Work In Progress Wednesday: Getting Atomic

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

This'll be a quick one - I'm madly trying to quilt this beaut while writing this blog post, all while the kids are (supposed to be) napping.

I hear banging and thumping overhead from one bedroom, and singing (mostly of Disney princess movie tunes) from another.

Recently, The Chicago Modern Quilt Guild and its members were invited to participate in a few special exhibits for the upcoming Rosemont IQF show in Chicago this April, and I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring for one of the categories.

I've been working on this project - and I won't show all of it - but it's been a ton of fun to work with all of these retro, atomic age textures:

More on this soon. The deadline is fast approaching, I'd better move my butt!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced today for WIP Wednesday!
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Holding Myself Accountable...(and checking one off the list)

Monday, January 25, 2016



Right!

So I'm a list-maker. Through and through.

Back in December, I made a list of goals of which I'd like to accomplish in 2016 with respect to my quilty habits.

Here's the post, but basically, this is the list:

1. Complete a quilt for myself!
2. Complete at least one UFO quilt project
3. Earn at least $1000 in online surveys toward a longarm
4. Enter at least one quilt in a show

In order to keep myself accountable, I made up that little graphic at the top of this post and then plopped it over in my sidebar with that list staring me in the face every time I log on to the ol' blog.

and - 

Oh ya, notice something???? I've already checked something off! I entered my Color Wheel quilt into a show for February. We will see. 

I've also been working on something else for the Chicago IQF show - with submissions due Feb 12. I better move my butt!
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Scrumptious Sunday Stash Share

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Things have been a little rough in the Sew at Home Mummy household as of late.

My husband had lower back surgery in December, and was doing really well the first 3 weeks of recovery, but then something changed. He's been in excruciating pain for 2 weeks now, in and out of doctor's appointments and labs and MRI scanners. It's been tough on him.

Because he's basically incapacitated, I've been having to do everything - all the driving, cleaning, cooking, and more.

I don't want to complain - but I'm exhausted. I quite honestly don't know how single parents do it. I have a brand new appreciation. 

Anywho - I think what I'm trying to do is justify my recent fabric splurges. Hahaha. Ooops. I deserved them??

First up is this gorgeous charm square pack of an out of print Bonnie and Camille line for Moda - "Scrumptious" - 


I love their stuff. It's so vintage-y pretty. I picked this one up on Instagram under the hashtag #thegreatfabricdestash.

I'm still waiting on my other purchase - a Pepper Corry bundle of her new line, "Brushstrokes", which I picked up in a drop on Massdrop for $40. I'll share pictures of that when it arrives.
img courtesy of Massdrop.com

I've been eyeing the new line Carkai, but I think I'll hold off. My exhaustion shopping has to stop! hehehe

Linking up to Molli Sparkles Stash Share today! Mwah!
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Update your ugly recessed can, pot or downlight lights fast, easily & cheaply

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sew at Home Mummy DIY | quick and easy upgrade to recessed can pot down lights | cheap replacement retrofit recessed lights | LED lights | basement lighting

We have a wonderful mid century split level home with gorgeously vaulted ceilings on the main level, and, at some point, recessed lighting was installed.

When we moved in, all of the lights worked, but slowly, they've been burning out, one by one.

The baffling or trim around the lights has become really yellow over the years, and quite gungy looking.
Sew at Home Mummy DIY | quick and easy upgrade to recessed can pot down lights | cheap replacement retrofit recessed lights | LED lights | basement lighting

As well, the bulbs that are seated in the housings are all halogen - they get piping hot (no doubt contributing to the yellowing of the trims) and, halogens are expensive to run. In my personal experience they also don't tend to have as long a lifetime as incandescents or now, LEDs.

So. I was on a mission. My mission was three-fold:


  1. Make the darned things look nicer. Let's face it - they were an eyesore.
  2. Go with a more energy efficient, cheaper-to-run alternative.
  3. It had to be dimmable.

Until I started looking, I had no idea that they made retrofit LED can light bulbs - essentially, they're a light bulb with all of the baffle and trim attached:

Sew at Home Mummy DIY | quick and easy upgrade to recessed can pot down lights | cheap replacement retrofit recessed lights | LED lights | basement lighting
image courtesy of Cree.com
There's no wiring to do - you simply screw the bulb end into the fixture end, and voila!

The bulb pictured above cost me $12 + tax. Not bad. Keep reading for the brand and review.

So, here's how simple it is to update the look of your downlights:

1. Measure up. Check to see what size down lights you'll need.

Sew at Home Mummy Tip:
measure the diameter of your existing can lights, from the outside rim edge to edge to determine the size of retrofit you'll need to pick up.

Most retrofits come in 4", 5" or 6" sizes or baffles. Make sure to measure up before you head to the hardware store.




