2.01.2015

life lately || sewing

I thought I would share on here some of the things I have been doing lately in the sewing room.  Most of this I share on Instagram, so if you have an account, stop by!  But I know many of you do not have one, so I don't want you to be left out.

I have two main projects in the works.  First up is my Circle Lattice quilt by Carolyn Friedlander.  This was my first attempt at hand appliqué, and it is not that bad actually!  It is a slow process and one that gives my fingers a beating.  I do enjoy the time spent with working with my hands while tucked under something I have made.  It is very satisfying.



My next project is another appliqué, but it is a mini.  This is called my xoxo quilt, and to be painfully honest, I have had mixed feelings about it.  It was one that I sketched out, but that's about it.  I worked piece by piece hoping that in the end my desired outcome would be achieved.  Well, I ran into some hiccups, which is natural for improv.   And now I have the top 90% done, and I have NO clue how to finish it. And by finish I mean binding, what I want the final product to be, etc.  I am just hoping inspiration will slam into me with full force.



I joined in on an Instagram hashtag that didn't really catch any steam.  I made this improv flying geese panel, which I adore, and I hope to return to it soon.  But for now it is in the WIP pile.



And lastly, I made this small piece as a prototype.  It was a design that came to my mind during my book writing, so I quickly sketched it out not to forget it.  I think I would like to take out a few of the overlapping gray and black areas and make them lighter.  I just need to order some Aurifil, and as soon I do that, I can finish this piece.  I am not sure why it is taking me over 3 months to order a spool of thread.




Not quilting related, but Matt gifted me a loom.  My weaving is done and just needs to be hung onto a dowel.  I definitely foresee more weavings in my future.



I found these odd baskets (I have two) at a thrift store for $2.  They hung on a wall waiting to be used.  When I started to clean up my sewing room I discovered a clever use for them. They now hold my large and small embroidery hoops.  I don't know about yours, but mine were hanging on a nail and kept falling off.



And just a quick shout out to Bobbie Lou's Fabric!  She has some great quilting cottons with new arrivals coming in all the time.  Be sure to pop over and check it out.  And of course, free shipping on orders over $50 in the US.





So those are just a few of the things going on.  I wish I could share it all!  One day though!  :)   Just know I am alive and I have not sworn off quilting, although my husband thought for sure I would after he witnessed the stress in my life and home last year.  Ha!  It's all good though!

Happy quilting!

xx nancy

One year ago:  Triangle Fish Quilt
Two years ago:  WIP Wednesday
Three years ago:  30 Fat Quarter Projects

1.29.2015

new couch || gus modern




Holy crap you guys!  I have a legit blog post for you today filled with new photos, and as a bonus, it has nothing to do with sewing!

I came across the company Gus Modern awhile back on Instagram.  The Spencer sofa, which is the one I purchased, popped up a few times through various handles.  I really liked what I had seen, so when I found out that a local company carried the brand I was excited.

This couch met most of my requirements, and out the year's worth of shopping I had done, this was the best pick.   I mentioned and shared a photo of my dream couch - the Coco sofa by Kim Salmela, in my previous post.  One day that couch will be in my home!  ;)  But I am happy to have this couch living with us.


By the looks of it the comfort level is questionable.  I mean, just look at this photo, right?  So I was really happy to know that a Spencer couch was in a local showroom for us to try out because I did not want to buy anything that I could not sit on.  It was actually really comfortable!   At 84" long, it is perfect for taking naps or watching a movie.  Matt is 6 feet tall, and he can lay on it without his feet touching the arms.   The cushioning is firm with a soft touch, if that makes any sense.  If this was Goldilocks, it would be just right.  There are future plans to take off the chrome legs and replace them with tapered wood legs when I can get around to it.  I was not too sure about those long rectangular pillows, and now that the couch is here with us, we use them all the time!  They are the perfect headrest/armrest.

One last look at what the room was like.  I talked about my feelings and why this room even looked the way it did in this blog post with more explanation here (which have even older photos -hehe).


Jan 2014


Here is where it is at today.  The floral chair is here to stay, at least for a little while.  It is down filled and oh-so-comfy, but yeah.  It totally clashes with everything else.  The color is okay, but the print is not, which clashes (but absolutely perfect for a traditional home!).  I would love to replace the fan as well, but for right now, it is not a necessity.

I always struggle getting proper natural light into this particular section of the house, and it has been mostly overcast for the week, which was not helpful and why this post was late.  But this lighting will suffice for now.  After checking out this photo above with fresh eyes, I want to move the bench over to the left more.  I can't help but to have everything look off-centered in this room from this point of view because the windows are off-centered, so I just try to deal with it.  :)



 Did you notice the new wall color?


