Of the six women in my quilt group, the Quisters, three have March birthdays. We all lead busy lives so it wasn’t until yesterday — well into April — that the six of us were available to celebrate together. We congregated at the Portland White House for lunch, laughter, gift-giving, and dessert. (Dessert was so good it deserves a special mention: Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake served with Blueberry-Lemon Sauce and whipped cream.)
Now I can show you what I made for the birthday girls. For Lee and Peggy, I made iPad Mini covers. Here is Lee’s:
The three elastic strips on the back hold the iPad in place on a padded surface when in use. The elastic strips also wrap around to the front, holding the outside flap securely in place when the iPad Mini is being carried around.
This is what Lee’s cover looks like on the inside:
Here is Peggy’s:
This is what Peggy’s looks like on the inside:
It’s a little hard to see in the photos, but the iPad Mini covers have an accessory pocket on the inside to hold earbuds and a stylus.
For Deborah I made a custom sewing machine dust cover:
It’s hard to get a good look at the lining fabric so for the next photo I turned the dust cover inside out:
I’m working on patterns for both the iPad Mini cover and the sewing machine dust cover, so if you’re interested in making one for yourself or a friend, please check back with me.
Today is the last full day of my quilt group’s retreat in Central Oregon. Our fellow Quister Deborah had to leave early but Peggy and Vickie and I are still here enjoying the brilliant sunshine, crisp air, and each other’s company. We are also taking great pleasure in surveying our various and sundry completed projects and works-in-progress.
Vickie is working on two wool appliqué projects. In my last post, you saw one of them in a tableau. Here is a close-up of that project, bursting with vivid color and texture:
The project measures 12″ x 15½” and contains 35 multilayered wool discs, each uniquely embellished.
Vickie is also working on a series of seasonal pillows. Here is her Summer Sampler pillow, designed by Debbie Busby of Wooden Spool Designs. It measures 14″ x 16″:
I finished another sewing machine dust cover, number four. I didn’t need another one but I was teaching a class at the Pine Needle recently and needed to demonstrate a particular construction technique. This one is made with three prints from the Madrona Road line by Violet Craft for Michael Miller:
I’m working on some other projects that I can’t show you yet. Birthdays coming up. ‘Nuff said.
Peggy finished the most wonderful quilt while she was here. Last summer she took a class from Janet Fogg called “Illustrating the Past” in which a fabric piece from the past — it could be a quilt, a quilt top, a fragment, a block — is updated with piecing and appliqué techniques to create a new original work. Peggy had been given a vintage quilt containing blocks of appliquéd flowers. She transformed it in the most amazing way:
Here is a close-up of that sunshine face:
The sun is pieced and then appliqued to the original quilt. Peggy hand-quilted parts of the face and some of the rays. Here’s another look at the quilt, which measures 74″ x 88″:
The batting in the appliquéd blocks had migrated so badly that Peggy made a slit in the side of each block, removed the batting, and replaced it with new batting. Then she sewed narrow strips around the blocks to cover the slits. The strips add more color to the quilt and tie the old and new elements together. The result is a highly original quilt that honors the past while celebrating the present.
Peggy is also a talented rug hooker who has designed and hooked several rugs. Here is a look at her current work-in-progress, an image of her beach house on the Oregon coast:
This wool rug will measure about 25″ x 48″ when it’s finished.
As you can see, my creative Quisters and I have had a great week!
Yes, I’m still at it. Still playing with the design and construction of a sewing machine dust cover designed to fit my Janome 6500. Here’s my latest version:
Since I’m going to be teaching a class on this soon, I wanted to test my directions again as well as an idea I had about the binding process. Versions 1 and 2 (which you can see together here) have the bottom edges of the front, back, and sides bound first, before the side panels are joined to the front and back piece. Wouldn’t it be easier, I wondered, if the side panels were bound first? Then one long binding strip could be added around the bottom of the dust cover. The answer: yes, much easier!
I really had fun with this fabric. The floral print is from Denyse Schmidt’s Flea Market Fancy line for Free Spirit. The chevron stripe is by Riley Blake, and the binding fabric is Teeny Tiny Flowers by Holly Holderman for Lakehouse Dry Goods. The whimsical lining fabric, seen in the photo below, is Sew Stitchy by Aneela Hoey for Moda:
Now on to the next good thing: finishing one of many Works-in-Progress!
A couple of months ago I made a very simple dust cover for my sewing machine and wrote a post about it. Here’s one of the photos from that post:
As I was working on it, I was thinking about modifications I would make on the next one: rounded corners, for one thing, and incorporating some kind of trim. Last week I had a chance to experiment, and here is the second version:
The patterned fabrics are from the Enchantment line by Kathy Davis for Free Spirit Fabrics. I used a soft mottled green (Krysta by Michael Miller) for the flange trim and binding.
I like this version a lot but have a couple more tweaks in mind. Stay tuned . . . there will be Version 3. At this rate, my sewing machine will have a full wardrobe of dust covers.
Regular readers may remember the sewing machine cover I started in July when I was in Sisters OR with my quilt group. My intention was to make a cover for the Janome 6500 that spends most of its time in my sewing room. I have a smaller Janome for classes but the big one goes with me on extended trips.
