Monday, December 2, 2013

Catching up with the news

Infinity Scarf

I went to a baby shower on Saturday. It took place in the electrons of cyberspace, people attended from the ends of the Earth - Canada, New Zealand - and the rest of the earth - USA, the UK - all to celebrate the pending arrival of Sarah's first baby, also known as bean. Sarah, who blogs at Narcoleptic in a Cupboard, also lives at another end of the Earth in the Shetland Isles, and it was fun and amazing to attend a shower for her nonetheless. Her mom took awesome photos for us and she was positively glowing while she opened the presents, so a huge success all round.

I made that infinity scarf for a shower prize, and the lovely Reene from Nellie's Niceties won it. I had this fabric on my shelf for a long time and did not make the scarf, thinking it would be too much work. Wrong. It took 30 minutes, from the start of cutting to the end of hand stitching up the turning hole. I already made one for me and plan some more. These would be excellent quick to make Christmas presents.

Swirling Medallion - done

Now that Sarah has it, I can tell you that I sent Sarah the Swirling Medallion Quilt. I made it for her last summer and it has been really hard keeping it a secret till now.

Napkins - straight from the wash and dry

A number of folks commented on my napkins and wondered how they wash up. So after they all had been used, I washed and dried them on regular warm and warm settings with my towels. These two photos are straight from the dryer before pressing. You can see there is not much curling and a little draw in from the thread and they came nice and clean - which is not how they went into the washer.  Now, I did prewash both the quilter's cottons and the essex linen before I made them, because I wash all my fabric when it arrives, and I would recommend that for napkins.

Napkins - straight from the wash and dry

The back show very little curling on the seams before a press. Since I have become a quilter, I have an ironing board set up all the time and it took only a minute or two to give these a nice press and put them back in the napkin drawer.

Napkins

A few people mentioned that cloth napkins were a bit posh and I guess that might be one way to look at it. I made the first set when my kids were really little, in an effort to save both money and the environment. My messy kids, and us parents too, needed to use paper napkins, paper towels or tissues at every meal and frankly in those days the cost was an issue.

And I thought this was one of those small things I could do to walk gently upon the earth. My old napkins have lasted 10 - 15 years, although they are now in tatters as they were used daily. I estimate that we have not thrown into the garbage at least 26,000 paper napkins, probably a lot more than that. And fabric napkins are soft and pretty too. Let me know if anyone wants a tutorial to make some for themselves.

Slab quilt for Calgary

Cheryl, from A Dining Room Empire, put out the call for scrappy slab blocks so that quilts could be made and donated to victims of the terrible flooding in Calgary last summer. I sent some blocks and many of you did too. One day I said on her blog that it was too bad I lived so far away (3 hours on the highway) or I could help with the assembly. Smart woman, she called me on it as she was here to teach a quilting class a few weeks ago and so she brought me blocks, batting and backing to complete two quilts .

Slab quilt for Calgary

Working on these quilts, made with blocks from all over the world sent by generous quilters who wanted to send a warm hug to a stranger in need, was really a lovely thing to do. The willingness of communities, including the whole world quilting community, to help those who need help, to bring them the warmth and comfort of a quilt is fantastic.

Slab quilts for Calgary

I finished these two quilts on Saturday night, but for the mending in of ends and a wash, and put a photo on instagram. Well, Cheryl saw it and let me know that she was back in town, so my guy stopped on the way to do an errand and put them in her hands Sunday morning before she left for her home.

Enough news for today, I will show off the mittens I am making next time (you can see Kristie's pair here,  and Kelsey's pair here) - it is snowing a great deal today and a very cold snap is on the way, so mittens seemed in order.

Best,

Leanne

42 comments:

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Gorgeous quilts and beautiful one for Sarah! I would love a napkin tutorial please!

Cheryl said...

we also use cloth napkins- easy to make and toss in the wash. they start out pretty too!

Brenda said...

Great napkins. I use cloth napkins a lot too. I was wondering how those slab quilts were going -- good for you for helping out!

Lorrie said...

I've used cloth napkins for years, too. It's an easy way to ease our impact on the earth. And fabric comes in such pretty colors and prints - I could make dozens of them!

Debbie said...

Love that you gifted that beautiful quilt - perfect! And thanks for the napkin update! Some are still on my list for sometime soon. Love the linen on one side of yours. We use them daily too for the same reasons, plus we just like them! Great about the slab quilts too!

memmens said...

I made myself an infinity scarf using the same triflora voile yesterday, I was also using velveteen and it took longer than 30 minutes! I was thinking tonight at dinner that I needed to make cloth napkins as my 4 yr old boy wiped his fingers on the table and then on his trousers!

Patchwork and Play said...

I love your napkins and the story behind them. I suppose people think we're posh because we use stainless steel cutlery rather than plastic! 😃

Rachel said...

Love the quilts and the napkins are a great idea - reminds me that I really need to make some more, as I always seem to run out & have to revert to paper towels! Rx

Lucy said...

My mother made cloth napkins when I was really little (26ish years ago) and they continue to use them to this day! They're so practical and sensible.

