Budget Kitchen Makeover, During

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Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations in Espresso

As I was finishing with the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations on our kitchen island, our dishwasher went all rogue and SOAKED the floor.  I called a plumber who replaced the disposal and told me all was well.  He didn’t remove a cap inside the disposal, so when I ran the dishwasher it had nowhere to drain but the floor.  I called him back.  He removed the cap and said the way to drain a dishwasher is by running it again, and he pushed the button.  My floor just got wetter and wetter.

I became more depressed.  Finally another plumber diagnosed the real problem, a new dishwasher was installed and I had to call in the professionals to deal with the wet floor.  Here’s the Servpro machines in action.

Serv-Pro at Work in my Kitchen

It’s not pretty, and it’s REALLY, REALLY LOUD, but they really get the job done.  And the guys we dealt with were all the nicest people.  My floor felt better, my kitchen felt better, and I felt better, too. If you ever have a water disaster like this, call Servpro.  For real, they are wonderful.

It’s still pretty ugly in there, but we’re making progress.  The floor gets measured in a couple days for new vinyl flooring and my “budget makeover” has extended way beyond what I’d imagined.

I tell myself that in six months or a year, the new disposal/dishwasher/floor will be really nice to have.  For now, UGH.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, I got a new rug for the little eating area.

New Rug

(It’s from Amazon, if you need one for yourself.)  In the photo above, I’d just done the first layer of sealer on the concrete counter.  I chose Buddy Rhodes sealers because they’re food safe.  In my online studies of Ardex concrete counters, I found a lot of people using sealers that weren’t food safe.  This was kind of a sticking point for me, and so far I’m really happy with the system.  It was easy to use and I really like the finish.  Here’s a couple pictures of the island fully sealed.

Ardex Feather Finish Counter

Ardex Feather Finish Concrete Countertops

This weekend I may be able to get back to painting.  I’m happy with the Rustoluem Cabinet Transformations kit, although that top coat is pretty tricky.  Eventually I’ll take better pictures, but phone pics will have to do for now.

Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Before and After

This makes a good before and after picture, with the cabinets in the back still in their “before” state.

This is taking weeks longer (and lots more money) than expected, but we’re getting there.

sarahsigres

Starting on Our Budget Kitchen Makeover

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Recently, Young House Love blog showed their Ardex kitchen counters project, and I felt inspired to finally start on our kitchen’s mini-makeover.  I bought some supplies and dove right in.  I’ve hated our tile counter tops since we bought this house ten years ago.  It feels GOOD to cover them up.

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Jay offered moral support.  I’ve started with just the kitchen island so that we still have the rest of the kitchen available to use.  I also plan on painting the kitchen island, and then I’ll move on to the other counters and cabinets.

Since the thinner areas of concrete dried quickly, it was easy to see the tiles as the concrete was just beginning to set up.  The smudges are areas repaired after a stubborn cat decided he could walk on the counters even if I did say No.

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After the first layer dried overnight, the tile lines were still faintly visible.

But with a second layer, no more tiles!  (Yay!)  I don’t have a picture of it yet, but I’m on the third layer and will decide after sanding and cleaning whether or not I’ll do a fourth layer.  I’m really hoping I’ll decide three is good, but I can be a harsh taskmaster.

Meanwhile, I’ve done a much quicker redo on our fridge.  It’s never made sense to me that our refrigerator has a black front and almond sides. So I bought a roll of black Contact paper and traced the stencils I used on our headboard wall in our bedroom.

Fridge Collage

And it looks like this:

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get started on it this weekend or not, but I have ordered a kit to paint the island.  I’ll need to order sealers for the concrete, too.  This project has slowed down my sewing, but I have managed to start on a new quilt-as-you-go cat quilt.  I need a nap.

sarahsigres

A Wonky Stars Baby Boy Quilt, With a Plot Twist

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Wonky Stars Quilt B

I started making a quilt for a baby boy using bright solids mixed with shades of brown and cream.  I thought the neutral tones would calm the brights, but then I thought it was a bit too calm.  I threw in a much needed plot twist — polka dots.

Baby quilts always make me dream of the recipient’s future.  This quilt made me think how colorful the regular days are when you’re a child, and how much more the big days will really stand out in his memory.

Wonky Stars Quilt A

Then for good measure, I did a little hand quilting around the stars in the polka dotted blocks, just to give them an extra little pop.

