Thursday, August 28, 2014

Happy Little Sewing Project - Sewitgirl's Tea Wallet

Finding exactly the right gift for someone is total bliss for me. My middle sister is a good ol' Lipton Tea drinker who carries tea bags around in her purse. She was whipping out tea bags everywhere we went when we were visiting our baby sister in Oregon last year. So when I saw the Tea Wallet Tutorial by Zoe at, I had to make it for her birthday gift.

Here is the dramatic unfolding of the finished tea wallet ...

Is this not the cutest thing for traveling tea drinkers? I did make some adjustments to the cutting measurements and directions after reading comments on the post and found this to be most helpful …

Great design, Zoe, and thanks so much for sharing it!

I am also very happy with the KAMsnaps pliers kit I got from Amazon. The sweet plastic orange snap was the perfect finish to this tea wallet.

So many projects, never enough time ...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Unsinkable Quilt

Baby quilts are just plain fun to make! With a new great-niece expected to make an appearance in August, a few months ago I started planning a special quilt for her. And with Molly Brown as the name of the baby-to-be, I just had to design an Unsinkable Quilt.

Starting with some sweet charm squares -- Bartholo-meow's Reef by Tim and Beck for Moda -- I laid out a simple design. The charm squares are nautical in theme with the cutest anchors, fish, stars and waves. I added bright white sashing to make the colors pop and decided to embroider the year, baby's name and Unsinkable in the three panels.

A few years ago, Hubby mounted a curtain rod over the closet door in my crafting studio and I hung a flannel-backed tablecloth from it to use as a design wall. It's pretty handy because I can take it down or slide it to the side when necessary. 

Sewing each row together is easy when it's all laid out on the wall. And even though I was still fussing with and rearranging the charm squares until the last minute, it helps keep everything in the proper order. I also like to take pictures of the layout to reference just in case I get turned around.

I've tried spray basting but I really find the process of pin basting the quilt layers together to be soothing and satisfying. It's a zen place for me.

The actual machine quilting, not so much. 

Another part of the process I really enjoy, though, is making quilt binding. I could cut, press and roll binding all day long. Makes me happy!

I love the way the backing and outer border fabric resemble water. I found this fabric and the orange dot binding at Jo-Ann's.

One last thing was putting a label on the quilt. In keeping with the Unsinkable theme, I embroidered a boat on the label and "With Love from Aunt Janie." I like to use scraps of the leftover quilt fabric to frame the label. Here is my method for making quilt labels. 

The quilt reached the Browns exactly one week before Molly's appearance.

Welcome to the world, baby girl … we're so pleased to meet you!

Molly's Unsinkable Quilt pattern is a free download on my Craftsy page.

So many projects, never enough time ...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Melody Rose Pillow Quilt

There are two things you should know about this quilt … 

1) It's the first quilt I ever made and 
2) It was created for my beautiful great-niece who turns 2-years-old today.

After my interest in sewing and embroidery had been revived, the birth of this wonderful child seemed like the perfect time to try my hand at quilting. I wanted to make something girly and sweet for her and planned to start with a center square embroidered with her name and birth year.

Which was a terrific idea, in theory, until I added the lace and the square puckered. *sigh* 

Which led to my Hubby's brilliant solution of turning the center square into a stuffed pillow to lay her little head on. I love that man!

I made a small pillow back, leaving an opening for stuffing, and hand-stitched it onto the back of the square …

Stuffed it with polyfill and whip stitched the opening shut …

From that point on, I cut and seamed patchwork, learning as I went about joining seams and pressing. I made 5" squares and have been in love with charm squares ever since.

Adding borders, quilting, making and attaching binding -- I even ordered a special walking foot for my 1969 Bernina 707 that has been invaluable ...

The finished quilt has this puffy little pillow in the center …

And an embroidered quilt label on the back …

Aunt Janie loves you, Melody Rose … Happy 2nd Birthday!