Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Quilt Years in the Making!

Many years ago, at least 6, I started a Halloween quilt that I found in a quilting book I had purchased.
It looked so fun at the time, little did I know how much "time" this quilt would take. So after pulling this project out almost every year and either looking at it or actually making some progress on it, I decided that this fall I was going to finish this quilt!!!

The pattern was a little difficult to follow and boy did I learn how time consuming hexagon piecing could be, not to mention how tricky it would be to get the seam allowances just right.

I got the initial spider webs finished and then set to work attaching the accompanying triangles into rows. It was a little challenging to piece rows on a diagonal instead of a straight line.

Later after I assembled the entire quilt top I put the quilt on the frame and stitched every chance I got along the center hexagon and the skeleton triangles.

So after years of work this quilt has finally come together. I learned a lot about fabric stretch, and piecing on the diagonal. I do not think I will do another hexagon quilt for well, forever, but I have learned to never say never. I'm just glad I can cross this off my project list.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wedding Shower Gift

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Ah weddings, the stress, the drama, the dress, the gifts! My sister asked me if I would embroider a few handkerchiefs for her friends that  are getting married (something new perhaps). She purchased these beautiful handkerchiefs on and sent them to me to have their monograms put on them.
I love embroidering monograms! I have made the best gifts monogramming items from golf towels to handkerchiefs. The personal touch seems to get  lost in the days of wedding registries and sending online gifts. I hope they enjoy them :) What are your weekend sewing plans?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Camo Rag Quilt Take 2

 For this post I am assuming you have seen my post "My Favorite Rag Quilt, Camo Style"
 Other posts that might be helpful to understand my Rag Quilt method can be found HERE and HERE.
Ok now that we are all on the same page, or post, (ha ha) I had left over squares and lots of scrap fabric from my first camo quilt (military memory quilt). I really wanted to make another quilt for my neighbors to have but there were not any more uniforms available to be made into a second quilt. So I decided to adopt the WWII Era philosophy "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." I used every last scrap of fabric available from those uniforms (plus a little happy accident I will share later)!!!

Left Square: pocket panels sew together to make a square. Do you love the vent holes!!??
Middle Square: A pocket opened up to full size.
Right Square: Scrap pieces of fabric sew in strips to make a large enough square.

Left Square: Mini squares cut from pocket linings with mini squares of left over fabric.
Middle Square: Mini squares cut from left over pocket fabric and mini square from previous quilt.
Right Square: Mini squares left over from previous quilt attached and top stitched for strength.

Left Row: All of the scrap pieces I could muster from every last pocket, pocket lining, pocket flaps and left over strips. I even took apart neck bands and sleeve cuffs!  These were all sewn together to form a 10" by 60" strip for the top and the bottom! That's over 10 feet of scrap piecing!!!
 (My WWII ancestors would be sooo proud of me!!)
Right Row: Quilt blocks I was able to piece together or had left over from my first camo quilt.
Notice the darker tan quilt squares? So here is my happy accident....... The same week I was trying to put together the quilt blocks my husband ripped a super nice pair of Docker dress pants!!! (Ok sad for him and me because we needed to buy him a new pair because they were really beyond repair. But woo hoo for me because they were the perfect color and similar weight to the camo!!)

 In this picture you can see how the quilt was laid out and again how much it actually shrinks when you add in all the 1/4" seam allowances.

I finished off the quilt with "Warm and Natural" batting and this plaid polar fleece that I picked up at a big box craft store. I have not made a rag quilt with both Warm and Natural and polar fleece, but it turned out great! It did complicate things a little when I tried to tack the quilt together by "stitching in the ditch" of all the intersections due to the bulk but it turned out nicely.  A good wash and dry and everything was still in place.

I wanted to present the quilt in the "bed roll" fashion like I had with the previous quilt, so I worked my magic and came up with these. The arrow pointed parts on the right were from the sleeve cuffs of the uniform jacket and the longer parts with the hook and loop tape were from the collar and sleeve cuffs. I removed some of the hook and loop tape and sewed the parts together to form the "ties" for the bed roll. 

Fold the quilt into thirds, attach the ties and tah dah! A very versatile quilt that has a lot of love sewn into it and  special meaning to my neighbors! I did want to mention that I did forget about one step that would have really helped after finishing the quilt. If the frayed edges of the quilt do not fray as much as you would like them to, you can take a stiff brush and brush them. This will help break down that fabric and produce that classic "Rag Quilt" look.

This really has been one of the most enjoyable, and most frustrating quilts I have ever made. I can not tell you how many times I had to redo things on the quilt due to dumb "middle of the night and I should have gone to bed a long time ago" mistakes. Miscounting, sewing right sides together instead of wrong sides together, and too many more things to mention. I really enjoyed thinking outside the box to try and make this quilt as big as I could using what little fabric I had left.

My neighbor really love the quilt. She was delighted that part of my husbands dress pants had been added to the quilt. She said, "Now we will always have a part of you guys in this quilt!"

My gratitude is never ending for those men and women who protect and serve our country both at home and abroad!

Have a great week, and if you try your hand at a quilt like this let me know how it turned out!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Emergency Preparedness Water

CCG Note
 *** The opinions and reviews of the following items are strictly those of the Crafty Camper Girl. I have not been compensated in any form by the manufactures and or retailers of these products. ***
I have been slowly trying to become more prepared for emergencies. I have been looking for a good way to store a fair amount of water, but do not find 55 gallon barrels very portable or practical for our family's needs. I was doing some research online and found this little gem at The Tractor Supply Co.
This is a Leg Style Storage tank that holds 35 gallons. I paid $99.99 for it at my local Tractor Supply Co. store.  This tank can be strapped down to an ATV, placed in the bed of a truck, on a trailer, or in the garage for water storage. (Note the rectangular grooves on each side of the tank)

Pros so far:
I love the small size and portability.
Clear in color so I can see how much water is in the tank.
The tank has gallon markings on the side so you know how much you have used.
The price was reasonable.
Cons so far:
The tank does not come with a spicket or a cap for the opening at the bottom of the tank. You need to purchase a way to dispense the water or keep it in the tank. (Kind of frustrating, but the guys at the store were extremely helpful in finding us a solution :) )
We choose a hose spicket with a down turn for dispensing. (Red handle on the tank)  We are trying to decide if Teflon tape will be enough to ensure no leaks or if we will need to go to a food grade plumbers putty.  I will let you know how our experiment turns out.
These are a few other options that I found online.
This first option is my favorite and I will be purchasing several of these in the near future for our 72 hour kits as well as long term water storage. These are made by the company WaterBrick. They have a couple of different sizes as well as two colors; blue and tan. I am very excited about this product due to its portability and its ability to be stacked in tight places. Also the smaller versions could be carried if needed by both of my children (not young children).

This big guy is from I would love to have room in my garage for this tank. This is really an option for when you are "bugging in" as they say. A city not far from my home was told not to use their water for three days due to a contamination issue. I do not have enough water on hand to survive 3 days with out making a run to the grocery store, so this tank made me think of how great it would be to have that much water on hand incase of that type of emergency.

And my last find, a portable 8 gallon water tank from This is a great crossover from the wheeled ice chest. This would be perfect for a day at the park, beach or short camping trip.

 So I'm off to clean out my new tank, install a spicket, and add to my emergency water supply.
Have a great week!