Monday, June 22, 2009

Strip Quilt Complete

This was really fun! I decided to curve the corners. . . since it was so boxy everywhere else, and I machine bound it since my hands are just not handling small work these days. I am still not brave enough for the free-motion experiment. I'll try some smaller pieces and work up some confidence and skill. I do like the angles that hold the piece together. Quilt-a-longs are a great way for beginners, like me, to learn skills and practice with supervision:).

Friday, June 19, 2009

Crazy Nine-Patch. . . Now What?

I've been wanting to try the crazy block method that Allsorts lists as a tutorial on her blog. Since I had 10" blocks of Hello Betty left from the quilt I made, I thought they would be the perfect try at this. They are not perfect, but I like them. Another time I would definitely heed the suggestion to have all different solids/prints. I like that doubles appear on some blocks, but it made for some confusion as I pieced them together.

What should I do with them? Table Runner? Set of Placemats? Baby Quilt? Picnic Blanket? And how should they go together. . . butt them next to one another for a true crazy quilt and give them a big border? Sash them to show off each little crazy piece? Hmm. . .
Please, let me know if you try. I'd love to see how your blocks come out and what you make with them?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Clothes Pin Holder

My mother has had the same bag to hold her clothes pins since she got married, I suppose. It still does the job, but it is getting thread-bare. I thought it was time she had something new--something she could easily launder and still do the great job her old standby has done for over 45 years.

So I worked up this little bag for her. The pretty cotton is supported by scrap cotton canvas I had on hand. The hanger can be removed to launder the bag. Someday I'll figure out how to create those sexy pdf files everyone else shares. I have it in a word document and would willingly share the steps and dimensions with anyone interested in a similar useful item that encourages a green approach to the wash. It was really simple--took maybe 20 minutes to complete.

Mmm. . . the smell of sun-dried laundry. That is summer as much as fresh strawberries or the feel of sunshine on skin.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bubble Wands for Summer

I don't know about your kiddos, but mine love bubbles. The tiny wands that come in the bottles work just fine, but I thought these might be more fun. Granted, they don't fit into the bottles, but with a nice, deep bowl of soap water, these wands are both functional and whimsical.

Materials: Thin dowels cut to 12" for little kiddos and 18" for bigger ones and a heavier wire. You see copper on mine because I had it on hand, but any heavy wire would work.

Have your kiddos choose a shape and if they are big enough, let them create it. If not, you make it for them and anchor it to the dowel by tightly wrapping the wire and. Be sure to use a small pliers to turn any sharp ends into soft curves and then go play. The coils on the dowels must be tight or excited waving might have your shapes flying across the yard. If you like, score the dowels to better anchor the coils. Enjoy your bubbles in the sunshine.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Quilting Along

Though I should be noodling what we're going to give Daddy for Father's day (he found one of the gifts in the boy's closet a month ago--rat-snackers!). I did some sewing over the weekend. The muted colors of the strip quilt go well with our livingroom, so it will live there. When my Bob saw it, he said, "Happy Father's Day to me," so I better get some batting and get to work.

The other is my nine-patch for the Crazy Mama Quilt's quilt-a-long. I used my recess charm squares and kona natural. I think Grandpa Vern will love it. . . just need to find the right backing. Hope you had great weather and a little creative fun over your weekend. Summer sure felt like it was here, though it doesn't arrive officially until this week.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Quilt-a-Long Number Two

Since I got the top of my 9-patch-a-day together. . . I decided I could use the quilt kit set my mother gave me for the Old Red Barn quilt along. Here are the stips, though they are sewn together now and awaiting an iron and cutting into blocks. They were easy to cut, though the garage floor is not the ideal location for rotary cutting. While the boy painted his latest invention, I knelt on the cement and cut. Well, my bones didn't enjoy the experience. Still, the strips went together easily once I decided upon the order. Now I can't wait to learn how they go together. I have half the number I will need for the full quilt, but as this was intended for the couch, not a bed, maybe half is just enough.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sew for Summer

For Girls:

  1. For your little fairy or ballerina, this tutu is perfect, as are all things Grosgrain shares:
  2. The Train to Crazy offers up a list of girlie skirt tutorials:

  3. Summer slippers in your favorite fabrics from Lady Harvatine:

  4. Sweet, summer halter in any size from The Green Wife:

  5. On top of my summer list for both my girl and boy is this lovely, portable, house. Thank you UK Lass in the US:
  6. Make a monkey softie with Mmmcrafts:
  7. For the kiddo who likes to draw, this pad and pencil cover is perfect. Just thank One Red Robin:

For Boys:

  1. Pardon my gender bias (girls would enjoy this, too) a tool belt from My Mama Made It:

  2. For your own little super hero, Puking Pastilles, has a reversible cape:

  3. A Green Drawstring perfect for a little man Not Nigella:

  4. Purl Bee shares a little boy's tie, too:
  5. For a little imaginative play, here is a money bag to sew from Craft Apple:
  6. What boy doesn't love a hide-out? Try this tee-pee Sew Mama Sew shared:
  7. For little knights in shining armour, Some of a Kind has the perfect set:

For Ladies:

  1. Crafty Stylish makes this sweet, delicate tank from a plain-white-tee:

  2. Yummy beach bag in designer fabric, no less, from Film in the Fridge:

  3. Betz White shares a green eye-glass case mom would love (dad might, too):

  4. A Car Organizer for mom (or dad) by Mayfly:
  5. For some sweet pot holders, The Sometimes Crafter has the answer:
  6. To organize almost anything--the entry, the bath, the night-table, Orange Flower Sketchbook has a fabric basket:
  7. A little accessory from JCasaHandmade that you can make for any woman in your life:

For Men:

  1. For the golfing dad (or mom), a stylish golf towel from Junie Moon:

  2. An old standard, the tie from Purl Bee: http://http//

  3. Green gadget case by Luvinthemommyhood: http://http//
  4. Instructables comes through with the adjustable apron in all sizes so you could outfit the whole family:
  5. Yummy coasters in summer colors a la Denyse Schmidt:
  6. Sew Mama Sew offers up this simple laptop sleeve that is great for men (and women):
  7. For hip guys (and girls) this leather wrist cuff is easy and awesome. Thanks to Crafty Suzanne:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What I did with that Hello Betty

Back when it was cold and rainy, I shared these bright Hello Betty colors and got great suggestions for what to do. I decided to frame a simple 3 x 4 selection of the layer cake with some Kona brown. The reverse side is the binding print as the center rectangle framed by 5 x 6 piecing of the layer cake squares. I love the contrast and how both sides are "tops". I decided to do simple quilting (still not ready for stippling) and took the lead from the pattern. I just did rectangles at 4" intervals. Another time I think I might go simpler. . . just do big squres and a plain back--so easy and pretty. I have full shots of the quilt, but my spiffy camera has a broken spring on the memory card. So, off to the camera clinic we go. The photos of my dad's quilted blanket are on that camera, so I'll post those when back from the clinic.