Spoonflower Kitchen Linens Challenge with Sew Mama Sew and a Sandwich Wrapper Tutorial

A while back, Sew Mama Sew put out a call to see if anyone wanted to participate in a little kitchen sewing challenge.  We'd get to pick our own fabrics from Spoonflower and sew whatever we liked.  

I jumped in because it was perfect timing.  My daughter is going to need to bring lunch to school in the fall (thinking ahead!) and since I let my son pick out his snack bag fabric, it seemed like a great chance to let her pick out hers. 

I popped her on the computer, narrowed her search to "kawaii" and "food" (because you could be scrolling through fabric designs for days!) and she picked the Cluttered Fruits fabric from BerrySprite.  And I picked out the Gizmos Galore fabric from KatherineLenius.  I chose to have them printed in Kona cotton (instead of canvas, or linen, or one of their other many substrates) so that I could use it in a bunch of different ways.  

I was a little bummed at how the fabrics faded when I washed them, and I've heard that they'll fade faster than a traditionally made fabric, but I'm fairly certain that they'll be lost at school or too gross or worn out before that happens.  And I really love the variety of prints to choose from, so it's just something to consider.  

In addition to the sandwich wrappers, I made her a couple snack bags to go into her lunch box.  I love making these (here's a link to the last batch I made), and a link to the tutorial that I use here.  

spoonflower big reusable snack bags text.jpg

I also decided to make some that are super sized for when we go out as a family and I want to bring a larger portion of snacks for us all to share.  They're about 8" x 10", and I used the same tutorial, I just cut my original rectangles to be 8.5" x 10.5".  The lining does tend to stretch more when you sew a longer seam, but it doesn't really effect the end result.  


Now on to the tutorial!  

Supplies:

  • 1/2 yard of fabric, washed
  • 1/2 yard of iron on vinyl (I used Heat n' Bond)
  • 2 1/2 inches of sew-on velcro
  • 4 1/2 feet of skinny double fold bias tape

Cut your fabric and vinyl into 12 inch squares.  You'll be able to make at least two with a half yard of fabric.

 

Carefully peel the vinyl from the backing paper.  Don't discard it!  

 

Place your fabric wrong side up on your ironing board.  Place the sticky side of the vinyl to the wrong side of your fabric.  Don't worry if it's not perfect the first time, you can pull it up and try again.   And we'll be finishing the edges, so the vinyl doesn't have to line up perfectly with the edges.

Place the backing paper you saved onto the vinyl and press with an iron according to the manufacturer's directions.  To avoid bubbles, start from the center and press out towards the edges.  

 

You could fold the edges over to finish them: fold one side over a 1/4 inch, then fold over again, sew down.  Then repeat for the other sides, taking care to keep the raw edges folded under at the corners.

I chose to finish my edges with bias tape.  Open your tape up and sew the right side of the tape to the vinyl side of your wrapper with roughly a 1/8 inch seam.  You'll want to miter the corners and finish the ends similar to how you sew a binding on a quilt (here's a great tutorial from Crazy Mom Quilts, just do it in small scale).  

Once you've gone all the way around, fold your bias tape to the front and topstitch about an 1/8th of an inch from the edge of the tape.

 

Next, take your velcro, and line up the soft part with a corner on the vinyl side.  Use the 45 degree mark on your ruler to make sure that it's lined up with center line of the wrapper.  Pin in place and sew down.

 

Align the scratchy side of the velcro with the opposite corner on the right side of the fabric.   Make sure that it sits about 2 inches in from the corner and is lined up with the edge of the ruler when the 45 degree line is on the edge of your wrapper.  Pin and sew down.

 

And you're done!  One of the great things about these wrappers, is once you open it up, you can use it as a placemat for the rest of your lunch.  It's perfect for taking on a picnic when you aren't sure what's been crawling on those picnic tables or if you're just eating on the ground.  

To clean, just wipe down the vinyl side with a damp cloth.

Be sure to check out the other challengers to see their cool projects.  And head over to Spoonflower for all their awesome prints.  

Michelle from Falafel and the Bee: http://www.falafelandthebee.com/

Sherri from Rebecca Mae Designs: http://www.rebeccamaedesigns.com/

Trina from Will Cook for Shoes: http://www.willcookforshoes.ca/

Daisy from Ants to Sugar: http://antstosugar.com

Alicia from Two Kids and a Blog: http://twokidsandablog.com

Thanks Sew Mama Sew for the fun challenge!

