Thursday, October 20, 2011

Celebrate Color {Whimsy on my Wall}

Yipee!  Today I get to show you something else I made for our home, inspired by this whole Celebrate Color notion.  It started with a wall in our kitchen that used to sport a hand-me-down picture.  After the picture was knocked off for something like the 4th time, its frame broke.  Obviously a sign, right?

A sign that I should embark on my first wall quilt!

Now, what I love most in my kitchen are the patchwork rugs I made ages and ages ago with my very first fabric purchase.  There's this large one by the sink and a tiny one by the fridge. 

Patchwork Kitchen Rug

I decided to pull out all the stops, making the wall hanging with the same Cathedral print from Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks as the background and incorporating my new Miscellany fabrics as the focus.  Here's what it looked like at the idea stage...

idea time

Though I don't usually sketch out my projects in advance, I did this time to ward of the fear of wasting my now hard-to-find Good Folks. It's lucky that I came to sewing at the same time that the Good Folks collection was everywhere.  I fell head-over-heals in love with the entire range, which provided the kick I needed to tackle learning to sew.  I'm hoping to incorporate a new quilt with a lot of the Good Folks collection into my book too.  I guess, it's kind of sentimental to me.

Wait, where were we?

In no time at all I had finished the background and made an adorable little star block in the stripey fabric for the bottom right. Sorry, but I just lurve that star!  The scrappy little pieces kill me.  Totally indulging in my affair with black here, people!  To finish I cut the dobby dot block and star blocks with a pinking blade in my rotary cutter and appliqued them with a running stitch in pearl cotton.

That's all I had sketched but the piece looked so, so unfinished.  Up to this point I had been feeling giddy about the project, but here's when my mind hit a brick wall.  While I was at The Sewing Summit this project was sitting at home with a huge question mark hanging over it. What did it need?  

duly noted

Don't you love it when you wake up the next morning with that allusive answer?  It was clear as day that I should to add a scrappy little garland a la Dottie Angel.      

Dottie Angel inspired!

Voila!  A little whimsy suits this piece quite nicely.  Brandon's sure now that I've lost my mind, but I really like it.  Yes, I do.

finishing touches

Added some finishing touches to this corner and then..

thanks, Brandon!

got set to finish my wall hanging the easy way. Brandon built this little frame for me out of 1 x 2 wood from Lowes. It's super cheap wood - even cheaper than buying a canvas. Plus, I wanted a pretty odd-sized canvas and couldn't find one that was nicely stretched.

quick and painless

Stretching, folding and stapling the piece is so quick and painless. I appreciate getting to skip the quilting/binding part and really like how the 1" raised edge looks hanging on the wall. I guess even my non-quilting friends will kind of know that it's meant to be on a wall, right?

a little whimsy, finished.

They might still think I'm crazy.

Whimsy on my Wall

The wall where it hangs in our kitchen is super dark, so this is the best I could do. It's hung higher than the old picture, so hopefully it will survive our abuse.

Here's the opposite wall in my kitchen.

in my kitchen

I've been enjoying taking a peak at it when I walk through the kitchen to our eating and sewing area.

through my walls

I hope you're finishing up some things for Celebrate Color too! I can't believe October's end is drawing so near. We're going to have some more prizes to give away soon! Oh, and speaking of that, I've been failing to reach one of last month's winners (Mama Charm) to get her last name for her prize shipment. Grace, if you're listening, please contact me!

Thanks for visiting, you all!


  1. that's a great rug! i don't think i ever would have thought about making a patchwork rug. however, now that i see one, i think it is a fantastic idea!

  2. Great process post. Thanks. I meant to say the same thing about your fabric choice post earlier this week or over the weekend. I really think that helps encourage readers more than anything. We also better understand that the polished blogger's life is not just finished project after another (lest we get discouraged by our unproductivity!).

  3. The kitchen looks great! I love your idea of building a frame to wrap the fabric around. I've been searching for art for our kitchen and nothing has been quite right so I may copy you on the idea of hanging fabric like a canvas :)

  4. I really like it Rachel- ever since we chatted about doing the quilt on a frame for the wall, it's been on my mind too. I have the perfect project in mind- just now have to find the time...
    Great job!

  5. I like it. The garland was the perfect touch with such happy fabric.

  6. love it! nice post, i enjoyed it!

  7. Ooh, I love it! And you're right, that star is fab :oD Love the bunting too

  8. Your kitchen is beautiful. I love the stretched wallhanging. Great idea and I want to try it. What I would like to know is how do you keep your rug looking so nice. I'd like to make one but am afraid it would be dirty in no time and faded from numerous washings.

  9. çok güzel tasarımlar..blogunuz çok hoş..

  10. thanks you guys! West Michigan Quilter - well that picture is actually from when I first made it. However, it really has held up beautifully. The fabrics have not faded much at all. My rugs are not in direct sunlight, though. I find that these hold up better than store bought rugs. I actually wash them often (like monthly?).

  11. I love this! What a great way to get to see your fabrics with a new use!

  12. First off, the embroidery is awesome! I love how you used your signature font! Second, you know I'm a complete sucker for Good Folks. It's so great to see you using it in such a way that you can really enjoy it! Third, your kitchen looks so cheery. Love it!

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  14. Ingenious! It's absolutely beautiful. I so need to relearn my sewing machine, lol!

  15. Oh, so gorgeous!! The colors, the fabrics, the precious little garland and star..I would love to get a glimpse of that every time I stopped to stir the pot!

  16. Fabulous! I love how it turned out.

  17. Gorgeous work as always Rachel! You should never feel crazy about these things you make! And, I love that Good Folks is what started this sewing adventure for the both of us. I am glad we share that!

  18. It's gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the whole process with us. :)

  19. it is always so rewarding to use your favorite fabrics on things that you use and see every day. it always makes me so happy! i love your rug and the bunting on the wall hanging is the perfect touch!

  20. Geez, too much awesome in one post. Love the rug first off. Secondly, love the wall quilt. When you said wall quilt I was expecting something different. But it is so beautiful stretched on a frame. It looks so polished. Just wow.

  21. It is perfect. The rug is pretty cool too. I am off to read that link.

  22. I love the mat! And I love how clean your house looks. hehe. White bricks are pretty : )


  23. very pretty. I have to ask, How do you find the time to do all that you do in the craft world? I don't have kids but I have a husband and a job that works me 50 hours a week with a non set schedule so I have a hard time getting things done.

  24. I like your kitchen, the artwork blended very well.
    bespoke kitchens suffolk

  25. I tried your idea with my apartment the other day and I made these cool patterns on my wall. Thank you very much for sharing this and have a nice day.

  26. I made one and gave it to my neighbor the other day and she said that it was lovely. She placed it in her front door so that I could see it everyday.


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