Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

It has been a very unproductive week around here.  I don’t think I touched my machine all week, as you can see from my lack of posts.  My best friend from from high school, who lives 2,000 miles away, came down for the week to spend Thanksgiving with us.  We had a great visit and keep very busy relaxing on the beach and such.

New Projects:

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My friends daughter all but fell in love with my minky backed Faux String Quilt.  She slept with every night and dragged it around the house all week.  If I wasn’t so in love with it myself I would have given it to her to bring home.  Instead I brought her to the fabric store to pick out her own piece of Minky, then we hit my stash to pick out some fabrics.  Oh, to be young and carefree and not over analyze your choices.  She just picked out what she liked.  Now to do something interesting with this color combination…..

Ongoing Projects:

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I am still working on my Drunkards Path quilt from the Needle and Spatula QAL.  I am sure you guys are sick of looking at it by now, so here is a little sneak peak of the back.  I stepped out of my comfort zone with the machine quilting and I am really loving the results.  I only have but a few rows left and this quilt will be done.  I am really hoping that over the next couple of days I can accomplish this, because this week is the link up to share your finished quilts and see the quilts everybody else made.

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I also wanted to give a quick shout out to the owner of the local quilt shop I frequent.  I stopped by yesterday because, you know, because with only a couple of rows left I ran out of thread.  Don’t you hate when that happens?  Well anyways, she was out of stock and I just about died.  Are kidding me?  Seriously, out of stock?  and without even having to explain my predicament she pulled out a spool from her own personal stash for me to use free of charge.  How nice was that!   Just a little extra incentive to finish up this quilt today.  I really want to return this thread as soon as possible in case she needs it for something. 

Bee Blocks:

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My blocks are starting to come in from the Twist on Tradition Bee and I can’t wait to get started on this quilt.

Now it is time to head on over to Freshly Pieced and check out what everybody else has going on for Work in Progress Wednesday. Have a great day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Stash Report #6

I think, I might of forgot that it was Sunday.  Well, better late than never…. right?   The kids don’t have school this week, because of Thanksgiving, and we are not in our usual Sunday routine.  Boy, it is already throwing me off.  I have a feeling I am not going to get much done here, on the blog, this week.  It might even be my cue to take the week off and enjoy some family time.  I will be back next week though, I have lots of stuff in the works and can’t wait to share them with you.  Including the quilt I have been working on as part of the The Drunkards Path QAL.  I am having fun with it, even though, I have stepped outside of my comfort zone, but I am really loving the results.  It really pays to slow down and pay attention to the details.   

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Well, it wouldn’t be Sunday without a little fabric.  I have been trying to add to my pitiful stash, little by little, picking up pieces or lines that really speak to me.  This week I came across this great woodland print from Kokko and I couldn’t resist.  The fabric itself has a great feel and weight, almost like a linen, but not as heavy.  This is the only Japanese import in my stash right now, but I want to add more.  I love seeing them used in cute little minis or zippered pouches.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Machine Embroidery – A Personalized Minky Pillowcase

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Last week I had a birthday party for a sweet little boy who is just turned 3.  His mother, my friend loves and appreciates gifts that are made by hand and that are personalized, but it is hard to get creative when it comes to boys.  So, I hit the internet for some inspiration and came across this tutorial from Sweet Peas and Bumblebees.  Perfect!  Something that he probably doesn’t have, it can be personalized, and can be paired with other bedtime goodies. 

To embroider on Minky can be kind of tricky, so I thought I would take a minute and share how I did mine. 

To make this pillowcase, you will need:

  • 5/8 Yard Minky Fabric
  • 1/4 Yard Minky Fabric For Cuff
  • Cut-away stabilizer
  • Water Soluble stabilizer

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Remember you have to embroider the cuff before you construct your pillowcase.  Like in the tutorial above I cut my fabric that I am using for my cuff to 9” X 40” and made my markings, with pins for embroidery placement.  This was the tricky part because I didn’t want to use a marking pen in fear that it would ruin the fur.  Thankfully the recipient of this gift has a short name so I have a little wiggle room, but I have to at least get it so it is straight along the bottom edge, and somewhat centered in the front cuff. 

