Monday, January 30, 2012

little sewing case

For the past couple of weeks, I have been meeting with a group of hand quilters,
which is totally different from my normal sewing/quilting.
It has been a lot of fun to be included in the group 
and meet these talented ladies.
Since I do not want to be the loud one there,
I have been taking some hand work to do in their company.
It is the perfect time for binding, or embroidery,
this is where I finally finished Miss C.'s quilt!

To be able to visit in style,
I made a little case to carry my scissor and needles.
At first I borrowed Miss C.'s dumpling,
and then realizing it is just the right size,
I made one just for me.

I used some of my Christmas fabric, linen/cotton blend
and Keyka Lou's pattern.
I am pleased with the result.

And since I am working with hand quilters, I tried some hand quilting
but not hand piecing (which they do!)
I think it turned out OK,

yep I am still working on my W.I.P.,
I keep it for these special days!

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

a pillow case and dyeing

Miss C. has been enjoying her new quilt,
it looks beautiful on her bed,
in her recently painted room, light lavender.
Since I had some of the starting print left,
I made her a pillow case.
I made quite a few of them in the past decade
(it sounds bad when I say that, but it is true!),
but this time I tried the burrito method as illustrated in this DIY dish video.

It was as easy as they said, and a lot faster than my previous method,
but I think the piping turned out a little wide,
not that it bothers Miss C.!

Since she used her quilt on top of her comforter,
(we skip bed sheet and use duvet cover, like in Europe),
I felt it should match the color scheme.
The one she had right one was in a nice baby blue flannel,
very warm and comfy, but not the right color.
So I tried something new: dyeing.
I purchased some rit purple dye and followed the direction
for a front loading machine (a little more difficult, but still easy!).
Since it is such a large item, the color is not as intense as it should be,
but I think it is actually better.

 Miss C. has a totally new look for her bedroom,
now if I could get my stuff together and 
make the curtains from the fabric I brought back from France this summer....

Happy sewing!

PS I am definitively going to be playing with more dye in the future,
too much fun!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

art in the snow

Yesterday was a no school day,
we had snow for the last couple of days,
the kids were tired, it was time to find a nice indoor activity: art!

A couple of weeks ago, I found this great tutorial from Art Projects for Kids to paint a night wintry scene.
We went to work (it took us a while to set up the masking tape)
and here are the results:

Miss C.'s version: 
she played on the forest darkness (lighter near the moon, darker farther away),
she also added the evening star. 

Brick Master's version:
those tree went through some sort of event,
they are broken and rough!

and finally my version:
I need to take some tips from my children!

It was great fun to do art all together,
we definitively need to do that more often!

Happy day!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

kitchen dream

For the last few posts, I showed you my kitchen work,
here what it looks like today.

I think it is a great middle ground,
after all we started from there:

actual pictures from the house brochure!
(they were not into furniture!)

but of course it is not where I would like it to be!
I have dreams and visions....
and yes I bring nervousness to Mon Cheri,
but usually he is cool with most of my ideas!
(and I do a lot of the work, perks of being the stay at home Mom!)

My goal in the near future is to remove the microwave.
To me, its locations is extremely dangerous,
the kids use it a lot and if the stove is hot or if there is something cooking,
they can easily get burned.
It is also really high for them to use safely.
When we did our previous kitchen remodel, we moved the microwave
inside a cabinet at counter height.

 Inside the big cabinet/armoire by the fridge.
Very easy to access and out of sight!

Here it is not possible to do such a thing,
but it can be relocated.

We have this corner, not especially attractive,
where we store the trash can and the dog food,
we do not have a garage, so it has to be in the kitchen!
I am planning on installing a shelf just above it
and install the microwave there.
It would address the awkwardness of the corner
and the easy access to the oven,
and potentially diminished the visibility of the trash cans!
With the microwave gone from the cabinet, it would light up
the area, all the black feels pretty heavy.
I would like to install in its place a fume hood,
perfect for lighting and cooking,
and more efficient!

But the really bold move that I envision is to paint the cabinets!
I think painting them white would bring a lot of light
and modernity to the kitchen.
I painted the old kitchen cabinets in our previous house
and installed them in the basement for the perfect craft room,
it was not too bad, of course we had a garage then
and it was not the actual kitchen anymore...

