Thanksgiving is done and now it’s holiday sewing. I have made several items in the last couple of weeks but not had the time to blog about any of it. I’m going to start with a really fast and easy project that I had fun with. That would be pot holders. We were invited to Aaron’s for Thanksgiving dinner this year. That was a treat for me. I usually cook all holiday meals. He had help from his sisters and they cooked a delicious meal of salmon, stuffing, mashed potatoes and salad.. We had vegetables and dip while we were visiting before the meal. It was great fun and I’m ready to do it again. Today they will all be here for dinner.
I did decide I should take a hostess gift so I bought a few new dish towels, a new paring knife and made some pot holders. I know that he doesn’t cook very much and I wasn’t sure what he really had. Although it all got left in the gift bag, I imagine that he will use all the items. I know they are having a holiday party at their apartment soon so I suspect they will all have future use.
The pot holders were fun to make. I cut them 8″ square and put in a layer of warm and bright and a layer of insulbrite. I quilted a square pattern on the top and used rayon thread on one side and cotton on the other. They are bright and cheerful and I think I’ll be doing more of these soon.
Holidays are approaching! Hard to believe it’s coming so quickly. I have had so little time to sew in the last couple of months that now my head is swimming with ideas. It’s so full of things that some days it’s hard to sort out what to do or even where to start. I think the first thing to do will be to make a list. I’ve had some random projects on my mind, pot holders, zip pouches, pj pants, ear bud cases, dish towels, Christmas stockings and pillows all rumbling around in my head. I do have one more baby quilt to finish. That should be completed by the weekend. The top is pieced so it’s just a matter now of layering it and quilting and binding. Probably just a few hours but not too complicated and I can start and stop. I also have a couple of birthday presents to make. I might even have to do some shopping. The biggest outside time commitment now however is work and my mother. She is back at her home in the senior community after 3 weeks in the hospital and 3 weeks in rehab. Sure seems like longer and I guess between all the doctor visits for the 6 weeks before surgery it has been longer. We’re hoping for a stable winter but when you’re 85 it’s hard to tell what each day will bring.
I did have fun doing one quick project in all of this madness. I made another burp rag from a diaper. I was going to make this before the shower for my niece but ran out of time. I do love applique however and I had fun with this applique cute and hot pink flower fabric.
A triangle quilt was in my future. And now the first triangle quilt is in my past as well. It was a bit of a learning curve but I enjoyed it and am looking forward to another one. I think the next one will be a black and yellow creation.
I learned that it takes many triangles to create a small quilt. This one ended up being 40″ square and I used 160 triangles that I cut with my AccuQuilt Go cutter. The biggest challenge was getting them lined up when I sewed them together so that the top and bottom were even. If they were not even, when they were joined to the next row, they didn’t always line up and match evenly. I also wasn’t sure how to press the seams for the first couple of row, and pressed them to the side. I did learn that it was better if I pressed them open. There were some mistakes in this quilt but I was proud of my self when I didn’t point out all the errors at the baby shower. I decided that probably no one else would notice, or care and the fabrics were pretty. The mother to be was pleased so it everything was good. I used a Winnie the Pooh print on the back so it felt a bit more babyish.
It’s a hectic month with my mother being ill. I also decided near the shower date that I wanted to finish this quilt for the shower and make another gift when the baby is born. The meant a few long nights, and maybe not as high quality work as I like to think of myself creating. Once again, we are our own worse critics. One of the chuckles I did get was the night I finally got the top pieced. I spread the Winnie the Pooh backing out and anchored it down and went to add the batting when I realized that I had never purchased the batting! Thank goodness I was able to shake my head and laugh and head to bed. It was probably just as well because I tend to make mistakes when I’m tired.
Shower done, gifts delivered and now on to the next project.
And there were more bibs and baby items in my sewing room. And I’m having fun.
I realized that this may be boring to the few people who do read this blog but then realized that really, my reason for this blog is for me and is a record of what I am doing. When I think I really have not accomplished much I can sit and scroll through the entries and realize that although I don’t have lots of quilt finishes, I have created many items in the last year and have enjoyed them all. I do want to make more quilts and actually have three cut and stacks of fabric for many more. I’m itching to get in there and get busy but life seems to get in the way. And so does work.
