Archive for January, 2013

h1

A Stitch in Time: The details

January 31, 2013

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re doing well on this beautiful day. I have been working so hard on crafts, I almost hate going to work I want to stay home and craft the days away. This blog posts brings us back to the beautiful family quilt I am working on. I recently saw the following quote and it really stood out to me regarding this quilt and so many other parts of life:

A family stitched together with love seldom unravels.

I think it’s such a beautiful statement tying love, families, and traditions together. This quilt is a piece of a family and tells it’s unique story unlike any other quilt. I have learned more about my in-laws since I received the quilt to fix and continue to learn as this process continues.

In this post I want to outline the details of the quilt before me. There are, sadly, lots of pieces that need repair. I am including a few close up photos as well as descriptions of the damage. I’ll explain my game plan and then we’ll see how true to that I stay in my actual repairs.

Quilt close up

Quilt close up

This image is a close up of some of the Sueboonet Sue girls. These are in better condition than some of the others, but you can see the tattered edge of the quilt. I plan to trim the binding off the whole quilt and replace it with a new, similar binding. This makes me very nervous, but in order for the quilt to maintain it’s durability and integrity.

Quilt damage SueBonnet Sue

Quilt damage Sue Bonnet Sue

SueBonnet Sue Close up

SueBonnet Sue Close up

These little girls are a little more tattered and torn than some of the others. You can see slits in their dresses or tears and holes. I hope to not be forced to remove any of the little girls from their squares. I do not want to loose the beauty of the hand applique created by the wonderful quilters who made this quilt. My goal is to buy fusible interfacing to slip under the dresses and then iron them in place. I know this may not be the perfect solution because it could potentially lead to discoloration down the line, but since the quilt is going to be laid on a bed and kept for memories, I think it’s better to keep the fabric already used and try to conserve it as much as possible.

Quilt damage

   Quilt damage

Quilt damage

Quilt damage

The hole in the middle of the quilt is my biggest (literally and figuratively) problem to fix. It appears to be a pretty straight set of tears, which I assume came from years of being folded in the same shape. I think my strategy is going to be to also use fusible interfacing here. I may need to patch the back of the quilt through the batting with a muslin patch just over the hole along with the fusible interfacing. I am not sure what the quilt will look like with just this done so there is a chance I want to replace the pink between the squares in the space that is torn. This will reinforce the joints between the little girls.

Quilt Back

Quilt Back

Quilt damage

Quilt damage

As for the back of this quilt, I think I have decided against washing and drying it. Since laying it out, the smell has dissipated and I do not want to cause any additional damage. I will buy a piece of fabric large enough (or piece together) to cover the back of the quilt, with the new binding. I will attach this fabric to the quilt without disturbing the face of the quilt and original stitches. This step is really to keep up durability of the quilt and help it last just that much longer.

I’ll have to reassess at that point what other steps I need to take, but I think that covers the bulk of the repairs I believe I need to make. I do think I will need to patch any hand stitched applique that may no longer be in place.

I can’t wait to see what it looks like after all these steps are completed!

Happy Quilt Repairing!
-Amanda

Advertisements
h1

Vegetable and Buffalo Soup

January 28, 2013

Hello readers,

This is my first cooking post in while, but since we have been attempting to convert to paleo, I have had a hard time finding something to blog about foodwise.  Let’s be honest: Paleo is really hard to do.  We love to eat, and in general we eat pretty well.  Paleo cuts out dairy, grains, legumes, sugar, etc.  Those are a few of my favorite things!  We have decided to start off by converting our dinners to paleo and then move into lunches and dinners.  I have attempted to cut down or remove completely oats, dairy, sugar, etc.  I know there are friends of ours out there who have mastered paleo; you impress me.

Veggie and Buffalo Soup

Veggie and Buffalo Soup

David and I headed to the store and decided we wanted to make a soup for this cold weather.  It would go a long way and be easy to make while I went to work on a weekend.  We collected a load of vegetables and decided on buffalo stew meat as our big protein.  We were both very excited to try this very lean red meat in a meal.  I am going to give the ingredients below, but without measurements because frankly I didn’t measure anything!  Add as much or as little as you’d like.  Substitute veggies.  Change the seasoning!  Make it your own.

