Tag Archives: embroidery

Quilt finished in time

I love it when I can deliver a baby quilt before the baby is delivered. Grandson Callan is still expected, as I write this, and the quilt is in the hands of the parents, completed a couple of weeks ago.



I did the binding differently this time. I machine-stitched it to the front and folded it to the back, but what is different is that I machine-stitched it to the back as well. I made sure the stitches would catch the binding, and used a blind hem stitch (3 straight stitches then a zig zag). The arthritis in my hands just won’t allow the tug of hand-stitching binding any more. I did hand-stitch the label into place, which I created on my 12-year-old Brother embroidery machine.

I have already begun the quilt for the September grandbaby.



Update on Mug Rug

I decided to join the 4 small designs into one and sell in my Etsy store.

embroidery design

I think it came out great. I adjusted the proportions so they look a little more life-like. The finished design is 3.82 x 4.76, which is larger than my little embroidery machine will handle, but others will appreciate having the complete design in one file.

So, click on over to my Etsy store and make a one-of-a-kind gift for someone special. Quilt it any way you want, backing fabric that fits the personality of the recipient.

Also, for a limited time, anything in my Etsy store is 25% off with cash transfer from PayPal. Use the coupon code IUSECASH to take advantage. This even applies to special requests where possible.

Mug rugs

At work, there are two hardworking secretaries, and I thought I would make some mug rugs for them as a token of appreciation. I started designing in my head beforehand, as I always do. I wanted to notice what they drink and how they might use the rugs.

They both get a large insulated glass of tea in the morning. One of the two also drinks hot coffee, and an occasional treat in the afternoons is a fast-food iced coffee drink brought in by her husband. That started the thoughts whirling.

I looked through some clipart to digitize as embroidery designs. I found four that I liked, and I happened to notice that two were coffee, two were tea, but they also represented hot and cold. I came up with the following design.

My embroidery machine is a small one, so I did the design as four small designs. It required a little shifting of the fabric, but I think I did well.

Back to the past

I have been working when I can on the circle quilt, and it is taking quite a bit of time. I’m beginning to be concerned that I won’t be able to finish 3 quilts by Christmas. One of the hold-ups is that I haven’t been given any additional embroidered patches for the center 12 squares of this quilt. I’m still missing 3 for the first quilt.

Meanwhile, I started working on the second quilt. I cut 150 circles and have them put together in columns of 15 circles. Then I heaved a heavy sigh and looked over my sewing room. Light bulb moment – if I put away a few things piled on top of my old 1957 Singer model 306w, I would have a sturdier work surface, at least.

Singer 306W

I found, to my thrilled surprise, that the zigzag stitch is so much faster on the old machine! I knew I slowed down a bit going to the newer electronic Singer, but the difference, when thinking of all the slow zigzag on this quilt, multiplies to such a great degree. Genius!


Circle quilt progress

I’m making slow progress.

I’ve worked a bit on the circle quilt. I decided, with a small-throated sewing machine, that I must work from the center outward. The reason it makes a difference is the center 12 blocks have personalized embroidery on plain fabrics, instead of the shirt fabric. To preserve the surprise for the ones who will receive the quilts, I did not photograph the embroidery.

I found that I didn’t actually need to have drawn the square on all 150 circles! Now I figure that out! When I work on the next one, I will draw on only half of the circles. Once two circles are sewn together, the entire outline helps to line up the piece to the next one, and so on, until I have a complete column sewn together.

circle quilt

When I finish sewing the squares with batting to the inner columns, I add one column to each outer edge. Then I press the circle parts down, and I can start placing squares on the columns next to the outside columns. I need the outer edge free for sewing the next columns onto.

If you look at the photo above, you can see the grainlines are all over the place. My bad. I highlighted them in bright green so you can see them too. Yes, the circles tend to stretch when I sew the long line. Next time I know better.

