Children, Family, Finished Product, Gift Idea, Kitchen Accessories, Special gifts

Timeless Pattern for Special Someones…

 

Occasionally, you discover a pattern that is simply timeless.  Even though fashions continually evolve and change, the strong appeal of these designs remains and stands the test of time.  Such is the case for one of my favorite apron patterns from the Retro Aprons pattern booklet  from Cindy Taylor Oates of Taylor Made Designs.

In 2006, a pattern booklet for Retro Aprons was published and quickly became a very popular pattern.  I especially appreciated the way Cindy used the rick rack trim to finish the edges of Apron A, my favorite version of her retro aprons pattern booklet.  Here’s a brief overview of how to create a finished edge with rickrack.

1) Place rickrack next to the finished edge on the right side of the fabric and attach the rickrack by stitching down the center of the trim.
2) Fold under rickrack and edge of fabric and press.
3) Using thread to match fabric, topstitch through all layers, 1/16″ from folded fabric edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) You begin by placing rickrack next to the finished edge on the right side of the fabric and stitch through the center of rickrack with thread that matches the rickrack trim.

2) Fold under the rickrack and edge of fabric and press.

3) Using thread to match apron fabric, topstitch through all layers 1/16″ from folded fabric edge.

4) This creates a hem, where 1/2 of the rickrack will be showing.

This is such a great way to not only add a bit of color and trim to your apron, but it also finishes the edge of your apron.  This method can be used in a variety of ways to finish other sewing projects as well.

As you know, I love rickrack and I’ve made dozens of aprons from this pattern.  They make great gifts for your favorite hostess, a wonderful wedding gift and you can also make mother/daughter matching aprons too!

In 2007, Cindy released the “Little Retro Aprons for Kids” Pattern booklet.  This pattern resized the styles from her first apron book to provide the same styles for children.  It also included an adorable apron pattern for 18″ dolls.

 

Little Retro Aprons for Kids, 2007

Recently, I asked my granddaughters what they wanted for their birthdays this year.

Alecia putting her Retro Apron to good use

Since they have outgrown their “Disney Frozen” aprons, they both asked if I would make them a new apron and they wanted it to look like “Mommy’s apron”, which I had made several years ago for my oldest daughter.

It just so happened, I made Alecia’s apron from the original Retro Aprons pattern and I was delighted to be able to make similar aprons for my granddaughters.  I also decided to surprise them and make matching aprons for their American Girls dolls.

They each chose the fabric for their apron and it was so fun to see how the fabric they chose really fit their personalities.  I had a stack of fabric for them to choose from and Belen chose the red print fabric I would have chosen for her.  Eloise found a cute, more modern fabric, for her apron and I got to choose the color of the rickrack trim for each of their aprons.

Me and the girls with their Retro aprons on.

On the morning of their birthday celebration (Belen and Eloise had a joint celebration with the family), the girls were delighted with their aprons. Belen chose not to have a pocket on her apron, but Eloise wanted a pocket.  They were THRILLED with the matching aprons I made for their dolls and Eloise was delighted to pose with her doll in its matching apron.  What a fun birthday gift for the girls and their dolls!

Eloise with her matching playmate

 

Eloise’s apron (with a pocket) next to the doll aprons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What spring projects have you been working on lately?  It is such a great time of year to be sewing!

Happy stitching!

 

Jane

 

Beginner Sewing Project, Finished Product, Free Pattern, Gift Idea, Holidays

Gift Ideas for Most Any Occasion

I’m always looking for ways to personalize my holiday gifts each year.  One easy way to do so, is to choose a themed fabric that is meaningful for the recipient.  I want to share a few gifts I made this year for Christmas, because all of these gifts could be used for most any occasion throughout the year.  Some of them have free links to free patterns.  Here are a few gift ideas to consider:

Burrito or Roll It Up Pillowcase

Choose a themed fabric and add complementing fabric for trim and cuffs.

Pillowcases are always a great gift and with the clever roll-it-up or burrito method, you can make a pillowcase in no time at all.  A great source for a free can be found at the All People Quilt site for American Patchwork and Quilting

You will be amazed at how quickly they sew together and they really are a lot of fun to make.

Ten Minute Table Runner

Several table runners folded in half lengthwise

This popular free pattern has been around for several years and is another great gift idea.  It only requires 1/3 yard of focus fabric and 1/2 yard for your border and background.

