Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Small Smaller Smallest Blog Hop

Small Smaller Smallest is brought to you by Carol from Just Let Me Quilt  our fearless leader.  We thank you Carol for keeping our band of merry hoppers, hopping.

When Carol sent out the word about this hop I jumped in immediately.  I thought from the start that I would do 3 pieces, one of each size ( only had to do one small item to participate).  I thought I would maybe do something like a place mat for Small, a mug rug for smaller and a coaster for Smallest. All using the same type of design, say a house for example.

I started right away with the coaster. I had wanted to try to do some of the raw edge applique for awhile and this was a perfect opportunity.  I had an issue.  I think I liked the back better than the front.

Well at about the same time  that I was pondering my smallests direction I discovered that I needed something to make ironing seams open  a little easier.  I've seen the sticks covered with fabric, but me who is into tools, really couldn't justify the price for a stick wrapped in fabric and making myself one really isn't the type of sewing I wanted to do.

My brain had a flashback to high school sewing class where I kinda sorta remember using a tailors ham. Do any of you remember them?  Well I didn't see one at JoAnns or the local quilt shop so I Googled them.  There are several You Tube video's about them, their uses and their construction. Yes there were Tailors Hams available for sale too, but by that time I didn't care. I was now up for a new challenge.

                                         I found a nice size piece of green fabric in the stash.

I used wool to back the ham as is tradition.

One of the videos showed not only the making of a tailors ham but also of a tailors sleeve.  The video was called Ham and Sausage. 

Well I watched most of the videos, jumbled them all together and came up with my version of Ham and Sausage. I was able to make the tops match but I didn't have a piece of wool big enough for the back of the sausage.  So the sausage is backed with muslin also from the stash.

You get it, I now have a small and smaller.   In my readings I found that hams are not only backed with wool but are filled with saw dust. In one of the gazillion comments I read someone suggested using bunny litter which is made up of wood shavings.  While I don't have anyone handy who saws, I was able to find bunny litter in my nearest grocery store. Win, win.

The toughest part of this project was stuffing to the max.  I did pretty well on the Ham but the Sausage really needs to be opened and have a little more stuffing added.  It will work as is so it may never get fixed. 

I must say that this was  a really fun project to take on and I believe much more satisfying than covering a stick with fabric.

OK, so from the beginning I wanted to do 3 pieces for this hop.  I still needed a smallest.  Silly took over.   My brain started buzzing with the phrase "Green ham and eggs" but when I said it out loud it didn't sound right. I don't have kids or grand kids  so I had to do research on this next piece. Google straightened me out, it's  Green Eggs and Ham.

                                                                          Taa Daa

OK, it was silly but I really enjoyed making this over sized mug rug. It just makes me smile. 

I hope you got as much enjoyment from this stop as I had creating the goodies for it.

Please stop by and visit all of the other creative ladies posting today and if you haven't done so yet, stop in and visit all of the hoppers.  I'm listing them all here for your convenience.

March 5

March 6

March 7

March 8

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Spread the Love

So I got up yesterday morning and started bouncing from blog to blog visiting various spots that sounded interesting. One of the stops was to visit Bernie at Needle & Foot to read her post  Spread the Love

It is a wonderful post about Amy Jandrisevits' work making "A Doll Like Me".( this link takes you to her facebook postings )  You need to read the post in the 1st link above as I can't do justice to the work Amy does. The facebook link is pictures I think, I'm not on facebook. The over view is that she makes dolls for children with physical issues. If a child is missing a limb, so is the doll.  If the child wears glasses, so does his or her doll.  They get a doll they can relate to " A Doll Like Me".

Bernie thought it would be a great idea that in the month of February  quilters who have the urge can spread the love ( again, explained in the 1st link ) by making doll quilts that can go with some of the dolls Amy is making.  You know the kind, 22 - 26 ish inches.  Not fussy about the relative size.

I loved the idea and opened some drawers and boxes and found that I had one for a little girl finished and folded up (24 inch square).  When I opened it I found blocks to make another tucked inside (maybe for next month).

A little more digging and I found a 26 inch square for a little boy.  I think I made this with left over blocks a couple of years ago and was waiting for someone to have a baby that I could add borders and finish it up for.

Fate works in strange and wonderful ways.

The rest of the week was spent prepping for the Small, Smaller, Smallest Blog Hop where I will be posting on March 7, and I finally sandwiched my 30 blocks in 30 days quilt.  Maybe I'll get it quilted this weekend.

Have a great week and go check those links.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Coming Soon - Small Smaller Smallest

It's only 3 weeks away.  What you may ask.  Why the Small  Smaller  Smallest Blog Hop.  It' coming March 5 and running through March 8.  See the button over there on the right top.  That's what I'm talking about.

Ok so I'm starting on my projects today.  Well I actually started awhile ago but what I was working on wasn't doing it for me.  Then by total accident I came across a whole new project that will fit the SMALL title perfectly.

