Monday, 31 August 2015

Patchwork Bench

I’m very excited to share the Patchwork Bench I made from Anna Graham of Noodlehead’s book, Handmade Style. The book is full of great projects, easy to customize to your tastes. I kept admiring the projects Anna was posting online, then finally bought the book. I decided to make a Patchwork Bench following her pattern, and I made a few changes to make it more affordable.

I used a charm pack of Paradiso by Kate Spain along with some Robert Kaufman chambray in indigo that I had in my stash. I mixed in some of the chambray in the top, to take out some of the pink fabrics. Combined with a medium interfacing, the cover seems sturdy enough.

To make the base, we found a scrap of 3/4” plywood big enough. We also had an old, broken chair with decent legs, so we cut the legs off the use. They got a light sanding, a coat of KILZ, then two coats of paint (also all on hand). We used the drill press to drill a hole in the top of each leg and screwed in hanger bolts.  Those screwed right in to the mounting plates. 

I was having trouble finding affordable foam for the bench and looked around for other options. At the big box fabric store, it cost $60! I ended up getting a double bed-sized foam mattress pad from Walmart for $15. Much better. It was flat on one side and textured on the other, but I just put the textured sides together to make it flat. The foam cut nicely into 6 pieces the size of the bench with very little leftover – perfect!

She came in to investigate why I was moving furniture around,
so I let her sit on the bench since she was in the shot anyway. 
I used cotton batting that I already had. I wanted to wrap the batting around all sides and it was thin, so I used a double layer of batting to wrap the length and a double layer to wrap the width. The fabric cover went on very smoothly!

If your bookshelves aren't stacked like this, you must not be reading enough ;)

This was a great project, fun and pretty easy to put together. I'm thrilled with the results and look forward to finding a home for it :)

Friday, 28 August 2015

Edge Tote Sewing Class!

I taught my first sewing classes over the past two weeks. I hosted it at my local community centre with ten "students." We had a lot of fun! It was a great group, with sewers of various levels of experience (from first time to life-long).

We used my Edge Tote pattern and some of the ladies were so fast they had all but their handles finished the first evening. So some worked on making another bag the second night, while others made Arizona Wallets using Teresa from Dandelion Drift's pattern on Sew Mama Sew. It was exciting to see the variety in the bags, with the different colours and fabrics and quilting.

Here's my cousin Maddy with her finished bag - her first and I hope not only ;) sewing project!

Grey and blues on a rainy day at the lake.

Here I am on the left with the group and their finished bags and wallets. Thanks to all of the ladies who came out to make bags with my pattern. Hopefully we can do it again someday :)

Monday, 24 August 2015

Wooden Sling Deck Chairs

We had some old sling lawn chairs that were a little weathered, with rotten fabric. The fabric was torn off and they sat in storage. While I was on a roll sanding and staining, I figured I might as well continue on with the chairs. They turned out much better than I expected. They looked pretty sharp after a coat of stain. I think these have come back in style too; everything comes back around again if you hold onto it for long enough.

I had bought some outdoor fabric on sale a couple summers ago and thought I could use it up with this project. Once I saw the nice colour of the stain on the chair, and spotted a 1 metre remnant of navy and white outdoor fabric for $4, I went another route. So much for no spending! ha. But for $2/chair, how could I turn it down?

The sewing for these was fast and easy. I used my rolled hem foot to sew a quick rolled hem along each of the long sides of the fabric. It maybe took me 10 minutes to measure, cut and sew the whole thing.  We used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the chair, first stapling the top, then wrapping it around once and stapling it to the bottom.

I just wish I had a before picture, of the hideous, flowery 70s? fabric.

 I think they'll look good on a future deck or lawn :)

Friday, 21 August 2015

New Old Dresser

I've got another furniture refinish for you today!

I like taking something old and making it new again. This dresser was in the shop. The top shelf was home to a cozy mouse nest and the handles were mismatched, broken or missing. There is also a chip on one of the legs. Other than that, it was in good shape. I stripped it twice with stain remover, washed the drawers and then sanded it with the palm sander. My dad helped me sand down the edges of the drawers so they would fit better.


The dresser got a coat of stain in Early American and a few coats of Varathane along with some new drawer pulls. 

