Finished Product, Home Decor

A Warm Hug from Heaven

Note to my readers:  This was the most difficult entry I have made on my blog, but I am writing this to recognize my dear friend, Joan Wipper. 

The past several months, I have had the pleasure of sharing every Thursday with a good friend of mine, Joan Wipper.  Joan and I first met when we worked together for several years at HP.  She was always there with a bright smile and fun sense of humor and was a great addition to our Market Research team.  I really enjoyed working with her and we became good friends.  When she left HP and moved away from Boise, we sort of lost touch, except for our annual Christmas greetings.  But, one of the nice things about our friendship, is that when we did see each other, we could pick up where we left off the last time and run with it.

Joan in November, 2012, modeling an apron I made for her friend
Joan in November, 2012, modeling an apron I made for her friend

A couple years ago, Joan moved back to Boise and I was pleased to be able to meet her periodically for lunch to get caught up.  Our lives were going in new and different   directions, so it was nice to check in with each other now and then.

In July of 2011, Joanie noticed a pressure and pain in her sternum.  Her daughter, Sara, pointed out that women often present abnormal symptoms prior to a heart attack and suggested she go to the Emergency Room and get checked out.  While she was being examined and tested, a chest x-ray revealed a grape-sized lump in her lung.  Joan was given some devastating news…  she was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer.

The crazy thing is that Joan was the picture of good health.  She enjoyed working out and was in great shape and she had never smoked a cigarette in her life.  In spite of all that, she had an advanced stage of lung cancer and she was literally in a fight for her life.

She began cancer treatments and although I know she had some very rough and scary times, she was always upbeat and positive when I saw her.  She bought a wig to prepare for her inevitable hair loss, but was thrilled that during the various cancer treatments, she was able to maintain a healthy head of hair.  Joan was determined to live life as normally as she could and continued to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  She once told me that a goal of hers was not to look like she had cancer, and I think she has been very successful.

Joan enjoys a great relationship with her children, Sara and Danny, who are now young adults.  Joan’s daughter, Sara, got engaged in 2011 and one of Joan’s main goals was to attend Sara’s wedding in September, 2012.  Joan was thrilled to attend Sara’s beautiful wedding in Hawaii.

In July, 2012, during one of our visits, I mentioned to Joan, if she were interested, I would be pleased to help her make a quilt for Sara and Danny.   I told her that quilts can be warm and snugly and might be a nice gift.  I told her to think about it, realizing she was very busy with all the wedding preparations at the time.

A few months later, in January, 2013, Joan called me.  After we talked for a while, she asked if she could take me up on my quilting offer and I was delighted.  We coordinated our calendars and determined that Thursday would be our sewing/quilting day.

The first step was to determine what type of quilt she wanted to make.  Joan did not have much sewing experience, so we also spent some time teaching her how to sew.   During this time we talked about different styles of quilts and I pulled out several of my quilting books to show her the different types.

Joan chose the cover quilt of the Modern Quilts book for the pattern for Sara and Danny's quilts
Joan chose the cover quilt of the City Quilts book for the pattern for Sara and Danny’s quilts

She wanted more of a contemporary look and really liked the quilt called City Lights in the book, City Quilts.   Next step was to choose the colors she wanted in the quilts.  After a trip to a few quilt stores, she had her palette of colors.

Finding just the right lavender...
Finding just the right lavender…

Once the fabrics were pre-washed, the next step was to cut out the pieces and then to begin to lay them out on the design board.  I set up a design wall near the cutting mat to make it easy to audition the placements for the various colored pieces.

Cutting out the pieces for sashing and binding fabric
Cutting out the pieces for sashing and binding fabric
Working on laying out pieces (in background)
Working on laying out pieces (in background)

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the final color placement was agreed upon, Joan started to sew the quilts together.

Joanie at the sewing machine, strip piecing away!
Joanie at the sewing machine, strip piecing away!

