review: Quilt Giving

Quilt Giving

Quilt Giving: 19 Simple Quilt Patterns to Make and Give by Deborah Fisher

Many people, myself included, love to make quilts to give as gifts. It’s fun and gratifying to create the quilt in the first place, but sharing it with someone else is gratifying on another level. The nineteen projects outlined here are relatively easy to cut and put together, so the time investment shouldn’t be too daunting. Some quilting basics are provided, including a few piecing techniques used in some of the quilts. Also included is a short section covering things to consider when making a quilt as a gift, such as considering size and shape and selecting materials. Most of the patterns are minimalist and/or modern but designs have been included for a range of audiences – some are clearly aimed at children or parents of infants, for example. I’m usually one to make up my own pattern rather than following someone else’s, but many of these quilts are very appealing, so I might make an exception in this case.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the Monroe County Library System through the awesome MeLCat ILL system


review: Modern Roots

Modern Roots

Modern Roots: Today’s Quilts from Yesterday’s Inspiration by Bill Volckening

One of the charms of vintage and antique quilts is that they were often made by hand without the use of rulers and rotary cutters, so they aren’t as technically perfect as some quilts made today. They can feel more person-made and the connection to the quilt-maker can feel stronger. This book takes inspiration from those handmade quilts and shows how to make your own, whether you choose to make it using contemporary techniques or not. Many of the dozen patterns here will be familiar to quilters: Log Cabin, Lone Star, Stacked Bars, Barn Raising, and many others. Each pattern features a full page, full color photo of a vintage or antique quilt along with notes about its origin; a materials list; and instructions for cutting, construction, assembly, and finishing. Diagrams are provided for piecing and assembly. A smaller version is also provided for each pattern. Only two of the original quilts are tied but note that they can be finished however the maker desires.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the Galesburg Charleston Memorial District Library through the awesome MeLCat interlibrary loan system


Blythe three dress giveaway!

Happy new year! I’ve been attempting to spend more time doing things other than the internet, hence the lack of posts. I’m not giving up on blogging – far from it! – but am trying to focus on mostly on making things and taking political action. I’m still planning to make time for blogging but I am also in winter hibernation mode, so posts will probably be more sporadic at least for a bit.

So, back to making things! I made these three dresses for Blythe and would love to give them away to other Blythe folks. Head over to YouTube and comment there to be entered to win. I’ll pick a winner on Friday January 13th so hurry on over!


happy scrappy

Over the weekend I finished a couple of quilts that I’ve been working on. These are scrappy quilts, using up the ridiculous amount of small pieces of fabric that I’ve amassed. I decided that these small pieces were taking up too much shelf space, so it was time to do something with them.

Boston Terrier applique crate quilt 1

I have a bunch of these that I’ve been working on assembly-line style, first piecing together the scraps by relative size and then those pieces together and then those and so forth, then added the applique, then made the quilt sandwiches, quilted, and then did the binding. I finally hand-finished the back side of the binding on these two over the weekend.

Boston Terrier applique quilt 2

This BT head raw-edge applique is something I came up with myself and I’m pretty proud of how it looks. I did each one in a different fabric combination, so there’s a lot of variation on these. I’ll be donating them to the Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue for fundraising – but for the moment, isn’t Coraline a cute model?


review: Quilting is My Therapy

Quilting is my therapy

Quilting is My Therapy: Behind the Stitches with Angela Walters

I’m not generally one to use patterns for quilting – I prefer to make things up as I go or get a general idea from something that is traditional (like a nine-patch) and then figure it out on my own from there. I do, however, love to get inspiration from looking at the quilts others have made, and this book is perfect for that. Exquisite quilts from a variety of quilters are pictured and while they all feature the intricate and very busy long-arm quilting that I don’t choose for my own projects (this is Walters’ specialty, I believe), the quilt patterns themselves give me lots of ideas. The running story of Walters’ own journey to becoming a quilter has some inconsistent punctuation and a number of what read to me as quilt-snob sentiments (she’s entitled to her opinion! I just don’t find it constructive for me as a reader), so I preferred to focus on the quilts themselves.

full disclosure: I checked this book out from my local library


vacation bag proof

I used the Two Zip Hipster I made for our trip throughout our travels and it was perfect! I was able to carry the necessities with me but not be burdened with a heavy bag or a sore shoulder. Cross-body bags are great for travel, too, as it’s nearly impossible to set them down and forget them.

Two Zip Hipster (pattern by Dog Under My Desk) fits the Universal tour package binder perfectly

As it turned out, Universal gave us a little notebook with all our tickets and stuff inside, and it was as if this purse was designed to hold it. It could not have been a more perfect fit!

Two Zip Hipster (pattern by Dog Under My Desk) fits the Universal tour package binder perfectly

As you can see in the photo above, it fits inside with just enough room to zip the zipper above it. I do find it interesting that Universal still likes to give you a hundred little pieces of paper to manage, whereas I believe Disney now does everything on a wristband if you book a package (for our day trips they issued us a card that contained all our ticket, fast pass, and dessert reservation info). If you’re going to Universal and doing a package, I definitely recommend making this bag.