New year, new look

Happy 2012!  BB decided to not make his/her appearance in 2011…I guess he/she has their reasons!  I just hope they’re not already paving the way for a lifetime of procrastination. ; )

Today is the actual due date, but it’s just been a normal day around the house for us.  We shall see if anything happens!

I decided to give my blog a fresh new appearance to kick off the new year.  I like it and hope you do too!

Since there have been no signs of BB, Jason decided to undertake painting the guest room.  We decided on Secret Passage (Olympic One paint+primer from Lowes, of course), and it’s a pretty pale grey.  I am so glad to get rid of that periwinkle color! There were serious clashing issues between that and the aqua and black color story I had chosen for the room.  This grey color provides a much nicer backdrop.

Yesterday I worked on a pillow sham to go with the new bedding.  Here is what I came up with:

It was a very easy, inexpensive, no-sew project that I encourage you to try if you want to spruce up or add to your pillow collection!

Materials required:

-standard 21×27″ sham (mine was purchased on clearance at TJMaxx for $10)

-9×12-inch piece of basic felt (I chose a charcoal grey color.  I bought 2 pieces, which I would recommend in case of mistakes–plus they can be purchased for under $1 a piece, so why not?)

-template of your choice (I printed out a large “B” for our last name, done on Word with the font “monogram kk”)

-chalk

-sharp scissors

-fabric bonding glue (this makes it no-sew! I highly recommend Aleene’s Fabric Fusion permanent dry cleanable fabric glue pen.  It came in a pack of 2 for less than $5–or even cheaper when you use a coupon!–and worked really well)

Time to get started!

I gave the sham a quick bath in the washer, and while it was drying I printed out my template.

I then carefully cut around the “B”.

You can pin whatever you choose to trace onto the felt, but I found that the paper stayed pretty still because it stuck to the nubbiness of the felt.

Trace around your design using chalk (TIP: I found the underside of the felt to be smoother, so I laid my “B” backwards on this side…this made it easier to trace with the chalk and avoided any marks left on the right side of the felt once I cut it out and turned it over).

Using a rubbing motion with the chalk helps to create a bold line.

I left out some of the finer details when I traced–I wanted it to be a bolder “B” on the sham.

Then I cut around what I traced using sharp scissors.  The “B” took a little touching up afterwards, just to make sure there were clean lines. Oh and yes, I am still in my robe.

I put a paper bag inside the sham to prevent any bleeding of glue onto the fabric.

I laid out the felt design on the sham, measuring to make sure it was directly in the center of the sham (for example, my “B” was about 9 inches wide, so I left 9 inches on either side of the letter).

Once I had it placed just where I wanted it, I used the fabric glue to affix the bottom of the “B” to the sham. This way my design stayed in place and I didn’t have to re-measure.

After gluing the bottom in place, I folded over the rest of the letter and used a generous amount of glue.

I pressed the design firmly to the sham with my fingers, then went around afterwards to touch up, making sure all edges were firmly glued down.

The glue takes about an hour to set…just make sure you leave ample time to dry before inserting the pillow into the sham of course.

Below you’ll find more pictures of the finished product, as well as our guest room transformation!

I love the idea of mixing fabric textures….the nubbiness (I’m making that a word if it’s not already!) of the felt against the soft stitched sham makes for a neat effect I think.

I love our new grey walls, and it’s been great to finally hang the chandelier prints!  It finally feels like the room has come together.  It was so nice to get an unexpected weekend project in–so maybe BB realizes his/her mother is project-obsessed and was just giving me a little more time. : )

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DIY Duvet

Well, my energy cooperated with me today, and I was itching for a project to do…plus, keeping busy makes the time go by faster until the baby decides to arrive!

Our lack of guest room bedding has been bothersome as of late…I have been looking high and low for an inexpensive duvet or quilt to put on the bed, but to no avail.  We still have more work to do in the room–new paint color, chandelier prints to hang, and a new bed skirt needed…but I figured sprucing up the bed was a good start.

I had seen a sheet set at Kohls that was out of my price range, and just sheets.  But today I searched for DIY comforters/duvets on Pinterest and it led me to an easy tutorial using two flat sheets on Martha Stewart’s website.  So I decided to give it a try!

I went back to Kohls, and the queen sheet set was on sale.  And with using an additional 15% off coupon, a gift card, and merchandise credit….my grand total came to $2.02.  For sheets that started at $90.00!

I liked the funky black and white geometric print of the sheets, and thought it would look good in the guest room.  I am hoping to achieve an art deco/graphic/masculine-meets feminine look. Sounds like a lot going on, doesn’t it?  But I have a vision in my head and hopefully it will translate to real life when all is said and done!

For the underside of the duvet, I used a white sheet from Pottery Barn that we had on hand.  I pinned the sheets right side together, and stitched the two long sides together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

For the bottom of the duvet, I pinned the edges together, leaving a 3 foot gap to put the comforter inside.  The white sheet was slightly longer than the printed one, so it left a longer hem after sewing.  This was fine because the actual comforter was a little bit shorter than the sheets themselves, and I didn’t want it swimming in there!

Once these edges (minus the gap) were sewn together, I turned the duvet right-side out.

For the top edge of the duvet, I stitched along the outside, right underneath the top seam of both sheets. (Pictured here is the other side of the duvet, not the black and white side, obviously!)

To close the 3-foot gap once the comforter is inside, I used fusable Velcro strips–new sewing required, just an iron!

I evenly spaced the Velcro and followed the instructions in the package for ironing them on…it was very simple.


Pictured above is after I ironed on the fuzzy side of the Velcro. I stuck the loops side directly to the fuzzy side so I could make sure they were lined up before I ironed them on.

I placed both sides of the gap together, then ironed on the Velcro strips.

This is probably obvious to most, but just keep that iron moving so it doesn’t scorch the fabric, and make sure to give the Velcro ample time to cool before you start pulling open the gap to insert the comforter.

So….$2.02 for the sheets, and $1.50 for the Velcro (I used a 50% off coupon at Michaels) helped me create this cute duvet for a whopping $3.50!

Here are some close-ups of the pattern, and both sides of the duvet:

For a sewing novice like myself, I am proud of my handiwork and the finished result! Now our guests will have a warm and cozy place to sleep. : )