Di said...

Cloth napkins are the way to go.....love your quilts and the one for Sarah is brilliant. Di x

cheeky monkey said...

the scarf is so pretty! gorgeous quilts

Little Island Quilting said...

How does a cyberspace baby shower work?!

heart of charnwood said...

All beautiful, as always :o)

Svetlana said...

lots of wonderful news. A cyberspace baby shower sounds like a fantastic idea. And your quilt is gorgeous, perfectly perfect for a little baby.

elle said...

Warm heart, warm hands, warm winter ahead!

Katy Cameron said...

It was lovely to shower with you Saturday night... ;o) My parents still use the cloth napkins we've had since I was a kid, I'm the family disgrace with the wipes...

Strawberry Patch said...

Saturday was SO much fun! We use cloth napkins that I have made too, we are also messy eaters! And it means I get to see my pretty fabric more often.

Sarah said...

Thank you so much my lovely, for your kind words here and for the amazingly beautiful quilt for beany :-) I love it, and so will bean! xxxxx

Judith, Belfast said...

Gorgeous quilt there! You've been awfully busy! Jxo

Laura B said...

I would definitely use the napkin tutorial. Thank you! Beautiful quilts!

Shanna said...

Wow you have been a busy bee! I would love to know how you make the scarf and the napkins!

Adrianne said...

I love the idea of an online baby shower between crafty friends! The slab quilts look great and I'm sure they will be much appreciated by the recipients. Good point about the ecological impact of your cloth napkins - I am now tempted to make some too because we often end up using paper towels as we eat our dinner (and this is despite the total absence of children in my household!). Also, pretty!

felicity said...

This post just made me so happy! Congrats to Sarah and I love the idea of the e-shower!

We use cloth napkins, too - I don't bother with pressing them though.

And great work on the slab quilt. I'm making some slabs myself these days, for a set of placemats. They're lots of fun.

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

Some lovely stuff! It wax great to "meet" you on Saturday x

Canadian Abroad said...

Busy week full of beautiful stuff. Loved hearing your voice the other night.

Elisabeth said...

I love the idea of making napkins as we do use a lot of paper napkins at the moment (I do keep my paper one for the next meal if it isn't too bad) especially my daughter. I'm going to make some for Christmas, I think.
Gorgeous quilts! It's amazing how wonderful the quilting community is really.

Annabella said...

Sarah's quilt is so lovely as are those for the flood victims. I love cloth napkins - why are they posh?!

pennydog said...

Oh what fantastic quilts, I would have sent some blocks if I had heard about this sooner (or does Cheryl still want more?). I love your napkins too.

Nilya said...

Wonderful Post. Love the endless scarf and all the lovely things shown here. Do you have a tutorial for the scarf?

Nilya said...

... I mean sizes etc. :)

Cindy said...

I love the baby blanket and the idea of using napkins. Do you knit your mittens? My Grandma knit me mittens when I was young. Hideous colors, she used whatever yarn leftovers people gave her. I wore them anyhow, because they were the warmest mittens I ever had! I would love to have homemade mittens again! Your family is lucky, and I hope they realize it! lol

Catherine said...

Oh I would definitely love a tute for the napkins! I made a slab for those quilts a while back-not in the one you have sewn together though

Marg said...

Beautiful quilty and sewing pics. Looks like you have been keeping very busy.

thevanillayear.com said...

I love your napkins! I've been making and using cloth for 20 years! I make BIG 20" squares because I like a lap-cover too! And I never pre-wash, but maybe I will next time.
Also adore your mittens!

Donna said...

Love your comments on why you use cloth napkins and now I want some of my own. Pretty please, would you create a tutorial? Lots of lovely finishes in your post!

dutchcomfort said...

Lovely post with lots of eye-candy! A cyberspace baby shower, who would have thought of that?!

Rita Ferber said...

Love your napkins! Did you back them all in white? Very clever!

FlourishingPalms said...

Those slab quilts are marvelous! Not only are you generous to have sewed them up, but they turned out spectacular! No one's passing off a get-by quilt to those in need, and that's a lovely effort. Must someday make some of those slabs from my scraps too!

quiltswithpersonality said...

Leanne....what an amazing amount of work. I love that quilt for the baby shower. How fun to have a virtual one!! The quilts for the flood victims are amazing .....they will be so much appreciated. I am with you I love cloth napkins and they make beautiful gifts too! Thanks for sharing Marie (mlismore@optusnet.com.au)

Rebecca Lynne said...

I am so thrilled that Sarah was the recipient of this quilt as she is for sure going to adore it forever...and so will Bean. As for the infinity scarf - I find it amusing that you avoided something so simple for so long. You Leanne the champion of all things long and arduous (enter matchstick quilting)...I am glad you made the scarf and are off on a venture to make more. I have been making them by the batches for weeks as Christmas gifts myself!!

Miranda P said...

I would also like the napkin tutorial. Thanks so much!!

Nicky said...

You've been very busy! Lovely napkins and quilts!