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Sometimes it’s better to be doing things instead of talking about doing things.  That’s exactly what I’ve been doing!  Several quilts have come and gone without even a thought that I should stop quilting and start writing about quilting.  There were 4 tops for the guild charity efforts, various bee blocks, a baby quilt, complete with personalized embroidery, and more.  It’s been a while of being on the go, dragged in several directions.

So, catching up.

First – there’s a Big Day for kids in just under 2 weeks. Last year my daughter went with Frankie Stein from Party City, but this year she’s requested Greek Goddess from Mom.  Of course, there’s no patterns for that, but we happened on a pattern (99 cents, advertises that the sewing can be completed in an hour) and a fantastic heavy white jersey (in the red-tag section, no less) and I’m off to the races.  Last night I cut it out, and today I sewed the shell together.  Now I’m waiting for my model to get home from school before putting in the lining.

(I love my daughter to pieces.  I do.  But she’s difficult to buy or sew clothes for because she’s two sizes bigger in height than she is in width.)

Every serious sewer/quilter has to have an assistant, right?  McKenna joined me last night should I need any small things done.  But then she got distracted by finger knitting…how just like a 10 year old!

Then I’ve been doing some stress-release / stash-reduction quilting.  When I just want to SEW, I do this.  Usually I grab my GO and the diamond die and go to town, but I’ve been liking equilateral triangles so much lately.  So I grabbed a triangle ruler, a bunch of remnants from a bunch of boy quilts, and I was off.  It’s topped, quilted, and I’ll have the binding done shortly.

I have six other things to work on, but I needed some more stress-release sewing, so as a way of avoiding the whole costume thing I started sewing SSQA blocks.  I have 18 of them done, and my blue scrap bag will be tiny after this!

My dresden plate quilt has been pinned since June or so.  I couldn’t figure how to quilt it, had no idea.  So now I’ve started, but then had to stop because it’s going to take forever and I don’t have any time for it this month.  Not to mention that we’ve been suffering with hot days for weeks and weeks, and if I can help it I don’t quilt large things when it’s hot.

My to-do list is much, much larger than the WIPs shown above.  I have a baby quilt to make for a favorite cousin.  Another large quilt that’s basted and ready to go.  Oh, and in note-worthy news, I’ve finally mom-ed up and finished the embroidery squares that I started over a year ago for a quilt for my daughter.  (Twin-sized minkee.  I don’t see that getting done before it cools off.)

I have some family quilts with 1930s/1940s prints in them, I’ve never been drawn to reproductions from the 1930s, even when they were all the rage.

Except once.

I found a pattern for this adorable witch quilt in a magazine.  Bought the magazine, and I think the quilt was done in a week.  I still love it, and now’s the time of year to pull it out!

I took it to a show and tell at a quilt shop.  Everyone oohed and aahed, like good quilters, and the shop owner said that at first glance she though the witches were wearing rain slickers.  Huh?  Rain slickers with brooms?

Re-Design.  The idea of rain slickers stuck with me.  I drafted a pattern for little girls with rain slickers holding umbrellas and made a test block.  Ten years ago, what was I supposed to make it out of?  Muddy batiks?  Celestials?  (on their way out)  Asian prints? (on their way in)  Nope, nope, and nope.  This quilt clicked for me when I thought of 1930s reproductions.  I went to a quilt show and bought a bunch of pre-cut fat 8ths to make my quilt from.

Isn’t it cute?  I entered it in a show, and the judges said my straight lines weren’t straight.  Pooh on them!  I still thought it was cute, and it was my very first original pattern!  (Methinks it’s been folded too long, though.  See those fold lines?)  OK, it’s a style that’s not exactly in.

But – I had leftovers.  Of 1930s prints.  Which I never use.

Re-Purpose.  I finally figured out that I had enough to make an American Girl quilt out of them, and here it is!  I cut 2.5″ squares because that was the optimal size for the leftovers I had.  I also think that the scale is great with the dolls.  (American Girl dolls are 1/3 life size, so a 2″ finished square to them is equal to a 6″ square in a life sized quilt.)  I knocked this out in under three hours, from first cut to last stitch, including digging pretty deep to find flannel for the middle layer.

Cute, huh?  Just right for Kit Kittridge.  I just need to decide if it’s going to have a pillow with it or leave it be.

Re-Duce.  I’ve made two more tops as well – the one without the alternating muslin squares even has authentic vintage 1930s prints included!  I’d picked them up somewhere along the way and decided to include them.  You can see the leftovers – just enough to put an accent strip on two doll-sized pillows.  I love it when I use fabric to the point where there’s nothing to fold and put away, or even to throw in the scrap bin.

Looking for the Fall into Fall Giveaway?  It’s HERE – but feel free to stay around and read some more.

You have to know someone with an American Girl.  Or an Our Generation, or a Madame Alexander, or a Battat doll.  Those 18″ dolls that so many girls – or sometimes their mothers – have.  My daughter wanted to have an AG-themed birthday party, with AG-type crafts.

I came up with a no-sew sleeping bag.  I googled and googled and couldn’t come up with anything online.  So I made it myself.  My daughter and I talked about it, and decided that we wanted a sleeping bag with someplace to lay your head, so the bottom of our design is long enough that her doll’s head lays on the fleece.

For TWO sleeping bags you need 27″ (3/4 yard) of 58/60″ wide fleece.

Total time to make?  About 10 minutes for me to cut one sleeping bag and about 10 minutes for her to tie it.  (Though we had girls at the party that took much longer.)

Step 1:  Cut 2 pieces, 24″ x 30″, from the fleece.  These are for your two sleeping bags.  Set one aside.

Step 2:  Fold the fabric in half so that it is 24″ x 15″.  With the fold away from you, cut a 4″ square out of both layers in the lower left corner.

Step 3: Unfold the fabric with the two cut out squares away from you (see them in the top of the picture?).  Cut a 4″ x 5″ piece from the lower left corner and a 15″ x 5″ piece from the lower right corner. 

Step 4:  Cut the fringe.  You want to cut fringe that is about 1″ wide and 4″ deep.  I laid my ruler down and eyeballed it.  Cut along the side and the bottom.

Step 5:  Enlist the girl who will be using the sleeping bag, and have her tie double knots from the fringe.  Make sure she starts with the first pair, and not the 1st on the top and the 2nd on the bottom, because if that happens someone has to pick out all the knots and start over.

Below is the finished product!  Since I had a variety of girls coming and fleece was on sale I got 3/4 yard of several patterns to allow for the girls to choose.  This one was chosen by the birthday girl.

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About Aspen Hill

Welcome to Aspen Hill! I'm Deb. Quilter, lover of fabric. Fan of completed projects. Quilt Pattern Designer. My blog is my space where I get to share quilting, sewing, and other creative pursuits. Come back often!

You can find my quilts, doll clothes, and patterns on Etsy.