Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Show + Tell :: Pillow Case

November 24 2015,

I did it! In my last post, I was griping about not knowing how to finish the edges of a pillow case without a serger. Thus a reader suggested I do french seams. Ta-dah. I did it. I looked up a tutorial on how to make a pillow case and came up with one that did it "burrito" style and with french seams. Below are the results.

The first one (I made two of these), our nephew wanted black, gray, white and a splash of red. I had a lot of gray fabric, so all I needed to buy was the black / white/ gray fabric on the "cuff" (Yes, I do need to iron it).

The two below is for our first cousin once removed who was born in the year of the monkey - which makes him 11 years old. His mother (my cousin) said that he loves monkeys - thus the theme. I did not have enough of the white fabric, so I decided to make one white and one black.

I think I'm done with making stuff - oh yeah, I even finished the draft stopper which I filled with kitty litter. The kitty litter was the cheapest in terms of cost (under $6.00 for a big bag at Wal-mart), and my sister-in-law has a cat, so that's also going to her. Two gifts in one. Yay!

As far as shopping goes, that's easy - mostly we're just giving cash, it's easy, eco friendly, and that's what most people want anyway.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Quilt & Bitch

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Show + Tell :: Pillows

November 12 2015,

Christmas is around the corner - and this year, my sister in law would like four pillows, one draft stopper, two pillow cases for our nephew and curtains for our niece.

For the curtains I sent her a link on Amazon where she could get insulated curtains. I've never made curtains - and I think it's probably cheaper after everything is said and done to buy it instead of making it. She was fine with that, so that is off the list.

So today I finished four pillows, two 14" and two 16". Boy was it a bitch to make. No really, it's really easy, but I would rather be quilting.

So here are the results of the pillows. This fabric was bought 8 years ago, and I bolt a bolt of it. I've used 1.5 yards of it, I have plenty more to make plenty more pillows for another 20 years.

This below is the pillow form. I decided to make my own pillow form because I've read that it's cheaper, and this would also be an opportunity for me to use some fabrics that I really have no need for. After making the pillow form I stuffed it with Poly-fil. It was easy. But I overstuffed a few, and sewing up the last part of the pillow form by machine was not so easy. Lesson learnt.

Note in the picture above, on the upper right side, you can see that I have a quilt on an ironing board (that's the back of the quilt) ready for the quilter to quilt it (that's going to be in early December).

Now I have to figure out how to make the draft stopper. I'm still trying to figure out what filling to use. I think I may end up using kitty litter because they have a dog and a cat at their house. As for the pillow case, that's another problem. I don't have a serger, and without a serger, it's going to be interesting.

I really want to start on another quilt, but I told myself that I couldn't start on anything until I got these done. Because once I start on another quilt, I won't finish these, and we're going to have a bunch of disappointing relatives! **Update 5:50 pm - I lied, I am starting another quilt. My excuse is I can't do anything because I have to go buy 1/2 yard of white kona cotton and a bucket of kitty litter**

One last thing, just because I make quilts and know how to use a sewing machine, it does not mean I know how to make clothes, make Halloween costumes, mend rip clothes, alter clothing, sew with jersey - silk - or knits - chiffon - material, make a wedding veil, sew a button, sew a zipper, sew an elastic, iron clothes, and / or make a pillow case. But I do know how to hem and make wonky pajama pants. There I've said it.

'Nuf said.

Now go sew.

Quilt & Bitch

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Quilt Show :: Blogger's Quilt Festival :: Fall 2015 :: I Love Love Love

October 24 2015,

Amy's Creative Side is once again hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival. Thanks Amy.

Here's my entry.

Title: I Love Love Love
Dimension: 62" x 59"
Materials: Cotton Batik, Dream Cotton, Dream Wool
Method: Machine Pieced + Machine Quilted
Machine quilted by: Jean Konopacz of JK Threads
Date completed: 09.2015

Front of I Love Love Love

Back of I Love Love Love

Detail of I Love Love Love

The creation of this quilt was inspired from the book cover call "The Husband's Secret" by Liane Moriarty. The book focuses on pinks and reds, there are some greens - but I chose to ignore the greens.

