Posts tagged ‘fabric’

It was love, and then it wasn’t, and then … it might be?

Browsing Craigslist is a dangerous thing. And I don’t mean because of the Craigslist killer, or the creepy personal ads …

I mean because of the furniture section, and how I easily fall in love with wood furniture and chairs. Ask Matt – I fall hard.

It always starts out innocently enough: “I’m just browsing because I’m bored. Clearly I won’t buy anything, our house doesn’t need more furniture. We don’t have any space. Well, surely, except, maybe if we sold this piece or gave away that piece. It would be nice to have a piece of furniture for all of my fabric, instead of just plastic bins. And wouldn’t it be nice if it was turquoise, like the rest of our house? With glass doors so you could see the beautiful folded fabric? And vintage and unique, and cheap? And oh, I don’t know, maybe JUST LIKE THIS:

Heavenly (except for those orange knobs, but even I can change those!). Swoon-inducing. Twitterpating. Love.

I text the owner something along the lines of: OMG I am in love with your cabinet please tell me it’s for sale please please please. OK, maybe a little less creepy than that.

She texts back: Sorry, someone is already interested. They are coming by on Monday. I text back: I can come today (Saturday). I will pay full price. I LOVE it. I don’t want to paint it. It belongs HERE. I promise I will treat it well.

She texts back: Sorry, they get first dibs. I will let you know if they don’t show.


And then. Oh and then. As I am ready to leave for work today, a text: If you are still interested in the cabinet, it is still available. Let me know.


Yes, yes, of course I am still interested! But then she wants it to be picked up during the day, and one minor detail – I work 2 hours drive away during the day. Frantic text messaging. I will come on the weekend. I will come at night. I will come during the day on Wednesday and take time off.

So far, no response. The stink of desperation exudes from my texts.

Love, it’s a b*tch.


July 19, 2010 at 7:37 pm Leave a comment

Thrifting Thursdays

Welcome to the second edition of Thrifting Thursdays, which showcases random affordable decorating finds from around our house. This is a 2-parter – our livingroom coffee table.

I found this coffeetable at a garage sale in Kansas City. It was marked for $60, and I had $17. It was the end of the day, and after some aggressive haggling, a very disappointed homeowner relented and this table has happily lived with me for a few years now.

It was originally in perfect condition, though since has served as the base for many painting projects (that some spare, beautiful bird fabric conveniently covers).

On top of the coffee table are a couple of things of note. The coasters were made by a glass artist in a small gallery between Boulder and Estes Park, that we stumbled on during our honeymoon.

The tray in the middle of the coffee table is another fabulous thrifting find, for $3, at the Jesse James Antique Mall in St. Joseph. A fabulous antique mall, if you are ever in the area. The store next to it – The Rusty Chandelier – is my favorite store in St. Joe.

A great candle tray

The candles were a bargain, too, purchased at huge clearance at Pier 1 for 50 cents a piece

March 4, 2010 at 6:54 am 3 comments

A magnificent stash

I attempted to organize my fabric stash the other day, with little success. I really need a dedicated piece of furniture that I can store it in, instead of just rubbermaid containers.

The alarming part about organizing the fabric was realizing just how much I have happened to collect in the 8 or so months I have been sewing – not even including what I’ve used in actual projects.

Matt, if you’re reading this – now is the time to look away. 🙂

In 8 months, the remaining stash not including ones sewn into quilts or other projects, is:

136 fat quarters (34 yards of fabric)

42 pieces of fabric from 1/2 yard – 3 yards of fabric, general

40 pieces of kid fabric, from 1/2 yard – 3 yards of fabric

Plus, two drawers full of felt and felt scraps, and one drawer full of fabric scraps.

Approximate total yards of entire collection: 120 yards

Oooof. Better lay off on going fabric shopping until I’ve made many more projects.

The amazing part? It all fits here.

How do you keep your fabric stashes under control?

February 28, 2010 at 7:20 am 6 comments

Another owl – sensing a theme?

Oh, the powers of social media. I made a stuffed owl for my baby cousin, and her mom posted an adorable pic of the sweet baby and the owl. One of her friends saw my owl, and requested one herself! So fun, and so amazing that someone in Missouri can make something for someone in Iowa and someone in North Carolina sees the post and orders one. Small world. 🙂 I really hope she loves him – I think he turned out really cute!

