Archives for category: Sewing

I am so thankful for my community. We are among five families with children around the same age, with new babies coming every so often (our turn is next!) The fun part for me is making gifts for all the littles. Summer means boy birthdays, but this spring we celebrated a little lady. Here’s what I made.


In the spirit of reducing, reusing, and recycling, I rescued one of my husband’s button-downs for a pint-sized apron! I used just a scrap of coordinating floral print to keep it fun, and the Velcro closure ought to make playtime easier.


What’s a princess without a crown? Spring flowers and bright buttons suit this little lady’s declarative personality.

I have my plans for four summer boys, and I am excited to get those going! It’s so fun to put my heart into these little people I love so much!

In a fit of inspiration (which I’ve learned to follow and ride like a surfer), I decided to update my maternity wardrobe with some hand-me-down yardage received from a friend. Chambray, denim, and polycotton are not my go-tos for quilting, so this was a lovely way to use what otherwise would go into the Goodwill-textile waste cycle. Bonus:  I am certain that these garments were produced without child slavery, etc. Extra bonus:  I love them!


Happy little tunic, perfect for popping over a tank top and shorts…


Chambray and lace top modified from an old Simplicity pattern, making the most of some crocheted trim leftover from my wedding dress…


And finally, denim, pleats and vintage ribbon from the same modified pattern!

My rodeo-riding cousin has her wedding on the ranch pretty soon. Now to decide which of these to wear!

In a sad turn of events, I was not able to attend my cousin’s baby shower this weekend, but I had so much fun making presents! These days, given enough time, I scroll through a registry to get a sense of a family’s style and start sewing accordingly. This sweet family favored greys and neutrals, some of my favorites!


I’ve become something of a bib connoisseur since my first child cut a tooth at 4 months. These bibs are based on my favorites, quilted, batted, and backed in soft jersey and including a little loop for a fancy paci clip! Snaps will give them longer life than Velcro, and they reflect the muslin bibs on the registry.

I also made a pair of teething pads to snap onto a carrier, something we couldn’t do without and which were also on the registry. They were simple, though, and I forgot to take a photo!


But this was just for fun. Every little girl needs a bit of frippery, so I went to town on a modified old PurlBee pattern. My grandmother gave me a few handkerchief cotton blouses with the express purpose to cut them up, and I did! Pintucks and lace were repurposed, and my only addition was the satin ribbon trim.

Truth be told, motherhood is hard. I’m hoping that my gifts reflect love and care and that I can continue to encourage my cousin as she enters into this life-changing, lifelong adventure!

Every year I make Christmas gifts for the family, usually on a theme. This year, I wanted to make a small difference in the amount of textile waste that accumulates in our nation. Rather than buying new fabric, I found some large men’s shirts at a thrift shop and used those as my source material. A few extra scraps were added in (like the red linen and Star Wars print), but the rest of the cotton and linen were repurposed.


Couples and families got tea towels made from the fronts and backs of the shirts. I played around with little Dresden plates to evoke snowflakes or poinsettias! The blue one went to my brother and comes from my late Grandfather. The linen shirt was first used in a quilt made for my son. I felt my brother would appreciate the sentiment and style. The other blue rosette went to my parents for a similar reason – and the contrasting “petal” was a scrap from my son’s outfit he wore home from the hospital!


I have a few unmarried brothers-in-law who I didn’t think would appreciate holiday towels. Instead, I turned a fine cotton shirt into bow ties for them! I almost couldn’t bear to cut into the shirt. The pattern matching and detail were exquisite! But I am glad I did – the bow ties turned out so nicely! My brother got one of these as well, and as he is such a sharp dresser, I also made a hand-rolled matching handkerchief (or pocket square). The brother-in-law who received the Star Wars bow tie had instructions to open it before going to see Rogue One. If we lived closer, I know we would have enjoyed seeing it together.

Being apart at the holidays isn’t our favorite, but I hope it’s made a little sweeter with lovingly made and thought-through gifts!

Hoping you feel loved and cherished this holiday season!

I have not been blogging my sewing as I prepare for the holidays because I’m not sure who would peek! But there are a few things I’ve sewn and sent to friends in England, and as they’ve arrived already, I am free to tell the interwebs!


I actually cannibalized an unfinished quilt that just wasn’t working for me. These two quarter dresdens were salvageable and perfect for the personalities of two friends in Sunderland. I turned them into quilted cushion covers! My friends live in the same flat, so if these go in a sofa, they coordinate!


The other gift is actually a collaborative project for friends getting married this week! My accomplice across the pond made six large star blocks with a grey background using greens and blues. I sent along a little navy floral print for binding along with the batting, so once the two sets of stars come together, they will make a lovely little wedding throw! I think it’s appropriate that this quilt is being made on two continents as the couple are also international. I can’t wait to see it all done!

Hoping everyone likes their gifts and that they feel love from the sunny south!

