Saturday, November 18, 2017

Books and pillowcases go together

Something to play with, something to wear, and something to read . . . that has become my motto for buying Christmas gifts for the 5 grandchildren.  This year I decided they each needed a pillowcase with the same theme as the book the receive.  A Friday afternoon off, and those pillowcases are ready to go.
For 2 year old Jack, I found a book about a train, and it has a little toy train that he can run through the grooves on every page.  His pillowcase has train cars floating all over.

Jonah is 4 and he is getting Jan Brett's book The Hat.  And while searching online for other things I came across this fabric with woodland creatures - wearing knit hats just like in the book.  What a lucky find!

Mason's tastes are running toward a fascination with dragons now that he is 6.  The book has all kinds of dragon stories, maps, and secret flaps hiding more information. I've hunted high and low for dragon fabric, and finally found some online.  I love that the red dragon is almost a perfect match to the color of the book cover.

And both girls - 5 year old Sophia and 4 year old Olivia - are getting Bambi.  The Bambi fabric was a find at Missouri Star Quilt Company this summer.  And the books have beautiful illustrations, similar to my vintage childhood Bambi book. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Selvages are fun

Aren't these selvages unique? More and more often it seems like the manufacturers are adding fun design to their selvages.
I ordered 3 pieces of yardage recently to make special pillowcases to go with the books I've bought for the grandkids for Christmas.  It was really hard to find dragon fabric to go with Mason's dragon book.  But eventually I did find just want I wanted online for a couple of them.  Notice the flame shapes on the dragon fabric. The train fabric looks like trucks on the selvage rather than trains.
Now I need to go shopping locally to find the perfect fabrics to blend in for the pillowcase cuffs.  When I get them done I'll show them off with the companion books. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Design Wall Monday

An origami flower that I made awhile ago is set to become "something" as a gift, but I'm just not sold on the background fabric I've chosen for this.  I may need to rethink that background before I hand stitch this down. Possibly a solid background would work better.
Check out Design Wall Monday for some inspiration from other quilters -

Friday, November 10, 2017

A little progress

If I only get 2 blocks a day finished, it will take forever to finish this Christmas quilt. But a little progress is still progress.  I used the light strips with a solid red or green, and I like how that is working out.  So, I have 12 blocks made and hopefully can make another 16. 
No sewing today because I'm going out for lunch with my older daughter and then doing some shopping.  We rarely get to spend time together, just the two of us, and I'm so looking forward to it. And this evening my husband and I have a "date night" - SDSU Jackrabbit basketball doubleheader. Life is good!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ugly is in the eye of the beholder

In reality, this is an ugly little crazy quilt. The fabrics are scraps of old (1960s) silky drapery fabrics. The colors and prints are ugly. Polka dot draperies - really?  The batting shrunk more than the top, so the top is very wrinkly. The back is an equally ugly pink silky drapery fabric, and it's bound with wide black bias tape.
But - it has it's good points too.  The fabrics all came from my aunt's custom drapery business. She shared leftovers with my mom from the custom drapes and slipcovers she made, and my mom used them in quilts and even clothes. Waste not, want not!! And I spent lots of summers living with that aunt, babysitting or being her fetch and carry girl when she installed draperies. She was my favorite aunt.  
Like any good crazy quilt, this one has hand embroidery over all of the seams.  The thread is kind of pink, but that is OK. And best yet, my mom helped me make this quilt in 1969, when I was in 8th or 9th grade. I had totally forgotten this little quilt until I found it in the bottom of a packing box recently.  Actually I had no idea that my mother had even kept this.  But it was carefully folded up in a box with some other "family treasures" that has been unopened - since 1991 when my mother died. 
Since this probably qualifies as my first quilt, I have a whole new appreciation for it. It's still ugly, but I like it anyway.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What is the name of this block?

Does anyone know the name of this block? I love the blending of a 4-patch and a half log cabin.
I work from home, which has it's pros and cons.  Today I'm counting a pro - because while I waited for a huge database to do it's weekly synchronization I went downstairs to sew.  I figured I had at least an hour, so I cut and sewed 2 more of these Christmas blocks.  And I cut some pieces to do a couple of reverse blocks.  This jelly roll has some light strips too, so I'm going to pair those up with a red or green solid.  And hopefully this afternoon when I finish today's invoices I can go back down and sew a few more of these.
Check out what others are working on at Linky Tuesday:

Monday, November 6, 2017

Decorating the dungeon

We moved into this house almost 12 years ago, and my husband promised me nice bookcases in the basement family room from the beginning.  The family room is a huge, long room that I often refer to as "the dungeon".  At one end is the pool table and a comfy seating area. But the other end has my husband's office.  Notice the big putting green on the floor?
Today my bookbases were delivered and set up.  I think I've been more than patient, don't you.  And this afternoon we spent some time unpacking some of the things that will go on the new shelves.  

Notice the train across the top and in the top center shelf?  These are actually Jim Beam bottles. My dad was a big collector and my husband inherited the collection in 1990 when my dad passed away. But we've never had a place to show them off.  There are 8 more pieces that make up another train, but these are the ones we decided to showcase.  

It will take me some time to decide what else will end up in these bookcases, but that is half the fun. The can of Pledge will go away and be replaced with something more decorative and interesting. But in the meantime this goes a long way to make this room much less like a dungeon.