Sunday, November 6, 2016

Work for My Hands

There's a song I learned in church camp many years ago, that goes "Give me work for my hands, keep me busy, busy, busy, give me work for my hands I pray".  Well, hallelujah, I have work for my hands.  There's plenty to do around here.  My favorite "work" is of course sewing, which really doesn't seem like work at all.

In the photo above, you can see what I've been working on lately.  These are Scrappy Reader Pillows, made for two of my grandchildren for Christmas.  The kids don't read the blog, so I'm not worried about them finding out.  The coolest part of these pillows is the pocket, which can hold a book (or two).
Both kids are major Star Wars fans, so I used Star Wars fabrics for the front and backs of the pillow.  The pockets are patchwork, made from 2.5 in. squares from my stash.
I got the pattern from this book, Growing Up Modern, by Allison Harris (cluckclucksew.com).  It's easy and fast to make, and the directions are good.
I changed the pattern a tiny bit for this pillow.  The Star Wars fabric is so busy, I wanted a stronger separation from the patchwork, so I bound the edge of the pocket with a strip of solid red.  My granddaughter gets this one.  She absolutely loves Chewbacca.

It has been nearly a month since my last blog post, mainly because I've been so busy on the weekends when I usually had time to post.  I went on a quilt retreat, had a family birthday party, went to a baptism, my mom was here on a visit, and we had another big family party.  This fall has been filled with joyful events.
When I last posted, I was making leaf blocks, inspired by the beautiful trees this season.  Here's how I made the stems--I top-stitched them using my Willcox and Gibbs hand crank.  This way I didn't have to change thread colors while piecing or wind bobbins.  The Willcox and Gibbs is a chain stitch machine, so there is no bobbin.  Very handy.
By the time I went on the quilt retreat, I had all the leaf blocks pieced.  Here's how I'm setting them.  Each block has a strip of sashing on two adjacent sides only.  Then the blocks are laid out like this.  I got this idea from Bonnie Hunter.  One of her free quilt patterns is Dancing Nine Patch, which is set this way.
In this corner, you can see at least one example of each of the 5 different leaf blocks I made for this quilt.  I made the traditional maple leaf with a stem (there are 4 of them here), the same block without a stem (the brown one in the lower corner), the same block with a triangle square instead of a stem (the orange block on the far right), a similar block with a dark square in the corner and the triangles turned differently (the middle block in the bottom row in this photo), and a Sweet Gum Leaf block which is made like an Ohio Star (the red one on the right and the yellow one in the bottom row).  I got the pattern for Sweet Gum Leaf from Marcia Hohn's Quilters Cache.  It was in a 12 in. size, so I just adjusted it for the 9 in. size I'm using.
I have the rows of leaves pieced together now in two sections, waiting patiently for me to decide how I'm going to quilt it and what I'm going to do about a border.
I walk past the guest room as I'm putting away laundry, etc., and look in on it, hoping for some inspiration.

In the meantime, I'm working on a pieced border for another fall colors quilt.
And listening to some 1920s dance music on the radio.
Isn't this a wonderful life?
Enjoy your week!

I'm linking up with Quilting is More Fun Than Housework this week.  Take a look at all the great scrap posts linked there--so much fun.











11 comments:

  1. Those pillow are brilliant! What a great gift for a child who loves to read. And your fall quilt is beautiful. I am sure inspiration for the quilting will come soon. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cynthia! Now I just have to find some Star Wars books the kids haven't already read!

      Delete
  2. The Star Wars bug has bitten around here too. I really love your maple leaves; autumn is my favorite time of year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laundered Cotton (what a great name. It makes me think of bringing in sheets from the clothesline). This has been such a beautiful inspiring autumn.

      Delete
  3. Those pillows are wonderful. What a fantastic gift and one that encourages reading which is always a plus. I bet your grandkids love them. I am so excited to become a Grandma this March, 2017. Hurray!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bernie! Congratulations on becoming a grandma! It's the best thing that ever happened to me.

      Delete
  4. Your pillows are great! I really like the way you sashed your leaf quilt. Busy is good, but I hope you have some time to sew this month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathi! I'm hanging on til the weekend. The forecast is for Saturday morning sewing.

      Delete
  5. Hi Sylvia, I really love your leaf quilt. Great colours and nice variation on the various leaves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Andree! I must admit, I got a little bored with the "regular" maple leaves. It was fun to throw in a few different ones.

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading! Post a comment--I want to know what you think!