Sunday, October 16, 2011

Shabby makeover.....

Some weeks ago I was driving down my mum's street with my mum in the car when I noticed an upturned coffee table on the side of the road. I slammed on the brakes and jumped out, exclaiming, "I'm having that!". It's amazing how much strength a woman can muster when picking up a piece of furniture at lightening speed and singlehandedly ramming it into the back seat of the car. (I would have asked mum to help but she's just had her second shoulder reconstruction!!) I was thrilled with my find and mum agreed that it was a pretty good score on the basis that she is an avid fan of anything with cabriole legs. Little did she know what I had in mind for it. (insert evil laugh here.) Joe helped me get it out of the car when I got home (see... brute strength gone now). I thought he'd have a fit particularly when we noticed candle wax on top (nahhh superficial!) and that each of the corners had been gnawed (....ohh!). Must have been something with a serious teething problem! But Joe, always the practical one thought that seeing as the legs were a bit curvy then rounded corners would work so he set about cutting them off with the jigsaw. Now I haven't yet revealed what I wanted this treasure for.....the shack! So I had no intention of restoring this little table but rather dressing it up to dress it down! After rounding the corners, Joe brought out the belt sander....a tool that scares the pants off of me because of its weight and propensity to gouge. The top looked pretty good when he'd finished particularly as I had poured boiling water to remove the last of the candle wax and that had played complete havoc with the previous'd think I hadn't studied french polishing for three years wouldn't you? I was tempted to leave the top with the wood exposed....but I didn't. I undercoated the whole lot and then popped on a coat of pale blue. But over the days I had left it to dry I began to think it was too light...almost the colour you would use for a baby's I bought a can of turquoise. I should also mention that I also bought a new hand sander because my other one died, the undercoat, the pale blue paint, brushes and a couple of other I'm now looking at around $120 and was starting to grumble that I could have bought a *&^%&*$# new coffee table! I spent hours painting this table....I reckon 3-4 weekends worth, coat upon coat to achieve a beautiful smooth finish. And then this morning I 'attacked' it with the 60 grit sandpaper and knocked it all back to shabby. Taaaa daaah!I also got stuck into a couple of other pieces of shack furniture that I had bought home. Each time there was paint on the brush, I painted these two as well. They were both from Ikea and were thrown out a few years back for $5 each. (They were probably only worth $5!) I didn't take a before photo (or a during for that matter) but they were, well.....Ikea-ish plain pine. Now they're beachy. I just hope they don't get scratched in the car on the way back to the shack! Ha!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mission accomplished....

After what ended up being one of those frightful days at work when an urgent job crops up and you're the only one in the office and you end up working from whoa-to-go sorting out...I doubly couldn't wait to get home. One, for the glass of wine to calm me down and two, to finish off my last block for my Swoon quilt. There's nothing better than putting it all behind you for some creative time behind the pedal of the Bernina! So mission accomplished! The last block is finished (top left) onto the sashing and borders. Here is the complete set on the floor. It's already looking rather large....I can't wait for it to be all neatly sashed and better yet....quilted!

Friday, October 14, 2011

And then there was eight....

I have finished my eighth Swoon block! The last two have been sitting around for weeks now whilst I've picked up other projects instead. So last night I got stuck into number eight and managed to add it to the other seven in the complete pile. Now with just one more to go and bashing out a blog post in between getting ready to go to work.....I'm wishing the day to go fast so I can finish off the last one tonight! Funny how that happens! Like the others this block features Denyse Schmidt's Picnic and Fairgrounds (Spotlight). Pattern is Swoon by Camille Roskelly.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


There are a few babies on the horizon....and I love that because it gives me a break from working on some of my other bigger works in progress in favour of smaller, quicker and experimental projects. One of the babes is definitely a boy the others are surprises so I can't get too gender specific with quilts made prior to their arrivals. This little quilt is totally inspired by this one and is an experiment in using small scraps of solid fabrics set against a solid background. It's also an experiment in arcs of straight line quilting which I've been itching to try....and now that I have, I can tick it off my list or reserve it for small projects in the future! Let's just say this kind of quilting is impressive but it is also an exercise in quilt wrangling!
T R I C K Y ! The little patches of colour were initially joined as strips and then cross cut to create strips made of smaller squares and rectangles and re-joined to create the blocks. It became quite a challenge to see how many I could create out of my solids collection (otherwise known as the scrappy little bits of fabric in the plastic bag that I couldn't bear to throw away!). I ended up with 6 blocks, 4 square-ish and 2 rectangle and I think they look like pixels! I love how each of these solid colours look so bland on their own but when they've joined a community, they just sing, even the violet! The layout evolved as I joined in the background to make the top....I say evolved because I did make some mistakes in my calculations and cutting and ended up with a sightly different placement to my original plan! But....seeing as I can't remember what that was now, we move on! The backing fabric is more of the Ikea birds from the Cecelia range, this time in the coffee colour. I think I've managed to use all the colours now. The binding is an aqua spotty negative from Spotlight. Here it is sitting on the little stool rescued from the side of the road. It's had a little aqua makeover along with some other bits of furniture but that my friends it the topic of another post.....
Quilt stats:
Measures: approx 40" x 42"
Fabric: selection of solids from Kona and Spotlight Homespun, Ikea Cecelia birds, Spotlight spotty negative in aqua
Quilted: opposing arches of straight lines, filled with arrow head points
Quilted by: me!