It was exciting to see the rows slowly build and piece by piece and row by row, watch the quilt come together.

Pinning rows together
Pinning rows together
Looking A - Okay!
Looking A – Okay!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Placing completed rows back on design wall
Placing completed rows back on design wall
The first quilt top is coming together!
The first quilt top is coming together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joan wanted to make the quilts identical, so it was easy for her to determine the placement for the second quilts colors.

1 down, 1 to go!
1 down, 1 to go!

I really looked forward to our Thursday sew sessions.  It was a time for us to not only sew and visit, but we managed to also solve a few of the world’s problems along the way.  We met approximately 14 weeks over the course of five months because we both had some vacation time in between. In general though, Thursday was my quilting day with Joanie and we were on a mission!  Once in a while we would take a break towards the end of the day and do something a little different and fun.

Me (aka Nana), Belén, Eloise and Joan at Goodies in Hyde Park enjoying some ice cream.
Me (aka Nana), Eloise, Belén, and Joan at Goodies in Hyde Park enjoying some ice cream.

Joan pieced the second quilt together much faster than the first and was becoming quite a proficient seamstress.

Second quilt pieced!
Second quilt pieced!

Once the second top was completed, we prepared the quilt tops for the long-arm quilter.  Since we decided to put a wonderful cozy Minkee fabric on the back, we thought it would be better to use a long arm machine for the quilting process.

Clipping threads and removing any lint and loose thread from quilt top.
Clipping threads and removing any lint and loose thread from quilt top.
Adding some scrap fabric to back of quilt so it will fit the quilting machine.
Adding some scrap fabric to back of quilt so it will fit the quilting machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We began to prepare the quilts for quilting and discussed the weight for the batting and how she wanted to bind the quilt.   I made an appointment at Quilt Expressions and Joan chose the quilt design she wanted to use, a design called Hypnotic.  It was exciting to deliver the finished quilt tops, batting and backing to the ladies at Quilt Expressions and know they were in very good hands.

Reviewing various quilting patterns at Quilt Expressions
Reviewing various quilting patterns at Quilt Expressions
Hypnotic is the quilt design...
Hypnotic is the quilt design…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, I also reviewed some label designs  with Joanie and told her to start thinking about what she would like to have on the label on the back of the quilt.  The next week she arrived and told me she knew what she wanted to say…  ” A warm hug from heaven…  Love, Mom”…

Stitching out the quilt label for Danny's quilt.
Stitching out the quilt label for Danny’s quilt.

When the quilting was finished, we were both very excited to see how beautiful the quilts turned out.  They were even better than what we had envisioned.  I was so pleased to see Joan so excited about them.  The final steps were to attach the labels and then the outside binding.

Stitching the binding and labels on.
Stitching the binding and labels on.

And, abracadabra, the quilts were finished!!!

Finished quilt with Joan and myself - this was a very exciting day!!!
Finished quilt with Joan and myself – this was a very exciting day!!!

But we also had to get pictures of both quilts together.  You will notice one is a bit longer than the other, due to the different widths of the sashing that Joan sewed in the second quilt.  We loved they way they turned out!!!

Both quilts are finished!
Both quilts are finished!
Ta Da!!!  One excited Joanie!
Ta Da!!! One excited Joanie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joan  planned a date when she could have both Danny and Sara over for dinner to give them their quilts.  Marv and I were flattered that she asked us to join them for dinner as well.   Throughout the building of the quilts, I took pictures of Joan sewing the quilts, step by step.  I told Joan that it would be a great way to document the process for her kids, because a lot of people do not realize what is entailed in making a quilt.  We built a small picture book in Snapfish that she packaged with each quilt.  Many of the pictures from this blog were in that book.

