Saturday, September 25, 2010

Quilt Shop at the Show

Today was the first day of the quilt show of the Country Patchwork Quilter's Guild in Marshall, Missouri. The mini quilt shop is having its first outing. This is the view from the ticket desk. Look what's in a place of prominence. Several hundred visitors came to the show, and most of them stopped to ooh and aah over the mini quilt shop. Here is a photo of the skirt. Lloyd took one look and commented that I'd left the fringe off the bottom. All floats in the Mardi Gras parades have fringe covering the wheels. Somehow I hadn't looked at the display table as a float, but several people who heard him teased me on and off all day. You can see a faint horizontal line where the roof angle begins. That's where the vertical Plexiglass and the 4" strip meet. Together they closed up the shop and kept it safe from exploring fingers. Although, I must admit that the visitors were very courteous. I think that being quilters, they are accustomed not to touch quilts on display.
I took advantage of the setup to take a number of photos through the windows of the shop with the lights on. I'll process and post some of them another day. This last photo is the view through the front door. You can see part of the well-stocked shelf unit, the little boy, and part of the blonde shopper as well as the bolts of muslin under the counter.
By the way, the led lights burned brightly all day. Not a one burned out. I have a lot of AA batteries on hand, just in case. These are the 6" utility lights from Walmart.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Goodness! You surprised me!

Somebody mentioned in another forum that she was one of the followers of this blog. I never assumed there would be a whole lot of interest, so I haven't been paying attention. Suddenly, there are more than a hundred of you! Please accept my apologies for not greeting you individually. You are all more than welcome!

And those of you who have posted comments, thank you! I appreciate your interest and take your suggestions to heart.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mardi Gras -- the Morning After

As I've been finishing up the quilt shop, a small voice called out to me now and then. After a bit, I figured out it was a beautiful bed that I'd received last October from Deb at Deb's Minis. Deb has a blog here and a website here and an Etsy shop here. Go visit. You'll be glad you did!
Anyway, the voice whispered, "You have a roombox kit and everything else you need to rescue me from this stuffy box. Get with it!" So, I did.
Deb called the bed the Morning after Mardi Gras, so that is the theme of the box. In a couple of hours, I'd stained a window, made a false wall, found a photo of the French Quarter for background, installed a light, cut and stained some flooring, and tested some of the stain on the bed. (The bed was a very light color. I thought the scene would pull together if it were a warmer oak shade. If you poke the photo to enlarge it, you can see the original bed color on the side and the test area on the end.) The bed is turned around, by the way. I tested behind the headboard, where it wouldn't be seen in case of disaster. Here's an overhead shot of the lighting. It's one of those LED utility lights from Walmart that Deb turned me on to last fall. I love 'em!

The clamps are holding up the cove molding. I inherited some resin egg-and-dart molding from my friend Norma Jeane. Hadn't planned to use it because the ceiling is so low, but guess who cut the false wall a hair short and had everything glued before she realized it. The molding will keep the light from spilling in over the top of the wall. The floor is a combination of stains -- Early American base with Walnut rubbed over it. Gives the floor a nice aged look. The flooring itself is by Houseworks. I love the wallpaper; it picks up a color in the bedding.
Last photo is where it stands at the moment. The bed is stained, curtains hung. I like the way the light and shadows play on the left wall. I'll have to find something wonderful to hang there. The cove molding is a bit cattywampus. This was the first time using the resin, and I wasn't too thrilled with the way it handled. It bowed and twisted, and I had a devil of a time getting it to lie flat against the wall, even with the clamps. But it's doing the job it was meant to do, and since there is a solid ceiling on the room box, it won't be all that noticable.
Tomorrow I'll have the fun of going through my stash of accessories to see what might be added to the room. See the go-cup by the bed? It needs to be painted. I wrapped some ribbons in Mardi Gras colors around fat paint brush handes and doused them with hairspray while I was doing the curtains. Not sure how they'll be used yet.
Things to do: add a plant or two, maybe a nonworking light, wall art, and a rug. Fill the shelves in the desk with books and bric-a-brac, maybe flip the desk open and fill with paperwork, etc. May add some greenery outside the window, just enough to add to the illusion of depth.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Visitors for the Quilt Shop

