Friday, June 29, 2012

Quilt squares rescued and given new life.....

Previously I posted about finding two partially completed quilt projects.

One was a toddler quilt that I rescued and completed.  I was able to quilt and bind it with the extra pieces of batting left over from the teacher quilts.

Here it is finished:

Well, the other quilt project was a twin quilt pattern made from The Yellow Brick Road pattern.  It was a cat fat quarter pattern made originally to match one on Amanda's bed.  But it was put away while we sold the old house and forgotten about for almost three years.

Here is what I found sealed in the basement:

Squares ready to be assembled

So I assembled all the squares.  All 65 squares were ready to be sewn together as a quilt top.  But I had the teacher quilts.

By the time the teacher quilts were completed, I was feeling the need for another peasant skirt, not another quilt......I love long, full skirts and they are hard to find as long as I like them.

Made this well-loved skirt last year
So I bought fat quarters to make myself a patchwork peasant skirt.....and started cutting....and cutting....takes a lot of 6 inch squares to cover this hinny. :D  And then it dawned on me!!!!  I had squares already assembled!  Waiting to find new life!!!!

So I plotted.  Did some math.....not my strong point....doubted myself....reworked the math....and then started sewing, and sewing, and sewing.  Again, takes a lot of material.....

I did not want to deal with trying to create a waistband with all those 1/4'' seams from the quilt, so I added a band of material at the top which became my border of the quilt.

Then gathered all the rows........

Hemming, again with all those 1/4'' seams from the quilt squares....what to do....what to do?  Quilt binding!!!  After all, this is a quilt-based skirt.

And after all is said and done, this is what I ended up with:

I am in love.  I do wish I had used one more quilt square in the first tier and increased from there for the next three.  The first tier is not as loose as I would like but it still looks pretty!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Teacher gifts done just in the nick of time!

Today is the last day of school.  As of 2pm today, I will have a second and a third grader.  They requested quilts for their teachers which put me in a tail spin with it being the first week of June.  But as of 11PM last night, I finished hand-tying the last of the three quilts!!!  YAY for me.  Not so much for my fingers and shoulders......

Drum roll please.........

Here is Amanda's one-to-one aide's quilt.  Mrs Elizabeth HAD to have the birds.  I had been hesitate to use it as it was sooooo bright.  But Amanda knew better and it looks lovely.

Amanda's teacher was easier in some ways.  She liked the colors.  The only problem I ran into was that she wanted to "help" which involved taking a rotary blade to the quilt top once it was pierced together.  I had to sew the two holes left by that.  I love the blues and greens in this quilt so much I want one for myself....

Then we come to Tessa's teacher, Mrs G.  Tessa wanted coffee cup fabric but finding fat quarters in that theme was impossible.  I came across one that will be released in August too late for this but I have my name on the wait list for me!!!

I found this fabric set.  I like the orange, browns and blues together....reminds me a bit of coffee.  I may need one of these for myself.
So I managed to pull it off and the girls took them to school today.  I hope that their teachers understand how much they mean to my girls......

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My new sewing area!

Before we moved in 2009, my sewing area was the dinner table and my storage was the front hallway.  Obviously not condusive to long-term projects such as quilts and clothing.  I would have to unpack everything and either pack it back up again when done or push it to the edge of the table and hope for the best.....When the house was put on the market, I was in the middle of a twin quilt for Tessa.  Unable to leave everything out while people were looking at the house and while we were packing to move, I put all the materials into a large plastic ziplock bag.

In the new house, all my sewing stuff was put into the basement.  I would rummage through looking for whatever I needed.  I had a folding table for my sewing machine.  I did make the girls nightgowns that year but it was a very hap-hazard area.  More and more yarn got stuffed down there.  Spools of thread fell out and rolled all over the basement floor.  Pins and hooks fell to the floor and were swept into piles.  It was not pretty......

This February, my husband built an area in the basement to use as a playroom for the girls.  He built walls and we just finished with carpet.  So now came the part for each of us to clean our areas. 

Massive amounts of yarn, material and thread were thrown out.  Between the dust of the basement and the construction of the playroom, the fibers of the yarn were dirty.  Some half-finished projects were tossed.  Some kept.

I switched tables for the piggies and moved a plastic shelving unit.  Picked up a 9-cube unit with 4 fabric bins.  Craig moved one of the lights and added another to the area as well as putting up a small sheet of peg board.

I moved tupperware containers of completed projects for sale and rescued yarn under the tables, securely closed.  Fabrics and small skeins of yarn to the 9-cube unit.

