Then I felt compelled to make a pink one anyway so I made the ice cream quilt. It was fun!
These are two quick blankets I made for Project Linus. We have started meeting each month and we pick a color in which to make a blanket for the next month. Well, I got busy and missed pink and purple, so when it came to blue I was still in the mood to make a baby girl blanket, not a boy one. So I used this blue rosebuds and made the first one. I used a strip of flannel as a flange and then trimmed it up to make it raggedy just for interest.
Then I felt compelled to make a pink one anyway so I made the ice cream quilt. It was fun!
Here are my two latest blocks for the Scrap Quilting Forum quiltalong. I had to add another color for the block on the left; since there is a pale purple dot in the print (this is the print I'm using for the second trio of the blocks I'll be making, and it's the first of this trio), I used a pale purple. I have mixed feelings about it; I feel it stands out too much and might have been better in the position of the pattern fabric. But then again, maybe not. I am trusting the process, as I feel sure it will all look fine once it's done. I'm looking forward to see how I can add in the light purple in future blocks.
Here are all six of my Hazel blocks. LOVE them! The fabric next to them is what I plan to use with the blocks, but I am realizing I need a dark fabric for contrast and also something to tie in the cream in the background of the print fabric. Inspiration is not forthcoming, but I have time to let ideas percolate. I also welcome ideas from anyone viewing this!
It's hard to see the cream mottled in the background, but it's there. I love this fabric – it's called
I belong to a couple of quilting forums on Delphi, and one of them, the Scrap Quilting Forum, is having a quilt-along hosted by the wonderfully encouraging and creative Char. Each month there are two blocks – a double nine-patch and another block, so we'll have 24 blocks at the end.
After much hemming and hawing, I decided to use four different purple fabrics I have and a dark gray background. I confess, the gray fabric came from a 100% cotton sheet I got for my daughter that she never used. It's darker and more masculine than I'm used to, but these four purple fabrics all work well with gray. I'm showing the first two month's worth of blocks plus an extra double nine-patch. One more block and I'll be moving on to a new purple...and feeling ready for that!
I have long been pondering a way to combine my passion for fabric with my need for income. I'm sure I'm not the only one to do so. I have been trying to hone in on what skills I have that are best utilized in this particular kind of business venue...and I've reached a decision.
I'm opening an Etsy store called Quick Quilting Fabrics. I plan to sell precuts and kits. I have a few other ideas as well, but for now I'm going to make that Accquilt Studio smoke and cut up some of my scraps for sale. I love fabric and I love a deal, so I'll be offering great prices on precuts from fabrics I acquire.
I have a lot of dies, most of which I've never used. I'm thinking there will be all kinds of shapes down the road, but for now I'm going with the basics – charms, 2.5" squares, jelly roll strips. If there is something you need or want or think people would like, just let me know!
Today my husband put me on a quest to come up with a way for him to give flowers to some of the women who help him at work. He just wanted something little, nothing that would be a big deal or take up too much room. I had just the idea – a bud vase! I actually attempted this as a craft fair project before, but I got carried away and I didn't really pull it off, to be honest. I made some that were too big and bulky and made people wonder what they were. This time, I was prepared to think it through instead of winging it, and I had much better luck (imagine!). Check it out.
I cut three pieces – two sides and one middle. Each of these pieces is 7.5" by 2".
Then I cut a pocket piece, 2.5" x 5.5". I leave your color choices to you, but I can tell you it's a fun way to use up scraps.
For the pocket piece, I folded and pressed one end over twice, which was the top,
and I folded the other end up once, which was the bottom, and pressed firmly.
I put the pocket piece face up against the middle piece (which, if patterned, would be right side up to back side of pocket piece), with the bottom that was folded up once matched up with the bottom of the middle piece. To be honest, I did this wrong the first time, but I'm sparing you the gory details. You get to learn from my mistakes!
Next I put a side piece over the pocket piece which was stacked on the middle piece, right sides facing, and stitched along the line.
When I opened the pieces I had just sewn, I moved the unsewed edge of the pocket piece over to line up with the other edge of the middle piece. It's a little tricky holding it in place, because the pocket piece is wider than the middle piece, so you have the pocket sticking up in the air. I pinned the pieces down carefully, and then set the other side piece on top of the pocket piece that was stacked on the middle piece.
I sewed that seam and ended up with the picture below:
I pressed flat the pocket piece at the bottom, giving about a 1/8" overlay on either edge. I learned the hard way it's best to then stitch this edge down, as you will see on the second one I made. Sew very close to the edge, and just over the pocket piece. It makes it much easier to hand sew the opening later on, trust me!
Different fabric, with the bottom stitched.
Next, I stacked a piece of batting, the backing (right side up), and then placed the stitched piece down (right side down). I stitched all the way around, leaving a gap at the bottom.
Stacked in order...
Stitching all around...
Leaving the bottom open...personally, I'd recommend leaving the bottom opening a bit wider than this...it was difficult to turn and messed with the seams of the pocket.
For a hanging string, I didn't do anything fancy. I took a huge needle and threaded it with perle cotton, knotting one end really big. I carefully worked the needle up through the piece (the bigger the needle, the easier this is, although it is by no means easy) and popped it out near the seam between a side piece and the middle piece (about a quarter inch away from the middle).
I then popped it back in at a comparable spot on the other side of the middle piece and worked the needle back through. I pulled it pretty far through and then tied a big sloppy knot near the end. I figured if the string was too long, I could tie a decorative knot to shorten it.
I stitched the opening shut by hand using the ladder stitch. There are probably lots of better ways to do it, but this was the simplest way I know so I went with it.
This would probably be a good time to tell you what I used for the vase! It's a plastic test tube. I ordered a pack of 6" tubes from Amazon, and they were very, very reasonable. I figure the ladies in my husband's office can hang these on their cubicle wall, and when my husband needs to show his gratitude, he can bring them a few buds to brighten their day!
I helped some high school students with their senior project this year. They gathered signatures, selling each signer a raffle ticket (or in other words, it cost a buck to sign, but you got a chance to win), with the proceeds to go to Project Linus. It was a challenge deciding on a pattern without knowing how many signatures they would get, but it all came together. A parent with a longarm machine quilted it for us, and today I put a flange binding on it, so it's done. There is a hint of white between the green and yellow binding and the black front, and I stitched it down with white on the front, black on the back. It was the fastest way I could think of to bind it, since the girl needs it by Wednesday for her presentation.
I am so glad to have this off my plate!
You can't really see the flange border here. You will see that some of the kids' signatures haven't changed much since grade school, my son's signature included.
On a sweet note, I noticed that at least five of the students were all in the same first grade class together, including of the girls who worked on the project, the daughter of the woman who quilted it, and my son. Here they are seniors, about to go out into the brave new world, and I got this glimpse of yesterday. Yes, sweet.
This is an embroidery project that is going to be part of a quilt for ME! Yes, for me. I read this cool blog, The Life of Hazel Ilene, where the blogger shares the daily diary postings of her grandmother. It is really interesting to read along about her life – sometimes historical, sometimes just personal interest, like who she's dating, what's happening in her family. It's nice.
Anyway, the blogger also created some stitchalongs, and the pattern above is the first in a series called "Hazel's Summer Wildflowers." There are six blocks all together. I waited until all six were published because I knew I didn't want to get started and then for some reason have it fall apart, as can happen with free online things. But now that I have six big blocks to embroider, I'm kinda wishing I had started it already...
That's okay, though. I have all the fabric assembled, four patterns traced, fusible backing applied to all, everything stacked together and in a bag...it doesn't get any better than that, at least in my sewing room!
