Category Archives: Sewing Projects

Finished! Christmas Tree Skirt

First of all, I want to thank you for the sweet comments on my last post.  I appreciate it.  Life isn’t predictable and this is just how it is — The migraines started almost ten years ago and I don’t see this changing any time soon.   But this week has been reasonable and I actually finished a project!  I also made a Christmas gift which I will share after the holidays. Hurray for time at the sewing machine.

I have wanted to make a quilted skirt for the Christmas tree for a long while.  Until now, I have just used a large piece of holiday fabric which I wrapped around the base of the tree.  But this year, we decided to decorate with two smaller trees instead of our usual very tall one.  This required two skirts, right?

I used a selection of holiday fabric for this.  Several of the prints are from Tis the Season, a line I carry in my shop.  The black print, the white tone on tone, and the darker red snowflake print were in my stash. The skirt was based on a pattern by Judy Metsker of Night Owl Quilting. This pattern when finished was a bit smaller than I wanted.  However, I had an older version of her pattern; it looks as though the newer version has size options.

At any rate, it was a very simple pattern.  I chose to quilt it sampler style with a different motif on each fabric using a white Mettler thread. I stitched a stipple on the red snowflake fabric and a little boxy FMQ motif on the Christmas gift fabric.

My favorite quilt motif is the row of basic Christmas trees I stitched along the border of the skirt.  I used a variegated Mettler thread in red, green and white which looks so festive.  On the white fabric I quilted a few wavy lines with stars on them.  I wasn’t able to get a photo that really shows this motif very well. I machine stitched the binding down using a zig zag stitch with the same variegated thread.  I think it looks great.

The second tree remains wrapped with that holiday fabric I have been using for so long.  But that is fine. The house looks festive and Christmas is around the corner.  How about you?  Is your tree up? Holiday shopping well underway?  Julia and I plan to go to Sacramento on Friday afternoon for the finishing touches on Christmas shopping.  I usually try to finish up early as the crowds get so crazy the week before Christmas.

Finally, I will be hosting a fun giveaway on Instagram this weekend.  Be sure to pop over Saturday morning to find out the details!  I held one last weekend and it was a lot of fun so I am going to do it again. Maybe this is your weekend to win!

Linking up to my usual favorites.  Check them ot at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

 

 

 

Winter Friends Christmas Stockings

While visiting my son, daughter in law, and grand baby in Vermont last month we talked about the holidays.  This is the first Christmas we will be apart.  My daughter in law is working her second year of her residency as a radiologist.  Apparently the second year residents don’t have the best work schedule.  She is working over Thanksgiving and Christmas both.  So the three of them will be celebrating holidays in between her shifts at the hospital.  Such is the life of a new doctor.

Always ones to look at the bright side, my son and DIL are kind of excited about Christmas though.  Because they have always traveled to California for Christmas since they married in 2010, they have never had their own Christmas tree or stockings.  They have an 8 month old daughter and it is time to begin their own family Christmas traditions.  When my DIL asked me to make them stockings I was so pleased.  What a fun project to tackle.  I showed her pictures of the fabrics I have in my shop and she chose the Winter Friends line by PB Textiles.  This is so perfect since they are a very outdoorsy family living in Vermont. What better theme than woodland creatures, Christmas trees and snowmen?

I was looking around on Pinterest for inspiration when I asked the kids what they had in mind.  They said to make them coordinate with the set of fabrics but to make each stocking with a different design.  So this is exactly what I set out to do!

First I wanted a template for the size of the stocking.  I remembered I had an old pattern from Simplicity that was designed by Eleanor Burns (of Quilt In a Day fame.) The size of the stocking wasn’t exactly right but it was enough to get me going.  I cut stocking shapes from batting and that is what I quilted my piece work to. From there I looked for ideas on line.  I found this tutorial by Amy Smart (Diary of a Quilter) and liked the idea of doing a ‘quilt as you go’ strip pieced design for one of the stockings.  Beyond that, I thought I would do a basic patchwork design and just go from there.

