Author Archives: joanspatches

About joanspatches

I love being creative with my sewing and quilting

Childhood Myths

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Recently we had visitors of our favorite kind—children and grandchildren. It was too short but a lovely time. Since then, I’ve reflected on some of our conversations. I’m musing about childhood myths.

Over the years, I’ve heard remarks that are clearly, to me, myths. My children may differ in opinion.

I’ve heard remarks like—

  • You made me eat a whole plate of (insert least favorite food here).
  • You never let me (insert go to a concert, go to the beach, watch favorite program, stay out late, etc.).
  • You don’t like my friends.
  • I always had to do chores.
  • You always yell at me.
  • You guys are so square! (actually, this one is true)
  • You’re ruining my life!

“Always” and “never” are often a part of the statement.

I’m wondering now—what myths did I throw at my parents? I think at least some were the same. I’m also wondering—do our children hear the same myths, or will they?

Snail Quilt

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Snail Quilt

There are several babies on the way in our family, so I’ve started making some baby quilts. I tried several new techniques on this one. I pieced the triangles on the serger instead of the sewing machine. It went together quickly and should add to the durability of the quilt. Then I quilted using special rulers and a ruler foot, with two different sewing machines. There’s quite a learning curve to using the rulers!

cropped

When it came time to bind the quilt, I could not find the binding I had originally cut. So I found coordinating solid fabrics and tried the faux piping method of binding. I think it looks much better than what I had planned!

A New Way to Quilt

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A New Way to Quilt

My newest sewing machine has an embroidery function that can be used for quilting. I’ve done some experimenting with that feature. Today I practiced on a quilt for Hospice Caring, to give to one of the campers at bereavement camp later this year. The top was made and layered with batting and backing and was ready to quilt. I made some calculations, found a design that was close to the right size, and adjusted it to fit. Getting the quilt hooped correctly took some time, and I had to do it 20 times! Not sure I got any better at it! The stitching was pretty easy–just watch and listen for problems, like running out of thread. It was fun and it’s done. The pattern shows up best on the back.

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Scraps

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Scraps

Today I started preparing for a demo I’ll be presenting at our quilt show in August. I’ll be using skinny strips of fabric, the size that usually go into the trash, and recycle them into cute little bags, like these.

Skinny strip bags


Now I have plenty of scraps that don’t fit in the category of “skinny strips” so I started playing with those as well. I used chunky scraps to make this one. While I was making it my thought was to cut it up for projects or quilt blocks. I really like it as is so it may become a wall hanging.

Crazy fat quarter


Then I used strips from a bag of scraps I purchased (uh, yeah, I didn’t have any of that line in my stash) a few years ago, to make this one. I like how it turned out, not sure how to use it yet.

Strippy fat quarter.


Playing with scraps has been a great way to spend the end of my vacation!

Mending

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When my girls were young the mending pile only seemed to grow, never get smaller. When I did get around to tackling it, I’d find they had already outgrown some items so I really didn’t have to mend those!

Now when I get ready to quilt or sew, I find a few items have accumulated by the sewing machine, waiting for repairs. I’ve changed my attitude. I consider this mending to be a warmup exercise. It may involve simple repairs that can be quickly accomplished like sewing on a button. Or it may require more creativity like finding the right color fabric to patch a hole. Either way, I am accomplishing something and getting reacquainted with my sewing space. (Note–this is not an invitation for you to drop off your mending pile!)

Today’s stash included a couple pairs of spring slacks to hem for my aunt. As I pulled the hems out I remembered that we used to save that thread so we’d have a perfect color match for the new stitching. I don’t have to do that because I’m fortunate to have a large collection of thread to work with. This is only one small selection!

 

Now that repairs are done I think I’ll stay and quilt a while.

Fans of the Past

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The center block, a found block from an unknown quilter, was provided as part of a challenge. The fan blocks came from my Grandmother’s leftovers. She was well known for her prolific quiltmaking. I felt a satisfying connection to my Grandmother and other quilters from the past as I constructed this quilt from vintage fabrics and trims.

fans-of-the-past