Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dog/Cat Beds for Humane Society

Last February at our guild's annual retreat, I suggested a project to the group of 30 women.  I've read several places about quilters making dog or cat beds from their fabric scraps.  Now, I really don't want to save scraps in my studio for as long as it would take to fill a pet bed.  So I suggested we all save the scraps we created while at retreat.  I had a large grocery bag that I set near my table, and people kept coming over and depositing scraps in it.  But it didn't completely fill up the bag, and I knew I needed more stuffing material.

Then a woman in our guild was cleaning out some of her fabric and found a lot of scraps she gave to me.  I actually received three big white garbage bags full!  Now I'm in business!

For the first, the largest bed, I pieced together a "pillowcase" from some of the larger scraps I found. I happened to be at a "big fabric store" one day and bought some clearance sale upholstery fabric, which I used for the rest of the beds.

I ended up with six beds in total!  They were all different sizes, as I used the upholstery pieces just as they were.  Then I had the job of sitting on the floor stuffing fabric scraps into the beds. There were threads flying everywhere!  A few times I got slowed down as I'd find an especially pretty scrap in the pile.  But I was good and didn't "snitch" any of the scraps for myself!  That wasn't the purpose of this project.

I've laid a yardstick down in these last two photos so you can see approximately how big the beds are.  I think there is a size for everyone.

The woman at the Redwood Coast Humane Society was very pleased when I brought the beds in to the office one day.  I told her they could give them away to new adopters if they wanted to, or keep them for the pets staying with the Humane Society.

Now maybe I should make my own cats a bed.  I wonder if they would like it, or just sniff and walk away!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tiny Scissors

I recently received a package from SisterStitches.  This is always a very fun day, because whether she is sending me my Bear Patch Bits, or something else, it's always a treat.

This time she sent me the world's tiniest scissors!  I can't believe how small it is.

It has its own little cover attached to it, to protect the blade.  (And to protect me from the blade!)  These are actually a very good scissors, and have already come in handy several times.  I love this little thing!  Thanks, SisterStitches!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Some Aprons

Margaret at Two Fish Bakery needed some more aprons, so I made her two new ones.  These aprons are so easy to make, I don't know why I don't make more of them!  I use a regular apron pattern, but instead of finishing the edges with bias tape, as the pattern says, I make two aprons and sew them together, pillow case style.  That way the apron has a lot more heft to it and it feels more sturdy.

The first one has a yellow dot on one side and green/yellow/blue/magenta floral on the other side.

The second apron is in purples, with a stripe on one side and a large floral print on the other side.

OK, Margaret, let's get going on those morning buns and sticky rolls!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Halloween Costume

Our GranddaughterStitches was a cougar for Halloween this year.  I made this costume from McCalls pattern #MP375.

I was a little apprehensive sewing the costume because I was worried about the fit, not having GranddaughterStitches here to fit it on her.  I had taken pretty detailed measurements of her in August when she visited us.  Given those measurements, I cut it a little longer in a few places.

It turned out to fit her very well.  I think the pattern was great--pretty easy to sew.  It has a zipper up the front of the "jumpsuit."  The hood with cat ears is a separate piece, as are the little mitts, and the spats to cover up her tennis shoes.

With some whiskers and a blackened nose (at least until it got rubbed off!), she was a perfect big cat.  I think she liked the tail the most.

I was fortunate to get to visit GranddaughterStitches at Halloween this year.  I went to school with her and DaughterStitches (aka 2nd grade teacher).  I helped out in DaughterStitches's class most of the day, on the day of the Halloween party.  I also visited GranddaughterStitches's classroom, and ate lunch with her.  It was really fun to see all the kids and teachers in their costumes.  DaughterStitches lent me her witch's cape and large hat so I had a costume to wear, too.

We all went out for trick-or-treating together, along with some other neighbors/friends.  It was a very fun night, even if it was sprinkling a little.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Christmas Ornaments (One of Probably Many)

I've been sewing some Christmas ornaments recently which were a lot of fun to make.  Isn't this small Christmas tree cute!?!  It's only about 4 1/2 inches tall.

These are from a company called Lumenaris, made in America, which is always good.  I found the kit in my local quilt store, The Loft.

It was great, because the little box included absolutely everything I needed to complete the three ornaments.  The pre-cut pieces of felt--all of them, the trees, the stars, the circle ornaments, and the pre-cut batting for filling.  Also included were the necessary embroidery floss and even a needle.  The only thing I needed to add was a thread snips.  And the thread snips, by the way, even fit into the small box!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Abstract Buttons

In a previous post I wrote about a class taught at our guild by Rosalie Dace.  I had started work on a three-piece quilt based loosely on a painting by Wassily Kandinsky.  This is how my pieces looked when finished.  They were three different widths, between about 10.5" and 14" wide.  They were all about 32 inches long.

I worked deep purple curved strips into the black background.  Then I attached the various circles onto the background.  I used quite a few decorative stitches for this.  I free-motion quilted loose, intertwined circles onto the fabric circles.

More crazy circle quilting!

I quilted a few wavy lines up and down the quilts.  Then I wanted to add some more interest, so I did some long hand quilting stitches in wavy lines up and down the pieces.

This is the "rogue" block with the square pieces instead of round!

And again, the finished product.  I learned a better technique for adding a faced binding than I had used before.  I'd never sought out a way to do this, and just added two facing strips on each side, sewed them down, then added two facing strips on the top and bottom.  But this method is much better.  It gives a mitered corner finish on the backside.  You can find the tutorial on the Occasional Piece blog.  Elizabeth, the writer of this blog, is a talented quilter and a really good blogger, too. 

I entered Abstract Buttons in Art in the Redwoods, an annual art show at Gualala Arts Center in Gualala, California.  I won the "Red Dot Award," which means I had a red dot on the entry ticket, indicating someone bought my quilt!  So that was very rewarding.

Monday, September 29, 2014

GranddaughterStitches Making a Quilt

GranddaughterStitches was visiting this summer (oh, we had so much fun!) and one day I asked her if she would like to make a quilt.  Boy, was she excited about that!

So I gave her 20 5" squares and told her to arrange them however she wanted to on my design wall.  Below is the result.

These squares came from the Bear Patch Bits Club at Bear Patch Quilt Company.

Then I sewed them all together for her.  I think she really liked the result.

We both worked on sandwiching the quilt.  She worked hard on it, and did a good job.  One safety pin in the middle of each square.

Basting all completed!

Here is a photo of GranddaughterStitches with her completed quilt.  She was very happy to have a quilt for her doll.   (You can also see the potholder she wove.  That was another fun thing to do.)

Don't you just love the backing fabric she chose?  Very pretty.

I told her that every quilt needed to have a label, but every label doesn't need to be square on the back of the quilt.

"Made by Aurora and Nana
August 2014
Sea Ranch, CA"

Pretty good for her first quilt, don't you think?!?  I'm sure she and I will make more.  It's a lot of fun to sew with GranddaughterStitches.