Sewing Space Upgrade

I’ve been working on upgrading some items in my sewing room.  I was sewing on a high quality plastic folding table and it was starting to bough where my machine sat.  An IKEA recently opened nearby so I knew that a sewing room upgrade was on the horizon.

I immediately fell in love with this trestle table.  

I thought the slats in the legs would be perfect for holding my rulers and I was right! It was a bit larger than the folding table so I had to make more adjustments to the design of the room and shift things around a little bit.  I also got this 9-drawer unit and the deeper drawers fit folded fat quarters beautifully!  I’m only about halfway through and still need to get another storage piece for the opposite wall.

I had to clear some space to sew something as it had been a little bit.  Should I finish up something in progress?  No.  Let’s start something new!  That’ll be perfect for some mindless sewing.  I had been wanting to make some kitchen themed items into a mini quilt for my office at work.  The best place to start is this paper-pieced utensil crock by Kristy of Quiet Play.It looks awesome on my new sewing table.  There’s a lot more room to spread out and I just love, love, love the Add-a-Quarter ruler that I got for Christmas!I cannot wait to get the room finished up and cleaned and organized.  A few more pieces to buy and build and fill up then I should be ready for a full reveal.

Happy Sewing!

A Splendid Sugar Buzz

I started the year cleaning up my sewing space.  This entailed putting fabric away and purging things that did not belong in that space.  Part of that purge were blocks from sewalongs or Block of the Month clubs that were at year’s end.

Sugar Block Club 2016:

I completed all months of the blocks for the 2016 Sugar Block Club.  I adore the color palette that I chose for this project.   Now I just have to figure out how I want to make them all into a quilt.How super cute is this  4-corner tree block?

The Splendid Sampler:

The sewalong was The Splendid Sampler headed up by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson and started January 1 of 2016. They released 2 blocks a week for 52 weeks.  I got as far as nine blocks made before other projects took precedence.  My plan was to start with red and grey and then move into all the colors of the rainbow for a fabulously colored quilt.  Looks as if I never moved out of the pink family.  So, I made it into a mini quilt that is perfect for the Valentine’s holiday next month.  It would also be great as a NICU preemie quilt.  I’ll figure out where it belongs soon.At least it is finished which left an open storage box for a new project and the interweb is buzzing about……

The Honey Pot Bee:

For 2017, I’ve decided to participate in The Honey Pot Bee put on by the fabulous Molli Sparkles.  It’s informal, self-reliant, and self-paced but in a group setting.  A ‘Wild Card’ Block was released before Christmas and I loved all the little trees that were popping up all over Instagram and Facebook.  I had to finally jump in and make my own.The blocks will be different sizes and styles and will make for some very interesting final quilts at the end.  This tree block is the small version and finished at 3 1/2 x 4 1/2.  I’m going to let the colors get chosen as the blocks are released.  First one is out tomorrow (Jan 3).

My sewing room cleanup also led to this fantastic fabric pull.  I don’t know what it’s going to become but I just love it!(t-b: Shot Cotton, Glamping, Just my Type, Rhoda Ruth, unlabeled maroon check, Good Natured, unlabeled by Hobby Lobby, Hilltop Foxes by Dear Stella)

Happy New Year and Happy Sewing!

Christmas Stash Enhancement

Christmas usually ends with more fabric and accessories being added to my stash.  This year was no exception. We’ll start off with the prettiest bundle ever!This Cotton + Steel Basics 40 piece fat quarter bundle is so versatile.  It’s even got metallic accents on some of the pieces.  And it’s super pretty and I love looking at it.  It will be put to great use throughout the next year.

The rest of my sewing presents included a bunch of notions:  blades, rulers, and other accessories that will be very useful.I also got a box of Aurifil thread from the Basics collection.  My Singer machine seems to like it better than what I normally use.  I’ll need to put that thought to the test soon.

A Project Bag:

Before all that gift getting happened, I put together this last minute gift for my mom.  A project bag for her cross-stitch or knitting projects.  I found the pattern here on Craftsy.  It’s a bit larger than I had anticipated – I made the Medium size – so I may also make her a few smaller ones for her upcoming birthday in February.Christmas was big success.  Especially on the ‘giving’ side of it, which is my favorite part.

New year is coming up with plenty of new projects on the horizon where all those new notions will be put to use.

Happy Sewing!  I’ll just leave you with this awesome sign I got from my mom.

Christmas Quilt UFO

I’ve had a Christmas quilt top hanging out in my sewing room for about 8 years.  When Mom was over on Thanksgiving she saw it hanging there and mentioned that she didn’t have a Christmas quilt.  So, I said ‘Do you like that one?’ And she said ‘Sure.’  Hello Christmas gift!

I pulled that Christmas one down off my quilt rack and tried to get it all ironed out and flat.  Now, I made the top when my skills were not quite as precise as they are now so the ironing did not work out as well as it should have.  We’ll come back to that problem later….

The quilt top is I-Spy style and bright and fun.  The pattern was a free insert in a quilting publication ad that I cannot find or remember exactly where it was from.  The squares are 2 1/2 inches, the snowballs are 6 1/2 inches.  I don’t recall the corner triangle size.As you can tell from the photo above, I echo quilted – all out with red thread – around each snowball which created great texture throughout.  I pieced the back with the original fabric that I had chosen and added some dog themed fabric just for my mommy.I’m super happy with my corners.  They are becoming more consistent as I finish more quilts.But, let’s talk about that massive pucker.  I made the error of not stitching all the same direction (side to side) before switching and stitching the other direction (top to bottom).  Now, I believe this was only an issue because I couldn’t get it ironed out as flat as it needed to be.  I basted it as taut as I could and started all my stitching in the center so I think that helped a little bit.  This is not the only area of puckering so I’m glad it’s for Mom as she will think it’s fabulous and won’t even see the puckers.  It’s a sweet and fun quilt and she’ll love it!It was good to see how far my piecing skills have come since I first pieced this and it was quite humbling as I moaned and groaned while quilting it before I finally decided to just let go of the frustration and try my best to work with the wonkiness of it.

Stash Enhancement:

I did a little pre-Christmas shopping and ended up with some great goodies.Paintbox Basics by Elizabeth Hartman – such great colors and fabulous prints!Vibrant and beautiful colors from the Macramé line from Cotton + Steel.

I hope your holiday sewing is going well.

Merry Christmas!

A ‘Doll’ Quilt 

You may remember this Geometric Unicorn block (pattern designed by Kristy of Quiet Play) that I made some time back for an Instagram swap that I participated in.I decided not to use this block in the swap as I thought it would be perfect for my favorite little girl.  Her mom and I went back and forth about what I could possibly make.  I was thinking a book/tote bag or mini quilt wall hanging.  She thought a mini quilt might be good to use as a quilt for Miss G’s dolls.  So, that’s the direction I decided to head into.

My first step was to border the block.  What could be better than a rainbow border of some type.  So, I started to piece 1 inch strips together to create that look.That looked so awesome that I continued adding borders.  Next thing I knew it took on a path of its own and I ended up with a human size quilt made for my doll of a girl. I used my favorite rainbow print (that JoAnns no longer has 🙁) to bring it all together.  The hot pink and grey borders match the pattern of the rainbow fabric perfectly so it had to be included.I backed it with part of a duvet cover that I had left over from the Quilts for Pulse quilt.  It just adds to the happiness of this piece!  Wavy quilting lines – tighter over the unicorn than in the borders – gives it great movement.I’m pretty sure she’ll love it. I love making stuff for this family.  They really appreciate the time and effort that goes into all crafts and are makers themselves.

This was actually a quick finish as I started with the finished block yesterday morning.  Guild meetings tend to put procrastination at bay and I busted my butt getting it finished.  I really wanted to complete it in time for this month’s Show and Tell as it would be the only time to show it to the group before it got packed up in a box and shipped across the country.  I had just enough time once I finished it to shower, dress, and get to the meeting right on time.

The December meeting always includes a Dirty Santa swap where you can steal a previously opened gift or choose one to open yourself.  The third owner is the keeper so all items can only be stolen twice.  I was lucky enough to have drawn a number in the middle of the pack so some gifts had already been opened and stolen.  I stole this fabulous pillow and was able to keep it since I was the third owner.  Then I got to spend the rest of the time watching everyone else’s stuff get stolen while I happily hid my treasure away.  I’ve been eyeing this pattern on Pinterest and been dying to make one.  Now I don’t have to!And this is the item that I made for the gift exchange.  A sweet appliqué Christmas tree pillow.Its backed in Minky so it’s super soft and cozy. It was actually the first item opened and was quickly stolen.  I’m glad it got such a good reception.  Now I need to make one to keep.Any special handmade gifts you’ve made or received recently?  I’d love to hear about them!

