Sunday, December 21, 2008

"Dreams of Santa" Pillowcases

I found this fabulously fun fabric and had to think of something to make using it! Being that I live in Florida, and my grandchildren and nieces live up north, is seemed especially appropriate for me to make something showing the southern side of Santa. I made these pillow cases and sent them up north for the girls to open on Thanksgiving. Doesn't every little girl need a special pillow case to lay her head on as she dreams of Santa and all the magic of Christmas? They take little more than a yard of fabric, much of which you can pull from your stash, and less than 30 minutes to make! I found several free pillowcase patterns online. Here are links to a few pillowcase patterns from the Ohio LongArm Quilters, The Mother Lode Quilters Guild, and Quiltmaker Magazine .
And here is my Granddaughter, Madelyn, holding her own pillowcase and standing on her baby sister's! It is amazing how I am able to work a photo of her into nearly every post! I do so love being a Grandmother!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Apron for an Angel!

The night before Thanksgiving, I truly had something to be thankful for. My sister-in-law and darling niece came down from Chicago to spend the holiday with us. Prior to Lily (she's the niece!) arriving, I had spoken to her on the phone regarding the Thanksgiving menu. She informed me that she really didn't like pie, but she sure did like Chocolate Chip Cookies.... Well, that meant that when she arrived we had to make chocolate chip cookies!

Lily is now four and a half, so I got to thinking that she was probably old enough to start to learn to sew. I knew it had to be a fast project, what with 4 year old attention spans being what they are and all, so I came up with a special apron for cookie baking. Lily sat right on my knee as we sewed the apron, she handed me all the pins, and helped guide the fabric through the machine. She even helped choose the fancy stitches for the pocket! The best part for me was that she was very proud of the apron she "sewed!" I am shamelessly cultivating future quilting and sewing buddies. Success and pride in beginning sewing projects will help. It is a wonderfully simple project and can be made from scraps. I made my pattern up as I went along, but at the bottom of my post is a list of great links to free apron patterns for the wee ones in your life!

This is Lily and her wonderful Mom showing off their great Pilgrim Hats for holiday.
Happy Sewing Everyone!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Penny Pinching Patchwork Post ~ Re-Purposing Clothes!

The house dress you see above has been hanging in my closet for more than a year. It was a gift from my wonderful mother-in-law and well, I just never wore it. She bought it for me at Neiman Marcus and it was a fabulously soft cotton fabric and even she said when she gave it to me, "I don't know what I was thinking..." It seemed such a shame to never use it so my creative quilter's brain got busy. You will not believe how many useful items and gifts I made from this one article of clothing!
First off, I made the Quilted Toddler Jacket and Hat that is shown above.
Then I made TWO Quilted Toddler Bibs!
And this photo shows you the the entire clothes line full of booty that I got out of ONE unused article of clothing! I was able to make ELEVEN quilted, and very useful, articles of clothing for babies and toddlers. The baby bibs would make darling baby shower gifts and no one would ever know you made them out of re-purposed clothing! A good movie on the TV, a seam ripper in one hand and a hot cup of tea in the other, and before long you have fabric just waiting for a new career! I pieced together the batting from scraps and used old yardage for the backing before I quilted the pieces, and made my own bias binding from stash fabrics. The entire clothes line was made from fabrics that literally were just laying around my house!

If you don't have anything laying about your house that you are not wearing, one trip to the SA Boutique (Salvation Army Thrift Store) and you could have for less than $3.00 enough fabric to outfit a baby's layette. I went there this past week and found several BRAND NEW floor length flannel nightgowns for $1.50 each that would make perfect burp cloths, bibs, changing pads, and jackets. During these difficult financial times it seems to make incredibly good sense to use our creative brains to re-purpose that which isn't being used. Buying from the Salvation Army is also giving to a good cause!