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

 

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

Asian Memories Quilt

In April, 2007, we took an amazing two week trip to China to visit Andy and Alecia.  To commemorate our visit, I made a quilt that I gave to them as a Thank You gift.

Asian Memories Quilt made to commemorate our 2007 Trip to China
Asian Memories Quilt made to commemorate our 2007 Trip to China

When we arrived, it was my birthday, so Alecia greeted me at the airport with beautiful flowers and also surprised me with a lovely birthday cake when we arrived at their apartment.  It was very thoughtful.  The best gift of all was seeing her and Andy!

My birthday flowers and cake
My birthday flowers and cake

While we were in China, we spent time in Shanghai, where Andy and Alecia were living.

View from Alecia and Andy's Apartment
View from Alecia and Andy’s Apartment
Copy of IMG_2715
Living Room

 

Alecia & Andy's Home in China (on 27th Floor)
Alecia & Andy’s Home in China (on 27th Floor)

It was quite a change from their home in the North End in Boise as you can see…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also toured Beijing and climbed the Great Wall and saw the Ming tombs.

Marv on the Great Wall
Marv on the Great Wall
Ready to climb the Great Wall
Ready to climb the Great Wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We attended Kung Fu theatre and the Peking Opera.  So many sites to see and we hiked into the Forbidden City, Tinanmen Square and the Summer Palace.

Tinanmen Square

 

Our Most Excellent Tour Guides at the Summer Palace
Our Most Excellent Tour Guides at the Summer Palace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, there was some shopping at the pearl, jade, cloisonné and fabric markets.

Jane at the Pearl Market
Jane at the Pearl Market
I found "My Store"...
I found “My Store”…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also visited the water town of Suzhou…

Canal in Suzhou
Canal in Suzhou

and hiked through the Administrator’s Garden.

The Administrator's Garden
The Administrator’s Garden
Touring the Administrator's Garden
Touring the Administrator’s Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was an incredible trip and when I made their quilt, I found fabric that reminded me of some of the birds we saw in the Administrator’s Garden.  The pattern I used for the quilt was called BQ from Maple Island quilts.

Close-up of quilting by Evette Ebaugh
Close-up of quilting by Evette Ebaugh
Another close-up of quilting
Another close-up of quilting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the quilting, the finishing touch was the label that summarized our most excellent adventure!

Copy of the Quilt's Label
Copy of the Quilt’s Label

It was a trip of a lifetime and we had so much fun.  The best part of the trip was  spending time with Alecia and Andy and seeing how well they had adapted to their new home in Shanghai.  They were very comfortable in China and did a great job as guides during our visit.

Quilts are a great way to commemorate a significant event in our lives.  What quilts have you made to help remember a special time or a special someone?

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful August weather.

Happy Sewing!

Jane

 

 

 

 

Finished Product

Fun Sun Hats for Children

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.

Children's Sun Hats book
Children’s Sun Hats book

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.

Eloise's Sun Hat
Eloise’s Sun Hat
Eloise in her sun hat
Eloise in her 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.

Inside Belén's Sun Hat
Inside Belén’s Sun Hat
Belén's Sun Hat
Belén’s Sun Hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was so much fun that I decided to make a few more hats, including…

Baseball cap, Strawberry Sun Hat and Belén's Hat
Baseball cap, Strawberry Sun Hat and Belén’s Hat
Inside Baseball Cap (called Bicycle Hat in book)
Inside Baseball Cap (called Bicycle Hat in book)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Belén modeling her sun hat
Belén modeling her sun hat

 

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.

Happy Sewing!

Jane

Finished Product

Liam Learns to Quilt

Liam holding his almost- finished quilt
Liam holding his almost- finished quilt

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.

Liam checking the fabrics he chose for his quilt
Liam checking the fabrics he chose for his 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 and I adding numbers to the strips to keep them organized.
Liam and I adding numbers to the strips to keep them organized.
Liam proud of his first day's work
Liam proud of his first day’s work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Liam pinning the centers of the fabric strips
Liam pinning the centers of the fabric strips
Liam passing me a pinned strip
Liam passing me a pinned strip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Liam sharing with Valerie his final quilt preview/layout
Liam sharing with Valerie his final quilt preview/layout
Liam was not as excited about his homework
Liam was not as excited about his homework

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.

Liam's foot on the foot pedal of the sewing machine.
Liam’s foot on the foot pedal of the sewing machine.
Inside border is complete!
Inside border is complete!

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.

Liam with his completed quilt top
Liam with his completed quilt top
Layering the backing, batting and quilt top and pinning in place
Layering the backing, batting and quilt top and pinning 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…

Another "Liam" amongst the quilting
Another “Liam” amongst the quilting
Look closely to find a leaf on this corner of the border
Look closely to find a leaf on this corner of the border
One of several spirals
One of several spirals
Liam's name amongst the quilting - it was on all 4 sides of the outside border.
Liam’s name amongst the quilting – it was on all 4 sides of the outside border.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

This was his initial reaction...
This was his initial reaction…
Followed by this...  Congratulations, Liam, on a job well done!
Followed by this… Congratulations, Liam, on a job well done!
Finished Product

New Pattern – Insulated Bowl Holders

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!!!

Small Microwave Bowl Holder
Small Microwave Bowl Holder

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).

All 3 sizes stacked together
All 3 sizes stacked together

They stack and store easily and are very handy in the kitchen.

