Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Director's Chair - Original and Rerelease

The upstairs is what I call a great room. It has vaulted ceilings. The kitchen has walls on three sides, but they stop at 8' tall and are open to the room. There is a work and entertainment counter that runs the length of the kitchen and is separate from the kitchen itself. The side of this counter that faces the living room is used for countertop dining.

Of course the counter stools I have a mismatched. On purpose. One is wood and woven banana leaf, sturdy and very tropical looking. The second is acid green molded plastic and shiny chrome, and is very retro modern. The third is a wooden director's chair

The picture on top is the before, which came with a standard canvas seat and back, limited choice of colors -- I chose orange. The one below is the chair with the seat and back that I made from a fabric I purchased while I was back in NYC a few weeks ago.

More decorating to come...

Monday, October 26, 2009

DIY is Now Complete!


It is official! 3 months of off-and-on, start-and-stop, stop-and-go work is finished. Here is the chair with the bottom cushion sewn.

When I say completed, I mean, seams pressed, threads clipped, basting stitches removed, the whole kit-and-caboodle! And of course, as it always is with me, I am not quite sure how I feel about it. When I work on a project and own it for such a long time, the relief that follows the completion of the project is bliss, but somehow, I am always underwhelmed with my work. Maybe I am just spoiled because I can realize my own vision. Who's to say.

What do you think?

Isn't it great the way the pearlized metallic in the Rock Candy fabric just pops in the light of the camera flash?
And oh yes, mental note -- gotta get a cain of Scotch guard! Don't want this getting all stained and dirty. I have several months of company coming and much wear-and-tear ahead!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Animal, Vegetable... or Furniture?

Three-and-a-half yards of faux fur clumped together in its finished state. Looks more like something that needs to be fed raw beef, or a deflated Tribble with a thyroid deficiency.

In addition, four yards of a cotton/poly blackout fabric. Two days later (l. to r.) the outer and inner bags for a bean bag chair.

I thought I would be organic and fill the bean bag with a natural product. So instead of the suggested poly pellets for the filling, I chose to use buckwheat hulls. I searched the web, found a great website for the product, and ordered what I needed for the cubic-foot requirement. So I ordered 50 pounds of buckwheat hulls, not thinking that 50 pounds is 50 pounds, and that the bean bag would weight 50+ pounds including the faux fur.

Once filled, it was a lot more compact than I though, and I instantly knew if I had a dog, this is what it would look like.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What is it...?

All I know is that it is carnivorous and it is growing like wild!
I bought it at Lowe's nursery department. It was on sale and it was very decrepit looking... until I brought it home.............

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mark's DYI (Drive Yourself Insane) Project - continued

Aloha - I'm back from market, with several months' worth of responsibilities met, still plagued with the irregular sleeping pattern of waning jet lag, feeling renewed, refreshed and psyched to revisit several projects that were put on hiatus for my professional responsibilities.

In a previous post I got you involved in a very intensive project I had undertaken -- the reupholstering of cushions for my over-sized elephant bamboo arm chair. We left off with all of the 300+ triangles paired up and sewn together into strips, and the strips sewn together into pieces of fabric to be cut into the shapes for the cushion covers.

First I needed to deconstruct the original cushion cover to create patterns, learn the techniques used in construction, and save the zipper to repurpose in the new cover. Luckily both the top and bottom of the cover pieces were the exact same size and shape, so I needed only one template as a pattern.

After the template was ironed flat, I folded it in half and creased it, using the fold line to find the center of my pieced fabric. Trepidation came over me as I prepared to cut the pieced fabric, as weeks of cutting and sewing were at stake here, and one miscalculation would mean irritating reworking of the patchwork. Luckily I work slowly and methodically, and I tend to reason things out, so I managed to come out of this unscathed.

