Spring has Sprung

I love when the sunny, warm weather comes around.  I get so much energy and tend to get a lot more done.  I have some great plans for this spring – sewing related and otherwise.

Stash with a Plan:

Happy Mail this week included this sweet bundle of Pieces of Hope 2 by Riley Blake Designs. My plan is to make a fiddle or sensory mat for a family that goes to my church.  Their son is autistic and I want to do something to try and help.  I have some textural fabric to use – fur, lambs wool, denim – and still need to get a sampling of a couple more and then decide how I want to go about making it.  These fabrics will be used for the backing and maybe a tote bag or pouch for his mother or sisters.

Storage Additions:

I picked up a 360 degree storage cabinet from JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts that they had on sale last week.  (I just looked for the link to the product but could not locate it on their site today). It is called the Sewing and Crafting Storage Cube Table.  It has shelves on three sides and hanging storage on the fourth.   The hanging side is supposed to be for thread but this is the best use for me.  It holds the rulers that I don’t use quite as often.  This is the side I have facing the wall since I won’t need to access this area as much as the others.  The cube is on casters so it is easily movable for when I do need one of those rulers.  As you can tell, it is already in great use as a stash holder.  I didn’t really organize it yet.  I just picked up stuff that was lying around and put it in there. I have a few fabric pulls for different projects up on the top right now.  I think I’m going to make a basket to put in the bottom shelf to hold the batting a little more secure.  The ribbon holder is great and makes it all a bit more convenient to get to.

MQG Facbric Challenge:

The spring weather was the perfect inspiration for the Modern Quilt Guild Fabric Challenge for Spring 2015.  The fabric from The Cottage Garden line from Riley Blake Designs is just gorgeous!  It is full of greys, teals, and pinks.  Such a lovely combination.  This picture is what was sent to me for the challenge.  They are fat eighths of 6 prints in the collection.  I wanted to bring out those red bits in the bird print so I picked up some pinks and other coordinating prints from the same line.  I had the idea to do circles as if you were looking through binoculars.  Part of the Fabric Challenge is to ‘make something you have never done before’ and ‘learn something new’. I have not yet tackled circles and have been wanting to give it a try.  Circles allowed the opportunity for some fussy cutting of the bird and flower fabrics.  But first I had to decide on a background,  here’s what I came up with:   I took these pieces and flipped them in different directions to create this background piece. I appliquéd the circles onto the two text colors in the line, made some smaller ones using the same technique, and placed them wonky-like on the background piece.  I folded the edges of those pieces in and then appliquéd them on to the grey piece.  Then I matchstick quilted the heck out of it.      The two challenges for me were working with the circles and doing appliqué that was not just raw edge appliqué. I absolutely LOVE how this turned out!  The deadline is not until July so everyone has plenty of time to get supplies and get one entered.  You have to be a member of the Modern Quilt Guild in order to participate.  The first photo shows the rules for the challenge.  This was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed thninkg a bit differently about design.  These types of challenges are great to help you learn and get outside of your normal quilt designing and planning.  

By the way – this is my hundredth post and I wanted to thank everyone for reading and helping me learn and grow in this fabulous quilting community!

Sunnyside for Sunny Days

Sunny, spring days have finally hit my area of the country and I could not be happier!  It’s supposed to rain and storm all week but I don’t care because I finished my Sunnyside nine-patch quilt.  And it’s new home will be my bed! 

 I started this top in late March of last year – here’s that post.  It used 2 layer cakes of Sunnyside by Kate Spain and some random blenders that I had in my stash.  It was initially pieced during a sew-in for the Memphis Area Modern Quilt Guild.  After it was pieced it just kind of hung out for a while enjoying the scenery within the realm of my sewing room.  It saw me discover Swaps on Instagram and Sew Together Bags and a ton of other projects while it languished in my Work-in-Progress pile.

I knew I wanted it on my bed for the summer season so I knew that I had to finish it up soon.  It has actually been basted for 5 months.  I had wall-basted it which I believe really helps me to keep it a bit more taut than anything I’ve ever been able to get done on the floor. 

 The cats have been using it as a bed while it sat on a chair in my sewing room waiting to be quilted.  They like to watch me while I sew.  It took quite a bit of lint rolling to get it ready to put through the machine.  Luckily it was only a small section that they had access to. 

 I quilted it using a meandering square random design. 

  The backing is 3 strips of the main directional fabric from the Sunnyside line that I bought specifically for this.  I bound it using 2 of the backing prints. 

  

 I’m going to wash it and get it all crinkly and put it on my bed.  This is the first queen-size quilt (it’s 80×80) I have made and I’m really excited to begin to use it every day!  

All Revved Up

I finished the All Revved Up baby boy quilt.  I love the medallion design style that I settled upon.  I took the center block and surrounded it with a small border of this fabulous motor terms fabric that I found at JoAnn Fabrics. 

