Sunday, September 24, 2006

When It Just Doesn't Fit

This is a lap quilt I started for my living room.

It is from the Turning Twenty pattern.
The top picture is what I origionally had, but I felt that the diamond patches stuck out like sore thumbs, so I decided to swap them out.

The bottom picture picture is the quilt now, after I traded the diamond fabric for something soft and floral.

Amazing what a difference it made, huh?

Funny how this is a metaphor for certain aspects of my life right now. My family has been through some real struggles over the past month, with many things coming to a head over the past 2 weeks. It was quite tough. In prayer this weekend and during my worship time, the Lord showed me that I was trying to do in my life the same thing I had tried with this quilt. I chose the fabrics, and even though I questioned my choice of the diamond design, I still went ahead and made it a part of the quilt.
Well, He showed me that there are some things that I felt would fit right in with the design of my life, but after seeking His will, He has shown me that while those things may be nice alone, in the grand scheme of His plan for me and my family, they just don't fit.

I have to smile now as I am working on finishing this quilt, because I don't think I will ever look at it without remembering this period of my life when the Lord used it to reveal to me something that I needed to hear.

Monday, September 18, 2006

How They Grow!

I wanted to share this picture of my two little ones. Well, not so little anymore. Greta is about to hit 6 months and DD is 3-and-a-half. They are doing quite well together. DD has begun using some of the training techiques that I have learned during training classes with Greta. Now, if she charges him to "play" he holds up his hand and says, "Down" (which actually comes out "Dow-yo-un"...where did he get that accent???) and Greta hits the ground 9 times out of 10. DD bought her a pink frisbee at PetSmart the other evening and she loves to catch it and bring it back to him. Getting her to let him have it is another story!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hooded Towell Part 2

Ok, so you have made the hood! The next step is to attach the hood to the main body of the towel.
I do find that it is easier to attach all applique to the main towel before you attach the hood. This way there is less to manipulate under the sewing machine.

Personalizing with a Name
**To add a name, type the child’s name on the computer using a word processing program like Microsoft Word. I found it easiest to use Word Art. Chose a font that is thick and isn’t too fancy. I like to use Goudy Stout, Cooper Black, and Rockwell Extra Bold. I have also used stencils purchased at a craft store. Print out the name when you are satisfied with the size. *If your computer will let you reverse the letters, do so. If not, then tape the paper to a window and trace the letters on the back to reverse them. Place the reversed name under the fusible webbing sheet and trace the reversed letters onto the paper side of the fusible webbing. Do not cut them out yet. Iron the letters onto the wrong side of the fabric you selected, then cut out the letters.

Step 3. Prepare the towel.
Arrange appliqué pieces and child’s name (if you are using one) on back of large towel until you are happy with the placement. Peel off paper backing and iron on pieces according to package directions. Stay at least 2” down from top edge of towel. Make sure that the tag on the towel is on the opposite side in one of the lower corners so that it is inside and not visible from the back of the towel.

Load machine with thread matching outer edges of appliqués, and stitch them down as you did for the hood. Do the same for the child’s name (if you are using one).

Lay the hooded towel out flat with the appliqué pieces on the back, blank side of the large towel face up.
Line up the top inside edge of the towel with the bottom (trimmed) edge of the hood. The appliqué on the front of the hood should be facing the back of the towel see picture left. Pin the hood to the towel along the bottom of the finished edge of the large towel see picture right.

Load machine with thread matching towel, and stitch the hood to the towel with a scant ¼” seam.

After attaching hood, fold the hood up and tuck in the sewn edge, pinning the finished edge of the large towel up over sewn edge see picture right. Stitch as close to the top of the finished edge as possible. This will secure the cut edge of the hood and give you a nice, finished look. You can zigzag stitch this to make it even more secure if you wish.

That’s it folks! The hood is the toughest part, and hopefully my directions were not that confusing. I hope that all the young ones who get a special towel from you are as happy with theirs as my little guy is with his!! Enjoy!!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Hooded Towel Part 1

Hooded Towell

You will need:

1 Large Towel
1 Hand Towel
Applique Fabric
Fusible Webbing
Thread to match outer edges of appliqué pieces
Thread to match towel

Step 1. Prepare your appliqué pieces.
Choosing your Fabric:
I have found that pillow panels make great appliqués for towels, but many fabrics have repetitive patterns that work well, too. Look for larger pieces with few detailed edges, remember, you will have to cut and sew around all those corners, so don’t choose anything too detailed.
You will need appliqués for the hood and for the back of the towel. For one hood, I chose a single small railroad crossing symbol to place in the center, but for another I chose a strip of border from the pillow panel to go all the way across the hood. Either way, the shapes were basic and easy to cut and sew, and the finished product was great!
If you are going to personalize the towel with a name, choose a coordinating fabric as well.

1. Once you have selected your fabric, cut out the pieces, leaving a general border. Cut your fusible webbing slightly smaller, and follow instructions to iron it onto the wrong side of the fabric.
2. Cut around appliqué, taking care to cut exactly where you want the border to be. Because we are using fusible webbing, there will not be a turn under allowance and what you leave you will see!
Step 2. Making the Hood.

Lay the hood on your ironing board with the tag on the back of the upper left hand corner. Place your hood appliqué on the towel, with top of appliqué approximately 2-2 ½” down, centered (if a single item) or in a straight line across (if a strip).
Iron appliqué down following package instructions. *Note, fusible webbing will not affix appliqué on towel as strongly as it does on fabric, so handle it gently!

Once ironed, take your hood to the sewing machine, loaded with thread that matches the outermost border of your appliqué.

Set machine to a zig-zag stitch with a medium width and a very short stitch length. My length was 2.5, and width was 1.

Stitch around entire appliqué, back stitching at beginning and end to secure.

Place hood on table face down with appliqué on bottom. Fold bottom up approximately 5”, then turn the finished edge of the towel under and pin. Appliqué should be face up, right side up, at bottom of towel at this point.

Load your sewing machine with thread that matches your towel (this includes the bobbin) and straight stitch as close to the turned under edge as possible. The great thing about sewing on towels is that they hide stitching!!

Fold towel in half with left and right side together, right sides touching. Measure 4” (for a toddler, 3” for a smaller child) away from the sewn line, mark, pin and stitch. *Note: this seam will largely determine the size of your hood. Test out the size when pinned if you can before stitching and adjust as needed.

Trim the bottom edge of the hood. If you have a hand towel with an edge border, this really helps! I simply cut along the bottom or middle of the border edge, depending on its thickness.

Return to the previous seam, and open the seam. Stitch this open as close to the finished edge as possible. You do not really need to stitch the top part.
It is really tough to do around that curve, and I have found that it will stay on its own.

Turn hood right side out. This is what the seam you just sewed looks like from the back.

Your hood is ready to attach to your towel.
I will post the directions to the rest of the hooded towel soon.
Happy Sewing! Feel free to post any questions!