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Holiday 2015: French braid patchwork

French Braid patchwork technique in "Mistletoe Lane" by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda.
This fall I bought a jelly-roll of "Mistletoe Lane" fabric line by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda. The fabric was a half-price, Daily Deal from Missouri Star Quilt Co. I wanted to try the tricky French Braid patchwork design that Susan showed me how to make when she was here in August.  (The directions linked here from Quilter's Cache are simple and clear.)

I cut each 2.5-inch strip from the jelly-roll in half and alternated dark and light until I had a piece of patchwork about 27-inches wide and a yard long, after trimming. I used about half of the jelly-roll, or 46 2.5 x 22-inch strips of fabric. 

I made a tote front from half of the patchwork, and a standard-size pillow sham from the rest. I machine quilted the sham using my new Sew Steady table made especially for my old Jenome machine, a teflon mat, and top-feed, quilting foot.

Patchwork tote in "Mistletoe Lane" by Bunn…

Microwave bowl mitts

Microwave mitts made with "Garden Project" fabric designed by Tim & Beck for Moda
I learned how to make these bowl-shaped potholders at the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan this September. The potholders are meant to be used with bowls inside the microwave to keep diners from burning their hands on crockery filled with hot liquids. The microwave mitt is made entirely of cotton materials because polyester might melt in the microwave. I think it would also work well to cook a potato in the microwave. If packaged with a covered soup bowl and dry soup-mix, this mitt would make a thoughtful holiday gift.

Please read and print the WARNING at bottom of this post. If used as gifts, include a copy of the warning with each gift.

Materials

2 10-inch squares of 100% cotton fabric in coordinating colors (I used "Garden Project" layer-cake precuts by Tim & Beck for Moda.)2 10-inch squares of Pellon Wrap-n-Zap Tator batting (or other 100% cotton batting)100% cotton thre…

Ann Arbor quilters donate 347 quilts to Safehouse in 2015

Safehouse quilts
When victims of domestic violence arrive at Safehouse Center in Ann Arbor, a handmade quilt covers each bed; and when they depart, their quilt goes with them.

Yesterday at the Nov. 21 meeting of the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild , Safehouse director Barbara Niess-May thanked guild members for the 347 quilts donated to Safehouse in 2015. Niess-May also accepted a check from the guild for $3324 in support of the work at Safehouse.

"I am blown away by the thoughtfulness, love, and compassion that have gone into making these quilts," Niess-May said. "Your quilts are part of something bigger -- it's because of all the things we do along the way that allow people to believe things can be better. You are part of that -- your quilt is the first message we get to send that says 'We care.' I can't thank you enough."

When fiber artist Pat Pauly of Rochester, New York took the stage to deliver her lecture on "Traditional Meets Contemporary&quo…

Raw-edged applique of gartenhaus door at Zoar, Ohio

Photo of gartenhaus door, Zoar, Ohio -- Spring 2007 by Linda Theil
In March, the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild- offered a class in how to make raw-edged appliques from a photo or artwork. The process involves using a simple projector -- one brand is called Tracer. These simple machines are used to project a photo or other image onto a wall where a piece of paper is hung. The artist traces the lines of the projected image with a pen or pencil onto the hanging paper. 

This photo shows my original foundation tracing on brown wrapping paper overlaid by a piece of tracing paper that has the design traced upon it. The tracing paper is then cut apart to be used as individual templates for applique pieces cut from fabric.
A double-faced fusable web such as Wonder Under or Steam a Seam II is ironed onto the back of the fabric choice for each template/pattern piece. The pattern piece is then cut out. When all applique pieces are prepared, the paper backing is removed from the double-faced fusible …

Ben's steampunk desk and shelf

Ben and Angie like the look of the steampunk designs they've seen on Pinterest, so Ben thought he'd try a steampunk design for a new desk for Jake's room. Jake recently got an elevated bed, freeing up space for this new built-in desk, a reading nook, and his piano keyboard.

Ben used a piece of Formica-covered MDF that was originally a corner desk for a printer. He shaped the piece into a desk and a shelf, and hung the built-ins with approximately $50 invested in an assortment of half-inch, black-pipe (iron, gas pipe) lengths and fixtures purchased in the plumbling section of Home Depot. 



The shelf is supported with four braces created from black-pipe fixtures anchored into the wall with molly sleeves. 



Each supporting fixture for the shelf consists of  one floor flange, one street 45 fixture ( (this fixture is a 45-degree angle with a male fitting on one end and female fitting on the other end), one 2-inch nipple, another street 45, and a second floor flange. All fixtures are…

Waldorf dolls

Waldorf-style doll made by Linda Theil.
In the 1970s the United Methodist Women of Dutilh United Methodist Church in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania sponsored a holiday project to dress baby-dolls for children in need. The UMW provided cute-but-inexpensive, naked, plastic dolls to anyone who wished to dress the dolls. The dressed dolls were returned to the church and distributed to children for the holidays. I participated in the project and got a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from making the baby-dolls look beautiful in clothes I made from commercial patterns.

I have been hoping to replicate that enjoyment by making my grand-daughter a baby-doll, but I wanted a soft doll for her, so I checked out the doll patterns on the Web and discovered the Waldorf-style doll would be exactly what I wanted.



I bought Maricristin Sealey's Making Waldorf Dolls (Hawthorn Press, 2005) and watched many of the myriad Waldorf doll-making videos on YouTube. 

I studied the information, and it looked so …

GAAQG quilt day January 17, 2015

The Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild had their first bi-monthly meeting of 2015 on Saturday, January 17.

Before the meeting, I purchased a pretty panel of 12 bird-drawings from the featured vendor, Creative Quilt Kits, of Brighton, Michigan. The panel was designed by Tracy Lizotte for Elizabeth's Studio. 








That vendor, Creative Quilt Kits, is hosting a bus trip to the International Quilt Festival Chicago 2015 at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL on March 26, 2015. The cost is $67.50 and includes the bus fare, admission and program. The bus departs the shop at10489 Grand River, Brighton, MI 48116 at 6:30 a.m. The reservations deadline is February 24.
Call 810-225-2849 or email contact@creativequiltkits.com for information.

I also picked up a flier for the Spinner's Flock Fleece Fair to be held Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Beach Middle School, 445 Mayer Drive in Chelsea Michigan. The sale will feature Michigan wool, handspun yarn, raw fleeces, roving, exotic fibers, qu…

Zippered, padded pouch

Linda Theil's 8 x 9.5-inch zippered pouch made following "The Zippered Pouch" YouTube video by Jenny Doan of the  Missouri Star Quilt Co.
I am a fan of the how-to videos posted free on YouTube by Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Co. They are clear, cheerful, and interesting. Her new "The Zipper Pouch" video caught my eye so I decided to make one. In this post I have included measurements for several different sized pouches and have included my pouch-making experience to add to the information provided in the Missouri Star Quilt Co. video, below. Watch"The Zipper Pouch" video by Jenny Doan of The Missouri Star Quilt Co.
"The Zipper Pouch" project video includes:
information on a basic quilt-as-you-go technique for creating the pouch body,the best way to add bag/tote/purse/pouch zipper by adding tabs to both ends of the zipper before installationand a clear visual on how to sew across the bottom seam of a bag to make a base instead of an envel…