Sunday, July 10, 2011

Helllooooooooooooooooooo another hint...

Our guest blogger 
could not be reached
and it was too late
for our back up...

Sew I guess today will be spent
on the Campaign.
You have heard of it, haven't you?

Here is a hint, in 22 days 
there will be this SPONSOR giveaway for
sewing machines, rotary cutters, Go cutter,
Sizzix cutter, scissors, mats, rulers, patterns, books,
Fat Quarter bundles.... and quite a bit more....
and Wantobe Quilters AND YOU,
will be eligible too...Yes that is right?

Anyone in need of a flyer for any LQS
just ask me. This is a wonderful marketing
tool for those LQS who are seeking at getting
new quilters in their stores and highlighting workshops
for them. For YOU, you get to collect those names
and if those people win, sew do you ....

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Wantobe Quilter Campaign Updates.... countdown begins....

 Yes 24 more sleeps....YEP!
( her name btw in to bee a quilter) 
Wendy came up with that...

For the past couple weeks, when I came up with this
idea to bring WANTOBE QUILTERS together along
with all these Sponsors...note our sponsor  list is growing....
They are indeed the GREATEST, LATEST, BEST.....
I just knew this would spell great opportunities for sew many. 

Each SATURDAY leading up to August 1st- I will share a bit more with you...
You have read about  the gathering  of names of Wantobe Quilters,
what is all that about?

Well let me tell you...Once the campaign begins on August 1st....
All the names, emails and phone numbers you collect,
will be sent to me in a personal email. (
I will in turn set up a database that will have your name along
with all those you have on your list...let's pretend you have 5 names...
your name is Betty...  you have 5 Wantobe Quilters ...
Your  name will be added to all 5 of those names..
IF any of  YOUR  people win anything, you also win something.

That name will be published the day of the DRAW,
if she or he happens to be an experienced QUILTER and not a Wantobe Quilter,
( and someone will tell me, there is no doubt about that)
they will be disqualified right there and then .....

I do believe 99% of people are very honest, and that most
people believe in karma. What goes around comes around.
Sew I am not worried about qualifying the winners. 
I just know they will be WANTOBE  Quilters...
I have very sophisticated software that matches, email
addresses with ISP's...ever since I began managing this blog,
I have never had any problem with those who won anything
as far as legitimacy...Sew please do not worry about that..
I am on it! 

Now for those of you who have blogs and you would like
to appeal to your own followers/friends. Next Saturday
I will supply you with a text that you can put on your blog
that states, they will not be able to come to this blog ( stash)  to enter
in a giveaway...They will have to locate our list of bloggers  on the side
bar.... all those who have the 
WANTOBE QUILTER button on their blog ...   I will list you here...

Any visitors who want to enter will be asked to look at the list
on the side bar..( not there yet)  and they will be asked to give you 
their name and email and phone number...
( this will all be clearer as we get closer to the launch date...)

( please let me know with a comment  who has this button already on your blog
as I will be compiling a list) and adding it this week...

Ahhh I can hear you...what if the same person, registers
their name with all the bloggers..??? No problem, their name
will only be counted once, whoever submitted that name first..
My software will tell me their name is already registered with BETTY .lol...
So if you are Helen, and you have the same name...that name will not be registered again.
How does that sound?

What else can I share with you....??????
mmmmmmm  I hear Nancy Zieman will be popping over for a guest
post, ohhhh and Eleanor Burns too I hear....and. just today I heard from Alex Anderson
she too will be joining us and I think some guy name Ty, .......oh I think that is enough 
excitement for today....Ü

See this button on the side bar...any related topics that are published
at my own personal blog- Sew I quilt.... will be found here...
I have been doing sneak peaks on my blog of some of the giveaways...

Ohhhhh yes, I understand that  BERNINA, PFAFF and a BABY LOCK
willl be giving us their GREATEST, LATEST BEST beginner machines...
to some winners....And they are very very nice...!

For anyone interested in contacting a LQS, please connect with me
I have something that you can print off and give them that will
certainly benefit both of you...They will collect names
and get an idea how many  wantobe quilters are in their area, sew they
can schedule new classes for them... and you pick up those names
to enter this campaign. 

24 more sleeps... I will be compiling a top list of reasons
why someone should quilt for next SATURDAY...
I would certainly like to hear why you QUILT?
What has it done for YOU?
just added them here ok...thanks..

