I love working with fabric and learning new techniques to help me become better at sewing. Forty plus years ago, my ex-wife was sewing a project and having problems with it. Not understanding why it was difficult, I sat down to the sewing machine, read the manual, the pattern, and thought I can do this. I was hooked. So, thank you Kathy for pushing me to a passion I thoroughly love.
I finally finished the top for the third quilt in the series for my three granddaughters. I walked into this third one with the feeling it would never be finished..but it is. I am trying out a new long arm quilter recommended by a friend of mine. She is from Vancouver, Washington, so the tops and such had to be mailed to her to work on. And naturally, behind is my middle name...so I got them to her late..but she had them for just a week and already they are headed back..
So.. here is quilt number 3: The black and white..for the 15 year old.
I ended up putting a six inch black border all around the top to frame it off.
These three colors are the backings for the quilts.
I did this project several years ago. I went to a xmas party with my gift exchange item. i had spent a good afternoon in a garden shop looking for the right thing. The group of people at the party were pretty much garden type people, so I thought with the exchange thing that goes on, someone would like it.
Wrong. The people that got it were bikers and I could see they were not happy. I had picked up a bottle of wine as my gift. After the exchange I walked up to them and offered to exchange gifts. The wine was grabbed out of my hands so fast..I didn't have time to blink. haha.
So I brought home my little plant holder wire frame and thought ... hmm now what do I do with it. I am not much of an indoor plant person, so it sat around holding CD's and movies and such for a while. Then one day when I really needed something to hold items in my main bathroom. -- No medicine chest -- I saw the basket and thought..hmm, I can make a box to go inside and put the odds and ends I want in that and put it on the toilet lid.
Previous projects of making boxes covered in fabric came to mind. I went through my stash of fabric and this is the result.
The process is quite simple.
Cut out your cardboard shapes that will make the box.
Place all of your cardboard pieces on your fabric to know how much fabric you will need.
Cover the backside of that fabric in double faced iron on facing.
Trace your cardboard pieces on back of fabric with a half inch border around all cardboard.
Cut out pieces.
Remove backing of iron on interface.
Place cardboard pieces on back of fabric and iron fabric to cardboard.
Put the pieces together so that all are joining and forming a box.
I will come back and do a line by line example of how to do it..
For now, here are the pictures of the completed project.
Sometime back in the '80's, I had heard of a 'Quilt Show' happening in a small town truly out in the middle of the Toolies.. so I went to it. Finding the town was probably more exciting for me than the actual show..except for one quilt. It was a crib blanket. As I was walking around looking at the quilts on display and trying to understand how some real 'shoddy looking' pieces received a ribbon..I spotted this white blanket at the very back of the room ... with no ribbons on it.. I was intrigued to go look at it, because it was white. No other color. Nothing that would draw you to it..except that it stood out amongst the gaudiness and terrible examples of quilting.
When I got to the blanket, I saw that it was totally hand stitched in white thread. The owner had done a meandering stitch and as I looked at it, I could see that she had maintained an almost even quarter inch space between the rows of stitch. What blew me away was that she had sewn 9 stitches to the inch throughout the blanket. My mind was reeling. I had taken hand stitching classes and was proud that I could do 5 stitches to an inch; and this one had 9.
I found myself examining it in quite a bit of detail. I was totally impressed with everything about it. I was so caught up in the blanket that one of the ladies from the show came over to see what was capturing my eye. In chatting with her, I asked her why this piece hadn't received any ribbons, because I couldn't believe that the ones that received the ribbons were better than this piece. (Keep in mind, I was still young and tactless.) She asked if I had any questions about the blanket and I told her that I would love to talk to the person that made this piece to ask some questions about how they did certain things. She admitted to being the maker of the quilt. So we chatted for a good half hour.
My conversation with her taught me quite a few things. She showed me several tips for sewing: from not knotting the thread when sewing, how to do cross-stitch without leaving the visible line of stopping and starting, holding the needle when 'in and outing' for running stitches, and etc...etc...etc..
What I truly learned is that your stitches matter.
Your workmanship to the piece makes the piece functional (a work of art), or sitting in a drawer or hanging in the back of the closet (a piece of garbage that will get thrown out long before the material is wore out).
Well, I have been working on the second quilt top .. this one for Tori. I had colors picked out, but a conversation with her grandmother...and I have changed the colors a bit to match her new bedroom and for her personal preferences. It seems that Tori likes green a lot and blue not as much. I had planned on doing green, yellow, and blue as the color scheme...Soooo .. I am doing green on all blocks and then half the blocks will also have yellow and blue, and the other half will have orange and lavender. I am in the process of cutting out the shapes. I did about a third of them today and hope to have them cut and ready to sew by the weekend.
Here are the colors for Tori's quilt.
So, while I have been working on this quilt top, I also have been agonizing at finding all the right fat quarters to do a black and white quilt for Jaci. This idea came totally from her grandmother. Jaci is 15 and with her new bedroom, and trying to be "cool", Kathy thought something that 'popped' might make her happy. And as I thought about it..I wanted to add a touch of red to the mix for that 'popped' look.
Here is a look at the colors so far. I need a better pic because I have added more colors, but still need one more light color. I plan on cutting out one red block. I then will replace one square in three different blocks with the red piece. Going to center it out across what will be the top of the spread. I found a very cool piece of teal fabric I am going to include in the border going around the quilt to act as a highlight.
