Craft Room Tour 2016

What do you call your creative space? A sewing room? Craft Room? Office? Studio? Sewing Studio? I use all of these names interchangeably for the room that most of my creativity happens in – and all of my supplies hang out in. I feel a little pretentious using the word “studio” to describe my space – but I don’t think it matters what you call it – I think it matters what you do with it! Here, I’ll take you on a tour of my creative space!

Always Expect Moore Craft Room tour - lots of photos of the pretty details, plus a youtube video where some of the secrets to a pretty space are exposed!

I’ll take you on a photo tour of the room, but if you prefer, you can watch this video tour. I originally recorded it on Periscope, so I’m not jumping subjects randomly, I’m responding to commenters. Pinkie swear.

We moved into this house a year ago. You can see my old craft room here.I’d done some work to spruce up and organize my space, but when my friend Angie from The Country Chic Cottage started planning her Craft Room Tour, I only hesitated a second before I signed up. The hesitation was because my craft room is notoriously messy (I share lots of #honestcraftroom photos on Instagram, like this one), and I knew it would take several days to whip it into shape. But a deadline was exactly what I needed to work miracles in this space, so I signed up. And then did very little until last week. Sure, I did a little picking up here and there, but not the dump-out-the-drawers overhaul I wanted in here. Yes, there are still areas that need some TLC, but overall I’m thrilled with the work done in here! So, let me take you on a tour! I’ll start with the big table that greets you when you walk in…

sewing table

This table is a dining room table I found at a furniture outlet store years ago. I splurged last year and bout a self-healing mat as big as the top of my table. I love it! Great for working on larger projects. On my table I have some sewing baskets, pincushions, a current project, and my sewing machine. I sew on a Bernina 710, which is a model they discontinued last year. It doesn’t do any fancy embroidery, but it has lots of throat space for sewing and quilting.

The table is in front of two giant windows at the front of the house. They face SouthWest, and get great light in the late afternoon. These windows are the reason this room was the perfect room in this house for my craft studio. The windows face the street and don’t offer a lot of privacy, so I put a thin cotton curtain on each. These provide privacy while filtering the light – perfect for photos! You can see that I haven’t decided yet what the perfect height for the curtain rod is – they’re both at different heights. We’re renting this house – a 1957 Bungalow in San Diego – so I’m leaving the blinds up, but they’re pulled all the way to the side.

On the left of the table is a tall cabinet with wicker drawers. This holds jars, fabric, and projects in progress. On top are my quilting rulers, in a file-folder holder from the office supply store.

And yes, the chair has an apron tied to it. It is this Apron back from the AGF fabric challenge.

To the right of the table is a big ironing board. Behind that is a large cabinet. It stores a few craft supplies, but my favorite are these jars with various items in them. Decorative and functional. Exactly what you need in your creative studio.

odds and ends storage

On top of the cabinet is a big basket for storing Styrofoam.

styrofoam storage

And to the right is my thread storage.

thread storage

Which takes me to this wall of the room.

desk in the craft studio

Another window (oh, the light!), and my desk. This is actually my childhood desk from back home. To the left is cube storage with baskets. They hold all kinds of random surfaces to craft with. Lots of good stuff going on there. In the drawers of the desk I have a drawer filled with glue guns, and a drawer with my metal stamping (you can check those out in the video above). The desk itself is well decked-out.

notes and buttons

Lots and lots of buttons I’ve collected from people at different events, and a beautiful row of Expressionery Stamps. But I’m about to run out of space (yikes!), so I’ll need to figure out a new solution soon.

Over the desk I have an IKEA lamp that has been converted to work as a camera holder to do overhead video. I’ve used it a couple times… and I love it! I need to do more with this.

over the head video

Continuing counter-clockwise around the room is this giant wall of storage.

lots of creative storage

I have a giant IKEA unit with baskets and bins for holding everything. And lots of room on top for scrapbook storage.

scrapbook storage

And a little room for some decor. But it is functional. Ribbon storage, odds and ends of floral in a large vase, and lots of washi tape in a large jar.

