My Sewful Retirement

A Quilting Journey

Life – the good, bad and ugly

Happy Wednesday!

The past two weeks have been very busy and stressful!

I spent Memorial Day with my best girlfriend drinking wine, floating in our swimming pool and talking about the joys of being a grandmother.

Three days later she calls to tell me her 34 year old daughter died un-expectantly. Our lives have been so entwined over the past 40 years I felt like I lost my child also. Parents should never outlive their kids.

Thankfully I’ve had orders to work on to keep me busy and focused before the family gets together to celebrate the life of a loving and inspiring young woman.

Another friend welcomed her first grandchild into the world recently. The parents requested anything with animals so I made a couple of my signature chenille sets.

The absolutely easiest baby quilt for me to make is a “strippie” quilt. I got the idea from another blogger, you can find her instructions here.

I didn’t follow her pattern but came up with a design based on the fabrics I had on hand.

Each quilt was a day project and the best part was using only fabrics in my stash.

I made this Easter Egg table runner for a customer earlier this year. I used the quilt as you technique to make it. My wonderful hubby drew the egg shape for me on freezer paper.

Handmade Easter Table Centerpiece, quilted, Quilt As You Go Table Runner

My customer gifted the runner to her granddaughter, who contacted me after Easter wanting to know if I could make placemats to match. I was happy with the placemats and I even made the matching napkins — I had to pull out my Serger for those !

Handmade quilted placemats for Easter, pastel colors, matching napkins

After finishing the placemats I used the scraps and made a mini quilt for myself. I’m currently using it a cover on my new embroidery machine. I LOVE the backing fabric, another scrap from a previous baby quilt!

I needed more patriotic table runners in the shop.

I’ve done nothing but sew and pray to keep going.

Happy Sewing!

Celebrating Red, White & Blue

Happy Friday!

Memorial Day is just around the corner so today I pulled out all of my red, white and blue quilts, table decor and pillows that I use to decorate our home with through the summer.

While getting things arranged I realized I hadn’t written about or shown you the red white and blue items I made earlier this year for the shop.

Stars & Stripes Placemats

My inspiration for these placemats was the Missouri Star Quilt Company Stars & Stripes pattern. I followed the pattern for the star and used the coin quilt block to border the star representing the “stripes”.

Fabric: jelly roll Back Porch by Me & My Sister Designs for Moda.

Placemats measure 13 x 18 inches.

Starstruck Table Topper / Wall Hanging

Red, White, Blue Quilted Table Topper, Handmade, Jelly Roll Friendly, Back Porch Moda Fabrics
Starstruck Table Topper

My inspiration for this Wall Hanging was another Missouri Star Quilt Pattern – Starstruck. Using 16 jelly roll strips I was able to make two of these.

Fabric used Back Porch by Me & My Sister Designs for Moda.

Table topper / wall hanging measures 42 x 42 inches.

Quilt As You Go – Table Runner

Quilt As You Go Handmade Table Runner, Red White Blue, Back Porch Fabric for Moda
QAYG – Backporch

After making the stars and stripes placemats and the two starstruck table toppers I had 10 jelly roll strips left over and made a gift for my stepdaughter.

Table runner measures 12 x 40 inches.

I tend to make smaller projects and a jelly roll is a great starting point!

Wave Your Flag Placemats

Handmade Quilted Placemats, Wave Your Flag, Patriotic Home Decor
Wave Your Flag Placemats

Inspiration for this set came from Fat Quarter Shop’s Wave Your Flag Table Runner tutorial/pattern.  I modified the pattern to make 13 x 17 inch placemats.  Fabric used Redwork meets Bluework by RJR and Boathouse by Sweetwater for Moda.

Scrappy Flag Table Runner

Handmade, Scrappy Patchwork Flag, Kaffe Fabrics
Kaffe Scrappy Flag

This was my favorite! I used Kaffe Fassett scraps in my stash. The runner measures 25 x 36 inches.

I hope you have a fun and safe Memorial Day!

Until next time Happy Sewing

QAYG – Pre Printed Batting

 Happy Wednesday!

While in Texas I became a YouTube junkie! I learned a lot and was inspired by many. One of my favorite channels was Shabby Fabrics.

