Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - Scrap Sewing Can Help

It's Memorial Day. This is a day when we consider the fallen soldier, giving thanks in our personal way. It's also a time when we send our thoughts to the families of fallen servicemen and women. I saw a story on the ABC news and then again on our local news about a woman (Marcia Bonifas) who makes teddy bears for children of the fallen. She herself is a military widow.. Ms. Bonifas' story was told on the web at Coastal Point (Delaware) you can read it here. I've also provided a link to the video of the ABC story as shown on my local ABC affiliate. 

I appreciate what Ms. Bonifas is doing. I wrote to her this evening asking if her pattern were still available as it was not found on the site pointed to from the Coastal Point story. I love that she is providing "something to hold" for youngsters whose parents are not coming home. The mechanics of the teddy bear are simple - they'd be very easy to make and you most definitely can make them with scraps or remnants or patchwork that you have on hand. Hers is an easy, jointless, 2-piece pattern that is sewn around the edges, turned, and stuffed. She embroiders a simple face on them, and if you decided to make one or a bunch, this could be optional. The only expense I can see is the cost of the fiberfil, and even that is something most of us have in our sewing rooms already!

I hope Ms. Bonifas writes back and shares her pattern. If she does not, run with the idea on your own. Get in touch with a local military base or one of the many organizations on the web for children of fallen soldiers. Create a pattern of a bear or a cat or a whatever and get those scraps out and start sewing. There are so many things we can do for our military families; this one speaks to me, though - it's truly needed, wanted, and falls under the scrap stitching definitely of making do. Love isn't expensive. Let's all show some to the folks who put their lives on the line for our freedoms every single day.

NOTE 05/31/11: Ms. Bonifas did reply to my email and provided the following links for instructions and pattern for the teddy bear she makes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sewing on vacation and now I'm home!

Hexagons. I see them in my waking hours and in my sleep. I took my hexagon quilt pieces with me and worked on them in the airport, in Phoenix, in Los Angeles, on planes, in a hotel room, and now am working on it again at home. It became evident while I was in Phoenix that I'd need new fabrics, so hunting on the internet I did go. I found a few charm collections that were personal and not, say, Miller or Kaufmann collections. I ordered a few and was tickled to open packages of squares when I arrived back home on Monday night.

My sewing plan is to set up the cutting table in the former dining room and do some pattern cutting. I have two Halloween bags that need to be completed. I believe I have one more set of Halloween placemats that need to be finished. Then I can start sewing the items that I cut! Did I mention (or did I post photos?) while hunting for charm fabrics on line that I found three pieces of fabric for myself? Oh, I am such a fabriholic!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Want to make some placemats?

Over on the right side of the page is a link to projects I've created over the years. Today, I posted a project for placemats. I worked for for a while and part of what I did was make "stuff" and photograph the steps along the way. I have made placemats like these a bazillion times and decided it was a perfect fit for an online tutorial.

So, while I continue to be on vacation, I'm still playing with some of the sewing projects I've done online. Feel free to make the idea your own!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Peter Max and Hexagons

The Peter Max tote worked perfectly for my flight from Virginia to Arizona. Besides the fact that it was the most beautiful bag in the airports and on the planes, it held what I needed, fit under the seat and on my lap. I noticed a few folks taking a gander. How could they not? Okay, the arrogance is a little fake, but my pride in the piece is real.

Inside the bag, along with a lot of personal items, were some pieces to be sewn for my ongoing hexagon quilt. I read recently that it will take about two years to finish a quilt like this, so I'm taking my time, enjoying the process, and loving collecting charm fabrics without duplicates. I am working in lengths of 11 hexagons now instead of 10. I made an error early on and had some 11-hexagon rows, so I decided that was my new unit size. I can pull 11 hexagons out of my bag and stitch away at my leisure, and that's exactly what I'm doing. I highly recommend a small hand sewing project for everyone who sews. It's always there and willing to be utilized. Take your time, enjoy the process, and relax a bit. Beach time is coming and a hand sewing project, to me, is as important as a good book to pack!

And, while I have you, Happy Mother's Day to everyone.
My mother passed away several years ago, but she is still fondly remembered. My children all contacted me and we had fun phone conversations (I'm out of town). Overall, it was a beautiful day. That's my mother with the dark hair in the photo and her mother with the white hair, sitting on a bench in Austria, her home.

On a dinner outing Saturday, we saw many, many teenagers in formal gowns. I am thinking it's prom season! Here's hoping your prom experience this year was a fun one and that many of you made those dresses!

Enjoy your day! keep sewing.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Peter Max Tote

I've had a vintage curtain panel, genuine Peter Max, for some time now. I've been waiting for it to speak to me. The fabric is too heavy for a garment. It's too precious for a pot holder. I wanted to make something that would last for a while and show off the fabric. I'm traveling Wednesday. I had a light bulb moment - tote bag! I need a bag with shoulder straps that I can use instead of a purse, and there you have it, the planning began.

I cut the hem off the panel and made two shoulder straps, each about 39" long. I folded them toward the center and stitched, reinforcing with a few more rows. I chose orange thread to keep with the Max and 70s theme.

I used the fabric from the curtain header to make pockets for the inside. I cut four pieces of fabric, about 40" x 40", and made a lined basic tote, adding the pockets to the lining and the Velcro closure for the bag itself after I completed construction of the bag and lining.

I have a large piece of the fabric left and am not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I'm very happy with phase one - the travel tote with shoulder straps.