Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guest #22 Quilt on the Floor -Quilt on the floor with Mary..

I had only been blogging for about 2 weeks when Madame Samm invited me to be on her blog. She
It is such an honor to be here, and have all  you talented quilters reading this.
I hope it inspires you to get even more creative than you already are, and have some new kind of fun!
Come visit me at Crooked Gulley Art Quilts , I'll give you even more ideas with today's blog.

So here we go... Today's blog entry has nothing to do with quilting, or maybe it does... You  decide after you read the "How To".  I got this idea from a friend who has a very clever sister. I'm going to show you how simple it is to make a floor cloth. You're probably thinking the Colonial floor cloths that were labor intensive made with heavy canvas and required numerous steps, creativity, patience, hemming... Well just stick with me and I'll show you what my problem was and how I solved it - easily.

I had this area, and wanted to protect the wood floor, because the kitchen is always a major traffic area, especially when it leads to the laundry room. Plus it was an irregular shape with the sink and stove top cabinets extending out more that the other cabinets. It wouldn't look right to put in two area rugs.

So, I used this...  Yep, that's just cheap vinyl flooring!

But, I accomplished this by flipping the vinyl over and painting the other side!

Ha! You don't believe me?... You want proof?  Well, check it out...

(Just so you'll know, I put the Rubber Maid shelf lining under the floor cloth so that it wouldn't slip and slide.)
This floor cloth is much easier to make than what they had to do in Colonial times or what crafters do today when painting canvas floor cloths.

First, I went to a big box store like Lowes or Home Depot,  and bought a large hunk of vinyl flooring.  Next I turned it over - and painted the back side, and decorated it with a stencil or two!!! Yep... that's all there was to it. The back side of vinyl flooring is a paper like substance that is perfect for painting.

Whoa, hold on a minute, I was just at Lowes and bought a remnant for $10, thinking I'd just make another floor cloth to use as this demonstration. When I got my bargain home I was dumbfounded to find a surface that can't be painted... look at the picture and you will see that the back side of this "higher priced" vinyl flooring is actually a rubber backing that paint will not adhere to and will not accomplish the effect we want. Moral to the story - check to make sure the back of the "cheap vinyl" is a paper like surface that will readily accept and absorb paint.

So, here's what you do:

Wait a minute - Before we start, I want to preface this by saying I'm not a stenciling or Tolle painting instructor. I am me, a self taught crafty person. I am supplying you with the basic instructions for doing a floor cloth. You will take what you know or learn from a credited source to add the artistic touch you want. 
Okay,  we can start now.
    • First you need a work area where you can make a mess and leave it alone for a few days and not have to deal with wind, bugs or kids. The garage is ideal. Park your car outside and work inside. When I made my big floor cloth the room over the garage had not been finished. That was the perfect place. I worked away on the subfloor and didn't care if paint got splattered. That room is now my sewing room!   For this lesson,  I'm demonstrating in my kitchen/dining area using the dining table and using a small scrap of vinyl since my bargain was a no go.
      • I  started my kitchen floor cloth by making a paper pattern of the shape I wanted so that it would fit around my cabinets. Notice in the picture that I am making a pattern for a floor cloth at the door coming in from the patio. That is a traffic area that can be wet, dirty, dusty, cat hair... you get it... traffic grime. (Ha, I haven't discovered the back of the bargain vinyl yet!)  You can do a simple  rectange, oval, circle, square... well, any shape and size you want works. I just wanted a custom fit. REMEMBER... The back of the vinyl piece is the side that you are going to paint and see. The actual vinyl floor patterned side is the WRONG side. We are going to paint the back side and love it!

      • Next, cut the vinyl with strong scissors to make the basic shape.  Lay your paper pattern on the vinyl and traced around the pattern. (Since the fabulous deal I got at Lowes turned out to be the wrong kind of vinyl, I'm going to demonstrate on a small piece.)  Do a final cut using an OLD rotary cutter with the mat underneath. I wanted a perfect straight edge so I just slid the mat under the vinyl and cut and slid my way along the marks from my pattern using my quilting straight edge.  For my big floor cloth, I was on my knees sliding the mat and doing the cutting on the floor. Knee protectors would have been a good thing.

      • Once you have the floor cloth/vinyl the size you want you add the first coat of paint. I used the left over latex wall paint from our house. I painted the  whole floor cloth the base color, and let it dry over night. Latex wall paint is durable and strong and works fine, plus latex paint is not only durable, but can be gently bent without cracking. You can roll or brush the paint on. You need to do 2 coats for both good coverage and as another layer of protection for your floor cloth.  The picture shows me painting the small 'example' floor cloth the light sage green that is on my kitchen walls. You want to be sure and paint the edges also.

