Hope Chest

When I turned 8 years old, my mom gave me a hope chest as a present, and thereafter I was gifted with crochet doilies, bed sheets, bath towels, etc to fill my hope chest. My mother loved my hope chest, I absolutely hated it!, I hated it when I received it at the age of 8 when I was hoping to get a far more interesting gift, and I have hated it ever since, and somehow, this unwanted hope chest has followed me all my life, my mother makes sure of that 🙂

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The last few years it´s been in my sewing room, where I glare at it all the time. So the other day my daughter Andi said to me…. Why don´t you sand and paint it….My first reaction was, no way, there is nothing that can salvage that monstrosity, with it´s horrible lacquered finish, and the very thought of stripping the varnish from the whole thing was just too daunting. However she finally convinced me, and so we decided to strip the top and paint the rest with chalk paint.

I used my husband´s electric sander to strip the top, and even then it wasn´t easy, in the end, he did me the huge favor of doing most of the sanding.

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Then I painted the rest with white chalk paint, I had to apply 3 coats of paint. The hardware, I spray painted in silver and then I applied clear wax to the painted area.

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I applied a coat of mineral oil from Ikea to the sanded top, it´s called Skydd, the minute I applied the oil the top turned a dark brown, which surprised me because I apply this oil to wooden kitchen top counters all the time, and they don´t darken, but anyway I don´t mind this darkish brown, it´s quite nice.

And here is the finished product, so finally, 44 years after receiving it, I can finally say that I actually like my hope chest!

 

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Free Motion Quilting

At the beginning of the year, I chanced upon a Quilt-along by Karen from Redbird Quilts here I´ve been wanting to practice free motion quilting for a long time but didn’t want to mess up any of my pieced quilts. So when I saw this quilt-along using a panel, and such a cute panel it is, from Susybee, I knew this was the perfect opportunity I´d been waiting for.

So off I went looking to buy the Lew the Ewe panel, but as usual here in Portugal where I live, there was nothing, Quilting is not really a thing here. My options were to order online from overseas, but postage costs from the States are crazy, and even from the UK it was just too expensive, I opted to buy the Hildy the Goat panel also from Susybee from Italy, and try to adapt the free motion quilting to this panel.

Well, I must say the whole experience was very interesting, I had never sewn with 12wt Aurifil thread before, which of course, I also had to order from overseas…..Maybe I should just move overseas 😊, hopefully, one day I will find Aurifil thread in this country. Well anyway, I love the look of the 12wt thread, it´s so bold and adds great dimension to the quilt, I used it to highlight the clouds and on the borders, will definitely be using it again in the future.

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Ok so my free motion pebbles are a little rugged and wobbly, and my meandering across the grass is a more of a lurching along the grass 😃 still it was rather fun, I also tried the swirls shape in the sashing between the squares. During the swirls, my thread kept breaking in spite of me trying new and different size needles, so I didn´t have the heart to try sewing feathers, because I knew this pleasant experience would turn out to be a frustrating one instead, so on the outside border, I just quilted my usual wavy lines.

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So here is the panel all finished, or as finished as I wanted it to be, you´ll notice I didn’t quilt the sky, in this case, I thought less was more, well that’s what I´m telling myself anyway 😊

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So, what have I taken from this experience? Well, I´m very happy I tried it, and now I know that if I practice some more, I will actually be able to sew great looking pebbles and meander along like a pro. Having said that, I don’t think I have the patience for this type of free motion quilting, it would require too much of my time and I get easily frustrated, and I still don´t understand why my thread kept breaking during the swirls. So I think for now I´ll stick to my straight lines and occasional wavy line quilting.

This gorgeous panel is now meandering off, to hang on my 2-year-old granddaughter’s room, she really likes the goats and bees 🙂

 

 

 

Holiday in Israel

I recently came back from a holiday to Israel. It´s been on my bucket list forever!

We only went for 5 days, so of course, we didn’t get to see everything, but we still managed to pack in quite a few sites.

Here are a few photos of the different places we did see.

The old town in Jerusalem, which is divided into the Jewish quarter, the Christian quarter, the Muslim quarter and the smallest being the Armenian quarter.

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The Western Wall, in the Jewish quarter, was one of the highlights, especially at night with the men  singing.

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Men on one side, woman on the other 😉

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The temple mount, we weren’t allowed inside the temple, non-Muslims are not allowed, but still wonderful to see from the outside, with wonderful views. Hubby and I were wearing shorts to the knees but still…. BOTH of us were ordered to wear long skirts loaned to us by the guards. I had such a laugh seeing my husband in a skirt 😊

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The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in the Cristian quarter containing the two holiest sites in Christianity, the place where Jesus was crucified, known as Calvary or Golgotha, and Jesus’s empty tomb, where he was buried and resurrected. We waited for about an hour and a half in the queue, to see the tomb.

