Thursday, February 27, 2014

Country Home Quilt Finished

It's a happy Friday and I have a finish to show! The Country Home quilt is finished and ready for action. (Look! I mitered my borders and everything!)

This is the largest finish I have had in a while.  Each of the blocks measures 16", made from the ingenious pattern that Mihaela put together.  She based the design on traditional Romanian needle point.  You can buy the pattern on Craftsy (and you really should.) The blocks are fun, quick, and go together perfectly.

I chose to make the pattern from scraps rather than solids, because as we all know I apparently live in a scrap factory.  It was fun to get away from my normal color scheme (I like blue... a lot) and work with some warm, Fall colors instead.

Everything in the top, except for the muslin sashing between the big blocks and the solid color borders around each block, came out of my scrap bins.  The piano key border came out of my string box. Of course I made too much, so the extras have ended up in String 'Splosion which is being quilted now.

The quilt measure 67"x82", appropriate for a twin bed or a large throw.  It makes me think of cold nights in the mountains and snuggling up in front of a warm fire with hot chocolate, so in the spirit of extra snuggliness I went with flannel for the back.

I found the perfect flannel print with all the right colors and Eastern European looking designs but there was only a yard left on the bolt. That ended up being the center of the back with a nice brown flannel all around it.  I love how the quilting shows up on the back of the quilt.

I used my walking foot to stitch in the ditch of the sashing around the big blocks and anchor everything, then used FMQ on the rest of the quilt. 

I made straight-ish lines in the border, a wishbone in the solid-color borders of each block, and a tight stipple in the scrappy-colored portion of each block.  The quilt has already had its inaugural wash for extra-super krinkliness.

This quilt is waiting for its forever home. For now it is keeping my bed toasty warm through this last bit of winter. Wilson approves of it :)  Don't forget to go check out Mihaela's pattern on Craftsy. It is seriously an excellent pattern, very well written, and reasonably priced.  If you do buy the pattern and make your own versions of this block I'd love to see them!

Enjoy your weekend! Linking up to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Too many projects...

I'm in that weird stage between a few projects where I just have too many ideas and things I want to work on.  First up on the design wall is this hexagon quilt, based on Oh Fransson's Honey Honey design.    Apologies for the crappy colors in the photo.  Better pics of this one later :)

I am also starting another string quilt. For now I'm trimming these aqua and grey strings down to size. 

Finally, the String 'Splosion is getting quilted.

And that's what I'm working on this week. Stay tuned for Friday's reveal of the finished Country Home quilt!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Scrappy String 'Splosion

As I mentioned last week, when I made the string-pieced piano key border for the Country Home quilt I made too much.  About twice as much as I needed in fact.  So that extra along with all the leftover bits from making the borders have wound up in this quilt.

Four large crumb blocks set amidst strings.  It's rather, ahem, busy. Hence the title. In the spirit of "scrap vomit" I'm calling this the Scrappy String 'Splosion.  Hopefully it'll be quilted soon :)

Linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Friday Finish: The Classmate Bag

Today I'm sharing a rather small finish.  Everything else is still a WIP :)   This is the "Classmate Bag" from Atkinson Designs.  A perfect small travel case for carry all the necessities to sew-ins and such.

The bag turned out great! I wish I could take credit for the flower print matching up on across the front flaps, but that was 100% luck.  Incidentally, almost all the fabrics used in this came from Hawthorne Threads scrap packs (you should buy some!)

The bag is actually more a folio, with a tri fold design that clips closed.  All the pockets are cleverly placed so that nothing falls out when you are carrying it.

All opened up the bag has lots and LOTS of pockets. I tried to stick something in each of them so you can get the idea. 

For the vinyl pockets I cut pieces from old zippered packaging bags.  You know, the kind that new bed spreads come in?  Probably not the recommended place to get your vinyl from, but it worked great and I've had these bags sitting around long enough that I'm not worried about the vinyl yellowing or cracking with age.

The bag is also useful to hang from the top loop and use as a desk-side organizer.  Here's hoping you had a productive week and that I have some big finishes to show again next week!

