Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.-Marcel Proust

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

One more for the block lotto...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Some sewing this weekend

I managed to get to some Block Lotto blocks. 
The theme this month is pets.  Most people have chosen to do an actual applique or pieced picture.  I don't know how they have the time for that.  However, traditional pieced blocks with pet fabric were an option so here are my cats.

These are done using the 9 inch Quatrefoil block from Quilters Cache. 
And here is my horse block, because everyone needs a pet horse!

I also pulled out a very old UFO.  Oklahoma Backroads that I started years ago at a workshop with Bonnie Hunter.  They are slow going but I think I might actually get all the blocks that I need done soon.  I have the correct number of blocks started at least, at various stages of completion.  I need 110 to do the same size as Bonnie did.  I only have 28 blocks complete at this point. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Doll Carrier Tutorial

Hard to see here but I made two of these cute little doll carrier tote bags for my cousin's granddaughters.  This is a rough and dirty tutorial but if you know how to quilt and sew, you should be able to follow it. 
Here they are finished.  It was really very easy.
First, I cut the bag fabric 36 by 14 inches.  I used the baby doll as a guide as to how large I wanted the bag, then doubled the length. 
Then I quilted that, with no backing- the bag will be lined so it isn't needed. 

I then cut a pocket for one side- 2 squares, 14 inches by how ever deep you want it. (I embroidered the name on the bag before I created the pocket)  I did about a 15 inch pocket, sewed them together on one side for the finished edge (right sides together and then pressed and opened to right sides with a top-stitched seam for finishing)  Then I folded the bottom over to make the pocket the correct length, sewed it to one side of the quilted piece and trimmed the raw edge.  I left it raw but it is okay because it is in the inside of the pocket..

Here is the picture of the piece with the pocket attached (top of picture), as well as the doll holder section ( bottom of picture) which I am describing next. 

This section is a shorter pocket piece- 14 for the width of the bag by about 8 inches tall.  I quilted it with just backing and then trimmed my lining to include openings for the doll's legs.  I just used the doll to measure how far apart to put the leg holes and how tall they needed to be.  See the picture for the shape I chose.  Then I sewed, right sides together, around the lining piece, leaving a hole for turning.
Trim the corners and clip the curves, turn the piece, press, sew the hole closed (I just do this with top-stitching) and I attached it to the bag piece with top-stitching. 
I added some ribbon for trim.  Note- my doll is a 15 inch baby doll.  Your measurements may change if you are working with a different size doll. 
I also sewed the pocked closed along the ribbon edge to just under the doll arms for a snug fit.  
At this point, sew the side seams of the bag- right sides together.  I also sewed on a 25-30 inch strap.  i cut a piece five inches wide by however long you think the strap needs to be, lined it with a 2.5 inch strip of batting for stability and top stitched it closed.  I sewed one end to a front corner of the bag and one end to the opposite back corner of the bag- this will be a cross body bag.  See the picture below. 
As you can see, I also added another strip of ribbon across the dolls chest for more stability. 

I sewed boxed corners on the bag.  If you do not know how to do this, look it up on youtube- they explain it some much better than I could!!!!

For the lining, you cut it the same dimensions as the tote, box the corners the same amount as the bag, turn it wrong side out and sew it, right sides together, to the tote. Be sure to get the handle tucked inside and leave a hole for turning.

 See below. 
Note the boxed corners. 
I had to raise my machine up out of its table to sew this seam. 

Here is the hole that I left open for turning.  After turning the bag, I then top-stitched around the bag to close the hole and give the bag a finished edge. 
And here are the finished bags. I filled the inside with doll clothes and diapers that my mother made for them.  I included diaper pins so that the straps could be pinned up to the correct length for the girls and adjusted as necessary.  You could make the strap adjustable with "hardware" from the fabric store. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Today's agenda...

Cleaning the sewing room-eww!
Helping my son clean his room and moving in his new weight bench- double ewww!
But then, the Opera!  Rigoletto with my husband and lovely daughter- whose music teacher really wants her to seek Opera training rather than Musical Theatre.  Wish us luck that she loves it!
Hope you have a lovely day of stitching!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Back in the sewing saddle...maybe

I have been so crazy busy for months, taking on new projects at work, traveling the world with my family, and just life in general.  I am actually working on some sewing projects now though, hopefully I will have decent pictures to show eventually.  Until then, allow me to share some of the things I have been up to...
Don't think this one needs any explanation...

The family in front of Buckingham Palace

These two are from a climb up a mountain in Wales to castle ruins- this may be the most beautiful place I have ever seen- in close contest to Hawaii...

The only quilt shop I saw along the way- in Llangollen, Wales- but it was closed. 

Sailing the Irish Sea

My son learning Irish dancing- he's the one on the right.  He turns 15 this month- can't believe it!

Lovely restaurant across from the Temple Bar in Dublin!

My Husband and I in front of Ann Hathaway's (wife of Shakespeare) cottage in Stratford.  We will be celebrating our 20th Anniversary in a few weeks. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015


So much going on lately...
I grabbed a few minutes on Friday night to throw together a scrappy pouch...
They are so easy!  I need to pick up some more zippers!

Last week my daughter went to prom...
This week:
She played Kala (Tarzan's Gorilla mom) in the Musical version of Tarzan.  She had 6 songs and did an awesome job!  She also designed most of the makeup, remade a spider costume, created props, painted the butterfly masks, and helped with hair and makeup, not to mention general tech crewing.  I am not sure that she has eaten since prom night though. 
Today she has a piano recital and then we have to focus on getting her SAT and ACT scheduled, voice lessons set up for this summer and get her packed for a choir competition trip next week.  Whew!
Kala and Kerchak- they had great stage chemistry and very believable "disagreements".  They performed beautifully!

And my son has finally found a basketball team that practices close to home so I am very excited to be watching him play again!
So, you can see, there is no time for quilting...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Travel Blankets

Here is my daughter's travel blanket, all finished and ready to go to California with her later this month, then on to Europe this summer.  She loves Marvel Comics and, especially, captain America-yes, I did some fussy cutting.

First, I cut two pockets one about 18 inches square and the other about 18 X 16.  Then did a quick 1 fold over hem on the top of each.
I just stitched it down with a long stitch & my walking foot.
Then I sewed the smaller pocket to the larger pocket front as pictured here.  Then the larger pocket gets sewn, right sides together to the blanket.  Fold the blanket, and the tuck it into the pocket by turning it right side out with the blanket in the inside.  Then the pillow goes in the outside/smaller pocket, all held together with a loop of elastic that was sewn to the inside upper edge of the smaller pocket.  Then the elastic loop just slips over the handle of your suitcase.
I made one for each of us.  The kids got theirs in their Easter Buckets this morning...
Here is mine with a neck pillow in the front pocket instead of a rectangular pillow like the kids.  I had to make the pocket deeper to accommodate the pillow. 

I also did some embroidery on the front of mine and my husbands which is not pictured here.  His is purple and has a Coat of Arms embroidered on it. 
Here is mine on the suitcase handle.  Try to ignore the messy cabinet behind- it houses my son's gaming console and is always a mess.

I am really excited about how they turned out.  I think my family is a little less enthusiastic, as they always are with my creations but I think they will be happy to have them on our overnight flight to Europe this summer.

My daughter was very appreciative of how cuddly hers is. 


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