Sunday, May 23, 2010

Graduation T-Shirt Quilt

I loved making this quilt.  The colors are fantastic!  It's a graduation gift for a lucky young man with an awesome mom.  Have shirts?  I'll make more!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Importance of Organization - November's Quilt Guild Article

This is more of a do as I say, not as I do kind of article.  Those of you who know me won't argue with that statement!

I’m not the most organized person.  To top that off, I have two very active young children.  At any moment, it looks like a Toys R Us exploded in my living room.  I never feel like there’s enough time to get anything done!  In an effort to get things under control, I’ve started following the FlyLady online (  She encourages you to tackle big jobs one step at a time and tells you that, even if you only have 15 minutes, you can get a job done 15 minutes at a time.

I know that most of us will sometimes get to a point where we don’t think we have time for quilting.  I say you can get a lot done if you just spend a little bit of time here and there.  Organization is the key.  If you only have a short amount of time, you don’t want to spend that time looking for your rotary cutter (not that I’d know anything about that… ahem).  Keeping all of your materials for one project together is important.  Some use pizza boxes to store materials.  I like to use small plastic dish tubs.  They’re inexpensive ($2 at WalMart), have no openings and won’t fall apart if something gets spilled on the table next to them.  They’re large enough to hold everything for your project except the batting.  You can also stack them on top of each other.  Since fabric is flexible, it won’t hurt anything in the lower bins!  Once your materials are in one spot, you can make a list of tasks for each project and keep it in the bin.  No matter how you organize, when you have a short amount of time, pull out a project and do a little work!

However you get things done, just be sure to have a special place for your chocolate!*

*One of the ladies in our quilt guild is known for bringing chocolate to every workshop.  I think it's as important to her quilting as her machine.  That comment was for her.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Quilting Time Out - Coffee Filter Flowers

Welcome to end-of-year teacher gift season!  This year we needed gifts for 6 teachers/caregivers.  My son has 4 people who help care for him at MOPS and my daughter has 2 fantastic pre-school teachers.  We made some sugar foot scrub for each of them, but this entry isn't about that.  This is about the coffee filter flowers that we made to decorate the packages.  They're inexpensive, cute and handmade.  What more can you want?  Here's how to make your own!

For each flower, you'll need 3 round (not cone) coffee filters and one pipe cleaner (these days they're labeled as chenille stems, but I'm feeling old-school today).  You'll also need regular kid markers (not permanent), paper towels, a water spray bottle (or squirt gun, anything to spray water) and a microwave.

1.  Flatten each coffee filter and color it with the markers.

2.  Lay colored filter on paper towels and spritz with water until damp or a little wetter than that.

3.  Microwave the filter on paper towels on high until dry, checking every 30 seconds or so until you know how long it takes your microwave to dry the filter.  It took mine 2 - 2 1/2 minutes.  Allow the microwave to cool a bit between filters.  Mine overheated after a while.  It's ok now though.

This is one wet, then dried.  Sometimes it is more spectacular than this.  The more water you use, the more the colors mix.  Also, getting more color on the filter helps, too.

4.  Stack 3 dried filters.  Pinch in the center to create a flower look.  Wrap a pipe cleaner around the center in the back for a stem.

5.  Add to an already thoughtful teacher gift for a stunning presentation!  I tied the stem into the ribbon on these jars.