Wednesday, February 29, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Scrappy Table Runner/Wall Hanging

This one's going on Etsy...working on one for ME tonight!  :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Big Purple Monster...Returns

Uggggghhh!  THIS QUILT!!!  I do love this quilt, but for the better half of three years it has made me smille, made me CRY, made me pull out my hair...but guess what?  I'm ALMOST done!  It's all basted up and ready to be quilted.  Although, had I known when I dropped nearly $50 on the perfect batik backing that batik backed quilts made with mainly batik fabrics could create a challenge for quilting...I might have gone with a nice mottled/marble instead.  Oh well.  What the hell I'll give it a shot.

I know I've promised this as a pattern to many, and I will get there!  Directions will be minimal but as always leave me a message or drop me an email and I'll help as best I can.  I will let you all know here when I've listed the foundation pattern on Etsy.  ;)

Now I'm off...the Husband may or may not have strep throat or tonsillitis or both.  Lol*  In any case the poor man is miserable so off to the Doctor. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

How I Make Quilt Labels and a Gift for a Friend

I don't know why I've never posted about this before!  In the past I have been really bad about adding labels to the back of my quilts.  The biggest reason is that with three small children at home I find that my sewing time is precious and limited, so by the time  get to the end of a project the last thing on my mind is labeling it.  But the more projects I make and the more people I end up giving quilts to the more I'd like to leave a record of who it was who made that quilt.  So here is how I do it...

You can get really creative with labels but I generally just make up something simple like this using muslin or other scraps from the quilt.

Then I roughly cut a piece of freezer and iron it to the back of the quilt to help stabilize the fabric for writing on.

I like to use these pens...I found mine at a local quilt shop but I have seen these at art supply stores (like Pat Catan's, Michaels, or Jo Ann Fabrics) or even Walmart.

Sometimes I'll go so far as to place a few lines on the freezer paper with a sharpie...

...when you turn the label over and hold it up to a window you can see the lines and keep your writing nice and neat.

You could draw pictures or use colors, but I just like to write my name, the date, and where I the label to set the ink, remove the freezer paper and stitch to the back of your quilt like an applique.  :)  That's just how I do it, for inquiring minds!

I also wanted to share this little Ipad case I made for a friend.  She told me the day before yesterday that she'd won an Ipad and asked me if I'd make her something to keep it in, and a pocket for the charger.  She said she liked pink, so this is what I came up with.  In retrospect I wish I'd made handles for it!  But I gave it to her yesterday so too late now...she seemed to really like it so that makes me happy!  :)

A few close ups of the buttons and front...

...the stitching was done in variegated pink thread.  That is all for today, now I'm off to stitch on that label and make some dinner.  I'm thinking barbecue hamburgers...on my little stovetop grilling pan...makes me excited for summer being around the corner and REAL grilled hamburgers!  Happy quilting!  ;)

Friday, February 24, 2012

DONE! Woohee!

So happy to have finished the quilting on this.  I have some running around to do today but after that I'm hoping to get the binding and hanging sleeve on this.  Yay!

I still need some practice but I'm pretty happy with the heirloom feathers on this quilt...this is my first time doing this style on an actual project!  The spines didn't really turn out how I'd planned but still I'm happy.  Yay!  :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It Was Worth The Sacrifice

One of my worst sewing fears happened today.  I stitched right through my finger.  Right through the tip...string and all.  Luckily it broke off with enough end for me to pull it out with tweezers.  If it hadn't hurt so badly I would have taken a gruesome picture!!!  LOL*  I found it funny that the thread stayed attached and still through the eye of the needle when it came out the other side!  LOL*

In any case it's time to take a break.  I've been having some tension issues and now that my left middle finger is wrapped in bandaids I'm that much more frustrated.  Need to walk away for a few hours.  Here's the progress so far...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We Have a Flimsy!

Woohoo!  It's a flimsy!  Whooheee!  I was up late last night planning how to quilt this.  I'm so excited...  :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making Progress...

