Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Refreshed

Yeah, so here's what I did this week: Celebrated my older daughter's ninth birthday (not once, but several times), made a quick out-of-state trip to visit family, and hosted two parties. Whew! Summer is definitely going out with a bang around here. But in the midst of all that, I also installed two new light fixtures, which I think officially completes my big kitchen refresh! I'll do a post with before and after pictures very soon, but here was my one-and-only crafty project this week:


So I found this light fixture on Overstock. I totally loved it, but it was $500. Then I found another fixture on Overstock that looked almost exactly like it and got rave reviews for only $110! The problem? I didn't love the finish on the $110 model. So I used this excellent Rub 'n Buff stuff to change the finish color of the metal and save myself $400.


And it actually worked pretty well! Here she is, all rubbed and buffed and hanging above my kitchen table. I had some trouble getting an even finish on the fixture's larger pieces, like the plate that attaches to the ceiling—in fact, I ended up using the ceiling plate from my old (broken) light fixture instead, and I tossed the Rub N Buff'd one. (Fortunately the two plates were interchangeable, so it worked.) But for the smaller parts of the fixture, like the "cage" that goes over the shade, this stuff worked like a dream.

Okay, so what are you working on this week? Let's see it!

LINK-UP RULES:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the "Add Your Link" button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says "Link," use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag your IG post #wipwednesday
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Mix N Chic Designer Challenge

So, you guys may have picked up on this already, but I love design, in all its forms! That's what originally made me fall so hard for modern quilting, after all. But "design" doesn't end when you finish the quilt. Modern quilts are amazing design pieces in and of themselves, and can be fabulous additions to your home décor. In fact, that's something I've been thinking about more and more as my quilting career has progressed—designing quilts that work in modern homes.

Mix N Chic
Sofa: Pottery Barn. Icicle blue credenza: Chairish. Chandelier: Overstock. Yellow geometric pillow: West Elm. Wooden mirror: Chairish. Arrow bookends: West Elm. 1940s carved wood corbel columns: Chairish.

So, when the folks at Chairish contacted me about doing their Blogger Mix N Chic Style Challenge, at first I thought, "Nah, that's not really my thing." But then I realized, this was my chance to actually reverse that process—why not design a room around one of my quilts, instead of the other way around? : ) And so, my first-ever style board was born! I used my Chandelier Quilt as the inspiration and the starting point for my "room."

The Mix N Chic Style Challenge is all about mixing different elements and décor styles into one fabulous room. Chairish—which is a unique curated marketplace for vintage and used furniture, decor, and jewelry—asked me to mix some of their Shabby Chic pieces with other décor styles. I thought my Chandelier quilt was perfect for a challenge like this, with its elegant but unique color palette and modern-meets-vintage aesthetic.

I think I found some really fun pieces, and I'm starting to wish this room actually exists in my real-life house! : ) If you're thinking of using one of your quilts as inspiration to design a room, here's what I learned:

1. Use your quilt's color palette, but don't go overboard. I chose mostly neutral items, accented with a few colorful key pieces. I love tons of color in my quilts, but too much color in the furniture and accessories not only competed with the quilt, it all just started to seem chaotic.

2. Modern quilts are the perfect starting point when you're looking to mix different furniture styles! My style board includes elements of shabby chic, traditional, Victorian, mid-century modern, and much more. I feel like the quilt helps tie them all together and makes the whole room more cohesive. Don't ever feel tied down to just one decorating style.

3. Use your quilt's style to guide you. I called my quilt "Chandelier" because the design literally reminded me of a crystal chandelier. So, obviously there had to be one of those on my style board! I also echoed the shape of the blocks in the shape of the mirror, and looked to the fabric in the quilt to guide my selection of the print on the pillow.

4. If this were a real room, the quilt could be hung up as a wall-hanging, draped over the back of the couch, or even displayed on a vintage ladder. There are lots of options for showing it off!

