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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

T-shirt Pillows

Fun pillows from t-shirts

     If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you have seen several t-shirt quilts that I have done.  Here is a fun project I did for a client making pillows out of t-shirts.

Go Pack Go  OOPS wrong team :-)

     I cut apart the t-shirt like when starting a quilt, being sure to preserve the back also.  I stabilize the pieces with fusible interfacing and then cut out the pieces.  For the back of the pillow I use just an overlapped closure, no need for a zipper.  I finish off the edges of the back pieces, overlap them and then sew the front to the backs.  Turn it right side out and stuff with a form and you are all set.

Back of pillow

     A fun addition to a couch or recliner on gameday.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Follow the Leader Quilt

Follow the Leader quilt

     I have made each of my grandchildren a quilt for when they were born.  Now that they are getting older I am making them a larger quilt.

Detail of the arrow block

     Grandson Colton loves his trucks so when I sew this quilt kit at Mill House Quilts in Waunakee, WI I just had to get it for him.  I cut it out and made the truck blocks at home.  At retreat in March I pieced the rest of the quilt top together.

Detail of the border and a cornerstone

     After getting it pieced, I realized it was only about the size of the baby quilt I had done for him.  I took the strips that I had cut for the binding and added them as a third border.  Then in my stash I found a blue  marbled fabric.  The size of the final border was determined by the amount of fabric I had.  I also added cornerstones from the parts that were left from the panel that the truck blocks had been cut from.

Label with name 

     I had a piece of red fabric in my stash that I used for the backing.  The new binding was made from strips cut from leftover fabric from the kit.

Who made it label

     For one of the labels on his quilt, I found a truck appliqué design that was meant to be a birthday design with a number in the bed of the dump truck.  Using my software, I erased the stitches for the number and then shrunk the size of the truck to fit on the label.  Again using scraps of fabric from the kit I did the appliqué design.  I think he will enjoy his quilt when I give it to him on our vacation in July.  I hope to have the other two done by then also.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Big Life Decision

      The past few years my husband and I have been very fortunate to be able to train and race.  We have been part of Team USA that went to Australia to compete in the World Duathlon competition in 2015.

     This year we have both been working through injuries that have limited our ability to train.  We both turned 60 last year and now have three grandchildren.  We are active and enjoy being able to run around with the kids.  In looking at what we are spending both in money and time to train for these big races I had a long discussion with myself and with him.  After much soul searching and praying I have come to the conclusion that I am going to pull back from the racing.  I am not going to go to Bend, Oregon this summer to compete at the national level and I am still thinking about whether or not I go to Canada for the World competition in August.

     The big consequence of not doing Nationals this year it that we won't be able to do Worlds in Sweden in 2018.  I would like to travel there but I know I can still go there without a race in mind as my children have reminded me of several times.

    This has been a hard decision for me because I enjoy the benefits from working out but I was feeling too much stress about all of it.  It is time to enjoy my family and have fun adventures.  I look forward to taking active vacations with my husband and visiting exciting places.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Kids Sewing April 2017




     It has been a busy school year with teaching.  Between January and February I had seven new girls join me in after school sewing.  They have all completed their sewing bags and are working on another project from their book.  Welcome to Sophie, Paige, Brynn, Samantha, Kara, Addison and Norah.



    In my first Tuesday class I have Loren , Veronica, Aviva and Grace.  Loren did the skirt in the book with a twist.  We used a yoke and added a pleated piece to the bottom.  No slit was necessary.  Veronica made the skirt to pattern and Aviva and Grace are showing their sport shorts from book 2.



     Michelle, Arabella and Ellie are in my second Tuesday group.  Michelle is proudly showing off her sport shirt while Arabella is modeling her nightshirt.  Ellie is holding a pair of Froot Loop pants.


     Lindsey and Ashley are in my Wednesday group.  Lindsey is showing her whale tote and Ashley is holding her denim skirt.

Hailey and her peasant nightgown
Makayla and her round neck blouse

Reese and her shorts
Maria and her pants

     Hailey, Makayla, Reese and Maria all were also part of my sewing this year.  It has been a busy year with lots of smiles.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter Dress

Easter dress

     My daughter asked if I could make an Easter dress for her daughter.  Of course I said yes.  She went shopping but was disappointed that she couldn't find any eyelet fabric.  No problem, I had some in my stash.

Dress pattern

     We made some changes to the dress.  We used the white fabric she bought as lining and did both the bodice and sleeves in the eyelet with lining.  On the skirt part I made a separate piece for the center front pleat.  I layered the eyelet over the purple print fabric and then put it back together.  The dress was constructed as per the directions.  I found some green ribbon in my stash for the bow.

Doll dress

     Of course since she has a Cabbage Patch doll, grandma had to make a matching dress for the doll. I found some eyelet trim in my stash and I was all set.  The patterns I have for the doll clothes are from when my children had the dolls and played with them.

Doll dress pattern

     I wanted to get a picture of my granddaughter and her doll but being a stubborn 2 year old, it was not to be.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pillowcases for Miles

New Years, Valentines and Mardi Gras

     Number three grandchild turns one in a couple of weeks.  For their first birthdays I make a year of pillowcases.  I have so much fun picking out the fabrics each time.  I do shop my stash first and then head to the quilt stores.

St Patrick's, Easter and summer

     For these pillowcases I shopped as I was headed to my annual quilting retreat last year.  I already knew the sex of the baby to be so I was able to pick out fabrics more gender specific.  I know not too PC but I don't care.  The two shops I always go to are Patched Works in Elm Grove, WI and Mill House Quilts in Waunakee, WI.

Fourth of July, baseball and football

     The band of the pillowcase is 10 inches  I embroider the name in the upper left quadrant with the bottom of the lettering facing the center of the fabric.  The accent strip is 2 inches, pressed in half.  The main body of the pillowcase is 27 inches.  These are cut across the width of the fabric.

Back to School, Halloween and birthday

     To sew them, I place the band piece right side up on the table.  Then I place the accent strip along the top edge with raw edges even.  Next the  main fabric gets placed on top, again with raw edges even and right side down.  At each step I pin the pieces.  Then I roll the main fabric into a tube and bring the bottom edge of the band up to meet the top edge of the band.  All the fabric is now inside this 'hotdog' bun.  I pin it all and then sew with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Press, turn by pulling the fabric out from one end.  Press again and then trim to make the sides even as not all fabrics are the same width.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and one to match his first quilt

     Then with wrong side together I sew with a narrow 1/8" seam allowance.  Press and turn and now with right sides together, sew with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Press and turn again.  One final pressing and you now have a fun pillowcase with no raw edges anywhere.  Happy Birthday Baby Miles

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Bible Cover

Materials for the project

     A client had asked me to duplicate a cover for her bible that had a zippered closing and handle.  I did that for her.  Now she wanted a similar cover for her smaller bible.  Unfortunately is it so thin that it was not possible to have a zipper all around.

Front with button flap closure

     We opted instead to go with a flap that buttoned on the front and a zippered pocket on the back.  She chose this Sunbrella fabric from my stash.  I drafted a pattern for the cover and then stitched in together.

Back with zippered pocket

     I found a zipper and button in my stash that matched and added a lop of elastic cord for the closure.  The cover fits like a glove and should protect her bible for years to come.