Friday, August 15, 2014

A Hopscotch Quilt

I don't remember why I thought to make this Hopscotch Quilt. Maybe I saw it somewhere and realized it would be a great piece of entertainment for my grand kids when they come over. Due to knee problems, I can't get down on the ground anymore like I used to, so I can't draw the hopscotch with chalk on the driveway or patio anymore. Shame to have to get old!  But..with a HOPSCOTCH QUILT ...I can still teach the kids a game from "back in the day"while getting them out from in front of the TV or game box!

I was pretty darn good at hopscotch, back in the day. The best ever "marker" was a piece of from a necklace or those little chains that are on a key ring. But, I never got to have one so I always had to  use a rock...but made sure to get one that was NOT round!

Each square is 12x12 (finished),  And is appx 100" long by 36" wide. The numbers I cut from black cotton fabric that I had pressed iron-on interfacing to the back of for extra stability and then appliqued the number to the center of the block.Once done,  I noticed the 6 was backwards but I wasn't going to rip it all apart all over that! I remember having trouble making the 2 and  the 5 with straight lines - they looked to much alike so I  figured how to make them with more of a curve, and was able to redo those two before I assembled it, but I didn't catch the 6. I made the numbers by hand... I wanted  them 5 inches tall by 1 inch wide. I just did the math and cut the strips, pinned them down and appliqued with zigzag stitch around them and I used a thin fleece blanket as batting. I wanted it to "hold up" to all the jumping so I FMQ'ed it with a meander stitch.
  I used my fabric stash to make the outer squares, then sewed 3 together in the correct order by the numbers position and then sewed the rows together.  Outer sides of the  hopscotch is a sheet I had in my stash.

And it isn't just a hopscotch! I always have to make things practical. Just "nothing" on the back..what a waste! So I created a Bag Toss game on the back!   I sewed rows of 6x6 inch squares together.  The child tries to toss their little rice bag into that square! I personalized it a bit, and machine embroidered each of my grand kids names onto a square that can be chosen also! The rest of the back is a sheet.
I chose fabric that had images on it and cut the image out into the square. The Bag Toss game is... stand at the end and (for instance) I will tell the child to toss their bag (a bag of rice) into the (say an image name of a square) and they are to toss their rice bag into that square. Teaches technique, motor skills, balance and concentration and recognition. The little ones weren't quite sure about this...but they will learn and they loved tossing the rice bags!

In this picture I'd say... "Toss your bag of rice onto the...snowman square" or "toss you bag onto the square of dollar bills!"

I took it to their house for the first time last week, and they Loved it! The 5 and 3 year old were a bit awkward with the jumping on the hopscotch  and learning to jump over markers and things like that but they still had a blast...and they will learn! The 8 year old was so cute to help them learn. And the funniest thing...all three of them liked the little bean bag markers....BEST!!! I couldn't believe it! Each of them asked if they could keep the bag! I started to think, 'oh good grief...all that work and they like the stupid little bean bag things best?" but then I caught myself and realized... I really enjoyed watching them jump and hop and SMILE some of the biggest smiles I have seen in a long time so who cares what they liked best.. I like THEM best!

Fabric games are also a great travel item. Take the hopscotch camping, to the beach, on sleep overs and if needed...use it as a quilt to cover up!

This is a set of alphabet stencils...6 inch tall. Just use a regular pencil and trace them onto your fabric (which has been pressed with iron on interfacing on the wrong side of fabric), cut and applique!

Want to read more at Fabric and Memories? CLICK HERE

This post is linked to the Linky Party of the the tab at the top of this page "Here's Where I Party" and come join the fun! Lots and lots of great talent on "display"!

Thanks for stopping by and...keep on sewing those memories!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How to Cut/Trim Half Square Triangles (HST)

HST's are my favorite piece to make and use. The possibilities are endless because with just a turn of a HST, the whole pattern of the block changes! Everything from squares, to zig-zag to circles...if you have
 HST's you can make it!
I have always used Eleanor Burns way of making HST's. There are others, but to me, hers is the quickest and easiest. She has to ways to do is with a HST square up ruler and the other is with a regular square template ruler.

