Three and a half years after I started on it, I finished my quilt top. I realized during all the cleaning of my craft room that I was nearly done making squares so I busted out the last few over the last few days, then cut some plain squares (not pieced, just one fabric) to make a border around the edges. And finally its done!

Its about 56″ wide, so right now the plan is to back it with some 58″ wide black fleece, and then use yarn to tie off at each corner of the individual squares. If I wait until fleece is on sale or there’s a coupon, I can probably finish it for about $10.

Anyway, obviously I’m super excited to have gotten this far! I will actually have a finished quilt very soon, even if its already too warm to cuddle under one.

Later today I will contact the guy who took the rest of the scraps off my hands and ask if he wants more- I have a few more shopping bags of them left over that I’m not going to be using.

Okay, maybe not. But there will be a treasure chest!

When our renter moved out, he left a few things behind, most of which we threw out. But this I rescued from the garbage and knew I had to clean it up and save it.

1

 

Its a wooden chest, without a lot of distinguishing marks that you can buy at any craft store. I have a much larger one that I use for storing my knitting needles and crochet hooks in that I keep next to my chair in the living room. This one is smaller, with the internal space measuring about 10″ wide and about 5.5″ across. Its not very big.

It was covered in grease, and was badly painted this awful black all over. Don’t get me wrong. I wear a ton of black, but it just looks bad on this poor little wooden box.

The first step was to sand it down a bit and help its new primer and paint stick and to scrub off those grease spots, so I loaded up a sponge with dish soap and gave it a good once over then hosed it off and left it to dry in the sun. Then I got the sanding block we had purchased to use for some home repairs we still haven’t gotten to, and I gently sanded it all over.

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I wasn’t worried about it being perfect. I want to look good when I’m done but I want this to be a fun project too and not one that I rip my hair out over. The wood is uneven in spots, which you can see because of how th paint sanded off completely in some areas but not others.

Then I hit it with some primer. My good friend Nikki gave me primer, paint, all sorts of stuff along with the larger chest I have and I was supposed to give it this treatment but I never did.

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I let the primer dry for about an hour, and then while dinner was cooking, I gave it a quick spray with the bright metallic gold paint. I initially missed a spot on the inside but got it later in when I was doing the lining.

4b

 

I sprayed the inside and the outside, making sure everything was shining and bright! The paper underneath the chest is just white kraft paper I bought off of Amazon for using in pattern making but so far its been used for everything else. Its not overly expensive and comes in really handy!

4

 

I let that dry for a good hour and then measured the inside to get an idea of how large a piece of fabric I needed for the inside. Unfortunately I did something really, really wrong and ended up with a piece about twice the size of what I needed.I ended up trimming it and gluing one side down into the box, then moving to the the next side, trimming it to fit and gluing it, and working my way all the way around. I used E6000 to glue it in place. I love that stuff, but make sure you use it in a well ventilated area- preferably outside!

I was going to call it good at that point but after Tracy brought up doing the inside of the lid with fabric, I couldn’t resist, so I carefully cut pieces and glued them in place as well. That went a lot smoother than doing the bottom did.

8

 

The next step was making this into a real treasure chest and covering the top in jewels! I busted out my Amazing Clear Cast Resin, my colored mica powders, and I started mixing and pouring. Finally, after working on them for a few days and gluing them in place in small groupings, I had this.

The resin is super easy to work with. Just mix it at a ratio of 1:1 and mix very thoroughly- the package recommends mixing for 3 minutes and I’ve found that to be about right. If its not fully mixed, it won’t set up properly and you’ll have a sticky mess on your hands. Mica powders can be added in small amounts to color the resin or you can brush it onto the molds before you pour- I mixed mine in.

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I used 6 different colors of gems, some of which were single colors of the mica powders and some that I mixed to suit. Pink, yellow, green-gold, blue, purple, and a deep amber color. I used a mold I bought that had tons of shapes in it that were perfect for this, letting me mix it up with lots of options. One of my gems slipped a bit before the glue set and I didn’t catch it in time to re-position it, but otherwise it turned out just like I envisioned it! I’m so happy with it!

And that my friend is how you get your very own treasure chest! Now I just have to decide what to put in it. 🙂

My thrift store finds, minus the 3 yards of pink floral fabric I got. Totally forgot to put it in the frame!
My thrift store finds, minus the 3 yards of pink floral fabric I got. Totally forgot to put it in the frame!

I decided Thursday morning I’d go thrift store shopping. I only know of three thrift stores off-hand, but the internet is my friend. I started off with the three shops I knew. I was looking for certain items- books for Mattie’s dad since I got him hooked on a new (to him) series and since they were very popular, I can find a lot of them for super cheap used, sewing patterns, and yarn. Above is pictured everything I came home with, except for the two books for Mattie’s dad.

Good Will

I did a quick walk through and I found the 9th book in the series I am slowly getting for Mattie’s dad. That was all I found but the store is nice and clean and people are pleasant.

