Saga of a studio remodel.

For the last two years, I’ve had about 70 square feet of a studio space in a room with 7 other people, behind the coffee shop I work for.  It came to me at a time I really needed it and it was great to work in a space with so many other creative people.

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Back in April, we were told we needed to move out due to upcoming renovations at the coffee shop.  It was sad news to hear but 6 of us decided to stay together and start a new venture.  We found a building for rent just a few blocks away and started the process or forming an LLP and working with the city and the landlords to get into the space.  After a lot of paperwork and waiting, Electric Pyramid Studios signed the lease on August 8th and renovations began.

We scraped peeling paint and plaster, painted walls and floors, tore up all the carpet upstairs (which revealed some beautiful hardwood but some was covered in glue so we painted that as well) tore out old phone lines, and cleaned every surface.

Except in my room.  I had a vision and after not sewing for three months, I was ready to throw myself into a project…

Before

I tore down a chair rail that remained on two walls and layers of wallpaper that had been painted over for years.

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I started scraping paint from one of the plaster walls.  See that little spot in the middle?  It was a hint of brick and it gave me an idea.  I bought a masonry chisel and went to work.

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I exposed as much as I could without damaging the soft brick underneath and spent an evening sealing it. (I exposed more than the above picture but didn’t get a good picture of it.)

I painted three of the walls pale grey (goodbye terrible nude pink!) and one wall black.

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I painted the window and door trim and the baseboards and gave the floor some extra attention.  I loved the pattern of the plywood so I taped out a 20″ grid on the diagonal, painted a checkerboard pattern in white, and then sealed the whole floor with 4 coats of polyurethane.  I love it so much!

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One Sunday evening we got some of our friends together to help and moved out of the old space.

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I hung up shelves, including one that goes all the way across the top of the window from which I hung the curtains and some plants (so I wouldn’t have to drill into the brick any more than necessary).IMG_0109

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I put up my project wall, a pegboard, painted a new-to-me cutting table that I got from my studio-mate Gaby, brought in plants and flowers, an electric kettle for tea, hung a mirror, a clock, and a few mini quilts I’ve made or received over the years, added light, a chair and a side table, and more storage…

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IMG_0106(More on the quilt in progress soon!)

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and got to sewing as quickly as I could!

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Welcome to my new space!

It’s been so long. And it’ll be a little longer.

I have tried multiple times to write a big post with so many pictures about my studio remodel

But alas, no pictures are uploading.

So, I will be working on a blog migration and hope to post about the last few months of my life soon, including some big news!

Thanks for sticking with me and I’ll be back!

For Baby Green.

A friend from church had a baby recently.  A couple months back, when her shower was coming up, the 10 women that were putting the party together wanted to go in together and buy her a baby quilt.  They didn’t know if they were having a boy or a girl but I was told she liked blue, green, and grey so I set to pulling from my stash and came up with this stack.IMG_1872

I based the pattern off of Cluck Cluck Sew‘s Pow Wow quilt with a little extra negative space.  I backed it with more pieces from my stash, quilted it in a loopy meander with pale peach thread, and bound it in the grey seed print from Flea Market Fancy. Unfortunately, I completed it so last minute (what else is new!) that I barely got to take any pictures.IMG_2140

Her and her husband loved the quilt so much and hopefully their little one will too!

The cutest gift.

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A few months ago, the fiance of an acquaintance came to me and said that she wanted to buy him a quilt for their wedding.  We talked colors (burnt orange, brown, dark green, and cream), patterns (triangles and squares), and sizes (queen) and I quickly got to work.

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A couple weeks later, he came to me saying he really wanted to get her a quilt for their wedding.  I debated it for a while and wasn’t sure I’d have the time but ultimately, decided it was the cutest thing that they wanted to do that for each other and I had to do it.

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He wanted a throw quilt in their wedding colors, pink, mint, and navy, and we decided on a log cabin block to symbolize them starting to build a home and a life together.

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I based his quilt off of this photo I found on Flickr using Sew Mama Sew’s method for making 8 HST at a time, used peppered cotton in Coffee for the border, backed it in one of my favorite vintage sheets (the plaid) and some various green and brown fabrics, long arm quilted it in a maple leaf pattern with copper thread, and bound it in one of the prints from the back.

