Graduation Time of Year

It’s graduation time of year again.  I don’t really have close to me relatives graduating this year but  do know two ladies that I want to recognize.  Graduation is a big accomplishment if it is high school or college.  The first lady is a high school graduate and like I’ve done many times over the last several years I’ve made a zip bag.  I love to make these and they are so handy to have around.  I have odds and ends in my purse, like Tylenol, eye drops etc. I have one for my cell phone, I have one for my Kindle and I have one for all of my charging cords.  The usefulness can go on and on. I hope this lady will like her zip pouch as she heads off to college and finds it useful for some of life’s odd and ends.

camera zip pouch

camera aip pouch2

The second lady is older and a college graduate.  She has put herself through school while working full-time and I have lots of admiration for her and her hard work.  She is also a Girl Scout volunteer and for many years has volunteered one week of her vacation at a summer overnight Girl Scout camp.  As I puzzled about how to recognize her I decided I could make her a pillowcase that was designed especially for camp. Her camp name relates to a small animal and there are many interesting small wildlife creatures at camp so I thought this was a fitting recognition and something that she will use, enjoy and it will not show any dirt.  At camp this is always a bonus even if you do sleep inside!.

Chipmunk pillowcase

So for this year, graduation sewing is done. Next on the agenda is a couple of aprons and at least two baby quilts.  One of those quilts has been pieced so now it’s just layering, quilting and binding.

Baby Baby

Baby baby, can’t you hear my heart beat… well not mine I guess but I’ve had lots of fun in the last couple of weeks sewing for my niece’s new baby girl.  She actually will arrive in this world June 4th but I really didn’t want to wait.  There are still more babies on the horizon. Not my own grandchildren yet, although maybe someday, but children of folks that I do know.

I made this new little girl a lovely “girlie” quilt.  When I first started I knew the colors I wanted to use but when I cut the first pieces out it seemed too intense so I ended up cutting the strips of fabric and resewing and cutting again.  I’m quite pleased with the result.  It has produced a lovely quilt that is not too jarring but very sweet. It has this cute pink dancing bunny flannel on the back.

pinwheel baby quilt - Starfishalley

bunny quilt back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the new baby there is also a tag blanket, a new burp rag and a darling sweater that my friend made for me to give her.

Tag blanket and burp rag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby sweater

 

 

 

 

 

I had some leftover blocks and decided that I needed to make some fun gifts for the big sister too.  Now the big sister is two and a half and loves to help her mommy.  She is also a great imitator and has a wonderful imagination.  I just knew the big sister needed to have a new baby doll of her own.  With that baby doll, she needed a few necessities to take good care of the baby so I also made her a doll blanket for that precious baby, as well as a few diapers with velcro, some diaper wipes, and a diaper bag.  She also has a soft colorful blanket to cover that baby doll so she won’t get cold.

Baby doll, doll diapers and doll quilt

Doll diapers and wipe case

Doll diaper bag

Dish towels for Larry

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!

Dishtowels for Larry

 

Three Blind Mice!

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.

Three Blind Mice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Blind Mice

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

Making Lanyards

Making lanyards for the girls was lots of fun.  I started with one of the Robert Kaufman Girl Scout roll ups and separated the strips into the Girl Scout prints and the coordinating prints.  For this project I knew that I wanted to the use the fabric that was specifically Girl Scout themed.  Becuase the strips were two and a half inches wide, I cut my light weight interfacing two inches wide and ironed it to the inside.  Then I folded and pressed the fabric so I could add the lanyard clip and finish the seam and do the top stitching.  This was a fairly quick project for one but of course did take a bit longer to make 24. That way we did a few extra for special staff and other gifts.  The girls were able to use their lanyard for their whistle and their schedules which they put in plastic name tag holders.  All in all, making lanyards was a very successful project!

roll up

zippers and lanyard clips

lanyards

lanyards

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.

 

Mixed review

Oldest daughter is going on a trip at the end of the week.  Off to Minnesota where it might be warmer that the Pacific Northwest!  I thought I would make her a new sleeveless top to take with her.  Now this is not always a successful action when you don’t have approval of the pattern or fabric.  It’s also been many years since I have made her any clothing so it was an educated guess on many accounts.  So this is a good news, bad news story.  The good news is that I enjoyed the clothing sewing. The patterns have certainly improved in the 10 plus years that have passed since I intentionally purchased a pattern for a garment other than pj pants. The other good news was that I only spent $5 on fabric so it wasn’t a complete loss.  The bad news was that a) She didn’t like it and b) it was a little snug.  It’s too bad too because I serged the seams so they didn’t ravel, I made my own bias tape for the armholes and everything went together exactly as it should.  Oh well, I knew it was a long shot but thought I had made good guess on the size and style so there was some room for error but I guess not quite enough.  Maybe daughter #2 will like it and it will fit her of I can cut it apart and use it in a quilt or even find another person to give it to.

Sleeveless top

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

 

A new hat.

A new hat has arrived at our house!  Middle daughter is a knitter.  She made her dad a new hat for Christmas.   Yes, I know that Christmas is long gone but due to distance and life etc.  this hat has just recently made an appearance.  It’s a good fit, matches the coats just fine and is very comfy. Or so I’ve been told.  It will have a season or two of rest now as spring is finally arriving in our neck of the woods.  All too soon however it will be hat season again the hat will live in an esteemed place!