Civil War Quilt--Block 9

2023 update: I no longer have this pattern. It is still commercially available from the designer. Please do not ask me for the pattern; please go honor the creator and purchase a legal copy.

This block is called Old Tippecanoe & Tyler Too.  Considering the entire thing is made of half-square triangles, I can't believe how quickly it went together.  While I'm not really a fan of the colors, I like how these blocks turned out because of how easily they went together.  I was totally feeling at peace while sewing these!

Faux Roman Shades from Mini Blinds, Part 2

In my last mini blind post, I had just calculated how big to cut the fabric panels.  Luckily I waited and ran things past my husband, because he pointed out that in the tutorials I was using the people had a different type of mini blind mount than we do.  In other words, their measurements for the top were completely different than what I need.  Our blinds have brackets at the back to snap the blinds in to.  I can't have a bunch of excess fabric at the top back because then the blinds won't fit securely into the brackets.

So I remeasured my dimensions.  I figured that I only need 1/2" of fabric to wrap onto the back of the bracket.  My new calculation looks like this:  72" (length of blind) + 1-1/2" (bottom wrap) + 1/2" (top wrap) = 74".  So my decorator panels will be cut at 74" long by 30-1/2" wide.  The lining should be cut at 74" by 28-1/2".
Here is my method for taking a picture of a measurement.  Scotch tape is so useful!
Next I opened up my cardboard work surface and tried to get it flat.  That took a while.  
Finally!  It's mostly flat and lined up.
I pressed my fabric, cut it, double checked the measurements, and repeated for the lining.  I decided to serge the top and bottom edges of the fabric and lining separately because I figured they would not come out exact.  That ended up being a good decision.

Next I pressed each long edge 1/2" to the wrong side.  I used my handy dandy Dritz Ezy-Hem, which you can tell I love based on its condition.  

Then I folded the long sides over another half inch and pressed again.  I also pinned because I was working with such a long length and didn't want it to fall out or lose its alignment as I shifted the fabric on my work surface.
Like my pincushion?  It's from Etsy shop MeadowMistDesigns.  It's nice and sturdy because
it is filled with a combination of stuffing and crushed walnut shells.  No rolling off the table.  :)

After everything was pressed, I double checked the measurements again, unpinned the hems, and then placed the lining onto the wrong side of the fabric, tucking it under pressed edges.  I had to do a little adjusting, and the top and bottom serged edges did not come out exact, so I was glad they were separate and I was able to adjust as needed.

Once everything was adjusted and measurements checked yet again, I pinned everything in place and ran a hem down each of the folded edges.  Then I placed the completed panel face down on the cardboard surface and lined it up.  My cardboard had measurements up to 72", so it worked out perfectly for the length of my blind.  

We cut the ladders out of the blind and removed them.  My husband broke off most of the extra slats in the blind--we needed only seven, but we left nine on in case of mishaps while gluing.  Then we placed the blind right side down onto the fabric panel.  After much debate about how to proceed, I finally stuck pins every nine inches down the hemmed edge on both sides so that I knew where to line up the remaining blind slats.  

Then we attempted to glue the top of the blind to the fabric.  We were using an old bottle of Fabri-Tac. Apparently it can dry out, because it came out more like rubber cement.  I tried to spread it with a foam paintbrush, which DID NOT work.  We ended up pulling off the bad glue with our hands, opening a new bottle of Fabri-Tac, and trying again.  This time I just smoothed out the glue with my fingers.  We pressed down on the bar so that it would adhere, let it sit a few minutes, then applied more glue to the rolled rim at the back.  We were concerned it wouldn't hold, so we used a bunch of clips to hold it in place and let it dry for several hours before removing the clips.  

Then I applied glue to the slats, lined them up with the pins I had in place to mark each placement, and pressed them into place.  Finally, we spread glue onto the bottom piece of the blind and clipped it into place.  I ended up using the glue bottle to prop up the bottom piece so that it would dry how I wanted it to hang.  
We still have to remove the extra slats that are located between the last slat and the bottom of the blind.
Right now the blind is drying.  We will let it cure for 24 hours before moving it off the cardboard. Because my decorator fabric and lining are separate, I will probably have to go back through and either glue or hand stitch the pieces together at the top and bottom after everything is dry.  We'll see how it looks.  Stay tuned for part 3!

Funny Things #4

This is one for which I have no words.  Seen at Menard's.

Do you have a picture you want to see pictured in this series?  Feel free to submit it to me.

Faux Roman Shades from Mini Blinds, part 1

Last year I found a tutorial on Pinterest on how to make faux Roman shades using mini blinds.  I really wanted to give this a try and went right out and bought supplies.  I even wrote a post about it.  Well, as you know, I am really slow on getting projects done.  This year I have been making a greater effort to actually finish things I've started, and it is finally time to get these blinds knocked out.

Part of the reason I put off making the blinds is that I wasn't really sure the tutorial I found gave enough information for me to fully understand the process and I didn't want to ruin any of the materials I purchased. So I surfed for more tutorials and found a second one that showed more steps.  I think that between the two of them, this project should be doable.

I really want these blinds to be lined.  Neither tutorial used lining, but I really don't want the slats showing through.  I think I was originally going to try to sandwich the blinds between the fabric and lining--this was given as a suggestion in one of the tutorials' comments.  I'm really glad that I took the time this year to read through EVERY comment, because someone tried it and it did not work.  So I will be making a lined panel first and then proceeding with the steps.

When I purchased everything last year I bought lining--heavy black out lining.  Reconsidering it this year, I decided that it simply weighs too much to be attached to only a few plastic slats, so I purchased some lighter weight, non-black out lining instead.  I also got some cheap foam brushes to spread the glue and a cardboard thing that I can use to measure and glue on and not have to worry about being super neat.

Some of my supplies.
This is the type of lining I am using.

I had my husband hang the blinds and took some measurements.  Each of my blinds is 28-1/2" inches wide and 68-5/8" long.  To make the math easier on myself, I will be using 72" for my length.  I plan to have a fold every 9", so 72" divided by 9" gives me 8, which will be the number of slats I will use.  I am not overly concerned with the length being several inches longer than the window because these shades are in our office and will rarely be let out to their full length.

This is the office window with the blinds in place.
Here is my decorator fabric.

The tutorials say to give yourself 2 - 3 inches extra beyond your measurements to allow for hemming.  I am going to allow 1" extra on each side (fold under 1/2", then another 1/2"), so I will cut my fabric to a width of 30-1/2".  One of the tutorials hemmed the tops and bottoms, and one didn't.  I think I will do at least a small hem so that no raw edges are showing--maybe just serge the edge and then tuck it under, which would be a single 1/4" hem.  

My top piece will need 2" to wrap around, plus my 1/4" hem.  My bottom piece needs 1-1/4" to wrap, plus the 1/4" hem.  Sooooo....2.25 + 1.5 = 3.75" extra in length.  That means my cutting dimensions for each panel of decorator fabric is 75-3/4" length by 30-1/2" width.  My lining pieces will be slightly smaller so that they fit within the hems of the  decorator fabric.

I'm off to start ironing and cutting my fabric.  Stay tuned.

Funny Things #3

For today's funny picture, we have the hamster car with the hamster decal.  I've seen several of these, but they always make me smile.