Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Plus Quilt

The fabric line is an older one called Sweet Serenade from Sweetwater fabrics. I used charm squares and pieced it in less than a day. I love quick projects. 

This was how it looked on the design wall. There was lots of rearranging to get all the blocks to stand out individually, but I'm happy with the final layout. The colors are truer in this picture. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


It's called Shimmering Triangles, and it's a pattern available on Craftsy with support from a facebook group called Shimmering Quilts. 

This project came about simply because I saw a picture posted of one that someone else had made and I was in love. I did a search, found the facebook support group, and joined. I was in awe of the projects other people were making with this pattern... each so different, depending on the fabric chosen. 

I bought the pattern that very same morning, and my brainstorming began. There were so many choices. Different fabrics/patterns/colors each gave a different feel to the look of the quilt. It was overwhelming.

I decided to use fabric that I have, sort of to "test drive" the pattern. 

These were the fat quarters I pulled from my stash. Oh how I love Amy Butler fabric! I was going to use them for a pineapple quilt once upon a time, but that never happened and they've been waiting patiently for me ever since. I decided to go against the suggestion of the pattern to have every block a "color", and instead I made every other block a background 4-patch with 2 different shades of brown. 

I did a test piece, and decided I liked it, so onward I went, making half square triangles and 4-patches and laying them out on my flannel covered styrofoam boards as I went (do you like the backside of the dinosaur flannel? lol).

It didn't take long before it grew upwards and outwards, and then outgrew my little flannel boards.

So, from this point, I started assembling the pieces into blocks, and the blocks into rows, and sewed the first half of the quilt top together. 

The remainder was assembled a row at a time, and it was attached before I assembled the next row... I was unprepared for just how time consuming it was to assemble, but that won't detract from making another. 

All blocks completed and assembled, and border added. Ready to be quilted. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Lunch Bag

It seemed like a good day to make a new lunch bag. My daughter picked the fabrics from my stash, and it turned out wonderful! 

This is my favorite go-to pattern for a quick, easy project, and I have not yet found a better design for holding stacked square sandwich containers, plus a bottle of water. It has that handy-dandy drawstring top that keeps everything where it belongs, too. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spring Fling

I've been fascinated by curves in a quilt for a long time, but the challenge scared me. I remember back in the day when I used to make clothing, I hated doing sleeves on shirts, as it was hard to get a nice seam that didn't pucker or ruffle or pleat... The seam ripper was often my friend back when I used to set in sleeves.

Then I discovered this website called Sew Kind of Wonderful. It had this ruler that guaranteed easy piecing of curves in quilts. I watched many videos and browsed many photos of completed projects. It did seem easy. So, I bought the ruler, a jelly roll, a coordinating solid and a pattern.

But I didn't want to use my newly purchased fabric just yet. I wanted to test the ruler first. I found a free pattern for a block called Spring Fling and thought I would give it a go.

The test block turned out wonderful, just as it was supposed to, and, much to my surprise, the curves were not difficult at all. This block hooked me and made me want to make more of these... "make a whole quilt" it said. 

I assembled four blocks out of strips that I had, but I wasn't in love with the fabric placement I had chosen once they were put together (the greens and yellows kind of got lost with the background, and the prints really jumped out). They were alright, but not as lovely as that first one. I am also not a fan of square quilts, so I used the leftover bits and made two scrappy blocks, so it was large enough to be a couch quilt.

With sashing in between and all around, I am calling it done as a top. I debated adding a border, but opted not to. 

I love the ruler, and now feel confident enough to tackle the pattern I bought, Metro Hoops, without worrying about wasting my "good" fabric. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

And... It's Finished

Not the best angle or lighting, but I sent this quilt off without taking a picture of it first. Oops! All I can say is Thanks, cell phone makers, for making decent cameras on your phones so I can still get a picture (from the recipient) when I need one. 

I chose this lovely bright orange fabric for the binding and it turned out lovely. It is attached by machine and hand sewn on the back. 

It's been so long since I've made a whole quilt, start to finish, by myself on my machine, without the use of a longarm service. Maybe it's not as bad as I remember, trying to do my own quilting, as long as it's simple like this one was. Perhaps it's time to do some more...

Finished is better than perfect. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tackling Quilting at Home

I love the work longarmers do. I wish I had a long arm machine of my own (and somewhere to put it). But since I don't, and I have no more space for random "tops" waiting to be quilted, and my daughter's boyfriend wants a quilt, I dug in and put a quilt sandwich together myself. 

I just did a basic stitch in the ditch with my walking foot, then added a few lines the other way too, for more security. I didn't want it to scrunch funny after washing. It's not fabulous, but it's functional, and finished is better than perfect. 

Now onto the binding. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Using up the Scraps

A while back, I bought a book called Sunday Morning Quilts, which is a great resource for using up fabric scraps. The article that intrigued me the most was re-making fabric using a single color of scraps. 

I pulled out my scrap drawer and started sorting and managed to put together some new pieces of fabric. These blocks are each sewn together using various sized strips. But I didn't love them, and couldn't figure out how to arrange them in an eye pleasing manner, so I tucked them into a box in the closet.

Recently, I discovered them again, and pulled them out and decided to use them. I have always been attracted to traditional blocks, and when I saw a video tutorial for a quick and easy churn dash, I knew I had found my pattern!

Each block uses up some of the original "made" fabric, so it's fun, and colorful, and scrappy!

This is the perfect mix of color and solid background. It tones down the busyness but still leaves each block bright and happy.

I even took some of my smallest scraps that couldn't be sewn in strips, ironed them onto fusible interfacing, and sewed around the edges of each piece. Then I cut it up and made a block out of it. (I think this one is actually my favorite)

Lots of scraps mean lots of blocks, so this will be an ongoing project, one that will be there in the background to give me a break from other projects I'm working on.

Is it just me, or does it seem like quilters always have multiple projects on the go at the same time?