Welcome Cushion

I’ve been on a mission to update my plain entryway which is really just a corner and wall behind the door. This is part of that decorating project – a little cushion that says “welcome” to brighten up the linen seat of a metal bench.

Cut on the Cricut with heat transfer vinyl and stuffed with organic cotton batting because I’ve somehow managed to become allergic to the polyester filler I had. Stitched closed because I don’t anticipate having to ever wash it (fingers crossed). I did this patchwork piece over 2 years ago without any real plans for it. Good thing I’m a pack rat because it made this project nice and easy.

How to Photograph a Quilt (7 ways)

You’ve spent hours making a quilt and now you want to take a quality picture to show your friends how gorgeous it is, but what’s the best way? First off, I just want to say that your quilt deserves a great photo. And you deserve the praise of your friends for all the work you put into your quilting masterpiece. A great photo can help you do that. I don’t think there is one perfect shot for every quilt, but there are 7 great ways to choose from that might help you get the quality photo you deserve.

1. The Hang

This is a great way to show off the quilt in it’s entirety. Hanging it on a blank wall in your home can look gorgeous with furniture and decor staged around it. The pic below was taken by hanging along a wire against our fence. While I find this picture adequate, it’s a little boring.

Lego Duplo Block Quilt.

The image below was taken with the quilt hanging along a wire wrapped around two trees. The blurry natural background shows much more interest.

Granny Square Quilt.

2. The Drape

I find this one the most difficult to make look natural. The folds add a nice effect, but require a lot of trial and error to make perfect. I often drape quilts over a chair or sofa. If you have a crib for a baby quilt or a beautiful bed, a quilt draped in it’s natural setting can be beautiful.

Make sure to remember your background. Boring or cluttered backgrounds can be distracting. So move that clutter out of the shot and snap some pics before the dog decides to sit on your soft quilty goodness.

I made sure to clean the living room and position my fun green chairs in the background.

3. The Flatlay

When we used to live in a two story house I would lay the quilt out flat on the ground floor, then run up the stairs and take a shot from the balcony. Holding the camera out over the edge and snapping a picture worked well most of the time. I would then go into Photoshop and edit out the carpet. It’s a nice look with no background to worry about.

Lots of pink, all from my stash.

4. The Fold

Although folding your quilt up doesn’t give its full effect, it’s a great way to display your binding or ruffles and gives your quilt a personal touch.

Adding the stuffed animal helped tell the story of this cute little quilt.
Folding the quilt enabled me to focus on the applique for little Sophie’s quilt.

5. The Spread

Quilts, in general, belong on beds, but outside of a Pottery Barn catalog few of us have designer bedrooms that make a fantastic bed pic. If you don’t have a perfect arrangement of cushions, consider zooming in a bit. If you have an interesting lamp or bench in your bedroom, try to get that item in the shot to elevate the story your image is telling.

Sadly, I didn’t have an interesting lamp.

6. The Close Up

Those quilting stitches are what hold the quilt together but they can also be beautiful! Zoom in on your work, showing stitches and patterns. If the quilt is a busy pattern this can help simplify it.

My favorite spot on the Granny Square quilt.

7. The Baby

Probably the most distracting photo that can be taken of a quilt is by placing a baby in the picture! Everyone is looking at the baby, but dress that baby up in coordinating colors and eventually they’ll be looking at your quilt as well.

Sweet napping baby. Oh wait. Look at that gorgeous quilt!

One final tip on photographing your quilt.

If taking shots outside or even inside, try to keep your quilt in the shade. Splotchy sunlight and shadows might be what your going for, but most of the time even lighting is best.

Get out there and shoot some quilt shots! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Granny Square Baby Quilt

It feels so good to finish a quilt, even if there are still a bunch of quilt tops on the shelf waiting to be quilted. This one is loosely based on the Granny Square quilt (pattern here). I turned the pattern 45 degrees and and didn’t separate the blocks.

Arranging the fabrics is still a favorite part of the process along with doing a quilt photo shoot.

Very few of these fabrics were new. It truly was a stash buster. I love this quilt, but am putting it up in the shop to see what happens.

Mini Patchfolios

Well, Etsy says that if you post a video you have a greater chance of selling items so I set up my camera, shot some video, added music and came up with this!

Patchfolios are always fun to make. This round of sewing I made four. One is in the shop here.

Love these fabrics! Most are organic fabrics from Monaluna Designs. The writing pad is obviously from Amazon – they get a little product placement here. 😂

Punch Needle Rug Hooking

For Christmas my sister got me supplies to get started on a new craft: punch needle rug hooking. New year, new craft!

