Monthly Archives: February 2014

Finished – Quilts at Home

One of my hobbies is woodworking. Yeah, I know. Like I need ANOTHER hobby.  But I love all things creative, and woodworking is a great outlet.  My husband bought me a book for Christmas last year (and a Lowes gift card!) which was all the motivation I needed to fulfill a fantasy of mine.  A blanket chest to hold all my quilts!  Above are quilts from my ex-grandmother-in-law.  They are hand quilted and are very special to our family. I’m proud to house them in my new quilt chest.

Now before I start showing the pix of the process. I’ll answer the nagging question. Yes, I put polyurethane on the chest. Inside and out.  I know, I know. Lots of debate about the best way to store quilts against wood. I understand that.  This was my decision and I made the best one I could given the choices I had.  So don’t follow my example if you are storing heirloom quilts.  Go read up on the debate if you need more info.  That’s all I’ll say about that here.

Anyhoo – here are the pix of the process. I wish I took more pictures in the beginning.

The earliest picture of it in progress.

Notice the messy garage, and the tell tale Bug headlight?  Yeah, my other hobby is restoring that beast.  I’ll post about replacing the starter someday.

Putting the legs on

Putting the side pieces on

End pieces

Here the Lid is being Glued Together


This is where the long pieces on the side were added on. They are screwed on from the inside out so you can’t see the screws.







Doing the same thing here for the end horizontal pieces. Notice how messy the garage is?  I don’t just sew messy, I woodwork messy, too!







The top is a selection of 1×3 inch pieces of wood glued along their long thin edge together to make a large flat surface. I could have purchased a solid piece, or really it’s a piece that is glued together just like I did, but neater.  In the end this was cheaper and went along with the directions in the book.











Here I’m staining the chest. I chose a Cherry stain which matched the stain I used on my end tables previously in 2013.









And finally:

Here it is finished. We use it as a coffee table, too.



Oh, did I mention that my little Chihuahua, Ping, likes to jump up on it? She’s chasing her ball there.






And here’s the other use for it. It props up the cat.

Kitty Perch


Well, NOT a tutorial, just sharing my journey. It was a learning experience.  The measurements in the book were wrong a couple of times and I had to run back to Lowes Home Improvement (Not to be confused with Lowes Foods) to get more wood.  In the end there are some issues.  I spilled wood glue in a lot of places and it shows up under the stain.  Some gaps are really noticeable on the mitered edges. Luckily the lid is closed most of the time and you can’t tell. 😀

I finished this several months ago…probably took me 9 months total to build, working on it randomly when the mood struck and it was warm enough in the garage.  Before you go asking, my husband helped me carry it inside, and that was it. He’s not handy AT ALL. This was all me, and I’m quite proud of it.  So ladies, feel free to ask for power tools for Christmas like I did.  You’ll surprise yourself at what you build!



Other Craft Projects:

So…every now and then I think I should try knitting, and I give it a go.  And the same thing happens.  I get about this far:

Doesn’t look horrible…but…

It’s not a bad first (hundredth) attempt at knitting.  But inevitably the same thing happens.  I drop stitches. Or in the case of this scarf, I drop ALL the stitches.  The knitting needle slipped out and fell down the couch cushions.  Whoops!  I pulled out the stitches and started over, determined to knit a scarf.  I got about 10 rows into it and gave up (the second thing that inevitably happens when I decide to try to knit).

I share this with you to make you feel better about yourself.  Learn through my mistakes.  Or something like that.  Don’t do what I do.  I think the title of my autobiography will be “How not to be.”  That about sums up my knitting advice.  I’ll keep trying though.

What I am good at is crochet.  Except when the dog chews up the project I’m working on because she is bored, or vengeful, or both.

That was the case with this project which I had finished several months ago:


Can’t see the teeth marks!

I was so disgusted by her betrayal (how could she!) that I shoved the damaged afghan into a bag and ignored it for a long time.  Until I finally could stand to look at it again, pulled it out and repaired it.  Can’t even see the teeth marks on it now! Heehee

My husband complained that I hadn’t updated SewMessy in a while. I said it was because I hadn’t made any projects.  He pointed out that I was completely wrong.  Don’t ya love when your husband does that? Yeah, me neither.  But unfortunately he was right.

Turns out I worked on a fair few projects in my absence from blogging.

Here’s a neck wrap in process that was a gift for my great friend, Sheri.  I didn’t have a pattern, but saw a neck wrap on Miss Fisher’s Mysteries and decided that one in sparkle yarn was a necessity.  I wish I had a picture of Sheri wearing it.  Maybe before the winter is behind us she’ll send us one.

Lacy and sparkly = Awesome


I also crocheted an afghan for my Grandson for Christmas.  Usually I do a lot more gifts by hand, but this year I was overwhelmed with school and work. Well here is the zigzag afghan in progress, and in use.  Also didn’t have a pattern for this one, just winged it and lucked out.


So that’s about it for crochet projects in the last couple of

months.  I’ll keep working on the knitting but don’t hold your breath!

Other Craft Projects:

I was thinking the other day that my posts on making the capris really didn’t go into specific details of sewing the pattern.  This was done purposefully under the assumption that ya’ll know how to sew a pattern.  My husband pointed out that such assumptions are presumptuous.  So, I thought, I’ll do a step by step how to sew a sewing pattern!  Brilliant!
So brilliant, it’s been done before!

Fiskars How to Use a Pattern

Why reinvent the wheel. This is the go to guide you should start with if you are unfamiliar with how to cut out a pattern. The author actually appears to have sewn before, unlike some of these how-to blog sites that seem to hire freelance writers with no other talent beyond writing (or not). My only complaint is that she drops off before actually sewing anything. Mostly it’s about cutting out the patterns (makes sense on a scissor website). But following ALL the directions of the pattern is obviously important, and can be intimidating. Let’s see the whole process!

Sew Mama Sew Patterns…Demystified

This is a great tutorial with detailed pictures. I would recommend this one highly.  Again, only gets you through cutting the pattern then stops. Maybe it’s just not feasible to do a tutorial of the whole process? Do I ask too much?

Adventures in Dressmaking How to use a sewing pattern

This tutorial isn’t. It has descriptions but I like to see pictures of the steps, personally.  This is more like a discussion about using patterns vs not with some details of how to use a pattern strewn about.

Reading a Sewing Pattern for Dummies
Where are the pictures? Man, I like me some pictures! This tutorial has ZERO.  I just skimmed it. Yeah, I’m that lazy. If you didn’t know that you must be new to my blog.

MimsMusings 25 Steps to Sew From a Pattern

Love this one, but would have liked to have seen more pictures. Love that step one is to measure. Yeah, do this before you leave for the fabric store, please! Again, someone who actually sews.  More like 25 tricks when using a sewing pattern, though (like not all patterns have zippers, but great tip on how to install them).  Still some good advice.

Ok, so there are tons of “How to sew from a Pattern” Tutorials or rather, blog posts, out there. I’m not going to waste your time writing what’s already out there dozens of times (if not more).  You can obviously use the googles or the search engine of your choice to find more.  If you find anything worthwhile, please post in the comments. I would love to see it!
I am however going to blog step by step my attempt to teach my husband to sew from a pattern. That would be educational AND entertaining. So stay tuned for that.

Other Craft Projects: