Springtime Hoodie

When we visited Holmes County (Ohio) Amish Country last September, I saw some delicious Moda fabric that I couldn’t resist. 

I didn’t know what I was going to do with it until I started thinking about a hoodie for spring similar to the one I made for fall which I liked very much.  I had only bought one yard of each of the Moda fabrics and got enough additional Kona off-white fabric to make the jacket.  I used a pattern I found in my local quilt shop, A QUILTER’S HOODIE #0351 by A Little More Effect Pattern Company, 10736-125 Street, Edmonton T5M 0H1.  The pattern is for an unlined jacket, but I wanted to make mine reversible and basically made the jacket twice and then put it together with a reversible separating zipper.   It turned out to be very comfortable, the right weight for our Southwest Ohio spring weather, and with the colors of April.  This is one view of the hoodie.

This is the reverse side of the jacket.  I like the deep pockets.

Whenever I make a jacket, I use the scraps to make a small purse to carry in quilt shops, antique stores, malls, etc., to avoid lugging around a heavy purse.  This purse has a flip-out section for credit cards/cash and a holder for my sunglasses.


Gift Bags from Orphan Blocks


Most quilters seem to have a big stash of “orphan” blocks – blocks they made that turned out too big, too small, too difficult, too simple, the wrong color, pieced wrong – you get the picture.  I’ve made a few quilts and throws from blocks like these but don’t really enjoy putting together a lot of misfits.  My youngest daughter who has been a recycler, “go green” person since she was a child, had come up with a plan to make all of her gift bags which could be recycled rather than using throwaway paper.  She doesn’t like to sew and came up with an easy bag that is basically a piece of fabric folded in half, sewn along two sides, edge-stitched along the top and with a tie of some sort sewn to the back of the bag so it’s readily available for the next gift opporunity.  In our family, it’s understood that the bag can be kept by the recipient or given along with a gift on the next holiday.

I thought this might be a way to use up some of the unwanted and unappreciated quilt blocks.  The first step is to wrap a tape measure loosely around the largest part of the item to be wrapped and add 1/2″ (two 1/4″ seams) plus another 1″ for a little leeway in the bag. 

Example:  A typical American CD measures 12-1/2″ in width.  Using a 9-1/2″ unfinished block, cut a coordinating strip of fabric 4-1/2″ x 9-1/2″ (3″ plus 1/2″ for two 1/4″ seams plus 1″ for some extra leeway).  

Stitch a 1/4″ seam joining the strip to one side of the block.  Press.


Cut a 20″ piece of ribbon, rickrack, seam tape, cording – anything you might have in your sewing basket.  Place the center of the ribbon on the center of the 4-1/2 x 9-1/2″ strip, about 3-1/2″ down from the top and sew a few stitches to secure it for the tie.

Stitch the other side of the strip to the other side of the block, using a 1/4″ seam.  Press.

Keeping the pieces right-sides together, fold the strip in half lengthwise, centering the strip in the back so there is a nice view of the block on the front, and stitch along the bottom edge, using a 1/4″ seam.


Press the top edge down 1/4″ and zigzag a close stitch along the raw edge (.90 x 3.1 stitch).

Turn the bag and press.  Bag is ready to pack with the CD and tie with the ribbon.


Of course, any block can be used with strips  added to make the correct size.  Also, blocks can be sewn together to make the size you need.

Example:  Two 12-1/2″ unfinished blocks can be used to make a bag big enough for a book, a small toy or small pieces of clothing.  In this case no extra strip is needed. 


Cut a 20-22″ piece of trim for the tie, and stitch it to the center of the block that is to be the back of the bag, about 3-1/2″ down from the top. 



Place the two blocks right sides together, being careful to keep the tie out of the way and stitch along the sides and the bottom edge with a 1/4″ seam. 

Press the top edge under 1/4″ and zigzag along the raw edge (.90 x 3.1 stitch). 

Turn bag and press and another bag is ready to pack with a gift…..two less blocks in the stash and no big piece of wrapping paper in the trash.



A Red Linus Quilt


Each year I donate at least 3 quilts to our local Linus Project, which distributes quilts to hospitals to give to seriously ill children.  My first one this year is made with red scraps using the Economy 2 block in my EQ6 software.   Because these quilts have to be laundered frequently, we’re encouraged to use simple blocks and I notice what my 4-year-old granddaughter likes in my quilts and use those ideas in the Linus projects.  This one has bright colors and a variety of block themes.   The quilt is 45×70 inches and I was thinking about an older girl – maybe 8 to 10 years old – as I made the quilt.  The nurses at the hospitals choose the quilt to go to a particular child.  The first row contains scottie fabric….