You can get a free pattern for this fast and easy project at the Utah State University Cooperative Extension website.

You can achieve some interesting variations depending on whether you fold the fabric to the front or the back when sewing the final end points as shown in the following photo.

End points folded to the front on the top table runner and to the back on the bottom table runner.

 

Have a good time choosing your fabrics and customizing your table runners.  This is a great beginner pattern and can be somewhat addictive!

 

 

 

Hopeful Hatchlings (Stuffed Animals)

There is a darling new book called Hopeful Hatchlings by Jessica George from the Sweet Brian Sisters.  The book that has patterns and instructions for 10 adorable baby animals. Each of the animals will fit inside a Zipper Egg and a pattern for the egg is also included in the book.

Our granddaughters were very quick to point out their favorite animal in the book.  I told them their selections would be part of their Christmas gifts.

Eloise chose Paddy the Penguin in her egg
Belén’s favorite was Dalton the Dragon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose a fun fabric for your eggs to complement the little animal who will live within.

These really are a lot of fun to make and the girls were thrilled to get theirs as you can see.

Eloise her Paddy Penguin
Belén with her Dalton the Dragon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think there were be other Hopeful Hatchlings hatching around our house for future occasions.  They really are quite charming and somewhat addictive!

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season and will be able to try some of these gift ideas.

Happy Stitching!

Jane

 

Finished Product, Gift Idea

Customized Jean Jackets for the Girls

 

B’s Koala Bear Jacket Back

It’s always fun to repurpose a piece of clothing and, at the same time, do something that personalizes it for someone special.  Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of watching our granddaughters, Belen and Eloise.  When I was asked what “project” we were going to work on that day, I suggested that we decorate some jean jackets.  They loved the idea and we went to a second-hand store and the girls each found a jacket that fit them.

B’s jacket was originally trimmed with some lace appliqués and a lace trim, which were pretty worn.

B’s jacket was originally trimmed with some lace appliqués and a lace trim, which were pretty worn.  She asked if she could help me remove these trim pieces before we washed the jackets.

Belen using a seam ripper to remove a lace embellishment

 

I showed her how to use a seam ripper to remove the lace trims and she was eager to help – she did a great job and in no time at all, her jean jacket was clear of trims and ready for the washer.

 

Eloise helping to hang the preshrunk fabric

 

Eloise “test driving” her Halloween costume

The girls thought about what and how they wanted to embellish their new jackets.  They chose various fabrics to use to in an appliqué for the back of each jacket.

Eloise wanted to assist too, so she helped me pre-shrink and hang fabric to dry.

After the jackets had been laundered, we were ready to begin stitching.

Stitching on Eloise’s jacket back

Eloise also tried on her fairy Halloween costume for a fitting.

Eloise found a fabric with animals from the Quilt Crossing that she fell in love with.  We decided to appliqué it to the back of her jacket.  I backed the fabric with a piece of batting and quilted around the design and stipple stitched the background, to help bring out the animals in the design.

Belen was busy drawing a Koala Bear for her jacket

 

Meanwhile, Belen was busy drawing a design for the back of her jacket.  She decided to draw a koala bear.  While I was stitching Eloise’s jacket, the girls took a play break and had some fun on the swings and played with Toby.

Such a beautiful afternoon, we just had to take a walk and play on the swings!

We finished Eloise’s jacket that afternoon and she was thrilled to model it.  We decided to add a small elephant on the front of her jacket, for a little added interest.

 

 

Raw edge appliqué of the elephant on the front
Eloise was thrilled with her finished jacket

 

Belen and I discussed how she wanted her koala appliquéd onto her jacket.  I found the perfect piece of fabric in my stash for the inner ears of her koala.  For the body and tree, I used various shades of gray grunge fabric and a piece of black grunge for the koala’s nose.

 

 

Tracing B’s koala bear to make appliqué pieces.

I enlarged her drawing about 20% and traced each of the appliqué pieces by placing her drawing, wrong-side-up, onto a light box.  I left ample room around each piece so that they could be easily cut apart and then fused to the back of the relevant appliqué fabric.

The light box made it easy to “fussy-cut” the ear pieces so that I could take advantage of the fabric’s design.  I rotated each ear piece to take advantage of the spherical design on the fabric.

