Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sweet Smelling Sachets...

Wow, it jumped from Spring here to Summer.  And don't you just love going into Publix and picking out some fresh flowers.  These really put me in the mood to . . . 

Spring Clean!  This is a time to clean, freshen, organize, etc.  Speaking of freshen, years ago I made fabric and knitted sachets for all my drawers and closets but somewhere along the way I stopped and started onto something new.  I guess you could say that sachets are "Old-Fashioned" but they do serve a purpose and can be customized any way and for any occasion.

Browsing one of my favorite blogs,, I came across a tutorial for sachets.  I decided that it would be fun to do some again.  In their blog they chose to use chintz as the top fabric and organic canvas for the backing of the little sachet pillows.  I decided to use vintage cotton prints and linen for the backing.  My stuffing is a bit different as well, but the same results can be achieved either way.  Here is the way I made mine.  Make some for yourself, your friends, teacher presents, etc. 

I picked up a charm pack of a vintage print at the local quilt shop.  I placed one of the squares onto of the linen and cut a square measuring 4".  Take your squares to the iron and press down 1/4" on one side of both fabrics.  Now pin for sewing . . .

As you can see I chose to make more than one at a time.  Now sew around three sides leaving the pressed 1/4" edge (top) unstitched except making sure you catch the folded edge in your stitching on both corners.  Turn right side out and push out corners carefully especially if you are using linen as you can poke a hole in your fabric.  Press and get ready to stuff.

Using a small amount of stuffing place in the pillow pushing all the way to the bottom.  Now add 1/8 cup of dried lavender or any dried herb that you prefer.  I just like the scent of lavender in my lingerie drawers.

Add just another small amount of stuffing.   Pin top and slip stitch the opening closed.

Now using a needle and thread sew a straight stitch in the middle of your pillow making it tufted.  Make several stitches in the same spot and tie off in the back.  Of course, you can add a button, bead, etc. to embellish your pillow.

These are so much fun to make and quite addicting.  Make one or a dozen, embellish or not, give away or keep for yourself, just have FUN!

"I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple
things of  life which are the real ones after all."
--Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cattails . . .

Looking through my books for something to quilt, I found A Black & White Garden by Kay M. Capps Cross.  This book was one of the first books I purchased when I started quilting five years ago.  I don't know about you, but I have tons of scraps and a lot of black and white fabrics that were calling my name.  On page 38 she gives instructions for making a small wall hanging that she named Limetail.  She chose to use black and white fabrics for her background and do her cattails in lime green.  Lovely!  She pieced her background and appliqued her Limetails onto the surface.

I chose to crazy quilt my block with different scraps from my black and white stash.  Then I found a scrap of lime green batik to use for my cattails.  I also decided that I needed the sun and chose to do it in lime green as well.

After piecing my crazy quilt block, I decided to do a continuous circle quilting pattern.

I tried to get a close up . . . as you can see my circle is not perfect but it serves the purpose.  From the back side you can get a better idea of the continuous circle pattern.

This is the block after adding my cattails.  I chose to fuse them to the block and instead of using a blanket stitch I free-motion stitched them to the block.

After adding the cattails, I decided it needed a sun with a little bling so I fused a lime green sun and added green glitter glue for the rays and a lovely gem to the center.

To finish it off, I satin stitched the block to a piece of black batting and trimmed the batting to about a 1/2" around all four sides.  A finished wall hanging. 

I fell in love with the cattails and decided that I should do another one but different.  I pulled blue and green scraps from my stash and randomly cut them into squares and rectangles.  I cut a piece of Peltex two-sided fusible stablizer and layed them randomly using blue for the sky and green for the grass.  After fusing to the Peltex, I did a zigzag stitch around each edge of the squares and rectangles first in blue and then green thread.

Then added a piece of coordinating fabric to the back fusing it to the Peltex and satin stitched the edges to finish it off.  What do you think?

Totally different yet I like it, too.  I guess I just like scrappy quilts!

This is a GREAT book with lots of modern ideas for wall quilts and worth the money.  I intend on doing several more!

I had lots of help doing these projects . . . two of my nine grandchildren.

This was a fun project from the process to the finished quilts.  That's the
key to enjoying whatever you do, JUST HAVE FUN!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One Stem . . .

In this month's American Patchwork & Quilting magazine there are some really beautiful quilts and projects.  Love the Bounty of Baskets designed by Betsy Chutchianof BETSYSBESTQUILTSANDMOREBLOGSPOT.COM 
little pillow, the modern table runner by Amy Walsh of Blue Underground Studios, and the Sweet Centerpiece designed by Helen Stubbings of HUGS 'N KISSES.NET.  But as soon as I saw A Single Stem designed by Kathy Cardiff of THE COTTAGEATCARDIFFFARMS.COM, I knew I had to do it.  But as usual, I only used the template and added the fabrics I love and wanted. 

Instead of using wool, I chose linen as the background and cotton fabrics for flower.  I chose to just use one flower petal and just cut them out randomly and placed them on the linen to applique.  The stem and leaves were also added using cotton.  For the center of the flower I covered a button and added some bling by using glitter glue.  After appliqueing the flower to the linen, I found a piece of coordinating fabric to sandwich between layers of linen to pull together the frayed look.  I sewed three sides together on the outside so that the fabrics would show some fraying using a small zig zag stitch and then stuffed the pillow.  To finish it off, I sewed the bottom using the same zig zag stitch and just look how cute it turned out.

Then I placed it along side a pillow I made from selvages and added to my new chair . . .

Again, this month's American Patchwork & Quilting magazine is a really good one and worth the money!

Remember enjoy the process and just have FUN with your quilting and sewing projects!!!