Category Archives: quilting

For my happy canine camper

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It’s a good thing we have supportive families. If my mother hadn’t come and cleaned my kitchen (thank you, Mom!) and my in-laws didn’t have my daughter for a sleepover, I would never have been able to ignore the rest of my life quite so thoroughly these couple of days while I sew for my trailer. It’s fun to get wrapped up in a project.

This morning I tackled the issue of Belle’s sleeping space. I made her a little doggie bedroll. It’s a quilted cover with sturdy upholstery fabric on the bottom over a core of 1 inch foam. The cover is removable for washing. She seems to like it.

It can be easily rolled up for storage when not in use.

Now if I can figure out how to build a mudroom on the front of this 14-foot trailer so I can wipe down her muddy paws before she comes inside…

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A quilt made of vintage sheets

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My life has been tied up lately with ridiculous “first world” problems–the kind that aren’t a huge deal to begin with but which suckĀ  up my time as if my very survival depended on them. You know, like when your garage door opener stops working and you think it might be the motor…but then it also might be the outlet..so you have to call the electrician but it takes a few days for them to come…and it turns out to be a loose wire but your garage door opener still doesn’t work…so you call that guy and he thinks it’s a problem with the outlet…and you have to plug in your radio and play music to prove it’s not…and the problem turns out to be one that fails to fit into the typical repair scenarios (maybe lightening?)…so the garage door guy half-secretly thinks you’re a fruit bat weirdo who messes with your own garage door…etc., etc…and he finally fixes it, but then somehow a lot of your wild and precious life has passed by while you were preoccupied with the garage door. You know that scenario? It doesn’t always involve the garage door, but it feels like it visits my house regularly. Oy.

I did manage to finally finish the coverlet for Dorothy’s bed, however, at some point between bothering the electrician and secretly sabotaging my own garage door just to mess with people. I bought several bags full of old floral sheets in yellow tones almost exactly two years ago with Dorothy’s bedroom in mind. I bought them before we even knew we would buy this house, only a few months into the house-selling odyssey that did finally lead us in a roundabout way back to the very same yellow-wallpapered bedroom. I cut and pieced the top of the coverlet last March and really should have finished the thing shortly thereafter, but when I was machine-stitching the face to the backing the tension on my sewing machine went all wonky and wrinkled up the back side of an entire, long seam. The prospect of ripping a seam out of the face, batting, and backing that extended the entire length of the quilt threw my frustration-meter into overdrive and I dumped the project into a bag in the basement and left it there for a year, at which point I begged my mother to rip out the seam for me, and she did. (Thanks, Mom.) After that it took me another couple of months of procrastination and exactly one afternoon of hands-on sewing to finish sewing the thing together and add the binding.

The quilt really does look sweet in Dorothy’s room. She continues to be fond of the vintage wallpaper, and there is something about the hodge-podge of patterns and colors in the sheets that looks very good with it, as if more outdated yellow flowers really is more.

I snapped the photos of the coverlet right after I put it on the bed, but then I had to sneak back in the next day to take this one to show how it really looks with her heap of stuffed animals, messy desk, and perky little matching milk glass lamp. It’s cozy and sweet, it’s feminine, it’s a mess–it fits my daughter pretty well.

May the Force be with Baby: A Star Wars Quilt

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We’ve had a good first week of school! This is Dorothy getting ready to blow out our circle time candle on the first day. I’ve learned that a) homeschooling takes a lot more of my day than I had been able to comprehend (although I’d been warned about that) and b) I need to make some curriculum adjustments or we’ll both get bored in a hurry. I’ve purchased a ready-made kindergarten curriculum and I love many things about it but it’s a little soft on some skills we’re ready to march on into. That’s a great thing about homeschool, I have to say, because I can easily make these adjustments to suit my specific child.

And late last night after my wee padawans were snug in their beds I snuck back down to the sewing machine and made a baby quilt to gift to a friend. This is for the first baby of an old college pal. This friend is the only person with whom I’ve attended a midnight movie showing (he was in costume) and the only person I know who owns (or owned? It’s been a while…) red contact lenses. When he told me he and his wife were expecting a boy I knew I had to make him something cool and nothing light blue or fluffy.

I bought one fat quarter of Star Wars fabric on Etsy, then found coordinating prints on Fabric.com. I used the licensed fabric to make homemade patches and then made strips of the rest. I’m not much of a quilter but I like the cutely haphazard look of strip blankets. I machine stitched it all and didn’t use batting because I wanted it to be thin and flexible enough to actually wrap the baby in. The finished size is 34 by 38 inches and the back is a soft black flannel. It felt funny to have the sewing machine threaded in black to make a baby gift, but I think this one will be appreciated by the baby’s father, at least.