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Showing posts from 2020

Sweet Dreams, Little Puppies

If there is one thing you need to know about me, it is I love animals. I am a supporter of several animal rescues including the Idaho Animal Rescue Network. I recently started making doggy beds for them out of old pillowcases stuffed with fabric and batting scraps. It's great in that they supply the scrap batting. The founder of IARN has a family member that is a longarm quilter and she saves the leftover batting and fabric scraps. Perfect!

Making a doggy bed is a fast and worthwhile project.

First thing to do is to wash your pillowcases. Once that is done, it is time to sew!

Start by turning the pillowcase inside out. We are going to box the ends to give the doggy bed a little shape. Align the side seam of the pillowcase (or the fold line if no seam) with the bottom seam (or fold line). Pull it into a point and smooth out. I used a 3" seam so I measured down 1-1/2" from the point and marked my sewing line. 


Stitch twice across line, backtacking at ends. This helps to rei…

Seam Ripper Required!

Have you ever made a quilt where a seam ripper was required, not because of mistakes made, but actually needed to complete the quilt? I recently did.

Late last month, I visited Be Lazy Quilting in Three Forks, MT. This is a wonderful little quilt shop. There was a quilt hanging on the wall that caught my eye - I think it was the colors. Teals and browns, very earthy feeling. The pattern is called Sierra Snow by Villa Rosa Designs. It is one of those small pattern cards you find normally near the cash register.
I have never made a bargello style quilt but have wanted to do one. I read the instructions on the back of the pattern card and it seemed pretty straight forward. "Let's do this!", I told myself.

I am also a huge fan of Moda's Grunge fabric line. I love, love, love Grunge. There are so many colors and it is a versatile fabric. I decided then and there that I wanted to do my quilt out of Grunge. Luckily, the shop had a decent selection to choose from. I picked t…

No Sew Fringe Vest

Hey! Wait a minute! Isn't this blog about sewing?

Why yes it is. But sometimes "projects" happen where sewing isn't needed. But it sure helps to have sewing and quilting tools.

I need a costume for a 60's themed BBQ (where social distancing will be practiced). I looked for ideas online and saw where I could purchase a costume for $$. Why would I do that if I could make my own? I decided I needed a fringed vest as part of my outfit.

Hmmmm...yeah, I could make one out of my fabric stash, but that is mostly cottons and I felt not suitable for what I was thinking. I ended up purchasing a men's black sleeveless t-shirt from Wally World for under $5.
I laid out the t-shirt on my cutting table, face up, and smoothed out the wrinkles as best I could. I took a strip of 1" blue masking tape and placed it on the shirt just below the arm holes. This would be my stopping line when cutting the fringe. Using my 24" ruler and rotary cutter, I cut 1/2" wide str…

A Cause for Paws

Pets. They have been, are, and always will be an important part of my life. I cannot imagine a life without them. A pet gives so much to me that I must give back to those who need help.

I have supported several animal rescues and help groups over the years. Sometimes it has been through a financial donation, food, volunteer labor , fostering or through handmade items. There are many ways to give back. 
My latest donation is an event table skirt for Idaho Animal Rescue Network. They are based in Lewiston, ID and are doing great things not only for this valley, but throughout a wider area. When I knew IARN was having an event for kitten adoptions, I wanted to give them something. 
I have several yards of the Rescue Me! fabric by Windham Fabrics in my stash.  My brain went to work and I designed an adjustable table skirt that will work on 6' or 8' tables. I used the framed prints to create a border around the top and then the red dog print for the bottom. It is attached with spec…

More Block Heads 3 and Tools!

Today I was able to work on a couple more blocks for Moda' Block Heads 3. I was waiting on some green fat quarters to arrive and they are here. Time to get sewing!

I was able to complete blocks 2 and 3.  I got out my Bloc-Loc rulers and went to town. I have come to appreciate the better quality of blocks I get when using them. They are very easy to use. To see videos of the rulers in action, go here.

Today I used my 2.5" square and 1.5" x 3" flying geese rulers.



Need a smaller size than 2.5"? No problem! Trim two sides and then align to size need. Trim the remaining two sides and you're done!

Here are the two completed blocks. Look at all the half square triangles (HSTs) and flying geese I needed. This is why I used my Bloc-Loc rulers.


Block Heads 3 is up to week 20 and I only have five done. I need to keep sewing. If only I didn't have to work. Sigh.

Have a great week!






New Templates & A Handy Dandy Tool

Like many people across the country, we are still sewing masks at our house. Honestly, I will be glad to take a break from this. This weekend's project was finishing up 30 fitted masks to take to co-workers and their families.

Our company provided 5 masks to each employee when we started operations back up earlier this month. They are the pleated medical style and they were made by our upholstery team (yay, team!). I prefer the fitted style myself so I have been using my own when necessary. I received many compliments on it and a few people asked for one. How can I say no?

The task was made much easier by new acrylic mask templates I ordered and received last week. I purchased them from Shop Stitch Buzz on Etsy. I really liked that templates were very similar in size to the homemade cardboard ones I was using. The templates also included the cut line for making the lining.


I did make an adjustment for using the templates. My cardboard pattern had an 1-1/4" difference between …

I'm a Blockhead!

I am a Block Head, but it's not the "doh, you idiot!" type of blockhead. I am officially a Moda Block Head. Here's the backstory on how this came to be.

I went to a quilting retreat back in late February before things got wild and crazy with stay at home orders. One of the ladies there finished up her Moda Block Heads 2 quilt. It is a sew-a-long where new blocks are released every week. It runs for about a year. I loved what she did.


Then Laurel mentioned Moda was doing another round of Block Heads. I checked out the information on the Moda website here. Before the retreat was over, I decided to become a Block Head.
It took a while to figure out what fabrics to use. I had taken an old Moda "A Stitch in Color" jelly roll and and charm pack with me to the retreat thinking I might do something with it. I liked the bright colors and thought it might work well for Block Heads 3. I purchased some Moda Grunge in matching colors to supplement my small amount of fabr…

A Better Mouse Trap

Bias tape ties. Yep. I am really starting to despise those things for the masks we are sewing. Making those ties take as much time to make as the body of the mask, maybe more by the time you factor in cutting and sewing. Elastic is still in short supply and we continue to make our own ties.

In a previous post, I shared a DIY tape maker I found online and constructed. While it helps somewhat, it still requires more time that I think necessary. My daytime job is in manufacturing and I have my green belt certification in Lean Six Sigma. No, I don't do karate or ju jitsu but rather I have taken training to learn basic process improvements that help us in manufacturing. My brain is always thinking of faster and better ways of producing masks. We essentially have a mini mask factory in our house.

Any way, back to bias ties. I still have not found my regular bias tape maker tool and was using my homemade jig. I happened to see a video posted by a friend on Facebook that got my attention …