Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Sewing

I didn't do much Christmas sewing this year at all.  I'm already planning to redeem myself in 2015 ;-))  Below is the quilt I made for my grandson and a few other small gifts made.

photographed at our holiday rental house
This quilt was made for Leo following the same design layout as quilts made for my mom and sister.  Those quilts were made using three leftover BOMs (my mom's quilt) and three extra great granny square blocks (for my sister's quilt).  This time around I specifically made three blocks to feature certain Cotton+Steel fabrics from my stash.

fussy cut tigers
 All blocks finish at 12" and instructions can be found in 501 Rotary Cut Blocks.  This one called Carrie Nation was selected to showcase fussy cut tigers.  The only non-Cotton+Steel fabrics are by Carolyn Friedlander like this ledger fabric that I can't get enough of.

made sure Florida and Washington were represented
I chose the London Square block for that large triangular piece that is perfect for the States fabric.

X block
Notice the lion background fabric?!  Lions for Leo!  Basically, the entire quilt was planned around this lion print.

the back
This quilt is an example of how the backing doesn't necessarily have to match the front.  It's difficult to see in the picture, but the backing is the Mustang print and a sparkly Basic print.  Leo loves horses!  The navy binding  (another Basic print) ties the front and back together.

Lions, Tigers and Horses...oh my
Quilt Stats:  3 Blocks Quilt for Leo, quilt designed and made by me, quilted using Aurifil #2600 and my walking foot, Cotton+Steel fabrics with a little bit of Carolyn Friedlander, finished size 54"x72"

hand warmers
Another gift for my grandson was a pair of hand warmers.  These are quick to whip up and I plan to make more of these....next time in a smaller size for toddler hands.  These were made with 5" squares lined with two pieces of batting and filled with rice.  Zap in the microwave for about 25 seconds and you're good to go.

Christmas tea towel
Sewing a 3.5" wide strip of Christmas fabric to a flour sack towel makes a nice gift.  I paired this with an Amazon gift card for a friend.

foot warmer
Under Leo's hand warmers is a rectangular-shaped warmer that can be used as a neck warmer or placed under a blanket to warm the feet.  This was made the same way except I added scented oils to the rice.

In keeping with the scented rice theme, I filled pairs of 3" Liberty of London squares for pretty and nice smelling sachets.

That pretty much sums up this year's Christmas gift sewing.  Did you do a lot of handmade gifting?  Are you like me and already making your list for 2015 gifts?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Choose Your Own BlockAlong 12/29/14

My Dear Jane blocks are on hold for a few weeks as I'm away from my book and fabric stash.  
I'll be back with two new blocks January 12!

32 Dear Jane blocks
I'm looking forward to getting back to my two DJ blocks a week routine.  How about you?
Thanks for stopping by, 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Choose Your Own BlockAlong 12/8/14

Welcome to another edition of Choose Your Own BlockAlong.  I'm continuing to make two Dear Jane blocks a week.

low volume prints in pink
Block D-5 is rather plain so I added a thin strip of the pink low volume to the sides.  We'll see how that looks once the blocks are all assembled.  I'm realizing that many of these blocks have a thin 1/4" outer strip that will pretty much be swallowed up when joined together, and I am giving myself permission to change them up a tad if I want ;-))

Block D-8
Block D-9 is similar to this block that I paper pieced.  It's so much easier for me to rotary cut the strips and sew an accurate 1/4" seam which is what I did this time.

I find these little blocks to be time consuming but addictive.  I need to walk away for a little bit and do some Christmas sewing.  Hopefully I can manage both.

Thanks for stopping by.  Are you finding time to sew?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Choose Your Own BlockAlong 12/1/14

It's December already, and I really need to work on Christmas gifts every second of the day in order to make all on my list.  Despite that impossibility, I have two Dear Jane blocks to share.

no paper piecing
These Dear Jane blocks are getting harder and taking a big chunk of my available sewing time.  Last week's paper piecing was not pleasant so even though the instructions for today's blocks suggest paper piecing, I went old school.  By measuring the block diagrams and adding a quarter inch to each section, I was able to cut and piece without any foundation.  Too bad all the blocks won't be that "easy".