And I have been following Young House Love's kitchen redo,
and I am inspired to take on ours!
They even have a full tutorial on painting cabinets.
So yes it is totally a possibility.

I think I will first move the microwave
and keep on thinking about the painting,
it is after all a fairly large project,
remember: no garage, so all the work has to be done in the room!
Well I am off to installing a shelf!

Happy day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Here is the beginning of a cute little project:

embroidery pattern from Wild Olive

I hope it turns out as good as I see it in my head!

Happy sewing!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, January 14, 2012

more work done in the kitchen

After repainting the kitchen, getting a working dishwasher
and adding hardware, and a couple accessories,
the room felt pretty good.
Mon Cheri and I just kept on dreaming of our convection oven
from our previous kitchen....perfect for baking, and roasting.

We went to the Home Depot just after Thanksgiving (great sale!),
and we bought ourselves another convection oven!
Yes it is a present to each other,
not for Thanksgiving, but our anniversary that happens to be just a few days before!

Nothing says Happy 13th, like a stove!
And it is beautiful! And it bakes so well!
Now it is a totally modern kitchen.
I do not know if you can see the top,
 but the major heating element has 3 sizes,
and the biggest one is exactly the size of my crepes pan,
I am finally able to use the entire surface,
oh yeah, I am happy!

Moving onto the other side of the room, the eat-in part.
After finding the starting point fabric to this kitchen redo,
I made some simple curtains: just rectangles attached with clip-on rings.
Because I like nice curtains and not lose energy (big window = energy loss),
I lined the fabric, it is actually easier to sew curtains with lining,
there is no need to worry about thread color, or perfect stitching,
it is all hidden inside!
I made mine basically like a pillow case,
I just made sure that the decorative fabric is wider than the lining,
so that a little of the decorative fabric is toward the window,
insuring no lining is seen from the inside.

I first sewed both sides of the curtains, right side together,
then I pressed the seams opened and made sure the seams were even on each side,
then I stitched the top of the curtains.
I turned the curtain right side out, pressed it again
and hanged it to stretch on the rod,
(the fabric gets longer because of it weight)
and it give you a change to envoy your work
while the fabric does its work.
Usually after a day or 2, you can hem the curtains....
here it takes a couple months!
I put pins in them, then forget all about it!
I like to use iron tape for the hem, it is faster and invisible.

I really the color they add to the room.
I have some fabric left and I would like to use it
for the other small window, may be for a valance or something...
probably after I purchase some blind!

and some new sheers! These came with the house and are way too short!
(just one day at a time!)

I used the same fabric to fix a ugly spot,
just on top of the fridge.

The fridge is in a nook, just the right size in width but not in height.
It is very convenient to store on the top very large plastic containers
that do not fit anywhere else and that are not pretty.
But it looked bad, very bad, and the trim had not been painted
and none of the nail holes hidden ( I had already done that part of these pictures).
So I made an extra little curtain, making it exactly the same way that the big ones,
just hanging it upside down, I used the hem to go over the tension rod
that holds it in place.

It brings the same colors from the other side of the room,
and it hides all of that mess!
Just perfect.

Happy sewing!

Friday, January 13, 2012

finally finished, Miss C.'s quilt!

It happened, I finished my first project of the year!
Yep, I am proud, one done,
many more to go.
Last time I showed you the quilt I was done basting it,
after Miss C. great sewing.

Here is the front:

and here is the back:

Yesterday was a warm sunny day so I went outside to take the pictures,
may be a little too sunny, but it felt so nice!

It turned out pretty good, still a few puckers here and there,
mostly on the back, but I am happy with it overall.

I quilted it in the ditch first, put the binding,
and then worked on the free motion quilting,
probably not the way most people do it,
but it works great for me.

It is easier to see the quilting on the back,
I used a stencil for the flowers, it runs all over the print,
with parallel stitching on the batik.

The best part: Miss C. loves it and slept great with it last night!

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

more work on the kitchen

Shortly after painting the room and enjoying the renewed energy,
the dishwasher broke down.
After doing some research online, we realized that 
our no-brand dishwasher was old and fixing that problem was more expensive
than purchasing the same dishwasher.
Since it had been a loud one and not especially pretty,
we decided to upgrade to a quiet stainless steel energy efficient dishwasher.
We were lucky enough to be able to buy it on sale at Home Depot.

