Hawaiian Wall Hanging

So much for the home improvement updates.  They're coming.  I promise.  In other news, I finished a project that started right about two years ago.  Which is CRAZZZYYYY.


Mostly crazy because this hasn't been a project that sits far away from sight in an unfinished-objects box - it's been on my embroidery hoop, easily visible for basically the whole time.  And now I'm not looking at it anymore.  Weird.

When I started the project, my plan was to do an actual Hawaiian wall hanging, with hand applique and quilting.  What I found relatively quickly was that I wasn't any good at (and, let's be honest, haven't gotten much better) at hand applique. As it turns out, I like the idea of sitting with a big embroidery hoop a lot more than I like actually doing it. So, having made it to about the basting step in two years, I decided that a machine quilted Hawaiian wall hanging was better than no Hawaiian wall hanging, and moved forward.  It was not an agonizing decision.

This was started as a gift for a girlfriend, who, I am thrilled to report, has not changed her color scheme over the last two years :) She was a big fan, and I am a big fan of (briefly) having one fewer UFO - I obviously started a new project immediately upon returning home.

Lone Star Baby Quilt

... And this is the quilty interruption!  I was bound to get caught up on my time-sensitive-but-past-due quilting projects eventually, and that has finally happened!  This is for one of my girlfriends, who (somewhat) recently moved to Texas and had a daughter.


To make this quilt, I used this tutorial, which I found to be very helpful.  The only thing I would say is (and the tutorial says this pretty clearly too), if you make this, iron the heck out of this thing, after every single step.  I didn't have too many problems with bubbling or seams not lining up, and I attribute that to ridiculous amounts of ironing.

There's a lot that I really like about how this came out.  It's more precise sewing than I typically do, and I was more successful at sewing precisely than I have been in the past (I have a whole slew of UFOs where the next step is a whole bunch of hours of close collaboration with a seam ripper :).

This is also kinda different in that I typically use small patterns that read as solids, and the patterns in this quilt are a lot more active.

I also like how the back came out, and how the quilting looks on the back.

And here's another one that highlights the quilting a little more.

In terms of things I'd do differently, there isn't too much on this quilt.  I'm not great at nailing the "Y" seams, so those need some work in the future.  Also, I wish that the colors were just slightly less saturated.  I don't feel like the Lone Star is as defined as it might be.  

Finally, I usually do a lot of stitching in the ditch when quilting.  This time there was a lot more free motion quilting, which I used a pastel variegated thread for.  I liked how that looked on some of the lone star fabrics, but less on others, so in the future, I might just switch thread colors, rather than using the variegated thread.

Stenciled Accent Wall

It's been a while since I've posted about my home renovation adventures, and there's definitely been some progress over the last few months.  Most of the progress has been in the master suite, so the next several posts (with one quilt-y interruption) will be on that.

So, pre-us, this is what our master bedroom looked like.

It was very serene and well-done.  But a little too earthy for me.  Troy and I have more or less decided that our "style" is turn of the (last) century, nautical (which holds, right up until I start sharing pictures of Troy's office - prepare yourselves for bold).  I also tend to gravitate a lot more toward cool neutrals, as opposed to warm neutrals.  So, our master, like our wedding, is all about the blues, grays, and pops of coral.

When querying Pinterest for accent wall ideas, I found that I liked the stenciled look, and even more than that, I really liked the same color, glossy-on-matte look.  So, that's what I decided to do.  The colors in our master are Behr Southern Evening in high-gloss and flat, and Behr Light French Gray, in eggshell.  I purchased my stencil from OMGStencils on Etsy.

Stenciling Process

I started by applying spray adhesive to the reverse side of my stencil.  I did this outside, and it seemed to be working pretty well, until about two minutes in, when it started raining.  I finished, but the stick wasn't very good, so after I gathered my other supplies, I reapplied the spray-on adhesive.  Other supplies mostly consisted of the most adorable mini-roller and tray that I have ever seen, and the glossy Southern Evening.

My strategy was to start stenciling from the upper left corner, go across the ceiling (over the window), and then work down in rows of two at a time.  What happened instead was that I started at the top, did approximately two repeats, and then stopped until Troy could come in and install a light (we had a ceiling fan that was pretty gross, so we took it down, only to find that the hardware wasn't in place to have a fan there, so we opted for a light fixture instead).  As it turns out, with only natural light (and a torrential downpour), it's really, really hard to line up stencils when you're painting Southern Evening on Southern Evening.  Lesson learned.

Once the light was installed, it took me approximately two hours, and two more spray adhesive applications to do the majority of the wall.  Because the bottom row was shorter than the rest of them, I stopped to let the paint dry on the stencil (because some paint gets on the back of the stencil), so as not to get blue on the trim.

