Santa’s Workshop is Open

My stepfamily has requested a few handmade items for Christmas this year. Once I️ told them that Santa’s Workshop was open the orders came flooding in. The main request was for microwave safe fabric bowls. I️ found this great tutorial from Happy Hour Stitches. It uses 10″ squares of 100% cotton fabric, batting, and thread. Perfect for those layer cakes you may have laying around.

I️ went to work cutting and sewing and I️ now have seven of these great bowls. Then I️ realized that the batting I’m using (Warm & Natural) has scrim which is not 100% cotton. I️ found some Wrap-N-Zap on Amazon, which is also made by The Warm Company, and placed my order. So I️ have seven super cute bowls that should not be used in the microwave. I️ may have to tell the gift recipients to use them for other things like hair ties, candy, keys, bracelets, etc. There are lots of uses for them that don’t involve the microwave, right?

I️ was also working on a computer sleeve for my niece. I️ wanted to add a pocket for the cord and a wrap around zipper.So far, so good. My computer is bigger than hers so hers should fit just fine. It’s not perfect but the zipper works and it’s super cute. Now the cord pocket….Looks great, right? But, it’s positioned right below the zipper tab on the top and cannot be accessed…..sigh…..I️ may have do do a little surgery and shorten the pocket while it’s sewn into the bag.

I’ll be honest. I️ have a coupon for Vera Bradley and she may be getting one of theirs instead. It won’t have the cord pocket or the love but it will work just fine. She’s getting other handmade stuff from me this year.

After those two defeats I️ needed a quick design to work on. I️ love making holiday themed wall hangings, pillows, and table runners. I️ scrounged through my scraps and found some charm squares left over from a tree skirt I️ made a few years back. You know what would look awesome on a few four-patches of Charm squares? Snowmen!

I️ cut some circles for the bodies and appliquéd them onto my four-patch background slab. Something was missing so I️ added the word ‘Joy’ in one corner and then the snowmen needed some accessories. You can’t have a naked snowman! That’s just not right.I’m not sure where this one will end up but I️ love it!

I️ hope everyone is enjoying their holiday sewing as much as I️’m enjoying mine!

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Fit for a Queen

I have been working and working and working on my Teal Fizz quilt.  I decided that I need it to fit my bed so I continued to cut and cut and cut and sew and sew and sew.  My plan was 90″ x 108″ to fit my queen size bed and I got it to about 84×84 and went to try it out.Perfect amount of overhang on all sides!  I never cover up the pillows with my bedcovering so I don’t need it any longer than it currently is. I was so happy that I did not need to cut any more blocks. And it looks awesome!  I’m so happy with the result.

On the downside,  now I need to make a backing that is slightly larger than that.  I have this plan using solids and incorporating some scraps from the front.  The plan in my head is not turning out in the fabric but I think it will look great once done.  I’m okay with making adjustments on the fly.  And that is what’s great about pieced backings.  They lend themselves to improv type piecing and are very adaptable.

This strip is going to be lengthwise somewhere on the back.  So, it will be solids, this pieced strip, and the bee blocks that did not make the cut for the front of the quilt.  Some of the colors weren’t quite the right shade of teal and grey.  So, I did get a large bit of the backing complete. Love this pic of the prettiest trimmings ever!And then the quilt top in all its glory.OMG!  I love this so much!  I won’t have the chance to do any sewing on the machine this week so I hope you guy can pick up my slack.  But, I’ll get back to it as soon as I can.

Happy Sewing!

