Friday, May 30, 2014

Time to re-cover my Ironing Board

If you sew a great deal you probably go through ironing board covers on a regular basis - I know I do!  I've given up on the boring silver ones and started using my own fabric and making them.  It's really not to hard, and this time I tried a different technique and am really happy with the results!

In order to cover your ironing board you will need two pieces of fabric large enough to cover the entire surface of your ironing board plus three inches all around.  You will also need about 3 yards of good sturdy elastic.  I have used 1/2 inch elastic in mine and have been able to reuse it several times.  Two layers of cotton batting the same size as your fabric.  Sewing machine, thread and an hour or so of your time.  Not bad!

If your old cover isn't in too bad of shape you can use it for a template, or just lay your ironing board upside down on the fabric on the floor to draw around it.  Then layer your two pieces of batting, back and front of your cover (right sides together):

Cut all layers out on your line.  Pin in several places all around and starting at the wide end, stitch a 1/2 inch seam, leaving a 4 or 5 inch gap for turning:

Trim away the extra batting in the seam to make more room for the elastic:
Then turn right side out and press around the edges.  Don't worry about the gap, we'll take care of that in a little bit!

Now sew all the way around the cover 1/2 inch from the finished edge.  This will be your casing for the elastic, so don't leave any gap in this stitching.  
Now comes the worst part part - pulling the elastic through the casing!  I used my drawstring threader to get this job done, you just have to be patient and work it all the way around that long casing.  Make sure you don't pull the end through - then you end up starting all over again.  (I stitch the elastic end that goes through the loop so it won't slip out of the loop as you pull it through...)

When you get the elastic pulled through, your cover will look like this mess - I sewed my ends together at this step because I was reusing the elastic from the previous cover and new it was the right size.  If you are making a new cover you won't be able to sew the elastic until you fit the cover on your board and pull up the elastic so it is tight.  So, here is where you would do that step if you need to.  Put your cove on your board and smooth and pull it into place, then tighten the elastic until it keeps the cover snug.  Pin it together, over lap about 1 inch and trim off the excess.  

Sew your elastic ends together, then trim off the extra batting in the opening and turn the edges in and top stitch.  It doesn't have to be pretty - it will be under your ironing board and no one will see it (wink, wink)
Now, put your new cover on your ironing board and enjoy!  Theoretically you can wash it, but I never do.  It is also reversible, so when one side is trashed you can use the other!  Double duty!
Check it out!  This one is made out of home dec fabric, so I hope it will last a bit longer.  In any case, it will make me very happy for however long it lasts.  Then I can make another one.   I've had a lovely day in my sewing room, doing some cleaning up and making it a happy place -  hope your day was lovely, too!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Whoops!

As usual, I seem to be starting more projects than finishing them these days!  I had a little free time this weekend, so instead of working on a project that was already in progress I started sewing strips for a new one.  In my defense I did get two quilts finished this weekend, so I guess that's not too awful.  Both of the projects I finished were from my UFO challenge, so now I am caught up, and if I can I'll get the May one completed by the end of the week (thankfully it is a small one!)

The first one I finished was for the couple that have been caretakers at the lodge our church owns.  The best thing about doing this was that Anne and I worked together many years ago on a surprise quilt for our Pastor and his wife!  That was so much fun (and hard to keep secret!).  I wish I had pictures of it, but I wasn't good at keeping track of my projects back then.  Or now, obviously as I only have a few pictures of this project - but here it is with the happy recipients:
I am so happy that this UFO went to a wonderful couple!  Walt has spent many hours using his woodworking skills to craft special requests for many women's events at our church.  And Anne is the sweetest lady ever despite continual health issues.  I love them very much and we will all miss them as they are moving away to help care for Anne's mother.  
What are you working on this week?  I hope you can take some time to make something special for someone you love!  
If you are interested in more Works In Progress by the Quiltsy team, check out our WIPs on Wednesday blog post.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Reading:

Lately I've been doing more reading blogs than writing....bad me!  I guess you have to blame part of it on a super busy month - altering prom and wedding dresses has been a priority - and Quilt Market.  Oh, the fun of seeing all those blog posts about one of the big quilting events of the year, it just makes me obsessive with checking out all the beautiful pictures and posts about new fabric, patterns and notions.  I think it would be a lot of fun to attend a Quilt Market one of these days.  Maybe next time it is held in Portland...

I also like to read blog posts and news articles about trends in sewing and quilting.  This is one that I caught through my facebook feed and thought it was a really good read - The Rise of Mending.  I think this is a great trend and it is a value that I learned growing up.  I like the statement that sewing is empowering - I feel that so much whether I am creating something new like a quilt, altering a garment, or repairing something so it can be used longer.  It is very satisfying to me, and I enjoy passing that enjoyment on to others.

Mary Fons is another quilter/blogger I enjoy - I very much like her perspective as she blogs about her life and quilting.  She shared an awesome poem in this blog post about "The Song of the Shirt".  It is bit of a downer, but so real.  The power of words to move our emotions and make us feel deep emotions is amazing sometimes!  While in the aftermath of altering dozens of prom dresses plus a massive curtain project I can surely relate to the emotion in this piece.

I am also trying to read more books - I've had Les Miserables on my kindle for over a year now and have not been able to get past the beginning!  I recorded the movie on my DVR last week and after watching it 3 times this week have determined that I need to get through this book - what an amazing story.  I had the same problem with Tale of Two Cities, but it was totally worth working at, so I know this one will be as well.

And yes, there is finally quilting going on!  This is what I am working on today....(Yep, my UFO from March is finally getting fully finished!)  Sorry for the bad photo - camera battery is dead...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Even though my girls are all grown and I don't get those fun breakfasts served to me in bed anymore, I really enjoy this day.  It's a good day to be grateful for the wonderful mother that I have, and for the 5 lovely daughters I was privileged to raise.  And for my 4 grandchildren, too!  Then I start thinking of all the the awesome women I know who are mothers, and the men who do their share of "mothering" as well.  There are a lot of nurturing and caring people I know that really deserve a big "Thank You" for everything they do, so be sure and let them know!

I love my Mom so much - she really is a terrific person.  She is smart, funny, down-to-earth, capable, resourceful, and thrifty.  She taught me how to sew early on, and shared her sewing machine with me willingly (and my sister, too!) growing up.  I remember picking out fabric with her for projects and just having a good time creating.  One year we worked on Marching Band uniforms together - oh my, that was quite the project!  I don't think she ever once told me something was too difficult for me to sew, we just puzzled it out together.  

My girls didn't follow after me as much in the sewing department, but I am always thrilled when they do - this is a quilt Tracy is working on now for the daughter she and her husband are adopting:
After the top is sewn she is going to tie in between the colored triangles with black so they will be butterflies - super cute!  Who knows, maybe she will catch the quilting bug, too!  I'm glad she's having fun making it, and I'm sure it will be as special for her daughter as it is for her.  It's a good legacy to pass on.  I think that's what Mother's Day is about - recognizing the love and care that we are shown not only as children, but throughout our lives.  

Happy Mother's Day!