The strip pieced QAYG stocking was a breeze.  It came together easily.  This was the first stocking and I did use a few strips from other Christmas fabric scraps.  I kind of wish I had not done that because for the next two stockings I stuck with just the five Winter Friends prints.  Not a huge deal though. For the QAYG process, I cut random width strips and sewed one on top of the other beginning in the middle and working out to both the top and bottom.  Once the strips were sewn to the batting I trimmed to the stocking shape.

What originally got me wanting to add other pieces was this bit of text saying “the stockings were hung” which I thought cute to include. It looks cute and the colors match well enough so I left it as is.

For the next two stockings I made rows of patchwork which I then used for the stocking front in the same QAYG fashion.  I fussy cut the blocks featuring the larger snowmen, deer, woodland animals, and Christmas trees. These were alternated with 2 1/2″ squares of the other prints. I love the way the patchwork looks when set on point. This is my favorite of the stockings.

The second patchwork stocking is also really sweet.  I made little four patch blocks, fussy cutting the squirrels and hedge hogs to be used with the green snowflake print and the plaid print.  The four-patch squares are a little wonky but I am calling that a charming design feature.  😉

I sewed a curved piece of a cross hatch neutral fabric over the toe of each stocking to make it look sock-like.  I also embroidered a line of stitching to decorate it a bit more.  The toe pieces were hand cut so each one is different from the next.

The back side of each stocking is made with the larger print.  This decision was made purely out of laziness.  I had enough of this fabric in the sewing room at the time and would have had to walk all the way downstairs to grab more fabric if I chose a different one. How lazy can a quilter get???

I don’t know what the kids plan as far as family size but for now they have three stockings made.  I set aside enough fabric to be able to make two more stockings should the family grow!  I might not have exactly enough but they will still match the original stockings well enough. I am really happy with the stockings and hope the kids use them for many years to come.

In celebration of the upcoming holiday season, I have put all of the holiday fabric in my shop on sale for the weekend.  Use code HOLIDAYFABRIC25 to receive 25% off any of the Christmas fabrics listed.  I hope you will take advantage of this great sale which will run through end of day on Sunday, November 19th. Orders will ship out first thing Monday morning so you will have your fabric in plenty of time to do some holiday sewing!

I am linking up with my favorite linky parties. For more information, click on Link Ups at the top of the page.

Cross Body Bag for Travel

Most of the time, I use a big purse. I carry all sorts of stuff, probably more than I really need to. But that doesn’t work as well when I am traveling.  If I bring a tote bag or backpack on a plane (for a book, iPad, food etc) it becomes cumbersome to also have a purse.

I decided to make a slim, simple cross body bag for these, not-very-frequent, travel days. This way I will have a purse with my wallet and phone in it while I am traveling and it won’t take up tons of room in the carry-on bag. Brilliant, you say? Aw, shucks…

I chose the Grid fabric from Sarah Golden’s Maker Maker fabric.  It is a wonderful cotton and linen blend with great texture. Andover makes it and I have a selection in my shop.  I washed the fabric before I started so it would soften up a bit.

When I was thinking about this project, I decided to model it after the 30 Minute Pouch on KelbySews.com.  I have made tons of these as gifts.  One Christmas I gave them to a number of my friends, my sisters, my mom and mother-in-law. You can check those out here.  Anyway, I thought if I just made it substantially larger, added an interior pocket, and loops for a strap, it would be a cute bag.  Guess what?  I was right!  It turned out great.  Here are some photos of my process.

I cut the exterior piece, the batting and the lining all the same size, 9″ x 20″.  Then I quilted the batting to the exterior piece with three seams.  The quilting doesn’t show at all, black thread on a black print, but it held the batting in place while making the bag.

The interior pocket came next.  It is a bit of a trick to explain but I took a 5″ square and placed it on top of the lining piece, right sides together. I drew a rectangle toward the top, on the back side of the square and stitched around that rectangle.  Next I clipped out the interior of the rectangle so I could turn the fabric to the other side of the lining.

Finally, I took a second 5″ square and sewed it to the flap of fabric that was now on the wrong side of the lining.  (I know this is hard to follow and if anyone wants further info, I can write a tutorial.  It is a nice way to add a pocket to any bag you are working on. Let me know if you would be interested.)