Hers is based off of the Clouds In The Sky duvet from Modern Log Cabin Quilting.  I used another of my favorite sheets for the backing, long arm quilted it with pale mint thread in a swirly pattern called Denali, and bound it in a Cloud 9 print.

They are getting married this weekend but gifted the quilts, kept a secret for so long, last night and I think they were both pleasantly surprised!

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I embroidered labels for both of them using the M&M design our friend Emily Poe-Crawford designed for their wedding invitations and their wedding date.

It was such a wonderful project to work on and I hope they love these quilts for a very long time to come.

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Congratulations Meghan and Marshall!

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I’m here! I’m here!

Whew, I did not mean to take 6 weeks off. But I will admit, it was a nice break. Now I’m back to show you some things I’ve been working on.

IMG_1852This quilt is for my dear friend Holly and it took me 4 YEARS TO MAKE. It didn’t have to take that long, and it shouldn’t have, but thank you so much to Holly for her patience!

IMG_1854When most people think of t-shirt quilts, they imagine the shirt designs cut into blocks to be showcased and maybe surrounded by quilting cottons (like this one a did awhile back). So when I received Holly’s box of her old hardcore shirts, I got to work cutting them out, into all different sizes. Then we actually talked about what she was envisioning, which turned out to involve the shirts being cut apart and used in traditional quilt blocks.

IMG_1856The change of direction really threw me off and it became something I frustratingly picked up for a few hours every few months. I had gone to a local quilt shop where I knew they teach a shirt quilt class to ask about interfacing and they sold me something really thick and expensive that turned out to be pretty terrible. Through some internet research I found French Fuse and then a trip to JoAnn’s turned up something similar and really cheap.

IMG_1861I finally decided on making mostly stars. Since the shirts had been cut to different sizes, I couldn’t just make the same block multiple times so each one took different math and fabric pairings and there were a lot of partial seams.  It was also hard because I couldn’t iron directly on most of the shirt designs so pressing became more complicated. Yet,  s l o w l y  but surely, everything came together.

IMG_1859I also owe many thanks to Cait for all her cheer leading! I long arm quilted it in a sort of angled meander with grey thread, it’s backed in a vintage sheet and the 108″ wide crosshatches from Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics, machine bound in scraps, and labeled.

IMG_1862Thanks again Holly for still being my friend through this ordeal! I hope you love it and use it forever. xoxo

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A hint of a quilt to come.

A friend of mine commissioned a quilt from me and wanted a sneak peek in time for Christmas, so I whipped up this pillow.IMG_1613I used the Arkansas Traveler quilt block as shown on Freshly Pieced, though I changed it a little to eliminate the additional seams in the background.  I used the few yellows I have in my stash, Free Spirit solid cosmic blue (the quilt will use assorted greys), and a couple fabrics from my stash for the back with a label and exposed zipper.

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A little more catch up.

I did a lot of sewing leading up to the holidays that I haven’t shown yet.

Krankies Craft Fair was the weekend of December 13th and it was better for ::kaitcetera:: than I could have imagined!  I sold 4 quilts (the three on the left and one not pictured)!IMG_1585Two of the quilts included some custom embroidery work that I just recently completed and was really happy with.  It makes the gift so much more personal and sweet.IMG_1699

On the Far Far Away plus quilt, I embroidered the recipients name over the quilting, which I had never done, and it turned out great.  The label on the back was embroidered first and then sewn on.IMG_1697 IMG_1674I made some iPad and Kindle cases for the fair that were fun and did well.  I also made a few more crayon and colored pencil rolls which people love!

IMG_1600I most enjoyed making some quick patchwork Christmas pillows.  I started cutting 2½” squares of red and green to make stockings for me and the pups but decided on pillows instead.  I quilted them with a heavy 12 weight Aurifil thread and I loved it.  It really makes the simple stitching pop.IMG_1710IMG_1709

Current WIP pile.

I’ve always said I’m not a New Years Resolution type person, but I usually do set goals for myself in Januarys.  This year I’m not even feeling into that, though it is a good time to take account of all the things that I’ve started.  Some I am eager to get completed while some will languish for a while longer, and I’m okay with that :)

Current WIPs:

  • Wonky Crosses. Gift.
  • Arkansas Traveler. Commission.
  • Flying Geese. Trade for blog design!
  • Selvedge Spiderweb.
  • Between the Lines. Gift.
  • Voile strings.
  • T-shirts. Ridiculously overdue commission.

Upcoming commissions:

Fabric piles: