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Lamp Shade DIY and Queen Pillowcases – Guest Room’s Ready!

I decided when we moved in that I wanted to design the guest room around an existing comforter we already had.  It’s a black background with silvery-gray design throughout.  For color-splashes I chose citrus green and grape.

I started the room by putting together two bedside tables that will also serve as small dressers.  I generally depend on my husband for these projects, but he’s so busy on outdoor stuff that I decided to give it a go myself.  It took about three hours, but I did it.





I purchased two lamp bases, and two plain off-white lamp shades.


I wanted dress up the shades with some fabrics using the black, green and purple motif.








Here’s how I trimmed them out:  For the first layer, I cut a 2-inch wide of the black/white fabric. Using a seam ripper, I picked away at the threads until I had about 1/2″ of frayed threads across the top edge.


Before I attached the fabric to the shade, I folded over 1/2″ on the bottom edge and ironed in order to have a clean edge showing.  I then hot-glued the frayed fabric around the top edge, with the frayed part up above the shade edge.





The next layer was the citrus green.  I cut it 1-1/2″ wide, folded in half and ironed it smooth.  I hot-glued that along the bottom edge of the black fabric; the raw edge is in the center.


The last layer, the purple, was cut 3/4″ wide; I folded in half and ironed, and then I used a pinking shears and cut the raw edges so that it ended up about 1/2″ wide when flattened out.  It was sort of hard to pink in a straight line so I had to fix a few areas, but it turned out pretty good.  If you don’t have a pinking shears, you could just cut in a wobbly line down the edge in order to give it interest!




So, here’s how the lamp shades turned out!

lamp shade


I also made two queen pillowcases using the same fabrics as the lamp shades!  I’ve made these before and blogged about them here, so I won’t go through that again!  Have you ever made your own pillowcases?   I love having being able to make unique pillowcases to brighten up a room!   Here is the finished product!




Although the room isn’t quite finished, it’s definitely ready for company.  I have a headboard that I got off Craigslist that I need to refinish, but that’s a project for another day (week, month).  I hope you’ll come back to see it finished!

I hope you come visit All Around the Mulberry Bush again!   Have a great week –











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,


T.V. Tray to Upholstered Pressing Table

So, how many of you are quilters who are tired of twisting around every 10 seconds, scooting to the ironing board and back again, just to iron a little seam so you can move on!

Me TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was researching Pinterest the other day (okay, checking out all the cool stuff hour after hour!) and found a great tutorial posted by Elizabeth Hartman at Oh, Fransonn!.   She explained, in detail, how to convert a small folding wooden t.v. tray into a padded pressing table.

I followed the instructions included in Oh, Fransonn’s post, and YAHOO, I have a great little table that sits beside my chair!  No more twisting around and scooting back and forth to the big ironing board!  My cutting mat on one side, my little pressing table on the other, and I’m ready (and no excuses 🙂 )

Oh, Fransonn’s instructions were so clear that there’s no need for me to duplicate, but here are a few pictures of my little project.  You’ll notice that mine isn’t quite as neat underneath because I didn’t take the time to cut my fabric to size first (I should have though!).  However, even so, from the top it looks pretty good, and it works great!


But, regardless of how it looks from underneath, on top it’s perfect!!

Sorry about the mess – I’m working on a queen size scrappy quilt, and I tend to keep all the scraps out and about while I’m working.  It works for me at the time, and feels great when it’s all cleaned up!!

I’d love to hear about your projects!   Your comments and suggestions are always welcome!

Have a great week,


P.S. – I found my oak-stained TV Tray at Walmart for less than $9.00.  They also had the walnut stained table for the same price.

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!