Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Regift for a Friend

Sometime last year or maybe it was the year before, a friend gave me an unfinished piece of sewing that she did not want.  As you can see it is a folded star set into a larger rectangle of tan fabric.

The fabrics kind of scream 1970's.

I don't think my friend made it and I don't know what the maker intended, but my first thought was placemat.  Except there is only one and who needs just one placemat.  Then I thought tote bag.  Except I just wasn't feeling it.  So it sat.  I asked friends who came to my house what they thought I should do with it.  Placemat, tote bag, table topper were the responses.  Still not feeling it.

I even took it to a guild meeting and asked a lady there who demonstrated the folded star once.  Still not much help.  So it sat some more.  As you can see this thing came with several layers.

On top there is tan, then rust,

and then a piece of unbleached muslin.  I made one of these years ago in red and white and I don't remember all this excess fabric on the bottom.  For the record, I put mine in a wooden embroidery hoop and hung it on the wall.

Then a couple of weeks ago I showed a hexagonal table topper that I had made using Luann's tutorial on her Loose Threads blog.  Doreen commented and said it was a nice way to use up orphan blocks and the light bulb went on.  Finally a way to use that folded star.  So I got busy and found some fabric at Joann's for the outer border and here it is all finished.

I didn't even notice when I bought the border fabric that it had gold metallic thread or paint on it.  It really makes the border look special.
So I am regifting it to the friend who gave me the unfinished piece to begin with.  I am betting she will want to keep it now.  If not, I am sure I can find someone who will want it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tuesday Tip #2

I seem to think alot about measuring and trying to make it easier, so my tip # 2 like my tip #1 last week is another little cheater system for measuring.  Here on my table that I use for cutting and ironing, I have placed two pieces of masking tape.  I think sometimes I should get some stock in 3M or whoever makes masking tape, because I have several rolls and I use it for a lot of stuff.  Anyway, one piece of tape is here next to my cutting mat.

The other piece is way down at the other end of the table by my ironing mat.  Nothing really significant about the placement except that they are 36 inches apart.  Sometimes when I have several yards of fabric that I have purchased for backing or background fabric, I want to do a quick estimate of the amount I have.  So I stuck the tape on the front of the table to quickly measure yards of fabric.

I don't know if this will work for everyone, as you need a table or surface that is at least 36" long and you have to be willing to put tape or some other mark on it.  But I can tell you it saves me quite a bit of time hunting down a yard stick and finding a place to measure large pieces of fabric.

I could see using safety pins on the edge of an ironing board or on a design wall if that works better for you.

Stop by Lea Anne's Pondunk Pretties to see some other useful tips.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tuesday Tip

Lea Anne of Podunk Pretties is sponsoring a day each week of tips for sewing and quilting.  I don't think of myself as too inventive when it comes to sewing, but I do like to be efficient when I can.  So here is my little tip ( and I do mean very little ) :

 I keep a ruler taped to my sewing table right in front of me so I can measure things quickly when I need to.  Sometimes I sit down to sew and I question whether I have cut a piece correctly or whether I have sewn my 1/4" seam well.  I quickly can measure while I am there in front of my machine before I waste time sewing something that is incorrect.

I sometimes have to remember the words on my ruler when I do make a mistake!!

I purposely keep my cutting area and my ironing area across the room to force myself to get up and move vs. having everything in arm's reach of my machine.  It does take a little more time, but keeps my joints happier.

I am linking up to Lea Anne's blog today.  Please hop on over there to see some more good tips and ideas.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Weekend of Fun

I went back home this last weekend to Indiana for my class reunion.  I always have so much fun when I go to one of these.  One of my oldest and most cherished friends was there and I had not seen her in years.  We both had teary eyes and could not let go from our hugs.

While I was home, I went to a birthday party for another childhood friend who turned 60.  I knew I had to make something special for her.  I saw Luann's tutorial for a cute table topper and I knew that was it.  I was shooting for fall, but ended up closer to Halloween with the fabrics I chose, but I was determined to use stash.  She loved it and that is all that matters.

Thank you, Luann, for this wonderful idea.