While I wait for the bathroom floor to dry so I can finish up in there, I am going to squeeze in some time to write my monthly blog entry. I’m expecting company this next week and am busy Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so must get everything ready today, tomorrow, and Thursday which includes cleaning, freshening up the bedding, planning the menu, and buying the groceries. Has anybody else’s summer seemed busier than usual? LOL
During the month of July, we celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary, Independence Day, spent two days in Wichita, Kansas, watching our granddaughter play basketball, and most of the other weekends watching our grandson play golf in addition to all of our usual activities caring for my sister and her husband who have some challenges and my aging parents who need our help more and more. We also gathered garden produce, put up what we will need for the winter, and gave away the rest. Yep; summers are busy.
In spite of all this extra activity, I did finish the first of the Jacob’s Ladder quilts that I have been working on since January. It is a monster of a king-sized quilt! Took up most of my 12′ long quilting frame. The quilt top measured 110″ across. That was 9 blocks. The length is shorter with only 8 blocks.
Here is a closeup of the quilting.
I am very pleased with the amount of drop it has when placed on my king-size bed.
I even played around with my embroidery machine and some free software from Imbrilliance. And, yes, I agree that I need to play around with it some more. This label is far from perfect but does get the message across.
In my spare time (LOL), I decided it was time to do something with the ugly sides of my planning wall. So I took it from this
And it was so easy. I had been planning on doing it for almost four years. Took me all of a half hour just using fabric, pins, and a butter knife to push the fabric behind the frame. What a difference.
And since I finished the Jacob’s Ladder quilt with three days left in the month, I started a crocheted doll cardigan in bright pink. I got the bulk of it done. Just have the sleeves, edge trim, and collar left to do. Hopefully I will have enough time to get it finished during August although one week will be spent with company and another is reserved for my follow-up colonoscopy. That only leaves two weeks. Yikes! But one can still hope, can’t they?
For all my friends who make clothes for their 18″ dolls, I am giving away one of my patterns – the ruffled shorts shown in this picture and the capris with two ruffles. Just go to my Craftsy store to download it. Please let me know how you like it. Enjoy, Lana.
For any new visitors, my monthly goal for each month for the first 6 months of 2017 is to make 36 Jacob’s Ladder blocks – 12 sets of 3 identical blocks each month. Instead of making 9 blocks each week this month as I did for the first 4 months, I thought I would try making all 36 at once. I didn’t like doing it this way. Made it feel as though I was never going to finish them. I had trouble gauging if I was keeping up a good pace in order to complete them by the end of the month. I need smaller/shorter goals. So for the month of June, I will go back to making 9 blocks per week. Anybody else need to break up bigger chunks of work into small pieces in order to feel like you are actually accomplishing something?
Here are the blocks I finally completed for May:
I finished them with only 5 days left in the month to work on other projects. First up was to cut off 3 pairs of jeans and hem them to capri length for my sister. Mission accomplished. I was very pleased with how my Janome 6600 handled the thick denim.
And I did squeeze in enough time to make 2 quad Log Cabin blocks:
After working on all these blocks all month, I wanted to do something fun. So I made an American Girl sized backpack for my great-niece’s birthday coming up in July.
Isn’t it just the cutest thing?!!! I have to say that it was probably the most difficult sewing project I’ve ever worked on. It is supposed to have fringe between the ears to represent the mane, but I needed a break from it after I got it to this point. I have plenty of time to make the mane.
And with still a couple of days in the month left, I decided to dress one of my half dolls using a couple of my vintage hankies. Since the half doll is only 2 inches tall, the work was a bit tedious but worth the effort. I’m very pleased with the result.
After adding the base and skirt, she is now approximately 8 inches tall.
Have you ever felt you didn’t get much done and then listed everything and realized you did more than you thought? Me, too! LOL
Besides moving my sister and her husband and doing some mending for her, I managed to meet all of my goals and then some. Whoohoo!
The number one priority goal is the Jacob’s Ladder blocks for the three king size quilts I need to finish this year. I did reach my goal of 36:
In addition to these blocks, I completed 12 of the quad Log Cabin blocks which is more than I’ve been able to complete in a single month so far:
Then I decided it was high time I finished a set of 7 tea towels I started the first week of December 2016. I learned a lot about my embroidery machine working on these since the lettering would not fit in my 4 x 4 field. I used a movable hoop and learned how to mark things and line them up. I’m pretty new to this embroidery machine game. LOL
And since I had the embroidery machine stuff strewn all over the place, I decided to make a set of 5 tea towels for one of my granddaughters for her birthday:
After I finished the embroidery, I did a bit of cleaning and straightening in my studio. While I was whistling while I worked, I had a brainstorm. My shelving for my fabric stash and other treasures is made from two shuttered bi-fold closet doors and 5 boards. It dawned on me that those shutters showing on the end could work harder than just holding up 5 boards. They could also hold my cones of quilting thread. Here is what my husband and I came up with:
Now isn’t that just handy dandy?
Oh, and I almost forgot about the doll dress I finished. I did the embroidery whilst all that stuff was out, and then I put the fasteners on the jumper and the tee:
Maggie really likes the bee on her red corduroy jumper.
Then I finished a blanket my youngest granddaughter started about 4 years ago:
And to finish off the month, I took a strip of fabric and folded it just so and sewed it up, added a pair of folding scissors, and then put it with the other stuff I made for one of my sisters for her birthday:
I think that’s it. Like I said, it’s been a mighty busy and productive month!
It has been awhile since I promised I would get this pattern done and published. Well, today is the day. I had such great fun designing it, and my testers tell me that they loved making it and how it looks on their girls. You may purchase the pattern at either the Craftsy or Etsy stores listed at the right. I hope you enjoy this dress as much as I enjoyed designing it.
I’ve been working on a new pattern lately. I finished my prototype yesterday, and Nikki insisted on wearing it to her Christmas ice skating party. Doesn’t she look cute?
Now that the prototype jacket is finished, I’ll be turning this design into a pattern. When it is released, you’ll hear it here. Oh, did I mention that the jacket is reversible?
And Nikki had so much fun at her party!
Lana, Daisy, Lily, Maggie, Nikki, and Pansy
I finished the witch costume just in time. Maggie was beginning to think she wasn’t going to have a costume. She couldn’t wait for me to take a picture of her all decked out.
I’ll see if I can remember where I got all of the patterns. The witch’s hat pattern was a free download at youcanmakethis.com. The vest was adapted from an original Pleasant Company pattern, Felicity’s Pretty Clothes, which you may download here. I didn’t use the sleeves or the ruffles, straightened out a couple of seams in the back, trimmed it as needed to even up things and top-stitched 1/8 inch on all the edges without using facings or a lining since it is made out of faux leather. The long-sleeved tee is the same pattern I used for the skeleton tee except I just hemmed to neckline instead of binding it and made the sleeves much tighter. The sleeves are made from the same fabric as the leggings. More on that later.
The skirt is the Bubble Skirt pattern from Liberty Jane that you can purchase on pixiefaire.com as well as the boots which are a Miche design.. The leggings are made from a woman’s knee high (the other knee high was used for the sleeves). I used the tutorial from AG Doll Crafts. Worked out beautifully.
Now that Maggie’s costume is complete, the girls are ready for trick-or-treating. Here they are in costume with their bags which was a free download from dolldiaries.com.
I had a lot of fun making these costumes. I hope that you enjoyed following my progress and that you will try some of these projects for the dolls in your life.
Lana, Daisy, Lily, Nikki, Maggie, and Pansy