New Tote and some head scratchers

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I cut into my Maker fabric this weekend to make this really fun bag.  The pattern is the 241 Tote by Noodlehead.  You can buy it here.

Usually I’m pretty good at figuring out how to make stuff without a pattern, but I kept staring at all the awesome pictures of this bag on the net and thinking, “how in the world does that go together?” It was driving me crazy trying to figure it out in my head, so I finally just bought it. I am glad I did! What a nice pattern. I’m sure I’ll make many more.

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I changed it up a little by piecing the main bag panel and I added grommets and a leather handle with swivel clips.  I scored a really nice bag of leather scraps at the craft store for 7 bucks (and I had a 40 percent off coupon which made it even cheaper!)  So now I have lots and lots of leather for purse straps. Cool!

side story:  while I was hammering in the grommets I kept thinking, don’t hammer your thumb Melissa!! don’t hammer your thumb!!! I totally hammered my thumb.  It was all swollen and throbbing like a Fred Flintstone cartoon.

Speaking of head scratchers,  a few other things have had me thinking hmmmm? lately too.

One is this pillow. m_T2YoJAg9dORJ-LbrkDjGgI love it. I keep seeing it in Home decorating pictures. It’s totally an album block right? We can make a quilty one! But for some reason my brain took forever to figure it out because all the album blocks I’ve ever made are just one row of “steps.”  Then I thought maybe you make in like an Irish chain? no  Maybe like a trip around the world? no  You have to make the album block but instead of making the block you make the whole thing at once laying out all the pieces and sewing long rows.  Right? Or is there an easier way? Maybe I’ve confused you as much as myself. LOL!!!!! =)

Two is my house.

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We’re having it scraped and painted the 3rd week of May. You would think it would be fun to pick out new house colors….but it’s a nightmare. We have to live with it for 10 years, what if it’s ugly??? Part of the reason is we have to keep the trim dark and the body light or it would cost 30 % more. We both hate the red, but can’t figure out a good color scheme. We’re spending a small fortune on sample pots to try out and none of them have worked. I thought we nailed it this weekend with a light gray body, dark gray outer trim and a darker, browner red inner trim.  And here is the crazy man I live with….it reminded him of Ohio State colors and he wont have people saying that to him.   Who would see a house and think of sports? UGGG, men. Any suggestions? (about the house, not the man. hehehe)

Hope you have a great week!

Melissa

p.s. I’ve been using Instagram a lot lately. I’d love it if you want to add me and I’ll add you back!  I’m: lussier1971

Farmhouse Glam

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I think I freaked some people out with my last decorating post.  Especially my husband and my Mom.  I hope you lovely readers aren’t too put off by the direction my tastes are moving, and that you continue to see something here in my posts, whether  it be quilting or decorating, that  interests you.  And if not we can still be friends!  Just think of it as if your friend got a really bad haircut: you still stay friends, say nice things, and wait for it to grow out! LOL

I can only explain it as I’ve had the some of the same furniture and decor for 12 years or more, and quite frankly I just get sick of looking at it after all that time.  I explained it to my husband as: you wouldn’t want the same stuff in the year 2000 as you would in 1988 right?  I think he is mostly concerned about me spending a ton of cash on new things.

Change doesn’t have to mean buying all new things, sometimes you can just add a little paint!

I got a change bug this week and incorporated some of the design elements I was talking about last time in this little nook under the stairs.

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I cut a template out of  cereal box cardboard and traced it on the wall with chalk. I used chalk paint to trace the lines.

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Then I *GASP* painted the sideboard with the same chalk paint. I still need to wax and distress it.  It’s looking a little starkly white at the moment.  Added a pretty mirror and some new lamps.

Viola! Something new to look at!

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I can add the quilt shelf back when I get sick of looking at it like this, but for now it’s feeling fresh, uncluttered,  and spring like

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Enjoy the weekend!

Melissa

Linking here.

Sewing Room Adventures

Woo HOO it’s finally spring, glorious, spring! (or something almost like it.) Enough of a beginning of spring for us to go out and clean up the flower beds this past weekend, and cook out some steaks on the grill.

I’ve been sewing little projects every day waiting for it to be nice enough to go outside.

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A new spring/summer purse with bamboo handles and matching wallet.

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The wallet took 2 tries, as I was making up the pattern as I went along.  The first one was rather floppy, so I used timtex on the second go around.