 

 


WIP Wednesday: Instagram Edition

Welcome to Work In Progress Wednesday!  Where I post all the things I put on Instagram this week that were not the things on my to do list!  

image.jpg

I've almost sewn down the first round of these EPP rings.  I printed enough papers to make nine rings, figuring that was a good wallhanging size, and once I finished them, I'd know if I wanted to continue making more.  With round one nearly complete, I can safely say that I love these and the process.  So now it's on to round two!  And maybe printing more papers.  

image.jpg

I mounted another customer quilt on the long arm.  It's a beautiful Meadow quilt (with yummy Liberty prints) and I have free reign on the quilting.  I love the original Meadow that was quilted by Angela Walters, so I'm going to use that as inspiration for my quilting.  

First step is to draw draw draw!  These swirls will make up the borders, and since the borders are a huge part of the quilt and solid I need to make sure the swirls are as close to perfect as possible.

image.jpg

And I couldn't let these scraps sit any longer by my sewing machine!  I won them from Ashley (check out the quilt they came from!) and since they've arrived I've pawed through them a couple times, separated them out into piles, and pulled some bits for possible projects, but hadn't actually done anything.  So I pulled out my solids bucket and got out all the colors that went well.  

In addition to the greens and pinks, I also added a reddish orange, brown and yellow.  I'm not sure that the red really needs to be there, and I think that I might need to add a bit of white.  But I really love the two greens and that pink.  

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Scrappy Strings Quilt

scrappy strings quilt

It's time again for the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side.  If you're visiting from there, welcome, and if not, you should go check it out.  There's so many great quilts to look at and reading their stories is so much fun.

Anyway, this is my entry for the Scrappy Quilts category, and it is the scrappiest quilt I've made.  These strips were from the tear off bucket at the fabric shop I worked at briefly.  When we got new bolts in we'd rip off a few inches because the initial cut from the factory can be very warped.  So this quilt is a little bit of every fabric we got into stock during my months there.  

The quilting on this one is also special to me.  It was the first thing I quilted after coming back from QuiltCon.  I was so full of inspiration and new knowledge, and I just pumped it all into this quilt.  It was super fun to do.

You can read my other post about this quilt here.  And go check out all the quilts in the festival!

AmysCreativeSide.com



Friday Finish: Rainbow DNA Mini

In the fall, the Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild is putting on an exhibit on modern quilting at the Gathering Quilt Show in Manchester, so we decided to have a little challenge to get everyone in the spirit.  Everyone picked out a traditional block and our assignment was to modernize it using only solids.  

I pulled the Snake in the Hollow block, which is really just a Drunkard's Path block with eyes in the corners.  I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I knew I wanted a bunch of colors to play with, so I ordered a charm pack of Denyse Schmidt's Modern Solids.  

Once the pack arrived, I started sketching out ideas, but in the middle of one doodle, I'd have another idea.  Before I knew it, I had several pages of colorful doodles, and couldn't decide which one to go with.  So I pulled the very first idea I had, made a tiny drunkard's template, and made a couple test blocks (remember this tiny mini?).  But I realized that I really didn't love making those tiny curves, and couldn't stand making more.  So I picked a different sketch!

So I went with the one idea I had that didn't involve sewing all those curves!  I pieced a bunch of the solids together, on point, and trimmed it to size.  Then I made a mile of bias tape to do the curves, and realized that it was not going to be a very smooth curve.  Then I found this post by Dorie about her Bias Tape Applique Challenge quilt.  She talks about using bias bars to get really skinny strips to sew down.  I loved the idea, so I just used the technique without buying the bars.

As soon as the top was done, I knew I wanted to graffiti quilt it, and that I would need monofilament to make it work with all those colors.  I absolutely hated working with the stuff (it took ten tries to wind a bobbin, the tension was weird, and where there was buildup, it gets a bit shiny) but it worked out in the end.  

I named it Rainbow DNA because it was super late the night (actually morning) it was due when I finished, but I needed a title for the label, and I couldn't stop thinking that all the straight lines between the curves looked like a flattened strand of DNA.  Yeah, I'm weird.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday!  And this is one that I can cross of my 2015 Finish-Along list!

