Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

Tonight I am blogging for the first time without a picture. I am sick with asthmatic bronchitis which is cramping my style. However, that did not stop me from hiring a friend to put new lights into my quilting room. OMG..I did it because I thought/knew I had old eyes...but I realize now that I have been working with very poor lighting. The new ones are not the charming antiques that I have on the wall, instead they are ceiling lights with dimmers. And it is a whole new world now in my quilting room..A whole new beginning and quite appropriate I think for the start of the New Year. So now, on my antibiotic and my cough meds and my extra inhaler...I will definately be getting better and braver so I can photo my room in the best of shape and in the worst of shape to show the world in a whole new light. I feel an excitement about the New Year. Happy, peaceful, creative New Year to all.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Emily's Irish Dance quilt

Our daughter Emily has been an Irish dancer for most of her youth and into her early 20's. She danced here in Charlotte with the Rince Na H'eireann dance school Our family has had great fun following her around the country and to Ireland to watch her dance Championship dances. Now that she is all grown and on her own...what to do with all those dance T-shirts...What is a mother and a quilter to do??? Well Emily thought that a T-shirt quilt was in order. Easy to do...cut out the T-shirt pictures, iron them onto Wonderunder, iron the patches onto fabric blocks, machine blanket stitch the logos on...and voila...treat it all like regular quilt patches. This was made a number of years ago and has been well used and loved on her bed.

Fintan's piano playing quilt

My husband cheers us all up with his wonderful piano playing. So....this quilt was made for him. It is only by seeing how poorly the quilting is that I see how far I have come now. That is a good thing. This quilt is a Square Dance pattern.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Quick and easy reversible bib tutorial

A package of undecorated terry cloth bibs can be purchased at Babies R Us at 10 bibs for about $11. Wash the bibs first for shrinkage. I cut a heart shape from paper, transferred it to a template and cut cut fabric hearts. Then I fused them to Wonderunder or something comparable. First I fused a heart or shamrock shape to the bib. Then I put the bib on the light box to align the back heart to the front heart so the bibs would be reversible. Iron the back heart on the bib.
Once the hearts were fused to both sides of the bibs, I used the machine feather stitch on both sides. It seems to be the stitch that is most forgivable in not showing mistakes.
When the thread color is the same as the bib color, the stitches tend to sink into the terri cloth and not show as much. Voila...quick and easy and very practical for travel and use with babies/toddlers.

Casserole Cover tutorial

The PDF for this tutorial is here:  I drew it onto brown paper and then made a muslin copy.  The muslin is so much easier to use as a pattern. The changes I made were...add 1/2 inch or 5/8 of an inch around the whole thing for seam allowances.   I put Insul-Brite inside which keeps the food warm longer and did not use batting.  I did not use pre-quilted fabric.  In fact, I did not quilt mine at all.  I had the local hardware store cut the wooden handles for me.  There are other tutorials without the wooden handles, but I love these..they are handy and nice. I made it last year and have used it with great joy ever since.  I covered a flaw in my sewing with the rick-rac...which I now love.  I put the fabric right sides together with the Insul-Brite and sewed around.  The first few times, I left the half circles open and covered the stitching with ric rac.  This last time, I left one of the flaps open (sewing first one inch in on each side of one flap).  I think that I like this better. I zigzagged around the entire thing close to the seam and trimmed close to the zigzaz.  I then, turned it, pressed it well and top stitched around the entire thing except the circles. I took my seam ripper and opened the circle ends for the dowels.  Then did a decorative stitch to secure that part around the circle so it would not unravel with use. I added a 1" by 6.5" Velcro strip to both ends of the flap.  Play around with this pattern to your own likeing. It is very sturdy with the handles and I have carried heavy casseroles in it.

Dresdan Plate quilt from the 40's

Well..back and exhausted from the holiday rush. Here is a special Dresdan quilt that is big enough for our queen sized bed. I bought it a few years ago from a dealer at the Metrolina antique show here in Charlotte, NC. It is hand quilted. Note the couching...very nice.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Evan and his cat quilt

Evan found his daddy's beanie babies in a box in the closet and chose two cats. At four and a half, he sleeps with these cats and brings them with him on car rides to Grandma's So of course, Evan needed a proper place for them to sleep. This quilt for Evan and his cats is a simple one patch, each block is a different cat fabric. Two pockets have been added for the cat's comfort at night. I do not know who loves this idea more...I think it is me!

Lynsey's cat quilt

So Lynsey at 9 months should have a cat quilt too. Looking around my scraps and squares, I came up with this for her.