Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Beanbag Covers

Here's my workspace at the library. You'll note the shelves of books, chair, computer, printer, and sewing machine? vinyl scraps and squares?

Yup, I've taken my sewing machine to work! Our beanbag chairs in the Easy book section were all very worn and tattered. Some had holes that had been patched with clear book tape, and in the way of little kids, no matter how difficult it was to peel the tape off, pick, pick, pick they did, leaving the sticky residue on the beanbag chairs, which slowly attracted dust and dirt from the carpet and turned black. So I decided to recover them. I'm using simple 9 and 16 patch blocks made of squares cut from vinyl donated by Ann-sewsalot. Here's a finished one:

Much better than the original deflated looking red beanbag behind it, isn't it? I have sewn a velcro seam on the back that allows me to stuff the whole 'old' beanbag inside the new cover. I'll make three of them. They won't match, in fact, I'm pretty much out of bright colors and have started using the silver, gold, maroon, and black scraps to cut my squares. But on the positive side, that does give me a good chance to use those color words that don't get into a toddler/preschool crayon box!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Two Quilts to New Owners

Here's my brother Bob and his wife, Paula, on Christmas Day with the 9 patch snowball quilt I made for them. Paula likes things scrappy and is always buying fabric for me. :)

This one started life as a nine patch swap I did with my guild - we were supposed to pick one color, and use a light and a dark of that color to make a set of nine patches. You could bring as many sets as you wanted to swap, so I made a bunch. Here's the best picture I got of the whole top:
I added snowball blocks between the nine patches, to make stars, and connected them with cobblestone blocks, to make it kingsize. The border was made from all the bonus triangles from my snowball blocks. Mary S. in Missouri did the quilting for this quilt.

I also made one for my grandniece, Randi. Here she is with her great grandma, my mom:

I wish I had thought to get her to take the hat off! I think she almost liked the rainbow check fabric I used for the backing more than the front of the quilt. :)

This one started it's quilty life as a one day mystery sponsored by Planet Patchwork, on New Year's Day. If I'd have known what it would look like when done, I might have chosen my fabrics differently, but I think she liked it anyway!

Here's a pic of the whole quilt with borders to show the pattern. This one was twin size, and quilted by Ann-Sewsalot, also from Missouri.

And oh, Ann's just adopted, you ought to go to her blog and see the pix. :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Blog Changes

There, made two changes to my blog. :)

The top one's easy to spot - a Winter themed header. I made the snowflakes at "Snowdays" which is a really neat snowflake generator I found a couple of years ago on a quilting site, of all places... lol Try it yourself, it's fun!


I'm ashamed to admit how many I've made. I showed the kids at the library where I work how to do it, so some of them are demos... and some of them I did on a couple of boring evenings on the computer! You can search by my screen name, ForestJane, if you want to see some of the patterns I've done.

The second blog change is a little more difficult to find... I changed the stash picture to be an actual picture of some of my own FQ stash, the pink-to-purple drawer. I also have the shades of blue drawer, and shades of green, and big prints, and florals... but the sidebar only let me have a picture 100 x 100 pixels big! Maybe seeing my own fabrics there will be more incentive this next year to use some of them!


And here's some little gift bags that I made for the folks at work. Instead of drawing names and getting one person a big gift, we celebrate the spirit of giving, and get everyone one small stocking stuffer gift costing $1 to $2. Then we hang big fleecy stockings, and fill them up. There's no pressure, no whining, and no re-gifting! So I got everyone a little scented candle in a red glass holder, in Holiday Berry and Apple Pie scents, then put them in the little drawstring bags I made and personalized with everyone's name in gold metallic thread. After Christmas, they'll make great camera or cell phone protectors.

I've also finished binding and put the label on a quilt that's being given tomorrow, but more pix of that after the giving!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


*Thumps head with heel of hand*

I like having my e-mail address on my comments, instead of being hidden. And one night I spent 20 minutes looking through all the settings on my dashboard trying to make sure I had my e-mail address showing on my comments. But it STILL wasn't showing.

Finally, Joyce was trying to respond to a question I'd asked her about the jacket she's making, and she said the magic words I needed... on my PROFILE I needed to go check to show my e-mail address. Not my settings... on the Profile! Well, it's finally fixed, and I'm sorry for all those comments you weren't able to reply to!

*thumps head on monitor*

Sometimes I can be so slow. :(


Well, here's step two of the new cat tree... I bought a 4 foot length of 12 inch diameter SonoTube. They use this for making concrete columns... and cat tree perches. Around $10 at the local home improvement store. I cut it in half, then one of them in half again, longways.

Here's Toby in the tube, and Libby looking a little disgruntled that she didn't beat him in there:


And of course, two minutes later, here's Libby in the tube, and Toby wondering how he got displaced. Doesn't she look a lot more pleased with herself in this second picture?


I am planning that the tube will be the highest perch on the cat tree, and the half pipe next to it will be one level lower, with the ladder in the previous post connecting one to the other, at a good climbing angle. The semicircular bit of plywood you see to the right of the half pipe will be at one end of it if I can figure out a way to make a washable cover that will fit over it. That old yellow towel (from the 70's, I'm ashamed to admit) will be the padding for the half tube, and I'll recover the green fleece pillow for the whole tube. Thinking about maybe dots of velcro for the covers, because if I put little ties, surely someone would untie them. :D

More later! And if any of you have any good suggestions, I'm always open. :P

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cat Tree and Pillow top

I took a bunch of half square triangles I had, and put together this little pillow top to go with a quilt I'm giving away for Christmas. The hsts were little bonus triangles - I used most of them to go around the border of the quilt, but had a BUNCH left over. The resulting pillow is way too contrasty, but I figure, hey, it matches the border perfectly. :) And I wanted to try the depression block, too.

