Tag Archive | All Around the Mulberry Bush

A Novice’s Attempt at Reupholstering!!

I’ve always thought that I’d like to do some reupholstering, but hadn’t ever tried it.

I started with what I thought would be an easy project – a side chair. Our daughter-in-law was getting rid of a chair that she no longer had any use for – and donated it to our daughter. Unfortunately the yellow floral fabric wasn’t to her taste. We decided that the chair would be the first reupholstering attempt. Off to JoAnn’s Fabric we went, where she found fabric she really liked, and she was thrilled that it was half-off!!!

Here’s the chair BEFORE I tore it apart – as you can see, it’s a perfectly good chair and in great condition!

Free chair!

Pretty, isn’t it?   Personally I like the yellow floral.

I took about a hundred pictures during the process, but don’t worry, I won’t post them all – just enough for you to get the picture of how the process went.  I was amazed at how many staples had been used – by the time I’d finished taking everything apart I’d removed more than 200 staples!!

We were surprised to find when we turned the chair over, that the ‘lining’ underneath had a zippered compartment!   It was probably there to make it easier to tighten the chair legs, but we thought it made a nifty hidden compartment!

Although I separated the back from the seat,  we were at a definite disadvantage because the original upholstery was put on BEFORE the legs were attached.  Since I wasn’t about to remove the legs from the structure, we had to improvise along the way.

Here’s a few pictures of how everything was taken apart –

Hidden zippered compartment

Hidden zippered compartment

Pulling staples!

Pulling staples!

Removing screws

Removing screws

Removing all the upholstery layers

Removing all the upholstery layers

Separating back from seat

Separating back from seat

Chair back

Chair back

Before we started reupholstering, I painted the chair legs gray, to match the gray in an end table we had painted for Megan several months ago.   (See previous blog titled “Refinishing a Thrift Store Table”. )

After I removed all the upholstery, I marked the pieces before I took them all apart. Although I was able to use the existing back pieces for a pattern , I was not able to use the pieces from the chair seat because it ripped while I was removing it.  You’ll see in the next pictures that instead of a fitted chair cover we  just ‘wrapped’ it and stapled it on.

"Wrapping" the chair seat

“Wrapping” the chair seat

Trying to 'tuck' fabric down around the legs

Trying to ‘tuck’ fabric down around the legs

Seat covered

Seat covered

Chair back covered

Chair back covered

Zippered compartment put back on

Zippered compartment put back on



Megan approves!

Megan approves!

I’m very happy with the way it turned out, but………I must say it was difficult!  I’m not sure that I’ll try anything more upholstered than an side chair in the future.  It was fun doing it with Megan though – we made a pretty good team!

I’d love to hear about your first time reupholstering projects!   Did they turn out as you expected?  And did you enjoy it enough to keep doing it?    Your comments are welcome and appreciated! Have a great week – Linda


Moving – AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s been a wonderful year living in this huge house!!!

New home

As you may remember, 18 months ago we moved from Oregon to Texas, lock – stock – and barrel!!! The move was so that we could live near our son, daughter-in-law and three little and growing grandchildren. We desperately wanted to be a part of their every-day lives, more than part-time grandparents, and being in Oregon made that impossible!

So, we boxed and loaded everything up, and headed on down.

We decided to live in our 5th wheel for a time until we figured out where we wanted to live. That got old after about 6 months, so we rented a beautiful nearly-new home in a very nice subdivision. We moved in, I unpacked EVERYTHING as if it was our forever home, and enjoyed the home immensely!

Unfortunately, the year is up, and instead of staying the home we are heading back into the 5th wheel. This time we’ll be on the road a lot, traveling around the states and staying in California and Oregon for extended visits, so it won’t be as difficult – I hope:)

Grand Junction

It’s 38 feet long, which sounds big, but when you’re trying to put your sewing room and myriad sewing projects in it, it gets a little crowded!  🙂

This time it’s more difficult – I’m ready to settle down in my own home. I want to decorate, and paint, and do some DIY projects I’ve found on Pinterest!  But, the packing has to get done!  I’ve gotten pretty good at getting rid of a lot of ‘unnecessary’ things – but there still seems to be an awful lot of stuff! Wish me luck – in 4 weeks we’ll be moved out so I better get on it

Do you have some moves under your belt? What do you do to make them less stressful (short of hiring movers to do all the packing and moving)? (or is that just plain impossible?)

Oh, and by the way, Happy Valentines Day to all of you!!! I hope you have a wonderful day!


Queen Stained Glass Star Quilt

Daughter’s quilt is finished and we delivered it today!  It turned out so pretty, and she loves it!

