Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fleece coat

Last year I made fleece coat of blue and cream fabrics. A few days ago I left it in the car and then my 17 year old son borrowed the car. A few days later he said one of his female friends liked the coat and would I make her one in red & black. Of course I will !

The pattern is McCall's 9576. Hancock's Fabrics happened to have fleece on sale this week also. I used Fireside Anti-Pill Red and Black.

I didn't use interfacing like the pattern called for because it is not noticeable with fleece. The one I made last year was a large size. This one is a medium. I'm happier with the fit of the medium on me. I had been thinking of making me another one with a different color choice. Now I know I really do want another one, this time in medium. The jacket is reversible and has side pockets on both sides.

The jacket goes together quickly and only has 3 pattern pieces. I think the instructions would be confusing for someone new to sewing.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Goodbye to Joe

A few years ago I made a friend online from Michigan. I have been able to met her in person a few times, along with her husband Joe. They were high school sweethearts who parted ways as teens, married others, had kids, and divorced the others. About 20 years ago they got back together and were still madly in love with each other. They had been living in Michigan for a number of years. This past October they moved to Kentucky to escape the harsh Northern winters. A few weeks after they moved they were in a motorcycle accident. Joe was thrown over the windshield of the motorcycle. His wife, Babe, was okay because she was strapped in the side car. Joe has been in the hospital since that day.

This afternoon Joe passed away. His body could take no more. His wife was with him when he left this world.

Joe was a published author of 2 books. He was charming and fun to talk to. He made friends everywhere he went. He loved animals. Most of all he loved his dear wife.

Goodbye Joe. You fought a good fight, now is time for rest. Goodbye Mr. Author.

Babe, you know my heart is breaking for you.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

String quilts

I was inspired by Bonnie of Quiltville to make a string quilt. I started with a pile of scraps from the Newborns in Need group. I tried just working from the scraps randomly but soon realized I needed to do some sorting. I sorted the fabrics into 3 groups - pastels, brights and non-baby. The non-baby fabrics just were not working out very well in the few strippy blocks I sewed.

One of the items in our donated box was some cream colored sheets. I used the sheet like muslin for the base of the blocks. I cut the sheet into 5 inch squares which is larger than what I wanted but that gave me some room to square it back up if it got wonky after sewing on strips.

This was an interesting project but the small sized squares did seem to make this go on forever. It also is a problem that I my iron is across the room from my sewing machine, so I would sew a strips on a few blocks and then go press. I think to be able to do a lot of this you need to have a location where you can spread out your fabrics, have your sewing machine and your iron right there.

In the end I made 2 baby quilts - one pastel and one brights. You can see I did sneak in some dark fabrics into both. Some fabrics ended up in both quilts as they could be considered pastel or bright depending on my mood.

This is the one with bright colors (and some dark colors)

The back has little sailboats on it.

This is the pastel one. The border is just white with small pink dots.

The back is a soft flannel with duckies.

Now that I've gotten it out of my system about making a string quilt, I'm going to pass the remaining scraps along to someone else in the group to see what they can do. I will probably do one again in the future but I will think twice before doing such small blocks. Visit Quiltville to learn all the ends and outs of using scraps to make quilts. Bonnie has some wonderful examples on her website and blog.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sewing baby things

For charity, not for me! Here are some of the things I made over the past 2 months for Newborns In Need.

This is what we call a butterfly shirt. You can see in this picture that the shirt opens up completely to lay the baby on it. There are small pieces of velcro on the sides and in the front to close it. The pattern is on the NIN website under "hospital shirt" . These are used for babies in NICU that may have tubes or wires hooked up to them. The way it opens makes it easier for the nurses to dress the babies and to examine them when needed.

Here are a few different size/style diaper shirts. All of these are made with light weight cotton and lined with cotton. You can also use light weight cotton blends.
This is a blanket I made with some scraps of material. I had a large piece of the Peter Rabbit fabric and surrounded it with pink strips, then had the white with pink dots for the backing. I machine quilted diagonal lines. Something like this only takes about an hour to do. I think this quilt is about 36 inches by 40 inches.

Here are a couple of sleepers and a lap front t-shirt. The sleeper pattern is in the NIN Pattern Set #1 that can be ordered from their website.
The pattern set is a little hard to follow so it helps if someone can show you how to do it. It takes about 20 minutes total to make one sleeper. The t-shirts go together quicker than that. I sew these in assembly line fashion -- do all the sleeves, do all the neck bindings, do all the sleeve bindings, etc. I don't know if the t-shirt pattern is in one of the NIN sets, I got it from another NIN volunteer. These all must be made from stretchy knits. I use the serger to make them but they can be sewn on a regular sewing machine. I later put snaps on the front of the sleepers. These are all preemie size. Aren't baby clothes the cutest things?

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to help others more, please consider donating your sewing skills to a group such as Newborns in Need. It is a very rewarding experience. It is a great chance to learn new sewing skills and meet new people. Also, you get to be creative as you try to use every little scrap of donated material and make every yard be used to it's fullest potential. The items are so small that you get that satisfaction of completing something very quickly. Best of all it helps comfort our littlest babies and their families.