I’ve started my Christmas sewing and it was looking super festive on my cutting table this weekend.I had this plan in my head for a Christmas Tree table runner and I was inspired by a particular pattern as I was lounging on the couch under a Block of the Month quilt that I had made. The inspiration block just happened to be the December block and was a tree theme. I thought it would look awesome in red, green, and white and went digging through my sewing room for the pattern.
Turned out that it was from the Sugar Block Club from 2016 that Stitchery Dickory Dock had put on. I found the pattern, made some copies for paper piecing, and got some fabrics together that would work for my plan.I was already super happy with it at this point and knew I had to keep going. The plan was for 3 blocks with sashing to create a decent sized table runner. I had recently purchased a Christmas fabric that would work really well for some fussy cutting in between the sashing.The end result is so much better than I had envisioned.I bordered it in the snowflake fabric with a small red border in between and it just brings the whole thing together. I quilted 1″ spaced lines in a V shape from the outside to the center snowflake.I had the perfect amount of this Christmas Tree fabric in my stash to use for the backing and you just can’t go wrong with a polka dot binding.Now, I need to decide if I need to keep it or if it can be gifted in one way or another. I have a few more Christmas sewing ideas in mind so I may just wait until I have everything done before I decide it’s fate.
I’ve also decided that I need to use this pattern to make a large Christmas quilt and have already put some fabric aside to do so. I really love it!I hope everyone is having as much fun prepping for the holidays as I am. Happy Sewing!
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.
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)
I made some progress on the Foxes Baby quilt from last week’s post. I pieced some of the foxes fabric with the cuddle dots for the back and basted it. It’s all ready for quilting.That progress was made at a sewing day with a few new sewers. One is making a full-size quilt using squares so I showed her how to prepare a nine-patch, the staple of the quilters world. I introduced her to the 1/4 inch piecing foot to make her piecing more precise and she was headed online to find one for her machine. The other was putting together a dress. I’m not a garment sewer so I showed her how to read the pattern and decipher the language. The pieces were already cut out and we made great progress on it. She got all her darts sewn in the bodice and also a few pleats on the skirt part. Now she’s trying to get the sizing right before we get the zipper installed. The pieces were slightly too small on the bodice so she cut and darted a second bodice section. It was a bit too big once sewn to the skirt so she took it home to seam rip and study and I’m sure she’ll have a great plan by the time she comes back over.
Sugar Block Club 2016:
It’s the halfway point for the Sugar Block Club and I got caught up on all my blocks.It’s going to be such a pretty quilt. I love the color palette that I chose. The purples and teals just pop against those low volumes.
Chrissy at Sew Lux had a large Memorial Day sale and I gave in big time. The prices were super low and I couldn’t resist.The top three are from a line called Meadowbloom. The colors are more vibrant than shown here and are so gorgeous! I love the blue one on the top.This grouping contains a few from the For You line by Zen Chic (the teal and grey ones). Zen Chic is one of my favorite designers and these do not disappoint. The yellow one on top is Color Theory Mesh. I love the randomness of the color placement. It’s such a great blender.
This next grouping I see being great additions to a circus themed baby quilt that I have in my head. So bright and cheerful! The mutli-colored pieces are from Best Day Ever and the ‘plus’ one is called Math Nerd. I love that! I could use it in multiple different types of quilt patterns. I’m looking forward to getting all these designs out of my head and through my sewing machine.
One quilt top quilted! Part of my goal list this year to to actually finish those quilt tops that I have piling up. This finish is from the 2012 Free Craftsy Block of the Month class. I loved this class. I learned so many techniques and styles and it really improved my piecing accuracy. It also introduced me to Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock. I love her teaching style and how straightforward her instructions are. She also seems like a genuinely good person and I just want to hang out with her and soak in her energy and enthusiasm. This class was taken before I found out about ‘designer fabrics’ and high quality quilting cotton so all of the block fabrics are fat quarters from JoAnns, the background is from Hobby Lobby, and the backing was bought at Hancock fabrics a few years back. I hope the quilt police aren’t reading this as I also mixed in some batiks. 😉 What was I thinking.?.?..I was thinking that these fabrics were cute and played really well together. I love this and I wish that Hobby Lobby still had that blue background fabric. It’s just so fabulous and fun!
This top has been complete for about 2 or 3 years so it’s about time I actually put it together and quilted the darn thing! I quilted it with a random improv triangle continuous line design. Whew…that’s a mouthful, isn’t it? I used a blue variegated thread and I love the effect it gives. There is so much texture here. It’s going to be so great and crinkly once I wash it.This one stays with me as it represents such a big change in my abilities and style. I improved while we went through the blocks and it’s fun to see where I’ve been as I try to get where I’m going….I had some extra blocks that I put on the back. One of them did not have enough contrast and the other I just didn’t like the colors I used for it. I added some 2 1/2 inch strips to separate the extra blocks and add more color to the back.That backing fabric was perfect and I have had it for awhile stashed away specifically to back this quilt with. Love it!I still have a number of quilt tops to get quilted but I have the need to start something new. I’m looking at a few options right now – a mini quilt based off a drawing that a friend’s son did, a Preppy Whale quilt using some fabrics I was recently given by a very generous quilting friend, or a baby quilt using this adorable jelly roll that I just received via Craftsy.It’s very difficult for me to resist a big Craftsy sale and this was no exception. I also got yardage of these wonderful greys at fabulous prices!I’m thinking the Blueberry Park grey will look wonderful with those foxes…..
I have been catching up on the Splendid Sampler blocks little by little. I have made 4 this week. The top one is eagerly awaiting it’s chain stitched center. I’ll have some time to get that done this week. I’ve already transferred the pattern into the fabric so I can begin that process. The bottom one is not correct but I’m leaving it this way and never again piecing those tiny triangles. It’s still cute though. I love these two! I’m moving from the pinks into lavenders and purples and love the combination.
Speaking of purples – a guild mate has been buying clearance fabrics and splitting them up with some of us so we all get a great deal on fabric. This past month was dark pinks and purples which matches up perfectly with my block colors. They are just all so gorgeous!
Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month:
I finally (!) basted the 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month quilt top. I had purchased the backing fabric a long, long time ago as it perfectly matched the scrappy color story on the front. I’m not sure how long this will take me to quilt. I kind of want to try some free-motion quilting but don’t quite have the skills. That means that I may end up doing some fancy straight line quilting with my walking foot if I don’t get any practice with FMQ.
I’m thinking of taking some older fabrics that I no longer like and making small quilt sandwiches to practice with. That will definitely help me destash in a positive manner and learn a new skill all at the same time. 😊
I have signed up to participate in The Splendid Sampler. It’s a year long sew-along and works similar to a block of the month club. However, these blocks get published twice a week. It just began on Valentine’s Day and 3 blocks have been released so far. Many thousands of people are participating with many different tastes in fabric and many different skill sets. This my interpretation of the first block – Hearts Aflutter. I’m choosing fabrics from stash and will be picking them per block via whatever inspiration I feel that day. A heart block definitely called for red and I could not pass up using the ‘made with love’ text fabric. I’m going to use the grey Modern Background Basics print as the glue that binds all the blocks together. I may need to stock up on that one a little bit. The blocks are 6 1/2″ unfinished and there will be 100 total by the end.
Block #2 is Wings: I stayed with the same color selection for this one. I’m thinking of moving in a rainbow type way through the blocks but we will see if I accomplish that. I’m halfway through block 3 so it’s reveal will have to wait.
They are also publishing some extra projects by some of the designers participating in designing the blocks. I made this Cathedral Windows pin cushion using one of the tutorials. I’ll have to make another one as this one has a few issues that I cannot overlook (the photo hides the imperfections very well). The tutorial was very clear and informative.
I know I said I wouldn’t buy so much dang fabric this year…its just so pretty…..and I give in rather easily. I picked up these charm packs from a recent Southern Fabric sale that they had on sale fabrics. Extra discounts on sale stuff always helps me cave. These will be great for some charity quilts that my quilt guild gives to LeBonhuer Children’s Hospital.
This Riley Blake Chevron will make a wonderful backing for those baby and infant quilts. You just can’t go wrong with Pink and Navy or Pink and Brown and that Stitch Circle in Passion is marvelous! I cannot wait to get a wonderful project started with those! Maybe they will make it into the Splendid Sampler project. Let me know if you are participating. It’ll be fun to follow each other’s progress. We should all learn a lot this year.