August 23, 2012

Just hopping along...

Finally it's my turn to present myself and my blog. What can I possibly tell you? My brain seems empty and hollow... After all these great tutorials, advice on blogging and exciting blogs I feel a bit intimidated.

Before you get the impression this lady sounds like a creaky door, perhaps I should stop whining and introduce myself instead.

Hi, my name is May. I'm a leftover parent of two wonderful daughters and live in Germany since 30 years. During daytime I work for my bread and butter and in the evenings I usually drop down in my favourite chair, brain dead like now. I’m also mama of two bees and one UFO game.

So what about quilting
Yes, what about it? To tell the truth I began in 2008, or was it 2009 (don't really remember) only to get my childhood chum Åsa off my back. She was eternally flaunting those magnificent quilts of hers in my face and telling my tall tales about how much fun it is. Sewing fun? No way!!! I resisted her siren calls for almost 10 years. Then one day I bought some stuff and began with a small hand pieced Christmas quilt. From that day on I was hooked. First I bought a sewing machine (used and very modest), then some more fabrics, then some rulers...
Now almost 5 years later my Christmas quilt still isn't finished and I'm adding new items to my UFO list almost on a daily basis. Åsa doesn't quilt anymore. She's just knitting, knitting or colouring more wool to do some more knitting. (a good thing she can't read)

Advice for new bloggers
Frankly, if you’ve read all the good advice given on the blog hop there isn’t anything earthshaking for me to add. I just love it and regret I didn’t start earlier. Blogging is fun, but what I like most of all is to hang out with the other ladies in Bloglandia. If I had to give some advice it would be:

Don't forget that there are real people out there reading your blog, behave like you would in real life. Don't forget your manners; say hello when you visit and say thank you if you use something from another blog.

Advice for new quilters 
Well, if you’re asking for my advice it’s like putting a fox in charge of the henhouse. I just chop a lot of fabric into small pieces and attach the slices again. I love playing with the fabrics, colours and patterns. But - and here is the big but - I cannot quilt with my sewing machine and my hand quilting abilities are amendable. My quilt tops are piling up, waiting for a new sewing machine.

If I had to give some advice it would be: sew as accurately as possible. It saves time and money. Yes, it does!

My favourite quilting tool 
The Omnigrid 96L triangle ruler. I use it for most everything. 

About my tutorial
For my tutorial I wanted to unite my bread and butter part (occupational health and safety),  blogging and quilting. A bit of my newest swoon, reverse appliqué is included as well.

Did you know that your skin is your biggest body part? It has an area of 2 m² and it feels, breathes and protects you. If you’ve ever had a skin rush you know much it can hurt, so you should take good care of your skin.

Whatever has quilting anything to do with your skin? Well, if you have a laptop and place it on your knees, your skin will be exposed to the heat radiating from your laptop. This heat can damage your skin permanently if you don’t take care. It’s called “the toasted skin syndrome”, or Erythema ab igne (EAB). Worst case - it can lead to skin cancer. Of course you need to spend a lot of time with your laptop on your lap to get the toasted skin syndrome, but we all know how easy it is to forget everything around you when surfing around. The way I'm thinking, even if my skin isn't toasted crisp, there sure are to be some damages before it gets that bad.

You could place a book under your laptop to reduce the heat exposure, but that’s not a very good solution. The book has to be the same size as your laptop and that usually means a lot of weight. If the book is too thin it can bend and get creases.

So why not make a giant potholder? It’s light weight and doesn’t mind if you bend it around a bit.

Skin protector tutorial

For my skin protector I chose two fabrics and a piece of insulating batting (for pot holders). I measured my laptop and cut one of the fabrics (fabric A) and the insulation batting accordingly. To pep up my skin protector I chose a pattern for reverse appliqué for the front. For the reverse appliqué a smaller piece of fabric is enough. This skin protector is really big!

Instructions for cutting

2 pieces of fabric A              18" x 16"   
1 piece of insulating batting   18" x 16"  
1 piece of fabric B                11" x 11"

3 long strips 2 ½” from fabric B

The template for the flowerpower elk you find here

The template is smaller than the one I used for my skin protector. I magnified the template by 134% (from A4 to A3). You can of course use any size you want.
Put the template behind your fabric A and draw the outline with a pen. I used a white pen, so you cannot see it so well on the picture, sorry. 

Then put the piece of fabric B under the outline of the elk on fabric A and pin the fabrics together.

Baste the fabrics about  ½” along outline on the outside.

Next step is to cut out the interior of the elk (fabric A). Be careful that you only cut fabric A and not fabric B. You should cut ¼” away from the outline.

This is how my looked like after cutting the fabric away on the inside of the template.

Then you should make small cuts in the curves. Otherwise it is almost impossible to get nice rounded curves.

                                                                         Before you start sewing you should push the edges beneath the fabric along the outline.

Sew with small, invisible stitches. Use sewing cotton in the colour of fabric A. 

Reverse appliqué in detail

finished reverse appliqué
When you have finished your reverse appliqué it's time to gather the fabrics and the batting together. Make a sandwich of the two fabric A pieces and the insulating batting, with the wrong sides of the fabrics together and the batting in the middle.

Sew the three long pieces from fabric B together and use the resulting strip for the binding. You can find a good tutorial for making the binding here.

Voila, the skin protector is ready to use. As I wrote this tutorial I kept it under my laptop on my lap and it felt very good, much better than a book or toasted skin :-)

Thank you for your interest, don’t forget to visit the other great blogs participating in the blog hop. Most of all – thank you Beth for everything you've done for us! 

