On March 7th my blog will be 1.5 years old! To celebrate I will be having a small giveaway of a Butter Pecan charm pack, 3 fat quarters and a set of 4 coordinating buttons. And it is EASY to win! Spread the word!
Simply follow my blog (through Bloglovin, email, etc.) and leave a post telling me how you follow. That's it! Easy, peasy! One entry per person please. The winner will be drawn on Thursday, March 7th.
For those of you who followed along with my Scrappy Happy Place, I promised pictures of my Expanded Sewing Room. Like most quilters, I outgrew the confines of my Scrappy Happy Place and really needed somewhere to store extra fabric and supplies and someplace to set up folding tables to pin baste my quilts.
When J moved out a little over a year ago I painted his room a neutral gray and claimed it as my Expanded Sewing Room. Over the past year I have worked to bring color to the room and, while it is first and foremost my second sewing room, decorate a fun, happy place for Dear Hubby and I to watch TV or an extra room to house quests. I kept two of J's Ikea pieces as they would provide a TON of storage space. After a full year of slowly adding to the room it is finally done. Yup, you read that right! It's FINISHED!
TA-DA!!!! Welcome to my ESR! I am in LOVE! While I always thought I was more of a pastel, shabby chic (minus the shabby) type of decorator, in this room I have discovered that I really LOVE COLOR! Who woulda thunk it? My mom, dad and aunt came over the other day and we spent a while in here just sitting and talking about the transformation. Everyone agrees that it is just such a HAPPY place. Mom said she didn't want to leave, lol.
So, let's start the tour....
Immediately to the left when you enter the door is my guest chair. This chair was bought YEARS ago when I had my Medical Transcription Business. It was used when the girls I had working for me would come over to discuss work, or when I was interviewing a new transcriptionist. Most of the time, though it was just a dumping ground for "stuff". I'm keeping it real here, ladies! It could really use a good cleaning and if I can ever remember to buy upholstery cleaner when I am in the store I will give it a good once-over. I am hoping to make myself a portable design wall that will be propped behind this chair when needed. It will be stored behind the Pax cabinet (shown further down) when not in use.
Continuing around the room is a $7 (now $9.99...geez) black Ikea "Lack" table. I adore Ikea furniture as it is cheap, easy to transport home in flat pack boxes and even easier to assemble! The MacBook that I inherited from J is by my side whenever I want to do a bit of "surfing" while resting. The bright mug rug was made with leftovers from my "Sunshine and Bowties" quilt. It was the first mug rug I ever made!
On the wall above the futon is my "Sunshine and Bowties" quilt. It was the first quilt I made upon my retirement in October of 2011.
Next is the futon we bought for J when he had his first apartment in Harrisburg. He was attending Penn State at the time. Unfortunately Penn State dropped a division of his major (the one he was interested in, lol) and he came home. When J and his fiancee, K, moved into their apartment in January 2013 this futon was used as their primary sofa. A week before Thanksgiving one of the wooden arms cracked, disabling the entire thing. J was in a panic as he and K were having my folks and aunt over for Thanksgiving dinner (Dear Hubby and I were in South Carolina) and with the futon disabled they had nowhere for anyone to sit! We told them to move the broken futon to our house and go out and buy a sofa..."Merry Christmas", lol. When we got back from vacation we took the arm of the futon to the store where we bought it. Unfortunately the futon had been discontinued so we could not get a brand new arm, but the store glued it all up for us. I don't think it is strong enough to serve as a primary seating area anymore, but the occasional use in my ESR seems to be fine. I washed the cover of the futon and Dear Hubby and I were unable to get it straightened out on the mattress. The mattress is HEAVY (it was more expensive than the futon) and we couldn't heft it around as much as needed. One of these days I will get J and K to redo it for us.
This small shelving unit is being used as an end table for the futon. It fits well into the space and gives me a place to store magazines (if I ever get around to sorting my magazines and filling the magazine holders, lol). Dear Hubby and I are going to buy a ceiling light shade (the kind for recessed long fluorescent bulbs) and cut it down to size to lay on top and keep the drinks from wobbling.
Next is the small closet. This closet originally had sliding doors. OMG you couldn't fit more than one arm through the opening! Our builder was an A-double scribble. Apparently he bought "seconds" to build these houses and nothing is square and none of the openings are standard. When we switched to a single door in order to gain full access to the closet, our handyman found that the door opening was 35.5" wide. It was too small to handle a standard 36" door. In order to fit a standard 32" door he had to "build up" the opening. Like I said, our builder was an idiot (I'm being nice here).
On the top shelf is the quilt I made for J when he was just 3 years old. Memories... Some day the twin sized denim quilt and a pillow and fitted sheet will also be housed on that shelf too. Storage close by if we need to use the futon for overnight guests. On the next shelf are boxes containing scraps from quilts I made previously (in case repair is needed), extra magazine holders and unopened batting. The bottom shelf holds pieces of batting, polyfill and home decor weight scraps. The bottom houses my sewing machine bag and travel bags for supplies.
When J moved out he didn't have room to take his Ikea Pax unit. Thank goodness, the unit is AWESOME for holding supplies!
Hanging on the front is my embroidery kit. It was just a happy coincidence that it matched the Button Rug I purchased last month!
Inside the left hand door are my "hands free" bags that I use when attending quilting shows, car shows, home shows, etc. Anything where I need to keep my hands free for a long period of time. The hexie denim pouch is only big enough to hold money, a few important cards, my camera and my keys and I only use it if I am going to be home before mealtime. The button pouch is bigger and can also hold my medications and insulin in case I will be away from home over mealtime.