I'm rethinking applique.  I took a class several years ago by a wonderful teacher in the area and learned the "starch and template" method.  It was my first experience with any form!  I am not from the generation that regularly starches clothing and I personally don't care for starching my fabric.  I'm a big fan of Best Press starch alternative for my sewing, as it does the job without all the mess.  In any case I became very discouraged because I pretty much STUNK at applique using starch.  I kept ironing in permanent sharp edges and it just looked awful.  Well I don't know why but I got a bug up my patoot to try it again, but I didn't have any starch in the house so I attempted just ironing to get a crease to make needle-turning easier.  YES!!!  This is my method!!!  Finally I found a way to applique that doesn't make it feel like drudgery and is FUN!  :)  So to make a long story longer...I am giving applique another shot...and here's my progress so far.

I still need quite a lot of practice but I'm thrilled.  I see lots more applique in my near future!!!  :)  This is a happy girl right here.  **(points to self)**

Monday, February 20, 2012

WIP and a Mini-Tutorial

Well this is what I have been working on the past few days...

I don't even know how it became this project!  I originally intended to make a larger version of the cabin table topper I put on Etsy and somehow this is what I got!  I started out making 8" log cabin blocks...but there wasn't enough contrast.  I had 16 log cabin blocks total and when I put them together you really couldn't see the log cabin pattern.  So I thought, what could I do with these blocks?  I'm not going to rip them and start again.  So I thought, well what the heck, lets see what happens when I cut them in half.

This is what I got!  NOW I can really see the light side and the dark side.  So I started playing with the halves...

...and got something that looked like this.  These are the dark halves of four of the cabins.  I then took the light halves and placed them around these four...

 ...and this is the block I ended up with!  It's sort of like a split nine patch or a disappearing nine patch...but with a log cabin block.  I KNOW I have seen this somewhere but can't for the life of me find a block name online, so if someone out there reading knows what this is called please let me know!  :)

I started this the day before yesterday so I would say it's pretty easy and quick to put together and you could have a lot of fun playing around with varying shades of fabric.  Fun!  :)

I have never done any bias vines before and I thought it would be fun to play with this quilt since it is mainly just scraps.  I got my first vine attatched this's a little wonkey but now that I've got a little practice I think the next one will be easier.  I used my washable marking pen to mark the vine.  You can see towards the end I got a little tight with that wave.  Oh well.  :)  I'm excited to add some leaves and flowers next...

I am not going to go through and give a thorough tutorial on how to make a log cabin because I just don't have time, but you can googles tons of free block patterns and I'm sure find one to suit your needs.  I will however give you the strip measurments I used for cutting to save you a little time...this is what I used to make 8" square log cabins...I made sixteen log cabin blocks and used them all to make the four blocks above in the wallhanging.

I first went through my bins and pulled light and dark scraps, pressed them, and cut them into two inch strips.  Then I cut...

From Light Cut:
16   2"x2"
16   3.5"x2"
16   5"x2"
16   6.5"x2"

From Dark Cut:
16   2"x2"
16   3.5"x2"
16   5"x2"
16   6.5"x2"
16   8"x8"

Hope that helps anyone wanting to make these!  If you have any questions just comment and I will try my best to help.  Make sure if you are a no-reply blogger that you leave me a way to contact you!  :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quilt Show Pictures

On a whim I decided  to go to a local quilt show yesterday and invited my Mom to join me.  We have gone ot this show in particular almost every year for about five (six?) years now but usually we go the last weekend in March when all the vendors are there for shopping.  This year I thought it'd just be nice to beat the crowds and enjoy the quilts without elbows to fight through.  Besides, it's not as if I need more fabric!  Lol*

Here are a few pictures I thought I'd share...some of my favorites!  Please forgive me because I didn't catch most of the names, but you can go to the Quilts 2012 at Lake Farm Park to see the names of the winners (most of the quilts I'm showing here were ribbon winners).  This show just opened up last weekend so go see the quilts if you're in the area!  ;)

This one won several awards, and Best in Show from the judgest to boot...boy was it deserved...isn't it stunning?  Here's Mom and Emma standing by the quilt, the first large quilt you see as you walk into the Farm Park.

 A closeup of my lil' Emma enjoying the quilt show...  ;)

Here is a small one hanging rightnext to it...also gorgeous!!!

