Curtains & Some French General

This week I’m finally getting around to making curtains for my living room.  I’ve been searching for just the right fabric & I finally found it  – on sale (Yes!) at Hancocks of Paducah.  My living room is a Hodge-podge of furniture I’ve collected over the years.  It’s comfortable and I don’t want to spend money to buy new so my solution was to find the perfect curtains to bring it all together.

We painted the walls a super pale yellow, the furniture is brown leather & a tweedy brown and I have a cheap blue rug.  I have a lot of bright quilts in the room too so I really wanted to find a red print with other colors in it for my curtains.  I thought the red would really pop in the room.

Then I found this fabric:French General fabric

French General fabric

It’s glorious!  And I only paid $9 something a yard for it and it’s a very thick, good-quality fabric.  I decided since I might potentially be living here for a while, I would add a liner to my curtains.  I had to figure out how to do that and when I looked it up, I discovered that when you add a liner, you no longer have curtains – you have drapes.  Learned something new.  So, I basically just made the curtains how I normally would but added a mirror image with the liner fabric.  I cut everything, made my rod sleeve, and then ironed all the edges in, pinned the liner on and just sewed the liner to the curtain.  The woman at Joann’s told me that you can also sew them together front to front, leave one side open and turn then right side out and finish the last edge.

Here’s a little peek at my finished curtains.  With the light coming in the window, it’s very hard to get a good shot.

drapes

Now my living room doesn’t look so naked!

But back to the French General fabric.  I have a weak spot for this stuff.  I actually just bought a little quilt kit using these fabrics.quilt kit fabrics

The dark reds, browns and creams are luscious.  I love every little block I put together!  I actually made a large quilt with French General fabrics a few years ago.French General quilt

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Something about this quilt always makes me think of Christmas.  It’s very bold.

While I was searching for the perfect curtain fabric, I discovered that French General makes a line of home decorator fabrics.  They come in reds, creams, blues and greens and they’re all gorgeous.  A peek at their website http://www.frenchgeneral.com is a feast for the eyes.  It looks like they have some fancy tassels that I may have to get to add to my curtains – er, drapes.

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Quilt Shows & Inspiration

Des Moines quilt show

I’ve been hitting a lot of quilt shows and quilt guild meetings lately and getting lots of inspiration for new projects.  I dragged my mom to the AQS Des Moines quilt show this past week and had lots of fun.  My mom isn’t a quilter but she tags along with me and seems to enjoy looking at the quilts and talking to all the quilters & sewers.

I took a class while I was there with quilting superstar Angela Walters called “Quilting by Shape”.  Angela Walters quiltI’m trying to learn all I can about long arm quilting so I thought it would be informational and a good way to try out the Gammill quilting machines.  It was fun but made me want to have my own machine all the more.  I looked at all the long arm machines and realized that this decision is harder than I thought.  Anyway, after the class, I wanted to try out some of the techniques (even if it’s just on my home sewing machine) so I ripped out all the quilting on my crazy in America quilt and re-quilted it.  I had had some tension problems when I quilted it before so it really needed to be done again.  Angela talked about using a small scale and same color thread as the background to quilt heavily in the negative spaces so the focal point of the quilt stands out.  I tried to photograph my newly quilted piece but the quilting doesn’t show up well in photographs so I didn’t bother to put it on here.

mini charm packs

Every time we passed the Moda Bake Shop booth we got more of these mini charm packs. They’re little 2 1/2 inch squares.   I’m not sure what to do with these cute little pieces but my mom gave me her pack of “Hope Chest” fabrics and I added it to mine and made this:tiny quilt made from mini charm packs

I would like to get more of this fabric and make a small border.  Then I can go crazy quilting all the ideas I got for square shapes!

A couple weeks ago, I went to the Round Bobbin quilt show in St. Charles and used it as an excuse to see my daughter at college.  I dragged her along and she convinced me to buy this pattern and kit of fabrics.  It’s called “Morley J. Moose III”.  There’s a whole line of these colorful animal quilts designed by Barbara J. Jones and they’re super cute.

Morley the Moose

I thought maybe it was paper pieced. (You know I love to paper piece!)  It’s actually made by applique so I’ll have to make myself do that.  It’s so cute and bright, I think it’ll be fun.  I also got another small quilt pattern and kit so I’ll share that with you on a future post.