      • When making my big kitchen floor cloth, I wanted to lightly faux paint the straw colored paint before I added the border. I took the dark green that was also the border paint; mixed it with a glaze, and dabbed it on with a big sponge... *This was my technique! I'm clueless on how to OFFICIALLY do Faux Painting CORRECTLY. Talk with people at your local paint or craft stores to get clear directions. The picture shows a sample of the faux painting I practiced before doing the big kitchen floor cloth. I also used the same scrap to practice the stenciling I was going to use.

      • I measured for the border by carefully putting light pencil marks on the dried painted surface. I ran masking along the lines and made sure it was straight, and secured to the surface before starting to paint. As you can see from my example,  I used my quilting straight edge to draw the lines. 

      The dark green paint is a semi gloss latex wall paint. It matches several furniture items in the room and is a good accent color. I painted two coats and let it thoroughly dry before removing the tape. 

      Now you get to learn a lesson that I had to learn the hard way... See that purple masking tape? It is the same tape I used on the big floor cloth that was made 4 years ago... Masking tape actually has a shelf life! Did you know that? I didn't. Take a look at how the dark green paint was able to creep under the tape even though I made sure to securely press it into place. 
      Moral to the story: Tape is cheap, buy a fresh roll when doing a big project!  

      • The picture above also shows how I started to play with stencils. Whether you are stenciling or painting a design/picture, you need to practice on painted scraps. You've got to get the feel of how the brushes are going to interact with the painted surface. Once you have completed the painting of the main area and the border, you are ready to have fun decorating...
      The pictures below show you where I got my inspiration. It's my friend Kate's kitchen. Her sister painted these beautiful floor cloths and custom cut them to exactly fit the space. Kate went to a rug dealer and bought a non slip rug liner that she could easily cut to put under the vinyl floor cloths.

        Check out this close-up. Linda, the talented sister, hand painted the apples and also did a faux paint in the background and the border. So beautiful!  Kate recently reapplied 2 polyurethane high gloss coats to her floor cloths. I plan to redo mine this fall when our humid weather is gone. My floor cloth is a semi-gloss. It's a personal choice and entirely up to you to choose the effect you want. I love it both ways.

        Here you can easily compare artistic painting vs stenciling... I'm not an artist, but I can stencil and come up with a similar effect. Please remember, I'm not a professional stenciler. I'm merely sharing what I did. I used regular craft acrylic paint and a stencil brush. I love the illusion of the metallic copper color in the words and line border. I also got brave and mixed greens and the copper to do the grape leaves. 
        You just do your own thing and it will be perfect for your area!

        • You're at the final step. When your floor cloth looks just the way you want, all the painting/stenciling/decorating is completed... You need to seal and protect it. Use a clear liquid polyurethane that you brush on. Two of the  main brands are MinWax and  Varathane. They all come in Gloss, Semi-Gloss, and Satin finishes. There are spray on polyurethanes, but you just are not going to get the coverage and protection you want and need. Applying the polyurethane needs to be done in a well ventilated, dust free area. The garage is perfect as long as it's dust and bug free. Probably you will need to sweep out your garage and do the painting at night when no one is around. Remember... at least 3 coats.
        Before starting this blog entry I "Googled" floor cloths to see what was out there. Well, there's a lot, and there's also a lot of very clever floor cloth artists. Lots of great ideas for shapes and colors.
        But, think about this for a moment... How about painting actual quilt blocks on your floor cloth. You could also use all those stamps from scrap booking ... Once you have the base color and border on your floor cloth you can let your imagination go wild. What... if your decoration doesn't turn out great? Who cares... just paint over it with your base color and start again. Who's gonna' know?? 
        I can't wait to see what you come up with. I can see your creative juices kicking in right now. You're tired of that old kitchen sink rug, aren't you. Get creative and have fun!
        Me? I'm heading back to Lowes to return that vinyl and get what I want. Then the floor cloth by the patio door is going to get underway!
        • Cleaning the floor cloth is simple, easy, not complicated at all...  vacuum and then use a damp mop. Wow, that could wear a girl out!
        Stay creative, have fun, and thanks for inviting me, Madame Samm... You're the best!
        Hugs from Mary

        Editors note:

        Didn't I tell you...? Is this not an amazing find...?
        A quilt on the floor and you can only imagine the possibilities...
        I wonder what Ghastlies would look like on my Floor?  YES ? lol

        Anyway to honor Mary's clever post ..
        YOU may need some TOOLS....sew here is our

        I bet many of you could use some new tools
        and let us throw in some fabric too..