And one more link!  Finished just in time to be entered into the Applique Category of the 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival!  Be sure to go and check out all of this year's great entries!

AmysCreativeSide.com


WIP Wednesday!

So there I was on the couch this morning, enjoying a cup of coffee, watching some Daily Show, when I realized that there was a deadline looming over my head!  AHHHH!  

I'd signed up for Pat Bravo's Quilt for Project Linus challenge, received my lovely pile of scraps, made a top, then sat on it for a month.   I knew how I wanted to quilt it, had backing fabric in mind and in stash, and had a clear spot on the long arm, but still let it just linger in my to do pile.  

Anyway, the quilts need to be mailed by Friday, and I already have a full couple of days, so I'm glad I realized all that this morning and not tonight.  It's already on the long arm and in progress!

And in other news, my little EPP project is coming along nicely!  I've pieced together a bunch of these rounds, and I'm now working on appliqueing them onto my black backing fabric.  Once I get the first set sewn down, I'm going to reuse my papers and start on another set.  We'll see how many times I can repeat the cycle before I'm tired of these shapes.

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

*** Congrats to Monique Belmer, please send me your address and I'll send out your scrap packs! ***

Welcome to my little bit of internet!  I'm glad you've found me in that massive list of amazing giveaways over at Sew Mama Sew!  I hope you like what you see and click around on my site.  I love sharing my projects on this blog and on my main page, my love of long arm quilting.  

And now onto the fun stuff.  I'm a scrap quilter at heart, so for my giveaway, I'm giving away two scrap packs from Hawthorne Threads!  They always have amazing fabrics stuff into them, and in pretty generous cuts.  And I love getting little bits of new fabrics to play around with; it's way easier to cut into than yardage and a great way to just sample all the latest colors and prints out there.  

So here's the guidlines!

  • Leave me a comment telling me which two packs you'd like.  They come in Cool, Warm, or Fresh.  And if you're feeling chatty, let me know in what kind of projects you'd use them.  

  • For a second entry, follow me however you follow blogs and leave a second comment telling me where you're doing that.

  • This giveaway is only open to US entries (sorry!)

  • You have until Sunday, May 10 at 5 p.m. PST to enter. I will use the random number generator to draw from the comments and announce the winner on Monday morning.

  • Please make sure I can find you!  Leave an email address in your comment if you aren't sure!

Good luck!  

And be sure to check out both lists of giveaways over at Sew Mama Sew!!!

 

Friday Finishes: the SMQG Retreat Roundup

 Our guild banner,  Laura's  Meadow Quilt, and my Lizzy House Swap mini

Our guild banner, Laura's Meadow Quilt, and my Lizzy House Swap mini

So instead of a nice proper Friday Finish post I have a bunch of mediocre iPhone photos from my guild's retreat.  But there was so much fabric sewn, that I had to share.

Pat Bravo Project Linus quilt scrappy geese

My first finish was right off the bat.  I plunked down my machine late Thursday afternoon, got out my pile of scraps sent to me by Pat Bravo for her Project Linus quilt project, and got to work.  I had a bunch of oddly shaped scraps, and wasn't really sure how they would go together.  But I remembered the scrappy geese that Heather from House of a la Mode had made and went from there.

I used Heather's measurements, because I liked the scale her geese had, but instead of using a paper foundation and making them striped, I just made slabs then trimmed down to 8.5 inches to subcut into my geese.  Then, fellow guildee Sarah suggested adding more white space to add more quilt to my quilt since I'd used up just about all my scraps.  I'm still debating adding white borders around all the sides.  I think I need to, but there's more projects to work on first.

 I love that pink star with the butterfly center soooooo much!

I love that pink star with the butterfly center soooooo much!

Next I pulled out my pile of Lizzy House fabric (and some that I borrowed) and stared at it for a while.  (I guess I have a problem where I pull fabric together for a project, but never decide on the pattern/design until the last minute.)  

Anyway, I had such a fun mix, but I wanted to make sure I did something that would let the big prints sing as well as the tiny prints.  Also, I just love how Lizzy's fabric lends itself to fussy cutting, so I wanted to do some of that too.  I decided on the Sparkle Punch pattern from Elizabeth Hartman and got to work.  After an afternoon of cutting, sewing, and trimming (why is there so much trimming!) I had a mini.  Now it's in the pile of things to be quilted.

tina givens hrt quilt layout

The very last project I tackled was the massive pile of Tina Givens fabric that my friend and I have been collecting.  It definitely deserves it's own post, so let's just say that our first encounter with Tina was a scary, angry unicorn print that was too confusing to not buy, and we keep finding more and more that confuses us.  

