Monday, June 12, 2017

Using Fabric to Decorate A Home - Part 1

White walls are the enemy. They might make for good quilt pictures, but as a color-obsessed quilter, my first move in any place would be to paint (side note: I actually love painting walls. My mom and I could paint contently all day).

While our new apartment allows painting, the repainting fees per room are quite extravagant. We're hoping to stay more than 2 years, but still, it doesn't seem like the right move. So, I've decided to spruce up the place with bursts of color. In the past, I started a series called "Project Color My Apartment" (scroll down my Community page here to read the posts). I guess this is the second series!

When we first saw the place and made the decision to move, I decided to take my cheap little storage ottoman with me. I haven't really used it proudly (because of the color - much more pink than purple) and it seemed high time to recover it. After polling Instagram, I grabbed my long-stashed-and-much-loved blue Alison Glass chambray. If I had used the beige one, I'm pretty sure I'd trip over it every time I walked into the room, because our carpet is the same color! ;)

I've been working behind the scenes with chambray a lot, and I'm pleased with its drape and solid nature (it's thicker than quilting cotton). Staple gunning the fabric to the ottoman wasn't difficult, but certainly a two-woman job (I folded and help while Mom stapled). Every time I walk into my living area now, I get a swell of pride seeing it there!

My mom also rescued and painted a quilt rack for Christmas, so I've used that to temporarily store some quilts and bring color to the room. These quilts will be on the road all summer, so their loveliness in this space is short-lived! But a little color makes this feel like home. I'd really love to get a quilt ladder one day, too.

Now that we're unpacked, the next project is walls. Even my husband, who could live for decades without a thing on the wall, openly admitted that this was necessary. Besides quilts and picture frames, some embroidery hoops are on the table. I'll have more photos to share later in the summer, for sure!

We're not allowed to use screws or Command hooks so I'll likely be using my handy dandy clear pushpins for smaller quilts (go away, quilt police, they're my quilts and I'll do what I like with them!). So, here's the big question: do you have any suggestions for hanging larger quilts without screws or Command hooks?

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  1. Oh wow, I'll have to puzzle on the larger quilt hanging question a bit. I used thumb tacks to cover an entire "focal" wall in fabric in college for the same reasons.

  2. If the wall isn't too long, you could use a tension curtain rod and then some cafe hooks to hang it. Other thoughts involve plywood... so not too apartment friendly.

    Also, I've seen great tutorials on how to "wallpaper" a wall with just some fabric and liquid starch... supposedly comes right off with water. I haven't convinced hubby to try it, but I could be rebellious and experiment for you. He can't be too upset if I help a friend out, right? :)

  3. I don't know how I would survive without command hooks! Good luck!

  4. Hi Jess, try using a portable garment rack. It is usually tall and wide enough to display more of a quilt than the quilt rack. Should be a pretty sturdy one though. Love your quilt colors.

  5. It looks like you have a light-filled new home, and your ottoman is perfect. Could you find a used or put together some kind of free standing screen that you could hang things on/over? You know--the kind of thing with a bend or 2 that will stand up (like bifold doors on a closet). You could even check a place like Habitat for Humanity ReStore that carries used building materials--might even find a ladder you could use!

  6. I like the ottoman.
    Yeah, do not paint. Too much effort and not worth the payment later. Use command hooks. sew little loops on the quilt.
    3M is the best thing since .... that last best thing

  7. Depending on width of wall what about those compressed extension rods? I can't recall their proper American name but my grandma used them to hand curtains in her kitchen window. You could put hanging sleeve on back for it to slide thru.

  8. I agree: quilts and other fabric-y makes are a great way to add color to a room. In fact, there are some rooms in my house that I wish had less color, which would make them more conducive to quilt displaying. : )

    Enjoy making this new space your home!

  9. Get a backdrop stand and some curtain rod clips. Super useful and great for quilt photography.

  10. I like the quilt rack and the . I hang my small quilts up using old sewing needles. I am not sure how I would hang a larger quilt without screws or command strips.

  11. Heather has a great idea with the backdrop stand. My daughter used one for her "Step-and-Repeat" backdrop for her party picture area.

  12. As mentioned above, I have used old sewing machine needles to hang some quilts, they are sturdy, sharp enough to go in the drywall and fairly unobtrusive. Are nails an option? I knew someone who slipped a piece of thin wood into her hanging sleeve and then put a few strategic nails through the ends of the piece of wood and then let the wider quilt flip down over the sleeve again.

  13. The light in your apartment looks amazing! Your quilts certainly spruce up the whiteness and the newly covered ottoman looks great. Why can't you use Command hooks? Isn't the whole point of them that they don't damage the walls?? I'm afraid I can't help with ideas for hanging larger quilts...we use cup hooks and dowels that fit nicely inside them.

  14. I would like to know too why you can't use command hooks.



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