Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Review of 2014

I have been seeing everyone's 2014 review and I thought it would be fun to take a trip down my memory lane as well.  My goal for 2014 was to make 36 quilts.  I made it!  If we only count actual quilts, there are exactly 36.

I also made 1 tree skirt, 15 t-shirt pillows, a set of rag ABC letters, helped my boys make 2 quilts, and helped my daughter make 4 quilted fleece blankets!

It has been a very busy year with all this sewing, homeschooling, and watching a little premie grow into an entertaining little girl!  I started working more with HSTs this year.  They aren't so bad after all.  I also tried to get a handle on my scraps.  Haven't quite finished them yet, but that's on schedule for the first of the year. I also have 2 quilts in the works that aren't going to make it by tomorrow.  But that gets me 2 ahead for next year!

Thanks to all of you who have left comments on my blog this year, I really appreciate it!  Have a Happy New Year sewing, quilting, and creating!

Monday, December 29, 2014

A More Traditional Quilt

Here she is!  I don't usually make traditional quilts, but I had to.  I have some what I call "ugly to me fabric" that needs to get used up.  It's the cream fabric up there.  I just don't like it.  But I do like this quilt.  Not for me of course - not my style or colors!  But I make quilts all the time that are for other people.  Someone will enjoy it. 

I could only find 4 fabrics in my stash to go with this fabric.  You can't make too many modern quilts with only 4 fabrics.  I searched pinterest for weeks looking for patterns that only use 3 or 4 fabrics.  I was really surprised that when I cut up this fabric that it looked good in the blocks.

I used the rest of it on the back.  No leftovers!

Becca made another fleece quilt for Papa to give out.  

She is really improving on her quilting. On this quilt she learned how to start and end a row on the longarm.  Next will be rolling and basting the sides.  Pretty soon she won't need me at all!  It's so fun to have her in the sewing room with me.

Happy New Year everyone!  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Square in the Corner

I'm calling this one Square in the corner for lack of a better name.  The squares large square finishes at 6 inches.   I love the color combo of pink, gray and teal.  The black and gray print gives your eye a something to look at.  Very easy pattern.  I used 4 pink, 4 teal, and 3 gray fabrics.

I stitched in the ditch around the black square sets and meandered the rest.  I wanted to make the little squares stand out.  I couldn't quilt anything inside the little squares because of the print, but the outlining is enough.  The back is a minky with matching colors.  Not too happy with this one because the back was too small.  I had to stretch it to finish the quilting.  So you can see some rippling along the bottom.  Hoping that when I wash it, it will get better.  They can't all be perfect now can they!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Tree Skirt

Oh the math I've forgotten since high school!  I didn't have a pattern for this tree skirt, but I didn't think it would be that hard.  I mean I do have an engineering degree, right?  Well, my brain wasn't thinking straight and that was a problem!

I only had so much red snowflake fabric and I really wanted to have 3 rows of that.  The width of the hexagon is 54 inches so the sides were all 27 in.  Except that I kept using 27 in for the height of the equilateral triangle!  No, no, no!  To determine the height you have to use the formula for a 30-60-90 triangle.  

So here it is.  If your sides are 27 in then your height is about 23.5 inches.  I did cut my triangles to this height, but it would be more helpful to start with this height.  I started with 27 inches for my height so I lost all of my red fabric on the top!  If you want to make one of these plan your row heights to equal 23.5 (24 unfinished) and you should be fine.  Once you get one piece cut use it to cut your other 5 pieces.

I quilted swirls in the white rows going the same direction all the way around.  Nope they are not perfect!  This was my first time with swirls.  I have lowered my expectations so I can actually try new things without freaking out!

Ran out of red snowflake fabric so my husband suggested putting white between the binding and the red snowflakes.  What?  I can't do that.  It's already quilted!  But then I remembered this flange binding technique and it worked great.

I didn't cut a seam and a center hole in it, but now I wish I had.  The cords from the tree lights are very visible under the tree. You could easily do that after quilting and add binding to the seam and the center as you go.  I'm thinking of just cutting a hole big enough for the tree pole to fit through.   It's a nice tree skit either way.  Merry Christmas!

Linking with Freemotion by the River and I Have to Say

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Plaid Fleece with Quilty Texture

I thought I would show you this quilt my daughter and I made for Papa to give away.  I know you've seen one before, but I really like the quilting on this one - it give is such great texture.  It's fast and easy and Becca got to practice quilting again without feeling like she was going to ruin one of my quilt tops.

I think this panto is called spiral squares.  You can read about how to bind it here.  Papa like to give this type away because they are soft and warm.  He usually gives them to older people he visits in the hospital and they need some extra warmth!

Anyway, I have been sewing, just not quilting.  I have 2 really cool tops sitting on my longarm waiting for me.  Thanksgiving and trips to the hospital have slowed me down.  So I hope you stick around to see them!  Stay warm!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Christmas Quilt

Here is the Christmas quilt I made for this year.  It has the same red and blue fabrics as the one last year but they look very different.

Each block is made of 16 HSTs - 480 of them!  I made them with my Wonder Cut Ruler and didn't have any problems.  I spent several nights ironing and clipping corners.  There were so many pieces.

I didn't have to trim the HSTs, but I did trim the set of 4's and the blocks as I went to make sure everything would line up just so.

