Weekend goodness

Saturday was the last Portland Modern Quilt Guild All Day Sew of the year.  Practically any quilt guild event totally refreshes me for quilt sewing.  Although before hand I completely (well almost) panic regarding what project(s) I should bring to work on.  I ended up packing four different projects.  Ha.  The stack of fabric I lugged with me, versus the stack of fabric I actually used is nearly comical.  


I’m a slow quilter, and I spent the first 4 hours of the day in a vague fog due to lack of sleep, so while some people made entire quilt tops, from cutting, piecing blocks and assembling the top… I made one 12 1/2″ block and almost finished a mini-quilt top (16 5″ blocks).  Of course I also had 3 mini fabric shopping trips, 1 lunch out with a friend, several good and sometimes long conversations, and gave a tiny bit on input into a charity group our guild is working on.

First up, my quilt-club (a group/class at a local quilt shop that involves making one block a month):  I would have never picked these fabrics myself, but I do like them.  However I’m not so happy with my which-fabric-where decision.  Oh well, I suspect the entire will work nicely when it is finally put together.  And these blocks are learning tools for me.

quilt club block

And now my mini quilt.  In my quilt guild we have some amazing artists, creating their own patterns and it is very inspiring.  But I’m mostly a copier, I see a quilt and think “I want that” so I set about to recreate it.  In this instance I spied a block that was part of Black Rock Stitchery (5th photo down) and  an entire quilt of them flashed before me.  And since I’ve had a piece of aqua fabric hanging around I decided to copy the color scheme too.  Now individually this block is a wonky cross and there are some beautiful wonky cross quilts out there, but I had a slightly different vision for it.  I did make a couple mistakes in my process, but overall I am pleased with the progress and execution of my vision.  The top isn’t quite complete, but after working on it for a few hours I decided it needed to let it sit for a bit.


All in all, I really recommend putting effort into turning what can be a solitary activity into a social one.  But, if you notice, I only used the 3 fabrics sitting on the top of the pile and a small roll of fabrics (just enough) that I was given for the quilt club block.

October 23, 2011. Tags: , . quilting. 3 comments.

Entryway Keyholder

I used to be one of those people who misplaced their keys all the time.  Finally I adopted the habit of putting my keys in the same place every single time (well 98 out of 100 times).  I’m continually tweaking our entryway and way back in March I finally got around to making my version of How About Orange’s DIY Key Holder.  (I think that is where I got this wooden board + cup hook idea). Apparently I didn’t take any photos and so never blogged about this keyholder. I think it is very successful since we’ve been using it for the last 6 months.


Instead of painting and decopauging pretty paper on it I wanted to use a scrap of this Amy Butler fabric I had that coordinated with the big wall pocket* I made a while back. I bought a 24″ long 1 x 4 – the big box home improvement store I went to had a variety of shorter lengths in the same aisle as the rest of the dimensional lumber, a package of cup hooks, and a yard of iron-on vinyl.

First I decided how many hooks I wanted on the board (4 gave me the best spacing for hanging keys, though 5 would have looked nicer if I wanted to hang this horizontally), then I drew a line to bisect the 4″ width of the board and lines to indicate where the hooks should be screwed in.  I drilled pilot holes at the intersections.  Next I cut out the iron-on vinyl to be about 4″ wider and longer than my board and fused it to my fabric, and trimmed my fabric down to match the vinyl.  I used a staple gun to attach it to the board, used my awl to locate the pilot holes, poke small holes in the fabric and screwed the cup hooks into the board. Then I nailed a picture hanger into the top back of the board and eyeballed the picture hanger for the wall (hence the key holder is slightly higher than the wall pocket).

IMG_3485 IMG_3486

*I made the wall pocket back in late 2008 and it was loosely based on a smaller Wall Pocket from Craft Apple; I used a corkboard from Ikea (minus the wooden frame). I was hoping to create something that also held our keys but that didn’t pan out (I attempted to add a magnetic surface behind the fabric, but either my canvas is too thick or my magnetic hooks weren’t strong enough). Each pocket is dedicated to certain types of mail/paperwork (coupons, take-out menus, bills/important deal-with-it papers, seasonal paper reference like the art museum’s quarterly calendar).

September 20, 2010. Tags: , , . Organization, Solutions. Leave a comment.

Bulletin Board

Ever since I started reading Martha Stewart Living (somewhere between 10 and 15 years ago) I've wanted a huge fabric covered bulletin board.  In January Emira at Domicile reminded me of this when she posted about her fabric covered bulletin boards.  In January or early February I bought about 1 1/2 yards of a pretty Freshcut print to cover the yet-to-be board.

I went to my local huge home improvement store and looked, yet again for the fabled homosote.  I didn't find it, but I did find another brand of fiberboard meant for soundproofing.  Then I checked that other huge home improvement store.  Same thing.  I finally got the nerve to ask an employee to get one sheet of fiberboard (it was up on a very high shelf) and cut it for me.  He said he wouldn't cut the fiberboard with their saw because it would tear it up.  I didn't have a utility knife and straight edge with me and I wasn't about to buy another set.  Since I drive a sedan there was no way I could get a four feet by eight foot piece of sheet goods home.  On to plan b.

Plan B:  I found the ceiling tiles and picked out a single two foot by four foot ceiling tile (checking the corners to make sure they were not smooshed) and then went to the section where they have the sheet goods in two by four foot sheets and grabbed a piece of luan (it is 3/8" thick plywood, I'm not sure what makes it different from other 3/8" thick plywood).  I checked to see if they were a match size-wize (they weren't) then I went and found an employee to help me cut about 1/4" off each side of the luan.  Then I headed over to the paint section and picked up a small tube of liquid nails (the basic kind in the gold/tan tube) and a can of kilz spray paint (to cover the printing on the back of the ceiling tile).

Then all the stuff sat around at home waiting for me to clear a space to paint the ceiling tile and adhere the tile to the plywood.  Eventually I got around to it.  I used the entire tube of liquid nails!  At this point I realized that while I could stretch my pretty Freshcut fabric over the soon-to-be-bulletin board it might abrade against the edges of the plywood so I stretched and stapled a piece of white muslin first.  Then I stretched the fabric, stapling into the plywood. 

Finally I was able to put my bulletin board up in the office, it sat on my desk, I mean no one could see the messy back.  Eventually I covered the raw edges of the fabric on the back of the board with 1" wide grossgrain ribbon.  I glued this on using my longtime favorite Tacky Glue (which I noticed now has a generic equivilant, I haven't tried that yet), smoothing a few inches of ribbon down at a time, working my way around the board.  A few days later I screwed in two d-ring type picture hangers, strung picture wire between them and hammered two small Ook brand (I mention the brand because these things rock, though I recently saw similiar Target brand hooks) hooks in the wall, almost 2 feet apart with the aid of TheHusband and a handy dandy laser level.

Ta da:

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October 11, 2007. Tags: , , . Thoughts. Leave a comment.