April 18, 2013

Pillow Talk- Final Quilt & Finished Bedroom

1) Patchwork quilt

It took me a year but I’ve finally finished my patchwork quilt. It was the first project I undertook to make over our bedroom and the last thing to be finished

I used this pattern, which was really easy to follow and nicely laid out with a ton of photos. I’d highly recommend it to others and I only went off the pattern twice. I didn’t buy all my fabric at once; instead I bought multiple fat quarters here and there which resulted in some patches not being repeated throughout the quilt. I don’t mind this too much though because I think it looks more like a vintage quilt like the kind women used to make with scraps and old clothes. 

I don’t think I really realized how much work I had to put in to this sucker. Cutting into squares, piecing them together, and resewing the pieces that I messed up. I cut some of the squares badly resulting in some of the squares not matching up. I finally got the top finished in November, but I had to wait ages to buy the wadding (£40), the walking foot (£30) and then the back fabric (£50 for white fabric!!). 

I really disliked the sandwiching process. All the flipping safety pins did my head in and I ran out half way through. I had to roll the whole thing back up and repeat the process with other pins. Note- I first bought fancy safety pins that were curved especially for quilting. When I ran out I bought super cheap normal pins for a fraction of the cost and they worked just as good as the expensive ones.

I CAN NOT sew straight lines to save my life. I quilted one side first and half way through I realized I was actually enjoying myself. I entertained myself with episodes of the Walking Dead and Molly Ringwald movies and got on with it. I originally planned on using extra fabric to bind the quilt but on second decided to go with a solid blue. I wanted a dark blue, but on the day I went the shop didn’t have any so I settled for a light blue.

Here is where I went off pattern the first time. I absolutely refuse to hand stitch the binding. I absolutely hate hand stitching! I find it annoying and boring and bleck. Instead I watched many you tube videos on machine binding and it was pretty easy. I don’t mind have a top stitch on the binding and I actually think it goes with the quilt just fine.

The second time I went off pattern came at the end. When every thing was done I was supposed to stick it in the washing machine and then the dryer. Well, I wasn’t in the mood to take my hard work and wash it immediately so I decided I’d do this step when the quilt gets dirty. And besides, in the UK our washing machines are tiny and have really bad dryers built in.

All in all I’m super chuffed with my quilt and I’m really proud of myself. My mom’s first quilt still sits undone from when I was small. I think my grandma would be pleased with me even though she’d probably think I’m a heathen. Its okay, you can still use quilts in hell! 

2) Curtains
I made these curtains myself without a pattern. I got the fabric on the sale table at the fabric shop and had it sitting under my bed for months. When I got my headboard and side table I decided it was time to get going on the curtains.

I laid the fabric next to the existing curtains that came with the flat and then I cut them out, did a basic hem and added the curtain stuff at top. I don’t know what it is called but it has a series of strings that you pull to give the nice pleated affect. All in all it took an hour to make then and they really cut out the light and since they were super thick they didn’t need to be lined.

3) Embroidery and cross stitch

These are blogged about here.

4) Side table
I am so kicking myself that I didn’t take a before picture of this side table. It was a hot mess when I found it at this charity shop in town. I bought it for £20 and spent about £5 fixing it up. Before it was an faded white with a really disgusting mauve velvet underneath the glass on top. I had been looking for a nightstand and this, despite its state at the time, totally fit the bill. I wanted a concealed area where I could put extra books, magazines and my earplugs, which I’ve slept with every night since living in Edinburgh where empty lorries would barrel down the road to the brewery at 5 am everyday.

I dismantled the glass on top and took off the fabric revealing an unfinished top and then I painted the whole thing in a Habitat paint called mustard. It took two of the little pots of paints to cover the wicker, as it was difficult to get through all the layers.

While at Homebase buying my paint I looked for contact paper that I was going to use for the top under the glass, but its not that big in the UK. I ended up in the wallpaper aisle and I tore a small amount of wallpaper from the sample (they let you do this for free so you can take it home and see if it is right for the wall). It was also from the Habitat line so the colours matched perfectly. I do not feel guilty about doing this because people take loads of samples they don’t end up buying and the man who worked there said I could take as much as I wanted.

I ended up using the wallpaper on the top and on the back wall so that you can see it through the opening. I kept the plastic rope trimming that originally covered where the nails secured the fabric. I almost tossed it out because it was spray painted a horrible gold colour but after giving it a wash and a coat of mustard paint it was good as new. I also kept the originally knob and coated it in the paint and let it hang upside down on a clothespin that had a suction cup attached. I was really happy with how this project came out and I honestly think it was one of my best diy projects to date.

5) Picture frames

While at Homebase I perused the sale rack and found some frames. They were an unfortunate burgundy colour and therefore super cheap. I took them home, sanded them and painted them in the same Mustard and threw some black and white prints I had in my huge print bin and viola- instant art.

The other frame holds a print from an English artist that Billy and I like and my darling husband surprised me on one of my weekends I worked. When I came home he bought two prints and painted the frames and they were hanging in our room.

6) Bed Frame

While at the charity shop buying my side table I spotted this vintage wicker headboard hanging on the wall covered in the shop’s jewelry. I had already purchased my table when I caught site of the headboard and my jaw dropped. I had been looking for something like this FOR-EVER! I had intended on making my own headboard from this amazing (seriously this woman is incredibly inspiring) blog but had failed to source peg board, which is non-existent in UK home improvement stores.

But when I saw this I had to have it. The bad thing is my husband was not going to let me get two pieces at once despite my juvenile pleading. I think it was £20 but I can’t remember for sure. I knew that I would of paid more for it even though it was missing some pieces of spirals.

I spent the rest of my weekend on my side table and when Monday rolled around, my husband was sick of me whining about the headboard and he told be to go and get it if it was still there. Obviously it was, but the staff was none too happy to clear off all the jewelry to get to the head board. It was a bit of a disaster really.

I didn’t get to work on it till a few weeks later but I did try it out and it fits our bed frame perfectly! Honestly it fits like a glove. When I examined the head board more closely I realized it was really in bad shape. I went into my tool box and got out my wood glue and masking tape and went to work fixing spirals that were hanging on by a thread, breaking off pieces that didn’t have matching counterparts and using those to replace other missing pieces. It took awhile but the glue was super sturdy and the head board looks almost perfect.

I used a midnight blue I picked using a scrap piece of curtain fabric and it matches quite nicely. I am so happy with my head board!