Sunday, September 30, 2007

use what you have or another reason I love my Juki

My son needed a belt, even though I am continually feeding him and his bottomless pit. (Oh, to have his metabolism!)

My husband had a belt that the holes were wearing out, and it was splitting a bit. So he cut it down to youth size, punched new holes with a leather punch and I sewed around the edges. I was afraid that I would break a needle or worse, but my Juki pulled through. It sewed through the belt without a problem. (wow!)

My son loves his new belt, and I love that we reused something we already had.

What is your favorite repurposed project/idea?

Friday, September 28, 2007

a tiny little zip pouch

I made this little zip pouch (with a clear vinyl front)...

for my little one's hair ties...

and here is the back.

I used binding strips to cover the raw edges....

and it serves it's purpose pretty well.
I love how the hair ties match the fabric.

Sewing with the clear vinyl was pretty tricky. You can't just pin the fabric to the vinyl, so the pouch doesn't lay flat, (it kinda curls up) but it was a fun little experiment. I have lots of clear vinyl left, so I'm going to have to try it again on another project.

Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my patchwork obsession posts. I have a list of many more things I want to make for the series. Thanks for cheering me on. Y'all are the best.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

patchwork obsession: part 17

red cross quilted pillow cover
I made an envelope back for this pillow which makes finishing this project easy. That also means the pillow cover is washable.
Inspired by this quilt. Some detail shots of the pillow here.
I am still planning to make a larger quilt like this. The pillow was a good trial run.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

patchwork obsession: part 16

doll quilt for my niece, 16" x 22"
I am also going to make a little pillow with little itty bitty pillowcases to complete the set. Isn't that a fun idea? I used little quilt squares that I had made a long time ago, so it went together quickly. Love that.

Monday, September 24, 2007

patchwork obsession: part 15

pincushion made of linen, corduroy, cotton and burlap

Heart pins from the lovely Monica.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I've got mail...

My dear friend Amy Jo sent me a fabulous package today.
Lots of fabric samples that she got from her work place. I am giddy dreaming of the possibilities!
I definitely will be making more of these.

She also sent some vinyl!

And buttons!

This beauty is already on my wall above my work table for inspiration.
I have to make a quilt like this.

Thank you so much, Amy.

Earlier this week, Susan sent me fun package of beads from her stash.
Again, I am giddy dreaming of all the things that I can make with these beautiful little gems. I hope that I can make something half as wonderful as she creates.

Thanks so much, Susan, I can't wait to use them.

I tell ya', I have the best friends.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

it's the little things

Here is a little quilting tip that a friend passed along to me:

After quilting your quilt, but before you add your binding, sew around the perimeter of your quilt about 1/8" from the edge.

Here's a closer look.

I have found that although it is an extra step, it is well worth it. When it is time to sew your binding on, there is less fiddling with all the layers and it goes much quicker.

This is something I just discovered, that I love:

After sewing the binding strips onto your quilt, when it is time to cut off the excess, I use a pinking shears to trim off the edges. It leaves just the right amount of fabric and batting.

When handstitching, the binding just fits around it, and it leaves you with an nice smooth edge.

Not rocket science, I realize, but fun tips for a quilting geek like me. :)

What are your favorite quilting tips?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I made another little softie, much like Milly. (Another photo here.) My husband named this one Melvin. Melvin needs some clothes, so I need some advice on sewing doll clothes. Or good links to patterns. Can anyone help me?
Melvin has a crooked neck, but we still love him anyway.

Monday, September 17, 2007

patchwork obsession: part 14

Denyse Schmidt-style scarf

I recycled a few pieces of clothing to make this: one being my favorite pair of Gap pants that got some white lacquer on during a dumpster diving episode. (Remember, Roxanne?) The backing is brown corduroy.
This was one of those projects that I thought would be simple, but gave me fits a time or two. Now I just need to figure out how to soften it up a bit so that it doesn't look like I am wearing a table runner.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I love....

...the United Methodist Church ladies.

I bought all of this fabric for $1.00 (total!) at their rummage sale today.
3.5 yards of Moda, plus 12 other nice sized scraps of quilt shop fabric.

Yes, those dear women made my day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

a fun crafternoon

My friend Hjordi came over today and we had a fun crafternoon. (I couldn't resist...)

