Delores Gets Some New Clothes – Part 2

After having successfully adhered flat vinyl to flat sheet metal, the challenged was stepped up just a bit for the waterfall.   Factory 5 provided plain black vinyl for the waterfall that you are supposed to adhere (seriously.. watch how to do it on YouTube).   However, I wanted it to have a bit more pop, so we stuck with the two-tone theme and added some ivory vinyl, quilted stripes behind the seats.

I cut the very nice piece of black vinyl they gave me into three pieces, and sewed two strips of ivory in between, measured so that they would end up behind the seats.

A Two-Tone Waterfall Cover


After this, I was bad about taking pictures, but basically, I took some of the new headliner I purchased and spray basted it to the back of the ivory section.  This would allow some cushion and make it stand out from the flat black.  I then quilted a seam down the center, as well as added some seams in coordinating thread to the outside of the black and ivory sections.  The sewing machine bobbin pulled a bit, so we had a lot of extra thread in the back that would have come apart if we weren’t cementing the entire piece onto the fiberglass – lesson to have another person help with the sewing by making sure the vinyl stays taut.

Drew then became a professional vinyl applier.  Working in sections, he slowly adhered the vinyl to the waterfall with contact cement.  It actually stretched pretty well around all of the curves.  We started with two pieces on the edges.  I think that the directions provided from Factory 5 said to do the same.  We had some issues keeping the very concave curves in place, but luckily they get covered by the seats so no one will ever know..

Another upgrade, I stitched the edges of our two-tone piece that would go over the vinyl edges.  The directions didn’t say to, but it looks a lot more finished.  We clipped the edges and brought them around the outside of the waterfall.  Overall, we are very impressed with the amateur upholstery job – and are much happier than the plain black (at least I am, I think Drew likes it (correction – he says he “really likes it)


Finished Waterfall, waiting for Speaker holes to be cut


You can see the finished seam (actually a false seam) that covers up raw edges on the side vinyl piece
All done (with carpet!)
Speaker holes cut


Delores gets some new clothes – Part 1

A break in the sewing projects has given me a chance to make Delores some new duds.  The kit came with plain black vinyl for the waterfall covering and quilted black vinyl door panels with no door handles (just a rod that you push) and plastic armrests.  I told Drew that if he is going to spend this much money on a custom car, the inside should look nice… I also couldn’t figure out how to open the doors from inside anyway, so we definitely needed some new handles.


Stock Door Panel


We are going with a two-toned theme on the outside, so we decided to carry that inside.  I found some cream vinyl and purchased some headliner.  First step was to remove the black vinyl that was glued to the metal door panels with a putty knife.  After it was removed, Drew fit-up the bare metal panels and pre-drilled all the holes for final mounting (this would have actually been very challenging if the vinyl was already installed…).

After the vinyl was removed from the metal panel, fitting & predrilling the holes on the fiberglass

I kept the quilted look on the door panels but made them two-toned with black and cream using the headliner as the quilted liner.  The sewing machine did just fine after I got a roller foot, leather needle, and upholstery thread.  After sewing the two pieces together and quilting with coordinating thread, I cut the finished vinyl to fit the metal panel then added the trim.  So far this is 99% like cotton quilting.

After the pieces were the right size, we watched some YouTube videos about installing auto vinyl.  We would have definitely done it wrong if we didn’t complete this step.

Step 1: Paint both sides with contact cement and let it dry.

Step 2: Sit the two pieces together and stretch to fit.

Step 3: Apply contact cement to the trim and back of the metal panel, stretch the trim around the panel and adhere to the back.

Step 4: Since I didn’t want a pucker at the seam (in order to attach some chrome trim here… possibly), Drew had pre-drilled me some holes in the metal that I used to sew the panel to the metal sheet along my seam after it was glued.  This also had the unintentional consequence of making the line between the colors much more clean.

The door panels look much more stylish than the plain black, plus new billet door handles.


Wow! The car looks much more complete that Drew’s blog posts!… Looks like he has some catching up to do!





Strawberry Quilt

I love making quilts for little girls.  The patterns and colors are just more fun.  And this little girl has 4 big brothers so she needed something girly.

I took inspiration from Pinterest and designed a strawberry quilt in PowerPoint.  A poor choice for a design program but it does the job.


Amazingly, I calculated the sizes correctly..


All squares cut and ready to go

More half square triangles!  I took a lesson from the last quilt and made them large in order to cut them down to size for perfect points.


After the half square triangles are done, this quilt is very simple – aligning a lot of square corners.


All done!



Almost Perfect Points

I have completed baby two quilt projects recently – but I had to wait to post until one could make it to a new mom in Abu Dabi.

