Thursday, January 30, 2014

Over the River and Through the Woods

My first panel is done!

I really like how it looks with the blue embroidery thread. I'm using Cosmo in color 414A. The second panel is already traced and waiting to be basted before I can begin on it.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I'll Just Quilt This Up Quick - LOL!

I am trying to finish up some of the myriad tops I have. I decided to pull out my Mama Said Sew Corn Rows Quilt thinking to myself "I can quilt this up simply and quick." Famous last words!

Here is what the top looks like. I originally posted this photo on November 30, 2012.

I did some simple ditch stitching to hold things together then pulled out my copy of Quilting Wide Open Spaces by Judi Madsen to get some ideas for how to quilt the triangles. This is where my original "keep it simple and quick" plan went out the window.

So this will be another multiple day project. It isn't taking as long as I expected, but it will take longer than I planned. Good thing I am enjoying the process!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Modern Spools - Finished

As promised yesterday, today I'm showing you my finished Modern Spools quilt.

The photo above was taken yesterday afternoon, after it had been washed. I needed to wash it because of the blood spot my kitty left on the top from a cut paw. Below you can see the finished top before washing with an arrow pointing to the blood stain.

I purposely hung the quilt in the same orientation so that you can see that the blood stain is gone in the first photo. Yay!

Here is a close-up of the quilting.

If you look closely you may be able to see that I quilted spools in the blank squares. Clicking on the photo will enlarge it a bit.

For the back I used this fun cup print.

I have posted this information before, but I think it is nice to have it on the final post showing the finished quilt too. The spool block pattern I used is from the January 2014 Aurifil Block of the Month. The link will take you to the Designer of the Month page for January and the pattern information is at the end of the post. To make your own version of my quilt, you will also need these additional instructions that include fabric requirements and the layout for the quilt. The quilt finishes at 57" by 69".

Monday, January 27, 2014

Globetrotting BOM

I've been seeing these blocks all over my Facebook feed this month. I decided early in the month that I would participate. I didn't start until yesterday because I wanted most of my sewing this month to be for me and this will be a Quilt of Valor. I finished my Modern Spools yesterday morning so I decided to get the January block done while it was still January. (I'll show you the finished Modern Spools tomorrow.) My reasoning is that keeping up with this is "for me" even though the quilt won't be.

I am using the fabrics friends gave me. Here's the story on the fabric:

At our last guild retreat I was working on my Star Value Quilt. I told them that I wanted to make another as a Quilt of Valor using red and blue for the stars and cheddar/gold for the diamonds keeping the gray/black and lights where they are in the original pattern. One of the ladies at the retreat walked over and handed me a large bag of red and blue fabric squares. She said this would give me a good start on my red and blue for the stars, which it did. I only had to add a little bit of blue from my stash. The style of the fabrics she gave me is Reproduction/Civil War. I don't have much of that type of fabric in my stash anymore and wanted to stick with this style for the quilt so I asked a couple of other people if they had any lights, cheddar or gray Reproduction/Civil War they would like to get rid of under the condition that I would use it only for this charity quilt. My friends gave me enough fabric to make several quilts! I have the Star Value QOV already cut out. It will be my main retreat project for our February retreat. Quilt #2 will be the Globetrotting BOM and I have a pattern chosen for Quilt #3. I was even given backing fabric for the Star Value QOV. Now all I have to do is make the quilts!

Information about the BOM: Globetrotting BOM (Click on the "Mystery BOM" tab for the materials list and the block one instructions) by Pat Sloan. I encourage you to click on Pat's name to go to her blog and look around. She has lots of great information, free patterns and other fun stuff on her blog. She hosts an online radio show each week that is lots of fun to listen to and hosts several online groups. I participate in Quilt Along with Pat Sloan on Facebook. (You must have a Facebook account to join this group) She also has a great newsletter which you can sign up for on her blog.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Still Working on Modern Spools

I finished quilting Modern Spools last night!

I took it upstairs to my large basting table to square it up before attaching the binding. I laid out the quilt then thought that the light was good enough so I went to get my camera. I was gone about 45 seconds and look who had made herself at home in that short time.

Luckily she didn't get any more blood on this quilt in the short time she was allowed to stay on it. I hope to be able to show you the finished quilt next week!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


My art group met on Tuesday. We put up all of our village sections on a design wall to arrange them. You are going to have to wait to see how cool it looks! We were all really pleased.