decorative storage

To the right is a tall IKEA shelf which I call my “Tower of Power”. One of the challenges of living in a house built in the 1950’s is the “charming” electrical. Our last house was built in 2007, and had two outlets on each wall. This room has 3 outlets in the whole room. Only one has ground. The other two outlets each have only one working socket. That means I have a lot of extension cords running behind furniture! Having all these appliances near the doorway is also helpful for the family – they can print to the printer, and don’t have to wade through a messy craft room to get their printout.

creative storage space

On top are some smoothfoam half-spheres for an upcoming project, and a wine rack holding rolls of vinyl. Then a rack with paper. Then my Silhouette. Then my HP Envy. Then the Sizzix eClips2, Laminator for Thermoweb Deofoils, and my laptop, then (hidden in this photo), the Sizzix Fabi and my Samsung Laser printer, and finally the Accuquilt Go! and a case of paper. Whew! Lots and lots going on in the “tower of power”. Let’s move to the right…

design wall

You see my design wall, which is hidden behind the door when the door is open. Above it I have some ribbons I’ve won. The red one is a recent win from 2015. The two ribbons on the left are actually from a pie-baking contest. That’s right, I’m an award-winning baker and an award winning quilter!

Next to the design wall is my scissors storage. You can make one yourself with this tutorial, and it is crazy useful.

scissors holder

This whole wall is super colorful and busy.

wall of creativity

Next to the scissors storage is a bookshelf that has (from the bottom up), mason jars, block printing and adhesive, paint, a sewing box, and a bulletin board. The bulletin board is from my wedding – we made it to hold place cards for guests almost 10 years ago, and it is still going strong!

The shelf is actually in a doorway – that goes to the half bath. But, we don’t need that entrance to the bathroom, and it is the perfect place for me to have a shelf.

paint in color order

To the right of the shelf is a quilt rack with quilts in various stages of completion. The bottom has a basket with more projects. To the right of that are the closet doors – which double as a quilt wall for mini quilts. Some of these I’ve made, and some are from friends and swaps. I love this use of space!

quilt wall

Inside the closet is more stuff! Lots of fabric, sorted by type and color, and more craft and quilt storage up top. There is a lot going on in here, but it doesn’t have to be picture-perfect, because I like to keep the closet doors closed.

fabric storage

That’s the craft room! Scroll back up to the top to check out the video, if you haven’t already, I chat in more detail about a lot of the items you’ll see in this room. And if you’d like to see more fun creative spaces, check out the other craft room tours over at The Country Chic Cottage.

Pieced and Quilted Pillow

Want a fun way to use your scraps? Or maybe you have a friend who admired a quilt you made, that you don’t want to give up… but you’d be happy to make them a simple project using the scraps from the quilt. This quilted pillow is perfect. It doesn’t take too much time to whip up a scrappy quilted pillow. And if you use bigger scraps, it takes even less time!

I created this project as part of a whole week of fun Handmade Gift ideas that Niki from 365 Days of Crafts and I have put together, along with a bunch of our crafty friends. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to check out all the awesome handmade gift ideas!

scrappy quilted pillow

Start by gathering your scraps. mine are all in strips already. If yours aren’t, cut them into strips. They don’t have to be all the same size – in fact, it looks more scrappy if they aren’t.

You’ll also need a fat quarter for the backing, Fusible Fleece, and an 18″ pillow form.

fabric for pillow

 

I divided my strips into piles based on length. Long, medium, and short. Then stitched each of the piles together into wide rows.

stitch strips

Press the rows, then trim the edges.

trim sections

Stitch the sections together, then press.

press seams

Roughly trim – basically trimming off any long edges, you’ll do a final trimming after quilting – then press to fusible fleece.

add to fusible fleece

Quilt as desired! I chose a variety of loops, swirls, lines, and pebbles.

quilt pieced top

Once you’re all quilted, trim to 18.5″x18.5″.

quilted front

 

Cut the Fat Quarter to two pieces – each 18″ by 11-ish”. Hem one 18″ side of each, place right-sides down on top of the quilted front, with the hemmed pieces towards the center, pin in place, then stitch all the way around. If you need more detail, you can check out the Easiest Pillow Cover Ever Tutorial.

Flip the pillow right-side-out, pop in the pillow form, and you’re done!

pillow quilted

Holiday Table Runner

After making my Christmas Tree Quilt, I had leftover quilt squares. There are so many fun things to make with Half Square Triangles… I decided to whip these into a fun table runner. A simple quilt-as-you-go runner.

