Thursday, April 3, 2014

Globe Trotting Block 4

My fourth block for the Mystery Boom, and I have to say I just love looking at everyones block in the flicker group here. I wasn't quite sure how I would feel about it being a mystery quilt and not quite knowing what the turn out would be, but I have to say I look forward to the start of each month and seeing a new block.
AND I don't consider this a WIP quilt either! I can't work on it if I don't know what the next block will be!! So it's not really my fault it is a unfinished product! 
Next up is the aura fill block

This one is on my list to finish as well, I love the bear paw look, and it looks so good in so many color ways! (flicker group here)

Monday, March 17, 2014

March BOM all done on time!

 This week has been a unproductive sewing week! But I did manage to get the 3rd block from Pat Sloans Mystery quilt block finished! So that means I'm not falling behind!
Between the beautiful weather (and studying) staying cooped up in the house is the last thing on my mind! Does that happen to you? The nicer it gets outside the less you want to be sewing inside! 

I also put this one together with my green, red and aqua colors. I decided to add a bit of gray as well to this set.  It does measure a bit larger than my fist block
But that is nothing a bit of sashing can't fix! 
I hope everyone else has had a more productive week!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Call for help Auction projects?

O.K I am putting out a call for help from the more experienced quilters out there! 
My son is part of a 4-H group and every year they have an auction. This auction raises money for the local 4-H, FFA, and FBA to host the local fair. 
During his last meeting there was a call for donated crafts, especially quilted items. 

Apparently they do quite well at these auctions. 
The issue is, I'm a bit of a slow quilter, and considering that the fair is in just 2 weeks, that doesn't give me quite enough time to put together a whole quilt. So I need a bit of help.. Has anyone ever donated quilted items for auctions before?  AND has a simple, easy and most importantly FAST project that they use for these kinds of events? I have never quilted for anyone else before, it's always been for myself or my family so I am at a  bit of a loss as to what goes over well. Perhaps a table toper? or a wall hanging? Any Ideas out there? They would be most appreciated on my part ( as well as my son who doesn't understand that I can't just " whip up" a quilt over a weekend!) 
Now I don't intend for one of mine to bring in $9,000 Like This one did last year
But Every little bit helps!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Auriful BOM March Block Complete!

While deciding on my next project, I have been puttering along with a few BOMs. 
Its quite amazing to realize how fast the year as gone, this is already the 3rd block for this years Auriful BOM! 

They are all finishing at about 12 1/2 inches, so by the end of the year these will make a nice sized quilt I'm thinking!

I have also been playing with some aquas, reds and greens as well.
 I would love to make this as a small wall hanging, but I have no plan! 
I simply browse all the lovely quilting blogs out there, and when I see a tutorial for a block that catches my fancy and finishes at 12 inches  ( and will look nice in these colors), I'll add it to this block. 

And finally my leaders and enders is at a stand still. 
I ran out of 2 1/2 inch blocks! So I will wait by the mail box until the post delivers my next set of 200 with the swap I have signed up for. 

I also signed up for another swap as well. 
Last month I received such a lovely package from the secret pals swap that I signed up for this month to! So, that means another trip to the fabric shop is in store for me this weekend to get a quilty package together for my pal as well! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Simple + table toper pieced...

Don't you just love the photos of a beautiful kitchen table. Complete with table runners, table cloths, and the like. As much as I would love my home to look like that, it's just not possible. As a matter of fact my kitchen table is so embarrassing I don't even want to post a picture of it! 
Jackets hung over the chairs, paper work, spelling words, math papers, other forms of homework ( both mine and the 1st and 5th graders!) along with various other things are always strewn across the kitchen table, no matter how many times I pick them up.
 It's as if when I clear of the table, it screams at people to place stuff on it! So I have come to the realization that it will be several years until my kitchen table is photo ready, and I am OK with that! 
However it doesn't stop me from loving all the beautiful table topers that I see on everyone else's table. Who said they had to only be for the kitchen table! 
This small roll around kitchen block needed some love, so using 2 1/2 inch squares and 2 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch rectangles I made up this small + table toper. Right now it's just 14" square. I am thinking I will quilt it with some nice waves and bind it with a charcoal gray or gray and white binding. 

If it is going to stay here, I really think the gray will help tone down the colors and bring it all together!
That, or I may just have to change the vases!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Churn dash Quilt Together!

 Yesterday in-between homework I was able to piece together my churn dash quilt. I have to say now that it's all together I like it much more than I did as individual blocks!
The colors are so scrappy and yet they go together pretty well.