It was fun to see her bear come to life as each piece was trimmed.  I shared a photo of the project with Belen and she was excited.

Fussy cutting the ear fabric was made easier by using a light box.
Previewing the koala bear pieces, before fusing

Next, I fused the koala bear and tree appliqué pieces to the back of Belen’s jacket.I began with the tree in the background and carefully placed the koala paws in the appropriate place, so that it looked like the bear was holding onto the tree trunk.  I also fused the little paws from the right side of the trunk that B had drawn.

The design was first fused to the jacket back

 

Appliquéing the koala onto the jacket back

Next, I free-motion stitched the perimeter of the bear with a gray thread and stitched so that the bear looked like he had a furry fringe around it.  Once that was complete, I outlined the bear again with black thread, to highlight the features of the bear’s face, arms and legs, etc.  The final stitching was the bear eyes and a sweet little smile and the bear was done!  Next, I stitched the tree with a gray and brown variegated thread.

It’s always fun to use a variety of colors of fabric and thread to build your appliqué.
The finished back of B’s jacket.

 

 

The highlight, of course, was to show Belen her finished jacket.  She was thrilled and said, “Oh Nana, I’m so proud of myself!”  She said she didn’t think her drawing would look as good as it did in an appliqué.

 

 

Belen, tickled pink in her jacket.
Eloise posing in her jacket – she was so tickled!

 

Here the girls are modeling their jackets.  This was a very fun project that you too could do.  It was especially fun to have the girls so involved in the process.  Best of all, they loved the finished project and it sure was a lot of fun to spend time with them.

 

What have you been busy sewing?  I would love to hear about your projects!

Now it is time for us to get focused back on Halloween.  I’ll share some ideas and what costumes we’re creating in a future blog.

Happy Sewing,

Jane

 

Children, Finished Product, Free Pattern, Gift Idea

The Giving Bunny

When school adjourns for the summer each spring, I look forward to the extra time I get to spend with Belen and Eloise.

The special message on B’s rock
B’s special rock with a cute camping scene on the front

Friday before last, I was pleased to spend the day with them.   While we were running a few errands together, Belen found a painted rock that had been planted for someone to discover.

The front of the rock had been painted with a camping scene and the back was lettered with instructions, “Boise Rocks – Post pic, keep or re-hide.”  The girls were fascinated by this little gift and we too thought it would be fun to leave some little gifts for strangers.

I told them about the Giving Bunny I had seen on Urban Threads.  If you go to Urban Threads’ website and click on their “Freebie” link, you can download either a machine or hand embroidery design for The Giving Bunny.  Under the Instructions link for this design, there is an explanation… “Here’s how it works: Download the FREE Giving Bunny design, available in two sizes for machine embroidery, as well as a PDF pattern for hand-stitchers.  Stitch up as many bunnies as you please. Dress ’em up if you like, give them names, attach a tag to each to introduce them to the world, and then leave them in public spaces for someone to find.”

The girls and I thought it would be fun to make some bunnies to give away, so we stitched several bunnies out of an ivory polar fleece.  Both Belen and Eloise had fun printing the names for each of their bunnies on little tags that told the story of the Giving Bunnies.

Eloise posing with some of her “Giving Bunnies”
B with a couple of her bunnies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We printed off a template for the tags that Urban Threads provides and attached one to each bunny with small safety pins.  Belen added an additional note to the back of her tag that read, ” Hope your bunny finds a nice home!  Belen.

Belen added a note to the back of her tags
A finished bunny with his special tag

Once we finished making several bunnies, we packed them up as it was time to take Belen to her Writing Camp at the Cabin Writing Center near downtown.

After we dropped off Belen, Eloise and I thought it would be a good idea to hide some of the bunnies near the Ann Frank Memorial grounds. Eloise was very particular about where she wanted to place each of her Giving Bunnies.

Eloise initially put a bunny in the Ann Frank statue’s hand, but decided to relocate this one.

Initially, she wanted to put a bunny in the hand of the Ann Frank statue, but later decided to relocate this bunny.  Next she tried a couple other spots around the Memorial grounds.

Eloise hid hers first, while Belen attended a Writing Camp at the Cabin

She was so excited to see who would be the first to discover one of her Giving Bunnies, so she hid behind a grove of trees to watch.

