Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Round and Round

Remember this piano stool?

I got it so I could have an adjustable seat when I'm sewing. Well, now it looks like this:

My husband, aka Eldin the painter (more about that here), painted it to match some other things in the sewing room, and I set out to make a new cover for the cushion. Awhile back I saw one of those videos that was making the rounds on the internet of a person drawing a design with repeated straight lines that turned into curves. What do you call that design? I was thinking of Spirograph or Magic Designer (remember those old drawing toys?) but it's not really made like those, and it's not really like Zentangle either, although it could be used as part of one. Anyway, I decided I wanted to do it in quilting with my walking foot. 

Here's my work near the beginning of the quilting:

First, I drew a hexagon with a protractor on a piece of fabric, layered the piece with batting and a backing, and sewed one line of stitching along the hexagon. Then I "drew" a few lines at a time with a ruler and followed them with my walking foot. If you look closely, you can see one of the lines on the left side of the hexagon in the middle. I was going to use my hera marker to draw, but it's kind of wearing out and doesn't make a sharp line anymore, so I used a bamboo skewer instead. It worked great!

Here's the order of stitching (please excuse really bad drawing): 

And I just kept going round and round until I reached the middle. My hexagon turned into a pentagon at the end, but I don't mind. Then, to fill out the rest of the space I quilted some scallops around the hexagon, and because I couldn't leave well enough alone, I added a wonky FMQ flower in the middle and some better FMQ flowers around the scallop. I trimmed the piece into a big circle, stitched the edges into a casing, and threaded a scrap piece of elastic through. Voila! Slipcover all done!

And it's even reversible to a kind of yellowish green on the back, although the bobbin thread is thinner and not as nice.

This whole project cost nothing (except for the old stool). All the materials were in my stash. I love that. I sat on the stool while I was treadling, and it was so comfortable having my elbows up to the right height. Fun to spin the stool round and round, too!

Speaking of before and after, remember this "before?"

Now my closet looks like this!!

I'm not quite done, but what a difference. And--true confession--I haven't sorted and tossed out/donated any fabrics yet. Maybe I won't need to. There's plenty of room in those bins. I'll show more pictures when I'm all done so you can see the left and right sides of the closet, too. Those bins were quite a find. They are a little smaller than the ones you usually find for cube storage so they fit just right on the bookcases. They came in lots of bright colors, but these golden yellow ones were cheaper than some of the other colors. They look great with my green carpet and with the decor of the bedroom (with some sunflower themed stuff from years gone by). The paint on the shorter bookcase and a little chest that you can't see here is leftover from our living room in our old house. It was still in good condition (after probably 25 years!) and a yummy "country cream" color that I'm thinking I'll need to match in new paint for the walls in the bedroom sometime. (Eldin hears me calling him for another paint project!) It's the kind of color that makes me think of butter mints that used to come in nut cups at weddings years ago. Yum!

Well, time to get back to work. I have a quilt top to finish. But I just have to leave you with a couple of spring pictures. Our ancient tulips are still coming up--and blooming!

I'm linking up today with Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday (yeah, I know I'm a day late) and with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social. Click the links to their websites or click on their buttons on the right.

Have a good week and enjoy your befores and afters.


  1. Your stool looks amazing! I love the quilting you did on the cushion. And your closet. awesome! I'm afraid to open the door to mine! LOL

  2. Wow, the seat cover looks great! I just love geometric designs and this one looks so complex and yet easy after you explained it. I'm saving your instructions in my FMQ design file.

    I just cruised through some of your earlier entries, too. I really like your work, and I like how you write up your techniques. Looks like you update your blog about once a week, so I'll be checking back later.

  3. What a pretty quilt design on your stool cover. Nice organization too!

  4. Wow to the quilting and WOW to the transformation of your closet - I LOVE being organized. Just find it difficult to stay that way. :)

  5. Your makeovers are fabulous!!! (Love the new green color of your chair!!)

  6. Love the quilting and I'm full of admiration for your newly tidy closet - sadly I fear both quilting and tidiness are beyond me right now!

  7. I have so enjoyed reading your blog, so much so I added you to my reading list. It's a lovely piano stool, they don't make them like that now, a real keeper. I like the way you updated it and still kept the character. Love the way you quilted it, it looks great. Thank you for your detailed instructions too, I'm copying and pasting them so I don't loose them.
    Lovely spring pics, thank you for sharing.

  8. Janine the quilting on your stool's seat is amazing. Yes, it reminded me of a Spirograph design too. The green base looks so cool - Eldin did a great job!
    Your closet looks like such a happy place now. You must be thrilled!

  9. The quilting on this stool is amazing!! I am so impressed with your skill to create these designs. Totally a Spirograph design! Did you stop and mark the lines with each pass, or did you do most of it at one time? I love this Janine.

    The green color is so pretty - and the closet looks awesome. Mine looks just awful and there is so much junk piled in front of the closet that it is a treacherous climb to even get in there!

  10. Love the stool - that is such a neat effect. The before and after in your closet is impressive, too!

  11. I do love that quilting swirl! I have tried something similar with squares and rectangles and also seen triangles in Angela Walters' book, but haven't seen the hexagon-swirl effect. I may have to borrow it someday. Claire aka

  12. That quilting swirl is wonderful! Combined with the painting, it gives that stool a whole new beautiful look. Your cupboard looks great. I'm all for keeping your fabrics if you have room!

  13. I LOVE your stool! Eldin is sounding like my sister, who went through (or maybe she's still in it, ha) a painting everything (if it isn't moving) in sight stage! I call that quilting Spirograph, because that is what is is, and ya, at the very centre you don't end up with the same shape, but no one notices. Great additions with the FMQ flowers and curves! Yay for brave tulips, huh? Such pretty colours.

  14. Oh ya! This is a great post, JanineMarie! I love the transformation of your stool - both the painting and the new cover. That is so cool! I am reminded of the Spirograph, too. Your closet make over looks fabulous!

  15. Love the straight lines turning into curves!! Beautiful job!