A while ago, I made some posh pillowcases, using this tutorial Posh Pillowcases Easy basic sewing, which produces a very fun pillowcase. And the tutorial then proceeds to show you how to add a crocheted edge – also very nice and easy crochet.
This summer, I finally dug them out of my WIP bin, and added the crochet edge to all 8 of them. Now, I am no longer storing them in the wire project bins in my sewing room, but can actually put them in rotation on my bed. And there is something yummy about using them on my bed. I just adore laying my head down for a rest on my own handmade with love pillowcases.
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Here is a photo of some of them – I used different edgings than the ones in the tutorial, just for fun. And I am showing the front and back of the pillowcases here so you can see the combinations of fabrics that were used for the inner pocket and outer case. I love that pocket feature because the pillows no longer fall out of their cases.
Back to school shopping on last tax free weekend for NC. Saving $7 on every $100 doesn’t mean much to some, but when buying shoes and clothes and school supplies times 3 boys, it is helpful. So we gather a list all summer and take advantage of sales and tax free on that first weekend in August.
Some knitting – down to the sleeves on my Moonshine sweater.
PT continues for my frozen shoulder. I am getting a bigger range of motion, but progress is so slow, and working at it takes so much time, and always leaves my arm sore and aching. Ugggh.
Next week I do more curriculum writing, have a son turning 20 and a son turning 17. The following week the youngest son starts school, I return to work, we celebrate our 23rd anniversary, and by the 26th we are all back in school. So blogging returns to its intermittent posting.
Once again, I cannot believe how long it takes me to finish things up. During the school year, there is only room for work, and housework, and boy activities…. and precious little other time. I started this table runner in Jan 2012. It has been hanging over a door and folded up in a box since then, needing quilting and binding. You can see the beginnings of it here: https://willowcaroline.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/january-2nd-acck-the-holiday-is-over/
I love the wonky stripes. I chose to play with my machine and tried a different machine quilting pattern in each stripe. Considering I did no practice, and am a total newbie, I was very pleased with the results. Yes, the stitches have varying lengths and the patterns show I wasn’t completely used to how to make it flow – but I jumped right in and now have a fun springy quilted table runner.
I chose the colors to go with the crazy green wall color of my kitchen. The light we get in the kitchen is so perfect for this green at all times of day and in all seasons. I just love this green.
The runner matches some ‘mug rugs’ I made.
I had bought some binder clips a while back, and finally tried them out. I really liked using them, although at least one immediately sprang apart and had to be thrown away. Hopefully the others will hold up better, as I can see myself using these frequently.
You might be able to see some of the patterns I tried. In the solid sections, I played with designs – flowers, ferns, etc. In the polka dot sections I tried to play off the circles – some more successfully than others.
And here are some views of the back side.
Probably the biggest issue at this point is keeping all the layers together and smooth to prevent bunching as I move the piece about under my machine. I did no basting on this – of any kind – and it shows. It is in the washing machine as I type, so hopefully the bunching will disappear a bit as the layers do their thing with the batting. Not that it matters terribly for this project – as the back isn’t really going to be seen.
I machine quilted this – I received some new specialty feet for my sewing machine at Christmas time – 2 different types of open toe quilting feet. So I am teaching myself to machine quilt. The first time I did some machine quilting was on a table runner – which is now waiting for a binding. When it is done, I will show that completed project. So this was my second go at machine quilting.
I love meandering. Not sure why, but maybe it is the organic, curvy nature of it, or the geometry of fitting it all in. In any case, that is what I chose.
I still have a lot to learn about managing the layers under the machine. The best quilting is in the outside border, but because I chose a pale green thread, which showed up nicely on the white, the border is less exciting as the pale green blends in too much.
I chose not to quilt every space.
I love the idea of the scallop border, but need help with applying the binding. Getting the binding smooth in the inner curve area is a puzzle to me. Once again, the pattern was a very primitive pattern – no hints or guidelines for making the curves smooth – barely a mention of the binding at all.
All in all though, I love this little quilt. And I am glad to have it off my “to do” list.
In this family, we believe we should walk lightly on the earth. This was easier for me when I was a stay at home mom. When I returned to work, things like hanging washing on the line, and making everything from scratch became harder and harder to accomplish. We still keep our temps set high (summer) and low (winter) and recycle. But convenience and speed win the day throughout most of the year.
Summertime, however, is the time to return to slower ways. I had pinned a couple of reusable paper towel tutorials on pinterest this past year, and kept getting drawn to them.
I dearly wanted to make some – not sure why – just felt the urge. They are very attractive – see the ones with the green lambs in the etsy shop – would have ordered those right away but no longer saw the green lambs as a fabric choice – bummer. We do go through a lot of paper towels, and I have begun to rely on the Clorox wipes quite a bit. So easy to quickly wash down a counter with the wipes.
I wondered how useful these would really be – I would still want paper toweling for draining bacon, or cleaning up spilled grease. And for general counter spills, why not just use the cotton kitchen towels I already had?
But I saw some terry cloth on sale and went for it. I made 9 towels from each of 2 fabrics – I bought a yard of each. The towels were cut 12 x 13 inches.
Easy to make – a beginner sewist could do this.
Can coordinate with your kitchen – fun.
Terry toweling and good quality cotton is not cheap. ( I wondered about using double fold diapers instead of terry cloth. I love using the old ones we have for cleaning – they are so wonderful and absorbent…)
A tool for the snaps is expensive – this could be an expensive set of towels, meaning you would need to use them until they were shreds – which is another habit we should return to. Use them until they begin to fall apart – then refashion them into smaller cloths or rag clothes for messy jobs, until they finally do just fall to threads.
They will never be as pretty as they are today again – stains, wear and tear will soon have them looking a bit ragged.
Fork out for the high quality cotton and terrycloth. You don’t want to go to all the work just to have it all fall apart in 6 months.
Consider using a serger – I don’t have one, but think the serged ones look very nice and finished – and of course, would be faster.
Consider alternative ways to store – I decided not to get a snap setter – I don’t see my guys snapping them back together after each wash. I can change my mind and add them later, but for now, I am experimenting with different ways to store them on the counter. This round container was one option – but again, rolling them to put away would probably not happen except by me. Folding them in fourths in a basket is the way I am going for now.
So, we shall give it a go. I almost hate to start using them. I made 18 all together, and am considering setting aside 5 or so for “company” days – but really, who am I kidding. We need to use these. Whether they will be better than grabbing a tea towel, or will hold up to kitchen cleaner on the counter (whether vinegar based homemade or Spic N Span or an organic brand) or if the stains will come out (mustard, ketchup, meat juices, beet juice?) – who knows? And in the end, is washing them better for the environment than buying paper towels – I guess, if I air dry them, that will cut down on the carbon footprint.
But at least I got the urge out of my system. Now, onto other pinterest items on my list!
A year ago, I made myself a lunch bag – and have enjoyed it very much. You can see the lunch bag here.
During the past year, I decided to make one for a fundraising Gala because so many people at work had liked mine. See that one here. At that time, I decided the lunch bag would be better a little bigger, and I found someone on the interwebs who had worked out all the measurements. I really liked how the bigger one turned out, and the person that bought it at auction has really enjoyed using it.
So, I decided to make myself another one, but the bigger size. SO here is lunch bag 3.
Old bag and new bag side by side size comparison… the new one will hold the water bottles, the bento box, or any number of things all at once!
I love the top cover that cinches everything inside.I did add a pocket on the outside of the front – for chapstick, kleenex, utensils –
The added pocket does make the front of the bag a bit “busy” – but I can live with that. The back of the bag is a little more coordinated looking.