Tablet Cover

I tried to make us a tablet cover, but I decided it was too large.  I wanted to make a second, smaller one that would be the right size.  I figured since I was making a second one I’d choose fabrics I knew Z would like, and I’d make it with two layers of batting (because I’m so paranoid about the tablet getting damaged). 

I chose a solid royal blue and a print I knew Z liked, because I’d considered it for the Ships at Sea pillows but hadn’t had enough. I sewed the print to enough royal blue fabric to make the inside, and used the rest of the royal blue for the outside. I layered them with two pieces of polyester batting (still leftover from my improv charity quilt).

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When I turned it right side out, I quilted horizontal wavy lines using royal blue thread.

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Then I folded it in thirds, making sure the print was at the top so that you’d see it when it was open.   I positioned the Velcro, unfolded the case to sew that down, then folded it back into position and sewed the edges of the bottom two thirds closed. 

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This one fits the tablet way better. I’m very happy with it. 

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Drawstring Bags

I made a couple of drawstring gift bags, one for my mom and one for my niece.  I pulled out a couple of lovely Asian-inspired fabrics that I kind of hoard, because they’re so pretty. I know I shouldn’t do that; what good is a stash of fabrics that I don’t want to use because they’re too pretty?  One was too small, but the other worked for my mom’s bag.

Here’s my mom’s:

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It’s about 16″ by 10″, I think. I realized after I started working on it that I hadn’t paid attention to the directionality of the fabric, so the flowers (lotuses, I think?) are sideways rather than vertical.  I don’t think my mom will mind. I was careful about that for the second bag, though.

This one is for the baby. I needed it to be large, so I used close to a yard of fabric.  This is another one I’ve had in my stash for years, and it’s so cute, so I figured I should really use it.

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I used white ribbon as the drawstring for both.

Cloth Napkins

Someone in the blogosphere posted recently about using cloth napkins and I thought that would be a great way for me to use fabrics I love and maybe save some money/do something small for the environment. 

I started with 14.5″ blocks of some poppy fabrics that I’ve had for years. I love poppies and ages ago I had decided to make myself a poppy quilt, but so far it hasn’t happened.  Better to use the fabric, right? 

I made four napkins – I had to piece the backs for two of them, but I used up most of four fat quarters.  I sewed the squares right sides together, then flipped them right sides out. I probably should’ve ironed them before quilting but I didn’t bother. 

I auditioned three or four spools of thread – gold, green, red – and none really looked right, so I went with black thread. I stitched the openings closed and then stitched one or two squares inside the napkins so they wouldn’t flap around.  I’m really happy with them. I think I’ll make some larger ones, too. 

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Dodi pillow

Z’s friend recently got married and I suggested to him that I would make her and her husband a pillow. I wanted to reference the Hebrew phrase “ani li dodi ve dodi li,” which I used on my friend N’s wedding quilt. It’s a common phrase used for Jewish weddings. It means “I am for my beloved and my beloved is mine.”  I wouldn’t have room for that on a pillow, so I decided on “dodi” – my beloved. (This is actually the same meaning as the Arabic word “habibi” – and the i at the end of both words means “my,” although the words themselves are not linguistically related. Arabic and Hebrew are both Semitic languages and sometimes the words are almost exactly the same. The rest of the phrase is almost the same as it would be in Arabic.) 

Z consulted on the design. We picked a dark teal and a royal blue. I think the teal is Kona but I don’t know what color. The blue might be Kona or from Michaels. 

I had an 18″ pillow form so I designed an 18″ finished block to frame the embroidery.  I used a 14.5″ blue square for the center. I added a 2.5″ wide border of the teal with 2.5 blue squares at each corner to bring it up to 16.5″. I repeated that step for an 18.5″ pillow front. 

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Then I traced out the Hebrew letters very carefully, using pictures for reference. (I don’t know Hebrew.)  I embroidered my letters using a variegated thread in shades of teal and blue. I think the embroidery came out really nicely. I’d like to make us a similar pillow that says habibi one day. 

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For the back I used a blue and white print, which I think is leftover from my friend P’s wedding quilt or from this quilt I made for myself. (Or both?)  I make overlapping backs. I had considered binding it but in the interest of time I decided against it. 

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Pillow for us

I’ve been meaning to make an accent pillow for our bed. I had HSTs leftover from the scrappy binding I made for my magnum opus, which have been sitting in my “red, white, and blue” scraps box for a year. I realized I could square almost all of them up to 2″, and I had planned to use four of them in the border for the pillow I made for Z’s grandpa this year. Unfortunately, I measured something else wrong, so that border got scrapped.  I still had all the squares out in my cutting area (hah! By cutting area I mean our table, which we never use because I always have my sewing things on it. Poor Z is very patient with me), and I started squaring them all up to 2″ and sewing them to 2″ squares, then making four patches. The four patches finish at about 3.5″, and I alternated those with 3.5″ squares as well. I’d hoped to have 12 four-patches but I was one HST short. I made do. The end result is a little asymmetrical, but Z said he didn’t mind. It finishes at 18″ square.

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I put in a little block of the Pledge of Allegiance fabric.

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Z didn’t want me to quilt it. He likes his pillows to be softer, and he prefers them unquilted.  I added a full piece of batting and backed it in a black and white floral.  (I didn’t consult with Z about that.) I decided not to bind it because I wanted it to be finished quicker!

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Z loves the pillow. He sleeps on it!

Ships at Sea pillow covers

I think I’ve mentioned before that I wanted to cover the pillows on my couch because I don’t like the pattern on them. (I’ve actually always wanted to do this – I once almost bought some blue, navy, and gold upholstery fabric to cover them and then decided to wait.) I should have done it when I wasn’t living with Z, because then I could have picked whatever fabrics I wanted, but now that we’re living together we are compromising on decor. So I let him have some say in the design process. I looked through my 501 Quilt Blocks book and picked several block ideas, and from those he chose Ships at Sea. I also discussed color choices (nautical, of course) and showed him some of the fabrics to make sure he didn’t mind them.

I wanted to size it up – the largest blocks in the book finish at 12″ – and I spent a lot of time trying to do complicated quilt math and geometry. (Pythagorean theorem, anyone?)  In the end I decided to start with the HSTs and measure everything else as I went. I started with red for the ships on a white background and made my HSTs. Then I added my half triangles. I did not trim it at this point, and I probably should have, because my half triangles were a little large and now my ships float half an inch above the surface of the water. I showed it to Z and he didn’t care, so hover ships they will be.

Then I measured all the sides so I would know how to cut the additional triangles. Since I was making two pillow covers, that made the cutting easier.  I used a directional print for the bottom light blue triangles – it’s whales in the ocean – so I cut four squares and cut them on the diagonal following the directionality of the fabric. I have four leftover triangles now; I’ll have to cut some more triangles and make myself HSTs (and then find something to do with them…)

They finish up at 16″, which is exactly the size of my pillows.

I decided to FMQ waves on the pillow covers so it would look like the ships are sailing through water. I think one looks better than the other but it did achieve the purpose.

Then I FMQed more waves in the bottom section.

The rest of the quilting I did with my regular foot. I quilted straight white lines in some of the “boats” to look like sails. (So I guess it looks like one boat with three sails…) Also, lines in the “sky” in the top corners. That’s it, since it’s just pillows.

I think you can really see the quilting here.

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I bound them in red and white polka dots.  So cute, right?  For the back I used the grey crosshatch leftover from the teal and grey quilt I made. I think it’s Carolyn Friedlander?

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I love them.  Z thinks they’re really soft, and they look great on our couch.

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