Friday, March 28, 2014

Flashback Friday: In the Beginning..There Were Wonky Blocks (but not on Purpose)

I wanted to learn how to quilt so I started making some blocks. Itty, bitty Farmer's Wife blocks with a billion pieces in a six inch space may not have been the best choice, but hey, I didn't know anything. I just started. They were kind of crooked and a bit wonky and some of my color choices were kind of crazy.

I learned something with every block and I was having fun. Then baby #6 was born and there were newborn feedings, etc and I set those blocks aside.

 After a month or so I thought I would try and make some larger blocks. I read about a new technique  (to me) that I wanted to try. I made half square triangles by sewing around two squares together then cutting them in half. It was a fun way to make HST's.
Then later that summer Sarah Jane released her first fabric line, Children at Play, and there were so many things I wanted to make. I made some dresses for the girls, craft items,  and this stroller quilt for the baby. I was inspired by a hopscotch print in the line and made a hopscotch in the center using the prints and a sidewalk mimicked with different shades of gray. The embroidery says, "Your dreams are just a hop, skip, and a jump away." The embroidered flower was a part of an embroidery pattern Sarah released too. I also decided to make the baby a quilt and bumper pads with Children at Play.
So I did. This was the first crib size quilt I ever made and am proud to say it is still in use today.

I still have a lot to learn and many areas to improve in. I do not have much time to designate to hobby play but I sure definitely enjoy the moments spent making quilts or crafting things for family, friends, or others. Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Comings and Goings

Remember this little stack from a couple weeks ago?

It turned into this and the recipient should be receiving it any time now. The dandelion embroidery pattern came from While Wearing Heels. I used my friend Amy's awesome sewing kit tutorial to make the sewing kit. I have used both this tute and the one to make a patchwork kit and I love them both; it is a very fun sew!

The inside can be used to accommodate a paper piecing project or embroidery.
On to more goings I have finished my bee blocks for the month. Jane is Queen for March. She asked  Kristy to draw up a stationery block which was inspired from an Australian stationery story called Smiggle. It is a cute store and all products in the store are based in groups of 5 colors (don't quote me on that number as we do not have the store here in the U.S.). Each of us chose one of the Smiggle colors plus Jane added a couple of rainbow blocks. She wanted the blocks with the single color to be monochromatic. As you can see, I chose green. The lined fabric is a notebook and going clockwise, there is an eraser, a pencil holder with scissors and pencils then 3 pens lying to the side. It was a fun block to make and I am looking forward to seeing what Jane makes with the blocks.

For do.Good Stitches this month the quilter requested a low volume 9 patch with a blue center as well as a blue wonky star block using this tutorial. These blocks were both very fun to make. I love all things with stars :)

I received this little cutie in the mail the other week from Susie. She was my partner in a strawberry swap last summer and this was a strawberry she wanted to send too but she didn't have the pattern then.

It is a sweet scissor keeper which she even sent a pair of scissors in! It has pretty beads sewn on like the cushion she made me and I love the embroidery. Thanks so much Susie!!

Here are my Susie goodies altogether except the key fob which is kind of dirty after all the use it gets day after day :)

My friend Amy won this jelly roll of Anna Maria Horner's True Colors last month. Amy sews kid's clothes for her daughter, niece, and nephews, oh, and her American Girl dolls. She is always making me laugh and is one of the sweetest people ever! She couldn't see herself ever using a jelly roll so she sent it to me. What a sweet surprise that was and I will definitely be putting it to good use!

 Tina had a blog giveaway for her anniversary and I won this fat quarter stack of Pearl Bracelets. These are another great blender I love to mix in projects as they can mix and match with so many fabric lines.

Maybe these two could even work together?!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Friday Paper Piecing Party: Sew Kitschy

I have been busy sewing up little things this week and a couple of them involved paper piecing so I am linking up to the amazing Kristy's Paper Piecing Party. This bowl block is free this month in Kristy's Craftsy shop until March 31 Australian time, which is a day ahead of U.S. time. This is the third block in her Sew Kitschy block of the month series. This was a fun, quick block to put together!! I was going for a retro look but things got too "patterny" and too much the same scale. I don't dislike it enough to change things but am making a mental note to mix up the fabric scale next time. I love the Bake Sale prints by Lori Holt and in my excitement wanted to use them all in this project (but I did keep it to 2 of the prints).

