5.11.2015

Triangle Quilt // SeeKateSew Tutorial

 My sister's baby girl is due to arrive any day now.  Back in March I threw her a baby shower and go to give her all the handmade goodies I'd been working on.
 I wanted to make some kind of blanket, though I'm not really a quilter at heart.  I saw a tutorial at See Kate Sew for a modern triangle quilt and it felt like just my kind of project.  I ended up making mine a lot smaller since I thought such a large quilt might not be so useful for a baby.  I downloaded the pattern, cut all my triangles, laid them all out and started sewing.  When I got ready to sew one row to the next, I kind of scratched my head and thought I had done something wrong.  It seemed like there is not way to sew triangles together and get, TRIANGLES!
 I kept sewing because after cutting all those triangles, there's really no turning back.  A few weeks later, an updated pattern came out that actually makes triangles!  The updated pattern is here.  Too late for me.
 I made a nursing pillow cover and basket liner as well.  They all look so pretty together.  I wasn't sure about the fabric, but I think it works.
 I wish I had the time and energy to sew this kind of stuff for my babies.  Can't wait to meet my new baby niece!

4.23.2015

DIY IKEA Knockoff Sewing Table

Shortly after we bought our house, we finished our basement to use as a play/sewing/guest space.  When my parents moved to Florida, I inherited an office desk that I've been using as my sewing table for almost 10 years.  At first, when I only had 1 sewing machine, it was great.  But I've slowly acquired more machines, each with it's own job.  I have a serger and a standalone coverhem machine now, and though it's not ideal, I've been making it work on my office desk.  So recently I decided it's time for a new desk!
The biggest issue I have with my current setup is that I often have go back and forth between all 3 machines and the knee space of the office desk doesn't allow me to do that effectively.  I end up having the slide one machine out of the way in order to use one of the others.
I'm also not in love with the colors we chose all those years ago.  We have a walkout basement, so we get some light from the slider, but it's still a little dark.  We liked the sort of coffee shop look of the yellow and maroon color scheme, but I'm not sure how well it works in brightening up the space.
 A few quick changes made a big difference.  I painted the maroon wall a lighter gray color.

I was planning on buying a new chair when I had the aha moment that I could simply remove the arms on my current chair and recover the seat and back.  The back ended up being a little more tricky and I ultimately had to use nails to get the back piece back on.
 The biggest and most fun change is the desk.  I had my eye on a kind of build your own desk at IKEA.  But I was dragging my feet on getting there.  The 2 limitations for me are the size of my vehicle and the fact that the closest IKEA is at least a 3 hour drive round trip.  I'm and IKEA lover, but I was also concerned with how lightweight the IKEA table might be.  I didn't want to drive all the way there only to end up with a table that shook a lot.  

After a few trips back and forth to Home Depot, I realized I could build essentially the same desk and not have to make the drive!  Here's what I did.

 Materials
DESK PROJECT TOTAL $143

 My husband predrilled holes for me to screw in the top plates, in 2 corners of each top.  Then, I simply screwed the legs into the top plates.  Easy peasy!

The next part took a bit of troubleshooting. I found this set of drawers on the clearance shelf at Michael's but it wasn't the right height.  I went back to Home Depot and was able to grab a piece of melamine from the as is bin for $2 and have someone cut it for me.  The first guy I asked wouldn't do it, so I asked someone else.  Pays to be persistent
To make it a bit more stable, I screwed the bottom base into the drawer frame from the inside. The one downside of the Home Depot melamine tops is that the edges come unfinished.  To finish the edges, you have to iron on a special finishing tape.  I was a little nervous about doing it, but it ended up being pretty easy.

The last little touch I added to my tables is a cord hole.  Because my old desk had a larger depth, I had to keep the cords for the foot pedals in front.  These table are only 23inches deep, which means with a well placed cord hole, I can have all the cords under the desk.
 I bought an attachment for our drill and my wonderful husband drilled the holes for me.  I was warned at the store that you need to hold tightly on the drill when you first start because there would be a lot of torque.  That scared me, but my husband had no trouble.
 I am so so so happy with my new table.  It totally fits my needs and was really easy and affordable to make!  I can't believe I didn't do this sooner.
I'd love to hear if you decide to make one too.

4.19.2015

Drawer Organizing Jars DIY

 
It's been quiet on the blog here lately for a couple of reasons.  One, after what felt like an endless winter, spring is finally here and we are making up for lost time.  Once the snow finally melted, we have been outside all the time.  Also, Spring sports started a little later because of the snowy fields, so we now have soccer games and baton competitions to fill our schedule.
I've also been working on a fairly big project....a new sewing table for me!  I am very lucky to have a dedicated sewing area in our finished basement.  Maybe it was because the winter was so cold and long, but one day I decided it was time for a spruce up.  My space was started to feel dark and I was getting fed up with squeezing my 3 machines on one not so well designed desk.
My new desk and space is pretty much done and I'm excited to share how I made this table with parts from Home Depot.  It's kind of an IKEA knockoff, but about $50 less than what it would cost there.  It wasn't so much about the cost, but more about the durability and the travel time.  The 2 closest IKEA stores are just about 2 hours away for me.  Don't get me wrong, I'm an IKEA lover through and through, I just didn't feel like I'd have the time to make the trip. 

More details on the table coming soon.  In the meantime, here's a quick and easy project I made while transitioning my space.  I recently redesigned my Zaaberry CHILDREN  clothing labels and needed some way of storing them in my new drawers which are much shorter than my old ones.
These 4oz Ball jars are the perfect size and cost about $5 for 4 jars.
 I took the jars apart,
 measured the diameter of the circle top piece,
and drew 4 circles in Powerpoint.  I added the text for my labels and printed them on yellow paper.  I glued them into the ring top, then glued the the center circle to the bottom.  I would recommend making your circles a little larger than the center circle piece.  I ended up getting some glue leaking over the side since my circles were a little bit on the small side. 
 Oh well, not perfect.  But they do the job and look nice in my new drawers.
 Come back soon to hear about how I built my new sewing table.