Week 12 – May 6 – 12, 2012 – Finish That Quilt

This is a quilt top I purchased on eBay for about $10.  I bought it with the idea of using it to practice quilting on my quilting machine – which I did.  However, I did add the outside borders first since it was SO out of square.  It’s hand pieced and had several puckers and gathers in it so it was a real challenge to quilt, but it turned out nicely.  Once it was quilted, I couldn’t decide what to do with it.  We really didn’t need another lap size quilt to keep in the living room (I have a stack) and I didn’t know of anyone who wanted a “practice quilt” (if you’re ever interested in purchasing a practice quilt just let me know) so I did the next best thing … see next week for the result.

quilt top


Week 11– April 29 – May 5, 2012 – Rice Heading Pad

Oh, what a wonderful project this is.  These little bags are easily constructed and then filled with regular rice.  Heated in the microwave for just a minute or two then placed where needed to provide comfort.  Use as you would a regular heating pad but without the hassle of a cord.  And the longer ones can be wrapped around a knee or ankle and give warmth to the entire joint.  A couple of these are backed in cozy flannel to provide a soft fabric next to your skin.  Plus, if you keep one in the freezer you can also use it as an ice pack.  How cool is that?!    

Rice Heating Pads


Week 10 – April 22 – 28, 2012 – Potpourri Air

These cute little air fresheners are the easiest and most fun to make.  Using a couple of 5” charm squares, a piece of tulle (wedding netting), a piece of ribbon, and your favorite smelling potpourri, you can whip these up in just a few minutes.  I made several of these and put them in different rooms in our new house.  For some reason, this new house just doesn’t smell “right” but I can’t put my finger on it.  Maybe it’s just a different kind of wood, the carpets, the water, who knows?  Anyway, these little air fresheners were just the thing to fix that!  Now the whole house smells just wonderful.


Week 9 – April 15 – 21, 2012 – Bone Neck Pillow

Look another pillow!  What can I say, I like pillows.  Although I’m not one of those women who likes 15 pillows on my bed, but when I want a pillow I like to have them handy.  This one is especially nice to have on the couch when I lay down to read a book or to have in the car to put in the small of my back.


Making this bone pillow was really interesting.  It doesn’t have as much a “bone” shape as I thought it would.  I had hoped the ends would be a little bigger and a bit skinnier in the middle.  I’ll have to adjust the pattern for the next one.  The way the ends were sewn was fun.  There is only one pattern piece that makes the length of the pillow and those cute “boxy” ends.  I don’t think I put enough stuffing in it, so next time I’ll have to really cram it full of polyester stuffing.


And look at those fabrics!  Is that wild stuff or what?  That is left over fabric from making medical scrubs.  (nurses wearing this fabric is ok, but doctors, no, that’s not right)  There’s a place here in Indy that makes scrubs and flannel house pants.  A couple years ago I went to the factory and asked if they have any scraps.  Pretty bold thing to do, but what the heck, the worst that could happen is they would laugh and send me on my way.  Well, they didn’t laugh but they did point to the dumpster.  Seriously?!  Hum, so I put my purse and keys in the car (don’t want to lose those in the dumpster!) and went dumpster diving.  It really wasn’t that bad considering there was just a bunch of fabric scraps and general trash like boxes, newspapers, and empty soda cans  – I guess what I’m saying is there was no real garbage or dead bodies or anything like that.  Just stacks of fabric scraps that took a couple hours to sort through.  Apparently, they stack up lots of layers of fabric and use a long vertical saw blade thing to cut out the pattern pieces and they toss the scraps into the dumpster.  Ok by me – let’s go diving!






Week 8 – April 8 – 14, 2012 – Curved Neck Pillow

Oh My Gosh!  Is this the easiest thing to sew or what?  This is like “Sewing 101” without the beginning “10” just “Sewing 1.”  I can’t believe I actually bought a pattern for this.  Ok, so there are other pillow patterns in the pattern packet, but good grief.


Cut out two pieces, wrong sides together, sew leaving an opening, turn right side out, stuff, and sew opening closed.   Use it while reading in bed, napping on the couch, or take on an airplane or the car while on a trip.  Totally easy and totally wonderful.


