Monday, September 29, 2014

Braided Patches Tissue Holder Tutorial


I know there are tons of free tissue holder patterns and tutorials available on the web and I don't claim to be the originator of the concept.  In fact, what I'm about to share with you has probably already been created by multitudes of creative people out there already!  Oh well....all I want to do is share a quick and easy (and inexpensive) project that will make adorable gifts for co-workers, church groups, fellow quilters, friends and family.

Supplies Needed:

From Focal Fabric cut 3 rectangles that measure 4" x 5 3/4" each
From Contrasting Fabric cut 2 squares that measure 4" x 4"

Next take 2 of the rectangles and both squares, fold in half like you would when making binding....leaving right side of fabric on the outside of fold.  Press......

Now your 5 pieces should look like this....

Lay the untouched rectangle of Focal fabric RIGHT SIDE UP on work surface.

Then place both folded and pressed rectangles on top, one on upper half of bottom rectangle and one on lower half with the FOLDED SIDES TOUCHING IN THE CENTER....

Now the fun one of the folded contrasting squares on the left side with FOLDED EDGE FACING CENTER.  Gently lift the top folded rectangle and place upper end of contrast square underneath. Leave bottom half of folded contrast square ON TOP of bottom folded rectangle.

Now place second folded contrast square on the right side with FOLDED EDGE FACING CENTER. This time gently lift the lower rectangle and place the bottom half of the contrast square underneath.  Leave top half of folded contrast square ON TOP of upper folded rectangle.....

Your project should look like this.....a picture is worth a thousand words isn't it?  :)

Now pin everything together.  I would suggest a pin in all 4 corners.

Using a 1/4" seam, sew completely around all four sides.  I decided to sew it TWICE around to make sure the seams were nice and strong.....

Remove pins and turn inside out.....

The back side....

I bought Kleenex brand portable packs of tissue....(wow...didn't realize how expensive they are now...about .50 cents each).

They fit perfectly...just remember to place them inside you tissue cover with the opening flap facing up!  (I did the first one wrong and had to put it back in a second time.)

Of course, once I started making them I couldn't stop.  I pulled out a box of my larger scraps and started cutting the needed pieces and stacking them in sets....

Before I knew it....

Special ones just for my daughters....die-hard Pittsburgh Steeler Fans just like their Daddy.....

Use your scraps and make one, or a few....I have no doubt that everyone will LOVE them.  They really are very cute. :)

UPDATE:  Just an hour or so after posting this tutorial, I received a photo from a friend/reader showing her finished tissue holder.  Isn't it cute?  She did an awesome job!  Way to go Gen!

Until next time!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dad's Latest Creation is Now Quilted

This weekend was spent quilting the latest quilt top made by my Dad.  All it needs now is binding.


The quilting pantograph design I used is called Renaissance by my friend Denise Schillinger for Urban Elementz.

A quick look at the back of the quilt.....

Yes, I'm guilty for taking frugality to the extreme.....once I had quilted the majority of the 60" x 70" quilt, I saw I had enough batting and backing fabric to add a table runner.  Then I measured the usable space left and quickly pieced together a cute little 20" square wall hanging/table topper last night using fabrics in my scrap box to fill in the last bit of space. :)

The longer table runner is one I made awhile back and put on my Free Patterns page called Simply Classic . 

The 20" square wall hanging/table topper is just a Sister's Choice Block made using 4 1/2" unfinished squares and triangles.

On a completely different subject, a few days ago I made a few more Bowl Potholders for friends.  The Halloween version needs to be put in a mailing envelope and sent to a special friend of mine.  I know she used to always enjoy decorating her home for Halloween but this year has been a tough year for her and I'm not sure she really has time to do much decorating.  Hopefully, she can use this little gift during the month of October and still get a little taste of Halloween.....and just maybe it will put a smile on her face. :)

Speaking of bowls....I decided to make a huge pot of Veggie Soup today......yummmmmy....couldn't be more perfect on a chilly, dreary New York day.

How was your weekend?  Did you spend it sewing?  Until next time.....