2. If you can, remove the old light at this stage, before you head to the hardware store - I had to return my first purchase because it didn't fit depth wise - i.e. - the fixture housing was too shallow to accomodate the overly-deep fixture brand I had purchased. So, if you can pop off the old trim and remove the old bulb and measure the depth of the housing, this might save you a bit of headache.



Sew at Home Mummy Tip:
different retrofit manufacturers will have different depth of lights - check to see how deep your cans or housing is before you head to the hardware store to ensure a proper fit.







3. Screw in your new bulb (I went with a Cree brand LED retrofit, DR series -
Sew at Home Mummy DIY | quick and easy upgrade to recessed can pot down lights | cheap replacement retrofit recessed lights | LED lights | basement lighting
... this was the shallowest 6" brand I could find, and it fit beautifully. I got it at that big-box orange and white home improvement store, and here's the Amazon link to the product for your reference (affiliate link)) and follow the manufacturer's instructions for pinching the metal pressure fittings while you're popping your new bulb into place.


It's that easy. Really.

So we went from this:
Sew at Home Mummy DIY | quick and easy upgrade to recessed can pot down lights | cheap replacement retrofit recessed lights | LED lights | basement lighting


To this:
Sew at Home Mummy DIY | quick and easy upgrade to recessed can pot down lights | cheap replacement retrofit recessed lights | LED lights | basement lighting



Now to work on all of the other lights, one by one!
Sew at Home Mummy DIY | quick and easy upgrade to recessed can pot down lights | cheap replacement retrofit recessed lights | LED lights | basement lighting

...oh my goodness, the new ones look so much better!


This is the third bulb we've replaced with the Cree DR6 retrofit (affiliate link) over the last 6 months. I like them - they aren't too cool (very close to the yellow warmth of a 40W or 60W incandescent) and they dim nicely. And for $12 a bulb, they don't cost a ton. Plus, they look really awesome.

Happy DIY'ing!
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Fat Quarter Shop's Top 10 Videos: Fractal Quilt + win a $100 FQS Gift Card!

Friday, January 15, 2016


Welcome to the next stop in the Fat Quarter Shop's Top 10 Videos blog hop!

The Fat Quarter Shop is celebrating their top 10 You-Tube video tutorials of 2015 with a blog hop. Myself and some other super talented quilty bloggers are each featuring their take on the Fat Quarter Shop's "Fractal Quilt" pattern today! Make sure to visit the Jolly Jabber today and the hopping bloggers, too:



This free pattern, available through the Fat Quarter Shop, features the Creative Grids Kites Plus Ruler

which was really fun to work with. 

Don't let the y-seams scare you - Kimberly's video is super thorough, easy to follow, and is packed with great tips!
Make sure to check out the video before you start sewing. The tips and tricks that Kimberly gives are priceless.

Like I said above, I had a ton of fun working on this quilt. My mom was here when I first agreed to be a part of the hop; and it just so happened that I had just received a package of some Riley Blake polka dots (my mom's absolute favorite pattern - she loves those dots!) so she asked if I wouldn't mind making this quilt for her. Something to snuggle up under at night on the couch.

Please excuse the not so great pictures - it was well below freezing here in Chicago when I took them, and I was in a bit of a rush to get back inside, hahaha!

I simplified the quilt a bit, adding negative space and added some extra kites here and there to give it a floating effect - 
Fractal Quilt | Kites Plus Ruler | Creative Grids Ruler | Fat Quarter Shop Pattern | Sew at Home Mummy


I quilted it with a variegated Aurifil 50wt in grey, and used a nice fluffy wool batting (my first time using wool, and I loved it!) I used Kona Iron as a background, and Kona Caribbean to bind it (excuse my crummy free motion quilting, I'm working on it) - 
Fractal Quilt | Kites Plus Ruler | Creative Grids Ruler | Fat Quarter Shop Pattern | Sew at Home Mummy

On the back, I had a bit of fun with a bunch of leftover kites. I grouped them in 3's and then surrounded them in a Madrona Road print - 
Fractal Quilt | Kites Plus Ruler | Creative Grids Ruler | Fat Quarter Shop Pattern | Sew at Home Mummy

The quilt finishes in at about 50x70.

It's on its way home to Canada now, where I'm sure it'll be well loved.

Thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for asking me to participate in this awesome hop, and, more importantly, for producing such awesome video tutorials!

Now - want a chance to win??

Are you making or have you made a Fractal Quilt, or one of the other featured top 10 quilts from FQS? Post a picture of it on Instagram and use #fractalquilt and #FQSTop10 and make sure to tag the Fat Quarter Shop for a chance to win a Fa Quarter Shop $100 Gift Card. The contest will end February 1st.

$100!!! Go. Now. Quilt!

Thanks for stopping by today - I'm linking up my first finish of 2016 to Jen who is hosting TGIFF!
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