Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Here's a little Easter card that became a holder for fabrics to make a blue, white and yellow quilt. I just used a stapler to hold them in place:
Oh, and if you see me in the fabric store with my stapled greeting card in hand, be sure to say "Hello"!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Once upon a time, I made this quilt:
Instead, I did this:
I found this fabric sampler in my drawer with my fall fabrics that I showed yesterday, and thought it was worth sharing here.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Only 4 of the 7 fabrics are strictly "autumn" fabrics but once in a while, if I see a fall fabric that I just love, I buy a fat quarter to add to the collection.
The name printed on the selvage edge of the fabric on the far right is called "October Sunset". Wouldn't that be a great name for a quilt made up of these colors?
Only time will tell when this quilt will make it to the top of my list, but I'll have my fabric ready when it does. :-)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
She made her own templates for her patterns and did the piecing by hand. For the batting, it was back to the hand picked cotton that she carded, and more of her hand woven fabric for the backing.
Busy with chores during the day, she did most of her quilting at night, using light from an oil lamp she had made from a tin can, with a wick made from cotton strips, and oil from animal fat. Her quilt frame was made from trees that grew in the nearby woods.
With all the work that went into just getting the materials to make the quilt, you might picture a pretty nine-patch or log cabin. (I did.) However, the pattern she chose, called "Wheel of Fortune" was very complex, consisting of curved pieces fitting into a circle, with 8 narrow points that meet in the center, and surrounded by tiny rectangles. Here is the pattern for just one block:
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
- Make the bag using a flip and sew technique with the batting as the foundation.
- Trim the excess batting from the front and back of the bag, measure for size, and cut 2 lining pieces to match.
- Sew the bag front to the bag back on three sides
- Sew the lining front to the lining back, leaving an opening in the bottom seam
- Box the corners of the bag and lining to give the tote some depth
- Make the handles
- Center the handles on the outer fabric and baste in place
- Place lining inside the tote bag, right sides together and sew around the top opening
- Reach through hole you left in the lining seam and turn the bag right side out
- Top stitch around the bag opening
- Hand sew or fabric glue the opening in the lining.
I like to make the handles using 2 different fabrics, but, of course they could be made using just one. I cut two 2-inch strips of each fabric that are each about 30 inches long. (I find the ideal length for tote handles is 25 inches, but I start with 30 inch strips to be sure I have enough.) I also cut two strips of batting that are also 30 inches long, but are slightly less than 2 inches wide. (approximately 1 7/8)
If you want to add a button and loop closure, you'll need to make a loop. I use a half inch bias tape maker that I already had on hand.
Here's how the pocket looks inside the bag.
Now you have a finished tote, with padded handles, a button and loop closure, and an inside pocket. Enjoy!
Monday, September 21, 2009
My tote lining fabrics were already cut to size. I took ONE lining fabric and laid it right side up, then centered the pocket. The raw edge faces the center of the lining, and the folded edge extends off the bottom. Sew along the raw edge of the pocket. (Note: this is done BEFORE sewing the lining fabrics together.)
Fold the pocket up and press. Sew the two short edges to the lining fabric with a narrow top stitch to secure. I recommend backstitching at the beginning and end of each seam for strength. Now you have a pocket!
I wanted to make a divider in my pocket to hold a pencil, so I measured 2 inches in from the right side of the pocket, and drew a chalk line. Then I sewed right on the line, creating a narrow pocket.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I feel very fortunate that my sister and another lifelong friend are also members of my choral group. It really makes rehearsals fun. After I made my music tote, I decided to make one for each of them too. Here are the 3 bags finished:
and here's a closeup:
Friday, September 11, 2009
There wasn’t a lot of quilting done this summer, but there was a LOT of this:
Without much quiet time to break out the needle and thread, I have turned to the written word for entertainment. Here’s a few books I read a this summer that I thought were worth mentioning.
The first is “A Single Thread” by Marie Bostwick. The story is centered around the happenings at a quilt shop, and is told from the point of view of two different characters. I found it to be a really enjoyable read, with characters you could care about, and, of course, Quilting!
Next was “Hooked on Murder” by Betty Hechtman. As you might guess from the title, this one is a murder mystery. The “hooked” part is because it concerns a group of ladies who crochet. It was a pleasant enough read, but it felt a little bit like the crochet part was an afterthought to the story. A good one to borrow from the library, but I wouldn’t buy it.
I’m a big fan of Jane Austen, and have read her books, listened to them on tape, and of course watched the movies. There are a lot of writers who are offering alternative books for Austen fans, many claiming to be written “in the style” of Jane Austen. Some do a better job than others, and so I usually read the book reviews carefully on Amazon before I decide to buy any of them. This one, called “Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict” by Laurie Viera Rigler is about a modern girl who wakes up one day and finds herself living in the time of Jane Austen. I enjoyed it not so much because the story was particularly engaging, but because it was fun to realize just how different the lifestyle of a young woman was from our modern experience, and yet how much the same are our feelings. (Probably why Austen fans still find her books appealing.)
And while on the subject of Jane Austen, I also read “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen” by Syrie James. The premise of this book is that Jane Austen’s memoirs turn up in an attic. It’s written very well and loosely based on some of the things we know about Austen’s life. The author makes connections between fictional events in the book to characters and events in Austen’s novels to try and show how Jane’s life may have inspired her writing.
Last, but certainly not least, is this series of “Monk” novels by Lee Goldberg. They are like finding lost episodes of the “Monk” television series. The author gets the tone of each character exactly right, and I read parts of them out loud to my family because I was enjoying them so much. They are quick to read, and if you like the TV show, you are sure to like the books.