Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kid Tent {Sesame Street Style}

I made a tent for the nursery kids at church.

Mom gave me 2 of these sweet flat sheets awhile back. They were brand new! But they look sort of retro, don't they?! They are a cotton/poly mix ~ probably 60/40. While that's not so good for quilt backs it works perfectly for tent making. Besides, what 2-3 year old doesn't love Sesame Street.
I'm not kidding when I say that my 5 years old keeps asking when we can go to the church and play in the tent. I'd call that success! I can't wait to show the kids on Sunday.

FYI: Here are the measurements for the standard classroom table in every LDS Church
29.5 inches high
24 inches wide
35 inches long
107 inches circumference

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Guest Blogger: Mitered Corner Flannel Baby Blanket

Mitered Corner Flannel Baby Blankets
by guest blogger: Tiffany
(a.k.a. our favorite interior designer cousin)

Supplies needed:
1 yd. flannel for front
1 1/4 yd. contrasting flannel (for back and contrasting sides)

Finished size:

38 1/2" square With approx. 2 1/2" wide border

Cut the back fabric to 44 inches square (or whatever width your fabric may be, could be 43 or 42 depending on the selvage waste)

Cut the front fabric to 34 inches square (or 10 inches smaller than the back fabric, 33 or 32 inches, etc.)

Find the centers on all sides and use a pin to mark them.

Placing right sides together, pin the edges, matching up the center pins. Your backing fabric will be longer than your front fabric on both sides. This excess will become your contrast fabric on the front of your completed blanket.

Start by pinning two opposite sides at a time, making sure to match the center.

Start stitching 1/4 inch in from the edge of your fabric and stop 1/4 inch from the end. Sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

This 1/4 inch is the corner of your miter. If you do not leave this much of the seam allowance free it will not flip through. See picture below.

Repeat the process for the two opposite remaining sides. Remember to leave an opening on one of those edges, so you can flip the entire blanket right side out.

The following pictures show what the corners look like once all the sides are sewn up.

The next step is to create the miters.

With the front fabric facing up at you, fold the corner to create a large triangle. Make sure the fabric lays flat and the fold is closest to you.

I used a straight edge with a 45º angle marking to make sure I drew a straight line at the very end of my stitching line.

(The 45º angle mark should line up along the sewn edge of the blanket. You will be drawing a line perpendicular --90º-- to the folded edge of your blanket.)

Pin, sew and trim all corners to 1/4 inch.

(Be careful not to sew over your original stitch line otherwise your miter will be puckered when you go to turn it.)

The piece I cut off was at a 90º angle to the folded edge.

Flip your blanket right side out and iron the seams towards the outside edge.

The mitered seam may be ironed any which way it wants to go.

Pin the two fabric together once its ironed so it won't move while you top stitch the two pieces in place.
Use whatever topstitch method or stitch you prefer. On this blanket I used a triple zigzag or multi-stitch zigzag.____________________________
According to Tiffany the first time she made one of these blankets it took her about 2 hours from start to finish. However, after the initial blanket her time was greatly reduced and she says she now can finish in about 1 hour. We love quick projects that look like we "slaved all day".

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I'm obsessed {Oliver and S}

I've got a thing for Oliver and S. A big thing. Love it, love it, love it. Here's my latest batch of tops for L and her cousin, S.

That Liesl gets me every time.

Sorry about the lack of detail photos. These pics were more about the girls than the clothing. But I was so pleased with the tops and coordinating cousins. I'm about to do it again for Easter. Get yourself the sailboat top.....It's so EASY!

On cousin S
On my little L

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pleated pillow cover

I already posted this on my personal blog, but thought I would share it here too. I made this for a gift, but like it so much I'll be making one of my own. It was inspired by this (used to be available in mustard).

I just used a quilter's cotton I had in my stash . And after a major miscalculation trying to make an envelope style cover the hubby suggested the buttons. Which turned out even better.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Quilting Variations

I have been trying out different quilting options on some of my little quilts before doing it on any larger ones. I don't know about you, but I'm not real comfortable with free-motion quilting. (It may be me; it may be my machine.) However, I do like the idea of using what options are available on my machine.

So here are 2 different stitches that I've used on little quilts to see what kind of effect they make. Both stitches are actually stitches used for working with stretch fabrics, but they also make nice little decorative stitches on woven fabrics.

