This spring, I was surprised when an innocent-looking mole I had turned out to be a basal cell carcinoma. It was a reminder of how important it is to protect ourselves from the sun. Wearing a sun hat is one way to do this, along with sun screen, etc. I thought that by personalizing and making hats for children from fabrics and colors they liked, they would be more inclined to wear them. The result was sun hats for both Belén and Eloise. After doing some research for a suitable pattern, I came across a great book entitled Children’s Sun Hats that contains 20 different projects for hats for lots of different occasions.
Apparently, the author, Gill Stratton, has always loved hats and attended the London School of Fashion to learn how to make hats. The book is well written with clear instructions and fun and innovative ideas.
The girls picked out their fabrics. Belen chose two coordinating prints in brown and pink and Eloise chose two prints with her favorite color… PURPLE! Here she is modeling her new sun hat.
And, of course, I had to also make a hat for her big sister, Belén, as well. Belén spent quite a bit of time choosing a variety of buttons to adorn her new sun hat.
It was so much fun that I decided to make a few more hats, including…
If you would like to learn how to make a sun hat, I will also be teaching classes on how to make Sun Hats at the Quilt Crossing (see page 8 of the newsletter for more details). The class is called Sun Hats for Boys and Girls and the next class is scheduled for Monday, July 21, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
These hats are very versatile and fun to personalize and they also provide good protection from the sun for children. Of course, with a few minor adjustments in size, they can also be worn by adults.
I hope you are enjoying this beautiful time of year.
The past several weeks have been a flurry of activity. I have had the privilege to not only teach a number of classes, but also to take several classes, which I will tell you more about in future blogs.
I was also asked by someone if I would be interested in teaching her 8 year old son, Liam, how to quilt. Upon meeting Liam, there was no question about the fact that he genuinely wanted to make a quilt for his stuffed animals. After I discussed potential projects, Liam, his Mom, Valerie, and I agreed upon a smaller quilt project that would be made from my pattern, B’s Big Girl Quilt.
Later in the week, Liam and Valerie met me at the Quilt Crossing where Liam carefully chose the fabrics he wanted to include in his quilt. He had very definite ideas about the colors, designs and was already sharing how he thought it should be quilted. This made for a very exciting afternoon and when he left, he had his fabric strips and borders ready for his first quilting class.
When Liam arrived for his first lesson, I initially spent quite a bit of time showing him how a sewing machine works as well as how to safely operate it. He was fascinated and asked a lot of good questions. Next, we used a design wall to lay out his fabric strips. This is a great way to audition the various colored strips to insure you achieve the look you want before you begin to sew the strips together. Then we sewed the strips together.
Liam carefully folded the individual strips to mark each strip’s center with a pin and then we matched the pins and began to sew the strips together. This took a real team effort as Liam was not tall enough to reach the foot pedal. So, he would push the pedal with his foot, while together we guided the fabric under the presser foot. We were quite a team!
Valerie was always there to cheer us on and Liam genuinely enjoyed showing her what he was accomplishing. Before long, we had the center section of the quilt sewn together.
We also had workbooks for Liam to read as well as exercises for him to complete between our weekly lessons. One week we focused on the different parts of the sewing machine, safety measures to follow when sewing, etc. Liam was not as excited about his homework as he was about the actual sewing each week.
During our next sewing session, we worked on the inside and then outside borders. We had great rhythm and teamwork on our sewing. Valerie captured Liam’s “pedal to the metal” in a photo while I was guiding the fabric through the presser foot above.
It was exciting to see the quilt come together, step by step. It wasn’t long before we had completed the quilt top. Liam was tickled to show off his completed quilt top! Next, we prepared the quilt back that Liam chose and layered the quilt top, batting and backing and pinned in place.
We brainstormed how Liam would like the quilting and he agreed it was okay for me to work on this between lessons. It was helpful because I had no doubt how he wanted me to quilt it. He asked for swirls and spirals and also specified that he would like a leaf quilted on it. In addition, he would like to have his name in the quilting instead of a separate label on the back of the quilt. Here’s what I did…
Liam was very excited to see the quilting I had completed and was quick to find all the items he had requested. During his final class, we attached the outside binding by machine and, “TA DA!” His quilt was complete! Congratulations, Liam! The most rewarding thing of all is that he is already talking about his next sewing project!
