Mar 25, 2011

Baby quilt for donation

OK, I admit that I haven't finished the denim medallion quilt that I was making in the previous posts (although I did pin baste it.) And I didn't finish those heart wall hangings (but I completed all the applique.) However here I am working on another project while the others languish in the living room, draped on chairs. I wanted to hurry up and start on a baby quilt. I hope to get it completed in plenty of time to donate to the drive for Quilts For Japan, which I mentioned last time. There's a deadline for the end of April. I guess you could call this one an "I spy" type of quilt. And I did select a backing for it already. Why all this rushing? Because now it's Spring Cleaning time around here, and I've already begun on the closets. I work from the bedrooms to the bathrooms, then the living room and finally the kitchen and dining room. Those last two need the most work.

Mar 21, 2011

My latest efforts

I'm making two applique wall hangings. These are intended for my daughter in Florida and her friend. If you look closely, you'll see that I'm using fabric in the background that is printed with pictures of manatees. They are a Florida mammal. I just couldn't resist buying this fabric when I saw it, and I thought it would be so cute for these wall hangings. I have made the hearts with a turn under method, and I'm sewing them to the background with a blanket stitch.
My method for the applique is to trace the shape on the smooth side of iron-on interfacing. Then I place the interfacing sticky side down to right side of the fabric. Sew all around the edge. Trim edges. Cut a hole in the interfacing and turn the applique right side out. Presto, all the edges are turned under, plus you can iron the applique down. I have one of those little craft irons and a Telfon pressing sheet, so I iron only the edges of the appliques flat first. And here are some stuffed animals that I made out of scraps. I got the buttons and the rick rack at a yard sale. And they are stuffed with bits of left over batting, so these are "free" toys in every sense of the word. I made the pattern myself. I drew an oval and improvised. I made similar toys once before, so it was very easy. Everything has to be in triplicate, for three darling granddaughters.
And last of all, I had a stash of baby sweaters and hats that I made and put away for the day that I needed a baby present. And guess what--I needed every one of them. Our town has an adopted Marine contingent, and is putting together a baby shower for Marine Moms. They are making gift baskets for them. Isn't that lovely!
And meanwhile, "back at the ranch," I want to make a baby quilt to send to Japan. Quilter's Newsletter is going to collect them and ship them. For more info, see their web site

Mar 17, 2011

National Quilting Day

I'm posting photos of a couple of my quilts here in honor of National Quilting Day. It's on March 19, 2011. And that happens to be my birthday, too. I'm going to be 73 years old. So a big salute to all the quilters out there! (And there's a lot of them.) It's our special day. When did I decide to identify myself especially as a "quilter?" I have lots of identities, wife, mother, grandma, author, and so on, but a quilter? It sneaked up on my one day as I sat at my sewing machine sewing an orange fabric next to a red one, I guess.

Mar 13, 2011

Denim Medallion

Thanks for the great comments! I guess I'll just settle for the name Denim Medallion. That covers it, I guess. At least I have sewn on the last border. It turned out to be two green fabrics. I auditioned a few other colors, and this one looked the best to me. Things are a bit busy around here, but I'll try to do some sewing almost every day. I want to pick out a backing, and get this quilt pin basted. But the dining table has a bunch of tax papers on it today. Spring has arrived, we had to remember to change the clocks to Daylight Savings today. I still have a couple of more clocks to do, because my stove and microwave each has a clock, and I have to change them or I'll forget what the time is every time I go into the kitchen. One lovely thing about Spring, besides all the new leaves and flowers is that I have noticed several different kinds of birds have arrived. There are swallows that come here every year. There's even a song about that, "when the swallows come back to Capistrano, that's the time I'll come back home to you." I live not very far from that actual place. And some swallows do nest on a building across the way from me. They are swift fliers and able to perch on the walls. One reason they come back is because they make elaborate nests out of mud, and they like to reuse the old nests.

Mar 6, 2011

Name the Blue Jeans Quilt

I cut up a couple of blue jeans and I cut the legs into strips. I sewed and sewed. Then I put the quilt on the bed and climbed up on a chair--rather dangerous, but I wanted to get a good photo. This thing is kind of getting away from me. When I started out, I had no idea how big I was going to make it--it simply insisted upon growing and growing. Because if I added a piece here, well then a piece needed to be added there, and so on. I'm starting to feel like Dr. Frankenstein or something. This photo is taken today and the size is 48 by 64 inches. I think I will be adding a simple border of some kind--probably some solid color?

I would appreciate any comments on how you would categorize or name this denim and fabric quilt. It's not a contest--I won't be sending out any fat quarters or anything like that.

Mar 3, 2011

Improvised Denim Quilt

OK, I'm having way too much fun! I've just been winging it. One thing I learned--find your sewing machine zipper foot. It makes it a lot easier to sew seams that are very close to the pocket of the jeans. I've been chopping away at the old jeans, cutting them into strips and rectangles. I refuse to post a photo of what my sewing area looks like at the moment. Would you imagine the words topsy turvey? I know I will be sewing on a few strips of fabric next, but after that--to be continued--tune in next time--

Mar 2, 2011

Denim revisited

I'm now having a lot of fun sewing together scraps of old jeans along with fabric. I want to try surrounding denim scraps with patches. Some time ago I made some quilts that were mostly made from old jeans with only a tiny bit of cotton fabric seaming the denim scraps together. Now I want to try making a quilt that has just as much scrap fabric as denim. We'll just have to see how that works out. It's an experiment.
I've been surfing around the net to look at some blogs of quilters and sewing enthusiasts. What fun, and such colorful posts. Very interesting to see the blogs of folks who sew pincushions, table runners and tea cozies and so forth.