Here's a picture of the quilted skirt for the display table. It's hard to see, but the blocks that look white are really unbleached muslin made with the same pattern as the colorful blocks. I thought having all colorful blocks would draw too much attention to the skirt, so I alternated them. Now that they're quilted (I outlined the houses), they show up better -- like ghost houses. :) All four panels are finished, but I'm not going to staple them to the base until we set up for the show. I'll show you photos from the show. Here are the visitors to the show. The grandpa doll has already take off his lavender shrug (really!), and the grandma doll shed her dress in hopes of getting a new one. All of the ladies were treated to hair styling, and everybody's clothing changed a bit except for the boy, who for some reason missed this photo opportunity.
The young man looks much better with his oversized collar gone and his lavender trouses changed for houndstooth. The lady in the blue dress got a new belt. The lady in the red turtleneck lost her collar and got a new pair of slacks. The grandma doll didn't get a new dress, but she did get a much needed hair-do and an apron. She's going to be stationed in the kitchen, keeping an eye on the refreshments. Grandpa got a new shirt and a scarf. I think he is the gallery owner from the Big City that Janice mentioned in a comment. I hope he finds a lot of quilts for his gallery.
By the way, I did notice the stains on the little girl's shirt. Her red collar ran when I doused her hair with hairspray. I debated making a new shirt for her but then decided she's a tomboy who can never keep her clothes clean anyway, so why bother? She may have her back to the audience or be playing hide and go seek with the boy ... we'll see!

Along with the owner and quilter made by Havanaholly and the two resin people in the apartment, it makes a total of eleven people in the shop. I think the lady in blue will be shopping, the family and grandpa will be admiring quilts, and grandma will be in the kitchen, but they may have other ideas when it comes time to set up.
Oh .. I forgot one other person. I didn't get her photo today, but there is a lady in the workroom, working at one of the sewing machines. Cindy Lou came from a vignette I made a few years ago in a Greenleaf Dollhouses competition. She got tired of riding the ski lift. Click on her name to see her. That makes an even dozen inhabitants.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quilt Shop Update

I've been working on the quilted skirt for the display table. I'm doing it in panels, and am I ever glad I made that decision. Two panels are 24" wide and 30" long. The other two are 54" wide and 30" long. They will be stapled to the edge of the 2' x 4' piece of half-inch plywood that is serving as a base. Can you imaging trying to make a piece 12 feet long x 30"? I can't!
Yes, I know 4' equals 48", not 54" ... the wider piece will wrap around slightly so there won't be gaps at the corners.
Sorry, no photos today. Nothing much has changed on the inside except an iron that Lloyd found on line has been added to the ironing board.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The quilt shop gets some signs

Yesterday Daisy commented that some shutters might look nice. The exterior was a bit plain, but I didn't want to spent a lot of time on it, so I took the easy way out. I found a shutter I liked on the Home Depot website, tinkered with the color until it came close to the roof color, and printed them out. They were sprayed with clear Krylon paint and glued on with liquid starch, so they can be taken off easily. Thanks, Daisy. I like the way this looks. What a good idea! :)
I also added the channel to hold the Plexiglass panel and took this photo with the roof flap down. I'm not sure if you've seen it this way. It will be flipped up during the show, so folks can see inside more easily. The streetside got a nice sign to fill in some of the big white void. This side will probably be facing the hall windows in the YMCA. Maybe the sign will lure some visitors into the quilt show. The backside needed a little punch, so I put a sign there, too. It directs customers to the front of the shop. I didn't want to mess with shutters on the French doors, and that spot looked a bit bare.
I can see all kinds of tiny tinkerings that can be done, but tomorrow I believe I'll start work on the skirt for the table. It will mean making some real life quilt blocks.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The end is in sight . . .

I do believe the shop is nearly finished. If you spot anything that I've missed, please let me know. Poke the photos for a larger image.
The quilt block in the front gable mimics the barn quilts that are so popular in the Midwest. It was made by slicing nearly through a piece of foam core and poking fabric into the slits. It got three coats of polyurethane and is framed with skinny sticks. Besides being decorative, it covers a demi-lune handhold, sort of an attic window with no glass. It and its mate on the other end of the house are handy when this house has to be moved. You can see the old lady at the quilt frame in the upper left window. Need to add: American flag. This is the backside. It looked like a good place to put up a sign so all of the little people driving by will know the quilt show is open. The upstairs window is the apartment. Below it the kitchen window, and on the right the shop window at the bottom of the stairs.
The back of the house also sports a quilt block. I painted a wooden pot and added the foliage for some color. They are glued to a piece of foamcore board, so the whole thing can be removed for moving. I found the wishing well while looking through my stash. It was made Jen (Intrinsicat) on the Greenleaf Dollhouse forum for a swap in 2007. I knew I'd find just the right place for it. :)