I ironed my cut-away stabilizer to the back of my Minky per manufactures direction, and placed a piece of water soluble stabilizer on the top.  For this project the cut-away stabilizer is a must because you don’t want your letters to shift or distort, and the water soluble stabilizer on the top will keep the plush from coming through your design.

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After I peeled away the water soluble stabilizer from the top and cut away the stabilizer from the back, one of the first things that I was afraid of was that the Minky would get hoop burned.  You know that permanent stretch of a knit once it comes out of the hoop.  As you can see that didn’t happen and you can see that I cut the cut-away stabilizer pretty tight, but the letters still should be fine.

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Now, I am ready to put together my pillow. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog and all your continued support.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think, or if you have any questions.  I will be linking this project to some of these great Linky Parties.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tuft a Pillow {a tutorial}

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After I posted my tutorial for The Big Chunk Pincushion, a couple of you asked, about the tufting?  Tufting is when you make a depression or decorate something at regular intervals, by passing a thread through a cushion or pillow.  This can be done by using knots or in this case, using buttons.  Almost any pillow can be tufted by using a variety of different threads, needles and buttons.  This is a great sewing basic to know.

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To tuft this simple box shaped pincushion you will need a long needle, 2 buttons, and some embroidery floss.

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X marks the spot.  One of the reasons I quilted this x on my pincushion was because, I wanted to make sure to sew my buttons on correctly, and now I know where the center is on both sides of my pincushion.

Insert your needle just shy of the direct center of your x and pull through the pincushion to the other side, coming out just shy of the center on that side too. 

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String on your button, and insert your needle on the other side of your x, and pull through to the other side.

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Once on the other side, pull and tie your treads tight to make a depression in the pincushion.

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Then string on your other button and knot tightly.

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Cut the excess treads off, and your all done.  A pincushion tufted with 2 buttons.

If you would like to see my original tutorial on how to make this pincushion you can find it here.  Also, I will be linking up this tutorial to some of these great linky parties.  Go check them out.  You never know what you are going to find.

Have a great day!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Modern Folded Star Mini Quilt


The other day I teased you with a sneak peak of my mini that I made for the Mini Quilt Challenge over at Amy Lou Who Sews.  The challenge was simple enough, make a mini, and share it as part of Amy’s Sew & Tell.  So, here it is, my Folded Star Mini. It is a play off the traditional folded star trivet. I added few more rows and used some bright and colorful Kona solids.

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  This mini was a little bit of a challenge as I had never made a folded star quilt before, and most of the tutorials I found online only included the first couple of rows, but I think I did a good job or making sure all the prairie points lined up.  The hardest part was cutting the circle perfectly round and putting on the binding.  Let’s just say I am using this mini as a learning experience.  I have definitely learned a lot for next time.    
 
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Quilt Details:
Fabrics: Kona, red, orange, chartreuse, aqua, crocus, and coal
Finished Quilt Measurements: about 14" circle                    
Blocks and Piecing: prairie points
Quilting: none needed it is a quilt as you go process

Today, I am linking this up to Amy’s Mini Quilt Challenge.  So head on over and check out what everybody else has made. Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday–One Year Later…

Grab a button:

Today, Lee over at Freshly Pieced is celebrating one year of Work in Progress Wednesdays.  I can't believe it has been a whole year.   Lately, it seems that I have been less than organized and spotty at best about my postings, but this link up has been a great way for me to keep organized and get my projects done.  Not to mention the inspiration I have gotten from the other quilters who link up on a regular bias.  I love reading through their blogs and seeing what they have going on.  I have found some of my favorite quilt blogs this way.
   
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First up, Kate from Needle and Spatula is hosting this Drunkard’s Path Quilt-a-Long and I couldn’t help but join in.  Curved piecing and I have never quite got along till now.  She showed me a quick and easy way to put these blocks together with no pins.  I am loving the results.  I have the quilt top put together so far, but I think it needs another row.  It seems a little short and a quilt needs to be able to cover your toes or what’s the use.  :)

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Yesterday, I put together this little mini for Amy Lou Who’s Mini Quilt Challenge.  So, be sure to check back on Friday for the big reveal.

