Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Little Bit of Everything


I signed up for a pillow swap on Instagram.  It has been forever since I was in a swap and it has been lots of fun.  I had an idea (based on my partner's likes - scrappy, text, micro improv.) to make a mini scrap vortex pillow cover.  It started with this.


Which turned into this.


And then this.  I think the pictures actually look better than the real thing for once in my photography "career".   But now I am second guessing myself.  It is kind of blah.  What do you think?  Keep going or start over?  


 Too simple?  Would you like to get a pillow like this or would you think your partner had taken the easy/lazy way out?  I have another idea in the wings that I am leaning towards at this point.

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In other news, AQS posted their best selling new book releases of 2015.  Of their books on piecing, You Can Quilt! took 3rd with approx. 1000 copies sold.  Not bad.  If you have a copy of You Can Quilt! I would be so grateful if you could take a few minutes and post a review of it on Amazon.  There have only been 7 reviews and we need to increase that number.  Thanks!




Last week my 1st grader and I made a shirt for the 100th day of school.  They wanted us to make something that had 100 of something on it.  I wanted to make something that she might possibly wear in the future.  This is what we came up with.  



Regular cheap felt cut out in squares, glued onto the shirt, then sew in lines through the middle.  It was a pretty kid friendly project.

I hope you are having a great week.  It has been snowing and we have missed two days of school -- I am starting to go stir crazy.  My plan is to stay sane by sewing.  :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

First Finish of 2016: Low Volume Cars for Blake


This quilt has been in the works for awhile, but it is finally done!  I used bits of car themed Echino for the pieced centers of the blocks and then just kept sewing fabric around them improv-log cabin style until they were at least 12.5" square.  Then I trimmed the blocks to size.  I Love that kind of piecing.  It is so freeing to just sew.


I quilted it with free motion squares (here is a link that shows what I tried to quilt more clearly).  The quilting went pretty fast.  I like quilting on a long-arm machine, but when I am using my own machine I kind of just want to get it done.  Fast.


My husband says there should be a contest for who can hold up a quilt the longest.  He thinks he could win.  :)  I think he needs to train more.   We can practice by him letting me take 3x as many pictures.  I also think extra points should be awarded to the person who can hold the quilt the flattest and stillest.  What do you think?

This is my first finish for my Finish-A-Long Goals.  Yea!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Finish Along Goals


This is my first time making Finish Along goals.  There is a possibility that we might be moving in the summer and we are trying to fix up the house and one of my jobs is to get my sewing room sorted and purged.  I have really been going through my stuff and trying to finish all the projects that I have started.  I am making progress, but realized that I have more quilts to finish than I though.  So here it goes...

Clockwise from the upper left:

  1. I found this improvisational handwork while cleaning.  I want to do something with it.  Pillow cover?
  2. These blocks need to be put together - finally - into a quilt.
  3. These Dresdens need to be made into a quilt.
  4. This English paper pieced top needs to be quilted.  I had thought of hand quilting it, but am probably just going to machine quilt it.
  5. This quilt top for my brother needs to be quilted and bound.  DONE!
  6. I started this quilt years ago and totally messed up on the quilting.  I need to go back, see if anything can be salvaged.  Worse case scenario, I can make it up into blankets to give to the local animal shelter.
  7. I need to put a border on this and quilt it.
  8. I actually quilted my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt over break and "just" need to bind it.  With such a large and heavy quilt I am not looking forward to it.
  9. I have gotten further than this picture and now need to quilt and bind this "Blue Birches" quilt for my other brother. 
  10. I was so excited about this quilt, but appliqueing the small blocks on didn't work as planned and now I need to figure out what to do.  I am half way through quilting and just want to throw it away, but I will see what I can do with it.
  11. Not pictured.  I found a shirt that I had cut out years ago.  It won't fit the girl it was meant for, but it should fit one of the others.
  12. Not pictured.  I found a half finished 9-patch quilt while cleaning out things.  It was one of my firsts.  I don't know whether I will finish it our pass it on to someone who would like it better.
  13. Not pictured.  I could always finish off my mustard/plum HST quilt, but it really isn't at the top of my list.  Literally.  :)
I got two quilts basted this afternoon, so I am well on my way.  Here's to a great year finishing things up and starting lots of new things too.

