Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Today I am traveling south to see some of my very favorite people in the world and spend Thanksgiving wrapped in a comforting blanket of family and friends.  I am sending each of you my sincere thanks for taking the time to read my blog and taking a peek into part of my life.

For all of you in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The travel blanket

As promised, here is the tutorial for the travel blanket.  If you have ever made a "quillow" the procedure is much the same.

Couple of notes:  the handles are a little bulky and you may end up fighting with your sewing machine.  I could not get my Brother to move the fabric so I ended up doing the handles on my big girl, Jenny.  Before I stitch the handles in place, I use a pin about an inch below the edge running parallel to the seam line to hold the handle edge completely straight.  You don't want the handles to be stitched on an angle.  I am sorry that you can't really see my stitching lines since I was using black thread on black background fabric.  I used my walking foot for most of the construction.  One last thing - the disgusting cutting mat is the one I use for cutting fleece and batting and has seen better days!

As I mentioned yesterday, you will need a yard of polar fleece.  (If you want to use a contrasting or coordinating piece for the pocket you will need additional fabric - 14" square.)  Trim and square up all the outer edges with a pinking blade in your rotary cutter.

Cut 14" from the bottom of your fleece.  You can use that for the pocket or use a 14" square of coordinating fabric for the pocket.  (If the blanket is for an older child, you may want to just leave that extra 14" on the bottom.  You can customize the length of the blanket to the height of the child.  You will need the fabric, however, to be 36" across.)

From the 14" piece that you trimmed off, cut a piece that is 14" long by 3".  That is your handle (which is also optional).

After cutting the fabric, make the handle by folding the fabric in thirds.  No need to worry about the exposed unfinished edge because the fleece will not fray.  Stitch on the edge of the handle to secure the raw edge and then stitch the same stitch width on the opposite side.  This flattens the handle and gives it more of a finished look.

Find the center edge of your blanket edge and mark with a pin.  Pin the raw ends of the handles 2-1/2" from the center pin on either side.

Sew the handles in place and then layer the pocket (again find the center point of the pocket and match with center of the blanket top) and sew from one end to the other.  I used a 1/2" seam for the bottom and sides of the pocket. I also backstitched at the beginning and end of each stitching line.

The pocket is stitched along the top edge and then down each side.  Leave the bottom of the pocket open.

To fold the blanket, place it pocket side down and fold the left and the right sides in to line up with the side stitching lines of the pocket and then fold in half bringing the bottom edge up to the top edge.

Fold that section up in roughly thirds - just enough to line up with the top and bottom of the pocket.

Turn the whole thing over, reach into the bottom of the pocket, hold the inside top corners of the blanket and flip the pocket over enclosing the blanket.  I needed a camera crew to show you the flipping so I found this demonstration on YouTube that shows the basic premise.

Joann's has had polar fleece on sale lately and I was able to pick up my fabric for about $6 a yard.  Start to finish the blanket takes about an hour to make.  It is a fast, easy and inexpensive gift and I love the way mine turned out.  I am sure the grands will enjoy them and I am willing to be some Mommy's are going to want them, too!

Friday night sewing

Doing a tutorial is hard.  Do something, take a picture, take another pictures and realizing they are all crappy and take another picture....rinse, repeat.  Good grief!  For all you wonderful folks out there that do tutorials on a regular basis, my hat is off to you!

IMG_0149 I finished one - yes, one - of the blankets.  Not because they are difficult or take a lot of time.  They really do go together quickly.  It’s all that photo taking and thinking that got in the way!

Bottom line is that I have a lot of photos to edit and turn into something that resembles a decent tutorial. So, I will post that tonight.

Did you participate?  What did you work on last night? 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Travel blankets

One of the women in S4 (my sewing circle) made travel blankets for her grandchildren.  They are made from  polar fleece or minky, have a short handle and fold into a pocket much like a quillow.  Since all of my grandchildren are traveling long distances to see their other grandparents for Christmas this year, I thought I would make one for each of them to snuggle with in the back seat.  I am spending Thanksgiving with all of them next week and want to have the blankets ready to deliver as a pre-Christmas gift from Grammy.

My stack of fabrics and a pinking blade for my rotary cutter.  The pinked edge looks so much nicer than a straight edge! (I used a coupon from Joann's to purchase mine.)  Each blanket takes a yard of fabric if you use the same fabric for blanket and pocket.  I purchased an additional half yard of coordinating fabric to use for the pocket though I will not need nearly that much fabric.
Tonight is the Friday Night Sew-in so I am hoping that will give me the push I need to get my project started and finished.  To that end, I am also planning to do my first tutorial. I know!  It will probably not be really pretty since I will be forced to use the flash on my camera.  I am sure I will be spending a lot of time with Picmonkey before I post any pictures!

If you want to participate in the sew along tonight, click on the icon on my sidebar. It will take you right to Heidi's page where you can link up.  It is also great way to find new blogs or other quilters that may be nearby.  I forgot to post where I am when I linked up but be sure to do that.  (I am very good with advice - I just don't follow it!)

Monday, November 12, 2012

3 down - one more to go!

This past weekend was the big craft show at our local high school.  There are over 135 vendors and the turnout is huge.  I had some success (not as much as I would have liked) and feel like I did a good job promoting my brand.  Here are a couple of photos

Scarves were my biggest seller.

Followed by table runners.

I didn't sell any pillows or pillow covers.  I was totally shocked by  that.  My price for the canvas printed covers is only $15 and $20 for the quilted ones.  (I think that is pretty reasonable!)  They sold so well at my office that I thought they would surely sell at the show.

I have PLENTY of inventory for the next show in early December and can finally start working on some Christmas gifts for members of my family.  There is also a Christmas quilt that I would like to make for me.  I love "Sentiments" from 3 Sisters for Moda and there is some fabric in my studio just calling my name!

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