Eloise waiting for someone to discover one of her bunnies

While she was watching, she did not see anyone find one of her bunnies.  We decided to leave and go and get an ice cream cone and check on her bunnies when we returned for Belen’s reading at the Cabin.

Eloise gave a lot of thought as to where to hide her bunnies.

When we returned, one of her bunnies was gone.  She was thrilled and decided to relocate the remaining bunnies in a place where they would be a little more visible.

Hmmmm, this tree was a great place to perch a bunny

We put out a few more bunnies and went to watch Belen read one of her writings from Writing Camp.

Belen did an amazing job and we were so proud of not only her poem, but also how confidently she read it in front of a large crowd of people.  Alecia and Andy joined us to watch Belen too.  She was the first presenter.

Belen reading a piece she had written at Writing Camp

After Belen was finished, we told Mommy and Daddy about the Giving Bunnies and  Eloise helped Belen hide a few of her bunnies.

Ready to stage their bunnies

The girls had such a good time finding the “perfect” spot for each of their bunnies and talked about who might discover them.  It really was a very fun and exciting adventure.

When Mom met up with us later, the girls were eager to tell her about their Giving Bunnies

What projects have you been working on?  It is so much fun to be outdoors with all this beautiful weather.

I hope you are having a great summer and look forward to hearing about any projects you have been working on.

Happy Stitching!

Jane

Finished Product

A Special Gift for Morgan

Our Mother, Hazel Margaret Johnson, was a registered nurse.  A profession that she was extremely proud of and one she was a very good at.  As a child, I loved to watch her prepare for work, putting on her white dress, white nylons and starched nurse cap.  It was a site to behold – she looked so professional and I was so proud!

One of the things I inherited from her was a monogrammed pair of her bandage scissors, which I was very pleased to own.

Mom's bandage scissors with her initials
Mom’s bandage scissors with her initials

A couple weeks ago, our niece and Goddaughter, Morgan, finished her nursing school.  There was a traditional pinning ceremony scheduled in Fargo, ND to recognize Morgan and her fellow nursing graduates.  We would have loved to attend, but due to weather and road conditions, we were unable to do so.  Instead, I decided to gift Morgan my mother’s scissors.   It seemed like the appropriate time to pass them on and I’m pretty sure my Mom would be pleased with this decision.  I also felt that Morgan would recognize and appreciate this gift as she has many fond memories of Grandma Johnson.

In order to present the gift appropriately, I felt I needed to make a case for the scissors and also wanted to make an apron, now that she should have a bit more time to spend in the kitchen.

Perfect nursing fabric
Perfect nursing fabric

 

We recently received a beautiful nursing print at the Quilt Crossing and I felt it would be the perfect fabric for her gifts.

 

 

 

 

Adding the trim to Morgan's apron with lots of "hearts and hugs"
Adding the trim to Morgan’s apron with lots of “hearts and hugs”

 

I also found a “love and hugs” fabric for the trim of her apron.  The designs are batiked, so a little off grain, but it worked well to trim the nursing fabric and had the right sentiment.

 

 

 

 

I also lined the scissors case with the trim fabric
I also lined the scissors case with the trim fabric
Stitching out the scissors case in the hoop
Stitching out the scissors case in the hoop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I purchased an “in-the-hoop” scissors case embroidery design online. This design was for a 4″ scissors, so I stretched the length of the design 3″ in my embroidery software to make it longer to accommodate the bandage scissors.  I hooped the stabilizer, then floated the front of the scissors case on top of the stabilizer.  Next I carefully positioned the lining fabric in place.

img_3451
Scissors nestled into the case
The scissors case closed
The scissors case closed

I embroidered Morgan’s name to the flap of the scissors case and found the perfect button for the loop closure in my collection of antique buttons.  The case was finished!

 

Now it was time to make the apron, using my Anna’s Apron pattern.  I loved how the trim finished the edges of the apron and made it “pop”!  Soon the apron was complete!

Sewing on the trim to the apron
Sewing on the trim to the apron
The apron and scissors case
The apron and scissors case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last, but not least I wrote Morgan a letter telling her about my mother’s bandage  scissors and congratulating her on her accomplishments.

Morgan's letter
Morgan’s letter

The items were packaged up for shipment at UPS and they were on their way, with a guarantee that they would arrive in time for her pinning ceremony.