I also love to see the design the stitches make on the back side of the quilt. The stitching looks purple but it’s the same color blue as the fabric. That’s due to lighting, I think.

circle quilt from the back

Something I want to tackle as a future project is to take apart this purse and construct a clone. I love this purse and it’s starting to wear out in places. I don’t think I’ll sew with vinyl, so I’ll be looking for a fabric I think will hold up and look as good.

Where has the month gone?

I’m finally feeling better, but this post isn’t about my health issues. I’ve found a few minutes here and there in which to sew, and I finally have something to show (you) for it.

crescent Santa tree skirt

crescent Santa tree skirt

Since the beard was the last thing I did, besides stitching down the various parts, and it was freehand and spontaneous, it took me a while to plan out the spontaneous part. Yes, I’m that much of a planner. The final part was to place the stars. The book suggested painting small wooden stars with gold paint, drilling two holes, and stitching them on like buttons. I chose to use 3 different colors of yellow and embroider them. I did few, so they didn’t overpower Santa, and none on the back side because it wouldn’t show.

doll quilt

doll quilt

I also worked on another doll quilt. This one used scraps from this wall quilt I made for signatures at a 50th wedding anniversary party.  I found 4 matching half-square triangles and arranged them as a pinwheel, then sewed the pinwheels together. This will go into the Etsy store for sale, and I plan to make more. I found a doll that could model the quilts for me, but still am lacking a bed for more polished-looking pictures. Of course, since the doll needed a nightgown, I made that for her, too.

I worked a bit on the circle quilt, but I’ve found that I’ve done too much unnecessary work. I will have a future tutorial to explain the shortcuts I’ve found. Since I have at least 3 more to complete, I don’t feel like I’ve learned these things too late.

3 projects going at once

I have several projects going right now, and three that I’m trying to work on through this long weekend.

santa tree skirtFirst, I had copied the pattern pieces for this Christmas tree skirt from a book, Deck the Halls. I currently can’t find the book, so I’m winging it when I have to. The background is blue felt, with Santa’s face curving around the circular edge. The directions say to use small wooden stars, paint them gold, drill a couple of holes and attach them as buttons for the stars in the night sky. I plan to use my home embroidery machine to embroider gold stars in the sky. This is an overdue wedding gift for a nephew who was recently married. I figure the gift isn’t late until Thanksgiving, and I plan to have it completed and sent well before then.

I also have circles. Lots of them.

I had cut these circles about a week ago for my friend’s quilts for her daughters. Instead of using her late husband’s jeans for these, since he didn’t have the numbers that 4 quilts would require, she had bought blue cotton fabric. I need to mark the squares, purchase and cut the batting, and start cutting the shirt fabric squares.

The other project I sewed on today was a doll quilt. I haven’t made one before, but I have the occasion to do so now. My stepson is marrying soon and will acquire a stepdaughter of his own. She’s only 4 and I look forward to meeting her. They are expecting a baby, and because the big sister will likely feel a little left out of things, I planned to make her some doll accessories.

I had bought some “quilter’s grid on point” and I couldn’t wait to use it. The amount I bought was the perfect size to cut into four pieces and each can be used for a doll quilt.

I used pink fabric and some of the floral bedsheet fabric I still have, and made 16-patch blocks. I broke up the blocks with solid blocks from the sheet fabric. I fused the blocks to the grid.

After I took this photo I realized the one-way direction of the white blocks would be going the wrong way. I found that I could peel each off, reposition, and press again. Good to know, I often have to adjust something as I go.

This is the back view of the grid. It is “grid on point” and would be very handy for stitching on a line, but I didn’t use it that way. I folded it between the blocks and sewed each direction. Incredibly fast and easy! I think I may love using this stuff.

I backed the quilt with white flannel, used low-loft batting scraps inside, and bound it with plain pink fabric.  I think Lamb Chop got very comfortable and I think my new step-step-granddaughter will enjoy it as well.