Monday, November 28, 2011

Rainbow Wrap - A Wonderful Scrappy Gift

Again, keeping to the Scrappy Theme, I just completed the wrap you see above and I found it to be one of the most wonderful projects I have tackled in quite some time.  It's called The Rainbow Wrap by the Rag Merchant.  I can't find a website for the company, but found numerous vendors selling this, and other, wonderful patterns by this company.  If anyone out there knows Jill Abeloe Meade or anyone connected with her company, the Rag Merchant, point me in the direction of that website.  I want to do more of her creations - they are gorgeous.   Below is a cover shot of the pattern. 
OK, back to the wrap.  Seriously, I am going to find it impossible to give this away.  I saw this wrap on the shoulders of a vendor at the Jacksonville Quilt Fest in October.  This vendor wasn't selling the pattern - she was simply keeping warm.  If you've ever been to the Jacksonville Quilt Fest you are nodding in understanding right now - that place is air conditioned so well you could store meat there with no concerns of it going bad.  I digress, but it's true.  OK, back to the wrap - I was struck by its beauty and once I realized that it was made entirely from scraps strips of batiks, I squealed like a pig!  This wrap is gorgeous.  It feels as good on you as it looks.  Last night after I finished mine I wrapped it around my shoulders while I worked on some paperwork and it was positively cozy.  Not too heavy, but just right and oh, so soft.  I immediately realized that this wrap would be wonderful on a car trip, airplane ride, or even in a movie theater.  As you will see, this wrap is not only gorgeous, it's incredibly versatile. 

Worth mentioning is that this wrap is extremely easy and fun to make.  It took longer to sort and cut the strips than it did to sew it up.  As stated on the pattern, "The frayed edge wrap is constructed of narrow strips of bright cotton fabric and it's trimmed with bias binding.  For best results use fabrics that look good on both sides like the batik fabrics..."  While constructing this, you get to use all those fancy stitches on your machine that we can never think of what to use them for.  If your machine is limited in decorative stitches, no worries, the pattern shows you how to use just a straight stitch that will make it just as lovely!  It's so fun to make and wouldn't this make the perfect gift?  To give you ideas for color choices, I found some photos of finished wraps online and I also included the one I saw at Jacksonville.  Aren't they gorgeous?  Also worth noting is that the wrap finishes 18 inches wide and it is light enough to fold in half and use as a regular scarf if you need a traditional scarf in cold climates.      

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Scrappy Lil Twisters

My newest obsession (like I need one) is the Primitive Pinwheels tool from Primitive Gatherings.  This one uses 3.5 inch square scraps of fabric and my goodness are the possibilities endless!  I finished my first one and immediately bought a stand to hang it in.   Now I have made different ones for different seasons and holidays.
Above is my favorite Christmas wall hanging - it was designed by The Gathering Room and is called Twisted Christmas (beware - their webpage loads as slow as molasses - so be patient).  The pattern calls for 5 inch squares, but you can easily substitute 3.5 inch squares like I did above and get the same exact design, just smaller.  So it would fit in the hanger, I left off the borders.  I became so addicted to the Christmas wreaths, I made three different sizes.  One using the 5 inch squares, one using the 3.5 inch squares, and the even smaller one using the 2.5 inch squares.  Again ... made from scraps, quick and easy (three hours, start to finish!), and most important - FUN!  Happy Holidays, everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Scrappy Christmas Idea for that Dog in Your Life

Recently I had need of a doggie gift for my son's new dog and I was at a complete loss as to what I should make.  He already had a dog bed, which was my first choice, so I decided to make a blanket for his cage.  I dug into my flannel stash, and this is what I came up with - a flannel rag quilt.  Instead of using a little square of batting in each square, I simply used a piece of scrap flannel.  Look what a beautiful "bloom" I got from doing that.  So, I was cutting three layers of flannel instead of the typical two layers.  I was thrilled with the end result! 
Obviously, my daughter-in-law liked it as well, because I recently noticed it in a cell phone photo of my grandson.  I wonder if the dogs ever got a chance to lay on it.... hmmmm. 
Either way, it sure turned out to be one cozy quilt.

Monday, November 7, 2011

How About a Scrappy Christmas?

There's still time to make some spectacular scrappy Christmas gifts!  I just completed a few gifts that were very fast and very inexpensive.  I already had everything I needed to make these projects, so other than my time, they were free and during these not so great economic times, what could be better?
Above and below is my newest creation for new mommies - the play mat quilt. The one that is sashed with white fabric was made for my newest Granddaughter, Nora.  My daughter loves it because it's only about 40" x 40" and very easy to grab, throw down for a quick diaper change, or to lay across the couch when Princess Nora is propped up in the corner of the couch where she "holds court".  It truly is a very versatile quilt and because it's not very fancy, there is no fear of ruining it with use.  It's made to be used!  Utilitarian in nature, it really doesn't look it if you pick striking fabrics.   
 In fact, my daughter liked it so much I made a "boys" version for her to give to her friend when she has her baby boy.  That one is shown above and is sashed with lime green.
Here is a close up of the label and the simple quilting I used.  Oh, and below you see a gratuitous shot of Nora, happy as can be, giggling on her quilt.  Isn't she a cutie pie??
The quilts are made from 5" squares.  I didn't use charm packs as I wanted to use up scraps.  It takes 49 -  5" squares.  The sashing is 1.5" strips that when finished give you 1" sashing.  Once complete, I quilt it myself using a decorative "soft" zig-zag stitch on my Janome and away I go.  What could be easier? 

And from previous blog posts, here are great inspirations made entirely from scraps, that I think go nicely with the play mat.

Of course, I had to make a quilted scrappy bib, using my Quilty Indulgence Toddle Bib pattern...  It really does wash like iron and last just as long... I made the bib using 3" squares with 1 inch sashing. 
There are more yo-yo toys to come... I am becoming obsessed....