Monday, April 29, 2013

Make A List Monday - Mission Accomplished!

Hi, all!!

Can you believe it's almost May?  This year is just flying by...  and now we're getting to boating season and the time for summer blockbuster movies - my favorite time of the year!  But there's still plenty of time for other projects...

So let's see how I did on last week's list...

1.  Hang the ceiling fan in the guest room.
2.  Hang the blinds and curtains.
Done!  Look how pretty it is...


3.  Quilt and bind two quilts for the quilt ministry.
Done!  These two have been delivered already..

Quilt #1 - The front...

...and the back!

And Quilt #2!
4.  Quilt a top for a friend.
Done!  This was a fun commission job...

5.  Pull fabrics for my H2H quilt.
Done!  And I've even got the flimsy started...

It's missing something - I'm trying to figure out if
red binding will bring it all together...

6.  Go to the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, KY!!
(Yep, that's right - we're taking nine ladies on an overnight adventure to the show and Hancock's of Paducah!)
Done!  We had a ball - but what happens in Paducah stays in Paducah - and these guys are there to make sure of it!!

I believe they go by Quiltman and Bobbin...

But seriously, I took a great class in long arm quilting with templates, and here's a sample of what I learned how to do...

It was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to try it on a real quilt!

And now, for this week...

1.  Make valance and curtain panels for guest room closet.

2.  Quilt a man's quilt for the ministry.

3.  Piece and quilt a couple's quilt for the ministry.

4.  Quilt two quilts for H2H.

5.  Make my own hand block!

6.  Write a Sweatshop blogpost this Wednesday!

7.  Finish pulling together the guest room.

8.  Contact more potential sponsors for H2H!

I think that's enough for this week - maybe I'll be lucky enough to get some extra things one too!

And just for fun, guess what = = = one of my quilts has been published!!

Those are my beautiful girls and down in the bottom right, underneath Emmy's foot?  Lill's Christmas quilt!  Here's a shot of it that shows a little more...

My daughter was the editor of a magazine put out by Lifeway and this was the picture on the editor's page last month.  I just wish they had shown a little bit more of the quilt!

So now the question is - - - what are you working on this week?



PS weird things going on with my fonts tonight, but the Internet is skipping in and out on me, so I'm going to go ahead and post while I can.  Please just bear with me!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hands2Help - For All You Procrastinators! (Me Included...)

Hi, all!

Sunday has rolled around again - are you busy planning or working on your Hands2Help quilts?  And if this is the first time you've heard about Hands2Help, there's still time to join in the fun.  Click on the page link at the top of the blog to learn more about the challenge!

If you haven't started on your quilt yet, I'm here to tell you about one of my go-to patterns - it's so versatile!  This pattern can be put together in so many different ways, you could use it for many quilts and never make two that looked the same!  Yes, I'm talking about the Disappearing 9-Patch!!

Here are just a few examples of some D9Ps...

This one is just a scrappy D9P...

...while this one was planned out with specific fabrics.

And here's another scrappy D9P, only this time without any sashing - just a glorious mix-up of color!

A traditional D9P block takes a nine-patch block... 

and cuts it into quarters.... 

then re-arranges those quarter-blocks into a new larger block.  The three quilts above use that technique.

But then there are the non-traditional D9P quilts.  

This D9P uses traditionally cut blocks, but arranges and sashes them in a non-traditional way...

.... to create a non-traditional quilt.  (If you'd like a copy of the full tutorial for this quilt, mention it in your comment and I'll e-mail it to you!)

Then you have the truly non-traditional D9P blocks - the ones that call for cutting the nine-patch block in different ways.  One of my favorites is called "Off The Grid" by John Adams (aka Quilt Dad)...

...which calls for slicing the outer blocks and inserting narrow strips of contrasting fabric.

This D9P variation uses a 9-patch block built around a solid center...

...which is sliced top and bottom, and the center section flipped...

...then the right and left sides are sliced, and flipped to the opposite sides.  All the strips are sewn back on, the block trimmed up, and you've got a whole new variation on a D9P block!

There are endless ways to play with blocks to create something new from something simple or traditional. One of my favorites of the past year took a churn dash block and made it into something entirely different!  Check out this post to be amazed!!

