I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Memory Quilt in Progress - Part 2

I have been on a little bit of a quest this past week to finish the memory quilt that I am doing for my son.  I am not working with a particular pattern for this quilt.  I am kinda making it up as I go along.  My goal is to use as much of the fabric as I can, because honestly I can't bear to just throw out any of his clothes, even the scraps.  If you would like to follow along on, check out my previous post here.

As you can see, I completed the rows of 6" blocks in between the rows of the off-center blocks that I made from his matching outfits.  Then, I added the navy blue sashing to give it a little more pop.  My next step is the border.  I plan to cut as many 6" blocks as I can, and then 6" rectangles to use up more of the fabric.

Since you're here, I thought I would share a little trick that I came up with to make working with baby clothes a little easier.  Normally when doing a t-shirt quilt, you cut your t-shirt to the desired size square, then your stabilizer to the same desired size, and iron the 2 pieces together.  Pretty easy, huh?  Till you start working with itty bitty baby outfits that have snaps and zippers that keep getting in the way. 

First I try to cut up along the side seams like you would a t-shirt and lay it out as flat as I can on the ironing board, wrong side facing up.  This doesn't work with all of the items.  Sometime you will have to cut up the center of the back of an item to get a large eneough piece of fabric to work with.  Don't worry if you have some seams in your square.  Just try to iron them as flat as you can to reduce the bumps.

Then I took a pre-cut 6" square of woven stabilizer, centered it the best that I could, ironed it on the wrong side of my outfit, and cut it out. 

Note:  I use Pellon Shape Flex Fusible Interfacing White SF101, which is sold at most big box fabric stores.

Here are some examples:

Captain Adorable was done the traditional way by cutting out the 2 squares separately.  See how the lines warped a little when I ironed it.  Not to mention I will have to square it up again.

The puppy dog one is good to go and I have saved myself a ton of time.

One last note don't be afraid to include the stains.  It is a memory quilt after all.  As much as the memory of the outfits they wore is important, so is the memory of the time they covered themselves in strained peas.  :) 

Friday, September 24, 2010

I was playing around with some scraps today.  I had an idea, and I wasn't sure how it was going to come out so I thought I would do a test block.  From time to time I'll do this to make sure my measurements are right or to make a pattern.

It came out exactly how I wanted it to....but slightly boring and predictable. 


From the scraps came this.....something completely unpredictable.  Now I can definitely see the possibilities.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blog Love

I received the most wonderful surprise in the mail today.  Wendy from Why Knot sent me these beautiful snap bags.  How awesome was that?!  Last month she won my first blog giveaway, and gifted these to me in return to share the smile she received.  Well, I am smiling.  See today was not such a good day and this was just what I needed.  Faith in humanity restored!

Never in my wildest dreams when I started this blog could I have imagined all the blog love I would receive in return.  Thank you to all that leave your wonderful comments and positive feedback.  It is greatly appreciated!

Monday, September 20, 2010

So what have you been up to?

I had a very productive weekend and was able to catch up on some projects......

First a friend asked if I could help her add an inch or so to a witch hat for her daughter's Halloween costume.  Thankfully I found some stiff sparkly felt that matched quite well. 

Then I added a big orange tulle bow to cover it up.

Then I worked on some more personalized towels.  I had fun playing around with some different fonts.  I really liked how this one came out.  I think it would be perfect for any boy.

And of course I am still working on my Apple Core quilt.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Machine Embroidery - Towels

Have you ever tried to hoop a bath towel?  It is not as easy as you would think.  It keeps popping out no matter how tight you tighten the hoop.  Or if you do actually get it in the hoop it leaves a permanent imprint in the towel.  Then you think, "that's OK I will just stick it to an adhesive stabilizer", and you pull it away and it rips all the little threads in the towel out.  Great, you just spent all that time (and money) to have bald spots in your towel. 

This was the frustrating story of my life till a friend showed me this neat little trick, and I thought I would share.  I love using my embroidery machine, but my time is limited and I could do without the aggravation.  If you have a neat trick you would like to share, please leave a comment.  If it is something you have blogged about send me the link I would be happy to share it here in paradise. 

You will need:
  • a bath towel
  • Sticky - or similar self-adhesive, tear-away stabilizer product
  • Totally Stable - or similar iron-on, tear-away stabilizer product
  • Solvy - or similar water soluble stabilizer

Figure out where you want to place your design or lettering and iron on a piece of Totally Stable (or similar product) that is larger than you hoop, to the wrong side of your towel.  Then mark or pin your towel to find its center or a level line.


Hoop a piece of Sticky (or similar product) that is also larger than your hoop.  Tear away the top layer per manufacturer's directions.

