She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31:13

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quilts for Kids

     I finished my last quilt of the summer today, washed it and packed it up for shipping off to the local chapter of Quilts for Kids. It's a smaller I Spy made with the leftovers from my son's quilt, I had cut extra pieces planning to make this. I threw it over another quilt which is hanging in my living room and tucked it in to make it stay for the photo, which makes it appear somewhat distorted, but in reality it isn't.
    It's always a great feeling to finish a quilt, but this one was bittersweet since it will be a long time till I get to make another with school starting next week!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Spy Quilt

    I spy with my little eye....... This quilt was fun to make, it's a twin size I Spy quilt for my son. It has all his favorite things from bowling and spongebob to pizza and strawberries, and lots of yellow! I free-motion quilted it on my machine with a meandering pattern. I've been collecting I spy fabrics for some time, and got a charm pack on ebay to top it off. I had enough squares left over to make an I Spy quilt to donate to Quilts for Kids, which I'm working on now. I only have one week of summer vacation left to finish it and then I go back to school, so it will be the last quilt I do for a while.

     I don't think I can go a whole semester without doing something creative if I wish to keep my sanity so I precut some pieces for a scrappy star quilt, I have a Take Five quilt that I'm in the process of hand-quilting and blocks for a crazy quilt that I'm hand embroidering and embellishing. Cutting is the part of quilting I least like; it's so boring and time-consuming, so having some precut pieces will allow me to do a little piecing from time to time. I have projects in each stage of completion along with a cable sweater to knit on so I should be able to squeeze in a bit of creative fix when the stress gets too high.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Baby Quilt

     Wow, I can't believe it has been so long since I posted here! I made this baby quilt for my nephew's daughter, my first great niece, back at spring break.  I used a rough approximation of the rectangle squared quilt pattern found here: . It was a fun easy quilt to make. I machine quilted meandering and a few large butterflies into it, but couldn't get the colors to show true in any of my photos.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quick Weekend Bag

     I needed a bag with some pockets for school and while I have a large reuseable bag collection, as I mentioned once on my other blog, none of them had pockets. I never leave home without either my water or my reuseable drink bottle filled with herbal tea, and my water bottle leaked onto one of my school books when I didn't realize the cap wasn't all the way tightened.

    I solved that problem by using some leftover blocks from the turquoise quilt in my header and some fabric from my stash. I quickly put this bag together on the weekend and it has a bottle pocket for my water or tea, a pocket for my pens, pencils, highlighter, and flash drive. I squared off the bottom and lined it, it stands up perfectly and now I'm set for school. 
 Here's the other side-

I am trying to keep little projects going as often as possible, I feel so much better when I do something creative!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Organizing Scraps And Stash

     When I'm sewing I throw all of my scraps into the basket above. It became an unusable hodgepodge which sat there until it was overflowing. The pieces are all sizes and shapes, so they just sit there gathering dust. I decided it was time to get them organized, so I spent a few hours over break cutting them into uniform, usuable sizes that I will use and sorting them out. Here are the results:

I now have labeled boxes containing 2" squares, 5" squares, 1 1/2" strips, 2" strips and 3" strips. These are the sizes that I use most, now all ready to go. My scrap collection is tiny compared to most that I've seen online, but now it's usable. And with time at a premium, I may still be able to squeeze in some small projects during the semester by using my precut scraps.

 I am trying to build up my 1 1/2" scraps in order to do a scrappy log cabin later this year. I need to go through my fat quarters and cut them into strips for this when I get a chance. 

I also organized the rest of my stash while on break. I recieved a gift of money from my parents for Christmas which I used to buy this awesome cabinet-and it was on clearance too!,  for my fabric at Ikea.

Again, my stash is tiny compared to most I've seen, but I love having it out of the plastic storage tubs it was in, and behind glass. I can see exactly what I've got and it  still stays clean. Who else wants to show off their stash?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Special Olympics Scarf

 Long story, but the scarves I was making in the Michigan colors for the Special Olympics which I posted about here and here were ruined in my home disaster last summer. When I contacted Special Olympics, I was told they had enough of those and that I should knit using the National colors. So I managed to get one scarf done in time and mailed it today on my way home from school. Hope it makes a special athlete happy!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Done Just in Time

     Here's Sarah's quilt before washing. And here it is on her bed after:

     This was the first full-size quilt I machine quilted, and it was somewhat of a struggle pushing that big thing through my machine, but I am happy with it, my daughter loves it, and most importantly it was tremendous fun making it!! I got it finished last night, which was just in time since my classes resumed today.
Here's the back:

I love how soft and crinkly it is!

 Quilters are split into two groups, those that pre-wash their fabric and those that don't. I am of the camp that doesn't. I like the crispness of unwashed fabric for piecing and I am much too lazy to starch it all. I also like the extra shrinkage I get from using unwashed fabric, it makes my quilts more crinkly. I threw 2 Shout color catchers in with this quilt when I washed it, and had no dye run at all. In fact, I have never had a problem with dye bleeding in my quilts. Pre-washing or not, it's all a matter of personal preference, what's yours?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Quilt Basted

     Here's Sarah's quilt, all basted, my 15-year-old quilt inspector giving it the once over. I made it with  7 "pretty pansy" charm packs from Connecting Threads (thanks for the heads up on their sale, Dolly!),  along with a few fabrics from my stash.  I used the 10 minute block pattern and flipped the edges back so it resembles the cathedral windows pattern.

Here's the directions on a  YouTube video:

I've finished machine quilting it, all that's left is to finish up the binding and that should be done today. It goes perfectly in her room and she can't wait till it's hers!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hot and Cold Packs

     Here's the last of the small projects I made while off from school. These hot/cold packs are simple muslin bags filled with about 2 c. uncooked white rice and some dried lavendar to make them smell good, then placed in a fabric "pillowcase" which can be removed for washing. You can freeze them to use as cold packs or heat them in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (depends on your microwave-check so they don't burn) and use as hot packs. They are great for sore, aching muscles and joints, and for migraines. I've read that some people also use them as bedwarmers. (I may take one along as a seatwarmer since I don't have heated seats in my car and it's going to be in the teens for the next few mornings!) I made some long rectangular ones for wrapping around the back of the neck, and some shorter, wider rectangles for use on other areas.

These get lots of use at my house, we all love them. It was time for some new ones though, they were long overdue for replacement.  The old ones didn't have removeable covers that could be washed, so they were pretty grubby after years of use.

I sewed channels into the muslin bags to keep the rice from shifting around too much, filled them a little, sewed, filled and sewed:

The "pillowcase" covers are just overlapped to make them removeable for washing:

 I was also organizing my fabric stash and this was a good way to use up some old small oddball pieces.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Memory Pillow

     One of the small projects I've managed to squeeze in this week is a gift; a memory pillow for the hub's aunt. Her hubby died a few years ago and she still misses him terribly.  I found this idea online somewhere while surfing. It was perfect since my hubby still had an old shirt that belonged to his uncle in the closet. I used it to make this pillow, using the snaps on the shirt front as the closure on the back to insert the pillow. Easy peasy, no zipper to insert!

I just cut out a square 2" bigger than my pillow form (pillow form was 14", so I cut a 16" square from the shirt front and back). I wanted a loose fit. If you want a snug fit, just cut 1" bigger than your pillow form. The front has a photo I printed onto computer photo fabric, then I added borders and then appliqued it to the pillow along with the heart. The pillow front could also be pieced if desired, but I'm not that good with skinny stripes and plaid, so I just appliqued it ;) Then I sewed it all the way around with right sides together, unsnapped the snaps , turned it right side out, and inserted the pillow.