Wonky Stars Quilt C

The backing is a print of old comic book ads from the Rocket Age collection by October Afternoon for Riley Blake. The backing along with the wood grain binding makes me think of little boys reading comic books in their tree house over summer break.  (And it was a lot of fun stitching what looked like wood to paper!)

Wonky Stars Quilt E

Summer days and babies … anticipation!

sarahsigres

Bad Pictures of My Current Projects

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Sorry, they are bad pictures.  Sometimes it just turns out that way.

First, here’s the Deegie Face quilt top finished and hung up, but on a day so sunny (and me so rushed for time) that it’s even hard to see:

Too Much Sun

And here it is with the photo that inspired it:

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It’s off to the long arm quilter this weekend. I chose a soft flannel for the backing, and I think I’ll see if the quilt shop has a heavier batting than I usually use. I just imagine this quilt being super cuddly, like Deegie.

My next quilt is for a baby boy in our family. I’m using some of the browns leftover from Deegie’s quilt along with some brights I already had and some scraps from the Healing Quilt. I threw in a little plot twist, just for fun.

Percy and Wonky Stars Blocks

Percy noticed it right away.

sarahsigres

Current WIP: Proof I Am a Crazy Cat Lady

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By far, most of the quilts I’ve made have been given as gifts to family and friends.  I’d love to have a stack of quilts at home, so I’m investing some time making quilts that have special meaning for us.

When I thought about how to sum up the last year or so for our family, one word came to mind: Kittens.  (They do tend to take over the house, especially in multiples.)  A cat themed quilt seemed cute but maybe too general.  Since this is just for the people in our house, I went for something more specific and personal.  Diego (Deegie) was the first of our recent kittens, so I’m piecing together a quilt top of his strikingly light/dark face to represent our Year of Kittens.

Cutting took ages.  Piecing is a bit more fun, especially since I’m using my “new” Singer Featherweight.

Squares and Triangles for Deegie Face Quilt

Whites for Deegie Face Quilt

Deegie Face Quilt in Progress

Deegie Face Quilt Laying Out Squares

Deegie Quilt Progress

And there’s my progress as of this snow/sleety/icy morning.  Still half a Deegie face to go, and then he’ll be off to the quilt shop.  I’ve teased the kids that I might make pillows of Leo and Percy faces.  I just might …

sarahsigres

English Paper Piecing Star Coasters

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For your browsing pleasure, a photographic mish-mash of assorted English paper pieced star coasters in their various stages of construction:

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And a kit made for my little sister in law who wants to learn English paper piecing:

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It contains a Happy Doggie needle book, red, white and blue fabric, batting, felt backing, scissors, thread, thread conditioner and a little soap box to hold the paper piecing templates.  (I used 1.5″ 60 degree diamonds from Quilt Laughing on Etsy.)  I added a label for fun.

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And I have a large paper piecing project that I’ve been away from for too long, so back to it!

sarahsigres

My “New” 1950 Singer Featherweight 221

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Singer Featherweight 221 1950 Model

Introducing Ethel, my “new” Singer Featherweight 221!  I’ve wanted a backup sewing machine for a long time, simply because I fear the day that my Janome may need servicing while I’m in the middle of a big project, and then what would I do?  Not sew?!

Singer Featherweight 221 Needle Macro

So I showed my husband my “just dreaming” machine, and he surprised me by telling me to go ahead and buy one, we’d call it a Valentine’s present.  (When you’ve been married more than 20 years, Valentine’s kind of turns into an “I know you’re going to end up buying that anyway, so maybe I want credit for it” event, and it’s all good.  :) )  Even though the machines are quite old, good machines really aren’t hard to find.  I purchased mine from a seller on Etsy, where there are several more to choose from.  Prices seem to range from $275 to $500 or more, depending on the condition of the machine and its accessories.  One of the wonderful things about a Featherweight is that you can do most or all of the service for it yourself at home for very low cost.  I suggest buying the book The Featherweight 221 and I by David McCallum for wonderful care and repair instructions.

Singer Featherweight 221 Medalion Detail

With a little research, I learned that my machine was built on March 31, 1950 and sold for $140.  In today’s dollars, that would be $1,372.07, which makes me feel like I got a real bargain.

Another thing I love about Ethel — she has tattoos, just like Kanye!

Ethel and Kanye Tattoos

She’ll fit in around here just fine, won’t she?

Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine

She stitches beautifully, but I still have days worth of cutting before I’m anywhere close to starting on my next project. I’m very excited about piecing my next quilt on this sewing machine!

If you’re interested in learning more about Singer Featherweights, I found this post by Jeni at In Color Order very helpful.

sarahsigres