I Need This Like I Need a Hole In The Head

Friday, December 23, 2011 7 Comments »
Random Craft Tutorial.   Talk about a time suck -- bet you can't stop at just one, though!   Don't say I didn't warn you (evil chuckle).

Geez, thanks Vicki!

A flurry of activity

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 4 Comments »
I saw a small-ish quilt on the cover of a magazine & decided I really wanted to make it.  It was a Christmas quilt without screaming CHRISTMAS -- more of a refreshing winter number.  It used Kate Spain's Flurry line of fabric.

The flimsy is off to the long-armer tomorrow in the hopes that I will be able to get it back and bound in time for December 25th.  Not sure at this point who will be getting it, but I'm leaning toward my lovely daughter-in-law.

I had a ton of scraps left over, so inspired by Mrs. Goodneedle's post, I got myself some Insul-Bright and hunkered down in the sewing room for a potholder fest.  Here are the first two.  They were gifted to a dear friend this weekend.  Another pair was given to someone at work today, and I've got seven more sets in the works. 

Nancy's addicted to making them too!  Who knows where all of this potting will lead?  Thanks, Mrs. G.!!

A BIG Helping of Cuteness

Thursday, December 08, 2011 6 Comments »
I guess some people might think that grandmoms can be annoying, what with all the bragging and picture sharing and such.  I don't care.  I'm gonna brag and I'm gonna share. 

My daughter-in-law's wonderful friends gave her a gift certificate for a professional photo session for baby Owen.  The photographer, who is located in Lancaster, PA,  is incredibly gifted, even making all of her own props -- the teeny tiny hats, wraps, and such.  You can check out the results by going to her web site, then clicking on "client proofs" as the bottom of the page and entering Owen as the password.  Talk about tough choices! 

I checked out her blog too.  Holy talent, Batman!

Quilt Labels

Friday, December 02, 2011 5 Comments »
A few of you commented on my last post, asking what I used to make my quilt labels.  The label on Owen's flannel quilt was printed on EQ Printables printable fabric.  Packs of the printable fabric are available at many quilt stores, and on-line from the Electric Quilt website or from Amazon.  I'm sure there are scads of other on-line vendors as well.    It is the best printable fabric that I have found in a pre-packaged format, but it has limitations: 
  • It can be expensive because the tendency is to print one label per sheet.  You can actually fit several labels on a sheet, but that takes some planning -- something that my ADQD brain has a hard time with. 
  • It is not as soft as it looks.  In order to hold the ink well, it's a very tight weave  and somewhat stiff -- although not as stiff as other printable fabrics I've used.  I used to hand-sew the labels on, but the fabric is very though to get a needle through, so now I am machine stitching. 
I use MS Word to create the label, adding graphics and color just as I would for something I'd be printing on paper.  I do several test print-outs on paper just to make sure everything is to my liking; once I am satisfied, I print on the fabric sheet.  The printable sheets are the same size as the paper you would normaly use in your printer, and feed through the same way; they have a plastic backing that allows them to keep their shape during the printing process. 

The ink on your label needs to dry for 15 minutes after it's been printed.  I usually let mine dry overnight.  Then the fabric sheet gets soaked in cool water for 10-15 minutes and allowed to dry.  Once that's done, I iron the fabric, cut the label out with a rotary cutter, turn the edges under and iron with spray starch or Best Press.  All you need to do after that is position it on the back of the quilt and sew it down. 

I think I will try something different for my next label.  I am told that you can iron freezer paper onto the back of good quality white fabric and run it through your printer in the same manner as the EQ Printables.  My white background fabric of choice, and something that I usually buy in quantity, is Southern Belle Premium Muslin, made by Springs Creative.  It's used a lot by doll crafters for doll faces and is recommended for quality photo printing on fabric.  I get white, but I believe it is available in natural and cream.  The reason that it works so well is that it's not dyed and it is 200 thread count (higher thread count means that the ink won't bleed into the fibers).  I first fell in love with Southern Belle when I started making quilts for the grandkids and wanted a white background and backing fabric that had a soft hand and crinkled up to a nice, soft antique quilt look.  I like it ever so much better than Kona.  You can get it by the yard from Joann's and from Nancy's Notions, or here.  I'm almost out, and may have to see if I can find a bolt at a good price. 

Here are a few of the labels that I've made this way.  Suzie Q's Garden label was hand-colored and printed with fabric pencil & a micron pen. 

Baby Things

Thursday, December 01, 2011 5 Comments »
I make a special flannel quilt for each of my grandchildren. They are meant to be used, loved, put on the floor as a play surface, wrapped around strollered babies, dragged around as a favorite blanky, and washed over and over.  Here is Maddie's, and here is Alma's.   I'm not sure where the pictures are for Annabelle's and Ians (sorry). 

Here is the lastest one, for baby Owen.


I love Valori Wells Flannel.  Modern, colorful, and very high quality.  If you are looking for a good source for quality flannels (and other fabrics!), try QuiltHome.  I have purchased quite a bit of fabric from them and can't say enough positive things; great service, fast shipping, and just awesome communication.    

 I also made a dozen burp clothes, or "burpsters".  They are meant for heavy use & will stand up to lots and lots of washing.  The plain ones are flannel on both sides, sandwiched with a layer of thin (Joann's) flannel & lightly quilted.  The super soft ones (the ones my daughter loves) are flannel on one side, and a fleecy fabric (from Joann's) on the other, sandwiched with thin flannel and lightly quilted.  They are super soft and just so cozy for baby to put his face on when he's being held over your shoulder. 

Owen's Burpsters

Super (fuzzy) Burpster

Plain Burpster

Kate likes the burpsters so much she asked me to make 2 sets of 4 each for up-coming baby showers.  Now I need to get busy on those crib sheets:  two cotton/one flannel for Owen, and two flannel for Alma.  I'll post pix when they are finished.