We had quite a lot of different prints, and wanted a way to calm them down, so I made the executive decision to do half rectangle triangles and attempt to sort our prints by value.  At this point, my chevrons had taken shape, but weren't always well defined, but by the end of the retreat, I'd finished all my HRTs, rearranged a bit, and started sewing them into rows.  I can't wait to finish these quilts (one for me, one for my friend), because they still makes me scratch my head and giggle.  

And now back to the sewing!!

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday!

Friday Finish: The Testy Snake Mini

This is probably the tiniest and quickest finish I've ever posted.  My guild (go Seacoast MQG!) is putting on an exhibit at a quilt show later this year.  We're showing what we think Modern Quilting is in a show that is very traditional, so as a side challenge, we were given traditional blocks to modernize, interpret, and make into a mini.

This is not that mini.

After figuring out my direction (which took quite a while) I made a template.  And I was just about to cut into my fabric, when I had a moment of reason: I should test out my template first.  With scraps and fabric that I didn't care about.  (I'm pretty sure this is my most responsible quilting moment to date.)

The blocks finish to three inches, so those curves are tiny!  I'm pretty glad that I got a chance to practice my curved piecing before really getting into it.  I'm not the most proficient curve sewer, so I needed the extra credit work.  

I made up four blocks and declared that my template was a winner.  Not all those curves are perfect, but it did what I wanted it to do.  And I'm really okay with ripping out stitches and resewing in the final product, but there's no reason to rip out on a practice piece.   

And when I get into my mini for the show, I really need to work on sewing the blocks together, but the seam between the bottom aqua curve and the yellow is spot on!  I might have to draw up a diagram to keep track of which way to press my seams.  I was pressing them all the same way, but these nested really well, and I think that was what made it so successful.

The next step is obviously to quilt it to death.  I just did some echoing curves.  I'd like to say it was a very deliberate and artistic choice, but it just seemed like the easiest design with the same foot I had on the machine already, because who wants to pull out the free motion foot for a tiny block of sewing.  

Once it was quilted, I just went into autopilot mode, and put on a binding.  I did get a little creative with it and pulled up this tutorial from Sew Fresh Quilts for a flanged binding that I've had bookmarked for a while.  This seemed like the perfect chance to try it out, because if it was tedious, I only have 36 inches of binding to sew.  

(Turns out, it's super easy.  Once you sew it to the back, you wrap it around and then stitch in the ditch between the flange and the main binding color, so it's super fast.  I'll be adding this little detail to many quilts to come.)

And now it's a mini mini?  It's about six inches square, which makes it perfect for a mug rug, but all that white is going to be stained the second I walk near it with my coffee cup.  So I'm just going to hang it on my wall for now.   But now I have a cute thing and I know my template works, so I can get started on the real check-list item!

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday!

2015 Finish Along: the mile long to do list...

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

I think just about every quilter/crafter that I've ever know has a mile long list of projects that are still in progress.  I have at least two knitting projects going at any time, and at least a handful of sewing projects.  It would be nice to finish some of the things I've got going, and for that, I'll need a support group and the chance of prizes.  Thank goodness Adrianne (from On the Windy Side) has put together a great Finish-Along and with some very nice prizes.

So here's my list.  (Thanks to Vera at Negligent Style for cluing me into Google Keep!)  I was told it was okay to add everything, so I did (mostly), and even as I was digging out the WIPs that I knew of to take pictures, I kept finding more.  This list is very big, and I bet there are a few that I didn't find.  

Here's the majority of the projects.  There's a couple piles of mini swap fabric, my pile of fabric from Pat Bravo for a Project Linus quilt, the amazing little bag of fussy cuts that Sarah gave me (or did we trade for something?) for my Polaroid quilt.  There's also a quilt that just needs quilting.  (I've also realized that I need better project storage.)

This is an old picture, but the only decent one of my large improv quilt.  They're now mostly sewn together into a top, it just needs a couple outer borders before I can quilt it.  

