The Office Tote Bag

 I made a few Green Bay Packer totes for a friend to give as gifts. Here they are finished. 

When making the small one, I ran out of webbing for the handles. So I went to the fabric store to pick up more. While I was there I found some crazy fabric. I was heading down the licensed fabric aisle to look at the available NFL fabrics, when I looked to the right. At first glimpse, I thought the fabric I was seeing was Harry Potter fabric. All I saw was a head with glasses. When I took a closer look, it turned out to be fabric from one of my all time favorite television shows - The Office! I was so shocked by what I was seeing that I checked the top of the bolt for the fabric label....and there it was - The Office. 

I had to have it. So once I finished up the Packer totes, I went right into making this tote for myself. 

The Office fabric tote


A Memorial Quilt for a Friend

I finished a memorial quilt from dress shirts today.  The quilt belongs to my daughter's friend. The shirts were her grandfathers'.

I started by cutting up the shirts to remove the seams in order to get the largest pieces of fabrics available from the shirts. 

I did keep a few pockets in tact in order to include them in the quilt top. 

I used the one light (white) shirt to make star blocks and I used two solid blue shirts to make pinwheel blocks. I made the rest of the blocks with pieces cut to make the large 13 and a half inch blocks needed.

I wanted the quilt to be large and once I started making the blocks, I knew that would be easy to accomplish. 

I quilted through all the pockets that were included on the quilt top except for one. I thought leaving one pocket usable was enough. 

I hope the family enjoys the memories of their loved one from looking at the quilt.


The Fall View

Fall is such a pretty time here in southeastern Wisconsin. I love my backyard view and enjoy sitting outside as much as I can.

We have a family of cranes that visit regularly. Here you can barely see the three of them. They are getting their winter colors. In the summer, the cranes are much browner than they are now. 

These are the ducks I feed every day. There are sometimes 50 of them in the yard. I love the sounds of their quacking as they waddle up to get some corn. 


Fall Craft Fair

My church's annual craft fair happened this weekend which was surprising. First of all, their spring craft fair was cancelled because of the pandemic so I thought for sure the fall one would be too. However, the event coordinator called me to explain that the fair was being held with limits to the hours and number of attendees. Second of all, this craft fair would have 6 foot spaces between each vendor and the aisles would be double-wide from previous fairs. So half of the vendors would not be there. One of the rules would be that all aisles would be one-way and if someone wanted to revisit a booth, they would have to go all the way around. I found that interesting. I chose to participate once she explained all the precautions. 

As the day went on, I was amazed how controlled the foot traffic was but at the same time, how busy I was. I seemed to always have a customer in front of me, yet no one was really crowded by someone else that was browsing. Everyone was respectful and patient, never crowded but never slow either. It was an amazingly successful day. 

My friend Sue brought some of her craft things to sell. She had her quilts, aprons, and other small things like scrunchies and hand warmers. I tried to warn her that these shows are quite unpredictable. One time I will sell lots of things and other times I will sell barely enough to cover the booth fee. I just never know. 

We were both thrilled about how this day went. We felt safe from covid and we made quite a few sales so we were successful. It was a good experience for Sue and I hope she will join me again. 


Button Collection Quilt

Tula Pink True Colors
I finished my Button Collection quilt today. I used a jelly roll from Tula Pink's True Colors fabric collection and some light green yardage for the background. I picked a few of the True Colors prints to make the borders, backing and binding. The colors are very pretty.