The only problem I had was the fabric I chose to use.  Not sure exactly what it is because I bought it off the remnant bin at JoAnn Fabrics.  (so that makes this project easy and cheap)  It’s really soft and cuddly feeling, like a minkie fabric (baby quilt fabric).  Back to the problem – since it’s so plush and fluffy when it’s cut there is lint everywhere!  What a huge mess!  I had to use my lint roller (see picture) to clean up the mess on the ironing board and around my sewing machine, plus I’ll have to vacuum, too.  I had to put the rest of the fabric into a bag so it wouldn’t continue to make a mess out of Wandaland.


A suggestion, not really a problem exactly, is that if this were made for a man it would probably have to have a bigger neck opening.  Same issue if making it for a child, adjust the size.  Modifying the pattern should be easy enough.  I’d also like to make it out of different fabrics, like to match pillows or a quilt.  For a child you could use juvenile prints, funky prints for a teenager, or Hawaiian fabric for my husband (not that he’s been there, but it would match his sailing shirts!).


And just think of making these for Christmas presents!  So for my family – be looking under the tree for yours this holiday season.


Neck Roll Pillow



I’m back …

I may be back, but I’m not sure where all my stuff is.

We moved from Wanamaker, IN to New Palestine, IN.  Although that’s only about 8 miles away – moving is moving.  We were in that house for over 25 years and in that time you accumulate a lot of stuff and you get very comfortable.

The new house is great – boxes and all.  Most of the important stuff is put away – clothes, kitchen stuff, and all the furniture is where it should be.  However, my sewing room, aka Wandaland, is still unorganized.  If you know me, that’s a world stopper!  Things are in the room, but in all different places.  My old sewing room had two closets with floor to ceiling shelves, four bookcases, and a wall with four additional shelves.  My new sewing room has four bookcases, but they are on different walls – and that’s all the storage I have.  Except for the 30 boxes not yet unpacked.  So, in time, all will get unpacked and put where it should be.

Anyway, I have some catching up to do.  I’ve done some weekly projects but haven’t had the chance to post them – which I will do over the next week or so, that way I can get back up to speed.

I also completed a sports jersey quilt for a customer and it was such fun!  I’ll be posting pictures of that soon to.

So let’s catch up…

Week 7 – April 1 – 7, 2012 – Round Beach Tote

If you know me, you know I love bags!  Zippered bags (like last week), purses, and tote bags of all kinds, but this was the first time I’ve made one of these.  First of all – it’s got a round base!  And grommets around the top to pull the cord through.  I do remember my mother made a bunch of these when we were kids and we took them camping.  I’m sure they got a lot of use in those days. 

 As I was reading through the directions, I realized that the bottom was just one piece of fabric.  It wasn’t reinforced in way.  So, if you put just one or two heavy things in the bag, they would practically poke right through the bottom and it would be more like a tube rather than a duffle kind of bag.  I decided to make it two layers of fabric with a piece of mesh plastic in the bottom so it would hold its shape.  This would also help when digging through the bag trying to find something.  It also has 4 pockets on the outside, two large and two small.  This would be nice to stick sunglasses, sunscreen, keys, and stuff like that.  

 For improvements, it might be nice to have at least one pocket with a zipper, but I’ll have to think on how to do that.  Perhaps inside pockets the same as the outside pockets – just thinking about where to store money or ID.   This particular fabric is an upholstery fabric so it’s a bit thicker and more sturdy than ordinary cotton fabric.  I also think this would be nice made from pre-quilted fabric like what I used last week.  Rather than using the mesh plastic in the bottom, maybe some stiff interfacing.  It would sure be easier to sew.  And the size, I would classify this one as XL, so I’ll have to work on downsizing the pattern, too.

 Putting in the grommets was interesting to say the least.  Of course there’s a cool tool that does this.  (Don’t ya just love cool tools?)  Well, it seemed pretty easy but it was a bit cumbersome.  I’m sure I’ll get better with practice…so keep watching to see when I use this cool tool in the future. 