A few days later, I received word the package arrived safely.  There was a wonderful celebration for Morgan and I felt like we were a part of it, although remotely.  The next day, Morgan called to thank me for the gifts – she was delighted and touched!  A couple days after that, my brother sent me this picture of beautiful Morgan in her apron.

Morgan in her apron
Morgan in her apron

We’re so very proud of Morgan and so pleased for her… and I think that her Grandma Hazel is also smiling and that too warms my heart.

Hope you had a wonderful New Years and “Happy 2017!”

Happy Stitching,

Jane

 

Finished Product

It Takes a Village… or at least a Grade School, Girl Scouts and Volunteers

A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to participate at our granddaughter, Belen’s, school.  Wendi, the school counselor was helping to plan a sewing project where the children would help to make pillowcases for the Ryan’s Case for Smiles organization (formerly ConKerr Cancer) and to celebrate the delivery of the one millioneth pillow case.  This is an amazing organization that began when Cindy Kerr began making pillowcases for her 12-year-old son, Ryan, to brighten up his hospital room and put a smile on his face during his cancer treatments.  Currently, they have over a hundred chapters and thousands of volunteers who provide nearly 50,000 hospitalized children with pillowcases every year.  Yesterday was National PJ Party and Pillowcase Delivery Day to hospitalized children across the country.

Some of the finished pillowcases proudly displayed
Some of the finished pillowcases proudly displayed

Students wore their PJ’s and sewed pillowcases on Wednesday.  I agreed to help and recruited Becky Roberts, a colleague from Quilt Crossing, to help sew the pillow cases.  [For many years, Quilt Crossing has served as a hub  where folks can donate their left over or stash fabrics to a Fabric Bank, where, in turn, charitable organizations can pick up the donated fabric for projects (like Ryan’s Case for Smiles).]

Our jobs were made much easier, thanks to the Girl Scouts of the Silver Sage Council Troops 444 and 826 who raised more than $200 and helped to collect materials to sew the cases to benefit Ryan’s Case for Smiles.

Becky and I checking out our "Station 1"
Becky and I checking out our “Station 1”
Step 1 - Pick out your fabric
Step 1 – Pick out your fabric

 

Becky and I were part of “Station 1” where we sewed the initial seams for each pillowcase.

 

 

 

 

The first step for the children was to pick up a pillowcase kit that was already rolled and pinned at the “Step 1” table.  There were such a great variety to choose from and the Girl Scouts had  rolled and pinned each pillow case so it was ready to sew.

 

Preparing our machine for the onslaught of students with their pillowcases.
Preparing our machine for the onslaught of students with their pillowcases.

 

There were 2 other ladies at Station 1 and we readied are machines so that we could establish a sewing production line.  As children were released for noon break, they picked up their pillowcase kits and headed our way for Step 1 of the pillow-making process.

 

Explaining how we were going to sew the seam to Belen and her classmate
Explaining how we were going to sew the seam to Belen and her classmate

 

 

Students were paired up and together would bring his/her pillowcase to us to sew the first seam.  We would take a few seconds to explain what we were going to do and then invite the students to take turns stepping on the foot pedal of the sewing machine, so they could be a part of sewing process.

 

Sewing with Belen was a lot of fun
Sewing with Belen was a lot of fun

 

 

One of the bonuses for me was to get to sew with my granddaughter, Belen.  She and her classmate did a great job of helping me to sew their pillowcase as you can see in the picture.

 

 

Look closely to see her foot on the foot pedal
Look closely to see her foot on the foot pedal

 

 

Many of the children really got in the sewing process.  A number of them asked if they could sit down and sew the seams, which we were not able to allow as there were just too many children to teach each of them to sew at this event.

 

Becky astonishing a student with her talents!
Becky astonishing a student with her talents!

 

 

 

I was able to capture one little girl who was in awe when Becky helped to sew her pillow case.

 

 

Keakua was very interested to watch as his pillowcase was being constructed.
Keakua was very interested to watch as his pillowcase was being constructed.

 

 

 

It was fun to see some of the children I have met in Belen’s class.  Keakua was very interested as his pillowcase was being constructed.

 

 

Turn, Iron and Pin Station
Turn, Iron and Pin Station

 

 

From Station 1, the next step was to go to Station 2 to “Turn, Iron and Pin the pillow cases.  In no time at all there were long lines forming at this station.