Quilt as you go table runner

I started with HSTs and strips of fabric. Batting, and backing fabric.

supplies for table runner

I stitched the HSTs into strips.

line up strips

Then used the HST strips and fabric strips to make a quilt-as-you-go runner. Trimmed it up…

trim and square up

Bound it…

stitch on bindingstitch binding to back

Quilt as you go means it is quilted and pieced at the same time!

back of table runner

easy, peasy… done!

completed table runner

Umbrella Applique Wall Hanging

I was working on a freelance project, and needed some applique samples. I don’t keep a lot of samples hanging around, so I whipped up a couple fun applique projects – including this umbrella applique wall hanging. If you have the umbrella applique die for the Accuquilt GO!, this is a super simple project to make.

Umbrella applique wall hangning

 

Grab some fabric and the die. I used scrap fabrics I had on hand – these are all Art Gallery Fabrics.

supplies for applique wall hanging

 

Add fusible web to the back of the applique fabrics, then cut on the Accuquilt GO!. Iron on to your center block.

iron down applique umbrella

I ironed it on first, then cut it down. That made it easier for me to center. This is 10″ wide by 11″ tall. But you can go with whatever size works for you.

center block

Cut fabric for the borders and binding.

strips for borders and binding

Stitch on borders.

sew on borders

Before stitching down the applique, I put fusible fleece on the back, and then spray basted on backing fabric. I then used a buttonhole stitch around the applique. This appliqued down the umbrella and quilted the quilt at the same time.

applique down umbrella

Once it was quilted, I trimmed it down. Before finishing the binding, I tucked a triangle into each top corner. Just a square folded on the diagonal, and stitched to the top corners. These can be used in place of a hanging sleeve – just tuck in a dowel, and hang up the quilt!

hanging corners on wall hanging

 

Fast and simple – and fun to make!

wall hanging umbrella

 

Foam-Mounted Quilt Block

Foam Mounted Quilt Block

Do you have orphan quilt blocks lying around that need a home? Maybe one day you might turn them into a scrappy quilt… or maybe not. Maybe you have quilt blocks given to you by a friend or relative, and you have no idea what to do with them! Here is a super simple way to turn quilt blocks into home decor – mount them onto foam! I was sent a box of foam to play with, and I’m so excited to share what I came up with!

Foamology is a brand new product, and so easy to use! You can check out the whole line on the Fairfield website. I used just one sheet of foam for this project … imagine what you could do with more! I’ll show you how I made this simple foam mounted quilt block, and you can think of more ways to use this same foam block… once the wheels start turning, you’ll come up with so many ideas!

I started with a package of the Design Foam with Stickybase soft tiles. The tiles are 12″ square – perfect for most quilt blocks.

stickybase design foam

If you have a 10″ or even a 12″ quilt block, add a border around your block. I used a block that was 16″, which gave me plenty to wrap around the back.

quilt block and foamology

The process is simple. Lay your quilt block right side down on the table, then center the foam square with the sticky side up. Peel back the adhesive strip on one side, and fold over the fabric. Then peel the strip on the other side, and fold the fabric over.

secure down other side

Lift up the center paper on one side, and pull the fabric over, then repeat on the other side. And just like that, you’ve mounted your quilt block onto a foam square! You can peel back the rest of the paper, and stick the mounted quilt block right to a wall. Bam. Done.

secure sides and corners

I decided to add some big stitch quilting to my block, just for fun. So I covered the exposed adhesive with the paper I’d removed.

Using 3 threads from a skein of embroidery floss, I tacked the thread in place on the back of the block.

secure thread in place

Then I stitched into the fabric and foam, creating a running stitch.

stitch into foam

Normally, when I do a running stitch, I load up my needle with several stitches before pulling it through. This foam was dense, though, so I could only do one stitch at a time. Which was fine. However, if you have poor strength in your hands, you might want a set of pliers handy to help pull the needle through.

