Another zip finish!

Another zip finish.  I’ve made so many of these this year the process has certainly gotten faster.  It’s a project that I still enjoy however.  My dear friend Gretchen has recently had another birthday.  Yes, for all of us they keep coming around.  I don’t always give gifts but this time I wanted to bring something to let her know I was thinking of her.  This little zip pouch fit the bill.  It’s made from linen and cotton.  I don’t sew often with linen but I do like the way it looks.  It is a bit fussier to sew with however as the fabric stretches and frays easily.

zip pouch

A new little coaster

A new little coaster was made for a friend.  And it was good.  There is a  woman who I have worked with off and on for at least 15 years.  Our lives have changed over the course of the friendship and we are both interested in crafting.  She is very creative and has a great eye for papercrafts, decorating etc.  I love to sew.  Recently when she was in my office she saw one fo the over sized coasters that I was using and decided she really needed on and did I sell them?  This is on my list of things that I want to do but of course my head is swimming with ideas and more things that I would like to do than I realistically have time or energy for.  In the middle of the night however, all things seem possible and  I do have an Etsy store set up and have visions of filling it with all sorts of cute hand crafted items. For now however I had some tumbler shapes leftover for one of my frenzied cutting sessions with my AccuQuilt Go cutter.  Since I have cut these out I knew that’s how they were going to end up but it wasn’t at the top of the list until last weekend. I sewed them into a little coaster, took it to my friend and she squealed with glee at how perfect it was and how much she loved it. Oh, I do love those enthusiastic folks and I was filled with smiles at her pleasure.  Such a little thing but it made my day.

brown tumbler coaster

Rag blanket finish

A rag blanket finish happened this week.  It actually was fun to do and I’m pleased with the finished product.  When I first bought this die I thought this would be a great way to use the flannel remnants.  As it turns out, because you use two pieces of fabric in each block the remnants don’t go very far. I knew that I was making this blanket for a little boy and have since learned that the mom is already in the hospital waiting for this little one to appear.  It’s a bit early for his arrival however so they hope he will take his time! In the end, I was able to mostly use fabrics from my stash.  I did end up buying a small piece of yellow.  Hubby was a bit reserved about the project but was also impressed after it had been washed and dried.  Like he said, it almost makes a chenille type fabric after it’s been in the wash and I’m sure it will get softer with each wash.  I think I’m off to make another.

rag blocks

rag quilt before

The Next Step

The next step in my adventure was to match up the strips and the zippers.  I knew that I wanted each of the zip pouches to be unique.  I wanted the strips in pairs of patterns and also didn’t want to be too random and stuck at the end with odd color combinations of strips and zippers.  I took the roll ups apart, matched two of the plain prints with a patterned print and then added a coordinating zipper.  I laid them out on the cutting table about 20 at a time and them clipped them together with a binder clip and put them in a basket.  My friend and co-director volunteered to sew the strips together and press the seams open.  That was a life saver for sure!  With a few strips isn’t not so bad but when you are talking in the neighborhood of 70 or so.. this accounts for some extras and several “test” pouches.

 

pairs of fabric strips

strips on the table

strips with zippers

When I got the strips back from Linda, I cut the strips in half and restacked them with a layer of batting.  At this point I could baste them and head for the sewing machine. Now it’s on to the next step.

 

Camp and a Girl Scout 100th birthday celebration.

Camp and a Girl Scout 100th birthday celebration.  What do they have in common? Well of course, this is a Girl Scout camp so we have to celebrate the birthday.  As a co-director my thoughts deal with staffing as much as girl activities.  The adults spend many hours planning and preparing for camp and then volunteer to spend a week of their summer as camp counselors so 160 girls can spend a week out doors cooking, canoeing, swimming doing crafts, archery and nature activities.  Of course there is singing and learing to work in a team environment as well.  We are an all volunteer run camp so money that is collected from the camp fee is used for the camp rental, food and camp program. At the end of the week we like to celebrate with an all camp campfire and thank the adults who helped with a small token of our appreciation.  It’s always a challenge to think of something that might be fun, meaningful, useful and not just a trinket. Last year I realized that the Robert Kaufman company had produced a wonderful line of Girl Scout fabric.  I knew it would be fun to make something for the staff and for the high school girls who worked as program aids. The dilemma was as we are a non-profit organization and volunteer run camp we did not have much money for thank you gifts and buying fabric to make gifts for 80 people was in our budget.  I also was concerned about sewing 80 items in enough time for camp.  My original thought was pillow cases.  I knew from experience that I could make pillow cases in an assembly line fashion and with several months lead time I could probably make 80.  The Robert Kaufman company agreed to donate Girl Scout roll ups.  If you are not a quilter you may not have figured out that pillow cases were not happening with roll ups. Roll ups consist of 40  2 .5″  strips of fabric.  I was thrilled with the donation but knew I would have to come up with a different plan.

roll up bos of roll ups

The thinking cap went on and now I was to plan #2. After a bit of experimentation and discussion with my co-director we decided that zip pouches for the adults and lanyards for the girls would be perfect for the fabric available. The adults would love the Girl Scout fabric in the zip pouches and the girls would find the lanyards useful for their schedules and their whistles.

The next project was to order supplies and make a few trial versions.

zippers and lanyard clips

All was ready for step number two.

 

August already?

