Quickie Quilt with remnants

Remnant Redo a little late this week, but I like having it done on Friday rather than Monday. A Monday deadline is so…ahem! workaday.
I found these two remnants at different stores, but how incredible that they go together so well!

Green wide-wale "Soft N Comfy" from Joann's & cotton flannel/chenille from Hobby Lobby


I am behind on my baby blanket quota, so these soft, pastel colored remnants had to be put to use to make it right. The two fit together fairly evenly, although they made a non-standard size throw (30″ x 50″). Perhaps it can be used for a more casual wrap, cushion, or floor pad. I didn’t have to cut off and discard any of the fabric, except for four tiny triangles where I turned under the borders to miter the corners before sewing them down. I embroidered the lad’s name in an acorn font that came with my Husqvarna Viking. I like to think that he will grow into a strong oak!

embroidering the top border

I seamed the sides right-sides together, then turned them out, inserted a thin layer of batting and top-stitched along the seams. On the top and bottom borders, I stitched a decorative seam in the center of the panels to bind the layers together. Then I tie-quilted it with cotton yarn tied at intervals on the patchwork flannel/chenille side. The chenille patches are thick and fluffy like fake sherpa, and the Soft N Comfy minky backing is dreamy-soft. A sensory smorgasbord!

last step: tie-quilting

Just saying: I don’t love to do remnant projects only because I’m too cheap to buy real fabric {although I’m not denying that completely}. I see it as a creative calling to rescue the odd bolt-end and find a worthy use for its wonderfulness. Postaweek 2011 remnant project!

The JoAnn Chronicles

In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Cat’s Cradle, for the people on the island where the drama takes place, it’s against the law to believe in Bokononism. Anyone caught practicing the religion is subject to a horrible death penalty. However, as you progress through the book you find that everyone really is a Bokononist. That hints at my relationship with JoAnn Fabric: outwardly I complain that JoAnn’s, the “Big Box” fabric and craft store, has put all the smaller local craft and fabric shops out of business and now has diabolical control over what is available for purchase, but yet I still patronize that place like mad.

The fact that I married a man who lives within walking distance of a JoAnn’s was just one of the enticing, glorious perks of wedded bliss (sadly, the store went away when the Publix next to it expanded, but I’m still happily married!) And just around the corner from where the JoAnn’s used to be is a Viking sewing machine store which has happily received the diverted flow of my ready cash for sewing stuff.

The remaining JoAnn’s in our town, Gainesville, is far away, you have to drive past the freeway exit to get to it so there’s always a lot of traffic, and it’s rather shabby inside. They never seem to have what you want unless it’s pretty basic. Some of the cashiers don’t know how to enter the mysterious codes that will get me 50% off remnants, horror of horrors.

Having just denounced it, I now confess that I run rather than walk to the nearest JoAnn’s when I’m in another town that has one.

Provo, UT: JoAnn’s Etc (the Etc denotes a Husqvarna Viking shop within) is a vibrant place. Provo is the birthplace of lots of crafty items that JoAnn’s sells, and especially scrapbooking is huge here. Cake decorating, all sorts of sewing, knitting, and crafts are monumental here. Utah seems to shelter more people who support the “stay-at-home mom” point of view, and it seems that families have more kids. JoAnn’s has lots of fun things for kids to do. I saw more yarn here than in other stores like this.

Altamont Springs, FL
: Of all the JoAnn’s Etc’s I’ve seen so far, I like the layout of this one the best. It is so organized. The displays are engaging. The sales people are friendly and informative. There was a massive art department. I walked by as the Viking clerk was demonstrating the cutwork embroidery accessory package, so I stayed around for that and then learned a lot about the Huskylock sergers she had on sale. My visit was cut short when the clerk’s husband called her from home and said that a tornado had touched down. Everyone scattered!

Colonial Drive, Orlando: I spent more money in this Joann’s Etc than any of the others, and I want to understand why I succumbed to the sales pressure here, rather than at one of the others. One, I found a lot of juicy remnants.

remnants from Orlando

These are remnants that I try to get when possible, because they’re expensive and useful fabrics and they’re half price. I like to use the knit jersey remnants for clothes, especially t-shirt and other tops. Some are good for purses, some are destined for quilts.

Some will end up as phants (see previous post about A Home For Phant or visit the site here).

I did buy some yarn at all the JoAnn Etc’s, skeins that were on sale. And from Orlando, I found the size 50 needles I’d been looking for. But yarn’s another story; I’ll be working on it on my other blog, wednesday night knitting .

Contest prize from ReliefSocietySisters.com

Some days I feel so lucky! Many thanks again for the great opportunity to win at Relief Society Sisters.com blog. (see the pic below of my winnings) We tried the Lion House hot rolls and they were thoroughly delicious! And the tote bag is gorgeous! I found out on my birthday that I had won, woo hoo! Getting older wasn’t so bad after all.