Teal Fizz

I pulled another old work-in-progress out of hiding and went about figuring out how I wanted to finish it.  The blocks are from The Beehive Quilts quilting bee that I took part in a few years back.  I had chosen the Fizzy Block as my block with teals and charcoal greys as my color choices.  My sample blocks showed the placement of the colors.The group was supposed to send 2 blocks to each member of the ‘hive’.  I actually did not receive all the blocks that I was supposed to receive but that is the chance you take signing up for this type of group.  So, I went to work making more blocks to get up to the quantity of 24 that was required of the bee.It was smaller than I wanted and didn’t give quite the punch that I was expecting.  I want those curves to really shine.  So, I cut out more blocks and more blocks and more blocks.Now, I’ve decided that I want to put it on my bed.  So, guess what?  I need to cut out even more blocks to get it to be a queen size quilt.  I think I’m now at about 48 of the 12″ blocks, in varying degrees of completion, with the possibility of more to come.  I may need at least 8 or 10 more.  Keep in mind that each block takes four sections of the large drunkards path block and I really am getting tired of cutting them out.  I also had to recut my template piece as it was getting a bit distorted in shape and was messing with my block sizing.  All this cutting is really digging into my teal and charcoal stash and I will be sad if it depletes too much more.

But, I do believe that it will be totally worth it when it’s done!  It’s already beginning to shine!

Stash Enhancement:

Well, I haven’t increased my teal or grey stash but recently got in the newest monthly Cotton + Steel Basics bundle from Pink Castle Fabrics.Not a teal or grey in the bunch but still a pretty sight to see.  I just love the metallics in this Basics collection.  They shimmer so bright and will add just the right amount of glitter to any project.

Happy Sewing!

Epic Cat Quilt – phase 1

I’ve decided the cats need a quilt of their own.  It’s really a selfish decision as I’m tired of having an extra dose of cat hair on the ones that I use.  So, I’m planning to make a scrap-only quilt using cat fabrics or cat inspired blocks.  

First up is the Geometric Kitty block by Kristy Lea of Quiet Play.  This pattern was included in the Mini Quilt extra bonus edition of Make Modern Magazine and also in Issue 5 which you can buy separately.  I wanted the colors to represent my two cats.  First up was Jasper – an orange tabby.  Here is his likeness in a partially completed state.Next up is his brother – Gryffin.  Gryffin is a grey tabby with brown undercoat.  His likeness came out like this.To get them to be a mirror image of each other, I traced the pattern lines on the back side of the paper it was printed on.  The pattern is foundation paper-pieced so it was easy enough to accomplish.  Together they look amazing!It’s a bit difficult to get a pic of the cats together so this is the best I could do……See what I mean about them sleeping on human intended quilts. Anyway – I have a few more patterns picked out.  There are more geometric kitties (seated ones), the Kittens by Elizabeth Hartman, and some others that I located online.  This will probably be a long term project and I will only be using fabric that I already have.  I like the low volume backgrounds on the first two blocks so will continue in that vein for the rest of the blocks.  I will choose fabric as I go so that color selection will really depend on my mood that day.  It’s going to be fun seeing it come together.  Then I will puzzle piece it together at the end.  I’m excited to keep going on this one.
Please share any exciting project s you are working on.  Inspiration is everywhere.  Happy Sewing!

Also – I’m still raising funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – please use this link to donate. 

 St. Jude Walk/Run to end Childhood Cancer

More Pineapples!

My handmade holiday is already in full swing and I’m on staycation this week so I would expect more finishes to fill this space soon.  I’m excited for holiday and gift sewing!  

First up – a Mini Pineapple Quilt for my niece.She asked for something to put on the wall in her first solo bedroom in their new home.  She wanted mint green and coral and she loved that pineapple pillow I made a few weeks back.  She is my favorite youngest niece so I just had to oblige.  

I used the Pineapple Farm pattern by Elizabeth Hartman and offset the pineapples to add a little interest.  I like the little fussy cutting on the blue fronds of a couple of those bunnies and it looks great with them peeking around.  The quilting was corner to corner so was not quite on a 45 degree angle for this 16×20 mini quilt but created a nice horizontal diamond pattern.I bound it using the metallic gold dots on the mint green fabric to bring it all together and I added some hanging triangles and will send it to her with the dowel to help her hang it straight.I may send it home with her Grandma this week as my niece has also put in a request for a computer sleeve for her laptop.  So, I could give one now and hold the other for Christmas or her birthday.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:

I’m currently participating in the St. Jude Walk/Run to end Childhood Cancer so please click on the link (St Jude donation) to donate to this worthy cause.  St. Jude is a leader in cancer research and treatment.  No patient pays for any treatment, lodging, or food while under their care.  Thanks!

