Monday, April 26, 2010

Mini Beveled Blocks

When I made this quilt, I made it a little different than the pattern suggests.  Mine was four feet square and the pattern includes directions for one that is four feet by five feet. That was bigger than I wanted on the wall, but I still made the number of squares as directed in the pattern. That meant I had four leftover from where the bottom row would be, but there were four more also - just extras, I guess.  I took those eight leftover squares and made two small wall-hangings with them.

Pardon the shadows in the picture, but I thought the blue sky in the background was too lovely not to capture.

I'm not entirely sure that I like them on their own or if I just see them as a smaller variety of the larger one and like them because of that.  They'll go in the box of things for the art sale, I'll forget about them and then re-evaluate at a later date.  Maybe I'll try to sell them, maybe not but I knew for sure that if I didn't finish them now, I never would.

I used the same fabric for the back, but without any pieced strip.  Instead of a continuous sleeve, I made three hanging tabs.

small quilts - close up, loops and swirls

One of the quilts is quilted with the same meandering pattern as I used on the big one.  For the second, I did more of a swirls and loops pattern.  I haven't done that before, but I think I like how it turned out.

I zoomed in for the top picture, but panning out gives you the whole scene.  My younger kids doing their favorite things in the backyard - my son on the trampoline and my daughter in the swing.  They'd do that all day long if they could.

Next up: window coverings.  Not for me.  Lots of them.  I probably won't blog about them, so this space might be quiet for awhile.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wine Bags

About 30 minutes after I finished the last closet clutch, S called to ask me to make more wine bags as she only had one left.

I dropped these off on Friday:

wine bags

I wanted one of them to have the same sort of look as the notecard that I liked so much.

wine bags

Next up:  finishing two little quilts...not very exciting...but still must be done.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Closet Clutches

I've been referring to these various ways: hanger pouches, hanger pockets, hanger things, etc.  I dropped them off yesterday and M called today to say that she was calling them "Closet Clutches."  I thought that was a great name.  Naming something gives it (more) value.

M had described these closet clutches to me as she had seen it somewhere else.  She thought they could be used for holding a sachet or jewelry or for hiding money or the family jewels.  (Ideally, none of my readers are into burglary, since I've just given away a big secret).  Honestly, this seems like a strange thing to me and like the angels, I wonder who will buy these?  But, as the wise Preacher said, I don't have to sell them - just make them.  M was really happy with them, so maybe she'll have no problem selling them.

The construction is really pretty simple.  There is an outer piece with something decorative on the front, a lining/inside piece with a pocket attached.  The pocket is divided into two (or three on the first one) with a line of stitching.

closet clutches

closet clutches

Two ribbons are stitched on where the top flap folds over.  This keeps the clutch on the hanger when the clutch is opened and still hanging up.

closet clutches

closet clutches

I fused heavyweight interfacing to the lining piece.  Two pieces of velcro keep the clutches closed.

closet clutches

closet clutches

closet clutches

closet clutches

Next up: Wine bags (for S to sell!)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sidetracked by Notecards

I said that I was going to be making some hanger pouch things next, and that's what I should be doing, but these notecards jumped rank and begged to be made.

I'm quite excited about them!  I'm pretty sure I have seen this sort of thing on the internet before, but when searching for it, this is all I found and I know I had not seen it before.  Regardless, it's pretty simple - just sew on cardstock.

stitched notecards

With the exception of the cards with the 12 tiny squares, all of the fabric is adhered to the cardstock with fusible web.  For the 12 tiny square cards, I just used a glue stick.  This probably could work with the other shapes, too. However, I liked how the fusible web kept the edges from raveling and smearing the glue stick on the pieces did distort them a bit.

The cards are 3.5" x 5" and came from Michael's.  I'm sure I'll be doing more of these.  It was a fun project.

This one is my favorite:

stitched notecards

I used a zigzag stitch and off-white thread for all of them.  I pulled the ends to the back and knotted them off.

stitched notecards

I wondered about myself having such a good time with these.  I have a closet full of fabric and I loved this project using the tiniest scraps.  Maybe less is more.

I dropped all of these off this morning along with this project for the silent auction fundraiser at my daughter's school.