Inside the Pax unit there is a TON of storage. All of my yardage, flannel, plaids, bundles, patterns, etc are stored on the left, while the right side holds my yarn and crocheting supplies. I also have a HUGE travel bag (actually J's hockey bag from when he played goalie in roller hockey...HUGE) in the family room that houses all of the yarn needed to complete the queen sized afghan I am working on.
Next to the Pax is a rolling cart that holds smaller scraps, hexies, 2.5" squares, embroidery scraps and zippers. The organizer on top holds my new embroidery pattern by Lori Holt and some supplies to help when I am pin basting quilts.
The lateral file cabinet was a freebie I scored on Freecycle. Now that I have shut down my business it holds "miscellaneous" household paperwork. Dear Hubby and I eventually hope to sort through it all and empty it completely so I can use it to store more crafting stuff. Eventually.
On top of the lateral file are cubbies that I scored half price at our local thrift store. Each of the Collapsible Craft Containers (my design) holds a different color of single buttons. Sets of buttons are on cards in the next opening. As you can see, I still need to make seven more Collapsible Craft Containers, lol. Eventually. Each of the cubbies is deep enough that I can fit TWO containers, leaving room for increasing my stash. On top of the cubbies my Minnie Mouse jar holds buttons that still need to be sorted. Eventually it will hold loose white and cream buttons only. The orange pail holds white and cream buttons on cards. The penguin shotglass holds pins. The black buckets are still empty. Between them and the orange pail is an adorable sewing machine sent to me by a dear friend across the pond.
The two left drawers hold embroidery floss on cards that I made with my Sizzix Big Shot.
The right hand drawer holds duplicate floss and fabric covered button kits that were bought at our local thrift shop. I LOVE our thrift shop!
This cabinet is yet another Ikea piece. On top are the TV, cable box and DVD player. The bottom drawer holds hanging file folders. So far I have only established "Sewing Done", "Sewing To Do", "Crocheting Done" and "Crocheting To Do" folders. I have lots more file folders to label and TONS of patterns to file, lol. The middle drawer holds miscellaneous stuff and the holiday 12" mini quilts I have made to decorate my foyer. The skinny top drawer holds basting pins, rulers, etc. My collection of crafting books is rather small at this point. The blue metal basket is empty, but I am sure I will find a use for it someday. My hand made "softie" pin cushion rests in the corner.
You are now back at the doorway of my ESR. You can just see the safe (that only holds our passports, lol), trashcan and edge of the fan. Next to the fan is the door. As soon as I can make a trip or two to the basement I will bring up the folding tables I will use while basting. They will be stashed behind the door when not in use.
Hope you have enjoyed a tour around my Expanded Sewing Room. It is one of my favorite places in the house!
Today is a "pamper me" day. After Dear Hubby and I ran a few short errands I came home and snuggled down in my ESR (Expanded Sewing Room) under my electric throw. The heat really helps the deep muscle aching and sitting or lying down is best for me when I have this level of exhaustion.
While I was watching my favorite channel on TV, I pulled out my embroidery kit to do a little bit of stitching. Isn't it amazing that my Button Embroidery Kit matches the rug? A very happy coincidence! My pain level is really bad today, as is my weakness...extreme today...but my tremor is not bad. Go figure. No rhyme nor reason, but I am happy for the chance to complete a few stitches!
I haven't worked on this little stitchery in AGES and it has gotten really wrinkled in my bag. Plus I had used a hoop for the first part of stitching and accidentally left it on my fabric (OOPS!) , but I have discovered I am really much more comfortable stitching without the hoop! I managed to finish up five of the broken heart lines today. Progress! It's always a good thing!
Dear Hubby is taking me out to dinner tonight. I am really much too under the weather today to handle lifting pots and pans on and off of the stove. I told Hubby to pick the place as even my taste buds are too exhausted right now to care what I eat. Wonder what he will pick...
One of my goals for 2014 was to begin decorating my home for each of the holidays. While I know I can't decorate EVERYTHING in the house, my initial decoration will be a mini quilt to hang in my foyer for each holiday of the year. As you can see above...I'm ready for St. Patrick's Day!
I found this image somewhere online (possibly pinterest?), copied the image, printed it and cut it out...and there it sat until this past week. I made a few little changes to my tastes, but the basic concept is the same. For the life of me now I can't find the website where I found the image to give proper credit to whomever designed this adorable hat. If it was you, or if you know who it was, please let me know so I can list him/her as the designer.
I was determined to only use what I had on hand, and I met my restriction with the exception of the clover charm. The hat was just calling out for a little bit of bling! I also attempted stipple free motion quilting for the first time, and added some wonky stitching for shading on the hat. I was having a bit of trouble with the foot catching as I was quilting so there are some eyelashes on the back of the piece. Oh well, nobody should be looking at the back, lol. I added another loop of rubber band to my altered free motion quilting foot (per Leah Day) and did a few quick stitches on some scraps and the motion was MUCH better. I can't WAIT for my next FMQ session! Thank you, Leah!
So, how are YOU decorating for the holiday?
BTW, on March 7th (or thereabouts) I will be having a small giveaway for my "mid year blogiversary". Stay tuned for details!
I finished sewing the second valance, and I can steal the hardware from the design wall in my sewing room...but I don't have another rod. THIS is why I hate to garage sale stuff. I got rid of at least four or five rods during our last garage sale, two of which were the size I need now. Humph......guess I will try to get to Walmart tomorrow to buy another. By the way, I don't know why all of the right window and half of the left window is showing up "brownish". Maybe the level of the sun? They are both actually white, as you can see near the black chair (and yes, that is dust on the chair, lol). It will be moved down the basement now that the water restoration is all done and I'll dust it off then. We have had so much "work" done in the house between painting the guest room, painting the guest bath and repainting portions of the basement that dust from the sanding is EVERYWHERE! But it is a sign of progress around here, so I guess I will just swish the duster and be thankful that we are getting things done, lol.