Then I added some Raspberry Kiss blocks on each side to give it some more interest.  I added solid blocks in the corners of that border to keep the design idea of the medallion flowing outward.  For the final border, I randomly placed 2 1/2 inch strip blocks to break up the border fabric a bit.   

The main fabrics came from a jelly roll of Ready, Set, Go that I purchased at Craftsy.  So, the 2 1/2 inch strips were already perfectly sized for the border.  I took the 2 reds and a yellow strip plus the blue cars (it’s my favorite print in the line) and made my binding.

Before I put on the binding, I created my backing using some leftover strips and blocks of greys and blues that I bought to supplement the primary colors.  I also used some leftover blocks from my first design attempt as a strip on the left.  I really like how it looks 

I quilted it using a spiral square design starting in the very center and continued that all the way to the edges.  That design could also allow the young recipient to use the channels for little cars as they age. 

    Such a sweet little package of loveliness!

  (How come I never see those random threads until I’m putting these posts together?)

The finished quilt measures 39×39 and is perfect for my guild’s LeBonheur Children’s Hospital infant ward donation quilt project. 

 

After I finished that quilt, I jumped into making the Hour Basket from Kelby Sews.  The tutorial is excellent and I had been seeing them floating around Instagram all week and knew that I had at least one in my future.  I had found this cute dog fabric at JoAnn’s while buying some flannel to make a new cover for the dog’s bed and knew my Mom needed something made with that fabric. 

 

See that circle ruler?  That may be used in a special project very soon.  It’s an experiment that I hope works as I see it in my head.  Anyway, I completed the basket in less than an hour, I did not include the time used to piece the exterior pieces, and it turned out so adorably cute! 

 

It is very generously sized – the exterior pieces are cut 10.5 x 16.5.  The 16.5 side is mid-handle to mid-handle.  There will be more of these made very soon.  I can see all kinds of uses for these baskets – kitchen, sewing room, bedroom, living room, etc.  I must check out my stash and see what kinds of combinations I can come up with.  :-)

Random Round-up #8

I’ve been jumping from project to project this week and I have a few random things going on.

Revved Up baby quilt:

I’m still working on the ‘Revved Up’ baby quilt. I decided to chain-piece the Raspberry Kiss blocks by Wooden Spoon Quilts.

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I’m glad I took this picture as I needed it to keep track of my color placement once I got all the x sections pieced. The whole top is looking great with that border. The top is complete and I got distracted while piecing the back. It has just a few more strips to sew on and then I can finish this one up.

Sew Together Bag:

I was able to finally finish this Sew Together Bag. This is my fifth bag. It is such a great pattern by Sew Demented. This one is for a co-worker that sells Mary Kay Cosmetics so for the interior and pocket linings I used the laminated cotton fabrics from Riley Blake designs so that she can just wipe away any make-up that might escape. I also went with those Mary Kay colors – pink and black.

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She loved it and found it perfect for her makeup and is excited to take it with her on vacation in a few weeks.

Stash Enchancement:

Speaking of Sew Together Bags, I will be making another one for my bestie’s daughter who will be graduating high school this year. I was told that she likes Photography, Art, and the color green. I know there have been a bunch of camera prints around lately so I hit the internet and found a sweet bundle of the Snapshots line at Modern Square Fabrics on Etsy. This line is by Riley Blake designs and that colored camera fabric is exactly what I was looking for as the inspiration piece for this bag.

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I pulled some greens from my stash and I will sparingly use the pink text fabric. That text is just so adorable that I can’t help myself.

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Now comes the fun part of deciding what fabrics to use for the pockets and lining pieces. And the even better part of deciding how to piece the exterior. I do have extra pieces of the laminated cotton that I will use for the inside of one of the pockets. (You can see it peeking in at the top left of the photo above.). It will be great to have a space for her make-up in the bag. I’m proud of the young lady she has become and really want to celebrate that.

Revved up Redesign

Last post I shared a quilt top that I made using the ‘Ready, Set, Go’ fabric line. To be honest, I did not like portions of that top. But, I loved the main piece of it.

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This is the piece that I had previously started this top with. I like how cool it looks but I really wanted to feature some of the adorable fabric from that line. I think they get a little lost in that section. So, I tore apart the areas that were surrounding that wonderful centerpiece. As a reminder, here is what it looked like before.

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It was actually a bit satisfying hearing the tearing of the stitches as I ripped the seams apart. Now, when I say ‘ripped’ that is exactly what I did. I held each side of the seam with each of my hands and tore. It was actually really fabulous since I knew that something better would come out of it.

What I have decided to do is more like a medallion quilt using that center as the starting point. I kept the 4 outer sections but cut them down to 2.5 inches wide. I may even go a little thinner than that before I attach the next border.

That next border is going to be the Raspberry Kiss block from Wooden Spoon Quilts. Each block is 4.5 inches square and six across will fit with the borders the size they are now.

