Saturday, September 19, 2009

Halloween Project I

Get an early start on a quick Halloween project!

This fast and easy wallhanging was mystery quilt 3 on Quilting Passion. There are many examples of finished projects so to give you an idea of how to begin yours. There are several options available; keep it simple or add more dimension.

Should you decide to make this project, please provide a finished photograph so that I can add it to my gallery? It would be greatly appreciated!

Also, be on the lookout for more Halloween (and non-Halloween) projects before the end of October!

All comments and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Friday, September 11, 2009

September Door Decor

Well, the day is almost over and I removed my 09/11 quilted door decors and replaced it with September. The photo shown is as you come up onto my front porch.

The no-sew applique instructions done in the top placemat are found in the article directly beneath this one. The bottom placemat was one that I purchased already appliqued.

September Project of the Month


Each month, I am going to try to provide a quick and easy project. There will sometimes be options available for the projects and one can make these as simple, or complex, as time and energy allows. Some of these projects (such as this one!) would make an inexpensive, but very cute, gift.

The project of the month (POM) for September is a "September" wallhanging. It is simple, fast, and inexpensive! This project costs about $5 and took me about 20 minutes. It is important to note that this no-sew appliqué project is highly adaptable to any season, holiday, month, or occasion. The fabric does most of the work!

This summer, a deck was built across the front of my home and each month I hang some type of "quilt" (loosely used!) to the right of my front door (and sometimes the left, if I need the room!). This can easily be seen when anyone comes to my door and it serves as a "welcome" greeting. I change, what I call "the door decor", my quilt on the first day of each month.

The September door decor can easily be made with no sewing! If you choose, however, you could finish it off by either hand- or machine-appliqué. I am choosing not to sew mine for several reasons. Why would I choose not to finish mine off by sewing? 1) Because of its location, it is subject to the elements of the weather, so I do not want to invest a lot of time, energy, and money on something that I do not yet know how long will last (time will tell!), 2) Because I make several of these and the less I have to do, the better!, and 3) I plan on using this same project for October by utilizing the back side of the finished wallhanging. I also save my sewing time for higher priority projects.

Read through this project before beginning! I learned a few things as my first project went along and share them throughout this page.

Supplies needed for this project are (I have about $5-$6 invested in each of mine):

1) Sewing supplies (needle, thread, scissors, etc.).
2) 1 large bow (either handmade or purchased; mine is purchased and has fall leaves and colors on it).
3) 1 placemat, any color that you want for "September" to represent. My placemat came pre-quilted, and it did effect the wallhanging, somewhat. Since you will be ironing on fusible webbing, the appliqué does not adhere as well if there is a texture (I really pressed all of the nooks and crannies to make sure it stuck). If you plan on sewing (appliquéing) the things onto your quilt, then the texture would need to be considered for your hands or sewing machine. It is also important that the placemat be able to withstand heat, since you will be ironing the surface of it. Mine is also forest green.
4) 1/8 (or less!) yard of a fabric that says "September" (either fall or school-related). This fabric should have a smaller-scale print, if any. Mine is of fall leaves.
5) 1/8 (or less!) yard of a second fabric that says "September" to you. This fabric should have a large-scale print (you can "fussy cut" it). Mine is a geometric design with sunflowers.
6) Some type of double-sided fusible webbing (about 1/2 yard will do... if you have leftover, you can use it for October!).
7) The "September" appliqué pattern (or you can print off one using a different font). The pattern provided disappointed me when placed upon my project. It is too hard to read, and in the future, I will probably use a different font for the months/words that have quite a few letters of the alphabet.

To make the project:

1) Trace the pattern onto the paper side of the fusible webbing.
2) Press the fusible webbing pattern onto the WRONG side of the smaller-scale fabric. Mine is a fabric with small-scale fall leaves on it.
3) Cut each letter of "September" out carefully.
4) Roughly plan your layout for the project. I am placing my bow in the top, left corner and the lettering scattered horizontally along the placemat. The longest parts of the placemat are the top and bottom of your project, by the way.
5) Once you get an idea of the layout, you'll then know how much of the second, large-scale, fabric to use. "Fussy cut" motifs or patterns from this fabric. Mine is a coordinating fabric to the first, with fall leaves and sunflowers. Mine also has geometric designs (squares) surrounding the sunflowers and this looked perfect for me to use. Cut enough to satisfy the layout.
6) Follow the directions on the fusible webbing to press all of the fabric pieces into place. The bow goes on last, however, I simply laid it in place while I adjusted the other pieces to get an overall idea of what the finished project would look like.
7) At this point, you can choose to appliqué these pieces, by either hand or machine, in place if you want.
8) Attach the bow! Mine is pinned on from the back using a safety pin. That way, I can reuse this bow in October and November.

Since mine is outside, I merely use small tacks to attach it to the house. This would easily hang indoors using straight pins. You could also attach ribbons to the ends and the middle or sew on hanging rings.

Voilà! The project is finished.

I certainly hope that you enjoy making this one. I would love photos to share if you do! Thank you!

This project can be found in its entirety on Quilting Passion. All comments and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Also, I would love to have a photo of this project finished, if you would like to share!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Recycled Pillowcase Apron Project

My aunt Fern dearly loves making aprons! At our family reunion tonight, I was honored by her gifting me with a handmade apron made from a vintage pillowcase. As she described her sewing project, how fast and easy it was, it dawned on me that this would make a great project. So, without further ado, here are the instructions!

NOTE: The length of the ties and the width of the pillowcase may vary, dependent upon the size/build of the person that is going to be wearing it. Make allowances as needed.