What constitutes someone as a WANTOBE QUILTER..?

They do not have a machine, tools, notions, stash as in fabric...
They may have made a quilt with a MOM, sister, friend, niece, aunt, grandma,

Hope that helps?

p.s. again...the list that will be on the blog roll 
will change every day....just sew you know
I really have thought of everything...

There will be no WHINING in this CAMPAIGN.

You will have to trust me that I have a plan for all 
who participate that there will be many many many chances..
'nough said lol

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hail to the Quilting Chief!

Hi ! It's Darlene from Sew Much Beauty and I have a story about the funniest thing that has happened to me so far in my quilting journey...

I was bitten by the quilting “bug” in March 2009. I have found that the side-effects are very bearable… spontaneous sparks of creativity, loss of sleep because you’re too busy sewing, the pure JOY felt watching a loved one’s reaction to a handmade quilted gift…just to name a few! If there’s a cure for this bug, I don’t want it!

When I first started out, I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could about quilting. I read everything I could about the subject. I attended a class at my local Hobby Lobby where I made my first quilting friends. At one of those classes, they had a conversation about the local quilting guild…I say “they” because I sat there listening and nodding my head as though I knew exactly what they were talking about. I didn’t know what a guild was, but it sounded wonderful! Lots of people getting together to talk about quilting, share stories, and show the quilts they had made. So I listened intently and noted that the meetings were the fourth Thursday of each month.

I missed the next 2 meetings because I was too busy quilting and forgot about them. But when another friend invited me to go WITH her, I decided, Ok. It’s time. So in June 2009, I went to my 1st meeting. My friend called me the day of the meeting to let me know she had gone out of town unexpectedly, but didn’t want me to miss the meeting because of her. So I went anyway…by myself. I figured I could just go and sit in the back. You know, not draw too much attention to myself. I had the time wrong and showed up 30 min late…not a good start. They were having their officer elections that night. A very energetic woman with spikey bleached hair invited me to sit at her table. Her name was Pam. The hair drew me in, but her energy kept me riveted. Two times a year, the guild has a pot luck meeting...this was one of those nights. While we were eating, the ladies at my table get on the subject of how it seems nobody wants to take over as president of this group. The current pres lived over an hour away and was begging for someone else to take over for her. I asked (my mistake) why none of THEM wanted to do it? Pam says, "I'm already serving on the Board." I looked around, curious...4 out of 5 of these ladies, it turns out, is already on the Board. As I'm concentrating on my food (and trying to NOT draw too much attention to myself), Pam says, "YOU could be our president!" As I nearly snorted potato salad all over the table, she says, "Seriously, it's the EASIEST job! All you have to do is..." I tuned her out at that point.

I honestly thought I was being "punked". I was waiting for my husband or Ashton Kutcher to jump out from another room, with cameras in my face, laughing. Well, THAT didn't happen. But before I really knew WHAT was happening, Pam was standing behind me, introducing me to the room as a nominee for president. What? Is this woman serious?! I couldn't tell. Apparently, she was.

So, it turns out, being a "member" is just a technicality. Pam (and I suspect the other ladies at the table) paid my dues that night and I became the newest member of the guild...and the new president.

I had no idea that night, the direction my life would take. It has been quite an adventure. I've learned a lot about leadership and responsibility. THIS experience was actually my 1st time out of my "quilting" comfort zone. But I'm so glad I let my guard down long enough to just let it happen to me. It's so much fun to get together and be inspired by other quilters AND to get to share the projects you've been working on. We also make quilts to be donated to local charities...for children and babies who need them. I've had a lot of fun too and if you haven't checked out your local quilt guild, JUST DO IT!

I'm just curious...does stuff like this happen to anyone else? Or is it just ME?! lol  

Now, I thought I would share a couple quilts I have done since I began quilting that are dear to me..

Here is one of my fav quilts I made for a friend that I did not think would be around today..
she is and this certainly inspired me to make it for her...

 Don't you just love the backing...and I quilted it all..

This one is a mission quilt., colorful isn't it? 
I love this one..

Very summer like, don't you think? 

Thanks for listening to my weary of guilt meetings with no presidents lol. or having elections coming up lol

P.S...feel free to check out my blog!

Quilty hugs to all of you!


And oh look I almost forgot Samm is going to have this giveaway...

This great book for any Wantotbe Quilter...I heard August 1st is quickly approaching..this would tie
in well for then...thanks Samm

Giveaway will be Monday Morning... Good Luck.. Thanks FSB  Associates, they are Stash Manicure's sponsor and they are book publicists.

Be a follower at my blog and this one.!

Ann Marie won this...she has been notified...
hoping she will come on over here for a guest post...
you will know why soon enough wink...
all others..thanks for participating..
New sponsor. - LOOK, FSB associates- BOOK PUBLICIST...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A journey through stitches...

Hi everyone!

I'm Vikki from SEW Useful Designs and absolutely rapt to be here and meet you all! A BIG thank you to Madame Samm for inviting me on over! (Isn't she an absolute sweetie?!) :-)

Where do I start?! The answer to that question is usually, "At the beginning"! So here a brief account of my creative journey - I hope that you will enjoy the read!
I have been sewing for the past 11 years and, although I have always been a creative person dabbling in one form of media or another, I found my niche - my passion - with fabric and threads!

It all started when my first child was three years old. We were living in England at the time and I'd decided that I needed a new hobby. I had loved to paint but my son's little fingers were too keen and I couldn't leave my materials lying about... so I went in pursuit of a craft that was portable - easy to pick up and put away. The answer came to me through a UK catalogue called 'The big blue craft book'. In between the pages full of ads for paper crafts and knitting suppliers, was this wee picture of a rag doll. I fell in love! I hadn't sewed before - but was keen to learn - so sent off for the kit!

I giggle now when I recall some of the phone conversations I had with the supplier! "What is a fat quarter?" and "What does RST mean?" and "what do you use to blush the doll's cheeks?" were all basic questions I needed answers to in those early days! There were no fabric stores nearby so I purchased everything through this one supplier, and online from America. (Don't you just love the Internet?!!!)

I sewed dolls by hand for the first year until my husband bought me a sewing machine for my 30th birthday. Then two years later we emigrated to hubby's homeland here in Melbourne, Australia.

It is always a challenge to set down roots in a new place - no matter if it is near or far from your original 'home' - but I was like a kid in a candy store when I discovered the abundance of patchwork stores that were right on my doorstep!

It was only a matter of weeks before I took up with a new friend to learn the basics of patchwork and quilting. Of course - my stash kind of took over after that!! Six months later I had some very special sewing projects to start organizing - nursery items for the expected arrival of my baby girl! I set to work designing a feminine nappy stacker (pictured below), and re-purposed my son's old cot mobile by covering it in romantic pink and green vines and hanging love hearts from it (hearts pictured in my banner). A dear friend taught me new sewing skills in the form of making curtains and other soft furnishings, and I discovered a new-found confidence with my sewing machine. (For a tour of Rosie's nursery, read this post.)

My love for designing continued to grow - fuelled by a desire to create personal gifts for my loved ones. I dreamed of one day having my projects published within the pages of my favourite Australian craft magazines - you know, in the future - when my children had grown up!

But my ambitions were to be realised much sooner than I had ever hoped. I started my blog, SEW Useful Designs back in March 2009, and offered a few free designs. My new online friends were so supportive and encouraging that I gained the confidence to put forward designs to the magazines. Isn't our blogging community amazing?!! My online friends are a huge part of my life and have shaped my journey in profoundly positive ways!

I had to pinch myself when I saw my own work in print!

I'm still designing for magazines - and my next goal is to have my patterns available in patchwork stores. And so my journey continues...

I wonder what the next 10 years will bring?? I wonder where your journey is taking you??! Wherever you are headed - I hope that your journey is both blessed and exciting!!!
Thank you for listening to my story. If you would like to pop on over to my blog for a virtual cup of tea the kettle is always on! (As hubby says, you can take the girl out of England but you can't take England out of the girl!!!)

I'm having a giveaway in honour of being Madame Samm's guest here today - so come and visit - become a follower - and enter the giveaway! But leave me a comment here too. Wait till you see what I have to giveaway.

Thank you once again Madame Samm for your kind hospitality! You're da best!!!

Warm wishes to all! Vikki ox :-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Set up Google account to leave messages and no reply bloggers...

 ( you have my permission to copy
all of this and paste to your own blog
just add your own blog address) 

  GET a GOOGLE acct.( free)
 and how to correct NO REPLY BLOGGERS

( sign up with GOOGLE 
( think link will allow you to set up an acct in seconds)
 To get a Google email, you still use your own,
this just allows you to be set up to leave comments to win)

( we have had over 1000+ visitors leaving comments who are what
we call NO REPLY BLOGGERS ( which means I have no way of 
connecting with you)

Here is what you can do:

 All comments made on this BLOG and my other at Sew WE Quilt @ Stash Manicure   are automatically sent into my inbox, ( which is why you get replies from me) if you don't hear from me, I am not ignoring you, I just can't reach you).If you have the correct settings in your Blogger profile, your email address comes with it, allowing me to reply directly to you via email. If your settings aren't correct, you are a no-reply blogger, and I have no way of contacting you. 
  1. In, click on Dashboard.
  2. Select Edit Profile.
  3. Check the box for "Show my Email Address."
  4. Save changes.

    That is all you do...
    This will take minutes, which means to YOU.
    YOU could have won some of these great  prizes this week.
    YOU didn't but you could have....

    One more thing... To REGISTER IN this Campaign

    See t the link to STASH MANICURE..the orange button that says JUST GO
    that will link  you to my BIG

    On the right hand side are a list of bloggers Link to them. leave them a comment to write you back) ...go to anyone of them , give them your name, email, phone number..*( we only call to let you know you won)

    They are all destroyed after campaign.. we do not share them with anyone!

    Tell them you are a Wantobe Quilter ( if you have no tools or experience ) or a quilter who does not have a blog... If you are a Quilter with a blog you can enter Tues and Thurs. 
    ON M-W-F...enter those days in comments to win...Wantobe quitlers..
    T-T days...this is for must comment to win..
    Follow STash Manicure ..that follower button where all the photos are....

    Sit back, cross your fingers and can't hurt...Ü

    OHHH for all those BLOGGERS out there who want to participate..

    There is all kind of information HERE you can put on your blog and collect names..
    if you do that and  tell your peeps to mention your name ...if they win you win...
    ( you will have to send those names to 
    and please not 1 at a time..put them in one email maybe every day..., this way
    you can be sure we won't miss them) 

    and we ship the lowest rate possible
    ( may take longer but we have
    everything insured)

    I think I covered everything now? NOD your head YES! 
Forgive me if I don't reply today and tomorrow..
I will be reading them all...but unless it is URGENT
put that in your subject line...
I will try to get more FABRIC CUT today and tomorrow...
But I am reading and smiling...

Is that good for YOU?
Nod your head YES? lol

Oliver's Garden

I'm Nicole Morris from Aunti Nicole's Corner.  I live in Anaheim Hills, California with my husband Pete and my kitty Willie No!  During the work week I train and support Autodesk CAD software like Inventor, Plant 3D, and AutoCAD Electrical.  I work with engineers to help them build 3D virtual prototypes of their products, machines, plants and buildings.  Its very exciting work and keeps me learning all the time.  My favorite part is the helping people overcome their day to day challenges.  So when I'm not helping someone else to realize their ideas, I am creating my own.

I am blessed to be part of a family of quilters, my mother Jane St. Pierre and sister Dana Melo are both extraordinary quilters and I am always learning from them both.  I originally started quilting in 1989 when I was in New Mexico for a year and missed my mom and my sister.  Quilting was a touchstone that bridged the gap for us and remains that way to this day.

Left:  1st Completed quilt...I know huh...its amazing I didn't quit after that.  It did take me several years to finish ;]  Word to the wiser than me.  If you start one of these, for Pete's sake don't put it away until it done.   That's my Pete and My Willie in the middle taken many years after completion.

Right:  Stars and Swirls, started one 4th of July a couple years ago.  Machine Quilted.  Single piped binding.  Love this quilt.

Left :  Wedding purse for my cousin Julie who married July 3rd, 2009.  I scanned pictures of all the women in her and Dustin's life, there even a great-great-grandmother there.  I made the photos look sepia tone and printed onto fabric.  The four sides of crazy quilting and embroidery were completed separately and then added together at the end.  Fun project.

Right:  Celtic Spiral (No Fuss).   This is from a class I just taught end of May 2011 at Orange Quilt Bee in Orange, California.  I used the Clover bias tape maker and Roxanne's glue baste to layout the design then just hand appliqued.  Layout took about 3-4 hours.  Applique a couple of nights.

