Wednesday, November 21, 2018

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Holiday Makings!

Hi, all!

Scraps!  We've all got them, and no matter how hard we work at it, they never seem to go away, do they?  Well, today I'm going to share something a little different, but it's a technique you can use to use up those scraps, too, so it's all good!

I love the Target Dollar Spot. Every time the season changes, they put out new two packs of kitchen towels.  For $3, you can get some really cute stuff - usually one towel with a saying on it, and one in a coordinating print.  I love this kind of towel, but I hate actually using them and getting them dirty, so I use them to make pillow covers on the cheap - and I'm going to share a tutorial here today.

I started with a two-pack of towels.  These are made of cotton toweling, a nice weight.

They were each barely 16" wide as I bought them, so I took a few minutes to take out the hems and sides and press the heck out of them.  Spritzing with water or spray starch will help make them nice and flat.  Sometimes you may need to do this just to get straight edges and square corners!

On the back, I wanted to retain the cute fringe trim on the coordinating towel, so I took the hems out of the sides, but not the top and bottom of the towel.  I did have to release the hem stitching on the sides a little bit to unroll the side hemstitching, but it was easily stitched back.

Next I cut two pieces for the back from the coordinating towel.  When I'm using a 16" pillow form, I like to make my pieces 16" wide also.  That way my pillow is nice and over-stuffed, rather than loose. If you prefer yours looser, you might want to make your pieces a little wider.  This pillow will have an envelope closure, so divide the finished size by 2, and add 2" to that total.  For a 16" pillow, I need two pieces 16" x 10" (16" / 2 + 2").  I cut one from each end of the towel, so I have two pieces with one finished edge each.

Normally I would just cut a 16" square from the other towel that incorporates the design, but on this particular towel, the design was printed very close to the bottom.  Luckily I had a piece left from the coordinating towel, so I sewed it to the bottom of the printed towel.

I then cut a 16" square from my printed towel piece.   Here you can see the three pieces that will make up the pillow cover.

Lay your pillow front face down and top of the design to the top.  Lay one of your backing pieces face up, finished edge towards the top of the pillow, and corners aligned with the bottom corners.  Pin the bottom in place.  Then lay the other backing piece (this would be the one with any edge finish like fringe) with the finished edge towards the bottom of the pillow, overlapping the lower piece, and corners aligned with the top corners.  Pin the top in place, then pin the sides, carefully pinning the overlaps.

If you do have a decorative fringe, Clover clips are great for pinning them out of the way so you don't sew one in the side seam by mistake (don't ask me how I know this...)

Next you'll need binding.  I like to use french fold binding, cut 2.25" wide and pressed in half.  Attach the binding to the BACK of the pillow pieces, stitching through all layers.

Trim the corners of the pillow cover materials (not the binding) so the corners will turn nicely.

Turn the binding to the front and stitch it down, mitering the corners.

Voila!  You have finished a beautiful pillow cover!  Now it's time to put in that pillow form.  Fold the top piece of the back over the front (basically turning the top inside out) and tuck the pillow in the bottom pocket.  Push the stuffing into the bottom corners.  Now fold the top piece back over the top and stuff the top of the pillow form into it, working it well into the corners.  It will be tight, but it just takes a little perseverance.  And now you're done!

First I'll show off the back - isn't it cute with those little tassels?

And now the big reveal...

A beautiful and quick pillow to bring in the season!

And yes, I have plans for Christmas pillows - here are the towels I picked up just a week or so ago at Target!

These pillow covers make wonderful hostess gifts, too - so grab a few packs of towels to keep on hand!  And if you're really lucky, you can find a great sale on pillow forms...

So now I can hand out pillows EVERYWHERE!!


I hope you enjoy this tutorial and it's something you can use!  I really need to get on the ball and make my Christmas pillows - but these are quick and easy, so maybe I can get some made this week before I decorate.  An instant way to bring some Christmas cheer!



Monday, November 19, 2018

Make-A-List Monday - And The Holidays Begin!

Hi, all!

Monday is here again, with another clean slate and chance to make progress on things!  Last week I said "take a breath" and while I may not have, Jolene (my long arm machine) did - she suffered my attempts to adjust the pressure on the hopping foot and I had to call in the repairman to fix what I did...  oops!  He couldn't come until today, so I didn't get to everything on my list - but let's take a look and I'll come clean...

1.  Quilt the baby quilt.
I did do this one - and it turned out really cute!  You can see more of it by clicking here.

2.  Quilt the bunk bed quilt.
Unfortunately this one didn't get done because of the machine repairs.

3.  Quilt several quilts for the ministry.
I did manage to quilt one before messing up my machine! And I put bindings on five quilts for the ministry, so that's something!

4.  Paint the foyer.
And this is where I spent my time last week!  The room went from this... this... this!

Added some art and a quilt-y wall hanging!

Here's the other end of the room with the furniture moved back in...

And how about a new rug?  Nice and bright and cheerful!

5.  Write a tutorial.
The tutorial is ready to go, I just need to find a day to publish it!

6.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  We gave away a few this week...

This quilt went to a 3-year old girl who loves pink.  She's currently in a medically induced coma...

...and this quilt went to a woman with a serious brain injury.  The calming colors are exactly what the doctor ordered!

This quilt went to a woman in Texas with multiple medical issues...

....and this quilt, while originally meant for a gentleman with ALS, went to his wife after he died before we could get the quilt to him. We hope it brings her some comfort!

So - - - not the week I planned, but I still got a lot accomplished!  Here's what I'm planning to work on this week...