Lion House, Brigham Young's home in SLC Utah

Dance Floor/La Divina with Remnant Modesty Option

I love my Spring and Summer edition of Burda Plus! I love the theme presentations, the fabulous fabrics they suggest, the detailed instructions that I have to read at least 5 times before I can say “OK, got that.” I’ve given a try to this gorgeous goddess gown named Dance Floor (yes, they call it a maxi-dress, haven’t heard that term since the 70’s and 80’s):

Dance Floor maxi-dress


The version with a short hem, featured in the lovely article on Italian-inspired dresses, is called “La Divina”–I’d like to make that, too. The empire waist, long tie in back, plunging neckline and soft draping make it seem like a toga for a sexy goddess. However, if you’d like to take that look out in public, you might want to exercise a little modesty option, hence this week’s Remnant Redo.

A yard of white spandex fabric


I found a remnant of white spandex in the stash, suitable for swimwear, etc. Very stretchy.
I cut off a piece that was about 38 inches wide and about 6 inches long and sewed it into a tube, using a stretch needle and a stretch overlock machine stitch. Just saying, the mannequin you see here has about a 38 B bustline measurement; you are going to use a length of fabric that fits you snugly when sewn together, but not so tightly that you can’t breathe. The first tube I sewed was double-fabric, and it was too tight to shimmy into. Unlike Scarlett O’Hara, I hate to wear clothes that may cause me to pass out at a party from lack of oxygen, so I tried again with a single piece of fabric, hemmed on both edges with the stretch stitch.
BTW, have you seen the little tube things like this that are sold in JoAnn’s? They are in little boxes, come in different colors, and have little tabs to which you can attach straps (not included), and they sell for about $16 a piece. I think they have stretch lace at one edge, so you can wear it with the lace showing or with the straight edge showing at the top. One time, at my old job, we had a cleavage-concealing mania going on, and the shop sisters were going to all creative lengths to hide their pulchritudinous profiles. This isn’t Las Vegas, here! Subdue those curves in public.

Stretchy tube


Then I sewed on a little free-standing lace embroidery medallion I’d made on the machine in sewing class, and didn’t have another foreseeable use for:

Remnant Redo Modesty Option


The lace is a Husqvarna Viking pattern, sewn with purple thread on top and black in the bobbin, on 2 layers of Badge Master water-soluble stabilizer. Cut out and soaked in water, a little stiff now but will soften up with some washings; slip-stitched on to the top front.

Copius cleavage downgraded from R to PG


So that’s my postaweek2011 remnant project.

Put stitch savvy to practice

My 2nd session of sewing class is tomorrow, so I’ve been trying to recall how much of what I learned last week I put into practice:

1.  Shortened too-long sleeves on child’s dress and hemmed using the stretch overlock hem stitch 🙂

2.  Used overlock stitches of various sorts to finish booties (last 2 entries).

3.  Did some regular ordinary sewing but used automatic cutter and stop and pivot function 🙂

4.  Practiced stitching lettering 🙂

5.  Demonstrated buttonholer, children’s decorative stitches in pig and car motifs, and other stitches for engineer spouse, who loves to observe machines at work 🙂

6.  Machine-darned a little hole in the bottom of the canvas bag in item #7 below 🙂

7.  Used some decorative stitching as well as DIRECTIONAL stitching to finish this UFO that my mom had given me a while back (years):

canvas bag with decorated panel by Mom

Quite a few years ago, Mom got a Viking machine, and this panel is one of the things she made as a sampler while learning how to do decorative stitching on her machine! I considered hand-sewing the panel on, because it looked like it would be too hard to try to get the bag onto the throat plate, but then I thought, hey, I’ll see if the machine can attach it on. The two vertical sides, with the zig-zag stitches, were actually sewed from right to left, using the directional stitch function. You can get it to sew forward and backward, but also to the left and to the right! The picture makes it look all rippledy, and it is. That blue material has lots of pleats and puckers in it, but it looks all right being uneven like that. Mom attached the beads and metallic stitching and sequins. At some point, she got tired of looking at the thing and fobbed it off on me. Apparently, I never got tired of looking at it, because, the parts were being shuffled around my sewing room for a long time, til I finally sewed on the silver seagull motifs. It’s like I can’t make up my mind and just DO IT, FINISH a project. So now, today, I did finish it. Chocolate would be a worthy reward, I think.

 

Oh what a gift the gifty gie us!

🙂 We had our family party, and it was a blast! We got some very fun gifts, and had a great time with everyone!

Ruby came home from the shop in time for me to get most of the sewing I planned to do for the event. I wanted to make personalized dish towels for the group.  Some ended up being a bit plain, due to time constraints.  I bought the waffle-weave and other dish towel fabric from fabric.com and hemmed it, then embroidered some text and motifs. Several of the motifs I got from embroidery library.com, and they are beautiful, and the text fonts are from Husqvarna Viking.  Need I say that I took advantage of some of fabric.com’s outrageous online percentage-off sales?

a selection

Oh, the title of the post, a mash-up of the Robert Burns poem which is supposed to translate as,

Oh, that God would give us the very smallest of gifts (then, To be able to see ourselves as others see us)

Grateful for the very heart-felt thoughts of the speakers at church today, who talked, emotionally, about gifts.  I had to keep dabbing my eyes.  And then we sang “Once in Royal David’s City” which always gets me weepy at the end: “And He leads His children on to the place where He has gone…”

I love my family and am so pleased that I’ve been allowed to be with them during this life! Thank you Father in heaven.  I cannot see myself as others see me, but I hope my family members see that I love them…

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