Thursday

3-Zipper Pouch

I received a request to make a 3-zipper pouch from a toddler t-shirt. The client also wanted me to include some vintage daisy trim she possessed. She asked for something floral to complete the project.

I auditioned 3 different fabrics, 2 were floral and 1 was the doily-print I actually used. I left the fabrics next to the t-shirt for about a week and struggled to pick one of the florals. Then my daughter stopped by, took one look at the fabric selections and instantly stated that I HAD to use the doily-print.

The print was something I picked up from a modern quilt shop and was not planning on using it for something I would be selling. I secretly wanted it for myself. I think that was part of the hesitation in using it for this project.

But it was a perfect match with the t-shirt graphic. Once that was decided I had to figure out how to make the pouch. I had a smaller version to use as a sample. With no pattern, I cut up pieces and through trial-and-error, put the pouch together. I only had to unsew pieces twice!

I gently removed the logo tag from the inside of the t-shirt and sewed it in place as if it were a label. Then I finished off the inside seams with some bias ribbon and it was completed. I sure hope my client likes it; it is so very soft and cute.

Sunday

Scrap Vortex Quilt Progress

I finally finished my scrap vortex quilt top today. I've been absolutely obsessed with making the blocks from my scraps and the scrap vortex quilt along blog posts have been very helpful. The trouble has been finding the time to work on it. I've had a few obligations that have kept me from working on this project which is really not a bad problem to have.

I don't like to use the word 'obligations'; the word feels like it has such negative connotations.  My 'obligations' include working in a quilt shop as a web page designer and social media developer, making charity quilts for veterans with my church group and my family obligations include babysitting my granddaughters and taking my mom to her doctor appointments which is usually followed by lunch with mom. They hardly sound like obligations at all.

I may have started the scrap vortex quilt during the final week of the quilt along however, I think I got this part of it completed rather quickly, all things considered. If you would like to follow Amanda Jean's instructions to make one of your own, just click here for the quilt-along.


Friday

A Pallet Project - WIP

I picked up a few pallets last month and they've been hanging out in my garage ever since. I really wanted to take the time to take them apart however, I've been struggling with finding the time.

Last month my husband had his second round of rotator cuff surgery on his left shoulder. Of course he is also left-handed. Since the surgery he is going stir-crazy considering his limitations.

So I decided to put him to work... sort of. I asked for guidance in taking apart the pallets. My husband immediately dug out the proper tools and taught me how to use them. So I hammered and pried the boards while he instructed me in the easiest way to disassemble the pallets. He was in heaven.

Once I got the boards taken off, he could easily remove the nails that weren't dislodged with his one good hand. He felt so productive that his mood totally changed for the rest of the day.

So now it's time to figure out what to do with the pieces. I really didn't think we would get this far this quickly.

Tuesday

Quilted 1 in a Minion Bag

I picked up some of the Minion fabric that our shop got in this week and decided to make a quilted mini-shopping bag for my granddaughter, Avery. I've been picking up Avery from day care when her mother has to work late and she is obsessed with carrying her mother's mini-shopping bag with her.

My daughter has mentioned that she misses her bag, she uses it to carry her lunch to work. And she didn't want to take it away from Avery since there's an assumption the two-year old would not understand why she should give it back to her mother.

So here comes the Minions fabric...and a grandma motivated to make a mini-shopping bag for her granddaughter! I took the measurements from the little bag and made my own version. It only took me an afternoon to completed this little bag from start to finish.

Thursday

Tin Can Wind Chimes

Tin can wind chimes
My granddaughters spent the afternoon painting their version of ponies on the sides of the tin cans I spray painted a few weeks ago. They love My Little Ponies and spend many afternoons drawing their favorite characters.

After they were finished painting, they worked with their grandpa to make them into wind chimes. He popped holes in the cans then threaded them with plastic coated wire. He used electrical fasteners to hold the wire in place. They were ready in time for the girls to give them to their mother on her birthday today.

Both the girls and their mama had a happy day.

Nomad

My son and his wife have a beautiful Himalayan cat named Nomad. They named him Nomad because my son's company transfers him from job to job. As a civil engineer on large road construction projects, assignments have been at least 2 years long however the 405 project in L.A. lasted over 4 years. Once that project was done he transferred to Honolulu and that made it difficult to take Nomad along. There are many rules for taking pets to the Hawaiian islands. So Nomad came to live with me.

Nomad has been with us since last October. During that time my husband and I have fallen madly in love with him. He's adapted to our early morning routine and knows all the nuances of our family like spending time outside in the yard. He even enjoys when my granddaughters visit, which was not the case when he first got here.

This week has been a terrible week. On Monday Nomad seemed ill and a visit to the vet confirmed that he was having trouble urinating. They kept him overnight when they discovered that his urinary tract was totally blocked. After a day of catheterization and flushing out his system, he came home with some medication to help the healing process. Between Tuesday and today he did not get better. In fact, he was worse. He was listless and lying on the floor twitching from pain. So back at the vet's office we got the horrible news; they could not help him. They could attempt surgery but it was such a long shot they advised against it. So the humane decision was made by my daughter-in-law to let him go. We recently celebrated his 4th birthday with our granddaughters who thought it was fun to have a kitty birthday. He was way too young to be this ill.

