Handmade Christmas and Hand Quilting

One of the things that I worked on this week was something for the kids. It did not turn out perfectly ( HA!  what are the odds of that here, anyway: ) but they liked it. I didn’t plan it out.  Initially, I thought to make a Christmas-y star pillow and two thirds of the way through the star I decided to do something entirely different with the grandkids names in a picture frame….I had a heck of a time getting it to work well in the frame but of course being little kids, they didn’t notice the flaws.

I went down to see them after school..all sitting around doing homework and I asked their mama if she thought that I had the cutest grandkids? ( Yes )  The handsomest? ( Yes )  The smartest ? ( Yes )  The nicest? ( Yes )  Were they STARS? ( Yes )

Now they just loved this dialogue and then I showed them the piece. Javis said it was “like the world and we are on top, Oma!”

stars piece for kids

I am keeping up with Quilty 365. The top section is filled up, moving on to the side ( which will be split into manageable  sizes for applique. ) I added another circle to the tree of life glyph center panel this week as well.  Once a month, rather than a circle, I am putting a crescent moon in to indicate the New Moon, so this is a lunar as well as solar record of the year.

circles collage

I have some applique projects going on ; I started a rendition of the latest Shenandoah Botanical album quilt block, and last week I showed the beginnings of a pineapple applique block that I was working on. I am almost done with it but I think that my Slow Sunday Stitching is *just* going to involve hand quilting.

Here is where I was the other morning.

quilting closeup

The colors certainly go with the season:)

reindeer on wall by tree

The current weather does NOT go with the season! We are having very mild weather for my area right now. My favorite place to quilt is in a wicker chair out on the front porch and I took the quilt out there on Saturday afternoon and finished the cross hatching on the block that I was working on.

I initially decided to go with a two inch cross hatch, thinking that since the blocks were so big, it might be just right. I could always add more down the line but I think the two inch works with these. At the end of the afternoon I merrily traipsed across the lawn to hang this on the line for a photo. Wearing nothing but a cotton top. No winter coat, no jacket, no hoodie or even a sweatshirt. Ho Ho Ho, who needs snow! ? :)

HQ Progress Collage Dec 12

On Sunday I’ll decide which block to start on next…

You might also like: Handmade Christmas : Cute Little Snack Mat for Santa ( and kids )  or  Year in Review : Favorite Photos From Jan-June ( 2014 ) 

Sharing at : Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching / Cozy Little House / Savvy Southern Style / Esther’s Blog / / Sew Fresh Quilts/ French Country Cottage

Handmade Christmas : Tube Pillowcases for the Grandchildren

If you’ve never made one of these before, believe it or not, this is a pillowcase ! :) 

pillowcase tube

While the grands will each have a few other little gifts from me, I thought that a pillowcase would be a fun addition. If you have to make five of them, you just don’t run out and buy fabric that strikes your fancy. You wait until Black Friday fabric sales or end-of-season clearance sales online and then pick from there :)

Two boy pillowcases :

Boys finished pillowcases

Some girl ones pressed and ready to sew:

girls pillowcase stuff on the bed

Basically you cut 3 pieces :

  • Body : 27 x 45 ( 3/4 yard )
  • Cuff: 9 x 45  ( 1/4 yard )
  • Trim : 2 x 45

Press the Cuff and Trim in Half.

  • Lay the Cuff down first…opened back up, right side up.
  • Lay the Body, right side up, on top of that.
  • Lay the Trim on top of those two. ( this stays folded in half )

Now you roll the Body up… until you get it a bit over the Cuff on the bottom.

rolling up the Body of the Pillowcase

Next, take the cuff and bring it up and over and pin it to the top…if you look at the picture above, I had the three pinned together at the top there, already. Then I brought that bottom of the cuff up and re-pinned.

cuff brought up and pinning

Once that is done, sew 1/4 inch from the top, and now there is a finished tube….reach in and start to pull out, and tada! Out comes a pillowcase top.

pillow case top out of the tube

What remains is to fold that in half, sew up the sides and bottom…careful to match that trim area…and the girl’s ones are done as well as the boys. ( I did those seams in a zig zag stitch, then trimmed with pinking shears to minimalize fraying. )

girls pillowcases finished up

I do not know who originally invented this ingenious method, nor how long it has been around. I know that there are several tutorials in video on the web …I used this one  from Missouri Star Quilt Company.

I will say this : these are very long and generous pillowcases. I don’t think that the nine inches for the cuff could be shorter but the 45 inches could be shortened a bit if needed. That’s just my opinion after making these. And what do I know, lol :)  Many of you may have made these tube pillowcases already…in regards to my first time I have to say that it was fun and as long as I can pick up my fabrics on sale I think that I’d like to continue the tradition…either by making them each one at Christmas or perhaps as future birthday gifts.

You might also enjoy : Amazing Old Cookbook : Food Photography at it’s Worst   or   Lights, Shadows, Reflections & Rainbows   or  Tiella ( Zucchini Casserole ) 

Sharing at : French Country Cottage / Cozy Little House / A Stroll Thru Life / Savvy Southern Style / Confessions of a Fabric Addict / It’s Overflowing