And that there on the bottom is Pinkie Pie, the amazing pixel quilt that my friend Jess and I made my daughter.  We finished the top last spring (?) and I put it in a corner of the craft room.  Then a very naughty cat decided to "mark" it, so it got quickly basted, washed several times in Soak, and left in the sun for several afternoons to dry and be purified (last fall!).  Now it just needs to be floated on my longarm and quilted.  It's one of those projects that I'm so excited for the finished product, but making it has been such a trial that I'm almost done looking at it and dread pulling it out.  But soon!

So that's my list.  We'll see how I do between now and June!  

 

A Crazy Finish

So everyone and their BFF has already written a post about QuiltCon.  It was amazing, we learned a lot, met people in person and wondered internally how we could imagine their voice so differently from the real thing (yep, me too Sarah.)  So this isn't that post, but it's related, like a second cousin once removed.

I took a lot of classes (three full-day classes!) and I loved them all, but I think I got the most bang for my buck out of my longarm quilting class with Krista Withers.   Not only was she a great teacher, and super inspiring, but the class reminded me how quilting on a long arm is supposed to feel.  

quilting detail scrappy strings quilt.jpg

My machine is ten years old, has been moved twice (at least) and was set up by me, my husband, and two friends.  I assumed that the difficulty I was having getting good tension and smooth lines was all just irreversible wear and newbie error.  But using the brand new, never-been-touched Handiquilters at Con made me realize that my machine could be better.  

So first thing I did when I got home was order new short runners.  The reason I couldn't get smooth lines was that my machine was hopping over some serious dents.  (Why is it so obvious now?)  And once I fixed that problem, I decided to bring my bobbin case into a dealer, to let them either teach me to get good tension or to show me where it was broken and sell me a new one.  The woman took one look, said it was SUPER busted and sold me a new one with a "Wow, I can't believe how busted that was" discount.  Win!  

After that, less than $100 in parts and shipping, the machine purrs.  It's not quite what the brand new longarms at QuiltCon felt like, but it's as close as I think I'll ever get.  So I loaded up a quilt and gave it the Krista Withers treatment. 

 The quilting is a little easier to see  from the back.

The quilting is a little easier to see  from the back.

It's hard to see on this quilt, but the quilting is rows of paisleys, with pebbles thrown in to fill the gaps, and straight lines in between and on the edges.  All that quilting is kind of lost on all this pattern, but that made it a really easy piece to practice on, and the texture is amazing.

Now, about the quilt!  This is the first of two quilts that I made with the cast off edges from my old job at a fabric shop.  (I wrote a little about it and my other quilt here.)  

For this one, I pulled out all my sales flyers from the newspaper recycling bin and cut them into 11" squares.  Then I glued a whitish strip diagonally down the center and built out from that.  

I didn't trim any of the strips to make them straight, and I hardly pressed them before sewing unless it was really necessary.  I just trusted in my eye to keep things straight when I sewed and trimmed the blocks really carefully at the end.  

quilting detail scrappy strings quilt.jpg

After a lot of paper ripping, and one crazy pieced back (thanks Jess!) I quilted this with such ease.  I'm really glad that QuiltCon happened when it did because I was starting to lose hope, but this quilt really brought back my love of longarming.   

 Lessons learned: sometimes the errors ARE the machine and not you!  It's not (always) your fault.

Linking up with Kelly for Needle and Thread Thursday and Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday!

 

Too much fabric, the one time it's a problem...

So this one time I worked at a fabric shop.  It was great times, but it ended.  And when it did, they let me take the strip pile home with me.  The shop ripped their fabric instead of cutting, which meant when we got new bolts in, we'd rip off a bit to start with a nice ripped edge.  We'd use the strips to bundle up fabric or hang stuff, but we could never use them fast enough, so the box of strips became a box and a bag.

And out of that bag, I've made one pretty big quilt so far (it's the "lines and paisley" quilt on the main page.  Someday I'll get around to binding it and taking some proper pictures of it.)   That quilt got all my favorite strips, meaning what was left is mostly not my taste.  So the best way to make lemonade out of these lemons is to add crazy to crazy and cut it up small.  

Here's what I'm making, six inch wedges to make up hexagons.   So here's a little tutorial of what I've done so far.