Click here to see more of the process in detail.

The title came about after I received a text message from a friend whom I had just seen for lunch. She had texted me saying, "I love love love." It turns out that the text was meant for her husband and not me.

Enjoy the show!

Quilt & Bitch

Monday, October 19, 2015

Renovation :: Guest Bathroom v.3

October 19 2015,

When we moved in, in 2010, the guest bathroom looked like this. The house was built in the late 1950's. Most of our neighbor's bathroom who have not renovated their bathroom, their bathroom still has the retro look.

So when we moved in, we had the bathroom renovated. No pictures came from this renovation, because it looked horrible.

The contractors who did it, did such a bad job that after we fired them, we didn't trust their work and had to redo it. So fast forward to May 2015. We had friends over for a graduation and they were using the sink. All of a sudden, the pipe for the sink starts leaking.

It was a good time to demo everything anyway, so that's what we do. Hubby had wanted to keep the existing floors - but I convinced him to take everything out because we did not know the quality of the work. It turned out that the plumber did not glue one of the pipe, which led to the leaking. It leaked all the way to the basement bathroom - but luckily that was already gutted and down to the bare studs.

The culprit
Hubby + I (mainly hubby) did most of the renovation and supervision. We hired a plasterer, a tiler, and a plumber. This is the plumber that couldn't rough our original Kohler Escale sink (even after we gave numerous warnings that the first plumber had not done it right either).

So after at least 6 trips to the tile store, and a minimum of 30 trips to the local box store (no exaggeration), we have a finish bathroom.

The concept of the bathroom was based on the bathtub itself. The bathtub is the Kohler Expanse Curve tub. I like the curve look and carried it throughout the bathroom. The light had a light curve, the shower curtain rod has a curve, and the vanity handles. It is the attention to detail.

The floor tile is a dark bluish gray with light gray lines. I went for a darker tile color so the floor will hide the dirt well. The bathtub tile on the left and ride is ceramic white matte and in the middle is glass. I've realized that glass tile was expensive, but I liked the look of it, so we minimized the cost by doing the ceramic white matte. On the sink wall, we tied in the area with the white glass tile.

Originally, we had wanted to tile the walls where the toilet nook was, with ceramic gray matte tiles. Unfortunately it was back ordered and would not be available for another month. We ended up painting it with Sherwin Williams "Lazy Gray". The "Lazy Gray" was not too dark and not too light.

The vanity piece came from Home Depot. We had wanted to use another vanity and something smaller, but they had a blow out sale, we couldn't resist not buying it. It does feel a little bit cramp because of that 48" big vanity. But it does provide a lot of space.

The blinds came from Levelor. We decided to use top down bottom up so that we can always have it half open to bring light into the room without compromising a compromising situation (does that make sense?).

After everything is said and done, I'm happy with the bathroom.

Renovating a bathroom is similar to making a quilt. Carefully choosing every single piece that goes into the room to make sure it is in unison.

What I learned from this was to take pictures. Take pictures of everything during the process. Every little corner, every little thing. From the beginning while we were demoing, and when the plumbing was redone, and when the plasterer was in, I took pictures. This helped hubby a few times, because when the tiler had already tiled the wall with the shower bar and the shower diverter, he had to reference back what was behind the tiled wall. This way when there was a question about something, all I had to do was show them the pictures.

One down, two to go.

Quilt & Bitch

Monday, September 14, 2015

Show + Tell :: I Love Love Love

September 14 2015,

So this quilt was started approximately in May. The creation of this quilt was inspired from the book cover call "The Husband's Secret" by Liane Moriarty. The book focuses on pinks and reds, thus the choice of the fabrics below.

Here are quarter square triangles ready for the seams to be pressed opened.

Here are the 2 inch block pressed opened.

I kept track of them in a show box. I got the idea of making the cardboard separator to keep them in some kind of order.

