Friday, January 25, 2013

Salt Water Waves

I ordered a fat quarter bundle of Salt Water by Tula Pink a few weeks ago from Amanda's Etsy shop HERE. I have been wanting to make a "beach" quilt for a while now and the fabric was perfect, and so was the price! My boyfriend LOVES the beach. If we could up and move to the beach he would do it in a heartbeat. We haven't had a chance to take a beach trip since we have been dating for several reasons, but we are hoping that this year we will be able to break that cycle and take a few days to head to the ocean.

I'm leaning toward Kona Bone as the background. None of the fabrics have a real white in them, its all more of an off white or sandy color and thanks to my trusty Kona Color Card I am really leaning toward Bone, or maybe even Oyster. (I love that its called Oyster!) I found a free tutorial that Faith did for Art Gallery fabrics HERE and I think it will be perfect in Salt Water fabrics. I'm going to make a few modifications to it, I want to do each horizontal wave or "stripe" in one color, alternating between Coral, Blue and Green. I'm also going to start my waves at different points so that there aren't any partial "waves" at the top or bottom of the quilt, and I'm increasing the size. I want the quilt to be large enough for my 6' 3" boyfriend to be able to lay on the beach on it.
I've drawn it up and did all my wonderful quilt math to know how much of each fabric I need, and now I just need to officially pick between Oyster and Bone for the background and order the backing and binding fabric.

For anyone that is counting that is 7 quilts in process. I may push this one to the back burner for a little while. I have several months before we will need it and I have so many other things I am trying to work on, but I wanted to show off all these beautiful fabrics and my Kona Color Card. I am sure most of you have one by now, but since I just started quilting around a year ago I wasn't aware of how necessary one was. I am so glad I invested in this tool. There are SO many options for solid fabrics, and the color card helps to get as close to the right color as possible. I bought mine from Fat Quarter Shop 

Hopefully, next week I will have a few finished projects to show you instead of just stacks of pretty fabrics!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy Go Lucky and a Sinus Infection

I won some Happy Go Lucky fabric from Camille last week and it came in the mail Saturday. I couldn't wait to cut into it and play. She sent me a charm pack and some fat quarters as well as some of her new patterns, Thanks Camille! I was so excited to hear I had one, it was the first time I had ever one a fabric giveaway!

I have had the Schnibbles book for almost a year and had yet to make anything from it, so I decided now was the time. I have been admiring the Plan C pattern for a while now and decided to tackle it. I think it will make a great wall hanging in my eventual sewing room. Hopefully I will feel like tacking that this weekend.

I got about halfway done over the weekend and had to put it on hold. I have been miserably sick since Sunday afternoon. I went to the doctor yesterday and have a sinus infection and ear infection. I have barely moved off the couch the past two days. I'm actually sitting on the couch under my Christmas quilt that I have yet to put away as I type this. I'm running on a short burst of energy just to post this, but I wanted to share my progress and show off some pictures of my Happy Go Lucky win. Hopefully this weekend I will have some pictures of a finished quilt top and possibly progress on my soon to be sewing room.
I have been tossing around ideas in my head to redo one of our extra bedrooms for some time now. Right now my sewing machine is on a desk in my bedroom and I don't have nearly enough room. I am thinking of using some of the colors in Happy Go Lucky as my  inspiration to design the room around, but I am very fickle, so we'll see how that plays out when it comes time to actually decorate it.
I'm hoping I feel well enough to sew and clean out the room this weekend!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hexagons and English Paper Piecing

I love handwork. Sewing and quilting by hand is how I learned. I had already made 2 quilts and a table runner before I ever bought a machine! So I love sewing by hand. Sitting on the couch with my boyfriend in the evening watching TV and sewing is the best!

I've been working on some hexagons for a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt similar to the one my great-grandmother made, which I am lucky enough to own. I researched EPP online a lot before I decided to give it a shot and tweaked the different processes until I found a way that worked for me. Everyone does it a little differently but this is the way that works best for me.

1) I use paper not plastic templates. Mostly because they are way cheaper and easier to find. And I punch a hole in the template, this makes it easier to take out later.

2) I use squares of fabric and just trim the corners a little to reduce bulk. I don't worry about cutting perfect hexagons because it really isn't going to matter one but. It's just another step. You don't even need to trim the corners, squares work just fine I just find it a little easier.

3) I use binder clips to hold the fabric and template together. Some people don't use anything and some use paper clips. I didn't like how paper clips sometimes caught my fabric or squeezed it and were hard to get off, so small binder clips are perfect for me.