I am linking up to the 1st Quarter 2016 FAL and WIP Wednesday.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hexagonal Christmas Tree Skirt and Dala Horse Pillow Covers


The Christmas tree skirt is finished!  It has been living under the tree for a week now and I love it.


I have a real thing about decorating with red and white for Christmas and the tree skirt reflects that.


I used this Diamond Quilt tutorial I wrote a few years ago and just cut a hole in the middle and a slash up the side to turn it into a tree skirt.  I was worried it would be too big, but actually it looks a bit small under the tree.  If you have a large tree and want to make this up I would recommend adding an extra round of diamonds.


I also made a few pillow covers for my mom.  We come from Scandinavian stock and love dala horses so these fabrics were perfect.  I had been holding on to these fabrics for a few years waiting for the perfect pattern, but this year I decided to just use them.  No piecing, no quilting, just letting the fabric shine.


A little pop of piping along the edges makes them look a bit more polished.  I used this tutorial for the piping.

All of the must do Christmas sewing is done.  Well, I want to make the kido's some D-ring belts like this, but that should go fairly quickly.  It will take more time to change out the thread than to sew them.  And I think all the shopping is done.  Now all we have to do is wrap a few things and enjoy the Christmas lights.

I hope you all have a great Christmas holiday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

At the Fair BOM Link Up

16 of the 24 blocks
This is a link up for all of those participating in the At the Fair Mystery Block of the Month.  Scroll down to see their pictures and keep reading to hear about this year long epic work in progress.

In January I started a block of the month program that was inspired by the Iowa State Fair (which I love!).   One of the buildings on the fairgrounds has a frieze of quilt blocks made with ceramic tiles around the outside.  One quilt block for each county in Iowa.  I designed a quilt using 36 of the 100 blocks.   The blocks vary in size from 36" to 8".  We have made 24 of the blocks this year and will make the remaining 12 during the first six months of 2016.

I'm doing a link up so you can all see the Amazing blocks people have been making.  I am also doing a drawing from the people who are up to date on their blocks and giving them a package of fabric.   I wanted to encourage everyone who signed up for the BOM to catch up if they are behind.  There is nothing lamer than signing up for a BOM and then never making the blocks (been there, done that).  


It is actually quite the undertaking to get out all of the blocks and photograph them.  I moved the kitchen table and laid them out as they will be arranged in the final quilt.    I need to move some around, but this gives you an idea.  We just have twelve more of the small 8" and 12" blocks to go.

If you would like to sign up you still can here in my Etsy shop.  All of the instructions for the first 24 blocks will be available for instant download and I will email you the paper foundation patterns you will need for a few of the blocks within 36 hours.

It has been a great experience!



Friday, December 11, 2015

Super-Simple Selvage Christmas Ornament Tutorial


One of our family's traditions is making Christmas tree ornaments every year.  Why?  Because I love making ornaments.  I'm not much of a crafter in general, but there is just something about Christmas ornaments.  This year I decided to merge my two loves:  Ornaments and Fabric.  How can you go wrong?  Especially when the fabric is selvages?  I have a thing for selvages.


You could probably figure out how to make these on your own but I'll walk you through it pictorially.

You will need:
  • some thin 3" wooden craft squares (you can buy these at craft stores or cut them yourself)
  • craft paint
  • paint brushes (I used foam)
  • some selvages (the edges of fabric with the printing and holes)
  • scissors
  • glue gun and glue sticks
(Note:  I placed my supplies on top of my cutting mat for photo purposes only.  I do not recommend doing this project on top of your cutting mat.  You don't want to melt your mat with the hot glue gun or get paint all over it.)


 I recommend two light coats of paint. 


Choose selvages that have fun sayings, images or are from your favorite fabric designer.
If you are not into selvages you can use ribbon.


 For this ornament I used a selvage that had the fabric design printed on it.








Then they are ready to hang on the tree and enjoy.
A quick and easy fabric finish for the holidays.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

Heather Ross Bag


 I finished this bag a few weeks ago.  I have been meaning to use my linen Heather Ross odds and ends to make a bag and finally got around to it.