My Janome 6500 was with me in Sisters when I took its measurements and made the block for the front. Weeks later, when I was ready to work on the cover again, I realized the measurements I had taken in Sisters, while accurate, were wrong for this project. My sewing table features a drop-in ledge for the sewing machine so that the bed of the machine is flush with the table top. My sewing machine sits a full 3″ below the surface of the table, something my original measurements didn’t take into account. Oops.
The block I had already made couldn’t be cut down so I decided to finish the sewing machine cover and use it for traveling, and then make a new one that would stay in my sewing room.
That’s what I’ve been experimenting with. I decided to make a really simple cover without batting or quilting — and without a pattern. I just followed the lines of the vinyl cover that came with my Janome 6500. Rather than making a test version in muslin, I chose to use a beautiful cotton print. My rationale was that if I made the cover in muslin and it turned out well, all I would have was a plain muslin cover. If I made it in a pretty fabric and it didn’t turn out well, I could cut it apart and save the scraps for another project.
But it did turn out well! Take a look:
The main fabric is from the Garden Medley line by Susie Johnson for RJR, and the binding fabric is a lime green Kona Bay blender. Here’s a slightly different view:
The fabric on the inside is a soft striped batik from my stash:
I interfaced the inside fabric to give the dust cover extra body. Instead of finishing the binding by hand, I fused it with 1/4″-wide Steam-a-Seam 2.
Now my mind is racing with ideas on refining the design. I don’t really need another sewing machine dust cover but I’d love to make one in different fabrics — I already know which ones — incorporating some patchwork and/or applique. I’d also like to try piping on the top and side edges and double-fold bias tape around the bottom edge.
I probably won’t get to it right away but – you never know. Sounds like a good rainy day project to me.
Thelma at CupcakesnDaisies and I both put this project on our summer “to do” list, with the goal of finishing it by Labor Day. I made it, and I think Thelma will, too, though I know she has been distracted by the siren call of wool applique.
I started working on my sewing machine cover in July while I was in Sisters, Oregon with my quilt group. I got as far as the block on the front (which is a little different from the pattern):
Weeks passed. By the time I got back to this project near the end of August, I had decided not to make a duplicate block for the other side, as called for in the pattern, but to put a pocket across the back instead. Here is my work-in-progress with the front and back attached to the middle panel:
When I pinned the sides and draped the cover over my machine, I realized it was going to be way too big, so I took it apart and cut it down to size. (If you are making this pattern, I recommend that you check the size after pinning but before sewing. I think the instructions are much too generous in determining the finished size of the cover in relation to the measurements of the sewing machine.)
Since I had to take the back off, I added a row of decorative stitching across the pocket, which you can see in the picture below. The binding has already been added to the bottom edges:
You may have noticed that I added an opening in the center striped panel to accommodate the handle on my sewing machine. I made a simple facing; this is what it looks like on the inside:
Here is another view of my new sewing machine cover from the front . . .
. . . and from the back:
And here it is with its companion, the Billie Bag I made last year (you can read more about the Billie Bag in my Gallery under Small Pieces):
As you can see, the sewing machine cover was made with fabric left over from my Billie Bag. On the front and back panels of my sewing machine cover, I quilted a stipple design with the occasional leaf thrown in, duplicating the quilting on my Billie Bag. For the middle striped panel I simply used three rows of decorative machine stitching perpendicular to the stripes.
Instead of finishing the binding by hand, I used ¼”-inch wide Steam-a-Seam 2, a double stick fusible web, which proved to be a huge time-saver. I wouldn’t recommend using Steam-a-Seam for binding a quilt that’s going to get washed a lot but it’s perfect for a project like this. I used it on my Billie Bag, too.
So . . . my sewing machine cover project has gone from a “to do” to a “ta-da!” And there’s a bonus involved. For some time I’ve been collecting pictures and jotting down ideas for a quilt made of house blocks. While taking pictures of the sewing machine cover both on and off the machine, I took this shot:
After returning last month from a week in Sisters, Oregon, home of the largest outdoor quilt show in the world, I posted about the quilt show and the terrific class I took. Before I had a chance to write a third post about what I accomplished that week, my husband and I left on a road trip to California to visit our two youngest granddaughters (9 and 12). We brought them back to Portland to spend a few days with us. My sewing and quilting projects languished but I didn’t mind because I was having such fun with the girls.
They are home in San Francisco now. The house is quiet. Elfie the cat has come out of hiding. And I’m back in my sewing room taking stock of the projects I worked on in Sisters. Remember the sewing machine cover designed by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts that I posted about here? This is my version so far:
When it’s finished, it will look something like this:
I finished binding my pink and green quilt, Framboise, made from my own 4-Patch Wonder pattern:
When the label is on, I’ll declare the quilt finished and post a proper picture in my Gallery. That’s Elfie, by the way, who doesn’t seem the least bit interested in my quilt.
I’m very excited about my newest design, the Monterey Bay Apron. After making eight versions and tweaking each one, I’m finally satisfied with the cut and the fit. Here is a look at Number Nine:
The belt is secured to the back with buttons. In the photo above, the ends of the belt were temporarily pinned to the back, adjusted for my model, Geri. The ends can be positioned anywhere along the back, making the apron one-size-fits-most. Here is a close-up of the front:
The pattern should be available in just a few weeks!