Friday, September 19, 2014

Oops My Bad

It was bound to happen!  I made a mistake for the first time in my life!!!  Okay, so it wasn't the FIRST time I've made one.  Honestly my days wouldn't be complete without a long list of oops moments. :)

In my last post I shared the most recent quilt top I had completed.  I'm anxious to get it quilted.  Although there is a short stack of extra wide quilt backing fabrics in my personal stash, each piece was at least 3 yards...big enough for a queen size and/or king.  Cutting into any of those choices for this over sized lap quilt wasn't appealing.  I needed to SHOP!

Lesson learned.....don't shop too quickly and REALLY think things through first.  I found a beautiful piece immediately.  Perfect?....not quite.  Color?....will work nicely.  Pattern?.....ummmmm, it had a large floral design that was very similar to a few of the pieces used within the quilt top.  Unfold and really look at the design?....forgot to do that.  Spend time thinking?....nope, not so much!  Purchase?.....sure did. :)

Although I was tired last night, excitement to start preparing everything to quilt was strong.  It shouldn't take too much energy just to press the new backing fabric....... did all those ribbons and bows get there?  Flowers I was expecting but not the ribbons and bows!!

Remember, I started out tired and I'm running out of steam at this point.  There I stood trying to talk myself into believing it would work for my quilt.  I sent a photo to my quilting pal and her response was "Isn't it a little fancy?"  She was correct but I still wasn't ready to give in....I NEEDED this to work. :)

Why, oh why didn't I just give in to my exhaustion and go to bed!!!!  Instead, silly me loaded the fabric on my longarm.

As I finished loading the backing, my daughter walked by and I asked her if she thought the fabric would be pretty backing the new quilt top.  Without skipping a beat she said "NO!"  She thought is was pretty but not for the quilt I had in mind.

You can probably imagine that my frustration didn't allow for a much needed, restful sleep during the night.  I tossed and turned thinking about that darned quilt!  I'm lazy and it takes time to load the fabric on the frame and I just didn't want to take the fabric off, go buy another fabric, load it on the frame, THEN finally get to start quilting.

When I awoke I knew I had two options....1) Make a completely new, suitable quilt top to use the fabric that was already loaded on the frame.  2)  Look through my closet of "items needing to be quilted" and see if I already had something suitable.  I REALLY didn't want to make a new quilt top just because I was too lazy to take the fabric off the frame and I couldn't find anything suitable handing in my quilt closet.

Ta Dad to the rescue!!!  He had sent me home after our vacation a few weeks ago with a box full of quilt tops he had pieced.  Do you remember reading my earlier post about teaching my dad to sew?  If not, click HERE.   My Dad is a unique new quilt top maker.  He refuses to sew anything other than the 10" square pieces of fabrics called Layer Cakes.  :)

I looked through his stack of quilt tops and found the perfect one.....

It's a Win/Win solution.....Dad gets one of his quilt tops quilted earlier than expected and I don't have to take the fabric off the longarm! :)

Just cut the batting.....

My excitement has returned.  Time to get this thing done so I can go shopping again and buy a more suitable backing fabric for my own quilt, load it and get it finished also. :)

Until next time.....think things through or you might end up with an oops like me!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mesmerize and Mill Works BOM

With the temperatures dropping outside it makes me to want to spend even more time in my little sewing room.  It was exciting to put together a new quilt top using a new pattern called Mesmerize, designed by Natalia Bonner.

Blocks on my design wall....

Don't let the sun shining on the quilt through my window deceive is chilly outside!  After taking this photo, I was able to sew all the blocks together so now my quilt top is complete.  Next step is to decide on a backing and load it on the longarm for quilting.  I'll keep you posted with that process.

In my previous blog post, I shared the Mill Works Block of the Month that will be available starting in October at Quilter's Haven Quilt Shop in Owego, NY.  Don't forget, if you are interested in participating, just give the shop a call (607-687-1511) and they will be able to mail it to you or you can stop in for the monthly demo on the first Saturday of each month beginning Oct. 4th.

The blocks are turning out so beautiful!  Would you like to see the ones I've made so far?

Month 1 - October  will have you making a total of 4 blocks.

You will make two of the Merrimack Basket blocks......

You will also make two of the Concord Basket blocks....

Month 2 - November - you will make two of the Pawtucket Basket Blocks....

Month 3 - December - you will make two of the Lowell Basket Blocks....

