4/10/2014

Reunion Progress

I have been slowly working on my Sweetwater Reunion quilt. I turned these blocks

into these rows.
I was encouraged by a post I saw on Pat Sloan's blog. She has put up a 10 minute a day UFO challenge. You can find the post here. With life a bit crazy right now, I figured I can at least work on something for 10 minutes a day, so I joined in. I have 3 UFO quilts hanging in bags in the closet, maybe this will help to get them finished up as well. I still haven't even finished the 2nd potholder from my tutorial, I need to do that also. I got some of the rows (well only the bottom 3) joined and should be finishing this up soon.


I have been seeing quite a few quilts lately similar to what I'm making. I didn't use any particular pattern because I wanted mine to end up about 50 x 70 finished. I did my own measurements and will share when it is completed. My inspiration came from a couple tutorials here and here. The second link is a Riley Blake tutorial that adds a fun strip into the front. I think I will try that next time I make this pattern.

It's good to be sewing again. I splurged today on something totally not necessary. I ordered a fat eighth bundle of the complete Waterfront Park line by Violet Craft for Michael Miller fabrics. I had a gift card credit left on Etsy and figured it was time to get it used up :) I happen to see the backing I wanted on sale at Crafter's Vision for 6.28 a yard. They have a Michael Miller sale this week, so it was another 20% off of that too! That gave me the push to go purchase the Waterfront Park bundle that has been in my cart for the last few months. Does anyone else have carts full at several quilt shops...at all times? I'm betting I'm not the only one :)

Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

3/29/2014

It's Been Awhile

I was just getting in my groove of blogging with lots of quilt plans, when life happened to my family. My brother passed away Feb 28th and my Mom had a heart attack the next day. Many other not so enjoyable things happened as well, but I will keep the sad part of this post at a minimum.
Before I left, I was working on this flower quilt.
I had originally planned to do a baby quilt but when I returned my mind was at a blank on where I was even going with this. I have another charm pack of this Noteworthy fabric by Sweetwater for Moda. I'm thinking I may just continue and make a nice size lap quilt for a gift instead. I put it away for the moment.
I also wanted to share a couple pics of some feed/flour sacks I had started collecting. The first two photos are full sacks that have not been opened up. I'm going to save a few for my girls and grand daughters. Some have a little history with them that will be fun to include before I tuck them away for later years.


 I also purchased a few opened sacks that I'm saving to put into a quilt. The top fabric is 3 yards of vintage fabric that I won on ebay, I only paid 3.50 a yard!

 My Mom and sister had been finding me lots of good vintage sheets and pillow cases as well. I've really come to love vintage fabrics and feed sacks. I started to cut up some of the sheets, kept what I wanted, and listed a few pieces in my Etsy shop. That's the only thing left in there right now. I was fortunate enough to sell all the quilts I'd made up. I am going to be adding lots of vintage sheet pieces when I am able to get them cut up.
I realized I'd been hoarding and not made one quilt from my Sweetwater fabrics! They are one of my favorite designers and figured it was time to start using some of my stash. I needed a simple quilt with so much going on right now. I got the blocks all ready, now I just need to join them.
I really liked my trial layout and think this will be a cute lap quilt. I had a small surgery yesterday so it will be a bit before I'm able to put this together. Hopefully soon though!
I hope everyone is well. I spent yesterday catching up on some blogs that I've missed out on.
Thank you Cristina for wondering what happened or where I'd been. Your friendship and kindness gave me the get up I needed to start sewing again and get a blog post up. I treasure you :)

Linking up to Fabric Frenzy Friday at Fort Worth Fabric Studio
And Sewjo Saturday at My Go-Go Life

1/30/2014

Potholder Tutorial




Hello friends! I was cutting out pieces to make a set of pot holders and decided to share how I am making mine with you. I know there are tons of tutorials out there but you never know when someone new to sewing will find your blog and appreciate an easy, quick and fun tutorial! I like the style of my current pot holders, the kind you can stick your hand in so there's less chance of getting burnt. So I measured them the best I could. When I stopped to actually look at them...yikes...they are a bit scary and ratty looking, yuck!
Ok folks, this is what you will need for one potholder, double this to make two (2 Coordinating fat quarters will make 2 potholders).

