What to do when your quilt is attacked by a toddler wielding a dry erase marker

I had just finished my mini quilt for the Bee a {Modern} Swapper swap.

Patchwork and birds mini quilt

I had solved my conundrum over what to do about quilting around the bird in the middle of the quilt.


I had finished the quilting around the rest of the quilt.


The only think I had left to do was to attach the binding and send the quilt off to its new home.  I was pleased to be finished, so I brought the quilt downstairs to take a photo.  Before I could return my pretty mini quilt to the sewing room to add the finishing touches, disaster struck in the form of a 2-year-old who had gotten her hands on a dry erase marker.

The horror!!

Here’s a tip: dry erase marker is more or less permanent on fabric.  Do not ever allow a child to unleash her “creative additions” on your quilting project with dry erase marker.  At least give her a washable marker or an ink pen.  I’m sure those would come out easier than this, which, did not come out at all!

In case you were curious, here is the list of various cleaners and chemicals I used on the marker in an attempt to remove it.  Oxiclean MaxForce laundry stain remover, Resolve carpet cleaner, extended soak in oxyclean, Mr. Clean magic eraser, extra concentrated oxyclean, nail polish remover, pure acetone, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, bleach pen, mineral spirits, and Greased Lightning cleaner.  Hmmm … I think that’s all.  I received several other suggestions that I did not try (Murphy’s oil soap, hairspray, rotten milk), but really, I think I covered the spectrum of chemical reaction that could have removed it.

When it became clear that I would not be able to remove the marker, I made a plan to cover it.  I traced the edges of the various sections of the quilt and marked where the damage was.  When I had finished that, I drew out an appliqué pattern to cover it.

Then it was just a matter of creating the actual fabric appliqué.  To keep with the style I had already started in the center of my quilt and have a piece large enough to cover all the damage, I ended doing raw edge appliqué on two dozen little leaves, a large tree, a bird, and three flowers.  Phew!

But we’ll call it a success.

IMG_5507 There is one bit of marker left that I could have covered with a different arrangement of the leaves, but I’m leaving it uncovered as a remind of what I went through with this project.

IMG_5509I finished it off with some aqua Ta Dots for the binding.

IMG_5511You can see on the back where I added the appliqué after the quilt was already together, but since this is a wall hanging, you’ll never even notice.



Tree in the Sunset mini quilt

I joined a mini quilt swap through the Flickr group Bee a {Modern} Swapper.  The result was actually TWO mini quilts because the first one was damaged by a 2-year-old wielding a dry erase marker (note: dry erase marker on fabric is PERMANENT!).  I have now creatively covered the marker, but there was so much of time and tears in that quilt that I couldn’t bear to give it away.

So with less than a week to go before the mailing deadline, I made a new one!  I showed you part of it the other day, along with a couple extras I included in the package.  But I didn’t want the color scheme to ruin the surprise for the recipient, so I waited to show you the whole thing.  Since the package has been delivered, here is mini quilt #2.

My partner was Tiffany, for whom I made the spider web blocks last month.  As a result, I knew she was going to be working on a quilt for her home with a purple, orange and brown color scheme.  I used my tree from the first mini and her color palette as my inspiration.

Tree in the Sunset mini quilt

My free motion quilting definitely leaves much to be desired, and I’m working on it.  I used this mini to practice some new stitches.  I hope Tiffany can overlook the imperfections of this beginner.  I added some pointy blades of grass and tried out a modified tree bark design that I learned from Leah Day’s free motion quilting site.

Tree in the Sunset mini quilt: Grass and tree bark quilting

The fabric for the sunset sky is something I fell in love with when looking for a fabric for another project.  I believe it’s by Hoffman Fabrics.

Tree in the Sunset mini quilt: close up


I used a variegated thread for the quilting in the sky, which I think complements the sunset vibe nicely.

Tree in the Sunset mini quilt: variegated thread quilting I love how the quilting looks on the back, especially the tree.

Tree in the Sunset mini quilt: back, close up of quilting Tree in the Sunset mini quilt: back

More fun finishes at Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday and Finish It Up Friday.


Day of Twelve, Part 2

Yesterday was 12.12.12, and I decided to play along with Katy of No Big Dill and whole lot of others on Instagram.  The game was to post a photo on the :12 of every hour.  I actually had fun documenting my day and checking out hashtag #dayoftwelve to see what everyone else was up to that day.

I left you right after lunch; here’s what the rest of my day looked like:

2:12pm.  Kaia is napping, Sierra is in Quiet Time (aka Mama’s break, aka highlight of my afternoon) so I had a few minutes to sew.

3:12pm.  Kaia just up from her nap and needs some Mama snuggles.

4:12pm.  Play date with Sophia.  Dance party!