1.  Put up a tile backsplash in the kitchen.  (My husband is taking vacation time this week so I will be assisting in the process while he takes the lead.)

2.  Hang pictures in the foyer.

3.  Quilt at least two quilts for the quilt ministry.

4.  Make backs for all three of the grandkids' annual quilts.

5.  Cook lots of yummy things to take to my daughter's house for Thanksgiving dinner.

6.  Start decorating the house for Christmas (after Thanksgiving, of course!)

7.  Take care of any quilt ministry needs that come up.

If all goes as planned, we should be finished with the backsplash sometime Wednesday.  Then I'll have the time to work on some of those other projects!  If it doesn't, I may not get to everything on this list - but it's worth a shot!

So now, I'd like to know - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Friday, November 16, 2018

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Scrappy "Squirrel"!

Hi, all!

Friday sure got here in a hurry, didn't it? And Thanksgiving is less than a week away - say what???  Cold weather is upon us here in middle Tennessee, too - we actually had little spits of snow in the Nashville area, although they got more just west of us.  But since it's Friday, that means it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on - are you ready?  Let's go!


Wednesday I shared that I had a "squirrel" moment with my scraps (actually I think it was just so I didn't have to keep cutting them up!) but I actually had two!  Remember Emmy's annual quilt top?

When I got to this point, the next step was to make a very large square of the background fabric and sew it across the corner.  You can see the result below...

That left me with two really big triangles, one of the background fabric and one of multicolor stripes.  I cut each in half, sewed them together as an hourglass block, then cut that into fourths to get half square triangles.  Kept repeating the process - hourglass blocks to half square triangles to hourglass blocks - until I had a nice assortment of hourglass blocks.  

Pulled it together into this center, and decided to add a pretty border to finish it off as a baby quilt.

Don't you love it when you have the perfect border fabric on hand?

And the sun was also on hand so I could get a good stained glass shot!!

On the frame pretty quick - I had a great backing on hand too!

Sometimes you just get a great picture - this one shows my little "sign-off" on a quilt - I usually try to put a little heart at the very end of my quilting.

And I got some new labels this week!  Dutch Label Shop asked me to try out some of their labels and, if I liked them, mention them to my blog followers.  Well, I have to say I was VERY impressed with these labels!  Their website is very easy to use, and you can create your own labels using the tools they provide.  And I had my new labels in less than a week!

Isn't that a beautiful little pile of labels? They are woven, not printed...

...and they're almost as pretty on the back as on the front!  The edges are finished somehow, so they don't fray.  I'll definitely be getting more of these!

And here's some good news - right now (until Monday 11/19) you can use the code SAVE20 to save 20% off everything on their website!  And if you can't order by 11/19, you can get a 15% discount until the end of December using code fabricaddictquilts15.

And I have another thing I'm whooping about this week...

This is what my foyer looked like on Monday...

...and here's what it looks like today! I've still got to paint the stairs, but that's a little bit of a logistical nightmare, since we pretty much live up there - and you can't walk on freshly painted stairs for about 24 hours!  But sooner or later we'll get them done. They'll be painted a very dark espresso brown, with white risers.  I still need to hang art, but that will happen soon!  

And because this made me laugh this evening when my husband shared it...

Be sure to spend some quality time with your family this week!

Can I get a whoop whoop?


And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?

What's got you doing a little happy dance?

Share!  We want to dance right along with you,

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

I May Have A Scrap Problem... A Drop Everything Quilt!

Hi, all!

Well, it has been a week!  I have had time for some fun scrappy sewing, some of which I'll share today and the rest on Friday.  It's been very freeing to just "let 'er rip", so to speak, and create.  

A lot of this started when I began cleaning up my sewing studio.  This was the view on one end of my work table...

...and that meant it was time to cut up some scraps!  

As I was cutting scraps and putting the newly cut pieces away, I found that I had a LOT of 10" squares.  Now, I know I started a quilt using jelly roll strips for the bunk bed in the guest room, but I was having some serious quilter's block trying to finalize the design.  When I saw those squares, I realized I could easily make a scrappy giant D9P quilt that would work great for that bed - and no quilter's block!  So I made plans to work on that Sunday.  Then my friend texted me with a picture of a quilt she had just finished piecing...

...and I realized that I could make this quilt with my 10" squares, and it had the added bonus of being a quilt I hadn't made before!  So Sunday morning I pulled a bunch of 10" squares before church - 48 prints, and 12 low volume.

FYI, the three columns on the right are the pieces for this quilt.  The two stacks on the left are the ones I DIDN'T use!  Told you I had a bunch!

Sunday afternoon, I took the low volume 10" squares and cut them into quarters, so I had 48 five inch squares.  I marked the diagonal on each 5" square with my Hera marker, then sewed one onto one corner of each of the print 10" squares.  I also sewed a second line of stitching about 3/8" away from the first (towards the outside of the corner) and cut between the two lines of stitching. That gave me 48 bonus half square triangles to play with later!

A couple of hours of sewing and this was the result!  Super quick and easy, the best kind of quilt for a little instant gratification!  And look how nice it looks with the quilt on the other bed...

It still needs to be quilted, but that may have to wait for a week or so.  I've got some other irons in the fire, and I also need to quilt some for the quilt ministry!  But it's nice to have it at this point and know it could be finished in a couple of hours.

Do you ever get side-tracked while dealing with your scraps and realize that you must use them right. that. minute?  I've had that happen to me twice in the past week, and it's quite a ride!  Be sure to check in Friday and see my other "drop everything" quilt!