365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time


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Day 334/365: The Shabby Chic Quilt, aka My Favorite Quilt

This morning, Facebook reminded me that I shared this photo on my timeline a year ago today.

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This is the third quilt that I made after I took a beginner’s quilting class last year.  I’d pulled the pink striped fabric and the green gingham print from my fabric stash, but it took me a few weeks of searching various fabric shops until I came across that perfect accompanying print of flowers against a yellow background.

For the backing, I used a flannel print that I’d purchased around 2003-2004, when we’d just moved to Ventura.

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I love the color combination of this quilt, and the flannel backing is so soft and comfy.  I use it all the time when I’m lounging on the couch.  The only problem is that it’s not very large, so my feet stick out from underneath if I pull it up to my chin.  I think about making another quilt with a flannel backing, but I’ve got so many other projects I’d like to complete.  So many projects, so little time!  I am glad to see among my fellow bloggers that this is a perfectly common feeling.

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Day 306/365: The Strawberry Patchwork Quilt

Facebook does this thing where it will notify you of photos that you posted three years ago, two years ago, a year ago.  This morning it reminded me that one year ago, I shared this photo:

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This is a patchwork quilt that I finished last October, using a combination of newly purchased fabric and a pink strawberry print that I’d been saving for years.  The back of the quilt is made with a Strawberry Shortcake cotton fabric that a friend of mine had given me several years ago.

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The quilt is sitting on a shelf in the linen closet and I’d forgotten about it until today when Facebook reminded me.  Now that the weather is cooling down, I’ll have to bring it out of storage and enjoy it.

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Day 165/365: The 28-Year-Old Block Project, Quilted and Completed!

Remember last week, when my mom was visiting from Hawaii, and I started piecing together the appliqued blocks that she began hand-sewing back in 1987?

Twenty-eight years later, it’s finished!

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If you missed the earlier posts about this quilt, here’s what we started with:

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My mom began this project back in 1987.  She cut those blue squares with scissors instead of a rotary blade.  (I don’t even know if rotary blades and self-healing cutting mats were available back in 1987.)  Then, sewing by hand, she appliqued those little sun-hat-wearing figures to the blue background, using embroidery thread and the blanket stitch.  Her original plan was to hand-sew each of the blocks together to make one large sheet to cover a bed.

I’m not sure exactly when she stopped working on this project, but she didn’t get around to seriously picking it up again until just last year.  About three months ago, she sent a photo of the blocks to me with a text message:  “Look at what I’m working on.”  She had completed a huge pile of them.

I texted back and offered to sew the blocks together on my sewing machine.  She was planning on coming out to California in June for my nephew’s high school graduation, so I figured I’d do it while she was in town for her visit.  Fast forward to last week, when she arrived in Morro Bay with her luggage and goods from Hawaii.

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When I saw the actual blocks, I realized that they’d look a lot better against a contrasting fabric, rather than sewn side by side.  So I purchased some yellow cotton and went to work.

Here is a recap of the steps:

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Cutting fabric with rulers, a rotary blade, and a self-healing mat. No using scissors here!

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This cute little guy needs a yellow frame to really stand out.

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Each one getting his own frame.

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Filling in the squares.

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Sewing strips, and then sewing the strips together.

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The finished quilt top!

I didn’t take any photos of layering the backing/batting/quilt-top sandwich or any photos of the actual quilting, but here’s what it looked like toward the end:

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So close to being done!

And there you have it…

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Ta-da! The finished quilt in all its glory.

A labor of love for my Mama.

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Day 162/365: Quilting The 28-Year-Old Blocks

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To refresh your memory: the finished quilt top.

For the backing of my current quilt project, all I had to do was go to the fabric stash.  I found three yards of a green cotton with a pretty repeating floral motif.  I had to do some measuring, cutting, and sewing to make the backing wide enough for the quilt top.  Then I taped the completed sheet of fabric backing to the carpet and proceeded with spraying quilt basting spray and sandwiching the layers of quilt backing, the batting, and the quilt top.

For the binding, I purchased half a yard of an orange cotton print from my local independent fabric shop.  After slicing the orange fabric into strips, I went through the process of folding, pressing, and sewing them together to make one long strip of binding.

Next I machine-quilted the fabric and batting sandwich.  I didn’t do anything fancy– just sewed straight lines.  The last thing I did before calling it a day was sew the binding to all four edges, leaving a gap where the two ends will have to be connected.

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Ahhh… almost done.

 


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Day 18/365: What Happiness Tastes Like

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Last year, I quit drinking soda.  Even though I love me some cold Coca-Cola, I made a conscious decision to stop drinking all carbonated beverages.  People have said to me, “Just drink diet Coke!”  But it’s not the same.  First of all, diet Coke doesn’t taste half as good as the real stuff.  It is a poor substitute.  And second, we all know that soda is bad for you.  So if I am going to consume something that will rot my teeth, make me fat, and leach out the calcium in my bones, then I might as well go all the way.  If I’m gonna have a soda, it’s gonna be Coca-Cola, and if I’m gonna eat bacon, it ain’t gonna be soy or turkey.  None of that low-fat, non-fat, lite, sugar-free, calorie-free nonsense for me.

So anyway, yes, I made a conscious decision to quit drinking soda.  It was a smart decision, because I can’t drink a Coca-Cola without wanting some Cheetos or kettle cooked potato chips or a hamburger and fries to go with it.  Coca-Cola is my gateway drug.

I switched to iced tea, which wasn’t so hard because Sean grew up in the South and he makes the best pitchers of fresh-brewed tea.  We drank gallons of the stuff, cold and unsweetened, and so much of it that I started buying different brands and flavors of tea bags for variety.  Then I discovered Lupicia.  If you have never tried fresh-brewed Lupicia loose leaf tea on ice, you are missing out.  Come over to my house, and I will pour you a glass.  Seriously.  This stuff is so good that it is worth the significant portion of my grocery budget that I pay for it.

Since I am such a regular customer, Lupicia sends me their newsletter every month with a Fresh Tea Sample.  Our pantry shelf of assorted teas includes several of these tea samples.  Sean was washing dishes this morning as I surveyed the shelf, trying to decide what flavor tea to drink next.  There were a lot of choices.  Then the tea sample packets caught my eye.  Among them were Muscat Decaf, Matcha Kirara Rice Tea, and January’s Tea of the Month, Happiness.

I picked up the packet and looked at the label.  “Sean, what do you think Happiness tastes like?” I asked.

He didn’t bother to look up from the bowl he was rinsing.  In his typical dry, deadpan manner, he replied, “I think there’s your answer right there.”

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