Todays bloghopper
Ginny from Fish Creek Studio

Next week

Aug 28
Lucy from Charm about you
Ella  from throw a wench in the works

Aug 30
Elaine from Dashasel Sews
Jess from the Elven Garden
Bye and welcome back again!


  1. Спасибо за чудесную идею.Я обязательно ей воспользуюсь.

  2. you know "toasted skin" doesn't sound like something to take serious - but thanks on the insight, now I'm very glad that I use and old fashioned computer tower. Thanks for the revers appliquée tutorial, now I finally figured out why it's called reverse ...
    Noch einen schönen Sommer ...

  3. Thanks for the great tutorial. It's nice to meet you!

  4. What a gorgeous elk! I love the reverse applique, it looks very effective :)

  5. A great method for a fab idea, well done May x x

  6. As I sit here with my computer on my lap!!! Love the tutorial and the Elk, May! I will definitely be making one of these.

  7. The moose is so adorable! Thank you for sharing!

  8. I have never tried revers applique, but your instructions make it look so doable.

    I am like you in that I still don't machine quilt, but I am planning to take a class soon becaue my tops are piling up!

    What part of Germany are you from? I have family all over.

  9. What a beautiful moose!! As a blog reader of yours.....I really enjoy your sense of humor!!

  10. Hi May, nice to meet you. What a great tutorial. I never tried reverse applique before. You make it look so simple I have to give it a try.
    Thank you for sharing.

  11. Nice to meet you all the way from Germany. I've never thought of making something for my laptop. I use an empty 3-ring binder when I'm on the couch with the computer. The angle is nice but it's not very attractive. Your idea is much nicer and prettier.

  12. Great post! Love your reverse applique - very cute, and what a good practical idea for something to go under the laptop. I would never have thought of that!

  13. It's a great idea May! I love the reverse appliqye with the batik moose, it's too cute! Thanks for sharing the tutorial and participating in the blog hop!

  14. I liked your story about how you started quilting! Did she get you to knit too? Great tutorial for reverse appliqué though yikes about what this is for!

  15. Great idea, I've never thought of the possible skin damage because of a laptop before! The elk is so cute, and thanks for the reverse appliqué tutorial - I have never done it, great to see your method. Nice to meet you :)

  16. Oh my reverse applique looks quite tricky but very effective. I enjoyed a snippet of your quilty life and trust that a new sewing machine might be in your savings plan.

  17. Nice to meet you May! Your skin protector is so cute. I've not tried reverse applique before, so thanks for the tutorial.

  18. So happy to have the same blog hop day as you May - what a great tutorial on reverse applique! I have never tried it before but now I just might!

  19. I must admit that I don't like reverse applique, but seeing yours - may be I should give it another try :-)
    I agree with all you said about blogging above, fortunately I am not a laptop owner ;-)

  20. Thanks so much for the tutorial and for the information. I don't usually sit with my laptop in my lap, but I happened to be doing that as I read your post, and I quickly adjusted. : ) Now to make one of these lap protectors...

  21. What a fabulous idea, practical and pretty too! Thanks for the clear instructions too, they're the first that I've read that makes reverse applique sound possible!

  22. I am sitting here with the macbook and my thighs are burning! THANK YOU. I love your design. But I may change the antlers up a bit and make a moose instead.

  23. This is a great idea for your tutorial! I like your blogging advice too, May!

  24. Love your tutorial May, I have never tried reverse applique before but I am tempted to now!

  25. That's a really great idea and a great tutorial. I was worrying that a constantly toasted lap probably wasn't such a good thing, and I'll have to make one! Nice to meet you through the hop!

  26. what a great tutorial! i love the moose!

  27. Thank you for learning me how to do! I will do something nice for my son i law who soon is going up north to for the annuary elkhunt.

  28. Great to meet you on the blog hop, smashing reverse applique tutorial :)

  29. Stopping by on the blog hop - great reverse applique project!

  30. I love your blog hop post, May! I can't think why Åsa has abandoned quilting but it's lucky she gave you the bug first! Perhaps oddly, I never put a lap top on my lap so it's reassuring to know that, whatever else might go wrong with me, I should, hopefully, avoid toasted skin. But I love your tutorial. I've never tried reverse applique and you've explained it really clearly. I also adore your flowerpower elk so I'll certainly put him somewhere - perhaps a cushion or placemat :)

  31. Great post, May, and so nice to get to know you a bit better. Your advice (and tutorial) about the heating laptop is excellent. I had never thought of health consequences before. Thank you so much for writing about this.
    best, nadia

  32. Great reverse applique May! Who doesn't want a flower power Elk/Moose!?

    My laptop seems to turn itself off if it gets too hot - not sure if that is to protect it or me!

  33. Hi May,
    You are a very witty writer. I enjoyed the post about your quilt history - very entertaining. Thank you for sharing the super cute moose and your reverse appliques steps. Makes me want to start a new project....

  34. May, I'm amazed with the amount of wonderful things that flow from a "dead brain"... Maybe it's more alive than you think! LOL
    It's been a nice experience for me to meet you and other ladies who enjoy the same things I do. Thank you for the tutorial, and the advice about the damage on our skin. I still use an old PC, the one my daughter "discard" when she bought a laptop. So, I'll make a skin protector for her, as I've seen her using the laptop on her knees now and then.

  35. Do you know what May....I think I will make one of these for the Christmas table...Love your blog hop sorry it has taken me so long to get over to you.