Monthly Archives: March 2014

There’s something in the water…so many co-workers are having babies!

Time to make some baby quilts. These are fun and easy, plus I usually have all the fabric I’ll need in my stash.

I had this charm pack (5-inch fabric squares) just waiting to be used. Sweet is the perfect word for it!

Charm Pack 1Charm Pack 2

I decided to use the mint and pink colors and leave the rest of another project. Now it was time to “shop my stash” for more fabric. Yes, I have a problem, but think of the gas money I saved not having to drive to Joann’s for fabric.  Just a quick trip to the basement. Plus that’s exercise.

Shopping the stashShopping the Stash 1

I had everything I needed!  A quick press with my favorite starch and I had all the fabric I needed.

Shopping the stash 2Starch

I cut matching 5-inch squares from some white fabric I had and then layered one print and one white square.  To make 2 blocks, I drew a pencil line from one corner to the other.

LayersDraw Line 2

The next step was to sew a quarter inch seam on each side of the line. Then give it a quick press to set the stitches.

Sewing 2Pressing

I cut along the pencil line, pressed the towards the print fabric and voila, two blocks ready to go!

Cutting 2Pressing 22 Blocks  My “design wall” is an outdoor vinyl tablecloth with flannel on the inside. It works great for auditioning different placement ideas.  I think this will work. Time to sew the blocks together. But first I needed to number each one. Otherwise I get them all mixed up–blame it on watching The Good Wife on Hulu while sewing. The ink disappears with the touch of an iron.

Design wallNumbering

And a couple hours later, we’ve got three borders and a finished quilt top.

Sewn 3  Ready for quilting one night this week! Sweet indeed!





To paint or not to paint…

…that is the question. I have a long standing love of wood. My dad was a hobby woodworker and one of my favorite scents is fresh cut wood. He also loved to refinish “antique” wood furniture. He taught me the Homer Formby method–use the special stripper to preserve the patina of the wood rather than sanding the finish off.

In the year between college and my first apartment, I spent a lot of time refinishing furniture– a round oak table I got at a farm auction, and an old dresser from another auction. I did paint an iron sewing machine base and with the addition of a glass top, it became my kitchen table and my dad taught me how to “antique” a hutch my parents saved from a yard sale.

When the shabby chic look came into vogue, I had a hard time with all the painted furniture. It just seemed wrong to paint over beautiful quarter sawn oak tables. Especially given the hours I had spent taking paint off of my wood furniture. I have eased up a bit and I sometimes paint wood items.

3 tier

I got this for a few dollars at an estate sale. It was plain dark maple wood. Not all that pretty–very 50’s. I think painting it was perfect. I’ll use it to hold some of my sewing notions to keep them close at hand.

Shelves Shelves 1

Now this piece is another story. I can tell from the back and the slightly uneven top that it is handmade. The finish looks great after a coat of lemon oil. I can’t imagine painting it. Look how cool the rolls of ribbon will look!

Small wood

One last potential project. While the finish is nothing special, the box has sentimental value. It hung in my parents’ house as long as I can remember. Not sure I can paint it, even though it would look awesome with a coat of white paint. 🙂



They don’t make buttons like this anymore

At a funky estate sale I spied these silk lingerie buttons made in Germany–$2 for the card. I wasn’t sure what I’d do with them, but the color was perfect and here they will live:

Aqua Frame 1

I got this cute frame at The White Rabbit last week. It is a darling shop in Brentwood–I could outfit my entire home with their cottage and shabby chic items.

I added some homespun fabric for the base and then glued the button card on the front and voila–easy peasy decor.

Aqua Frame



Estate Sale Scores

I hit up a couple estate sales this weekend and did pretty well on a small budget.

I was super excited to find this sander for $5–on half price Sunday. It was made in the USA on top of that!  Funny how Andrew and I had just priced new sanders at Home Depot on Saturday and I was figuring I’d have to spend $70-$80. Patience is a virtue.


I have always had this crazy idea that the talent of the previous owner comes along with the tool, or baking dish or sewing machine that I purchase at an estate sale. When I use each item I often take a moment to silently thank them for “allowing” me to be the new owner.

At the same sale, I picked up some old wood spools. The thread is old and dirty, but a sharp knife from Andrew made quick work of emptying them.  I spread the thread on the side of the yard–I heard the birds like yarn and thread for their nests. We’ll have some fancy nests in our neighborhood this spring 🙂

Spools 1


A little cleaning and look how great they look: