Saturday, January 15, 2011

Denim Jeans Quilt

This is the first quilt I ever made. I knew no quilting "rules" at the time. I had many years of garment sewing and doll clothes-making under my belt, so I had all the basic skills I needed to make this quilt.

It was created using my husband's worn work jeans. And it was made for him. It is the heaviest and warmest blanket I have ever encountered.

My friend Chris asked about it, since she is making a denim quilt. So I thought the best way to get the information to her was to post it and thereby share it with the rest of you.

I cut scraps 5" wide x different lengths, depending on the usable portions of the jeans. This way there weren't any intersections of four patches. Just long strips to join together.

I backed it with a double-sided flannel which was extra thick. And I brought the back around to the front and zigzagged the binding down to the front.

I tied it with embroidery floss and buttons at the center of each rectangle.

A great way to make use of all those discarded jeans!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Bloomin' Good Year

Quite a few blooms on my Christmas Cactus this year. The secret is 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. I don't put any effort into that schedule, but the location where this plant sits provides just about the right amount of light and dark.

This gorgeous specimen is a century old, give or take a few decades. 

An elderly gentleman gave it to my dad, probably 30-40 years ago. This man was 90-something at that time and this plant belonged to his mother. My dad gave it to me about 20 or so years ago.

The center stalks are sturdy, like tree trunks, and covered with bark.

It sits upon a blue, drop-leaf table that my grandfather made for me when I was very young. That makes the table 45-50 years old. It is painted blue and has cute little decals applied to the surface. Remember those decals on furniture? The matching chairs are buried under the plant. This little table and chairs lived for too many years in a pole shed, but now exist cozily in our living room. 

A place of honor for a geriatric plant. Perfect.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mug Rugs

Ooooh, I think I caught the mug rug bug. I see more of these in my future.

Made these to match this table topper. Now my mom can be all fancy serving coffee.

Disappearing 4-Patch Table Topper

We have been celebrating Christmas for weeks now, which is a very good thing and has been very much enjoyed. Now it's time to share some of the projects that were given as gifts.

This table topper, for instance, was so much fun to make! 

Stitch four 10-inch squares (layer cake) into a four-patch.

Center a 5 or 6-inch ruler on the seam line in one direction. Cut on both sides of the ruler. Rotate entirely to align ruler the other direction and cut on both sides again. Do not move fabric as you cut, rotate the entire cutting board.

Turn the center pieces, moving them to the next spot -- kind of like musical chairs -- until you like the layout. I think you can see in the photo where my pieces ended up.

Sew everything back together.


Layer quilt top, batting, backing. Pin. Quilt. Bind.

I did some free-motion feathers (if you really use your imagination, you'll see them). I like how they turned out. They remind me of Christmas trees.

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