The last few days have flown past. Last Friday, my brother and I put wallpaper on the kitchen ceiling. While I won’t be volunteering to do that again, we got it done easily enough (if you don’t count the kinked necks and sore arms and shoulders). But it’s certainly a challenge working over your head and lining up the repeats. Yesterday I primed it, along with two and half walls. The walls took two coats of primer to cover the sage green. Today, I painted it all. And now I’m ready for a break! However, there is no rest for the weary. I’ll be working with this group of Heather Bailey True Colors fabric this week, sewing up last minute samples for Free Spirit for Spring Market. I also get to work with Joel Dewberry’s True Colors.It’s going to be another busy week here at Casa P. Besides the sample sewing, we’ll be getting the remaining walls in the kitchen patched, mudded, primed and painted. Gonna be a full caffeine week to be sure!
From time to time, I receive offers to help promote merchandise. Most of the time, it’s not a good fit and/or it’s not something I use. On rare occasions, one comes along that clicks for me and what I do here on the blog. One of those rare occasions happened last month when I received an offer from Behr to get the word out about Behr Marquee Interior Paint & Primer. While the kitchen will be getting new paint soon, the timing wasn’t right. However, I did have this side cabinet that I’ve been considering repainting. Nice but definitely a “ho hum” piece.
I requested three color samples and Behr promptly sent me Blue Edge, Coastal Jetty and Tibetan Turquoise. I love all three of these deep colors; but the color I chose for this cabinet was Coastal Jetty. What a change for this humble little cabinet! (And look at how well it matches the Talaveras pot.)So here’s the thing…I use Behr paint as my go-to paint. It’s readily available and not incredibly expensive. (The walls in the background are Behr’s Silver Screen. In fact, the off white color is also Behr.) I’ve never had problems with coverage; but then, I follow the rules and prime medium to dark colors before painting another color over them. With Marquee, the formulation of the paint includes the primer, so theoretically, you only need one coat.To be honest, I didn’t notice any difference. I enjoyed the same reliability and ease of use I am accustomed to. The thing I love most about Marquee…the colors! With 372 colors to choose from, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy. And it has a low VOC rating, so that’s a nice bonus.
I’m entertaining some crafty ideas for the other two color samples. They’re very well suited to projects that incorporate either Anna Maria Horner’s fabrics or Amy Butler’s fabrics. All-in-one paints are great choices for small paint projects–like this cabinet or other crafty items. Less time is required for the paint, which leaves more time to play with the embellishments and other decorative elements. And who doesn’t love that?
Find out more about Behr’s Marquee paint and their guarantee here.
Earlier this week, I was reminded that I haven’t shown you the other Lovelorn samples I sewed. Jenean’s great post reminded me. Large items are always a big plus for a booth. Not only do they make a big statement in the small space, but they’re an excellent way to show off the repeats in medium to large prints. So we decided on poof/ottomans. These are Amy’s Gumdrop Pillows. They’re easy to put together–you just need to be able to install an invisible zipper. (Said zipper being an ingenious way to stuff these monsters.) They take A LOT of stuffing. I believe I used 10 pounds of polyester fiberfil to stuff these two.Next, I grabbed some of the yellow/orange/green colorway and made a Multi-Tasker Tote. This pattern never gets old. It’s full of functionality while providing a great way to show off multiple prints. The dress is McCalls 5882, one of Kay Whitt’s designs. It shows off the fabulous Modern Floral print perfectly. Of course, Stinka was on hand to give her approval.This collection has a wide variety of fussy cutting options. The Damask is fabulous for kaleidoscopic purposes. The Modern Floral and Paisley prints will be wonderful for paper piecing. (Just imagine the hexies you could make!) And speaking of hexagons, the Hexagons print is a wonderful cheater cloth and will make great backings for quilts. Lots and lots of possibilities.
Thanks, Jenean, for another fun filled collection!
The second block of the month in Free Spirit’s Color Therapy quilt uses Hot Rose and Orchid solids. These colors represent thoughtfulness, organization and spirituality. They are very simpatico–no clash of personalities or unwanted theatrics. For my version of this block, I chose one print from Tula Pink’s Fox Field collection and one from Joel Dewberry’s True Colors collection. Just like the first block, this one has softer edges than the all solids block. I like the way the Foxtrot print seems to be full of action behind the stark lines of the Herringbone print. Notice that little fox peeking out in the upper left? And the little bird in the lower right?