Interior pocket sewed to lining fabric.

Once the pocket was in place, I set the zipper – I won’t go into detail here because I used the exact process described in the KelbySews tutorial. It is very simple.

Before sewing the side seams, I placed two loops of twill tape, one on each side, to be stitched into the side seam. Then I sewed the side seams.

This bag has exposed seams (the lining doesn’t hide them) so I did run a tight zig zag stitch along each side to finish the fabric.

Once the bag was flipped right side out, it looked like this.

The final piece was to make a long strap. I pieced together two lengths of fabric that were two inches wide. By pressing the raw edges to the center first, then pressing the whole strip in half, and finally stitching the strap all the way down the length of it, I quickly had a shoulder strap. I looped one end through each of the twill tape loops and stitched them together.  This means it isn’t adjustable.  If you wanted something more flexible, you could buy the hardware to make a little looped finish on the end of one strap.

Peeking at the interior of the bag.

The lining was a scrap from a thrift store but I love it with the Grid fabric.

For measurements, in case you are curious, the bag finishes at 8″ wide, 10″ tall, with a strap that is 50″ long.  I think the size is just what I wanted.  The only change I would make is to move the zipper up about two inches so I would have a bit more usable space inside the bag.  The most functional space is below the zipper and it would be better to have less space above the zipper.

 

 

Quilt Exhibit Recap

Last week I posted a little catch up on the fair, Julia’s pig Ella, and the purse I made for her.  In the comments, Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl, reminded me I hadn’t said anything about the quilts I entered in the local fair.  I had originally planned to enter three quilts and that is what I technically signed up for.  As I got the quilts out to add the hanging sleeves, I noticed that I had machine stitched the binding to the Positively Floating plus quilt. In all honesty, I can’t remember why I machine stitched that one. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood to stitch the binding down? Usually I kind of enjoy that last bit of stitching on a project.  At any rate, it didn’t make sense to enter that quilt because I was fairly sure the judge wouldn’t appreciate a machine stitched binding. Additionally, I had procrastinated on making the sleeves, it was the night before I had to bring them over to the fairgrounds, and I was running short on time. So I didn’t enter the plus quilt.

I did enter the relief quilted THREAD project and the Sweet Tweets baby quilt. I got a second place ribbon on the Sweet Tweets baby quilt.

Third place, the quilt below mine was 2nd place.

I received a third place ribbon on the THREAD project. Now before we all get excited, I will tell you the rest.  I am nothing, if not honest, right?  This is a very small show – all contained within one room and may 150 entries at most (including all garments, stitchery, knitting and quilts)  In the baby quilt category, there were two entries.  In the mini quilts of this size, there were three.  As my sister Patti wisely told me, the glass is half full – you got a 2nd and a 3rd place.  But my logical side says, meh, I got last out of three and 2nd out of two.  Either way, I am happy. I think I got over my fear of having someone look at my project and pick it apart (no pun intended!)  It was interesting to read the comments.  Here is a bit of what the judge wrote:

On the baby quilt:  She liked the fabric selection and the fussy cut blocks. She found the quilting design appropriate and noted my stitches were not all the same length. Binding was well done but quilt does not lie flat.

On the relief quilt:  Thread play noted and appreciated. Starts and stops should not be visible, addition of quilted thread spools noted and appreciated. Binding needs improvement.

So – it was an interesting experience.  I am not a terribly competitive person so usually, I don’t feel compelled to think of the judge’s perspective as I make projects.  I suppose if I decide to enter things again, I need to pay more attention to the details.

Yesterday I was having fun making a few bandana bibs for my little grand baby.  My son, his wife and the baby got to California yesterday after a few flight delays and weather issues. They are spending time in the Bay Area, about 150 miles from here and will come up here Wednesday.  The baby will be working on teething soon which means all of that drooling that comes with it. I thought bandana bibs might be nice for this. The first one is made with a Cotton & Steel print, Panda Bebe, a white flannel backing and a tiny velcro closure. After I made it, I decided it might be a tad bit on the small side.