I took the block, added some cross hatch quilting,  and turned it into a hot pad holder. I sandwiched a layer of Insul Bright between 2 layers of batting and quilted away. It looked too square so I used a bowl to curve the corners. I didn't think things through and was working from the back to curve the corners. When I flipped it to the front I had nearing chopped into the spoon. Thankfully I didn't! The binding is thinner on the front than the back to not cover the design.
I used a retro kitchen tool themed fabric for the back.
For my next hot pad holder I used the apple pattern from here. This, too, was a quick, fun pattern to put together. She also has the Circle pattern to shape your hot pad holder in her tutorial section.
I used this cheery apple print from Alexander Henry for the back. The apple print creates a pocket to put your hand into to make easy use of the potholder :) Happy Friday!!!

Paper Piecing Party

Friday, March 14, 2014

Flashback Friday: My Favorite Signs of Spring

The sun moving closer and feeling warmer,

Checking the pool temperature and the wheelbarrow,


my blooming daffodils,

a little bit of rain and a little bit of sun,

new buds on our Red Maple tree,

fresh cut tulips,

all the weeds are green instead of brown,

so many trees in bloom,

puffy, white clouds.

Then in late spring there are the wild garlic that blooms and
our lilac trees. Photos taken between 2007-2012.
Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Lala Salama Finished

I am excited to have finished this quilt up; now to package and mail it off! This quilt is for a Children's center in Kenya that is in the process of being built. You can read about it here. They are planning on opening mid year and wanted to have a hand made quilt for 100 children's beds. We were given the names of Kona colors that matched the paint colors they were using and they needed the quilt to be a certain size but the design was up to each individual. I used Kona grass green, peridot, parchment, basil, iron, coal, charcoal, indigo, oasis, and celestial. I then pulled from my stash some coordinating kid friendly woodland animals since the colors reminded me of a forest with a river running through it to give it a bit of an i-spy effect.

I was going to back the quilt in flannel but didn't have enough. Then I decided to back it in fleece but I didn't have quite enough of that either! So, I made a run to the fabric store to finish the back. They do not have central heat and said it does get cold there so I used batting along with the fleece so this is a heavy quilt. In the past when I have used fleece I have not used batting but I decided that sick kids may need the extra warmth. I would rather that the quilt be too warm than not warm enough. This evening I made a label that is now attached to the right hand bottom corner.

I straight lined quilted a 1/4 inch on each side of the seams. Because of the weight of this quilt I used my walking foot which I have never used before and it went very smoothly! I had never used it before due to fear of the unknown but if it could help make the quilting go smoothly I thought it was time to break it in. Other than having to check uTube on how to put the foot on it was easy!! I used a gray Aurfil thread for the quilting. The quilt finishes at 60x80.

I have so many projects lined up waiting now that the Lala quilt is done. This little bundle has been cut and is being made into a gift.

Bee blocks need to be made.

I have dresses planned for the girls. I have one of these cut out and it is waiting it's turn to be sewn up. Linking up with Freshly Pieced. Hope you have a great day!!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
also linking up with the ongoing charity linky @ Threading My Way

Friday, March 7, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Almost Wordless Wednesday

I finished up Gemma's New York Beauty for our Wombat Stew bee this week. Actually there is still one seam I need to rip and get to line up better but I had to put it down for a couple of days and go back with fresh eyes.
I could have, should have started with a simpler curved project since I had never done curves before but nothing like jumping in head first. I loved the piecing part and i loved the curves when they lined up but there it can be a bit tricky and what works for one person may not work for another.  It seems when the horizontal lines up the vertical doesn't. Murphy's law!?! The truth of the matter is I really did love making this despite all the time it took and I am planning my next one.

Now I am chugging along on the La Salama quilt which I want to finish by the end of this weekend so I can mail it off. Hope you are having a great day! Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.
                                                             WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced