An upcycled pillow

My niece’s initials are HK, and my sister, an ardent thrift store addict, found a t-shirt with those initials and asked me to make a pillow out of it for my niece’s birthday.  It has been sitting around waiting for my fickle attention, and today I finally looked at the calendar and counted the days until the birthday and realized I’d better get cracking.

HK pillow - front

No progress pics because it went so quickly I didn’t pause to think to take them.  To stabilize the knit fabric I fused to a square from a sheet that was another thrift store purchase once upon a time.  The picture isn’t quite centered due to needing to cut away the neck ribbing.

For the back I made two hemmed red pieces to overlap to make the pillow removeable for washing.  A quick seam around the edges, clipped corners, flipped right side out and stuffed, and a pillow is born.

HK pillow - back

Manta ray

The third block in the Oceans QAL from Quilt Arts Design is a manta ray gliding along the ocean floor.

Oceans QAL - numbered fabric

I started yesterday and finished up today.  It went together with only my usual paper piecing issues – putting fabric on upside down is the most common mistake that requires the seam ripper.  I had to hunt for the K piece for a while as well – it turned up under the dining room table.

Oceans QAL - clue 3 in progress

Oceans QAL - clue 3 - trimming

Oceans QAL - clue 3 - assemby

The only dissatisfaction I have with my final results is the dark blue section.  It makes too large a jump  between the blues – the change is too drastic.  A lighter blue would have been less jarring.  I was limited by my stash, but next time I’d hop to the store to get more choices.  I do like the lighter patterned batiks I used in the top blues, which I was unsure about at the time.  I don’t know how the dark blue escaped me.

The finished 14″ block:

Oceans QAL - Manta ray - finished block

Scrapitude – clue 2

Today I finally got to clue 2 of the Scrapitude mystery quilt.  This is actually February’s clue, and March’s comes out tomorrow, so I caught up just in time.

Step 1 was halving background squares into triangles and attaching two of them to each of the small squares from clue 1.

Scrapitude - clue 2 - step 1


Then ironing and clipping dog ears and adding larger triangles to make squares.

Scrapitude - clue 2 - step 2

Scrapitude - clue 2 - step 2 assembly

My guess for the layout of these blocks was squares within squares, but that leaves me with two extra blocks, so I haven’t guessed correctly.  I’ll find out tomorrow!

Scrapitude - clue 2 completed

Take the power tools away from me

When we moved into our current house almost two years ago, we needed additional storage, and a TV stand, so I bought an unfinished dresser.  Also, a coffee table and book cases, but those I finished long ago.  The dresser remains unstained, mostly because I can always come up with something else to do on nice days.

It also hasn’t had drawer knobs, because I didn’t like the originals and got rid of them and then never found what I wanted to replace them with.  And then a recent trip to IKEA resulted in just the right long bar pulls.

Dresser with new pulls

For some reason, probably having to do with Sweden and the metric system, the pulls were just slightly too short, by less than a quarter inch, to fit the pre-drilled holes.  No problem.  I could drill new holes.

Drilling new holes in the dresser

But it then it turned out that the screws were also too short, probably because these pulls were intended for thinner cupboard doors, and the longest screws of that size at the hardware store were still a little short.  And they didn’t have enough of them, probably to do with the metric system again according to the clerk, so we’d have to special order some.

The screws, both original and longer-but-still-too-short versions.
The screws, both original and longer-but-still-too-short versions.

Having waited a year and a half to get handles, suddenly waiting any longer was unbearable.  It dawned on me that I could use a very large drill bit to sink the screws in deeper, making them long enough.  What didn’t dawn on me is that I have few skills with drills, and my ability to judge the depth of a drilled hole while drilling upside down in a drawer at an awkward angle is pretty non-existent.

I ended up with too shallow holes, too deep holes, too wide holes, and weirdly warped holes. I had to find ways to make suddenly too long screws shorter so the handles would fasten tightly, which involved rubber bands and bits of buttons and the occasional nut when I could find one the right size. I had to keep changing between small and giant drill bits, got saw dust everywhere, and kept losing  screwdrivers until I had four of them underfoot. The insides of the dresser drawers are not pretty.

This was my most creative endeavor to make a screw fit after I accidently drilled all the way through the drawer with the giant drill bit.  All I had that would hold it was a pried off part of a button.
This was my most creative endeavor to make a screw fit after I accidently drilled all the way through the drawer with the giant drill bit. All I had that would hold it was a pried off part of a button.

But we have handles now!  And someday I will actually get the dresser stained.  And make a runner, because that beach towel is sort of embarrassing if I want to call myself a quilter.  And no one looks at the inside of drawers anyway, right?

Dresser drawer pulls

Meanwhile, since this is a fiber crafting blog, to keep me company my sister was embroidering trees and zombies.


Embroidered zombies

If there is no picture, did it happen?

My son, who is nine, got a rare invitation to a girl’s birthday party today.  When he asked her what she wanted for her birthday, since we are more used to buying boy presents, she said she wanted a blanket.  ???  I asked for more details from her mom when I RSVP’d, because that was a little unusual as present requests go, and the mom laughed and said her daughter has been asking for a cuddly throw.  She may get ten of them at this party, but we contributed to the quest for warmth.

I got some zebra print fleece and some red fleece with large white polka dots for the reverse, sewed the two pieces right sides together, flipped it right side out, and stitched around the edge twice for a sturdy border, and a blanket was done.  Easy peasy.

And then I forgot to take a picture before wrapping it.

So this is all the proof I have that I was crafting today:


Colorful coins

Coin quilt close up - wonky squares

I am so pleased with how this commissioned quilt turned out!  Front, back, and squared off free motion quilting – I love every part of the final results.  The teal and black contrast is great, and I continued the teal in the binding so it plays off the black there as well.  This quilt is headed into a dorm – it is going to be a very cheerful bed topper.

Coins quilt - finished

Coin quilt - back


Scrappy coin quilt

Spent some lime time this morning crawling on the floor to pin baste this quilt top.  My least favorite part of the quilt making process, mostly because it hurts my knees.  I also don’t have a great spot for it.  The upstairs floors are all hardwood and I don’t want to scratch them up.  Downstairs is mostly carpeted except for the area between the stairs and the laundry room.  So that is my default spot, but it limits the size of quilt I can make to twin.  I need to figure something out for the long term, but for now this is working OK.

And now it is done and I get to do the quilting part which is much more fun.