Friday, June 14, 2013

7 day quilt

Lately I've found a lot of stress relief at my sewing machine.

This quilt was cut, pieced, quilted, bound, washed, dried and photographed in 7 days. Which might tell you how much stress I've been under for the past week! It's ok, everything worked out fine, but it was a tad tense for me so I took it out on my stash. :)

This has been my view for many days. The quilt is just 5 inch squares of anything and everything in my cotton stash. I used up a number of scraps, and ended up with an 81" square. The entire thing is quilted 1/4" on each side of every seam, and I did it all on my trusty Bernina 1008. I do love that machine. And I have super Popeye muscles now from holding it up while I quilted. Cripes, it was heavy! 

For the backing I managed to cobble together enough of a lovely Nancy Halvorsen purple (very old, a fall line from around 2002?), and I bound it with a green Moda marble that's been sitting in stash for 10 years as well. Actually I've been doing such a good job of using up stash, it was one of the only pieces large enough to cut 300+ inches of binding strips from.

The batting is inexpensive Hobbs Heirloom cotton, which I don't love but it will do. I do prefer Quilters Dream or Warm & Natural/Warm & White, but this was affordable and drapes nicely so I can snuggle up under the quilt.

Overall I am pleased with this. It's a nutty hodgepodge of colors, prints, scale, etc., but I think in the end it works. When I think "quilt" I think of enterprising frontier women using up scraps of calico dresses, aprons, shirts, and whatever else they could get their hands on. I think this is somewhat true to that ideal, as there are many pieces of calico here that began as little dresses for my daughter from the time she was about 2 years old. It's fun to look over it and remember the things I've made.

So much satisfaction in finishing something this large. Yep, my stress is relieved and I am happy with the result. Have a great weekend, everybody!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013


Got some fat quarters or scraps you don't know what to do with? Quick, gather them up and make a buttercup bag! The pattern is free, and it is excellent and easy to follow. This little bag only took maybe a couple of hours start to finish. The only mildly fiddly part is sewing that top band to the pleated bottom section because it's a curve. But the pieces fit together properly so it isn't even hard.

This purse is fully lined and has a wee pocket that's large enough for a cell phone or small personal items.

You are supposed to not be lazy like I am, and go buy a magnetic snap for the closure, but I didn't know if I would like the pattern and I would rather poke myself in the eye than go to Joann Fabrics most of the I didn't go get one. Now I am kicking myself because this bag is freaking adorable! I will be making the trip to buy a bunch of snaps so I can make lots of buttercup bags.

This will be so great for a summer date night, or a quick trip to the store when I just need a wallet and phone (you know, instead of the satchel I usually haul around with crayons, snacks, water bottles, coupons, knitting, etc, etc).

I'm going to brew up something hot and caffeinated, and pick out some fat quarters to make another buttercup. Thanks for the great pattern, Rae!

Monday, June 03, 2013


I can't stop making pillowcases!

I'm pawing through my (dwindling) fabric stash looking for 1-yard pieces of cotton because I just can't get enough of 'em.

In an effort to clean out and pare down I've been hauling bag after bag out the door to Goodwill or the Salvation Army (I've taken out at least 6 enormous trash bags so far). Last weekend I attacked the linen closet and dumped the eighty-bazillion polyester blend pillowcases that came from my Nana's linen closet when she passed away 16 years ago. Before that I'm sure they sat in that closet for YEARS because my Nana was raised during the Depression and she basically hoarded everything. Anyway they weren't even very nice ones...I did keep the amazingly wonderful percale cases with the tatted and crocheted our collection has really shrunk. A lot of our cases that came with white sheet sets have discolored or just started to fall apart from years of use and being washed in hot water with bleach, so voila! I put my stash to good use replacing things we actually need, which is my favorite kind of sewing to do. Plus these are just way more fun than plain white!

The two in back are currently on my kids' beds. They were 1-yard cuts of gorgeous Moda fabric gifted to me by a lovely blogging friend many years ago. I couldn't bear to slice them up for quilts so they've been marinating in the stash waiting for the right project. The vintage kids playing is on my son's bed, and red riding hood is on my daughter's bed.

On the bottom left is some Laurel Burch cat fabric, on the bottom right just a rose and green stripe (it is a Ro Gregg fabric from about 6 years ago or so). Those first four cases are just a simple 1-yard cut of fabric with a deep 4-inch hem. I can put up some photos of my process if anyone is interested, but it is seriously basic, just fold one edge over 4.5 inches, then fold the raw edge under .5 inch and hem. That's the cuff. Then simply make french seams to close the case. Ridiculously easy!

The blue floral cases were only slightly more complicated to make, using the excellent tutorial by The Crafty Gemini. Her youtube channel is packed with great tutorials. These cases are great if you don't have a full yard of one fabric. You only need 24" of the main fabric, 12" of the cuff fabric, and 2" of the contrast band (which is optional).

The weather is perfect for sewing this week (nice and cool!) so I'm off to make more stuff!