Okay, now back to work...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hot Water Bottle Covers

Compared to the angels project, these were exceedingly simple and quick.

hot water bottle covers

These are also to sell in M's shop and just like the angels, someone else was sewing these and wasn't interested in continuing.  There was no pattern, but it was really simple to make up.  I just traced around the water bottle and then added 0.75".  Of that, 0.5" was for the seam allowance and 0.25" was for "ease."  The fleece is a little stretchy and it turned out to be a great fit.

The band across the front is a 2" wide overlap to allow the cover to come off the bottle.  The buttons are decorative only.

Next up: a hanger pouch (still sewing for M's store...)

Monday, April 19, 2010


In my last post I mentioned that I was working on making some dolls.  Actually, they are angels. However, that fact didn't really make them any more enjoyable for me to sew.

These are for M's shop here in my town.  Someone else had been sewing these for her, but she was no longer interested in doing it.  So, she asked if I would.  I agreed and started with two.


It is hard to tell what size they are from the picture, but from head to toe, they are about 18" long.


I found the hair styling to be the hardest part of the project.  The hair on the angel above is embroidery floss.  I wrapped it around a knitting needle, got it soaking wet and then let it dry overnight.  When you pull it off of the needle, it stays very curly.  I tried this first because I really wanted to use materials that I already had.  But, I wasn't all that impressed and the angels made by the other woman had the special hair that you buy for making dolls.  So, I thought I should try that, too.

(Her legs are the same length in real life!)

In the end, (and close up) the hair doesn't look all that different.  The ringlets are a little bigger and it's easier to get more volume, but I could probably get the same effect using a bigger knitting needle.

Generally, I'm unimpressed with these angels.  I'm not sure who buys these or what they do with them after they buy them. My daughter, however, was quite in awe.  "Oh, mom!  These angels are beautiful!  I think everyone will want to buy one!"  Yikes.  I hope not. I'd be okay if it was a good long while before I made these again.  :)

Next Up: hot water bottle covers - also for M's store.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Butterick 4945 - Apron and Accessories

My daughter's school is having a fashion show and silent auction fundraiser later this month.  I was asked to make "something" for the auction.  This is what I came up with...

Gift set apron/potholder/tea towel/dish cloth set.

For the apron, I used Butterick 4945.  Usually, aprons are good beginner projects and I think they are pretty simple.  Not so with this apron.  I was looking forward to just cutting out a pattern with no alterations and then just sewing it up following the directions without too much thinking.

For the most part, the no alterations thing worked.  The only thing I changed was the waist ties.  The ties in the pattern were a single layer and rather wide.  It seemed to me that they would be hard to get to look good when tied on a person.  So, I made them double layer and narrower.

I should have thought through the directions instead of blindly following them.  The apron turned out okay, but it could have been simplified.  The lower band is faced.  The upper band is a facing turned to the right side.  I think the lower band should have been done the same way.  It's hard to see in the picture, but the curved sides are a sewn-on band with a facing.  The instructions would have you slipstitch all these facings.  I stitched in the ditch (perhaps a little too confident from my quilt binding experience) and they turned out okay.

Gift set - Butterick 4945

I really had my doubts about this potholder, but now that it's done, I really like it.  It's 8.5" square.  I used part of a very thick bath towel and two pieces of batting (one on each side of the towel) for the filler.

Gift set - potholder front

The front is quilted to one of the layers of batting.  I didn't even try quilting through the towel.  The back is just plain.

Gift set - potholder back

The tea towel is a piece of bleached muslin that I hemmed.  The patchwork band is 3" high with pieces of varying widths (scraps from the potholder).

Gift set - tea towel

I've used this dish cloth pattern before.  This is a self-striping yarn and it turns out that the length of the "stripes" was exactly the same as the length of the circle segments.  I didn't really notice that until three segments were finished and then I didn't want to go back and rip it out to get it started at the right spot.  So, one corner of each segment is the wrong color.  Oh, well.

Gift set - dishcloth

I don't have piles of money to give to the school, but I do have piles of fabric.  Hopefully, this turns into some money for the school.  I'd like to do more, but some other projects have come my way, so I may not get to it before the date of the auction.