Recently two friends of mine came to the conclusion that it is time to sell their home of over a decade. Many times I have been on the receiving end of their generous hospitality, so I wanted to make a gift for each to reflect all the love and memories of that home.


I started with sketches of the house itself.


I thought of the nonhuman residents as well.


Then it was just a matter of raw-edged appliqué, a bit of decorative stitching, turning under the blocks’ edges, and fitting them to embroidery hoop “frames”.

Sometimes I love a gift more in the making than the person receiving, but I could tell this time that wasn’t the case. Hoping that as time goes by, these little mementos will bring back sweet memories!

I’ve been neglecting my blog – but not my 10-month-old! We have been so busy crawling, cruising, eating, climbing, clinging, investigating – and napping in 30-minute stretches – that it’s all I can do some days to sew a stitch, much less document it. This little project came together so quickly that it’s worth a nap to write it up! The idea came from our first trip to the pool this summer and a need for an easy way to dry off the Squish!For one baby beach kimono, you will need:

  • Two microfiber kitchen towels, about 15×25 inches (I got mine from the dollar store!)
  • Sewing machine, scissors, pins, and thread

That’s it!


Pre-wash your towels if you’d like (I did), then cut one in half width-wise. You now have two rectangles 15×12.5 inches.

Turn the cut end under about 1/4 inch and pin. This will be the center opening of your kimono.


Zigzag stitch over the raw edge. Or, if you’d like, turn the edge in once more and straight stitch. Either way is fine!


With right sides together, pin the cut rectangles to the second, whole towel. Pin straight across the top, but only pin halfway up the side. Be as precise as you choose! (I just found the center by folding and marking loosely with a finger.)


Sew along the top and two sides with a straig stitch, leaving the armholes open. Sew as close to the original hemmed edge as possible, or even catching into it. Then just turn it inside out…


And plop it on the nearest baby! (Bonus points if you’ve matched it to the baby’s eyes!) Size-wise, it ought to do for a child age 6 months up to at least 18 months.

Now to slather on the SPF and hit the water! Happy summer, y’all!

A friend of mine is about to cross the Pond and meet up with folks I interned under in England! We have kept in touch, so of course I am sending a few handmade happies to them!

  
There’s nothing like the first grandbaby in a family, and one little such lady is due in a few months. What could be sweeter than a proper teacup or two? I pieced a pair of bibs and backed them in terry cloth with batting between. From the leftover terry I made wash clothes because you can never have too many bits of cloth around to mop up baby leakage!

   
    
 
For other friends, I put together some Open Wide zipper pouches! This is my first time to follow Anna’s tutorial, and I must say, it will be my go-to for future zipper pouches. They lie so flat and are beautifully practical, and compared to others I’ve made in the past, they were a cinch to sew – none of that bulk around the zipper ends to gum up smooth stitching! Plus, they pack easily, and I can fill them with letters, artwork, or other treats that are hard to find over there (fajita spices, creole seasoning, cornbread mix perhaps!) Long ago I made up the HST units, and this little project was a great way to use a few of them. I am sending the others along as well to make a baby quilt, if my friend so chooses – sort of a collaboration between us, despite the distance! One day I will go back, but for now I’ll send my heart in my handwork.

Recently Instagram made a change that allows users to toggle between accounts. Thus I finally created an account exclusively for my makings – WalkingWithFeathers!

  
Timing was perfect, too, as QuiltCon just occurred in Pasadena, California, this past weekend. Rather than wallow in envy over those able to attend, Julie over at the Intrepid Thread organized a series of events, complete with “classes”, giveaways, and other “events”! I had so much fun participating, encountering other quilters, and surprisingly even finding the time sew along with the tutorials!

   
   
I really had fun putting these little 6-inch blocks together! One of them was supposed to be paper-pieced, but without a printer, I almost didn’t make the attempt. Now I am glad I did – all that math and geometry meant I have the full Roy G. Biv! I can’t wait to put them together into a mini quilt!

  
Speaking of mini, I also followed a QuiltNon tutorial for this adorable little “pixie basket“! I used fabrics from CraftSouth as they were represented at QuiltCon, and the twill tape I saved from my purchase made sweet little handles. It is the perfect size to collect scraps-for-sorting!

Thanks again, Julie, for organizing such a fun weekend, and thanks to everyone who donated time and expertise into crafting the tutorials!

This year, I want it to be the Year of Completions! There are a very few quilts I have mentally set aside to create, but other than those, I want to minimize new endeavors and focus on finishing works-in-progress.
Quilts in progress:

 

Accidental Quilt

 
Quilts to begin:

Other sewing:

  • Baby gift for English friend
  • Cushion covers for sofa
  • Baby birthday sewing (whatever that means)

This list may change, of course, but it’s a start! I can’t wait to pull out these “old friends ” and finally give them the TLC they deserve!

P.S. I realize this list is way longer than I can accomplish I’m the first quarter of the year, but I’m counting this as my post for the 2016 Finish-A-Long. Anything I don’t complete can roll over!