The first is this stitch--Multi-stitch Zigzag or Triple Zigzag

The second stitch was this one--Honeycomb

For sure if you are going to use the honeycomb stitch make a sample first to see if you like the look, because even on a short length this stitch is a B.E.A.S.T. to pick out!

I specifically used a contrasting thread on this quilt because I wanted to see how it would turn out. You can't really see it on the black squares or on the back. If I had thought about it more I might have used an orange/yellow thread that matched so that it would show up on all the squares. Regardless, I do like how it turned out on this little quilt.

I debated on whether or not to used this stitch to secure the binding, but decided that wasn't really where I wanted the focus. I'll have to do a little sample of it sometime to see what I think, but for this time I just machine topstitched it down.


Finished size: 41" square

Cut 6" blocks

Cut 2" sashing strips for between the squares

Cut 3" sashing strips for outer border edge

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How many is TOO many??!

Here is my most recent freebie acquisition. A lady at church sent out an email that she was getting rid of a Kenmore (which I love that brand) sewing machine and anyone who wanted it could come get it. Well, apparently I was the first one to respond. Yeah, for me!

However, then the question arose, and not from my hubby, but within my own head, "How many machines is TOO many to have in one house?" I was feeling a little guilty because I have a couple machines already and I know that a friend or two are looking for one, and I straight up refuse to sew with one of my friends because her machine is a nightmare (Sorry Cindy--but she knows it too and completely agrees). But here it is at my house nonetheless.

Anyone else have this dilemma? Are sewing machines multiplying while you're not looking? (or other crafting items?) How many sewing machines do you have in your possession?

O.K., the answer for me is that this makes machine #7 at our house. Yikes! I sound like a hoarder.

In my defense, one is currently being used as a lamp table in my living room.

I have no idea if the machine attached to it even works because it too was a "gift" when a friend was moving. I looked closer at it the other day. It is an O-L-D Singer and a number of things are missing--including the bobbin case and the lid to cover the bobbin and underside of the machine. So it may not ever be worth the effort to repair and besides I love the little table and so don't really care one way or other about the machine. I doubt I'll ever use the sewing machine. (Does that put me back down to 6 machines?)

Another machine is a treadle that I bought last summer for $25 at a garage sale. I've always thought these were the coolest things. I am pretty sure it will work, after I send it to my sewing machine repairman and let him work his magic, but I haven't done that yet. So it sits down in the basement waiting for some loving care.

Then I have a serger and an embroidery machine.

So really this will only make regular sewing machine #3. (See the justification at work here?) And one of those already belongs to daughter #1. (More justification) So now daughter #2 is convinced that this machine will be hers. I'm still thinking about that as this machine does some cool things that my current machine does not (like decorative borders). Even if she gets it (and she is extremely possessive with "her things"), she isn't moving out of the house for at least another 8 years or so, so we should be fine "sharing" until then.

I have to say when I went and dropped the machine off at the fabric store for my favorite repairman to clean it and adjust the tension (which as far as I can tell is the only thing wrong with it) the lady working there admitted that she, too, had 7 machines--because in her words, "you need to have one handy if one of the others are getting serviced, and so that others can sew along with you at your house without having to haul their machines around." I guess I'll be in good company. Can't wait to play with it tomorrow after I pick it up.

Friday, January 8, 2010

WIPs in January

Here is what a little OCD looks like:

These are 3 projects I am either working on or started here recently. I really wish my brain would let me just focus on one thing at a time, but I really can't seem to do that.

I've got a mini 9-patch quilt in progress. Started it while M. was working on hers. Although I don't intend mine to be quite as crazy and random as hers is it will still be loud and fun.

This disappearring 9 patch is from some fabric that I bought last year some time when one of the locations of my favorite local fabric store was relocating to a new building. They had some smoking deals on fabric that they didn't want to move. Love this wild and crazy color combo. I think I have enough of the multi-color "watercolor" print to use as the binding.

I just started this quilt but I have to get it done before Jan. 24th because I am pretty sure it is going to be a gift for a friend. I have all the blocks done--12 of them at about 17" square (I used 6" squares to begin with). Today or tomorrow I have to find some sashing piece that coordinates with it all because it needs to be a bit bigger and I don't want to make any more stars. It will end up being 3 stars across and 4 stars down.

Good luck with your own WIPs (works in progress).


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