Thrifty Towel Makeover

I needed some hand towels for the downstairs powder room and I found this classic paisley at Ross but only in a bath size towel.

If you've shopped for towels, the hand towels cost nearly as much as the bath size! So, I bought it anyway and cut it into three towels and used my quilting skills to bind the edge in my favorite french ticking stripe.


Yellow Kitty Quilt - Finale

Generally, I have a vague idea about the end result when I start a new quilt. I've been slacking on quiltmaking for a while so when I saw this quilt along by SewTakeaHike
I jumped right in without giving too much thought as to how I was gonna finish it off.

I used flannel instead of batting and cut the blocks 11" square so I could trim them to 10 1/2". I love the close quilting by using the presser foot as the guide. I rarely sash my quilts because by the time I'm ready to assemble the blocks my mind has wandered off to the next project and it's all about gettin' er done.

So, the baby quilt that started with 12 blocks, grew into 20 and now gets even bigger with sashing. I used some scrap white muslin and since the blocks were already 2 layers, the sashing needed to be the same so I cut flannel strips for the "fill". I was concerned that it might look too busy without the sashing but after looking at Penny's quilt, I could have skipped it. Her quilt is beautiful!

By now, the whole thing is pretty heavy and it's only a lap size and I still have the backing to deal with. As mentioned above, I've already moved on and don't really want to buy yardage so ended up piecing the back.

This seems like a departure from the usual quilt as you go where the backing fabric is quilted into the block thereby eliminating the push-pull-drag of machine quilting in a 9" space between the head and needle of the machine. The traditional method also skips the pin basting step and there's no chance of getting tucks on the back.

I still have loads of scraps to use up and I'll be making more of these fer sure but I'll make the quilt sandwiches with the backing. In the past, I've sewn the blocks together wrong sides facing, pressed the seam open (front side of the quilt) and then stitched down narrow strips or seam binding to cover them up. By machine, I can deal with some wrestling but for larger quilts, sewing them down by hand is much easier even though more time consuming.


Spring Tote Shopping Bag

I've been using cloth bags for all my shopping for many years now and they hold up surprisingly well. I do get bored with them so I'm always making new ones. What better way to use up scraps, eh?

I used flannel as a foundation and stitched down the strips quilt-as-you-go style. The lining is upcycled from a pink cotton sheet. Orange and green are not favorite colors but those limes are certainly a Tequila inspiration!

Easy Peasy Scrap Quilt as You Go

The problem with quilting is the inability to discard fabric. This is how I end up with multiple baskets of scraps that are just too precious to throw away. I recently ran across SewTakeaHike's quilt along which is super fun but hardly made a dent in the scrap pile. I'll have to make more for sure!

Right now the blocks are waiting to be assembled. It's a lap size, 2o ten inch blocks. I'm planning on adding a border, probably 3 inches or so.


The Tale of Two Queens

The older I get the more I enjoy handwork. Maybe I'm not in such a big hurry anymore and I while I love my sewing machines they seem to invoke cursing while hand stitching does not.

The traced queen was done on a light box and a thin line quilting pen. Those faint black lines were from using an iron on my laser copy which didn't work well. My own fault because that process requires more pressure and not on a regular ironing board.

were from using an iron on my laser copy which didn't work well. My own fault because that process requires more pressure and not on a regular ironing board.

The brunette was hand embroidered while the blonde was done by machine. Not better or worse, just different than the hand embroidered version.

This pattern is copyrighted from a book and is not available at French-Knots


Pressing Work

I've been downloading lovely vintage embroidery patterns through the Hoop Love pool at Flickr for the past year and this is the year I'm finally getting around to scanning my own collection.

You can find them at Hoop Love or at my new website, French-Knots. Eventually, the site will also have free knitting and crochet patterns as well as applique for quilting.

I've been collecting this stuff for years and now it's time to share it with the world.


Poor Little Neglected Blog

Nah, it can't be nearly 2 years since I've updated this blog. When you first start a blog you're pretty sure nobody is reading it anyway so there's no pressure to write. I can't write a blog without uploading pictures and that's where the problem lies. Sewing the thing up is fun but trying to find adequate lighting, taking the pictures, uploading them to the computer, editing them, etc., takes more time and energy than the stitching.

I will try to do better. You may know that I have an obsession with corsets and corset type tops. When Project Alabama came on the scene I fell in love immediately. They are made from t shirts and don't offer the support or waist cinching capabilities that real corsets do but they are beautiful in their own right. A proper corset with lots of bones also helps with posture and that's exactly what I need. Here's a few experiments in patchwork:

The elastic at the top edge keeps it close to the body so no chance of boobies spilling over.

The boning could be more comfortable but not worse than those pokey underwires in bras. In fact, wearing a corset is quite different than a bra since the breasts are supported by the bones and not being held up by the shoulders.

I have lots of scraps to use up and I think quilting the panels will make it soft and more comfy.



Coffee? Tea? Ice cream? This pallete is delicious like a Starbucks latte.