February 27, 2010 at 10:48 am 3 comments

Reversible table runner how to

Finished project

I have been anxious to make a tablerunner for our coffee table, which may or may not have some paint splatters on it. *Ahem*

I made a very simple one that is a great use of fat quarters in your stash – I used 5 fat quarters for the front, the remnants of those 5 fat quarters and scraps from my stash for the back.

Here, a step by step guide.

1. Choose 5 fat quarters that have a complementary theme. Iron fabric.

2. From each fat quarter, cut 3 4-inch by 18-inch strips.

3. Lay strips by color side by side. Grab one strip from each pile. This is your first set. For the next set, start with the second pile in and grab five, making the first strip be your last. For your third set, pick the strip from the third pile to start your pile. So your piles will be in this order: 1,2,3,4,5; 2,3,4,5,1; 3,4,5,1,2.

4. Sew the five strips in your new piles together. Spread seams open, iron flat. You should have three sets when you are done, measuring about 18X18 inches after seam allowances.

5. Cut 4 inch wide strips from fabric (in the direction that will make 4X4 inch blocks of 5 colors, all sewn together). You should be able to cut 4 from each of the 3 panels, leaving 12 strips and small scraps of fabric at the end.

Cut strips will look like this.

6. Pick a pattern to make with these strips. For our table runner, I did 1,2,3,2,1,2,3,2,1. This left me with three strips leftover, which I used on the back. More on this later.

Sew strips together. Open seams, press flat.

7. From leftover fat quarters, create border. For the skinny edges, I cut 2 strips that are 4 inches by 18 inches, 1 each from 2 of the remaining fat quarters. This made the long side 39 inches long, so I cut 13.5 inch X 4 inch strips from the 3 remaining fat quarters, 2 from each colors. I staggered the colors for the edge so that the same fabrics weren’t right across from each other. Sew on sides, open seams, press flat.

Your top is done!

8. Make your backing. For the back, I pieced leftover strips and leftover scraps of fabric until I created a top that measured the same size. For a less time consuming alternative, you can just do one solid fabric backing. If you choose to piece as you go, then you have a reversible table runner.

Randomly pieced backing

9. Place right sides together of both front and back, pin together. Sew around all 4 sides, leaving three inches unsewn in order to turn right side out.

10. Fold in edges of remaining three inches, sew shut either by hand or machine. Sew around the runner 1/2 inch in from the edge to finish. And you’re done!

Finished backing

With table decorations

Reversible back with table decorations

February 26, 2010 at 7:54 am 1 comment

My quilting hero

… is my Aunt Carol, or technically, my husband’s Aunt Carol. She is an incredible quilter, and can whip out even complicated patterns in an afternoon. She works for a fabric store, and has previously been a professional sewer.

She’s also insanely generous, and has provided me with quilting books, quilting magazines, and the beautiful Bernina I have. She also made us this beautiful quilt for our wedding gift.

I would guess that a lot of quilters have someone who turned them on to the hobby. Who was your inspiration?

February 24, 2010 at 6:50 am 5 comments

Baby blanket – trials and tribulations

I wrote earlier about finding the perfect fabric for a coworker’s coming baby. Here are the fruits of the effort:

The perfect fabric


The backing


The blanked turned out pretty cute, but not exactly as planned. I thought this would be the perfect project to try some machine quilting on, since it was small. However, the flannel fabrics kept sticking to the all cotton batting, making it almost impossible to lay the layers completely flat. So, I ended up tying the quilt to finish it.

On the plus side, the flannels are super soft and it should make a very comfortable blanket for a newborn. 🙂 Readers – does anyone have suggestions to offer for layering batting and flannel fabrics and keeping everything smooth?

February 23, 2010 at 8:19 am 5 comments

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About me

My name is Mallory Murray and I have a love of all things oldfashioned. I'm a modern day feminist who also adores Martha Stewart. Read on for my sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening, quilting and crafting projects. I am the chief officer of marketing and design at Northwest Missouri State University, so expect the occasional random post about marketing/universities/design. I dream of a hobby farm with baby doll sheep, a sheep dog, a small flock of chickens, and other animals to be announced. I'm also a Pitt State grad, football lover, HGTV addict and obsessed with the color aqua.

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