The corner notches were sewn first on the bottom section, and the zipper attached. The piping, which had been made along with the pieced fabric, was sewn to the top of the cover after the notches were sewn.
Next, the two halves were sewn together like a clamshell set upon itself curve against curve (right sides together) and then sewn all around. What a thrill it was to stuff the foam insert into the new cushion cover (while holding my breath and praying the seams wouldn't burst!) With great anticipation I needed to see what the top cushion looked like on the chair. Over the next few days (gotta get some work in there too) I'll construct the bottom cushion in a similar fashion, sans piping, and I'll post a picture of the chair when it is fully redecorated. I can already tell just from completing the top cushion that it is going to look better than I had expected!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Neptune's Garden - the Quilt Show

Here is a picture of my quilt, Neptune's Garden, as it was seen on display in the Blank Quilting booth.
In addition, I did not win nor even get an honorable mention for my piece that I submitted to the Simplicity / Wright's challenge. As usual, I believe it was because I pushed the envelope too far, and although highly innovative, I used and developed techniques that were not readily understandable and applicable to a quilter. Regardless, I am looking forward to exploring my art further and hopefully one day I'll find a venue that will recognize the creativity for what it is.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Four Seasons Quilt by Marinda Stewart - Block of the Month

I was going to wait a few days before posting the Block of the Month quilt made exclusively of Rock Candy - designed and constructed by Marinda Steward, but the comments on the previous post prompted me to do so ASAP.

I think in this case a picture speak tomes, and I shall just leave it at that.

Houston International Quilt Market 2009

So, the pressure is on. Now, as I write this blog to report the goings-on at Quilt Market, and months before in preparation of our biyearly event.

We usually arrive fresh and full of enthusiasm -- and then are put through the ringer, with the promise of a sensational looking booth and a most welcomed and well deserved meal at the end of the day.

Our mission, and we chose to accept it, is to take a blank (no pun intended) 20 foot by 30 foot space and laboriously transform it into something that actually meets AND surpasses our expectations.

For two days we work about 8 hours per day to collectively realize a vision that Diana and I have plotted for months prior to the show. Fortunately what we have created so far does not create a mutiny amongst the sales people and our fellow coworkers, and I would like to thank those of you that participated in the creation of our booth: yes, it was our vision but it could not have been done without the wonderful people that I live and breath market with for those 5 days. THANKS!!
The theme this show was a garden, and although we were not rewarded with an award for our endeavors, it brought a lot of attention to our quilts and the flower garden at the center of the booth -- all thanks to a very talented and creative team lead by designer Heidi Pridemore of The Whimsical Workshop.

My goal is to promote my fabric, and in this case I am proudly touting Rock Candy. Blank Quilting has made a huge investment in my vision and product, and supports it whole-heartedly, so much so, that this go around for the Block of the Month is a quilt designed by my dear friend Marinda Stewart. Here is a close-up of one of the blocks, and I'll post a picture of the full quilt in the near future. The quilt was well received at market and we look forward to a great success with this project!!

During market it doesn't matter who you are or what your position in the company might be, our only focus is the booth and no job is too big or small. Here is Diana Mancini, Creative Director of Blank Quilting showing off her vacuuming technique. (P.S. Diana's husband contacted me regarding this picture and said he had never seen her do this in their home!) It just goes to show you that the Gnomes must come out at night like the cobbler's elves.

This is our cute little bargain find which brought good will and cheer to us all, through the days at market.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Bright and early Wednesday morning I'm on a New York to Houston flight out of Newark Liberty International Airport. At the terminal I'll rondezvous with Diana Mancini, creative director of Blank Quilting, and together we'll fly to our Texas destination. There we will meet with Barbara Crom, a Texas rep for Blank, and we three will run around the Houston area shopping for last minute supplies for our booth at the International Quilt Market, in the George R. Brown Convention Center.

The next day, Mary Koval, of Mary Koval Antique Quilts, an attendee of Quilt Market and Blank licensee, will drive us around in her hugh panel van to pick up the large items we have pre-ordered at various stores. Then we're off to the convention center to start constructing the booth that we will inhabit for the next three days. I'll post pictures of the goings-on and probable mayhem that will most likely ensue before, during and after set up.