If you can’t find what you want…

…make it!  I’m a DIY kind of girl, always have been. I’m frugal, and learned many skills from my mom; ours was a big family with a limited income, she made do, did a lot of the projects around the house, figured out how to fix things herself. I still tend to do things myself rather than pay someone to do it. Last weekend, I tore the mantle and fireplace surround (with trim all the way to the high ceiling) off my fireplace by myself rather than pay the contractor to do it. Last Fall, when I moved, I wanted a jewelry case to hang in my walk-in closet, that would protect my silver pieces from tarnishing. There are lots on the market, but they were not for my frugal self. And, I decided I didn’t need a large one.

So, I went to Hobby Lobby, bought a 10″ x 20″ shadow box frame, and pulled out the poorly installed canvas backing. I couldn’t find a white frame, so I bought a black one and spray painted it with white enamel that I happened to have on hand. I didn’t take the glass out, I just very carefully taped newspaper over both sides of the glass.

Cut a piece of mat board to fit, and covered that in batting and fabric to match my paint color:JewelryCase1 First, folded in and glued the batting…JewelryCase2 Then did the same with the fabric. The front side looked like this when I was done:JewelryCase3 I glued this into the bottom/back of the shadow box, then drilled holes for cup hooks that I had also spray painted white. (If I were to do this again, I would have used an awl to make my pilot holes–the drill bit got wrapped in batting each time and was a bit of a pain):JewelryCase4 Once the cup hooks were all screwed in:JewelryCase5 And voila! The finished project hanging on the wall of my closet:

JewelryCase6 The wire rack below it is what I have used for years for my necklaces/chains, but anything silver always tarnished quickly hanging out in the open air. Really, a fairly easy project that cost me about $22 total. JewelryCase7Now to get that fireplace surround re-done…

Happy creating,

Doris

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Studio Dreams… or Dream Studio:

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for a while… with a move to a new home comes a new sewing space (!!), and my sweetie can attest that with every house we looked at, one of the primary considerations for both of us was what space would become my studio space and how functional would it be?  (He’s well conditioned to being the spouse of a quilter and an artist) 😉

Coming from a small, third-floor walk-up, north-facing, condo apartment with very few windows, natural light was a major plus in the house we ended up buying!  The home is 97 years old, not always cared for in the way it should have been, but it was built. like. a. rock.  I kid you not, barring fire or Mother Nature intervening, this place will be standing long after the “constructed in 2003 condo” we moved out of.  Here are a few “before” pics of the room I chose for my studio (a solarium off the entry foyer and across from our living room) with two french doors to close it off:

Before Pics for Studio Redo Quilt Studio

  1. The prior, ill-fitting curtains didn’t really cover the six windows that face the street side of our home
  2. Some of the peeling paint in the ceiling, thankfully not a sign of water infiltration, but of recent neglect
  3. One corner of the ceiling, after my back-breaking weekend of scraping, patching and sanding the ENTIRE surface of the 9′ x 13′ ceiling to cover numerous hairline cracks before priming for painting.
  4. The ceiling finally painted, and moving on to covering up the deep burgundy color with Benjamin Moore’s Fountain Spout.

Move-in day came almost three weeks after our date of possession; we did a lot of cleaning, fixing, painting, etc. on the evenings and weekends leading up to it.  But all that has paid off.  So… on to the “after” photos!

This is what you see as you enter through the french doors (photographed before my new curtains were hung!):

Quilting Sewing Studio Full Shot

And the rest of that wall of windows…

Quilting Sewing Studio North Wall

And on the other side of the cutting table:

Quilting Sewing Studio Front Corner

This corner is a favorite spot of my two furry sewing buddies — they take turns as sentry, keeping an eye on the whole neighborhood from here:

Sewing Quilting Studio Windowseat for cat

Maggy on sewing Quilting Studio windowseat for cats

And in the opposite corner, behind my sewing chair, is the bulk of “my fabric collection” (still organized by the same system I explained in this post) stored in basket-drawers and a bathroom shelf unit:

Sewing Quilting Studio Stash Fabric Storage

  • Shorter set of shelves are the (sadly, now-hard-to-find) Ikea Antonius storage baskets (one of these frames broke in the move and were replaced with the two white frames on the right).  I was told they are being phased out in favor of the Ikea Algot system. Bummer.
  • Wall unit was a freebie from a friend, OLD Eddie Bauer Home bathroom storage unit (it fits FQs and Charm Packs perfectly!)
  • Pillow by Jill, that makes me smile every time I look at it!
  • Sewing Quilting Studio Paper Pieced House Pillow Detail

This tool cart, a very recent purchase, is fabulous, I can take my supplies with me to the living room, the dining room table, across the sewing room…

Ikea Raskog Sewing Quilting Studio Cart

  • Ikea Raskog cart holds my scissors, rotary cutters, pens, pencils, notions, needles, spray starch, pins, pre-cuts, binding clips, hand-sewing tools, etc.

Above my drop-in sewing table, that holds my Janome Horizon is book and magazine storage, a DVD player used primarily for listening to books on CD while I sew, jars of buttons, wooden spools, leftover binding strips… and all my “happy” decorations up on top!

Studio1

StudioDetail3

Mini sewing machine from my childhood dollhouse, Jim Shore sewing machine box from a friend

StudioDetail2

A favorite artist’s print, two teacups from my childhood, my mom’s old oil paint box, a fabric postcard from Annie and some vintage goodies

StudioDetail4

The accessories for my Singer 221 Featherweight, my Grandma’s spool collection, a Charles Rennie Mackintosh mug from a trip to Scotland

StudioDetail1

My “Quilt” metal cutout, purchased from here, a giant button from Hobby Lobby, Amy Butler thread, a laser-cut box made by my sister-in-law, and my most recent sewing machine acquisition…

And a finally — the curtains.  There is a LOT of glass in this room, six LARGE windows translates to a LOT of fabric yardage or a “king’s ransom’s worth” of shades or blinds to cover them!  My solution?  Once again, Ikea came to the rescue… several pairs of Vivian curtains from Ikea, with 9″ wide bands of Laurie Wisbrun‘s Perfectly Perched Stacked Chairs (in Celebration color-way) added as an accent provides just the right amount of privacy when drawn closed.  I used the existing metal curtain rods, but spray-painted them red to match my floor lamp.

Laurie Wisbrun Tufted Tweets Chairs Sewing Room Curtains

One of my first loves has always been architecture and interior design, so this fabric is perfect for me!

So, there you are… the grand tour of my sewing/quilting studio!  I hope you enjoyed it.

Happy Sewing,

Doris