To stitch the center, I just poked my needle up from the back, leaving a long tail.

poke through center

I stitched all the way around.

stitch center of block

When done, I poked the needle back through to the back, and tied a knot with my beginning and ending threads.

tie down from back

It took about 2 hours to complete the big stitch quilting, but I love the added texture that the quilting gives!

stitched foam quilt block

I’m not sure where I want to hang it yet, so to give myself lots of options, I stuck the foam mounted quilt block to a 12″x12″ canvas. This way I can lean it on a shelf, hang it on a wall, or do whatever I like.

stick foam to canvas

Wasn’t that simple? What kinds of decor would you make using Foamology? While you’re deciding on your first project, head over to JoAnns or Fairfield to order yourself some foam squares! If you order on the Fairfield site use the promo code 14FOAM25 at checkout for 25% off of your Foamology order.

Make sure to check out Fairfield on on Pinterest and Facebook, and Foamology on Facebook for more inspiration!

Thanks Foamology for sending me this fun new product to play with! It makes home decor so simple!

 

Easter Tree

spring table decor

I made an Easter Tree. My husband has never heard of an Easter Tree, and my son thinks that an Easter Tree should look a lot more like a Christmas Tree… but I forged ahead. When I grew up, we had an Easter Tree on the table at Easter breakfast. I remember putting all the tiny wooden ornaments on the white branches of the little tree. So when I was at a lunch over at The Pinning Mama‘s house, and saw that she had a branch that had been cut off her tree, ready to be thrown away, I did what any crafty blogger would do. I asked if I could have it.

I took it home and spray painted it white. I used Krylon Matte paint. My branch was large – it took a whole can.

spray paint branch

When you spray paint a branch, match your strokes so they are parallel to the branch. Going up and down to paint across a vertical branch wastes a lot of paint.

I supported my branch on a couple tomato cages so that it wasn’t in the dirt. I waited about 30 minutes for the paint to dry a little, flipped it over, then painted the other side.

To display my Easter Tree, I shoved a block of Styrofoam into a large yogurt container. Then I shoved the branch into the middle of the styrofoam. The yogurt container was put inside my large glass vase, then the shredded paper was packed firmly all around that. The tree is VERY top-heavy, so I needed a lot to support the base. Instead of shredded paper, stones or glass pebbles would be a great idea to add more weight.

Now I’m in the process of making ornaments to put on the tree. I’m looking forward to coming up with lots of fun ways to decorate it!

spring decor

Behind the tree you can see my Spring Banister decor.

Spring Staircase Decor

Spring Banister

I don’t have a mantel. I don’t mind not having a fireplace, but not having a mantel does bug me. Especially when I see so many adorable mantels done up. My next house will need a fireplace, just so I can have a mantel. In the meantime, I’ve come up with some mantel substitutes. I used to use my banister to hang stockings. After we bought our china hutch, it made the perfect place to hang stockings. Though I still love banister decor.

This year, I’m having fun bringing spring into the house, so I thought that a Springy staircase would be fun! It was super simple to put together, and it adds just a little bit of color. If you pick brighter birdhouses or flowers, you could add a whole lot of color!

supplies for banister

To decorate your banister like this, you need:

Wide Burlap Ribbon
Large Gerber Daises
Mini Clothespins
Krazy Glue
Mini Birdhouses – WITH LOOPS (I had mine already painted)
Ribbon

 

 

Start by prepping the daisies. I pulled them off the stems, pulled up the green bit, added a little Krazy glue, and stuck my clothespin between the petals and green.

glue clothespins

They were done in no time.

attach clothespins

While they dried, I wrapped the bannister in burlap.

wrap burlap around banister

Twice. Just big loops around the railing. Nothing fancy.

wrap banister

To add a little color, and tie it all together a bit, I criss-crossed ribbon down and back up the bannister.

wrap ribbon around

Then I tied on the birdhouses. I used about 8″ of ribbon, and just tied them on the railing, threading the ribbon through the loop at the top of the birdhouse. If your birdhouses don’t have loops, glue the ribbon on.

add birdhouses

By now, my daises were dry, so I clipped them on the burlap.

simple spring banister

They make a great backdrop to my Easter Tree – that I haven’t shared here yet!

spring decor

Are you having fun decorating your house for Spring?

