Wednesday, May 06, 2020

2x4 Quilt

Another quilt is done during this corona virus time! Lots of time at home means lots of time for sewing. I have been inspired by all the amazing 2x4 quilts, like this one and this one. Mine is a twin-size quilt perfect for the foot of my king size bed or a couch quilt for two to cuddle under.

Here's the loose math to make your own:
Cut 3" strips, sew together in alternating colors to make 4 strips altogether. I chose to use whites and grays for the background colors and bright colors for the main colors.

Cut 5" strips from those 4-strip sections.

My twin size quilt is 7x9 blocks, so I needed 63 blocks.  Each blocks is 9"x10" before being sewn altogether.

The back of the quilt was sent out for quilting. I chose a 'wood grain' pattern.


Stacks of lovely quilts!

Twin size quilt are perfect for the foot of a king size quilt

I always embroider the year it was completed


Monday, May 04, 2020

Scrappy Strips Quilt

I once sewed clothing for my kids when they were small. This blog is actually a chronology of all the things I sewed for them, thankfully, because I sure wouldn't remember all the lovely things I made with love for them.

I have been seeing lots of strip quilts, here, here, and here, and I wanted to make a similar one.

Here it is!

Most of the fabrics came from past projects, like this one:

And this ruffled skirt:
scraps from this skirt are in the quilts, this daughter is 16 now!

It's a twin size quilt, perfect for a guest room.

I even used a scrappy binding, just grabbed a bunch of old leftover strips from past projects.

Isn't that blue Hawaiian print scrumptious? My son wore that hat I made for him for years. He gets married this month, that's how long ago this was.

The quilting was sent out to a local company, it's just a bunch geometric squares. I am sure this will be loved for years to come as it took years to curate all these fabrics.

I always embroider the year on my projects

Monday, March 11, 2019

Blue & White Master Bath Remodel

Reasons we remodeled our bathroom even though the house is only 13 years old.

1. I don't care for brown countertops.
2. I don't care for brown travertine tile.
3. I don't care for knotty alder cabinetry.
4. I don't like jetted tubs.
5. I also don't like tubs not big enough that I can not be submerged. (I am 5'9). This bathroom is way too small for a separate tub.
6. I don't like mirror slabs.
7. I don't like crappy one-inch grout lines. The tile job was so bad we couldn't even have an air vent cover fit the floor vents in the floor. Who knows how many q-tips I lost down that hole?
8. I wanted radiant heating in the floor because Utah has sucky winters and I was tired of playing Frogger, jumping from one floor mat to the next at 3am to avoid the glacially-cold floor.
9. We needed a pocket door to let in more light from the one window. The entrance to the bathroom is pretty wide so the door blocked way too much light.
10. Old vanity was too short for us tall peoples.

I love my new white and blue bathroom. It's the perfect mix of modern and traditional for us. A modern walnut vanity, paired with traditional beveled mirrors. Classic subway tile, but modern faucets. You get the picture.

Three colors of tile: white, denim blue, gray floors in shower and bathroom

Here it is before:
Before: Travertine floor with enormous 1" grout lines

Now that the too-small tub is removed we have a nice spot for a stool, some shelves, and a place to hang our towels. We opted to take the subway tile all the way across this wall and up to the ceiling. It's a west facing window so I ordered a navy black-out roller shade.  And now the floors have radiant heating. Best decision ever. Warm tile in the winter is life changing. 
After: No more tub!

Here is the same corner before:
Before: Very small tub I used 2 times in 13 years.

Wiring the floor for radiant heating.

I knew we would want a custom walnut vanity with big deep drawers (no cupboard doors!) that hold everything. The old vanity had very little storage. I found this vanity from Restoration Hardware as my inspiration, then had it custom made. Guess what? It was about $2,000 custom made, compared to $3,500 from RH. Score!

These mirrors  topped with these light fixtures take advantage of our 9-ft ceilings. They are super tall at 4-feet. The blue photo prints were taken by myself and overly saturated in blue; the black and white print is from Minted.

New vanity is counter height

Before: the drawers were too small to be of much use.
Old vanity, way too short

We had enough walnut leftover to make some floating shelves. Great for blown glass, art, and functional space as well.

The perfect spot to remove jewelry before showering.

My favorite feature, next to the radiant heating is replacing the big door, which blocked all the window light, with a pocket door. (You can read more about my navy doors here, best decision to paint them blue four years ago.) Adding a pocket door meant ripping out the entire wall where you now see the shelves, to add all the hardware. I felt sorry for the subs who had to do such an arduous task. They also had to carefully remove the transom window which we absolutely wanted to save.

Tearing out the old wall to add the pocket door.

Pocket door

radiant heating thermostat for floors

We've been living with this bathroom for 8 months now and honestly I would not change one single thing. Our contractor, Leah of L&D Construction in Provo, Utah was amazing as always. She is meticulous and demands perfection from her subs. She was in charge of our kitchen remodel 7 years ago as well. Ok she has been in charge of all our remodels. The bathroom took about 4 weeks total. And it's a pain to remodel because this is how we lived in our bedroom for about a month.

The fun of remodeling!
But worth it in the end!

Other sources: White paint is White Dove by Benjamin Moore. Most rooms in my house are now this color of white. I don't have the info on the Moen faucet, nor the specifics of the tiles. The denim blue tile in the shower I just found at Lowes. The gray floor tiles in the shower and bathroom, along with the white subway, is from Comtempo Tile in American Fork, Utah. The white quartz counters and shower bench are just a basic pure white quartz. 