5. Did you know you can easily make style boards just like this on Polyvore? (Because I didn't until last week!) Adding items to Polyvore from anywhere on the web is as easy as pinning to Pinterest with Polyvore's Clipper tool browser add-on. Then just click "Create" to make a Set with your items (or choose from items already on Polyvore). It's a great way to try things out together before you buy or just kill a couple of hours. Because I know you needed another internet rabbit hole to get lost down, right? : )

If you liked this post, check out my "Decorating with Quilts" Pinterest board to see examples of beautiful quilts used in fabulous rooms. And thank you to Chairish for inviting me to participate in the Mix N Chic Style Challenge!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Back to School

Well, we're not back to school just yet here in Wisconsin, but I'm in full prep mode! I've had such a fun summer hangin' with my girlies, but I think all three of us have reached the tipping point by now. It's time, you guys. : )

In that spirit, I've been working on a quilt that is back-to-school inspired. Melody Miller's Picnic line for Cotton + Steel was my starting point for this fabric pull—I dropped a few prints, and then started adding new ones from other lines until I had my final selections. (Starting with a complete line is one of my favorite ways to build a color palette—and I love the unexpected directions a fabric pull can go in as you add and subtract!)


I think this will be a fun quilt for the girls to have around the house this time of year, as we get back into the routine of homework and after-school activities.

This week's WIP Wednesday is brought to you by my newest sponsor, Bungalow Quilting and Yarn! The Bungalow is an adorable brick-and-mortar shop in Ripon, Wisconsin, which is now also selling fabric online. The Bungalow has the best selection of modern prints in Wisconsin, hands down, so I know it'll be a great online shopping stop as well.

One of The Bungalow's signature products are their make-it-yourself umbrella kits. Umbrella frames and patterns are available for purchase, or pick up the September issue of AQS, which includes Bungalow owner Judy Gauthier's umbrella-making pattern. All you need is the frame and a favorite fabric!

COUPON CODE: The Bungalow is also offering my readers 10% all purchases in the shop! Use code bungalow10 at checkout. Go send them some love!

Okay, so what are you working on this week? Let's see it!

LINK-UP RULES:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the "Add Your Link" button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says "Link," use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag your IG post #wipwednesday
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

WIP Wednesday: In the Kitchen (Still)

Good morning! I spent the past week continuing to plug away at my kitchen project. I can't believe this project has taken me the entire summer. Still, progress has been slow but steady, so I guess I can't complain. In fact, I finished the last of the painting this week, and it's looking amazing!

Also, this week I learned that peel-and-stick wallpaper is SUPER FUN AND AWESOME. It's so easy to hang! I found this herringbone pattern on Etsy and wallpapered the inside of my glass cabinets with it. (I haven't installed the new glass doors yet.) So cute!! If this stuff weren't so darn expensive, I would tempted to paper my whole house with it! I'm already on the lookout for other peel-and-stick wallpapering opportunities. : )

This week's WIP Wednesday is sponsored by Dragonfly Fabrics!

The Adventurers by Cori Dantini for Blend Fabrics is arriving this week at Dragonfly. The Adventurers is a great little boy line featuring pirates and insects and other fun! And I love the "Doodle Box" print, shown above—a great blender that would work in any quilt.

GIVEAWAY: This week, Dragonfly is offering a $25 gift certificate good on anything in the store! Thank you, Dragonfly!

To enter the giveaway, do any or all of the following (each one gets you one chance to win):
1. Comment on this post
2. Post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #wipwednesday
3. Link up your own WIP Wednesday blog post or Instagram photo below

COUPON CODE: Dragonfly is also offering my readers 15% all purchases in the shop, now through August 9. Use code Fresh15 at checkout. Go send them some love!

Okay, so what are you working on this week? Let's see it!

LINK-UP RULES:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the "Add Your Link" button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says "Link," use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag your IG post #wipwednesday
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!


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Disclosures

In addition to my paid sponsors, I sometimes accept free fabric, notions, or tools in exchange for posting about it on this blog or my other social media platforms. But I pledge that this practice will never change one of my product reviews or lead me to use fabric or other items that are not "my style."

I also am an Amazon Affiliate and receive compensation for items ordered via my Amazon links.

Copyright and Permissions FAQ

Can I make a quilt that looks just like one of yours? Of course! You don't need my permission for that. But remember, it's polite (and helpful to others) to credit your source of inspiration.

Can I share one of your photos on my blog or website? Probably! But please contact me for permission first. Use of my photos for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Can I pin your photos to Pinterest? Yes, please do! I love Pinterest!

Can I sell individual items made from your tutorials or patterns? Yes! As long as you don't open a factory and start churning out hundreds of them. : ) And please do not reproduce or sell the patterns or tutorials themselves. Thank you!