Ohh My StarsI have become a quilter interrupted!! It seems like the more I try and make time for quilting the quicker it gets eaten up.

Take today for example, today I was going to lock myself away in the studio, put together my other design wall, finish up my BOM blocks and a quilt that I need to cut sashing for. So I get my design wall all put together (it takes all of 5 minutes) and then start putting my quilt blocks on my wall. Then I really hate starting project(s) in a messy sewing room, so I sort a few things, pull out the sweeper and vacuum the floor, and have just about everything ready to begin. Then Karl comes done and says, we’re meeting some friends in 30 minutes. Friends I like, friends that always take care of our dogs when we’re out of town. So of course I want to go and see them….but then I’m a tad torn because…well I was going to sew today. Can I sew when I get back, ABSOLUTELY. But, I always have a problem starting a project I know I won’t finish that day…

When I quilt I love know that today I’m going to press and cut everything. Then tomorrow I will get the first part of piecing done, then the following I will piece the blocks, etc, etc. I like have a clear beginning and ending, because it means I met the goal I set for myself. While I LOVE doing it this way I clearly need to take a new tact. My friend Charisma finishes TONS of quilts, and she does it in small increments, 5 minutes at a time if that’s all she has. We works little by little and at the end of the quilt POOF there’s a quilt, next week POOF there is another quilt.

So, I’m going to FORCE myself not to come up with an excuse today why I can’t go back down, and then try and set aside at least 30 minutes each day to each some sewing done. I really do love it, and it helps tremendously with releasing stress (except when you can’t get those blasted seams to match up)!!

So this is my new challenge to myself….less procrastinating more short bursts of productiveness…

Upcylcing – Say what??

“Recycling,” he said, “I call it downcycling. They smash bricks, they smash everything. What we need is upcycling- where old products are given more value, not less.”
~Reiner Pilz

So upcycling, sounds like a new and cool thing to do right?  Well I don’t know.  I have a feeling our parents have been doing this for YEARS….it was called “Making due with what you could afford”  Hate that old dresser?  Slap on a coat of paint and turn it into something new.  However I have to admit, upcylcing sounds cool.  So I’m doing it with a chest of drawers I was given.

Here is a "before" photo of the chest of drawers I was given.
Here is a “before” photo of the chest of drawers I was given.

It’s an old faux wood chest of of drawers with heavy molding.  I remember growing up we had end tables that were similar, with a hidden door where we would hide our quilts and blankets for movie nights.

So I am going to be using a new paint I’ve never used before.  It’s called “Amy Howard: One-Step Paint” and I guess it’s a “chalk paint”  I purchased it at my favorite little resale shop called Revisit.  The paint sticks to ANYTHING.  All you have to do is clean the piece you are planning to paint, and paint it.  Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy!  (At least this is what I’ve been told)

Once it’s done, it will end up being my pressing table, with more storage for odds and ends.  The only thing I am unsure on is the hardware.  I would like to update it, however it’s an odd size, and the new pulls I liked are $6 a pull.  So the frugal side of me purchased a $4 can of spray paint.  But the jury is still out on whether or not the pulls will stay.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of this little project.  I hope to have it completed by next weekend.

My Quilting Studio aka The Sewing Room

In my current house I am extremely lucky to have a nice large room to devote to my quilting. Before that I had an unfinished basement, and sometimes my dining room table.

I love finding smart inexpensive ways to create something beautiful and functional. Much like quilt making, I also find a satisfaction in knowing I created it.

photoMy current sewing room is a hodge-podge of Craigslist finds, show samples (thanks to the Arrow Sewing Cabinet Facebook Page), Wal-Mart book cases I altered slightly and hand me downs from family members moving out of state. My point is, you don’t have to have all store bought, matching items to create a wonderful sewing retreat for yourself. Finding some great pieces on Craigslist, a little paint and elbow grease, and you can make a room you look forward to working in.

For instance, this cabinet was an old TV cabinet. So I painted it, used it to house some electronics, as well as some of my stash and called it good!907264_10152758339220235_1849173580_n908351_10152764292125235_1819792167_n





My next project took a little more elbow grease. I need shelves to store my stash, I purchase some inexpensive bookcases from Walmart. I believe I they were $17 apiece. I purchase 4 total. Put them together and then attached 2 of the units together using screws. Added some crown molding, painted them and the viola! Instance stash storage!!

907236_10152768454335235_1423090145_n 907330_10152794709155235_1580427417_n





The white desk was a hand me down from my in-laws moving to Coupville. It was a green stained wood, so I painted it the same white color and use it as my computer station for embroidery designs, email, etc.

912003_10152835396685235_222793012_nMy sewing cabinets are from Kangaroo Cabinets (The Aussie, and The Dingo Cutting Table). I REALLY lucked into these after they were discontinuing the beech color. They were show models and I was able to purchase them over the phone and then I drove from Iowa to Wisconsin to pick them up in a friends mini-van. They BARELY fit, but we were able to get them home, and they have been amazing. My only complaint on them is, I’m 6 feet tall….so for a man they are a tab low to the ground. At some point I’m going to try and replace the casters with taller ones; however casters are a tad expensive, so I have been living with it. 🙂

Cutting Tablechain