Tuesday

Pokemon Pillowcase

My daughter bought some Pokemon fabric for my granddaughter Chloe. Chloe asked her mother to make her a pillowcase out of it. Of course, her mother promised her she would make it for her.

Then a few days went by.

Yesterday Chloe came over with her mother and had the fabric in her hand. I asked her why she had it and stated that I thought her mother was making her a pillowcase. Chloe proceeded to ask me to make it for her.

I looked at my daughter kind of puzzled and my daughter's response was that Chloe knew if she wanted it done soon, she better ask me.

That is one smart 6-year old.

So I promised her that I would finish it for her but she had to give me a day to get it done.

I had only made one pillowcase before and it was from a Sweetwater kit. I wasn't sure what the dimensions should be so I thought I would look it up. I remembered one of my sewing friends mentioning a technique that finished all the edges neatly called the burrito technique.  I had to give it a try.

The technique is very easy to do. The flange was pinned to the cuff, then the main fabric pinned to the edge of the cuff as well. Then the main fabric gets rolled up, the opposite end of the cuff is pulled up over the main fabric (like a burrito) and pinned to make a tube. You just stitch it all together then pull the rolled up fabric out of the end of the tube and viola! Then you fold the whole thing in half and stitch the edges. It literally took less than 15 minutes to make. I seriously think it took me longer to read the instructions than to actually make it.

I see many more of these in my future.



Saturday

Homemade Christmas Ornament

I made this ornament from a toddler-sized t-shirt. The 'Joy' under the tree on the shirt was kept as part of the ornament on purpose since that's also the name of the girl who wore the shirt and she will receive the ornament.  I added a nice green ribbon to hang the ornament and it really does match even though my camera did not do it justice.

Friday

Black Friday Deals

I went to the Jo-Ann Fabrics Black Friday Sale at 6 this morning. I really did not plan on going but I couldn't sleep.

I decided that 70% off flannel was a worth-while shopping trip. Since we have a large Jo-Ann's to the west of us, the one east of my home doesn't get much traffic. So even though it is a smaller store, I am happy to head east where there should be shorter lines.

I got to the store at 5 minutes after 6. There was plenty of parking and many available carts. And there wasn't even a line at the cutting table! I was in heaven. I could leisurely walk all the store aisles and take my time getting around. I even had 3 people all cutting my fabric selections. I asked why it was so quiet and they said they expected the real rush to occur tomorrow when all the fleece is 70% off. I hate fleece so I didn't care about that so good for me that I got a quiet day.

Since I felt little stress to get into a long line I ended up purchasing more than I planned on. I found t-shirts priced 5 for $10 so I got my granddaughter the rainbow of shirts for all those spirit days at school where they want the kids to wear a specific color. She will now have that covered. And I found the most adorable 2017 planning calendar so with an extra 25% off the sale price, I could not resist.

The sale included quilting supplies at 60% off which is so rare I got a rotating cutting mat and a large ruler that I always wanted. So Merry Christmas to me!

Wednesday

Blessing of the Quilts

We had our annual blessing of the quilts at church tonight. I love how it is incorporated into the "Thanksgiving Eve" service. At a time when we are giving thanks, we are grateful that we can offer these quilts to local charities for distribution.

Some will go to our local homeless shelter, some will go to the VA hospital and some we will save for our church family in time of need.

We have a small group of ladies from our church who help out. Many cannot sew, but they can pin the quilt layers and add yarn ties to complete the quilts. It is definitely a project that includes many hands and are given with love each year.

The leader of our group, Judy was present with her children and I couldn't resist snapping this picture of her. I am so happy to call her my friend.

Sunday

Tutto Sewing Tote For Sale

I want to sell my Tutto sewing tote. It is a very expensive item and I am hoping to get back half of what it is worth.

I bought it when I was taking my embroidery machine to sew days and classes. It is a big machine and it needed an extra-large tote.

The Tutto products are such high-quality totes that I absolutely love it. It has all the little nooks and crannies necessary to tote all my sewing needs besides the machine. The bag is even designed to keep the machine secure within the bag so if the bag gets jostled, there are no worries.

Now I have a second sewing machine I bought just for taking to classes and sew days. It is a small machine, the Janome Jem which weighs in at under 12 pounds. I really needed it since my back surgeries because I cannot lift or pull my big machine around anymore. So I really want to get a smaller Tutto sewing tote. I think about posting the bag on eBay but I fear the shipping costs will turn people off even though it does fold up flat.

Right now it's posted on CraigsList with no inquiries after a few days. I am hoping I get an offer soon!

Thursday

Sock Monkey Quilt - Completed

This is a cute baby quilt that I quilted for a friend. The quilt uses the Monkey Business fabric line and it is made up of half-square triangles and 5-inch squares.

