Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

On my sewing table this week.....


Completed bee blocks, for A Twist on Tradition Bee.  Well actually they were done and sent out a while ago, but I never got a chance to catch you guys up with a WIP post last week. Sorry, it is what it is. :)


A start of another quilt? Of course! I did a few practice blocks before I did my bee blocks and before I knew it I was hooked. Be sure to stay tuned, because I am still going through my stash to add more colors.  Hopefully it will be a gift for my BFF from high school.  She lives 2,000 miles away and still spoils me rotten.  I am going to need an extra special thank you gift for when I see her this summer.

Not to get off subject but I made her a afghan, {cough, cough} too many years ago, and it is still gets used, and let me tell you it has been loved to death.  The poor thing has been around longer than her husband and now her daughter trying to stake her claim to it.  I have offered many times to make her a new one but she won't have it.  So, maybe an addition instead of a replacement is in order.


Then, of course if you have bee blocks going out, you must have fabric coming in. I got my package in the mail yesterday and can't wait to get started. We are doing a 4x4 patch block that includes hst's in our choice of layout. Heaven! I can't wait to get started.


Last but not least.... I sent out my finished pouch for the Pretty {little} Pouch Swap. I have a whole new respect for people who make and sell these. They can be tricky if not paying attention to the details. I hope my partner likes them. I used this tutorial for the box pouch and this tutorial for the coin purse. I modified them a bit to fit my needs but for the most part I followed the directions.
Also, one little tid-bit I learned if you don't have interfacing on hand, canvas/duck cloth works great. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Pink & Green String Quilt

Remember these? 
 A while back I blogged about how I received a some scraps from a friend and how I was going to try my hand at paper piecing a string quilt for the first time.  If your new around here you can read more about it here and here.


I know!  I didn't realize either that it had been since February since I last worked on them.  I knew they had been sitting on my sewing table for a while now...but really?  Well, to be totally honest once I had the blocks complete I had no interest in tearing off all that paper and I wasn't quite sure how I was going to lay them out.  Then, I came up with a really cool layout.  Something I haven't seen anywhere, but I would have had to rework almost all the blocks.  So, I decided that quilt was going to need to be started from scratch in different fabrics, but I still had all these blocks....


You like?  It is more of a traditional layout but I really love how it came out.  The pink and green was really calling out to be a baby quilt anyways.


Besides I needed some more practice quilting on the machine and that is always better with smaller projects.  This is the first time I tried using the blue painters tape....and... well I didn't love it.  I felt like there was a lot of waste.  I tried to reuse as much of the tape as I could but it still seemed like I was throwing a lot of it way because when I would reposition it, it would tear and I couldn't use it again.  I can't imagine how much tape a full size quilt would have used.  So, I must ask, do you feel the same way?  or is it just me?  If you have any tips on using tape as a guide I would love to hear them.


This by far was my biggest problem I keep sewing into the tape and I spent alot of time carefully picking tape out of the stitches.  Not fun!  I know part of my problem is that I need new glasses and the foot I was using didn't help me in that department. 


Monday, April 25, 2011

Mosaic Monday - Circle Quilts

Circles and Quilting

What a great combination, don't you think?



Interested in joining the fun?  Make a mosaic of your own, post it on your blog, and link it here.  It can be of what ever you like, made from your own pictures or like me put together ones that just inspires you.







Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Over at HoneyBear Lane

I am Super Excited today because Heidi over at HoneyBear Lane is featuring my first memory quilt. 


Photobucket
 
She has a really fun blog with tons of great projects, and makes these Amazing Puff Quilts.  This one would have to be my favorite.  She had me at half square triangle puffs and I've been hooked ever since!
 
 
Thank you, Heidi, for a chance to share my memory quilts with you!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Mosaic Monday - Pretty {little} Pouch Swap

I recently joined Pretty {little} Pouch Swap and was asked to put together a mosaic, so my swap partner will have an idea of what I like. 

 This might be a little tricky.  First of all, I like a wide range of color and style.  I don't know if that makes it easy for my partner, or not, but if your reading this, trust me when I say, whatever you make I am sure I will love it!  The pressure is off.  I am very easy to please.

 Secondly, I could spend hours on Flickr.  Sometimes is worse than Facebook.  Oh wait, and you want me to narrow down my favorites to fit into a mosaic.  This could take a while.  :)
 
So, here is a little of what inspires me....



Interested in joining the fun?  Make a mosaic of your own, post it on your blog, and link it here next Monday.  It can be of what ever you like, made from your own pictures or like me put together ones that just inspires you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Personalized Easter Eggs

Like most crafters I have a bucket list of things I would love to try.  Item 634 is blowing out eggs and decorating the shells for Easter.  Just kidding!  I don't list the projects that I want to try anymore.  I lost count years ago.  Now, I just create when inspiration strikes.  It makes life much easier.  :)


I have to say the eggs were much easier to blow out than I thought they would be.  I used combination of a couple of tutorials I found online.  There are a million of them.  Trust me, I am sure you can find one that incorporates things you already have on hand. 


When I started my quest to blow out eggs and decorate them I wasn't quite sure the direction I wanted to go in till I came across this tutorial from Martha.  If she could do it with napkins, surely I could do it with tissue paper, right?

So, I tempted fate again and ran tissue paper, (taped to copy paper), through the ink jet printer and printed out some names and some coordinating flowers.  Then I cut out the images, removing as much as the excess tissue paper as I could.