Children turning their pillow cases inside out
Children turning their pillow cases inside out

 

 

 

The children got very excited at this point because they could really see that their pillow cases coming together.

 

 

Workers at the final Station 3
Workers at the final Station 3

 

 

The final Station 3 was where the last two seams of the pillow cases were sewn.  This completed the construction for each pillow case.  Once we finished all the Station 1 pillow cases, we also converted to another Station 3 to help finish up all the cases.

Completed pillow cases, Take 1
Completed pillow cases, Take 1

 

 

 

When the cases were finished, they were hung on long clotheslines in front of the school.  It really was a site to see!

 

 

 

Completed Pillow Cases, Take 2
Completed Pillow Cases, Take 2

 

 

I loved how colorful the cases were and there were color schemes and themes for both boys and girls.  They are definitely going to light up some children’s hospital rooms!

 

 

Take 3!
Take 3!

I felt honored to be a part of this worthwhile and fun event for Ryan’s Case for Smiles.  If you would like to learn more about this amazing organization, visit the website for Ryan’s Case for Smiles.  They have information on how you too can get involved to help make the world a little bit brighter!

Happy Sewing,

Jane

Some of the children posing after school with the completed pillow cases
Some of the children posing after school with the completed pillow cases

A couple folks sent me links to the KTVB news article that aired on Tuesday’s 6:00 news.  You can view it at their website at KTVB.com.

P.S. – There were a lot of folks involved in putting together this incredible project.  I have pictures of only a few as we were busy sewing most of the time.  Thanks to all of you who contributed to make this such a fun and successful project, including the Girl Scouts and their leaders for all the prep work.

 

Finished Product

Sew Much Fun at College of Idaho

My Beginner Strip Quilting Class members
My Beginner Strip Quilting Class members – Elaine, Lindsey, myself, Letitia and her daughter, Anne, Stacey and her Mom, Suzi

It’s hard to believe that we have completed our first ever quilting class at College of Idaho. It was so much fun and I had a great group of delightful ladies who completed their quilt tops with much enthusiasm.

Stacey working on strip placement
Stacey working on strip placement
Anne auditioning her layout
Anne auditioning her layout

It was so much fun to work with everyone as they constructed their strip quilts.  For some, it was their very first time ever at a sewing machine and for others, it had just been awhile since they had worked on a sewing project.  Irregardless, they all were so excited to be there working together towards a common goal.  The majority of the quilts were made as gifts for other people, which was very special indeed.

Letitia and her daughter, Anne, reviewing Letitia's quilt top layout
Letitia and her daughter, Anne, reviewing Letitia’s quilt top layout
Suzanne's (Stacey's Mom) completed quilt top
Suzanne’s (Stacey’s Mom) completed quilt top

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were 2 mother/daughter teams who worked on quilts together.  It was fun to watch them share ideas and opinions as their tops evolved.

Demonstrating how to miter a corner
Demonstrating how to miter a corner
Sharing ways to join the ends of the binding
Sharing ways to join the ends of the binding

 

 

 

 

 

 

We spent a lot of time reviewing the fundamentals of quilt making and during the final class the students created their own custom binding and learned how to bind a quilt with mitered corners.

Letitia and Stacey
Letitia and Stacey
Elaine working on her lovely lap quilt
Elaine working on her lovely lap quilt

 

There was also plenty of time to visit and get to know one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As well as time to be creative and explore new ideas…

 

 

 

 

 

For the last class, the College of Idaho Newsletter asked to visit the class and interview some of the students.  We were asked to wear our purple t-shirts.  Justine Daime, a staff photographer, took several photos and some of them are included in this blog post (Thanks, Justine).  If you would like to read the newsletter article, you can do so at this link to the College of Idaho Newsletter.

Posing for the Photographer
Posing for the Photographer

The class was also proud to share their completed quilt tops as you can see below…

Letitia and her daughter, Anne.
Letitia and her daughter, Anne.
Stacey, Letitia and Lindsey with their lovely tops
Stacey, Letitia and Lindsey with their lovely tops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This pattern is so much fun to make because each and every quilt has its own personality.  Letitia and Lindsey even began the class using the same jelly rolls, but their quilt tops were very unique because of their unique layouts and choices for borders and bindings.