Shabby Fabrics offered several video tutorials using many of the June Tailor QAYG designs that are printed onto batting that allows you to complete a project in one step.

The finished projects Jen Bosworth demonstrated were absolutely beautiful and the process seemed simple and straightforward:

  • Cut your fabrics
  • Sew by number
  • Trim
  • bind

Below are the placemats I made for my shop.

June Tailor – Jakarta Placemats

QAYG Handmade Halloween Placemats, Harvest Moon Fabric
Jakarta Quilt As You Go Placemats, June Tailor Batting

Fabric- Harvest Moon by Grace Popp for Studio E

Finished Size 18 x 13 inches

Perfect for jelly rolls or other 2.5 inch precut fabric strips

Approximate time to complete: less than 30 minutes for one placemat

June Tailor – Casablanca Placemats

Quilt As You Go June Tailor Casablana Christmas Placemats
Christmas Casablana Placemats

Fabric – Christmas Fabric from my stash

Finished Size 19 x 15 inches

Approximate time to complete: 30 minutes for one placemat

My thoughts about the June Tailor QAYG designs:

  • Easy technique and truly quick
  • Being accurate (sewing on the line and cutting the fabric) was important
  • Suggested cut lengths are key – there is no wiggle room
  • Normally I prefer using Pellon Fusible Thermolam
  • or Pellon Fusible Foam in my placemats but I can definitely live with the results using the June Tailor product.

All in all a good product, I also purchased the Venice Placemats, Christmas Tree Skirt,  Christmas Stocking and the wine tote bag pre printed designs. I’ll show you once I get those finished!

Each package comes with 6 pre printed placemat designs – I did a sample placemat from each package, washed the placemats after sewing and they washed up nicely, not much shrinkage and they ironed up well.

Another UFO Finish

My friend shopped my UFO pile and picked something to gift to her niece. I used Cuddle fabric on the back.

Pattern was Bordered Periwinkle from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Fabric Alison Glass Sun Print 2016.

Yay another UFO finish!

Until next time Happy Sewing!

Finally a UFO Finish

I can’t believe the end of May is upon us! I’ve spent the past two months spending time with my grandkids.

Jaxon is now 6 months old! His mom, my daughter, is a traveling nurse and I happily tag along to care for this sweet baby while she works.

After 7 weeks with Jaxon I went to Indianapolis to care for my granddaughter, Evelyn, while her parents went on an adults only vacation.

Being a grandmother is the best job ever !!

Now that I’m home to get my sewing mojo going I decided to work on UFO projects.

Fall is my favorite time of year – leaves falling and changing colors, hot apple cider, pumpkin patches and my all time favorite watching FOOTBALL games.

I love Grunge fabrics and this fall fat quarter bundle of grey, orange, gold, cream and black did not disappoint.  I chose the table runner pattern Oxford by Doug Leko from his book Tabletastic.

I purchased my copy of Tabletastic from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Tabletastic includes several great table runner patterns! Oxford is a simple wonky star table runner, charm pack friendly, quick and super easy to make. If you need a quick handmade housewarming gift this pattern fits the bill perfectly.

I made this Christmas fabric basket using a pattern by Christina Camelli. I bought the pattern on Craftsy a few years back. The link for the pattern isn’t currently available.

I loved how she designed the cuff as a separate piece. The finished basket is very polished,the lining is fitted and the bottom portion sits upright nicely.

Her pattern only included one size so I did a little math and came up with a design for a taller version that can be used as a vase. 

I need to tweak the pattern a little, but overall I’m happy with the vase and think it will be a great addition to our fall home décor. My husband thought I was crazy bringing out my Halloween goodies in May!

 I’ve made something for myself. Next up is working on new items for the shop, can’t wait to show you what I’ve made.

Are you working on any UFO’s?

Until next time Happy Sewing!

Scrumptious – Layer Cake Love

Happy Wednesday!

Spring is almost here, and time to bring out the spring décor!

My friend is welcoming a new granddaughter in June and requested a baby quilt in bright colors and florals.

After going through my stash, she and I decided on my Scrumptious layer cake by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. 

Scrumptious is an older collection made up of beautiful whimsical florals in bright pink, reds, orange, green and aqua.

We decided on the zipper quilt patten by Missouri Star Quilt Company.  You can watch the tutorial for this quilt pattern here.

