Personal Sewing Play Time

Now this was some serious sewing play time for me.

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making a metal frame clasp purse. I’m sure you’ve seen these.  They have been around for ever!  As you can see from this collection of purses that it took me several tries before I finally got it right.  By right I mean purse #6.

I played with different frames, different types of glue, different batting and stiffeners (iron on and sew in), and different patterns.  I read through several patterns (and rewrote several) and watched a lot of videos.  In the end I created my own pattern, created my own method, and wrote my own directions. . So, since I used up all my metal frames I had to order some more.  When those come in, look out!  I’m gonna make some great purses!

As a side note, for the purses I didn’t like, I tried to pull the fabric out of the metal frame so I could reuse it.  Didn’t happen.  I personally give the three different glues I tried a thumbs up!

This made for a great weekend of fun!

Personal Post Just for Dogs

This one is for the dogs.  Literally.

Don’t throw away all those scraps!  This is one of the reasons that quilters have been referred to as ‘the original recyclers.’  I have leftover fleece (from making scarves for Christmas), leftover batting scraps (from making quilts), cotton fabrics (also from making quilts), and leftover binding pieces (also from making quilts).

So, what to do with all those scraps?  Make crate comforters for dog rescues and shelters.  All dogs deserve to have their own little quilt.  These are put in their crate to give some warmth and comfort.  That’s probably how these got their name!  When a dog is adopted, this little quilt goes with them to help ease the transition into their new home.  Awww….. how cute is that?

Any shelter will gladly accept these crate comforters made from any of these materials and made in any size. So to all my quilting friends out there, put your scraps to good use and give them to the dogs.

What a fun project!


Monday Personal Post

Here is a fun little project – a mug rug.


I bought a fabric panel that had several of these ‘wine squares’ on it.  I couldn’t resist buying it, but then what to do with them?  Someone gave me some cloth napkins (thanks Lavon!) and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with those either.  So, combine them!

The result is a mug rug, or in this case, a wine rug.  If you don’t know what a mug rug is, think of it as a quilted placemat to set your mug of coffee or a glass of wine or your drink of choice and perhaps a snack.  In this case, I returned this gift to the giver.

So fun!

Monday Personal Post

On Monday’s I’ve decided to post a personal sewing project that I’ve done.  This is just for fun and something light.

These are microwave bowls.  Sounds simple enough.  They are used to hold a bowl of soup or chili or whatever, then put it in the microwave to heat up, and when it’s done, pull it out and you can hold it by the fabric bowl.  Now how awesome is that?!  You don’t burn your fingers and you can hold it while you eat.

On a side note, you can use them to hold a bowl of ice cream and not freeze your hand. How fun is that?

And did I mention they are reversible as well as machine washable and dryable? Totally fun!

A Much Loved Log Cabin Quilt

Many, many years ago I made my niece, Alissa, a log cabin quilt.  She used and loved this quilt until there wasn’t much left of it. Literally.  I won’t post a picture of that because it’s almost heartbreaking.  She gave this quilt back to me in hopes that I can do something with it.

It just so happens that I did something with that tattered quilt.

She just got married last month and for her bridal shower present I presented her with this unique gift.  I found three different picture frames (from Goodwill) and painted and stained them to give them a worn look.  I cut out three reasonably good pieces of the quilt and put them in the frames.  This is a wonderful way to remember that beloved quilt.  (sorry about the light glare on the center frame)


I’m hoping she’ll love them for many years to come.



For the love of a Quilt Label

My friend, Jill, came to visit a couple weeks ago and naturally we talked about quilts.  It turns out she has several quilts, some handed down from her family and some she purchased at estate auctions. Guess what? None of them has a label!  Oh this cannot go on!  We pulled out my label making box and we made labels, lots of labels.

quilt labels made by Jill

Now that was fun!  I sent her home with a Ziploc baggie of labels and now as she puts each quilt back in her closet (each inside a pillowcase) she will sew a label on each one.

Every quilt deserves a label no matter if you made it, your grandma made it, or you purchased it at an auction or garage sale. Most of the ones above were made from a printed panel that you simple cut apart or you can make your very own.  Who made it? Who is it made for? Occasion? Year? Because, who knows where this quilt will end up in 20, 30, or 40 years from now?  Every quilt has a story to tell – so tell it.

Log Cabin Quilt in Maroon and Navy

I may have posted a picture of this before, but here are a few more details and the story behind the quilt.

This quilt was started sometime in 1990. I mean, just look at those fabrics! I loved them then and I accept them now. Though it pains me at times to look at them. So, I think of them as vintage fabrics and that makes me smile. So, this was part of my own UFO Project. A UFO for a quilter is UnFinished Object. When I pulled out the plastic storage box to work on this quilt the blocks were ready to be string pieced. That means the blocks were laid out in the rows and columns that would make up the design. I didn’t have the faintest idea what that overall pattern would look like. Since these are Log Cabin blocks they can be laid out in many different ways to create an overall pattern. I trusted myself that I laid them out correctly and just sat at the sewing machine and sewed them together without really knowing what it would look like. The picture below shows the quilt top and you can see the overall design. Hum. I’m not overly fond of this layout, but it’ll work and that’s way too many seams to pick out if I wanted a different design. Good grief, I don’t have time to rip out seams! Too much fabric, too little time! Moving on …

log cabin - quilt top

Next, the quilting. Did I mention that this is king size? Good thing I have a quilting machine with a LONG table. Takes up nearly the whole room, but I’m good with that.

log cabin - on the frame

Here’s the detail of the quilting. I used a ribbon swirl pantograph pattern. I thought about doing free motion quilting, but that would have taken a long time. Finishing this quilt was part of my UFO Project to get as many UFO’s completed in a specific time frame. (That was a great project and I’m thinking I’ll have to write a post about how many projects I did get done.) Anyway, I used a variegated thread in red and blue – boy did that look great on those fabrics.

log cabin - quilting 2

This is hard to admit, but sometimes quilters make mistakes. Happens rarely, but when it does it’s just a chance to show how our “emergency creative side.” My mistake, too much quilt top and not enough backing fabric. I honestly don’t know how this happened. I mean, it’s just math. I do know how to add and subtract. Looking back, I’m guessing a glass of wine was involved. (Okay, true confession, those who know me personally probably guessed that it was two glasses of wine. Lesson learned: math and wine don’t mix.)

This was the first time this has happened to me and I wasn’t quite sure how to fix this. Yes, add fabric to the backing to make it long enough. I got that, but do I have to take it off the quilt frame? Thanks to YouTube, no, I didn’t have to take it off. While it’s still on the frame, use the longarm machine to sew on the extra length, then finish quilting. Tada! I didn’t take pictures of that process or write down the video I watched, but just Google It and I’m sure you can learn how to do it the same as I did.

log cabin - backing too short

Now that the backing fabric is long enough, I was able to finish the quilting. I had enough fabric in that UFO box to make the binding so it all matches. Vintage fabrics all around!

log cabin - completed

A quilt is not complete until there is a label attached. So, all done!

log cabin - completed with label

We are currently using this quilt on our bed and I’m happy to report it works great!

Take care!