Friday, October 10, 2014

Shirt Fabric Salvage


A few weeks ago I saw a beautiful quilt made with shirt fabrics on Red Pepper Quilts.  It made the cogs in my brain slowly spin, and a few days later when, serendipitously, my husband was cleaning shirts from his closet to donate, I grabbed a few before they were already loaded into the trunk of his car.  Wouldn’t it be a great project to save fabric for the next few years to make each girl a quilt from daddy’s shirts?

Unfortunately some of the shirts I grabbed weren’t 100% cotton.  Just to err on the side of caution (and because I have absolutely no natural sewing instincts—wait till you hear in my next post about embroidery!) I didn’t cut up any of the shirts with stretch or other fibers besides cotton.  There is one mystery shirt that my husband says is cotton, but I’m pretty sure it has silk in it, and it’s a custom shirt so there’s no tag.  But the fabric was so soft, I couldn’t pass it up!


Here’s to the start of another project, he he!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

100 Quilts for Kids

The DC Modern Quilt Guild is collecting quilts once again for 100 Quilts for Kids.  This year I was able to make some blocks for a group quilt, and finished up one new quilt to be donated.


I had some premade binding left over from another donated quilt that looked pretty good with the top and backing, but of course it was about 12 inches too short to fit.  It would have felt great to use up, but it wasn’t meant to be…


The rainbow striped fabric is just as cheerful!


The backing is a fabric that’s been in my stash for years and years.  That felt good to use!


The front of the quilt was made using up two fat quarter bundles my mom gave me for Christmas a few years ago.  There are no scraps left over!


And I used Connecting Threads cotton thread in Persian Blue for the quilting.  I decided to do straight lines on my DSM and seriously, about 6 inches in, I started to doubt my decision.  I could have stippled the quilt in a quarter of the time it took me to quilt all those straight lines!



This quilt was mailed off today to be donated together with the other DCMQG quilts to Carpenter’s Shelter.


Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Cotton + Steel Giveaway

It was my birthday this month, and one of my daughter’s, too.  Luckily her birthday is just four short days after mine so her special day eclipses mine, which is just how I like it now that getting a year older isn’t quite as fun as it used to be.  I treated myself to lots of quilting related presents this month…


Did you know that you can get a pair of Gingher shears on Amazon for between $20-$23, which is a lot off the price at craft store?  Amazon has other pretty good quilting deals.  A pack of 5 Olfa 45mm rotary cutter blades will only run you $14-$15.  Add them to your cart and watch the price fluctuate up and down, then snag them when you think it’s a good price.

Speaking of scissors, I tried sharpening my old pairs with the tin foil and sandpaper methods, but neither worked.  The Gingher shears are much heavier than the Fiskars brand I used before, but they slice through several layers of fabric like a hot knife through butter.  Plus I’m pretty sure my husband can sharpen them in our electric knife sharpener if they go dull. 

In the spirit of birthdays, I thought I’d give away 4 fat quarters of my favorite prints from the Cotton + Steel fabric lines that came out earlier this year, a little thank you for reading my blog!  Your comments really brighten my day and encourage me to keep creating.


So if you’ve left a comment on my blog in 2014, leave a comment here to be entered in the drawing.  This giveaway is open to all followers, US and international.  The winner will be drawn on Wednesday, October 1st.  Thank you for reading my blog and good luck!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fall Fabric Flower Wreath {a tutorial}


During a trip to Ocean City, Maryland this summer, I saw a beautiful burlap seashell wreath at one of the shops on the boardwalk and figured I could save at least half of the $44 pricetag if I made my own.  So I purchased a few seashells, starfish, and sand dollars, and when we got home I picked up a wire wreath form and some burlap at my local craft store.  And everything sat on the baker’s rack in the kitchen for months.  It’s well past seashell season, so I thought I could use some of the materials to make an appropriate fall-themed wreath instead.  Turns out I think I like this version even better than a seashell wreath!


  • 18-inch wire wreath frame
  • 12” (1/3 yard) burlap fabric (you can also buy a spool of burlap ribbon if you prefer)
  • black jute twine
  • various fall hued cotton fabric scraps
  • pinking shears
  • 10 assorted buttons in assorted fall colors
  • DMC floss in assorted fall colors
  • spool of bow ribbon
  • heavy duty starch
  • pinking shears
  • glue gun


1.  Cut burlap fabric using scissors or rotary cutter in six 2” strips.  Wrap the wire frame with burlap, beginning on the backside.  Glue the first go-around to itself to anchor the burlap securely in place, then continue wrapping, slightly overlapping so that none of the wire shows.  Glue the last go-around to the backside.  If the strip ends on the front, just trim a little bit off so you can glue it to the back.  Continue with the next strip of burlap.  Wrap the entire wire frame.  Trim off any little “threads” of burlap that are sticking out.

2.  Tie off the jute twine at the top of your wreath.  Then wrap in an “x” design around the entire frame.  When you get back to the top, make several loops and tie securely, so you have a hanging loop.  Hot glue this loop in place.


The wreath should look like this.

photo (1)

3.  Now for the fun part!  Grab your fabric scraps and pick out an assortment of fall hued fabrics.  I chose mostly yellow, orange, brown, and green, but mixed in a bit of cream and black because I want this wreath to work for both fall and Halloween.  The black jute twine and cream & black fabrics give the wreath a bit of a spooky/edgy feel. 

photo (1)-001

You will need a total of 40 fabric circles, so repeated fabrics are fine!  Start by starching the heck out of your scraps.  You don’t want the flowers to look limp or wrinkly. 

Find 4 different sized circular household items (I chose the ribbon spool, a spool of washi tape, the bottom of the starch can, and the lid of the starch can.) 

photo (2)

Trace each size 10 times on fabric (for a total of 40 circles).  You can use a magic marker or fabric marking pen.  Just write lightly so the ink doesn’t show through the fabric.

photo (1)-002

Cut out with pinking shears.


4.  Start making your flowers by layering 4 circles together.  Pick a button and sew together through all four layers of fabric with DMC floss.  Thread that contrasts with the button color adds more interest to the flower.


5.  Make a bow with your ribbon for the bottom of the wreath.  I just totally winged it, but there are plenty of tutorials online for making wreath bows.  Glue your bow to the bottom of your wreath, then arrange your flowers around the rest of the blank space.  When you are happy with the arrangement, glue the flowers to the burlap with a dime-sized glue dab in the center of the back of each flower. 

6.  Hang wreath on front door!


What a gorgeous way to brighten up your front door for fall!

This is scrap project #4 of 52.  Have a wonderful weekend!