I was out doing the usual perimeter walk with my LGD and was thinking how much I loved spending that time with her. Her goats follow along on our walks. I have a tendency to pause and take a deep breath of the fresh country air and allow my heart fill with gratitude for this life. Yes, it is hard work. Yes, there are challenges beyond imagination. Do we have everything we want? No. Do we have everything we need? By the grace of God, yes. So, I could spend my time worrying about it I will be ready when my goats give birth for the first time. What do I do if those swirling clouds become a tornado. If we will ever figure out why our water pressure sometimes goes down to a trickle. What if… Well, you get my drift. There’s a lot to worry about. But, there is so much more to love about my life for which I am grateful. And God has my worries. So, what is it you do that makes you pause and just be grateful? Do you pause to be grateful? If you don’t then I challenge you to take a moment and think about all the things in your life that just make you happy. N
There are many way to create a design wall. Today, I will share with you my personal favorite.
What you will need:
- Foam Insulation Board
- Batting, or neutral solid flannel or fleece
- Glue or tape
- Command strips
Go to Lowe’s or Home Depot or any of those construction type DIY stores and buy insulation foam board. Buy enough to cover the wall space you want to use for your design wall. Go cheap. You are not using it for insulation — that’s what your fabric stash is for.
Next buy cheap cotton batting – low loft – enough to over the foam boards. (Fuzzy fabric will work too – like flannel or fleece, but the color should be solid/neutral.)
Cover the foam boards with the batting and wrap it around to the back of the foam board. Use tape or glue to stick it to the back of the foam board. If you used glue, then wait until dry.
Then, use the command strips and stick the red side to the back of the insulation board. Line the covered foam insulation board where you want it to be on the wall and stick. (Essentially, follow the directions for the command strips – the only difference will be that the red side sticks to the foam insulation board.) Hold there for the recommended amount of time.
Viola! Design Wall!!
The nifty thing about using the foam insulation board is that you can stick pins in it. Sometimes we work on big quilts and they need a little help staying put on a design wall.
I love mine and so does my son. Just saying.
My chickens are now 6 months old. They started laying eggs about 1 month ago. The eggs started out small in size and are now getting to be the size of a large egg.
The egg shells are hard, which is good. That tells me the chickens are getting a good amount of calcium in their diet.
The one thing that is entertaining us recently is the quantity of double yokes. This is the first we have gotten so many.
Double yokes occur when the chicken releases 2 yokes too close together to build the calcium based outer shell.
Love my chickens. Their rooster, however, is well, a rooster.
Enjoy your chickens,
The sewing room is finally to a usable state!! I am creating curtains for our new abode in my new room. Though some of my tools are still in a box somewhere. (Moving seems to be never ending – especially, the unpacking!)
Along with sewing, the new space doubles as a classroom for homeschooling. I threw in my treadmill, because why not? Running while surrounded by fabric – yes, please! My home office is set up in the same room as well. (Yes, the room is huge!)
We still need to finish the ceiling and install the trim. All that can be done while the room is being used. The ceiling is just ceiling tile and the trim is cut and painted outside in the garage, and then nailed into place.
I installed some temporary shelves for all my fabric in the spacious closet. There’s room for tons more shelving.
This new space is amazing! Lighting, with which I can see. Floors that are easy to maintain! If thread trimmings fall to the floor (which it inevitably does), I just sweep. Although, I need a cover for my window well. I came down yesterday and was greeted by 6 frogs.
I love homestead life – lots of work but so much to enjoy (including the little ribbiters staring at me as I sew)!
Happy sewing everyone! My next topic will be design walls, because I love mine and I need to share!
We got the lights in!!!! Here is what the room looks like with the new lights (Picture was taken at dusk with very little/no sunlight seeping in through the windows.):
Now as a reminder, here is where we started.
This is the same outside lighting with the room painted:
If anyone is interested, these are the lights we used:
I wasn’t going to do a post on what to paint your walls. Personally, as a quilter, I have to resist the urge to be very creative with my walls — and my husband has whispered “resale value” in my ears every time I have had the hankering to paint a wall. It’s kept me restrained so far. For my sewing room, I expect lots and lots of light. I love light because I love to see what’s in front of me. As I result of my love for light, I chose to stick with a basic white paint.
Do you have to do white? Nope. It’s just what I chose knowing that my walls will be lined with shelves and storage compartments suitable for my sewing. However, I would stick to light neutral colors – colors that would not color your view of a quilt on a design wall – a design wall what would butt up right next to the painted walls. Light colors so that the room appears brighter and airier.
For the ceiling we chose a drop ceiling, mostly because we want to be able to access the plumbing for the master bathroom that is right above this room.
Here are the before and after pictures of the room.
Before (Taken mid-day during prime sun and the light is on.):
After (Taken in the morning and the light is on.):
I will soon have an official retreat, ehm, I mean sew room!
Here’s the skinny for my plans for my sew room lighting (hobby/craft room) – really this would cover any room in which you want to be able to actually see. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want “mood lighting” in my sewing room. I want to be able to see my work, most importantly to be able to see my color choices. I’ve been to quilt shops where I had to take a bolt of fabric outside or close to a window in order to best assess the colors. (Mood lighting in quilt shops…really? I guess, I’m too focused on my projects… Haha!) It all just gets worse as I get older and the better the lighting I need. (Age happens. 😂)
Types of bulbs:
Incandescent are obsolete with the newer lighting technologies that emerged over the years. They have served their purpose since Edison introduced us to them in 1879.
CFLs are a more energy efficient choice than incandescents; however, as LEDs grow in their technology, these are best left on the shelf. They last a long time, but when they burn out, they require special disposal because of the mercury – however minute!
LEDs are the best! I love that this technology has progressed past indicator lights on computers. I am all about LEDs, but they are good ones and not so good ones (as my husband has recently discovered in his tinkering.) When choosing new bulbs, I always go for LEDs . They last even longer than CFLs and contain no mercury!!!!! I’m sure someone will eventually find a massive downside to these lights (science changes as new discoveries are made) but right now I love them.
There are different types of lighting:
Soft/Warm white runs at 2700-3000K and often emits a yellowish glow. (Not a good choice for craft rooms but a great choice for living rooms or areas for mood lighting. NOT a good choice for quilt shops. (If you are a quilt shop owner, please, please give us older ladies a break and do not use these!)
Bright/cool white runs about 3500-4100K has no yellowish glow, and in fact emits a whiter color. I find these lights sort of meh for craft rooms. Not the greatest and not the worst. However, if you are taking the time for new lights let’s go for the best possible.
Daylight!!! I love daylight in my craftroom ( in case it was not obvious by my overzealous use of exclamation marks). It runs about 5000-6500K and emits the best light possible for those of us that need all the help we can get! We changed the lights in my old sew room from bright white to daylight and my first thought was “Hey, I can see!” 😂
Now I do have to admit not all LEDs are equal (as I mentioned before.) My husband was tinkering with using the LED strip lighting as a potential for my sew room and I don’t think it emits enough light. It’s great for his work shop, but not so great for my sew room. We would need a lot of them for there to be enough light. (Keep in mind I am a bit older and will need bifocles in about 5-10 years…).
So, in conclusion: daylight LEDs …seriously awesome stuff!
Happy quilting!!! (I am hoping to get an area setup soon between training a new LGD for my goats and homeschooling my son it’s a bit slow going but I picked flooring – next post!)
Since we are in a new house and my old sewing room is about 40 miles away with the perfect lighting and the just right storage, I need to refinish a room in the basement for my new sew room. This is one of those times I wish I could snap my fingers and have my sew room just perfect, because I currently have no space to set up my sewing machine. Ack!! (Yes, I am experiencing serious withdrawal. Everywhere I turn I think “I need to sew something for that” and then realize it’s not going to happen until I can set up my sewing machine. All flat surfaces are currently used as staging areas from filing to homeschooling, etc. Literally, no space for a sewing machine!!!!)
