Monday, December 31, 2012

My handsome great-nephew and his quilt

And this is why we do what we do when it comes to making things that we give away. Look at that smile.

This is my newest great-nephew. In this picture, he sure looks like his dad.

It surely makes me feel right about having made that quilt for him. I hope he enjoys it for years to come. I hope for all of us that our sewing treasures are enjoyed for years to come.

We'll leave you and the year 2012 with this happy photo and a wish that all your projects are so wonderful, be they gift or something for yourself. Take your scraps, your remnants, your yardage, your trims and embellishments, and sew in 2013 as if you were going to smile this big when you were done.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Project - Mug Mats (Last Minute Gift Idea!)

Out of gifts for your friends for Christmas? Make these! I made them in an afternoon, including the picture taking and binding. All you need is fabric scraps, leftover batting (regulation batting, old towel, flannel, etc.), and some imagination. You can make your own bias binding or use purchased bias tape. I happened to choose Virginia Tech fabric for the strip quilting and M&Ms fabric for the back. Have fun, and get to stitchin! You have prezzies to make :)

Click here or click on our projects link on the right. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Quilt done, time to deliver

It started as an idea. I thought I would make a banging hexagon quilt with red, blue, and hot air balloon fabric. Then I thought I'd work it into a log cabin quilt. Then I decided I liked the balloon hexagons too much not to go with that idea, so I combined them. I ended up doing a combined log cabin pineapple type thing with a hexagon in the center.

The solids are Michael Miller Krystal fabrics, so though they are solid, they're not really solid. There will be less chance of discoloration or problems with use and machine washing.

I did incorporate an intentional mistake You can see it in the second picture, but I won't tell you where it is. The tradition of an intentional mistake supposedly began with Native American weavings as a reminder that we are not perfect. I think it adds to the character of the piece! If I really told the truth, this one was unintentional, but I left it anyway; that makes it intentional, right?

I hope the baby gets years and years of use out of the quilt. It's super bright now, but with love, it will fade a bit and will have stories to tell.

The back is a fun snake fabric. The process was quilt-as-you go. The construction is about 90% machine and 10% hand work. I have changed my habit of using batting and now use receiving blankets/flannel as batting. It makes for a warm, but lighter, quilt. It also assists with machine washing and drying as it doesn't shift and is not bulky.

Overall, I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. Now, what's next?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Recycling denim and a sweatshirt for a great jacket

Here's a work in progress.

Beware, this is heavy and warm jacket when you're done, so enjoy it!

I had an oversized red sweatshirt that was so yummy soft on the inside. That is the base for the jacket.

The second ingredient was a pile of denim scraps. I cut 2" strips first, and then embellished each strip with a piece of ribbon. I have spools and spools of ribbon that I've been collecting. I get it just about everywhere - Freecycle, yard sales, online, or from friends who say "I bet you can use this!" With the strips, I made 8" log cabin squares. Yours can be larger or smaller and you certainly don't have to use denim, but it is a scrap stitching project after all. You also don't have to use ribbon, but I had so much and it was begging to be used.

I cut the sleeves carefully from the sweatshirt, maintaining the integrity of the sleeve and armhole where it was to be re-attached. I also removed the collar band, cuff bands, and waist band, and cut a straight line up the middle of the front of the shirt.

With the sleeves, I added strips of squares with some machine stitching in-the-ditch around the squares. I then added strips to the back and noticed I had a lot of leftover space, so cut some 3" and 4" strips of old blue jeans and added them to the sides and in the back as a yoke. From the shoulder to hem, I added a couple strips of squares.

To finish, I reattached the sleeves, now covered with log cabin squares. I then added bands back to the hem of the shirt, the cuffs, and to the neck. My initial intention was to put in a separating zipper up the front, but the jacket was fairly bulky. I added a folded strip of denim and then created buttonholes and stitched on some buttons. This worked better than the zipper because it also served as a finish for the front opening without adding bulk.

The finishing is a bit tricky, but you can definitely reuse the fabric you removed; just put it right back where it came from. I don't have a photo of the finished product, but you get the idea. I made this jacket in 2007 and it has since been passed on to a friend.

The lesson here is that you can make something out of essentially nothing if you are creative. This is how I chose to use some blue jeans and old sweatshirt. What will you do with yours?