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Lastly, I have been working on this pincushion and needle book, for the Sewn Spaces Pincushion Swap via Flickr.  I finally sent it out yesterday with some goodies, and I hope my partner is likes it.  This pincushion was the inspiration for my Big Chunk Pincushion Tutorial I posted the other day.

Now it is time to head on over to Freshly Pieced and check out what everybody else has going on for Work in Progress Wednesday.  Have a great day!
A Girl

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Stash Report #5

  This week I picked up some Soul Blossom, by Amy Butler and a great yellow print from Kaffe Fassett’s 2010 spring collection.  I am a huge fan of both designers and was sad to see these little lovelies tossed aside in a fat quarter bin at one of the local quilt shops in my area.  So, I just had to pick them up and take them home.

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One of the things I really like about Amy Butler and her Soul Blossom line is how she incorporates 3 different color ways into one line that can all be interchanged with each other.  I will happily pair these with the Soul Blossom that I already have in my stash.

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Fabrics by Kaffe Fassett are a staple in my stash.  I love how they mix with other lines and give you those great pops of color.

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Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

A Girl

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Big Chunk {a pincushion tutorial}

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Ever since I started blogging and getting involved with swaps via Flickr I have been obsessed with pincushions.  How to make them, and how to fill them.  I have been using plain old Poly-fil but I just don’t find it to be very functional.  So, after a little research online I found out that you can fill pincushions with Crushed Walnut Shells.  I know, how exciting is that! 

There are several benefits to using crushed walnut shells in pincushions, walnut shells are biodegradable, non-toxic, and they are mildly abrasive to keep pins clean and sharp.  Crushed Walnut Shells (or Ground English Walnut Shells) are primarily used for bedding in lizard habitats, and can be bought at most big box pet stores. Who knew!?
Let’s get started, and you can make your own crushed walnut shell filled pincushion.

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First, you will need to cut out 2 – 6” squares of fabric, and 2 – 6” squares of batting.  With a disappearing ink pen mark a X onto the right side of your square, from corner to corner, and using the X as your guide, sew it to the batting.

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Then flip it over and mark an inch down from each corner.

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With right sides together sew all the way around leaving an opening to turn right side out.

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Square off your corners.  I found it hard to draw a straight line with all the bulk so that is why I made the earlier markings.  I used a pin to make sure my markings lined up correctly.

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This is what your pincushion should look like once you have sewn your corners.

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Then cut off the excess from your corners.

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Now you are ready to fill your pincushion with the crushed walnut shells.  I used about a drinking cups worth (2-3 cups) of crushed walnut shells and a funnel to fill my pincushion.  I like mine full and heavy.

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Sew the opening shut…

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…. and tuft with 2 buttons, one on the top, and one on the bottom, using the x as your guide.

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Here you go, one crushed walnut shell filled pincushion, enjoy! 
Not sure if you want to make one of your own?  Check out the pincushions I have for sale in my Etsy Shop.  I have only listed a few and will list more soon.  If you want one in a special color or fabric, I am sure I can help you out with that too.

Edited to add:  Some of you asked about the tufting.  I posted a tutorial here in case you had any questions.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Day After…

In a way, today very much feels like the day after Christmas.  The house is a mess, there are way too many sweets hanging around, and we are all suffering from the dreaded sugar hangover.  The only thing that is saving me from diving head first into yesterdays Halloween buckets is the fact that my older kids took a complete inventory of their stash before they went to school this morning, and the little one is watching me like a hawk hoping to get his hands on some treats as well. 

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See I can't even get in a picture and he is all over it.  So tell me...  How am I suppose to work under these conditions?  I have been bouncing around the house this morning doing a little of this and a little of that, but I just can’t seem to concentrate on anything.  I have been working on the layout for my Drunkard’s Path quilt but can’t seem to decide on which layout I like better.  What do you think?

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The classic layout…

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….or something a little different, like the scalloped layout?