My Sister's Friend Sue's Projects

I get a lot of requests for sewing projects from my sister's friend Sue. Sue has eclectic taste and is a very nice person, which is a great quality since she is a teacher. I love to help her change her keepsakes into new and usable things. There's been children's pajamas turned into a quilt, little baby t-shirts turned into tote bags and zipper pouches, to mention a few. 

Sue gave my sister a bag full of things to repurpose. There was a baby shirt to turn into a Christmas ornament, an embroidered baby shirt to turn into a pencil pouch and a few other baby t-shirts to repurpose. Besides those, there was a 2-yard piece of fabric that she wanted a table-runner out of, and she also requested that if there is any leftover fabric to make a few little things.

There was a little problem with the request. She made the request in spring, my sister forgot about it and here we are at the end of November when she remembered. Grrrr. I agreed to do the best I could. I was smack dab in the middle of making football themed totes when I got the request and I couldn't sleep thinking about it. After all, it wasn't Sue's fault the work wasn't getting done so I didn't want her to be disappointed. So I got to work.

This is the first table runner. The fabric is Christmas themed with lots of glitter. I purchased some matching grunge in pink, green yellow and brown to match. The fabric looks good as the gift wrap part of these gift blocks. 

There was so much fabric left that I made another table runner, This one is simpler and fabric print is easier to see.

There was still lots of fabric left. So I made some zipper pouch stockings, some mini tote bags and some Christmas ornaments. 

And here is the ornament from a t-shirt and the pencil pouch from the embroidered t-shirt.

The baby shirts are now zipper pouches.

I still have a small piece of the Christmas fabric but for now I'm pretty burnt out from all these. I will just have to revisit it at a future date. For now, Sue will get these just in time for the holiday season. 


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. 


November Client Projects

I only have one quilt to longarm for a customer this month. That's a good thing since I have so many craft projects to make for customers, there's not a lot of time left for quilting. One of the ladies from my church quilting group is coming over to use the longarmer to quilt some of her projects so the machine will get some use. 

As for this quilt, it's a toddler quilt that will be a child's gift. The customer loves high-loft batting which makes the quilting pop. It's not my favorite look, but the customer is always right. That's the thing that gives each project individuality. The choices we make along the way. I'm happy to help the customer achieve her quilting goals. 


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.