crafts · Quilting · Quilts · sewing

Dolphins in the Bathroom

Shortly after we moved into our house I decorated the kids’ bathroom with an underwater theme. I painted the walls light blue, then sponged a darker blue on top.

(Sponging paint on or off was quite the rage there for a while in the early 2000s. I must have sponged, ragged, and even plastic-wrapped paint on over half the walls in the house. Looking back, while I liked it at the time, it was a pretty weird fad. The plastic-wrap technique involved painting the walls with a base color, then adding a darker color. While the darker paint was still wet, you put a layer of plastic wrap on top then pulled it off. This removed part of the dark paint, leaving behind interesting lines in the remaining paint.)

Anyway, I digress.

Where were we?

Ah, yes. Underwater bathroom.

After painting, I added an undersea-themed wallpaper border up near the ceiling. (Borders were “in” at the time also. Had I known how difficult this one would be to remove years later, I never would have put it up there.) We then hung a fishing net and blue tulle from corner to corner over the bathtub and put a couple starfish inside. That, I think, did look pretty neat.

As a final touch, I added this small dolphin wall hanging:

The dolphin block, a paper-piecing pattern, was from A Quilter’s Ark by Margaret Rolfe. Each dolphin block finishes at just 4″ x 4.” This little wall hanging was just the right size to fit between two medicine cabinets.

Several years after painting the bathroom, we decided to give it a bit of a freshening up. The netting and tulle were dusty, the kids had outgrown the underwater theme, and I just like to have painting projects. We didn’t put a lot of thought into the paint color, instead choosing to be frugal by using leftover paint from when I painted our oldest daughter’s room. She’d chosen a pale blue for her walls and a strange pinkish-purple for a tiny angled wall where her bedroom door is located. We had nearly a gallon of that strange pinkish-purple color left, and so that’s what ended up in the bathroom.

I hated that color.

And the dolphin wall hanging didn’t quite match the room anymore. But we left it there anyway.

We tolerated the paint color for several years until it came time to paint our son’s bedroom. He chose a lovely grey paint for his walls, and, since there was leftover paint, I was able to redo the bathroom. Now, the dolphins once again look like they belong.

Quilting · Quilts · Uncategorized

Scrappy Cat Project #2

It used to be very rare for me to buy enough fabric from one collection to make an entire quilt. Usually, I’d pick and choose, buying a few yards from a couple of different bolts and then pairing those fabrics with other fabric in my stash whenever I wanted to make something. But, in recent years, my buying habits have changed as I’ve discovered how well fabrics in a collection combine. I’ve (mostly) stopped buying fabric for my “stash.” I might purchase a neutral color now and then to add to the stash because you can always use a good white or cream fabric, but when it comes to patterns and colorful pieces, I’ve slowed down on purchasing them. I’ve found that they tend to languish for years because I just can’t seem to find the right fabrics in my collection to pair together. So many pieces of fabric I’ve purchased have lost their appeal as my likes and dislikes have changed. I no longer want to spend money on fabric that will just take up space in the closet. I want fabrics that work well together, that make me want to sew up something beautiful with them right away, that make me want to keep using those fabrics together in numerous projects until I’m left with nothing but the tiniest scraps!

I’ve already shown you the Scrappy Cat table runner that I made from fabric leftover from a larger quilt. (I’ll share that quilt at a later time.) After finishing the table runner, I was amazed that I still had so many decent sized scraps left. My original plans for this project involved using a different color for the sashing, but I didn’t have quite enough of that color left. I used up almost all of the remaining pink floral fabric, which makes me just a little sad since I LOVE that particular fabric. I also used up a small piece of batting. (If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself to not use that leftover high-loft batting!)

I used the Memory block pattern from Quilter’s Mix and Match Blocks. I added a narrow sashing between the blocks. I outline quilted each star in white and used pink thread to quilt 1/8″ inside the stars. I also added some quilting 1/8″ inside each cat square and, as I was using that dreadful high-loft batting and it seemed to need a bit more quilting, I quilted over a few of the flower stems in the green squares. For the backing, I used up several larger chunks of leftover fabric.

I plan to use this small quilt as a “runner” for our kitchen island. As the island is basically a large square, I thought a square “runner” would be a nice change from the usual rectangular ones.