Nomad loved quilts. He spent most of his days with me in my sewing room so he was a big part of everything I made. No matter where there is a quilt, he would lie on it. This photo of him was taken when the linen closed was left open. He instantly found a quilt to lay on when the door opened.


We are devastated. 

Wednesday

What's on the design board?

Scrap Vortex Quilt Along
I decided to follow Crazy Mom Quilts Scrap Vortex Quilt Along. Although she is finishing up the quilt along while I am just getting started, I have to admit, Amanda Jean is correct, it is addictive.

I thought I would just sew a few scraps together to see if I liked the idea of making a scrap quilt like hers. The thing is, I love to make postage stamp quilts out of my scraps so doing this project is just a little out of my comfort zone.

After one session in my studio, this is where I left off. I have so many scraps that I think I could make more than one scrap vortex quilt. The pieces are on the design board just willy-nilly. Once I have more blocks done, I will start rearranging them - that will be fun. If you want to follow the quilt along too, here is the link to the first post.

Saturday

My Little Helper

Sewing Room kitty
This is my daughter-in-law's cat, Nomad. He is temporarily living with me; I've had him here with me for 9 months now. He is a very social boy and since I am home all day, he spends the majority of his time with me. Lately in the morning he even beats me to the sewing studio.

There have been many days where I want to check my email before I start sewing but I cannot. I don't want to disturb my little sleeping friend. My desk chair has become his favorite early day sleeping spot. The chair faces west so it makes sense that he would sleep on it, there's no morning sun to overheat him during these summer months.

In the winter he always slept on the blanket chest in my bedroom with the eastern morning sun covering him. His routine is so linked to mine that if I sleep late, he lets me know he is not happy about it. We are so in sync, I just adore him.

Soon he will be moving out and I will miss him dearly.


Tuesday

Memorial Shirt Pillow Cover

A few months back I completed a memorial t-shirt quilt for an acquaintance. At her request, I took the leftover shirt pieces and turned them into pillow covers. Her plan was to give them as gifts to her sons and stepsons in memory of her husband however, she just could not part with any of them. And I made her 8 of them. So she requested 5 more. I incorporated pieces of a few different shirts into each pillow cover thinking that each piece of fabric might represent specific memories. Each rectangle is made from a piece of a polo shirt and the sashing was made from strips cut from a cotton oxford shirt. I think they will make a nice gift for any of her family members.
T-Shirt Pillow Cover

Friday

Little Monsters Quilt - Completed

I finished my little monsters quilt today. It's been difficult to find time to sew lately because my husband had rotator cuff surgery yesterday. Not that his surgery is a huge burden on me, however, he did commit to completing my granddaughter's loft bed he's making before the surgery date arrived. That meant I was going to be putting the finishing coats of urethane on the bed frame since I'm home all day.

The project would have been completed in plenty of time but the weather was not cooperating. We needed some days where the temps were over 50 (according to the back of the urethane can) and that's been rare in the past month. I was happy to help out. But it did take away from time at my sewing machine.

So now that the bed is done, I am happy to be back in my sewing room and out of the workshop. After all the applique on this little quilt, I chose to just machine quilt around each block and keep it simple. I found some really cute fabric for the back and chose to use a stripe for the binding. This project allowed me the opportunity to map out each block myself and determine all the block sizes on my own.

Things are much easier with a pattern but this sure was an economical way to get the job done.




Quilts for Kids - Basket Weave Turtle Quilt

The Quilter's Palette pattern
I made this quilt using the book, A Quilter's Palette. I love this book because it gives great suggestions for using a wide range of color options and various sizes in quilt blocks.

I used the Basket Weave block instructions found on page 187 in the book. It tells you how to figure the size of each piece in order to make the block accurately. For example, the instructions read: you will need a small square and a large square twice the size of the small square. I don't have to do any complicated math calculations to use up the fabric that I have. I love that.

I used some quilts for kids fabrics to try out the instructions and the results were great. I just wish my photos came out brighter; the yellow is very pretty and bright next to the turtle fabric.
The Quilter's Palette pattern

Saturday

Selvage Blocks

Lately when I am in my sewing studio I've been getting a closed-in feeling. It happens whenever my scrap piles start to run over and my unfinished projects stay unfinished. I really need to sort, purge and put things back in their proper places however I find that difficult to do when things are unfinished. The answer to the problem sounds so easy...just finish things but that's not how my mind works. 
Somehow clutter makes my creative juices flow. And I am staring at my selvage basket with its overflowing strips of pretty colors. I stop working on my current projects and decide to make a selvage block. I cut a 9-inch wide piece of muslin from the bolt and make 9 x 9-inch squares out of the strip. As I sort and iron a few of the selvages, I start to feel a sense of accomplishment just from tackling the overflowing basket. But I haven't even made anything yet! Not even a single block. 

I looked at a few blogs regarding making selvage blocks in order to pick up a few tips on how to get started. The best advice I could find was to make a straight line in the center of the muslin in order to keep the selvage strips straight as I build each block. Once one block was done I was hooked. Within two days I made 30 blocks and totally emptied my selvage strip scrap basket.

So now I have another unfinished quilt project to add to my angst but it sure was fun making those blocks.