The stage was set, Joan made a wonderful vegan meal and it was so much fun to spend some time with Danny and Sara, Joanie’s amazing kids.  When everyone was seated in the living room, Joan brought out two large gift bags and gave them their quilts.  I think these next few pictures tell the story better than I can…

Joan explaining the quilts to Sara and Danny as they opened up their quilts
Joan explaining the quilts to Sara and Danny as they opened up their quilts
Sara reading her quilt label.
Sara reading her quilt label.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danny, Joan and Sara and their quilts
Danny, Joan and Sara and their quilts

 

Both Danny and Sara were very pleased with their quilts and touched by all the effort Joan put into making their quilts.  She told them she wanted them to have them to snuggle with when she is gone and to think of it as a “Warm hug from heaven” from her.

Thank you Joan, I am so thankful for the many hours we shared in the creation of your beautiful, loving gifts for your children.  You are a kindred spirit who I think the world of and I so treasure your incredible gift of friendship.  Now that you have this sewing/quilting process down, I hope to have many more hours together as we create who knows what!  I love you, Joan, and am so very proud of you…      Jane

 

 

 

Bias Trim, Finished Product, Gift Idea, Home Decor, New Patterns

New Pattern – The Princess and the Pea

The Princess and the Pea quilt for Eloise
The Princess and the Pea quilt for Eloise

I’m very pleased to share with you my new quilt pattern entitled, The Princess and the Pea.  A quilt that was designed for our 2 year old granddaughter, Eloise.  We are so fortunate to have two beautiful granddaughters, Belén (age 4) and Eloise (age 2).  When Belén transitioned from the crib to her “big girl” bed, I made a quilt for her bed, which eventually became my first pattern called B’s Big Girl Quilt.

 

Now that Eloise has also moved to her “big girl” bed, it was time to create a quilt for her new bed.  My daughter, Alecia, (aka Mommy) had a great idea to make a quilt based on the Princess and the Pea story.  I thought it would be fun to come up with a quilt for Eloise incorporating that popular fairy tale and started to jot down ideas.  Eventually, my notes and sketches all came together to create this pattern.

The pattern includes a hand and machine embroidery design for the crown and the pea.
The pattern includes a hand and machine embroidery design for the crown and the pea.

I wanted to be able to personalize the quilt for our own little princess, so I digitized a crown embroidery design that can easily be personalized with a child’s name.  For my pattern model, I used the name “Princess,” and Eloise’s crown has her name on it.

The pea is an important element for this quilt and has a personality of his own.  I created a digitized version for machine embroiders as well as a template that can be hand embroidered.

IMG_1989
Adding the pea to quilt top
Look closely to see the pea on the finished quilt.
Look closely to see the pea on the finished quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then it was time to sew the bed frame and prepare it to be machine appliqued onto the quilt top.

It was fun to work on the quilt as it came to life.  The wandering vine and its many colorful leaves and spiral flowers are the focus for the outside border.

Making leaves for the vine from a variety of green fabrics
Making leaves for the vine from a variety of green fabrics

I came up with an unusual spiral flower design and have a unique way of making each of these flowers.  I enjoyed mixing up the colors for the flowers to add a bit more whimsy to the quilt top.

Making the unique and whimsical spiral flowers
Making the unique and whimsical spiral flowers

Once the quilt top was completed, I took it to Yvette Ebaugh to quilt.  She did a beautiful job of capturing the essence of the quilt with her quilting.  Then it was time for the finishing touch, a playful bias binding.

Sewing the binding onto the quilt
Sewing the binding onto the quilt

Last, but not least, final photos were taken and Eloise’s “big girl” quilt was complete!

Taking pictures of completed quilt
Taking pictures of completed quilt

It was a very fun project and I’m excited to see Eloise’s quilt on her big girl bed.

If you would like to make this quilt for your little princess, you can purchase the pattern online at Craftsy or locally, in Boise, at the Quilt Crossing.   I will also be teaching a class on this quilt pattern (check out the class list at the Quilt Crossing website) and welcome you to join the class.

New pattern created from quilt I made for Eloise
New pattern created from quilt I made for Eloise

Note:  I made another version of this quilt, replacing the bias trim on the border with large rickrack.  You can read more about this in my blog, The Princess and the Pea for Eloise.  It was a fun variation for this pattern and Eloise loved her quilt!