The beginning of the process. I put the camera on a tripod on top of a chair and took pictures of the progression.

And there's me on my toe trying to fit myself in that area.

I realized I did not have enough pieces, so I had to take a row out. Somewhere, somehow I miscounted.

After the pieces are laid out - I put them on a cutting mat and labeled the column. I placed rules, trims and wood to keep the pieces from flying all over the place.

Below is the front of the quilt. Unfortunately, the camera could not capture the quilt, but it's there. The quilting thread blended in too well.

Below is the back of the quilt.

Below is the detail of the quilting. The quilting was done by Jean Konopacz of JK Threads.

For this quilt, I decided to use two batting, Dream Cotton and Dream Wool. I don't know if I like the effect. It's suppose to make the quilting pop out more. 

And how did I come up with the title? The title came from a text message from a friend whom I had just seen for lunch. She had texted me saying, "I love love love." It turns out that the text was meant for her husband and not me.

Here are the facts:
Title: I Love Love Love
Dimension: 62" x 59"
Materials: Cotton Batik, Dream Cotton, Dream Wool
Method: Machine Pieced + Machine Quilted
Machine quilted by: Jean Konopacz of JK Threads
Date completed: 09.2015

Friday, September 11, 2015

My Summer Vacation :: Part Finale

September 11 2015,

It's been more than a month since I wrote about my summer vacation. Here's a recap.

In the end of July, I went to the 2015 Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival. The sand sculpting was amazing and jaw dropping. It is an amazing form of art.

I also went to the Mancuso World Quilt Show that took place in Manchester, NH. I also took a Mola class with Anna Hergert. She taught the technique in class - but I don't know what direction I'll take this art to.

Below are a bunch of quilts that were IMHO amazing.

"The COlor of Enlightenment - Saffron" by Rick Smith Selva

"Tanzanian Cardamom" by Peg Green

"Turmeric Caravan" by Ann Reardon

"The Spice Bazaar-Cumin" by Karin Tauber

"White Flowers in a Field of Gray" Members of the Applique Bee. Quilted by Dotty Levine

"Twizzle" by Dotty Levine

"Still Waters" by Jenny Hearn of South Africa

"The Never-Ending Fame of Gustav Klimt :: The 'Kiss' Revisited" by Lesley Jurgens of South Africa

Detail of "The Never-Ending Fame of Gustav Klimt :: The 'Kiss' Revisited"

Detail of "The Never-Ending Fame of Gustav Klimt :: The 'Kiss' Revisited"

"Off the Floor #1" by Gael O'Donnell of New Zealand

"Faceless Comrades" by Alison Laurence of New Zealand

Detail of "Faceless Comrades

"The Globe - Hayabusa Shot" by Kimiko Ikai of Japan

Detail of "The Globe - Hayabusa Shot"

"The Lily Pond" by Bernardine Hine of Australia

Detail of "The Lily Pond"
In addition to doing fun stuff - hubby and I worked on the long neglected bathroom. This is the guest bathroom which was renovated 5 years ago when we first moved in. The contractors that we hired cut too many corners and ran off with our money. So instead of trying to fix what they did - we gutted everything.

The pipe below is for our sink. We hired a plumber telling him our woes. And guess what? He F'd it up also. The sink that we have is the Kohler Escale sink with a pedestal. Because it is a pedestal, the rough-in has to be precise. Note that, this is the second time we're re-doing this. Guess what? the plumber did not center the sink and it looks horrible.

We decided to "throw" away the sink - and buy a new vanity that will hide the plumbing that was done incorrectly. So that sink and pedestal will be listed on Craig List really soon - because it's just cursed.

And while the plumber was taking off the shower fixture, he dropped a crucial pin into no where land (the sub floor was not installed - so it went through a crack and went somewhere. I've called Grohe who will ship another one, but it is back ordered till God knows when.  Ugh.

The bathroom should be done in a few weeks, so stay tuned, it's going to be beautiful.

Quilt & Bitch