The first step is to sew a bunch of strips together.  I didn't want to trim anything at all, so I went for mostly straight.  Then I starched and pressed the warp out of it as best I could.  Since I'm going to cut it into smaller pieces, just getting mostly straight is enough.

The most important thing is to make sure you've got the height you want.  I'm going for six inch tall wedges, so I want about seven inches of fabric to make sure I have enough room to trim out the warp.

Then you line up the 60 degree line of your ruler with a horizontal line on the mat and cut.  Just be sure to save those end pieces.  You can use them later to square up the ends of your rows. 

Now line up the other 60 degree line and cut the other side of your triangle.  When you do the third cut, you'll be making a triangle with the strips going in the opposite direction, giving you two different looking triangles from the same starting fabric.  

Stack up all those triangles and line them up with the 60 degree mark on your mat, making sure the point is on the line (mine are a little off to show you the dashed line).

Now you just have to measure six inches up (easy with a six inch ruler) and trim off your excess fabric.  

Be warned, if you aren't really paying attention, this could mean that you trim right on or before a seam.  I'm pretty cool with that since I know my machine will sew through any seam I ask it and I'm going to quilt this to death, but if you don't want that, just be mindful of where you seams are when you sew the strips together in the first step. 

Ta Da!  Pretty quick and easy, and my pile of strings is slowly going away.  I can't wait to sew all of these together; when this much craziness gets together it's a fun surprise to see the end result.  

Linking up with Alyce for Sew Cute Tuesday and Lee for WIP Wednesday!

Flowers for Eleni

flowers for eleni hexie flowers epp

One of my favorite things about this community of sewers is our ability and willingness to help.  It's hard to hear about something and not want to do something, and I'm always glad when someone has an idea to put all of us to work.

So when Rachel, of Stitched in Color, announced that her birth hadn't gone to plan and that little Eleni had suffered complications all her readers felt that heartbreak too.  

flowers for eleni hexie flower stack.jpg

And then Jodi, from Tales of Cloth, gave us something to do.  She put out a tutorial for hexie flowers and asked that people send her flowers with a dark center.  (Go check out here to get the full tutorial.)  These little flowers don't take very much time at all to make, but each stitch feels special.  It's just a little way to show Rachel, her family, and Eleni that we're thinking of them all.  

There's still a little time if you'd like to contribute flowers.  Pop over to Jodi's site to read her full instructions and get her address to mail them.  

 

WIP Wednesday!


The whole place is trashed!  I normally try to keep my sewing stuff to the left side of the dining room table, but I just have so many things going that I've migrated to the right.  Family may not get a decent meal here until I leave for QuiltCon.

I've been sewing up some new clothes.  I know I don't really need any more, but it's kind of fun to make clothes where you'll be around people that will really get it.  And any excuse to buy fabric is a good excuse.

So far I've done one horrible muslin and scrapped that entire pattern.  Then I went back to the old standby, the Washi Dress.  One needs a hem, and one is finished.  I just have that Brambleberry Ridge fabric in the back there to go.  I'm thinking of adding some short sleeves to it, just so they aren't all complete duplicates.

And, I've thrown together a lanyard and a new business card holder.  I'm debating whether I should make a new bag for Con, or just reuse one of the many I've already made.  For now, I'll wait, but if I get the itch, I may end up elbows deep in interfacing in the middle of the night.


And when I'm not sewing these days, I've been working on this Corvallis Cardigan for my son.  He's pretty excited about it and keeps checking in on my progress, but I'm so BORED of it!  He just wanted a green sweater, so there's no stripes or color-changing yarn to keep me interested.  And I realized too late that I should have put something in, a cable or an interesting stitch, but I didn't.

I think at this point, I'm so close I just have to finish and remember for the next time.  I'm so close to the bottom ribbing and then it's just sleeves.  (Thank goodness this pattern has you knit the button band as you go, so that's one less step between me and finished!)

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday and Lorna for Let's Bee Social!

Moonlit Layers of Charm Quilt with the Fat Quarter Shop

I got an email a few months back from the

Fat Quarter Shop

to try out one of their new patterns.  I of course said yes.  I picked out a layer cake of Rashida Coleman Hale's

Moonlit

and an icy blue Bella Solids charm pack, then commenced some very secret sewing.

The pattern is called

Layers of Charm

(aw!) and you use one layer cake and one charm pack to make it.  There's no cutting fabric, just sew charm to layer and trim.  It went really fast and then I got to do the fun quilting part.

