27 March, 2013


This morning a new baby boy has joined my brother and sister-in-laws family. It's always so exciting to have new babies and to give them new things. So this new baby boy is getting my newly finished quilt.

I've decided to call it Sea Glass, because those colored fabrics remind me of of the green glass buoys everyone but me seems to have. And I want some! This time I machine appliqued with a blanket stitch instead of needle turn. I think I prefer the look of needle turn, but you can't ignore the speed of machine applique and the contrasting thread makes it interesting.

I then decided to hand quilt everything else to make the quilt soft to wrap a new baby in. I love the ornate machine quilts, but there is something very... down to earth I guess about hand quilting. I hand quilted around each petal in grey to give some emphasis with the stitching. I love how the dotted line turned out, then used white for a more subtle approach for the background.

So there you go, the newest project, Sea Glass, going to our new family member. We love him already.

The pattern should take less than a year this time!

21 March, 2013


I have had a few people asking how I built this range hood so I thought I would do a small post about it. I would like to say, that these instructions are pretty lame and broad. It's hard to go back and remember how I did stuff when I wasn't really documenting, for instructions, I was just winging it. But some smart person may be able to decipher what I did and build their own, even better hood.

The widest part of the hood is almost 37 inches. That is the trim at the bottom of the upper curve. Our ceilings are 8 feet which made the length of the hood from the ceiling, not including the descending curves 29 1.2 inches. It is 31 inches to the stove, but the fan inside has more distance. All of these measurements were important to me in making sure the hood didn't look out of proportion.

When I designed the hood, I designed it all in the design program Illustrator. I am a graphic designer so it was easy to use the tools available to me to make the curves I like etc. Then I printed it all out full scale and hung it on my walls. This was the side profile I had printed out. Then I had my tall husband stand around it so I could get the height of the hood right and adjusted where needed. This could also be done just by sketching your shape on newsprint and hanging it on your wall.

My husband built a 2x4 frame and securely mounted it to the wall, and we mounted the fan to the frame. Then I cut all the exterior shapes out of 1 inch thick MDF and screwed it to the frame. The sides went on first then the curved front. I used 1/4 inch MDF so it would be flexible and bend to the curve. My husband and I had to push very hard on the MDF to join it with the curve and we used staples to secure it. The straps were also from the 1/4 inch MDF. Then I trimmed out the front and top in MDF as well and gave it a good sanding to make it nice and smooth.

Underneath there painted plywood, cut the  dimensions of the box with a hole cut out of the center for the fan. The bottom of the fan that has the switches and light covers then attaches over the plywood to the fan up in the hood. One day I'll cover this in stainless steel.

The scallops were from a scrapbooking store and were 4 inch die-cut this paper circles I cut in half and glued under my trim. I had bought a hole saw bit to make the circles, but that was a bit of a comical disaster. These paper ones worked like a charm and when painted are as solid as the MDF.

I wish I had taken picture of each step, because I can't remember what the frame looked like underneath, but I know I was able to staple some of that curved front to it. I think there was a cross bar or something. The next range hood I build will not have the curved front. While I love the look, it was hard to pull off with my limited skills. Luckily we were successful and it looks kind of okay!