IMG_9069 - Small
3 Sizes of bowl holders stacked together

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!!!

Large bowl holder
Large bowl holder

In addition, they are easy to personalize, based on your fabric selections, and are reversible!

Pattern for Microwave Bowl Holders

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.

Hope you are enjoying this “BLACK FRIDAY”…

Happy Sewing!

 

Jane

Finished Product, Gift Idea, Kitchen Accessories, New Patterns

Anna’s Apron – My New Pattern…

Last year, I made an apron for a gift exchange for our annual investment club’s Christmas party.  The girls really liked the apron I made and the final recipient said she loves to wear it because it is not only cute, but extremely practical as she no longer has to search for a kitchen towel when she is working in her kitchen.  Both of my daughters suggested that I should  create a pattern for it so I could share it with others, so…  

My first prototype of Anna's Apron with Terry Cloth Kitchen Towel and Route 66 themed fabric

I’m pleased to introduce my new pattern, Anna’s Apron.  The wonderful thing about this apron is that once you have it on, you always have a kitchen towel within your reach because it is the base of your apron.

Terry Cloth Apron with Optional Pocket

The pattern includes 2 different versions for the waistband as well as an optional pocket pattern piece and has detailed instructions and illustrations that walk you through the apron’s construction, step by step.   It is a fun and easy pattern to make.

The apron is a great gift idea and can be personalized for almost any occasion.  It is the perfect solution for those hard-to-shop for people on your gift lists. 

Anna's Apron with Woven Kitchen Towel as Base

You can also make the apron using a woven cotton kitchen towel.  I prefer the terry cloth towel because of the body and absorbency it provides and it is more wrinkle resistant. 

What I enjoy most about this pattern is that you can easily personalize the apron and really make it meaningful to the recipient,.  I have several pieces of fabric that I have collected for future aprons that will be a lot of fun to give because the theme of the fabric is relevant to the recipient.  For example, I have some fabric that has a coffee theme and the resulting apron will be a gift for my favorite coffee connoisseur.     The jumbo rickrack is a fun accent and perfect trim for this pattern.

This Apron has fabric with theme of San Francisco on Terry Cloth
Pat, my Apron Model

 

If you would like a  pattern, you can purchase a copy on Etsy  or by replying to this blog post.  It is also available locally in Boise at the Quilt Crossing. I think you will find this pattern to be a fun apron for yourself as well as for others.  You’ll be amazed at how handy it is to have your kitchen towel “at hand”.   I would love to see some of your finished projects and hope you will share pictures of them.   I also want to thank my friend, Pat Henderson, for being the lovely model for my apron pattern. 

Pattern Cover

I’m excited to share this new pattern with you and hope you will give it a try.

Happy Stitching!

Jane

Finished Product, Gift Idea, New Patterns

New Kit Available – Ride ‘Em Cow Girl (or Cow Boy) Western Paper Doll Play Quilt Kit

Belén with her Western Paper Doll Quilt

For Christmas this year, I made our granddaughter, Belén, a western play quilt.  It became one of her favorite toys to play with and she really enjoys it. 

Belén dressing the dolls in her quilt.

I had several requests for a kit for the western play quilt and am pleased to announce the “Ride ‘em Cow Girl (or Cow Boy) Western Paper Doll Play Quilt” kit.

The finished play quilt is 50” x 42” with little cow boys and cow girls as the main focus on the center fabric of the quilt.  They are all ready to be dressed in their western wear that is on a separate coordinated fabric.  The coordinating outfits will be backed with fusible fleece (included in the kit), to help keep them in place, even when the quilt is in an upright position.  

Close up of Western Clothes and Gear for Paper Dolls and Horses

The cost for the kit is $59.00 and includes all the 100% cotton fabric for the quilt top and borders as well as the fabric for clothing and gear for the paper dolls and horses, including:

  • Pattern with detailed instructions for making the play quilt and western clothing and gear for dolls and horses.
  • Fabric for main focus fabric with horses, cow girls and cowboys on it.
  • Blue fabric for outside border of quilt that has boots, ropes, horseshoes & cowboy gear
  • Fabric for paper dolls’ western clothing and western gear
  • Fusible fleece for the backing of the paper doll western clothing and gear
  • I will make a custom label with your child’s name (4 lines maximum) and your own personal message that you can put on the back of your finished quilt – see sample below.  The cost for the label is $10.00.
Quilt with all the paper dolls and horses dressed

You’ll need an additional 2 ½ yards (42” fabric) or 1 ½ yards (60” fabric) for backing and 3/8 yard for binding.  (Note:   I used a minkee cowhide print for backing Belén’s play quilt.)

This is a fun project to make for your little cow poke.  It is an easy pattern to follow and sew and does not take long to complete.  Once it is finished, you’ll be amazed how well it will entertain your little buckaroo. 

Finishing Touch - Custom Label will be included with your kit

If you would like to order your kit today, please leave a comment to this blog post or send me an email at:  [email protected].

Thank you and Happy Sewing!

Jane

Bias Trim, Finished Product, Gift Idea, Kitchen Accessories, New Patterns, Serger Option

New Pattern for Cake and Casserole Carrier with Potholders

Casserole Carrier with Potholders and outer spoon pocket
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.
This view shows the inner pocket and lining

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.
A carrier with a serged edge finish and inside spoon pocket
 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.
Don’t forget the pair of matching potholders…

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