Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Quilting on the Scrappy Shirt Quilt ...

Remember the Scrappy Shirt Quilt Top? I put a border on it, I pieced a back for it, and I've started quilting it!

Here's a glimpse of the light blue border that goes all the way around.

Border on the scrappy shirt quilt top

For the back, I pieced a lot of 10-inch squares that were cut from shirts ... blues and grays ... along with a blue & white floral ...

Piecing the back of the shirt quilt

Actually, I sewed the blue floral "inside out" ... for a couple reasons: The more muted blue of the back of the fabric blended better with my shirt fabrics. And ... using the fabric this way reminds me of the Hawaiian-style shirts the waiters wore at my dad's restaurant a long, long time ago. When I was little, I was intrigued (and slightly disturbed) that those Hawaiian shirts were sewn "inside out" - with the bright side of the fabric on the inside, and the muted pastel look on the outside. 

The back of the shirt quilt - "inside-out" fabric

So ... I've started quilting ... 

Quilting the dress-shirt quilt

... and quilting ...

Quilting straight lines on the dress-shirt quilt

... and quilting ... 

Quilting the scrappy shirt quilt

... and quilting.

Quilting straight lines on the scrappy shirt quilt

Lots of straight(ish) lines. 
Next up: loopy, wavy lines in the open spaces.

Quilting the Scrappy Shirt Quilt nine-patches

More quilting to come. More pictures to come.
For now, this quilt is rolled up, looking cute ... 

Shirt Quilt Pieced back rolled up

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring has sprung!

I'm loving the spring flowers that are coming back, with hardly any help from me!
And, since I like to post about garden-y stuff on Saturdays, here are some pictures of some of my latest flowers ...

Last year, I blogged about these pink perennial verbena flowers, which I LOVE! They're blooming again! And, since I love them so much, last fall, I was on the lookout for some more verbena plants in other colors.

So, in the fall, when they were almost done flowering, I got a great deal on a purple verbena, and a red one. I think it's safe to say, they're flourishing.

I'm still partial to the pink flower with the little white center, but I've gotta say: Purple & red in my flowerbed are pretty awesome, too.

These little verbena flowers are becoming the "edge" of this flowerbed that grows leucojum and daffodils early in the springtime, irises right now, and later on, red cannas, orange cannas, and the very occasional calla lily ...

~ * ~ 
Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow;

they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you,
That even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe
the grass of the field,
which to day is,
and to morrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more clothe you,
O ye of little faith?
Matthew 6:28b-30
~ * ~ 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Quilting Fabric: Recycled "Fat Quarters"

At the risk of repeating myself (again), I'll mention that I love sewing with fabric that used to be shirts! I've been buying shirts that are 100% cotton, in a wide variety of colors. Cotton shirts yield some really great fabric.

Peach and Gray "Fat Quarters" - for sale on eBay
Peach and Gray "Fat Quarters" - for sale on eBay
Compared with brand-new yards of fabric, shirt fabric is slightly less convenient to cut into. (All those seams, buttons, pockets, etc., get in the way ...) But I've been cutting the shirts into squares, rectangles, and strips that are usable sizes for patchwork-making. 

Plaid and Blue "Fat Quarters" - for sale on eBay
Plaid and Blue "Fat Quarters" - for sale on eBay
The backs of shirts are almost always just the right size to cut a big rectangle that's the same size as a standard fabric "fat quarter". (Most fat quarters are 18" x 21", since they're cut criss-cross from a yard of fabric that starts out 36" x 44".)

Yellow and Plaid "Fat Quarters" for sale on eBay
Yellow and Plaid "Fat Quarters" for sale on eBay
Since fat quarters are so easy to use (no seams, no buttons, no pockets!), and since I've got PLENTY of shirt fabric around here, I'm selling these sets of recycled "fat quarters". This way, somebody else can use some shirt fabrics without the fuss and muss of cutting up actual shirts!

Light Blue Stripe "Fat Quarters" for sale on Etsy
Light Blue Stripe "Fat Quarters" for sale on Etsy
The links for the listings are in each of the picture captions, or you can see all my listings at these links: ProsperityStuff on eBay and ProsperityStuff on Etsy.

Red-Black-White "Fat Quarters" for sale on Etsy
Red-Black-White "Fat Quarters" for sale on Etsy

I've been sewing some fun things with shirt fabrics ... More on that later!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dinner Napkins ... and more little napkins

So, after the success of the little napkins project, I started thinking: If those were so easy, I could certainly make some regular-sized dinner napkins. 16 inches square. Serged edges. All cotton.

And if I had my choice, I'd pick some combination of blue and green. Maybe plaid.

Next trip to the thrift store, guess what? I found my blue, my green, my plaid, my 100% cotton -- all in one almost-new duvet cover. 

Enough for 16 blue dinner-sized napkins ... 

... and 16 plaid dinner-sized napkins ... 

... AND 4 plaid and 4 blue 12-inch napkins. 

Quick math: $10 duvet cover becomes 40 napkins. Again, I've got napkins I love for 25¢ each. 
Nice. Very nice.

And, again, with awesome napkins, one can do really fun things with table-settings! ("Restaurant Silverware!" the kids exclaimed, when I rolled the silverware in the napkins.)

My oldest daughter raised her eyebrows when she realized that I was making that many dozens of napkins. But actually, we're using them. 