Please ignore the grossness of the popcorn ceiling - I promise that it's gone now.

Please ignore the grossness of the popcorn ceiling - I promise that it's gone now.

To paint around the windows, and on the bottom row, I used painters tape, rather than the spray adhesive, which worked really well.  Around the window, it was helpful to have a second set of hands, because there was only ~5 inches between the last full stencil and the window that needed to be painted.  I taped one side and Troy held the other while I painted super fast.  Then I went back over with a small paintbrush (probably about a centimeter wide) and filled in a few places on the wall where I had missed a line or a corner with the roller.  Below are some pictures of the final result (which I LOVE).  It almost looks like velvet on the wall.  The pictures aren't superb (again, painting Southern Evening on Southern Evening), but I think you get the gist. 

Lessons Learned

So, so many of them (or four, whatever).

  1. I was not in love with my spray-on adhesive, but I don't think that the one I had was designed for stenciling.  As you continue to use the stencil, more and more paint builds up on it, which makes it heavier, and the adhesive doesn't stick as well.  I thought that the painters tape was wildly easier to work with, and held very securely, but I was able to position the tape in such a way as not to mess with the still-drying paint on the previous stencil.  I'd imagine that not all stencils allow for this.
  2. If I had to guess, I'd say that I had too much paint on my adorable mini-roller basically all the time.  This led to a little bit of a bleed, which didn't bother me because of how large the area was, and to paint getting on to the back of the stencil.  A solid lesson learned for me was to stop and let the stencil totally dry before I used it in a corner, near the trim, or by the window, so as not to get Southern Evening all over everything (only had to make that mistake once).
  3. I was not quite as diligent about lining up all the overlap points as I should have been.  For the most part, they're good, but in a few cases, they're half an inch off or so.  Again, based on the size and the blue-on-blue nature of the project, that doesn't really bother me.  If I were using two colors that had more (read: any) color contrast, that would probably bother me a lot more.
  4. Especially for glossy on matte, make sure to have good light in the room.  Even with a working overhead, it's easy for a line or a corner to have been behind a shadow and missed in the initial run.

Art Deco-Inspired Dresden Wedding Quilt

Wow.  Looking back, I've not blogged for even longer than I thought that I had not blogged for.  Which is a little crazy - but, then again, so is life.

I've worked mainly on one quilt (with a few others thrown in here and there) since posting the Ticker Tape Baby Quilt, so, without further ado, I present my Art Deco-Inspired lap quilt!!!


This is a (belated) wedding gift for a wonderful friend and her super cool husband.  They got married on NYE, and went with a Roarin' 20s theme - which was awesome, and also quilt inspiring :)

Pictures don't really do this one justice (which is not to say that there won't be a lot of pictures), since all of the gold is metallic.  It's very glamorous.


In terms of lessons learned on this quilt, I have one major one.  Good lord is the gold lame fabric a biotch to work with.  Truly.  The amount of repair that needed to happen between the block assembly and the quilting process was INSANE, because it just pulls and frays like nobody's business.  So, Carly, Fred... in terms of washing instructions... please don't.  This sucker is unfortunately fragile.

Smaller lessons learned include:

  1. Hobby Lobby sells awesome iron-on monogram fonts.  I mean, for an art deco quilt, is that monogram not awesome?
  2. As you can see above, I did a stripe on the back of the quilt.  As with the stripe on the back of the half square triangle quilt, I gave little to no thought to how quilting would work.  Some day, I'll (probably) learn.  What I ended up doing was quilting the side of the quilt with no stripe using a black bobbin, and the stripe and remaining area with a gold bobbin.  It lined up okay, but there was some trial and error (read, delicate use of a seam ripper to pull black thread out of the gold lame stripe).  
  3. Black, white, and gold fabric is both readily available and super challenging to find.  I collected this fabric over the course of about six months.  Most of it came from JoAnns (in NC and Arkansas), but over the course of the six months, selections and lines changed drastically.  The main backing fabric came (surprisingly) from WalMart in NH, right before NYE.  So, I guess that the moral of the story is that it's good that this quilt took SO long, because I couldn't have just gone to one store once and gotten everything I needed (as if that's ever happened before).
See, I would have preferred no quilting over the lame on the back, but that would have been problematic for the front.  Short of appliqueing the lame on by hand after quilting, I'm not sure how I could have avoided it.  Thoughts?

See, I would have preferred no quilting over the lame on the back, but that would have been problematic for the front.  Short of appliqueing the lame on by hand after quilting, I'm not sure how I could have avoided it.  Thoughts?

So, there you have my latest long-term primary project.  More blog posts are coming - I have two more finished quilts to tell you about, as well as having made some solid house project progress!  Stay tuned!

Source: artdecoquilt