Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Life is Full of Surprises

Dear Faithful Friends,

The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.

My sister and I love quilting!  We love sharing our quilts, projects, and family.  It has been a wonderful experience.  The joy of sharing has added to our love of quilting.

But....things have changed in both our lives.  We are sisters, after all.  Six years separate us but we share a bond that is often described in twins.  Despite the miles that separate us, we buy the same clothes, try the same recipes, share the same likes and dislikes. When we are together, people often ask us if we are twins, though we don't see it.  And now, we share the same disease, a genetic chronic illness.

Our priorities have changed now.  Our energy has to be rationed.  To do what we love, choices have to be made.

We have made the disappointing decision to close our blog.  We are still sewing, gardening, enjoying our families and life, but on a limited scale.  At this point in our lives, we can choose to do the things we love or blog about them. So we choose to do.

We wish you all the best in your quilting and life adventures! You can still see some of our projects on Instagram (when we post!) at asisterlyconnection.
Thank you for being our blog friends!

LaDonna and Diana

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Baby Bibs

There are soooo many free bib patterns and tutorials on the internet!  Sewers, crafters, quilters... many generous people!  Once again, I got carried away!  I made different sizes, different styles for the grand-baby.  Some she'll have to grow to use, but that's ok!

To make the bibs, I could have used Velcro, and I did on one, but snaps are so much prettier and neater.  I bought a snap kit from Amazon and it made putting the snaps on so easy! 

Bibs, bibs and more bibs links are here. Templates are included in their tutorials.  I especially like the binky bib!  Now you may be wondering about the "Keep Calm and Eat Bacon" bibs for a baby! The pork industry and our family have a long time connection.  We all love bacon around here! When we saw the fabric, we had to get it!

These bibs all have a layer of terry cloth and PUL fabric inside.  PUL fabric is a thin waterproof fabric. I bought mine at our local fabric store.  The order of fabric in my bibs is front fabric, terry cloth, PUL, back fabric.  The terry cloth to soak up the wet and the PUL fabric to prevent it from going all the way through. 

I'm very pleased with how these turned out!


Monday, January 16, 2017

Baby Hooded Towel and Washcloth

The baby stuff continues....

I'm linking to an excellent tutorial for a hooded towel and washcloth.  For once, I didn't change a thing!

Hooded Baby Bath Towel

The sets I made:

 In hindsight, I probably should have added another layer of fabric in between the dinosaur print since it's so thin, but I'm not going to worry about it. 

The dinosaur and binding fabric on the towel and washcloth go back a long way.  Here's picture of my son working on the dinosaur quilt he and I made together when he was 12 years old.  Multitasking...pressing the flying geese patches and watching TV at the same time!

Here we are with the finished quilt.  It took us a few months to make.  No pattern. And yes, we still have it!  I can't wait to get a picture of him and his baby girl using it!

So that's the back story.  Now here's his reaction upon seeing that fabric on the towel!  He was not surprised at all that I still had the fabric!

I absolutely adore this picture!  It's THE moment!


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Baby Changing Pad Using Iron-On Vinyl

When I was looking around the World Wide Web for baby stuff, I came across this tutorial for a baby changing pad from Homemade by Jill.  Be sure to check it out! This post won't make much sense otherwise!

I made just a few changes.  I didn't want pre-laminated fabric because I wanted to use my own fabric.  I ordered the laminate vinyl because it isn't available in the store.

I learned some things while using this product.  Follow the package directions but keep these tips in mind:
  • First, turn off any fans. Trust me.  I have a ceiling fan in my sewing room where I was ironing. The reason I say turn off all fans is because I didn't think about it. Despite my best efforts, I laminated a piece of thread, dog hair, and one of my hairs on my first try.  ANYTHING on your fabric will be very visible after laminating. 
  • Second, iron the fabric that you want to laminate very well. 
  • Third, go over the fabric with a lint roller repeatedly. If you shine the beam of a flashlight horizontally over your fabric instead of pointing it down to the fabric, fuzz, loose threads, hair etc will show better than it will by just eyeballing it.  
  • Fourth, when ironing the vinyl to the fabric, an iron with no steam holes is the ideal choice. I don't know about you but I learned a long time ago that, with fusibles, a steam iron can leave hole sized shapes of areas not fused. 
According to the vinyl package directions, it should be wiped cleaned.  It can go in the washer but the vinyl might separate from the fabric.  If so, just iron it again, making sure to use a protective paper between it and your iron or you'll have a big mess on your iron!

I followed her directions for cutting the laminated fabric (her step 1 and 2). Though on my third changing pad, (yes, third!) I didn't round the corners which made for easier binding.

Because the store was out of fusible fleece (her step 4),  I used two layers of quilt fleece instead.

Before cutting the non-laminated fabric to the size specified in the tutorial, I quilted the two layers of fleece to my non-laminated fabric in straight lines an inch apart. On my second changing pad, I found that if I cut the quilted fabric an 1/8th of an inch bigger than her instructions, it fit the laminated fabric better.  Quilting makes it a little smaller.  I sewed a small zigzag around the edge of the quilted fabric to squish the edges together for easier binding. (Small enough so it won't show after binding.)  