So now - grab your stack of orphan blocks, your rotary cutter, and see what you can create!!!!



PS - Be sure to hop over to KatieQ's blog to join in her awesome giveaway!  She's celebrating her 100+ followers and is offering an extra entry to everyone who is participating in the Hands2Help Challenge!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Weighted Blanket Tutorial!!

Hi, all!

Hard to believe another week has passed already, but it's Friday again - and time to get our whoop whoop on!!  Are you ready?


Today I'm going to share a tutorial I wrote for a friend.  She needed to make a weighted blanket for her daughter, who teaches in a special ed class.  For those of you who don't know, a weighted blanket is sometimes used to help children with sensory issues, such as autism, to help calm them or help them sleep.  It's a pretty simple idea - a blanket that is a bit heavier increases the body's production of serotonin and melatonin, which helps encourage sleep.  This makes sense to me, because I always sleep better in the winter when I've got a big heavy pile of quilts on my bed!  

Well, anyway, she had looked on line and couldn't find a tutorial that made sense to her.  She brought one of the tutorials to me to see if I could help her and I found it didn't make much sense to me either!  So I started looking for a good one, and couldn't find what I was looking for - a simple, economical tutorial for a completely adjustable weighted blanket.  So I wrote one.  And in the spirit of sharing, I'm posting it here for those of you out there who need one too!


Adjustable Weighted Blanket Tutorial

Finished size:  30” x 48”, using a six inch grid with 40 pockets

Materials Requirements:  
1 queen size flat sheet or 6 yards 44-45” wide fabric for 
weighted blanket
3 yards fabric for the “duvet” cover for the weighted blanket
80 sandwich size zip bags (do not use quart storage bags!)
Frixion pen or other water soluble fabric marking pen
(Frixion pens are sold in office supply stores; they are
marketed as erasable pens, but when you iron over 
the marks on fabric, they disappear.  Excellent for 
marking fabric, and they come in many colors!)
Poly beads (sold in craft stores for making stuffed animals)
Food or postage scale
Drinking straw

Cut from flat sheet or fabric:
8 strips 32” x 7”
16 strips 32” x 9”
1 piece 32” x 49”

Cut from cover fabric:
1 piece 32” x 50”
1 piece 32” x 56”

Step 1:  Fold the 9” strips in half lengthwise and press.  You will now have 16 strips 31” x 4 1/2”.

Step 2:  Make a “sandwich” of one 32” x 7” strip, two of the folded strips, and one 32” x 7” strip.  Stitch the long raw edge side using a 1/2” seam.  Make 4 sets.  Press the seam open, with one 7” strip and one folded strip to each side.  You should now have 4 sets and 8 folded strips.

Step 3:  Repeat the process using two of the units you just created .  Make 2 sets.  Press seams open in the same manner.

Step 4:  Repeat the process using the two units you just created.  Press the seam open in the same manner.  You should now have one piece measuring approximately 32” x 49”, and two folded strips.  Sew one folded strip to the top by laying it against the top edge with the folded edge facing toward the bottom of the blanket.  Repeat on the bottom of the blanket, folded edge facing up.

Step 5:  Layer the folded pieces in pairs, with the upper one over the lower one on each row.  This will create an envelope closure for the weights.  Pin along the outside edge, securing each flap overlap and the open seams. Stitch 1/4” from the edge on each side to secure the flaps and seams. 

Step 6:  Take the 32” x 49” piece and lay it on the pocket side of the blanket, matching corners and raw edges.  Pin and stitch around the blanket, leaving an 8” opening in the center of the bottom for turning.  Clip corners.  Turn and press.  Stitch as close to the edge as possible all the way around the blanket, securing the opening left for turning and stabilizing the edges.

Step 7:  Lay the blanket strip side up on a flat, hard surface.  Using your Frixion pen or water soluble marker, measure 6” in from the long edges of the blanket.  Draw a line from top to bottom of your blanket.  Repeat the process 6” from each of the lines you just drew.  You should now have four lines running lengthwise of your blanket.  Pin across each of the overlaps on each line.  These are your stitching lines for the weight pockets.  Be sure your flaps are well pinned, then stitch on those lines.

Step 8:  To remove the marking lines on your blanket, either spritz with water (for water soluble markers) or press with a hot iron if you used a Frixion marker.

