This and That

So much has happened recently! Major landlord chores to kick us off in 2015 including a flooded basement and failing AC unit. Eek. Hopefully I’ll get a picture of the final new product that is finishing up in remodel phase right now. Even though I don’t live there, it’s still exciting to get a brand new basement and bathroom! We added a bit to the insurance money to get a full brand spankin’ new bathroom, complete with redesigned plumbing and proper insulation, a new double pane window, heated floor, big tiled shower. The previous quick DIY job was not up to the task of record cold temps that Pittsburgh saw late this winter. Remember this from our quick redo in 2012?

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Well, here’s where we are now. Pardon the not-great phone picture. So excited for a bathroom that’s not even finished… and not even mine!

new shower in progress rz

Down here in VA, we’ve initiated some landscaping work in our new yard, with my very own lilac, courtesy of O and Chad for Mother’s Day. The real gift of course was Chad chopping out all the overgrown twiggy shrubs outside our family room to make space for my lilac. (Chad convinced me he would need to purchase a chain saw for this- never did use it for this particular project… hmm….)

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And we’ve been planting a few other items that I’m excited to get some pics of when they become photographable- think very sad hostas stolen and split from our other yard in PA, and dormant shrubs that are basically just sleeping sticks put in the ground for now (=economical landscaping!).

All for now, but wanted to share a bit of the spring crazy that’s been keeping us busy… oh, and bit of this as well ;-)

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o mechanic

 

English Paper Pieced Runner Finished

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DSC_0004Here is my finished EPP table runner. Completely hand done and I loved every minute of making it. I used the backing for my binding by rolling it toward the front and hand sewing it down. I never would have believed how relaxing it was to learn to hand quilt. I’m ready for more. As for my EPP flag, it won first place. It now hangs ready in my home for the 4th of July festivities!

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My Improvised English Paper Piecing

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I am still working away on new things with English Paper Piecing. I think I need a support group. It is so addicting and yet relaxing.

I decided to make a table runner and even plan to hand quilt it. I am actually excited about the thought of meticulously running a needle through each hand pieced shape in coordinating color quilting threads. Only you quilters know the feeling I am trying to portray. Ahhhhhh. I started this runner by ordering two shapes of paper pieces. One is the 2 inch 8 point diamond and the other is the 2 inch half triangle. I get my papers from Paper Pieces.com . They have it all. I also ordered the clear acrylic shapes in the same sizes as listed so I can” fussy”cut the center diamond circles. They ship very fast and have great service. I usually call them to order because they can really help with any advice you need. “Fussy” cutting is a way to put a pattern just where you want it in the shape that you are using . The clear acrylic shapes have a 3/8 in border on them so you know just where the pattern is going to show.

I first created 3 blocks that I plan to put on point. Then I needed to figure out my background. So I decided to mimic the same pattern that my blocks were made in just in solid grunge fabric.” Grunge ” is my go to fabric in most of my quilts. It is my favorite solid with just a bit of grunge color swiped across it to give it a kind of dirty look. I use it in art quilts and now my English Paper Piecing. Grunge is made by “Basic Grey”. It comes in many colors and they put out new seasonal fabrics several times a year.

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The block on the right shows the fussy cutting I did to get the center of the flowers and make them all go in the same direction. It gives you somewhat  of a kaleidoscope effect.

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DSC_0024 I love to work with crackle paint fabrics, wood grain and grunge fabric. It gives me a rustic cottage feel which is how I decorate my house. So here is a peek at what I am doing now. I will show you the finished result later. EPP on!

 

Finished Flag…Ready For The 4th of July!

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I finished the flag quilt today. I absolutely love making this quilt. I am so hooked on English Paper Piecing! I am already working on other EPP projects. It is addicting. This flag will fly in my house for the big family fest over every the of July. So I guess I just made an heirloom. I will also be showing it in The Smokey Mountain Quilt Show this month. I will be showing 2 other quilts,” Art In The Park” and “Fiber Mania”. Then my goal is to EPP and finish up UFO’s. My Fox should be on his way home from the Denver show. I was excited to see that they used my “Fox in The Moonlight” in advertising in the Mancuso Denver National Quilt Festival this month. What a surprise. You can see it here.

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Here are pics of the other 2 quilts.

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I am trying to prepare for teaching EPP in Sept. to our guild. So I am busy making samples. I want to get some other people addicted. That doesn’t sound very nice… but it is, because it’s so fun to do. They will thank me…I hope.

English Paper Piecing Flag Project

Well I am just back from a quilt retreat for 4 days and boy did I have fun. 43 women just quilting away, laughing and eating. It was wonderful! I made some real headway on my flag, so I thought I would share. This photo is prior to leaving for quilt camp.