One of the great things about this quilt is that it's such a big blank palette for quilting!  I loaded it up in the long arm thinking I would do some graffiti quilting, then had second guessing time where I pondered all the other ways I could quilt, then eventually went back to the graffiti.  It's so much fun, and kind of like a crossword puzzle for quilters because of the thinking that goes into it.  I love doing it.

I've been cuddling under this quilt for a while.  It's so fun to look at, because the quilting looks so different in all the big squares, some really highlight the quilting, and some squares let the fabric take focus.  Every time I use it, I find something new to love.

For the back, I pulled out my stash of Ikea Britten Nummer.  I found it in a store last summer and rationalized buying ten yards.  This was the first time I convinced myself to pull it out.  It's a pretty thin fabric, but very silky, so the quilt is more for summer night cuddling rather than winter polar vortex cuddling, but I do it anyway.

And the binding is super scrappy, cut from a handful of Cotton and steel fat quarters I had in my stash.  So many seams, but it's so fun.

Puppy is also a fan.

Go check out the

Fat Quarter Shop's video

to get the pattern!  And hop around to see all the pretty quilts!

Linking up with

Kelly

for

Needle and Thread Thursday

 and

Amanda Jean

for

Finish It Up Friday

!

Finish It Up Friday: Schnitzel and Boo Tula Mini


I was so excited to get my partner's information for the Schnitzel and Boo Swap.  She seemed pretty much my quilty twin, so I decided to just make something that I would love to receive.

On the long list of designers that we had in common, Tula Pink was right on top.  And I just happened to have been hoarding a pile of Tula from my time working at a fabric store.  I pulled a fun pile of all my blues, purples, and teals, yellow for a pop of color, and added in my raccoons.  She also loved Anna Maria Horner, and I needed some navies, so I added the feathers and coordinates.


I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the block I would make.  I've loved minis where the blocks make secondary patterns where they meet, so I scoured the internet.  At first I thought I would do nine blocks that were six or seven inches square, but then I found this block and decided that it would look cooler with just four blocks.  Also, the center would be perfect for the raccoons if the block was bigger.


I went a little crazy with the quilting.  When it's such a small space to quilt it's pretty tempting to quilt all the little spaces to death, which I did.  I only left the raccoon alone because I couldn't figure out how to quilt them.  And once it was all done, I thought it looked nice without quilting.


And here's the mini I received.  My partner saw that I loved Latifah Saafir and when she looked into her, my partner fell in love with the Big O quilt.   I love the idea of passing on quilt inspiration!  She did a really great job; it's bright and graphic and has my favorite Carolyn Friedlander print all over it!  Can't wait to figure out where I'm putting my mini wall so I can hang all my new minis.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday and Leanne for TGIFF!

WIP Wednesday: Snow Day Number Two!

So it snowed all day yesterday.  Sure everyone knows about the blizzard, and everyone got snow, but it never stopped!  I don't think we've ever had a storm that didn't at least take a 20 minute break in the midst of snowing.

Yesterday, while we were all penned into the house, I managed to get a binding done and a bunch of pressing but today I decided it was quilting day!  Last night I pulled backing and batting and got it all loaded up on the long arm so I could just start as soon as the coffee kicked in.

And of course I waffled about how to quilt it.  I spent an hour scrolling through Instagram, then watched video after video on YouTube, then flipped through my sketchbook.  I finally just decided to do more graffiti quilting practice.  (Which was my first idea, so I don't know why I didn't just trust my gut instead of wasting hours.)

Luckily, once you get started, it's pretty easy to just keep going.

And one more picture of the snow.  Lucky has decided she likes the snow in the North better than the heat of the South!

Friday Finish: Pixelated Pinwheels

I've had

this quilt by JeliQuilts

pinned since she made it.  I loved the colors.  I loved that it was based on something from Ikea.  I have a thing for triangles.  Basically, I've just been waiting for the chance to make one of my own.  So when it was my turn to pick a block for my do. Good stitches group, I thought this would be perfect.

I asked each member to make a block of nine HSTs in warm and cool colors.  I requested solids, but any saturated, tone on tone print that read as a solid would do.  While they were doing that, I made a pile of single HSTs that I used to blend the two groups together.