Step 9:  Determine the weight needed for your blanket.  The formula is body weight x 10% plus 1 pound.  So for a 40 pound child:  40 x 10% = 4 +1 = 5 pounds.  Convert 5 pounds to ounces:  5 x 16 = 80 ounces.  Divide by 40 pockets:  80 / 40 = 2 ounces per pocket.

Step 10:  Measure out your poly beads into sandwich bags.  A postage scale or food weight scale is great for this.  Remove the air from the bags as much as possible with a drinking straw (be sure not to suck up a bead!!), close up the bag and spread the beads out as evenly as possible.  

(Please note - I don't always look this scary!)

Double bag the weight, removing the air from the second bag as well.  Place one weight in each pocket, fitting it into the corners of the pocket.

Making the Cover:

Step 1:  Take one of the two cover pieces, and turn 1/2” on one end.  Press.  Turn down another 1/2”, making an enclosed hem.  Press.  Stitch close to the rolled edge to secure the hem.  Repeat on the other cover piece.  Each piece will now have one hemmed end.

Step 2:  On the longer of the two pieces, take the hemmed end and fold a 6” flap down to the right side.  You will see the wrong side of the fabric on the flap, over the right side below it.  Press. 

Lay the shorter piece of fabric face on the flapped piece, right sides together.  Leaving the flapped end open, stitch the other three sides using a 1/2” seam.  Turn and press.

Step 3:  Slip the weighted blanket inside the cover.  Be sure to work the corners of the blanket down to the bottom corners of the cover.  You may have to work it up like a pillowcase, but it is designed to fit snugly so that the blanket doesn’t slip around.  Once the weighted blanket is in place, flip the flap over the open end, covering the top of the blanket.  

You’re done!!!


So that's my whoop whoop for the week!  And now it's your turn - - - 

What have you been whooping about this week?

What's made you dance the happy dance?

Share!  We want to dance along with you!!

The linky will remain open until Sunday midnight-

Be there or be square!



PS - This tutorial will be posted as a Page at the top of my blog to make it easier for folks to find in the future...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Make-A-List Monday - Remodeling Progress!

Hi, all!

Another week has passed, and boy has it been a busy one!  Lots of redecorating, a little bit of sewing....  Let's see how I did on last week's list!

1.  Paint all the trim.
2.  Prime the walls.
3.  Paint the walls.
Done!  Isn't it pretty?  Much more cheerful now!

Just a temporary put-together so Lilli can use it for naps...

4.  Hang the mini-blinds.
Didn't get to this...

5.  Hang the curtain.
...or this....

6. Make a fabric slider for the closet doors.
....or this!

7.  Resurface the dresser and nightstand.
I did do this - it's not perfect, but they look a good sight better than they did!

8.  Bind two ministry quilts that are almost done.

9.  Keep up with ministry needs!
I have two quilts ready to go on the frame this week...

10.  Pick out a pattern for my H2H quilt!
Done!  Now to get it sewn up!
11.  Find an easily-understood tutorial for an adjustable weighted blanket for a friend.
This ended up being a bit more involved - turns out there aren't any really easily understood tutorials out there for this, so I ended up writing one of my own and making the prototype for my friend.  She's excited about it, and so am I!  I'll be posting the tutorial this Friday, so that anyone can have access to it.  Spread the word if any of your friends might have a need for this!

And now for this week...

1.  Hang the ceiling fan in the guest room.

2.  Hang the blinds and curtains.

3.  Quilt and bind two quilts for the quilt ministry.

4.  Quilt a top for a friend.

5.  Pull fabrics for my H2H quilt.

6.  Go to the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, KY!!
(Yep, that's right - we're taking nine ladies on an overnight adventure to the show and Hancock's of Paducah!)

I know it's not a very long list, but I'm two days short this week because of the trip to Paducah, and may not even get this much done.   But here's hoping!  I really need to work on the quilts for the ministry first, and I'm hoping to get an electrician to come help with the fan.  We have a very old house with weird wiring and I'd really rather not burn the house down by doing it wrong!

So now the question is - - - what are you working on this week?



PS  -  just wanted to share this picture of a new baby on one of the quilts I made for a commission job...  too cute!!