If you are like my husband, your answer is no.  But to me, I can see a big difference!  It is Snowbound by Sherwin Williams.  I actually splurged and bought name brand during their half off sale over the holidays.  It is hard to find a perfect white, but I have found that a warm white works best in our home.  I believe the color on the window frame is the basic white that comes in the can off the shelf at Lowe's.

But I am pretty sure you noticed the addition of the wall shelf.  This is the exact same shelf we used in Owen's room a few years ago.  They are holding up great, so I placed one in our living room.  I also stained it walnut to help give it a little warmth and contrast to the cold walls.



 After finishing my book, I congratulated myself with the painting I talked about in this post.  It was originally intended for the dining area, but I had my eyes on this for a long time that I decided it needed to take center stage.  Very, very happy with that purchase and the shelf.  


You may have also noticed a big black thing in our living room that was not there before.  It is a new chair I got from West Elm.  I had been eyeing it for a while, and when I saw it on clearance in the store, I snatched it up.  I love it so much.  It's comfortable, kid friendly, and has the perfect place to rest your head.


The curves on it are pretty sweet too.  If you are interested in seeing close-up photos of my wall hanging, you can find that here in this post.



I'm loving it and loving it all.




HUGE progress, no?

xx nancy

One year ago: Unconventional way to remove Water Stains
Two years ago:  #7 quilt finish
Three years ago:  Fabric Silhouette Tutorial

Find me on Facebook and Instagram.  Come say hello!

1.22.2015

couch shopping


BDDW Grane Sofa- one of my dream couches

For Christmas in 2013, Matt gifted me living room furniture.  It was such a great present!  I do not really want to delve into too much of my couch shopping history.  It is pathetic and can induce eye rolling.  Let's just say I started off with a brown couch.  A brown living room for that matter.  Everything was so brown and neutral.



Since I have not blogged about the interiors of my home in awhile, let me speed this up.  Owen ripped out the right side of the curtain rod (thank goodness), and I sold my cream rug.  I found a black and white rug on Craigslist.

Christmas 2013

I sold couch and moved chairs in its place.



Hung a quilt and moved in a long bench opposite of the chairs.
These photos are from my personal Instagram account. (@nancy_purvis for my personal life // @owensolivia for my sewing life)


All the artwork from under the couch was now leaning up against the wall.


And then I painted my walls white about two months ago, which is not pictured in any of the photos above.  Those three simple changes made a big impact for my living room, in my opinion.

We kept our living room like this for almost a year.  It worked just fine for our small family, but I soon felt the need for a couch to lounge on.

I looked at so many couches before choosing one, and I will share with you the top picks.  I wanted a single cushion with a tufted back or a single cushion back to avoid that sloppy, slouchy pillow look that seems to happen after years of use.  I also preferred to have a couch that was at least 90" wide, but I believe the standard is anywhere from 80"-84".  At least, that is what it seemed like when shopping.   I didn't realize how hard it actually would be to find something within my criteria, and when I finally felt like I found the dream couch, it was way out of my price range.  

I narrowed it down to these choices.

West Elm  Crosby Sofa

Pros:  It was comfortable and long.  Customer service is great.
Cons: Two back pillows and their gray color was just okay.



Thrive Furniture Jefferson Sofa

Pros:  The right length and one seat cushion and back.  They had a good gray color.
Cons: Cannot test it out to check for comfort and didn't want to deal with return shipping if it didn't work out.


West Elm Ainslie Sofa

Pros:  Good color, tufted back one seat cushion.
Cons:  Cannot test it out for comfort.  Return shipping.  Too short in length.


Kim Salmela Coco Sofa

This was my dream couch (and still is).  It has everything I wanted, but the price tag was just too high.
Pros:  Very comfortable, handmade in the USA, long, tufted, and one seat cushion.  Legs can be customized.
Cons:  price



So what did I pick?  I actually chose none of these, and I will share my new couch in a different post.  It's okay.  I would scream and kick and hate me too for doing that to you.  :)   But it already took me  an hour to write up this short post, and this mama has a home to attend to!

Thanks for stopping in!!  No, seriously.  You are amazing, and I love you.  Are any of these your favorite?  Which one would you have picked?  Do you have hard time finding the "perfect" couch?

xx nancy

One year ago: The EM quilt
Two years ago:  A look at my vintage sound system
Three years ago: How to paint chevrons


12.27.2014

End of Year Sale || Bobbie Lou's Fabric




Hello! I wanted to quickly let you know that Bobbie Lou's Fabric is having a sale!  Chelsea offers a nice selection of designer quilting cottons as well as some fun Premier Prints for the home!  Go check it out!