Block E-8

Block E-8 made with Liberty of London cotton print from my scrap pile.

Block F-7
The purple print is a Brandon Mably while the background is a Cotton + Steel basic.

on my design wall

I've progressed to 30 blocks so far.  I sorted the blocks by color and realized I have a duplicate print.  My intention was to use different fabrics (other than the background) in each block which means I will need to remake one.  Great....

Wonder what Michelle and Cindy have been up to this week?

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, November 24, 2014

Choose Your Own BlockAlong 11/24/14

I knew it would happen eventually, and the time has come when it seems I have pieced all the Dear Jane blocks that can be done without appliqué or paper piecing.  

I have put off the paper piecing as long as I can.  The above block wasn't too bad and I like the purple Anna Maria Horner print with the Cotton and Steel background.

 This second block on the other hand was a pain to assemble and took forever.  I used the same Cotton and Steel background fabric and went with scraps from this quilt for the print.

Check out Michelle and Cindy's progress and others who are playing along here.  
I'm off to visit my parents.  Happy Monday!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Choose Your Own BlockAlong 11/17/14

The Mondays are just flying by!  From my blog posts it seems like all I sew are Dear Jane blocks, but that's not the case.  One of these days I will publish a non-Dear Jane post ;-)))

The "I"'s have it
The two blocks did not appear to be that difficult, but I had to redo them...twice!

Block I-2
 The directions I followed for Block I-2 listed background fabric for the setting triangles.  After assembling the block I noticed the original DJ block used the focal fabric for the triangles which I like better so I remade the block.   Fabrics used are Architextures and Cotton+Steel Basics.

Block I-3
 I did my own math for Block I-3 so I have no one else to blame for having to redo it.  Plus lining up those thin strips is not as easy as it seems.  Fabrics in this block are Architextures and Kaffe Fassett.

Off to see what Michelle and Cindy have accomplished!  Also, if you are playing along don't forget to link up over at Cindy's blog so I can cheer you on too.
Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Choose Your Own BlockAlong 11/10/14

Oops, Monday came and went without my posting progress on Dear Jane blocks.

Block K-2
Block K-2 starts with 1 1/8" strips which I mistakenly cut at 1 1/4" and didn't notice until I had finished sub cutting them.  The block came out to be a perfect 5" before adding the 7/8" outer strips so I left it as is.  All the blocks will end up having sashing anyway which should make everything OK.  Directions for this block (and a picture of how the block is supposed to look) can be found at That Quilt.

Block K-12
For block K-12, I used instructions from a long ago Dear Jane class.  Even though I followed the directions carefully, my block looks off so I may redo it using the method of That Quilt's site.  That's what I get for avoiding paper piecing whenever possible.

Up to 26 blocks now
I've made 26 Dear Jane blocks so far....that's more than 10 percent!  I'm trying not to let this fact overwhelm me ;-)))

Michelle took this week off to make Christmas gifts, but I know Cindy has some blocks to share.
Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Finish: Quick Gifts

Despite my cold I spent a little time in my studio this week.  Mostly I attempted to clean and organize which is proving to be an impossible, never ending task.
the front
I found this piece of linen that had EPP hexies machine stitched on with a little bit of hand stitching echoing the hexies and turned it into another iPad cover.  I remember (but not sure exactly when) trying EPP with scraps from Leo's Peace Baby quilt.  There's a stack left waiting for another project....

love the fabric on the back
The backing fabric is also from Malka Dubrawsky; this line is called Outside In; the hexie fabric is A Stitch in Color.  The iPad tutorial is by One Shabby Chick.

Christmas coasters
Scraps of batting and Christmas charm squares make quick coasters.  I love mug rugs, but sometimes I just want something small for my beverage.  Especially when I'm sewing because I don't have extra space near my machine.

This is my favorite Christmas fabric
Stack four coasters, tie with baker's string and they look kind of pretty.

guild door prize
Throw in a spool of thread and some Clover clips and you have a nice little happy for a friend!

Linking with Crazy Mom Quilts.  Hope you have a fabulous weekend!
Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, November 3, 2014

Choose Your Own BlockAlong 11/03/14

Well, it's November already.  The weather is cooler here and the humidity has taken a short break which is a nice change. We've pulled out our socks and turned on the heaters to deal with the forecast of morning temps in the 40's!  It won't last long and we'll be back in flip flops by the weekend.