Me with my original class sample completed quilt
Me with my original class sample completed quilt
Suzi having a good time!
Suzi having a good time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The room and facilities at the College of Idaho were wonderful.  We had lots of space to work on our projects and enjoyed the incredible light in the Shannon Library.  It really was a wonderful class and best of all, everyone seemed to have a genuinely good time.

I am so very proud of my students’ accomplishments and really enjoyed working with each and every one of them.  It was a privilege to have this opportunity and I’m looking forward to my next paper piecing class that begins next Monday, July 20th.  If you would like more information about this class, you can read more about it at the Summer Program page.

I hope you are enjoying your summer and would love to hear about any sewing projects you have been working on.

Happy Sewing!

Jane

Finished Product

A Bouquet of Felt Daisies

Bouquet of Happy Faced Daisies
Bouquet of Happy Faced Daisies

It’s always nice to be able to personalize a gift.  Our granddaughter is a Girl Scout and last weekend they had a Mother/Daughter tea.  My daughter, Alecia, asked if I had any ideas for a small gift to exchange with 25 other girl scouts.  I suggested sewing some pencil toppers and since our granddaughter is in the “Daisy” group, came up with the idea to make a bouquet of felt daisies that she could exchange.

One of my favorite embroidery design companies for children is GG Designs.  They make a lot of cute designs, including various pencil topper designs.  I went through my design files and came across one that I had purchased a few years ago (I think it was from GG Designs, although it is not in their design collection currently).

Working with Designer Plus 7 software, I arranged 14 daisies in a jumbo hoop lay out
Working with Designer Plus 7 software, I arranged 14 daisies in a jumbo hoop lay out

I brought the daisy design into my Designer Plus software and modified it a bit in order to fit 14 daisies in a jumbo hoop layout as shown.

Next, I chose thread colors for the various components of the daisy and hooped my first layer of white felt.

 

 

Stitching out the daisy pencil toppers
Stitching out the daisy pencil toppers

 

Then it was time for my Bernina 830 to do its magic.  I still get a kick out of watching it stitch out the various thread colors.  It’s fun to see the final designs come to life.

 

 

 

Embroidered Daisies
Embroidered Daisies

Once the first set of pencil toppers were stitched out, I reloaded my jumbo hoop so I could begin the second set of toppers.

While the machine was stitching the second group of daisies, I was busy trimming the first set of toppers and slipping the daisies on top of a variety of multi-colored pencils.

When the second set of toppers was complete, I repeated the trimming process and added the completed pencils with daisy toppers to a small glass vase.

 

A trio of completed toppers
A trio of completed toppers
Bouquet of Happy Faced Daisies
Bouquet of Happy Faced Daisies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belen was very pleased with her exchange gifts and after the tea, was anxious to tell me that they were a hit at her Mother/Daughter tea.

Pencil toppers are a fast and easy gift idea if you have an embroidery machine.  There are so many cute designs available and its fun to use your software to personalize them.

Happy Stitching!

Jane

 

Finished Product

The Princess and the Pea for Eloise

 

Eloise's Princess and the Pea Quilt
Eloise’s Princess and the Pea Quilt

I designed a special quilt for our granddaughter, Eloise.  At the same time, I developed a pattern for this quilt as you may recall in an earlier blog, introducing the Princess and the Pea pattern.

After I made the original sample for the pattern, I created another one, just for Eloise.  I changed the second quilt and used a variation suggested in the pattern.  Instead of bias trim for the vine that winds around the quilt’s border, I used a large rickrack.

I’m very pleased to share that last night I gave Eloise her quilt and she was delighted and could not wait to put it on her bed.  The first thing she wanted to do, of course, was to find the pea!

Eloise with her Princess and the Pea quilt
Eloise with her Princess and the Pea quilt
Eloise pointing out the pea
Eloise pointing out the pea

For the last several weeks, whenever we were together, she would ask about the status of her quilt.

I was committed to finishing this quilt as it was made especially for her and had some unique features.  First of all, her mommy, Alecia, had asked me to make the quilt using fabric with the 1930’s vintage look.  I also had to incorporate Eloise’s favorite color, purple and began collecting fabrics and rummaged through my stash to come up with a good collection for her quilt.  I also used rickrack for the vine that twists around the border of the quilt.  I love the bit of whimsy that this added to the quilt.  I found a darling background print with little purple flowers that served as the perfect backdrop for the princess’ bed.  It was so much fun to see this quilt come together and watch as the anticipation built from Eloise.