I just love traditional quilts and this one is SO MY TASTE!  A scrappy New York's so pretty...

 A closeup of the gorgeous stitching...

This one I had to snap a picture of because it was made by a friend's sister.  She is a well known and very talented quilter/teacher in the area who also runs a long arm business.  What a beautiful quilt, and what a treat to be able to "cheer" a participant on. 

 A close up of the stitching...

 This quilt is another local woman who is a member of a quilt guild I used to attend.  I have been wanting to go back for some time  but you know how things just come up.  Anyhow she won a first place ribbon and I wish I had gotten a close up...this is hand applique...COMPLETELY hand quilted!!!  What a phenominal quilt.  This one took a bit of time to make!  ;)  Teensy little dimples of quilting completely cover this quilt...not an inch of this quilt is untouched or unquilted.  It's so beautiful...I am jealous, I will likely NEVER accomplish something like this because I just am not that crazy about hand quilting!  :)  I will just have to enjoy her beautiful work...

I didn't catch the name of this one, but isn't it GORGEOUS!  I just love the colors and the pattern... 

Closeup of the stitching...I want to sew like this one day!

This was my FAVORITE quilt from the entire show...ohmygosh...ohmygosh so pretty!!!  Pictures just don't do it justice...


AHHH and the roses!!!  It looks like she took a fabric marker or something for shading around the petals of the roses but I can't tell.  It's so beautiful though, I could have looked at the details of this little quilt all day...

This one was just a really fun's not something I would have thought of on my own but boy is this color scheme effective!  I'm a sucker for scrappy quilts, and apparently brights too!  :)

 Here's a closeup, this is where it really gets interesting...

Well that is enough pictures for one post.  Next post I will add a few more.  Mom's and my tradition after the quilt show is to stop at Jo-Ann's and go fabric shopping afterwards...well since this was a spur of the moment trip this year I didn't save up a lot of spending money, however, I did pick up these two doodads.  I have a water erasable marking pen but I like this one and wanted to try it out for a few wholecloth ideas I have.  Small projects, because that is what I like and what is manageable for my life right now.  I also got this little bendy ruler.  I still have yet to try those free form geese from the book by Gail Garber I purchased last year.  I read in her book she likes to use a ruler something like this now I feel all inspired and motivated!  :) 

See how these things work?  You buy it, let it warm up for a year or two, or maybe five, THEN you sew it!  ;)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Pumpkin Quilt From My Header and Some Chatter

Last fall I received several emails regarding the pumpkin quilt in my header.  I truly apologize, because there were many inquiries and I forgot who all it was who'd asked!  I did promise if I found the magazine the pattern came from I would post about here it is!

The pattern is by Debbie Kratovil, it is called "The Pumpkin Patch", and it comes from the December 2005 issue of Patchwork Quilting put out by Woman's Own.  Wheew!  Like a good quilter I adapted it some to my own taste...

Here's a shot of the cover of the magazine...if you are able to get your hands on this issue or have it somewhere hiding in your stash pull it out!  There are a lot of great patterns and inspiration in this one...

In other news, here is the current mess  project happening in my sewing room...  ;)

I loved that pretty scrappy log cabin so much that I put on Etsy that I thought I'd make a second.  This one is going to be a little bigger and possibly include some applique.  Most of my quilts are experiments.  Lol*  :)  I'm hoping that it will come out nice and replace a wallhanging that I have in one of the living rooms.

My goal this year is to whittle down my scraps a bit.  Is this normal???  To have this many scraps!!!??  Lol*  I have three huge bins exploding with scraps despite my having created several little projects using only these scraps...ugh!

Here is scrap bin one...

 ...and three looking a little less full...

For a while I employed Bonnie Hunter's method of scrap organization, but it is a job to sort all those pieces and I'd much rather spend my free time at this point being inspired and sewing!  Maybe when the kids are older and I don't have to fight for sewing time.  I must say, having all those nicely cut and sorted precuts around can be VERY inspiring!  ;)

These are the scraps I've cut for my current project.  I don't think it will be very large, and boy this picture doesn't do it justice.  My sewing table looks so pretty right now!  :)