* 1 pillowcase (the photo shown above is of an old pillowcase that my aunt purchased at a yard sale for a quarter!),
* 1 washcloth (new or used!),
* 2 strips of pillowcase (use several to piece into this measurement, if needed) that measures approximately 2.5" x 26". These are the ties.
* 1 strip of the pillowcase (use several to piece into this measurement, if needed) that measures approximately 3" x 20". This is the waistband.
* General sewing supplies, i.e. thread, sewing machine, iron, scissors, etc.

First, cut a corner off of the washcloth. Measure in from the outside corner approximately 4.5" - 5" from both directions and cut off the triangle formed. (You can wait to do this later if you're unsure about how much you want to cut off.)

Second, remove the side and bottom seams from the pillowcase. If you are lazy like me, I would simply cut it, instead of removing the stitches. :)

Third, note that in the photo above, the TOP of the pillowcase is the BOTTOM of the apron. That hem is already sewn for you, so all that needs done is to trim the pillowcase. Trim to approximately (see the note above) 19" x 38". This allows for 1/4" seam allowances. I might mention that my apron is quite wide. I wear a size 10, but it would even fit a plus size.

Fourth, turn each of the sides under (twice, so as to have pretty hem with no fraying) and topstitch into place.

Fifth, take one of the pieces of fabric to be used for a tie and fold it in half with wrong sides together, lengthwise. Stitch 1/4" across the short end and around the long edge. Be sure to leave one end open! Do this for both ties. Turn the "tubes" right side out and press.

Sixth, take the waistband fabric and fold it in half with wrong sides together, lengthwise. Lay a tie at each end (with the unfinished edge of the tie on the waistband), being very careful that when you turn it back to the right side, that the tie is going to be going in the direction opposite of the waistband! Stitch 1/4" across each of the ends. Leave the length open, at this point. Turn it right side out and press. It is a good idea, at this point, to go ahead and press the 1/4" seams flat across the width, even though it is not yet sewn. This makes it easier to attach to the apron when the time comes. You should have a semi-finished waistband with the ties that is pretty long! If it is short, check the direction those ties are going.

It is important to note here that perfection is not expected. If the waistband is a tad wider than the tie, no one will call the sewing police. And if the recipient of the gift complains, take it back and give it to someone who appreciates it!

Seventh, baste a "gathering" stitch across the raw edge (the top of the apron) approximately 1/4" in. Gather this to approximately 19" wide (which is about one-half of the width of the bottom of the apron).

Eighth, take the raw edge (with the triangle cut off) of the washcloth and sew it with a 1/4" seam onto the apron (on top of the gathers). Measure approximately 4" in from the outer edge of the apron for placement.

Ninth, carefully "snug" the gathered edge of the apron up into the "pressed under, open" seam of the waistband. Pin this in place. Either topstitch it down or whipstitch it in place (mine is hand-whip stitched!).

Voila! The apron is finished.

Please keep in mind that the measurements given are only suggestions and that adjustments should be made based upon who is going to be wearing it. Also keep in mind that I did not make this apron; merely took notes as my aunt described the process. So, if you find an error, please
notify me
as soon as possible!

This project can be found in its entirety on Quilting Passion. All comments and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Also, I would love to have a photo of this project finished, if you would like to share!

Remembering 09/11/01

In preparation for 09/11/09, I plan on honoring those who lost their lives in 2001 with the World Trade Center tragedy. I will replace my fall yard flag with the American flag, and will also hang my paper-pieced flag quilt beside my front door. The pattern for this small, quick, and easy project is located at:

What, if anything will you be doing?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The History of Planning a Quilt

Wow, talk about an article opening up a Pandora's Box! This stage of the quiltmaking process is extremely important both today and years gone by. Do it thoroughly and the rewards are so satisfying and unimaginable. Rush the planning and not thinking it through can prove utterly disastrous. And devastating. So great care should be given to the planning of a quilt. This was especially true in the past, which is the focus of this article. While there are many ideas that are still good, it is easy to see that some of the techniques and methods used are now outdated, tedious, and made much simpler via the utilization of modern technology.

Have you ever built a new house? Or remodeled? Or redecorated a room? Much thought is given to the end result. How everything is placed is vital to your plan and, hopefully, well thought out. Once the project is finished, you more than likely thought, "I wish I had put that there and this over here..." and on... and on... and on! It is inevitable: Experiencing the process makes one wiser! I have been blessed in that I have had the privilege of building four homes. I would like to say that it was perfect, but, alas, they were not. I designed each and every one of them and yet at the end, I discovered ways that I could have improved my design (my builders hated me, as I would change plans during construction). With each experience, however, I became wiser. Now I sit in my fourth home and see a couple of things I wish I had done differently, but overall, most of it was planned according to prior knowledge gained.

The same can be said of quilting, past and present. And a plan that works for one person may not necessarily work for another. It may look appealing when you decide to copy (legally, of course) a pattern, but once finished, you may realize that the colors just do not fit your style or purpose. So part of this learning process is in discovering your own personal tastes and being able to adapt your own style into your planning. Learning this valuable lesson can be a useful tool in preventing any disappointments in the finished product. It simply takes too long, too much energy, and too much expense to haphazardly complete a quilt.

Several considerations were given to the planning of a quilt long ago: Purpose, Size, Color(s), Layout, Borders, Technique(s), and the Quilting. To read more detail about each of these, please read this article in its entirety at Quilting Passion.

Comments, suggestions, ideas, and thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Enjoy The Day!

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." - Psalms 118:24

http://barrysclipart.comAs we celebrate today, let us bask in the wonder of the day and be thankful that God has been merciful in providing us this marvellous (Verse 23), blessed day!

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