I took the template and cut it to be a couple of inches longer. The second bib was made with a cute flannel scrap I had and a pink lining.  I suspect this one is long enough. They were fun to make and such a quick project. The template I used was from Grey House Harbor, a DIY website with lots of tutorials. It will be fun to see if these fit baby girl when she gets here.

Finally, today Needle and Foot is the sponsor of this week’s podcast at While She Naps. The host and author at this site, Abby Glassenberg, is someone I have long admired. So much so, I wrote a review of her newsletter and podcast a while back. When the opportunity came about to sponsor a podcast, I was more than happy to do so.  Abby’s strength lies in the breadth of subjects she covers both in her blog, newsletter and podcast. I hope you will click through and listen to today’s interview with Jamie Chalmers, otherwise known as Mr. X Stitch. His site boldly claims to be the world’s best contemporary needle crafts and embroidery site. You may have noticed that embroidery and cross stitch, among other styles of needle crafts, are trending these days.  Jamie’s hugely popular site features “Cute ThingsArty Things, and Rude Things as well as all other sorts of stitchy goodness“. I am looking forward to hearing the podcast today and getting to know more about Chalmers. As added incentive, Needle and Foot will be offering a discount to Abby’s and Jamie’s fans – you’ll need to go over and listen to find out the details though!

 

Time for School

Hi Everyone — Today is the first day of school for Julia. Summer absolutely flew by. I posted a few pictures on Instagram last week about the county fair but I thought it would be fun to share some of the details with you.  Julia did a great job taking care of and showing Ella. When you show a pig at the fair, there are two places in which the kids compete. One is called Market Class which is where the judge assesses the quality of the pig, with regard to structure and muscle vs fat. Because the kid’s select their animal when it is very young based on it’s structure and then feed it out over the next six months, they have an impact on these things. If an animal is over weight or too lean, the owner adjusts feed accordingly. Julia had many challenges with Ella and her food intake so this was not easy.

Julia showing Ella off to the judge.

The other is showmanship which is where they judge the owner’s ability to work with their animal.  Out of about 20 kids in her group, Julia came in 6th in both Market Class and Showmanship. For her first year, this was so great.

Job well done Julia!

Better than that is when Ella was auctioned, she was purchased by the CEO of Telestream, the company I used to work at and where my husband currently works.  Each year the company buys one or two animals to support the local youth and then donates the meat to our local food bank.  Our family has been involved with Interfaith Food Ministry for many years so Julia is very familiar with the organization. Before Fair came, she wrote to the CEO and explained she would be so happy knowing Ella went to such a good cause, feeding the hungry in our town. In a month or so, Julia and I will pick the meat up and take it to the Food Ministry for disbursement.

I think 4-H is a wonderful organization as they have impact in many areas of a child’s growth and maturity. It was required that each of the kids (and one parent) work a shift in the Pasty Booth as this is a major fundraiser for the club.  Julia did great and the time flew by because the booth was very busy. Luckily the booth is air conditioned with those ovens going constantly.

Preparing Pastys to bake in the oven.

Saying good bye to Ella was sad for Julia but she knew this was the way it was supposed to play out.  She worked really hard and I am incredibly proud of her.

The last couple of days of summer were spent catching up after the busy week we had.  Yesterday Julia and I had lunch together and saw a movie to celebrate summer’s end.  It was lots of fun and she was ready to go back today and see all of the friends she missed over the summer.

Before fair, Julia asked if I would make her a new purse. She is learning to drive and for the first time, has to carry a purse with her. Of course I agreed and we hopped on Pinterest to look at my board of Purses, Bags and Totes.    Julia chose a basic bag from Very Purple Person, called the Reversible Bag.  We made a few changes so hers is not reversible.  More on that in a minute though.

First she had to select her fabric.  She had fun looking at all of the bolts in the shop and selected a batik for the outside.  Then we pulled choices for the lining.

So many choices!

It didn’t take very long for her to settle on this Island Batik floral and the deep orange solid, Art Gallery’s Pure Element Tiger Lily.

It is a great combination and that orange works perfectly!