Several weeks ago I talked about the pillow cases I made for her, a matched set to go with the new bedspread.  In addition to the two pillowcases shown below, I made two others in reverse colors (pink with black top).


The quilt is made up of 16 squares with a pink background.  Each square uses a different blue star metallic fabric as an accent.   The corners are accented with a lighter pink star.

Queen quilt

The stained glass effect occurs by using black strips between each piece of fabric, representing the lead came used in real stained glass pieces.


This quilt took about two months to complete.  It was originally going to be a lap quilt, but grew over time into an over-size queen quilt.

I was originally going to tie the quilt at each corner to secure the layers, but decided instead to have it machine stitched in a meandering stipple design.  It looks so pretty with the hot pink thread meandering over the quilt.  It looks like a very large squiggle 🙂










Overall, the quilt fits the queen size bed beautifully, and the four matching pillowcases (two pink / black, and two black / pink) absolutely finish it off perfectly.











What have you been working on this week?  Finished any projects that you are thrilled to finally get done?  Please share your stories and let us know how you are doing.

Talk to you soon,




Quilted Granny Squares – Squared!!!! (Part 1)

Let me just start by saying that I LOVE to quilt!  The fabric selection, putting the fabrics together, touching them (yes, I said touching them!!), and then finally putting it all together into a quilted project.  LOVE it!!!!

When I quilt I almost always paper-piece – which means sewing the fabric directly onto a paper pattern, sewing the pieces together, and then finally removing the paper after the entire quilt top is finished.  For me, this method is much simpler than the traditional quilting method of sewing the fabrics together which requires being more accurate than I’m apparently capable of!  I tried it years ago – I wasn’t good sewing straight 1/4″ seams!

I recently suggested to my daughter-in-law that I’d love to make she and my son a quilt for their bed, and she  took me up on the offer.  She’s an avid Pinterest user and quickly checked her Boards and found several quilt patterns that she loved and that would look great in their bedroom.  After some deliberation she decided that a Granny Square quilt was the winner!  Her inspiration was from Angela at Cut to Pieces. The quilt that Angela posted is beautiful!   My daughter-in-law loves color, and is open to use of all kinds of fabric, so that opened up all kinds of possibilities.

I may have mentioned in the past that I love fabric!!!!!!!!  And I have tons of it on hand – hundreds of yards of it – florals, solids, stripes, metallics, blenders; you name it I’ve got it.  So this Granny Square quilt is the perfect opportunity to use up some of the stash.    (Picture below is just a small portion but look at all the wonderful colors!!!)

Fabric stash!

I got busy – I pulled out tons of the fabrics and starting cutting 2-1/2″ wide strips.   I know that I cut WAY more fabric strips than this quilt will need – I tend to over estimate – but I figure whatever is leftover will be used in some other project.

Then I had to cut all those strips down into 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares!  Tedious!  For awhile I  tried to cut two strips of fabric (8 layers of fabric) but with so many layers the fabric tended to slip around under the ruler.  I was concerned that the cut square wouldn’t actually be square (and it turns out that some aren’t), and throw off the seam allowance.  I finally changed to cutting only four layers of fabric (one strip) and that worked out better.  I now have BAGS and BAGS of squares!  LOTS of bags.  At least they are separated by color.

Bags of 2-1/4" squares

Each Granny Square consists of 5 central same-color fabrics (i.e. pink), 8 same-color fabrics (i.e. blue), and 12 neutral color fabrics.  We decided that our neutrals would be off-whites and tans, all different, to add more interest to the quilt.  No matchy-matchy 🙂

Ready to Sew!

I sewed together my first Granny Square, matching seams and sewing the first two fabric squares together making sure to use a ‘scant’ 1/4″ seam allowance.  (‘Scant’ = a few threads less than a full 1/4″).  After all the squares were sewed together, and the rows sewed together, I pressed it very carefully being careful not to stretch the fabrics.  Time to ‘square up’ the Granny Square.

Well, apparently I wasn’t careful enough!!!!!!   All edges were straight except one!  For some reason one edge ends up off-square.  I’ve made seven more squares – some are okay and some are off-square.  If I use those off-square Squares, the rows will not be even and the quilt will be ‘cock-eyed’ (cock-eyed is not a quilting term but it certainly explains the situation!)  Note the corner in the next picture where the edges don’t meet up.

Corners don't meet.

See the un-even corner? All corners need to match up!








PIN! PIN! PIN! Make sure all seems match up!

The last Granny Square I made (the 8th Square) came out perfectly.  I was very careful to only use squares that were 2-1/2″ square, made sure to use scant 1/4″ seams, and it seems to have worked.  So now I know, no more zipping along – quality vs. quantity!