Next Up:  Dolls.  Not my thing.  But, it's for money, so I'm giving it a try.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Beveled Blocks Quilt Completed

Today was the first day this week that we didn't have rain or snow, so I headed outside to photograph the quilt.

Beveled Blocks Quilt

I'm quite happy with how it came out.  I hope I like it on the wall in our living room.  From a little more distance, you can see the different patterns in the squares/diamonds.  Almost like one of those Magic Eye things (that I have to admit I have never, ever gotten to work for me.  Not even once).

Beveled Blocks Quilt

The part of quilting that I like best is the precise piecework.  I just love all those neatly matched seams.

piecing closeup

I quilted the entire thing with a random meandering/stippling pattern in a medium gray thread.  For this quilt, I like the contrast of the curvy lines with all the straight seams.  It also gives the quilt a cool overall texture.  The stitching is most easily seen from the back of the quilt.

Beveled Blocks quilting from the back

When it came time to finish the binding, I was torn about whether or not to do it by hand.  I think that doing it by hand looks much nicer, but this quilt is 48" square.  That would be 192" of slipstitching.  Too much.  My inner voice was calling me a slacker the entire time, but I stitched-in-the-ditch to finish the binding.  It actually turned out really well (surprise!) so now my inner voice is now just calling me efficient.

stitching in the ditch

I added a strip of randomly pieced scraps to the backing.  It had to be pieced anyway - why not make it interesting?  The unquilted piece at the top is the hanging sleeve.

Beveled Blocks quilt back

I'm glad to have that finished and crossed off my list of goals.  Now we just need to hang it up.

Next up:  Sewing for charity - something I'm sorry to say I don't do very often.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

New Look 6884 and New Look 6638 - Easter Dresses

I guess I'm calling these Easter dresses, but my girls actually wore these last week and I initially intended them to just be spring dresses.  But, whatever....having a new Easter dress is nice, so we'll go with that for today.

My daughters are five and two and they were both so thrilled about having matching dresses.  I was a little surprised, actually.  I bought this fabric at Fabricland during their closing sale when they were considering a meter to be about as long as a full arm span.  I think I asked for three meters and came home with at least five.  So, there was plenty to make a dress for each girl and I have lots of this leftover.  (Please, no one suggest that I make something matching for me.  I heard that no less than five times at church.  It's just not going to happen).

The girls look very cute together, but I had a hard time getting a good picture of them together.  We headed outside this morning, but didn't find a good spot for a picture.

Girls in Easter dresses

Too dark.  Let's try the deck in back.

Girls in Easter dresses

Um, nope.  Too sunny.  Let's try the other side.

Girls in Easter dresses

Rats.  Too many shadows.

By this time they were tired of my picture taking efforts, so I quit.

I used New Look 6884 for my older daughter's dress.  Based on her measurements, I cut size 4 and added 1.25" in length to the bodice and 1.5" in length to the skirt.  The only other change I made to the pattern was to straighten out the seams of the skirt so that the border print would be straight at the bottom.  The only design change was to add piping around the collar.  The print is rather busy and I thought that would add a little definition between the collar and bodice.

Easter dress details

The sleeve band is cut from the solid pink part of the border print.

Easter dress details

I picked up the buttons during Fabricland's closing sale, too, but not on the same trip as when I got the fabric.  (hmmm...maybe I'm going to find myself with lots of time on my hands now that I can't be making all these trips to Fabricland....)  They're a pretty good match in color, but maybe not in style.

Easter dress details

My younger daughter's dress was made to match my older daughter's.  I started with New Look 6638, size 2.  This is a pattern for pajamas that I have used before.  It was in my stash and it had the collar, button front, and puffed sleeves similar to the first dress.  That was a good start.  From there, I:

  • altered the sleeve to have a band at the bottom rather than an elastic casing.
  • added a seam allowance and button overlap to the skirt front.
  • drafted a front and back facing (the pattern used bias tape on the neck).
  • replaced the gathers in the skirt with pleats.

It felt like it took a long time to make those changes and I wondered why I was really bothering - a similar dress in the exact same fabric probably would have been good enough.  But, in the end I'm glad I did make the changes.

So, success on two counts - both girls like their dresses and they really like matching.  Or would that be three counts?

Yesterday I finished the quilt I've been working on.  I'll tell you about it as soon as I take some pictures.