Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Queen of Gadgets Blog Hop

When I saw Carol of Just Let Me Quilt was hosting a blog hop on gadgets in the sewing room, I knew I had to join in the fun.  I believe I have just about every gadget, gizmo, and whatchamacallit ever invented for sewing projects.  I have listed just a few of them below.     

These clips hold my binding to my quilt nice and tight.  I'm always hesitant about putting a quilt away with stick pins holding it together.  A big plus to using clips instead of pins is that I can place these all around the border of my quilt and I don't stick myself.

Sometimes I want to embellish a sewing project and poms poms are just the thing.  Have you ever used a pom pom maker?  It can be a little tricky.

My magnetic bowl is just the thing for keeping my pins in check.  It's also a good place for holding different machine feet when I'm doing a project that calls for switching feet often.  

My Oliso iron is one of my favorite sewing tools.  I can't count how many times I knocked over my upright-standing iron.  The Oliso is touch sensitive and lowers when I touch the handle, and pops up off the ironing board surface when I take my hand away.   

As you can see, I have gadgets I have not even used.  I received this felted wool pressing mat for Christmas last year and have not used it yet.  I have only heard good things about it.  Do you use one?

But my favorite tool in the sewing room is not really a gadget.  It's just graph paper.  

All my quilts start out as an idea that I transfer to paper, like this easy sailboat quilt.  The grid squares make it easy for me to design geometric shapes.  For this quilt, each square measured 1".  For sewing purposes, I add 1/2" to each piece for seam allowances.   


I drew the dimensions for this quilt on grid paper so you can follow the diagram and make your own.  It is a really fast and easy pattern.  The finished blocks are 10" squares and the finished quilt is approximately 41" x 41".  I added rick rack just for a bit of fun, but it is certainly optional.  

Once you have your pieces cut, fold your pieces in half or draw a line down the middle of  the pieces and sew across the diagonal lines.  Look at the finished block to make sure you are about to sew in the right direction.  Cut away the excess fabric and press the pieces open.

I turned the secondary block in different directions, as shown on the quilt, so if you're using a directional print, like I did, you may want to pay attention to its placement.

My quilt is small, just right for a baby, but you could make this quilt any size you prefer just by adding more blocks.  

I hope you enjoyed your glimpse into my gadget stash and will try making one of these quilts for yourself.  I think it would be extra cute if the sailboats were all different colors. 

Thank you, Carol, for hosting such a fun and interesting hop.  I am always amazed at the variety of projects presented, and I always learn something new.   

But wait!  There is still more to see!  If you haven't already, be sure to visit the other participants in this hop.  They are sure to astound you with their talents.

Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

See You Later, Alligator Blog Hop


I'm so excited!  Today is my day to share with you my favorite travel accessories.  A BIG THANK YOU to Carla of Creatin' in the Sticks for hosting this fun blog!  Carla always has the greatest ideas for blog hops, and this one is no different!

This hop is all about traveling and some of our favorite travel accessories.  There is always so much to do before a trip, and anything that makes the process easier is okay with me.  

When my kids were little we vacationed mostly by car, but now that we're older my husband and I fly more often than drive.  One of my pet peeves about flying is that my purse is stashed in the overhead, along with my phone and paperback.  Of course I can get to it, but it's annoying to the other passengers, and to say the least, not handy for me.  That's why I was so glad to find the Infinity Scarf with a Pocket.

This handy dandy scarf has a zippered pocket where I can keep items easily accessible.  You can find a great tutorial on YouTube at P4P Infinity Scarf with Zipper Tutorial by Patterns for Pirates.  

You will need 2 yards of fabric (I used a cotton/spandex mix) cut to approximately 22" wide by 72" long, 2 pocket pieces, approximately 8"x8", and a zipper (I used a 7").

On the long end of the fabric, measure 5" from edge and mark with a pin.  Do the same for the opposite side.  Place your zipper 5" from edge of fabric and sew one pocket piece to zipper.  Then fold fabric, right sides together, to opposite side and sew pocket to zipper, making sure it is 5" from the edge.
With right sides together, start at the top edge of fabric and stitch across 5", down pocket and stop stitching about 2" on pocket bottom.  Leave an opening in the pocket bottom to turn the scarf inside out.  Begin stitching again an inch or two from bottom pocket edge, and continue sewing up the side of the pocket and the entire length of the fabric.  

You should now have a tube.  Reach hand inside fabric on end nearest pocket and pull down fabric over arm until you reach the other end of tube opening.  Grab the edge of the fabric and pull back to opposite edge of fabric.  

Align seams, pin edges together, and sew around tube, closing opening.