So for now, this is what I’ve made. A tag blanket. This time with smaller and fewer tabs. Bibs in different styles, backings and shapes. Do I have a favorite? I think I’m fine tuning this one. I like the front either of flannel or cotton. The backing I have done several different ways. I’ve used terry cloth, flannel and fleece. I’ve used yardage, kitchen towels and even a left over baby towel that was a fine terry. I’ve also used minky and polar fleece. The polar fleece is interesting because it adds a bit of weight to the bib and also some moisture repellant features. The minky looks lush. The terry cloth is practical and the flannel is just plain cute. I’ve also made some burp rags that are cute. Soft patterned minky on one side and flannel on the other. Dual purpose.. cute and absorbent yet moisture resistant. Guess we’ll see how the moms like them. I do have a few more projects in minds. There are still several weeks before the shower so I’m sure more projects will show up on the table.
Cute baby photos are always a good thing. It’s also nice to see cute baby photos when that baby is using something you’ve made. Now I realize it’s only a bib, but still nice to see that it has been used and looked cute. I had already forgotten.
Patterns old and new. As I have been sewing baby gifts I’ve dug into boxes of old patterns that I had stored in the back of a cupboard. This cupboard is difficult to reach so the patterns have just been sitting. I’ve always known that one day I would be digging into these pattern boxes for old patterns I had used and not gotten rid of. I really was looking for baby bonnet patterns. I thought I had more that I found. I liked my girls to have bonnets on their heads when they went out. They looked cute and my mother told me it would help prevent ear infections! Now I’m not sure that really helped but I did like bonnets and they were fun to make. Now it’s fashionable to wear bonnets again although it’s more likely to keep the sun off of delicate skin. I suppose the looking cute still applies as well.
In spite of the lack of bonnet patterns I did find lots of PJ’s patterns and some bib patterns and special dress patterns. After I had sorted through the boxes I pulled several patterns and then returned the boxes to the cupboard. When I was finished I laid the patterns on my desk and started looking at the differences in pictures and in price. I ended up with patterns old and new covering a 60 year span. The picture on the right is a McCall’s night-shirt pattern from 1952. The price.. $.50. The middle pattern is also a McCall’s pattern but it’s dated 1982. This bib pattern was used to make some bibs for my little girls. The cost $2.00. The third pattern is a Simplicity pattern that I just purchased. This makes it a 2012 pattern for a dress and bonnet and it’s price is comparable to the McCall’s patterns and the cost…. $14.95. Now Joann’s regularly sells them for 40% off. I guess the pattern companies want us to think we are getting a good buy! Hmm… what do you think? I always try to buy patterns on sale which you can do for the big pattern companies like Simplicity, McCall’s and Buttrick. Other patterns like Kwik Sew and independent pattern makers are usually not reduced in price so the cost is often $10-$20. I know there are usually several views and several sizes in each envelope so maybe that’s ok. Opinions?
Little Knitted Creatures are certainly intriguing to me. I am not a knitter however so they will just have to remain in the book. Do you like knit creatures or have you made anything like this before? I’ve made all sorts of dolls, stuffed bears, turtles and other things but no knitted creatures. I guess I’ll have to think about it or see who I can bribe into making me the little gnome in the book..
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.
It’s nice to be at a point where I am starting on new projects. It’s always fun and exciting to plan a new project, think about the fabric, the details and who will be receiving the end product. Sometimes I make something just to make it but I do find that I’m more productive and apt to stick with it and finish it if there is a time line or a reason. I’m not good at just sitting and playing. I need a purpose. I recently got a die for my AccuQuilt Go cutter. This cuts simple 5″ squares. I love to cut the fabric with this die. It’s fast and easy and accurate. The package insert always has a pattern idea. When I saw the pattern I knew I had the perfect fabric. Last year when I first started to sew and quilt again one of the first fabrics that I fell in love with was the green fabric with the Swiss houses on it. The pattern was big enough that I knew I needed a bigger block and I really didn’t have too much of the yardage. I had enough other fabrics in my stash to make the rest of the blocks and I spent an hour or so happily cutting and placing this on my design wall. It has been sitting in a box waiting for the day to sew it up and now the day is here. I’m going to make this for a young friend who is having a baby girl and doesn’t like pink. This quilt has flowers and butterflies and these darling little houses and I think it will be perfect. Now I’m off to sew and already planning another new project in my head.
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.