This bag is super simple. It prints as a PDF and you just need to tape a few pieces together to get the full template.  We did lengthen the strap.  Julia is 5′ 8″ and she wanted it to hang to her hip. I also added two pockets with Velcro closures to the interior and a little clip to hang her keys from.  (I still can’t believe she is old enough to need keys.  It seems like she should still be filling her purse with stuffed animals and markers.)

I didn’t put a closure at the top of the bag but I think I may add one.  It seems like it needs it so it isn’t always gaping open.  Julia doesn’t mind either way. Just trying to think of a closure that can be added now that the lining is all sewn in. I am sure I will think of something.

Sitting up like a big girl.

Now that fair is finished and school has started, it is time to catch up on housework and get ready for my son and his family.  Then come next week and we are all beyond excited!  Look at this girl — I can’t wait to play with her! She is sitting up and trying to crawl.  Just adorable.  🙂

Small Finishes for This Week

This week sure buzzed by quickly. There was not a whole lot of time spent in the sewing room.  I have been spending quite a bit of time working on the shop; especially on the process of moving patterns from the first shop to the new shop. I think it is worth the time it takes.  I have had a number of sales from the new shop so I know people are finding it. I like managing the patterns separately from the fabrics. But it has taken a lot of time!

As far as sewing, I made two little projects for my sweet grand baby. My daughter in law asked me if I would make strap covers for their infant carrier. She even found the right pattern to use for the straps that fit her model carrier. I think this is a pretty smart move- the strap covers add some cushion if baby girl falls asleep with her face on those straps.  They also catch the drool that come along with baby. It is much easier to take the covers off and toss them in the wash then to wash the pack.
The pattern was a breeze to follow. I did have to make a quick trip to find some green fabric (it actually is green, but leaning to teal blue) for the covers. I had plenty of batting scraps for the filling and velcro for the closures.
These are entirely reversible which would have been fun if I had used two different fabrics but I didn’t.  The pack is a print of green and blue and it didn’t need another fabric in the mix. Baby also needs a little hood that will attach to the pack but I haven’t tackled that yet. I did buy plenty of the fabric though. Hopefully I will get to that in another week or so.

After making the little strap covers, I was in the mood to make something else for her. A few months ago, I purchased a collection of the older Cotton and Steel prints during a #destash on Instagram. I had not used any of them yet but as I poked through the bag, I found two prints that were perfect for a little sun hat.

Isn’t that the cutest thing? I had an old pattern from who knows what, so I can’t recommend it because you probably couldn’t find it anyway. There are many patterns like this though and a simple google search should be fruitful. It came together easily and I am hopeful it will fit. Her mama sent me the measurement of her head so if anything, it might be a little big.  I love the back side with a little bow.  Adorable.

I look forward to seeing it on her little head.  Finally, I started the memory quilt I am making for my nephew Sam.  He picked out an assortment of his football and baseball jerseys. He even sent a small one that he must have worn as a little boy. As suggested by several readers in the comments of an earlier post, I emailed Sarah from Confessions of a Fabric Addict to get her input.  She suggested a particular brand of fusible interfacing she likes for backing these projects. I ordered that and it is already here, ready and waiting for me.

My ever helpful daughter and I cut the jerseys up.

I was really nervous to cut into these. Before we started cutting, Julia and I folded them into little blocks and laid them out to get an idea of how I would make this. Then we cut the fronts from the backs leaving everything intact and as large as possible.  I think I will make a lot of 14″ squares with the majority of the jerseys.  Then I will cut miscellaneous bits and pieces that aren’t going to measure up as big but should be included (mascots, American Flags, etc).  Those will be bordered in red and fit into the puzzle where I can. I think it shouldn’t be terribly difficult. The next step is to stabilize this slippery jersey fabric. Sam is off to college in the fall so maybe, just maybe, I will have it done in time?  Well, at least during autumn? Ok, ok, definitely before he graduates college?  We will have to see!

