Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mini Apron Tutorial

I promised last week to post a tutorial for making these mini aprons.   We used these for our Relief Society Birthday Celebration as covers for the water bottles we gave away as favors. I don't know where the pattern came from, but since there are so many other tutorials for this on the internet, some reversible, some with a pocket for a straw, I don't think I am breaking any copyright laws by posting mine.  

Each apron requires 34" of narrow bias tape cut into the following sizes:
2" for the bib area
12" around the bottom 
20" for neck hole and apron ties

Download and cut out pattern.  If you are doing many aprons as I did, it works best to trace the pattern onto a sheet of transparency plastic.  You can find it at any office supply store.  
Using a chalk pencil or other water soluble medium, trace around the pattern onto your chosen fabric and cut.

Sew your 2" bias piece to the top of the bib area and sew your 12" piece to the hem area of the apron.  If you've never used bias tape before, there is a bit of a trick to it.  If you look closely, one half of the tape is a bit wider than the other.  Make sure the wider part is to the back side of your fabric, that way when you sew on the front side, it will be sure to catch the back.  

To sew the ties and neck hole area, I folded the 20" piece in half and marked the center with a chalk pencil.  From there, I measured 2 1/4" down from the center on each side.  

I pinned the two marks to each corner of the bib area. Doing this makes sure the hole is exactly 4 1/2".

Next, make a mark 5" in from each end.  Pin that mark at the lower part of each arm cut out. Sorry for the bad photo.  Like I said last week, my sewing room doesn't have the greatest lighting.  

Then carefully sew from one end to the other making sure to cover the raw edges of the bias tape at the bib and hem area.  
If you are making a lot of them as I was, it's easiest to assembly line sew.  By this I mean chain sew all the bib tops, then all the hems, then all the ties.  It makes it much easier to sew them all at once then starting and stopping repeatedly.  If you don't know what I mean by chain sewing, click here for a great tutorial.

On another topic, one of the biggest problems for a quilter, is where to find a spot big enough pin baste your quilt sandwiches.  In California, I solved my problem by taking my quilts to work and using the conference room next to my office after hours.  Since that genius solution is no longer an option for me, I have been fretting about what I was going to do.
Sunday I came up with another genius solution while our family was playing a friendly game of pool on our new table.  

I remembered that the pool table also came with a ping-pong table top that set right on top of it and after dragging it out and making Kade help me set it up (it's really heavy!), I determined it just might do.

I was right.  It worked like a charm!

Remember these blocks?

Here is the top I made with them, all sandwiched and ready to go.  
To cool down the bright colors in the squares, I sashed around them with grey and then added a cool blue striped border.  Just for a little whimsey, I added a fun bee print border as well.  I won't be able to get to the quilting for a couple of days, though. Instead,  I will be helping Mom repaint her guest rooms and bath.  
I thought I had hung up my painters pants for good, but I was wrong.  Once mom saw my freshly painted house, she decided it was time for a bit of a spruce up of her own.  I'll be knee deep in paint for the next three days.  Wish us luck!  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Up And Running

Moving in to any house requires prioritizing which rooms must be done first and which rooms can wait.  Our priority was kitchen, master bed/bath, office, living/family rooms, guest rooms, library and of course, dead last was my sewing room.

That meant that my work space stayed in this condition for the first three weeks we were in the house.

The mess even spilled into other areas as well.  The new pool table and an adjacent hallway were piled high, much to my family's dismay.

It took me a month, but last week I finally put on the finishing touches.

It's definitely bigger than my last room.  The only downside is that it has no windows of its own, so no natural light to work with.  

But, my storage closet is phenomenal!  I'm able to keep everything so organized.  I love to be organized. 

After three months without sewing, I couldn't wait to get back in the groove and sew a few blocks.

I whipped these up in a couple of hours.  Do you like my design wall?  My last room was so small I had to put it behind the door which meant I hardly ever used it.  Here it's out in the open and so much more convenient to work with.  In fact, I have so much wall space, I think I'm going to make the design wall bigger, at least twice as big.

Of course, I didn't get to work on the blocks too long because I got a call from the Relief Society asking me to sew these cute mini aprons to be used as favors for our R.S. Birthday dinner.  They were fun to make and pretty easy.  If you're interested, I can post a tutorial next week.  

Speaking of Relief Society, ours has a quilt group that meets every week.  Two weeks ago, we all went on a little shop hop.  It was great fun and I now know every good shop between here and Salt Lake.  Here is my haul.  The first grouping is fabric I'm putting together for a master bedroom quilt.  
The second set is for someone special who hasn't announced yet that she's expecting.  Tee hee hee.
She isn't far enough along yet to find out the sex, but I loved these fabrics so much I decided to take a chance it would be a girl.  If it isn't, I'm sure I can find another lucky little girly to give it to.

Of course, my next project has got to be getting this baby quilted.  This one has me a bit intimidated.  It's such a fabulous design, I feel the quilting has to be very special.  However, I can't seem to come up with anything.  I've been checking the web for designs but everything I see is pretty scary.  I guess I'm just going to have to screw up some courage and jump in.  
Wish me luck!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Happy 75th, Mom!

What can I say about my mom?
For starters, she's just darn cute.
For another, no one on earth can make me laugh as hard as she does. Whenever we're together we are like two silly school girls. (This can really be embarrassing if we get the giggles at an inappropriate moment which has happened in church more than once.)
On a more serious note, she is the person who taught to be an "inside out person." Meaning that happiness comes from inside choices not outside circumstances.
She taught me that how others act doesn't control how I act.
She continues to teach me grace amid sadness as she moves forward after the loss of her life companion.
As I am continually reminded by my new neighbor's all of who have known her for the last 20 years, she is an amazing person.
When people here get to know me always, always, always, the first words out of their mouths are "You're Carol's daughter??  I just LOVE her!"
So, on your 75th birthday, here's to you, mom!  I'm so happy we can now spend special days together.  Our future will be filled with many more of them.
Que music...
People let me tell ya 'bout my best friend...

She's a warm hearted person...

who'll love me 'til the end.

People let me tell ya 'bout my best friend...

She's a warm hearted cuddly toy...

my up's my downs, my pride and joy.  People let me tell ya 'bout her she's so much fun...

Yeah, she's my best friend.  Yat, da, da, ta, da, yat.