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I like how it looks with those two blocks so it will be fun to see how it actually comes together and what I end up with when it’s all done.

Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake Fabric Challenge
I received the fabrics from Riley Blake for the MQG Fabric Challenge and I have no idea what I am going to do with them. You are challenged to do something you have not done before using only these fabrics and any others from the same line or the coordinating basic or solid. Stay tuned for that one. It may be a surprise for all of us.

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Other Stash Enhancement:
I could not resist the Maker line from Art Gallery fabrics. They are so incredibly fabulous!

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Just look at this metallic scissors print! Gold and silver dots just takes it up a notch.

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I purchased mine from Sew Lux Fabrics. Such great packaging they do there.

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Sunshine finally hit Tennessee and Gryffin just took it all in while I was sewing. It’s such a blissful look on his face.

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I hope this means Spring is on it’s way.

Snow Days, Sew Days

My area of the US does not get a lot of snowy winter weather. However, we do get our share of ice from time to time. This year we have gotten both and within short periods of time. We are also not equipped to handle the ice accumulation on the roads. There are few salt trucks and limited amounts of brine to prep the roads. So, only the main streets are taken care of. What all this means is that any ice or freezing rain cause the city to basically shut down. Sleet and ice a few weeks back resulted in the table runner I showed in my previous post. This last week we had a heavy day of freezing rain followed by snow and the next day where the melted snow froze over on the roads. I will freely admit that I choose not to drive on the icy roads so I stayed home both days. The first day consisted of conference calls and web meetings for work.
However, some happy mail arrived the day before so I was able to stare at my pretty new fabrics while following along with the WebEx. My boxful came in from Craftsy during one of their big sales.

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A fat quarter bundle of Fun and Games by Riley Blake Designs. This is my favorite print in the bunch but they are all so much fun. There’s dart boards, a maze, and a bunch of great blenders.

The box also contained a jelly roll (2.5 in width-of-fabric strips) of Ready, Set, Go manufactured by Robert Kaufman.

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The colors are these bright primary hues and I think it’s a super cute fabric. Some of the blender prints are great just on their own. I had this idea for a jelly roll quilt but I put it on my design door and felt that is was way too busy.

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But how cute is this selvedge section showing the colors?

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I just love those little trucks! After a little redesign I ended up with this:

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I’ll figure out what to do with it later on.

I ended up on Friday with a snow drift on my back patio. It created the perfect backdrop for the last item in the box.

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A Kona Solids ROYGBIV fat quarter bundle. I just could not resist placing that beauty on the untampered snow for it’s photo shoot. It’s my favorite picture of that day. I’m trying to break out of my old patterns and work with solids more.

That afternoon found me shoveling ice off the front walkway so I wouldn’t fall on my behind when I ventured out on Saturday. I hope that was Mother Nature’s last hurrah that allows Spring to finally show up.

Random Roundup #7

Spring Table Runner

I took a day off from work a few weeks back and did some sewing but haven’t had the chance to share what I made. I was in between big projects and didn’t know what I wanted to work on. I was trolling through my charm packs and decided that I needed a Spring table runner. I pulled a Charm pack of Giggles, by Me and My Sister Designs, out of my stash. The colors just scream ‘Spring’ at me.

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I had a pattern that I had recently downloaded that I was going to use for a baby quilt. But, if I cut the number of rows down then it might make a pretty cute table runner. The pattern is called ‘Daisy Baby’ and can be found for free on the PiperGirls blog.
I chose my favorites of the teal, purple, and blue ranges. I also pulled 2 different text prints for the background. The directions are very simple to follow and I had my 2 rows done rather quickly.

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I only used 10 of the charm squares for the runner so I have the rest of that set left for another project (plus an additional charm pack remaining in my stash). I like the split cross blocks placed on the diagonal. I’m a fan of Charm packs so I’m always looking for awesome ways to use them that are a bit different than your basic nine-patch.

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I bound it in a bright teal and then added a small snippet of a grey daisy print to add interest to the binding. It looks fabulous on my coffee table.

Mini Medallion Quiltalong – final border

I finally got around to adding the final border for the Mini Medallion quilt from late last year.

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I like how it turned out but I keep thinking that I want to keep going and add another border or two. I keep leaning toward a border of the x-plus block. I’ll need to do some quilt math to see if that would work out or not. Other suggestions are very welcome!

Beehive Quilt bee blocks
I’m involved in an online quilt bee this year and my group was one of the last groups formed so our first block was for February. It’s fun to see the different combinations of the same block designs. Our February Queen Bee chose the Tic Tac toe block with low volume for the X and bright and scrappy for the rest. Here’s the block I’m contributing to her quilt:

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She has also requested a smaller signature block in a style of our own choosing. I made an Improv block after I learned how to successfully print on fabric! I totally felt like rock star when that worked out.

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Printing on fabric is going to be such a useful tool and I can’t wIt to continue to use it.

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