August already? I just looked at the date of the last post.  I can’t believe it’s been two months to the day!  I’m back to more regular posting.  The big Girl Scout project has been finished and I’ll do several posts about that in the next week.  I have to go back and gather all the photos so I can document the project.  For now, camp is finished, birthdays have been celebrated and we’re into August.  I think the next few months will be many baby posts.  I know of at least 4 babies in the next 4 months.  They will all need different levels of acknowledgment which means a large variety of projects for me.  I’m excited.  I have soo many ideas and love the excuse to try them out.

The first project was just a couple of baby bibs.  I love to make these bib.  I had some like them when my kids were little and loved the extra coverage.  I made one in the size the pattern suggested and then put the pattern in the copy machine and enlarged it 129%.  So pleased with they way they turned out.  I often times buy remnants and this is the perfect pattern for a remnant.  I can see how the fabric looks made up, the parents get a bib that’s unique and I have lots of fun.  Win win for all!

A tag blanket for baby

A tag blanket for baby is a popular gift. When I first saw them I thought it was kind of silly but as I thought about it I realized it was actually a smart gift and something a baby would enjoy.  It’s small enough to put in a diaper bag or use in a car seat or stroller and might even be good in a crib at nap time.  I know that when my kids were babies they liked to rub things between their fingers and it helped to sooth them.  This blanket has something for every mood.  It has lots of color and many textures.  When I was making it I did wonder if there were too many tags or too many colors.  I opted for many textures and many colors. I think this will make the blanket useful for a longer period and should appeal to every childs fascination with color and texture. The front of the tag blanket is a piece of fabric that has cute little bunnies.  The back of the blanket is a piece of fabric I purchased that has alternating squares of flannel and chenille.  Lots of interesting things for baby to look at.  I’m also going to enclose a couple of link toys so mama can attach toys to the ribbon tags or even attach it to the side of a stroller or car seat.  When baby gets tired of it and throws it, this tag blanket for baby will not go very far!

Oh baby baby gift..

Oh baby baby gift… I love to make baby gifts but it’s so hard to make a decision.  There are so many useful little things for babies like blankets, hooded towels, clothes, booties, bags, spit rags and more.  I had to narrow my list this time because there wasn’t too much time.  Just a few days in fact.  This time I decided to make some bibs and a tag blanket.  Of course this certainly involves come choices as well.  What size bibs, what kind of fabric, what type of bib and what should I put on the back.  These were all for a little girl with a modern mama.  I decided that really, these bibs would get spilled on and slobbered on and were really for protecting the clothes so although I wanted them to look cute function was the primary purpose and even a modern mama would know that.  This allowed me to do some experimenting.  This is the first bib.  A small bib for a little girl with a bunny on the front.  The small size could be used for a small child and would be cute and functional.

bunny bib

The next bib is a larger bib with a wider front.  This bib I backed with minky which is a polyester fabric and should allow some moisture protection for the clothing underneath.  I’ve never thought of using minky for the back of a bib.  It actually worked better than I expected and is quite soft.  I wonder how mama will like this one?

bird bib

This last bib is cute in an entirely different sort of way.  It’s more like a baby apron.  I know that mama likes gray and it also lets me use a bit of color so this one too is cute and should be quite functional because it covers the baby lower front and lap.  I lined this one with flannel so it is soft and shapes easily to the baby shape.  Oh this was a fun baby baby gift!

apron front

front and back

 

Another baby quilt

Another baby quilt is finished. I’ve used tumbler blocks again I’m pleased with this one.  The colors are not in my normal range of color choice but I do like the way it turned out.  I don’t know if the baby will be a boy or a girl.  I used ten different fabrics in this quilt and it made a better mix than the previous two.  The pink one had seven fabrics and the red and blue one had five fabrics.  I like both of the others but this one has a better balance and will be soothing for a baby.  The back was an interesting dilemma as well.  I had a remnant of one of the front fabrics but I knew it was short.  I ended up adding two rows of blocks from the front.  They fit in well.  One thing that I had not thought about when I made the choice for the back was what the plaid would look like and if I could get it on straight.  I ended up washing the fabric before I started because the fabric was stretched. It did straighten out well and I was able to get it straight enough that it looks good.  The binding is pieced some of the quilt fabrics and was another good choice. Hope the mom likes it.  In any case, it will be a good floor quilt and wash and wear well.

yellow and green baby quilt front

yellow and green baby quilt back

 

Dabbler Badges

When I was growing up in the Girl Scout organization one of the badges that you could earn was a Dabbler Badge. To complete this badge you had to complete activities from several areas.  As part of our 100 year birthday celebration retreat activities we decided to create our own Dabbler Badge. The change of place did mean some modification in what we did but everyone had a great time in spite of the changes. For our badge we rotated between, semaphore flags, folk dancing, fire building and knots. The semaphore activity and fires and knots were all done sitting at tables so this was a modified activity.  Fires were edible fires and there was no burning of buildings involved. At the end of activity each participant was awarded a Dabbler Badge. I made these from a patch I created and printed on the printer. Next I inserted the paper into a plastic page protector sleeve. I then sewed around each patch about 3/4 of the way. After I cut the circles out I inserted the magnets into the back of the sleeve behind the badge and then stitched them up on my sewing machine.  It was a fun activity that was not hard but did take some time. Like with the magnet making activity the first six were quick but when I got to 48 I was glad to be done.