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Massada – where the famous siege took place between the Jewish people and the Romans, in +- 74AD,. Here you can take the cable car up and walk around the ruins, it´s very interesting.

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The views are incredible!

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The Palace Guards 🙂

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An Original mosaic floor

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Thank goodness they have the cable car, some people actually walk up and down, but I’m not that sort of people 🙂20190528_092243

Ein Gedi –  A nature reserve, with lots of small waterfalls along the trail. We spent quite some time alone in this little waterfall that emptied into a tiny little pond, it was gorgeous

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The Dead Sea, which I have wanted to go to all my life, I finally made it, and what can I say…. I loved the experience, however, it´s so salty, that when a few drops fell into my eyes I had to rush out to wash them because they started burning so much. Actually, the recommended time for being in the water is only 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Still, it was loads of fun.

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Of course, we had to spread mud all over our bodies when it´s washed off the skin feels really soft, but a little smelly from the sulfur 🙂

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The garden of Gethsemane, the spot where Jesus said his last prayers before he was arrested by the Romans.

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The Basilica of the Agony, or church of all nations as it is also known, enshrines a section of rock where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest.

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The Garden Tomb – Considered by many to be the actual site of Jesus´s tomb and where the resurrection took place. It´s quite lovely here, very calming and relaxing, definitely worth the visit.

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On our last day in Jerusalem, we visited Yad Vashem, the official memorial to the victims of the Nazi Holocaust,

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This was a very sobering and moving visit, I found it very hard to keep my emotions in check and not cry. The world certainly needs this memorial so that it never forgets what happened.

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Our last day, we spent in Tel Aviv, and at the beach, which was great.

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I could go on and on about this trip which was so fascinating, however, I´ll just end with this interesting custom I saw during our visit to Jerusalem. Water is so precious that all the public bathrooms and outside fountains have these containers so as not to waste water, they pour water into the container and use that water in the container to wash their hands, I love this idea, I´m going to get myself something similar and apply this at home. One of the things I love about traveling is seeing how people do things differently and learning from other cultures

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Time to start planning the next trip 😉

Table Runner

This weekend I finished a new table runner. Initially, I was going to make it with Dresden triangles. I got the idea from Mama love QuiltsHere I cut and sewed the 2 rows, however, once I had finished sewing them together, I hated the way it looked.

I wanted the runner to have an ethnic feel to it, but because I had chosen so many busy fabrics, it was just too overwhelming.

Here is a photo of one of the rows, before I cut it in half.

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Not wanting to scrap the whole project, I decided to cut one of the rows in half, flip them around and sew white borders around and in between. For the binding I used one of the fabrics, the orange-green with the yellow flowers, this fabric is a batik from Mozambique. The quilting is straight narrow lines, still my favorite method of quilting.

I am actually very happy with the result, it´s colourful and bright, with the ethnic touch I was looking for.

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Not quite sure what I am going to do with the leftover row, I might just cut it into smallish squares add some solids and make placemats, but right now I have a few other projects in hand so that will have to wait.

Thanks for the visit, have a great day!

 

All about Pillows

It´s all about pillows!

It´s been a while since I´ve been here, it´s been kind of hectic, I’ve basically finished up a few projects and started others, so I have a few WIP – works in progress.

Here is one of my finished projects, matching pillows for the quilt I made for my granddaughter, you can see it Here.

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I really enjoyed making these pillows, I used leftover blocks and scraps, made them into pillow covers with binding around them, I think the binding gives it a great finished look.

I also had some unfinished blocks from the Tulip parade wall hanging Here, that had been on my design wall forever, so my daughter the other day suggested that I incorporate them into bright pillowcases for her. So I went ahead and used plain red fabric for the background and finished up 2 cushion covers in a jiffy, and here they are.

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Thanks for listening to my Pillow talk 😉 have a great day!

Knitting bag

My daughter has recently taken to knitting, and it so happens that I received in my mailbox a tutorial for a small knitting bag from Sewspire, Here

Such a coincidence I couldn´t pass up, and so I  immediately went to work.

I decided to use a chintz fabric that I had bought a while back, because it´s just so inexpensive. Now in Portugal, ….where I live, by the way… this fabric is called Chita, and it is readily available in fabric stores and the markets because it is so cheap and versatile to make bags or for home decor, the fabric is basically a woven canvass with bold prints. I actually looked it up on google, because I am not a fabric connoisseur 😊 and found out that it was originally from India and that in the 1700 it was actually banned from England, because it was considered unfair competition for the local fabric manufacturers, anyway it´s pretty interesting, you can look it up also.