8 blocks

Part 2 of this 2-part series will be completed when the quilt is completed – probably not for quite a while.  This particular king-size quilt will need about 100 of the 9″ squares – so I have quite a way to go  being very careful to sew precise seams.

Based on the few that I have completed though it will be beautiful!   I can’t wait to see the finished product!

Have you tried a Granny Square quilt yet?  Did you use a variety of colors, or was it a ‘color-coordinated’ quilt?  Would love to hear all about it!!

More soon,


Home-made King-size Bed Pillowcases

More than a year ago my daughter bought fabric so I could make her a lap quilt.  With the move from Oregon, living in an RV for months, moving into a house, etc., getting the lap quilt finished moved to the very bottom of the list.

But, she moved from California to Texas and moved into her own apartment a short time ago.  And she needed some bedding.  So….the lap quilt moved up the list and it became a bedspread 🙂   A queen-size bedspread with sides that would drop deep on both sides.   I’ll post more about the bedspread soon (it just needs a backing added), but today I made some matching pillowcases for the ensemble.

I love making these pillowcases.  I’ve made a variety over the years, but these ‘burrito’ pillowcases win hands-down!  Easy, fast, anyone can do them.  I’m not going to post the tutorial here because Anina at The Twiddletails Blog has written a detailed and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructional tutorial on how to make the ‘burrito’ pillowcase.

So, instead, here are just a few pictures of my finished product.  Please note that my daughter’s colors for her bedroom are hot-pink leopard print, black, and a variety of blue-starred metallic fabrics. (I know – unusual choices – I thought I wouldn’t like them but I do!)  When you see the finished bedspread you’ll be surprised by how striking it is!

IMG_5174IMG_5175King-size Pillowcase

I’m very pleased with the results – I can’t wait to see it all on her bed!!!

And it gets me thinking about making some nice pillowcases for my own bed – so much prettier than those in the store!

What projects have you been working on this new year?  Finished anything yet?  We’d love to hear about your completed projects!

‘Til next time –


PS — all the fabrics for the bedspread and matching pillowcases are from the Keepsake Cotton Fabric collection at JoAnn’s Fabrics.  I LOVE THAT STORE!!

Pinterest Angel Food – Pineapple Dessert

While perusing Pinterest recently I stumbled upon a recipe that had been posted from Dawn’s Quilt Corner.  I read her post and she ASSURED me (well, everyone!) that this two-ingredient recipe was super simple and yummy too!  Two ingredients????  Yup!

I decided to give it a try last week.  We had company staying, and we wanted something sweet but not too heavy.  Sounded like the perfect opportunity to try out the Angel Food – Pineapple Dessert!

I followed the directions that Dawn posted, pretty much to the letter.

–   I used a 9 x 13 glass baking pan (I didn’t spray it)

–   I dumped one (1) box of Angel Food cake mix (no extra ingredients) into the pan (I had Duncan Hines mix on hand)

–   and I then dumped one (1) 20 oz can of crushed pineapple (including the juice) over the cake mix (I used HEB Hill Country brand).I gently mixed the angel food cake mix and the crushed pineapple together.  Dawn was careful to mention that she stirred by hand – no mixer needed – and I followed her suggestion.  It was interesting watching the interaction of the pineapple juice with the angel food cake – it didn’t exactly bubble, but it did froth up while I stirred.  I think if a mixer is used that frothiness wouldn’t occur, and the cake may not raise as much.

When you make this dessert, make sure that you mix all the dry ingredients into the the pineapple juice.  It won’t seem possible when you start, but it does mix into a cake-like consistency.

Pop it into the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, and Ta Da!!!! – you’ve got dessert.


After we let it cool a bit, we served it up to the company – we used sugar free Cool Whip as our topping, but it would be delicious with vanilla ice cream as well.  The cake was very light because of the Angel Food mix, but moist from the pineapple.  We all really liked the taste and texture of the pineapple bits in the cake.

Everyone LOVED it – in fact, they ate it for breakfast the next day as well!!!

When we make this again, we might change it up a little just to see how it works – someone suggested a powdered sugar glaze over the top which sounds really good. Someone else suggested putting pineapple SLICES at the bottom of the pan before baking.  That means you would have to mix in a separate bowl, and carefully pour over the slices.   A variation of a ‘Pineapple – Upside Down’ cake!

Have you tried this Pinterest find yet???  If you do, I’d love to hear how you like it, and if you made any variations to the original recipe!  Your comments and feedback are much appreciated!