Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Justin's quilt is complete!  This quilt is made from shirts from his time as a student and a teacher at SSHS.  I did my teaching internship at the same school, but I didn't get any shirts from it. ;)

This quilt is going to look great in his classroom!

So, that's one more t-shirt quilt down!  I hope you like it, Justin!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How Do You Label?

I really enjoyed hearing from you about pre-washing fabrics.  Thanks to all of you who weighed in on the topic!  It seems that most of the people who responded do pre-wash.  I'll post more on the subject later.

So the question for today is, do you label your quilts and if so, how?  What information do you include?   How do you make your label?  Where do you put it?  Do you piece it into the quilt somewhere?  Do you applique it?  Do you attach it before or after quilting your quilt?

I'd love to hear about your quilt labels!  If you have a post on labels or some pictures, leave a link too!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Baby Bricks Quilt

This quilt is a gift for some college friends of ours who just had their first baby a few weeks ago.  I'm a little late in sending it, but better late than never, right?

I'm really liking the idea of square baby quilts right now, so don't be surprised if you see more of them from me in the future.  I forgot to measure it before I put it in the mail, but I think it's about 38" x 38."

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you have a great weekend.  I'm doing a 5K tomorrow...  I hope I don't pass out from the heat!  It's already so hot in southern New Mexico! ;)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beach Purse Tutorial


I originally made this purse for my grandmother.  After I finished it, I was wishing I had one for myself too.  The size is perfect for carrying sunscreen, a book, and other things you may need for the beach or pool (or for running around town for that matter!).  I love that it's not enormous like the other beach bags I have.  Here are the instructions for making your own if you'd like.

1/2 yd. outside fabric*
1/2 yd. lining fabric
1/2 yd interfacing 
1" wide sew-in Velcro 
Coordinating thread
Fabric marker or pencil

*I used quilting cotton for the outside and lining.  I used Pellon 809 Decor Bond for the interfacing.

Note:  I used a 1/4" inseam because that's what I'm used to as a quilter, but it would also be great using a 1/2" inseam.  Just increase the fabric rectangle sizes by 1/4" on all sides to make the same size purse I made.

For all topstitching, I used a 4.0 stitch length and stitched very close to the edge.

1- Cut out all the pieces you'll need for your purse:

2  10 3/4" x 12" rectangles of outside fabric
1  3" x 42" strip outside fabric for strap (or 3" x width of fabric with selvedges trimmed for most quilting cotton)
2  10 1/2" x 12" rectangles of lining fabric
1  10 1/2" square of lining fabric for pocket
2  10 3/4" x 12" rectangles of interfacing
1  2 1/2" strip of Velcro 

Outside, lining, interfacing, strap
Pocket, Velcro

2- Fuse the interfacing to each of the outside fabric panels according to manufacturer's instructions.

3- Prepare the pocket.

Fold the 10 1/2" square in half, right sides together.  

Sew the open end of the long side, and turn the pocket right sides out.  Press the pocket and topstitch on the folded long side.  

4- Attach the pocket.

Place the pocket on one of the lining fabric pieces.  Your pocket should be oriented so that the raw edges of the pocket line up with the edges of the lining fabric.  Try to center the pocket on your lining fabric.  I just looked at it, no measuring required. :)  

The topstitching should be pointing toward what will become the top of your purse.  Pin the pocket in place, and topstitch over the bottom of the pocket.  Then, stitch a vertical line over the pocket, dividing it into two sections.  Be sure to backstitch at the top and bottom.  I made one large and one small pocket by stitching 4" from one edge.

5- Attach the Velcro.

Fold each lining piece in half lengthwise.  Crease it with your finger.  Do the same with both parts of Velcro.  Align the folds of one lining piece and one Velcro piece, and pin the Velcro about 1" below the top of the lining fabric.  Stitch around the edges of your Velcro.

6- Sew the interfaced outside pieces together.

Place the outside fabrics right sides together, and stitch down one long side, across the bottom, and up the other long side.  Leave the top open.

7- Sew the lining pieces together.

Repeat step 6 with the lining fabrics.

8- Box the corners of the lining and the outside pieces.  

Stand the unit upright (open side up), align the side and bottom seams, and flatten the corner, forming a triangle.  Measure 1" from the tip, and draw a line from side to side.  

Be sure to pin above the marked line.  Stitch on top of the line.

Trim the corner to a 1/4" inseam.

Repeat with the rest of the bottom corners.

9- Make the strap.

Fold and press your strip in half lengthwise.  

Open it up, and fold one side almost up to the crease.  Press the new fold in place.  

Repeat with the other side.  

Now fold your strap along the original crease.  Pin in place.

Topstitch along the open side first, and then along the folded side.  

10- Attach the outside of the purse and the strap to the lining.

Leave the outside of the purse inside out.  Flatten the strap and hold each end so that it doesn't twist in the middle.  Place the strip inside the purse, and pin strap ends to the sides, centering each side of the strap on a side seam.  The raw edge should stick over the top of the purse 1/4" - 1/2."  

Turn the lining fabric right sides out and place it inside the other part of the purse (still inside out).  The right sides of each part should be facing the right sides of the other part.  Pin the lining in place.  Be sure to remove the pins through the straps and pin through all three pieces (outside, strap and lining).

Sew around the top of the purse, leaving a 4" or 5" gap for turning.  Backstitch on either side of the gap.

11- Turn the purse right sides out.  

Reach through the hole and pull the purse through until the right sides are all out.  Push the lining inside the purse, and press around the top.  Be sure to tuck in the raw edges of the gap used for turning as you press.  

12- Topstitch around the top of the purse, ensuring that you close the gap used for turning.

That's it!  It's a pretty simple method that you can use for any size tote bag.  I hope you enjoy your beach purse as much as I do!

Friday, April 15, 2011

More T-Shirt Quilts!

Right now, I'm working on two t-shirt quilts.  Every time I make one, I find it more and more enjoyable.  There's something very satisfying about taking a person's old yet precious t-shirts and making them into something new and useful again.  I picture all the places they went with their owner, all the memories they hold.  I'm nostalgic that way.

Here is a preview of the first quilt.

The top of this one is almost complete.  It needs some borders, and then it will be ready to be quilted.

I'll post progress on the second one soon.  Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Clean Story

There once was a girl who bought a sewing machine.  She learned to sew straight lines, zigzags, and even attach a button or two.

This sewing girl then learned to quilt.  She spent hours and hours with her machine, but she never bothered to read the last part of her manual.  You know, the part that tells how to clean the machine.

Then one day, she decided to clean up her act...

She read and read, then brushed and picked.  And what did she find?

That an enormous dust bunny was living inside her machine and messing up her stitches!


She ended up vacuuming it all up, including an unsuspecting bobbin, poor guy.  Even with the casualty, she and her machine were very happy.

The moral of the story is, clean your sewing machine regularly to keep it running well.  And watch out for bystanders.  Poor bobbin.

The End.

{I may or may not be know the girl mentioned in the story.}

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm Back!

So, once again I've been out of town and away from the blogosphere.  I'm back now, and I have begun to sew up a storm.  I should have plenty to show for it here later this week.

We went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  It was such a great place to relax and have fun!

Before we left, I made myself a little purse to carry my sunscreen, book and other poolside necessities.  I'll post a tutorial here later if you'd like to see how I did it.  I wanted to get a good picture of it in use, but then I got all awkward...

At least I can laugh at myself...

I'll just have to use the picture without me in it for the tutorial! ;)

I hope you have a great week!