Once I had the top pieced, I sent a picture to the group's Flickr page.  We're putting on a special exhibit at QuiltCon, and I just knew this quilt would have a good chance of being selected.  Luckily, it was! So I had to get it quilted and finished so I could send it in time for the show.

I struggled with what do do for the quilting.  The triangles are so angular, so I wanted to do something curvy to offset that, but I wanted something that I would be able to accomplish quickly and successfully.  Somehow, this pattern of tall archy squiggles popped into my head.  (if anyone can think of a better name, you'll win a gold star.)

I love that the straight lines don't take away from all those triagles, but because the squiggles are of random length, it's fun to look at.  I can't wait to see it hanging in Austin.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for

Finish it up Friday

!

Friday Finish: Instagram Mini Swap!

I spent a lot of time being a mini swap avoider.  I just didn't get the appeal.  I would join fabric swaps and block bees, but why would I want a mini?  (It's not like I enjoy quilts and have an abundance of blank walls in my house.)

That was until I saw all the awesome things that were being made during the second round of the Schnitzel and Boo swap.  Seriously, every single mini was awesome and I wanted them all.  But it was too late for that swap, and while I was being sad, the IG Mini Swap started up.  I signed up immediately!

After a stressful wait, I finally got my partner's info.  I was a little bummed, because she wasn't one of those super active Instagrammers.  I worried that I wouldn't have enough to go on, but I started pulling together some ideas.

My partner liked aqua and gold, triangles, asymmetry, and her website looked very clean and modern.  So I pulled all of my gold and aqua fabrics, added some gray for good measure.  I went with a cream for a background color, because the white just looked to harsh.

I sketched out a doodle of this, then cut triangles out of paper that were the size that I wanted.  I laid that triangle on the fabric and cut 1/4 inch past the paper triangle, stitched them together in rows and was shocked that it seemed to work.  There are a few spots where I lost triangle sides, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

I bought some heavier gold and aqua thread with the plan that I would background quilt in white and then do some hand stitching in color, but once I had the mini basted, I just didn't like that idea anymore.  Instead, I went with wavy lines over the whole thing, mostly with the white, but with stripes of the gold and aqua threads here and there.   When I was done, I realized it was wind blowing over mountains!  Aw!

Now this mini has a home on the wall in my partner's sewing space.  It perfectly matches her wall, and it looks very happy there.

Linking up with

Amanda Jean

for Finish It Up Friday and

Val

for TGIFF!

WIP Wednesday!

So my job today is to get these quilts bound.  Both are gifts that are long overdue, though no one is expecting them, so no one knows they're so late!  Ha!

There's also QuiltCon supplies to gather, more quilts to quilt, and swap extras to make before popping my

Schnitzel and Boo mini

in the mail.  So I'll probably just go and get to it!

Linking up with Lee at

Freshly Pieced

for

WIP Wednesday

!

While I Was Gone...

So I kind of fell off the internet.  It's that Christmas crafting rush, but mine starts before Thanksgiving, and then I'm just pooped.  I make things, but just don't feel doing the last step, blogging them.  Luckily, I kept up with the photographing, so now that I have my mojo back, I still have pictures of stuff that I've sent away.

So now I can show you what I was up to when I was away!



This was the second center I've worked on for our Round Trip Quilts Bee.  (The first one is here.)  Jenn, from  Never Just Jennifer, and I was in love with it the second she posted it to Instagram.  I was glad I didn't have to wait long to get my hands on it.

She's a fellow New Hampshire-ite, and wanted a quilt that was all about our awesome state.  Her notebook was full of great ideas, like those maple leaves, mountains, snowflakes, and flying geese.  I got this at the height of geese migration when all the fields are full of flocks coming and going, so I had to do some flying geese.


I first added that strip of red to tie in the red maple leaves Leanne had added and then started pulling all my bright and low volume scraps to make the geese.  I really didn't have a solid plan or pattern, just made geese in a bunch of sizes, then moved them around until I got a pattern I liked.  (My one regret, is that pointed the geese flying out of the corner, and not into it in proper flying "v" formation.  Next time!)


The last step was the corner.  Red again to mirror that red maple leaf, and some Anna Maria Horner blue.  It's called Migratory Lace, so I kind of had to use it prominently, and it reminds me of trail maps, and NH has some great hiking and skiing trails!

I love this one, and can't wait to see what happens to it next!