It just took a couple of tries to figure out what worked for me. Supplies are from amyoxford.com. I have her 10″ x 10″ frame and for this project used the #14 mini needle in monk’s cloth. Yarn is worsted weight cotton because I’m allergic to wool. I prewashed the monk’s cloth and it shrunk. This may be why the thinner yarn held so well.

I chose to do a canary for this project because I have multiple chemical sensitivity. We call ourselves canaries because we react to things sooner than most people. The disinfectants that everyone is spraying these days in addition to the fragranced products most people use has made it hard for me to go anywhere. The chemicals overwhelm my system and leave me with brain fog or a migraine. So I stay home much of the time, grateful for grocery delivery and grateful for a safe home. Canary design is from @lisaglanz.

I’m looking forward to getting brave enough to try a larger project!

Cinnamon Roll Plush

Thinking of the perfect gift is always satisfying.

My son and his girlfriend are big cinnamon roll fans. When I thought about getting them cinnamon roll plush toys I knew it would be perfect. But searching around on the internet for the perfect gift doesn’t always yield positive results so I decided a little late in December to try my hand at making them. First step, getting a fleece blanket with bread color on one side and fluffy white frosting on the other. Amazon to the rescue!

I’m not a big fan of hand stitching, but this project required it. A lot of it. I made 2 sample rolls before I worked out the kinks and made a 3rd and 4th to give as gifts. I love the way they turned out and I think they will too.

Bunting!

The walls in my sewing room are white and there is quite a bit of wall space that’s blank. It needed something and I have an over abundance of fabric. A little bunting made the entire room a little happier.

Washing Yarn Tutorial

Sometimes you get a ball of yarn that just smells like chemicals or perfume. If you’re like me and get headaches when around chemicals and perfume, knitting with smelly yarn is not an option. When I purchased several balls of yarn online they arrived with a faint smell to them. I let them sit outside for a few days and thought they were safe, but when I started knitting I got a migraine. The headache came and went for 4 days before I put two and two together and realized that the yarn was the cause. 🙄 I masked up and finished the knitting project outside so the yarn wouldn’t be in the house contaminating our air. After 2 washes in the machine the finished project was safe and I was quite happy with the little mat I made for the few dishes that I keep on the counter.

Now the remainder of the yarn needs to be washed before knitting and this is how I did it. I completed this process outside so that I wasn’t contaminating the indoor air quality of the house with the chemicals in the yarn. This yard was 100% cotton, worsted weight, with instructions for machine wash warm and tumble dry. A delicate yarn might not be able to handle the steps below.

  1. Pull the yarn from the middle of the ball and wrap it around the back of a chair or two.

2) After it’s all unwrapped, use chip clips (or something similar) to hold the yarn together. I clipped mine where the tails of the yarn were.

3) Remove the yarn from the back of the chair and place it in a container of water mixed with soap. I used fragrance-free soap because I don’t tolerate fragrance. Let it soak for 10 minutes, or more if necessary, swishing it around every few minutes. **Another option here might be to use a vinegar and water mixture.**

4) Spray the yarn with a garden hose while in the container to really get the water moving through the yarn. Then rinse until the water no longer suds up. I had to go through the soap + soak + rinse twice for this yarn.

5) Squeeze the water out of the yarn without wringing or twisting, then hang to dry outside in the shade to prevent fading. I let mine hang outside for a day, moved the clip to another spot so the yarn under the clip could fully dry.

6) Rewrap your dry yarn into a ball and get ready to knit! This was actually the most difficult step because the yarn kept getting tangled, but it helped that the finished balls were so cute!

Masks, masks, masks.

It seems like everyone who sews is making masks right now. I resisted as long as I could because

1) I have masks. I’ve been wearing masks for chemical smells for several years now,

2) If everyone else is making masks, then I don’t need to. There are plenty of places for people to get them, and

3) Because I wear masks, I know how difficult it is for them to fit properly and there is no one pattern that is one size fits all.

BUT, I caved and made one for my mom (which she won’t wear because even thought I followed a pattern, it doesn’t fit correctly). That was disappointing.

I tried again and made a couple for my godchildren. The experience of bringing them their masks was completely delightful. They put them on right away. Little A said, “Are those rockets? This is my FAVORITE MASK!”

Leave it to children to love the weird gifts you give them! ❤️

The last mask I made was for my husband since he’s going to be working in the nursery at church tomorrow. Knowing how much I like patterns and prints, he requested a solid color. 😭 I put some flexible wire across the top so it will fit snugly over his nose and he likes it!

That’s us waiting for takeout from our favorite restaurant. Super glad this place has opened back up!

Not sure if we’ll ever stop having masks as normal part of our lives. This virus has changed so much about how we live our lives. In the mean time I hope you all are staying safe and healthy!

God bless,
Linda