I like these flowers because the style of design really appeals to me. There's a hint of that of that Primitive style that I don't like in abundance, and there's a bit of cuteness but not too much, and the flowers are big for easy stitching but not so simple they lack detail. In short, they are perfect in my opinion, and I love, love, love these patterns!
This pillow came about in a very roundabout way, but clearly it was destined to be made.
First off, I have an Accuquilt Studio die cutter (with which I have a love/hate relationship), and I have a fan die for making fan blocks. For some reason I thought I would like to try this pattern once, but I knew I didn't have the patience to sew a whole quilt's worth of fan blocks. So I saw this pattern for a cat made from a fan block somewhere online and thought, "Eureka!"
Well, I wasn't sure about winging it on the shape of the cat head, because that can go seriously wrong, so the idea sat on the back burner (yeah, it's pretty crowded there). Then recently, my best quilting friend, the one who got me started on this quilting journey, called to tell me she'd cleaned out her stash and had some things for me. Included was a book of cat patterns, and yes, this pattern was included.
Because I can never, never just follow a pattern, I tried enlarging it – but then the seam allowances were too big. So off I went, winging it, and trimmed the sides of the blades so they'd have quarter inch seam allowances. It all looked okay, but the final fan was not a full 90 degrees. Problem. But it was close, so I figured I could make do. Ha. After creating the pedestal, hand stitching the tail, and hand stitching the head, I realized that the seam of the front of the cat didn't catch all the way and I had a hole. So I did what I always do, the only thing I could do – I threw the block in a drawer.
However...my neighbor's cat, a calico who served as a model for this block, passed on last week. I knew I had to finish this pillow for my neighbor. My son told me to start over, and I almost fell for that, thinking I'd actually follow the pattern this time. Then I realized that if I was willing to do all that, I might as well pick out the hand stitches on the head, fix that one errant seam, and restitch the head. Which I did, and voila, it's done!
And my neighbor LOVED it. She put the pillow on the couch in the place where the cat always slept, and they are much comforted with the pillow. Which is the goal of everything I sew – to bring people comfort...
My sewing friend and I made this recently for Project Linus. I bought a layer cake and a charm pack from Connecting Threads (on sale!) and we did a simple snowball pattern. Except...we were a little lax on the corners and didn't trim them off, so they came out a little thick and therefore irregular. No problem – I suggested we call the quilt Sea Glass, after the little pieces of glass you find on the beach that are worn into irregular shapes. It's a design element, that's all.
This quilt could really use some quilting, like some waves through the blocks. I, unfortunately, am entirely too afraid to try free motion quilting, so there it is. I am contemplating putting abalone buttons on the corners, but embarrassingly enough, I can't find my bag of buttons at the moment. But anyway.
We use the self-binding method whereby the backing is bigger than the top, and then it's brought around to both border and bind the blanket with mitered corners. I like this, it gives the blanket a soft cozy edge. The only drawback is you really can't use batting, but since it's fleece on the back, it actually works out alright.
I made this quilt awhile back...and yeah, I posted it before, but it's good for another round, don't you think? From time to time, people get interested in this pattern on various forums, and mostly they think it looks incredibly hard. And yet...it's not!
The technical term for the block is Quarter Log Cabin, because you start in the bottom corner and build out. Then you sew them together into blocks of four. The only tricky part is hoping your seams are accurate and that the strips line up nicely, but what I learned from this is that you can't see any imperfections from a distance...
In an effort to encourage others to try this pattern, I've provided a graphic of the layout. It's a total of 36 blocks, six by six, put together into blocks of four and then assembled like a nine-patch block. Not hard at all. The only word of caution I would offer is to make sure the last log is quite different from the starting square. I had planned to end my blocks in red, but then that had a red log poking into a red square, and that did not look good, so I had to add the blackish border, making my blogs even bigger than anticipated, but it all worked out in the end.
Hope this helps people wanting to make this quilt – feel free to ask me any questions!