I've written about this quilt before. It was started by my grandmother many years ago for my mother, but it was never finished. The quilt top was pieced using bits of clothing worn by my mother, her sister, and my grandmother. It sat boxed up for 40+ years, then was given to me. And what have I done with it? Absolutely nothing, other than talked about it here a few times. I let it sit. Six and a half years later I've decided to finish it. Quilts are supposed to be used and loved, right?
At the time it was given to me, I had little quilt experience. In fact, I don't think that I had ever completed a quilt, or if I did it was only a small one. Taking on such a project was completely overwhelming.
It's a big-ish size. And hand-stitched. All the quilting done thus far was done by hand by my grandma. I know for certain that hand stitching was completely out of my realm. Beyond that, it wasn't put together like the quilts I had seen. I wasn't really sure what to do with it.
It didn't have a bound edge. Instead, the ends were folded over and the batting didn't quite go all the way to the edge of the fold. It was sort of a mess.
But now? I'm pretty confident in my quilting and hand sewing skills. I have a whole bunch more experience under my belt. I pulled it out Saturday afternoon and decided that it had been long enough.
The first thing I did was rip out the stitches on the foldover, then cut off the edges and squared it the best I could. I'm sure I decreased the size quite a bit, but it had to be done.
On Sunday I quilted it - not by hand :) When I first got the quilt I thought I would finish it how it was started, but I wanted it done. I snapped on my walking foot and went to town. I worried about tucks in the fabric because it was kind of loosey goosey, but the walking foot worked wonders. I followed the same pattern my grandma had started. After a few hours I was done, then I started in on the binding.
I chose something from my stash, a green dot that fit right in with the other fabrics in the quilt. I had one almost identical to the tiny green dot, but not nearly enough.
As I was hand stitching the binding it occurred to me that I get my love of bright colors and polka dots honestly. I could have picked out these fabrics today.
As soon as I was finished with the binding I couldn't wait to get it into the wash. After close to 50 years in storage, it was beyond icky. I crossed my fingers and threw it in. I felt that the seams were strong enough, but I was iffy on the batting and the bright RED backing. Would that old fabric bleed? Would the batting clump?
I'm happy to report that it survived and came out of the dryer clean smelling and fluffy! It puffed up quite a bit, much more than the quilts I usually work on.
And now we have another quilt in our collection. I think it just might be my favorite.
I'm not going to lie, this week was rough! It was the first full work week I've had in a long time. And it has been raining almost the entire time. Rain, rain, and more rain. I'm not going stir crazy, but I wish my kids could get out to exert some of their pent-up energy. They've been taking it out on each other, which in turn drives ME crazy. To top it all off, Ceci has strep throat. But you know what? The good things in my life far outweigh all the little annoyances.
Something I've resolved to do in the new year is be here more. I miss documenting the little things. When I look back, it's those little things that I tend to forget about, yet they always make me smile and are the bulk of what makes life so sweet. In an effort to do just that, I'm jumping back in with a 'gratitude friday' post. Boy, am I ever grateful that today is Friday - TGIF!!
How about a free pattern? Do y'all remember that cute little bag I made out of Olive the Ostrich fat quarters back in the fall? I had every intention of offering the pattern as a free download soon thereafter, but I seem to do everything slower these days. Well friends, here it is! I've also added it to the right sidebar over there under "tutorials and freebies" along with my other free patterns---->
This is a fairly simple design, great for a beginner. Appliquing the raw edge scallops is a great exercise for sewing curves, if you'd like some practice with that. The great thing about the scallops being raw edged is that you don't have to be perfect. You can always throw the bag into the wash after you've sewn it all up to get that ravely look on the edges, which would probably disguise any imperfect stitches. If you don't want the ravely look I suppose you turn under the edge, but that seems like an awful lot of work - I don't have that kind of patience (or time). Another option is to zig-zag the edge. It's your bag, experiment - do as you please!
This is the perfect size for a child. Ava uses the original Olive tote for dance class, but I have a feeling she'll be taking these over as well. Wouldn't one of these be great to stuff with art supplies to give as a gift?
Since I've been playing with these, I'm thinking that I need one for myself, in grown up size. I use a tote everyday to carry all my stuff (lunch, magazine, knitting, etc), why not use a fun one? (I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I'm currently using a very blah Trader Joe's canvas tote) Based on my choices for the samples, clearly, I'm craving some color in my life! Hmmm, now there's an idea...
I have to say, working on this pattern was a little more than just working on a pattern. I feel like it's been a long time since I worked on something fun for the blog, something for you. Yes, I always have projects going on that I blog about, and I thank you for cheering me on and hanging in there with me, but that's all me me me. It's time that I did something for you.
I hope that you enjoy the pattern and put lots of cute scalloped totes out into the world! As always, I'm here if you have any questions. I can't wait to see what y'all come up with!
A week into 2013 and i've already completed a project, AND it's useful. That's a win in my book.
I've had this on my to-do list forever, since the Eren posted her rag rug tutorial on her old blog (oh my goodness, that is from October 2006!).
I chose to make mine out of old t-shirts, as we have a plethora of those around here. After Matt cleaned out his closet last week I set aside some of his donations and got to work. It took me longer to cut out my strips of fabric than it did to make the rug.
finished size of the rug is about 23" x 34"
size Q crochet hook (big ole hook!)
about 10 t-shirts, bodies only (I cut a continuous strip from the hem up to the arm)
my strips averaged about 1" wide, though some parts were a little less, others a little more
no pattern followed, to make an oval I added stitches in the end curves, eyeballing it as I went along. It's a bit wonky, but it does the job.
There wasn't much thought put into the colors used, I simply cut up the shirts I was given. Next time I'll put a little more effort into that part. It was fun project that I plan to do again.
I'm currently using this one right outside the shower. Those t-shirts are super absorbant, perfect for a bathroom rug.
As a bonus, my kids think I'm AMAZING for making it. They're so easily impressed :)
Right after Christmas Lily and I, along with some friends, hopped on a plane. We spent the last 5 days of 2012 living it up in the Big Apple! Boy, did we have fun. We were total tourists, sight seeing as many attractions as we could.
We went on the Statue of Liberty harbour cruise, visited the American Museum of Natural History, saw Wicked, experienced snow in Central Park and ice skating in Rockerfeller Center, took a stroll through The Plaza Hotel, and criss crossed Times Square many times - we crammed it all in! It was an experience that neither of us will ever forget.
Right before things got too crazy in the city we headed home. We welcomed 2013 on the road and made it home shortly thereafter. The first day of the new year was spent quietly at home, just the way I like it.
I may have been in survival mode for much of 2012, but all in all it was a pretty good one. I can't wait to see what 2013 brings! Happy New Year!!