Below:  Delectable Mountain, a wedding quilt for my friend Kat in New Mexico 2008.  Machine Quilted to within an inch of its life.  After taking a Sue Nickels class on freehand feathers, I was emboldened.  There are 12 blocks of pottery and feathers around the outside.  My advice, if you start the border with a lot of detail, you have to go all the way around.  8]  There is a pebbled border that caused a bobbin change way too often.  I was sure happy with the end result, and Kat loves the quilt. 

Right:  Goose goes to North Carolina.  My office mate moved to NC with her husband.  I hand quilted on a 1" diagonal.  I sat on this for a few weeks after completion, not wanting to send this out.  I hated to see this one go and the friend too.

 Left:  Shoe-Fly,  Friendship quilt, for my dear friend Gina Griffin in New Mexico.  Hand quilted.  Love the southwestern colors in it.  Can't see it here but I like to use variegated thread when I hand quilt.

Left:  Saw a quilt at a show and wanted it, so I made me one.  I added a double piped binding on the outside.  Tutorial Double Piped Binding.  Oh and here's one for a Two Sided Binding.  for when you like the back so much, you have to use it on the front ;]  This was machine quilted by Jan Dahlke in Weed, California, she did a beautiful job.

Right:  Did I tell you I design patterns?  Here is the first ones that took off and is still going strong.  This is Tic-Tac..Oh!  You can find this pattern on my blog.  
 I am also blessed to be part of two quilting friendship groups, EZ Quilters and the Wool Gatherers and am a member of Flying Geese Quilt Guild.  Hey we are having a quilt show October 1st if you find yourself in Southern California around that time.   I love the methodical nature of hand quilting or applique.  Most hand projects take a while to create so I do a lot of machine quilting in between.  

Below:  It was my month to choose which block I wanted my EZ Quilter friends to make for me.  I gave two choices, this pieced block or a mariner's compass.  2 did compasses and Mom and I did the other two corners.  The center was hand pieced (I had to try it)  I designed the layout of the pieces in my software, Inventor.  See the before and after here.

Left:  Currently hand quilting this piece.  I used a template only to draw the circles, the rest I did freehand designs on the black and reverse appliqued each with different backing of batiks and hand-dyes.  This is addicting and I will most definitely do more.

Oliver's Garden

Today I'd like to share with you, a quilt that I created for my soul sister Dione, who I have known since we were babies.  She announced to me that her and Garrett were getting married.  (I just love this guy).  So I took her to Road to California, 18 mos before the wedding and told her I was going to make a wedding quilt and to look for inspiration.  By the end of the show, she said "Green Hawaiin"  I said "OK" with my eye brows high.

So I started planning.  When laying out a quilt, I like to build it in the computer first.  This allows me to make adjustments and really get the layout right.  This can save a lot of time, money and frustration.  I can print out the design to scale and adjust the outcome by hand to give it a less mechanical feel.  These two are variations of the design.  The 2nd one is the closest to the end result.  (3D Models built in Autodesk Inventor).

Picking the fabric was a challenge.  I tried white background with green first, but it did nothing for me.  Then I tried black with the green, ooooooh thats it!  I figured I would be hand appliqueing and quilting and it will probably take the whole 18 mos so I had really better like it.  So I picked out some fabrics and made two small samples.  (I highly recommend this!)  I really liked both, but the batik had too much dark overtone and with black background, it was just too dark.  In my program, Inventor, I could actually take pictures of the fabric and put them on the model.  This really saves money and time and gives me the confidence to move forward.  Also the green has little Chinese symbols and ginkgo leaves which I know the bride and groom would love.  (The design phase took about 3 months.)

I used doubled freezer paper to made the templates for reverse applique. 1/8 of the design for the center and a 9" piece for the borders. Mirrored and rotated as necessary.   I traced onto Kona black using my favorite retractable white chalk marker.  I completed the center first.  Meanwhile, I sent the borders with my Mom while she vacationed around the country.  I created bias strips using the Clover Bias Tape Maker, cut short pieces and appliqued them and the center down to the inner border.  Then added the outer borders and appliqued the  corners. (The Applique took about 9 months).

Once the top was completed, I hand quilted with 1/2" echo quilting, using Mettler black silk-finish thread.  This part overshot the wedding by a couple of months, oops.   (This part took about 8 months).

June 13, 2009 we traveled to South Dakota, so Dione could get married where she grew up.  It was a beautiful farm wedding and we all had a wonderful week with Dione's parents, my folks and Garrett's family.  The scalloped binding was finished shortly thereafter, coming in at 109" square.  Dione and Garrett received their quilt only couple of months after their wedding.  Hey at least it wasn't for their 3rd anniversary, LOL.

