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Well, this long-running project is finally complete! I started this quilted ottoman after seeing a similar patchwork one without quilting in a boutique here in Dallas (it was $300). I balked at the price but considering how long it took me to quilt it and assemble this, that price tag is looking a little more reasonable.

I’d planned this as a Moda Bake Shop tutorial but I think it’s a bit too difficult and the materials would be quite pricey, as well.  I may do a smaller version that uses only one jelly roll, though.

I combined three Moda lines – Lush Uptown by Erin Michael, Collections for a Cause – Historical Blenders and Collections for a Cause – Love. There are some very traditional fabrics in there with pops of modern prints. I had three jelly rolls to start and there’s probably enough left to make a nice throw quilt for my sofa.

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I added piping to my version  – and a zipper. There’s an inner cushion that’s filled with fabric scraps and polyfil. I wanted to be able to at least machine wash the outside since I do live with dogs and kids.

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It’s a really large ottoman – 20″ square top/bottom and 13″ high. It’s quite hefty filled with all of those fabric scraps. I’ve left the inner cushion seam open so I can add a bit more filler as I cut fabric for some more quilts this year.

Sewing layers of quilted fabric, piping, and especially that zippered edge was not fun (the zipper is tucked between two rows of piping). And of course now that I’ve put it together I want to serge the seams inside so it’s nice and tidy. But in spite of the two broken needles and sore shoulder, this was a fun project. I love the colors and it’s an unusual but useful piece for my living room. Plus, it feels really good to have finished it!

VMQ-hoop-chairs-03There’s just something so cute about tiny kid things. I found this pair of hoop chairs at HomeGoods last week and knew they had to be mine. I’ve been looking at vintage MCM chairs on Etsy and Ebay for weeks and these were a steal compared to the ones I was eying.

VMQ-hoop-chairs-02 They were originally lime green and teal. Very new looking and far too bright. One can of spray paint later, they are a perfect retro orange. I used Montana Gold, a brand you can buy in art stores or even at Michael’s. It’s probably two to three times the cost of regular spray paint at $12/can but it comes in a huge range of colors. I think it’s blendable so it would be fun to experiment with on canvas.

VMQ-hoop-chairs-04I used a bit of fabric that I already had – a Japanese linen blend (note the odd phrasing and misspelling, but it’s still cute!).  It’s a fabric I’ve always loved but never wanted to cut into so I’m really happy that I did. It’s silly to hold onto so much fabric for the “right” project.  VMQ-hoop-chairs-06These tiny chairs were supposed to go in the playroom but I may pair them with a tiny end table and make a spot for them in the living room where the kids will use them every day.VMQ-hoop-chairs-07Diana is certainly enjoying them already. Wish they were my size!

VMQ-hoop-chairs-05 It’s very satisfying to jump in with both feet and end up with something that looks exactly like what I had in mind. It was a fun and quick project, just the thing I needed this week.

VMQ-new-old-house-01Last week we said goodbye to our home of nearly nine years.  It was definitely more of a happy goodbye than a sad one.  We’d been looking, literally, for years for a new home in our same neighborhood and in January we found the perfect place. In spite of the crazy, fast-moving and competitive real estate market in this part of Dallas, the stars aligned to make it our new old house.  Less than one month from listing our place to closing…

VMQ-new-old-house-07Our old house was a charming but relatively cookie-cutter 1954 ranch home. The new, built-in-1955 place is a mid-century modern design that we both fell in love with at first sight. There is plenty of room for our little family of four plus two naughty dogs to grow and play.

There is a lot of work to do to update it and make it our own, but it’s nothing we haven’t done before. The previous family lived in it for nearly 50 years. We found blueprints from a major remodel they did in 1968, reconfiguring some rooms and adding a sewing space for the woman of the house.

VMQ-new-old-house-08She made a set of pinch-pleat tweed drapes for the room that is now my sewing room. When I was taking them down, I noticed that on one panel the hem of the lining was still pinned. She never got around to finishing the hand-stitching, which is just like something I would do.  What unfinished projects will I have laying around in 50 years? I shudder to think…

VMQ-new-old-house-02I absolutely love my new sewing space. There are two walls of windows and an exposed brick wall plus a large nook around the corner for the kids’ play space. I’ll have to find new storage solutions for my fat quarters since I’m afraid to hang those heavy Pottery Barn organizers on the brick wall and there’s no other spot for them.

VMQ-new-old-house-03VMQ-new-old-house-04I do have an enormous closet for all of my other sewing paraphernalia, though. This house has endless amounts of storage which seems like such a luxury coming from a place that had only one storage closet.

VMQ-new-old-house-06There’s more storage space than I can even fill.

It will probably be a long while before I get this space how I want it to be and I hope you will follow along with me here.