However, as I go through this adventure of setting up my sewing room, I will bring you right a long with me. Starting with lighting, then flooring, and storage and layout. I am very picky about my lighting – more so the older I get and my eyes begin to experience that agey-thing – which is why a whole post will be dedicated to lighting!
This is my starting point. Pictures taken from opposite corners of the room. The room is 11′ 5″ x 23′ 1″.
Whew! I have my work cut out for me!
Several years ago, my husband and I decided we would like to homestead. These last few months brought about several changes in our lives: between moving my dad in with us and trying to find a house that would be able to accommodate his needs (i.e., no stairs). Our current house has been an amazing house for over a decade with trails and easy walks to stores and parks and we have loved every minute of living here. We’ve spent time to build the small garden area with fruit trees and berry bushes and lots of space for vegetables. It met our needs for a time, but we still desired a bit more space and the ability to have chickens and a goat or two with more space for a large dog to be able to stretch out and run.
With my dad needing less stairs, we decided it was time to find that much dreamed of acreage. After a few months of searching we finally found that acreage with a ranch house – a small 5 acres lot that had a barn, corrals, pasture, garden, coop, and a green house. It needs a bit of work, but my husband and I love a bit of physical labor added to our days. There’s just something that feels good about getting a good sweat going. (I know some people might think me crazy for saying that…but really sweat is cleansing.)
Needless to say my sewing stuff is all packed and ready to be move. (Something that is driving me a bit batty!)
Happy quilting! (Because someone else must since I cannot.)
Lately, I’ve been pondering the science behind border design — in quilting. The border is what frames your quilt – just like a picture frame for a painting. A beautiful picture in an ugly frame can make the picture ugly. A beautiful picture in an extraordinary frame can make the picture extraordinary. Even the mat selection (that strip of color that you can put between the picture and the frame) adds or takes away from the over all picture. The border you choose should bring out what you have designated as the centerpiece and make it pop adding to the overall visual impact of your quilt. (Note: The center piece does not have to be center of your quilt.)
This pondering has not come about by coincidence. Every time I use a pattern I make an attempt at following the pattern, but then I change something. My current dilemma (a.k.a., project) has a block-pieced border and I have been staring at this quilt on my design wall thinking, “It doesn’t fit.” (By “fit” I mean it doesn’t look pretty to me – beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder.)
Contrast, texture, complexity, and unity play their role in artistic composition. Quilts are your work of art. What you like is what you should choose, because, ultimately, it is your creation. It is also why most quilters cringe at doing commissioned pieces. When you look at art pieces, ask yourself: “What did you see first?” and “What did you see last?”. Do you think what you noticed and when you noticed it was what the artist intended? When did you notice the frame? All elements of composition should aid in enhancing your quilt.
Light and bright colors pop. You’ll notice these first before the intricacies of darker elements. So, when you look at your quilt what do you see first and what color is it? It what you want people to see first?
Texture (Another form of Contrast)
Movement or items representing movement will always catch the eye first. Use texture to take the eye where you would like it to go. Texture can be with the fabric you use of with the lines you sew.
The complexity of a border should be less than the quilt itself – unless the border is your focal point. A really busy border (whether from pattern or fabric selection or even quilting lines) will draw the eyes to the border of the quilt and keep them away from the center. Just imagine a bouncy, wiggly child in a sea of stoic adults. 😁
You can sew an amazingly, detailed pieced border but if you select high contrasting fabrics then it might be too contrasting (a.k.a, “busy”) for your goal or it might not. Too much quilting and too little quilting will, also, change your quilt’s complexity.
Your “big picture” view of your quilt. Step back, does everything belong? Or is there something you see that just doesn’t fit? (This is how I determined that it was time to veer away from the pattern.) I could have changed the highly contrasting colors in the pieced border, but the block chosen for the border, though it fit in theme, would have required introducing a few new colors to the quilt. I do not like introducing new colors in the border. I prefer to select a handful of colors already inside the quilt and bring those out into the border, which, seems to bring about a sense of completion to me.
So, after all this pondering, I have decided to not follow the pattern for my current project and apply a simpler border. Sometimes simplicity is the answer to complexity and in this instance simplicity matched my tastes the best. 😉