        Clover USA sponsored this Large Mat 24 x 36  ( this is their triple healing mat)
        and the their soft cushioned rotary cutter
        Creative Grid these pretty amazing RULERS ( yes all 3 of them)
        YOU can SPOT the difference between theirs and others...they don't slip ever!
        and Elizabeth Studios this fine collection called African Spirit cut into 1/2 yard
        Bundles....Sew yes a good day it will be for someone...
        Oh and my Gerberas. compliments for Great Gerberas
        ( my props, your view)

        Here is what you need to do.

        Please follow MARY, after all she is a brand new blogger..
        she would love to see you..
        Be a follower here. and by now, I am sure you are...
        And tell me, I really do want to know..
        Will you be doing this project?

        Big thanks goes out to Mary, and Clover and Creative Grid,
        Elizabeth's Studio and Great Gerberas and YOU
        for spreading the news about this great past time
        that unites a world of quilters..
        Frankly speaking the best PEEPS I have come to know
        and LOVE.

        Monday, August 29, 2011

        Guest #21 Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew ---Simple Stack n' Whack Blocks - Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew

        I’m Allison from over at Cluck Cluck Sew…and I’m happy to be posting here today! I’m sharing my quick stack n’ whack technique for making these simple square in square blocks like I used in my orange quilt.
        These blocks are fast….and are a great starter for any beginner. You can make them any size you want, or offset the center square to make a “wonky” block. I’m going to show you below how to make 2 blocks that finish at 7 1/2", but if you want to re size this block, simple add 1 inch to the desired finish size, and that’s how big to cut your squares. So to get started:
        Start with two 8 1/2” squares.
        Make a cut 2 1/2” in from each side.
        Cut the center strip horizontally 2 1/2” in from the top and bottom.
        Switch the center squares.
        Sew the center strips back onto the new center square, right sides together and press out.
        Sew the side strips onto the center strip right sides together and press out. Don’t worry about lining up the side strips as you’ll be trimming off those extra pieces anyways.
        Trim off the top and bottom first, and the sides 1/4” or so until you have a square block that is 7 1/2” square.
        For the orange quilt, I started with 9 1/2" cut squares, which left me with 8 1/2" finished blocks. My orange and white quilt was 8 blocks across and 9 blocks down, so 72 blocks total. It made it about 62" by 68". You would simply start with 36 colored squares and 36 white squares, then stack n’ whack away to make it extra fast!
        Thank you for allowing me to guest post here today and happy sewing! -Allison

        Editors note:
        Thanks Allison, nice to have you showcase something ORANGE..
        We are warming up to this color every day...
        And you just may put some of us over the edge with your lovely
        design...simple and sweet...what more could one ask for...

        WELLLLLL, I think I can come up with something extra today..

        This win will be for  all of  OUR WANTOBES AND QUILTERS...
        YES YOU CAN all WIN this today...
        ( I scheduled this for midnight last night, but it did not post
        till I put it up...at 5:30 am )

        A BABY GO. + your choice of 3 dies
        .Giveaway in 24 hours...Winner will be
        announced in the morning...

        HURRY go and be a new follower at Allison's blog...
        YOU will be glad you did...she has a lovely blog, her projects are simple and authentic,
        She has taste...YOU will no doubt like her...hard not to..
        Let her know how much you appreciate the time for her to be here today...
        Be a follower here of course you are, aren't YOU ?

        and please go and CHOOSE 3 of your Favorite  dies ( 3 of my fav are in the photo)
        Accuquilt and let us know which ones you want to win...

         WE will choose the winner by tomorrow morning
        and all WANTOBES and QUILTERS will be in this DRAW....

        Big thanks goes out to Allison, Accuquilt, Great Gerberas
        and YOU for being part of this amazing journey..
        I can only imagine how many new friends you will make,
        how many tutorials will fill your PDF files..
        * we have PRINT FRIENDLY now on every post..
        YOU can save any or all that you want...

        Now hurry go tell all of YOUR friends, they can win too today...
        I told you it was going to be an exciting week..this is just the beginning...

         Our GERBERAS compliments from
        Great Gerberas
        these are called KILLIMANJARO...

        Saturday, August 27, 2011

        Saturdays are our Sponsor days..RECAP of our 1st month together - 9 more weeks to go.

        Saturdays are SPONSOR days..

        I thought a recap would be very nice for our 4th week..
        ( with 9 more weeks to go )
        To those who may have missed any of our special days, sponsors
        and guests. Well here you ARE!
        ( never too late to be a Blog Sponsor, or to be registered with
        any of our Blog sponsors on the list on your right) 

        All of our sponsor links of what they sponsored
        can be found on the side bar....
        ( goes directly to all of  their giveaways) 

        Day 16 -Monday.
        Lisa was our guest from UK. 
        ( all of our guests can be linked back to their post)


        IN my past I have married and divorced  37 IRONS, and some would
        say I wear them out like I do my husbands....  but really irons and me
        are not a good marriage...
         UNTIL NOW.