The second row has different kinds of fruit….


The third row shows some funny ladies doing housework….


The fourth row contains cute cats….


The fifth row has some miscellaneous blocks.


The backing is a red print.


When I take this quilt to our distribution center, I’ll also be taking along three beautiful crocheted afghans my daughter made.  In each case she used a heart pattern.




We like to think that four children will enjoy snuggling with our pieces.

Primitive Stuffed Pumpkin


I’m not an accomplished craft person, but I was able to make some cute stuffed pumpkins from a free pattern on Quilt in a Day, (see update below) called the Fall Pumpkin Patch.  There’s a small amount of sewing involved, and then some winding of jute twine and gluing of silk leaves.  I used some white chenille salvaged from a damaged vintage bedspread, but any type of fabric could be used.  The size and shape of the pumpkin depends on the amount of fabric used and good directions are given.  I gave a pumpkin to each of my daughters for Halloween, with the thought that they could stay on display through Thanksgiving.


Update:  It was brought to my attention that the free pattern apparently is no longer available on Quilt-in-a-Day.  My personal instructions are below:

Supplies Needed:

  • 1/4 yd. pieces or fat quarters or any size pieces of fabric for the pumpkin
  • Green, brown or orange pipe cleaners
  • Tacky glue
  • Raffia strands
  • Jute twine
  • 2″ wooden stems from tree branches
  • Fall silk leaves – 2-3 per pumpkin

All of the pumpkins are made from rectangles.  They can be any size you like (9″x18″, 9″x21″, 7″x17″, etc.).  According to the dimensions they will come out short and fat or tall and skinny.

Fold rectangle in half, right sides together.  Leave a long tail of thread as you begin to sew and stitch a 1/4″ seam down the side of the rectangle.  Leave another long tail of thread attached after you finish sewing.

With a hand sewing needle, thread one tail into the needle and gather up one end of the tube from the wrong side of the fabric, 1/8″ from the bottom edge.  In other words, sew a straight line across one end 1/8″ from the edge.  Pull tightly and knot off.  Turn tube to right side.

Stuff the pumpkin with polyester stuffing or batting scraps.  With the hand sewing needle and thread tail at the other end of the pumpkin, sew a straight line across 1/8″ from the edge, pull tightly and  knot off.   The opening will be covered by the silk leaves.

Using Jute twine, leave an 8″ tail.  Starting from the top of the pumpkin, wind down the sides on the seam line to the bottom, back to the top on the other side, then turn slightly and do it again, leaving thumb or finger on top to keep twine in place.  Make 6 or 8 ridges.  Tie a knot tightly at the top and then a bow.

To decorate, glue a wooden stem into the top center opening withTacky glue.  Wind the pipe cleaner around a pencil and fold in half.  Glue the pipe cleaner into the opening.  Make a bow out of raffia and glue into the opening.  Glue 2-3 leaves to the top to cover the opening.

Display with pride.

Copyright Infringement – Sewing & Quilting Projects

I recently wrote a blog post about donating some items to a charity.  Included were five small wallets (Sewing) which I photographed, closed, with no details shown.  I included nothing related to the pattern in my post and linked to the website of the pattern maker. 

The pattern maker posted in comments that I was infringing on her copyright by donating the items I’d made to charity.  I was totally surprised and didn’t realize that donations of a finished article infringed on the copyright of a pattern (for which I’d paid a decent price).  In researching on the Internet, I found several websites that were very informative on this matter, especially for people who sew, quilt or do other handwork and then exhibit, sell or donate the items.  My research shows the pattern maker is correct as far as her copyright is concerned.  It seems to be a matter of whether the copyright owner chooses to enforce the law.  Here are some helpful links I found that shed more light on the issue.

I also found some pattern makers who don’t mind what sewers do with their patterns so long as they don’t copy the patterns themselves to distribute or sell.  Those pattern makers, though, do appreciate a link to their websites.  

This was an eye-opener for me.  I apologized to the pattern maker for contributing wallets made from her patterns to charity, and I told her I would not be donating items from her patterns in the future, nor from anyone else’s patterns.  It saves a lot of time to use a purchased pattern, but I’m not incapable of designing my own and have done it many times when all the features I wanted weren’t included in available patterns.

Just wanted to share as this is something for all of us to consider.