Thursday, July 10, 2014

Denim Picnic Quilt


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Recently, I have been inspired by the many creative items that can be made from denim on Pinterest. Since my husband and I enjoy the outdoors and picnics, I decided to put together my own picnic quilt using denim donated to me by friends and family.

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For this project I used 4 pairs of old and worn out jeans (2 were male size 34/36 and 2 female sizes 8). I first cut the seams, loops, zipper, waistband, and pockets off of them to use for future projects except for four pockets that I reserved for the picnic quilt.

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All together, I ended up with seventy 6-inch squares. After examining the pockets I cut out of the jeans, I decided to use the front four for the quilt because of their size. I did not want the pockets to be bigger than the squares, so they were a perfect size. The others have been put away for another day.

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I then arranged the squares in a 7x7 square quilt top. I started in the center with a dark piece of denim and then went around it, going lighter as I reached to the outside. I then placed the four pockets in the assemblage, a pocket for each corner. Once I was happy with the arrangement, I sewed each row together on the sewing machine using a heavy duty needle. Then, I sewed the rows together to form the top of the quilt.

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Remle (the cat) was a big help as you can imagine. He watched me the entire time I worked on the quilt and was ready with a swatting paw for the pesky run-away thread.

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The next step was the quilting. I had some left over batting and found some cute red bandana looking fabric at Walmart. I sandwiched the top, the batting, and the fabric together and quilted along the seems of the squares on the sewing machine. Then I enclosed the edges using the excess fabric from the back by rolling it into a 1/4” binding. The final touch was placing for red bandanas into the pockets to be used as napkins.

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The first picnic using the quilt with BBQ pork sandwiches, potato chips, and a banana.

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IMG_1781I have a confession to make. I am a gadget junkie. In fact, I’m obsessed with my iPad and use it for everything. I honestly do not know how I managed to live so long without one, and then I remember the price tag on it. While I was working on the picnic quilt, I used an app called Scrap Note (costs $4.99 in the iTunes store; the free version has limited scrapbooks you can make and works great if you just want to try it out). With this app, I was able to keep track of all the websites and pictures that inspired this project. If you have Scrap Note, feel free to download my 9-page Picnic Quilt Scrap Note (click on the link above or the picture to the left, which will take you to the file in my Drop Box; click “Download” and then click to open in Scrap Note). It includes notes on cutting denim, tips on sewing denim, and other ideas for using denim in sewing projects. It is such a great app to organize projects, I will be using it again in the future.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Seasonal Wall Quilts

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A fun way to decorate your home is to create wall quilts that can be changed with the seasons. My husband is an avid deer hunter. He is also a spoiled man with a room of his own (a man cave he calls a “Bro-dello”), which also includes his very own bathroom. I recommend this arrangement for any couple because everyone should have their own space. Being the obsessed deer hunter he is, he decorates his area with various deer hunting related items. Occasionally, I add my own contributions to his Bro-dello. I have made curtains for his window, a couple of throw pillows for his couch, a quilt to snuggle with during his naps, and a stunning cross-stitch of five deer in a wintery scene. My husband is also a creative man and has made a few nice pieces of his own that truly personalizes the space. My most recent additions are some seasonal wall quilts with deer motifs. The fall and winter quilts were tacked together using buttons and thread. The summer quilt, however, was hand quilted using a two different stencils.

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Pillows and a quilt for my husband’s Bro-dello.


A portion of the cross-stitch of five deer in a wintry wilderness.

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A few of the creative things my husband made: embellishments on a powder horn, sheathes for a pair of obsidian knives, and two leather pouches that can be fastened to his guns.

Summer

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For the summer deer quilt, I used four pillow panels and sewed them together using an interesting and vibrant fabric consisting of a collage of deer printed on it. I then used a solid brown fabric that complimented the brown that framed each of the deer images to extend the four sides of the quilt by another inch. Next, I spent about two months quilting each of the squares with the deer images using a stencil of wavy lines that curved throughout the image. I used a different, more flowery stencil for the middle sections – each done within an hour or less. Finally, I used the deer collage fabric to bind the quilt together. Voila! One finished, seasonal quilt for the husband’s wall.

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Fall


The fall quilt was simpler to make. I found this large panel on eBay and bought some leaf-shaped buttons from Hobby Lobby to use for the tacking. The back and the binding were made from one piece of solid orange fabric. This quilt was finished in a weekend.

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This is a picture of one of the buttons used for the fall quilt project.

Winter

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The winter quilt was tacked together with buttons like the fall quilt, except the buttons were snow flakes. This panel and the back was purchased at Hobby Lobby. The binding was some fabric I found in my stash pile.

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This is a picture of one of the snow flake buttons used. By using this criss-cross pattern to tack the buttons on the quilt, it also created a snowflake look on the back of the quilt as well.


A look at the snowflake on the back of the quilt.

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A close-up of the snowflake buttons sporadically sewn to the quilt.

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The fabric used for the back of the quilt matches the front.

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My little helper, Remle Duff. He has to be in the middle of everything, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Garden



As part of the Easter celebration at the church where I teach Sunday School lessons to preteens and younger, we created an Easter Garden using the instructions found on The Fugal Homemaker blog.