        This one has power steam...you can have a facial at the same time..
        I wrinkled up some linen, listen 2 glides over my fabric...WOW no wrinkles.
        I love that is is heavy, but it glides like an egg over butter in a hot iron pan....
        You think I am kidding here...you think I was talking about a fine
        glass of merlot this iron is sewwwwwwwwwww smooth.
        Do you know how many glasses of wine I have drunk crying over 
        bad irons...( can't tell you really, but I can tell you I have cried a lot)
        NO more crying ...I believe I have found the IRON Of my dreams....

        Sew how many of you been dreaming of a RELIABLE IRON..?
        Are you ready for a happily ever after?
        ( Jeanne won this iron)

        DAY 17 Tuesday
         our guest was Karen from Australia.

        All cut in 1/2 yard triangles.... 6 yds and let us just add 
        a little more BRIGHTNESS to it all..

        How about this Beam N Read...I did a blog hop 
        a few weeks ago hosted by Kelly @ IHAN.
        ( she has these for sale if you don't win)

        I have tried sew many lights, I think I was just burned
        out in the same way as I was about  IRONS...
        none ever worked for me UNTIL
        this one...now I can't imagine living without it..
        NO heat, just light, lightweight around your neck...
        idea for seeing those teeny weeny stitches...
        and the best part..it stays BRIGHT..go figure..
         ( janita won these prizes)

        DAY 18 Wednesday
        our Guest was Steffi  from Germany

                                1/2 yard bundles = 8 yds of Michael Miller's SARAH JANE's Children @ Play..

        Chloe is our prop...Sumatra was climbing a tree.. This collection seems appropriate and the winner could have enough for hundreds of quilts if she or he were to make them this size...AND Our Blog Sponsor you will win this pattern book from .Martingale& Co. and as book reviewer I get copies of these books early... I loved the cover always can tell a lot about the cover and this one will not  disappoint you when you flip through the pages...

        Farm Girl Quilts... being fall is peaking right around the corner
        and there are houses on the cover, I thought this would 
        be a perfect giveaway for our seasoned quilters...

                                                                                       This weather vane with the seasonal houses..
        well anyone thinking of great wall hanging this is a great choice...

        The quilts inside are breathtaking...this one called Tulip Fields,
        don't you love the colors, style..how it drapes on that
        chair inviting to slip under it....

        This one is called Country Roads... no detour here..I can think
        a few of you would enjoy this pattern..

        ( Jana and Des won these prizes)

        DAY 19 Thursday 
        with our Guest Jennie from the US

        Some 1/2 yard bundles from Riley Blake...a mixture of  new collections
        from varied designers....
        Happier Cottons
        Farm Fresh...

        and YOU have to some threads from Presencia/ Colonial Needle. 
        ( you can find these Finca #8 Presencia Threads at Jane's Fabrics...)
        sew here is a lovely collection to get you started..
        and you need some embroidery  needles ( also from Colonial Needle)
        and how about a new pair of scissors from Famore Scissors...
        ( these are ideal...perfect for pulling out your mistakes..) 

        ( Lori won these prizes above)

        DAY 20 Friday
        with Amy from US

        1st you both will win these...
        Amy Bradley's Have a Scrappy Day pad...( magnetic)
        Famore cutting Scissors, ( diff't pair for our sponsor
        but equally $$) and look this Great HOOTS pattern   for both of you 

        And how about this too...all the materials
        to make your very own Tush Cush...

        The Wantobe can choose first...the Aqua/red from Micheal Miller
        or the Citron/Grey from Micheal Miller
        fat quarters 1 dozen + 1 Yd each of  extra fabric ( in each collection)

        ohhhh and this INN Control DOUBLE FUSIBLE.
        from Innovative Crafts...
        Can I tell YOU--you  will love this...LOVE THIS.
        ( it is what I used for my sewing machine cover)

        Wantobe ....do you want this one or

         ( Laurie and Amy won these)

        this one... Aqua/red ? Blog Sponsor will get the other choice
        all equal value...and scissors, and patterns too..

        As always I am INSPIRED by our GUESTS,
        our SPONSORS and YOU.
        It was a terrific week...and you must know
        this is done for  YOU.
        Without quilters, without you WANTOBE's 
        well, all I can say is...YOU MATTER...

        Sew I will pour myself into another 9 weeks...
        Next week YOU want to be here..
        YOU want to tell your PEEPS to be here..
        YOU want to tell all of your friends to be HERE
        ( trust me they will be thanking YOU)

        just saying...