Note: This pattern was originally called the Microwave Bowl Holder, but has been changed to the “Insulated Bowl Holder”. It is the same pattern, the only change is the name and the suggestion to not cook food with it in the microwave to avoid any risk of fire. Instead carefully slip the hot bowl into the holder to protect your hands. These are also very popular to hold cold dishes as well. Enjoy!
Here’s the original blog that refers to the Microwave Bowl Holders…
No more burned fingers from hot bowls in your microwave!!!
I am pleased to announce my latest pattern – a pattern for Microwave Bowl Holders. No more burned fingers from hot bowls in the microwave! They also work great to insulate your hands from a cold dish of ice cream.
It is a fun pattern to make and instructions are included for 3 sizes: Small (fits average size cereal bowl), Medium (fits large soup bowl); and Large (fits 9-10″ bowl).
They stack and store easily and are very handy in the kitchen.
The pattern includes detailed instructions and illustrations that guide you through easy construction. You can make one from a fat quarter of fabric or several from a yard. You’ll be amazed at how quickly these holders come together and find yourself making several for yourself as well as family friends. And…. they are a GREAT gift idea!!!
In addition, they are easy to personalize, based on your fabric selections, and are reversible!
One of my customers told me that she uses one every night to hold her cold dish of ice cream – another great idea!
The pattern is available online at Craftsy as well as locally, here in Boise, at the Quilt Crossing.
Last but not least, they would also be a wonderful hostess gift during the holidays.
I hope you will try them out and, if you do, share some photos of your completed holders as I love to see completed projects from my patterns.
Fresh off the press!!! I’m excited to share my new pattern for a very handy item – a cake and casserole carrier. I made one for myself many years ago and after numerous requests, have recently made it into a pattern to share with others.
It is an easy to make pattern for a very practical item. If you make this for yourself, you will discover that this carrier will be one of your favorite items to use to transport hot dishes or cakes to your next picnic or social event.
The pattern includes 2 versions of the carrier and potholders. Instructions are included for 2 types of edge finishes, a bias trim edge as shown in the previous pictures and a serged edge finish as shown below.
It’s also a great gift idea that will be used over and over again. This pattern will quickly become one of your favorites and if you can’t find a pre-quilted fabric in the kitchen colors you want, you can simply make your own quilted fabric to use. What a great way to practice your free motion quilting.
This is also a great project to use a binder attachment, if you have one for your machine. I was able to make the models you see in the pictures using Bernina’s Binder Attachment #88 and it worked great.The pattern is currently available at Etsy and is also available locally in Boise at the Quilt Crossing.
I will be teaching a class using this pattern on Tuesday, June 12th at the Quilt Crossing, which should be a lot of fun. I need to caution you, this pattern can be addictive! Happy Sewing…Jane
When it was time for our granddaughter, Belén, to transition from the nursery to a new room, I volunteered to make her a quilt for her new bedroom. Her Mom, Alecia, had purchased a darling rug for the room and I wanted to pull out some of the colors from that rug.
I also wanted to make it a colorful, but simple design, so I designed a strip quilt. When I completed the quilt, I was encouraged by Patty, one of the owners of the Quilt Crossing, to publish a pattern and also to teach a class. I agreed to do so and that is how my very first pattern, B’s Big Girl Quilt, came to be.
I had the pattern available as a handout for students of my class, but had not yet finalized the graphics and final layout for distribution. My students enjoyed making this quilt and it was so much fun to see the different looks they achieved by varying their color schemes.
In December, my daughter, Alecia, and I were talking about the status of my pattern and she asked me to send her a copy of the draft, so she could review it. We also set a deadline when I needed to deliver the finished product as I work better when I have a deadline. I sent her the almost-completed pattern on the agreed upon date and we set up a time after Christmas to get together for final formatting. What I didn’t know is that she passed this information along to her sister, Anna Marie, who had drawn my name for Christmas. Anna then proceeded to work with my draft, along with some pictures Alecia took of the quilt, and finalized the format on her Mac to complete my very first pattern. In addition, she set up an Etsy site as one means to distribute my patterns. When I opened my gift, there was a lovely red portfolio. Inside it contained:a draft copy of the pattern, a CD with all the final files, copies of information on my Etsy account all neatly filed behind tabs entitled “Etsy” and “B’s Big Girl Quilt”. At first I was confused, then overwhelmed, amazed and so delighted!!! What an amazing gift from an even more amazing daughter…
Once I had recovered from opening my gifts, Anna asked me to review the pattern and suggested we get together for final format changes, etc. Yesterday, we met to do so, as well as train me a bit on Pages, a Mac word processing program that was used for this pattern. We also updated a few things on my Etsy account, etc.