Happy Sewing!

Jane

 

 

Finished Product, Gift Idea, Home Decor, Kitchen Accessories

Wedding Gift Ideas & A Few Machine Embroidery Tips

June is a favorite time of year for weddings and it is always nice to make a unique personalized gift for young couples who are getting married.  A tradition of mine is to personalize a towel with the couple’s name and date of their wedding.

My nephew and his wife were recently married in Las Vegas.  I discovered an old wooden hanger from Hotel Sahara in Las Vegas in one of my favorite shops, and thought it would make a unique towel bar for their new kitchen towel.  I used my embroidery machine to prepare the design and personalize it with their names and wedding date, as you can see below.

A personalized towel for Shane and Lindsay
A personalized towel for Shane and Lindsay

I also thought it would be fun to make Lindsay an apron from my Anna’s Apron Pattern.  I chose some funky font fabric and, of course, a nice terry cloth towel (which is so handy to have on board your apron) and a complementing rick rack trim.

An apron for Lindsay
An apron for Lindsay

The best thing is that they were very pleased with their gifts, which always makes your day.

Now, I have to get busy as I have a few more wedding gifts on my “To Do” List.  Thought this may give you some ideas for fun wedding gifts.

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful summer weather.

Happy Sewing,

Jane

Tips on Embroidering Towels

If you are are interested in more details on how I embroidered the towel, along with a few more photos, continue reading.

Once you have your design prepared and loaded onto your machine, hoop your towel.  Start by folding the towel in half lengthwise and finger press the center, to give you a guide for placement of your design.  Use a water soluble marker and put a line across the center line, creating a cross to indicate where you want your embroidery design to be located vertically.  Use the plastic grid that came with your embroider hoop and align the center mark of the grid with the center mark on the towel.

Center the towel in your embroidery hoop, using the hoop grid to insure accurate placement
Center the towel in your embroidery hoop, using the hoop grid to insure accurate placement

I use a very handy accessory to hold my hoop in place when I am loading an item into the hoop.  It’s called the Master Hooper and it holds the outside of the hoop firmly in place while you are inserting the fabric and inner hoop.  Otherwise you may find yourself chasing the hoop around the table when attempting to hoop your fabric.

The Master hooper holding down the hoop
The Master hooper holding down the hoop

For a mid to light weight kitchen towel, use a light weight tear-away stabilizer.   As far as embroidery thread, I typically use Isacord or Aurafil thread.

I hoop the stabilizer first and then pin my fabric in place on top of the stabilizer, insuring that my pins are placed outside the stitching area.  (Note:  Sometimes I use a 505 Temporary Adhesive spray to help hold the fabric in place, but not always.  It depends on the project.)  My machine has the option to stitch a basting box around the design, which is very handy.

Once you have the fabric loaded in the hoop, load your hoop onto your embroidery module.

I like to bring up my bottom bobbin thread to the top, so that I know exactly where it is before I begin to stitch.  It also helps to avoid thread jams.

Design is almost finished
Design is almost finished

Push the button and engage the machine and complete your embroidery.  Once complete, unhoop the towel and gently tear away the stabilizer from the design.  If you leave some fragments, don’t worry, it will eventually wash out when laundered.  PRESTO,  you have a unique, personalized wedding gift for that special couple!

Your design is finished.
Your design is finished.
Finished Product, Gift Idea, Home Decor

A Special Gift… My Double Heart Watercolor Quilt

Last fall, we spent part of our vacation in Amish Country.  It was a wonderful place to visit and we were excited to learn more about the Amish culture.

An Amish Family in their Buggy
An Amish Family in their Buggy

We were pleased to stay at a charming Bed and Breakfast in Bird-in-Hand, PA.  Our room was upstairs near the front of the house and you could hear the horse drawn buggies go by every so often.  The clip clopping gates of the horses was soothing, kind of like falling rain.   Our bed was adorned with a pillow with a greeting in German that translates to “Good Night”.