I've also been starting on a new cat tree. The one I have now is over 20 years old and has been through a lot. The sisal rope has been clawed completely loose in places (which is really fine, I WANTED it to be used) but it's looking awfully shabby. The carpet on the top is coming off, the carpet on the middle perch is shredding strings. I bought some sonotube to make perches with this time, getting fancy! Also, when the local fabric store went out of business, I got some of the heavy duty tubes that upholstry fabric is rolled on. My nephew cut one in half for me, and drilled three holes in each tube for dowels. I'm covering it with more sisal, and this will be a cute little three-rung stepladder between levels.

Toby was wearing himself out, chasing the rope end wiggling around as I was wrapping the ladder, but I stopped and taped the free end down when I decided I needed some hot glue to put around the wrapped dowel. He came over to check the ladder out, then got tired of waiting for me to entertain him again.

I've even been thinking about doing some quilted, washable covers for the new sonotube perches. Here's a picture of a tree with sonotube perches, but my cat tree is going to look different, with half tubes and a whole tube cave for them to snuggle in. Have any of you ever combined quilting and cat-tree making? Any advice?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Catch 33

Need a break from quilting? Kinda silly, and sure enough a time waster of the best kind, but you've gotta go try it. How fast can YOU catch the numbers? You don't have to click them, just roll the mousie over them to make them pop.

Catch 33

My best time was 56. You?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Electric Depression?

Ok, had to try this as all one quilt, so I expanded it to only be the Electric Fan block, alternated with the Depression Block. Don't know what I'd name it but electric depression's not good! Any ideas?

The Depression Blocks are totally scrappy, and I started using only three fan blocks of each color, but it was looking a little disjointed. Then I put only blues on the edge, and I liked that better. Now that I think about it, limiting the edge fans to the darker colors would probably work as well, deep blue, green, purple, burgundy. It was probably only the brights I didn't like on the edge next to the border.

I don't mind if other people use this design (or any of the block combos I've been playing with for the last few days) at all, as long as you give me a dab of credit and send me a picture of your completed quilt. Oh, and no fair selling it either. :)

More Choices

Went to Blockbase today, and dug around for more blocks that would look good next to a 16 patch Depression block. I did find the one I used this morning, it was called "Colorado Star" when it was first published. Then I found two more:

Then I used EQ again to make a quilt that used all the blocks I liked so far... so I could compare them next to each other.

On the top third, the regular star, on the middle third, the electric fan block, and on the bottom third, the pieced star. The electric fan is not really a 16 patch block, but I DO like the curves that it makes around the depression block. Now my problem is, which do I choose?

Different 16 patch blocks

Ok, I was over at Rantala Rags, and SHE had another 16 patch block that I just had to go try as an alternate block with the depression blocks... :)

I think I like the star blocks alternating better, but this one is interesting. The pinwheel/windmills jump out too much for my preference, but I also see a stronger diagonal line, which is kind of neat. Does anyone know what this block is called?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Another new quilt idea

It seems like I just get almost finished with one quilt top, then get started on an idea for another. I went to Cynthia's blog and saw the little star she's working on... and then at Finn's blog, I saw her Depression block.

Now I've put them together into a design that will look good scrappy, I think. I love designs that look like you've set them on point without all the bother of actually having to cut setting triangles:

That depression block is going to be January's block of the month for my quilting guild, so I was planning on making a sample or two anyway. So I'm going to do THAT, and take pix, then get back to work on finishing the borders for this floral thing before I start making depression blocks and stars!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Need border ideas

Well, here's what I've been working on for the last week and a bit. It's somehow turned into a weird size - that's my kitchen doorway it's hanging in, so it's about 50 across by 62 down. I would have kept going, but I was limited by the FQ's I was using for some of the florals.

I have a lot more of the following fabrics, going from the top left down: Royal blue small print, loud floral after the yellow, the pale pink marbled, and the pale peach solid. Plus theres lots of strips left that didn't get used, especially from the fabrics in the top left corner and bottom right. :)

I HAVE to put a border of some kind on, all the edges of the quilt now are bias. I had been thinking about a skinny border then trying a braid effect border, using up the floral strips ... but now I'm wondering if that'd be too busy unless I put a wider border. Don't guess I'm trying to make it into any particular bed size either, just whatever looks good.

All suggestions and ideas welcome! How would you border this?

Bedbug, anyone? I finished this block last week. I had taken a class at retreat from Suzanne Marshall, on applique. I'll admit to not really liking applique, but I took the class because I don't really know much about it. It was a good class, and I learned a lot. If I need to needleturn applique something now, I have a better idea how to do it right, but I had no interest in finishing the other 3 bugs on this white fabric that were going to make a kaleidoscope-like pattern.

Rather than throw it away and waste several hours in tracing, applique, and embroidery, I cut the one bug I'd finished into a 6½ inch square. Then I added strips, log cabin style, to make it into a 12½ block I'll eventually add to a 20+ year old UFO, my green and brown king size sampler.
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