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I’m in LOVE with the fabric which was purchased at JoAnn’s (I Know!!) I loved it so much a bought yardage to make curtains for our next camper. It reminds me of retro barkcloth.

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A little embroidery project that turned into a block that might turn into a pillow?

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Trajectory mini quilt that also might turn into a pillow. You can find the paper piecing template for free here.

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A Jack Russell Terrier mini quilt in honor of our Sony-the-wonderdog. She’s going to be 17 this year!! I found the block in an old book of mine.  If anyone needs to know, I’m sure I can dig it out and get the title for you.

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The frayed edge jacket by Favorite Things. I’ve had this pattern around for years.  I finally decided now’s the time to make this little bugger.  I started out with this prototype that I’m giving to Mom for Mother’s Day, primarily because I had a hunch I would want mine smaller/more fitted, not because I thought the first one would suck! LOL   I have to finish the lining and adjust the sleeve length on hers (picture is without lining, you’ll see lining on the collar and if you roll up the sleeves when done.) then I’m going to start on mine with some awesome new Cotton and Steel fabric that arrived in the mail recently.

Here are the fat quarters I’m making my jacket out of:

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So yummy!

Speaking of fabric arriving in the mail. I’ve had a hard time staying off the computer and pushing the buy button!

Here are some fun things that have showed up recently:

Maker by Art Gallery Fabrics:

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Some super fun Pam Kitty Garden:

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Adorable Milk, Sugar & Flower by Elea Lutz:

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I better get back up to the sewing room!

Have a wonderful day,

Melissa

Back In Time Decorating

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I haven’t had a decorating post in awhile. That is probably because I’m going through a little bit of a change of mood.

Given our affinity for making over mid century campers and my love for vintage everything, it was only a matter of time before some of that spilled over into my decorating tastes for the homestead. And heck, because of our lack of kitchen remodel funds,  my kitchen is basically straight out of 1940. Maybe it’s rubbed off on me?

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I’m really crushing on a mix of Hollywood Regency and Mid-Century Modern/Art Deco right now.  The hey day of Hollywood glam in the 40’s, and the clean lines/ artisty of mid century furniture is calling my name.  I could literally spend hours pouring over pictures and designer’s blogs staring at this gorgeous style.

Then I walk back into reality and see my farmhouse styled rooms and think hmmm, I really need some bling-bling up in here! LOL

Some elements of the style I love have slowly crept into my rooms without me even knowing it.  Star burst mirror, vintage gold bar cart, mod-ish looking love seat.  So I don’t have to throw out the baby with the bathwater as they say, but I’m definitely going to be slowly making some other changes around here.

I can practically see my Mom’s eyes rolling with some of the stuff I’m crushing on, because of when she was born, she is Mid Century! LOL  She’s been there/ done that and frankly doesn’t want to return. I know there are many who feel that way, but I think Hollywood Regency can be done in a really toned down, beautiful way.  It can be incorporated without being too theme-y.

First let’s explore some of my favorite elements of Hollywood Regency and then we’ll look at some rooms that I think use these elements perfectly without being garish.

 1. Reflective Surfaces like lacquered pieces and mirrored pieces.

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 My Dad recently broke his foot, but when he’s healed up I have plans to make a new tv stand with these principles. I’m coming to your workshop Dad!! =)

2.  The amazing, awe inspiring, drool worthy stunning lighting!

Chandeliers

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This is something I haven’t figured out how to diy or save money on. If you want this all important “jewelry” for your room, your going to have to spend some cash.  I’m saving up!

 3.Glass Coffee Tables

coffee tablesI love this idea for an inexpensive IKEA glass table redo using cabinet pulls and spray paint from HERE.

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4. Tufted or Clean line Furniture.

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chairsIf you are really fast, you can check thrift, antique, and flea markets for these pieces and reupholster them.

I found this on Craigslist for a hundred bucks which is an amazing deal. I know it would look beautiful after I reupholstered it, but so far I haven’t talked the hubs into letting me drag it home.

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5. Bold pattern accent walls.

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6. Fabulous Accessories!

Bamboo, chinoiserie, and Greek key are some of the staples of the style.

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PicMonkey CollageNow lets look at some pretty rooms that evoke the HR style.

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I find this style fascinating and if you do too I encourage you to do some internet searches for designers who started it like Dorthy Draper, William Haines, Elsie de Wolfe and current designers Kelly Wearstler, and Jonathan Adler.

