Sometimes the only way to figure out what you like is to try different things until you find something you like. I am linking up with WIP Wednesday today at Freshly Pieced so I’ll talk about experimenting a little with hand quilting first in case the quilters visiting are not interested in my experimenting with cabinet decoration. 🙂 And if you are visiting from WIP Wednesday, welcome! I hope you stay for a bit and look around and if you like what you see please feel free to follow my little blog.

So I started out yesterday with hand quilting my Bloom Bloom Pow quilt designed by Lee of “Freshy Pieced”. This little quilting frame was quickly ditched. Basically, it was off the quilt the first time I had to move it. Too time consuming! This was also my first time hand stitching with Aurifil and let me say; I can see what all the fuss is about. It was a noticeable difference in how smooth the thread runs through the quilt layers with no snags or knots. It’s a good thing I love it because I’ve purchased quite a bit of it lately.


This was the second bloom I hand quilted. It’s okay. It’s not perfect but I’m keeping the quilt and not entering it in any shows so I can live with little imperfections.

Here is the first bloom from the back. I started out rocking the needle in the hand quilting fashion. Then I thought I’d just do a regular straight stitch. You see all the wonky stitches going off on the diagonal? That’s where I tried doing a regular straight stitch. So now I see the reason for rocking the needle and taking several stitches before pulling the thread through. I’m always learning even after 16 years of quilting. I think the stitches in the back are supposed to be smaller but this is the best I can do so far. I am using shirting fabric for the backing that I got for $1.00 a metre back in the spring at a charity fundraiser.

Now, on to decorating little wall cabinets for my studio. I’ve had these little pine cabinets for years as I wrote yesterday. I was originally going to tole paint them but now I just need to get them up on the walls and start using them to stash things so I decided to go with a quicker method.

Here they are after being painted. I should have taken a before shot but hadn’t decided to blog about them until after painting. I first primed with white primer as they were just bare pine (and I sanded them first because they were quite dusty from sitting around for years). Then I painted them with some paint I had leftover from painting my IKEA kitchen cart. I case you would like the same paint:

I used Martha Stewart Living paint from the Home Depot. The colour is “Sea Glass”.

Sorry, that picture came in sideways somehow. After I painted them I let them dry for a couple of days. Then I sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper and really roughed up the edges and corners to get a shabby chic type of look. (Or maybe a, we-just-found-these-in-great-grandpa’s-garage-and-they’ve been-here-for-years look.)

Here you can see the roughed up corners.

Here they are after sanding. The smaller one I got on clearance because the right side door was falling apart when I bought it. That just ads to my shabby look, yes? I also painted the metal leaf parts with white primer when I did the primer coat and sanded that off too to make it look like a patina on the metal. It didn’t really come off the chicken wire on the large cabinet but I am happy with how it looks.

I used an old paint roller handle as a stir stick because I didn’t have one handy. After the paint was dry I stuck it on my solvent ink pads so see how the ink colours would look on the paint. I only have three solvent ink pads so my choices were forest green, blue and red. I decided the red was the best of the three.

I stamped on the small cabinet with the red but thought it was too bright so I muted it a bit with “Perfect Pearls” powder. To do this, lightly dust the pearl powder onto the wet ink so as not to smudge it (I did smudge one… on the front! Darn it!)

Here are the stamped images with the powder on them.

Then lightly brush the excess powder away with a large brush.

And there you have it. Muted and sparkly. Now we’re for sure closer to the shabby “chic” range of the spectrum.

Here are some stamps on an angle so that the light catches the pearl finish.

This was the ink I used. This is permanent ink so be careful. (My ink pad is getting a bit dried out.) I tried using the “perfect medium” that comes with the perfect pearls but I’d had it around for too long and it went wonky so I had to throw it out. I also tried a water based white ink called “Ink It Up!” but that didn’t work well either. You need to clean solvent ink off your rubber stamps with a special cleaner. I used “Cleans It”. It’s best to clean them right away. I then used my rubber stamp cleaner from Stampin’ Up to condition the rubber. The stamps are called “Nature Walk” from Stampin’ Up.

And here is my finished cabinet. This is the not-so-good- side where I had tried a few inks.

This is the better side.

Here is the front. I like just the few stamps at the bottom. (The eggs were the one I smudged.)

I decided to leave the bigger one as it was with no stamps. My husband is hanging them in my studio for me as I type. I plan to keep thread in the larger one. I’m not sure what to put in the smaller one.

Here is the inside. I sanded the bead board backing a bit but left the shelves unsanded in the hope that they will be easier to dust.
So what do you think of my little project? Is this something you would try? Would you stamp the large one too?
Thanks for visiting my blog today and making it all the way to the bottom of this post! 🙂

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