I have pretty vivid memories of learning to sew in my seventh grade Homemaking class. I made a maxi skirt (yes, it was the 70s) that actually fit and was pretty and fun to wear. But I never really enjoyed sewing very much. My older sister took to it like a duck to water, though, and over the years has made many gorgeous dresses and other things for herself and her daughters. One summer, my sister, a friend and I all decided to make quilts. I chose a design with all straight lines and rectangles, the others chose more complex designs. We all did a pretty good job! Mine was a gift for friends who were getting married, and my sister kept and used hers a lot. Not sure what our friend did, we lost touch with her not long after that.
But I digress! Of course over the years I have made the odd costume, slip cover for pillows and so on. I even bought a sewing machine when Meital was a baby (still have it, almost 17 years later). And of course I also built up a fabric stash...in fact I still have fabric that I bought over 30 years ago! But it wasn't until I found a blog called Cozy Things (sorry, I still don't know how to make links in this Blogger app) that my interest in sewing was reawakened. She makes all kinds of things, including lots of quilts. And she takes a very relaxed, let's try this and see how it goes, and if it's not perfect no big deal kind of approach. Just the kind of attitude I didn't have, and that lack was preventing me from enjoying sewing. In fact, I pretty much hated it for a while there.
So I was starting to get inspired to make a quilt and thinking about it quite seriously, when I discovered Shiny Happy World. Wow. Wendi makes hands down the best, clearest instruction videos, not to mention her website features tons of fun designs for quilts, toys (yay toys!), embroidery and more. Above is my first take on her free Warren the Charity Bear pattern (I lengthened his arms, too much as it turns out. But I will get better as I make more). She designs her patterns to be easy enough for kids to make, which is perfect for me. Thanks to Wendi, I was also inspired to teach Meital to sew (as much as my rudimentary skills will allow). Meital really enjoyed her first lesson and we are hoping to do some sewing together this weekend. Liat claimed this blue bear, but I have plans to make more and donate them. I have fallen behind on my community service crafting and need to get busy!
This needle cushion is another of Wendi's brilliant ideas and is also a free pattern. Most of the needles shown above were stuck in the middle of my traditional pincushion. This slim needle cushion has an old credit card on the bottom, so needles can't get lost inside (unless they go in sideways, I suppose...).
And here is the quilt top I just finished! Again I went with simple straight lines, but I have picked up so many cool tips and tricks this time around. This is all fabric I've had for years, some of which I purchased with the idea of making a quilt but never did. Now I need to find something for the backing and make the binding strip. I haven't been able to find a shop here that sells quilt batting, so I am going to use a summer-weight blanket we've had for maybe 18 years and which is getting a tiny bit frayed around the edges. Yay for reusing and saving money!
I also just finished a cover for an accent pillow, though I think I made need to take it in a bit, it seems a little bit too big for the pillow. And I just started working on a table runner. To my amazement, I am having a great time sewing!