Later gators!

melissa

Low Volume Table Runner Kit

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Remember this little table runner I made after the holidays? Well I finally remembered to organize the leftover low volume scraps into 2 little kits.

The table runner measures 15 1/2 x 43 inches.  It’s perfect to place under a spring vignette for your table!

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Just lay the strips out evenly into 3 rows and sew them up. I quilted wavy lines.

The kits are 12.50 and that includes shipping.

You will need backing, binding, and batting.

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Have a great day! Spring is almost here =)

Melissa

Little Hexie Thread Catcher Tutorial

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I’ve been wanting to play with English paper piecing for a long while. Specifically hexagons.  I have dabbled with them in a pattern I wrote a while back, but I would love to make a whole quilt with them someday.

To satisfy my itch, AND create something useful, I made a little thread catcher.

**If you would like a kit scroll down to the bottom**

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I’ve needed this little cutie forever. If you ever looked at my floor or table while I’m sewing you would see that I usually just toss the threads willy nilly all over the place. Now I have a little container to keep the place a little more tidy.

Would you like to play along?

First you will need to print off the 3/4 inch hexagon templates. I got mine here .

I used card stock. Print off a 1 inch template page too.  You can use one of the 1 inch hexagons as a cutting template for the fabric.

PicMonkey CollageThere are lots of tutorials on making hexies online, so I won’t go into that here.  My little tips are: use a baby rotary cutter to cut your fabric around your 1 inch template, and use a dab of sewline glue stick in the middle of your 3 /4 inch templates to keep the fabric steady while doing your tacking stitches.

You will need 10 Hexies for this project.

Lay them out in a pleasing manor and whip stitch them in a row like so:

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You can take your papers out as you go, or at the end. It’s up to you. I took mine out when I was completely done connecting them.

Cutting The Fabric

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5 1/2 x 12 1/2 main fabric

5 1/2 x 12  1/2 lining fabric

5 1/2 x 12 1/2 sturdy canvas or interfacing

2 1/4 x 22 binding

Construction

Let’s begin with the lining.

Fold your fabric in half and sew up the edges using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. (all seams are 1/4 inch for this project.)

Then sew the bottom with a 1/4 inch seam.  **At this point if your fabric is directional like mine, pay attention to which side is the bottom.

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Next you will box the bottom by fiddling with your fabric until you have a flat  triangle in the bottom corner. Using your ruler measure in 1 1/4 inches from the tip of the triangle, mark a line with a water or heat soluble marking pen.  I use Frixon pens, they rock. Just run an iron over them and it disappears!

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Now sew on your line back stitching at the start and stop. Repeat on the other corner.

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Trim seams to quarter inch and set the lining aside.

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Now lets work on the outside.

Using your ruler measure down 1 1/2 inches from the top (long side) and mark with your marking pen (be sure it is water or heat soluble you don’t want a permanent mark on your thread catcher!)  This is the guide for placing your hexies.

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Next center your hexies , pin, and hand stitch.

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I use YLI silk thread and applique needles to stitch on.

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Now layer your outside fabric onto the canvas.  You can spray baste, safety pin, etc I just used some straight pins to hold the 2 layers together.

 Quilting time! Do whatever quilting you would like , I used 3 strands of DMC floss in pink to go around my hexies.

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When you are done you can remove your marking line. In my case I just had to run a hot iron over it.

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We are going to construct the outer unit just like we did the lining. Making triangles in the corner, marking a line at 1 1/4 inch, sewing on the line back stitching at the start and stop, trimming the corners off.

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Now turn the thread catcher inside out!

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Now grab your lining and stuff it down inside. Use your fingers to push it down into the corners,  and pin the perimeter matching up the side seam. I hand basted a seam around the very top to make it easier to sew on the binding, so the fabrics wouldn’t shift.

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Now sew the binding to the outside using a 1/4 inch seam. Turn it inside out to make hand stitch the binding easier.

PicMonkey Collage8Turn it right side out and admire your adorable thread catcher!

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Pick up all the stray threads you just made and throw ’em in there! =)

Buy A Kit!!!

I have three one left little kits made up if you would like to purchase one.

They are $25.00 which includes shipping.

candb quilting and decor 037They include the lining, outer, and canvas fabric, the binding, the pink DMC floss for quilting, and the best part is I’ve already basted the hexies for you!!

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Later gators!

Melissa