Thursday, January 22, 2015

Festival Improv

We had leftover scraps from our Festival of the Trees project so of course I could not help but piece a bunch of them together, adding in some fabrics from my stash. I was feeling extra bold when I added the border print, a wonderful home dec fabric from Premier Prints.

I passed this little quilt on to my friend Georgann Eglinski, who organized our Trees project. I didn't measure it but I estimate it's about 30" square.

The detail shot shows the tiniest piece in the quilt, the tiny chartreuse shard. More proof that there is no scrap too small to use!!

Oreo blessed this before it left. He always gets in the picture ...

Monday, January 12, 2015

Three Toothbrush Hats

Anytime I get to make toothbrush hats, I am very happy! What, you might ask, is a toothbrush hat? It starts as a tiny round toothbrush rug. When you get it to a desired size (the top of one's head), you stop adding stitches, and voila! It becomes a hat (or a bowl for the less adventurous fashionistas).

My daughter, Betsy (right), has had a toothbrush hat for a while. She likes it because it is warm and such a fashion statement. I made one for Betsy's friend, Jen. I gave it to her at Christmas.

Jen's mom and daughters liked it! They tried the hats on for size and chose colors. Here they are - finished! I mailed them Friday.

They can always use them as bowls when they are not wearing them. I'm thinking of making a larger, shallower version of this to use as a bowl ... I want to make a few trivets too. If you already know how to make a toothbrush rug, they make up very quickly. Try it!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Comfort Counts

Photo by Ray Rowden
Sometimes I think it's ok to throw too much thinking about design out the window and make a quilt for the purpose of comfort, only comfort.

I've been making t-shirt quilts for my girls. Along with their t-shirts,  I discovered a box of appliqued sweatshirts I'd saved. They are sentimental favorites but I knew we wouldn't wear them anymore. My buddy Jan and I made these back in the '80s. Jan drew several of the designs (the iris bouquet and the holiday wreath). We had pipe dreams of having our own business. We learned we liked making stuff more than being businesswomen ... Some sweatshirts were for my little girls. Some were made for my parents, my grandma ... A few are drawings done by the kids and transferred onto sweatshirts.

My goal was to have a blanket long enough to cover my Mom up while she napped. I dug into my stash and found some flannel for backing. Then I took a deep breath and started cutting up those sweatshirts. I squared them up and sewed them together. They fit pretty well onto the flannel - I pinned the sweatshirt top to the flannel back and stitched through both layers.  (I didn't add batting so it would be light.) I bound the edges. The finished blanket includes 15 sweatshirts and measures 40" x 69".

I took it to Mom on Christmas Day. She has dementia so I was not totally sure she recognized all the memories in this when she first saw it. But I like to think she notices little bits every day as it covers her and keeps her warm. And it sure comforts me with the thought that these are OUT of the box and onto her bed.

Happy New Year. Stitch what makes you happy!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A No-Scrap-Too-Small Sighting

We were in Guthrie, Oklahoma last week - new territory for me. There was only time for one antique shop stop but look what I found! An exquisite little no-scrap-too-small piece. I would estimate this measures 12" x 16" so you know what that means - many of these pieces are just fingertip size.

This piece probably deserved a rescue - it was encased in a cheap frame so taking a few photos was not easy, the glass added a bit of glare. But you get the picture (pardon the pun) ...

And I am newly inspired to do more hand piecing of tiny scraps. I like how it is edged with rick-rack. I'd estimate these fabrics mostly come from the 1930s, wouldn't you? I sure wish I could stitch a while alongside the person who pieced this. I think we would have a very good time together!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Very Modern Wreath

When Georgann Eglinski was appliqueing this wreath, she made two and presented one to me. She thought it would look good in our modern house and it does! The light comes in just right and highlights the exquisite quilting Linda Frost did to complete it. And yes, that is Oreo the cat moving through the scene ... as usual.

Georgann's other wreath went to support a good cause, our community Shelter (via the Festival of Trees).

Georgann finished this one with a slick technique that is more like facing than binding. It was quilted by Kris Barlow - she quilted the words to a holiday song in the middle. It was fun to watch people bend over and read the words when it was on display ...

A Holly Jolly Christmas

Have a holly, jolly Christmas;
It's the best time of the year
I don't know if there'll be snow
but have a cup of cheer
Have a holly, jolly Christmas;
And when you walk down the street
Say Hello to friends you know
and everyone you meet

Oh ho

the mistletoe
hung where you can see;
Somebody waits for you;
Kiss her once for me
Have a holly jolly Christmas
and in case you didn't hear
Oh by golly
have a holly
jolly Christmas this year

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Current Take-Along

I think a lot of us like to keep our hands busy. I hate to just sit around. So I'm always on the scout for a project that stays in a bag, ready to take-along.

This project came to me last summer as the quilt historian cleared out her old house. It's an antique top that was harvested, with squares removed to go to the fabric company to be reproduced in modern fabric lines.

The way these squares are stitched together is a total pain in the neck. Some are hand stitched, which is not too bad to remove. The machine stitched sections use the smallest stitch length imaginable so removing the stitching is tedious. As a result, some squares were just cut away earlier ...

Some might think this project is just too tedious. I think the fabrics will make it all worthwhile in the end. They are in excellent condition, quite varied and fun to examine as I carefully pull stitches away. Some of the cottons are so stiff and brittle, while some of the flannels are totally soft and lush. I imagine what garments these scraps came from.

Progress on this will be slow, but worth it. Look, here's what I've got to work with - it's like a jigsaw puzzle of ~2" squares. This could entertain me for a while ...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Robots Tree Skirt

Another wonderful sight at our Festival of Trees was this tree - with a skirt made by Linda Frost. If you have her Robots book, you can make this too - most of the applique shapes are in the book. Don't you love the ball fringe she used around the edges ... and the sequins ...