I quilted it with loops and snowflakes.  It was quick and easy and it goes with the snowflakes on the red fabric.  Backed with red minky, it's a big quilt 60 by 72 inches.  Perfect for snuggling with this cutie!

Linking with:

Needle and Thread Thursday

I Quilt @ Pretty Bobbins

Friday, October 31, 2014

Scrappy Trip Around the World and a Note About Value

Well here she is, my scrappy trip around the world.  I know you guys already made them way back at the beginning of the year.  Yep, I'm that slow getting to projects I want to make!  But this one is different - really.

I started out making it just like the pattern says, but when I got my strips sewn and cut I got a crazy idea.  Why not make it really scrappy and spread out those strips of 5 so it would be even more scrappy?  Great idea if I had remembered what I learned this year about value.

What is value you might ask?  Value refers to how light or dark a color is in relation to surrounding colors. Value helps us decide how to layout a quilt to make the fabric either blend or contrastThis quilt needed a dark value for contrast as the running diagonals.  I thought the turquoise fabric would be contrasting enough to stand out, but I was wrong.  I should have used a navy. 

Since it was too late to start over, I was hoping to bring out the diagonal with some quilting. The turquoise is quilted with a terry twist and the centers with the straight line diamonds. It doesn't help as much as I had hoped for, but it is better.

So let this be a lesson to me!  Always think about value when picking fabrics for a quilt.  Even when you are making a rainbow quilt from scraps.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Disappearing 4 Patch Complete!

My friend Norece made a disappearing 4 patch a while ago saying that she had a stack of 6.5 inch blocks.  That got me thinking that I might have one in the closet too!   I did and it was a black Hawaiian  print that I had bought from the estate sale.

Love the pattern.  I wanted to make it bigger, but I ran out of the light fabric and couldn't find anymore.  I used the rest of it on the back to make racing stripes.  

Quilted in swirls to soften all the straight lines on the front. 

 Sometimes it takes a friend to encourage you to make a new pattern.  Thanks Norece for all your good ideas!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Quilted Fleece Redo

Here is my original fleece blanket that I quilted a while back.  While I loved the quilting, I didn't love the fringe.  Bunk House Quilts made a stadium blanket last week and it had a different kind of edge - fleece binding!  She even linked to her tutorial on how to do it.  

So I cut off the fringe and added a fleece border that matched the back of the blanket.  It's a little small, but I intend to give it as a lap quilt.

Her directions are very clear, but I pinned the binding anyway.  There was enough overlap when I pinned it.  I trimmed it with my smaller sized super sharp scissors.

You round the corners with a plate, sew the binding (unfolded) to the front with a 1/2 seam allowance, then fold over and stitch in the ditch on the front.  Almost like for a regular quilt except there is no ironing!

This is a great type of blanket to practice quilting on.  My daughter is doing this with a printed fleece (same fabric on both sides)  The quilting doesn't stand out so much this way.  We'll be posting on that soon.  I accidentally gave the first one away without taking a picture!

My cute helpers!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Two Favorite Quilting Tools

I was cutting my scraps the other day and got to thinking about how much I love this ruler.  So I thought I would share my 2 favorite tools with you today!

#1 Favorite Tool:  Shape Cut Pro

This ruler tool cuts 8 - 2.5 inch or 4 - 5 inch strips very quickly!  No moving your ruler, just lay the shape cut pro on top of your fabric, aline the top fold and cut, cut, cut!  This is great for cutting binding strips.  You can also use it for cutting squares but cutting your strips, rotating the ruler 90 degrees, then cut again.

 Here I am using it to cut my 2.5 inch strip pieces into squares.

Then I put all the pieces smaller than 2.5 in this bucket for Josie to play with.

 #2 Favorite Tool:  Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

You might guess that this tool irons 2.5 inch strips into binding for you!  How can you not love that?  Ironing is my least favorite part of quilting and this tool helps with that.  All you have to do is sew your binding strips together on an angle, load onto the roller and feed through the metal tip.  The 2.5 inch single fold tip is not included with the machine.

  Perfectly folded binding every time!  What are your favorite time saving quilting tools?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pumpkins and Leaves Fall Jelly Roll Quilt

I've had this jelly roll for years.  Years!  Time to get it off the shelf and onto my couch!

This quilt is modeled after Christa's Quilt Along on Christa Quilts.  I followed her directions to the T except I made my quilt bigger.  And I only used 1 jelly roll.  The difference between how she cut her strips and how I cut mine is this:  I did not cut mine in half. 

We both sewed 2 strips together.  She cut her half strips into 4 pieces and I cut my full strips into 9 pieces.  She ended up with 160 (and used 145).  I ended up with 180 (and used 180).  No wasting and you get a bigger quilt. 

This quilt is about 50 x 62 inches.  One other thing I did different - I laid out the entire quilt on my design wall borders and all.  I wanted to make sure I spread out all the different colors even in the borders.  I took the top and bottom borders off and labeled them 1 and 2.

Then I took down and labeled the sides. I drew a picture and put my numbers on them so I wouldn't forget what went where.  Finally I took down the rows and labeled them with a different color sticky note to keep them straight.

For the quilting I stitched in the ditch around the cream borders.  Then I free handed leaves with a swirl in the border blocks.  On the 2 sides where there is an odd number of squares, I quilted a heart with a swirl. 

The center is a looping meander.  I connected the start of the first row to the start of the next and the end of the first row to the end of the second. It took 4 passes so there are 2 sets continuous loops.

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