Quilts for Orlando

Heart Blocks in Multiple SizesBy now, most people are keenly aware that a terrorist brazenly attacked the peaceful and innocent patrons of Pulse, a club in Orlando, Florida last weekend.  I really don’t feel that I have anything unique to add to the conversation that has naturally arisen online and in the media concerning this event.

I do feel that the best course of action is to sit politics aside (we probably should do this more often, but I digress…) and focus, instead, on our shared humanity and whatever compassionate response that each of us can offer.

The moderator of a quilt group that I am involved in, offered a unique way to be of service to others and also show compassion to those affected in a very tangible way.  I have known for many years that quilters and other crafters are some of the most caring and generous people around.  This project is a great way to give a tangible “hug” to those who need it most right now.

The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild is calling for quilt block and finished quilt submissions to be given to the survivors of the Orlando attack, the families of those who perished, and the police, ambulance, and hospital staffs who helped injured survivors.  For the complete blog post and specifics, click here.

As they are requesting both single blocks (10 inch square)  and finished quilts (48 x 60 inches up to twin size) it is possible for most quilters to be able to participate without an undue drain on time or finances.  The requested theme is Rainbow Hearts and they ask that each quilt and/or individual block have at least one heart motif in it.  I’d bet most of us quilters have enough scrap fabrics to applique a quick heart block (or 12) without having to dig through even a fraction of our scraps and stash.  Mix a hodge podge of those blocks together with lots of riotous prints and colors and you will have a rainbow of sorts.  With beauty coming from the combination of many different elements.

Kind of like the good ol’ U.S. of A.

What are YOU quilting lately?

Till next time,

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Saving Money on Prom Flowers

Another Hatchett Job, dogwood corsage and buttonaire, diy crafts, frugal prom, photo by Cyndie HogelandOkay, I realize that this post should have been written and posted a couple of months ago in order to be truly helpful for this year’s prom goers.  I apologize for the bad timing.  But, flowers for prom are also a great deal like flowers for weddings, Mother’s Day, wedding and baby showers, and other occasions, so the same information can still be useful for other times of the year.  At least, I truly hope so!

I am quite lucky that my DS18 is dating a wonderful young lady, who happens to be one of my best friends’ daughters.  This proved quite helpful to coordinate efforts and share costs as we both needed to provide flowers for her daughter’s prom night.

I don’t have a full tutorial, as I was not organized enough to take the appropriate photos, but I did consult a few video tutorials ahead of time that were terribly helpful, so I will link to them below in case someone would like to view them before starting their own projects.

As my boys have been homeschooled and weren’t terribly interested in proms and other formal events, I didn’t arrange for them to attend one.  So, this was my first formal dance to get prepared for.

We priced flowers at a few places, but it was apparent that due to a super hectic schedule Another Hatchett Job, dogwood corsage and buttonaire, diy crafts, frugal prom, photo by Cyndie Hogelandthat day, we weren’t going to be able to keep them cool and fresh between the time we would have to pick them up and time to pick up his date.

So, that pretty much helped us to decide on silk flowers, which will also be a lovely momento of the date.  Pricing a simple, white, silk, pretty plain wristlet corsage nearly gave my frugal soul a heart attack!  The mass produced model was nice, but would set us back $40 from a grocery store florist.  If I was going to pay $40 for a corsage, I wanted something more along the line of an orchid than fabric roses.

Our date liked the idea of a largely white and silver corsage to go with her dress (a tasteful navy blue number that was classy and stunning).  When queried, her favorite flower was the dogwood (not a standard floral choice).

So, my friend and I decided to surprise the kids and craft the prom flowers ourselves.  We went to our local Hobby Lobby and found a wristlet, floral tape, floral wire, wide lace ribbon (for the “puff” that the flowers sit on), silver and navy ribbons, pins, pearl sprays, silk fern, and (gasp) a spray of lovely, silk, dogwood flowers.  I didn’t get the receipt, but we split the supplies and spent way less than $40!

Another Hatchett Job, dogwood corsage and buttonaire, diy crafts, frugal prom, photo by Cyndie HogelandOn a night with no kids around, we met and created the corsage and boutonniere to match.  It took a bit of work, but the end results were so impressive and nicer than anything we looked at.  The kids were both thrilled at the results and completely surprised by the dogwood flowers.

In the future, as she goes off to college, if they choose to go to another formal dance together, these can be used again and will still look much more special than the mass produced ones that we originally saw.

I referred to the following videos for ideas and techniques as it had been a few years since I had done any floral crafts.

