Friday, June 28, 2013

Little hat for Liam

Here is the little hat I made for grandson, Liam. It was fairly easy to make. The fabric just called little boy to me.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Quilt meetings

Part of me is so much like Jane, the cat. 

I like doing things by myself and just observing the world around me. 

But there are times when being with others is motivating and spurs me to action. 

Today I went to a quilt meeting. I am a fairly new member and have to take time off from work to attend the meetings. I know about 4 people by name and one of them doesn't ever remember my name. Story of my life but not the point of this ramble. 

The program was a bed turning by someone around my mother's age. She brought her Christmas quilts to share. Her quilts were lovely and most of them were hand pieced and hand quilted. Then we had announcements, row of the month, and sharing.
Of course, I had to share my latest finishes. One quilter shared at least ten quilts she had finished since last month's meeting. 

I was motivated to try making some name badges for the upcoming quilt show. The badges are flying geese, not my favorite block. I wasn't going to make any but now I think I can make at least the required four squares. 

So, even though I don't like meetings too much, I think I need the peer support/pressure to motivate me to do more than sit and watch TV or stare at a computer screen.

What motivates you?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Week in Review

The past week was busy with summer school field trip and art project and snacks for the kids. I had to take a break and take photos of the flowers in our yard. Below are some blooms from the chaste lilac tree.

Our hydrangea has changed from blue to pink. I guess the ph in our soil is wrong for the blue flowers. 

Lantana is a hardy plant for Mississippi. It blooms no matter how hot, wet, or dry the weather is.

Which makes me think of my tote bag with flowers all around. I want to treat it with Scotchgard to keep it looking good but I haven't been able to find any at the stores around here. Dread making a trip to Wallyworld to find it.

Made this snack for the kids at summer school. I'm calling it re-invented S'mores. Chocolate graham cracker, marshmellow creme, and dry roasted sunflower seeds on top. Yum! 

The kids made these fabric paintings with some of my small scraps. Thanks for the idea, Amanda Jean, at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Only one more week of summer school, then more time to sew!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Making a fat quarter tote bag

I was inspired by all the cute totes I saw online and decided to make a tote bag to use on vacation. I had some fat quarters that were calling out to be made into something and I needed a bag more than another lap quilt. So here is the finished bag. I borrowed ideas from several blogs I have visited lately. Can't remember all of them. Hopefully, if I copied your idea, you will consider that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I have tried to show the steps to make the bag if you are interested.

First, choose some fat quarters that kind of go together. Cut a 3 1/2" strip across the width of six and sew together with 1/4" seams. Trim off the selvage ends and the opposite end.

Cut the block of fabric in half.

Cut two WOF strips from an accent fabric and gather top and bottom of each strip. Sew the gathered strips to each panel and add 6 1/2 " X 19" dark fabric for the bottom of the bag. I used the very stiffest interfacing instead of batting so the bag would keep its shape. I cut the interfacing to fit the fabric and then used a zigzag top stitch to attach the fabric to the interfacing. The interfacing was a bit tricky to quilt but I like the finished look of it.

Make the bottom flat by stitching across the corners. I measured 2" and penciled a stitching line on each side.

Make a lining out of two fat quarters. Add pockets if you want. 

I didn't want to do the invisible seam thing since the interfacing is so stiff. I stitched the lining to the outside with 1/4" seam.

I used some of the leftover bottom fabric to finish the top and make the handles.

I am very pleased with the finished bag. It took 5" WOF and 9 fat quarters but six of the FQs can be used for another small project. I had the interfacing left from making hats for my grandson. So everything was in my stash. 
Happy Friday! Linking with Crazy Mom Quilts. See you there.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday "Re"Finish

The quilt below is one of my remaining unfinished quilt tops from a Saturday Sampler series done a few years ago. I was getting ready to cut the final border when my husband asked again for a king size quilt. I don't want to start something that big these days but a thought came to mind. The directions for this quilt said it could be finished in either queen or king size. So.......

I went back to the original directions and found that all I had to do was change the configuration from 5 blocks by 7 blocks (with a block left for a pillow sham) to 6 blocks by 6 blocks. I have ripped out the stitches on the top row and now to 're'finish this quilt top. I had cut two of the borders for the queen size so I am trying to decide whether to add another border or two to make it king size.

The row on the far left is not sewn yet. I hope to finish this after summer school is over. Adding this to Crazy Mom's Friday

Monday, June 10, 2013

Remembering last summer's quilts

Last spring a good friend said she would love to have a Peter Rabbit baby quilt and a Paddington Bear baby quilt. I hadn't seen either fabric in stores lately, so I was curious to find out if the fabrics were available anywhere. Online searches helped me find both fabrics and so I made a giant 9 patch with the Peter Rabbit fabric.

There was more Paddington Bear fabric-a yard and some matching strips. This quilt was my own variation from patterns in a quilt book about strata. I liked the Paddington fabric so much that I added a wide border on the top and bottom.

After I started the two requested baby quilts my friend called with some great news. Her only child was expecting a baby. My friend didn't think she would ever be a grandmother and had resigned herself to be content as a great-aunt. So the surprise grandbaby had to have a special quilt. Since the new baby has a University of Texas heritage, there had to be a UT quilt. I found these UT fabrics and designed the quilt to make the most out of the fabrics. I drew it on graph paper but was still surprised with the finished look. The baby was born in the fall and the UT quilt was a big hit.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Finished with 'Flowers and Fences and Flying Geese'

This little quilt was so much fun to make. Several firsts for me-first time to use plain, white fabric, first time to quilt over to the side of the blocks, and first time to use a pieced back. I am very happy with how it turned out. Next I will wash and dry it to see how that looks. Oh yes, and I am going to try to link up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Friday. Another first!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Earlier half finish

This quilt is half of the blocks from the first Saturday sampler offered at the local quilt shop. I had done lots of sewing before, made a simple little quilt and before that made a quilted jacket from a pattern. These blocks are the first ones I ever made using rotary cutter, mat, see thru rulers, you know the stuff. The teacher of the sampler class made up the design, I think. She didn't really have finishing directions or a sample to show at the end of the class. So...I never put the blocks together. Then last fall I impulsively offered to donate a quilt to a raffle at work. I pulled out the unfinished blocks and played around with them until I came up with this configuration. As I sewed the blocks together I noticed how irregular many of my blocks were. My blocks are much improved from these early ones. Isn't that a good thing? Even with the wonky blocks, I think this little half quilt looks pretty. Slowly but surely my unfinished quilts are being completed. Yea!