I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I’m addicted…

…to scrappy hour glass blocks.  It all started with this pillow that I am making as part of a swap.  One charm pack of Noteworthy gave me a 20” square that I was looking for, with a few leftover blocks for the back. 

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Then, I decided that this would be a perfect way to sew through my abundance of scraps and ugly fabrics.  You see, I am in need of another throw around quilt that the kids can destroy without me getting upset over.  You know the quilt, we all have at least one. 

Of course, this has turned into a huge project and I spent the better part of my weekend going through my stash.  I didn’t realize how much I needed to do this.  I took all of my scraps and unwanted fabrics and cut them into 5” squares, 3” squares, strips, and salvages.  If I am lucky I might even get a string quilt out of this too, but I am not sure what to do with the 3” squares… any suggestions?

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Anyways, here is what 500 half square triangles looks like.  I hope to piece them into hour glass blocks this week, then into a twin size quilt.  Wish me luck, it might take me forever.

Have a great day!

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More Patchwork Pillows

I have been really into making pillows lately.  I love the idea of have a variety of them around the house.  You know, a few for the kids to toss around and a few that are a little nicer that, dare I say, don’t get used.  I hate that it makes me sound like my mother, but with 3 kids blowing through this house like a hurricane everyday it is nice to have something pretty to look at that doesn’t end up on the floor.

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I also feel like I don’t have enough quilted things around the house representing my work.  Quilting is such a big part of my life I thought it would be nice to have a few conversation starters laying about to share with friends or family. 

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The first one here I pieced with the leftover scraps form another quilt I am working on for a Moda Bake Shop project, using a jelly roll of Good Fortune by Kate Spain and a Moda white jelly roll.  I had a small pile of scraps left over and I couldn’t bear to just toss them out with the trash.  Then I added a decorative stitch to the straight line quilting for some added visual effect. 

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For the second one I pieced together 1 1/2” strips of coral and white and cut them on the 45 degree line, then pieced the panels together creating a herringbone or zig-zag pattern.  I then used the same decorative stitch for the quilting.  The fabric is Clementine by Michael Miller from his Cotton Couture Solids line, which I am totally crushing on right now. 

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Currently, I am working on a pillow using a Noteworthy charm pack and I not quite sure how I want to do the back.  I am not trilled with how these zipper closures came out, so any suggestions?   Or do you know of a great pillow tutorial I can use to learn something new?

Have a great day!

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Friday, April 5, 2013

The Duffle Bag

So, I finally finished the StudioCherie duffel bag we made at the Sew South Retreat.  Truthfully, I wasn’t at all excited about making this duffle.  I am not a duffle kind of girl so, I decided since I did want to be part of the class, I would make this duffle for my niece, hence the ugly cat fabric.  Sorry, I am not a cat person either, she is, I like to vicariously live through others when it comes to cats. 

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I realized once it was finished that is way to big for a 8 year old that is 60 pounds soak and wet.  It is so ginormous she could probably climb in and zip it up behind her.  So, back to the drawing board, because once a promise is made, it must be keep.  

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I modified the pattern making it smaller and making it easier to use the fabric I already had in my stash.  You see like most quilters I buy my fabric in either fat quarter, half yard or one yard lengths, and when I make a decision to make something I like to pull from my stash because it could be a while before I get out to the quilt shop.

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This version took a total of 3 yard, one yard of the feature fabric, one yard for the lining and one yard for the handles, and because I don’t keep jute on hand I substituted some Pellon interfacing, like Lindsey taught at the retreat.

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If you already have this pattern and want to make a smaller one for yourself here a few of the changes that I made and a couple of tips that made things easier for me along the way. 

First, out of the featured fabric and the lining fabric I cut a 23” strip, sandwiched and quilted as she instructed, then I marked my measurements.  Out from the center mark 5”, 10”, 5”, and 1 1/2” from the end, repeat along the other side. If you own the pattern you will know what this means.

After marking my measurements I then trimmed my large quilted piece to a 22” by 43” rectangle.  Why did I do it this way?  Because at the retreat I like some other people had trouble marking our large quilted piece because it wasn’t perfectly square.  If you mark your measurements first you are able to use those measurements as a guide while trimming.  Make sense? 

