Funny Things #40

Let's flamingle?  

I saw this while driving into town a week or two ago.  I really enjoyed it.  More were added over a several days' time, including a giant flamingo pool float.  Sadly, I didn't get a picture of the larger display and it has since been removed.  

Churn Dash #dashalong Quilt & Sewing Room

This is the final week of the #dashalong quilt along on Instagram hosted by @kairleoaks and @heritagethreads.  I worked on my layout over the weekend and decided I needed to switch out two of my blocks that were too light.  I made two new ones in denim blue and that seemed to work out okay.

One thing I didn't consider before I started sewing was which direction to press the seams.  That made assembly a bit difficult.  Anyway, I sewed my blocks together and felt like the top needed a little something.  I added 4" wide borders (cut at 4.5").  I'm pretty pleased with the top.  What I like best is that I used fabrics I already had.  I did add in a few lighter blue fabrics since I was lacking there.  Only adding a few fat quarters for a quilt this size--I'll call that a win for using the stash.  

I really didn't want to spend money for backing because this is a large top--80" x 92".  I had a seven yard piece of fabric that I got on a super sale from Crimson Tate last summer.  While the blue isn't a perfect match, it is good enough.  I really have tried to embrace the "good enough" mindset on this top, along with several others this year.  I tend to get hung up in perfectionist mode and then I don't finish anything.  Anyway, I also wanted to use the two blocks I didn't use on the front.  I made two additional blocks and pieced together a "good enough" backing.  I haven't pressed it yet (clearly).

I'm pondering how to quilt it.  Here are some of the books I am using as reference.  I often turn to these for inspiration for custom (not allover pattern) inspiration.  What are your favorite quilting reference books?  Or where do you look online for quilting inspiration?
I'm also still trying to finish my EPP block that the Fat Quarter Shop did in 2015.  I just need to finish stitching it down to the background.  I am finding it really difficult.
I have the sewing room cabinet layout mostly hammered out.  I'm not entirely sure of it, but this weekend the construction begins.  My biggest problem is that I'd really like my sewing machine to be inset so that the tabletop is level with the sewing machine surface and I can't really envision how it will look.  My other issue is what to use for a countertop.  I'm leaning toward Formica for cost, but I want all finished edges and no corner seam.  We may be making custom Formica countertops (wouldn't be the first time, but it's not very fun and is really smelly with the glue).

I found these two articles to be really interesting this week:
1.  Quilt Market analysis
2.  article on blogging by Allison Harris

Pile of quilts I'm contemplating selling.
I will be working on my guild swap project, quilting the #dashalong quilt, and helping on cabinets over the next week.  What will you be working on?

Finished Basement Bathroom

We are finally done with the downstairs bathroom!  We had a few surprises along the trail to the finish, but overcame them and got it done.

Here it is.
View on entering the bathroom.  Tub unit is by Delta, purchased from Lowes.
Special order 48" cabinet and matching end piece by Kraft Maid, purchased from Lowes.
The counter is quartz, purchased from a local supplier's remnant sale.
I couldn't find a mirror in the width I wanted.  Kinda bummed.
Cabinet pulls are Savoy in chrome by Hickory, purchased from Menards.
Knobs are by Designer's Image, purchased from Menards.  I like them because they are heavy and feel
like real crystal. Most of the "crystal" knobs I looked are were very lightweight and looked like cheap plastic.
Faucets and accessories are Caldwell in chrome by Moen.
Curved shower rod by Moen, purchased at Menards.
Roller hooks by Wamsutta purchased at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
The shower curtain I'd planned to use in this bathroom ended up having all sorts of stains (???)
on it and was way too short.  I bought a new one--Jana in white by Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
A total steal on clearance for $6.99 in store!
It isn't really a true white, but it works.  It has lurex threads in silver woven through for a bit of shimmer.
Custom 5" trim made by my father in law.  Tiles are Style Selections Serso Black Walnut look from Lowes.
The lightbulbs are making the tile look really orange, but it's actually dark brown with a hint of red.
Paint is Icy Avalanche by HGTV Home/Sherwin Williams, from Lowes.  It's a gray color with a bit of taupe.
Door is special order Jeld-Wen from Lowes.
The door knob is Weslock Impreza, ordered from Amazon.
I don't like exposed screws on my door knobs and these were the only
ones we could find without.
Looking in from the door.  Toilet by Toto.  😏
Light is by Minka Lavery, purchased online.  Wayfair is selling what looks to be an identical light but under a different brand name.  Overstock still has this brand.  A few thoughts--one, I'm glad I went with the four-light vs. the three.  Two, I really wanted to put traditional clear incandescent bulbs in this but knew I'd get shot down on that.  I put in some LEDs the electric company sent us for free.  They are okay, but very yellow.  Since it's a basement bathroom, I'm leaving them for now.

The next project is my sewing room.  I'm still struggling with cabinet layout.  I have a week to make my final decisions.  I have the paint color, lighting, and flooring chosen.

I haven't sewn much this past week, but I am in the process of putting together 42 churn dash blocks.  You can check my Instagram feed to see updates.  (Link to the right--->)

Funny Things #39

Saw this fun license plate at Target the other day.  Side note:  I really enjoyed the Subaru plant tour in Lafayette, Indiana. 

