Friday, February 27, 2015

Tying Up Some Loose Ends

I love completing my projects! Not the actual work, mind you.  Planning something new is much more exciting that finishing it. It's the having it done that's so wonderful. No more nagging little thoughts to keep me awake at night, just that feeling of accomplishment and relief that the work is done and done as nicely as I know how.

Finished this week:

1. One fat quarter quilt! 
I was worried about this little quilt early on, but now that it's finished it looks great on our glass table. A quilt provides important protection for the glass and adds color to the room, too. A double win for us.

The quilt on our table.
Here it is in natural light.
Draped (sort of) on a chair.

My hubby is encouraging me to make a pattern for this design. Should I, though? Would anyone want to spend $5 for this? I'd have to make another one - minus the mistakes this time. I'd also want to use totally different fabrics - something fun and bright. That's a lot of work. Do I want another quilt in the same pattern? In the right fabrics it would definitely make a sweet quilt for a child. With additional blocks and a border going around and it could be a bed quilt. Right now I'm just thinking out loud on my computer screen (if that makes sense)  and wondering if a pattern is worth the effort.

2. The bottom section of one apron pattern.
If you missed it, the process for making bodice and neck section was described in last week's blog.

Except for the pockets and waist ties, the entire vintage style apron pattern is complete.  I'll make those last pieces when I'm ready to use them. I won't have time to make the apron quite yet, but it's nice to have the pattern ready when I do have a chance to sew it up.

Step 1. Sketch the pattern and take measurements. I sketched the whole pattern, but since the bodice pattern is finished,  these measurements are only for the skirt section.

A: One half the width of the bottom of the bodice section.
B: One half the width of the skirt. I like some coverage around my hips, so I measured this generously.
C: The total length of the skirt from the bodice to the bottom of the hem. 
D: The distance from the bodice to the waist.
E: The length from the waist to the bottom of the hem. 

Step 2. Draw two rectangles on tissue paper. You may have to tape two pieces of tissue paper together. 
The small, upper rectangle will hold the section from the bodice to the waist. 
The larger, lower rectangle will hold the section from the waist to the bottom of the hem. 

Here you can see the upper box clearly. The horizontal line in the middle of the photograph is the width of the pattern.
Step 3. Shape the underarm. Another plastic pot liner was perfect for doing this. I'd never have guessed that those pot liners would come in so handy!

Step 4. Draw the final pattern with a dark marker, using dashed lines to show the fold line. Be sure to add in seam allowances and the hem allowance. I added 2 1/2" for the hem because I like the nice way a wider hem lies.


What's next? Tote bags!

My granddaughter is going to California in ten days. She'll be visiting my sister-in-law and her son and his family for a couple of weeks. This will be her first trip on an airplane and her first visit to California. We have one very excited teenager! My daughter has crocheted some cute items for the children, and I'm sending a couple of totes for the hostesses. I haven't a clue what to do for my nephew except sending my love. He is such a sweetheart, but masculine gifts are so hard to make! I'll post pictures of the totes when all is done.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fifth Block for Quilt Along 2015

Photo Gallery for Quilt Along 2015

 Hannah sent in photos of her first two blocks for this quilt along, so a gallery of photos has been started. I would love to be able to share everyone's work, so if you are taking part in this quilt along, please send your photos to me via email or on my Facebook page.

To see the gallery, visit this page, "Quilt Along 2015 Gallery of Photos", found at the top of my blog.

Th block for March: "Wheelbarrow"

I thought February's pair of blocks in this little wall hanging were my absolute favorite, and I still think the birds and the spade with those adorable, tiny garden gloves are pretty special.

But that was last month's choice.

March's wheelbarrow overflowing with blossoms has now taken the lead. Is it just because it's the newest one? Maybe, but maybe not. I suppose I'll have to wait and see how I feel in April.

It's always the detail that captivates me. When I see something that really catches my eye, I like to get close up so I can examine those little things that make it stand out from the rest.  These little add ons, while not absolutely necessary, can make the difference between something looking ordinary and something that really looks finished. Besides, I do love adding in tiny little details. They always make me smile.

This time I pulled out my embroidery floss and added a few simple stems, three little bits of orange satin stitch, and a bunch of French knots. I didn't do anything complicated with the embroidery. I worked only with the simplest, most basic of stitches, probably the first three stitches I learned.

I'm not an expert on embroidery, but I find this particular type of handwork very relaxing and enjoyable.

I'm planning the pair of 5" x 5" blocks for April, now.  I think one will be a watering can, but nothing is completely decided until it's done. I'm still debating the other one, and I'm playing around with three ideas that I like.

This is where the quilt stands now. I'm pleased with the progress so far. I hope you like it, too.

Happy Stitching!!