Little chickens were not to impressed with it, as you can see. They think just because I come outside I'm going to give them treats! And while most of the time that is true, today I was not and they were protesting, so it may not have been the quilt top they were disapproving of, so much of the lack of treats!
The whole thing is just large enough for my bed. 6 blocks up and down, measuring at 12" each. 
I am thinking a pretty vintage sheet would look nice as a backing, but I'll be putting this top away for a bit until something speaks to me for a backing!

And of the 100 2 1/2 inch squares I cut for my leaders and enders when I started this quilt, well lets just say I need to get cutting, I'm out! Just one more thing to add to the list of things to do!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Leaders and enders block

I have recently found the joy of Leaders and Enders. I originally started because after some reading I found that quilters change their bobbin less often when they use leaders and enders. I am happy to report, this is completely true! It seems like I am winding my bobbin much less since I started using leaders and enders!  
I decided it would be a waste to just use a scrap pice of fabric so perhaps I could make a quilt with the leaders and enders. So I sat down and organized my scraps, cutting lots of 2 1/2 inch squares. I quickly fond that I had a relatively small range of scrap colors. So I promptly signed up for a 'Candy swap" where we all exchange sets of 50 different 2 1/2 inch blocks. SO 200 + blocks later they are all bagged and ready to be sent out. 
At the end of each block I was making for my churn dash quilt, I just fed in the sewing machine 2 of the 2 1/2 charms. They quickly added up. 

I am hoping to do a scrappy around the world kind of block. The white will be the focal point with all the scrap pices adding a bit of color to the quilt. I don't plan on having this one done anytime soon, but I do like how it is coming together. 
The trick is to keep this a leader and ender quilt! I am really liking how easy it is to simply match the pieces once they were all cut. There is no thought to putting it together, just as long as two of the same colors are not side by side I am happy.  I don't pin either, just go slow to match up the seams and it works well. This block is 25 blocks, finishing at a 10" square. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Churn Dash Blocks Complete

Fortunately for me ( or perhaps unfortunately) when I find I have a list, I want to cross things off it. And after posting the other day that I should be working on this churn dash quilt, I decided to finish up the blocks. So here are 36 blocks all trimmed to size and ready to be put together. I decided against sashing, and made more blocks to make it the size I was going for. The prints all remind me of the "little mismatched"dolls and I have to say I really like it!
this is my first full size quilt, so I will be keeping an eye out for the perfect backing and I am looking into renting a long arm. I don't know anyone who has ever done it, but I'm hoping it can't be that hard? 
Fingers crossed!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Churn Dash indecision

So, I know I didn't need another WIP laying around. I have so many. But I so loved the tutorial for this one that I just had to make it! I don't know where it's going to go as it is a small block…I could add borders for my original thought to make this a pillow, but I'm not thinking that is going to work. and of course as I was checking the directions for this block, Julie posted yet another one! and this one is big enough for a pillow! but I must refrain ( however if you want to take a look head on over to The crafty Quilter here

These are what I should be doing! I started this one a bit before Christmas. 
I have lots of excuses for not finishing these!
I'm sure you have heard them all! 
And I should be telling myself NO EXCUSES BUT>>>
1) I purchased a fat eighth a while a go on clearance. (Since then it's been discontinued.) So of course I started to make my blocks and found that had enough for a small quilt. But I really wanted a full size quilt. So then I started pulling out coordinating fabric from my pile to put more blocks together. It takes me a while to coordinate!  

2) Then of course I stumbled across all the pretty turn dash pinwheel blocks (tutorial here) and seriously debated on changing my blocks. 

I mean really look what Karen did with these over at Sunburnt Quilts.( her picture above) 

But I refrained, I already had almost 20 blocks!

3)Then I keep going back and forth with the question "Do I really love it?" I don't think I like the large white squares when the two blocks are joined. I tried laying them out with sashing nope didn't love it, Then I tried to use a color block for the center and the churn dash white, and alternating the blocks I liked that a bit better but not enough to do 20 more blocks!  Perhaps I just need borders? Or perhaps when it's quilted the white space will not be as distracting to me? 

So yup lots of excuses. I really am going to stop and make a committed decision here. But I think my biggest excuse is, I like coming back to it! It's an easy block to do, and I like laying it out and playing with the color! ( does that count as #4) 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Jelly Roll Skinny Pinny Tutorial

This weekend I finished a few Skinny Pinnys for the upcoming swap that I am with. While I did like the original tutorial here I couldn't help but notice the measurements were pretty close to a jelly roll. 
So I thought to make a few made out of left over jelly rolls from other projects. 
As you can see, they sit well along the base of my sewing machine. 
Very easy to do, Just follow along

You will need 
1 Jelly roll at least 13 inches long
1 Jelly roll at 10 inches long
Keep them all at the 2 1/2 inch width
12 inches of trim, you can use lace or ribbon or ruffles whatever you like