4) I don't sew through the paper. I just sew through the fabric layers at the corners. I sew through the layers twice at each corner to hold it securely. Then just remove your clips and start whip stitching them together with right sides facing. Once I have all the petals on each aide I take the template out of the middle of each flower using a pencil or chop stitch in the hole I punched earlier and tada!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


That's the best way to describe the Scrappy Trip Along quilt. I finished 4 more blocks now, for a total of 8. I think I would like to do 28 more for a total of 36, if I can keep it up. I have lots more things I NEED to do. My goals this year are always in the back on my mind and we are already halfway through January. Besides my Weekender Bag I don't really have any finishes. Just another quilt top to add to the pile of UFO that are growing exponentially.

But aren't they awesome??

The block in the lower right hand corner is my favorite so far I think!

I was going to try and only use fabrics from other projects, but I discovered I have WAY too much pink and purple (Because all but one of the 5 baby quilts I made this year were for girls!) I had some fabrics that came from Connecting Threads (Finally!) and I cut up some of those and added them in. I had very little green or orange in my stash. I had just happened to order some of both of those. So they will be making their way in before it is all said and done. I think this may become a work in progress and as I finish other projects this year I will add a strip to my pile.
I am also determined to get a few other things crossed off my list very soon. I have a quilt top made from a layer cake of Butterscotch and Roses by Fig Tree Quilts that has been sitting around for months now. It is just waiting for backing and quilting. I am going to buy the backing next week and get started on it. I got the idea from Pinterest when I saw a quilt that was just large blocks sewn together and the quilting was vertical and horizontal quilting, alternating with each block.
I also now have my Sidebraid quilt top and blocks for a log cabin quilt for my boyfriend. The quilt he sleeps with has about had it. I thought about trying to repair it, but it is a goner, and it was a cheap store bought quilt he had before he had me to make him quilts ;)

Here is a sneak peek at some of the blocks. He likes dark more neutral colors than I do, and he picked out the barn panels before he knew this quilt would be for him. (once again I apologize for the iPhone pics, but this is what happens when you work until 6 PM and you live in an area where rain has been coming down almost nonstop for over a week!) I am planning on putting sashing between the blocks and a border and then it should be large enough for the bed! We each have our own quilts, that way we don't fight for blankets in the middle of the night. When I finish my Farmer's Wife quilt I plan on putting it on the bed. Right now I sleep under the first quilt I ever made, and I want to save that one. Its completely done by hand and I worry about it falling apart too soon if I keep using it.
My goals for the next couple of months are to get 3 quilts done from start to finish while working on my Scrappy Trip Along and refocusing on my Farmer's Wife blocks. I'm exhausted just thinking about it!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Scrappy Trip Along Bandwagon

If you're on Instagram or Flickr you have probably seen the hash tag for the Scrappy Trip Along. I had (and still have) a hundred things going on, and had avoided getting sucked in but yesterday I decided to give it a shot. It's a pretty easy process you can find here

I cut out strips yesterday and made 4 blocks to see how it went together and I'm pretty happy with them. So far I have used leftovers from my Sidebraid quilt top, some Nicey Jane scraps, some Denyse Schmidt fabrics leftover from a couple previous projects, and some toher various things like Thirties prints from my Flower Garden quilt. I plan on working on it some more tomorrow and cutting into some of my leftover Chicopee and going through the rest of my scrap bin. Since I've only been quilting for a year I don't have a wife variety of stash or scraps, but I am determined not to buy any new fabrics for this quilt top. It has made me realize that I have a LOT of aqua, pink and purple scraps.Anyone else jumping on the bandwagon?

And its STILL rainy here (Actually sleet!), so it may be next weekend before I am able to get good pictures of all the projects I've been working on. But for now it will have to be iPhone pictures again.
Edited to add- I WON, I actually won a giveaway! How exciting is that? I won some Happy Go Lucky over at Camille's blog. I have been drooling over this fabric since I first saw it, and I am so Happy!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

First Finished Quilt Top of the Year

I finished my Sidebraid quilt top this week too. It was an easy pattern I got here. All just squares and rectangles, a great quilt for a beginner. I did the Large Braid, mainly because it was easier and I wanted a quick finish, and a pattern that showed off the beautiful Art Gallery fabrics I used.

This was my first time using AG Fabrics and I love them! They really are more like a voile or a cotton lawn that a regular quilting cotton, but piece together just like a regular cotton. I used a variety of prints by Pat Bravo and Bari J from several different fabric lines and paired them with Kona Sky for the background. I'm in the process of picking out backing and binding fabric and deciding how I want to quilt it. I am thinking stright lines that follow the stair step like pattern of the blocks, but the lazy side of me just wants to stipple it!

The weather here has been rainy and dreary and this quilt was too big for me to get a good picture inside. Hopefully this weekend it will dry out enough for me to get some good pictures outside of several different projects I've been working on!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Weekender Bag Part 2

Except for the false bottom, my Weekender bag is completely finished. I made some alterations to the inside of the bag like I did on the outside. I put in a zipper pocket and another pocket on the other side. I interfaced all my pieces with medium weight interfacing since I didn't use home decor weight fabric like th pattern called for. I also didn't handstitch it in, I machine stitched it around the zipper, I wasn't concerned with the stitching showing on the outside. I did tack it in along the seams to keep it from flopping around. I am so happy with this bag! I am already planning on making another one, that is how much I love it!