Here is the link to her UTube video and you can see how quick and easy it is. Give it a will love HST's In addition to HST's being a great way to create a pattern for a block, HST's are also a great way to use up scraps! One solid and "anything goes" with the prints in your scrap bucket and you have a great scrappy quilt! Organize the HST's by color and create a rainbow theme. Give the HSTs to your kids and tell them to put them in whatever pattern they want and you just sew them together. A great way to teach the kids about a craft!

How To Cut/Trim HST's or Half Square Triangles with Eleanor Burns


Want to read more at Fabric and Memories? CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and...keep on sewing those memories!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Can You Say, Back Pack, Back Pack?

I haven't written on my blog for some time. Life just keeps getting in the way and it hasn't been much happiness.  I also had to give up some of my writing venues as they either closed down or just got to cumbersome to work with.  But I am always glad to have my sewing room as a haven and my talents as therapy! I look back over the last two months and think..did I do anything? And then I make a list and yeah.. I guess I did get alot done in spite of all the drama!

The biggest and funnest thing I did was make things for my 3 grand daughters ages 8,5 & 4.

I made them "superman/hero" capes. Searched all over for a pattern then just kind of "winged" it on my own... One was the comic super heros (she loves Wolverine and Hulk), one was Dora, the Explorer and the other one was Disney princess. They loved them but of course, I forgot my camera! But they have a huge backyard with trees and such so they'll be able to swoop all over the place! I lined them with poly/cotton broadcloth...good way to get rid of all that I had stashed up!

I then had the inspiration to make them back packs. I got a Simplicity pattern and was surprised at how quick I was able to whip them up! Again, one of Dora the Explorer in purple/green camo, one with dinosaurs and one with pink camoflauge. I wanted the closure to be quick and easy, yet heavy enough to hold the flap closed no matter what they stuffed inside! So I chose a large, metal washer and a heavy, metal nut from the hardware store. I made a thin strip of the matching fabric and sewed them to the back pack. I wanted them to be able to just drop the nut into the washer and go instead of ties or clips. They loved them and this time I did take pictures!

 This is Lillyanne..the 4 year old...she loves Dora!
I used purple to make the flap and appliqued images of Dora and Boots that I cut from the fabric onto the front flap. And then here is how the closure looks. Quick and easy to close, just drop the nut into the washer. The weight holds the flap closed, no matter what is in there!  
Then there is the Pink Camo...the oldest loves pink camo! I couldn't find actual camo so this is camo made with deers hidden amongst forest branches.
And the dinosaurs! This one is for the 5 year old...and she is just getting into her dinosaur stage so she was thrilled to have some dinos "on her back". The fabric is a dinosaur print and I made the flap a solid blue and appliqued 3 of the dinos on the flap.
I also use a bright poly/cotton for the lining in each of them so it isn't so dark inside when they go searching for things!

They all three turned out really cute and the girls loved them. I just hope the parents remember to let them take them out to play or on the road with them. I told their dad (my son) to let them store outside toys in them, then they can just take and go. Or store writing/coloring supplies in them and then when they want to color, they just take the whole pack pack to the table, color then put it all way right there. And hang them in their rooms on the door knob, a hook on the wall, the bed post, back of a chair...that way they are easy to get to and use,  yet everything is picked up and organized all the while having a cute room decoration!

This is the pattern I used, if you are interested in making one...or two...or many kids do you have? Make one for each! And with Christmas coming up...this back pack will make a great Christmas gift...especially if you are a distance from the kids..the back pack is light weight and inexpensive to mail!

Want to read more at Fabric and Memories? CLICK HERE
This post linked to the Linky Party for the day. Click on the "Daily Linky Parties" tab at the top of my page and join us! Lots and lots of amazing talents on "display"

Thanks for stopping by and...keep on sewing those memories!

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