Decorating with Fabric

Since I haven’t had any quilts to work on lately, I’ve been busy with other fabric-related things…  My Mother-in-Law passed away in October, and we have been very busy clearing out her house.  My husband doesn’t “get” my knack for feeling sorry for left-outs, which includes inanimate objects.  This was one such object.  I didn’t think to take a “before” picture, so in this photo, I put the old fabric on it and took a picture.

chairs 006

After I stripped it of the fabric, I was surprised to find caning in the back of the chair.  It was obvious to me that the wood used for the back of the chair was Quarter-Sawn (or Tiger Eye) Oak, which was popular back in the Victorian Era.  When I took the fabric off, I also noticed a sticker that reads “Murphy Chair Company – Detroit, Michigan.”  I googled it and found that it was a company in Detroit around 1900.  Woah!  Anyhow, after looking at several chairs like this, I imagine it had a needlepoint seat covering.  I was giving this to our daughter, though, and I already had fabric to go with her decorating taste, so I used that.

chairs 005

We also inherited 3 rocking chairs.  One of them was covered with orange fabric, which is great for Autumn when we inherited it, but didn’t go with any body’s home decor.

Pepsi 001

I have always wanted to reupholster a chair, so I got the opportunity to do just that with this chair.  Here’s what it looks like now.  I don’t normally like to paint over wood unless it is butt ugly.  This wood did nothing for the chair, so I painted it black and then distressed it to expose parts of the wood.

chairs 003

Keeping the tradition of showing the back of a quilt, here is the back of the chair.

chairs 004

This, too, is going to my daughter’s house.  We already had 1 rocking chair inside and 2 on the porch, so now with the other 2 rocking chairs that we inherited, we have 5 rocking chairs.  We do not need this to make it 6.

I found that I really liked re-covering these chairs and can imagine them with lots of colorful fabrics and even covered with patchwork blocks – I can see myself reupholstering more chairs in my future.

I have a list of goals for 2014, but I find that my ADD interferes a lot and my mind is constantly dreaming up something new that needs to get done right now!  That’s how this next project happened.  I knew I was going to get a customer quilt on Friday, so I cleaned my studio on Tuesday when our guild meeting was cancelled.  Cleaning my studio led to me taking everything off my wooden counter for a good wipe-down.  When I originally built this counter, I had planned on covering it with laminate or staining the wood or doing something to cover the wood.  Cleaning it reminded me that I’d never gotten around to “finishing” that project.  You can see a “before” picture in a post I wrote here.  I pulled some fabric out of my stash (a bolt that had never been opened!)  that looked like rocks.  Imagine my surprise when I opened up the bolt of fabric and laid it out on the counter top.  I smiled and thought this was kismet.  Rays of light shown down from the heavens and the angels sang… and my smile “sang” too!

fabric counter 003

Doesn’t it look like granite?  I Mod-Podged it down and cut off the excess fabric with an Exacto knife.  This shot was taken while it was fresh on the counter top and still wet, so that’s why you see streaks or cloudiness in areas.  The Mod Podge dries clear.  Here’s a close-up.

fabric counter 007

I have more projects in the works telling me I need to add them to my never-ending list  swimming around in my head, but first I need to work on that customer quilt.  I am so looking forward to being back at my quilting machine!

Where have you been?

Okay… Where have I been?  It’s been a busy month for me and seems like it will continue to be busy for a while longer.  I guess I forgot to tell you that I went to Amana, Iowa the week of July 4th for a mini-vacation.  One of the fun things I got to do there was sit in a big rocking chair.  For those of you who are older, you might remember Lily Tomlin playing the part of Edith Ann and sitting in this particular rocking chair as she played the part.

Amana 009 (2)

When I got back from Amana, I tried to catch up on all the UFOs (UnFinished Objects) I’ve got going on right now.  Tomorrow is our quilt guild meeting and it is supposed to be the big reveal of all our finished projects.  Well, guess what?  I am still working on the major parts of them!  Eek!

What I have been working on is a variety of other things as well as other people’s’ quilts.  First off, the house next door has been bought by a “flipper.”  This is his first house flip, and so far he has improved the looks of that house 200%.  Before, the yard to that house made my house and yard look good.  Now, I need to get my porch fixed and yard fixed up so we don’t stick out as the trashy neighbors.  Since I am on a tight budget, I have started recycling, re-purposing, and upcycling.  The neighbor asked whose wooden fence that was on the edge of his yard – it’s his.  He asked if we minded if he took it down since there were 3 different kinds of fencing over there.  I asked what he was going to do with the wood (it is good, solid wood), and he said he was going to burn it.  So, I asked if I could have it.  My sister and I have been talking about starting a salvage business where we take ugly things and make them beautiful once more; kind of like an antique business.  Anyhow, 2 weeks ago, she and I took down the wooden fence, much to my neighbor’s pleasure.  He thinks he got a great deal because he got out of the work of tearing down the fence.  My sister, Ruthie, and I think we got the good deal, because we got free wood.  In fact, it was enough wood to fill up the back-end of my sister’s truck!  Here’s a shot of my sister working on the fence.  Don’t look too closely, because she wasn’t too concerned about safety (her feet???).

Ruthie 010

It was so hot that day, we sweat our butts off, but we got it done in several hours… well, it took most of the day.  She is going to use the wood as wainscoting on her dining room wall.  It looks kind of like barn wood, but they are going to remove the rusty nails (which could have stuck into her foot – one went through the bottom of my shoe !) and then power wash it so it will be like new again.  I am going to use some of the wood to make myself some shelves for my many cones of thread.

We had been looking into the many uses of pallets.  People are doing crazy stuff with them and are charging for them, too!  I got 2 of them for free and thought I was going to be really creative with pallets, but I think this was my first and my last project with pallets (fencing wood is much easier to work with).  Originally, I was going to use this for my thread shelving.  Ugh!

Ruthie 006

Yes, it’s crooked.  Shazam!  Those dog-gone things are not square!  This is in my laundry room, holding a bunch of my fabric dye stuff.

I did manage to get a purse made for the UFO reveal tomorrow, but you should see it.  In fact, I’m not going to post a picture of it, I’m so embarrassed.  It’s not REEEEEAAAAL bad and would probably look a lot better if I’d put my stuff into it.  But, when my sister stifled a laugh and said it looks like luggage, I knew it was not one of my better creations.  But, but, but… it has tons of pockets and 3 zippered compartments.  I was so proud of myself for getting that all figured out.  The lesson here is that whatever you do and however it turns out, you learn something from it.  And, I learned that this would have been a great handbag if I had left off that stiff interfacing and only used the fusible fleece (next time…).

So, what did I do?  I ordered a Vera Bradley handbag, which was the original reason for me making my own.  I wasn’t going to spend the money on a Vera Bradley bag if I had the stuff here to make it already (FREE – yes!).  I have to say, though, that Vera Bradley has the best method of delivery.  My big thing lately has been customer service, and when I opened the box, the money spent on this bag that I could not afford was so worth it.  I felt very special.  I mean, look at this!  On the outside of the shipping box is plain brown, just like any other shipping box.  But, when you open it up, you see a happy green with special saying written on it and “signed” by Vera.  The bag is wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with an embossed sticker.  The invoice is inside a nice embossed card sleeve.  I feel so pampered.  Vera Bradley has definitely won me over as a customer for life!  Thank you, Vera!  🙂

wilmas 4 002

Now to get to the quilts I’ve been working on…