Each month the nine center squares change slightly. With the all solid blocks this is a noticeable feature. In my print version…not so much. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just a thing. The soft edges make it all work. If you worry about imperfect points and slightly mismatched seams, a print version is very forgiving.
Last week, I treated myself to Adding Layers: Color, Design & Imagination by Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession. The book is published by C&T Publishing under their Stash Books imprint.Tearing out the kitchen warranted a special sort of treat–one with color and lots of pizazz. Kathy’s book was the perfect indulgence after that hard work.
Before I say anything about the book itself, I should probably tell you that I have lurked around Kathy’s blog for years. I love the exciting things she does with fabrics. All those unexpected pairings of prints, the bold colors juxtaposed with less riotous ones…what a visual feast. Her shop seems to be bubbling over with a constant flow of creativity. You can almost hear the happy chatter and the laughter in her posts.
As I turned the pages in her book Adding Layers, I kept nodding in agreement. There are fifteen quilt patterns in this book, but if you take Kathy’s message to heart, the possibilities are endless. She tells you about her choices for fabric, batting, quilting, etc. She also discusses tools in depth. Best of all, her attitude is one of encouragement and gentle nudges to expand your quilting repertoire.
Now I’m in the mood for some “just for fun” sewing. Unfortunately, that will have to wait for a little while. I have one sample quilt to bind, two others to baste, quilt and bind, and then four life style projects to sew. All this month and all while in the midst of this:Fortunately, I have this little set up in the corner. At least until we’re ready to get the flooring down.A girl’s gotta have her priorities straight, after all.
What a week! I’m exhausted already and the hard work doesn’t even begin until tomorrow. In the middle of house projects and the sample sewing, Stinka is making sure I take time out to keep her company. After all, how can you say “No” to that face?
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. As for us, we’ll be making a huge mess in the kitchen, taking everything out and prepping for the new flooring. Good thing we have plenty of coffee on hand. We’re going to need every last drop!
No matter how many times we dig up bulbs in this section of the yard, there are always more waiting to sprout. Calla lilies manage to make their unexpected, and even unwanted, appearance a special treat. We’re likely to see Amaryllis and Crocosmia “weeds” in that patch of ground too.
All of this surprise gardening is the result of a former owner. He was, according to neighbors, a landscaper. I’m not sure how many years ago he would have started all this. We’ve been here almost 11 years and he was not the seller at that time. So sometime over 12 years ago, someone lovingly planted many bulbs in this yard. Their progeny are still carrying on, producing beautiful weeds in our side yard.
It makes me wonder…what are we leaving behind–in our gardens and our lives–that will continue to propagate beauty years and years from now? It’s worth pondering.
Remember the dramatic block from last Friday? I put together a little How-To for the block. I’m calling it the High Drama Quatrefoil Block because of the way those fussy cuts come together. Click here for the pdf. If you wanted to make it into a quilt with repetitive blocks, here’s an idea of how it might look.Or you might do as I have done, and make that block the focal point or medallion of an entirely different kind of piece. First, I added a border to get this:Then I added two more borders to end up with this:All it needs now is basting, quilting and binding. Isn’t it amazing how those simple little squares at the corners bring it all together? Without the addition of black on the edges, the center would be unbalanced. I could have used some black HST’s (half square triangles) but I like the effect of the checkboard pattern. It’s a bit unexpected in a quilt that utilizes large personality prints like this one does.
These prints are all from Jane’s Sweet Lady Jane collection which is in stores now. The black is a Free Spirit solid. It measures 42″ square. I’m not sure that I’ll have time to put together a guide for the remainder of the piecing I used. Things are a little kooky right now. But if enough of you clamor, I’ll listen and put it on the list of things to do.
Last month, Free Spirit asked me if I could whip up something in Denyse’s Ansonia collection. I already had fabric, left over from my sample sewing, so I was able to start working on it immediately. Using one of Denyse’s photos (with her permission) as an inspirational starting point, I began making a patchwork pocket. The rest followed in short order.This project is quick and easy. Even quicker if you simplify the patchwork or use a single piece of coordinating fabric. You can find the instructions for this bistro apron on Coats & Clarks website here.