Another Finished Star Struck

Star Struck

 It's summer, and since I'm a teacher, summer is used to catch up on everything that doesn't get done during the school year. So far, I've painted two rooms, painted two ceilings, painted some woodwork, supervised installation of crown moldings in a bedroom, new lights and a ceiling fan in my kitchen (goodbye 1950s), lights in the basement (goodbye scary extension cords and darkness) had repairmen in for my washing machine (crimped hose, $90), dishwasher (poor electrical connection, $0, thank you to the extended warranty that I bought knowing most dishwashers break), and am having the plumbers in today to fix a toilet that sounds like a sprinkler system on the fritz. Still to come are painting the back and front stairwells and upstairs hall and having the front and back doors replaced and more crown molding installed in the kitchen. The plasterers were quite busy in May, repairing cracks, skimcoating, and putting in sheets of thin drywall over some ancient ceilings. Painting just takes time! And, houses that were built in 1850 always have problems that take three times as long to fix and twice as much money as budgeted.
In the breakfast nook

Over the kitchen sink. Still need to repaint the window frames and get my window treatments back up.

In the center of the room. The fan looks huge, but it's one of the smaller ones out there and seems ok. I was concerned that my 6-foot husband and son would hit their heads, but there's plenty of room.

Also, I've traveled 7 hours each way to visit family twice, and had a houseguest for 11 days!

Quilting has taken a back seat to all the home projects, but I was able to complete another Bonnie Hunter Star Struck shown at the top. It's a good sized quilt for a baby gift and I always like to have one or two ready for giving. And, I just found out that a cousin is expecting next month! Serendipity!


Spool Saving Challenge

Over at Selvage Blog, we were challenged to save our empty thread spools for the year. I took the challenge and just threw the empties in a basket.

Here are the results: 10 plastic spools which are mostly Coats and Clarks - isn't is gross how they change color to that yellowish beige- 13 wooden spools which will join their friends in glass jars, and one cardboard spool which is now in the compost pile.

Check out Pinterest for some ideas on what to make with your old spools. I like this large shelving unit.

The one below from Junk Market Style is quite useful and I loved the shipped paint. In a sewing room I could see the front edges of the shelves made with old yardsticks.
This creation is one  which is helpful to keep unmarked circular knitting needles organized.
From the Crafty Sisters comes a very cool towel holder.

And another shelf, this one from La maison du Petit Chaperon Rouge

And a similar style in an all-white kitchen

Check out Pinterest for more ideas for your old spools - from drawer handles to doll beds to advent calendars.


Peace pillows

In my attic is a giant collection of home decorator sample pieces which is threatening to take over all available space. A good friend works for an interior decorator who was decreasing her sample collection and my friend knew I'd love this fabric. Much of it is perfect to use as fronts and backs of pillows and is all high-quality cottons, wools, and mostly natural fiber blends. For simple gifts, a stenciled peace sign is perfect to jazz up the pillow fronts and I only needed to buy pillow forms which are inexpensively obtained at JoAnn Fabrics or Michael's with coupons. 

For my secret santa - a dance teacher at my school who organized several Peace Days.

Don't these look like hops?

For my friend who housed my youngest for a few days so he could ski over break.


Twisted Tradition - Block 7

Are you staying warm? In my neck of the woods in Rhode Island, we received quite a bit of snow last night, and while the snow was light, fluffy and easy to shovel, we are expecting temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit tonight. Brr... We're not used to these temps around here. Tomorrow, I'll be skiing in an area where it will be -13 at 5 am.  I guess you have to be a bit crazy to enjoy strapping on boards when it's that cold!

I've been trying to finish things up, and my Australian Block-of-the-Month designed by Sue Ross from Material Obsession is on the list. This block was all hand-pieced with much fussy cutting of the red plaid and triangles inside the inner circle. I continue to be delighted with the provided fabric and feel like I'm stretching my own thinking with these choices. The final circle was appliqued onto the teapot background this morning, and another block is almost done and will soon be revealed. Only one block left and then I can work on strip-pieced sashing for the block corners. 

My guild had us make a list of outstanding projects to finish up this year, (this project is not on the list) so I've bunches of tops, blocks and a few small projects to try to complete. Number 7 was drawn for January, so that will be to complete a top using some leaf blocks that I won years ago. 

Stay warm tonight!