This week is once again my week to sponsor the giveaway for the Sewcial Bee Sampler. I had a lot of fun hosting the giveaway at the end of June too.  If you are participating in the sew along, hop over to Maureen Cracknell’s or Sharon Holland’s blog to find out how to enter and win! It could be your lucky week! There is also a discount code for the Sewcial Bee quilters. Go check it out!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!  I am linking up to a few favorites. Find them at the top of the page under Link Ups.

Have you signed up for the Needle and Foot News yet? Published monthly, this newsletter provides an update on the latest fabrics to arrive at the shop, as well as any promotions or events happening at Needle & Foot. Click here or use the sign up form at the right side of the page, toward the top!

 

Working with Wonder Woman

I just finished up a really fun project. I haven’t made a custom Chemex Cozy for a while and received this note from a customer about a week ago. She asked….”do you have one that is more Wonder WOMAN and less super Man?”  Clearly she wanted some female superheroes to grace her kitchen. After a very quick search, I found this fabric.

My customer thought it was perfect so I placed an order and waited for it to arrive from an Etsy shop in Texas.  As soon as I got it, I cut into it.  I must have been terribly excited because I cut these girls out upside down. Not once, but twice. Considering I only had one yard of fabric (it takes about 1/2 yard to make a set) I was seriously frustrated. It didn’t take me long to decide to try some improv work to save the fabric.

I started cutting out Wonder Woman (she was the key player for my customer) and laying out pieces with black fabric framing off the individual pieces.  I was really liking the way she looked and felt like the black fabric calmed the craziness of the fabric down a bit.

 

Once I got one cozy put together, I sent off a progress picture to my customer. I was honest and told her what had happened. Asking for her honest opinion, I explained I would be happy to purchase more fabric. She immediately responded that she missed all of the action and  wasn’t too wild about the black in between the clips of Wonder Woman. She suggested I take the fabric scraps and just sew them back together ‘like a patchwork’. Ok then, on to round two. (I was not at all disappointed that she was unhappy with my first rendition as I knew I could list it for sale in the shop.)

Drawing on my practice with making fabric Victoria Findlay Wolfe style, I played with the scraps I had. Luckily, I still had a lot of scraps.

I only needed to have enough for the outside as I planned to line it with a solid fabric. Again, I tried to keep Wonder Woman as the main super hero and began laying pieces next to each other. I needed to end up with a wide strip of pieced fabric, enough for the large curve I cut for these cozies.

It came together so fast!  I showed Judy another progress picture and she was thrilled.  Having both a bright yellow solid and a deep purple solid, I let my customer choose her lining. She went with purple and I finished everything up soon thereafter.

I think it was a great lesson for me. Where I wanted to calm everything down and add the drama of the black frames, she wanted the chaos that DC Comic shows on most of their licensed fabric.

I suppose what I am trying to say is, it is such a trick to stock my shop with items (both handmade and fabrics) for my shoppers. I buy and make with my personal tastes reflected in my choices. I need to keep perspective on what the customer is going to like as well. At any rate, I loved creating both of these pieces and have no doubt the other one will sell swiftly.

If you make for others or for customers, how do you get that perspective? It is only natural to have a bias toward the styles, colors and themes you as the maker prefers, but we need to be able to figure out what the customer wants. Any input?

Just a quick note – I want to let you know I have begun a newsletter to keep readers posted about my fabric shop. I will be sending it out about every eight weeks or so and it will contain information on new arrivals and fun promotions for my newsletter subscribers. If you are interested, there is a sign up form on the right side of the page.

 

Linking up to a few places this week. Please take a look at the choices I have listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

 

Projects with Vintage Sheets

It is no secret that I have this crazy love of vintage everything.  I have posted many times about different thrifting trips where I have found little vintage treasures. It is fun to find uses for some of these little pieces. My sisters know of this passion of mine. Last month my youngest sister was cleaning out her in-laws house as they prepared to sell it.  She set these measuring cups aside for me, knowing I would want them. They are worn, bent and dented and I love them.

My collection of vintage sheets is quite large at this point. I often cut them into fat quarters and bundle them for sale in my shop. Last summer I made a queen size quilt and two throw pillows for the sewing room/guest room.