You will also need two quilted and finished 11” squares.  

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The the raw edges.  This is probably my biggest complaint with this pattern.  I don’t like raw edges, it is the perfectionist in me.  In her pattern she recommends that you either stitch all the way around with a serger or bind with double fold bias seam binding. At the retreat I was able to use a serger and finish the edges of the cat duffle, at home I used an overlock stitch with an edging foot.  Then I used some bias tape and finished the two shorts sides on the large quilted piece, because that is that side that get hand sewn on the inside of the bag and I hate hand sewing raw edges.

Needle breakage and zippers.  Because you are using a heavy duty or metal zipper you must be really careful when sewing them in or you will break a few needles.  I learned this on my first duffle.  On my second go around, I pinned my zipper so the zipper or metal stopper parts would not be in my seam at all.  This worked out really well for me, making this side of the zipper really easy to put in, on the other side go really, really slow over that zipper. 

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I was completely lost when it came to the Zipper Stop Tabs.  So, I gave up and used some of my leftovers from the straps with none of the interfacing.  Two 4” long pieces folded in half and sewn into the seam.  

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The end pockets.  Though, I really like the way she did the zippered pockets in her pattern, and would probably do them that way for myself, for my niece, I did simple, lined, reach in pockets on both sides.  That way there she can stick in her Barbie's or stuff animals with out any problems. 

Did you make any changes when you made your duffle?  What did you think of the changes I made to mine?  Please share your tips or tricks.  I am eventually going to make one for myself.  Once I decide on the fabrics or if I am going to QAYG, decisions, decisions, decisions… 

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

BlogLovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

To be honest when I first heard that Google Reader was going away I didn’t really give it much though but then after checking out a few blog readers on my smart phone BlogLovin won me over. 

Here are the three reasons I am most excited about BlogLovin:

One, with the old Google Reader is was hard to comment.  Mainly because I am lazy and don’t like to scroll all the way back to the beginning of a post I have just read to click on that post to scroll back down to leave a comment.  With BlogLovin you are already on the page so when you are done reading you can just leave your comment. 

Two, I like access to a blog’s sidebar to see what new or featured.  With Google Reader you never had that.

Three, BlogLovin plus my iPhone equals heaven.  With three kids and one computer you can just imagine how much time I get to read blogs.  I just LOVE the BlogLovin app and now I can even keep up with what is going on in the blog world even if I am at the bus stop.

Anyways, that’s all I have to say about that.  Mainly my focus the last couple of day has been getting some unfinished projects completed.  That includes working on my Giant Daliha Quilt and finishing my Duffle from the Sew South Retreat and working on a new duffle, but more on that tomorrow…

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Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cathedral Window Pincushions

To make these cute little Cathedral Window Pincushions I used this tutorial from Riley Blake Designs, but of course, I had to tweak it a bit. I like to add crushed walnut shells to my pincushions because they keep your pins clean and sharp and the crushed walnut shells add a little weight to the pincushion so it stays put on your sewing table. If you have ever had a pincushion just filled with poly-fil you know will know what I mean.

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So, to make things easy and because I didn’t want to rework the entire tutorial, I just made a little crushed walnut shell pouch to put inside my pincushion.

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To make my crushed walnut shell pouch I cut two 4” squares of muslin and two 4” squares of some cotton batting.  Layering the muslin squares in-between the two squares of cotton batting I sewed around the edges leaving an opening to turn right side out, similar to making any pillow.  Once the pouch was turned right side out I filled the pouch with crushed walnut shells, and sewed the opening closed. 

Tip – I like to use the cotton batting because is reduces the grainy or bumpy feel of the crushed walnut shells.

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After making my pincushion as instructed, I inserted the crushed walnut shell pouch and secured it into place using some embroidery floss and a button. 

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Using poly-fil I finished stuffing the pincushion to the desired fullness.

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Then I used an invisible ladder stitch to sew the pincushion closed. 

All done! Now you have your very own cute little cathedral window pincushion filled with crushed walnut shells. Enjoy!

 

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Have a great day!

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