Till next time,

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Fabric Yarn

Another Hatchett Job, fabric yarn, recycling, upcycling, fiber artsNow, I’ve gone and done it!  In an effort to use up some of the *cough* many bins of assorted fabrics that I have purchased, been given, or traded other scraps for, I am tearing strips into fabric yarn.

I have a few ideas up my sleeve of items that can be made from these balls of fabric goodness, but no definite plan yet.

But, here are a few things that have piqued my interest:  Crazy Mom Quilts crocheted a rug, Mia’s Craft Ideas made a braided rug, and A Beautiful Mess made a woven rug.  Not to mention about a billion ideas and photos I found checking out Pinterest!  To see my board with ideas on it, click here.

Now on to dream and rip and join and wind into balls.  I love the anticipation of learning something new.  Don’t you?

What would YOU make with fabric strips?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

Chemistry Quilt

Warning, this is a picture heavy post.  You have been warned! 🙂

Another Hatchett Job, photo by Jessica Vaughn, chemistry quilt, baby quilt, quilting
The finished quilt, along with a few other gifts received by my friends.
Another Hatchett Job, photo by Jessica Vaughn, back of chemistry quilt, periodic table fabric, baby quilt, quilting
The backing and binding are Periodic Table of Elements themed.

 

Another Hatchett Job, photo by Ethan Hatchett, chemistry quilt, baby quilt, flasksI don’t know about you, but this is the only truly “chemistry” or “science” themed quilt that I am aware of.  It took some hunting skills, but once I found the mid-Another Hatchett Job, photo by Ethan Hatchett, Mod Green Atomic Printcentury reproduction atomic prints, I knew I could pull this off!  With the “geek chic” style that is coming of age (an appreciation of intellect, go figure), it was fun to round out this little fabric collection.Another Hatchett Job, photo by Ethan Hatchett, Mod Blue Atomic Print

At first, I was concerned that the overall effect would be a bit somber for welcoming a little bundle of joy, but once I got it all put together, it really worked.  Of course the brightly colored liquid in the various flasks do help to lighten the mood, overall.Another Hatchett Job, photo by Ethan Hatchett, geek chic fabric, gotta wear shades

The best part is that when I finished the project and mailed it off to the Mommy and Daddy to be, they loved it!  He is a high level chemist and she is a nurse.  They asked for aAnother Hatchett Job, photo by Ethan Hatchett, chemistry quilt, baby quilt, scientific formulas fabric chemistry or science vibe, and I think I pulled it off.  Love my geeky friends!

What have YOU been quilting lately?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

Whew! A Finish!

Another Hatchett Job, embroidery, scrap quilt, quilt label, modern quilt, wedding quilt, quilting
Embroidery by Judy Purdy; photo by Jan Hatchett

It has been a whirlwind month.  About two weeks before the big day, my baby brother announced that he was getting married!  Since we had already met and fell in love with our new family member, and my new sister-in-love, we were very excited, but under the gun for the wedding gift.  As quilters, we like to make, you guessed it, quilts and it was going to be very, very tough to get one made in two weeks for the wedding.

Another Hatchett Job, wedding quilt label, quilting, scrap quilt,
Center block of the quilt holds the label.

And, honestly, we didn’t make it.  Even after Mom and I sat at the dining room table with two sewing machines and sewed like fiends, we didn’t make the deadline.  They were married on February 4th and we gifted them with their quilt on February 22nd, after they had come down to celebrate my brother’s birthday with us.  We put the last stitch in it on February 19th and washed and dried it on the following day.  Not too bad, all things considering.

I may have been a little gung-ho to get this done (out of fear of it languishing around for years, unfinished), as Dad dubbed our work area as “Jan’s sweat shop.”  Ahem.  Nuff said.

As the bride didn’t indicate any favorite colors and we couldn’t be too bold and ask outright (it would ruin the surprise), we took an “anything goes” palette of scraps in all colors.  I used an “organic, improvisational, modern” approach.  I have since learned that those terms mean, essentially, “wonky, but cool.”  In order to save time, we densely quilted the blocks onto the batting as we made them, adding the backing on separately.

Another Hatchett Job, wedding quilt, scrap quilt, frugal gift, machine quilt, modern quilt
Completed quilt top.

It was an interesting way to finish a quilt and it was quite efficient in some ways.  In retrospect, I would have added backing to each block and joined them Quilt as You Go style with sashing strips.   My sewing machine just couldn’t handle the stress of sewing through the intersections and the free arm was just short enough to prevent me from quilting the back on “in the ditch” as originally planned.  Hence, we tied the back on, Appalachian style.

It does kind of work as I tend to quilt my quilts and my Mom tends to tie hers.  This one is a unique hybrid of both techniques.

