Straight to the Finish

I’ve made a ton of progress on finishing quilts this year.  I want to make sure to finish a bunch of current works-in-progress to help clear up the clutter in my sewing room.  One of those from the basting session I had a few weeks back is the Triple Barnstar quilt pattern by Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock.  She had it on Craftsy a few years back as a quilt kit that contained Birch Farm fabric by Joel Dewberry.  It’s super pretty but not quite my style – and there’s so much white (we’ll get back to that later).  But I persevered and got it finished.  A great friend of mine just bought her first house and I decided this would make a wonderful housewarming gift for her and her family.  They got the keys last week and that’s the kind of deadline that gets things done!

During the journey to finish this quilt, I was trying to decide what to do with all the white space.  I knew the quilting would show no matter what color thread I used so I needed a bit more precision than I normally go with.  I’d already decided on triangle shaped lines to bring out those side triangles.  I then remembered that I got a Hera Marker for Christmas and had not yet used it to help mark quilts.  I tend to go rogue and just do what I feel and call it organic rather than precise straight lines.  I used the Hera Marker in the white sections to score straight lines at even intervals that I could then stitch over to get some crisp and straight quilting lines.The end product really shows how well this worked for me.  I never sew this straight.  It was amazing!I bound it with the Chicken Coop print in all 4 colorways and backed it with the remaining fabric from the kit.I can’t wait to wash this one and get it all crisp and crinkly!

As a funny aside – I did have to unquilt and unpiece one corner once I realized it was not facing the correct direction. I just couldn’t live with it that way and it would have messed up my quilting design for those corners.  I found it when I went to quilt the corner.  But, as you saw in the final quilt, I was able to fix it with minimal damage since it was on the corner and easy to get to.

I finished two other quilts as well but I’ll show those another time.  I bought more batting so I’m now ready for another round of basting.  Many more quilts in that work-in-progress pile to tackle.

Happy Sewing!

Inverted Stars

I’ve been working on some gender neutral baby quilts for a guild charity project and found a great pattern that I wanted to use.  The pattern is the Fence Rail Star by Missouri Star Quilt Company.  The star points are white in the pattern but I don’t play that way and had to invert the color selections.  Oh, and I don’t use white much so had to go with a grey background.  It is my favorite background color as many of you all already know.The background Rail Fence blocks are made from a jelly roll of Behind the Scenes by Jen Kingwell.  I made it a point to have a light, medium, and dark print in each Rail Fence section and flipped them around until I liked the layout for each star block.As previously mentioned, I adore a grey background and this jelly roll did not disappoint.  The colors do run a bit more beige-based than pure grey but the bright star points really shine.  I made two 36″ square quilt tops and had 4 jelly roll strips remaining.  I want to make myself a big girl quilt with this pattern so I may have to order a few more jelly rolls.  I love the pop of color against the subdued background of the grey.I’ve got enough super soft cuddle fabric for the back of both which will make these both doubly awesome!

I should use this new-to-me fat quarter bundle for the bright points in the big girl quilt – Architexture Crosshatch!  I adore it and it might just be perfect for a quilt I’m keeping for myself.  I think I’ll ponder that option for a bit….

Yoga Sling Strap

I also needed a bag or sling for my yoga mat and I found a tutorial online by Doodles and Stitches for a nice looking sling.  She had cut her strip four inches wide and folded in half then top stitched but I figured that I had enough leftover binding strips that I could just sew them together and get the same width for my strap.  I can’t be the only one with a pile of leftover binding strips.I love how colorful and fun the strap is!  It will make carrying my mat through the gym so easy and it won’t take up a lot of space along the studio wall while I’m using it during class.

Are there other great uses for leftover binding strips?  Let me hear ’em.

Happy sewing!

Break the Code

I recently came across a legend showing the Morse Code for the numbers zero through nine and it looked like it would make a cool quilt.  And guess what?  It does!The table I saw looks like this and I thought I could possibly create a mini quilt out of it.  I created the design and then attempted to figure out how to make it come to life.


Snowball blocks create the dots and small strips create the dashes.  I’m planning on writing up this pattern.  How cool would it be to make a quilt personalized with Morse Code?  I must start working on that!