Ingredients
-Baby Carrots
-2 small Zucchini
-1 Onion
-1 Green Bell pepper
-2 cans of Diced Tomatoes
-Kale
-Fresh garlic
-Black Pepper
-Salt
-Parsley
-2 lbs Buffalo Stew Meat
-Chicken Stock

Directions:
These are ridiculously easy.  I used a slow cooker.  Chop up all the veggies to your liking of size.  We did small cuts of everything so everything could fit on the spoon at once for a hearty bite.  Once chopped, put everything into your crock pot.  Add raw meat and seasonings.  Fill with chicken stock till covered.  I added the Kale with only about 30 minutes left to cook. Cook on high for 5 or 6 hours.

Veggie and Buffalo Soup

Veggie and Buffalo Soup

We were both very pleased with how it turned out.  I normally make a beef stew so this was different with buffalo and as a soup.  David would add a can of rotel tomatoes if he made it, but I might add a bit more garlic or pre-cook the meat after sautéing the onions, peppers and garlic to help infuse the flavors more.

I hope you try this recipe sometime and let me know what you think!

Happy cooking!
-Amanda

h1

Jigsaw!

January 24, 2013

Hey everyone!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this yet, but David and I got a jigsaw for Christmas and we (mostly me) are so excited!  I love woodwork and wood crafts.  Maybe it’s because my grandfather was a carpenter and I grew up going to his shop all the time or because my dad was Mr. Fix It and was always working on something.  No matter where it came from, I am so pumped to have one and to be able to create beautiful stuff with it!  I have already started a board on Pinterest with ideas for it’s use.

IMG_2647

My first projects are actually just with scrap wood in our shed and some fence posts from my parent’s old fence.  The picture above is the first time I used the jig saw.  If you ask David, he can confirm my overly giddy excitement.  I want to make a few signs for the house and others using the wood around our house to get practice on the jigsaw.  I really hope David takes an interest in it also and maybe together we can make a big project (like a new headboard)!

IMG_2646

Do you have a jigsaw or want one?  What crafts do you do or want to do?  The world is my oyster and I’m so excited to get moving!

Happy sawing!
-Amanda

h1

A Stitch in Time: A Quilt from the past

January 21, 2013

Hello friends!

I am very excited about this next project.  It will cover a multitude of blog posts, so here I will give you the back story, my knowledge thus far, and the steps I hope to take.  I can’t wait for you to join me on this adventure. So here we go into the story.

My sister in law is pregnant with, what I am sure is going to be, a beautiful baby girl!  She will be our first niece and we are thrilled.  When my mother-in-law’s cousin found out about this new addition, she offered a family quilt that had been once very loved and since stored for years for this new baby’s room.  The quilt was originally sewn by David and his sister’s maternal great grandmother and great great grandmother.  It is a traditional Suebonnet Sue quilt pattern using fabrics from the clothing of the family members.  It represents three generations of this beautiful family and is being passed down to another.  After receiving the quilt and examining the state it was in, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law decided to ask me to look at it and come up with a plan of action.  I decided, after consulting with a few co-workers and the very helpful Lonnie of www.fixquilts.com, to mend the quilt myself and give it extra love and attention.  (Lonnie is very helpful, knowledgeable, and talented based on what I’ve seen.)

As I mentioned previously, the quilt was once very loved.  It has a significant amount of damage including a hole in the middle of the quilt where it must have been folded for years.  A few of the girls’ dresses have tears or holes and the binding is almost completely destroyed.  There are stains and discolorations all over the quilt and when it first was taken out of storage, it had a smell to it.  I have since laid the quilt out in the open air to breathe and relax.

Quilt front

Quilt front

Quilt Back

Quilt Back

I have already learned so much about how to store, clean, and handle an antique quilt, some of which I knew and others I had no idea about!

Tips:

  1. Never store fabric in plastic.  It can’t breathe and will intensify any smells lingering.  Layer the quilt with a clean sheet (washed without fabric softener or scents) and keep it out of direct sunlight.
  2. Fold and re-fold the quilt every few months as to not cause any damage from pressure on one specific crease.
  3. Never hang an antique quilt.  The weight of the quilt will put stress on the stitching and fabric and potentially cause more damage.
  4. Sometimes a stain is better than what damage washing a quilt could cause.  There are ways to wash a damaged, old quilt, but you have to weigh the possibilities before starting that process.
  5. Some quilts are beyond repair.  You must decide how much preservation or conservation you want for your specific quilt.

I hope you’re as excited about this journey as I am.  I feel so honored, and nervous, to make this quilt even more beautiful and be part of it’s history.  I hope to blog about each step along the way to help you understand the process and also to document the history of this sweet quilt.

Quilt close up

Quilt close up

Happy Quilting,
Amanda

h1

Fabric Flowers, a follow up

January 17, 2013

Hello!