Dr. Seuss “Oh The Places You’ll Go” Wallhanging

Quilt based on Oh the Places Youll Go by Dr Seuss

Last year I made a quilted wallhanging using a simplified version of one of the last images in my favorite Dr. Seuss Book – “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.” I think the Dr Seuss Quilt is one of my favorite things I’ve made, and now it has a companion in a second Dr Seuss Quilt. I love the quote from the book. I love the whimsy of the image, and I love that it is the first thing I ever free-motion quilted. I decided to make a companion piece this year, using the same techniques, but a different image from the same book. My hope is to make another one next year so that I can have the three hanging side-by-side in the playroom. Here are the two I have so far.

Seuss Wallhangings in Playroom

I used basically the same technique I did last year. I started by drawing out the image, and picking fabrics. I labeled my drawing so that I would know what color each part would be.

draw out and pick colors

Then I created Printable versions of each part, fused them onto the right color fabric, and fused those onto the background. I used the dark orange as a background color, cut it to 18″ square before fusing on all the pieces.

Fuse pieces in place

Then I started stitching. Using the image from the book as a reference, I spent about  4 hours quilting, which adds all the beautiful detail. I love that it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, the less perfect, the better! Here it is quilted, but not bound.

quilted and not bound

I did make one change from last year. I painted in the lettering. Last year I took the time to cut out each individual letter, then press it, and stitch it in place. Since I was doing four lines of text this year, and they were going to be smaller, I decided that painting them in was the best choice. It was tedious, but so much better than cutting and stitching!

After quilting, I trimmed everything down, and bound the quilt, adding pockets in the corner so I could easily add a rod for hanging.

If you’re interested in making your own, here is what you’ll need:
OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO QUILT
(finished size 21″x26″)

Fat Quarter Dark Orange fabric, cut to 18″ square.
1/2 yard green fabric (for borders – cut two pieces each 2″x18″ and two pieces 4.5″x21″)
1 1/2 yards black fabric (binding, backing)
Black thread
Small pieces (I used Fat Quarters) of the following colors: Orange, Light Orange, Light Yellow, Medium Yellow, Green, Light Gray (for the child’s hands and face)
Applique pattern pieces printed onto Jenny Haskins Web Magic (printable fusable for applique) – found at quilt shops that cater to machine embroidery
Basting Spray
Batting
Mechanical Pencil

Here are the pattern pieces:
Green 1 Fusible
Green 2 Fusible
Medium Yellow Fusible
Orange 1 Fusible
Orange 2 Fusible
Seuss Light Yellow Fusible

Even in my messy playroom, I love the way these look on my wall!

messy playroom

Please note: These instructions are for personal use only. The pattern and quilt are not for sale. The pattern is intended for personal use only. If you’re interested in purchasing Dr Seuss fabric, Robert Kaufman has awesome Seuss Fabrics.

Holiday Home Tour

Well hello there! I thought I’d take you on a little tour of the front room, decked out for the holidays. Not the entire house… because you don’t want to see my disaster of a wrapping station, or the front room that’s looking particularly lived-in after the entire family has come down with the flu (it was a rough weekend). But I’ll give you a little peek into the mostly-un-photoshopped parts of the house that have been decorated for the holidays.

If you want to see some other bloggers’ Holiday spaces, check out this post over at Denise Designed for details on the holiday home tour.

First, our front door. I made the Ornament Bricks this year. The wreath I made years and years ago – just a simple store-bought garland wreath that I wrapped with a string of bells. I love that it jingles whenever we open the door!

The Santa mat was a gift… I love that it adds a little extra holiday ho-ho-ho!

Holiday Doorway

view of the front room

Inside the door is our Christmas tree. We move around the couches at Christmastime to fit the tree. The two rockers belong to my kiddos – they were first birthday gifts from my in-laws. My MIL also made the Santa that stands to the right of the tree. Behind Santa is an Advent Calendar that I stitched up from a fabric panel years ago – but we’ve never actually used it to count down the days to Christmas! On the back of the door is the wreath I made this year.

tree and ornaments

At the top of the tree is a simple star (my 5-year old was super excited to put the star on top of the tree this year), and just below the star are my two turtle doves. I love my doves, I’ve had them as part of my holiday decor for years.

two turtle doves

You can also see the ornaments that hang from the valences. I have ornaments from all the downstairs valences. A simple way to add decor throughout the house.

holiday decor

Hanging from the mirror is the elongated wreath I made last year, and next to it a fun sign…

small table runner

On the coffee table between the tree and the sofa is a table runner that I made back in 2010. It is a simple quilt-as-you-go runner made with strips of holiday fabric. On the runner are my Santa Candlesticks.

dancing snowglobes

Also on the coffee table are my little dancing Hallmark snowless snowglobes. I’m not sure what these are called, but Hallmark sold them years ago, with a new one coming out every week or so. I wasn’t dedicated enough to get the whole collection, but someday need to go on Ebay to get more of the set. I love these guys, and so do my kids.