I used the free Phoebe bag pattern.  I pieced each side on interfacing before cutting out the pieces.  That gave it a little extra weight and something to piece onto.  I knew the strap length was Way Too Short so I lengthened it....and had to do an awkward fix when the bag was finished because the strap needed to be shorter....like the length specified in the pattern.  Note to self: Follow the instructions the first time you use a pattern.  They may know what they are talking about.  :)

The back.
The first time I used it in public I felt kind of odd.  You don't see a lot of peach pieced HR bags out there.  I've gotten over it and it feels normal now.  And it is perfect for me.  It has my favorite fabrics and is the perfect size.  Not too big, not too small and it hangs just right on me.  I can see making another when this wears out.

If you are looking for a handmade Christmas idea this pattern might be a good idea.  If you didn't piece the panels it would go together pretty quickly.

I know in the next couple weeks people are going to start posting pictures of all the cute things they are making for teacher gifts.  While that is great, I decided a couple of years ago that I was just going to buy our teachers books.  Something they will be sure to use and that the whole class can enjoy - and something I can quickly buy in Amazon.  So, if spending 50 hours making teacher gifts isn't in the cards this year, buy the teachers in your life a book.  They'll love it!  :)

Linking to Scraptastic Tuesday.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dala Christmas Apron

Apron modeled by Aleah
I bought this super cute Dala horse fabric by Lecien a few years ago and have been trying to find the perfect project to use my perfect fabric in.  It was paralyzing.  So I decided to just bite the bullet last week and make something that I could use regularly.  I used the entire 1/2 yard to make this apron.  It has a 3" sash on the top and a 1-ish" border on the bottom.  The red dot was the perfect shade of red.  I Love It.  No regrets.


It has a nice big bow in the back and long ties.  They aren't as long on me cause I don't have a 20" waist.  :)   I sized the waistband so that the apron skirt ends at my sides.  I am going to enjoy using it year round.


In other news I put up the lights and ribbon today and the tree gets decorated tomorrow.  I really like Christmas lights and decorations.  We also went to Aleah's 5th grade Christmas choir concert tonight and it was one of the best kid concerts that I have been to.  They did a great job singing their holiday songs.

I hope you are having fun getting into the Christmas spirit too.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gratitude and a Giveaway


Yesterday our family went through this and this list of gratitude prompting questions.  Some of the questions were really unique and it made me think about all of the things that I am grateful for.

One of the things that I am grateful for is quilting.  I love the planning, picking fabric, cutting, sewing and quilting.  (Not so hip on basting and binding, but you can't have it all.)   When all is going well, it provides a sense of peace (some people say mind-numbing-piecing, I say peace).

I love taking beautiful fabrics and bringing them to a higher plane of beauty and order through piecing and quilting.  I love that my quilts are always beautiful even when my kitchen isn't. :)

I am more grateful than I can express for all of the people I have met through quilting.  I don't know if quilting attracts super cool people or if a shared passion makes us all compatible, but I love hanging out with my quilting friends.

I am grateful that I have had so many more opportunities than I could ever imagine open up to me through quilting.  It started with my first post on Moda Bakeshop and the journey just keeps going.


Did I mention that I am grateful for fabric?  There are so many beautiful fabrics!!!  And Moda Fabrics has graciously provided four charm packs for a giveaway today.  Let me tell you about them.

Dottie - Lots of dots in small and medium sizes.  A great basic and blender.  I know I have mentioned this before, I really like dots.

Purebred - Love horses and paint by number?  Then you will love this line.

Basic Mixologie - This is my favorite of the bunch (it almost stayed at my house).  Lots of tone on tone and small modern prints in great colors.  It should reach stores in December, so you are getting a sneak peek.

Flying Colors - This line of fabric features birds, rainbows and raindrops.  It is not due in stores until February.  You could be the first one on the block with this fabric!  Not that that is saying much in my neighborhood.  I think I am the only one on the block that haunts online fabric stores.  :)



To enter to win these charm packs, I want to know what you are grateful for.  There are three chances to win:

1. What are you grateful for today?  It can be quilting related or not.

2. What Moda designer or line of fabric are you most grateful for?
(I am super grateful for all of the great fabrics Sandy Klop of American Jane creates.)

3.  Share this giveaway on social media.  (on Instagram here.)

Please, leave a separate comment for each entry.

The giveaway is open to quilters with a US postal address.  (I am beyond sorry to have to limit it.)  It will run until the morning of Monday, November 30 CT.  A winner will be randomly selected after my children leave for school.

Thanks!  And have a great Thanksgiving weekend!