The Apron

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I met Jerri at a show in the fall. She was working for a vendor at one of the high school FFA shows I did, and she was interested in getting some embroidery done for Christmas gifts. So, I did an apron and chef’s hat for her middle granddaughter, and bags for all three of her granddaughters. I also did some bags for her daughter and daughters in law, and when I delivered them a week or two before Christmas, she asked if I could do an apron for one of her daughters in law. I said I would be delighted.

It hasn’t exactly been a delight …

I used See & Sew pattern B5125, and the pattern states, “YES! It’s EASY” so like a sucker, I fell for that. And honestly, it SHOULD be easy, but the directions were sort of stupid. The part about attaching the flounce was fine, but the binding around the neck and arms? Stupid. The directions made it appear as though a raw edge would be the product of constructing this area, which was ludicrous, and it wasn’t reflected in the photograph on the pattern envelope. Being a quilter, I decided to do it more or less the same way I bind a quilt, though I had already cut the pattern pieces out and felt obliged to use them. I could explain how I managed this, but suffice it to say, it sucked. Next time I decide to make a pattern like this, I will instead cut and make wide bias tape and use it to bind the appropriate area.

I had originally hoped to have the apron done in three days, but that didn’t happen because of the problems I had with the binding. I spent a lot of time, and tried a lot of options, before I landed on one that I thought would be the best way to finish this particular piece, and I’m fairly happy with the way it turned out, though next time I’ll be better prepared and have a solid game plan. I ran in to further problems with the pocket, which was not part of the original apron View A. I took the pocket from View B, and cut out two of them. On one, I monogrammed it as the customer requested, and then I sewed the two together to make the pocket appear to be lined. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the apron, even though it took far longer than I expected, due to design issues, the holidays and my daughter landing in the hospital for several days. At any rate, the apron is on its way to it’s new owner, and I am on to the next project … more on that on Wednesday.

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Do you like Green Eggs and Ham?

As a very small kid, Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss was my absolute favorite book. I still have a lot of nostalgia when it comes to the book, and when we had a baby shower for my daughter in May, I included the book as the greeting card in the package. A package including a a Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat quilt  I made. So, yeah … I’ve always liked Dr. Seuss, but Green Eggs and Ham was always my favorite. So when I saw the Green Eggs and Ham fabric that was put out a couple of years ago by Robert Kaufman, I didn’t even have to think about whether or not I wanted it. I just bought it without even really thinking about it. When I posted the photo of the fabric on Facebook, my former co-worker and old friend Julie decided she had to have it, too, and she ordered a quilt to be made for her brother for Christmas. She was a little late picking it up, but she finally did get it, just before Christmas. I didn’t want to post final photos of it until she had it in her hands, so now I feel comfortable showing you what the finished product looks like.

Green Eggs & Ham Quilt, Completed

Green Eggs & Ham Quilt, Completed

I really could not be happier with the way it turned out, and as I was working on it, this became one of my favorite quilts. Most of the fabric is from the Kaufman collection, but the solid fabric is a Kona cotton and I think it really makes the panels pop. Julie wanted the fabric I used in the border to be the primary fabric, but I didn’t want it to be too busy, so I used it in the border, obviously, and the backing …

The back of the Green Eggs & Ham quilt

The back of the Green Eggs & Ham quilt

 

Yep, I had to piece a little bit in there because I didn’t have quite enough fabric, but I was ok with that, and hopefully Julie was, too. At the time, this was the “most quilted” quilt I’ve ever done. I used star patterns I bought from Embroidery Library to quilt it. There are different stars along the border and the sashing than there is in the panels, but I didn’t get a close up of those.

Stars were used for quilting

Stars were used for quilting

 

You can sort of see them here …

More stars!

More stars!

I’m not going to lie – it was REALLY hard to let this one go. I was so happy with it, I really wanted to keep it for myself. Of course, I didn’t … but I wanted to!

Time to Start Thinking About Christmas Gifts

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This year, I’m going for a (mostly) handmade Christmas. I’m doing a quilt and some soft blocks for my new grandson (I mean really, does a five month old NEED a bunch of toys?), a quilt for my daughter and son-in-law (they already know about it, so I’m not spoiling the surprise), and some other stuff that folks DON’T know about. I know it seems early, but when you’re making gifts, you have to get an early start, and honestly, I probably should have started a long time ago.

I’ve been looking around for gift ideas, and I’ve come up with some things I think would be great. I have this sudden obsession with aprons, and I love the vintage inspired aprons that seem to be so popular lately. Ones like this, and this are perfect gifts for the ladies, I think.  And for someone who’s just starting out in their own place, how about some cute place mats? Feeling green? How about some cloth napkins that can be tossed in the wash instead of killing trees buying paper towels?

For the guys in your life, how about some homemade beef jerky? Or turkey jerky, if that’s his thing. There are dozens of different basket ideas you can do – BBQ baskets, snack baskets, toolbox baskets … really, depending on your guy’s interests, there are limitless ideas. Does he like beer? How about a beer making kit, where he can make his own? Ok, that’s not really a handmade gift, but it will be once he’s done with it. 😉  Also, you might consider putting together a car safety kit. This would also be great for a young driver.

Most years, I try to make at least some of my gifts, or give gifts that will inspire the recipient to make something themselves (last year, I gave my quilting mother a box full of fabric & thread). I think that when someone puts the time and effort into either making a gift or putting together a basket/kit for someone on their list rather than picking up a gift or card that the person may or may not use or like, it’s more personal and shows that some serious thought went in to the gift. I will admit that I still give my dad gift cards to the sporting goods store, but that’s what he WANTS, and he uses them throughout the year. I’m fortunate enough to have family members who DO give consideration to what they’re giving each other, and I’ve yet to have a gift I can’t use. But I hear from folks all the time about the gifts they received for Christmas that makes them wonder what the giver was thinking. One very memorable gift I remember hearing about involved a 12 year old bottle of Scotch given to a recovering alcoholic! While he really appreciated the gift, he had to give it to someone else, because clearly, he didn’t want to relapse!

I have a list of things I want to make this year, and I’ve already started on some of them, but I guess the best way to make progress is to actually get moving on getting them done, so I’m off. If you have anything on your list that you’ll be making, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!

January 15, 2014

Continued progress on the practice quilt … hopefully tomorrow I will be able to start determining layout.

I’m also considering new projects (because that’s what I need – NEW projects). I have one quilt I’ve been collecting fabrics for, and I think I’m almost ready to get that one started. And I still need to dig out the UFO’s and see what I have that can be completed.

And finally, I’m beginning to think about Christmas gifts I can make this year – I know it’s early but when you have so many people to make things for, you get an early start. Some of those projects will be “silent running” as some of the potential recipients can see these posts. First I guess I should make a list of people I want to make gifts for this year.

Three Things Thursday

1. I cannot WAIT for the backing for Heather’s quilt to be finished so I can finish this quilt. 🙂

2. I’m soooooooooooo ready for fall. Sadly, we don’t really see much of a “fall” around Houston. I have to be satisfied with photos of fall from other places, and maybe do a little decorating for the season and pretend it’s getting cooler outside. I guess it IS getting cooler – yesterday was only 96 degrees, as opposed to 106 degrees a couple weeks ago. /sigh

3. Chris asked me the other day what I want for Christmas; I have no freakin’ clue. Maybe I should give it some thought …