Have you started your holiday projects yet?  Planning them is so much fun.  Happy Sewing!

Random Roundup #20

Pouches!

My local guild is having a pouch swap.  It’s a three-way secret swap (and I’m going to post about it anyway…)  I make something for someone, they make something for someone else, and someone makes something for me.  I’ve been picking out fabric in my head and trying to figure out pouch patterns to use.  I wanted to make a smaller version of the Sew Together Bag.  By smaller, I mean less pockets but just as cute and functional.  I tried to make some adjustments myself but just ended up with a short and skinny version.  I really like it so it’s still in the running to give away in this swap.  The pockets may not be deep enough for much though so I’ll still look at other options.One of those options is this Foldover Pouch by Aneela Hoey.  So stinkin’ cute and useful!  It’s got a pincushion, a needle book, a scissor pocket, and a clear vinyl zipper section to keep stuff contained.This one is definitely in the running and I love this Cotton + Steel bird print. It’s so fun!She also has another pattern that I’m thinking about stitching up.  It’s an All-in-One Box Pouch.  It is a large box pouch with a fold down opening with storage on the front and two slip pockets on the back.  I’ve got time.  Our swap isn’t complete until our October meeting. There’s lots of time for making and choosing.  I’ll keep what I don’t give.  I don’t think you can ever have too many pouches.  Or, I can save one until our guild’s Christmas gift swap.  That’s also a great option. Hmmm….

Stash Enhancement:

I am part of the Cotton + Steel Basics fabric club hosted by Pink Castle Fabrics.  So, I get all the basics in all the colorways that were released this year.  It contains Dottie, Add it Up, Netorious, and Sprinkle.  All such good blenders.  I couldn’t pass up the limited time entry earlier this year.  We’re in month 2 and I’m still delighted with what I received and it was a good price.  This one is closed but they have other clubs available so go take a look.I’m off to ponder the next pouch I’m going to make.  I love the planning in my head part!  Happy Sewing!

Pillow Party

I’ve been quilting non-stop for the last few weeks.  So, after quilting and quilting and quilting my life away I needed to piece something small and fun.  The Dogs in Sweaters pattern by Elizabeth Hartman was just perfect.  It’s small and cute and fun.This pillow will be a gift for my mom for Christmas.  Yep, I’ve already started my Christmas sewing.  She has two dachshunds and recently commented about needing a pillow to use on her recliner.  This definitely fits the bill.  

The pattern for the single dog went together really quickly.  I swear the cutting took longer than the sewing.  The woodgrain print was just perfect for the ears and tail.  It’s exactly as I envisioned it when I was pulling the fabric.  I made it into a pillowcase to make it easier for her to remove for washing.Then I made another pillow and chose another Elizabeth Hartman pattern for it.  This time it was Pineapple Farm.  I needed something to use on my couch so chose to make only three pineapples and placed them side by side rather than offset like in the pattern.  And I used my favorite colors!  Love it!I tried a different closure technique and it needs some tweaking but I love the way it looks anyway.  The text fabric is from Meriwether by Amy Gibson and adds just a touch of sweet charm to this pillow.I love both of these pillows and it was such a great break from all that quilting.My niece has now requested a pineapple mini quilt for her bedroom wall in their new place.  She chose mint green and coral and I like how the top looks.  I think it will work perfectly.  I’ll post more about that one when it’s complete.  She won’t get it until Christmas so that checks one more off the list.  Yay!I still have some works-in-progress to finish up so there is more quilting to come.  And then all those handmade gifts for the holidays to get started on.  It’s going to be a busy fall.  Happy Sewing!