So today, I am pleased to announce the publication of my first pattern, B’s Big Girl Quilt.
It is a great pattern for a beginner to learn quilting or also a quick pattern for a more experienced seamstress. The pattern includes instructions for both a twin and baby quilt.
If you are interested in purchasing the pattern, you can obtain it for $7.99 at my Etsy site by clicking on Etsy or you once you are on the Etsy site, simply type in “big girl quilt” as a search and it will come up, usually in the second row. (It has been tested by students in two classes at Quilt Crossing, but I welcome any additional feedback you have.)
I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Mine was very special this year and I’m overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and work that went into my gifts. The best gift of all though was spending time with my amazing family.
As you know, I LOVE to sew. I have been sewing for probably 52 of my 59 years and loved to sew for my girls as they grew up. Then I discovered a whole new world in quilting, first by tying quilts with my Grandma Sveen and then exploring the world of machine quilted quilts, etc. Now, I have the joy of sewing for two beautiful granddaughters. I’ve always hoped to teach my daughters to sew, but life was busy when they were growing up and they never expressed an interest in learning how to sew.
Recently, however, my daughter, Alecia, asked me if I would teach her how to sew. I was thrilled and excited to do so. It was an ideal time for her to learn since she is on maternity leave with her new baby, Eloise, and Belén, her two-year-old, is in daycare during the day. This gave her some time to learn the A, B, C’s of sewing.
She had mentioned her sewing interest to Andy, her husband, last spring. In response, he asked me to put together a sewing basket for her that he gave to her as a surprise Mother’s Day gift. I had an extra sewing machine and sewing table for her to use, so we were ready to begin.
In addition, she had her own built in cheerleader, Miss Eloise. Who I was thrilled to help care for during our lessons.
Our first projects included a receiving blanket, with hemmed edges. Next, Alecia made 4 burp cloths and has since given a couple of these to friends as part of their baby shower gifts.
Her next project was a small dress for Miss Eloise. You can access the free pattern for the Itty Bitty Baby dress on the Made by Rae blog. It is not only an adorable dress pattern, but is also pretty basic and a good beginner pattern for Alecia.
I have quite a collection of fabric and Alecia was able to find some dress fabric for her pattern. We decided to make the basic dress, without trim. Once she prewashed her fabric, she carefully pinned out the pattern pieces onto the fabric, following the grain line, and then cut them out. Next, she did a great job of finishing her seams with a zigzag stitch for both the bodice and skirt pieces of the dress. Then she stitched two rows of long basting stitches at the top of the skirt and gently pulled them to gather the skirt. Once she sewed the skirt to the bodice, she tacked the bodice lining piece down with her final seam and Eloise’s dress was complete.
Once the dress was finished, we were so excited to put it on Eloise. We learned a valuable lesson at this point, the pattern is called the “Itty Bitty Baby Dress” for a reason, it is a small pattern and even though we measured Eloise, and the dress should have fit, it barely squeezed on her. Perhaps Little E had grown a bit since we started. Eloise was very accommodating though and was able to wear it long enough to model for this picture.
Since it is a bit of a challenge to work on smaller, little pattern pieces, for Alecia’s current project, we are making her some pajama pants for herself. It is so much fun to see her grow more comfortable with using the sewing machine and understanding some of the fundamentals of sewing. She is a quick learner and seems to enjoy sewing.
I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing this time with Alecia. Sewing has always been a passion of mine and, therefore, I was so excited when she expressed an interest to learn how to sew. It is my hope to not only teach Alecia how to sew but to also share the amazing possibilities that sewing can provide. It enables you to unleash your creative side and constantly explore ideas and develop new methods, always learning along the way.
On the sentimental side, I know that my original sewing mentor, my Grandma Magdalena Sveen, is somewhere up in heaven smiling as she watches Alecia, Eloise and I sew. Maybe some day, my youngest daughter, Anna Marie, will join us as well.
