For my Sister

This is a quilt I made for my sister in 2017. She was working on Nursing School, and it was really just time I made her a quilt. She has a bright, colorful, loving personality, so I wanted that to be reflected in this quilt.

An experienced quilter once told me at guild that she cuts her scraps into 2.5″ and 5″ squares to use in projects later. When she told me that, I started doing it, and ended up with many of the squares in this quilt coming straight out of my stash. I did buy a few half yards of solid color to help it tie together overall and have a bit of a theme.

This year, my sister graduated from nursing school, and recently passed her NCLEX. I could not be prouder of her, and I’m so glad I made this quilt for her to wrap her in my love while she finished her nursing school journey.

Post Christmas Post

I always have blogger frustration in the fall as I finish projects that I have been excited about all year and cannot post about them because, “What if the recipient accidentally saw?!”

When I gave this quilt to my sister, she cried. I was very satisfied. She has often lamented that she wished someone would give her a nice quilt. I was inspired by this quilt:

ulrikes sterne_lieblingsdecke krabbeldecke quilt frankfurt_DSC_3778a

By a Blogger Crafter from across the Sea (I assume). I loved her modern layout and color choices. I also needed something to distract me from the endless flying geese and squares of the quilt for my dad, so when I got sick of working on the repetitious one, I would make a star from my guild’s block of the month for the one for my sister.

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When the time came to piece them all together, I took them to my local quilt shop to borrow their design wall. In the end, since they are not open during my late night quilting hours, I laid it out on my bed, and it ended up having wide borders with nothing on them. That didn’t bother me, though, because the borders hang on the side of the bed.

Sara Quilt

I found out that one of my guild friends rents time on her machine for less than the shop I used last time, so I quilted it on her long arm. She was a wonderful teacher, and I highly recommend Judith Davis, of Primrose Creations. She took this photo for me with her iPad.

And here you can see the result on my sister’s bed, because I ran out of time to have a proper shoot with it before I gave it to her. Those pesky busy holidays.

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My next block of the month for this year is this America the Beautiful Quilt, by McCall’s. They did it as a series, and then in a magazine at the end of the year they included the entire pattern, which is a great deal for the cost of a magazine. I have started working on it, but I am pausing for a little while because I am in the middle of a forest of blocks I can’t see for the trees.

It’s Not a Girl

I accurately predicted the gender of my first two children, so when I decided that this third one was a girl, I felt very sure that I was right again.

I finished a lovely pink quilt, which took two years total after sitting in the UFO pile for a long time. I call it “Pink Headache,” because headache is what will happen after looking at it for too long.

very pink quilt

Well, I was wrong. This baby will not be getting a headache from HIS quilt. Since I found out late that I was wrong, I wanted something easy and quick, and I have had the itch to do some stripping (hehe, I love to make quilter jokes about stripping. I’m a nerd), so I made up this maze quilt for him:

maze quilt

maze quilt detail 1

maze quilt detail 2

I cut random widths between 2 and 3-1/2 inches, and put white between each one. I laid them out with white filler strips, then snipped a spot in each scrappy strip and put in a white spacer.

For the path through the maze I used a Doll Needle
and some blue pearl cotton. I used Minky fabric on the back, because my sister always does that, and her children worship blankets with that stuff. My nephew confirmed to me that the fuzz will be well received, because he walked over and wrapped himself in the thing before I even had it bound. It was a gratifying moment.

Dresden Skirt

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As promised, I finally squeezed photographing time out of pre-school this morning and shot how to make this Dresden Skirt.

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First, gather your materials.
* An old pair of kid pants or shorts that you don’t mind cutting off (upcycling).
* Scraps of fabric, or all one color if that flips your skirt.
* Cutting mat, grid, thread, rotary cutter, soda of choice, tunes, etc.

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First cut the bottom off the pants all the way around. I tried to leave a little extra in the back the first time I made this, but the second time I didn’t, and the shape seems pretty forgiving either way.

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Now, cut your fabric into strips of uniform length and relatively uniform width. I have done one skirt with identically sized strips, and one with varied widths. Both were fine. Fold these strips in half, and cut them on a gentle diagonal, as pictured above and below.

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If you are OCD, you can use this first one as a template for your others.

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If you are me, you can use it more like the pirate law, more of a “guideline”.

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Once you have them all cut, admire your great taste in fabric scraps. Then fold them, Right Sides Together, and sew along the bottom of the wider end of each strip. I like to do it in a chain to save thread.

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Once your chain is clipped apart, clip the corner of each strip as pictured below. This will make the Dresden corner lay flatter when you press it down.

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Press that straight seam you just made down into a triangle, like below except inside out, like one more picture below. I just threw that extra photo in to confuse.

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See the nice triangle? It took my mind awhile to wrap around sewing at 90 angles and ending up with triangles, but there you have it.

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See? If you have OCD, at this point, you might want to zigzag across the bottom of that little triangle to prevent fraying when the skirt is complete. I am trying to overcome my OCD, so mine will be fraying extensively in the wash. (Read, I am lazy, and I embrace that.) Now press that baby down, and you’ll have one of the petalish things for the skirt.

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Aw, isn’t it cute?

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Once you’ve pressed all the petalish things, lay them out and put them in an order you like.

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Then sew all of your strips together in your chosen order. Make sure you line up the corner as pictured above if your widths are varied. I did quarter inch seams on this part, as well as on the other seam we’ve sewn so far. Don’t sew it the last two together yet.

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Admire your work so far.

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Place your un-sewn-together skirt under the pants top, to see if it is wide enough. Mine wasn’t, so I had to add two more petal pieces. I’m a hack. I know.

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Once the skirt is of adequate coverage, lay it down and trim the top so it is nice and even, and then you can sew that last side together to make the complete skirt tube.

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Pin the tube to the pants, right sides together, and sew around the waist. You might think you are done at this point, and hang the skirt and photograph it, but then you will realize that you forgot the last thing. Topstitching!

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Press the skirt down. Topstitch it to the pants top. Then topstitch around your corners on the bottom of the skirt, too.

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And there you have it! I took this skirt to my weekly play date at the park so I could show it off to my friends, and when I wasn’t looking, my daughter put it on under her other skirt, even though it is a size too big right now and goes to her ankles. I’m just glad she likes it, and I hope your munchkins will, too. If you make one, be sure to link to it in the comments so we can all enjoy.