I cut the layer cake into 4 charm packs. I used a little over one 5-inch pack to piece the baby quilt top. She wants Minky on the back of the quilt, I am out of pink Minky so I will order some soon.

With the remaining charms I made a couple of table runners.

The inspiration for the first table runner is also from a Missouri Star Quilt Pattern – Tulip Time. I added my own spin to their pattern by adding machine embroidery to the center and using a pieced border around the entire runner.

The second runner I used the churn dash / Greek cross quilt block, another one of my favorite blocks, it’s very versatile and offers a strong impact depending on fabrics used.

I was going / hoping for a spring Easter look with both runners.

Are you making something special for spring?

Happy Sewing!

Scrappy Starts and Finishes

Happy Friday!

I spent a little time this week working on scrap projects.

I have been reading blog posts and watching You Tube videos on bag/purse making techniques. I wanted to learn more about supplies – hardware and stabilizing fabrics.

For the samples I used both Annies Soft and Stable and Pellon Fusible Foam as the stabilizing fabrics for the exterior of the bags.

I was happy with both products.  Pellon Fusible Foam I can purchase locally at JoAnn’s with a coupon which makes it a good buy. The end results were the same but I found the Soft and Stable a little easier to work with.

The bag below I used scrap charm squares from the baby quilt I made here. The denim is from a pair of my hubby’s old jeans. I used the Pellon Fusible Foam with this bag. Inside is a slip pocket and zippered pocket. I used a magnetic snap as the fastener.

Bag measures: 15 inches wide, 12 inches tall, and 4 inches deep

The second bag I tried a little improv piecing! The fabric is batiks, I got a fat quarter bundle from JoAnn’s on clearance when I purchased the Pellon foam. I used the Soft and Stable foam in this bag. Inside the purse is a slip pocket and zippered pocket, with a magnetic snap fastener. This purse I added an adjustable strap using a D-Ring and Swivel Snap Hook in antique brass as the hardware.

Bag measures: 14 inches wide, 12 inches tall and 4 inches deep

Before my mother-in-law passed, she gifted me a bag of African print scraps. My first project with the scraps was a string pieced wall hanging I finished last year.

I started two new projects with more of the scraps.

Happy Sewing!

Quilt Gift Disaster – Almost!

Happy Wednesday!

One of our local shopping malls hosts a craft fair twice a year. Because of Covid-19 they are changing the format this year, I will not be able to participate in the spring event due to travel plans but I’m still offering an item for one of the door prizes.

In the past I have only offered a gift certificate to my Etsy shop, but this year I wanted to do something different.

I have never made an equilateral triangle quilt and thought this would be the perfect opportunity.

I bought a kid friendly junior jelly roll, background fabric and a couple of coordinating fat quarters. Created the strip sets with the jelly roll and started cutting triangles with the background fabric. It was late at night and decided I would cut the strip sets in the morning.

Next morning, I cut the strip sets into triangles and sat down at my machine – when I tried to match the seams – I got ill because realized my mistake ☹

Sorry I did not take a picture of the triangles, but I hope you can tell from the ruler pictures what happened! The Creative Grids ruler (left ) has a blunt tip on top and the Clearview Ruler (right) has a pointed tip! Although both are 60 degree rulers there is a difference in how you sew them.

It was 9 am and I was ready for a drink…but that was not going to help. After several starts and seam ripping, I managed to make it work. Obviously, there are several imperfections, and I am hoping the recipient will not hold it against me.

The triangles that I could not get right I used on the back of the quilt.

With the small fabric purchase, I was able to make a quilt, bib, burp cloth, wash cloth and diaper clutch !

Thanks for listening to my first “almost” quilt disaster of 2021!

Happy Sewing!

Scrappy Finishes

Happy Friday!

Two of my 2021 goals are:

  1. Organize my scraps.
  2. Use my scraps – adding the event “scrap time” to my daily planner.

Unfortunately, I can sadly report that I have not accomplished much in organizing my scraps!

I have several large plastic containers under the bed in one of my guest bedrooms full of Ziploc bags!  Those bags contain “leftovers/scraps” from previous projects I’ve made.

Last week I pulled out the Katarina Roccella Ziploc bags from the projects I made here and here, below is what I made….