Get 20% off on all orders through the website or Etsy shop.  Enter code BYEBYE2014.  Ends midnight MST 12/28.  Free shipping as always on orders $50 or more.  :)

Happy shopping!  xx


12.02.2014

Half Star Mug Rug Tutorial + How to Match the Binding to a Design + Giveaway!

Half star tutorial, and how to match the binding to a design in a quilt.  






This tutorial is part of the Ellison Lane's Merry Mug Rug Hop.  




 I am so happy Jennifer asked me to be a part of this.  I am actually surprised she asked considering I find sewing for the holidays to be difficult.  Not because of the time, but because I just generally have a hard time with Christmas-y decor (or any holiday decor for that matter).  And it's my FAVORITE holiday, and I SEW!!  So weird, I know.   But I am eternally grateful for all the times Jennifer has believed in me and that she still likes to include me in her special hops.  :)  (Thank you!!)

This mug rug design came from what was mentioned above.  I wanted to create something that could be Christmas-y, yet something that, if was out during the year, no one would say, "Isn't that a Christmas mug rug?"   And so the Half Star mug rug was born.  It is simple, minimal, and looks oh-so-lovely on a table or wall.  

This hop runs from Dec. 1st - 11th, and each blogger participating is sharing a tutorial!  So please check out the other participants. They are going to be great!  You'll need to head over to Ellison Lane to enter to win a gift certificate to Southern Fabric, which ends 12/14/14.   

 If you end up making this project, I would love to see it!  #halfstarmugrug and my handle on Instagram is @owensoliviaquilts.  Or share it with me on Facebook.  


Materials

Finishes 8 1/2" square.

From the green fabric (Kona Palm)
-Cut one 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" strip, two 2 1/2" squares, and one 4 1/2" square.

From the white fabric (Kona White)
-Cut one 4 1/2" square.
-Cut one 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" strip.

Binding
-Cut one 2 1/2" x WOF strip.  Cut in half.  
-Cut one 2 1/2" x 8" strip.

10" square of batting
10" square of fabric for backing
Elmer's Glue with a fine point glue tip (mine is from Pile O' Fabric)
Small ruler
Fabric marking pen
Aurifil Mako 12 2024 for handstitching


How to

1.  Sew right sides together the two 4 1/2" squares along all four sides using a 1/4" seam.  



2. Cut diagonally across making an X to create four HSTs.  Press seams open or to the side.


3.  Trim HSTs to 2 1/2" square.



4.  Layout your pieces as pictured.



5.  Sew together the top and bottom two squares.  Sew the two middle squares together.  Press seams open.



6.  Sew the two middle pieces together to create a square.  Sew the top and bottom pieces next.  Sew the right side piece last.  Press seams open.  



7.  Lay your backing right side down, then your batting, and then your top face up.  Quilt the pieces together.  I chose to hand quilt using Aurifil Mako (love!).



How to match the binding to a design in your quilt

1.  Sew together one green strip to the white strip like you normally would in making binding.  Fold your binding in half around the white and green area and press.  Fold the raw edge 1/4" and press with a hot iron to create a crease.



2.  Lay the binding right side up matching the edge along the quilt's edge, as if it were already sewn down and flipped back over to bind on the backside of the quilt.  Line up the white line perfectly, and glue baste into place by placing a dot of glue onto the quilt in the seam and heat setting with an iron.  Glue basting will not damage your quilt or iron.



3. Using a ruler and marking pen, align the ruler along the diagonal line of the HST.  Make a mark onto your binding.  THIS IS YOUR SEAM LINE.  Remove the binding (it will easily pull off with a slight yank), and open up your binding.  Finish drawing your diagonal line onto the white area.





4.  Place your other green binding strip like so in the photo.  Pin into place, and flip the binding over, so you can see your marked line.  Sew on the line.






5.  Before trimming the seam to 1/4", fold the binding back into place to see if it does indeed match.  It is easier to fix with extra binding than it is without it.

6.  Trim the seam, and sew on the binding as normal.  I use Elmer's glue to hold the binding exactly where I want it to be when sewing the binding on, and I sewed the white spot on first to get it exactly where I want it.




Merry Christmas!

xx nancy

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One year ago: Minimalista Quilt
Two years ago: Christmas Stocking Tutorial
Three years ago:  Christmas Dinner Recipes + Settings




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