I free-motioned quilted this one using a variegated gray thread on the top and a solid gray sulky on the back. I just love how the sulky gives a depth to the quilting.

I just wish I would have taken a photo of it before I delivered the quilt to its owner.

Monday

Badger Quilt - Completed

Today I finished quilting this quilt for a friend. She loves to work with the pinwheel block and this is a very cool way to use the Badger fabric as focus blocks with the pinwheel blocks as accents.

The quilt is a lap-sized version and the backing is done with the black/white pindot fabric like the stuff used in the pinwheels.

I wasn't sure whether to use red thread on the top or white and after quilting a small space with the red I decided I really liked it and used it over the entire top.

Thursday

Row Houses Quilt - Completed

Quilts for Scrap LoversI finished my Row Houses Quilt today. I used a variety of modern fabric scraps to make the houses for this quilt.

I used shades of gray and beige to make the "skies" for the backgrounds. This quilt is entirely appliqued. The houses are stitched together in rows then the rows are appliqued to the background.

It was great fun to choose the different backgrounds as well as the scraps for the houses.

For the quilting, I chose to try something new. I bought a stencil at the last quilt show I attended and used that as a guide for free-motion quilting. The stencil I bought has swirls on it and I wanted to use it to represent wind blowing over the houses. It was great fun to try this new technique. It felt a little more artsy than what I am used to doing.

I definitely need more practice, but I figure that I have to start somewhere. I can't get better at this unless I get practice so I will call this my first practice quilt using stencils.

I used some of the leftover fabrics to piece the back together. I like the continuity of using some of the same fabrics to make the back, but the truth is that I didn't have enough of the fabric I chose to make the back and it was a good way to not have to buy more fabric.

I took photos of the quilt on a blustery day. It was an unusual 70 degrees out but a little windy so my granddaughter enjoyed helping me keep the edges of the quilt down while I took pictures. She's just 4 years old and absolutely loves helping out. It was such a delight spending time with her outside while we took photographs.

The pattern for this quilt came from the book, Quilts for Scrap Lovers by Judy Gauthier. The neat thing about this book is that I know Judy. She is a wonderful woman who owns a quilt shop in Wisconsin. I got to know her when she started a modern quilt club near my neighborhood. It's a fun group of ladies and I enjoy our meetings together. Judy has moved on from the club due to her many other commitments, but I still get to see her at quilt shows and of course at her shop. I think I should get her to autograph my copy of her book!


Tuesday

Shopkins Pillow Cover

My granddaughter, Avery just loves her Shopkins. I made her a little bag to hold her little toy Shopkins a few weeks ago and she asked me to make her a pillow out of the leftover fabric. The amount of fabric left was a pretty small amount which meant another trip to the fabric store for more. So I got another half-yard of the trade-marked fabric and whipped this up for her. It's amazing how these little things bring her so much joy and that only makes it that much easier to want to keep making them for her.

Saturday

A Finished Free-Motion Quilting Table Runner Project

I free-motion quilted this pretty table runner for a client today. It was a quick little project and I really enjoy getting to work on these.

I chose a beige thread for the top and a burgundy thread for the bottom. I am getting lots of practice through these opportunities and I think I am getting better at it.

I look forward to delivering the finished project to Mary; she does beautiful work.


Tuesday

What's on the design board?

Sandy Gervais Grand Finale Fabrics
Here is my Skip to my Lou quilt work in progress. It is so large it does not fit on the design board.

I am in the process of piecing the back together. It will take some strength and planning to quilt something this large. For me, it's a real physical challenge.

I do look forward to completing this beauty and it was great fun to put it together.

Wednesday

Row Houses Quilt - WIP

This is my row houses quilt. It is a work in progress. I started it during the summer and since I really took most of the summer off, I'm just getting back to it. It was an unusual quilt top to make for me. The rows of houses are done with applique which is not a technique that I enjoy. Or at least I thought I would not enjoy.

As it turns out, this was a lot of fun to make. Each row is stitched on using a variety of fancy stitches from my machine. I got to experiment with different stitches. Since my machine is very new to me, I haven't used any of them before!

Now I am going to experiment with the quilting process by using a stencil to free motion "wind" in the sky sections of the quilt. That is, as soon as I finish putting the back together. Now that I am getting back in gear when it comes to my sewing, I hope to be finishing this up within the next few weeks. Yay!

I must comment on the weather. It is the end of October and the grass is very green and all the flowers and shrubs are still greener than ever. What a wonderful fall it has been. We are constantly in the high 60's and it will be near 70 next week. The hammock gets tons of use. Amazing.