Susan of Desertsky Quilting has posted the second block in her block-of-the-month series, Stars and Pinwheels QAL. The new block is called Flying Fan. https://desertskyquilts.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/stars-and-pinwheels-qal-flying-fan/
This is an easy, fun block I am using the blocks in this series to make a different project each month. This month, I used four of the Flying Fan blocks – the original 12-inch block and three blocks I reduced to 7 inches (thanks to my Electric Quilt software).
I wear aprons all the time and thought a new one for the July 4th holiday was in order. I like roomy aprons without strings at the neck or waist and with a good pocket. I used a pattern which is adapted from a 1930s era apron I found in an antique mall. https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/a-vintage-apron-clone/
The 12-inch block is part of the design element at the top of the apron and a 7-inch block was lined and is used as a pocket.
I had enough fabric left for two potholders, using the 7-inch blocks. I like to make “slipcovers” for oven mitts and pot holders (this is how I do it). I’ve been using some good-quality mitts/holders for over 20 years, laundering the “slip covers” as needed and replacing them when they become worn.
This was a good block to use in these projects and I’m looking forward to next month’s block which should be a star. I’m already thinking what I could put in the center of the star and what the new project might be.
Last week, when I completed my Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM blocks and made them into kitchen curtains, I said I would post pictures of the curtains as soon as a non-snowy and sunny day came along. Well, there are still some small hills of snow around, but the sun is bright and the sky is blue – so, here are the curtains. The top picture shows the bay window area and this is the panel over the sink.
I tried several approaches to making the blocks into curtains and decided to use a simple, streamlined method of using the blocks with sashing and borders to make panels which are very much like wall hangings with a sleeve on the back rather than regular curtain casings. I wanted the panels to hang similar to a blind without any gathers.
This project worked out well for me and at a distance and in the right light, the panels look almost like stained glass windows.
A couple of weeks ago, my neighbor asked my daughter and me to come to her house to check out some sewing/craft supplies she was going to throw away or donate. She knew my daughter and I did a lot of sewing, needlework, quilting, crafts – and thought we might find something we could use. Naturally, we could hardly wait to go across the street and see what was in those boxes!
There were two big cartons full of sewing notions, craft supplies, miscellaneous fabric and even a pair of worn-out jeans. My daughter used the waistband from the jeans along with some of the white fabric in the box to make a great bracelet/cuff.
I was excited to use a red luncheon cloth that was a nice heavy fabric and had only a small stain on it. I made three lined bags with it, also incorporating some of the white fabric and a couple of pieced/embroidered orphan blocks.
I also made a two-piece cushion set for my vintage folding chair.
The wonderful part of this story is that we have hardly made a dent in the contents of the boxes. We have plans for the Christmas season and well beyond it.
I’m continuing with projects that use vintage embroidery and lots of autumn-colored scraps. I found this free pattrn online and made it into a place mat.
I embroidered another vintage pattern and added fabric to make a Halloween pillow.
The scary, feathered owl was a birthday gift from my younger granddaughter who liked it so well that she bought one for herself.
I made a pillow set for my vintage folding chair. This design is based on a Helan Barrick decorative painting pattern that I first used about 25 years ago.
It’s fun to take the embroidered pieces and figure out what I can do with them, using scraps and reducing the amount of leftover fabric I have to store.
My daughter gave me a vintage cosmetic bag that she thought I might be able to use as an idea for bags I could make to use for cosmetics, small sewing items, little gifts, etc.
The bag opened out into sections and looked fairly easy to duplicate.
It’s basically multiple bags of the same size, lined and finished with a narrow facing. One bag has a flap and serves as the base. The remainder of the bags are stitched to each other to form an accordion-like feature.
I made five bags of varying sizes and thought the idea worked out pretty well. For one bag that I particularly liked, I made a matching small gift tote of the same fabrics and will be using the two pieces to hold an anniversary gift for my younger daughter in a couple of weeks.
I’m thinking about expanding the pattern to make a larger three-section tote bag. More on this later.
My youngest daughter keeps me supplied with beautiful hand-knitted socks …
…but occasionally, the yarn is too heavy to fit comfortably in my shoes. Then, they become wonderful sock slippers to wear in the evening while I’m watching TV or reading. To protect the soles of the socks and provide better traction when walking, I was looking for something to add to the bottoms and thought about using foam inner soles. They work perfectly. They are lightweight, easy to sew, economical and wear well with light use.
I used three strands of embroidery floss and whip-stitched the soles in place about ¼ inch apart.
The sock is easy to stitch by placing it over one hand and stitching with the other, but if you happen to have one of these gadgets for helping to put on socks, that works even better.
This would also work well for socks that have developed a worn place on the bottom and allow more wearing and enjoying time for these hand-knit beauties.
Every Friday, I prepare 4 lunches. I leave one lunch on the kitchen table for my daughter who lives with me and take the other 3 lunches to my youngest daughter’s house, about 10 minutes away. I bring two plates for our lunch plus an extra for her to enjoy later. I used to pack everything in a big old-fashioned metal lunch basket, but I’m limited now in what I can carry, so I thought it might be nice to have a sturdy fabric tote to carry my lunch plates. I measured the plates I use (about 9 inches) and sewed together a fabric box 10 x 10 x 7 inches along with a lid with Velcro fasteners. The lining is made from some heavy cotton duck material that was leftover from a previous project.
The fabric for the outside of the box has special meaning for me. A couple of years ago, a blogger friend (who passed away in 2012), sent me a beautiful apron in pretty fall colors just in time for Thanksgiving. I use aprons all the time, so this one was starting to show some wear. I couldn’t bear to part with it and had the idea to use it as the fabric for my tote. It worked out perfectly with even the ties working exactly as I wanted them for the handle.
I left the pocket intact and used it for one side panel to hold napkins and flat ware.
I’m off to my daughter’s house today with one of her favorite dishes, Black-Eyed Peas and Chicken Curry.
The three serving plates will be covered in foil and then placed on three plastic racks which will keep them separate inside the tote.
I also made some apple dumplings which will be transported in a small insulated carrier that I reserve for desserts. For the short distance I have to travel, the meals usually stay hot but can also be popped into the microwave for a quick warm-up.
Looking forward to a nice afternoon of visiting with the two dogs and two cats and chatting while my daughter knits. I wait until 3 PM to give a quick wave to my high school freshman grandson as he gets off the school bus, then it’s time to head home for supper.