I think my favourite part of the dresser is the keyholes.

It's so shiny now :)

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Refinished Trunk

***We interrupt this deluge of quilting projects with a woodworking project***

For the past couple weeks or so, I traded in my fabric and rotary cutter for wood and an orbital sander. I've been working on refinishing a few pieces of old furniture we had stored around the house. 

First, I'd like to share my trunk makeover. My parents picked up two old trunks while riding their bikes past a yard sale a few years ago. We aired them out on the porch for a while and never got around to doing anything else with them. I hope to buy a house sometime soon and thought I'd take advantage of my free time in the summer to work on some projects. So I started looking up ideas on Pinterest. I mostly followed instructions from this blog



Someone had already done a bit of work on them and stripped the thick paper off of the top and sides.  I cleaned up the edges, took off stray bits of paper and sanded the wood with a palm sander. I used a water, vinegar and soap mixture to spray the inside and scraped the wallpaper off. Then it got a good scrub and rinse and sat out in the sun to dry for the day.

Once it was cleaned up, I stained the wood with Miniwax stain in Early American and coated it with Varathane. I coated the inside with shellac, then painted the inside of the lid with some leftover white paint-and-primer-in-one we had on hand.

For the lining of the trunk, we cut some 1/4" plywood slightly smaller than each of the four sides and bottom. I covered them with a layer of batting and cotton fabric, pulled around and tacked to the back. We ended up cutting them a bit smaller than planned, as we had almost enough scrap wood on hand. They are secured at the top with a bit of two-sided tape and they're easy to take out if I want to change it up.  

I covered the bottom of the trunk with a piece of thick fleece so that the slight metal feet and nail heads on the bottom wouldn't scrape against the floor.

So there was some fabric involved after all. I haven't replaced the leather handles yet and might just leave them. I also left the hardware and most of the scratches and imperfections. I figure they add character. 

I love how the trunk turned out and I look forward to using it one day. 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Sewing Storage - Thread Toolbox

While browsing Winners at the start of the summer, I found this toolbox and bought it on impulse. It was too cute and I couldn’t resist.

I intended on using it for d├ęcor and not real tools, though I didn’t have a specific purpose in mind. I think a proper toolbox needs a handle on the top anyway.

I like how a rainbow of spools looks up on those racks on sewing room walls, but I also know that leaving spools out to expose them to dust and sun isn’t good for them.  The ladies at my local shop have been getting wooden racks made that fit inside those 12 1/2” x 12 1/2” plastic scrapbooking containers to hold their spools. I realized that the toolbox would work nicely for holding thread and started taking measurements.

I bought 4 four-foot 1/4” dowels and used some scraps of 1/2” plywood we had on hand. I asked my Dad and brother for help, as I don’t have much experience with woodworking yet. After pestering him a few times and leaving him a paper template and the toolbox on his kitchen floor, my brother drilled the holes into the plywood for me, 1/64” smaller than the dowel for a friction fit. This week I dropped by while he was building a new workbench and happened to have the dowels with me. So of course he was more than happy to stop his project to make the cuts for his favourite twin. 

I twisted the dowels into the holes and used a hammer to pound them in all the way. They seem to be tight enough that we don't need to use wood glue. There are two layers of spool racks that stack on top of each other and still fit nicely inside of the toolbox. 

I think that this would work well for someone with a small living space or who doesn't have a dedicated sewing space. Sewing supplies hidden in plain sight and a cool decor piece in one.

How do you store and organize your thread? Do you have a favourite brand for piecing and quilting?

Linking up at Needle and Thread Thursday and Sew Cute Tuesday

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Summer Sewing Space

I've spent most of this summer so far doing this

and this

and this

and this

and exploring places like this.

I've also found a little time for this. 

I just spent a wonderful long weekend with friends and I'm looking forward to more cottage life. I have a few projects in the works and I'm sure I'll get around to finishing them. Until then, I'd like to announce the winner of the giveaway for my Tilted Quilt Pattern and head back to the lake. 

Thanks to the random number generator, commenter number 5, Anja, from Anja Quilts is the winner! 

Thank you for all of your kind comments about the pattern, they are truly appreciated. If you'd like to buy the pattern, you can find it here in my Etsy shop.

Long live summer!