Mystery Quilt top finished!

Mystery Quilt

My 2015 Mystery Quilt is finished!  I got the final instructions to finish it from the meeting last week and I wanted to get it done before school/work started back up.

Remember how I wasn’t too sure about those 6 blocks?  They ended up making the center of the quilt and actually blend in nicely with the colorful borders.

I realize that the borders make this quilt but that was my least favorite part.  I just kept sewing and sewing and sewing….  There are 4 borders here!

This was my first mystery quilt and it went OK but I really like to know what the finished project looks like before I spend a lot of money on fabrics and time putting it together.  I’m not sure if I’ll do another one.

Quick Kids Quilt

I picked up a charity quilt kit at the last quilt meeting of one of the quilt guilds I belong to.  That was in June and we were asked to finish the quilt top and bring it back this fall.  I’ve had it all summer and I decided I needed to get it finished.  It’s a child sized quilt and the blocks went together VERY quickly.  I actually finished the blocks and put them together in an afternoon.

kids quilty

It looks like a boy would really like this fabric theme!

You can see that the blocks are super simple – just 4 pieces.  So this quilt is called “Wiggly Worms” and after I got the middle section put together and had run out of fabric pieces, I realized that I was going to need to add some fabric to it for borders.

wiggly worms center

Here Shadow is pointing out that we need to add something.

I dug through my stash and found just the right fabrics.  It needed a small inner border and a 4 inch outer border.

Wiggly Worms quilt

Now you probably get the whole wiggly worm thing!  The instructions came with a pattern for the worm heads and the kit included the fabric pieces, I just had to draw the faces & sew the heads together. The worm heads were sewn in with the border seam so they’re 3-D and flop around a bit.  I’m not sure if they’ll be quilted down or left to flop around.

I really like the way this border attaches.  It wasn’t too hard to add; I only had to do inset seams in one spot.  It’s just a little different and frames the inside of the quilt nicely.  I love trying new things because it teaches me new things.  I’m already envisioning this border on one of my quilts (without the worm heads of course)!

Dorm Room Project

Summer is coming to an end here and I’m trying to finish some projects.  This project has been on my to-do list for quite a while.  My daughter kept mentioning that she wanted a bedside caddy for her dorm bed so she could have a place to put her phone and glasses and things like that.  The beds in the dorm at her university are about 4 feet off the ground.  They’re too high to make into bunk beds and too low to put a desk under.  It’s a little strange.  Maybe they’re trying to discourage the kids from having bunk beds or maybe they just wanted to make room for the kids to store things or maybe they’re trying to weed the kids out.  A nasty fall from that height could make it hard to get to classes!  I just don’t know but having her phone/alarm handy would be a good thing.

She may have said I should make one or maybe I said I could make one, I can’t remember.  I thought I’d be able to find a pattern or directions online but I couldn’t find just what I was looking for.  I didn’t know exactly what size the pockets should be – what kinds of things was she going to put in there?  Anyway, long story short, we’re a couple days from moving her into her dorm and I have no bed caddy!

Inspiration hit me when I saw a photo online where someone had hung a tool belt on the wall for a top bunk caddy.  I guess I could’ve done that if I had $50 for a leather tool belt but instead, I picked up a cheap canvas tool belt at the hardware store for about $4.

inspirationPockets galore!

I thought surely I’d find a tutorial for how to make a bedside caddy from a tool pouch online but no luck.  So, here you go world, here’s my little step by step on how to make a bedside caddy from a cheap tool pouch.  Disclaimer:  I really don’t know what I’m doing.

So you have your tool pouch and a couple of fat quarters of fabric.  Cut the strings off the tool pouch and tuck the ends back.

bedside caddyCut the fabric about 1/4 inch wider than the tool belt and I went 4 1/4 inches at the top.  Then I took that fabric piece and cut the same size from another piece of fabric.  I just thought it needed the extra weight for stability plus this will finish off the edges and make it look nice.

I sewed those 2 pieces with right sides together (leave most of the top open to turn) and then turned them right sides out and pressed.

making of the bedside caddyThen I had to hunt down a heavy duty needle in my mess and sew the tool caddy to the front.

making the bedside caddy2I didn’t sew the top part, just around the sides and bottom.  But then, I added a seam in the very middle so that it created 2 large pockets behind the tool belt.  I didn’t want to sew through the little pocket in the middle so I only made the seam a couple inches long.  These pockets in the back would be the perfect size for a book or Kindle.

One of the few tutorials I found online for making a bedside caddy had you add a piece of old blanket or blanket material to the top that will stick under the mattress.  I guess the blanket material isn’t too slippery so the thinking is that it’ll stay in there and not slip out too easily.  I didn’t have any old blankets so I used a little piece of cotton batting which is similar.  I’m thinking you could also use some of that rubbery- bubbly shelf liner instead.  It wouldn’t be hard to sew over and would keep the caddy from sliding out.

bedside caddyI stuck the batting between the top pieces about an inch in and then sewed the whole thing together.  I actually did three seams for extra strength.

bedside caddy from toolbeltThis could easily be decorated/personalized with fabric paints or colored markers.

And there it is.  Not a whole lot of effort went into this.  I hope it works and my daughter likes it.  Maybe I’ll put a couple of candy bars and a photo of us in there so she can’t help but like it!

Quilt Gardens Roadtrip

We just got back from a quick trip to Michigan for a friend’s beach wedding and I was able to convince my husband to make a little side trip to northern Indiana to see some of the Quilt Gardens there.  We just had half a day so we only saw a few of the gardens but they were pretty cool.

quilt garden

After our drive up, we had dinner in Middlebury at Das Dutchman Essenhaus so we could take care of two things – getting something to eat and finding one of the quilt gardens.  We had a thirty minute wait for dinner so we ran across the street to get some pictures of the garden quilt there.

They’re hard to photograph without an airplane or drone (I gotta get me one of those) but this one was on a little bit of a hill so you can see the quilt block.  They’re also very large; the sign suggested that someone get into the photo so you can see the scale.  I guess the photo with me in the garden is on my husband’s phone and he’s off finishing his vacation week on a fishing trip so I apologize.

This part of Indiana is Amish country so there are some pretty sights.

Along with the Quilt Gardens on the Heritage Trail, there are also quilt murals that you have to look for.  We found this one near our first quilt garden.

quilt mural

The following morning, we found this garden in Elkhart at Linton’s Enchanted Gardens.

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It was really big and impossible to get the whole thing in the photo.

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Each garden and mural has a sign telling about that quilt block.

We also found this little guy at the enchanted gardens.

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The signs came in handy when we saw this next garden.  We couldn’t figure out what block it was supposed to be and it seems like maybe the blooms on this one were past their prime.  It’s actually a trumpet.

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The Quilt Gardens were fun; I wish we had time to see more of them but it was a nice side trip.  I’m not sure how many gardens there are but they suggest you allow yourself 2 to 3 days to see them all plus the other sites in the area.  And so you never get tired of seeing them, they change the patterns every year!