The pattern comes from the Spring, 2020 issue of Quilts & More magazine. I fell in love with it the minute I purchased the magazine, but it took me a while to find the right fabric to make it. I think Tula Pink's True Colors collection was the right choice. I did have lots of fabric strips left over when I finished this so I really didn't need to buy a jelly roll, yardage would have been a better choice. 
Tula Pink True Colors

Tula Pink True Colors

Tula Pink True Colors

Tula Pink True Colors

A funny thing happened when I went to quilt this. I ran out of thread. I wasn't paying attention to how much was on the spool so I didn't notice it was low until I was half-way done quilting it. So I went to order another spool of the same thread and Superior Threads was out of stock. So I shopped around and found the thread at 2 online quilt shops. One offered free shipping if I spent more than $75. That gave me incentive to check my entire thread stock and see what other colors were low. So I made a list of thread colors and ordered enough of them to get over the $75. Wouldn't you know it?? The shop sent me a shipping confirmation for my order and a credit for the ONE color I really needed - it was out of stock in their shop. I wish they would have given me an option to replace it with something else or cancel the order altogether. So I ended up ordering from the other shop anyway. Of course by then two weeks went by. Oh well!

I used a pantograph called Brocade to quilt this and I like how it looks on the back of the quilt as well as the front. 

The quilt measures 64" x 54" and I hand-stitched the binding.


What's on the design board?

October was an interesting month. Even though I am officially retired, I felt like I was always playing catch-up with everything I did. I had to catch up on making a quilt sample for work that I thought I would have completed sooner. I had to catch up on quilting some client quilts. I also had to catch up on getting all the remaining vegetables picked from my garden before it was too late. The weather can turn cold rather suddenly around these parts.

I also have a memorial quilt to complete. I started it a few weeks ago and struggled with how to proceed. The quilt is supposed to have t-shirt blocks, flannel shirt blocks, and dress shirt blocks. I just don't like them all together. So the design board looks like this today:

Shirt Quilt

I've eliminated the flannels and the t-shirt blocks. I like it much better. And there's enough shirt fabric to make many more blocks. So I think I will make 2 quilts. This one will be all dress shirts. It will make a nice representation to preserve the memory of the loved one that wore these. 

I won't be working on this over the next week since I have a craft fair next Saturday. I have to make sure my inventory is ready to go. It will be my first fair with a partner! I invited my favorite sewing friend Sue to come try her hand at selling her handmade items. We will share a booth where she can see if she likes the experience. I'm sure I've mentioned to her that there's really no way to know what to least in my experience. No 2 fairs have been alike. I can sell a bunch of one thing at one event and then a totally different thing will be popular at another. I never can tell. Maybe I am just terrible at marketing. All I know is that I hope she enjoys it.


October Client Quilts

This month I quilted 4 projects for the quilt shop. 

I quilted this table topper and matching table runner. 

I quilted a Christmas wall hanging for the shop too. The original pattern was for a large quilt but the shop manager liked it better it a smaller version so one of my co-workers made the sample using less blocks than the original pattern. I love the star blocks so much that I am going to have to download the free pattern from the fabric manufacturer just to make my own version.

I also made this sample. It has lots of little 'house' blocks that border the panel. I am always happy and amazed when the borders come out the exact size they need to be to match the panel.

The only other quilting I did was for my daughter. She made my granddaughter a butterfly patch quilt and I quilted it for her. I really wanted her to come over and do it herself. But I forget that the longarmer can be a bit intimidating at first glance.

And that's it for this month. I also had one of the ladies from my church quilt group come over to use the longarmer to quilt a small lap quilt. She plans on quilting 2 queen sized quilts next month. I like having the company in the sewing room - it keeps me in my sewing room for the day without the distraction of things like housecleaning or cooking - ha!


Perfect Table Topper

I made this table topper with no pattern. I used the leftovers from a pillow project I made last fall. Some of the scrap pieces were pretty small so the best I could come up with was 2-inch squares. I sewed 100 of them together - 10 rows of 10 squares. 

I added an inner border cut from 1-inch strips of coordinating fabric. The outer border strips are 2-3/4 inch strips of fabric. I used 100% cotton batting and matching fabric backing layered and quilted in a meandering pattern.

Using the same fabric for the binding as the inner border really made this project look like it was better planned than it really was - ha! The finished project measures 20" x 20" square - a perfect size for the center of any table.

Square Table Topper