Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dubious + a Dozen Blocks

It's August. Preschool has not quite begun, the weather has been odd (cold,) and the twins still take two naps a day so I felt the call to make lots and lots of blocks!  A dozen to be exact. 
Rather pretty all together, aren't they? 

I'll give you a brief synopsis on each set of blocks… because apparently I can't make just one of ANY kind of block now that I look at the above picture.  Hmmm…

These little cuties are called Braided Star Blocks, and come in at 6.5" square. Adorable!
Paper pieced, quick, and great for using up scraps!  The pattern can be found at Wombat Quilts - in the long list of star blocks!  
For the month of August in our little CMQG Bee, Joanna M. asked for each one of us to make our favorite star block.  Well, I don't really have a favorite so searched the web until one struck my fancy.  This little block did just that, and since its so small I made two. I hope they do the trick, Joanna!

Our Guild is also doing a fun little Block Raffle this month, and we can enter up to two blocks.  The winning person will win ALL the blocks… so entering two just seemed like a good idea.  If you can't tell - blocks must be wonky log cabin, in blue and/or green.  Well I just happen to have loads of blue and green scraps - so they were easy!

Modern Maples how I love you.  These will also be heading to our Guild meeting to pay a debt to a kind soul who gave me a stack of small floral prints that I had been searching for.  Her fabric choices for me were perfect so I wanted to do something kind and helpful for her.  She's working on a Modern Maples quilt and I know for a fact she needed more browns and fuchsias… so I made these up - and I love how they look!  
Thanks again Nicole! 

Last but not least, are my Vice Versa BOM blocks! 
July AND August are done! The bottom blocks are called "Fox and Geese" while the top two are called "Arkansas Snowflake" blocks. I'll be honest, these were tricky blocks, and I know they're not perfect but you know what? Once its quilted and washed, ain't nobody gonna notice.  Therefore I choose to be happy and move on.  Again, the colors just do not translate from real life to digital.  They are much more jewel-toned, really.

So there you have it!  I would like to dedicate these dozen blocks to my YouTube App, who carries a large assortment of AudioBooks, and makes my sewing time twice as enjoyable.  I'm creating something with my hands all the while escaping to other worlds/times/places via a book.  My new favorite word from said stories: "Dubious" 
Thank you, Diana Gabaldon!

And thank you for stopping by!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

DIY Buffet Refinish - From Wood to White

Welcome! I know I haven't been around much lately in terms of blogging, but well, three small kiddos always seem to get dibs on my time.  Hmmm.
Must. Remedy. Soon!  I rather miss my little Pear Tree Stitching world!

Today I'd like to share my little furniture upgrade!  
I snatched this gorgeous Dixon-Powdermaker buffet from Craigslist for $160.  I know I know, seems high for a old piece of furniture, but it is big, SOLID, heavy, and oh so useful!  I'm glad I bought it - and even more so now that its repainted!

Here she is in all her original glory.  Chipped, tape-marked, scratched, filthy, and generally grimy.  Gorgeous brass handles too.  

{Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a DIY furniture guru, nor have all the correct/proper answers in refinishing old furniture.  I'll tell you what I did, and it worked for me… but there are probably numerous other ways/methods out there as well. Pinterest and Google are your friend, when doing something like this.  Remember that.}

White and modernized!  I love the lines of her; the fancy trim at the bottom, the scroll feet, the carved doors and sides - and the wavy drawers.  Now, that makes for a much more intricate cleaning and painting process, but its worth it in the end to do a proper job and not try to do the whole project in one day.  This project, start to finish, took me over a month.  Keep in mind I only got to work on it if all these factors aligned:
- Twins were napping
- Big brother doing quiet time or playing well outside 
-Not too humid or raining (I worked on it in our garage.)

My process was as follows:
Remove all hardware, remove doors, scrape old glued down felt from top three drawers, Sand inside of drawers, remove two shelves, remove drawers, CLEAN all surfaces to be painted, use Liquid Sandpaper on all surfaces to be painted (easier than using actual sandpaper due to all the curves and grooves,) spray paint drawer handles dark grey (4 coats over about a weeks time,) use wood filler to fill in all scrapes, nicks, gouges, dings. 

Sand the top with a belt sander, wipe every surface with a tack cloth to remove dust and debris, apply primer to all drawer fronts, doors, and the buffet Itself, purchase four new pulls from Anthropologie, sand all surfaces again lightly, clean all surfaces with tack cloth.

For the actual white paint I used Sherwin Williams brand CABINET and DOOR paint, which we had left over from our old Condo.  I figured it would be a good strong finish to withstand everyday use.  And so far I'm very pleased with it!

After priming etc… PAINT.  I used a thin low loft roller on the top and sides, and a smaller roller everywhere else I could.  A foam brush helped with all the grooves.  I didn't care for how a bristle brush stroke looked, so I stayed away from brushes.
Let dry for a few days and paint EVERYTHING again.

Install newly painted drawer pulls and new pulls.  Install drawers, and doors.
Lug into house and ENJOY!

A few more tidbits...

Mod Podge is my new fav crafty item!  I added fabric to the top drawers to cover the yucky previous glue-covered wood.  After reading a few different methods of permanently lining drawers, I decided on the following method, which I cannot find the original source to:

Measure inside of drawer.
Get a piece of fabric about an inch taller and wider than said drawer measurement.
Cover your kitchen table with Wax Paper and tape to your table to protect the table and so the fabric pulls up easily once dry.
Lay out fabric and apply a GENEROUS amount of Decoupage (aka ModPodge) with a wide foam brush.  Seriously, go crazy here - use a heavy hand.
I went thru 1.5 jars of the stuff.
Let dry over night and wake up to a laminated looking piece of fabric that is stiff, sealed, and perfect to line a drawer!
Draw the exact dimension of drawer onto the sealed fabric and cut with scissors. Test size by placing in drawer, trim again as needed so it lays nice and flat.
Apply another thick coat of ModPodge to the actual inside of drawer, then lay sealed fabric on top - smooth with hand, DVD case, Tupperware Lid, or anything to get the bubbles out.
Apply one final coat of ModPodge being especially careful to get the edges and corners thoroughly.
Let dry another night and they're done!  I'm really happy with my fabric choices and how they turned out!

So our lovely new buffet sits in our living room and acts as changing table, kid book storage, clothes dresser for the twins, and craft storage as well. Ain't nobody got time to run upstairs to the nursery every time a new onesie or a pair of socks are needed.  
For now, I need handy, uncluttered, and sturdy.  Mission Accomplished, I'd say.

In all my ModPodge hysteria, I also covered the two shelves on either side of the buffet - they were just plain ol' wood - but now look super cute!

A fresh Hydrangea bloom from the backyard and my precious Poinsettia mini quilt finished the space and makes me smile every time I'm changing a diaper or looking for a fresh pair of baby pants.  Seriously.

As projects go - this took forever - but I'm so happy with the results, I will overlook the MONTH it took me to finish it.  Remember, I'm a quilter and sewist… not a furniture guru.  
I will not be attempting to revamp another piece of furniture for… well… forever, if I can help it.  Unless all it involves is a can of spray paint.  THAT I could handle.  Truly.

And here she is in real life.  Changing pad with a bin of diapering essentials for quick access.  If the girls can be potty-trained by next summer, the vase of Hydrangea will be returning for good.  

If you have further questions, I'll try to answer them via the comments section so everyone can benefit, if possible.

Thanks so much for stopping by!