Friday, July 29, 2016

Can we get a pool Dad? - Part 3

We got a pool (last summer)! When I last wrote about the pool, we had just up it up and were about to fill it. It took us a little over 9 hours to fill the pool (okay, it took DH that long, I wasn't even home when he filled it). Unfortunately for us, by the time we got the pool up and filled with water, the weather had cooled down and we didn't get to use it much.  Bummer dude :(

Fast forward to Summer 2016! We figured out two things rather quickly this summer.
#1 - The pool ladder was kind of wobbly and unsafe, and there was no place to put our towels/pool floats/pool noodles/soda etc etc.
#2 - We live in the high dessert & it cools off at night and the pool can't retain it's temperature.

So this summer we tackled both of those issues. We installed a solar heater so that we always have the perfect water temperature. And we built a deck! (okay, again I really had nothing to do with the actual building of said deck)
Construction of the deck.

I'm overly excited about this.

 Jeff, myself and his Dad all worked on staining the wood for the deck. (Yup...I actually helped. I think I stained 5 out of like a zillion boards..but it still counts as helping).
Finished deck and stairs!
The next step in our pool project will be to add a railing, and a path to the stairs. Ohhh I also want to add planters at the bottom of the stairs. Somehow, I think the pool is going to be one of those never ending projects. I have a feeling that every summer we will be adding more and more to it. But that's okay because we now use the pool all the time, and it's fast becoming one of our favorite investments.

Happy Summer!!!
-Kat  :)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Great- Grandmother's Quilt

I had a rare and amazing opportunity to quilt a vintage quilt top. Not just any vintage quilt, this one was pieced by my husbands great grandmother Mary Ann Wirth.

Family members were able to confirm that the floral fabric in the quilt used to be her dress. That's right she cut up her own clothes and used them to create a quilt to keep others warm.

The darker solid yellow fabric is vegetable died muslin, the lighter yellow fabric is a sheet that she cut up into fabric strips. She really put a lot of work into making this quilt top.

At one point she ran out of white thread and finished the piecing of the blocks using black thread. Our best guess is that because this top was created during war time, she probably wasn't able to get more thread or perhaps couldn't afford to buy more white thread so she just finished it up using what she had on hand. Nothing went to waste back in those days.

She started piecing the top by hand, and later she was given a sewing machine as a gift and the remainder of the top was completed by machine.
The quilt on my longarm.
My mother-in-law brought the quilt to me, along with maroon fabric for the back (to match the maroon flowers in the dress fabric). She and I went through my books of quilting patterns and together we decided on an edge to edge floral pattern.

Stitching out the floral quilt pattern.
All quilted!!!

The back is just stunning.
We had to put it on a bed..just once.

So pretty.

My mother-in-law (Doreen) had promised her mother that someday she would have her grandmother's quilt top finished. Doreen added the finishing touch by stitching on the binding and now she proudly displays the quilt in their WI home. It's full of history and love. Three generations of women in our family have worked on this quilt, and I'm honored to have been part of this family heirloom.

-Kat  :)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Mom's Studio Makeover

Last year I flew to Boston to visit my family and help my Mom set up her studio. When my parents first built their house, Mom was given a room to be her sewing studio. Of course as it often does, life got busy and her room became many things over the years, but sadly a sewing studio was not one of those things. It was my goal to change that!

Like me, Mom has lots of sewing supplies, and I could tell that she was a bit overwhelmed at having to organize and entire room full of stuff. Luckily for her...I LOVE and I mean LOVE organizing. I think I was more excited about the project than she was.

 I started by clearing out the entire room...and then slowly bringing items in. It took myself, my Mom and my Dad to get that nice new chair put together. It was a stubborn chair!

Mostly empty room.

After a quick trip to Joann's I was able to hang up thread racks on the wall. (okay, okay, Dad hung them up. I'm not an expect with power tools)
YES! Thread racks!

I put hooks on the wall to hang her embroidery hoops and quilting rulers from.

 I had a little too much late night fun putting together furniture. there really such thing as "to0 much fun"?!?!  Maybe I should re-phrase that.

So many organizational options!

When I was sorting through her supplies, I found the floral plaques that I had given her as birthday gifts and Mother's Day gifts over the years. So of course I had to hang those up!

I filled this cabinet with baskets full of embroidery stabilizers, designs and other goodies.

Remember that furniture from earlier.....all filled with notions, patterns and more!

The completed thread wall! I just love looking at a wall full of color!

Counter top, cabinets, and everything Mom needs...right at her fingertips.

Super organized hoops! (The candle is one that we both bought on a shopping trip in Sisters, OR earlier in the year, therefore I had to put it on the counter so that she could think of me every day.)

Did I mention that I love to organize? I had my Dad install shelves in the closet. Meanwhile, I cut up cardboard boxes and spent a little bit of time, wrapping her fabric around them. And, of course, I put it on the shelf according to color.

Patterns, books, and magazines also got their own spot. As did sequins, beads etc.
 Everything is now labeled too!

 Dad also helped me adjust her cutting table to the correct height. An viola!! An amazing, organized sewing studio! Here are a few more after photos.

Once the room was done, I spent the rest of my trip visiting family, digitizing and test stitching out my designs in her new studio. Ergo, I'm confident when I say the new room is very functional.

I hope this studio makeover inspires you in some way.

-Kat  :)

About Me

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Welcome to Calico Cali Designs! I’m Kat, digitizer and sewing enthusiast. I learned how to digitize in 2010 from master digitizer Walter Floriani…it was an amazing experience. Soon instead of spending my time sewing, quilting and stitching out other people’s embroidery designs, I was sewing, quilting and stitching out my own embroidery designs. I created this blog, not only as a place to share my embroidery designs, but also as a place to share all the things I make, sew, paint, embroider, and create. You’ll see posts about my life, my studio, patterns I’ve sewn and products I’ve tested. I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them. Follow me on twitter . Hugs!! – Kat