Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Going Green with Red!


Note: This posted originally in 2012!  You can use this little tutorial to make a lipstick blotter to save on tissue and toilet paper!!!
Who would have thought we would be worrying about that in this day and age!
   
         Lipstick Blotter Towel


My husband's Aunt Rubye was an extraordinary seamstress. She had a career embroidering monograms for Neiman Marcus at one time! She shared with me the little embroidery design of the two birds with the word "Lip Stick" in between them. When I asked about it, she said that during World War II, tissues and toilet paper were at a premium and they didn't waste them by using them to blot lipstick! They made little red towels to blot their lips on! 
  Here I'm going to give you a simple tutorial for making your own!
(Of course, if you embroider, you can just hem a red cloth and embroider near the bottom.) This is such a simple project, many of you will not need a tutorial, but I have several followers who are new to sewing. I do have a little tip in there that even the more experienced might appreciate, so glance through it for that. If you're new to sewing, this is EASY! You can do it!
1. Cut two pieces for the front and the back (I'll call these A). Also cut a coordinating strip for the bottom (B) and if you want to add trim, cut that too. The size is not crucial. You can make it any size you want. My red strips are 7" x 13" and my bottom strips are 7" x 3". The trim is cut 7" long each.
2. HERE'S THE TIP! If you will use a glue stick to stick the trim where you want it, sewing it into the seam will be SO much easier! The trim I am using is so narrow, I have dropped it down so that only the top of it is on the 1/4" seam line. If your trim is wider, you can just glue it flush with the raw edge.
3. Place each A piece right sides together with a B piece, sandwiching the trim in between the two. Sew a 1/4" seam to connect the two.
4. Press each sewn piece, turning the seam upward so the trim will lay flat.

5. Put the two pieces right sides together. Pay attention to match the seams at the sides for the borders.
6. Sew all the way around, leaving a gap at the top that is about 2" to 3" wide. Turn the piece right side out through this gap. (I like to cut the points off the corners first to reduce the bulk, but be sure you don't cut across the seam when you do this!) Push the corners out with a long skewer or some other tool. Press and hand sew the gap closed. You're finished! Wasn't that easy?

Now you can feel like you're doing your part to save that paper!!







Thursday, April 9, 2020

Staying Home!


 Sugarplum is quite the helper these days!


While we're "sheltering in place" here in the Texas hill country, she's helping me choose fabrics for masks. 

These are going to be used by the seafood department of a local grocery store.
I've also been baking a lot of bread! (For Christmas, my husband gave me an Ankarsrum mixer from Sweden!



In the meantime, Sugarplum is taking this sheltering-in to heart and she's reluctant to get out of bed in the morning! Who can blame her? She's snuggled up in a quilt!


Stay safe and well! Tomorrow I have an old tutorial that will help you save toilet paper! Curious? Come back tomorrow!



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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Making a Tablecloth for a Large Round Table


I love setting a pretty table. 
A Christmas setting from a few years ago. Because I used regular cotton quilting fabric, I needed 9 yards.
My biggest problem is that my table is too large to use commercial tablecloths. I just can't find any big enough!
Fortunately, it is pretty easy to make my own.
I like to find upholstery and drapery fabric when I can (on sale of course!).  It is 60" wide and comes in pretty colors and patterns.
I buy 6 yards (sometimes 7, if I need to match a design) and sew two 3 yard pieces together down the center.
Match up designs as well as you can.
(this is why you may need extra when there are large designs involved)
Fold in half and find the center. Attach a string to a pin and attach the pin to the center. (I use a non-stretchy cotton string. Yarn can stretch too much.) Attach a piece of chalk to the other end. It should end at the edge of your fabric.

Hold the chalk, pulling the string taut, and draw an arc on your fabric. Cut along the chalk line.
(I found it helpful to hold everything in place with a chair leg!)
If your fabric is thin enough, you can turn your hem. The fabric above was way too thick to turn, so I used an overcast stitch (shown below) to finish the edge. (A serger would work great here.)

That's all there is to it! I steamed the seams flat afterwards.
Most upholstery and drapery fabric has been treated to resist stains and sometimes water, so I will just spot clean it.
The next time you see this cloth, it will have pretty dishes and a centerpiece!
Here are some of my tables from the past.



Fresh flowers always look good! This cloth is from drapery fabric.

(see the flying birds I suspended over the table?)

I also decorate my buffet area!
Easter table. I didn't get a photo of it with flatware and napkins!
   
  
(Well, the last one is not officially a table setting, but the centerpiece is pretty sweet! This is why I always keep a cheap plastic tablecloth to throw over my tables after setting them! I certainly don't want cat hairs on my plates!) I pull it off just before guests arrive!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What I Did This summer!