  • (2) 9.5" x 8" pieces of cotton fabric, one will show as the backing and one will peek out the top above your pocket. I am using a dark gray Chicopee print for my back and Puppy Park crosshatch green for the front.
  • (1) 9.5" x 8" piece of Insul-Bright ( I recommend using this because the shiny side deflects heat away) You could also use a couple pieces of cotton batting, although I haven't tried that method yet. Never use polyester batting, it could melt and your potholder will not be pretty anymore!
  • (1) 9.5" x 8" piece of cotton batting, You could also use another piece of Insul-Bright instead of this if you choose. The manufacturer recommends a piece of cotton batting to absorb any moisture that may arise from the heat. That's why I am using batting along with the Insul-Bright.
  • (2) 8" x 8" pieces of cotton fabric, These are your pocket pieces. One will show to the inside and one will be the main part of what you're going to see on the front of your pot holder. I'm using the dark gray print on the outside and the green inside. 
  • (1) 8" x 8" piece of Insul-Bright
  • (1) 8" x 8" piece of cotton batting
  • (1) package of 1/2" double fold bias binding, (1 package will make 2 pot holders) I chose black. Packaged binding stretches much easier around corners that are rounded. Here's what I'm using (I forgot to add it in the 1st photo)

Layer your 9.5" x 8" pieces as follows:
Backing piece, right side facing down
Insul-Bright, shiny side facing down
Cotton Batting
Front fabric piece, right side facing up
I'm using basting spray to hold all my layers together. 

Now layer your 8" squares:
Pocket piece that you want to show to the inside, right side facing down
Cotton batting
Insul-Bright, shiny side facing up
Front pocket piece, right side facing up
Again, I'm using basting spray to hold my layers. You could pin or do a basting stitch as well to hold your layers all together.
Here are the layers, in order, ready to be basted together.
 

Next you will quilt your two layered sandwiches. I'm using my walking foot and quilting simple straight lines about 1/2" apart (ignore the guide bar, it's being held in place with a glue dot and I just didn't remove it). This would be a great time to practice free motion skills, since I'm doing a tutorial I will not be doing that. I still need lots of practice :)


After you're done with the quilting, take your sandwiches to your cutting mat and square them up. Mine got a bit off so I squared my 8" pieces to 7.5" and the 9.5" x 8" squared to 9" x 7.5" When you lay them together you should have something similar to this.



Next you need to add a piece of your bias binding to the top of your pocket piece to finish off the top of this section. I cut a piece of my packaged binding 7.5" long. Take your pocket piece and place the side you want facing to the inside of your potholder so that it is right side up facing you. One side of your binding will be a little wider, this is the side we will attach first. Open up that wider half of the binding and lay it even with the top of your pocket piece, pin in place. 



Using matching thread, sew right down that crease line, the one closest to your top edge. Sorry, this picture is upside down.

 Next, fold your binding back over to the front, it should now look like this:


Sew close to the edge to attach the front down.
Since you put the slighter wide section on the back side, your front stitches should have ended up nicely onto the binding on the back side. If it strayed off your binding, don't worry too much, it will be facing inside and won't be seen too much.

Now we will sew the pocket piece onto the main piece. Sew near the edge, maybe around 1/8th of an inch seam allowance (no need for extreme accuracy here). This will be hidden under your final outside binding when you attach it. We are simply getting the two pieces attached together. Lay your pocket piece on top of the main piece, making sure you have the sides you want showing properly placed. Stitch across the bottom first to hold things in place. For the sides, I like to start at the bottom and go up. I always have problems if I try to start where there's a lot of bulk. Since there is binding across the top of your pocket, there's more bulk than the bottom will have. Back stitch when you reach the top of your binding strip for added strength.

Time to round the corners, or leave them square, whatever you prefer.
 I like the look of rounded corners on a potholder. I'm using a candle lid to make my corners, you can use anything round you can find laying around. Place it where you would like it, mark it and cut.