Cut a jelly roll for the middle section 6 1/2 inches long, so you now have two rectangles
Then cut the other jelly roll into four 2 1/2 inch squares
Cut your ribbon into 3 inch sections ( If you don't want to trim them up latter cut them to 2 1/2)

Next place your rectangles print side up and lay the squares print side down over the rectangle. 
Sew the squares to the short ends of the rectangles using 1/4 seams. 
I like to press my seams open as it reduces bulk when we move on to the next step however, the choice is yours
You now have 2 long rectangles

 Place the ribbon on top of the seam where you sewed the square and rectangle together. Then sew on both sides of the ribbon. If you used longer ribbon pieces, trim them up after you sew them on.

Now place each rectangle print sides together and sew along the edges again using a 1/4 seam. Make sure your ribbon ends are aligned as well. 
I like to start at a short end corner and sew all 4 corners and leave a small opening in the middle of the short end that you will use to turn the pinny right side out. 

I also trim my corners so that they will fill out nicer when turned right side out. 

Turn the pinny right side out though the hole you left in the middle of the short end earlier. Then poke out the corners. I use a crochet hook to do mine as it has a rounded edge and seems to work pretty well. 
Then fill with your choice of stuffing. 
You can use walnut shells, stuffing, or all natural kitty litter as well. Whatever you happened to have on had will work. I love walnut shells as it seems like you need a LOT less of it to get the desired shape and consistency  I like compared to stuffing. 
Then sew up the hole that you used to fill the pinny with.  

And ta da! It was that easy! And it makes such good use out of the half used jelly roll scraps that just seem to have multiplied in one of my bins….

Less than 20 min to complete each one, and less if you decide to make several at once! 

I hope this was pretty straight forward but if there are any questions please let me know! I'd be happy to clarify. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Skinny Pinny Swap

Well today I sat down and made my Skinny Pinny for my partner swap. I had very little to go on as far as what she would like but I pulled out all kinds of trimmings and came up with these two. I kind of like them both… 
I filled the blue and pink with walnut shells and I really like how they work better than stuffing. 
As far as the pattern I used this one here but decided I would like to do something different so I used jelly rolls and changed the measurements a bit, but they still sat perfectly at my sewing machine. 

Isn't it funny where you get inspiration from? These little salt and pepper shakers were begging for me to take them home last summer, I still think they are so fun! It's amazing that this fabric was in my stash and complemented of all things my salt and pepper shakers! 

So now to debate what one to send!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

W.I.P Wednesday

Today I'm Linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP, because hey i got something done by Wednesday! 
Well I did it! I finished both BOM blocks for this month within the first week! Go ME!

The Aurifil BOM here was done. I did have to part with a few vintage pillow cases for this one but I really like how it turned out!

And my Globe Trotting block was pieced together yesterday! While I'm not crazy about the dots in this one, I think in the end it may just all come together!

And of course while blog surfing I came across another cute project tutorial from 
The little house is adorable, and can be done with scraps. I think with an added border this would make a cute pillow or add a few together for a small wall hanging! Not that I need another project or anything! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Aurifil Block of The Month

This Months Aurifil Block of the month  comes from Amy Gibson from Stitchery Dickory Dock.
At first I wasn't so sure about this one, but now that it's together I LOVE it! I wanted to keep with the tone of my first block so I really tore up the sewing room to find some prints that all flowed with this block. The hardest part of of a BOM is not quite knowing what you will want to do with it. For the half square triangles I wanted to be sure to use 8 different fabrics because I knew they would be duplicated at least once. I didn't want to overpower it with one specific color. 
I think I did a pretty good job with the color choices. The top spools block goes pretty well with the triangle block! 
I can't wait to see what the next one is but I need to pack this one away in it's box until March to find out. 
In the meantime I hope to finish Pat Slones BOM this week as well, but it is a short month so we shall see! 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Gadget overload

I'm not a gadget kind of Girl, as a matter of fact when I see these ruler displays at the store, I start to get overwhelmed. I mean really, how many rulers do you need! And these suckers aren't cheep either! Then I start looking at all the pretty fabric and before you know it I am done with the ruler section! As a matter of fact before yesterday I had just two rulers. But then I started having issues! 

