Thursday, July 14, 2011

T-shirt Quilt

When our youngest of two children graduated from high school in 2009 I wanted to make something with her that would be meaningful, practical and make a memory with her. I also wanted to challenge my new sewing skills and since I took a local quilting class I felt rather confident to try a T-shirt quilt for all the beloved t-shirts my daughter had collected and refused to part with no matter how stained or ripped up they became. Her collection included shirts from summer camp volunteer work, each year of band and choir, track, taekwondo classes and black belt achievements, and shirts for just being a senior. Secretly I desired to work with her and teach her how to sew because I was pretty passionate about learning how to and loved the creative medium, PLUS I had my very own sewing/ craft room.

History: I did not learn how to sew until "later in life" when I took an ONLINE class at Iowa State University to be able to achieve my FACS (family and consumer science = the new home ec) teaching endorsement. I say ONLINE loudly because it's really a ridiculous concept, but I am thankful I could get the class without driving 1 1 /2 hours. I did need much help from my mom and a friend accomplish the assignments that I mailed into the instructor. Through some tears and learning that the old sewing machine I had needed much work, I practiced and practiced and finally feel pretty comfortable making clothing, felt dolls (another blog entry another day) and much more.

Back to the quilt, I bought the pattern above with an idealistic mind frame of spending quality time with my baby girl. Visions of connecting conversations over coffee or hot cocoa while we created a heirloom that she would treasure forever.

Well, she treasures the quilt, I can honestly say that much.

For 1 1/2 years after she graduated, she was busy making a life for herself and had very little time for her mom and dad, but Christmas of 2010
I had my opportunity to pull her off facebook and away from the phone while she talked to her longtime guy friend from college to show her the quilt top and to get her assistance with tying the quilt and then hand sewing the final bias trimming around the edge.

Above is a picture my husband snapped with quilt in process. Oh the final joyous moments, at least there was coffee and hot cocoa. :-) Then she left with her quilt and finished her last semester of college in Fort Dodge at Iowa Central. She does like her quilt a lot.

Alas the finished quilt and finally a smile I did not beg for, no one said parenting was easy only that it was the toughest job you'll ever love. I agree and I am also glad we stopped after two.

Summer 2011 update: Daughter is now living with us again and has taken an interest in sewing a challenging camisole with boning and now is working on a knit shirt. The camisole she did ALL the work and I mentored teaching with machines..... what I dreamed of with the t-shirt quilt.

I am quite proud of her! P.S. She has orange spandex pants on and when she modeled the corset for my picture she was also working on redesigning an oversize tank into a a fashionable haltertop.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Clock from Petrified Wood Slice

Here's one D in DnD Creates (Dave), I'm the other (Dori). When we bought our rundown acreage in February 2010 (the one that had sat empty for more than a year and was previously lost by someone in foreclosure) Dave saw vision in the 5.69 acres and the large, run down machine building by the driveway. His grandpa was an avid rock hound and left much good fortune to a college geology department, in addition to leaving many ton of rock and mineral from around the world with his saws and polishers to Dave's dad. The equipment sat in a basement for 20 some years unused until Dave packed it up into several pickup loads (with his brother's help) and hauled it 3 hours to His "new" workshop. This was despite the fact we had many other things to do, but this was his dream and when opportunity knocks ......

He found a slice of petrified wood cut by his grandpa that had saw marks in it from the original cut. After polishing it using a refurbished belt sander found in the basement collection (it didn't work until his magic was performed), Dave drilled a whole in the center and attached a clock and numbers for his desk at work so others can tell what time it is ... or maybe so they don't lose track of time chatting. ;-)

When I first married Dave in 1989 it was often said in his family, "It's a Harvey thing".... I understand this love of nature and mechanical wizardry now. It is in his blood. This also helps me understand why everywhere we go I get a small but awesome looking souvenir rock that he found there, I have a whole jewelry box full of these memories. I even have them marked from where we were when he found it. Maybe this is odd, but our family photo album is also filled with pictures of plants, shrubs, birds, trees, flowers, etc, and even my two grown children do this now. I have grown accustomed to it as I understand, "It's a Harvey thing". My photo album are of the people I love and of the artistic projects that they do, although I don't get into the naturey thing, I do appreciate it and love them that do.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cinnamon Spice Lunch Set

I purchased the book LUNCH BAGS! 25 Handmade Sacks and Wraps to sew Today (Design Collective Paperback 2010). It was an impulsive purchase when I was standing in line at the Hobby Lobby checkout. I was immediately inspired and paid full cover price for it. Even though I bought it this past winter, the book has kept my interest to become the source for my summer projects. This fact means alot because I buy alot of books impulsively when I am inspired by a project, but usually after making it my breakfast time "read" I lose the momentum and decide that the project (although neat) is not really the thing for me.
This lunch bag called the "Rita Kay" made it to the top of my project list because it did not use alot of fabric and looked pretty easy, it was easy. I really liked the newspaper holder because I like to read while I am eating. The bottle carrier pattern came from a simplicty pattern for going green shopping bags, but the two went together so well and are now happily connected. In the picture it is clipped to the strap of the bag. The bottle tote can be used for carry a multitude of items. My daughter used hers today for a can of pop and a bottle of Advil. I like to put my morning break food there so that it doesn't get mashed, but it has contained plasticc silverware and some feminine products also.
The sandwich wraps (pictured below) were my next inspiration even though I personally have yet to take a sandwich for lunch, it is usually leftovers of soup or a casserole. My daughter has been a fan of the wrap since she started a new job and needs to carry her lunch. It is perfect for carrying just about anything because the shape can change with the way one chooses to fold it so sub sandwich, pita, pretzels, etc.
The accesories for this set includes the following:
  • 16" x 16" octagon shaped sandwich wrap has a quilted effect with 4"squares of fabric 1 and 2 sewn together; Wrap is 3 ply with cotton exterior, cotton middle layer, and orange sports nylon interior held closed with elastic and a large green button.
  • Velcro closure reusuable "ziploc" bag is approx 4" x 5 1/2" with a cotton exterior, mid layer, and the orange sports nylon interior
  • 2 cotton napkins (2 ply) that can be washed when needed
I have the lunch set pictures for sale on, a new "business"avenue to explore. My store is called CreationsByDnD. They charge 20 cents item (not listing) to be sold. If the item sells they get 3.5% of the sale price, shipping charges not included. They will keep the item listed for 4 months and remove it if it does not sell or one could relist again for another 20 cent charge.
The complete set is listed on etsy for $30.
The listing was published yesterday 6-22-11, so now I wait and see. I facebooked pictures of my creations yesterday also and without expecting I sold three sandwich wraps similar to the one in the picture to a gal who is soon to become my step sister in law. whom I will meet in July to deliver the goods.