22 blocks
My head is still fuzzy from cold medicine I've been taking for a week now, so it's a miracle my Dear Jane blocks did not require the seam ripper this time around.

Block J-7
Teeny nine patches finishing at 1.5" make up Block J-7.  Piecing instructions found on That Quilt.  Both fabrics are by Carolyn Friedlander.
Block F-4
Scraps of Amy Butler and Carolyn Friedlander make up Block F-4.  Instructions came from class notes.

Michelle and Cindy have their posts up so go see their beautiful City Sampler blocks.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, October 27, 2014

Choose Your Own BlockAlong 10/27/14

I am up to twenty Dear Jane blocks!  This block-along is keeping me on task.

Block J-4 directions are from a class I took years ago at a LQS.  I saved what block instructions were given, but sadly the class was canceled mid-session.  Fabrics used are Paint by Such Designs and Cotton+Steel basics.

Block J-4
I followed directions from That Quilt for Block J-6.   The polka dots are Kaffe Fassett and the background is Carolyn Friedlander Botanics.

Block J-6
Wonder how many blocks Michelle and Cindy made this week?  I know they've been busy as there has been quite a bit of activity on Instagram!  

If you're playing along, don't forget to link up over on Cindy's blog.
Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Fall 2014

It's time again for the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side.  This deadline motivated me to finish my MCM Bee quilt....and the fact that my turn to be Queen Bee again is right around the corner!

"Intersections" spiderweb quilt
I asked my bee mates to make a spiderweb block with low value/volume background fabrics and bright scraps following the tutorial by House of A La Mode for piecing spiderweb blocks but requested they leave the wedges unassembled as I wanted to combine the wedges from my bee friends into making the spiderweb block from Jacquie's tutorial.  

spiderweb wedges made using House of A La Mode tutorial
Spiderweb block A
I then designed a layout with alternating spiderweb blocks and "filler" blocks.  These filler blocks only have strings on the outer sections of the wedge.  I love how this layout opens up the quilt giving your eye a place to rest in between the lovely-scrappy-craziness of the webs and actually makes the webs stand out. 
Filler Block B
This is my first time participating in an online quilting bee, and it's been the best experience!  I love these ladies who encourage and inspire.  I found myself getting quite emotional as each block was quilted, reminding me of this special group.   

blocks coming together
Even though I merged the wedges I received from my friends, I took photos of their block parts as they arrived so I could remember who made what.  I loved recognizing the fabrics and blocks.  Quite a few of these blocks were assembled at my summer quilting retreat, so some scraps were provided from my retreat friends which makes this quilt even more special.

Valori Wells Karavan on the back
The blocks made by me, the backing and binding all came from my stash.  My Valori Wells Karavan yardage is the perfect backing!  I pieced this cool elephant print with the signature blocks and a section of Valori Wells Nest.  The binding is from Connecting Threads. 

quilted with walking foot
The quilting idea was totally stolen from Crazy Mom Quilts!  However, she gave me the Aurifil #2600 in 50wt which was used for the piecing and the quilting.   Aurifil #1148 was used to hand stitch the binding.  That cute little purse came from Stitch Supply Co.

binding supplies
I named this quilt Intersections for a variety of reasons.  Scrap quilts are special because of the history behind those fabric pieces; whether given by friends, leftover from favorite quilt projects, cut from child's clothing or pulled from that prized stash fabric that you finally cut into, each strip of fabric tells a story.  This treasured quilt is a collaboration between friends who share a common passion and whose lives have intersected because of that common bond.  Thank you Anne, Carla, Carla, Cindy, Debbie, Deborah, Elizabeth, Linda, Mary, Mary,  and Susan!  I couldn't be happier with my quilt!!!


Spiderweb Bee Quilt

Quilt Stats:  Each block measure 16"; Quilt finishes at 64" by 80" and it's all mine!!!

Thanks for stopping by!!!  I would be thrilled if you leave me a comment letting me know you dropped in.  Don't forget to see more of the festival here.