After 9 failed attempts at this block I knew I needed help. It didn't matter what I did to these blocks I could NOT get them to measure at the 9 1/2 inches when I was done. I tried shortening my stitch length cutting the starting blocks a bit larger nothing worked they were all 1/4 of an inch off! Now if this block was for me, I would say no problem. I would just cut them all down to a size that works and carry on with making my quilt. However these blocks are for a swap and I can't send " good enough" as they will be matching these blocks to their own. 
So off to the local quilt shop and found that they had open sew on Thursdays. So I packed my stuff up and headed out. I was a bit apprehensive as I didn't actually "Know" anyone there. But I jumped in and asked for help. Jean took pity on a new quilter and helped so much! and she introduced me to the squaring ruler, and the seam check ruler. 
I truly thought my seems were 1/4 ( that's what the darn machine said!) but they were much larger! and each time I turn my machine back on the needle moves! So I need to set it each time I sit down to sew. That little seam ruler went home with me that day!

And today I grabbed a squaring ruler. OH My Goodness. I knocked these two blocks out and they squared up PERFECT with this ruler. So while I'm still not a gadget girl, I do know the importance of using the right tool to get the job done correctly. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

What's on your Bed?

Jo over at Joscountryjunction  is having a "share what's on your bed" 'Link up. And while it's not to cold here in Southern Ca, it's still cold enough for an extra blanket. Unfortunately quilts get used in this house faster than I can make them and the only one I had to put on the bed was this one. 

My grandma made this when she was still in high school, so we are thinking 1940's or 50's? I love this quilt, actually it's the only thing I asked for when my family asked if I wanted anything of hers. I remember going to her home when I was younger in Upstate NY and she always had a quilt on the bed. Pardon the pictures, today was so gray and overcast that there was no good light to do the quilt justice! 

My other quilts get used for "More important things….

Like the bunny, apparently he needs his own quilt

And storing Legos, apparently Legos need there own quilt as well? 
Anyone else have this issue with people stealing the quilts for "more important" uses then what you intended them for? ( Like on going on a bed?)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Anyone Notice the lack of cute Valentines Fabric?

Has anyone else noticed the lack of cute Valentines day fabric? I recently joined Quiltingboards  and joined the disappearing 4 patch swap.  Using the tutorial HERE we each make 6 blocks, using a Valentines day print and a solid print. I had the hardest time finding anything that was up my ally in the valentines day section so of course I wandered over to the remnants basket where I found 1/2 yard of Kona White and this cute pink banner print. To me this passes as Valentines day print don't you think? 

Mailing isn't until later in February but then I started to worry if I had enough fabric. So off to cutting. I am happy to say that 1/2 yard of each print was enough for 7 blocks. One for me, and 6 for everyone else!

As for the pattern it's self, after I made the first test block, I found that I had to reduce my seems to a scant 1/4 and press my seems open to get the 9 1/2 inch finished block, but other than that it came together fairly well. It is never a block I would choose to do for myself, so I'm glad it pushed me a bit. Lining up the points of the triangle and ensuring exact seem length. ( I have a confusion there has been more than a few times where I haven't gotten the exact measurements on a block and said well, good enough for me!)  was good for me! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

First time FMQ, What was I worried about!

Soon after I witched eloquently discussed what to do about my big star Baby quilt Karen from Stitching Puma suggested quilting would really make it better. Now here is a confession, I LOVE the piecing of the quilt tops, but the quilting part always kind of put me off. There was no way I could do it on my own. But after going to a quilting shop and getting the pricing 
($50.00!!!!) I decided for that price I could figure it out on my own! 

So I pulled out some scraps and the Simply Retro Book by Camille Roskelley that I received this Christmas and made a quick turn dash baby quilt. 

  Then after extensive Utube enlightenment on free motion quilting I took the plunge, and made a few mistakes as you can see ( don't worry I'll point them out for you!) I thought just a basic stipple stitch would work, but as you can see there were a few errors in the work. That was the first corner, and I found that it was to tight. I noticed that if I was slow in my stitching, the stitches were closer together,choppy, and angled 

When I just put the peddle down and went for it you can see a big difference. 
I chose to do the stitching in the red because there really was so much white space in this quilt. It only took 20 min to piece together with some large ( 10") HST so it had a very plain look to it, I really love the red thread. Karen was right, the quilting really does make a HUGE difference! 

I even like it on the back. The red really makes the back more intricate and complex looking then it really is.

The best part, from this angle you can't even see the free motion mistakes. 
The binding did NOT turn out the way I had intended, I normally use a bias tape maker, but for this one I just cut 2" strips from the left over fabric and folded them over to use as binding. I should have gone a whole 1/2 inch larger to give me room and not have the corners pucker as much as they did 
Also I did NOT know it took that much thread to Quilt. I can not believe how often my bobbin ran out.  Thank goodness I had another spool of red thread on hand. I used a small 250 yd roll and still had 1/3 left to go! 
BUT I am happy with it. 

What do you think. Not bad for a first try! And talk about a quilt going from BLAH to OHHH! I love the texture that it gives the big old boring white spots!