The final step is to add your binding. I cut a piece roughly 36". I have some, but not a lot of experience with packaged bias binding. This is a helpful tutorial that will give better instruction than I could. Many people pin it down, but I just like to sew slowly and adjust it in place as I go and manipulate it into place around the corners.

I started near one end on the back side using the same method as we did on the top of the pocket. The wider side unfolded, lined up with the edge and stitched down along the closest crease mark.
I saw this trick somewhere, I can't link because I don't remember where I seen it. At the start point, fold it down like this.
Start sewing at the very beginning of the binding, where the first crease mark would be if it went all the way to the end, right over the top of that fold. Continue all the way around and when you get back to this point, continue past the folded down line a bit and back stitch. Trim off any excess past your back stitching. When you fold your binding over to the front (again like we did on the pocket top), you will end up with this.
Just make sure it's tucked under there good, smooth that wrinkle out and line up the edges well before you sew over it. It creates a nice finished end without a lot of binding fuss. I started attaching the front here, sew all the way around and back stitch at the end. Your binding is complete!
If you want to add a loop, just cut a binding piece to a size that looks pleasing to you when made into a loop. Center it on the top, in the back, lining it up with your binding edge and take a few stitches. Back stitch to secure in place. There are also other ways to do loops if you do a quick online search. You don't have to make a loop, I often wonder what the need is because I never hang mine anyway.


Repeat for a 2nd potholder and you now have a pretty set of new potholders!

I would love for you to share photos with me if you make a set! Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up to Needle And Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and
Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and
Fabric Frenzy Friday at Fort Worth Fabric Studio


1/23/2014

Backyard Baby #2, Tumbler

My camera died while I was trying to get pictures, it was cold and very windy. I only ended up with three photos...that are less than desirable.
Tumblers are so easy to do, I just love them! This quilt is adorable in person. I purchased my tumbler ruler at Missouri Star Quilt Co when I first started quilting. It was one of their daily deals if I remember correctly. I used yardage for this quilt but the tumbler ruler along with charm packs makes this really fast to make!
I had just enough of the Windy Day print left for the backing. I quilted it vertically along each side of the seams and then horizontally in an Ice Blue cotton thread. I like how it frames each tumbler.
 This quilt measures 35 x 40. It is sold and will be shipped out today.

I was surprised at the amount of people that hadn't seen this fabric line so I'm including it again. It is Backyard Baby by Patty Sloniger (I think that's spelled correctly) for Michael Miller Fabrics. I did a quick search and that link will take you to a few of the prints. I'm sure the rest can be found on the website. It is getting a little harder to find but there are a few places I found here, here, and here. I'm sure if you do a google search many more shops will come up as well.

I am sure other people have already thought of this idea but I've decided to keep one square of fabric from each quilt I make in 2014. At the end of the year I will put them all into one quilt and label the back as "All My Quilts In One, 2014". It may be a mis-matched hot mess lol, but it will be great to have for myself :)
I'm updating this post with an idea that came to me. A few have liked the idea of saving a square from each quilt and putting them into one quilt at the end of the year. I got to thinking it would be fun if you would do the same and join me! I would like to do a link up sometime after the 1st of the year so we can all share our masterpieces :) Just a quilt we can sew together without any planning, thinking or deciding on anything. Yes, they may be crazy looking, but for me it will a collage of my years work. You could make yours up with some kind of order, or do like I will be, and just sew all your squares together. I just think it would be fun to see what everyone ends up with! I hope you will join me! I have a little storage container I am using to put mine in. I also am hanging a note above my cutting board so I don't forget to add a square each time :)
Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
TGIFF at Quilty Habit
and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts 