Two weeks ago I was cutting fat quarters and bundling them up for the shop when I realized I was amassing quite a stack of sheets. In an effort to use some of the scraps, I thought it would be fun to make a bunting with torn strips of the scraps I have from my sheets.  My plan was to hang it somewhere in the booth at the quilt show I worked earlier this month. I am not sure if you noticed it but I had it hanging around the table I used for cutting and transacting sales. Look at the table on the left in the picture below.

After cleaning up everything from the show I hung the bunting from a little shelf above the guest bed in my sewing room. Doesn’t it look cute with the quilt on the bed??

At about the same time, I decided to make a pair of pajama pants with one of the yellow sheets. The sheets are usually very soft as they have been used and laundered. I used a simple pattern, Simplicity 3935, to make them. It takes about as long to pin the pattern and cut the two pieces as it does to stitch them together. They are so, so comfortable. Here is the front – yes, they are a little wrinkled. I am not much for ironing my pj pants.  😉

Now the back side – which looks much like the front!  I put a little label on the inside of the back waistband so I would know which was which.  Otherwise, you don’t know until you put them on backward and wonder why they don’t fit right. Ha!

Mostly I like to lay on the guest bed and marvel that my pj’s match the quilt. Not really though…

I do love the soft colors and patterns in these sheets. While I only list fat quarter bundles in my shop, I do sell whole sheets if someone wants one to back a quilt or make something like my really cool pajama pants.  If you are ever of a mind to do this, email me and I will send you pictures of what I have available.

I want to show you a fun gift I received for Mother’s Day. My daughter somehow downloaded the logo to my business and had coffee mugs made for me. What a great surprise.

Aren’t these cute?? I just love them!

Just one more thing.  I have been following a series that my friend Mari is publishing over at Academic Quilter. She is on a tear organizing her sewing room, purging unused books, patterns and tools, and going through her stash and getting rid of fabrics she doesn’t want. She has been publishing these wonderfully inspiring posts with all kinds of suggestions for taking this project on. The posts are well written and divide the projects into manageable segments. I have to be honest and admit that to this point, I have only read the posts and wished I was doing the work. It has been so crazy lately and I haven’t spent the time to implement her ideas and suggestions. However, maybe you will have the time to take some of the ideas and put them to good use! Go check it out, if you haven’t already joined in.

Linking to some of my favorites – check out the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups!

Getting Ready

I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend preparing for a quilt show coming up this weekend. I decided to attend the show as a vendor and several months ago, I bought a booth for the vendor area. I got the smallest size booth they have and will give it a go.  My wonderful sister is coming to help me – this way if it is busy I will have help and if it is slow, she will commiserate with me.  Win-win for me!  She has great ideas and is very talented as a decorator so she has been a huge help as I collect what I need for the booth.

I used some green Ta Dot fabric (Michael Miller) and a piece of Crescent Bloom by Anna Maria Horner to make two work aprons for Patti and I to wear.   (Both of these fabrics are still available in my shop, though there is very little left.) The aprons were really a quick project and I just sort of made them up as I went. Check out the measuring tape twill that I used for the waist and the apron strings.  So cute! (Have to say the apron looks a whole lot cuter on my model than on me!!  🙂  )

Using the same fabrics, I made a bunting to hang across the front of one of the tables. Love these colors and they coordinate well with my logo.

Because this is my first time, I am trying not to spend tons of money. I did have to get a few things though. I am going for a bright, colorful look which will hopefully invite those shoppers to come and browse. You probably remember the banner I posted a few weeks ago.  My husband made me a frame with PVC pipe yesterday to hang it from.   People will definitely see that banner!

Pricing, oh my gosh — all the pricing that needed to be done. I have a small assortment of stitchery kits and a few projects for kids to make. Summer is coming and I thought it might be fun for some of the women to work on simpler projects with their grandchildren or children, as the case may be.  I made up a sample of this little pincushion kit. Isn’t it sweet? The kit includes everything needed so I think a young person could be quite successful making this. I have also marked a large assortment of fat quarter bundles and had to put pricing on the bolts (something I don’t normally do since it is just me down here in my little shop.)

