A bit of news: I'm getting a sister! Well, a sister-in-law, but still! I only have one brother, so I'm very excited that he is getting married! I was in Cincinnati a few weeks ago, visiting with the newly engaged couple--who had also just moved in together--and I wanted to bring them a little handmade as a congrats. The first things I made were these placemats from Dare to Be Square Quilting. (An aside - this book is really really cool and I'm surprised I haven't seen it out in blogland more!)
The patchwork is simple, and the quilting is perfect--I did mine in a dark blue cotton thread that added just the right bit of contrast. And it looked cool on the back, too! This was my first attempt at this method of machine binding, and I must say that it turned out pretty well and definitely saved me a lot of time hand-stitching, though did take a bit of time at the ironing board making the non-bias binding tape.
The next thing I made was another zigzag apron, from Stitch magazine a couple of years ago. I forget that this is kind of a fussy pattern, with a lot of pieces, and facings, and interfacing, and miles and miles of handmade bias tape... Still, I'm so pleased with the finished product that it's worth it.
I made this one adjustable at the neck with a button closure, just in case my brother wants to wear it. Of course, he put it on right away and it's WAY too small for him, but I must admit that the skirty bottom sure looked cute!