The Project House – Mr. Project’s Built-in Window Seat with bookshelves

January 21st, 2014

Okay… I haven’t updated on the house in a few weeks. So much has happened… so much is happening right now. It’s really kind of overwhelming to keep up with it all, and take pictures, and blog and whatnot. And so pictures were kind of piling up and I knew I needed to get to an update, but then I went out of town on business for several days, and pictures really started piling up, and the whole idea of updating on the build seemed really overwhelming.

So finally I decided that I couldn’t wait any longer, and started flagging images. Well there were more than 60 images that I want to share… and really, I couldn’t do that in one mega post,  so I decided to catch up a bit by showing projects/categories for a few quick posts. This way I can get a bunch of little posts done and get all my updates posted, without feeling overwhelmed.

Onto the first project… The built-in window seat in the Guest Room. This is one of those projects that I just didn’t think we’d get to until after we moved in. Mr. Project was feeling motivated, and asked what I was planning and said that maybe he could get it done… well if you know my husband, you know that when he says that, he is about 5 minutes away from diving in head first and getting said project started and finished in record time.

Here is the window wall of the room. I really wanted double or triple windows in all the rooms instead of one big slider window. I just think it looks so quaint and designed.

built-in-window-seat-before

I planned for this room to have a window seat with shelving on the sides, so I had the framers keep the ceiling lower over this one part of the room, and then raise it up higher for the rest of the room. I basically wanted it to feel like a more enclosed space.

When Mr. Project asked what I wanted the space to look like, I drew this (awesome) picture on the wall:

built-in-window-seat-plan

Apparently I need to brush up on my perspective drawing… I drew a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf on each side of the windows, and then a bench area between. Then detailed the paneling on the inside of the seating area, and the front of the bench. We made a few measurement decisions – how deep, how wide etc. and then Mr. Project got to work!

First he made bases for everything to sit on. He said that this was the most important part of the job because if the bases were off, then everything else would be off. So he spent a long time putting these in and making them completely level and plumb.

built-in-window-seat-base

Once he had the bases in, he built each bookshelf in two pieces (because they are so tall). I don’t have any during pictures of this process because I had to go home and be a mom/get work done. But Mr. Project stayed late that first night assembling the shelving and router-ing the v-groove paneling for the shelve backing. The next day when I came by again, it looked like this:

built-in-window-seat-during2

That’s a lot of progress for less than 24 hours. That Mr. Project, he’s pretty amazing. The second night he stayed late again and paneled out the window and created the face frame (from poplar wood) for the shelving, and the paneling on the inside.

built-in-window-seat-during

So the next morning when I came to the house… this Is what I saw!

built-in-window-seat-after

So amazingly gorgeous, and absolutely perfect. Less than 48 hours from Mr. Project just asking what I wanted it to look like – to – being all done except the baseboard, front trim, and liftable-seat. He really is amazing!

Here’s the simple v-groove detail in the back:built-in-window-seat-vgroove

And the inside paneling:

built-in-window-seat-detail2  The crown and face frame detail.

built-in-window-seat-detail

If you want to know more about HOW he created this, I can see if Mr. Project will write a how-to with some additional images and notes. Just let me know in the comments/ instagram/facebook, and if I get enough interest, I can convince him to write a post all about building a built-in window seat with bookshelves.

Stay tuned to my blog for a lot more house projects and mini-update posts the next few weeks. We’re less than a month out (cross my fingers), so things are really picking up!

As always – for daily updates subscribe to my Instagram or Facebook feeds.

How To: Sew a Diagonal Strip Quilt

January 18th, 2014

quilt_full_theprojectgirl

Strip quilting with the Quilt As You Go method is pretty much the only way I can quilt these days. It’s such a quick and easy way to make a simple quilt, and be done with it in a matter of hours. I call it my 2-nap quilt, as I really can only quilt when my boys are napping, and a strip quilt takes about 2 nap times to get done start to finish. And lets be honest… I haven’t had much time to practice extensive quilting techniques, so this is pretty much as good as it gets for me right now.

Here’s a quick tutorial on my diagonal strip quilt, it’s a little bit more tricky than a standard strip quilt. First step is super easy – I cut 5″ strips out of all of my fabrics – You can do this with any size strip – a jelly roll would save you time on the cutting, but take more time on the sewing. I like the 5″ because I can cut all the left-over strips in half and use the 2.5″ for binding strips.

All the fabric is from my new line with Riley Blake Fabric - Lost & Found 2.
quilt_patterns_theprojectgirl

I laid them out in an order that I liked, and then moved onto the batting and backing. You want to cut your backing to your final quilt size (give or take for squaring up). For this quilt, I used the whole width of the fabric – so like 44″ and for the length I went about 64″ Then I cut the batting to match. I use a 100% cotton backing because it has a nice tack to it and sticks with the cotton fabric without any shifting. I iron the backing to the fabric with a hot iron to make the two pieces stick better to each other, and to remove any wrinkles. And I’m laughing as I look at this really wrinkly picture! I must have ironed it after this!

I wanted to make a diagonal strip quilt (never done this before), and thought it would be cool if I started at one corner, and then reversed the diagonal. So first step was to make a base-line to end my first set of strips.

quilt_layout1_theprojectgirl

I used my fussy cutter, to get a good straight edge from my fabric. I used my long ruler to follow that line and draw directly on the batting.

quilt_layout2_theprojectgirl

Okay so I don’t have a photo of the next step, but basically I laid out all my strips FACE-UP on the batting, starting on the baseline I just drew, and trimmed the ends about an inch longer than the end of the quilt.

Then all you do is start sewing. I rolled up the majority of the quilt so it would fit in my machine arm, laid down my first strip and sewed it down right-side-up. I just use a standard sewing foot and keep my feet in a normal position.

quilt_sew1_theprojectgirl

I took my second strip, and placed it right-side to right-side – matching up the seams, and sewed down. quilt_sew2_theprojectgirl

Flip the strip over – exposing the right-side. I recommend pressing this down to keep all your seams nice and flat. Then you take the next strip and again place it right-side to right-side – match up the seams, and sew.

quilt_sew3_theprojectgirl

 

Read the rest of this entry »

CHA 2014 – My Mind’s Eye booth- photo heavy

January 11th, 2014

CHA is the Craft Hobby Association trade show held annually in Anaheim, CA. The company that I design scrapbooking products – My Mind’s Eye – has a booth there, and I usually attend with them and help plan/decorate the trade show booth. At the trade show various craft companies release new products and write orders with various vendors and retailers.

With that intro… I flew into LAX on Thursday with a few designer friends, and we headed straight for a fun day in Santa Monica.

CHA2014_ferris_theprojectgirl

Which, awesomely, included the ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier.  Looking at this gorgeous beach and ocean view.

CHA2014_beach_theprojectgirl

I even took a selfie from way up high.

CHA2014_ferris2_theprojectgirl

We also ate a ridiculous amount of italian food. Calories don’t count on work trips, right?

The next morning I was up and at the MME booth. I put together the product boards, and hand-painted a lot of illustrated gold frames.

CHA2014_frames6_theprojectgirl

Here’s a closeup of me painting away! My back was killing me after I finished.

CHA2014_frames5_theprojectgirlBut my layout wall turned out awesome! I love this idea and I’m totally going to do this somewhere in our new house to put layouts up and also kids artwork.

CHA2014_framewall2_theprojectgirl

This is the whole wall (missing 2 layouts). Love it!

CHA2014_framewall_theprojectgirl

Okay so a few quick shots of the new product that I designed:

Read the rest of this entry »