Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sister Suzy is off to college

Sister Suzy is off to college in a couple of weeks, so we have been scurrying around getting things ready for her to move into her dorm type apartment.  She decided that a pedestal bed that she could store things under was a good idea.  So I have made a tailored bed-skirt out of the material we bought for curtains when we were BD (before doors) while building our house.

Then I reupholstered an office chair she had found at a garage sale while out and about with Hubby.  The chair had a brick red Herculon fabric that was stained.  Original I was just going to make a slipcover for the chair but had a flash of brilliance upon spying a piece of Naugahyde in a tub and went for the reupholstering.  It took a while to do because I had to do a mock up of the back in muslin.  Naugahyde is not forgiving when you go to poking a bunch of holes in it.  The very back of the seat back is smaller than the front of the back.  So there was the ease factor to get right between the two pieces, also.  The seat was a breeze; just cut a big square and tack it on.  I think the chair turned out fairly well, all things considered.  (I am going to have to get the blow dryer out and heat up the wrinkle so it relaxes out.)

The next thing I worked on was a bag for her yoga mat, block and belt.

To make one you need a pair of blue jeans that the yoga mat will fit down the leg, two zippers, two 'D' rings, some Velcro, a seam ripper and a good pair of scissors.  Trim the hem of one leg then measure up about 29" and cut.  Cut the other leg off at the crotch line and open both of legs up flat with the seam ripper.  Take off the back pockets and the belt loops.

Measure the circumference of the pant leg then divide by pi and then again by 2 to get the radius of your circular piece for the bottom.  Lay that out on the second pant leg and cut it out.  For the yoga block pocket I measured up the side across the width and down the other side adding 1" for seam allowances and 1" for ease.  I didn't take into account for the couture of the mat when it is in the bag so the block is tight in the pocket.  I should have added at least a couple more inches for that.  Then I measured up the end of the block and across the length of the block adding 1/2" for seam allowance and 2 1/2" for the hem at the top of the pocket.  Then doing my best origami folding, after cutting and putting in the hem at the top, I fold the corners and pinned for all I was worth.  I marked the outline of the block on the leg that was to contain the yoga mat and pinned, shuffled fabric around until I had it place where I wanted it and sewed it up.  It worked!

Built the strap to hold the block into the pocket and applied Velcro.  Next I took the fabric that was left and made the cargo pocket to hold the yoga belt, socks, and gloves.  I cut 4" off the top of the piece and inserted the zipper I found in my stash.  Did the origami thing again with the marking, pinning and sewing.  It worked!  Again!

Then I tackled putting the back pockets on the other side of the leg.  One pocket is closed with Velcro and the other with a zipper.  Easy peasy!

Sewed up the side seam, then put the bottom in along with the bottom part of the strap with the 2 'D" rings.  I had to piece the strap together from the seat of the pants cutting it into 3" strips.  Next up was the 2" hem at the top of the bag.  Then applying the belt loops and bar-tacking the tie strap to the top.  Finally I applied the top part of the carrying strap and I was done.  (The tie strap came from the flat-felt seam I cut out with my first miss-step at making the bag.)

I showed it to Sister Suzy and she was quite impressed!  Yeah!

Have a good day!


Saturday, July 7, 2012

kelsey's baby quilt

One of the girls Sister Suzy graduated with is having a little one in August.  Sister Suzy asked if I would make a baby quilt for her to give to Kelsey.  Of course, I will make one!

I found the pattern for the block a while ago and thought it was a great way to use scraps.  It was from the Quilting Daily web site and a hexagon shaped baby blanket.  It is baby quilt #4.  I loved the idea of the block construction but not the shape of the quilt.  So me being me, I changed it around into what I believe to be a far more useable shaped quilt.

The quilt measures 43" by 55".  You will need 18 whole blocks, 4 half blocks, 9 half diamonds and 2 quarter diamonds.  The border is 2 1/2" wide with a matching bias-cut French binding.  I don't know how much fabric is in the quilt because I used scraps but there is 13" of fabric in the binding.  LOL!

I used a traditional weight cotton-batting for the inside layer.  Not as thick as I like but after washing the quilt it has a very old-timey look so all is wonderful.

This is the shape of the basic unit of the block.

I started by sewing long strips of fabric together and then cutting out the shapes.  Lots of wasted material in my mind and as you cut, your temple gets smaller. Not very satisfying! So what to do?  How about paper piecing?  I have never paper-pieced and it works amazingly well.  Here is a link to a youtube video if you are curious.  And when you have the three basic units sewn together they look like this.

Well I got tired of putting the blocks together the recommended way and I was also running out of strips long enough, so I tried something a little bit different.  I rotated my scraps 90 degrees and made a few blocks this way.

I thought that was cute and wish I had done a few more like them.

I did outline quilting for the most part in the body of the quilt.  I wanted something different for the quilting on the border.  I did a search in some quilt stencil books I have and found this one I really liked.

The stencil comes from the book Quilting Designs from the Amish by Pepper Cory.  When you are looking for stencil designs for machine quilting look for designs that flow from one repeat to the other.  If you can't take your finger and follow the line for long distances the design is not a good candidate like the very top design.  There is a lot of starting and stopping in that one.  The one I chose (in the middle) the lines flow for however long you want to repeat the design.  This is how I did the corner.

There are several ways to do corners.  Hum, I think, I will do a blog post on how to make your quilt stencil design turn the corner!

And lastly the back and label!

Bubbles!  I love that fabric for the backs of children's quilts.  Yes, I do!

Until next time, have a good day!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

chocolate covered strawberries

We bought a flat of strawberries and before I froze all of them I wanted to try something new with the strawberries. I have always been curious as to what all the buzz was about with chocolate dipped fruit. So, I had my first chocolate covered strawberry this summer.  They were okay, just, okay.
I must have a truly unsophisticated palate, because, why would you cover up the wonderful taste of strawberry with chocolate?  So I turned the bowl of chocolate over to the resident chocoholic (Sister Suzy) and sprinkled a wee touch of sugar on my bowl of strawberries and was in heaven.

It just wasn’t the strawberries, I tried chocolate with pineapple and blueberries, and that didn't turn my crank either.  I know!  Pure sacrilege!  A female who doesn't like something covered in chocolate!  What can I say, except, I will save the my chocolate for cookies, cakes or brownies!

Have a good day!