Pull fabric through opening in pocket and turn right side out.  Stitch pocket opening closed.
Your Infinity Scarf with Zipper Pocket is complete.

When I was looking online for ideas for travel accessories, I came across this little beauty.  It's a potholder with Zip Lock snack baggies sewn inside.  What a clever idea for organizing the little things!

Start with a cute potholder.
Draw a line down the middle of the inside of the potholder.
Use the snack size baggies for this project.  I used 4 baggies, but you could use more or less.
Pin the baggies in place (they are slippery).  Place a piece of ribbon over center where baggies meet, and sew down the middle.  

Sew a decorative button to the front of the potholder, add a couple of charms if you like, and your little organizer is complete.

You can fill your baggies with whatever you like.  You could keep medical essentials, kids' crayons, jewelry, etc.  

I hope you have enjoyed my travel ideas.  If you haven't already, visit my other traveling companions and see what they have created for their trips!  You will not be disappointed!

Until next time, 


Sunday, May 22, 2022

Quick and Easy

I was in Texas recently and visited their JoAnn's Fabric Store.  I don't know what it is about visiting another state's franchises, but they always seem better than mine. It's probably that I know my store inside-out and nothing is new.  

Anyway, I found the cutest bundle of baby fabric cut into 10" squares, and I bought it.  My reasoning, it's always a good idea to have a baby quilt or two on hand for when the occasion arises.  The nice thing about baby quilts is that they are small and quick to make.

I liked that the colors of this bundle would work for a girl or a boy.  I did not wash this fabric, but I did iron the squares with a little steam to remove the fold marks made from the store packaging.

Since the fabric was already cut into 10" squares, I just had to arrange the squares in a pattern I liked.  There were 4 each of 5 different patterns.  After playing with it a while, I decided to go with a random design.

Not counting all the interruptions I had while making this quilt, this little quilt top was finished in less than 2 hours.  Pretty cute, huh?

I am not going to finish this quilt yet, but just store it for that day when I need a quick baby shower gift.  I can then make it a little more gender based by choosing the appropriate backing and binding.

Well, that's it for now.  One of those little interruptions was a specific request for dinner, so I have to go the grocery store.  At least I got a little sewing in before Life called.  

What did you do this weekend? 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

2021 Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange Blog Hop


        Merry Christmas and welcome to the 2021 Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt.  Hands down, this is my favorite blog hop of the year, and I always ask permission to participate.  Carol has hosted this hop for many years and it is always such a treat to share memories, see new ideas, and swap recipes for Christmas goodies with fellow quilters.  Thank you, Carol, for another year of yummy goodness!  

        'Tis the Season to be Makin' and Bakin' and Takin'!  And I imagine the busiest lady is Mrs. Claus.  It can't be easy being married to the big guy and making sure he and the reindeers make their flight on time.  It's my guess Mrs. Claus and the elves breathe a sigh of relief when they see him shoot across the sky on his merry way.  If I were in her shoes, I would drop in front of a cozy fire, switch on a Hallmark movie, and fill my lap with a big plate of cookies. 

            And what better treat than a plate Rice Krispies treats in the shape of 8 tiny reindeer!

        These are so simple to make.  To make you will need a full batch of thhe original Rice Krispies Treats, milk chocolate wafers melted, candy eyes, chocolate-covered pretzels, candy sprinkles of your choice, and round candy pieces for the nose (like M&M's, Whoppers, Junior Mints, etc.).  

        Follow the directions on a box of Rice Krispies cereal to make the treat mixture.  Scoop the mixture into 2 greased pie plates and flatten with a spatula.  Let set until cool.

        Remove the firm cereal mixture from the pie plate, being careful to keep its round shape, and cut pie shape into 1/8th slices.  You will have 16 slices. 

        In microwave, melt approximately 15-20 chocolate wafers.  Dip candy nose, eyes, and pretzels in melted chocolate and set in place.  Drop a small amount of melted chocolate between pretzel antlers and cover chocolate with candy sprinkles.  Wait a minute, then shake excess sprinkles back into plate. 


         If you would like to make your own Mrs. Claus Cookie runner, the dimensions are in the blueprint below.  Her mouth is a 3" circle cut in half and sewn between the middles and bottom face pieces.  Her eyes are 1 1/2" circles sewn between the top and middle face sections.  Her nose is a 1 1/2" x 4" rectangle folded into thirds so that width of nose is 1/2", and then the 4" length folded in half and sewn in seam between top and middle section of face.   

        In the coming week, you will see many more projects and, best of all, more yummy recipes.  Make sure you add them to your cookbook!  Be sure to visit all the busy elves in this blog hop for the merriest of times!

                                                                            December 6