I decided before my Monday post ever went up that I probably should’ve posted about how to make these beautiful fabric flowers first.  I even thought about switching the order of the blogs so this one went first and then the wreath, but I decided to keep the order in hopes to lead to excitement for today’s blog.  Did it work?

I had a vision for my wedding that included beautiful fabric blue flowers lining the aisle with candles (battery operated) to create a little bit of that crafty, vintage atmosphere I was going for.  I think it was a huge success.  Seriously one of my favorite pieces of the wedding scene.

Fabric Flowers lining the aisle

Fabric Flowers lining the aisle

These are super easy to make and more fun with a group of people working on them!

Supplies:
Fabric (the lighter weight the better, any color you want!)
Compass Rotary Cutter (I own this one, and love it!)
Cutting mat
Corresponding thread
Needle

Directions:

  1. You first need to decide on the diameter of your circles.  Mine are approximately 3 inches in diameter.  Adjust your rotary cutter to the radius (half the diameter) and cut away!  
  2. You need 9 circles per flower.  
  3. Once you have those 9 circles, fold each circle in half and then in half again.
  4. Stack the 9 folded circles so they all line up (like stacked pie slices).
  5.  With a strong needle and thread, stitch just near the point of the slice, from the top of the pile through all layers to the bottom.  Do this stitch as many or as few times as needed to hold your fabric together.  
  6. Tie off the thread and voila, you have a fabric flower.  They need to be played with to lay perfectly, but sometimes the way they flop gives them extra character. 
Fabric Flowers

Fabric Flowers

I have many, many of these flowers and am hoping to do lots of crafts with them.  I also think I may make some in new colors for other festive wreaths and such.  Any brainstorms on other crafts for my flowers are greatly appreciated!

Happy Crafting!
Amanda

h1

Fabric Flower Wreath

January 14, 2013

Hello!

I am so excited to be crafting and cooking and getting back into the groove of taking pictures of what I’m accomplishing!  This past week my wonderful co-worker hosted a craft night.  I made a ridiculously long list of all the projects I am working on, want to work, and dream about.  The project I’m posting about today is a carry over from my wedding.  I had a dream to line the aisle at my wedding with beautiful blue fabric flowers.  My sister, mom, and a bridesmaid helped me make my dream a reality by cutting a ridiculous number of circles, folding, and sewing them to make gorgeous flowers.  It was one of my favorite pieces of the wedding.  (I’ll post a follow up blog this week with how to make the flowers!)

Finished Wreath

Finished Wreath

After the wedding, I’ve moved the flowers around the house to accent different things like the dining room table or the mantel, but I wanted to find a permanent home for them.  I batted around the idea of headbands or necklaces and finally realized a wreath would be perfect.

Supplies:
-Fabric Flowers
-Corsage Pins
-Styrofoam Wreat
-Ribbon

Directions
I began by wrapping the styrofoam wreath in a cream taffeta ribbon that was also left over from my wedding.  I wrapped it ever so carefully to overlap and create a geometric backdrop for my wreath.  I hot glued the start and end of the ribbon in place, but it could easily be pinned since it is a foam wreath.

Ribbon wrapped wreath

Ribbon wrapped wreath

The rest is simple.  I shaped the flowers and placed them one by one onto the wreath, securing them with a corsage pin.  I used corsage pins because if they were seen, they would be elegant, but also they are thick enough to go through all the fabric of the flower.  I layered the flowers and placed them until I was happy with the look.  I attempted the full look, but decided I much preferred the “less is more” look.  You could use less or more to make the wreath as full or off balance as you like!

Full Wreath, not my favorite

Full Wreath, not my favorite

Such an easy wreath, but a big statement!  I can’t wait to hang it in our home.

Finished Wreath

Finished Wreath

Happy Crafting!
-Amanda

h1

Pillows

January 10, 2013

Hey all,

This post will be pretty short because the craft I completed was super easy.  I purchased 6 fat quarters recently from a newer quilt shop in town and knew instantly I wanted to make pillows for our master bedroom out of them.  I had some old throw and floor pillows laying around that needed to be updated so I decided to work with them as my pillow forms.  I ended up not trimming any of my fat quarters, faced them right sides together and stitched three of the four sides, leaving a big enough hole to stuff the pillow form into.  Once the pillow was in the case, I hand stitched the fourth side and voila, I had some new pillows!  Seriously, this was an easy craft that really made a big impact on the bed!  I do hope to make some more complicated pillows soon, but need another foot for my sewing machine so I can add in piping!

pillows

Pillows

Happy Sewing,
Amanda