Month 4 - January - you will make a total of four Harriet Robinson Blocks....

Month 5 - February - you will make a total of four Loom and Spindle Blocks....

Month 6 - March - you will make a total of four Appleton Millworks Blocks.....

This means I have a total of 20 completed blocks at this time.  There are still two months to go and I will share those with you as soon as I have them made! :) :)

Just for fun, I placed one block of each of the designs together on the pretty!!!!!

If you love working with reproduction fabrics, I KNOW you want to make this one!

This girl can't wait to get back into her sewing room....but there is some "can't wait till later" housecleaning that needs to be done before that happens.

Until next time....

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mill Works Block of the Month by Nancy Rink

Two days before we left on vacation, I stopped by my local quilt/fabric shop, Quilter's Haven in Owego, NY.  After chatting with the owner a few minutes, she offered a unique make a sample quilt for an upcoming Block of the Month called Mill Works designed by Nancy Rink beginning in October.

When she showed me the photo and fabrics.....WOW, WOW, WOW.....I had to say yes!!!!

A History lesson and beautiful quilt rolled into one.  The Block of the Month program by Nancy Rink is broken down into 8 months/kits, including almost 18 yards of the most beautiful reproduction Marcus Fabrics.  Finished size is 92" x 92"

This history lesson is centered around the Lowell, Massachusetts Textile Factory system and its female work force!  Sounds interesting. :)

Participation is open to everyone and the quilt shop is happy to mail the kits to anyone who doesn't live locally.  So if you have fallen in love with this quilt and the fabrics by the time you reach the end of this post, I will close by providing you the contact information and price so you can join in the fun!

Just look at some of the fabrics that are in the monthly kits......

I melted when I pulled out the fabric for the border......oh my.....

Since I was given this project just days before heading to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I quickly packed up my machine and supplies.

As we entered our condo for the week, I spotted an accent table against one wall that would be perfect to set up as a sewing station, out of the way of daily living.

I can't share too many of the details of course, but the first kit has you making a total of four blocks, two each of two different basket they are spread out across the back of the sofa in the condo.....

Don't worry, I still allowed myself time to enjoy the beach....

The Block of the Month will begin in October with the distribution of the first kit.  The monthly cost (only 8 months) to participate is $30.00 + tax for anyone who is local and plans to personally pick up their kits at the shop or $30.00 + postage and applicable tax for those who need their kits mailed to them.

You also have an option of purchasing and receiving the entire kit in one shipment rather than over the course of 8 months, so there would only be one shipping charge.  Cost for the entire program (remember, it includes almost 18 yards of fabric) will be $240.00 + tax for local participants and $240.00 + postage and applicable tax if receiving by mail.

Quilter's Haven
17 Lake St.
Owego, NY  13827

Hours:  Tuesday - Saturday  10:00 - 5:00 EST

If you decide to join in the fun, let the shop know that a crazy quilt blogger named Theresa sent you! :) :) :)

Until next time, keep those sewing machines humming! :) :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Everyone Happy With Their Gifts

I just returned home from our family vacation last night.  Oh my goodness, I need another vacation just to recoup from the first one!

On our way to Myrtle Beach, SC we stopped in Tennessee for one night to pick up my parents and visit our oldest daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.  

We didn't have much time, but made the most of it by going out to dinner....

Then we headed to our daughter's home to give our granddaughter the gift I had made for her birthday....her birthday was actually August 9th, but I wanted to deliver it in person which meant it had to be a couple weeks late.

The next morning we headed on to the beach for a week....more about that in a future post. :)

After our wonderful vacation, we headed back to Tennessee for two nights.

Our first night back, I was able to give my daughter the birthday purse I had made for her (today is her birthday)....

The last night in Tennessee, we celebrated our grandson's 4th birthday with a family party. His birthday is Sept. 5th, but since we were there....PARTY TIME! 

He loved the birthday quilt I had made for him out of Dr. Seuss The Lorax fabrics along with the book to match.

Thank goodness there are no more birthday quilts expected for the rest of this year!!!! :) :) :) :)

I'm happy!  Everyone else in the family is happy!  Now I think I'm going to go lay down for a much needed nap!

What have you been working on while I was away on vacation?

Keep sewing and quilting!