IMG_7797
Our “Good Night” pillow
Amish Farm
Amish Farm

We visited an Amish farm one afternoon and enjoyed the beautiful countryside of the region.   The local Amish people were extremely friendly and eager to show you their handmade wares, fruits and vegetables that were for sale.

I was pleased to tour a few quilt stores where we saw a variety of Amish quilts, along with other more current patterns.  The Amish have expanded the selections of the different styles of quilts they sell to include other types.  I fell in love with a watercolor quilt we saw on display.  It had double-linked hearts towards the center of the quilt.  The designer had used over 300 different fabrics when she pieced together the 3,648 one and a half inch squares to create the center design.  It was a spectacular quilt.  Marv, however, said he didn’t much care for the quilt, so we continued to look at others.  But, in my opinion, no others compared to the double heart quilt.

photo (5)
The Double Heart Quilt when we saw it at the quilt store

The remainder of the trip included a visit to Gettysburg, a stop in Scranton, PA, which boasts being the home for the hit television show, The Office, and some time back in New York city, which is always fun to explore.

When we returned back to Boise, I admired the photo of the double heart quilt again when I was organizing my photos.  I really didn’t give it much further thought again, until last week, when Marv handed me a box to open for my birthday.  I really had no idea what was in the mysterious box and was totally blown away when I opened the box and removed the tissue paper to unveil the beautiful double heart quilt.  I was in awe, surprised, thrilled and so excited.  I really couldn’t believe my eyes.

Opening my birthday gift
Opening my birthday gift
Opening the quilt
Opening the quilt

 

 

 

 

 

This was such a special gift and Marv explained when he saw it at the quilt store, he knew then and there what my birthday gift was going to be this year.  Alecia asked to take a picture of me with my new quilt the night of my birthday and, I must admit, it is a perfect fit for our bedroom.  What do you think?  To really appreciate it, you must see it in person.  Thanks again, Marv, for such a special birthday gift!

My Birthday gift on our bed
My Birthday gift on our bed
A close-up of the quilt
A close-up of the quilt
Finished Product, Free Pattern, Gift Idea, Home Decor

Sewing with my Granddaughter, Belén

I always enjoy spending time with our granddaughters.  Last Friday, I had the pleasure of sharing the afternoon with our oldest granddaughter, Belén.  She loves to explore my sewing studio and is always eager to make something together.

Friday was no exception and while we were running an errand, Belén discovered the cutest princess fabric and convinced me that she just had to get some.  I suggested that we make her a princess pillowcase for her bed and she eagerly agreed.  Once we purchased the fabric,  we returned to Nana’s house and busily prepared to make the pillowcase.

Belén admiring the pattern for her new princess pillowcase.
Belén admiring the pattern for her new princess pillowcase.

There are several free pillowcase patterns (9 to be exact) at the Quilt Crossing blog site and we used my favorite, the Hot Dog Method pattern, because you achieve such a nice clean finish by using this method.

The completed princess pillow case
The completed princess pillow case

In no time at all, we had finished a princess pillow case for Belén.  She was so excited, she couldn’t wait to try it out, as you can see in the next picture!  Although, it will be a lot softer when she adds her own pillow inside the pillowcase!

B testing out her pillowcase
B testing out her pillowcase

 

 

 

B helping me sew her bracelet.
B helping me sew her bracelet.

 

 

 

We still had time to do one more project before taking Belén home.  Belén requested a personalized bracelet.  She loves to sit with me while I sew and is always such a big helper.  She gets so excited to choose the different decorative stitches to use to decorate her bracelet.

 

 

B' modeling her bracelet
B’ modeling her bracelet

It was definitely a fun afternoon with Belén and I don’t think it will be long before she will be sewing her very own projects.  Maybe, still with a little help from Nana!

photo (3) - compressed
Having fun at the sewing machine!
Hmmm, somehow the end of the sucker disappeared???
Hmmm, somehow the end of the lollipop disappeared???