Happy Holiday Sewing!

Winter Wienerland

On Thanksgiving Day, my mom came over and we designed and quilted the wall hanging for the third in her Wienie series of cross-stitch projects that she made.This one is Winter Wienerland by Plum Street Samplers.  She’s been changing the colors on the dogs to match the two dachshunds that she has which is a really cool way to personalize it. She loved the white sparkly snowflake fabric and wanted it right next to the design but we determined that it would have gotten lost in that position.  The red sparkly one worked beautifully as the first border.I love the design that I quilted in the corners and felt it didn’t need much beyond that so I just ditch-stitched around the rest of the borders.Mom loved this black ornament fabric so we used it as the binding and I think it worked out pretty well.  End result is that Mom loves it and that is what was important for this series of projects.  She decided that an ornament would be perfect for the label and she was right!Here’s the first two that were done for Halloween and Thanksgiving.  You can read about their designs here (Halloweenies) and here (Turkey Sausage).

Stash Enhancement:

The quilting of the Winter Wienerland was done using some Aurifil thread that I recently got during a big sale at Craftsy.  It is the Paper and Ink collection by Zen Chic.What a great selection of neutrals!  I’ve never used the Aurifil thread before.  My machine seemed to like it a lot better than what I normally use.  There were still a couple of tension issues but not nearly as many as what I normally quilt with.  We were using the machine that pieces beautifully but has the tension issues when quilting so I thought it was a good time to try out the new thread.

You know I couldn’t leave the Craftsy site with just thread so here’s some fabric goodies I picked up as well.Remix in Bermuda and Grayscale by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman.  They were a great price for such great basics.

I’m currently working on a Christmas quilt finish from a top that’s been hanging around for quite a few years.  Mom said she needed a Christmas quilt so a Christmas quilt she will have.  😊

Happy sewing!

Stacked Squares

I was able to finish the Stacked Squares quilt that is for my Dad for Christmas.

He chose the color palette while looking at a mini I had hanging in my sewing room.  Teals, greens, greys, mustards….they look so great together!(Well, this photo proves that I can’t sew straight…😋)

Anyway….I loved this pattern and plan on making it again.  It’s a free tutorial over at Moda Bake Shop and I used the ‘cutting from fat quarters or yardage’ instructions from Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation.  The free pattern uses precuts which I was not intending to use so Kelly’s cutting diagrams were wonderful!   The best part, besides picking out the fabric, was placing all those squares to create the cool illusion.I backed it using fabric I had in my stash – Mod Beads by Heather Bailey, a bright green that I’ve had for awhile – with the addition of some golfer fabric to break it up.  My dad lives on a golf course so I will try to incorporate golf fabric anytime I can make project for him.The binding fabric is from the Cotton + Steel Playful line.  It had all the main colors and worked beautifully for this project.

My original quilting plan was meandering squares but the quilt told me differently once I had it under the throat of my machine. The diagonal lines give it a little movement without it being overly quilted. It still super cuddly which is what Dad wants.It’s going to be hard to part with – exactly why I need to make another one for me – but my Dad will love it!

I had to get some of those greens back in my stash and was able to due to the  Closing Sale over at Gotcha Covered Quilting. She posted an additional discount code on her Instagram feed and I couldn’t pass it up.  I got this Simply Colorful II Green fat quarter bundle and it has the best darkish greens in it and I love the flowers on top.I picked up some other beauties while I was there. (Top to bottom – Spa by Deb Strain, Flower Dot Stripe Dandelions, Thru the Wire – Priory Square, Spherical Buds Aqua – Geometric Blis, Dottie Purple, Gleeful – Springs Breeze,  Whirlwind Orchid and Fragile Dust – Zephyr by Cotton + Steel)

Next up on the Handmade Holiday parade is a quilt for my Mom. I have to stop and get some backing fabric and a small bit for another border. Hopefully I can show that one next time.

Happy Sewing!