Fat quarters! I have cut all sorts of fat quarters. This is a gamble because I have no idea how many will sell. I hesitate to cut too many because than my fabric is chopped up. But I have a good size collection. I think I would rather run out than bring home a billion fat quarters. If you are a local reader, I hope you will come by and say hi on Saturday or Sunday at the quilt show.  Members of the Pine Tree Quilt Guild will enjoy a 15% discount this weekend. Hurray for being in the guild!

Finally, let’s all congratulate Sally! Her name was pulled as the winner of the giveaway of a copy of No Scrap Left Behind. Sally, I have sent you an email.  Please respond in the next day or two. If I don’t hear from you, I will pull another name on Wednesday. Thanks so much for all of the comments and ideas on scrap storage. So many of us do keep scraps but there were a handful of honest quilters out there who don’t choose to keep them. It’s all good!  Those that don’t want them seem to give them to their guild members or other quilty friends. Sounds like a good idea to me! There are still more bloggers sharing their projects on the blog hop this week. Keep checking them out and maybe you will still add a copy of the book to your library!

I doubt I will post again this week. I still have quite a bit to do in preparation for the show. Hopefully, I will be back to tell you of a successful experience after the show!

Linking these finishes up to my favorite linky parties. Check out the tab Link Ups at the top of the page.

 

Sweet Tweets Blocks and a Quilt Top

Yesterday I had the pleasure of introducing you to Kim Schaefer in my third Meet the Designer post. I hope you enjoyed getting to know her.  I have been playing with the fabrics in her Sweet Tweets line and have a few things to share with you.

First off, I have been making these cute stuffed blocks. I have shared a couple of photos on Instagram so you probably have seen these in process. I used a simple tutorial provided by Abby Glassenberg at While She Naps.

Cutting the panel into blocks, I used four critters and two black and white squares from the Cheerios fabric for each block. I experimented a bit with the blocks. I made two of them bigger, utilizing the full size of the critter block and for the third one, I cut it down a bit so the block would be smaller. Two of the blocks are lined with fusible interfacing. It was only because I forgot that I didn’t line the third one. As a result, it is a bit on the mushy side – I like the result much better when the fabric was fused to the interfacing to give it some body.

Also, I only put one noisemaker rattle in each block and now I wish I had put two. (Actually, as I type this, I realize it would be so simple to open up the block again and add another rattle. I will do this because I think they don’t make enough noise with just the one rattle.)

On one of the blocks, I lined one side with a clean piece of a potato chip bag. Abby had a list of suggestions for variations to try and I thought this sounded fun. It gives that block a crackly sound when it is manipulated. It was very simple to just wipe down the bag, cut a square and baste it to one of the sides. I did put the print side facing inward to the center of the block, just in case in might have shown through the fabric.

After making the blocks, I was on a tear and decided to make a baby quilt with some of the critter blocks from the panel. I started this on Tuesday afternoon this week and it came together quickly. I didn’t have a pattern in mind and decided to just put borders around each critter and sash them in one of the brighter prints from the Sweet Tweets line. I think it is just adorable! Panels can sometimes be difficult to utilize but this one lends itself to a number of projects.

Each critter block was cut to a 6″ square and I bordered it with the black and white Cheerio print. That brought the blocks up to 8″. Next I sashed them with the Hip to be Square print in Rainbow. Like I said in my previous post, I love the bright colors with the black and white print. With just the rainbow sashing, the quilt top is a bit too small for a baby quilt. It currently measures 24″ x 36″. Adding the rainbow sashing print around the outer edge of the quilt will help grow it just a bit.

I have a bolt of this adorable border print coming in. I didn’t buy it with the first shipment of the line and think it is a great addition to this collection. I am not sure how I will cut it up but it will make a cute border and then hopefully the quilt top will be big enough.

I think this line is great for kids. However the black and white prints and the rainbow prints are versatile in their own right.  Great stash builders, for sure.  Reminder that they are on sale in my shop through this Sunday, April 23rd.

Hope you all have a great weekend.  Julia is finally getting her piglets this weekend. She is so excited. That is what we have planned, how about you??

Linking to my usual favorites, including Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.