Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Projects!

This year, I made both my Mom's and my Sister in Law's Christmas presents. I noticed last year that my Mom really liked the Christmas Quilt I made my Sister in Law; so I thought to make Mom one this year. It's a very, very simple quilt but I really love the look of it - and so did Mom! She said it was her favorite Christmas present and she's been using it almost non-stop. (My brother has really bad allergies and it helps to keep the house cool so the rest of us just bundle up indoors.)

Mom loves cardinals and poinsettias - so those are the main themes of the quilt.  It's a bunch of 8" square blocks that I cut out.  I sewed five of them together to make a line.  I would then place the first line down on the quilt batting (which is something like velcro to cotton quilting fabrics, I swear!) and put the second line upside down on top of the first.  I then sewed down the bottom the line and flipped the second line down to create the first two lines of the quilt.   I hope that makes sense!   It doesn't make for a very neat looking stitched back but it does work really, really well for sewing down all the quilt blocks quickly.   

The back of the quilt is a lucky find - I saw this fabulous winter bird print at Joann's and knew it had to go on the back of Mom's quilt.   It's basically all her favorite birds in an already "quilt block" look.   The edges are a red stripe that matched the stripes in the backing.   

Mom thought this was professionally done until I told her I made it.  :-)  She wasn't sure when I had the time to make it (Grad school & work have been eating up time like crazy!) but it's not a complicated quilt and some of the squares I cut out last year.   

I've been hoarding Christmas remnants from Joann's.  Since Joann's always has at least 50% off their remnants, it makes for a nice, cheap way to get a ton of gorgeous fabrics without spending a ton.  Whenever I saw a fabric I thought Mom might like, I just added it to the "pile".   

The other gift I made was a short cloak for my Sister in Law.  She's been coming to more and more events with me and loves it.   However, last year, I managed to make her dress but not any outerwear.  This year, she wants to wear the same dress - which is perfectly okay- but I figured I'd start on some 18th C esque outerwear. 

The cape is based on 18th C designs.  It's a full circle short cape out of sage green cotton velvet.  I lined it in that flannel backed satin -which, despite being dead dino with a bit of cotton, I love!   It does help to keep warm.   The cape is edged in faux white fur.  Even sewing it, it's the kind you have to come up and "pet" to know that it's not actual rabbit fur.   She loved it.  

...Mom almost stole it.  :-)  Really, if anyone wants a very simple but lovely project to try, I'd recommend an 18th C short cape.  This took a little over a 1 1/2 of fabric.  I pieced together the remnants (scraps) left by the circle to make the hood.  The remnants are vaguely triangular in shape - you just cut them into triangles, sew them together to make squares, and you have the two sides for your hood.  For the back, I saved the scrap from the neckhole of the cape and gathered that scrap around the edge.  I then used it to cover the small hole at the back of the hood.  I've seen this done with other velvets in the 18th C because gathering velvet tightly never looks pretty.  There was a small hole at the back of the hood - where I gathered the back "point" (upper edge, back) - and I covered it with the scrap from the neckhole.   


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