I finished my pears 12 by 12.

I did very close straight line quilting. It turned out okay. I couldn't think of anything else to do. Straight line quilting takes a lot longer than you would think it would. This piece is only 12 inches square and it took about an hour and a half to quilt.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Quilting Modern Spools

I'm still working on my Modern Spools quilt despite Spooky's "help." She was on it again yesterday morning.

I didn't mind because I had to go to my art group and wasn't planning to work on it until the afternoon. I should have shooed her off though. Take a look at what happened.

She got blood on my quilt in two places!! One is a very small spot, but the other ... OY! She cut her paw over a week ago while she was outside. The boy let her in and didn't notice she was hurt. She came to my sewing room door and cried and cried until I opened it. There were little bloody footprints all over the floor right outside my sewing room door and a trail of bloody foot prints from the door. Of course, as soon as I tried to scoop her up she took off! Once I caught her I was able to determine where she was hurt and apply some pressure to stop the bleeding. Then it took me an hour to clean up all the blood off the floors. The pad of one of her front paws got cut on something. She bled a little bit for a couple of days after it happened, but that was over a week ago. I thought it had stopped. I was wrong.

I don't know what to do except to keep going, try not to set the blood stain and hope it comes out when I wash it. If it doesn't come out, I do have a little bit of fabric left that I could make an applique with to cover the stain. Good thing this one is for me!

I have all the pieced spools quilted and a few of the blank blocks done.

Other than the blood stain, I'm really please with how this one is turning out.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Plan for Today

My plan for today is to continue quilting my Modern Spools Quilt, just as soon as Spooky's morning nap time is over.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Handmade Christmas Challenge

Have you heard about the Handmade Christmas Challenge hosted by SewCalGal?

If not, you should click the link to go over and check it out - Handmade Christmas Challenge Info.

There is a link party each month to show off what you have made (either a gift to give or something to use in decorating your house), which will also count as an entry to win one of the great prizes being offered by the sponsors of the challenge. Click here to go to the Handmade Christmas Challenge link party for this month.

I will not be able to participate in the link party this month. I am only sewing for myself this month so no gift making for me. I am working on a holiday project for myself, but it isn't finished yet and so does not qualify.

I will show you my progress on it though. I'm working on the embroidery for the Over the River and Through the Woods pattern by Crabapple Hill. I have traced all three embroidery panels already and am almost finished embroidering the first one.

Sorry it is so wrinkled, but there is no point in ironing it until I finished.

I have also collected all the fabric I should need for the piecing. I have been thinking about pulling out the fabric and doing some of the piecing, at the least blocks, this month too. Then once the embroidery is finished I will just have to assemble the top. Maybe if the blocks are already made I will be more likely to go ahead and finish it this year. Time will tell!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Coffee Bag Tote

Back in 2012 my mom sent me some coffee bags from Hawaii. She saw some tote bags made from coffee bags on a trip to Hawaii and brought me back some bags to cut up. Last weekend, as part of my sewing-for-me month, I pulled one out and made a bag.

Here is what the bag looked like originally.

I turned it inside out so it would lay flatter before cutting it apart and some beans fell out.

I learned that I don't really enjoy working with burlap, at least the burlap that was used to make this coffee bag. When I cut up this bag it shed little bits of burlap that stuck to everything. The little bits were itchy too, like the little bits of hair that cling to your clothes after you get your hair cut. Maybe I should have washed the coffee bag before cutting it up?

Anyway, the bag turned out pretty cute.

This is just a simple tote. There are no pockets. I used webbing for the handles.

The interior is a cotton print from my stash.

I have quite a few more coffee bags. I think I will try washing the next one before sewing with it. I will also not worry so much about preserving all of the printing on the bag. This bag is about 14" tall by 20" wide by 5" deep. The height to width ratio is a bit off because it is wider than it is tall. I learned that I prefer bags that are taller than they are wide.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Modern Spools Quilt

The Happy Scrappers Group meets today at my LQS, Heartstrings and Heirlooms. This is what we are making this month.

Usually the scrap group projects I come up with end up being charity quilts. Since this is sewing-for-me month, I am keeping this one. It will make a nice lap quilt for my sewing room.

I used a Bobbins and Bits Jelly Roll and white Kona solid. This is all that is left from the jelly roll.