She was particularly tickled when I added the crown with her name on it and she loved to search for the little pea under the bottom mattress when the quilt was on my design wall.

The crown for Miss Eloise
The crown for Miss Eloise
The pea peeking out under the bottom mattress
The pea peeking out under the bottom mattress

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the top was finished, I had it quilted by Yvette Ebaugh, who did an incredible job on my original Princess and the Pea quilt.  Once again, she did a beautiful job as you can see in the following pictures…

The beautiful quilting truly highlighted the quilt
The beautiful quilting truly highlighted the quilt
Love how the woodgrain was quilted on the bedposts
Love how the woodgrain was quilted on the bedposts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each mattress was quilted different
Each mattress was quilted different

 

 

 

I love how the quilting highlighted the pea
I love how the quilting highlighted the pea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I made the label for Eloise’s quilt.  I always consider this the finishing touch for a quilt because it tells a bit of a story of the quilt, as in who it was made for and when, etc.

Sweet Eloise's quilt label
Sweet Eloise’s quilt label

I’m so pleased to have this quilt finished and tickled that Eloise loves it.  That’s what really makes it all worthwhile.

What quilt projects have you been working on?  I would love to hear about them.

Happy Sewing!

Jane

Note:  If you would like to make your own Princess and the Pea quilt, it is available as a pattern that can be purchased locally at the Quilt Crossing or online at Craftsy.

 

 

Finished Product

Welcome Wyatt

Our niece, Mandy, is expecting and recently found out that she is having a baby boy.  As you can imagine, everyone is anxious to welcome a new bouncing baby boy to the family.

Last Sunday, her mother, Romy, gave her a baby shower and it was fun to make a few baby boy items, as I usually am sewing for our two granddaughters.  I found out the baby’s name is going to be Wyatt and the nursery has a “Whale” theme.  I was in a time crunch to make a baby quilt, so thought instead I would purchase a cozy blanket and add a whale appliqué with my embroidery machine.  Below is the baby blanket I prepared for our new nephew.

The Appliquéd Whale Baby Blanket I Prepared for Wyatt
The appliquéd whale baby blanket I prepared for Wyatt

To make this blanket, I was so fortunate to first find an adorable chevron patterned plush baby blanket in the exact colors I wanted to use.  In addition to that, there was a really cute whale bib that I determined, with a few minor adjustments, would make an adorable appliqué for the blanket.  After purchasing the bib, I carefully cut away the long blue straps and pinned the body of the whale to the blanket.

Baby blanket I purchased
Baby blanket I purchased
Adorable Whale Bib
Adorable Whale Bib

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I sewed an edge stitch around the appliqué to attach the whale to the blanket and was pleased with the end result.

Sewing the whale to the blanket
Sewing the whale to the blanket

Next, I focused on a few more items for Wyatt.  While shopping, I found a set of cute onesies that had a nautical theme and one of them even had a print with tiny whales.

Set of nautical onesies for Wyatt
Set of nautical onesies for Wyatt
Custom onesie for Wyatt
Custom onesie for Wyatt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s always fun to personalize a few items for a baby shower, so I embroidered another Onesie with Wyatt’s name.

Customizing Oshkosh T-Shirt
Customizing Oshkosh T-Shirt
Something for Daddy too
Something for Daddy too

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since there are usually a lot of baby items that include a comment about Mommy, I thought it would be fun to personalize a little shirt that Daddy would like too.  I added “Daddy’s Helper, Wyatt” to a cute little Oshkosh T-Shirt that I had purchased – it was fun to choose the designs to complement this cute little shirt.

Adorable Whale Cake
Adorable Whale Cake

The shower was a lot of fun and Romy did a great job with the “whale” theme, including an adorable whale cake.

Mandy holding her new whale blanket
Mandy holding her new whale blanket

Best of all, Mandy received so many wonderful gifts and seemed to really enjoy herself.  I was tickled that she also enjoyed the items I had made for her and Wyatt.

Have you made any shower gifts lately?  If so, I would love to see them.  It seems with Spring around the corner, there will be more shower invitations for bridal or baby.  Such a fun time of year.

Happy sewing!

Jane