So I gathered together what I need, interesting huh.  Can you guess what's coming. I will begin to construct after I have breakfast.  So that's the what I will be doing today. 

This is what I've done this week.  This is the 30 blocks in 30 days quilt top that has been hanging on the design wall for the last couple of weeks.  This week we had work done on the ceiling fan in my sewing room. It works really well now and blew several blocks off the wall so I figured it was a message to get the top sewn together.

   It measures in at about 50 x 60.  I thought it would be great using different scraps for each block. Well on a block by block level that was great. On a quilt level it was a logistical nightmare to put together. I didn't want to sash and it has a lot of white.  I am pretty happy with the outcome and I did do it all with scraps.  

I don't machine quilt really well so I usually use a thread color that melts into the fabrics. This time I am going to give it a shot using threads of various colors to break up the white.  

Well it is way past time to eat and get started with my SMALL project.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Put A Little Love In Your Heart - Blog Hop

Thank you, thank you, thank you Carol over at Just Let Me Quilt for coordinating this very fun blog hop.

I signed up thinking I'd make one or two new small pieces for this Hop.  I have several quilted pieces from the past so I didn't see the need to do anything big. HA !!!!

So this is my start up piece.  I am a mug rug person.  Mainly I use them to muffle the noise of my cup bagging down on the table first thing in the morning.  I must have close to a dozen of them that I rotate through on a regular basis.  

Some are holiday or season specific and some just for a happy (and quiet) start to my day.

Then I started to see several quilts pop up on social media made up of individual squares put together to make a heart.  While they were cute I really didn't want to hunt down or create that many squares from my scraps and stash, and I am all about trying to use of scraps and stash for 2018.

So at 2:00 am, my best time to have eye opening ideas I determined that I could get a similar result if I just used strips.

Got up and did a basic draft (using my mug rug to silence the cup and sugar wafer noise) of what I had in mind.

Next I went to my scraps and stash and successfully took the idea from paper to fabric.

Waited for the sun - shows up the wicked folding job, but the colors are closer to true. The quilt is actually almost a square. The pictures all make it look a lot more rectangular than the 50 x 53  it actually measures.

Bedroom floor doesn't do the colors justice.  (I am a quilter, not a photographer)

Love the back.  Both the backing and the background fabrics are from backing specific fabric.  The kind that comes 108 inches wide.  I think it is a super buy for the money.  I have lots of strange size chunks of it in my stash. Just perfect for this type of project.

And last but not least are these wonderful little Rice Bags.

They did not start out as an intentional item for this hop.  I had a request for a path, from Donna, to my original tutorial on making them.  That tutorial was posted on a blog that no longer is in existence. And my original information was on a computer that no longer functions.

So the other day when I went to recreate the tutorial for the rice bag with the removable cover  I pulled heart fabric for the cover and added it to this post so that I could offer one of them as a giveaway.  Is that serendipity?  

Anyway, I would love to send a rice bag to someone here in the US.  I'm sorry to have to limit the offer but I have found out the hard way that Rice is extremely expensive to mail outside of the country. Just comment and I'll pull a name on Friday 2/9 after 6 PM EST.

So that's it for me for this go round but there are lots and lots of us participating in this hop. Here is a full list so you can check everyone's Heart felt contribution

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you enjoyed the visit.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Tutorial for Rice Bag with Removable Cover

This post is picture heavy but the project actually takes under 20 minutes to complete.

Several years ago I did a simple tutorial for a Rice Bag with a removable cover. It was linked to another blog that has since closed.  My original was on my last computer that died an untimely death.  Last month I got an email from a lovely person who had seen on pintrest  a reference for my rice bag tutorial and in turn couldn't find it. So Donna this tutorial is for you.

For anyone who doesn't know about rice bags here is quick overview.  A Rice bag is a small 100 % cotton pillow filled with real rice.  These bags can me microwaved for under a minute and be used as a hot pad for minor aches and pains or frozen and used for whatever you use an ice pack for.

The top picture shows what you need to make one. VERY IMPORTANT all of the sewing parts, the inside bag, the outside cover and the thread must be 100% cotton  anything not 100% cotton has the potential to melt and cause serious mess or a potential burn.

The big green bowl is solely for containing the rice while you are pouring it from the store bag or box to the sewn bag. Rice has the ability to travel great distances when it spills and you will be finding the little buggers for weeks once spilt.

I generally make 2 at a time because somebody always wants one and its quicker for me to cut 2 at once. Measurements will be for only one bag at a time.

Inner bag is cut 5 inches wide by 20 - 21 inches.  I use a good quality plain cotton.

Outer fabric is cut 6 inches by 21 - 22 inches. I love using 100% cotton flannel for the outside. 

Start with the inside fabric, fold in half long way and sew up both sides using a half inch seam allowance and then again with a quarter inch seam allowance. Back stitch both ends of the stitching.

