Saturday, November 7, 2015

Luigi Quilt

My son, Tony, loves to play games.  For years I would ask him if he wanted a quilt and he always said he wanted a Mario quilt.  He even drew me a quilt with elaborate blocks.  I told him I could never make that quilt.  One day he said he wanted a Luigi quilt.  I said I don't have a pattern.  He said he could get me a pattern.  He sat down at the computer and typed in "16 bit Luigi or 8 bit Luigi," I'm not sure which one.  Up popped a picture of what you see here.  It took maybe 30 seconds to find it.  "Squares," I think I can make that quilt.  It's been started for several years now.  Yesterday I finished it.  I love it so much I may not let him have it!! lol
 Closeup of the detailed quilting on my Luigi.
I wanted to surround Luigi with all blue.  Tony said  no, he needs to be on bricks.  They have turned out to be my favorite part of the quilt.
Tony wanted a coin.  The colors are not true, but here is a close up.
It took about a month to quilt this.
Notice the hair and mustache.  The mustache has mustache shaped quilting, but it is hard to see in the black.
 The back is a busy print that hides all my thread color changes.  

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Clothing for Disabled Children (A Tutorial)

I have a granddaughter with extreme autism.  She wouldn't keep her clothes on.  Her parents tried everything.  Her mother made her an outfit sewing a t-shirt to stretch pants.  It zipped up the back and they pinned it with a safety pin so she couldn't take it off.  It worked for a while, but soon she learned to pull on the neck and pop the safety pin off and pull the zipper open.  One day I was tending her and had to redress her 4 times in one hour.  It was a difficult situation and we didn't know what to do.  I thought, surely there are other families with the same problem.  I searched the Internet and found nothing.  Surely there were clothes to buy.  Still nothing.

My son said, "Mom, we want you to figure out some way to make clothes she can't get out of."  I couldn't think of anything, and dismissed it from my mind.  One night just before I fell asleep, the thought came to me, "Put the zipper in upside down."  I know it was an inspiration and an answer to prayers.  I thought about it a while and here is what I came up with. 
You need stretch pants, a Tall size t-shirt, and a long zipper.  You need a Tall t-shirt so you have the length to pull the shirt over the head.  I use a 30 inch zipper.  It just needs to be long enough to go the whole length of the t-shirt.
I covered the end of the zipper with fabric from an old t-shirt.  The zipper is a little scratchy and children with autism often have tactile issues so their clothes need to be soft and comfortable.
Turn the t-shirt wrong side out and pin the zipper in upside down.  
Stitch along both sides of the zipper.  I use a long stitch for this part.
It should look like this.
This is the stitching from the outside of the shirt.
I marked the middle of the zipper space.  It was to show me where to cut the fabric.  I don't do this anymore, I just eyeball it and cut down the middle the best I can.
This just shows the cut I made.
I don't cut all the way down.
Next, turn the fabric under and pin.

Stitch down the edge of the fabric.  Use a regular size stitch length here.
Then do the other side.
This is how it should look.
Click on the photos if you need a bigger picture.

Now you are going to pin the top to the bottom.  The best way to do this is to mark the shirt and pants with pins dividing them both into four sections.  Then match those pins and then pin the rest of the way working in the shirt and stretching the pants to fit the shirt width.  I usually have to put a few tucks in the shirt because it is so much larger than the pants.  
I use a wide zig zag to stitch them together.  I know the stitching doesn't look very good, but once they are wearing the shirt it doesn't show.  It is hard to do this part and make it look really nice.  Matching thread will hide your mistakes here.  
The finished seam.
 One of the first shirts we made had a v-neck.  That didn't work because she could put her arms up through it and get out of the clothes.  Even  with regular t-shirts she could stretch the neck out and get them off.  My son thought of a way to keep the neck from stretching.  
Cut a small hole in the neck piece of the shirt.  Thread paracord through it.  Put some clips on the cord.  You clip these together and she can only stretch the neck as wide as the paracord.  
When you put this on, you put the legs on first.  You pull the waist up high so there is enough shirt to get it over her head.  Arms next. Then zip it and clip it. 
She has been wearing these for about a year now and they work perfectly.  They keep her dressed.
The shirt has a blouson style to it.  They actually look pretty cute.

I hope this tutorial helps other parents make clothes for their children.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Angela Walters Quilt for Brandy

This quilt pattern comes from a class I took on  It was taught by Angela Walters, my quilting mentor.  Click on the photos for a closer look.
This is one of this most impressive quilts I have quilted so far.
I made it for a lady in our church who recently had a baby girl.  My job in the church is to make baby quilts for the new babies who are born.
I wish I could say I thought of all this quilting myself, but it was part of the pattern given in the class.
I quilted the babies name and birth year into the quilt. 
Isn't the back awesome????
This was almost to pretty to give away, but we delivered it the other day.
I said a sad goodbye. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Chris Duffy's Quilt - Quick Strippie

The other day I visited a friend who had called to tell me she had terminal cancer.  As we were visiting I noticed she was covering herself with a beach towel.  I am sure she had other choices, but I went home and said to myself, "I can do better than that."  I went to my fabric and looked for an appropriate fabric.  I found these little tea cups.  They were perfect for her.  I immediately went to my "go to" charity quilt pattern, Quick Strippie Quilt from Mary Quilts.  

The quilting from the back.
I quilted it simply.  I free motioned the feather part and used my half circle rulers on the half circles.
View from a distance.
Close up.  The colors aren't perfect.  I was able to finish the quilt in three days.
  I quilted " Made for Chris Duffey by Colleen Lunt 2015." It's a little hard to see here.  It's in the white just above the tea cups.  Click on the photo for a better view.
My friend, Chris Duffey passed away on September 19, 2015.  I will cherish my memories of her.  After she passed away, her daughter told me she was going to inherit the quilt.  She was so pleased.  It made me smile that my work was being cherished by someone in her family.


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