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DSC_0013When I got home I stamped my white hexies with mustard fabric paint so the stars would pop.

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I am really happy with the color I chose. More later.

Here is the progress in the past few days.

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Some English Paper Piecing

I am back into a little English Paper Piecing at the moment along with my other quilting. If you haven’t tried it…you must. It is addictive. English paper piecing is such a great take-a-long project. It requires minimal equipment and is completely portable. It can have an  old fashioned vibe or go with the new modern quilting rage. I had a flag on my mind and remembered seeing one in a book called Hex A Go Go. So that is my inspiration. You will need the paper pieces to make these quilts. Some people make them, but I just get them from a company called Paper Pieces. This is their website. http://www.paperpieces.com/. They have so many sizes and shapes. Check Pinterest out for English Paper Piece quilts for some ideas if you are not sure what these quilts look like.

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English paper piecing is created by basting fabric around these sturdy paper shapes. Then they are pressed so they have nice crisp edges. You simply sew them together by hand with tiny stitches. I have never been much of a hand piece person , but this really is addictive. It’s relaxing and something nice to do while watching TV with the hubs…like weeks of March Madness! You can use scraps or buy more fabric. Oh boy :).

My mother has turned into an English Paper Piece quilter almost exclusively lately. She is the one that taught me the secret of the squeeze clips. They are worth the purchase. The nice thing about this method is that you  can switch off between cutting fabric, to clipping the  fabric to the paper, to basting or sewing together. So you never get bored and you can give your hands a rest.

DSC_0013 I am in the process of getting enough pieces basted so I can start the blue area of the quilt first.

I will keep you informed on the progress of this American Flag inspiration.

Winter From *&#@ In Tennessee

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Is everyone enjoying this wonderful winter. I know I am….not. I had cabin fever really bad and had to leave the cabin. I told Roger that I would be a changed woman when I came home. So I bought some nice blonde hair color and gave my winter mousey hair a lift. It worked. I feel better and my hair feels more full and springy. I’m growing it out for the last time before I turn 60 in July. It  is not easy growing your hair long anymore. But so far I am sticking to it. Oh…I also did some therapeutic shopping with my friend Caroline and brought home some springy- summer colored tops. It has started to snow again and I hid the razor blades. Just kidding.

I have been sewing like a crazy woman. Making blocks from scraps and piling them up for a future quilt. I have started a collage quilt that will be a garden trellis of Morning Glories. It is one that I use tiny scraps of batiks to create the fabric painting. When I’m done, it will be thread painted in detail and listed in my new Etsy Shop… Pam George Quilts. I still have my jewelry in the shop with greatly reduced prices. I will still carry fabric cuff jewelry and anything that has to do with fibers. Check out my shop at the same site for a month or so or click here https://www.etsy.com/shop/PamGeorgeQuilts?ref=hdr_shop_menu

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Happy Winter to you all. We are supposed to be 61 by Tues. ;)

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  When I woke up this morning and before I posted the above, we got even more snow. And Mother Nature reminded me of how beautiful she is…even in the South. And I do appreciate her beauty. And I hold in my heart that it will be 61 by Tues.

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New Year, New Nursery

Yay! Project posting time! This year’s posts will be less text, less edited and more photos… or else they will never get done :-) Our first bedroom priority in this house was Oliver’s room so we could seal out any residual smokey fumes from the walls and other surfaces and get him moved in for good. Here’s his room the day we moved in. Day 1 we removed the fan fixtures and all window treatments and hardware.

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And the paint jobs in the bedrooms are slightly more tedious as we’re using an odor-sealing primer and, atleast in O’s room, doing the ceilings while we’re at it. So, first step we repaired all the dry walls holes from window stuff, as well as some phone wires and cables we ditched, and whited out this room with our super primer and started with a clean slate.

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There’s only so many hours in the day, so much of this project happened at night, and where necessary, with O perched outside in the hallway in his highchair while we tossed him Cheerios between paint strokes. =super parents.

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Ta da! Here’s the first peak at the paint job. We did a bright white ceiling that dropped down the wall one-fifth of the way and used the same grey we’re doing throughout the house (Benjamin Moore Moonshine) on the lower majority of the walls. Finally ready for decorating!

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Don’t have them up yet, but our window treatments from West Elm just arrived! Clearance- $19.99 per panel! Couldn’t make curtains for less than that. Sad to be losing the curtains I so painstakingly made for his original nursery (while very pregnant), but this room has two windows so I would either be duplicating what I made already for the second window (which would take me another month or more to get done), or starting fresh. I opted for fresh and I’ll see how I can re-purpose the original one.

Can’t wait to get these up and start pulling the room together some more. Yay!