OK are you ready for my big trick?  Now just lay the ironed Totally Stable onto the Sticky.  Yup, that was it!  I know, so simple, but it took someone to show me too.  Now don't forget to make sure to line up your marking or pins to the hoop.  You wouldn't want your project to come out crooked.

Load the hoop into your machine and make sure your needle lines up with your center.  Tape down your Solvy (or similar product) to your design area with a low tack tape.  Now you are ready to let your machine punch out your design.
Note: Solvy is used on any material that has a nap.

Trim your treads before your remove your Solvy.  So you don't accidentally cut into the terry of your towel.

Now carefully remove your tape so you don't pull any or the treads from the terry bath towel.  Then remove your Solvy.  Remember this is a water soluble stabilizer so you don't have to remove the tiny bits in the lettering, just the large areas.  The rest will come out in the wash.

This is what your back should look like once you un-hoop your towel and carefully remove your tear away stabilizers from the back, being careful not to pull your stitches.  Don't worry about any small white bits they usually come out in the wash.

Here you go, a custom, personalized towel.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Composition Note Book Cover

My middle child is in the second grade this year and it all about writing, writing and more writing.  Her teacher suggested that they/we write in a journal every night.  Along with a 1/2 hour of reading and her nightly homework.  Hmmm?  I wonder sometimes if her teacher think that all his students are only children?  She of course is less than trilled.  I think we are going to need a special note book and plenty of pencils.

To make mine I used a composition notebook that measured 9 3/4" by 7 1/2", and 2 coordinating fabrics.

I cut 2 - 11 1/4" by 30" rectangles from the coordinating fabrics and an 11" by 7" rectangle out of the pink fabric for the pencil holder.  Note: I used a 1/4" seam allowance for this project.

First, make the pencil holder.  Take your 11" by 7" rectangle and fold it in half, right sides together, and sew down both sides, leaving the bottom open.  Then clip corners, turn right side out, and press.

Finding the center of the octopus fabric, I measured an inch over and pinned the pink pencil pocket along the bottom.

Then with right sides together sew your 2 large rectangles together leaving an opening to turn right side out.  Clip your corners, turn right side out, and press. 

Now top stitch down both sides of your pencil holder making sure to lock your stitches. 

With a marking pen measure your individual pencil pockets.  Starting 1 1/4" from the edge and then mark every inch.  Top stitch (through all the layers) making sure to lock your stitches.

Fold the cover around the front and back covers of your notebook.  Pin into position being careful to center your pencil pocket in the front.  Then top stitch a scant 1/4" around the edge.

Now all I have to do is get her to write in it every night. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Memory Quilt in Progress

I am making a memory quilt out of all the baby clothes that my youngest wore during his first year.  My goal is to get as much of the fabric from his clothes on this quilt.

I started with his outfit sets to arrange into blocks.  I choose an off centered block because the outfits ranged in size from 0-3M to 2T, and each top has it's own unique design.  This originally was a design challenge for me.  I gotta tell you I stared at that bin for days waiting for some inspiration and a solution.  Then it came to me, and I LOVE the way it came out.

To make this block I first cut a square of Pellon Woven Stabilizer slightly bigger than I needed and ironed it on the wrong side of the top doing my best to center the design.  Then I cut out the square with scissors.  If it needed it, I squared it on the cutting mat using a ruler and rotary cutter.

Then I added a strip from the pants, first along the side, and then along the bottom.  I ironed the seams flat, and squared the block to 9 1/2 inches.

Now I am cutting 6 inch squares from his remaining onesies and sleepers to add in between the rows.  We will see what is left, and maybe I will add a border if there is enough fabric.  Or not.  This quilt is a journey, and I can't wait to see where it takes me.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Since You Asked...

I decided to trim the edges and almost immediately regretted my decision.  Things didn't quite turn out how I had planned.

Oh well.  Lesson Learned. 

That not to say that I not happy with how the quilt turned out.  I am.  It is just not what I had envisioned in my head.  Next time I will be doing a couple of things differently.

One, more attention to detail, I am not trilled with the way the colors lined up in the zigzag.  Next time I will draw it out to better determine order of sewing.

Two, I rough cut the rectangles so connecting the rows, to give it a Chevron look, didn't work.  That was OK though because I really did want a solid color in between the rows.

So I guess it is back to the drawing board....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And The Winner Is.....

First, thanks to all who entered my first giveaway!
....and now the drum roll please....

The winner is #57!

Congratulations to Wendy from Why Knot?

Wendy, I will be contacting you soon! Enjoy your Moda Honey Bun in the beautiful Soiree line designed by Lila Tuella. I can't wait to see what you do with it!