Flip inside out. Draw a line on the fabric at about the 9 inch mark.

Now for the rice.  Instant rice is not recommended.  I use about 1 1/2 cups for this size bag. This is an opinion, personal choice. Any less and the rice tends to fall to either end and therefore doesn't heat an entire area.  Much more than 1 1/2 cups and it has no flexibility and I think it feels kind of hard.

Remember to do your pouring over a big bowl or pot just in case.

Now you want to either double fold over the top at the 9 inch line or tuck in at the 9 inch mark and do a double row of stitching.

Your rice bag is now done and can be used as is.  I like a cover because it can be removed and washed extending the life of the bag.

DO NOT cut the selvage off the fabric.  

The non selvage end needs to have a hem.  Double fold and stitch the edge.

Now lay the cover piece out right side up and place the bag on it

Fold up the hemmed edge so it ends up above the middle.

bring the selvage end up and cover the hemmed edge

Note where the fabric folds over the bag,  and then remove the bag. Take the bag out and refold.  Sew the side seams the same way as the bag once with a half inch seam and once with a quarter inch seam.  Double stitch the area over the overlap.

Flip inside out

put the bag into the cover 

put the entire thing into the micro wave on high for 45 seconds. 

Depending on your micro wave this may be a great temp I go up to 1 minute max. The heated rice has a wonderfully soothing aroma.  

Making the bag should have taken somewhere in the range of 20 -25 minutes.
The more you make the faster they go together.

The first year I made these I made one for every member of my family. All of my nieces and nephews were into sports and they loved them, they also stole them from each other and their parents on a regular basis. They are now older and on their own and have asked for replacement bags over the years.

I have made them bigger and with sections, We didn't find them to be worth the additional effort. I  also made them small for hand warmers and they were a great success.

I hope you have fun with this project. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Upcoming - Put a Little Love in Your Heart

Coming soon is a super fun Blog Hop, brought to you by Carol over at Just Let Me Quilt .  It will be all about quilty items with at least one Heart contained in it. Right now I believe there are 35 + participants. Can't wait to see what this talented bunch comes up with.

I'm posting on Feb 7.  I am currently working on my Heart item.  I thought, just as a warm up, I'd post a couple of items I have made over the years that would qualify.

The item doesn't have to be big.  Here is a mug rug that I made for a friend who was recovering from surgery. Originally posted in August 2012

This one is from my December  2011 post.  It has hand stitched hearts.

How about this row quilt from September 2012

 Or a table runner from July 2016

Well you have the picture.  It will be a super fun few days, all heartfelt.

I did find, while looking for examples, that I have done a great many more quilted pieces with hearts than I would have guessed.  Several I forgot about until I clicked past them. When we get a bit closer I will include a list of links of all of the participants.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Post #2 for 2018

Not too bad, 2 weeks between posts.  Better than I've been in some time.

I want to start with a couple of pictures of my Christmas gifts from my crafty friends.
My friend P is a knitter first and a quilter second.  This year I got a lot of knitting from her and a tiny bit of quilting.

First is the phenomenal knitted table runner with snow flakes.  These were what made my Florida Christmas, White.  Here are 2 Pictures of it. 

My first thought was that it was a scarf, heaven forbid that I read the note that came with it telling me it was table runner.

Then there is the fun Flamingo Sun Glass holder, I just love it.

And last but not least is the set of coasters that match the Quilted Place-mats she made for me last year which match the Quilted Table Runner  from the year before.  It is amazing how far scraps can go.

My friend B, made me a scrap fabric wreath for the second time.  The first one apparently disappeared during my move from NJ to FL.  She kindly, with just a bit of verbal abuse, made me another.

 We have been making each other gifts for the better part of 40 years.  Visiting either of our homes during the holidays gives a running list of what we've been doing in the way of crafting for all of that time.  Some very lame items and some beauties. All made and given with love.  Over the years we have postponed holiday celebrating til a gift was completed.  One year I was late to a holiday party at her home because I was finishing her gift between the family brunch at my home and cocktails at hers. 45 years of friendship, can't beat it.

Now back to my handy work.

First up are the blocks made for the #venturamodernquiltguild who are making quilts for the victims of the Thomas Fire in Ca.  Sent blocks and prayers.

Up to 18 of 30 blocks in 30 days. definitely started using scraps.

My sister requested some vinyl zip bags for travel.  This is the start of the first of  four.

Last year closed with a biggy.  I  got my first new car in 8 years.  It's a Rav4.  I got it on the 30th, my  birthday.  MJ thought I needed to catch up with technology.  I think he might have been right. I am having a great time with it.  The color is Aqua, which is a sparkly darkish Aqua in bright sunlight.  It changes color based on the light.  Sometimes its a beautiful Navy and sometimes jet black.  Let me tell you it is a bear to find in a parking lot when you don't know what color car you're looking for. : }

I think that gets me up to the minute. Hope to get back before month end.  Take care.