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Sourdough Oatmeal Wheat Bread

I love to make crusty artisan sourdough bread but soft sourdough sandwich bread is also a favorite. I developed this recipe over the last several weeks, making multiple loaves each weekend to get it just right. I absolutely love the slightly nutty taste of oats in the bread.

This recipe makes one loaf but I have also doubled it. The Kitchen Aid actually kneads it even better with two loaves. A scale is a must for thus recipe but I assume if you already make sourdough bread then you definitely have a scale. Electronic scales are very inexpensive now, mine was $30 and purchased 12 years ago.

Sourdough Oatmeal Wheat Bread
Makes 1 loaf in an 8x4 pan

193 grams warm water
132 grams sourdough starter (bubbly and active, 100% hydration*)
½ teaspoon instant yeast (optional, but it does help it rise a bit more)
55 grams honey (can do as little as 20 grams if desired)
55 grams old-fashioned oats (plus extra for coating the dough)
110 grams wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard spring wheat)
160-180 grams bread flour (start with lesser amount)
22 grams vegetable oil
11 grams salt (approx 1½ teaspoons table salt)

Place all ingredients in your Kitchen Aid mixer. Knead on speed 2 or 3 approximately 6 minutes.
You want the dough to be tacky, not too wet, not too dry. Add an extra tablespoon or two of bread
flour if needed. The way I gauge this is it should stick to the bottom of the bowl but not the sides.
Or, by touch it should feel pretty sticky but not stick too much to your hands when you pull your fingers
away from, the dough. Better to be too sticky than too dry as it will absorb more of the flour during the first rise.

After kneading for six minutes in the Kitchen Aid place in a greased bowl and let rise until close to
double in size, approximately 2 hours depending on temperature of your kitchen. I have also mixed
the dough at night and immediately placed in my refrigerator overnight. Press out dough into a rectangle
the width of the pan, roll up, coat in a few more tablespoons of oats, place in greased 8x4 loaf pan,
cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise another 1-2 hours (or place in refrigerator overnight)  then
bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

*I use equal parts water and flour, by weight, to feed my sourdough starter.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Lattice King Size Quilt

I made a king size quilt in light gray and dark scrappy prints. Gracious I love how it turned out. I don't even think this pattern has a name. I saw some quilters call it basketweave, one called it Twinkle, one called it lattice, so I am sticking with that name. But really it's just a Snowball block alternating with a Nine Patch block. I don't do complicated patterns. Ever.

I am 6" tall with these boots and still the quilt drags on the floor. Huge!

image courtesy of Diary of a Quilter
My inspiration was this antique red and white quilt, early 20th century, found over at Diary of a Quilter. Big scale, no border. Borders are not traditional so I rarely if ever add a border. I think it dates a quilt. I want it timeless, if that's possible.

Do you know how hard it is to find larger quilt patterns for larger quilts? No, I don't mean that quilters don't offer measurements for king size quilts, they do, I mean that the scale of most quilt patterns are ridiculously tiny. For example, for this quilt I found a pattern called Twinkle that called for 6" blocks. Six-inch frickin' blocks for a king size quilt! That is insane. I would feel like I was working in a crayon factory; and my job was to put the Cornflower Blue crayons in the boxes, all day long, week after week. I would have needed 144 blocks to make a king size. I'd rather chew broken glass. I'll use this book for smaller quilts though, adorable layouts.

I decided to calculate my own measurements for a 12" block. That way I would need just 72 blocks, still a lot, but doable. I used 6.5 yards of Kona cotton in this light gray color and then bought a bunch of 5" pieces of fabrics from various small-scaled prints. I don't usually like fabric collections, I think they look too 'put together'. I opt to be my own curator of fabric.

-Make 36 Snowball blocks, 12". Cut your gray squares 12" and the corner squares, 4.5"
-Make 36 Nine Patch blocks, 12". Cut your patterned and gray strips 4.5" and strip sew, then cut 4.5" sections and sew into nine-patch blocks.
-These aren't great instructions, you can google how to make a Snowball and Nine Patch block. Sorry.
-Finished size is approximately 90" x 104" after washing.

You will have 9 blocks across and 8 blocks going down for a king.

Sewing this large of a project is a workout just hefting all that fabric. Notice below that not all my points match up. I am a lukewarm quilter, I am not a perfectionist. My life motto is, "it's good enough." Plus you'll never see the mis-matched points once it is sewn, quilted, and crinkly. Don't let perfectionism stop you from quilting!

I sent the quilt to a friend who has a long arm. We chose this geometric pattern. I don't like swirls, flowers, or anything froo-froo. Keep it simple, keep it geometric.

I cut 2" strips for the binding and finally bought these clips for holding the binding in place. What took me so long? Oh right, I only make a quilt every few years. It's been four years since the last. This adorable yellow print from Riley Blake is delicious. I have always loved yellow. I machine bind because life is too short to bind by hand. Again, I'd rather chew broken glass.

I always add the year I made the quilt instead of a tag on the back. It is subtle in the yellow thread, and that's the point. This is embroidered with my 1" Redwork Alphabet available on my website. You can see how I embroidered the year on this quilt and this quilt as well.

A bed layered with linens in the my favorite. Right now in February I have a down comforter folded back, and my quilt folded back as well. Euro shams in white linen, topped off with a lumbar pillow in an African mudcloth. The perfect combo of modern and cottage-y.

There's nothing like a quilt folded up at the end of a bed. Perfection.


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