5:12pm.  Sunset on the way home from the play date.

6:12pm.  Feed the cats.

7:12pm.  Bath time!

8:12pm.  Bedtime story.

9:12pm.  Jason has the boys over for cigars by the campfire.  Brrr!  It’s cold outside.  I stepped out for a bit to say hello.

10:12pm.  In bed, Mama’s bedtime story.  A couple late nights this week means this is the end of my day.

It was actually a pretty typical Wednesday for me.  This one had more play dates than usual, and the campfire, which doesn’t usually occur.  Also, usually 10:12, and probably 11:12 would be my sewing time, but I was tired!!

Day of Twelve

Today is December 12, 2012; 12.12.12.  This is the last time the day, month and year will be the same until January 1st, 2101.  Crazy.

Anyway.  Last night, I read the Day of Twelve post on No Big Dill.  The challenge to post a photo on Instagram on the 12th minute of every waking hour through the day.  You can follow me on Instagram @moonlightsewing.

12:12 am.  Stayed up way too late.  Bed time.

This morning I had an Instagram malfunction on my iPod touch (horror of horrors!), so sadly, no photos of early in the day.  Here’s what you missed, though.

7:12 am.  Toddler snuggles before getting out of bed.

8:12 am.  Finishing up breakfast.

9:12 am.  Meeting with the Facilities Manager at Sierra’s preschool.  Fun, fun.

10:12 am.  End of Toddler Story Time at the library.

11:12 am.  Quilting book from library, last bit of coffee from this morning, blocks with Kaia.

12:12 pm.  Preschool carpool, locked and loaded.  Heading home!

1:12 pm.  Check the mail.

I’ll come back later and share the rest of the day.  Meanwhile, you can play along with the hashtag #dayoftwelve on Instagram, and you can see what I’m doing by visiting my stream @moonlightsewing.

All wrapped up

The mailing deadline for the Bee a {Modern} Swapper mini quilt/Secret Santa swap was yesterday.

After deciding that I was going to keep my original project and start over completely with less than a week to go before the deadline, I was happy to have shipped my package on time!  The original mini was the one that was attacked by my marker-weilding toddler.  I literally cried over that quilt.  And I probably spent as much time trying to remove the marker as I did making it in the first place.  After all we’d been through, I just couldn’t give her away.

But I was still in the swap, which meant: Quick!  Make a new mini quilt.  I can’t show the whole thing yet because the color scheme will give away my partner, but here’s what I came up with. 

I love the quilting in the sunset sky.  I used a variegated poly thread by Aurifil that my friend Kim gave me to try out.

More details on this mini quilt after my partner receives it!

I also included a little bit of fabric and some cute extras for my partner: A string block zippy pouch and a cute little pin cushion.

But I must admit, I’m almost as thrilled about the packaging as I am about the gifts inside.  One of group leaders, Katherine, issued the challenge to come up with some creative packaging for our swap gifts.

I wrapped the gifts in plain paper and tied them with some cute ribbon.

And then ….

(drumroll please … )

Oh, I amuse myself!  Happy holidays.

And the winner is …

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway for the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day! I really enjoyed reading all the comments to see what you enjoy buying online and I got some really great tidbits of advice for my Sewing by Moonlight Etsy shop.

The first winner was Ellen:

She will get her choice of the fabric or the bag.


The second winner was Tonya:

She will receive the remaining prize!

I have email you both.  Congratulations.

How to turn your dresser top into an ironing board

I happened upon a tutorial from a few years ago where Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson converted a fold-up tv tray into a pressing board.  In the post, she mentioned wanting to use this technique to make a pressing board out of the top of an IKEA dresser before it was put together.  It just so happened that I had a planned trip to IKEA the next week.  And my planned purchase for that trip was a storage solution for in progress sewing projects.  This idea was prefect!

Go read the tutorial for technical details, but I’m going to tell you how my dresser top became a pressing board.

I started out by putting together the dresser front and sides, but left off the top and back.  I also assembled the drawers.  (My assistant is not particularly helpful.)

I then focused on the dresser top.  This is the piece that would become my pressing board.

On the back, there are two holes on each corner, which attach the dresser top to the dresser.  Notice how the set of holes nearer the top of this photo are a couple inches away from the edge of the top piece?  This dresser has a little lip on the front.  This detail will become important in a minute.

I followed the directions in the Oh, Fransson tutorial to put the pressing board together.

I used a piece of 100% cotton home decor weight fabric for the top and 3 layers of 100% cotton quilt batting to give the pressing board a little bit of cushion.  I cut the batting just slightly larger than the dresser top and the home dec fabric a couple inches larger all the way around.  Then I pulled the fabric tight and secured it to the bottom of the dresser piece with a staple gun.

