"The kitties would be so happy here! Oscar was made for wood floors and grey walls."
"Um. I guess?"
Blogland has a lot of perfect DIY tutorials out there. If you believe everything you read, no one ever tries anything and doesn't end up with a perfectly fashionable and stylish result. I am here to cure you of those thoughts.
Our apartment, as great as it is, gets almost no sunlight on the balcony. I attempted a small herb garden last summer, but it didn't do well. I had a brainstorm last month, though, when I realized that our bedroom window does get a ton of light. The only problem is to keep the cats away from whatever burgeoning greens I might have on the sill. I came up the idea to build a hanging shelf that would hold a few pots. Not a lot, but enough to keep me stocked in basil and mint all summer.
My dad sketched out a blueprint for me (I wanted it to hang but not swing, and I didn't know how to do that) and off Chris and I went to Home Depot. I realized I still didn't know what I was doing, so Dad provided some expert advice. (My favorite part was when I asked if the bolts I was using were going to be ok for ceiling mounting. Dad answered, "probably." I said, I'm only asking because it's going to be over our heads while we sleep, and he belly laughed.)
Got my supplies, came home, and started staining the pretty piece of oak I picked out. Over the course of a week I got the wood stained, sealed, and drilled—all set. I bought seeds and potting soil. I went to drill the holes in the ceiling, and surprise! It turns out that under the quarter inch of plaster, our ceiling is made of steel. Behold: a terrible photo of the steel:
Yay, a new quilt!
Ever since I started my new job, I've not had much time for sewing, and I've missed it. A few weeks ago I decided to just make something, dang it, so I picked a simple pattern and grabbed some fabrics off the shelf.
I was able to piece the top together very quickly, and to make it even quicker, I decided to experiment with machine stitching the layers togther. All of my previous quilts have been quilted by hand. Hand-quilting is beautiful and makes a quilt very special, but it is awfully time-consuming. And since this quilt had no particular owner in mind, it was a good "not-special" quilt to practice on.
There are a few puckers and folds in the back, where I didn't baste well enough or didn't maneuver it through the machine carefully enough, but they are largely hidden by the post-washing crinkles. :) Still, I don't think it's good enough to give as a gift, so this one's staying with me. If I'd planned that from the beginning, I would have made it a tad bigger, as it's a bit small for a cozy throw, about 50x50. (I'd originally thought maybe I'd keep it on hand for a future baby gift.) But it still works nicely on the couch, and it will make a nice Buckley baby quilt someday. ;)
The machine quilting is very exciting to me. I really do prefer the look of hand-quilting, but it's really nice to have this option when I want to put something together quickly, whether it's because I'm on a deadline, or because I just feel like it, as I did with this quilt.
For Christmas last year, my Mom gave me a tiny little quilt with all the pins I'd collected on it. She took a quilt block that her aunt made, pieced it out with some new fabrics, and rounded up all the pins I'd left behind in boxes. A lot of the pins are from high school band, and others are from various trips and events. I love it so much.
Here you can see just how small it is. Maybe 8 inches square?
The thing I collect most these days are these little buttons (pins? I never know what to call them). They've been overflowing from a small bowl on my dresser for a while, and when Mom gave me the pin quilt, I knew it'd be perfect for my buttons, too.
I made this zig-zag with a black pindot print and solid white. It's bound with a really pretty Hope Valley print.
It was my first time making a quilt to be hung, with a dowel and hook, and bits of it got a little messy, but they're far less noticeable in person than they are in these photos. This one's about 18" square, and it fits all my buttons with lots of room for more.
Here they are both in my hideously messy craft area. (The little one is on the far left, facing to the side.) I like having decorations on these walls!