I used this gorgeous Alison Glass charm pack and mixed it with some text prints.The rainbow deliciousness of this quilt makes me very happy!  I quilted each row with a coordinating color and I love the overall effect that it gives to this piece.  I used all the colors shown here.  I am definitely an equal opportunity thread user.The back is an improv pieced beauty that was made with the remaining scraps left over after making the front.

To be honest, I actually made this for an Instagram swap but I just couldn’t part with it and made something else instead.  Am I a bad swapper?  My partner wasn’t very specific about what was requested so I think I’m okay.  And the new piece I made is stunning.  I think it will work just fine.  In the meantime, both pieces are brightening up my sewing room.

Happy Sewing!

Sew Productive

Once the power was restored, all my creative juices starting flowing.  Somehow, the ‘can’t sew’ got all my ideas pent up within my head and really led to a marathon sewing session.

Hexagon Pillow:

I finished stitching the big hexie flower and found a good background (Blueberry Park) to let those colors shine.  I pieced more of the mini charm squares into strips for framing the corners of the flower.  I quilted through the middle of the hexagons which created a diamond design in the center and I added a zipper on the bottom to close up this 18″ pillow.  It’s going to look fabulous on my new couch!

Fishy, Fishy baby quilt:

This is the quilt I had laying on the design floor that I was planning to sew together last week but couldn’t without power.  Picking it up and transferring all of the unsewn pieces to my mom’s was not going to happen so it just sat there waiting for overhead lights and machine power.It looks so much better sewn together!  How cute are these little fishes?  It was made using 2 charm packs from a Studio e Fabrics line called ‘Count with Me’.   I love all the numbers and sea creatures playing in the sea.I scoured my stash for something good to back this with and finally came across the perfect fabrics!  An old underwater print and some cute octopus made the best of friends while hanging out together on the back of this quilt.  I got it all basted but I did not have the urge to drag out my other machine to quilt it.  Soon though – very soon…..

Charity Sewing – Habitat Houses:

My quilt guild is collecting House Blocks for a couple of Habitat for Humanity quilts for some local participants to receive when they get the keys to their new home.  They called for printed houses and solid color roofs so I rummaged through my stash to find the perfect print fabric. (I tend to rummage through my stash a lot…..and I really enjoy it!)  I love the prints that I found and did a little fussy cutting on one of them.  They turned out super cute and I can’t wait to see them mixed up in the quilt with the blocks the other members made.

Stash Enhancement:

I gave in to temptation in the form of a Cotton + Steel fat quarter sale courtesy of Stitch Supply Company.  They are selling Grab Bags of fat quarters for a great price.  And they included this great project bag with the Large set.  The fat quarters I got were a mix of lines and seasons and I love most of them.  My favorite is the butterfly print in the center.

I currently have 2 projects basted that need quilting and a separate quilt top complete that needs a backing created, to be basted, and then quilted.  It’s all part of my big plan to finish a bunch of UFOs this year and I think I made good headway this week.

Happy Sewing!

(No) Power Play

A big ol’ strong storm came through late Saturday night and left my neighborhood without power for about 36 hours.  What do you do when you are without power and had planned to sew for the majority of the weekend?  You hand stitch!  I’d been working on a hand sewing project for a few years.  I don’t pick it up very often so this gave me the perfect opportunity to try to finish it up. The fabric is a mini charm pack from the Mixed Bag line.  I made the hexies almost 2 years ago on the way to my brother’s wedding and I had a grand plan to use them in a Text Mini Quilt Swap that I had participated in.  That plan changed for the better so I still had the hexies in my stash.  Then I just decided to make them into a large hexie flower.  They have been slowly making their way into that shape.  I have one more length of thread to use in order to finish up this large flower.  My plan is to make a pillow for my couch by adding it as an appliqué to a cool looking background – which I have yet to decide on.  I’m thinking some sort of light grey or text print.  I must raid my stash and see what pops out at me.My mom lives nearby and had power so I packed up my old reliable sewing machine and some fabric to cut for a new baby quilt that I have in mind. I pulled this cute selection of car prints and blenders that I think work really well with the main prints.  I don’t have a selection of white blenders in my stash so this cute grey one should work really well.I did not make any progress other than transporting these supplies back and forth from my house to hers a few times.  But, I love this fabric pull and will definitely do something with it.

Giving Thanks!

I’m thankful that my Mom lives close enough so that I could bring some of my fridge and freezer stuff over for her to store for me.

I’m thankful that my home has great insulation and stayed cool enough so I could still hang out with the cats and sleep there without the power being on.

