Tag Archives: doll quilt

VIntage Panel Finish

Happy Friday everyone!  It has been really busy here between the shop, the usual migraine nonsense and… wait for it…. getting ready to leave for Vermont!  I am going to be watching my grand daughter for three weeks.  Her mama has to go to Washington DC for a month long training session and asked if I would come and help out while my son is with H.  He commutes a fair bit to work and back which makes H’s daycare time much longer if he is on his own with her.  Between that and snow days and the usual illnesses she is always coming down with, it will be good to have another person there.  I am looking forward to it as much as my DIL is NOT looking forward to it.  You know?  I feel terrible for her to have to leave for so long.  She is a medical resident in Radiology at the University of Burlington and has known this was coming for the last several years but now that it is actually time to go, ugh! She is such a trooper and is trying to make the best of a lousy situation.

I have been cooking meals and freezing them so Ray and Julia don’t have to cook quite as much while I am gone.  They both have long days and it will be nice to have a few things they can just pull out of the freezer and heat up. Also, my friend Sophia has been coming over and learning to run my shop for me.  She is such a good friend and I am incredibly grateful she is able to do this for me.  She will cut orders and ship them for the next few weeks.  I have known her for a long while and we are both into quilting and sewing.  She will have everything under control while I am away!

I did play a bit in the sewing room this week, though not as much as I would have liked (is there ever enough hours in the day?). I had four custom orders, two are finished and the other two are prepped to be completed today.

Inspired by watching Marie Kondo on Netflix the other day, I thought I would clear out some old fabric that just wasn’t ‘sparking joy’ for me any longer and give it away.  But as soon as I sat down and started going through things, I found this panel I had picked up at a garage sale last fall.  That was the end of the Konmari cleaning effort!

I just love this panel.  I did several reverse image searches to try and find it on-line and see what line it was from.  One person on Facebook or Instagram (?) commented that she made pillow cases with it in the 1980’s for her children.  So it is an older fabric.  I wasn’t sure what to do with it but finally decided to make a doll quilt with it for A Doll Like Me.  It is so pretty and, at 22″ x 26″, just the right size for this.

 

I found a batting scrap and some backing fabric and quickly put it all together.

I love the pig and unicorn both!

The quilting is basic since it really doesn’t show up and the animals are the star of the show here.

Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!

I free motioned around most of the animals and some of the vines to hold everything together. Around the outer border I FMQ’d flowers.  That was good practice as I am really rusty these days.

The backing and binding were also a thrift store find – I believe it was an older RJR print.  Great colors thought, right??

Don’t you love making something start to finish with bits of fabric you already have. The stack of fabric in my closet holds so much potential. I will keep this little quilt and mail it to Amy when I have a few more things to add to it.

Time to go finish up those two orders.  Also need to make meatballs for the freezer. Yesterday I had a roast in the crockpot for shredded BBQ Beef sandwiches.  I am filling our freezer!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Ours will be gray and rainy out, as it has been all week.  The wet weather inspired me to cut a few gray and white fat quarter bundles for the shop.  Aren’t these pieces wonderful?  Included are flowers, stripes and text prints by Carrie Bloomston, Alison Glass and Sarah Fielke!  Click the link if you want to add them to your stash.  🙂

Linking to my usual sites.  Check them out at the top of the page under link ups!

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

It is the first of the month and my sister Tina was the first person to start the texting this morning. I don’t remember when we started, but it was years and years ago.  As kids, on the first of the month, “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” had to be the first words each of us uttered in order to have good luck all month long. It was a disappointment to forget and then hear a sister utter the words.  I would think, dang it – it is the first of the month.  We are not a superstitious bunch but we did this regularly.  Now that we are grown and living far from each other, it has become tradition to text it first thing in the morning.  I love family traditions.  This morning I looked up the whole “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” superstition and while I didn’t find a solid explanation, I did learn it dates back as far as a 1909 edition of the quarterly scholarly journal Notes and Queries and was also mentioned in A Dictionary of English Folklore.  Next I found an article on NPR stating Franklin Delano Roosevelt not only carried a rabbit’s foot for good luck but also uttered “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” on the first of the month.  So, my family is in good company.  Do any of you keep this tradition at your house?  Or, did you when you were growing up?

We are home from our Vermont trip. It was such a wonderful week.  We enjoyed nice weather and did a few days of exploring in both Vermont and Montreal. It turns out my grand daughter is the cutest little girl.  Truly, the cutest.  I am sorry to disappoint you if you thought it was your grand child that was the cutest because, nope, mine is.  Haha.

Napping with Grammy

I loved spending time with her and could easily pack my bags and move to Vermont tomorrow. Problem is my daughter in law is doing her residency as a radiologist there and who knows where she will land once she is done.  They hope to stay in Vermont but one never knows what the situation will be when she is ready to apply for positions.  For the time being we will have to keep flying out there to have our Grammy and Grandpa time.

All washed and crinkled!

Before we left, I made a doll quilt to bring to my grand baby.  I was still in doll quilt mode from the Spread the Love event in February. This time I thought I would do something with lots of color. It is an around the world type of block that I made with two inch squares (which finished at 1.5 inches.) I love the colorful look of it and I can imagine playing with her, asking her to show Grammy a blue square or a pink square, etc.  Sort of an I-Spy color game.

The backing is a cute unicorn print whose history is unknown to me.  I kind of think I got it in a box of one yard cuts I bought on sale at Craftsy a while back. The binding is a polka dot from my stash and the batting was scraps stitched together – a quilt made completely from stash and scraps!  Win for me.  🙂

Open the gift? Why? Much more fun to climb on it.

The bigger win was watching her open it up.  She is hardly old enough to understand opening a gift and preferred sitting on the package instead.

Once we got the paper off, she immediately went into her peek-a-boo mode.

We also brought a baby doll to get her started on the inevitable collection of a billion dolls that most little girls acquire. The doll came with a tiny bottle and she clearly knew what to do with it. (I know! She is brilliant.)

A little for you and some for me?

Yes, it was an awesome week.  We are going on vacation with the family in July so that took the sting out of leaving.  I am happy to know I will get to see her in a few months. But now I am back home and it was unseasonably warm last week which means the weeds are fierce.  I am off to pull enough weeds to earn me some time at the sewing machine this afternoon.  I know March is over but I haven’t quite finished my green RSC18 projects.  I need to catch up!!   So, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit to all of you. I hope April brings you spring time, green leaves, much joy, and as much time at your sewing machine as possible.

Linking up all over the place.  Check out the tab at the top of the page, Link Ups.

Quilting is a pain in the neck

My obsession with quilting wreaks havoc with my neck. I have two discs that slip (they extend farther than they should when I bend my neck forward or backward). It doesn’t take much activity to make my neck tighten up and go into these really fun muscle spasms. Most quilters get that tired neck and sore shoulder thing going on when doing a lot of piece work or, expecially, when quilting a piece. The other day Megan Jorrick of Sew Stitching Cute was mentioning issues with her neck and I could completely relate. This week my neck was giving me fits and I was really careful not to aggravate it too much. There are a few things that I do to protect it and I thought sharing what I have learned might help others that deal with the same issue. The main goal is to limit the amount of looking down that I do. The head is really heavy and to look downward is a big strain on your neck. Googling for information, I found that the average human head weighs approximately 10 pounds. Imagine supporting the weight of two 5 pound bags of sugar on your neck. When you extend your head to bend forward to look down that is a lot of stress on your neck.

First off, whenever possible, I look at something straight on rather than bending my neck to see it. This means that if I am ironing seams or bits of fabric, I don’t use my ironing board. I made a little pressing pad which I keep on the desk near my sewing machine. I actually kneel down at the desk and press away – that way I really don’t have to bend my neck. It probably looks odd, like I am worshipping the iron, but it is helpful.

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Second trick is when I am piecing a long stretch involving matching many little seams (e.g. one row of blocks to the next row of blocks) I, again, get at eye level with it. I happen to have a queen size bed in the sewing room. I lay one row on the bed, kneel down and place the other row on top of it. Then I can match seams and do all of that fussing while looking (almost) straight on to the piece.  Same goes for pin-basting a quilt sandwich. I have a long table that is fairly low in the basement and I use that. Kneeling down at that table is a challenge because of the cement floor but I found an old pillow to kneel on and I can push that along as I scoot around and pin while looking straight on the quilt. Pin basting a quilt on the floor involves crawling around and reaching to the center of the quilt which is horrible for my neck. As you know, it takes a while to pin a quilt sandwich together. Better to use a table for this task.

This is one of my favorite tricks though. My husband was watching me sew and he kept telling me that if I could change the angle of the actual sewing machine I might be able to lift my head a bit. It works. Not perfectly but it makes a difference. My machine sets down into a table so I took an old piece of flannel and rolled it tightly. I lifted the front end of my machine and put the flannel under it, tipping the front of the machine up. It hasn’t posed any problems with stitching or quilting unless I am appliqueing. For some reason, my machine has to be flat for that. Here is a picture to show you. Not gorgeous but it is worth it.

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My last tip, and the most obvious one, is to sew in short increments. My neck has very little tolerance for sewing which means that I have to limit myself to 15 minute increments which makes it tough to accomplish what I really want to. This is probably the hardest part for me. I get sucked into the process and then I look up and see that 40 minutes have passed. I’m working on it though.

I only did a few quick projects this week. I got a few French Press cozies made for my Etsy shop. More fun though is the baby doll quilt I made.

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Julia and I are going to see my sisters this weekend. One sister is having a “Heart’s Party” for Valentine’s Day at the request of her three year old grand-daughter. I made a “heart” baby quilt to bring for the kids to use with their baby dolls.

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I had a pile of 2 1/2 inch squares leftover from the scrappy rainbow quilt I made for RSC2014 so this came together very quickly.  It finished at 15″ x 18″.  The quilting is a mix of heart shapes and loops quilted in pink which I am sure will be totally appreciated by the toddlers that will be playing with it!

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Can’t wait to see my sisters, their kids and their grandbabies!! Hurray for long weekends!

Linking to Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.  Also linking to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday and So Scrappy (since pink is the February color.)