The kids were supposed to be playing Legos, but they couldn't resist the piles of fabric. (See little A's head in the bottom right corner?) It was pretty much a free for all and so much fun.

doll quilt in progress

and a coffee cozy.
Hjordi made a super cute one with pearl + metal buttons.

My daughter, who is 16 1/2 months old, took her first steps tonight. I can not tell you how cute she is + how relieved I am that she is finally starting to walk. LOTS of cheering going on here. I am sure that all our neighbors heard, but it's only one day that your baby starts to walk!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

one way to baste a quilt

I have been getting several e-mails with quilting questions, so I thought I would share how I baste a quilt.

This is a fairly new technique to me, and I have found that it has given me great results. It makes the quilting process less scary for me because I found the results to be predictable and consistent. I have considerably fewer puckers with this method than with the using just basting spray (my previous method of basting).

First, I tape the backing to the floor. I use Duct Tape or masking tape. The key is to get the backing fabric flat and taut, but not stretched. (Make sure you clean your floor before you do this.)

Then layer the batting on the top. My batting is extra large, so I line it up along 2 of the edges. This leaves me one big strip of batting leftover, and it is easier to see where to line up the quilt top.

Next, I lay the quilt top on the batting. Start at the center and smooth it flat working out to the edges.

Then, I used curved safety pins to hold all the layers together. Again, working from the center to the edges, smoothing any wrinkles as you work. You should pin every 4" or so.

After pinning is complete, remove the tape, (I also cut some of the excess batting off) and you are ready to quilt.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

If you have any other basting tips, or techniques that you use, I would love to hear them.

Monday, September 10, 2007

a plethora of things

Thanks for all the birthday wishes for my sweet boy turning 7. It was fun to read all the comments to him. He was grinning from ear to ear. You all know how to make a boy's day-and his mama's, too. Thank you.

I picked up this pillow case at my local thrift store for 25 cents.
Not being a big fan of Minnie Mouse, but loving the polka dots....

I trimmed off the ruffle and added some solid pink from my stash.
I used the french seam tutorial posted by Jojo. Thanks, Jojo. It worked perfectly.

Isn't that much better? My daughter loves it. (So do I.)
The quilt in the background was made for my girl by the ever-so-sweet Linda.

My friend Taia packaged up a bucket of scraps and sent them over to me...what a great surprise that was! My kids are jealous of the great mail that I get. (Isn't that the way it should be?) There are some really fun fabrics in here and I can't wait to dig in and start making something new out of them. Oh, how I LOVE fabric scraps. Thanks Taia!

And little Spot came to live at our house.
He was a birthday gift for Zach from Linda.
(See, my kids get great mail, too!)
He is the sweetest little puppy ever.

We love him.
Thanks Linda.
Have a good Monday!

Friday, September 07, 2007


My sweet, sweet Zach turns 7 today.
I am so proud of the person he is growing up to be.
I love him so much.

Birthdays are bittersweet, aren't they?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

gee's whiz

It's done!

I finished the binding about 10 pm.
(Thus the crappy photos.)
I can't decide which one is worse...this

or this.

In the true spirit of the Gee's Bend quilters, I made this mostly out of jeans, khakis and shirts. (Most of the navy was new fabric picked up in remnant bins.) I love how it turned out. I love that I was able to recycle most of the materials for the top and come up with this.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

time to handstitch the binding

This is my absolute favorite part of quilting.
You all can tell me how crazy I am. I can take it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

what I did on my (last weekend of) summer vacation

Sandwiched this quilt.
Started quilting it.
Decided that stippling wasn't the right style of quilting for the graphic design of the quilt. So I ripped one bobbin's worth of stitching out if the quilt. It was very time consuming. Now I am stitching in the ditch, and I am not good at it.
Threw a birthday party for my sister.
Which called for some home made banners (paper and yarn) with the help of my oldest.
And baked a few cakes. And cooked. And cleaned.
My brother and my other sister stayed overnight.
Went to a Labor Day party at my sister's place. Took the kids swimming and enjoyed hanging out with my family.
Made a pair of pajama pants for Zach.
My fear of sewing clothing is decreasing. I actually followed a pattern.
I used Simplicity 4336. It was quick and easy.
Beaded a necklace.
And some earrings. Sulu inspired, for sure.

And I worked on quilting my quilt.
What did you do?