You are currently browsing articles tagged quilting.

apron shaped remnant of Free Spirit's Marabella[

. . . despite the fact that I don’t wear aprons! In fact the only apron in the house is a crayon apron my mother made for me when I was a kid. The girl wears it when she pretends to be Cinderella. This fabric may look familiar, it’s Marabella from Free Spirit, and I made a skirt from it for the girl a while back. She saw me working on this and commented, “It’s okay Mommy, you can have a skirt like me.” Thank you, daughter-chan.

If you hadn’t noticed there’s an internet sewing and SAHM and retro house thing that’s been going around for ages about aprons. I don’t really know what the appeal is but I guess it’s finally gnawed away at me. That and a sewing group I belong to decided to do an apron sew-along, so fine, I’d probably never sew an apron if I didn’t have this particular piece of fabric and the sew-along deadline.

Despite the suggestive shape I did have to cut it to achieve the look I wanted. The long straps did stay exactly as is except for tapering the ends. The straps are long enough to wear tied in front or in a nice bow in the back. I love to tie bows, even if I don’t particularly care to wear them.

bow tied in the back on an apron

I rounded the corners with a plate, inserted a hidden layer of absorbent cotton velour using the always handy fusible web, trimmed the edge with cotton lace and gathered the top. I topstitched everywhere and I even starched the lace! I hate starch—the only reason it’s in the house is because Rich uses it when he irons his shirts. Somehow it seemed the right thing to do in a retro sort of way. Like how I photographed it in the kitchen in front of the vintage woodwork?

I also handquilted around one of the flowers. I’d planned to do a scattering but I’m not sure if I will because it doesn’t show up very well. Maybe better after it gets washed. Of course that would mean I would have to use it. I do cook, or at least I used to, I just have never worn aprons. Maybe around the holidays. It seems like a wintry, holiday sort of fabric don’t you think?

Free Spirit Marabella floral fabric apron with cotton lace and tie in front

Tags: , ,

Although I’ve been doing some sort of sewing since I was a little girl, I was afraid of quilting for a long time. Probably the idea of so much fabric and so much time gave me commitment-a-phobia. A few years ago I successfully completed a somewhat unorthodox lap quilt. That gave me the confidence to try a bigger project. The boy has always had a fascination with trains, most boys do, don’t they? Anyway, I decided that I would make a train quilt for his birthday and I started months before and managed to get myself to work on it a little at a time. (I have to pat myself on the back for this sort of major planning, totally out of my normal mode.) I found this wonderful vintage collage look train print from Robert Kaufman fabrics. Because of the large scale of the print I decided to showcase it in a large panel framed with borders rather than cut it up and piece it back together. For a long time I didn’t know what to put with it so I ended up doing something totally out of character for me. I took the train fabric to the local fabric store and asked the ladies at the counter to help me pick out border and backing material. I came home with the dark red and blue. It took me one whole evening to do all the math necessary to figure out how to cut the fabric for the borders. Another evening was spent rotary cutting all the fabric to size. A third evening accomplished machine stitching the top together. Wow, I was shocked at how fast it was going together. At this point I hit a snag. Layering the quilt sandwich turned out to be pretty difficult. I finally found a great method the day before we moved. It required pinning the fabric to the carpeting and since we were moving into a house with no carpet, I had to convince my husband that it had to be done that night. He graciously helped me pin the quilt layers together amidst the boxes. After that was done, the quilt had to wait a bit for the whole moving operation. When I got back to it I began hand quilting around the motifs in the train print. This took a number of evenings but was surprisingly pleasant to do. After that I stitched all around the borders. I couldn’t figure out what to do on the widest blue border so I left it unquilted. Hopefully that’s okay, it has survived two trips through the washing machine. I made my own bias tape and finished applying that to the edge the night before the boy’s birthday. After he went to bed I snuck in and laid the quilt over him. We woke up the next morning to surprised squealing!