Laptop sleeve and adventures in quilting

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We haven’t updated our blog in a few  months, but we have been busy making things!  I started grad school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in June and have a few more days before school (and student teaching) starts back up again, so I wanted to share what I’ve been working on…before things like sleep and free time are luxuries.

Yesterday, I made this laptop sleeve for my new laptop.  I followed the excellent instructions here and I’m so happy with the results.  I made a few modifications to the pattern: I moved the opening to one of the short sides and I added batting, velcro, and a decorative button.  Joann’s had a sale on fabric and I used my educator discount, so I’d estimate the total cost to be about $10-$15.  The lining fabric makes me so happy:

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Earlier this summer I made my first quilted project, a table runner:

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Many (most) of the seams don’t line up and I struggled sewing straight lines and being consistent with seam allowances (I truly only just learned how because I’ve done a lot of sewing this past week), but I really enjoyed making it (especially hand sewing the binding!).  I had a lot of help from my Aunt Debbie who is a great teacher and reminded me that making quilts are fun and that imperfections are charming.

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Finally, as part of my graduate program I worked at a community center this summer with kids aged 5-16.  We were encouraged to develop craft projects and when I found a box full of fabric in the supply room I had the brilliant idea to make an appliqué quilt with a bunch of little kids.  I took the fabric home, ironed it, and cut the larger pieces into 8.5″ squares.  Then I stitched up a sample square; laid out fabric scraps, embroidery floss, beads, and fabric markers; taught the kids how to make a quilter’s knot and sew a running stitch; and told them to go for it!

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When the patches were finished I took them all home and sewed them together, added batting and a backing, quilted it (I simply stitched in the ditch on the horizontal lines), and  finished with a self-binding.

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It was so much fun…but…there were a lot of missing needles and pins by the end of the project and a few kids started, but didn’t finish their patches, leaving me and another student teacher with extra hand stitching.  For example, a young girl carefully cut out Wonder Woman from a flannel sheet and pinned it on a square and asked me to sew it on.  Of course, I had to add a few beads and French knots for fun!  A few kids decided that they were going to keep their patches because they liked them so much, so they didn’t end up on the quilt.  Overall though, I’m thrilled with the final project.

~L

 

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