Thursday, January 9, 2014

Jean's Quilt

Jean's quilt was made in early 2010, after she moved from Kennewick, WA, to El Mirage, AZ.  My husband always wanted to see the Grand Canyon and I didn't want to send the quilt through the mail, so we flew down at the end of April to hand-deliver the quilt to Jean.

We can't hug each other again in this life but I know she is with the Lord and smiling down from heaven.  Fond memories of lunches at Subway, her contagious smiles, funny stories, and just being there for me will warm my heart forever.  I miss you, Jean!

Jean McGrew: December 19, 1930 - January 5, 2014

El Mirage, May 2, 2010
Jean McGrew was a best friend and second mother.  She never failed to cheer me up when I was down.  I will miss her smile and funny stories, the hour long phone calls and daily emails.  I was blessed to have Jean as a friend and volunteer in my 4-H classes.  Thanks, Jan and Ann, for sharing her with me.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hanukkah Center Piece Mats

Last year's Hanukkah sale fabric from Nancy's Notions is out of the stash and all sewn up into Hanukkiah mats.  A pattern for an octagon shaped center piece mat inspired me to draft a hexagon and use it as my base in these quilted table mats.  The largest is approximately 18 inches across from side to side and the smaller ones are about 10 inches. 

Kaye Wood's Starmaker 6 Ruler made quick work of drafting the center for the large table mat and for the smaller trio, I used the EZ Hexagon Template.  The Hex N More! Ruler would work just as well but I need to get to Fabric Depot with a coupon when they have them in stock.  The Park Bench book in my library is calling my name so that may be encouragement to spend some $$ and time to pick one up on my next trip to the city.  I am seeing all sorts of Hanukkah table runners and Hanukkiah mats from that little treasure.

Karen's Table Runner

Karen doesn't sew but her JoAnn's was moving to a new location and the fabric department was selling out to make the move easier.  She loved this Hanukkah fabric so she asked me to make her a table runner.

The center is a WOF of fabric cut (selvage to selvage) approximately 14 or so inches wide.  The border strips were cut 2.5 inches wide.  Next time I make a table runner like this, I might add some inner accent strips but I was sick with the 4 week coughing plague so I didn't get out for more fabric.  Even though the Hanukkiahs were printed off grain, the runner looks great with a center piece on it.

Friday, December 6, 2013

WOF Table Runners

Since Hanukkah table runners and centerpiece mats have consumed my recent creative time I thought I would share them.  

This one I saw in a picture and thought I could manage it without the kit since it was out of stock.  So in a nutshell, I estimated the strip widths and was very happy with the results.  To make your own, add seam allowances and cut strips from selvage to selvage (WOF).  The center finishes 7 inches, the narrow strips are 1 inch, and the border strips are 1.5 inches.  Layer the runner top with backing fabric and Pellon Fleece and sew and turn.  The finished table runner is 12 inches wide by 42 inches long and quilted in the ditch of the seams.  EZPZ!

Another WOF (width of fabric) runner will be added soon.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Quilting Duet

A new sewing machine, another grand-baby on the way, and a request for a quilt inspired this joint project made with a dear friend.  With little time to shop together, I offed the kit from my stash and assistance with piecing and quilting.  Our project will be presented to the new family member this weekend.  Hope we have more excuses to collaborate.  


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Nesting Chinese Pagoda Boxes

These handy fabric boxes will be one of the quick projects offered at the Dundee TOGA in September.  Traditionally they are made to fold flat and secured as boxes with a loop and Chinese knot.  Missionaries to China have blessed me a few that are handy for small clutter in my office and sewing area.   Click here for a PDF version.

Chinese Pagoda Boxes

(so named for the appearance they have when evenly filled with clutter and stacked on my desk)

Photo enhanced instructions or variations for securing the corners (the first is was the inspiration for the TOGA class):

or directly to the pdf: 


Snaps or the traditional Chinese loop and knot are also ways to secure the corner, allowing for flat storage and transport.  Fusible vinyl can be used to make the inside water resistant.  These boxes can be made square or rectangular.  The key to the corner and depth is the square corner that determines the stitching line and fold line.  Coordinating fat quarters and layer cake squares are ideal for the project but the box measurements may vary from those suggested below.

"         For square nesting boxes, cut 2 squares of fabric and one stiff fusible interfacing (Pellon D├ęcor Bond): 

o        Fabric:  2 @ 7.5“ (4 inch box, 1.5 inches deep)  Interfacing:  1 @ 7”

o        Fabric:  2 @ 10 “ (6 inch box, 1.75 inches deep)  Interfacing:  1 @ 9.5”

o        Fabric:  2 @ 12.5” (8 inch box, 2 inches deep)  Interfacing:  1 @ 12”

"         Center and fuse interfacing to the fabric that will be the inside of the box.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions for method and recommendations.  Pre-washed fabric pressed with no starch fuses best.

"         Right sides together sew squares together with a ¼ inch seam allowance (follow edge of interfacing).  Leave an opening on one side to turn.

"         Trim corners, turn and press.

"         Topstitch 1/8 inch around all edges of square.

"         Mark the same size square in all corners as suggested in cutting instructions for depth). 

"         Fold on the diagonal of the square to match edges of box at each corner and sew to secure the corner on the marked line(s).

"         Congratulations!  You are done!