Lots of Little Progresses

I don't feel like I've accomplished much since last week, but looking over my pictures, we've made a good deal of progress.

First, the bathroom in the basement.  We were really hoping to have everything done by the end of last weekend, but the counter fitting took significantly longer than expected.  And we took several trips in to Menards and Lowes.  And we took our daughter practice driving on base and she sort of got pulled over by the Navy Police.  Mostly it was coincidence and he didn't use lights and we were in a parking lot and there wasn't any issue.  We got a fun story out of it.  

Anyway, the bathroom walls are done and look great.  The toilet is back in, cleaned, and functional!  I may be most excited by this part.  The counter took a lot of lifting on and off because the drywallers built the corner out too much and it is out of square.  So my husband had to trim the quartz on one end to make it fit nicely.  I think we lifted that thing off and on four or five times and hauled it outside and back in a couple times.  But it's on.  

The next logical step would be to hook up the faucet, but I really wanted to see the light fixture on the wall.  So the light works and the plumbing hook ups and outlets are currently in progress.  I have cabinet knobs on order since the store only had three of the four I needed.  The only thing I still have left to buy is a mirror.  We debated getting a framed mirror since that is what is in style, but I have one upstairs and I hate it.  It collects all sorts of grime and dust.  I will purchase a big, beveled edge mirror because that is what I like.  Trends be darned.

In the sewing arena, I have now received all my Polaroid blocks.
Here are some I sewed for myself.
These are all the extra ones I have left.  I'm still open to side trades.
Here are all the diamond blocks that I am procrastinating on.  I was surprised by how yellow the fabric reads as a whole, although I'm happy to see it doesn't look quite as yellow in the photo.  Oh, and look--there are all those Queen Bee blocks that have been hanging around for a few years. The blocks that are left on that require appliqué or hand sewing.  Could that be why it's still unfinished???

I sewed up this quilt top from a kit I bought a few years ago.  There was supposed to be enough fabric  for the backing too, but they neglected to take into account that the fabric is directional. Duh.  So I am going to have to piece a backing somehow.  I bought a little extra fabric because I didn't like the flying geese main triangle fabric that came in the kit.  When I bought the extra fabric, it was a three fat quarter bundle, so I will probably try to make the extra fat quarters make up the difference on the backing.  Still, it is really annoying that they didn't give enough fabric to do it properly.
I went fabric shopping because I needed a few things.  (More below.) I was really happy to find some yardage so that I could make a backing for this quilt.  It's a great big one.  Not sure when I'll get to quilting it, but at least now I'm a step closer.
Finally, I joined another quilt along.  I didn't really need another project, as anyone who has visited my works in progress tab up above can attest to.  However, I'd been looking at just how much fabric I have and I was feeling pretty guilty over my excess.  I also was noticing how some of it goes together.  And I had seen mention of #DashAlong on Instagram and the quilt is one of my very favorite blocks, the Churn Dash.  While the pattern calls for a layer cake, I realized I had almost enough in my stash to do the entire thing.  I purchased four extra fabrics to balance out the colors.  There are so many different manufacturers in this--Riley Blake, Moda, Windham, Timeless Treasures, Cotton + Steel, Dear Stella, Kaufman, a few unknown (no selvage).  I hope it turns out well!  I'm terrible at envisioning a finished product.  It's not too late for you to join in too.  Just search for #DashAlong for the free pattern and details.
I'll be trimming HST for the rest of the week.  What are you working on?

Construction & Deconstruction

I haven't been doing much sewing in the last week.  I cut all the diamond angles of the jelly roll quilt I started, but really can't face sewing them all together at the moment.  They are currently living on the design wall with the Queen Bee quilt blocks that I haven't worked on in at least a year.

I also decided that I really need to finish off the Fat Quarter Shop EPP I did a few years ago.  It just needs to be sewn to the background.  I got a few of the points sewn down, but it's really slow going and I am not enjoying it at all.  I'll try to keep plugging away at it though.

I did work on stripping a dressing table for my daughter.  We inherited it from my grandma 12 or 15 years ago.  That was about at the point where we started relocating for jobs a bunch and we just kept hauling it with us.  We've been in our current location for six years (a record length of time in one place for us).  A few years ago my husband started to strip the table, but it got set aside.  I decided that we really need to have this finished, so the kids and I started working on it some more.  My son made it a few minutes before losing interest.  My daughter lasted a bit longer.  I ended up doing the rest of it on my own.  There were at least three layers of paint on it--white, yellow, and an odd orangey brown. There are drawers, a three-panel mirror, and arms along with the table. It now needs to be sanded quite a bit before it can be repainted.
My husband has a break before his next MBA class starts, so he's been working on finishing the bathroom.  The trim is all in place and painted.  The sink cabinet is in place too (of course, since it had to be in place in order to do the trimming).  He has everything taped off so that the walls are ready to paint, but I guess he decided to do more work on the drywall last night. So now he has to sand and then clean up all the dust before he can actually paint.  Sigh.
This picture shows the trim before painting.
The trim with paint.
Taping in progress.  Tip:  use painter's tape along the ceilings to avoid having to clean up roller marks.
I haven't been spending much time outside lately because the weather hasn't been too comfortable.  I did notice that most of my hosta next to the garage service door has been eaten. Then, a few feet further away, I found another chewed plant.  It used to be a hosta too.  I really need to weed.