What projects have you been sewing?  I’d love to hear about them too!

Happy Sewing!

Jane

Finished Product, Home Decor

An Apple A Day…

Recently I completed a wall quilt from Kim Schaefer’s Calendar Quilt Pattern.    Since this was the calendar quilt for September, the theme was “back to school” and included a large apple with the A, B, C’s.

Completed September Wall Quilt

The design is appliqued, so it’s important to plan each layer of the quilt, starting with the background blocks.  I began by cutting out the various blocks called for in the pattern.  Next, I laid out the cream colored background blocks and labeled each one in sequential order.  (I printed out a series of numbers and then cut them apart and pinned them to label my blocks, which helps me to keep them in order when I piece them together.  I have used these numbers over and over again in various other projects.)

Sewing the numbered background blocks together

Once the background blocks were pieced together, I laid out the apple and leaf applique pieces and then auditioned the various outside border blocks and moved them around until I found a pleasing combination.  Then I pinned the numbers to these blocks.

Laying out and numbering the outside blocks

When the outside blocks were pieced around the outer edge of the wall quilt, it was time to quilt the background.  I made a giant stipple stitch for this using a roller foot (if you have a Bernina machine, it is foot#55).  

Large stipple stitch used to quilt background

To quilt the outer blocks, I digitized an apple quilting design in my embroidery software and loaded it into my embroidery machine.  After setting up my embroidery module, I used my machine to quilt the outside blocks.  The apple outline was a simple design, but it was important to find the center for each block so the apple design would be positioned correctly in each outer block.   I used the clear plastic grid that came with my embroidery hoop and determined the correct layout for the center position and lightly marked the center for each block with an erasable marker.

Using the clear plastic grid to find the center of each block

Next, I carefully hooped a piece of tearaway stabilizer and again used the grid to find the center on the stabilizer and marked it.  I carefully cut away the stabilizer from the center of the hoop, leaving the surrounding stabilizer hooped. 

Hoop with stabilizer that has center trimmed away

I sandwiched the pieced calendar quilt top, batting and the backing and pinned the sandwich together to hold in place.  Then I centered each outside block, one at a time, in the cut out center of the hooped stabilizer and pinned each block in place.  Block by block, I embroidered the apple quilt pattern on the center of each outside block.

Stitching the apple quilt embroidery design on outer blocks

Since you are stitching through a 3-layer quilt, it is not necessary to have additional stabilizer, so that is why it is cut away from the center.  You still need to hoop the outer edges in order to provide a secure frame to pin each block as you embroider the apple onto it.

Quilted apple in center of blue outside block

When all the outside blocks were quilted with the apple design, it was time to applique the remaining pieces in place, using various decorative stitches from my machine.  It’s a good idea to test each stitch on some scrap/sample fabric first, adjusting the stitch length and width until you get the desired look and size for each stitch you use to applique.  It is amazing how much you can change the appearance of a stitch by making some minor adjustments.  Write down the stitch length and width you used on the stitch sample for future reference. 

Stitches used for the leaf and inner swirl of leaf

And, of course, the alphabet blocks also need to be stitched in place.

And the “core of the matter” as well as the apple seeds…

Apple core and seeds
Close-up of stitches

Once the applique stitches were complete, I cut a 2 1/4″ wide binding  and attached it to the outside of the mini quilt, mitering the corners.  The final finishing touch was an embroidered label…

Label for back of mini wall quilt

Last but not least, I tied and secured all the stitches and pulled them into the batting to hide the ends and the mini quilt was complete.  Here’s a picture of the finished project!  I can almost hear the school bell ringing; can you?

