Cool Tool Monday – lighting! Today I want to share a little about lighting in my quilt cave. More on that in just a bit.
One of the highlights of last week was meeting Vicky of Vicky’s Crafts and Quilting. We’ve gotten to know one another online through our blogs, and found out we only live an hour apart. We enjoyed a day of shopping and chatting. It was a delightful day. Thanks to Vicky, I have something to share with you for Cool Tool Monday.
I don’t get to IKEA much, so it was fun to stroll through on a quiet Tuesday afternoon. Vicky pointed out this neat little lamp and, for ten bucks, I decided to give it a try. It’s my Cool Tool Monday item.
There is a reason I call my quilt room the quilt cave. The lighting isn’t too bad during a bright sunny day, but on rainy days like we’ve been having, it can be difficult to see. I hadn’t planned on buying any lighting, but this looked like something that would really be helpful.
This little lamp is easy to assemble. The base is nice and hefty, with a nice grip so it doesn’t slide around. The neck on the lamp is a nice length, so it doesn’t get in the way of my sewing projects. The cord is a great length as well, a little over 6 feet.
The beam of the light is nice and bright. It really works well for close-up work, such as ripping out stitches. I can also get it right down by my sewing foot if I need to, for extra light. The neck is long enough that I can get it close to my sewing foot, but it doesn’t get in the way. It also has a handy little on/off switch on the cord.
Here’s a picture of my sewing with the light off.
And here’s one with. I purposely took them at night to show the brightness of the lamp.
My Friday Finish for the week isn’t a quilt, but a project that will improve my quilt room.
A few years ago, my daughter purchased an art canvas that measured 36 x 48 x 1 inches. She had planned to do a painting on it, but life got busy, the painting never happened, and the canvas shifted from place to place around the house, waiting for a spot to land. There had to be another use for it.
One day it occurred to me that I could use it as a small design wall. For awhile now, I’ve just been draping a batting over it and using it that way. This worked but obviously not as ideally as it could. When I cleared the quilt room to put in the new floor, it was time to get this design wall project done.
Here’s what I used for the project:
Art Canvas (this would work with any size)
Batting (I used Warm & Natural Crib Size)
Staples (long enough to secure batting well)
Because I had used the batting already, I wanted to get the threads cleaned off of it. I suppose you wouldn’t necessarily have to do this, but it felt better to work with it clean. This is where the lint roller came in. Helpful tip:Pull a longer strip from the roller and tear it off. Place it sticky side down on the batting and rub it (similar to waxing your legs – haha!). Pull it up and voila! It seems to pick up threads much better this way.
Lay your batting on a clean, flat surface. Center your canvas on the batting, making sure there is enough batting to wrap around each side of the canvas with some to spare. One end of my batting was longer; you’ll see that I cut that off later. You could also measure and cut the batting to size before you begin.
I started on one of the short ends, pulling the batting around the frame of the canvas, then securing it with a staple. Using a staple gun from this angle can be a little tricky. I found it easiest to lay it flush with the canvas and use the frame to hold onto as you squeeze the trigger (I used both hands). This helps get the staple flush with the frame and through the batting. My staples were a little short, so we’ll see how they hold. Use staples that are long enough to staple securely.
With one short end done, I flipped it over to see my progress and to make sure I was tucking it snugly as I got ready to staple the other short end. You don’t want to pull so snug that the batting tears, but you don’t want it loose either. Once I felt like I had the right tautness, I flipped it over and got to work.
The next step are the long sides. The first thing I did was tuck the corner. Because my staples were shorter, I decided to do a two-step wrap, hoping to secure the batting well enough. Once the first wrap was done, then I made a second, similar wrap.
Then I worked my way down the long end, stopping just before I got to the other corner.I made sure to firmly tuck the batting around the frame as I worked along. At that point, I trimmed the extra batting so that I could tuck the corner without extra bulk.
Now that I had three sides done, I flipped it over to be sure it was still laying flat. Satisfied that it was looking good, I flipped it back over and worked on the other long end. This is the last wrap, so I made sure I was keeping it gently taut.
Done! It looks so much better stapled to the canvas rather than draping over it.
When I moved back in to my quilt room, I moved this antique dresser in. This is a family piece; the story is that it was made by an uncle of mine out of wood from an old organ. BigJ did a little work on the drawers, making them slide in and out better. It now holds my fat quarters, small projects, and batting. The design wall will hang over the dresser. I should be able to access it well enough for my little projects, more efficiently using my space. I’ll still be able to take it off the wall and carry it to another room to use if need be.
So here it is, at home on the wall, with a few little projects on it. I even have my dresser top reasonably clean (for now). One more quilt room project, done!
I do have one little quilt project finish for the week. I finished this little mini runner. I’m enjoying the Pantone color of the year for 2017 early!
Our weekend is looking to be cold, snowy and chilly. Tuck in, stay home, stitch much!!