The first one is for a space themed nursery of a future lady scientist (I’m sure).  Her nursery was based on a space alphabet print from Etsy that had a lot of indigo, teal, purple and gray.  I chose to recreate a shining star in the same colors.

I started this project in June and was into all things “baby” at the time.  I created most of the paper-pieced center until my baby spirit went away and I had to put the quilt away for a while.

After months of some other distracting projects, including upholstery for the hot rod, I picked it up again.  The star in the middle was done but I had to add the background, which included a circular border attached to a circular background.  I learned that piecing large circles is a gigantic, finicky pain.

But when you finally quilt the top and wash it, all the bumps and imperfections smooth out.



The second quit is for a light and airy nursery with bold colors inspired by a print from Minted.  Amazingly the large star quilt I made this year had the same exact colors so I was able to reuse my fabric.  I chose a bear paw block as the print included bears and mountains.

The quilt consisted of piles and piles of 1 1/2″ half square triangles.  I chose to make them large and cut them to size to make everything perfect and even.


In the end I’m happy with the results of the extra cutting work.  The little bear paws are really cute blocks and this quilt has the best piecing that I have ever done.  The points are all lined up – I was amazed!



I think that it still looks light and airy even with the bold colors.


With these two complete (on time-ish), only 6 more to complete before July…

Better Late Than Never…

I wrapped up the block of the month quilt in May and am finally blogging about it.  But at least I am better than Drew at posting sort-of timely 🙂

The first month was all about Brilliant Star blocks.  I actually learned some pointers about lining up corners and was impressed that every block came out perfect!  Usually I am off a little bit..  The directions were to cut many strips of 3 shades of blue, cut the 3-piece strip diagonally, and then sew back together at an offset to create the blocks.

All lined up they look pretty good!


A Brilliant Star Corner


I was excited to lay out all of the pieces and start sewing them together.  I have to say, that piecing a 5-piece corner and getting everything to line up was challenging.


All laid out and ready to be sewn together

After some seam ripping to get everything aligned to the point that I was happy with the finished product, with the 5-points (mostly) lined up.   I also sewed on the ribbon border that I made back in the first month. I think that it will fit in with our Texas house once I finally have it all finished!

My plan is to take long arm quilting lessons so that I can finish the quilt myself – the queen size is a bit too much to tackle on my sewing machine.  I have some family heirloom quilts that need finishing – so this will be my first trial.


The quilt top is complete! 



Block of the Month Quilt – March & April

A short post for the next two months of the Block of the Month quilt.

I got an early start on March & April blocks, which completes the “sampler” blocks for the quilt.  These months were completed quickly as they each consisted of a set of 12″ blocks.  When I first started the quilt, I wasn’t sure about including these blocks at all as I liked the monochromatic and consistent look of blue only, however after I made them I decided that I liked them after all.

Partially & Fully Completed March Blocks


I got to make some flying geese the traditional way for April, which I had never done before.  I have to admit that I was dubious when I only looked at pictures of how to do this, but they turned out nicely.

April Flying Geese Blocks (far from perfect)


Sampler blocks complete!  However, this is only approximately 25% of the whole quilt.  May & June months are for the stars that make up the main part of the body and assembly.


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16 Sampler Blocks for the 2017 Block of the Month Quilt


Wee Wanderer Quilt

A quick break from the large quilt and helping Drew to my first baby quilt of the year.  Our friends Erin & Ryan are quite the adventurers and when I found a Michael Miller fabric panel called “Wee Wanderer” with children climbing trees and catching fireflies, I knew it was perfect.  But I couldn’t cut it up, so I saved the panel for the back.


For the pattern, I created colorful trees with a simple paper pieced leaf block that I designed.  There are 24 leaf blocks.  My block is not quite symmetrical, so I made 12 like the design below, and then 12 mirror images.


For the tree trunk fabric, I gut lucky and found a scrap at the craft store with hedge hogs and mushroom print.


The trees are coming together!


The finished product is probably the most colorful quilt I have ever made.  I am very happy that I kept the entire panel on the back as a single piece.



Block of the Month Quilt – January & February

I saw an amazing block of the month quilt on Craftsy which seemed like a perfect Texas design for our some-day house.  Since I have never kept any of the quilts that I have made (except for a Christmas tree skirt), I am finally going to make a quilt for us.  The block of the month concept also seems feasible with doing a bit each month, and leaving time for the 2 baby quilts I have in queue for the first half of 2017.  Each month consists of a main block, plus additional quilt pieces that you complete, with the entire top complete this June.