Well as I said I had some of this fabric, and that´s what I decided to use because it´s kind of old school and crafty all at the same time. The interior is a plain navy cotton fabric, and the handles are chopsticks, which I thought was just such a fun idea and luckily I had some at home.

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I really whipped this up in about an hour, it´s quite small, but really cute, and my daughter loved it, so all in all, a great little project. 🙂

 

 

Doll crib and quilt

I have a very old doll crib that my girls played with when they were little, it´s been sitting in the garage for years gathering dust, but now it´s time to be played with once again. I am gifting it to my granddaughter, who is almost 2.

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But first this little cot needed a little makeover, so I painted it white with chalk paint, I love chalk paint, it´s so user-friendly, the washing up is a breeze, and I just love the finish. I must admit I didn’t spend too much time in the prep work, so it´s still a little rustic with the odd crack here and there, but I don´t think dolly will mind too much 🙂

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Once the crib was painted, I made the mattress, just some polyester wadding, and a basic slipcover, made the pillow, and then the quilt.

Crazy as it sounds, this little quilt was the one I most loved making to date, it was probably because I wasn´t stressing about perfect seams etc, I used old scraps of fabric, I even had a giggle while basting, what a pleasure to stand and baste this little cutie, and not have to crawl around the floor like usual. If you´re wondering what the spoon is for, I use it to help close the safety pins, I saw this on a youtube video once, and it´s a great tip.

The quilting is a simple wavy lines along the seams.

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Everything just lined up perfectly, and it´s all just so cute!

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And here is Isabella playing with her new dolly 🙂

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What a fun project this has been!

Happy Jelly Roll Quilt

Well, I finally finished the jelly roll quilt that I started ages ago! It´s the biggest quilt I´ve made so far, it´s for my granddaughter’s bed which is a single bed, but I want the quilt to reach the floor on either side, so it´s quite big. My behind the scenes helpers had a bit of a problem in holding up the quilt properly, and there was a fair amount of moaning and complaining going on 😀

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Initially, I bought a roll of  Heather Bailey – Nicey Jane collection, but then I had to buy another roll to finish the quilt, but I still have loads of strips left over to make matching cushions or whatever, I haven’t decided it.

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The backing is a plain cotton bed sheet. I needed to cut down on the cost of fabric and the work in having to piece the fabric to the size of the quilt top, so a sheet was the answer for me, bought a king size sheet and trimmed it to size.

The binding is a lime colored Kona solid. The quilting is straight lines on the white background, I didn’t quilt the jelly roll strips, because I want it to pop out a bit.

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I´m quite pleased with how it turned out, the colors are bright and airy, and will make for a happy room.

20181209_143318Thanks for the visit, Have a bright happy day.

 

 

Pencil Pouches

This weekend I sewed up 3 pencil pouches, but one I gifted away so quickly that I forgot to take a photo 🙂 I gave it to my daughter who started a new job.

For myself, I made a very simple flat pouch so that I can just carry a few pencils and an eraser to my piano lessons and it needs to fit inside a folder. This is the easiest pouch ever to make, I found the tutorial here 

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The other I made, just because I wanted to use up scraps, I still have left over from my granddaughter´s backpack. Since she´s only 22 months old, I´ll keep it until she goes to school, which won´t be for a while Haha. 🙂 Actually, it´s a nice pouch to carry a fabric rotary cutter, scissors etc.

Thanks for the visit, have a lovely day!

 

 

 

 

Save the Bees Table Runner

OK, so I´m loving the Jaquelynne Steves – Sew along, Save the bees quilt. I’ve had a blast with the applique. I’ve only ever appliqued once, so it was great fun to do it again, and  I will be machine appliqueing a lot more in the future. I could never make hand sewn appliques, firstly because I hate sewing by hand, and secondly because my eye sight isn’t the best and I would probably end up stabbing my nose with the needle!!

Although I love the quilt, what I really wanted to make was a table runner using 2 of the blocks, if I used more than 2 it would be too big for my center table. I invented a small block with appliqued hexagons to join the 2.

So there I was showing hubby the new creation and he says, “Oh you made a traffic light in the middle”…….Really!!!… now I can´t unsee it!

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Oh well, with my Zebra on top, you can´t see the traffic lights, and it all just looks gorgeous.

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I used a pentel Gell roller to trace the bee´s flight, a tip from The crafty Quilter, who is also making the quilt, So you can always buzz on over here and see for yourself. The quilting is simple shadow quilting.

Well needless to say I love my new table runner 

Thanks for buzzing by!

🐝