Monday, September 5, 2011

Quilt, Chair, and Honor vs Robot

The kids have completely organized their rooms, they’ve been practicing their homework skills, we’ve been working on getting back to a real schedule, and they’ve been indulging in a few last all day PC game marathons, reading, and watching their favorite DVDs etc. before school starts again. Honor has been going through the movies, Brian has discovered detective shows like CSI and Castle. Summer is almost over. 

We’ve been keeping very busy playing lately, and play, for me, means crafts! I’ve been cleaning out my ‘to-do’ repair pile, and I also managed to cover this chair. This crazy shaped (not commercially coverable!) olive drab with fleur de lis (really.) wing chair. Here is a ‘before’ photo, best viewed partially covered with cute cats (aka mom’s ‘helpers’).


This needed … something. Also, almost cut out of the photo, but look below the 3” thin seat cushion… photo above… right where the back of your leg hits the chair is a barely padded board. I had to do something about that. I had a dark brown throw that matched the sofa covers. I’d tossed it over the chair, but it never stayed on. Because I don’t really know what I am doing, I decided to chop that up and make a cover for the chair rather than invest in yards of new fabric. I figured that if I totally hosed up, I’d feel less guilty about having to toss it all out! For a novice like me, it made it a lot easier to just dive into the project! I had made a more simple cover for a more sanely shaped chair awhile back, but this one was more challenging. Here is the result!


Ok… it’s a bit floppy. More than a bit. But hey, it matches the rest of the saggy floppy old furniture that came in this apartment :p We’re not winning any fashion decor contests with any of this stuff anyway, so what the hey?! Also, it’s brown now, not blah-green with funky florets. I made it baggy on purpose because this chair is used, a lot, and I know how my family sits… Not. Still. … a form fitted cover would rip off in a week. The seat cushion looks popped up a bit because it is. I made a second cushion, measured to fit under the seat, about 2-3” in height, filled with scraps of solid/tough material that won’t compact into nothingness. I am sure it will go down a bit with use, but in the meantime it’s much more comfortable and keeps our legs off that stupid board in the front. I am disappointed with how it looks – but I knew I would be. Didn’t like the chair or the fabric. But I am quite tickled with myself for simply making this thing! It was quite a project to pull together and I feel like I learned a lot from doing it.

Speaking of learning, I am still working on my first quilt and should share some progress. I cut all of my pieces, have put all my blocks together, and even added the border! Now I need to order the fill and backing material and get to the actual quilting process.

I found some mistakes in my piecing, and I think part of it was in the pressing… too much pressing… which may have stretched the fabric in places before I cut. I need to press more gently, I believe, as even with carefully using paper thangles, some pieces were a tiny bit off. A tiny bit here and a tiny bit there, matters. And it might be my machine… sewing in a straight line really isn’t that hard(!), but it seems to pull to one side sometimes and I am only going to re-do a piece so many times before walking off! It’s a rather old machine. I’m not sure, but maybe taking it apart and giving the insides a good clean will help. Anyway, they are very minor issues, meaning, a few places where my angles are not as ‘precise’ as they might have been. I doubt seriously that my kids will care :) They just want the finished quilt, and I am in a hurry to get it put together and see how the process goes, from the piecing to final binding.

Here is my sewing center – a desk where I can leave the machine up and ready to go at all times! (Note: Sewing scissors and seam ripper at the ready… poor things got a workout ;p !)


My quality control inspector, testing for comfort – these pieces passed inspection.

Btw – the little ‘dots’ on the brown, blue and yellow fabric are paw prints and are made to go with the cat print fabric. Keeping in theme, I am thinking of hand quilting with a paw print design. Prints walking around the border at any rate… I’m still deciding the pattern for the main body of the quilt. 


The blocks assembled; pre-border. Pixie is modeling, to show scale.


And after the border is added… the border really pulls the whole thing together. I wasn’t so sure I’d like these fabrics, even though the cats are cute. I was out-voted on this one! I like how it’s come out though. Pixie shows up to help model again… and because she always shows up on top of anything I am working on.


I am not the only one being creative. Honor’s current hobby of choice is writing stories on the computer and illustrating them. She’s been using a commercial Storybook software, sometimes, and other times she uses Word and Paint. Her current theme has been some short stories about a robot and his kitten. She found an old RC robot toy of Brian’s to play with, but it really wasn’t working properly, so I got out Brad’s old Robosapien V2. I got this for him 4-6 years ago - kind of as a gag gift, kind of as a ‘toy for dad to entertain the little kids with’ - he hasn’t had much use unfortunately. The lighting in our old place simply was not good enough to encourage him to function properly, and he was put away. With Honor being so fascinated with robots though, I got him down, gave him batteries and powered him up. Then I got the camera, and gave Honor the remote. Here’s how that intro went:

I can see more stories happening… !


Jen said...

Wow, love the quilt! I've got to learn how to do...anything...crafty!

Becky said...

I like the quilt too. And good work on the chair. I'm impressed you pulled that together with no pattern or anything.