The finished wall quilt for September
Finished Product, Home Decor

A Helping Hand…

I always look forward to Monday morning when our granddaughter arrives at our doorstep to spend the day with Nana.  She is so much fun and always interested to be a part of my day.  It has been amazing to once again rediscover the world through her eyes.  Belén is very inquisitive and loves to “help” Nana with whatever I am doing.  She loves to watch me sew and a few yards of fabric will entertain her and her dollies.  We also cook together in the kitchen and when she sees I am making something, she’ll come in and ask to help.  Then the next word out of her mouth is “Apon” (for apron) and I fasten her little apron on and she is ready to be “Nana’s helper”.  I can’t think of a better way to spend the day.

Nana Jane with her helper, Belén

She is also a big helper at home, and I thought for Mother’s Day, it would be fun to make a personalized towel for her Mom, and my daughter, Alecia.  I traced Little B’s hand (not realizing I had created a game because now when she sees me holding a pen in my hand, she wants me to trace her hand again) and then she asked me to trace Nana’s hand too. 

Tracings of Belen's and Nana's hand

Later, when Belén was napping, I scanned the traced handprints and loaded them into my Bernina Designer Plus software.  Then I digitized Belén’s handprint and made it into an applique design.   I also added some text, “Mommy’s Helper, Belén” next to the handprint. 

Belen's digitized handprint in my Designer Plus Software

I chose a fun Kaffe Fassett print fabric for the appliqued handprint.  The handprint design consisted of:

a) Single stitch placement outline -I stitched this out first as it showed me where the fabric needed to be placed for the applique.

b) Tack down stitch – Next, I placed the fabric for the handprint on top of the placement outline and stitched a tack down stitch.  This is a single stitch that stitches on the edge of your applique handprint to hold it in place.

c) Satin stitch outline – The final step for the appliqued handprint was to do a satin stitch around the outside of the handprint to finish the applique.

Once the machine had stitched out the text, Mommy’s Helper, Belén, I added a bit of rick rack on the edge of the towel and my project was complete.

Finished "Mommy's Helper" towel

It was a fun project to make and Belén is so proud of “her” towel that she helped to make for Mommy.   She loves to place her handprint over the appliqued handprint and it just fits!   Her Mom, Alecia, liked the towel as well and it looks so cute in their kitchen.

Note:  If you don’t have an embroidery machine, you can still make a handprint towel.   One way to do it is:  a) trace the handprint onto paper backed fusible web; 2) iron the fusible web to fabric; 3) cut out the handprint; 4)fuse to background towel fabric; and 5) stitch around edge of handprint with a satin stitch.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like further details on this project.

Happy Sewing!

Finished Product, Home Decor

Resolution Time…

It’s hard to believe we are already into the New Year, isn’t it?  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  Now it’s time to make our resolutions for the new year and then roll up our sleeves and get started. 

The first project I had on my “To Do” list was for a friend of mine who recently moved into a new home.  When I told her I wanted to make her a “housewarming” gift, she asked if I would consider making her a cushion for her mud/dog room.  I thought that would be a fun project, and told her she would be my first project after the holidays. 

We met at our nearby Home Fabrics store and picked out some darling fabrics that were well suited for the room, including a nice striped pillow ticking-like fabric for the cording.  Next stop was to JoAnn’s to purchase the correct size foam (where we had them cut it approximately 1/2 inch less than the measurement of the actual space the cushion was to fit). 

I scheduled some studio time at Twigs and Twist, in order to use Gretel’s work table, which made it so much easier to lay out the fabric, etc.  Gretel does alot of upholstery work and gave me some great tips along the way as well and also showed me how to wrap the foam with a layer of batting to soften the the foam’s edges as well as help to make a snug fit on the finished cusion cover. 

After gettting my cording cut out on the bias and my foam wrapped in batting, I returned home to sew together my project.  It really went smoothly and I was pleased on the final outcome.  But, I let you see it for yourself…

The finished cushion
The finished cushion in it's new home...
Erin on her new cushion
Erin testing out her new cushion.

It feels good to have my first project complete and in its happy new home!