When I was taking pictures of the infamous PJs in the bedroom the other day, it occurred to me that I’ve got some other nifty creative projects around here, and, hey, throw them up on the blog cause the blog is where I get to talk about whatever I want to talk about and if people aren’t interested they can just clickclickclick away.

First, here’s a blanket that I made for my honey for, I think, our first Christmas together.


Actually, this is an L.L. Bean cream-colored fleece blanket that I’ve hand-appliqued some wool felt shapes onto.  I wanted to keep the decoration subtle, so I only embellished two corners of the blanket and left the rest plain.


This is the other corner, and you can see that in addition to the leaves and vines, I’ve sewn on some stylized thistles.  My partner’s mother was Scottish and he has spent a lot of time there; it’s important to him, so I wanted to work that into the design.

I cut the simple shapes freehand and made freezer paper patterns for the more complex ones.  I used several shades of wonderful wool felt that I had been buying at a local quilt shop and stashing away for just the right project.  I think much of it was actually thrift-store wool suits that had been cut up, overdyed, washed and dried to felt them.  That gives the fabric subtle tweedy patterns that are so much more interesting than the usual flat felt colors.

I gave this to him on Christmas with a set of L.L. Bean flannel sheets in olive green–you can see them and the chocolate brown bed skirt peeking out from under the blanket.  I don’t think he was quite convinced that those were actually supposed to be thistles, but he liked the gift anyway.  🙂

Second, this is the quilt we have hanging over our bed.


I really haven’t done this justice with the picture I took, but it’s a fall-themed quilt with sunflowers, fall leaves, and pumpkins machine-appliqued onto a pieced background.  I really love this pattern and all the colors in it, so it stays up year round in our bedroom.

One good reason that there’s no close-up of this quilt is that I made it with my grandmother’s ancient White sewing machine, and that machine was not too happy about being asked to do satin stitch on appliques.  The stitches were not nice and neat and, most annoyingly, as you sewed, the foot pedal would get hotter and hotter until it started to burn your foot and you had to take a break.  That machine was just as difficult to deal with as its former owner, come to think of it.

Third, here’s a quilt I made as part of a quilting class.


This is a paper-pieced pattern called “Oklahoma Dogwood.”  If you enlarge the picture, you may be able to see the oval shapes I used to quilt the border to echo the paper-pieced portion.  I really like how this turned out, and paper-piecing is another fun quilting technique that I definitely will use again.  Right now, I’m sewing some clothes for myself, but all those quilting supplies and all that gorgeous wool felt is waiting for my attention to shift back to them, as I’m sure it will.