Week 6 – March 25 – 31, 2012 – Zippered Bag

Zippered bags are pretty easy to make and it took just a couple hours to make this bag. 

 This is my Garmin and it’s been without a case since it was accidentally left in a rental car on our last trip to Florida.  Unfortunately, car rental companies are not required to return forgotten belongings to the owners.  So, it’s been carried around in a Ziploc baggie for about 18 months.  Well, I couldn’t take it anymore! 

 I had a 40% off coupon for JoAnn Fabrics so I bought some of this wonderful yellow and blue pre-quilted fabric.  I had on hand a zipper and some ribbon, so I was all set to make this cute bag.  Inside it has a separate pocket to put the Garmin itself so it doesn’t get scratched by the mounting bracket or the cord.  Pretty spiffy, don’t you think? 

Miss Me?

I’ve been so busy lately I think my head is going to spin clean off my shoulders!  Although I can’t tell you at this time just what I’ve been busy doing, but when I do – it’ll be awesome!  I’ll let you know in a couple weeks so stay tuned, it’ll be fun.

 I have been spending some time in my sewing / quilting room – affectionately known as Wandaland.  There are two closets in that room and they each have floor to ceiling shelves.  And guess what’s on those shelves – a whole bunch of UFO’s!  Un Finished Objects.  These are the beginnings of projects either from a class I took or just from a pattern I have. 

 I seem to be a ‘process’ person.  I want to learn a new process, method, or learn to use a new tool, then I’m done.  Finish the project?  Are you kidding me, there’s too much other stuff to learn.  That’s how come I have all these UFO boxes on my shelves. 

 One time my sister, Janet, overheard me being asked to teach a class on quilt borders.  I thought it would be fun and I had some great ideas, but before I could agree to teach the class, my sister pipes up with “Borders?  She never gets that far!”  Although not entirely true, it’s pretty darn close.  Ok, so it takes me awhile to actually get to the borders, but I do finish quilts. 

 The last few weeks I’ve been going through those closets and all those boxes.  Wow – I don’t even remember some of those classes or projects, but here are a few…there are two flannel quilts with the squares already cut and ready to be sewn together, a Christmas quilt with the pieced blocks ready to be sewn into the quilt top, two appliqué blocks (each 36” square) of a four-block quilt and several appliqué pieces cut out for the next block, a bomber jacket, a collection of 1930’s fabrics, and the list goes on and on.  Wouldn’t it be nice to just pick a box and complete one of those projects?  I just may have to do that.

 I’ll post the next couple weeks of the 52 Week Challenge.  I’m behind in posting but I’ll do my best to catch up.  And stay tuned for that big surprise!

Week 5 – March 18 – 24, 2012 – Finish That Quilt

I took an all day class on how to do maintenance on my Gammill Classic quilting machine and it was amazing!  If you don’t have a long arm quilting machine think of it like this… I learned how to tune up my car myself instead of shipping it to the next state to have someone else tune it up my car and change the oil for me.


Kevin and I loaded up the machine then I drove 4 hours over to Zanesville, OH, to A Touch of Thread quilt shop for the class.  I learned how to do all the maintenance myself, such as, cleaning and rebuilding the disk and rotary tensions (three top tensions and one bobbin tension), the bobbin winder, needle bar, presser foot, hook assembly, adjusting the belt, and so much more.  But the best part of the class was removing the fear of trying to adjust something myself.  Now, I won’t hesitate to pick up a screwdriver and take it apart.  You just can’t buy confidence.


So, to check out the machine and make sure it works like it’s supposed to (once I got back to Indy and got the it back into the frame), I pulled this quilt top off the shelf and quilted it.   It’s a fairly small quilt, only about 40” square, but it was a good test.  (I’m still working on sewing the binding to the back of the quilt.)  Works great for an 18 year old machine!

I have several quilt tops in Wandaland that need to be quilted.  So, in future weeks, you may see more ‘Finish That Quilt’ projects.

Note – Between the time I took the picture and actually made this post, I’ve finished the quilt binding.  I’ll run it through the washer and dryer then it’ll be nice and soft and ready to use.




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