You can see on the couch is a Christmas Quilt, this one made by my husband’s Auntie. She’s an avid quilter, and made this flannel quilt for us years ago. I love snuggling under it during the holidays.

end table

Between the sofas is a little endtable. I have a beaded mat, some holiday coasters, my Mason Jar with Light-up tree, and this year’s photo of the kiddos with Santa. I’m loving Viv from the V Spot’s holiday tradition of framed holiday photos that come out every year, and want to start that tradition with my boys. Although I doubt I’ll be re-painting the frames each year.

living room

Next is the china hutch. We don’t have a fireplace, so the china hutch is where we hang our stockings. Before we had the hutch, we hung our stockings from the banister.

stockings on the china hutch

I hung my simple silver ball garland between the stockings.

stockings hanging

I made the stockings 4 years ago. The names are cross-stitched by hand. The snowman image and the cross-stiched name are machine appliqued onto the stocking, which has a furry cuff.

mom and dad stocking

Grandma, Grandpa, and Auntie have stockings that match ours, because they joined us for Christmas that year. The baby’s stocking was made last year to match. The fabric is a white-on-white print that doesn’t show up in the photos, but gives some subtle contrast on the fabric.

banister

Past the dining room is the banister and a snowflake hanging from the stairs that holds Christmas cards. I have decor up in the rest of the house, but I’ll save that for another day… or maybe another year.

Most of the decor in the house is up-high, or very kid friendly. With two little guys, I want them to feel like they can touch, play with, and be part of the holiday decorations. Christmas is for the kids, after all, and they shouldn’t be afraid of interacting with it… right?

Make sure you check out Denise Designed for the list of home tours, and you can also check out the Everything Christmas Pinterest Board for more inspiration!

Christmas Home Tour 2013

“Gone to the Beach” Seashell Door Hanger

Gone to the Beach door hanger

As winter settles in, forcing me to trade in my flip-flops for socks and sneakers, I long for the beach. Warm days with toes in the sand, watching the waves chase the kiddos. Although I can’t transport myself beach-side… I can pretend. With the help of my “Gone to the Beach” Seashell Door Hanger.

This door hanger is simple to make, I use a few supplies that make it even easier. Here’s what you need to make your own:
Wooden Door Hanger
White Paint
Paintbrush
Seashells
Shell Glue
Paint Pen
Beach Sand
Mod Podge

Start by painting the wooden door hanger. I added a single coat of white paint to give it a white-washed look.

doorhanger

Once the paint has dried, I wrote my saying on the door hanger. You can write whatever saying you like… I went with the classic “Gone to the Beach”.

write on phrase

Start gluing on your shells. I placed my shells on the door hanger without gluing first to get the placement, then glued them down using shell glue. Just put the glue on the parts of the shell that will be touching something – either the wood or another shell.

use shell glue

You want to keep in mind the balance of the door hanger – if you put too much weight on one side, your door hanger won’t hang straight when it is finished.

 

glue shells in place

I wanted to add some more to my door hanger, so I wrapped one side of the hole with baker’s twine, then tied a shell to each end of the twine. This is optional, but I thought it added some more beachy color.

add baker's twine

I was going to leave it, but it seemed… incomplete. I knew exactly what it needed. I mixed beach sand with Mod Podge to create a thick paste. Do this in a container that you are fine tossing when you’re done – you don’t want to rinse beach sand down the drain of your sink if you can help it.

make sand paste

Apply the paste with a paintbrush around, over, and between the shells. I put thick globs in some areas, and brushed the sand lightly over shells in other areas.

put sand paste in place

Once the Mod Podge dries, your door hanger is complete!

close up of shell doorhanger