Linking up to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Quilting, quilting, quilting...

Happy Wednesday!  I am spending my day, as you guessed, quilting the Country Home quilt.  These were the blocks designed by Mihaela based on a Romanian needle point design. The pattern isn't available yet, but as soon as it is I will link to it. 

I made the blocks scrappy then added a scrappy string-pieced border.  I even mitered my corners!  I only used about half of the string border I made on the quilt, so there will be a baby quilt coming in these same colors.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday. Happy quilting!

Friday, February 14, 2014

"Drunken Circles" do. Good Stitches quilt is done!!

Happy Friday everyone! (I am off work for a 3-day weekend, so it is indeed a happy Friday for me!)  It's time to reveal the January NURTURE circle do. Good Stitches quilt in all its scrappy, bright, modern glory :)

I designed the block for this quilt back in December and called it "Drunken Circles".  (The tutorial is here for anyone who wants it.)  The ladies of Nurture circle took my design and ran with it.  Not one. single. person. complained about sewing curves, they just jumped right in and did awesome!

There are some really cute fabrics in this quilt.  I can't pick a favorite, but I love the black and white dogs with their food bowls.  ...And the tennis shoes.  And the space aliens.  Like I said, I can't pick!  It's all bright and modern and fun.

Everyone got their blocks done on time and they all arrived by February second, so I was able to get started quilting right away.  I set the blocks 3x3 and put the tenth on the back.

Incidentally, for anyone else who regularly designs quilts for bees, I was trying to come up with a block size that would only require each group member to make one block but would yield a good sized quilt. (Usually everyone makes (2) 12.5" blocks. Set 4x5 it yields a 48"x60" quilt).  It turns out that that size is 15.5"x20.5".  12 blocks set 3x4 will make a 60" square quilt or 9 blocks set 3x3 make 45"x60".  So now you know :)

IKEA music backing.  You can see the quilting better on the back
I decided to do spiral quilting with multiple spirals intersecting. I have spiral-quilted successfully before, once on my first do. Good Stitches quilt and more densely on a baby quilt.  However, those were both just one big spiral and it turns out that makes a difference.  With the previous quilts I used my walking foot and as I sewed any shifting of the fabric was just pushed evenly toward the outside.  When I tried to use my walking foot to quilt intersecting spirals I got MAJOR shifting and wrinkling.

So.  After some unpicking and repinning I switched to my FMQ foot, put on the attachment with the measurement guide and finished the quilt FMQ.  Whew! Disaster averted.   I used a cool black and white IKEA print for the back and machine sewed black and white binding to finish the quilt off.

I used at least 5 thread colors in the quilting. One of my Christmas presents was a box of assorted rainbow color threads and I had a blast trying out different ones.  Since the fabrics are so LOUD the multicolor quilting doesn't overwhelm them.

The dense quilting made for great fresh-from-the-dryer krinkle and I love, love, love this quilt.  Thank you, as ever, to the ladies of the Nurture Circle. You guys rock!

This quilt will be sent out early next week to My Very Own Blanket , a charity that gives blankets and quilts to children in foster care.

Linking up to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Snowy WIP Wednesday

Yes, I said snowy! In Texas! Much as I am not looking forward to driving to working in the slush tomorrow it always makes me smile to see flakes falling down.  The cold weather was a perfect excuse to spend Monday and Tuesday inside sewing. 

All my blocks for the scrappy Country Home Quilt are done. This block was designed by Mihaela and the pattern will be out soon.  I am planning some thin sashing and a string-pieced piano key border for this.  I was trying to steer away from my normal blue/green palette and use some fall/warm colors instead.  I really like how it's coming together.

I also worked on quilting the Drunken Circles do. Good Stitches quilt.  I am trying to do a multi-spiral quilting variation on this.  I have spiral quilted before with success but this time it was thwarting me. After some unpicking and re-pinning I swapped my walking foot for a FMQ foot and we're back on track.

