Orphan Block Rescue

A friend of mine is getting married in a few months and I’ve been contemplating a quilt or some quilty gift for her.  Her wedding colors are champagne and blush and I’m not sure what to do with that as my color palette is a bit more vibrant.  I found a pattern I liked and pulled some low volume fabrics then dug in my stash for a small pop of color.  I found a deep coral floral colored fabric that I thought would work.  I was wrong……..The low volumes got lost so I thought maybe I should switch it up and reverse the color placement – low volume background, high contrast star parts.  Slightly better but just barely…….still not what was floating around in my head.

Now What?

As those blocks headed for the orphan block pile I came across an old project that I had started but got disenchanted by.  The colors might be a bit brighter than she would prefer but I think it could work.  I had all the fabrics wrapped up with the blocks so I didn’t have to dig any further for those.I bordered it with a thin white strip, gave it a super good press, and decided to move in a medallion type style.  The first surround contains different width strips placed both vertically and horizontally – slightly random placement of each colored strip with the floral fabric always in the center.Next up are some large Raspberry Kiss blocks – pattern was adapted from the original tutorial by Wooden Spoon Quilts.  I thought the smaller blocks would not work nearly as well for the next surround so I was glad to find a larger size to use.I had to scrap the Raspberry Kiss blocks with the deep magenta on the corners.  It was just way to bright for the rest of this quilt.  But I was able to use them to cut the side squares for the centers.  I love it when fabric does not go to waste.

I’ve got a bit more of these and some filler blocks to make to get the next section finished.  Then I’ll have to decide on the next row.  My mind is already churning……..

Color Me Happy!

My nephew is due to join this world in a few weeks.  It was about time to finish up some of the projects that I have in mind for the sweet boy and his momma.  First up were these burp cloths.  The pattern is a free one from Cloud 9 Fabrics.  There is no theme or color picked out yet so I did a little bit of everything.  Fun cotton prints on one side and soft flannel on the other.  So easy to put together and oh so useful.Then I finished (basted, quilted, and bound) the Crayola play quilt.  It so colorful and bright with super soft and cozy Minky on the back.The triangles on both the front and the back are the offcuts from the X blocks.  I randomly sewed them into pinwheels.  I hated to see them all go to waste so I used them throughout the quilt top and back.  I really like the look it created.It was so dark with just the green print that I added the low volume white blocks to lighten it up.  And I bought up every bit I could find of the x-plus fabric from the Best Day Ever line.  It’s such a great fabric for all the kids quilts that I’ll be making in the next few years.  And, I am now all out of the schoolhouse chalkboard fabric and can’t find it anywhere.  It was one on my favorites!

I echo quilted around each X and added vertical and horizontal lines every 2 1/2 inches.  Such great texture was created especially on that fabulous Minky!  It’s such a fun and soft quilt.The deep blue binding framed the whole piece perfectly!

Now I’m tackling my very first Divided Basket by Noodlehead.  Let’s see how much more baby decor and quilts I can get done before the baby arrives.  Time is a tickin…………

Mixing it Up!

This mini quilt will soon be hanging in my office at work.  My whole career has been with housewares retailers and it will be just perfect in my office.  Baking is one of my favorite things to do and I cannot wait to put this one on display.The super awesome mixer is the Geometric Mixer pattern by Kristy Lea of Quiet Play.  The bowl and kitchen crock  are also Quiet Play patterns.  The birthday cake block is designed by Lori Holt from A Bee in my Bonnet as part of her Quilty Fun patterns.

The background is from Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis Textiles.  She prints directly on Kona Cotton fabric and it is all fabulous.  I’m so happy with how the blue fabrics pop off that pale background.I tried to connect each block with the fabric choices used in the other blocks.  The yellow spoon in the bowl is the same as the spoon in the crock.  The blue of the cake stand is in the mixer and the cake filling is the color of the mixing bowl.  I love how the whole thing came together. I adore the border fabric and I am proud of the very intentional binding that I did with the directional aspect of that fabric.  It took quite a bit of planning and numerous Wonder Clips to keep it all in place.I used this Cotton + Steel Cookie Book print as my label.  It tied everything together so well.

Next up…..

I’m still working on my sewing area so the actual sewing has been pretty limited but I started a baby quilt using the Varsity line by Sweetwater.  The background is Wavy Stripe by Tula Pink in the True Colors line. It’s adding so much movement to the blocks.  It’s turning out just as I imagined.

Speaking of my sewing room redo – I’ve got some more reorganizing to do before a full reveal.  I’m looking forward to it’s completion.  In the meantime, I’m sneaking in some sewing anytime I can get the sewing table cleared off.

Happy Sewing!

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!