I used Mod Podge to adhere the tissue to the egg, let it dry, and then gave it an extra coat for good measure. 

Which was awwwe-some! 

 This was my first time using Mod Podge and now I am totally hooked.  Not only am I dreaming of what else I can stick to an egg using this stuff, I am dreaming about all the different things that can be done with it.  Did you know there is even entire blogs devoted to this stuff?  My favorite would have to be Mod Podge Rocks!


I let them dry in between coats by using a bamboo skewer and standing them up in a cup. 

Now, of course, since my mind is always wondering I think I would like to make these for my entire family and use them as place settings for Easter dinner.  Good thing I am not hosting this year.  I would need more time to complete that project and besides my kids are sick of eating scrambled eggs for dinner.  :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday - Memory Quilting

On my sewing table this week is the start of another memory quilt.


Remember these?  These are the clothes that will make up the quilt.  I have been spending some time going through them, making some sketches, and trying to decide the direction I want this quilt to go in.  I am very excited about what I have to work with, except this...


Meet my nemesis - the onsie/dress!  There is always one.

I know, cute enough, and super adorable on.  So, why the contempt? 

It is one of the hardest garments to include in a memory quilt.  Baby clothes are hard enough to work with but this one really....well, let's just say I have worked it a time or two before, and the results have less than stellar.  Either the pleats don't lay down right or tank style top trows off my block measurements. 


This time I think I had a moment of clarity, because as I was cutting out some of the other blocks I had the idea to applique it onto a piece from the back to maintain the look of the tank, and to top stitch the pleats down, so they don't move or shift.


I think I might actually be happy with the way it turned out.  What do you think?

Well, this is what I have going on this week.  Want to see what everybody else is up to?  Jump on over to Freshly Pieced and take a peek.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Mug Rug?

My mother stopped by today with a project for me.  Hmmm...really?  You need it done today?  Ok, what do ya need.  Sorry, I know, a little harsh?  I didn't mean to be but at this point in my day I hadn't had my coffee yet and I was being put to work....again.  See my mother is the "idea" person and I am the one who executes them for her.  So, once we rectified the coffee situation and my brain was functioning again, I could concentrate on the task at hand. 

Ok, so here is what she wanted....

Over sized coasters for coffee mugs, that matched her table runner.  Easy, can you say mug rug?  No, of course not, she wanted "Coasters" you know, like cork, but really big.  So, after a bit of brainstorming, rummaging through my fabric stash, and a trip to Michael's, we came up with these.


Fabric covered, 6" cork tiles.  I wasn't sure if it was going to work at first....sewing fabric onto 1/4 inch cork seemed kinda risky.  Especially after my recent mishap with the Velcro


Thankfully, they were really easy to do and only took me about 20 minutes from start to finish.

To do them, I traced the cork tile onto a scrap of fabric (about a 8" square) with a pencil.  Then using that line as my guide I folded, and ironed the fabric to finish the edge, and I mitered the corners to reduce the bulk in the corners.  Once this was done, all I had to do was sew it on to the cork tile.  This time I pulled out the big guns, my heavy duty needles, (to be on the safe side), and with the longest stitch I could use, I sewed the fabric onto the cork. 

And, so I can sleep well at night don't try this project unless you think your machine can handle the bulk.  I would hate to be responsible for ruining your machine.  Do this at your own risk!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Machine Quilting with Freezer Paper

I have had this idea in my head for a while now and today I did a little experimenting.  I wanted to see if you could use freezer paper successfully when machine quilting.  Guess what you can!  Thank goodness because let's face it you can't always use a straight line or a meandering stitch on every quilt.  Sometimes you just want something different. 

Now, I have seen a technique out there in blogland using tissue paper.  Where draw your design onto tissue paper, and pin it to your quilt, but I had a hard time with it.  The tissue paper either tears or it moved around too much.  I liked the idea of the freezer paper staying put, like when you use it for stenciling or applique.    


On the dull side of the freezer paper I used a cookie cutter to trace some chubby stars and then I cut them out.


Then placing the shiny side of the freezer paper down onto the fabric, I ironed them.


Next, I prepared my "quilt" sandwich....


.... and lowered my feed dogs.  Then I quilted around the stars.


 Now, I know these stars seem a little simplistic, but this was an experiment.  Now, imagine if you wanted to quilt something a little more intricate like an animal or some letters.  The freezer paper acts at your guide and since it sticks to the fabric it is less likely to move around, like the tissue paper, as you quilt.

Next, I am going to pull out the Cricut to see how it cuts freezer paper.  I think I see some letters in my future. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bad Weather = Good Sewing Day

With all the bad weather yesterday here in Florida, it was the perfect day to sew. 


But I wasn't in the mood for anything that required a lot of thought, I just wanted to randomly push fabric through the machine, as they say.  So, I cut a bunch of 1 1/2" strips out of some scraps, and got to work.
  (Thanks scrap swap partners for all the goodies to play with.) 


At the end of the day I had a pile of these.  Not quite sure what will come of them, if anything for that matter.  It was just something that has been swirling around in my brain lately.  They have an interesting shape.  Don't you think?  The making of another scrap quilt?  Maybe, we'll see.

Anyways, it was a relaxing way to spend the day.  I even got to bed early and woke up this morning feeling recharged....and thankfully the sun is out today!!!