I was careful not to put staples in or right next to the holes where my hardware to finish assembling the dresser had to go.  When I was ready to finish assembling the dresser, I took my seam ripper and made a little hole in the fabric to correspond with the hole for the dresser attachment pieces.

Here’s where that dresser lip becomes important.  I failed to recognize that it was there, so I didn’t cut my fabric longer on the front side.  As a result, when I put the dresser together, the edge of the fabric did not tuck seamlessly under the dresser top where it couldn’t be seen.  It’s likely that no one would have ever noticed this edge under the front lip of my dresser/pressing board, but it bothered me enough to fix it.

I thought I could just attach a strip of fabric that was long enough to cover the edge and tuck under the top piece of the dresser when it was assembled.

It looks nice enough in the picture below, but with that extra fabric, I couldn’t get a snug enough fit between the main part of the dresser and the dresser top.  I ended up taking out all the staples and using a larger piece of fabric.

I’m thrilled with the end result.  It will be great to have this little dresser next to me when I want to easily iron quilt pieces during a project without getting up to go to the ironing board.

And the drawers are just what I had in mind to store projects I’m working on.

SMS Giveaway Day: WINNER posted!

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway!  The winner have been chosen!

It’s Giveaway Day (Week)!

Welcome to Sewing by Moonlight.  If you’d like to know more about the woman behind the blog, feel free to click over to my About section.

I wrote two tutorials for quilt blocks in the past month, which might interest you.

Multiples of 3 is a block inspired by the 3-parted equilateral triangles often seen in English paper piecing, but this one is machine pieced.  The spider web block is an update on the great tutorial by Heather at House of a la Mode.  This one finishes at 12.5 inches, and I show you how to make a template for the center so you will have less fabric waste.


The Giveaway

I have two prizes to giveaway today.

I opened my Sewing by Moonlight Etsy shop 6 weeks ago.  It’s going poorly thus far, to be honest, but this is the bag that was my inspiration to begin selling handmade items.  The first one I made was a library bag for my 3-year-old daughter, so she could carry her books without the bag dragging on the ground.  Then I realized it was also the perfect size to tuck under my arm and use as a project bag, or everyday bag.

It’s a great bag because it’s lined with heavyweight fabric so it can hold books and things without falling apart and it has a cute little zippered pocket to hold your phone, keys, and small items (or a library card!).

If handmade bags aren’t your thing, and you’d rather have some fabric to do your own thing, how about this great little fat quarter bundle?  You get some of this totally cute Posie print from Flea Market Fancy and 3 co-ordinating Kona solids.  Gotta have some solids.  

How to Enter

Leave a comment: I clearly need some help with selling my handmade items.  Tell me: what handmade items do you purchase OR what sort of handmade bag would you buy (clutch, purse, diaper bag, tote, snack bag, messenger bag, etc.).  OR if you have experience selling handmade, give me your best tip.

Let me know if you prefer the bag or the fabric or either.

I’m attempting to be more interactive in Social Media, so for a second entry, Like Sewing by Moonlight on Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, go forth and enter giveaways!  Good luck!

Sunday Stash: Texting while sewing

I LOVE that this bundle is called “Texting while sewing,” and I love how perfect it is for this little set of text fabrics.  I joined the Nancy Drew blog hop (now postponed until March) and this is just what I needed for my project.

The assignment for the blog hop is to use the soon-to-be-released Nancy Drew fabric in any capacity.  The project I’m planning will use the panel that is six of the Nancy Drew book cover.  I thought it would be perfect to combine with text fabrics.

Since I don’t currently have any text fabric, I went looking at Etsy and found the “Texting while sewing” bundle on Sew Me A Song.

I love them and I can’t wait to use them in my top secret mystery Nancy Drew project!


November Fresh Sewing

Oh my!  It’s December already.  HOW?  Tomorrow is the Wine Tasting and Silent Auction fundraiser for my daughter’s preschool that has been occupying the forefront of my thoughts for the past month.  I’ll be so happy when it’s behind me.

This is my very time participating in Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts.  It’s a place to share finishes (or a favorite finish) from the past month.

In November, I managed THREE mei tai finishes!  I hope these carriers are soon snuggling squishy babies and giving the parents the freedom to actually use their hands.  Hooray for babywearing!


I also posted tutorial for two different quilt blocks.  The spider web block is an update on an existing tutorial from House of A La Mode.  My version makes a 12.5 inch finished block and uses a template to cut out the center pieces of the block to reduce fabric waste.

The other is my “Multiples of 3” block, which I created and used for my 4×5 Modern Bee blocks this quarter.


Oh, and I wanted to mention, I am trying to interact more on social media, so I would totally give you two thumbs up if you would come over and Like Sewing by Moonlight on Facebook!