My new peg board for ribbon, scissors and rulers

My only issue is with my room-mates.....
Baby piggy

I share my space with the piggies and the litter box on the other side near the washer and dryer.  Craig thinks that it is only fair as he spent 10 years in the other house with the litter boxes in a tiny room.
So now, I just to move my sewing machine downstairs from the dining room where it resides with the current projects that I am working on.....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

The downside of being able to sew, crochet, knit or quilt is that your children want you to create gifts for their teachers.  I cannot just pop off to Dunkin Donuts and get them gift certificates.  No,  I have to work my hands and back to the bone.  But I guess since these folks spend more time with my daughters than I get to, they deserve it!

So my daughters decide that I have to make their teachers a quilt.  Oh DEAR!!!!!  I compromised with them by saying I would make a baby-sized quilt as a wall hanging.  Cause the last day of school is June 18th!!!  Luckily, they agreed.

I emailed the teachers to play off each other asking what they liked.  Did they like cats, dogs, coffee, beaches, gardening.....anything that I could use as a theme or color pattern for the quilts.  I got answers back and scoured the Internet looking for fat quarters that matched the themes.

Both teachers like coffee.  Go figure.  It is Rhode Island and we have a Dunkin Donuts on every corner.  We created coffee syrup flavoring.  We eat coffee ice cream.  But finding coffee fat quarters was driving me batty.  There is an AWESOME fabric collection coming out in August.  But that does me jack-diddly right now.

So last night, we jumped over to Joann's to see what fat quarter bundles they had.  Not much.  Sigh. 

But Amanda grabbed a bundle of fat quarters and INSISTED that Mrs Elizabeth, her one-to-one aide, NEEDED this fabric.  It was bright.  It was metallic birds in jewel colors.  I needed 6 and it only had 5, so Amanda picked a random yellow to go with it.  I wheedled.  I showed other suggestions.  One other pretty one she said would be for Mrs Murphy, but Mrs Elizabeth NEEDED this.  So it came home with us.

Amanda has Autism.  She gets fixated on certain things.  One of the things she is insistent on is STYLE.  She has a very defined sense of style for a 6 yr old. Mrs Elizabeth has helped make the last half of Amanda's school year so successful.  We were so worried that she would not be able to make the year in an integrated setting and Mrs Elizabeth certainly helped make it happen.  Without the support and effort of Mrs Murphy and Mrs Elizabeth,  Amanda would have had a much worse year.  And we want to show our gratitude.

I posted on Facebook asking for opinions:

What do you do when the fabric and colors that your daughter picked for her teacher's gift are hideous? Amanda picked this for her Aide. The fabric bundle is birds and I needed one more so she picked this yellow. It is a wall quilt. Do you get it? Or tell her it was not right?

People basically said to go with what Amanda wanted.  So I sat down and started cutting, sewing, ironing and cutting again last night.  And by 11pm, I had all 20 squares assembled.  Took a picture, posted the update to Facebook and took my tired and achy self to bed.
WOW!  Bright!!!
 I showed little Ms Priss my hard work this morning and she wanted to bring it to school.  Sorry kiddo, mommy still has to sew all the squares together, sew the rows, add borders and backing and hand tie this bad boy!

So after the girls got on the bus, I sewed the squares into rows and sewed the rows together.

In all its glory

Put on your sunglasses!
So the little diva was correct.  It does look good together.  I just hope Mrs Elizabeth realizes that Amanda loved her so much that she had to have this fabric for her.

Would your child's teacher or aide have appreciated this?  Would you?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rescued quilting project

QUILTING: The art of cutting pretty fabric into pieces to sew together and cut up again before being sewn back together......

Yesterday I posted about finding a partially completed quilt top.  All the squares had been sewn together and even one row of squares had been sewn before the project got stored away.

I have been trying to figure out how long this project had been in storage and realized that the fabric came from The Fabric Place which has been out of business in Warwick for almost 4 years.

Last night, I sewed each row of squares together and ironed them.  Then sewed the rows together and added the border.


With the borders added

Close up of the pattern
This sweet quilt top is off to the wash tonight along with the pretty paw print backing to ensure that there are no musty smells from being stored for so long in plastic.

Pretty paw print backing
 I really forgot how much I loved quilting.   That may be why there are multiple projects started.  I made a tiered peasant skirt last year from unused fabric pieces.  I know there is one of half finished quilting project.  And I believe enough fabric to make two Christmas kids quilts.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a rainy day.  Perhaps more set up for my sewing area and a deeper foray into my fabric stashes are called for!!!!