American Way Thrift Store

This one was a bust of books, but I did find two sewing patterns I wanted.

Salvation Army

I didn’t find anything here at all. I wasn’t too upset though because they have business practices I don’t agree with. At this point I was starting to wonder if I was going to find any yarn at all in any of the shops I visited.

Thrift Shop (generically named and located in the outlet mall)

I found a sewing pattern here. I thought it was overpriced for being thrift store goods at a dollar, but it was brand new and uncut, just the envelope was torn. At this shop I did find a few skeins of yarn buried in the bottom of a tote full of fabric scraps but it was horrible cheap stiff and scratchy stuff and in two awful shades of brown. Pass!

New to You Thrift Shop

The patrons all reeked of vodka but the ones that were chatty were super friendly and nice, and obviously regulars to the shop, offering to help me find things. The alcohol smell was so strong I was afraid too breathe deeply for fear of becoming drunk! Haha! But I found two more sewing patterns, and a 3 yard by 42″ cut of fabric of a lovely soft pink fabric with roses on it that I hope is not damaged of stained that I want to make a blouse out of.

A to Z Thrift Shop

This place was the size of a closet, and run by people who barely spoke English. It was over crowded and honestly just looked like a storage unit packed full of stuff I didn’t want. Didn’t buy anything. I felt stifled and suffocated the entire time I was inside.

Grace Thrift Center

This was another one new to me, but it was clean, spacious, well organized, and they had craft supplies! I ended up leaving there with another sewing pattern, 3 skeins of variegated blue sock yarn, 1 hank of 100% Peruvian wool yarn in a bright lime green, and another book I needed for Mattie’s dad.

After I got home, I decided to go back and get the other Cascade 100% wool yarn and the other skein of sock yarn in a different color, and I also found another book for his dad.

So, all in all I got 16 items and I spent $16 and change. I’m pretty okay with that! Three of the sewing patterns are new and uncut and a fourth one might be- I’m not sure yet but I’ll examine it later.

I’ve been working on adding new items to my shop that I’ve recently made or have decided not to keep. There’s more yarns in my shop now, one of which is temporarily free, and the rest of which are all on sale. I fear there is an excess of pinks but it wasn’t intentional. I’m planning on heading out to my craft room later and moving the for sale yarns into bins out of my way so I don’t have them taking up space in my stash of yarns I actually want to keep and use.

You can see all yarns I have for sale by clicking here.

yarns

I’ve also added some new bracelets to the shop in a variety of colors and styles. You can see all of my bracelets here. All of them pictured below are currently in my shop and all contain unique components and designs.

bracelets

 

I still have some other fabrics to add to my shop, but I’m honestly tempted to just donate some of them to thrift. I feel like I am more interested in destashing unwanted stuff then waiting for a buyer and it would be the easiest and fastest way to go. I have some excess embroidery floss I might add to my shop as well. I don’t really need 10 skeins off the same colors.

I’ve been trying to dedicate an hour a day to crafting the last few days and I feel like I am making progress. It should be easy to do something I love but sometimes it feels like work, you know? Anyway, in the last few days, I’ve completed several new quilt squares towards my quilt I may or may not ever finish, made some bracelets, crocheted a scarf, and added a bunch of new items to my shop.

Not all of the items I added to the shop were created by me- there are two pairs of earrings that were created by another artist, and some yarn I won’t be using and would like to sell. I’m hoping to add more crafting supplies as time goes on and start to clear out my stash- as of right now I’ve got sewing patterns, some yarns, and some fabrics I’m not going to use any time soon. I figure if its been in my stash for years and its still untouched, I probably don’t need it.

So, click on through to my shop, look around, and find something that strikes your fancy! I’ve got a big variety of products to chose from!

I’ll let the pictures do the talking this time!

This tiny little closet space is perfect for my fabric and scrap storage! Snug as a bug! #sewing #fabric #storage #stash

A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on

scarves

The time since I last posted has been filled with a variety of things. I’ve finished the last of my knitting UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) with the exception of my blanket, which I’m still slogging along on. I have an informal goal to do at least 4 inches every time I work on it, but some days I don’t feel like working on such a large project. I’ve knit a few more ruffle scarves, which will be available in Raeosunshine Pets‘ auction the second week of February. I’ve listed a few random items I somehow missed in my shop, and I’ve sold an item (not made by me, sadly) that I had hanging around for ages at a much better price than I expected on eBay. I had a birthday yesterday (I’m 34 now) and I took myself shopping for new fabric, new yarn, some new knitting needles, and some meat at Mattie’s request that was “not chicken.” We eat a lot of chicken.

The fabric, once pre-washed, will be made into another pair of pajama pants for me, and I have a fun idea for a new scarf using the Edgar pattern I used with that bulky green and yellow yarn last month I think it was. I’ve got rainbows on the brain, and if you know anything about me, you probably know I love bright colors. I think after I get another few inches done on my blanket I will start on that project.

