Embroidered dish towels and pot holders were on my list this year. That is my list of gifts to create. I have a dear group of lady friends that I play bridge with a couple of times a month. We’ve played together for 27 or 28 years. We play bridge only with one another and although playing bridge is the reason we tell others we are getting together there are really several goals in mind. One of these is to catch up on news, share our concerns and happy tales and the other is the table snacks and desert! Good reasons for good friends to get together. After we had played together for a few years we started to exchange Christmas gifts. Some years I have a good idea that I will work on for months ahead of time and other years I don’t have a good idea until shortly before Christmas bridge. This fall has been challenging as far as time goes so I didn’t really have any good ideas until after Thanksgiving when my brother invited me to go on a road trip with him to Palm Springs. I knew there would be time in the evenings for handwork and decided that I wanted to embroider some dish towels. In the week that I was gone I managed to finish three towels and when I got home I added some hot pads and the gifts were good to go. The embroidered dish towels and pot holders were fun to make.
Pot holders are another project that I always love. They can be fast or take some time. I have simple ones and more complicated ones that I use in my own kitchen. Along with the dish towels I added a mitt type pot holder and a simple square pot holder. I have both kinds in my kitchen and use them all. I found this great fabric with grapes and apples that was a darker fabric I knew would be perfect for simple pot holders. They were multicolored with no white. Pot holders get dirty so quickly I like ones that don’t show the food stains so quickly. Merry Christmas dear friends.
I won some new patterns and I’m so excited. Although I read many blogs I don’t often leave comments or enter giveaways. There are many reasons.. sometimes I don’t have anything to say or there are so many people commenting that one more just doesn’t seem to add anything. Some days I just don’t feel like it. At the beginning of the month however I did make a comment on the Ever Kelly blog and I won a set of her patterns. They are so cute! There is a playmat, a fabric house, some play figures and a quilt. Her Storybook Lane fabric line is so cute! I’m hoping that someday I will have a granddaughter to make these for but until that time, I may have to make them for my new niece. So thanks Kelly I know I’m going to have fun with these and it was so much fun to have them arrive in my mailbox!
Another finish! There have been several more but it’s getting closer to Christmas and the time is slipping away. This finish is a baby quilt for my daughters friend. The new mom isn’t really a pink person so I found some other fabrics that I thought would suit a little girl so it was girly but not pink. These colors I am fond of myself. I cut 5″ squares and followed the pattern on the Accuquilt guide. I guess I didn’t take a picture of the back but it was just a tiny pink and lime green polka dot fabric. I love the way this one turned out and think the new mom was surprised and pleased.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
All was ready for step number two.
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 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!