In honor of Sew, Mama, Sew's quilting month, I thought I'd put up a photo of the first quilt I ever made. My mom taught me this paper applique method and I just loved it. I think I was 22 years old. Basically, you take the little cardstock papers out of any magazines you have laying around the house and cut them into uniform little hearts. Then, with many 5 inch squares of fabric, you've got the makings of several nights' entertainment on the couch in front of the tv. I can't stand watching tv without something in my hands and this project fit the bill perfectly.
I put together a little sort of tutorial on the subject down below. I think you can enlarge the photo to see them more clearly, however I think it's blurry. What's so clear about that?! Oh well, you'll get the idea.
I bound this crib sized quilt with pearl cotton in square knots. I also freehand stitched a heart in the blank squares. That was hard! Many have squared off corners. Ah, well, that's what I get for just going for it and not practicing. At least it's finished and I have put all 3 of my kids on the floor with it. They didn't seem to mind the imperfections.
For this "tutorial" I used heavy cotton which didn't form such a round shape. You'll notice that one side is squared off. I would only use quilting weight cotton if I did this for real. You can also manipulate the fabric to be the shape you want. I was in a hurry for some reason. I DO like the bright color combo in this example heart. Perhaps I'm ready for quilt number 2... Directions follow this photo:
1. Cut out heart from pesky magazine subscription papers
2. Pin heart to fabric and cut about 1/2 inch of extra.
3. Baste fabric to paper.
4. Pin basted heart to fabric square of different design.
5. Begin stitch underneath fabric, but stitch all else on top. I used 10 stitches per inch. Whip it. Tie off thread in back.
6. Admire how well you've done so far.
7. Cut knot on basting and remove thread.
8. Cut slit in back and pull out paper heart.
9. Ta-Dah!!! You've got one square ready for assembly in your quilt!
This really was a pleasing project which I think you would enjoy as well. Good luck!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Posted by Vacuum Queen at 12:25 PM
Monday, February 18, 2008
Or should I say, "Sprig" Makeover since that's the name of this fabric?
Hooray for a new set of placemats for my kitchen table! This fabric is SO darling that I wanted to make it into something I could see everyday. If you browse the blog by Jessica Jones, you'll read about this line of fabric she created for J. Caroline Creations. Supposedly, she was "discovered" online and was asked to create this fabric line. Isn't that such a dream come true? I've got a line in my head that would be SO cute. Why can't something like that happen for me? (Well, there are a lot of reasons, but more on that later in another blog...)
Anyhow, I based this pattern on one that Amy Butler made. Hers were HUGE, and so I cut mine down a bit. I think I'll try a circle next time due to my round table. I also wanted to put a bit of contrasting fabric on each end, but I think I wish I had made it even wider on the sides. Oh well. The back is cute, too. I used a nice fat piece for the contrast piece. I think I like the backs better than the front. I suppose it doesn't make a difference since I can now call them "reversible." No way my son will want his to face the same way as my other kids anyhow. We'll have some nice mix and match at the table for the upcoming spring season. I'm very excited!
For my next project with this fabric...would you believe I'm going to run a couple of pieces through my laminating machine? I like to have a couple of cute "playdoh safe" versions on hand for the little ones in my house. Other than that, my limited sewing skills will only allow me to make a simple bag or something like that. This fabric is heavy - kindof a twill - and I think it'd be great as a bag. Or an apron, or ... hopefully something photo worthy.
Posted by Vacuum Queen at 11:23 PM
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Today's kids are so good at multi-tasking that it shouldn't have surprised me to see this little snowman in our backyard. A regular snowman no longer fits the bill. He must now also serve as a snowball storage compartment, natch. Brilliant, eh?
Note to self: "Must start thinking like a kid..."
Posted by Vacuum Queen at 11:45 PM
Sunday, February 3, 2008
My husband takes my oldest son up to the mountains to go skiing on Sundays, which leaves me at home with the other two kids, 5 and 2. We have a fun time together usually, but lately my 5 year old only has one game on her mind...Project Runway. Yes, she likes to pretend she is Heidi Klum while she hosts the show 20 times each day. I get a wee bit tired of it, even though it's really hilarious what she can come up with. It goes to show you how much a child can memorize from a tv show. She's never actually seen a whole episode, just bits and pieces from a few marathon days on Bravo. Well, I suppose that's an episode or two right there. Anyhow, she has all of the sayings down, "one of you will be IN and one of you will be OUT," and "whose designs did we like?" It's funny, for the first hour. After that I go a bit crazy wanting it to just end already! She even does the catwalk with a different outfit for each "model." She'll say, "Mom, next up is Christian's model, Lisa with a new skirt," and out she'll tromp in front of me while I have to pretend to be writing notes on an index card with a Sharpie.
I managed to play along for quite some time today, but as soon as I couldn't take it anymore, I suggested she play something else and she immediately conjured up a bowl full of goodies....literally. She took a red bowl from the kitchen and filled it with dice, small dolls, a few crayons, and a blankie. Then, she brought it out to the kitchen and announced, "Mom, watch. The wedding cake challenge is now over and the pair of Barbie and Michael Jr. (her imaginary triplet counterparts, both girls - and my husband's name is NOT Michael) will now move the cake to the judging table. And she proceeded to act like it was the heaviest cake ever as she lifted the bowl over to the island in the kitchen. When she set it down, she sighed with relief that her wedding cake was a success. For you TV watchers...this is from a show on Food Network called "Challenge." Another TV show. What am I creating?!
So...off we marched to the sewing machine for some good old fashioned mother-daughter creative time. Nevermind the fact that the 2 year old is majorly destructive during these moments. I decided to maker her a quick tote bag for carrying books back from the library. It's a very simple design, but it gives me such pleasure to make because it can be made in a nanosecond and with such great results! I let her pick out the fabric for the straps - she picked a nice hot pink with teeny flowers. So cute. We whipped it up quickly "together." She handed me the seam ripper when I forgot to fold the raw edge under, helped to snip the dangling threads, and ironed the fusing to the fabric for the straps. SEW much fun! (cheesey pun, sorry)
AN-EE-WAY...We then personalized her bag because last fall I found the GREATEST new item for easy silk screen designs. It's called "PhotoEZ." If you have ever wanted to print your own design, but were hesitant to make a silk screen from scratch...this is the product for you. I just wanted to put my kids' names on things, so I immediately printed up initials and names on the computer and quickly created stencils to use.
Here's how it works, you create a design on the computer, or with a very black marker, and you layer the design over the photosensitive paper and a set a piece of glass on top of it all. Out you go to the sun with it for 5 minutes, and voila! With a quick rinse in the sink, you've now got yourself a reusable screen (stencil) to use on fabric, paper, glass, and who knows what else? It's great! So far I've only done initials and names. I'd like to do some actual graphic designs, but here in the great Northwest...we're lacking sunshine. I'll have to wait until, oh -- say June to create some more. I believe it would work with the right kind of lightbulb, too, but I'm too lazy (or cheap) to buy one.
So a stenciled name in light pink was sufficient for today. It really is cute. You could go crazy with ideas. The paper is a bit expensive, but since they are reusable, it's not that bad. I think if I had it to do over again, I'd choose a darker shade of pink since this one barely shows up. However, I don't exactly need strangers at the library to spot her name from a mile away. The camera doesn't really pick it up...squint and you'll get the idea. Meanwhile, head over HERE to check out PhotoEZ. A super duper product that will leave you very happy with what you can create.
Posted by Vacuum Queen at 11:19 PM