Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Squirrels and Such

It all started with a little redecorating project I intended to do maybe five years ago. We bought two little vintage ('40s, maybe?) chairs for our living room. They had some more recent, but still old, scratchy upholstery on them which I planned to replace with some vintage-y looking fabric. Which then sat in my closet. For years. I finally got around to recovering the cushions a few weeks ago. 

Old -->New
And that's when a squirrel named Pillows sneaked up on me. I did not see it coming. I had plans to quilt my Blue quilt. But you can't ignore a squirrel. And just like that I was rummaging in my drawers for bits and pieces of leftover fabric from past projects. You know the rest of the story. 

I drew a design on graph paper--I wanted something that might pass for '40s/modern? Who knows? I don't know that much about decorating eras. My fabric told me not to overthink it. Besides, I had to go with the sizes of the pieces. So I just laid them out until they looked right to me and cut rectangles that made the most of each piece.

I already knew I wanted to try matchstickish quilting. I found some yellowish print pieces that kept missing the cut whenever I planned quilts, so I pieced them together for the linings. One took five seams to get enough fabric for the size of a pillow. I took a page from Ann at Fret Not Yourself and did the quilting by following some major seams lines and then subdividing each section in half until the pillow front looked done. I drew some lines with a Hera tool, but eyeballed most of them. They vary a lot, but I like the texture. The batting was leftover scraps.

Finish One

Finish Two

By then, the squirrel's allure was leaving me, so I whipped up quick envelope backs with the remaining pieces. I didn't have enough fabric to keep it simple, so some additional fabric-dictated piecing needed to be done. Still quick, though. I couldn't decide how to overlap them, so my husband in his wisdom to keep me from dithering said, "Do one of each." So I did. The quilts would have looked more professional if I had quilted the backs, too, but they're done and I like them.

Back One

Back Two

I popped the old pillows that had been on the chairs before into their new covers and that was that. The best thing? This little pillow decorating upgrade cost $0. And I used up some more fabric and batting scraps. 

I like this little vignette in my living room, with old treasures and sweet memories.

I did get my Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) Year of Scrappy Triangles project done this month. All the greens.

Here they are with the blocks from January and February. Still lots of crazy going on. I suspect the look will change some as I add colors--but I bet it won't calm down at all.

And I did order some new fabric in the month's color for my ongoing "Spark up the Stash" project. Third time this year from Lark Cottons.

Oh, and there was one other little squirrel this month. I decided to participate in the Instagram Quilt Fest that Amy from Amy's Creative Side put on this month, where we post something every day according to a prompt. I don't usually do these things, but this has been surprisingly enjoyable. I like looking back through old blog posts and photos and thinking about my quilts a little differently. It's also been a wonderful squirrel to get lost in all the posts of other Instagramers.

So that's it for the month. Maybe now I can focus on the Blue quilt?

Have fun with your squirrels and scraps.

I'm linking up at the end of this week with Sandra at mmm quilts for DrEAMi (Drop Everything and Make it), with Angela at So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap.

(Just a reminder: I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.) 


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

that is a very nice vintage look. I do not have any pillows scattered around the living room right now but should make some sometime.

Linda said...

Those chairs look amazing! Smart choice on the fabric - it really "goes with" the wood and gives the style a fresh look. The pillows are brilliant, and I love the matchstick quilting. Kudos to the Squirrel!

momto1 said...

Your little vignette is so sweet! The chairs and pillows look very welcoming, I love your blog!

Bernie Kringel said...

Good morning Janine. Love the pillows - they look so smart with the chairs. We had some wooden back chairs in our cottage in Downieville and always had a pillow on the back, it made it much more comfortable. Very nice!

Your RSC project is cute - very colorful, but I like that sort of thing. Good use of those ever multiplying scraps.

Patti said...

Your chair covers and pillows look great together!!!

Margo Yang said...

Your upholstered cushions and pillows look great. Love the name Squirrel.

Louise said...

Your new covers and pillows look fantastic! What a super upgrade to a classic chair design. I love the muted yet modern colors :)

Mari said...

Love, love the chairs and their new upholstery, and the pillows are perfect. I love how they look in your little vignette as well. So nice and homey. Your other projects look lovely too. And hurray for new fabrics! Green is such a great color, and these look like something that will fit right in with your existing fabric, too. Have a great weekend!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I love what you did with the chairs, and the pillows are perfect for them! Sometimes you just have to follow where the squirrels lead!

Maggie said...

Very creative covers and cushions for your chairs.

Sandra Walker said...

This was my first year participating in igquiltfest too and it certainly has been most enjoyable, and yes, going back through old posts for photos! Your vintage redressed chairs with their new cushion and seat covers look fab! So glad you allowed the squirrel to skitter around in your studio before going back to quilting. I'm very tempted to start that year of scrappy triangles as I have so many many scraps, but I think I will try to NOT... ;-) Check in with how that goes!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Congrats on finishing up a fun Squirrel project to complete your chair project, Janine! I like the pillow design that you came up with. I see that you even managed some GREEN scrap sewing, too!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Neat squirrel pillows!!! I really like the mid century modern design you created!!!

Susan Smith said...

Lovely cushions & chair pads. Must be ever so comfortable. Take care.

Sylvia@Treadlestitches said...

Very nice job, dealing with the squirrel! Practical and gorgeous at the same time. I am really intrigued by the triangles quilt, can't wait to see what you do with it.

scraphappy said...

So glad that you got to those chairs, with the cushions and the pillows, it makes a fabulous little corner. The quilting looks perfect to me. It adds such nice texture to your fabrics.

Kaja said...

I love those chairs!

QuiltGranma said...

Great job (finally) getting those chairs out of the closet and dressed for company! Love the wash stand and lamp in that vignette as well. Keep using up what you have!