Show and tell… Backyard Birds

Many thanks to the talented Margery Tadder who has shared her lovely quilt with us! She emailed to say:

Being a bird watcher I just had to make a Backyard Birds quilt, and what a cheery addition to my home! I love the bright colors and the happy look of it. It was fun sewing the cute birds although at age 92 my manual dexterity is not what it used to be! So, did resort to machine appliqué on a few of the tinier pieces and circles. I also turned one bird into a magpie because they are so prevalent in my neighborhood.

Margery Tadder

I love this happy quilt! The addition of the magpie is perfect, and it is well-placed. And I must add that I sincerely hope to be appliqueing when I am 92! Well done, Margery, and thank you for sharing your wonderful quilt with us!

Click here if you would like to find the Backyard Birds pattern.

Show and tell…

Sylvia Phillips sent pictures of her newly finished quilt, Sunny Days. The quilt and her story both make me so happy! the pattern for the quilt is from our book, Curl Up Quilts. This is a quilt that will put a smile on your face!

Sylvia wrote:

I made the Sunny Days quilt using the scraps from my “stash”. I had lots of Christmas themed bits. I do love yellow and I was delighted with how this pattern worked up..(pictures enclosed) I will be 86yrs old in a couple of months so my quilt making has slowed down but your designs always spur me to make just one more..  Sylvia Phillips…Lititz, PA 

I appreciate the fabric and color choices because they elevate what is a pretty simple design. Sylvia’s quilt keeps you engaged because there is a lot to see.

Sylvia, thank you for sharing your quilt with us, and for telling us your age because that is wonderful to know! Quilting can be a life-long passion. Speaking for myself, I intend to keep at it even when my work might not be perfect. I will be thrilled if, at 85, my sewing technique is as good as yours is. Thank you, and happy stitching!

Jim, the destructor…

I recently bought matelasee bedspread that doubles as a nice, light-weight blanket. I love it and it was totally perfect until Jim decided to take a running jump at the corner of the bed.

OMG… And then he did the same thing on the other side. This is why I don’t have quilts on the beds!

I decided to use my sewing skills to mend the rips with thread. I knew the mends would show, so I embraced it. The gray #8 perle cotton is a little darker than the spread and, yes, indeed, those stitches show at every rip on both corners of the bed.

Surprisingly, the mends don’t bother me nearly as much as the rips did. And it doesn’t hurt that I now have a fake fur throw at the bottom of the bed.

It’s gotten cold so the fur throw is coming in handy. And if Jim goes after it with his claws, it won’t hurt it.

Stupid cat. Sigh.

DIY No-Slip Stool Cushion (& making do with what you have)…

I often sit on a wood barstool to work. While I have natural padding, the seat is hard! I couldn’t find a more comfortable barstool or cushion but I ordered something in that came padded with two sheets of foam. Great!

After two months of sitting on plain foam I decided to make a ‘real’ cushion to fit the stool. This is not great foam, but it was free and here. I cut both pieces to fit the top of the stool.

Once I was sure the foam fit the seat, I cut fabric for the cushion top and Easyliner Grip shelf liner for the bottom, adding 1/2˝ seam allowance on all sides.

I sewed the fabric and Easyliner right sides together using my walking foot, a long-ish stitch length, and a scant 1/2˝ seam. The grippy stuff does not slide on the bed of the machine so sew with it on top. There isn’t fabric between the Easyliner and the foam. You could add fabric, but I couldn’t see the point. Leave an opening to insert the foam.

Getting the foam in place wasn’t exactly easy, but it was possible. I pinned the opening closed and whipped it shut by hand. I would have sewn it on the machine but decided that would be way more trouble than it was worth.

I thought about making this cushion for weeks. Why? After less than an hour I have a functional, cute cushion that will last a long time. I might eventually get fancy and purchase high density foam to make another one—but not today :-).

Take a look at the projects that you keep putting off. They might be like this… faster than you think and very grin-inducing!

Stocking Stuffers 2022

Remember what I said about gift giving? The criteria I try to live by at this point is that items need to be useful, or delicious, and never require dusting. So everything on my Stocking Stuffers page is useful. Below are just a few fun items to get you started. Go to the page for even more ideas.

These first two tools are designed by Cindy Needham. “The Perfect Spot Magnetic” Tool Holder is helpful and versatile; it sticks to your sewing machine or other surface with a square of adhesive that is easy to remove, without leaving a residue. The magnet is strong enough to hold the EZRipNGrip tool or a small pair of scissors, pins, needles and more. The EZ RipNGrip is one of the best seam rippers I’ve every run across and likewise the tweezers side.

Telescoping Magnets are a perfect tool for sewers, but really they’re handy for everyone. Last year we sold out way too fast, and couldn’t get more —supply chain issues. Right now we still have a few! Yay! But don’t wait too long, because I don’t know if we will be able to get more.

These reusable silicone straws come with their own tiny brush. High quality, pretty colors, and go into a drawer to be used ;-). See what I mean? Jubilee Straws, below.

With help from my woodworking friend Elizabeth, Judy and I created these one-of-a-kind Piece O’ Cake Wool Pincushion Rings! Each one is hand made by us, and they’re all a little different, let us know your color preference, and we’ll choose a perfectly cute one for you!

New from LoLo, lovely moisturizing bar soaps. There are 4 scents: Lavender, Orange Vanilla, Goat’s Milk & Tea Tree, and Coconut Plain Jane (unscented).

All LoLo makes a perfect stocking stuffer or gift, because of the quality we know and love, and it’s affordable!

Plus LoLo is a woman owned small business, and it makes me so happy to give my support. All around win.

The one really big bag you need is this one, AND it folds up to fit in a purse… or a stocking, of course. Click to read more about the Rainbows of Happiness Tote, and how Judy and Lorna have used theirs.

This eraser is impressive! Just watch the video below as I use it for the first time. The Hand-Held Eraser + Holder is new from Blackwing and it’s a must-have for anyone who uses a pencil.

Bee Lovely Needle Minders definitely meet the criteria, and they are so pretty! Magnetically attach to your shirt while you’re sitting on the sofa hand sewing, and it grabs your needles and small scissors, even. So you won’t lose them while you work.

For your crafty friend or loved one, an Animal Hand-Sewing Kit or an Embroidery Kit might be just the thing. We have many to choose from, so you can find the perfect one(s).

This is a page of gift ideas, but don’t forget yourself. I have been known to stuff my own stocking a little, too!

When the dog eats the quilt, visible mending for the win!

April, grandson Jack’s dog, ate a hole in his bed quilt. Deep sigh. This is the dog-eaten hole. Notice the irregular stitches that I used to sew together the tears on either side of the hole.

Follow the progression of the fix in the following photos. It took about 2 hours plus a few miuntes to machine quilt over the patches.

I meant for the patch to blend but not be invisible and that worked. When Jack and I put the quilt on his bed, we almost couldn’t find the patch—but then we found it :-). Jack was as impressed as a nearly 15-year-old boy can be 🤣🤣🤣.

The moral of the story is not to put off this sort of mending. It goes fast and it’s very satisfying.

Wowie Zowie, from Piecing the POC Way, 2nd ed.— before April ate it.