I’m thankful to learn that I have a gas water heater so I was able to shower and wash up with hot water.

I’m thankful that I did not have a ton of perishable food in my fridge or freezer as I now don’t have as much to replace.  I took only the super important stuff to my mom’s – you know, like ice cream and steak.

I’m thankful that I had the means to get out and purchase some other power and lighting supplies that I could operate with batteries.

I’m thankful for the extra work put in by my local electric company, on a holiday weekend, to get extra crews in from other states to get the power restored – there were 140,000 without power on Sunday morning with full restoration not promised for at least a week.

I need to get my machine humming now that the power is back on.  I have a different baby quilt laid out on my design floor (which I did not transport to my mom’s) and I need to start working on that.  It’s the top I was planning on sewing together this weekend.

Time to get back to it.  Happy Sewing!

Marriage Medallion

It’s quite an challenge to make a quilt as a wedding gift.  It’s really a marriage between both partners tastes and styles and you may not know the tastes and styles of both people.  I made this quilt for my work bestie and her family. It’s really a love story where 2 individuals become a family of three as the groom has also bonded strongly with her son.  It was beautiful to watch this relationship grow from a blind date about 2 years ago (that she was apprehensive about going on) to a marriage full of love and respect.

Some of you may remember that, after a Plan A fail, I pulled an old work-in-progress out of its hiding place and changed directions on it.  I took the previously made piece and made it the center of a medallion style quilt.I added a skinny border then some improv strip blocks, another skinny border and some large Raspberry Kiss blocks.  The cutting dimensions for the large size Raspberry Kiss block can be found here.  I then added some large appliquéd corner blocks to finish it off.  She had purchased an art print that has a tree with leaves that the guests can sign with well wishes.  I tried to use that theme on these large corner blocks.  Each corner block is different but all contain a selection of large and small orange peel pieces.I love the quilting effect on the Raspberry Kiss blocks.  I did skinny lines in the plus section and then just outlined the large square.  I tried to quilt each section a little differently.  Stitch-in-the-ditch for the center then straight lines in the sashing, wavy lines on the improv strips then more straight lines in the sashing, and ending with diagonal lines for the corners going into the side blocks.  I love the way the whole thing came out and the cool crinkly effect once washed was perfect!I found a fabric in my stash that was perfect for the backing and definitely more her style.  I also made a envelope block that was released as part of the Honey Pot Bee and used that as my label.  I added a solid green binding to contain it all.I’m considering this my year of finishing old projects. Now onto the next one before I get distracted by something new and shiny…..

Happy Sewing!

Random Roundup #19

I’m coming up on a bunch of self-imposed deadlines so I have a lot of different projects to share.

Baby Gifts:

I’ve been looking for cat-themed baby boy clothes or toys but they are all pink and girly.  That will not do at all for my (soon to be born) nephew.  His parents own cats and I wanted to play off of that for a sweet gift.  I designed a tag toy in the shape of a cat head and I think it turned out cute enough to be chewed on and pulled on and dragged around.  It’s got Minky on the back so it’s super soft as well.

Boo…….Basting:

I got a quilt basted and ready for quilting.  This quilt is destined as a wedding gift for my work bestie and needs to be complete before I leave town to meet my nephew.  The wedding is the weekend after I get back so I won’t have much time to finish it if I put it off any longer.  I dislike very much the process of quilt basting but it is a necessary evil to get to the awesome finished quilt.

Ring Bearer’s Pillow:

Her work shower is this week and she talked about commissioning me to make the Ring Bearer’s pillow but never actually got around to that.  So I have taken it upon myself to make one to gift at the shower.  I hope she is able to use it.  I cut up a headband to put on the back to help the young man hold it steady.  The headband has some grippy stuff on it so it should work well.

Stash Enhancement:

I’ve been loving the Aurifil thread that I got for Christmas and have been looking for a variegated set.  I was able to find one that Tula Pink curated where the majority of the threads are variegated.  What a fabulous selection of colors!While I was at it, I grabbed a few Charm Packs of my favorite lines (Blueberry Park and SunPrints 2017.)  They should work exceptionally well for the All the Colors Mini Quilt Swap that I’m participating in.I have to post my fabric selection by next week so it’s time to get moving on that swap.  That is once I finish the quilt for the wedding…….

Happy Sewing!