How I handled the adjustment of my youngest child’s first year of school and the autograph patchwork quilt that I made for her Kindergarten teacher!Read More
Last fall we had a 70th anniversary party for my grandparents. My Meemaw and Pappy are just so spunky and we are so blessed to have them in our lives and in great health! My Pap makes quite an impression. He says the wildest things and tells the funniest stories. He has a knack for finding amazing deals and making a quick profit. He also makes wooden crosses in his workshop and carries them in his pocket to give away. My Meemaw is such a sweetheart and, although she might flare her nostrils at him from time to time, she tolerates his antics with a little smile. She still sings in the choir and volunteers at church. She comes to as many of her great-grandchildren's sporting events as she can. (Her senior admission card is falling apart but she is so proud of it!) She pretty much just radiates sweetness and love.
We celebrated their anniversary (and Pap's 90th birthday) with a party last fall. As an alternative to a guest book, I offered to make a quilt. I had several charm packs (sets of assorted 5" squares of fabric) that I had won in giveaways and I cut some additional 5" blocks from solid white. The guests used fabric markers to sign the squares or add a special message.
Then, after letting them sit on my desk for a few months, I finally got around to making the quilt. I just did basic patchwork, arranging the squares pretty randomly and even using the unsigned squares in case anyone wants to sign it later. I added a white border and then did free motion quilting. I am not very good at free motion quilting. I need a lot more practice. I basically just decided that finished was better than perfect.
It is just a lap size quilt. I probably could have added in some other quilt squares to make it bigger, but I kind of just picture this draped over Meemaw's couch or Pap covering up with it while sitting on his recliner. :)
I was running out of daylight to take these pics- and we had snow- but I am going to now bombard you with quilt pictures because this was a fun project and it has been awhile since I actually finished a quilt:
If you would like to pin this idea for later... I mean, it isn't anything super original, but it will get much more use than a regular guest book and the charm squares did make it significantly easier!
I won a charm pack of Summer Breeze II several years ago and I eventually made myself a charm square tote out of it. It isn't perfect, but I like it and it matches our school colors. I had enough charm squares left over to make another one, as long as I used a solid color on the bottom to make it stretch. I pieced the squares and then it sat on the shelf above my sewing table for the last three years. I am so glad to have this one done!
The pockets inside are my favorite part! They are a bit of extra work, but so great for attempting to keep my purse organized. This one is for my sister, and I think she is going to love it!!!
After sewing my little heart out for the girls last week, I was determined to finally make something for myself! Last year, I won a giveaway at Quilting, Losing, and Tea (Thanks, Karen!). I thought that the Summer Breeze II charm squares would make a lovely tote bag and have been wanting to make one for myself ever since. Well, I needed some coordinating fabric for the handles and tossed around some different ideas for how I wanted to make it. My friend, Anita, helped me out a bit with all of that and I ended up with a mish-mash of things to get this:
I saw a bag that she made with side ties and LOVED it! It really helps pull the bag together, but allows for more room if you need it (and let's face it, with all of these kids, I will probably need it!) I think it will be a great size to take along to soccer and softball games this Spring (in our school colors of blue and gold! Go Eagles!!)
Lots of pockets for necessary things (I even did my first zipper pocket! WOOHOO!) and lots of room for snacks and things to entertain the kids/me. Now, I want to make a coordinating clutch or pouch to hold my embroidery projects- they are great to work on while waiting for practices and such. (Sadly, I am using a plastic sandwich bag right now.)
The handles are super sturdy- four layers of fabric and fusible fleece! My poor sewing machine!
I tried to FMQ the bag, but I can't lower the feed dogs on my machine and even if I cover them with the darning plate, I don't have the correct presser foot to make the tension work. So, I just fought against the feed dogs. It isn't pretty and it was quite a workout, but it gives the ripply texture I wanted.
If it hadn't been for SewLux's Charm Madness Blog Hop, I probably would not have pushed myself to get it done so quickly. So... Thank you!