I’ve also started going through my grandmother’s cedar chest a little at a time and seeing what’s actually in there. I’ve pulled out about ten dresses and one blouse in various states of completedness, and I am betting there are others because I still see more fabrics pinned together into rolls and stuffed into bags in there. Everything I have taken out so far needs to be hemmed, only has some of its facings, a few things are damaged.

Some of the more interesting pieces in the chest. A blouse, a colorblocked dress, plaid dress with schoolgirl pleated skirt, and completed dress with rip in one sleeve.
Some of the more interesting pieces in the chest. A blouse, a colorblocked dress, plaid dress with schoolgirl pleated skirt, and completed dress with rip in one sleeve.

I’m hoping I can finish some of the dresses though it’ll likely be with bias tape or some other type of matching fabrics for facings, but need to look at them more in depth first.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Hopefully my next post will be showing you some completed items!

S9723EnvelopeSimplicity 9723 features a dress with two styles of skirt, and a jacket. At PatternReview.com, two people have reviewed this pattern and they have had mixed things to say. One, its extremely historically inaccurate. Two, there have been various issues with the pattern, which I was glad I read about before getting started. The bad comments were almost enough to make me search for another pattern to use for Halloween (yup this is the basis of my Halloween costume this year!) but in the end I decided to go with it and make corrections as needed.

I spent a small fortune on fabrics for this project and so far I seem to have overbought across the board but the fabric allowances given on the envelope back are given for multiple pieces of the costume together-  there is no measurement given for just the jacket, its the jacket and skirt together. This left to me guessing at the amounts needed and at this point I have an extra yard+ of silver pleather as well as a good 1.5 yards left over of the black poly-cotton broadcloth.

The jacket is done in a bright silver metallic pleather with a reptile texturing to it, with black poly-cotton broadcloth for the lining. The blouse and petticoat (which I am currently working on) is done in the same poly-cotton broadcloth, and the skirt will be done in a deep red medium weight satin.

S9723Front

 

The biggest complaint with this pattern, and I agree with it completely, is that the blouse and skirt are sewn as one item, not separates. This is easy enough to fix. I added several inches in length to the blouse, and instead of having a center back zip as was intended, I cut the center back on the fold, and inserted a zipper under the arm. The neckline is high and snug though, so I cut a slit into the upper back at the neckline, finished the edges with bias tape, and added a snap closure at the neck. That way I can pull it on easily, but still retain the same look as before. I thought the neckline would make me feel claustrophobic but oddly enough its pretty comfortable to wear.

S9723Back

 

People who reviewed this also complained that the sleeve cuffs of the blouse are too tight to close when worn. All I can figure is they took too large of a seam allowance because not only are they closed when I put it on, but I can slide my hands through them while they are fastened without issue.

S9723Piece

 

I have the main pieces of the petticoat stitched together at this point, and when I resume working on it, I’ll be stitching together the ruffle pieces and adding them to the bottom of the petticoat. Then it will be on to the outer skirt an after that I’m done. I’m not looking forward to the petticoat ruffles as I hate gathering, but its got to be done. I’m looking forward to finishing this one and getting to wear it out for Halloween!

Back in June, I sewed up the blouse in this pattern, and though my fabric choice was pretty and it looked nice, it didn’t work out. The fabric shredded through the seams with the slightest pressure, and even with seam binding added onto it, it just didn’t work out. I loved the pattern though and knew I was going to make it again in a different fabric. Wednesday I sat down in my craft room and cut the pieces out of a cotton fabric I bought for something else originally but decided would work great for this blouse. I cut it slightly large then the pattern called for where the seams would be to give myself a little extra room to do French seams. The first time I made this I found out this blouse has very little ease, so cutting a little bigger was a must for this. I also added about 2 inches to the length of the blouse. This goes together really quickly and soon I had a super cute top in an adorable button print. I will swap out the zipper in the side most likely later on for a lighter weight one, but aside form that, I am thrilled with it.

long

 

So Sew Easy had a post on making the perfect low-volume maxi skirt and I was excited to try it. I only recently sewed my first maxi dress and am crazy about the length. I’ve never had long skirts or dresses before. I grabbed a fabric I originally bought for a dress but decided I didn’t care too much for and got to work. I thought it might make a cute skirt so why not? Wrong! The fabric is super thin, super slippery, and just bad. When I had 2 layers of it, it sewed okay, but when I added a third layer the fabric kept getting stuck in my plate. I tried backing the fabric with tissue paper and wax paper. Nope. Still stuck in the plate. I tried my walking foot (that I finally looked up how to put on my machine- doh!) and that didn’t help. Finally I settled for pretty much dragging the fabric through by hand and it sort of sewed okay. I’m pretty darned sure the rest of that fabric (slightly more than 3 yards) is going up in my shop very soon!

longback

 

I did love the shape of the skirt though so I made another one out of a more stable, not slippery knit. This one turned out fabulously and its in the pictures with my blouse. I want to make another one but not sure if I have another cut of fabric that will work for it in my stash. I’ll have to go look.