording is an orange batik. I’m happy with the way it turned out, although I did have a problem with the invisible zipper. I sewed too close to the zipper teeth so I had to rip out some of the stitches.

Next week (well, technically this week) I am switching to art quilting. I’m doing the Quilt Along with Melody. I’m excited about trying my hand (again) at art quilting.

Monday: Project Check-in

(Arg!!! I actually wrote the post below on Monday (check-in day) but I couldn’t get to the pictures I wanted to add because I was in the middle of organizing my digital scrapbook supplies in Lightroom. And then I got sidetracked with other things and never got back to this post. So…a few days late but I did actually get the projects done last week.)

I made two throw pillows last week! Both came out pretty nice.

The first one used some Duponi silk that I had lying around. I washed the silk and then scrunched it up a bit and ironed it onto some lightweight fusible interfacing. Each side got some fancy machine stitches. I went with a different pattern on each side.

The trim I used is something I had bought this week to use for the pillows. I was going to go with the orange fringe (picture below) but it seemed a little too much with the blue fabric. I think that the orange and yellow cording worked out better, especially with the orange and yellow thread that I used on the stitching.

I like the way the stitches came out but I’m not so sure I like that the two sides are different.

Lessons Learned:

  • Google how to finish trim BEFORE you put it on. It doesn’t do much good afterwards. The trim is fraying a bit where the two ends meet. I tried both fray check and glue but it’s still there.
  • The invisible zipper should probably be in the same color as the pillow — it’s not quite that invisible.

The second throw pillow was with fabric that I had bought earlier in the week along with the fringe and cording. I really like how the colors work on this pillow and I really like the fringe (although it was rather expensive.)

Note to self for future posts: Take some pictures of the work in progress, find a better spot to photograph things (although the green fabric is hard to photograph no matter where it is — I guess because of the shine), and photograph the items in use (e.g. on the couch with the other pillows.)