The background fabric that came in the kit is darker that in the advertisement photos online (more of a taupe than an off-white), but I decided to make it work anyways.  Looking back at my pictures, the background fabric looks much lighter in my pictures than the actual fabric, so maybe its just the way it photos.

The kit arrives!

I started on the quilt during the last weekend in January (a bit behind), but the blocks start out with the easy ones first so I was able to catch up.   January consisted of 2 star blocks plus 4 ribbon borders that I finished in a day or so.

Stacks and Stacks of Triangles


January Blocks #1 Finished
January Ribbon Blocks Finished!


The February blocks ended up taking me more time.  The blocks themselves got a bit more complicated, but also involved templates

February Block #1 Finished!

The second set of templates were not measured correctly by the kit-maker in the original pattern – which I did not know when I first made all of my cuts.   I downloaded new templates, which still were not quite correct.  On my third attempt, I decided not to use templates and just to make the blocks myself and did a bit of trimming as I went to make the blocks the correct size in the end.


8 Diamond Point blocks finally finished!  4 with a seam all the way through the diagonal for aligning with the quilt’s horizontal seams


Two months done, and time to take a quick break for a baby quilt!


Children’s Teepee DIY

Its Christmas time, which means in our house we are rushing to finish projects.  The weekend before Christmas, I was finishing a quilt to send off to Wisconsin, planning out a children’s teepee project for our niece and nephew, and the body panels of Drew’s hot rod arrived by 18-wheeler on our tiny Heights street.  The teepee was started a mere few days before Christmas, but it all came together nicely.

I used a few online tutorials to get the pattern for the teepee project.  My main materials are two curtain panels from Target, which were less expensive than 9 yards of thick fabric.  I saw many other blogs where painters canvas was used, which would work – but isn’t that colorful.  I also made all the bias tape from fabric that the kids’ mother gave me from her previous classroom decorations.  Drew took care of the dowels – 5 x 1.5″ x 6′.

My cutout dimensions of each fifth of the teepee was  parallelogram  37″ wide at the base, 9″ wide at the top, and 55″ high.   For the door fifth, I had to cut a half out of each panel, but that allowed me to reuse the curtain seams as the door opening seams.  These measurements include seam allowance and account for the space needed for the pole pockets – which I sewed using a French seam method and are on the inside of the teepee.

fullsizerender-copy-8I also made a quick banner using the same yellow fabric and felt – I just felt like it needed something extra.

It was a success – the kids really liked it and would watch movies and play inside for the rest of our holiday week.


Baby Quilts of 2016

It seems like I didn’t sew so many baby quilts this year – only 4!  But time was limited amongst my other projects and other hobbies I picked up this year: branching out into flower arranging, starting a gigantic cross-stitch that I won’t finish until I’m 65,  and traditional archery (I know, that one came out of left field – but we spend a lot of time hanging out on ranches after working all day so it is something fun to do to relax).

In addition to the flying geese paper-pieced quilt that I was oh-so-proud of, I made some themed quilts (more for their mamas than the babies really).

First was a blue nautical themed quilt for a baby boy.  His sister got a pink nautical themed quilt in 2013.   I used a free pattern on Craftsy for a full sized quilt, but I revised the dimensions so that it would fit a crib size.



Second was one of my own designs for a couple who thinks a lot about Colorado and misses it while in Houston.   It is all squares and triangles, but makes a picture, like the Pirate Ship quilt I made a few years ago.  This quilt has mountains, sky, and a sun.  As it was for a little girl, I especially liked the coral bias tape and the pink backing.


Lastly was one that was special to me.  My grandmother is a great sewer, although she never quilted, she makes clothes and many other things for her children and for us when we were little.  She even taught me how to cross stitch when I was little since we are both lefties.  Earlier this year my Aunt and Uncle helped her clean out all of the fabric in her basement in Indiana and all of the cotton was put in two overflowing boxes and dropped off in Texas.

When my mom and grandmother visited in April, we sorted all of the cotton by color, threw away a bunch that wasn’t very good anymore, and heard stories of my mom and grandmother say what the fabric was from – jumpers for toddlers in the 60’s, grandpa’s pajamas, dresses.  That was the neat part.

Well I took the sorted fabric, which has all kinds of fashion statements from the last 7 decades, and cut enough squares to give one quilt to each cousin when they have a baby – so be ready!  (Luckily I have a relatively small family).  First is for Audie & Josh’s baby Luke.  He is almost one so I am a bit behind.

This quilt is simple squares sewn into cross shapes, but I think that the memories of all of us jumping around the sewing room watching my grandfather’s trains make a loop around the washing machine and the clothes she made our Cabbage Patch dolls will be better than a fancy quilt 🙂