Dish towels for Larry. That’s really all he wanted for his 60th birthday was some hand embroidered dish towels. Well I can certainly pull that one off! So for a month
every night well most nights when I watched TV I worked on dish towels. Larry had watched me work on dish towels before Christmas when I was making them for friends and that’s when he decided they were really cool and he wanted some of his own. I did some different patterns on his than I did on the Christmas ones. He really loved the coffee pot and coffee cup one that I had done for a friend so I did that one and the rest were different. I used a hot iron transfer like this one Stitcher’s Revolution and ironed them onto Aunt Martha’s Vintage Dish Towels. Hurray, the dish towels for Larry were done in time for his birthday. They were fun to do and Larry was pleased!
Three blind mice! In this case I have four blind mice but the result was the same. I had this pattern from Fig Tree & Co. The Three blind mice pattern. Oh, they were fun to make. Fast and easy. They are filled with some batting and craft pellets. These particular mice were thanks yous for some special ladies who cooked and planned meals for an adult Girl Scout volunteer event. We all go out to one of the camps owned by our council and have a wonderful time visiting, crafting, singing and what ever else we want to do. The three ladies who help organize menus and meals are all sewing, hand craft types of ladies and they all use pin cushions. Mice are always a part of any camping experience and a perfect match was made. The fourth mouse was a thank you to a woman who helps us with craft ideas and wasn’t able to make it this time due to illness. I also have another mouse cut out and half sewn for myself.
Figure 8 scarves have been all over print and media blogs and advertising for the past year. They can be expensive to buy but inexpensive to make. Before Christmas I was in the fabric store
fondling browsing the fabric remnants and found some fabric that I knew would make lovely scarves. This type of fabric can be fussy to work with. It stretches, frays and distorts easily but it will also produce a satisfying project. Figure 8 scarves are just that. A long strip of fabric with a twist in the middle so it forms a continuous loop. Kind of like a Möbius strip. I found several coordinating remnants and also a couple of wider one color pieces and made scarves. It was fun and I do think the girls were pleased. These scarves are stylish and add some warmth to these cool winter days.
A Christmas stocking for Raegan was a necessary addition for holiday sewing. This sweet little girl ventured into the world on December 5th. The grandparents and Mom and Dad were excited. Of course all the family and friends were pleased to have such a sweet addition to this family. I didn’t want Santa to overlook this new babe however so a stocking was created. I used a combination of a McCall’s stocking pattern and some AccuQuilt dies. The name was cut with a Slice Fabrique die. If I do this again I will make a few changes but overall, it was a successful completion. Merry Christmas Raegan.
Apron and shoe bags were on the christmas list this year. I decided my husband needed an apron and then maybe I wouldn’t need so much stain stick. That pesky silverware seems to develop holes at meal time and it’s hard to keep the food on the utensils! It so often ends up on the front of the shirt. I have started to wear an apron every night when I eat. It’s in the drawer next to the table and it’s gotten to be a habit to reach into the drawer, pull out the apron and save the clothes. Now hubby can do the same. The apron has sat by his plate for several days now and hasn’t been tested but soon I know that will happen.
The other project that happened for Christmas was shoe bags. I have made them for middle daughter but never had made them for the other two kids. Oldest daughter and son both have plans to travel in January and February and they both commented that shoe bags would be something they might use. I know that I hate to put my dirty shoes in the suitcase with the clean clothes. Sometimes I’ve also used these bags for dirty laundry when I’m traveling. It’s a bit more private than a plastic bag and it’s nice to have those dirty clothes contained. I made the bags about 19″ tall and 26″-30″ wide. That way they will work for either athletic type shoes or sandals. The animal print that I used for my son was a little short so I added a casing to the top of the bag. It works just fine and added a nice designer touch to a simple bag. More successes and Mom is happy!.
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.
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.
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.
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?