Where did the weekend go? I was hoping to get some time in the sewing room, but this weekend really got away from me.
I did spend a little bit of time behind a machine, sewing with a couple friends, but it was not long enough. I was helping them on their Merry, Merry Snowmen quilts which are looking fantastic. I cannot wait to see all of ours finished. Mine is still lacking borders, let’s not talk about that. Hopefully this is the week to see those borders come together.
Today, I thought I would share a little project I have enjoyed working on in the past- Memory Bears.
When my grandfather passed away, no one knew what to do with his clothes. I asked my grandmother if I could have a few of his shirts. At the time I was not sure what I would do with them, but I knew I would come up with something. He was a hero in every definition of the word. I wanted something to remember him with.
One shirt I used to make a memory bear for my grandmother for Christmas.
I used McCalls pattern 4275 with few alterations. Most notably, I cut the buttons off the buttons and attached them down the front of the bear.
This is possibly my favorite thing I have ever made. It has many memories sewn into every stitch.
Part of this shirt was also sewn into my wedding dress as my something old and something blue.
After making my first Memory Bear, my brother asked me to make two more for a friend. I changed them each slightly. I love the possibilities for these bears and how different each one looks depending on what the shirt style, material, and fabric pattern were.
What are you working on this week? I am hoping to have a bit more time behind the machine than last week.
See you at the machine,
I don’t check Craigslist often because any time I do, My Love gets sent 10+ pictures of sewing machines I think I need (like cannot live without) in that moment. Most of the time they are machines or things that are priced way too high so I know it will not happen and should not happen. I have many wants but he normally gets the dramatic messages of me needing something in order to take my next breath–poor guy. Self-control was never my strongest trait. I’m practicing… sort of.
Today was different. While waiting to clock in at work, I was reading about so many fun finds people had come across at thrift stores and places online. I couldn’t contain myself any longer. (I told you self-control was not my strongest trait.) I jumped on Craigslist and typed in my town then searched for “quilt”.
A few items down there was a listing for quilt tops at a great price but the main picture was not something I was interested in. Thankfully it said quilt TOPS (plural) so I clicked– sneaky, sneaky. A lady was selling all of her mom’s finished quilt tops and obviously had no idea what she was holding. First, I sent a message to My Love to figure out how to even contact a seller on craigslist. Then, I sent a quick text to the seller and surprisingly I received a prompt answer. All the quilts were still available.
**Que freak out moment here!**
I’m not normally the one to find the fun deals; I’m the one who reads about all of it after the fact.
A time was set to meet at a popular gas station in town and, although there were three quilt tops I was definitely interested in, I asked if she could bring all the tops that were available.
Here is what I walked away with.
Her loss is my gain. Stick around to see what happens with these quilt tops. I have so many ideas running through my head and I cannot wait to share them with you.
See you at the machine,
Have you ever inherited a project– a pile of half-sewn-together, half-cut, random-pieced project without direction or instructions?
A few months ago I received a box of inherited projects. I could not be happier. Some of the projects were full kits that have never been touched, some were half finished, and others seemed to be pieces left over from finished projects. I think fabric could be my love language so this was like love in a box.
After working on my Christmas Quilt for the better part of the weekend I decided to look at one of the inherited projects I had uncovered.
This particular project was pinwheels. (You could have guessed that, right?) I do love a good pinwheel quilt. A few of the blocks were sewn together, two blocks were spinning a different way and were larger than the rest, and then there were blocks not yet sewn together. I started by sewing the rest of the pinwheel blocks together, and I made the decision to remove the two larger, wrong-way pinwheels. This left me with 18 finished 6” pinwheel blocks– definitely not enough for a quilt.
Since I didn’t have any of the background fabric I was kind of stuck with the amount of pinwheels already made. I love reproduction fabric, so of course I had quite the collection in my stash. I decide to checkerboard the pinwheels with solid squares. A simple, yet playful quilt emerged and Playtime in the Past was created.
As I sewed, it was quite fun thinking of what these blocks were intended for and what other quilt they were included in if these were just leftover blocks. My imagination definitely ran wild.
What projects have you inherited? Were you able to work through them to completion?
See you at the machine,
I’ve had many friends describe quilts they are wanting to make and I have worked up a quick how-to for them. I’ve done it on old envelopes, a paper towel, scrap paper, the computer, and graph paper. Taking into consideration their skill level, I have scribbled down pictures, diagrams and instructions for them to use, but never something for public viewing; until yesterday. Yesterday I nervously, marched myself into a print shop and printed my first pattern made for a public eye. Today I dropped that pattern into a big blue mailbox for it to face a stranger. We will see what happens.
Last night, thinking of all the things I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve done on the pattern, I was sent a picture. Growing up there was a lady who was like an extra grandma and had the brightest smile and sweetest soul. As her daughter was going through a few boxes, a treasure was found.
This picture is of a 1910 Dresden Plate quilt pattern. I cannot even believe this still exists and that it is in pretty great shape. What I find most unbelievable is how anyone actually made their quilt using this. I do not understand the pattern at all, but I am going to do more research and try figuring it out. This treasure will be framed and admired for years to come. Maybe in one of those years I will figure out how they expected the pattern to be used. Do you have any insight??
I’ve actually made a Dresden Plate quilt before. I, however, did not use this pattern.
I hope you enjoy and relish in the fact that our patterns are no longer what they were but that does not mean old patterns don’t have to be a thing of the past. Patterns may be easier to follow and use modern tools, rulers, and often sewing machines that were not around then, but something about the simplicity of hand sewing is relaxing. Thinking of the stories and laughter that surrounded this pattern years ago brings happiness and wonder.
See you at the machine,