I got a little confused when it got to the part about attaching the strap (her step 7). I blame my brain. :)  Place the strap with the Velcro end face down to your fabric. The non-Velcro end should be at the 9 inch mark. Stitch across the non-Velcro end to secure it to the pad.  I stitched an X through it as well. This makes it flatter and even more secure. Be careful when sewing the stitching lines for folding the pad (her Step 10).  I failed to make sure the strap was out of the way and sewed right over it.  :(

Instead of store-bought bias tape (her step 12), I made my own binding just like I do for quilts, because I wanted to use my own fabric.  And, cute little clips are so much easier than pins for the binding. These are available at many places, Amazon included, and they come in different colors and package size. 

Here's the one I made for my granddaughter.  First picture is the pad folded. In the second picture, it is unfolded and the shiny part is the light reflecting off the vinyl.  Third picture is one with square corners instead of rounded. 

Slim and compact, I think this is perfect for when the baby is away from her own changing table. 


Monday, January 9, 2017

Receiving Blankets and Burp Cloths

We are almost grandparents for the first time!  We are so excited and looking forward to having a granddaughter!  Seeing her in the ultrasound pictures makes me tear up.   It's such amazing technology that we didn't experience with our baby.  Seeing her already chubby cheeks and hands and feet...oh, I'm so in love!

Is there such a thing as making too many things for a new baby?  I may have crossed that line, but I couldn't help myself!  Getting carried away is fun!  I won't put everything in one post because, well, it's too much.  But I do want to share and link to some of the wonderful ideas that are out there in the internet world.

First up, receiving blankets.  My husband and I went to Jo-Ann's and had a lot of fun in the flannel section.  We were pairing up fabrics that we liked and next thing I knew my buggy was full!  We looked at each other and said, "We can't get all this!"  I think we put fabric for two blankets back on the shelf which still left fabric for seven blankets.  We were standing there in the aisle trying to decide what else to put back when my husband said, "Just get them all.  She'll use them."  So we did.  :)  He's so good!

In all my years of sewing, making a receiving blanket was a new thing for me.  Google is my friend, however.  I found this tutorial and used it for all the receiving blankets.

After making the blankets, I made matching burp cloths using this pattern and tutorial which uses fat quarters. One change I did was to make it wider by three inches to provide a little more coverage.  Of course, that new width wouldn't fit on a fat quarter but I had more fabric than that. 

While we were  at Hancock's of Paducah I also found fabric for cloth baby books.  Adorable!  So we bought enough for two books each for our grand-baby and niece's baby.

Come back again soon because there's more baby stuff to come!


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Lil' Miss M Is Here!

We have a new member of our extended family!  Our niece and her husband are the proud new parents of a beautiful baby girl!  We haven't met her yet, but her pictures and Skype sessions show a joyful baby!

Of course, I had to make a quilt for her! Despite going through all my fabric to set up my new sewing room, I had absolutely nothing that I wanted for her quilt!  Can you believe it?!  Just like a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear!  I mean I could have made do, but this is for a special little girl!  So new fabric it is!  Really, any excuse to buy new fabric is fine with me!  Fortunately, my husband and I just happened to be visiting in the area of quilter's paradise, aka Hancock's of Paducah, and found some lovely batiks in the colors her parents chose of pink, black, and gold.

Her mom had picked out a chevron item on her baby registry, so I thought I would use that as my pattern.  It's such a popular design and easy to make!  I colored on some graph paper to decide on my color layout, which is always fun to! It ended up about 42 inches by 48 inches. 

I quilted it of course with Aurifil thread, my favorite, in continuous line circles.

Her name begins with "M" so I appliqued her initial on the back for a little extra touch! On the label I put the scripture passage from Psalm 127:3.  "Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord."  I love putting scripture passages on quilts, especially baby quilts. 

I really like how it turned out!  And, best of all, they loved it too!  That's the best feeling!  I hope the quilt gets worn ragged with all the loving!  I can always make her another one, which I probably will anyway!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Previously, in LaDonna's Sewing Room....

 My husband and I remodeled one of the bedrooms in our 1962 house into my forever home sewing room.

This was my sewing room all packed up in Texas, ready to move to our forever home. Well, most of my sewing room. ;)

Here are pictures from the realtor listing of the house.

We bought this filing cabinet at our favorite thrift store and turned it into this bookcase/filing cabinet tower.

My old computer desk that has been through so many moves with us definitely needed a new look and more storage space.

My old bookcase that I bought at the thrift store in Germany where I worked, before and after.

Here is my new sewing room!  My husband and I make a great team! 

Now the room is completely full, though not fully organized.  My main sewing machines and tables are in the center of the room.  This room has been a long, long project.  Other things kept pushing it down the list, but we finally completed it this summer.  This is the best space I have ever had for my sewing!  And best of all, I can see most of my fabric!  Let the creativity begin!

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