1/15/2014

Backyard Baby Finished

I didn't have a quilt holder for the last couple days and it's super windy here. My yard is literally filled with tumbleweeds, I've never seen anything like it. They are piled feet high everywhere and along the roadways, so without driving to town, pictures are impossible right now! I took a few in my sewing room. The lighting and colors are lousy but I need to get this packaged and mailed.
I hate it when the diagonal quilting doesn't show up in both directions on some photos. It's there, you just can't see it. I guess it showed up good on the first picture, that's what it really looks like :)
I didn't have quite enough of the windy day print so I added some ant maze to the bottom.
For anyone who may not know, the fabric is Backyard Baby by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller. I bought pieces here and there as I seen them, so I can't link to a shop because I don't remember them all for certain.
It finished at 35 x 43. I first saw a quilt very much like this one on Etsy, so it is not my idea. I've had a few people suggesting tutorials. I would love to do one for this quilt. It doesn't use a lot of print fabrics and is pretty fast to put together. Even though mine is shaped different and layed out a tad bit different, it still wasn't my idea and I don't feel right doing a tutorial for this one. I just drew up my own pattern to end up the size I was needing. It is sold and will be off to it's new home tomorrow.

I had a lot of this fabric left and had a request for another boy quilt so I started on a tumbler. I love tumbler quilts for children!
Ignore that crease mark line thing in the top of the photo. Not sure why my camera keeps doing that!
I have all my rows sewn and a few joined so this should be done fairly quickly. I will use the dots for binding and I have another piece of windy day print to use on this for backing again. Not sure how I ended up with so much more of this line than I thought. I have enough left to do one more still I think!
Thanks for stopping by :)

Linking up to Needle And Thread Thursday
And Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts  

1/09/2014

Two WIP's, Backyard Baby And Nordika (Again...)

Hi all! I hope you aren't getting too tired of seeing my Nordika posts. The next time you will see it is when it's complete. I promise! I did manage to get half of the quilting done.
 I didn't have anyone here to hold it up for me so I couldn't get a shot of the whole half, but you get the idea. This is the most dense quilting I have done on any quilt so please don't look too closely at my lines and spacing! Part of the problem is the little bar that goes on my walking foot will not stay in there tight. The other part was just lack of experience in quilting this many lines while turning. I typically use painters tape but that was a bit tough to do with all the turning, so I'm just going to finish it up and be happy it's done. I did put a couple glue dots from my scrapbooking stuff on the back of the foot where the bar sits in the middle, and it helped a bunch to keep it in place.


I almost have the Backyard Baby top done. I just have to add the final white borders on the outside edges. That will soften up the sharp edge of the gray as well. I will bind it in the snakeskin green print.
I first saw this quilt design on Etsy, so I can't claim it. I have no idea what sizes she used so I just drafted up my own. This one is sold so I'm hoping to finish it up today or tomorrow.
Have a great rest of the week and thanks for stopping!

Linking up to My Quilt Infatuation for Needle And Thread Thursday

1/03/2014

Catching Up

Hi everyone! I hope you all had great holidays! I've been seeing all the great re caps from all the blogs for 2013 with everyone's goals, etc. After too many days of contemplating what I should post, I decided on the truth. Craft blogs are our getaways, our happy places and I want to keep mine that way as well. With that said, I do have to share I have a health issue that's become a big struggle for me. I have not been sewing as much (not by choice), my Nordika quilt still sits unfinished and I have no definite goals or plans. I have decided that I am going to stick with smaller projects for now. Getting anything too big done is tough for me right now and adds to my frustration.
My Nordika quilt did get layered after several days of trying to get the back pieced. Each time I thought it was big enough, it just was not. So I ended up adding in every scrap I had and I literally don't have an inch to spare on the sides. I got a small portion quilted.

I set this aside for now and started a new baby quilt with Backyard Baby fabrics from Michael Miller. These prints are so soft and fun looking, it will make a cute boy quilt.

I got some fun things in the mail today. First is a big roll of cotton batting from my husband for Christmas. JoAnn had this one day deal for 79.99, such a great deal! Only a quilter would know how exciting a giant roll of batting is as a gift :)

JCPenney sent me an early birthday coupon for 15.00 and another with free shipping so I got a diamond ruler I've been wanting for 1.04 shipped!

The UPS man also brought me this bundle from Benartex I won in the holiday blog hop!
 It is Palazz (Kanvas) by Greta Lynn and it is gorgeous! This bundle has a gray/stone tone and I already have a quilt in mind for it :)
Did you get any quilty goodness for Christmas this year?
Happy New Year everyone, may it be filled with health, happiness and lots of sewing!