Here is the layout of colors gathered so far for this one.
As I start putting them together better and switch out colors..as I probably will, I will add pics.. It is all a work in progress...;-)
Ok..starting the new project. Daughter and family are in the process / have moved into a new home. I thought it only fitting that I should make the girls their own quilts to carry forward into their lives.
I have picked the colors I want to work with..and with some help from their grandmother..with color hints for each of the girls... I am working on Livi's first.
Livi's colors will be Pink, Lavendar, Red.
The pattern is to use fat quarters, cut three shapes from each quarter: 1 - 10.5 x 10.5 inch square, 1 - 6.5 x 10.5 inch rectangle, 1- 6.5 x 17 inch rectangle. From the left over piece, I will use that in the border. Each complete square is a 16 inch block.
Each block contains one of each of the colors.
I am including two pics of progress to date.
Pic 1: I laid out the rows on the bed to see what they look like.
Pic 2: I have sewn the bottom three rows together and will finish the top three tomorrow.
I want to do the border slightly different than the original plan. So as that works itself through my braincells on how to do it, I will add pics of it.
Since I did have polio as a child, and since I do have to wear a leg brace on my left leg, I found that the device is not just a simple thing to have to deal with. My shoes have to be built special to accommodate several things so that my gait is as natural as it can be.
Once I started wearing the brace, the biggest issues I had were:
that the plastic of the brace made my leg sweat,
the edges along the top would rub against my skin causing skin sores,
the straps are velcro straps that kept cutting into my skin.
I tried all kinds of things that were suggested to me: tall socks, leg wrappings, etc..and nothing seemed to work. Then one day when I was complaining, I made the statement that what I really needed was a sock to cover the plastic, and Lang told me to sew something that would do what I had suggested.
So, I started thinking about what I needed, and the following is what I came up with. It works really well. The fleece absorbs any sweat and keeps my leg comfortable.
This is a finished piece.
To make it, I did the following:
1. I took strips of paper towels and taped then to the inside of the brace making sure that the paper towel was larger than the outside edges.
2. I then took a felt pen and outlined the edges along the brace edges.
3. I carefully pulled that out of the inside of the plastic brace and set it aside.
4. I did mark all spots where I would have to cut holes to accommodate straps.
5. I then did the same thing for the outside of the brace.
6. The only concession I had to make was adding the length of fabric that would be a strap.
7. When sewing front to back, I made sure the top and strap parts matched and then just sewed them together. Since fleece doesn't fray, cutting holes for the straps is no big deal.
This was my first patterns. What I realized right away is the inside piece (on the left) also needed to have the strap length and width added to it along the top and to its left. I made a few practice pieces out of fleece that i had left over from a previous project. Once I had perfected how to do it, I made myself several covers. I prefer my bear one the best, but I also have a shaggy cookie monster blue one, a camoflage one, a lime green one, and one with baseball players on it playing ball.
Well, we were going out to dinner with friends, I was at Kmart picking up some last minute things..and this idea came to mind and I had to go with it.
I decided to make a centerpiece for our table at the restaurant. Didn't know how Lang or our friends, or the restaurant, would react, but said to heck with it, and did it anyway.
I carried it in all wrapped up in a paper bag, and once we were sat down, I pulled it out of the bag and put it on the table. Everyone loved it.
I wrapped rubber bands around the heads of each bear and then around the plastic vase. I taped small candy bars on each arm of the bear. I put glass beads in the vase for weight. i wrapped a paper towel around each rose stem, put them in a plastic bag with a little water, taped them shut and put them in the vase.
When we parted for the evening, I gave each a bear and a rose to take home.
Doing so many things and trying to get them all done soon, so I can get some sanity back.
First off, I decided my hand sewing on the binding sucked. So I ripped it all out and started over. Finally got it all pinned and going to finish it up tomorrow..
And then, I had to make the wiener dog water bottle carrier. So cute. I am making two, one for each of my granddaughters, Tori and Livi, Since they are for younger kids, I didn't think older sister Jaci would want one. I will have to come up with something special for her. Livi's is purple and Tori's will be Teal.
I saw this tip in a sewing tips book years ago. Thank you to whoever published the tip. I am forever doing three or four projects during a time frame..and being able to put little notes or things that jog my memory on the project helps a lot.
I just take whatever leftover paper I have, cut it into tabs and throw in a bowl. I have my paper punch in my sewing basket and I just make notes, attach to fabric and move on.
I seem to be in slow mode as the year is beginning. I had totally hoped to have the Bear Quilt finished, but I am caught up in watching TV in the evenings and hand sewing the binding around the quilt. I have to get myself prepared when I sit down so that I am relaxed and the stitches will stay the same from sitting to sitting.
I hand basted the binding in place, but have found that the new clips I received as a christmas gift work very well at keeping the fabric in place as I move down the fabric. I always find it amazing at what your mind can do when you are a sewing addict and you see tools meant for other jobs and how they just seem to fit into the sewing world. My favorite tool when I am trying to hand flatten seams, or to push out a point after turning it inside out..is a tool used by pottery people to shape their work on the turnstile. It has a really nice point on it, a slightly dull but still sharp edge to flatten seams, and a nice thumb indent to not lose your grip as you are manhandling fabric. In my stash of things is a pair of chopsticks. I use those to reach into long openings to push corners out.