My goal was to use up as much of the jelly roll as I could so that I would have minimal scraps left over. I used a jelly roll because it was in my stash and I had no plan for it. I used the Kona solid white because (1) it was in my stash, (2) it was the best thing in my stash that went well with most of the strips, and (3) I had enough of it for the whole quilt.

This quilt would also look great using purely scraps. You only need a 2.5" by 16.5" strip of print for the spool and a 2.5" by 13" strip of background fabric. You could even vary the background fabrics for each block instead of using a single background fabric like I did. It would make a great charity quilt.

In case you would like to make a quilt like this, I wrote up a little instruction sheet for how I made my Modern Spools Quilt. You can download a copy of that by clicking on the link. You will also need the instructions for the spool block which is the January 2014 Aurifil Block of the Month. Again, click on the link at the end of the article to download your copy of the instructions for the spool block. My instruction sheet does not include the instructions for making the spool block, so be sure to download both documents.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Another Art Group Piece

At our November meeting we made collage style pears. We are finishing these as our next 12" by 12" pieces.

I'm to the quilting stage with mine.

The background is a very light blue batik. I added the words with Inktense watercolor pencils.

I printed out names of varieties of pears in different fonts.

Then I tested different colors, pens and pencils on a scrap of the background.

A dark blue Inktense pencil looked the best to me. I wanted it to be noticeable but not outshine the pears. I haven't decided how I want to quilt it yet.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Village Section Finished - For Now

I finished my section of the village piece my art group is working on.

The little pinwheel flowers are one inch finished. I pieced them, then backed them with a green fabric. I topstitched around the edges and then zig-zagged around the edges. They are attached to the piece with a small button in the center.

I have more stuff I could add but I don't want to overdo it with this. We discussed piecing together our sections then adding things that would cross over the seam lines between sections. I'll wait to see what the others think before doing any more work on this.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Making Progress on my Village Section

I've finally had time to work more on my village piece for my art group.

Last time I showed this I was looking for a way to add the required "identifiable quilt block" to my section as well as fill the bottom third with something. A couple folks suggested using pinwheels as flowers. After a bit of trial and error I came up with some pinwheels that will work. These are tiny - one inch finished little blocks! I plan to make some more but have not yet. These are each backed with a square of green fabric. The pinwheel and backing square are zig-zagged together around the outside. I plan to attach each one by hand with a tiny button in the center.

The next step is to add some detail with stitching as well as secure all of the appliques. Lastly I will do a bit of hand work, attaching the pinwheel flowers with buttons at the very least, maybe some more hand stitching too. This is very much a "plan as you go" project for me.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Third Project for Me: Tunes Tote

For my birthday I asked for a portable speaker for my iPod to take to work with me. Of course, it needs a bag!

I used some of the leftover fabric from my Divided Basket to make this simple little tote bag. It fits my iPod, portable speaker, and the cord to connect the speaker and iPod.

The speaker information can be found on Amazon, here. You push it together and it locks shut for travel. It is pretty tiny but has surprisingly good sound. We only have a couple of CDs at work, all of which I am sick of listening to. Radio stations are limited in the San Luis Valley and there are none that play anything I can listen to for an entire day. Pandora is great, but it uses bandwidth that we need for the store computer to be able to run the register. So I'm going to try this set-up for musical entertainment at work.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Second Project for Me: Divided Basket

I purchased the fabric and pattern for this almost a year ago! I'm so glad to finally get it made.

Here is the front with pocket.

Here is the back.

And here is the inside.

This is a Divided Basket. The link will take you to the Noodlehead website where you can purchase a copy of the pattern for yourself.

The pattern is very well written. My only complaint is that it includes pattern pieces that you have to print out and then cut out. For some of the pieces you have to tape two pieces together to make a single pattern piece. I would prefer to just have measurements rather than pattern pieces. But it was easy to measure the pattern pieces and write the measurements down so that next time I can cut things out that way. I guess this is just personal preference.

The pattern includes lots of pictures that are extremely helpful. I had no trouble reading the instructions and following the pictures. The cutting part (pattern pieces, fabric, interfacing and fusible fleece) took as long or longer than the sewing part. I'd guess it took me about 4 to 5 hours from start to finish.

I'm thrilled with how it turned out! It stands up nicely and looks great. I will probably make more of these. They would make great gifts.