Fun and Games

A while back, I had purchased this Fun & Games fat quarter bundle with the intention that is was perfect for the charity quilts that my guild (The Memphis Area Modern Quilt Guild) donates to LeBonhuer Children’s hospital here in Memphis.  It’s very gender-neutral and the colors are fabulous.  The prints contain yo-yos, dart boards, cogs wheels, spinners, and mazes.  It’s a super fun collection of fabrics.

I have also recently procured The Color Issue of ModBlock magazine by Missouri Quilt Company.  One of the designs really caught my eye – Noted by Alexia Abegg (@alexiastitches). I made my quilt so that it used 4 blocks across and 4 blocks down to make it infant sized.  I picked my 16 main fabrics and thought I would pair it up with some coordinating solids instead of just one low volume fabric.  That also meant that I could pull directly from my stash to complete this design! It turned out so great!  I love this design and will probably use it again in a different quilt.  It was so quick to put together as well.  I love the contained scrappiness of it.  I’m very happy with the solids and that teal really brings it all together.   I used a scrappy binding and quilted it using echo straight line quilting which I did diagonally and between each block with a tan thread color.  I made a pieced backing using most of the remaining fabric from that bundle and I even remembered to put on a label!  I’m always forgetting about the label and normally have to find a way to add it in later.  I am also super pleased with how my binding turned out and I love seeing how my skills are improving in that area.       I love that multi-colored cogs wheel print!  This 48×48 quilt goes in the stack for LeBonheur Children’s hospital.  We’re planning on donating to the infant ward in the fall.  This will be our second time doing so and it is so fulfilling knowing that these quilts are going to very deserving children and their families.

Stash Enhancement:

Thank you Massdrop.com for this fabulous bundle of loveliness!  Michael Miller Basics in Bloom was such a great deal and they have another drop happening right now in case you are interested.  There are three other colorways to choose from (Neutral, Crayon, and Ocean).  It took a lot of thought and some eeny-meeny-miney-moe to decide on this colorway.  I loved them all!

Those will be fabulous blenders for a multitude of projects if I ever take them out of that pretty bundle. đź™‚  I really should remove them and see what else I can pair some of these colors up with.  I’m looking forward to using these in some future projects.

  

British Beauty

My brother has been dating a wonderful young lady from the UK.  They have recently become engaged and will be married next month.  We are all very excited that this beautiful woman will be joining our family and moving to the states.  

Any celebration gives a quilter the opportunity to create a fabulous gift.  So, of course, I had to make her a Sew Together Bag.  They do make the perfect gifts.  I had found this fabric bundle on Craftsy.  It is Bristish Invasion by Riley Blake designs. 

I had to figure out an exterior design that would feature bits of the fabric but still keep it contained.  I didn’t want it to be very scrappy.  I also chose this background fabric from my stash to play nice with all the colors.  It has a Moda selvedge but no name. I recently bought a mini charm pack that came with a mini tumbler ruler and chose that tool to cut that bundle apart.  I interspersed the prints with the grey.  I love the way it came out!  I horizontally straight line quilted that panel and set it aside while I pieced the bag. I used the plaids for the interior lining pieces and the crowns for the inside of the pockets.  Three different zipper colors make it easy to indentify which pocket holds what stuff. My sewing time, not including the exterior, has decreased for this bag and I didn’t have to look at the instructions this time, other than for the cutting directions.  I will admit to sewing two sections backwards because I wasn’t paying close enough attention but that was easily fixed.  I was struggling while deciding between a red zipper or a charcoal grey one for the exterior zipper.  I’m very happy that I went with the red one!      I will be bringing it with me to the wedding and plan to give it to her when we finally meet for the first time.  So exciting!

Stash Enhancment:

This week I picked up some mini charm packs to use for whatever comes to mind.  I love the Paradisio line and you can’t go wrong with the texty goodness that Sweetwater puts outs in the Feed Company line.  These should be fun to dig into this summer.

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 appliquĂ©d 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 appliquĂ©d 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 appliquĂ© that was not just raw edge appliquĂ©. 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!

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.

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.

The One with the Leg Lamp

I’ve been doing some Christmas sewing. I finished one third of the charity quilt for my church. Then I changed focus, of course, and started working on some Christmas gifts. I wanted to make sure that I got a few completed quickly so I wouldn’t lose track of time and not have enough time to get them done. I also signed up for another swap and that will take some of my sewing time as well.

My boss is a lover of the movie ‘A Christmas Story’ and we’ve been getting him movie related items for a few years now. I recently saw a leg lamp pattern on Instagram and knew that I had to make it for his gift this year. I found the pattern at Sew What Sherlock?.
I didn’t have a good fabric in my stash for the nylons part of the leg. So, I improvised. I cross hatched with black thread on some beige stripe fabric that I had.

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I love how it turned out. I had to be very fussy with the piecing so that the ‘netting’ looked continuous down the leg.

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I used a suede-like fringe instead of actual flapper-style fringe and I am glad I did. I bought enough to trim the pillow out once I get the insert for it.

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I’m trying to decide if I should add the red ‘Fragile’ wording across the leg or not. I like how it looks without it but it could still look cool with it. Decisions, decisions. Let me know what you think.

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I also made another Sew Together Bag! This one is for my step-sister. She was a Mary Kay consultant for a little while and may still get back to it. So, I wanted to make it pink, black, and white. I also wanted her to be able to use it for the makeup and bought some laminated cotton.

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You know that I’ve had this plan for a while since I’ve had the fabric since early spring. I was scared to cut into it due to the possible issues with it creasing and that you cannot iron it or use pins like you need to for a Sew Together Bag. And I couldn’t decide how I wanted to do the outside of the bag. I’d also picked up some Hollywood Sparkle during that time period to use on the outside. Both sets of fabric are by Riley Blake Designs.

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I searched #sewtogetherbag on Instagram to get some inspiration and came across one that had an initial on it. I knew I had to have that initial pattern and found it at from blank pages on Craftsy. I strip pieced the outside of the bag around the initial.

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The laminated fabrics were for the inside of the bag and the pockets so that she can wipe any makeup residue away.

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The more of these bags that I make the easier they become. This one didn’t take me as long as the last one, even with the laminated fabric in play this time. So this bag is done and I hope she’ll love it!

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I hope everyone’s gifty crafting is going well. I’ve got a few more gift projects to go until I’m done with my holiday sewing for the year and I am definitely motivated now to get some more of those completed.

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.

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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!

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

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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!

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

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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!