Now that we are back from a wonderful vacation to Montana, which included an incredible Art Quilt Class with Ruth McDowell (future post), I had to get busy on some pending projects. One included a cute new dress for Miss Belén. (There is also one in the works for Eloise that I will share with you in a future post.) Quilt Crossing has some darling new patterns they will be sharing at this Sunday’s Market Party, including one from Olive Ann Designs called “Peaceout”. I thought it was so clever how they use the zipper in the front as a design element.
I chose some adorable owl fabric with a bright yellow background to use for the dress because yellow is Belén’s favorite color. When I laid out the pattern, I thought I had the correct piece selected for the yellow so that it would be the prominent front piece on the pattern. As I began to sew the jumper together, however, I discovered that I had, in fact, cut it out as the piece that lies under the front piece. Once I completed the jumper, I felt it needed something more.
I thought about adding rickrack to the neckline edge, but I really wanted to highlight the cute owl fabric. So, I decided to add a pocket. This would help to highlight the owl fabric and once I had made a pocket pattern piece the correct size (which I more or less guessed on), I carefully fussy cut the yellow pocket piece so that it included one of the cute owls. I also added a bit of red rickrack to highlight the red zipper.
I lined the pocket with the same fabric I used in the lining of the jumper and sewed it on the front of the jumper. Once again, I guessed as to the location for the pocket and tried to position it so that it would be accessible for little hands to reach.
I think the pocket did add a little something to the jumper. Here’s the finished jumper – what do you think?
Now that we’re back, I’ll be busy posting a number of ideas that I discovered on our trip, the next Stitcher’s Garden block of the month, as well as share the fun time I have been having teaching our daughter, Alecia, how to sew.
Hope you are having a wonderful month of June! Happy Sewing!!!
(Note: I also made this jumper in a larger size to be used as a pattern model for Quilt Crossing. The pattern also includes a dress pattern for the doll, so you can make the doll a matching jumper. As mentioned before, the doll can be purchased as a separate pattern. Next time you are in the store, check it out!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are delighted to share that our new granddaughter, Eloise Mae Hoobing, was born on May 1 at 4:45 a.m., weighing 7 lbs., 12 oz. and measuring 21 3/4 inches. We are so thankful that mother and granddaughter are both doing great!
While Mom, Dad and new baby were at the hospital, we had the pleasure of watching the newborn’s big sister, Belén, who turned two just last Thursday. She was an absolutely delightful little house guest. She seemed a bit uncertain about the new member of the family when we visited the hospital, but after a couple visits, I think she began to understand that her baby sister was now a part of the family.
Yesterday, Belén and I decided to make a boppy pillow cover for her new baby sister. The boppy pillow that Alecia had was covered with a cotton cover. We thought it would be nice to have a softer minkee cover for Baby Eloise to lay on.
In April, Alecia found a boppy cover pattern at a blog called Vanilla Joy. I used the pattern (pieces 1-6), but instead of putting a zipper on the backside of the cover, as the author instructed, I put the zipper on the outside seam line. I cut two identical pieces for the front and back side of the boppy cover and then put a 22″ zipper in the center of the back seamline. This enables you to use both sides of the pillow cover to lay the baby on for support.
Here’s a link to the Vanilla Joy blog that provides the pattern and more details on how to make the cover, with a zipper on the back side. We appreciate the use of the pattern and great instructions. You can decide which position you prefer to have the zipper in and plan accordingly.
Above is a picture of the completed cover and two very special people who will be using it.
March is Month 2 of the Stitcher’s Garden Block A Month that I started last month. The design for this month consisted of a large sunflower with 4 corner block designs.
Once again, you begin by quilting the background of the block first. This month I used a serpentine stitch to quilt the background. If you have a pattern begin feature on your sewing machine, use it when you start each line of stitching of your background as it will help to keep your stitches even. It is a good idea to practice on an extra piece of fabric so you can adjust your stitches the way you want them to look before you stitch on your block.
Once the background was complete, I fused the applique pieces for the sunflower onto the block and then stitched them with various decorative stitches. It’s fun to experiment with the different stitches your machine has as you can really get creative and come up with some great variations of your decorative stitches to use on your applique pieces.
The corner blocks are made by layering 2 circles of fabric and then cutting them into 4 equal pie shape pieces. Next, you applique each pie shape piece into the corners of the quilt block, stitching in place with another decorative stitch.
Once done, stitch on the outside border and voila… your block is finished!
It’s always fun to go to class and see what some of the other students have done. I love to see how they interpreted the block.