A New Day, A New Floor


For those who have been in the studio and even just those who have read the blog, it is apparent that light colored carpet was a very bad flooring choice for the studio. I have been considering my options.

The studio is the original 1930’s garage for the house, so is just an oil stained concrete floor beneath the carpet. One option would be to just clean and paint the floor and call it good. Easy maintenance, but a big bummer on the legs and back when standing to cut or dye fabric.

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Creating Value

There is a book out on skinny quilts that all my friends seemed to have. It has a quilt on the cover we all liked and kept saying we were going to make, but none of us got around to it. Along comes the guild speaker for January, the designer of the quilt, Carol Taylor. I knew this was my opportunity to play with the technique and give me the motivator to dye all of the fabric needed for the project.

Dye Cups

Dye Cups

My hand dyed fabrics work great for gradations of value, so I was excited to get started. We needed 4 values; light, med light, med dark and dark. We needed 10-12 pieces of fabric for each value. I wanted to have 4 colors, so that worked out to a minimum of 3 different hues of each color. I decided to do 4 just to have some extra to choose from. I also decided to do 6 values of each color. Just in case I didn’t like the lights and trying to get as dark as I could.  So off to work I went. The first step was to cut up 96 pieces of fabric. We didn’t need much fabric so I died Fat 16ths of fabric. For the non-quilters a fat 16th is a piece of fabric approximately 11×9 inches. Then it was on to the dyes. Mixing fun colors and putting everything in tiny cups. I know it looks like they are all black, but really they are each a different color. Continue reading

Curtains are Finally Finished

Finished CurtainsI am happy to say that I finally completed all of the curtains. I made minor changes after the first set, but then they went pretty smoothly once I got the process down. The most difficult part was trying to find a surface large enough to do my cutting on. I ended up using my cutting table with my ironing board at one end to make it longer. I also ended up taking several rulers together to give me one long enough to make my cuts.

Curtains Before ModificationMaking the rulers work

How to change 3 – 40″ curtain panels into 2 – 55″ curtain panels

The purchased curtain panels are each 40 inches wide. That means we need 3 curtain panels for each window. The new border fabric we purchased is 55 inches wide. I now have two choices, waste 15 inches of fabric on each strip of border fabric or reassemble the purchased curtains to be 55 inches wide. I hate to waste fabric so I went for the reassembly. The first step is to take one of the 3 panels and cut it into 4 pieces. Then I take 2 of the pieces and sew them to each side of a full size panel. This will give me a panel that is 55 inches wide. Repeat the process until you have 8 new panels.

Cut the new panels to length and then sew on the border fabric. Now you have new curtains with lots of seams. Not too lovely from the back, even if you do make nice finished seams.

I have decided to take the easy way out, and Bill wanted the room a little darker, so I will be lining the panels. This will allow me to hide the seams and block out more light, and give a little more insulating protection.

Curtains from Hell

I had great success with some new curtains I bought for my front room, so I thought I would go the easy route and purchase curtains for the family room as well. I have 2 sliding glass doors and 2 large windows in the room so I needed a bunch of curtains.

I found some curtains that coordinated with my current wall colors and I thought I had success. I needed 8 packages of curtains to cover all the windows. No problem.

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Package Pillow Instructions

Package Pillows

Package PillowsI submitted this idea to HGTV’s Carol Duvall Holiday workshop and was selected to appear as one of the Guest presenters. They are quick and easy to make and look great under the tree, on the mantle or on the table top. Any material can be used, but embossed velvet is especially elegant.
Instructions for embossing your own velvet can be found on the Hot Potatoes website.


1/4 Yard Velvet or any other material
3 Yards Ribbon
Thread to coordinate with Velvet
FrayCheck (Optional)

  1. Cut two pieces of velvet 6×6 inches.
  2. Cut one piece of velvet 6×24 inches.
  3. Apply FrayCheck to the edges of the velvet to minimize fraying.
  4. Lay one square of fabric on top of the rectangle of fabric, right sides together, lining up the top and left sides of the square.
  5. Sew the first side of the square with a 5/8 inch seam allowance. When you get 5/8 of an inch from the corner, stop with the needle in the fabric and line the second side of the square with the edge of the rectangle.
  6. Sew the second side of the square, keeping it lined up with the edge of the rectangle. When you get 5/8 of an inch from the corner, stop with the needle in the fabric and line the next side of the square with the edge of the rectangle.
  7. Continue sewing in the same manner until all 4 sides are sewn.
  8. There will probably be excess fabric on the rectangular piece of fabric. Trim off the excess so that the sides meet.
  9. Stitch the two ends of the rectangle together to close up the square.
  10. Line the second square with the edge of the rectangle, right sides together, starting at the seam.
  11. Sew in the same manor as the top square, leaving the last side open.
  12. Turn the package right side out.
  13. Stuff the package.
  14. Hand stitch the final side of the package closed.
  15. Cut a piece of ribbon 23 inches, or enough to wrap around the package plus a small overlap.
  16. Stitch the ends together.
  17. Repeat with a second piece of ribbon.
  18. Slide the two ribbons over the package, one in each direction.
  19. Tie a bow in the center of a 25 inch length of ribbon.
  20. Stitch the bow to the top of the package.