 I really love how calming handwork can be.

 This quilt is based on a very old pattern called Joseph's Coat. It can be sewn on the machine, but curves are so easy by hand! (Sugarplum thinks I am making it just for her!)

I am also working on an ongoing year-long project. It's a "temperature quilt" and each square is based on the high and low temperature of each day of the year. I am really behind on it! You can find out more about temperature quilts by "googling" it. I was unable to find where the idea started, so I can't give credit to the first person who made one. It's really fun, though!


Wow! What a summer!
My husband and I have been traveling most of the summer.
We started a little early with a cruise to Nova Scotia. 


We went directly from the cruise ship to a flight to Niagara Falls. We stayed several days on the Canadian side of the falls.
We returned for just a few weeks, then headed west on a 3 week, 5,000 mile road trip! 

We returned home the first of August and hit the ground running - family visits, doctor appointments, vet appointments, then 5 days of out of town company. We enjoyed it all, but we're pretty worn out.



Sugarplum and the deer have kept a close eye on us since we've returned. I think they missed us! 

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dancing Kitties!

I’m dancing in the new year with a new and contemporary quilt pattern. 





Of course, you could choose a more traditional palette of soft “baby” colors!

(sample of one block and border in different colorway)

 Pattern is available for purchase, $12 plus shipping.





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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Two New Patterns and a Merry Christmas!


I can't believe it's already December! This year has flown by way too fast!
I have been busy, but I've managed to design a couple of new quilts. 

The first is a Christmas Advent quilt banner.  The little banners are actually little pockets, just big enough for a small candy or a scripture.
The second is a large (57" x 68") springtime themed quilt. It will be released after the first of the year.

In personal news, I've been busy since I last posted (July? really that long ago?). My parents celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary and my brother and sister and I gave them a party. I made the cake, so that kept me hopping for several weeks, making sugar paste flowers. 

My parents original wedding cake topper was displayed between tiers of cake. 


I've also decorated for Christmas, although I kept it fairly simple this year with only one tree, wreaths, and a couple of centerpieces. 





(I did a little re-decorating this season, too. I moved the couch and loveseat from this sitting area to the living room and the chairs from the living room went in the sitting area. )



Merry Christmas!!




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Monday, July 23, 2018

Magic Happens Here!


Yes, magic has been happening the last month! I finished a new banner pattern! It is designed to go on a classroom door, a studio wall, a workroom, or any place that magic happens! There are extra art images (an art palette, tube of paint, paint brushes) and the applique images can be repeated or omitted to fit the need. It will be released when the cover image has been photographed. As a former elementary teacher, I love bright pops of color to welcome children in and give them the feeling that their new classroom is a great place to spend their time!


My lavender has been blooming and the bumble bees as well as honey bees are really buzzing despite the 100+ temperatures!
We spent two weeks on the west coast visiting two of our sons and families. While in Oregon, we drove up to the Hoh rain forest in Washington state. It was a great experience. We also spent a day on the beach!



In California we spent time with family and then brought our granddaughter back to tour universities in Texas. 
We started out at Abilene Christian University. They have a beautiful campus that is green and shaded. It is a smaller private university where I got my degree. 

(Yes, the old lady is me and the young, beautiful one is my granddaughter! I have cut my hair really short. Speaking of short, I am quite a bit shorter than my granddaughter - about half a foot!)

In front of a beautiful art installation at ACU.

After Abilene, we drove to Waco. Before touring Baylor University, we made a stop at Magnolia Market. 
At checkout at Magnolia Market. It was certainly a fun place to visit!

(The famous Silos!)

Baylor gave a great tour and showed off their new stadium. The heat was a killer that day! I was afraid it would scare her away from Texas, but it was even hotter in parts of California that day, so she took it in stride.

The new McLane Stadium at Baylor University.

From Waco, we drove to Austin. (This is where my husband did his graduate work and he LOVES everything UT!) Our first son was born in Austin while he was in school there. 




We ate dinner at The Roaring Fork, a great restaurant right on the water!

After those stops, we visited my family in Pleasanton. My sister has a great studio called Artrageous on Goodwin Street. She gives paint parties, paint sessions, sewing lessons, pottery lessons, bisque glazing, and many more creative, fun things including a weekend Farmer's Market! She gave us a lesson in throwing clay on the wheel. 
My granddaughter caught on quickly.

Farmer's Market Day at Artrageous!


Today we're off again to see more universities! 

Until next time, 
Bee Blessed!




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