I can't wait to show you this one all done!  Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mihaela's Country Home blocks

On my design wall this week are some scrappy blocks. These are from a block pattern called "Country Home" which I am testing for Mihaela.  She designed the block based on traditional Romanian pattens.

When the pattern comes out I will be sure to link it here. In the mean while, I am enjoying playing in my scraps and plan to make a whole quilt out of these blocks!

Linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

"Juggling Charms" Another Charm Quilt Finish

I've had a remarkably productive week!  I have several finishes to show today, starting with the "Juggling Charms" baby quilt.

This quilt used part of a charm pack I got a year or two ago, "Juggling Summer" by Zen Chic.  The colors are way outside my usual comfort zone, but I fell in love with the detailed, geometric prints.


I quilted it with a square spiral (another Angela Walters design) to compliment the geometric prints.  I love how the quilting shows up on the back.

My favorite part of the whole thing may be the bright orange binding. I found this orange in my stash and I wasn't sure I was going to link it until it was sewn on. Now I love it!

I developed a tutorial as I went along, if anyone would like to make a similar quilt.  The tutorial is here.    

This quilt was the second so far to get one of my very own customized labels :) I ordered these as a Christmas gift to myself from MommieMadeIt on Etsy.

I highly recommend this shop for anyone thinking about ordering quilting labels.  Lisa was so easy to work with and made sure the my design was exactly how I wanted it before printing. Printing and shipping were fast, too!

Also this week I made my February do. Good Stitches blocks.  Stephanie asked for 12.5" sampler blocks in rainbow brights.  I found these two blocks from the Modern Block Library.  On the left is Cracker Scraps and on the right Fireflies.

Finally, I made a couple of accessories for my sewing area. I made one of the popular Skinny Pincushions (original here) with dimensions customized to my machine.

One change I made was to include a flap of fabric sewn into the seam which my machine sits on top of to keep the pin cushion from scooting away.

I also made a sewing caddy to hang of my desk and hold feet, seam rippers, embroidery scissors, and everything else that is always getting knocked of my desk and onto the floor.

Whew! Ok, that's actually not everything I got done this week, but that's enough for one post. I'm linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.  See you Monday!

Juggling Charms quilt tutorial

Hello and welcome to yet another way to use a charm pack!  This simple but effective design can make a fun baby in no time at all or use more charms (or 5" scraps from your stash) to make a larger quilt.

I named this pattern "Juggling Charms" after the charm pack I used, which was Juggling Summer by Zen Chic.  To make this quilt (not including optional borders) you will need approximately:
(36) 5" squares, or one charm pack
1 yd back ground fabric

Cut (6) 1.5" x WOF strips and (5) 3.75" strips from your background fabric.

Sort through your charm pack and pick out 36 charms. After you pull out the ones that are basically the same color as the back ground and the ones that aren't very interesting to look at your will probably have just enough left.  Chain piece 24 of the charm squares onto the 1.5" strips.

Use your rotary cutter and ruler to slice apart the sashing strips and square them up with the charms.  

Then join the remaining 12 single charms to 12 of these creating pairs.

Join the remaining 12 charm+sashing unit to the doubles to make trios (stacks of charms 3 tall) and press.

Sew a 15.5" strips of the 1.5" strips of background fabric onto one side of 3 of the 3-charm-units.

Then sew the other 3-charm-units onto the sashing strips you just attached. Be sure to pin to keep the charms lined up across the middle sashing.  Press the blocks.

Next sew the 3.75" strips of background fabric onto both sides of each block. Press and trim. The finished blocks should measure 16".

Lay the blocks out to decide on an arrangement.  If you finish the top at this point it will measure 31.5"x47".  That was a little too tall and skinny for my tastes so I decided to add borders.

I added a first border of the 1.5" background strips to all sides, and a second and third border to the left and right sides only of a 2.5" strip of coordinating color followed by another strip of the 1.5" background fabric.

With the borders the top measures 39.5"x 49",  which looks much more balanced to me.  I choose to FMQ the top with square spirals (an Angela Walters design).  You can read more about my finished quilt on its post here.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to email me, and if you make anything based off one of my tutorials I'd love to see it!

Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.