As a Mother’s Day gift for my Mom, I made her a little quilted wall hanging that explains the story of her relationship with my step Dad in three easy steps: Where he’s from (NM), where she’s from (WV) and where they live together (TN). I was never a fan of math in school, but it makes sense to me.
I made shoes! The pair of Mickey Mouse shoes above was my first “test” pair, just to see if I really could do it and if the fit would need adjusting. I’m pleased with them and wear them around the house constantly. Since they have a simple fabric sole, I think of them more like slippers.
But when you love to sew, it’s rarely enough to make something just once, without throwing in your own little changes. If you think about it, there’s really a lot you can do with that little area of fabric that becomes a shoe upper. I decided to try a mismatched pair, using the quilt-as-you-go method with fabric strips.
If you’d like to try it, you can buy a great How to Make Shoes PDF pattern from Shoeology. Shoeology also sells a very nice waterproof soling material with a nice grip, if you’d like to wear your shoes out into the world. There are instructions for making insoles included in the detailed pattern, but since I’ll likely end up with several pairs of homemade shoes I thought I’d try an insole I could easily switch out, something with a little more arch support. So far, these are very comfy and they only cost about $6.
And the finished shoes:
Forrest Gump knew, “Momma always says there’s an awful lot you could tell about a person by their shoes.”
I may have ended up with shoes only a quilter could love, but since I am a quilter, I’m OK with that. :)
Hopefully I’ll get this off in the mail after work, on it’s way to my friend Jacqui in England. Years ago we used to send each other decorating magazines, so they were the first thing to pop into my head when I felt the urge to send her a little gift. Then I remembered that I can sew now, a skill I didn’t have back then, and thought I’d make her a little something, too. My “little something” morphed into this roomy Tote of Many Colors made with part of a Michael Miller Cotton Couture charm pack and a yard of fabric I bought while shopping with my Mom in Tennessee. (That’s the lining and straps.)
The little tag was so much fun to make, I’m sure I’ll end up making more!
Diego watched me turn the bag right-side-out when I was done sewing, and I swear his eyes lit up when he realized that was something he could crawl inside. He followed me around until I set it down for a picture and he tried to see if it might be a good place for a nap. Yep, I’ll be packing it up right away. (I’m trying to keep the cat fur off it, Jacqui!)
He is such a quilter’s cat.
We’ve been concentrating more on healthy eating at home, and keeping my mind on food has lead to an urge to make some scrappy, visually interesting placemats. I can’t help it, my brain just defaults back to sewing from so many other topics. When I saw a preview of the new “Shape Workshop for Quilters” book from Fat Quarterly, I immediately wanted to try the Satellite Placemats. (See the preview here, or buy here. Great price for such a beautiful book!)
My first project from the book is still a work in progress:
This is my first attempt at something with so many seams meeting up in the middle. I’m thankful for that center dot that conceals some of the wonkiness, and I’m hoping I can do well enough sewing around all those tiny circles! I still haven’t tried free motion quilting, and I’m not sure this is the time to attempt it. But I do love this design, so I think I’ll keep going and just see. (I’m seeing it as a dart board so far, and a few friends saw pizza. Maybe with other prints and colors I’ll start to see a satellite.)
The book is full of modern quilt blocks, complete quilts and other projects in fresh, inspiring colors. There’s a selection of templates in the back, along with a basic quilting tutorial and helpful tips throughout the book for the technical bits, and loads of gorgeous photos for your creative side to drool over. Great book!
It looks like an ordinary little table runner, doesn’t it?
But this one’s got a little something extra going on inside — instead of just regular quilt batting, it also uses heat resistant Insul-Bright.
So this quirky little table runner functions as one large trivet, big enough to hold a 9″x13″ dish and a smaller bowl. Or a thirsty little bird. (I kind of like the way the back shows off the quilted grid pattern.)