Week 4 – March 11-17, 2012 – All Around the Square

This is a pattern from Easy Quilts, Summer 2012, that was really fun to make.  And yes, it was easy.  First of all it’s only 12” x 12” and uses just a little bit of fabric.  What a great way to use up some leftover fabric from a larger project.  Actually, I got these fabrics as a collection of 2 ½” strips from Keepsake Quilting (Fabric of the Month Club – how fun is that?).  Normally, I wouldn’t have chosen them, but they came as a set.  And you know what, I kinda like them. What a great way to try out new fabrics.  Expand your color and pattern choices – and have fun at the same time.

Week 3 – March 4-10, 2012 Sweater Candle Jar Cozies

Sorry this post is late…we were out of town the last two weekends at a friends’ house putting tile in their bathrooms.  The tile looks great and we had a good time so it’s taken me a couple days to catch up.  (Love ya Debbie!)

OK, so this is really a continuation from Week 2.  Did you ever have an idea and just couldn’t let it go?  That’s what happened here.  After I made the candle jar cozies last week, I just couldn’t stop thinking about them.  From out of the blue I got the idea to use a sweater sleeve to make the cozy.  So off I went to Goodwill to buy a sweater.

I cut off the sleeve near the cuff and made the cozy for the smaller candle using the cuff edge as the top edge of the cozy.  This way the top edge is already done for you.  It still has the fabric bottom to protect the glass.  I then cut up a little further on the sleeve where it’s bigger for the larger jar.  However, I now had to finish the top edge with a bit of elastic.  Also it was not a true cylinder shape because of the shape of the sleeve, so I had to sew another seam close the one already there to make it the same dimension around the top and the bottom, sew on the bottom and magic – a Sweater Candle Jar Cozy!

I also had thoughts of making them from lace or pretty ladies hankies, but that may have to wait for another day.

Week 2 – week of Feb. 26, 2012 – Jar Candle Cozies

This was an interesting project – making fabric jar candle covers.  New candles aren’t the problem, it’s just after they’ve been used for awhile that they become a problem.  The wax often burns unevenly, the wick breaks off and get stuck in the melted wax, the top of the jar often turns black, and there’s the company logo or writing on the outside of the jar.  All of this can make them unattractive.  Well, with these little “cozies” they are a lot more attractive.  I tried a variety of techniques – elastic or ribbon at the top to make it fit the jar, appliqué a design on the front, and even sewing on some lace.  The one with the lace is about half way burned and now when the candle is lit, the light shines right through the lace and was a delightful surprise.  These also have a fabric bottom to protect the glass jar if it’s sitting on a hard surface.  After I wrote up the directions, since I designed these myself, I mentioned to Kevin (my wonderful husband) that I hope there isn’t already a pattern on the market because I had the bright idea that I invented this myself!  Here are the before and after pictures of the candles…

52 Week Challenge

I’m starting a new project, one that will actually take 52 weeks to complete.  It’s from the book A Daily Creativity Journal 365 by Noah Scalin.  Create something every day or every week for one year.  It’s geared toward anyone who wants to jump start their creativity no matter what your “medium” is.  It could be cooking (did you see the movie Julie and Julia or read the book?), or it could be painting, or writing, or drawing.  For me, my medium is fabric.  So, my personal challenge is to do something with fabric every week.  Now I’d love to say I’ll make a quilt every week for a year, but I don’t think that’s realistic (at least not until I retire).  So, I could make a small quilt as a table topper or dresser runner, a wall hanging, a tote bag, a purse, anything I can think of!  But it’s once I run out of those quick ideas is where the challenge will come in, what will I make next?  Where will the ideas come from?  Where will my creativity lead me?  What new skills will I learn?  What will I accomplish?  What will I learn about myself on this journey?  So many questions waiting to be answered.  I hope you’ll enjoy yourself as you follow me along this journey.  So, I’m ready to start with my first project. 


Week 1 – Week of Feb. 19, 2012 – My 52 Week Challenge Journal

Here’s a picture of the journal cover I made for one of those composition journals.  These are relatively easy to make, just a couple rectangles of fabric sewn together; there are flaps on each side that the cover slides into to hold it onto the book; and it has a ribbon to keep my place.  I cut out the shapes for the “52” and appliquéd them onto the cover.  In this journal I’ll put a picture of the project along with a description. 

Winter Retreat Quilt Block Exchange

Saturday was a “Sew Day” with my sister, Janet, and my best friend, Shelley.  The goal was to work on some quilt blocks for an exchange at the Indiana State Quilt Guild winter retreat.  Each winter retreat the “back row ladies” (a group of wild and crazy gals) organizes some kind of quilt block exchange.  At the 2011 winter retreat they choose to make these star blocks in batik fabrics which we will exchange at the 2012 retreat.  This sounded great, but I didn’t have any batik fabrics – I know that must be difficult to imagine, so I spent all summer collecting fabrics.  Then in the fall once sailing season was done I’d have plenty of time to whip up these blocks.  Well, here it is just three weeks away from the retreat and I don’t have them done!  A good way to get some focused quilting done is with friends!  Janet already had hers done (the little project finisher that she is), but Shelley and I really needed some help.  Shelley is using a method to sew triangles called Thangles and I used a method of sewing squares together then cutting them apart to make the triangles.  Both methods turned out beautiful blocks!  Here are some pictures of my blocks:

As of this post, I only have 4 more blocks to make.  I will cut the sashings and borders before we leave for the retreat.  At the winter retreat in Shipshewanna, IN, this wonderful group of ladies will exchange blocks and I will be able to set mine together into a quilt top.  I’ve not worked with batik fabrics before and I’ve found this to be very interesting and a lot of fun!

Hockey Jersey Quilt

It’s finished and it’s awesome!  This quilt was made for my nephew, Matt, from his hockey jerseys.  He’s played hockey from the youth leagues all the way through his senior year at North Central High School.  My brother, Elwood, brought me 17 of Matt’s jerseys.  Let me tell you that’s a lot of jerseys!  He said to use them all and make it as big as possible.  I did both.  I used the front, back, and sleeves.  Some of the youth jerseys I couldn’t use the sleeves (they were just too darn small), but some of the larger jerseys I got several blocks from the sleeves.  Go figure.  There were also six photographs transferred to fabric and included as quilt blocks.

Here’s the finished quilt.  It measures 100”x104”.  (takes up my entire living room floor!)

Close up of the center of the quilt.  The black jersey with the green and white v-neck collar is Matt’s first jersey.  Notice there is a team photo as well.

Each block was individually quilted and here’s a close up of one of the blocks.

Bent’s Camp T-shirt Quilt – Completed!

What a great t-shirt quilt!  I had fun making this and Debbie loves it.

Bent’s Camp T-shirt Quilt

Last weekend I delivered a t-shirt quilt to Debbie, my best friend who lives in Bloomington, IN.  These were t-shirts from their family vacations at Bent’s Camp in Wisconsin.  It turned out absolutely beautiful and she loves it!  Each shirt was designed by a family member and includes the names of everyone who attended that year.  I also included three pictures that were transferred onto fabric.  Two pictures Debbie took herself and one was a picture her sister, Donna, colored and gave to her.  I’ll post pictures in the next day or so, but wanted everyone to know that Debbie’s t-shirt quilt is done and delivered.  I had a great time working on her quilt and I know it will be used and loved.

 Have a great weekend!

Applique Blocks

Just got back from a long weekend in Orlando, FL, at Stay & Scream at Universal Studios – 8 haunted houses, a new roller coaster, and at Islands of Adventure was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  All totally amazing!

So – I didn’t get much quilting done at home, but I was able to do some hand work on a couple of applique blocks while sitting in the airports.  These applique blocks are out of Civil War reproduction fabrics.  A few years back (won’t say how many) this was a Block of the Month from the Quilts Plus quilt shop here in Indy.  Then a couple years back (won’t say how many either) the Back Row Ladies from the Indiana State Quilt Guild (ISQG) did an exchange of 4 patch blocks in the same fabrics – so I think this will go together nicely.  I have a couple applique blocks left to do then I can get them set into a quilt top.  That’ll make a great project at the Jan. 2012 winter retreat.

Have a great day!

Quilt top done – almost

Been working like crazy on a t-shirt quilt for Debbie, last night finally got the top done!  Almost.  I’ll add the border tonight.  It really looks awesome.  I love it and hope she will, too.  Had a bit of an issue with the t-shirts shrinking at different rates, but with a bit of pulling and tugging they all fit.  This quilt also has 3 pictures that she took that I scanned onto fabric – they look wonderful. It helps that she’s a great photographer.  (will post a picture this weekend)  Then it’ll be ready to layer and quilt.  These shirts were from her family vacations at Bent’s Camp up in Wisconsin.  I’d love to do some quilts for the rest of her family. 

Enjoy the sunshine after 3 days of rain!

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