If you make one of your own I would love to see it!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Weekender Bag

I finished my Weekender bag! (well the outside at least) It was tough going at a couple spots but my little machine made it through. I made some modifications to the original pattern and wanted to share them here. I still have to put the lining together, but that is the easy part compared to putting the exterior together.

1) I of course quilted my bag just like Elizabeth did HERE except I didn't QAYG. I sewed my patchwork panels and did it just like a quilt but with canvas backing and the batting cut half an inch all the all around and then trimmed my top instead of my backing.
2) I made my handles longer and wider. I made them 10 inches longer than called for and cut the pieces twice as wide and instead of interfacing used a strip of batting to make them more comfortable. I wanted to be able to wear it over my shoulder. I also sewed them to the front and back panels a little more securely. I wanted to make sure I didn't break a handle off it the bag got heavy. I also spaced them a little farther apart on the bag. After I got it marked and pinned on it looked awkward to me, maybe because my handles were wider than the pattern called for, so I moved them further apart.
3) I shortened my outside zipper by four inches. I bought a 30 inch zipper from my local Joann Fabrics, but I had been toying with the idea of shortening it after reading several blog posts saying that if it wasn't it would go down into the side pockets. I'm glad I shortened it. I think that it ended up being the perfect length.
4) While making the piping I started using steam a seam tape like someone had suggested (I can't remember where I saw that!) but after burning my fingers too many times and the seam tape breaking I gave up and sewing my piping. It worked fine. I always have trouble cutting bias strips, even using the continuous bias tutorial, my strips are always too narrow. I think next time I will just cut them like I do regular binding and sew them together instead of trying to do continuous and see how that works for me.
5) DON'T use straight pins to try and hold this thing together. I used wooden clothes pins because I forgot to get binder clips like everyone suggested and even some of them got destroyed while maneuvering this bag around. If you try to use pins you are going to probably get poked a lot while turning this thing around and around and end up with a lot of bent and broken pins.
6) I used my walking foot to attach everything together. I started out trying to do it with my zipper foot to get close enough to the piping but it honestly just made it a lot harder than it needed to be. When I switched to my walking foot it was SO much easier.
(Sorry in advance for the bad iPhone pictures, it seems like I am too lazy to use my real camera!)

Here are my finished outside panels and my lining pieces cut.

Here is the outside pocket with the piping attached ready to be sewn onto the main panel

You can see my lining on the inside of my pocket panel before being attached to the front panel

My quilted straps.

After sewing on the strap to the main panel

The finished exterior!!!! (I have lots more pictures of it finished because I CAN'T stop myself.

I want to say this to anyone who wants to make a Weekender bag. I read about it A LOT before deciding to jump in. I have only really been sewing and quilting for just over a year. I didn't even have a sewing machine until this past summer! I was absolutely terrified to start putting this bag together because I had never made anything like it before, the only things I have sewn are quilts, a Halloween trick or treat bag, and some dolls.m I'd never followed a pattern before, not even for a quilt really. (I normally make or adapt my own patterns, its one of my favorite parts of quilting!) But seriously ANYONE can make this bag. Go slow, don't try to tackle it all in one day. I have been spacing it out over several weeks. It is a lot of cutting and sewing in different stages. Read through the pattern several times to make sure you understand what you need to do at each step. If you've never put in a zipper before it really isn't as hard as you think, I had only done a few prior to this and only had one hiccup while putting this one in.
I plan on making several adjustments to the inside of my Weekender bag, and should have it finished this weekend to do my final post on it.
If any of you make a Weekender bag, please join us over on the Flickr group The Long Weekend

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, New Fabric

I used my Christmas money to buy some nice new stacks of fabric. Fat Quarter Shop has had several nice sales lately and I took advantage of it and loaded up on some fabric, the last of which came in the mail today.

A jelly roll of Cherry Christmas by Aneela Hoey. I am going to use this to make the Picnic quilt from Scrapbook Sensations by Kim Brackett

Some various Art Gallery Fabrics by Pat Bravo and Bari J and some Kona Sky I plan on using to make Jeni's Sidebraid pattern

Some beautiful Freshcut by Heather Bailey.

Some Twinkle by Anna Griffin. I love how vintage this looks.

Especially this one. I LOVE the stripe fabric.

And here it is all together! I have yet to decide what I'm going to do with the Freshcut and Twinkle yardage I bought, but I am sure I will find something to do with it ;)
I have even more fabric from Connecting Threads coming soon (Hopefully, seeing as how my order still shows Processing!) And some more paper piecing hexagons to keep working on my Flower Garden quilt.
I will also have a post very soon about my Weekender bag!