Saturday, August 24, 2013

New Cutting Table Update

My new cutting table is wonderful.  Here are some newer photos of the assembly process.  To see the previous post, click here.

Here is a picture of the three cabinets assembled. Two are back-to-back, with one on the end.

Here is the painted piece of plywood.  Isn't this an exciting picture?  Ha ha.

My husband attached the painted piece of plywood to the bottom of the cabinets.  This helped hold everything in place and make it more sturdy.

Lots of screws!

Here is a picture of one of the casters.  It has six casters--one on each corner and one on the middle of each long side.

Here is the finished table.  You can see how we added some trim pieces around the table top we purchased in order to make it extend to the edges of the cabinets.  All the baskets pictured are from Ikea.  The rattan one is a Branas basket.  The aqua ones are Drona.  The table is a great height for cutting, about 36".  And boy, can those cubbies really hold a lot!

We have the top attached with wide sticky back Velcro strips right now because we couldn't easily fit the whole thing through the door if it was one piece.  Plus we aren't sure that this top will be the final top.  Surprisingly, the Velcro is holding really tight.  It works great!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Quick Tip: Easily Sewing on Buttons by Hand

Yesterday I posted a quick tip and photo on my Facebook page.  It was suggested that I pin it.  I am unable to pin from Facebook, so here is a pinnable version with more photos and details.

I find placing buttons and sewing them all on precisely to be frustrating.  It seems like the buttons always slip while I am trying to get that first stitch in.  My remedy to that is to use Scotch tape.   That's right, just tape the buttons to the fabric, sew the buttons on right through the tape, then remove the tape when finished.

Here is a doll shirt with the buttons all placed
right where I want them, ready to sew.
This method works for any project--doll clothing, human clothing, snaps, or buttons.  I prefer to use the matte finish tape because it doesn't seem as sticky as the clear kind.  

Here are some photos of before and after on a human sized piece of clothing.

Collar button taped into place

Cuff button taped into place

Collar button sewn on

Cuff button sewn on

Tearing off tape--notice that a piece remains on the
button.  Depending on how tiny the button or snap is,
or how many holes it had, you may need to use
tweezers to get the little bits out.  With a two-hole
button, it's very easy to pull off the remainder.

Finished cuff--no tape remains!
Notes:  Sometimes the tape doesn't come off cleanly, especially on tiny four hole buttons or snaps.  You might need tweezers to pull out the little bits stuck in the thread, but they will come out easily with just a little patience.  Brand name tape works better for me than generic--it doesn't seem to shred into tiny pieces as readily as the off-brand.  For some button/fabric combinations you may need to use a bigger piece of tape to get it to stick for you.  A bigger piece of tape is worth avoiding all the frustration!  
Wednesday, August 21, 2013

2013 Designer Mystery Block of Month--August

Here's block 3, August's block, actually finished in August.
Block Three--"Wildflower Bouquet"
Designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The End of the Cutting Table & The New Parts

If you are a Facebook fan of mine, you know that I recently blew apart my cutting table. This table is one that JoAnn Fabric sells.  We bought mine around 16 years ago.  Back then it cost around $50.  It is a great height for cutting, and it folds and has wheels.  In theory it is great.  In reality, it is wobbly and crooked and not very stable.  It probably doesn't help that it has moved (addresses, not locations in the house) at least 13 times, tipped over a few times, and been heavily used.

We currently have the table in the office.  Every time I need to get into the closet, I have to move the table back and forth to make room.  A few weeks ago, the table decided it had been moved enough.  As I grasped the table leg to move it back into place, the whole thing came right off in my hand.  Luckily my husband happened to be sitting there and quickly moved to hold up that side of the table so that I could move all my things onto the ground so they didn't fall.  What I didn't realize at the time was that he was trying to tell me to clean off the ENTIRE table, not just that side.  Yep, the whole thing was blowing apart. The sad thing is that about a week prior to this, I was telling him that I was going to need a new table soon because the surfaces weren't lining up flat anymore.  Joke's on me, huh?

Here's the table and pieces.  It's bound for the
recycling center this week.  The table usually
has a silver ironing cover on it, but I rescued that
and will attempt to reuse it.

Anyway, after some quick moving and dissolving into a laughing fit, I asked him what we should do.  Obviously I have to have a cutting table.  We looked online at the new JoAnn version.  It's gone up quite a bit in cost since we last bought one and it doesn't look like the quality has gone up with the price.  We decided to take a trip to IKEA to get parts.  Here's what we have so far:
Three white Expedit shelves from Ikea, $40 ea.

59 x 30 birch table top from scratch and dent section, $12.


The table top we purchased was not quite large enough to go over the Expedit shelves, so my husband also made some trim pieces (free from father-in-law's scraps) to go around the top.  I was intending to just use the top and the trim pieces, but he says we need a piece of Formica to go over it all. He has also purchased and painted a piece of plywood for it all to sit on (around $40), and it will have six casters underneath it ($36).  Not quite as reasonably priced as I was hoping, but hopefully this one will last a lifetime.  My job is to pre-assemble the shelves.  I am so far failing miserably.  I don't have the hand strength to use the little tool that comes with them and actually get it tight enough.  Stay tuned for more details.
Monday, August 5, 2013

2013 Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery Block of the Month

I am participating in the Fat Quarter Shop's 2013 Designer Mystery Block of the Month quilt program.  I cannot find the current program on their website, but I did find the finishing kit here.  They do have last year's program on sale right now and the fabric line for that one is fabulous!  The current program started in June and runs for a year.  The fabric line is Avalon by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda.  Here are my first two blocks.


Block One--"Strawberry Picking"
Designed by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts

Block Two--"Bows & Baskets"
Designed by Sandy Gervais of Pieces From My Heart