On the ground floor you can see into the shop, and beside it the quilt show. Behind the show display is the kitchen/break room. By cutting the number of display quilts from four to three, it is easier to see details in the kitchen. They can also be seen by looking in the windows. The fourth quilt is the one that moved outside. Upstairs on the left is the workroom, beside it the bath, and the apartment is on the right. I'll post just one photo from each room tonight so you can see where they stand.
I do believe the shop is finished. Can you think of anything that should be added?
The showroom lights highlight the quilts very nicely. There should be a bit more decoration, and I think a table with show programs. And the bottom of the fireplace peeking out from under the quilt on the wall needs to be covered. A piece of white foam core board should do the trick.
Upstairs, the workroom has a new quilt hanging on the railing. I was mumbling about needing an iron for the ironing board, and dear Lloyd did a search and found one on eBay, bless his heart. Sorry the photo is so blurry.
The sign on the bathroom door says, "Private." I do believe this room is finished, although a little storage cabinet for extra towels and cleaning supplies would be nice.
Here's the biggest surprise for you -- there's a man in the studio apartment! I'm not sure yet exactly who he is. The apartment is obviously not big enough for two to live there, so he must be a visitor.
That's the quick run-down on the rooms. I do want to share one detail, though. The sign was fun to make. I'm getting to be adept with the hairspray.
Now that all but the littlest details are finished, I've started working on the cover for the open side. I don't want to have to spend the entire show saying, "Please don't touch." I painted wooden channels, which will be afixed to the edge of the opening. The Plexiglass will slide down from the top. I'm not sure how to handle the slanted opening at the roof, where a piece of the wooden roof hinges back. I may just lay a strip of Plexiglass over it or leave it open and close the roof when I step away. Lloyd says he can bend the Plexi to make a one-piece cover, but I'm not sure that's the way to go.
I do want to leave you with one last photo -- the worktable well tidied up. I spent the end of the evening putting nearly everything away. Those are the channel strips drying and a few odds and ends.
After the Plexi is in place, there's still the skirt to be made to hide the taboret base. But that's another day.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Moving along . . .

Today I was all over the place. Talk about unfocused energy! I needed more wall hangings, so this morning I printed out another dozen or so. In the process of hanging them, I took a good look at the quilt frame. I never was too happy with the quilt that came with it. One of the printies from the morning was a quilt I liked much better, so I redid it. The still nameless old lady -- uhhhh, senior citizen -- likes it much better, too.
I added a lot of detail to every room today, but didn't take pictures. In the apartment, I moved the knitting lady to the comfy chair so she could watch the TV and got a good start on a bedside table where she used to sit. In the kitchen I hung a calendar and posted a class schedule on the refrigerator. I have a bulletin board to hang and a kettle for the stove. In the show room I tried out some accessories but didn't like them. In the shop I added some signs. In the workshop I added a large wastebasket, which started out life as part of one of Lloyd's disposable inhalers, hung a few more small quilts and draped a larger one over the bannister.
I did take photos of the bathroom because I thought it was finished. But as soon as I took these shots, I realized I really couldn't live with the red bottles and jars. They were traded out for shades of pink. And I added signs to the bathroom doors: the one on the workshop side says Restroom, and the one on the bathroom side of the apartment door says Private. So, as usual, it turned out I really wasn't done after all, but I'm too tired to reshoot the photos. How do you like the mirror? A large jewelry finding for the back, a round mirror, and bits of another finding that I cut up for the clips. It's a bit over the top glitz for a commercial restroom, but I love the fixtures and it all goes together.

I really think I can get this project wound up by the weekend (she says with great hope). I've even begun to put away tools and supplies as I work, so the craft area is showing some organization. I hope I have the energy to push on tomorrow. Last night I was up several times with our chihuahua, JoJo, who is afraid of thunderstorms. The forecast for tonight is more of the same. I may be sleeping in. *yawn*