And right there, the kitchen improved immensely!
Yes new appliances can do that!
It started to look modern, and it inspired us to keep working.
The next step was purchasing some hardware for the cabinets.
Somehow, there were none to start,
we lived like that for quite some time, and we did not really like.
So I made some holes and put some pulls.
I purchased them from the Home depot
 (we redeemed our miles for gift cards, best idea ever!)

It was so much easier to open everything, we should have done it right away,
instead of waiting 9 months....then again we appreciate them so much more now!

To complete the mini transformation, I did a little redecorating on the buffet
with a new lamp from Target, some major decluttering on the top
(but the stuff always comes back!)
and hang my painting.

we are finally going somewhere!
And yes we practice the guitar in the kitchen,
no instrument room, please do not tell!

Next is making the curtains,
new stove, and making the fridge ...well better!

Happy day!

Friday, January 6, 2012

working on the kitchen

When we moved last year in our "new" 1960 house,
it was a little hard to say goodbye to our brand new kitchen
from our previous house, after all we had refinished just months before moving.
We had done all the work ourselves, except for the installation of the granite,
many hours were spent planning, building cabinets,
finding best deals on appliances and countertops.

It turned into our dream kitchen that now somebody else enjoys....
but having a job rates much higher than cool kitchen!

And the kitchen in this house is not bad at all,
just not quite "us",
which is OK, I like to add our touch to our houses.

here are a couple pictures, right after we moved,
well not really right after, let's say a few weeks after.

You can still GBD in the middle picture!
Oh I miss my dog, it has been 6 months already....

Like I wrote previously not bad at all,
it had been obviously updated, the cabinets are recent,
and the black granite pretty much new.
The eat-in part is large and sunny.
The kitchen was yellow, just like the rest of the house,
which I had painted a beautiful green.
Well not only I really did not enjoy the yellow before,
but with the green next to it, it looked really bad.
I had really no choice but to repaint the kitchen!

I struggled for a while with the paint color,
I liked gray but it made the room feel cold.....
then I found the fabric for the curtains at IKEA:

It looked modern and retro, it was perfect for a very square house,
and the colors were perfect to go with my favorite picture of St Malo.
So I took one of the color from the fabric and repainted the kitchen.
You can see that there is so yellow in the fabric, yes the irony!

It was the beginning of a great kitchen,
and it looks prefect with the green from the living room.

Next making some curtains,
fixing molding, appliances breakdown,
the suspense is intense!
It is a very long project!

Happy day!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

hidden Christmas sewing

A couple weeks ago, I shared a few pictures
of projects that I was keeping secret.
Now I can reveal it all:

-a lunch bag

as I had previously to make Miss C's school lunch bag.
This time I used linen for the main part of the bag,
3 different Liberty of London print and 1 solid.

I just love the Liberty print with the dancing fruit!
just perfect for a lunch bag!

-a laundry bag

 like the 2 other ones I made previously,
Instead of using linen as the base, I used this polka dot print from Joann.

- 2 little dumplings

I used this tutorial from Keyka Lou patterns.
It was a fast project, not extremely easy,
especially the first time...

But the second time went a lot faster!
The insides are nicely finished.
I think next time I will add a little tab at the bottom to make it easier to close.

It is just the right size for a little make-up,
or other girly things!
Miss C. was the recipient of the pink one,
after all it matches her quilt!

The 3 others were presents for my sister,
I agree, she is a lucky girl!

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

bonne annee

I took advantage of the new year
to do some cleaning:
rearrange closets and remove too small/old clothes.
My sister helped me, she explained to me that high school was 20 years ago
and it was time to lose that cardigan!
Yes I have a tendency to keep things a long time,
good quality can last, but it can also look dated.
So after working on my closet, Mon Cheri's, and the kids',
I tackled the sewing room, not so much to remove thing,
but to reorganize my fabric collection,
I had to find space for my Noel loot!

So far I have not used it, I am still at the drooling stage.

I have bought the paint for the kitchen,
I am ready to give it a fresh look!

I am not planning any resolution this year,
after thinking about it for quite some time,
I decided to add a new habit every month instead.
For January it is : a fruit at every meal.
I made this goal after reading this post by zen habits.
It seems like a reasonable way of life.

Happy New year!

Coffee, bunny and Easter eggs

Can anyone have too many bunnies, really? OK, maybe, but I am not there yet! I changed my cocoa station from last winter to a spring coffee ...