Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hello!  I know that I am not alone having a heavy heart and shock at the recent shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticutt.  I am in disbelief for the victims and their families and friends for this tragedy will be a  huge burden to carry and to overcome.  The survivors will also have to deal with this tragic event emotionally. 

Quilter's Corner in New Milford, Connecticutt, announced on Facebook that they would like for people across the country to make and send them pillowcases for the children that survived.  Hopefully, this will bring them some kind of comfort over the days, weeks, months, ahead.  If you would like to make a pillowcase for these children (please do) mail it to

For those of you that have not made pillowcases before, you might feel a little intimidated, but please don't.  These instructions are simple and will cover all your seams such as French seams would.  This method is called the Hot Dog Pillowcase pattern and you can Google Hot Dog Pillowcase and get a written pattern if that would help.  Once you have cut your fabric, it takes about 15 minutes to sew together.  Quick!  Now choose some bright fabrics and get started.

Body:  40.5" by 24.5"
Cuff:  40.5" by 12.5"
For these pillowcases I do not use trim, but if you want to make some for your use or gifts, cut
Trim:  3" x 40.5"
The cuff fabric is the "BUN".  Place it right side up on your table.
Now lay your Body fabric on top of the Cuff fabric right side down. 
Roll up the body fabric forming the "WIENER".  Pin well making sure to keep the boby fabric away from your stitching as you do not want to catch it in the cuff stitching. 
Sew along the pinned edge removing your pins as you go.  I usually use a 1/4" seam allowance here, but go with what you want.  After sewing I press the seam flat to set the stitches.  Now the fun part!
Pull the body out from inside the cuff . . .
Pull till you have all of it out and then press flat.
Be sure to press flat on both sides!! 
Fold in half -- wrong sides together (that's right, WRONG SIDES TOGETHER) -- and stitch a 1/4" seam on the side and back.  Trim seam some to get rid of the loose threads.  Turn inside out.  Using something pointy (a knitting needle works well, but I love using my bone folder) and push out the corners gently to define the seam edges.
Now stitch a 1/4 seam being careful not to catch the previous seam.  Turn right side out, press, and you are done.  Oh, wait, if you are donating this pillowcase you need to wash with a fragrance free detergent.  Some quilters/sewers choose to pre-wash fabrics before sewing, but I choose to do the project and then wash.  This really helps in making sure ALL the pins are out of the fabric and I personally like sewing on fabric with a little body.
If you choose, you can say a blessing over the pillowcase asking that the recipient gets comfort from this gift! 
Final product is a beautiful, colorful

Please make one, two, three or more for these little children if you can.  And if you need assistance or help in anyway e-mail me at holleyandbuddy@bellsouth.net or holley.downs@gmail.com.  I hope that I haven't left anything out or made this too hard to understand. . .if so, just let me know!

Thanks so much for taking time to do this for Newtown children! 

"Give a little love to a child and you get a great deal back."
--John Ruskin

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What a day!  Our quilt guild, Big Springs, had our annual Christmas luncheon and gift exchange today.  This is a busy time of the year, but we still managed to have about 17 present.  I cannot begin to express how important this Guild and the members are to me!  They are a talented and sweet group of ladies!  I am so fortunate to have them in my life.
We made some pictures of our get together today and thought I would share them with you.
We decided to give our hand-made gifts to each other and below are some of the gifts we received. . .
Beautiful quilted table runner!

Pieced table mat.  Lovely.

Mod Podge Christmas ornament made from scraps.

Mini Dresden plate mug rug!  Stunning!

Machine embroidered snowflake ornaments!

Knitted scarf.  Cozy!

The above is a 10 minute table runner!  What a great quick gift!

The center of the small quilt above was achieved by pounding flowers into
fabric (one way to work out your frustration and/or stress) and quilted around.

Some of the pictures believe it or not did not turn out well . . . eyes shut, mouth wide open, etc.  So sorry if I missed anyone.

A group picture of the members that could
come today!  We really missed those of you that
could not come!  See you next year!

Again this was a great day!  Good Food!  Great Friends!
I am looking forward to 2013 and spending time with each of you each month!
"The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious."
--Martin Luther