And I'm loving the nearly-endless basket of napkins that now lives on top of the microwave.
THIS is one of the reasons I sew: To create something practical & usable for a price I love!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Little Napkins

Cloth napkins are nice to have around. But, if they were expensive, I'd be hesitant to use them, and stain them, and wear them out.

Problem solved. I made some cheap (really cute!) napkins.

ProsperityStuff Plaid Napkin - fan fold

Thanks to the thrift store (again), I got some great cotton fabric - enough for 8 little napkins - for a grand total of $2. At the cost of a quarter apiece, I have no problem with using them, washing them, even bleaching them if they get stained. 

ProsperityStuff Napkins - pastel plaids & stripes

Last week, I spent a while with my serger, giving these little napkins a narrow rolled hem. 

ProsperityStuff Serger-Rolled-Hem on napkin

This fabric was actually a pillow sham in near-perfect condition at the thrift store for $2.00. I have no use for a pillow sham, but I loved the cute fabric and the fact that it's 100% cotton. 

(One of my pet peeves is the fact that those polyester napkins at restaurants aren't absorbent at all; I needed cotton napkins!) While I was cutting up the pillow sham, I noticed the tag: Tommy Hilfiger (one of my favorite "fabric designers")! Too funny.

ProsperityStuff recycles Tommy Hilfiger Pillow Sham into napkins

While I was making these, I remembered the blue/white plaid fabric leftover from the tea towels I'd made out of a (thrift store) tablecloth (the ones I embellished with very tiny English-Paper-Pieced hexagons). 

So, I made four napkins out of the blue/white plaid, and four each of the blue/white stripe and the colorful plaid.

ProsperityStuff Napkins - striped & plaid

These napkins are about 12 inches square -- just little napkins. Just right for grabbing with a quick breakfast or lunch.

ProsperityStuff 12-inch napkins

I think they're adorable. AND, we're using them lots!

ProsperityStuff Homemade Napkin - fan fold

Setting the table for breakfast is more fun when you've got cute bowls (gotta love Dollar Tree!) and cute napkins!

Glass Bowls, Homemade Napkins, Cheerios for breakfast

While I was on a roll, and while I was finding thrift-store deals, I bought some more awesome cotton, and made some regular-sized dinner napkins from some other fabric I fell in love with. 

More on that another day. Stay tuned ...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Quilts on the Clothesline

I'm not one to take my quilts on photo-shoot field-trips. I don't recall ever laying a quilt on the grass or on the snow or on a playground for a photo op. Apparently, those are "the things" to do if you're a quilt-blogger. (And I have to say, there are some impressive quilt-photos out there!)

Since I'm a regular-mom-quilt-blogger, my finished-quilt-pics usually happen on my living room floor. Or couch. Or chair.

That being said, my quilts do sometimes hang on the clothesline, to dry, after being washed.

Windy spring days are just right for quilts to be on the line.

My oldest daughter took these pictures of the quilts on the clothesline.

The kids kept looking out the window at the quilts on the line, and commenting on how great the quilts look from afar.

The girls were impressed that the log cabin quilt looks "so different" on the clothesline than on a bed. This quilt (below) was the first twin-sized log cabin quilt I ever made. It's been in the girls' room off and on pretty much forever. But I guess seeing the blocks up close makes it harder to see the overall/secondary patterns ...

It's fun how the wind and the sunshine & shadows play with the quilts on the line.

These two quilts below are two of the first twin-sized scrap quilts I ever made.

And the fresh spring air makes the quilts smell wonderful!

Friday, April 12, 2013

I love thrift stores! (And handmade lace!)

Shopping at thrift stores is a lot of fun. For one thing, fabrics from most of my favorite fabric designers are available there ... And, a person can do such cool things with thrift store shirts! So many things are such great bargains at thrift stores. 

Something I always keep an eye out for when thrift-shopping is handmade lace. I have this compulsion to "rescue" tatted lace from thrift stores. Bobbin lace, too.


I've seen doilies made with intricate handmade lace, for a dollar! Unbelievable. I have to buy them. This is because I've made handmade lace, and I know how much work (TIME!) goes into all those tiny knots and twists in handmade lace!

Tatted lace edging

So ... the other day, I saw this cute tiny dress (gown? slip?) on a hanger at the thrift store, for two dollars. It had teeny, tiny lace on it. Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was miniscule TATTED lace!

Tatted lace on baby gown

Very, very tiny. Itty bitty.

Tiny handmade tatted lace edging

On the ruffled hem, not to mention all around the neck and armholes.

Tatted lace edging ruffle

And then, there was this pillowcase. When I asked how much it was, the cashiers conferred, and informed me that pillowcases with lace cost fifty cents; pillowcases without lace cost a quarter.

Tatted lace edging on pillowcase

So, I bought the pillowcase with tatted lace, too. For fifty cents.

Pillowcase with handmade tatted lace

I have no idea what I'll do with all this handmade lace. (Just for the record, I don't have any use right now for a baby gown, and I already have plenty of pillowcases.) 

But, honestly. this lace represents months' worth of somebody's tedious (beautiful!) handwork. And it cost me $2.50! I call that a good buy. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013


(I know, that's hardly a good excuse for neglecting my blog, but I guess it's as good as any!)

I've been busy with a lot of things, including:

Hanging quilts on the clothesline ...

Watching in delight as my flowerbeds come back to life ...

Working on some unfinished projects ...

Making stacks of napkins ...

And rescuing tatted lace from the thrift store!

I'll try to write posts about all of the above, sometime soon.

Until then, enjoy springtime where you are!

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