But, I wish the quilting went through to the back.  Live and learn.  It was quick and simple.  I love the end result.

And the best part is that my brother and his gorgeous wife love it, too!

Another Hatchett Job, wedding quilt, newlyweds, quilting, machine quilting, scrappy quilt
And this is why it was all worth it! Ain’t they cute???

The worst part was wanting to tell this quilt’s story, the new technique and all while I was making it and knowing that it would blow the surprise if someone told them what we were working on.  I am horrible at the discretion part of this gifting stuff!

What are you working on lately?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

 

Horse Pillows

Another Hatchett job, photo by Jan Hatchett, horse pillows, crafts, frugal gifts, horse lovers, equestrian gifts
“Barn Moms” get pretty creative when left to our own devices!

Eldest son is absolutely horse crazed!  I can’t claim to be far from it, myself.  But, he is a born cowboy and he loves to ride.

So, how could I not craft up a little something for Christmas that was right up his alley?  A bunch of the “Barn Moms” and I got together and made some absolutely adorable pillows decorated with horses on them.  Some were fanciful, others looked like a particular horse, we even had a fantastical unicorn in the mix!  Lots of the “barn kids” received pillows among their Christmas gifts and they seemed to be a huge hit with everyone.

My kiddo received a pillow that represents “his” horse Doc.  Doc is a quarter horse who hates baths and brushing and just wants to throw on a saddle and go–much like my son!  He is a true cowboy horse and he has claimed my son as one of his very favorite people.

Another Hatchett Job, photo by Jan Hatchett, horse pillows, crafts, frugal gifts, equestrian gifts, horse lovers
(L to R) Pillows representing Hans the Hanoverian (in show braids), Baron the Shire, and Doc the Quarter Horse.

On the right are three of the pillows that I made.  I wish I had gotten more photos of them before I delivered them.  On the left is one that went to one of DS18s riding instructors.  It looks like Hans, the big, goofy warmblooded Hanoverian that lives at the stables.  His instructor often rides him in ACTHA rides and Equestrian events, hence the braids instead of a mane.  I hoped that the paisley fabric would emphasize his fancy “show” prowess.

The middle pillow represents Baron, the Shire and our only draft horse at the stables.  Unfortunately, not long after I made this pillow, he suffered a strangulation lymphoma and didn’t make it.  I am hoping that DS18s other instructor enjoyed receiving this remembrance of this big, gorgeous boy.  As much as he was my favorite horse to ride and to love on, he clearly loved her (and she loved him) more than anyone else.  It’s sad to lose a friend, but I will always remember that drafty personality and big, pretty walk of his.  Sigh.

On the far right is Doc, the Quarter Horse.  His mane is made of looped twine that is “blowing” backward because he is running across the fields.  This is my son’s favorite horse and if he had been available to lease, we would have done it.  They make such a good team together, even reading each other’s minds.  Doc is kind of a no muss, no fuss kind of horse who hates brushing, braiding, baths, or pretty much anything other than riding, meal times, and peppermints.  It’s an ideal match for my son, who pretty much feels the same way about baths and anything too fussy related to hygiene.  LOL!

Fortunately, all of the pillows seem to be well received and enjoyed!  My kiddo sleeps with his on the bed at night. He is afraid it will get messed up if it falls on the floor.

Did your child have a favorite gift that you made?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

More Painting Fun!

My inspiration piece.
My inspiration piece.

The painting bug hit pretty hard this Christmas.  After I took a class in November, I realized that this opened the door to making even more creative gifts for family and friends.  This painting is of a Painted Bunting.  We see these beautiful, colorful birds each year when we go down to Jekyll Island for vacation or to visit.  They are a family favorite.

I looked at scores of photographs online of the Painted Bunting, so I could try to be reasonably accurate in the color placement, etc.  All in all, it was a pretty fun project to complete.  Not a masterpiece and certainly not a photograph, but a bright, happy, obvious bird painting.  Works for me.

Another Hatchett Job, photo by Jan Hatchett, acrylic on canvas, painted bunting, painting, crafts, frugal life, frugal gifts
Painted Bunting

This particular painting was inspired by a painting of an Eastern Bluebird.  Since the shapes were largely similar, I kind of kept the outline the same and then changed the coloration to be that of the more showy Painted Bunting.  Birdie then became part of Christmas for my youngest son, an avid bird watcher.

He really seemed to enjoy it and asked for another to go with it.  He is just determining which bird he would like next.  Love that!  I think I would like to try the mottled Bluebird, myself.

Do you ever attempt a new craft?  How did you like it?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett