Christmas in June?

So, I’ve been working on a myriad of projects that are Christmas themed. When the mood strikes I just dive straight in.

Bringing Home the Christmas Tree:

I have been plugging slowly away at some woodie wagons for the Bringing Home the Christmas Tree Quilt from the Vintage Christmas book by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet.

I have a few tips to share for when your background fabric is running scarce or is super precious and you don’t want to waste it.

Sew the trees first!

By sewing the tree blocks first, you will have some offcuts that you can use on the cars.See that white offcut? It can be used for the 1 1/2″ half-square triangles on the cars. Trim it to 1 1/2″ square then place it on the correct fabric for the car or tire or whatever. Line up the sides as if it was a full square – placing the wonky cut to the side that will be cut off and discarded. Sew your diagonal line using your favorite method. I just eyeball it.Trim the corner as you would if it was a full square and press.open.The background I was using on this quilt is one I’ve had to order multiple times so I hate to waste any little bit of it and this trick sure did save a whole bunch of it. This pile of offcuts is just from the two tree blocks shown above.Planning how you make this quilt will really save on fabric. I’m not a pre-cutter so this worked out perfectly for me.

Kinship Fusion Sampler Sew-along:

I took the last-minute plunge and joined the #100days100blocks2019 challenge being put on by Gnome Angel. The posting of blocks starts on July 1st so I’ve been furiously sewing them up. I’ve decided on a scrappy Christmas theme and I’m super excited about what I’ve done so far. I’ve got 1/4 of the blocks complete and am ready to post on Day one.My quilt guild is currently involved in a local Shop Hop so I had a great opportunity to pick up some Christmas low volumes to use with some focus prints from my stash. I’m having a lot of fun pairing everything up.Christmas themed projects are in full swing around here and it’s not even July yet! Have you started your Christmas projects yet? Either way – happy sewing!

Skating Through

I jumped on a daily special sale this week and picked up Vintage Christmas by Lori Holt and the patterns in it are fabulous! There are so many things that I need to make – yes I said need. The first one I chose to do was the Ice Skate Block for a pillow for my step-sister. She skated when we were kids and I have fond memories of hanging out at the ice rink while she practiced.I added the mitten blocks, which is another pattern in that book. One great thing about this book is that there are instructions for both 12″ and 6″ blocks so you can really choose what you want to do to make your design perfect for you.

I couldn’t decide how big I wanted this pillow to be so I played around with placement for a while and ended up adding another Ice Skate to the other side of the mittens. Well, it finally ended up at 14×36. I didn’t have that size form on hand so plan on ordering one tomorrow. I googled ‘pillow forms 30 inch long’ to find out the what sizes were available and that size was the closest to what I had already pieced. I added some borders to bring it up to fit the form. I quilted it in a cross-hatch pattern as I didn’t feel like it needed anything more than that.The backing is something I had on hand from Christmas’ past and worked perfectly with the colors on the skates.I enclosed it with a side zipper and cannot wait to get the form to put inside and make it all fluffy!

Now, the question is…should I keep this for next Christmas or send it as a ‘Just Because’ gift? It’s super cute and I hope she’ll love it!

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!

Stash Build – July

That dang Craftsy sale gets me every time. I gave in and ordered another Free Spirit Fat Quarter bundle box. It’s such a beautiful sight to see when you get that box open and remove the plastic.

20140802-203632-74192140.jpg
This one had a few repeats from previous boxes. There was more Chicopee by Denise Schmidt:

20140802-203749-74269641.jpg
Which was being admired by the quality control engineer. And more Enchanted by Kathy Davis:

20140802-204520-74720538.jpg
But then there were these pretties:

20140802-210959-76199492.jpg
Wildflower by Kathy Davis. I love both of these prints. The trees are Pretty Little Things and there is no selvedge for the orange one or the butterfly print.
One of my local quilt shops had a clearance sale with 40 to 70% off selected yardage. I grabbed this print – Rainforest Buzz – for less than $4 a yard. I think it will make a great blender.

20140802-204657-74817987.jpg
I also stopped at a local cross-stitch store and picked up these patterns. I may have a little something up my sleeve…

20140802-204658-74818260.jpg
The only sewing I did this week was on this:

20140802-205221-75141851.jpg
The fake leather cover of my bible was toast so I took some leftover Boho mini charms and some of the Polka Dot Stitches fabric that I got last week and went to work. They blend together so well!

20140802-205452-75292318.jpg
I also added a few more ribbons for page markers in the book binding space. I think it turned out great and was exactly what I had in my head!

20140802-205558-75358419.jpg

Birds and the Bees Pillow

At my most recent guild meeting, we had a English Paper Piecing lesson and were asked to bring some scraps to work with. I decided I needed a pillow to go with my Birds and the Bees quilt. So, I brought some yellow, black, and gray scraps and was able to get a few done while at the meeting.

20140719-175726.jpg
I decided to do a small cluster and added some small triangles that I sewed into hexies and a couple of random triangles as well. I zig-zag appliqued the pieces onto the gray background fabric. I love how this turned out!

20140719-180136.jpg

Earlier in the week, I created some hoop art with my favorite fabric: Polka Dot Stitches by Lori Holt for Riley Blake designs.

20140719-180517.jpg
I took some variegated colored threads and stitched around the stitch diagrams. This fabric just showcases the beginnings of my stitching journey that I experienced as a child. I keep buying it and hate to cut into it in any way. So, I thought I’d make it a feature piece in my sewing room.

On that train of thought: I found the Polka Dot Stitches fat quarter bundle on #thegreatfabricdestash and I just had to have it. I hadn’t seen the rest of the bundle and I was very pleasantly surprised when I received it and was able to open it up. I love them all!

20140719-181635.jpg
The text prints are definitely my favorite but this red color story is the grouping that I love most:

20140719-181829.jpg
It included some solids, some large gingham, and some adorable large prints. I’m not sure how I’ll use them but there may be another Sew Together Bag in my future.

I’m also working on a block that I will be making into a mini and I hope to share that soon. Until then – happy sewing!