I have completed many quilting projects over the years and this has been my favorite project.  I know that Dione and Garret treasure the quilt and that makes it all worth the effort.  I wished them love with each stitches I put into this quilt.  They should be good to go for a long time to come.

Feel free to stop by and visit my blog and gallery.  All are welcome and I would love to hear from you!

Special Thank You to Madame Samm and Stash Manicure for allowing me to share some of my favorites with your readers.

Have a wonderful July!
Aunti Nicole

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quilting with kids

Welcome, I’m Charity from A handle on it. It’s a place where you get to see my creative life that I try to get a handle on. I'm very pleased to be here today, giggle,giggle:) 
Well it’s the beginning of July, which means it’s about the half way point for kids being home on summer vacation (if you are here in the U.S). So chances are you have heard these dreaded words, “I’m bored, there is nothing to do!”

Being bored seems like a completely novel idea to you. Because you can think of plenty of things that need to be done, dishes, laundry, driving to swimming lessons, the garden, etc. All the while you’re longing for some creative time at the sewing machine.
Your kids, grandkids, neighbor kids, church kids, (lets just say there is alot of young creative minds to influence), may just need the same sort of creative outlet that you do too!

So Why not make quilting something you can do together? Bring out the sewing machine, or two. Here is an embarrassing secret of mine.  I happen to have a sewing machine for each member of the household here.  So why not get those engines running.
I also happen to be the only girl in my household. But no worries, boy’s can be creative too! My oldest son’s famous words, “it’s just a machine, MOM!”
Here are some of my tips for working with kids.
1.       You may have to do some prep ahead of time. Or you can jump ahead with a charm pack.

(this is an older picture that I had to scan, sorry about the quality)

2.     Start with an idea that will get them interested, a block, a pillow, a pouch purse.   Remember to involve them on the process. They may not have the same color idea’s you do. Personally I’m not a big fan of black in my quilts. But for my oldest son’s quilt that is what set it off.  He knows what he likes and they tend to use it if they like it. Which means it is at least up off the floor.
3.       Don’t expect your knowledge to be their knowledge. Remember when you first started and how much you have learned.
This one is now 16, and gives more advice than actual quilting.

4.       Don’t expect perfection, or for the finished project to be the way you would have done it.  Allow a mistake, don’t go back and fix it for them. It crushes their feelings.
5.       Show it off!! Be proud.  Check your local area for county fairs that they may be able to showcase their work. Or take it to the next family picnic. They put alot of hard work into it, they deserve a round of applause. 

Most of all Laugh, have fun, and be together. You may have created a lifelong obsession, or you could have just spent some quality time together. Honestly, my son’s don’t really quilt all of the time. But I’m proud they have tried it. Most importantly they understand my obsession with fabric and don’t complain when I add the fabric store to the list of errands.

I have really enjoyied being here on stash manicure. Thanks for having me!

 And from Sew We Quilt @ stash manicure...
Look a giveaway...

YOU can win not just  1 but 2 of these...
at 6 pm EST. ( today)
from our wonderful Sponsor at Crazyquiltgirl
These are the perfect solution to binding...
I have been using jelly rolls from the moment
I began quilting...

Crazyquiltgirl has many wonderful deals going on 
all the time...check her out!
Ohhh and you will find extras in this win too...
all of our winners at Stash always get more 
in their packages than what is listed here...

Sew 2 jelly rolls, what will you do with them? 
1st thank Crazyquiltgirl ....wink...

And the winner is..... Sherry in Alaska...
she was just notified...
and has confirmed she is sew thrilled..
How exciting to see sew many in need.
Be sure to go and see Crazyquiltgirl
if you need one of your very own...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Baseball, Apple Pie, and Ironing!

Happy 4th of July!  Today we are going to celebrate in a big way!  First, allow me to reintroduce myself, I'm Nan of Pots and Pins, and I'm as lit up as a firecracker to be Guest posting today - thanks Samm, it's always a holiday for me when I'm here!

In my neck of the woods the kids are busy decorating their bikes and wagons so they can "march" in the neighborhood parade...and later on, I'll be in the kitchen trying to strategically arrange raspberries and blueberries into an American flag pattern on top of my freshly baked cake...something of a tradition around here. But in the meantime, life goes on...there are beds to be made, dishes to wash and if Publisher's Clearing House doesn't come knock on my door to tell me I've won a million dollars in the next hour or so, I'm going to have to force myself into my laundry room!  And that's just what I want to talk to you about today...laundry...well, ironing...more specifically, how to make an Ironing Board Cover!