We used a flat container, a small container, pebbles, grass seeds, and a white crystal to create our Easter Garden.


After filling the bottom with soil, we then placed the small pot on top covered it with the remaining soil. The kids and I then laid out the pebbles to make a path to the empty tomb. Then, we placed the stone in front of the tomb. The last thing we did was spread grass seeds all over the soil and then added another layer of soil to bury the seeds.


This is how the garden looked after we finished preparing and watered it lightly throughout the week.


On Easter morning, the kids were so excited that the grass sprouted. This was a fun project to do with young kids and helped aid in teaching the Easter Story to the class. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hunter's Pouch


The Hunter's Pouch was a quick and fun project I created using the scraps from another project. My husband needed a cover for his laptop and he had some Mossy Oak orange and green camouflage fabric he wanted me to use. The fabric is a mid-weight polyester fabric with a polyurethane coating on the back, which made it water resistant. 




I took a long strip and sewed the edges together with the wrong sides facing out. Then I turned it inside out and added a small piece of Velcro for a fastener.




My husband wanted a way to fasten it to his clothes or bag, so I had him use his hole puncher he has for leather work to punch a hole in one corner. Then he went ahead and added the hardware for me. He's sweet like that.





Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Scarves on a Loom



This Christmas season I created scarves for my husband's side of the family. I used a pattern found on page 39 in I Can't Believe I'm Loom Knitting by Kathy Norris (except for the purple scarf in the picture above). I changed the color scheme for each of the scarves I made.


The pattern was easy and the instructions clear. The only change I made was I shortened the length of the scarf from 65 1/2 inches to 60 inches. I had made one last year that was 65 1/2 inches long and it seemed too long to me. 




Saturday, April 27, 2013

Reversible Checkerboard Afghan

 

 

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This is the second afghan I have ever made.  I used a pattern found in a book called Learn to Knit on Long Looms by Anne Bipes.  I prefer using a loom for knitting and crocheting because I suffer from carpel tunnel syndrome, which becomes aggravated when I use hooks and crochet needles.  For many years, I completely gave up on crocheting and knitting because of the pain and numbness.  I was so happy to discover looms through some of the students at the school where I work (I’m a librarian).  I went out and bought some looms and fell in love with it and the finished projects turned out so beautifully.  I am now hoarding yarn like crazy.  It’s wonderful to be able to knit and crochet again. 

 

This afghan was a long-term project and took many months to complete.  I began working on it at the end of August 2012 and didn’t finish it until April 2013 (granted, I didn’t spend all of my spare time on it).  I calculated that it took over 200 hours of work to finish. 

 

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The pattern was easy to follow and included detailed step-by-step instructions.  The only thing I would change about the pattern is I would start with a chain cast on when starting the afghan and taking it off.  It would give the edges the same look but seems to me to be an easier way to do it. 

 

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Of course, what project is complete without the help of the four-legged members of my family.  Elmer loved swatting at my string as I worked along the loom. 

 

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My favorite part about this afghan is it is double-sided and thick.  I worked on it during the winter, so it kept me warm.  I also love the length of it (50x68 inches).  All in all, it was a great project and fun to do.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sports Koozies

 

 

One of the fun projects I made over the Christmas holidays were some crocheted sports koozies on a loom. 

 

Materials Needed:

  • A round loom with at least 24 pegs.
  • Knitting loom tool.
  • "K" crochet hook
  • Size 16 yarn darner
  • 2 different colors of yarn
  • 3-inch plastic canvas circle
  • Embroidered sports mascot (I found mine on eBay).

 

The complete pattern for these koozies can be found on Craftsy.  The patterns are for the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Denver Broncos, and the Dallas Cowboys.

 

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Elmer’s Blanket


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Elmer is a very spoiled cat.  Last Christmas he turned eleven years old, and I celebrated by making him his own little blanket.  Usually when I make a quilt or afghan, he is close by (if not in the middle of every thing).  He seems to really enjoy batting and he’s not the only cat I have that does. 


I started with a pattern of a cat (the center portion of the blanket) that I received via email from blockoftheday@quiltpro.com.  They send me daily emails with delightful quilt patterns that I find are easy, useful, and simple.  The fabric I used are fat quarters I found at Wal-Mart and some scraps from previous projects that I finished.  


To make the border around the cat, I cut my remaining fabric into one and half inches by twelve inches and sewed them together length wise, and then I use my rotary to cut across the width of the sewed pieces, making four sections for the border.  I then sewed them to the cat piece.  To make it a little larger for Elmer to sleep comfortably on, I added another border of solid navy blue.


I then added a little character by sewing on a pair of buttons for the eyes.  Be sure to secure them onto the blanket so not to risk falling off and the cat swallowing them.


Then I added bells to each of the corners.  All of the cats love the bells.  I keep catching them swatting at the bells.  So adorable!  Again, be sure to secure them onto the blanket.  I deliberately chose larger bells to ensure no one swallows them.  Elmer likes to eat everything he sees.  It can be alarming at times.



I then added a muslin back with a cotton batting, and used my sewing machine for the quilting.  I didn’t put too much creativity into the quilting because I wanted to keep it simple. 


To finish, I folded over the excess muslin and sewed to the navy border.  Voila!  One cute cat blanket.