Crooked Courthouse Pillow

Inspiration from this project came from the scrap queen Bonnie Hunter! I used her tutorial found here.

Boxy Heart Pillow

I love paper piecing…this was a free pattern from the Seasoned Homemaker found here.

Off-Center Half Square Triangle Pillow

I used the bonus triangles from the snowball block from the quilt here to create the layout for the pillow. I had just enough of the black and white fabric for the border to fit the pillow form I had on hand.

Improv Pouch

I made two QAYG improv panels and used them to create a wristlet pouch. It’s a perfect size for my hot rollers or make up the next time I travel.

What are your favorite scrap projects?

Happy Sewing!

Happy Valentine’s Day

Again I’ve been MIA…I went back to Texas to spend time with my new grandson! The two grandmother’s are taking turns babysitting while the parents work. My daughter is a traveling nurse and works nights so we’re taking turns helping out. It’s been an unbelievable pleasure spending so much time with baby Jaxon ♥

While I was away my sweet hubby covered my hours at the shop and mailed all of my online orders – I am eternally grateful and thankful for his help, unfortunately he can’t do any sewing. I’ve spent the past few weeks marathon sewing to restock the shelves before my next trip in March.

Here are a few of the items I finished in January.

Charming Diamond Table Runner –this simple HST is one of my favorite “go to” table runner layouts. I used the Riley Blake charm pack Sending Love to make the runner.

With the few remaining charm squares I made a set of matching potholders/trivet showcasing the “X & O” quilt blocks.

I keep a journal listing my “someday” projects. I can now check off the Red Braid Table Runner by Anoria Morris of Samelia’s Mum off my list. I used 9 scrap 2.5 inch Kaffee strips from my stash along with a newspaper print low volume fabric. This was definitely a fun and quick to sew runner. Next time I plan to make a longer version using a grunge jelly roll in Halloween colors. If you’d like to make one yourself the pattern tutorial can be found here.

I didn’t participate in the Moda Stitch Pink QAL, but I did purchase the fabric used. I have a serious obsession with Moda’s Grunge fabrics, the bundle was full of luscious pink and red! I cut some of the fat quarters into 2.5 inch strips and made a few strip pieced hearts for another table runner. The inspiration for this runner came from Kristina Brinkerhoff with Center Street Quilts, you can find the tutorial here.

I’m getting better with organizing my scraps so I can use them. I pulled out my valentine scraps to make set of 4 placemats. I used the courthouse step block — again it’s a quick block to construct and adapt into placemats.

The rail fence quilt block is another go to choice when I need to make quick runners.

My all time favorite is making mug rugs and potholders for me and my girls!

Finally with the scraps from the braid and heart runner I made myself a pixel heart mini quilt!

pixel heart mini quilt

Enjoy your day and stay safe!

Happy New Year

Hello 2021! Are you ready for the new year — I know I am!

2020 was undoubtedly a year filled with much pain and sadness for many, I pray for them but to keep my sanity in check I try to focus on the blessings of 2020.

We welcomed a new grandson to family in November. Jaxon is my daughters first baby, he was 91bs 2 oz and 23 inches long at birth. I was fortunate to be there when his parents bought him home and spent 7 heavenly weeks in Houston spending time with them.

It feels wonderful to be emerging from my cave after a long period of blogging hibernation. Although I haven’t been posting I did find time for sewing and crafting.

I want to share a few of my handmade gifts for baby Jaxon.

Of course I had to make Jaxon a quilt! I used the free tutorial Big Baby Bento Box Baby Quilt from Ronda’s Creations. The pattern was very easy to piece. I was super happy to find fabric in my daughter’s color scheme at Hobby Lobby.

I made a matching diaper bag – using a picture I found on Pinterest, I sketched out a pattern. I struggled with the side pockets but eventually figured how to sew them. I added both a slip pocket and zipper pocket on the inside. My original plan was to use a recessed zipper on the top but got frustrated when I couldn’t get my panels even. In the end I used a magnetic snap for the bag closure.

The diaper bag turned out nicely and I’m happy to report my daughter loved it and has used it several times!

Lastly I made a matching diaper clutch and changing pad.

Again happy New Year and I wish you all good fortune and health in 2021.

Until next time Happy Sewing!

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