This is my pitiful OLD ironing board cover...No one should have to suffer through the pain of IRONING while having to look at something like this! 

Ironing is one of those necessary evils in life (as some of you may remember, I am not a fan of ironing as I sew - it's such a time waster in my feeble mind) and unless you're willing to walk around in wrinkled clothes or stand by your dryer to remove "NO PRESS" pants (ha!  As if!) the minute the cycle ends, then occasionally you are going to have to plug in the iron.  To help me with my ironing issues, I decided to purchase a new ironing board cover...the one shown above, which used to be nice and much brighter.  I happened to mention to a friend that I purchased an ironing board cover, she laughed - out loud - and said, "WHY?!?"  Why indeed!  My workroom could qualify as a small fabric store/garbage dump on any given day so why, with all the fabric I had at my fingertips was I buying an ironing board cover?!?  So when my red and white polka dot cover was nearly dead, my friend's words echoed in my head...I set about making me a new one...allow me to show you!

First, I removed the old red and white cover, you can see how much it had faded!  And underneath was another cover, stained and totally disgusting...I removed that, too. (There was padding underneath the 2nd old cover and I left it on.)  I then used the old cover as my pattern...genius!  What can I say, the acorn fell far, far from the tree!

I put a clean piece of batting over my ironing board (you can only have too much padding on your back side, not your ironing board), not really worrying about the overhang, because it all gets trimmed later.

I found some darling "domestic" fabric (the plaid fabric pictured above was a cover I made for a friend, she chose that fabric...not nearly as cute as mine!) that I wanted to use as my new cover, unfortunately I only had 3 fat quarters, but it was plenty - I sewed them end to end to make one long piece.  I'm not going to give measurements here because really, you don't need them and because not all ironing boards are created equal - the Constitution does not apply to them.

So, using your old cover as a pattern, cut yourself a new one.   If your old cover has an elastic cord running through it, just remove it and lay the fabric flat, or as flat as you can, it will have been stretched out a bit.  Cut your new ironing board cover 1 1/2-inches inches larger, all the way around.  (My ironing board is only 16-inches wide at the widest part so a fat quarter, being 18-inches wide, worked for me.)

I gave myself a generous 1-inch fold-over, which I then stitched down, all the way around, leaving a small opening so I could insert a large safety pin with a very strong string tied to it.  No need for elastic, unless you're a glutton for punishment.  And there is no need to make a proper casing, by folding the edge under a half-inch, stitching and then folding over one is going to see the underside!  At least, not in my laundry room! 
Place your new cover over your ironing board and pull the strings tightly, so the fabric shrinks around the board.  Secure by tying strings into a knot; tucking strings underneath cover.  Turn the board over and trim any big pieces of batting, if you have any.  And that's it!  My ironing board is 60-inches long, requiring less than two yards of fabric and covering it took less than 30 minutes!  It almost makes me want to get in there and have myself a hot flash...oh please, doesn't everyone get hot flashes while ironing?!

Here's a shot of my laundry room...I have a nice view of the forest, through the trees and yes, that IS a "life-like" replica of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, on my dryer...I gave him to the mister years ago for Christmas as the mister loves James Brown and sometimes, after spending a few hours with his good friend Jack (Daniels) he will try to dance like James Brown know, with his feet swishing every which it seemed a fitting gift.  But I ended up liking James more than the mister liked him...and when I'm doing laundry I push the button on ol' James and he belts out I Feel Good....Like I knew that I would now...I feel I knew that I would now...So good! (womp!  womp!) So good!  (womp!  womp!) I've got You babe! 

I wish you all had someone to sing to you while you do laundry - it's the only way to wash!  Today I hope you celebrate in style...but tomorrow, when reality rears her ugly head, make yourself a new ironing board cover - and swing your hips while you sing...So good!  (womp!  womp!)  So good!  (womp!)  I've got a new ironing board cover!  Oh Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Happy Fourth and happy ironing...come visit me anytime at Pots and Pins - I serve up great recipes almost daily and you can click on my Quilting/Pins tab to find see my latest adventures with fabric...Thanks Samm!  As always, I remain your humble servant, Nan