Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Finish

This is the third quilt I quilted the week I was home alone. I just got the binding finished last weekend.

It is the jelly roll race quilt I made at my guild's last retreat using 2.5" strips I cut from my stash. For the back I used a flannel my mom sent me. It says "I love my cat" all over in various fonts.

The best photo I could get of the backing fabric is the one above with Spooky quilt testing for me. I had it laid out on my big tables to trim up the sides before attaching the binding. It received her stamp of approval even before it was finished.

It is now washed and ready to be donated as soon as I decide which group I'd like to donate it to.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New Toy

After using the Accuquilt Studio cutter we have at my LQS for over a year I decided that I needed one at my house.

I got a great deal on the cutter and the dies were also on sale.

I got the circle die on the right because I'm planning to do a quilt that requires 99 circles for  just the border. I haven't counted how many circles the blocks require. I'm not sure I want to know at this point. My Sue Spargo BOM also requires a lot of circles so I'm hoping this will help me with that project too. I got the flower dies on the left mainly because of the small circles on the die.

The half square triangle die will be used for cutting scraps. I love to use HST units in my scrap quilts but I really don't like trimming them down. I'm not an accurate enough seamstress to sew them correctly without trimming, unless I have them cut perfectly to begin with. I've made a few store samples using the die cut HST pieces and they have all gone together so nicely.

I could just use the cutter at the store and I have. But sometimes I'd like to be able to cut on my off days and if I go in to the store I always get sucked into doing something in addition to the project I went in there to work on. I'd also like to be able to cut in the evenings. Now I can!

Monday, June 23, 2014


The winner of the pillowcase kit giveaway is Mary Beth.

MaryBeth said...
I'm a follower and I like the too many snowmen kit. thanks for the chance to win.

I've sent you an email Mary Beth. Congratulations! 

And thank you to everyone who entered.

Friday, June 20, 2014

HST Trimming Trick

Click here for the giveaway which ends Monday June 23rd..

I learned a new-to-me shortcut for squaring up half square triangle units. I tried it out last week and was impressed with the results. It was much faster than the way I usually do it (like taking about half as much time) and was just as accurate after a little trial and error for how I need to line things up.

The tutorial I followed is by Little Miss Shabby. She calls it the Epic HST Technique. Click on the link to go to the tutorial.

I found that using a square ruler and my rotating cutting mat worked best for me.

The disadvantage of using a square ruler is that unless it is the exact size you need to cut, you will still have to rotate your unit and make two cuts. Using a rectangular ruler with a drawn on line like she shows in the tutorial you can cut both sides without having to move the ruler or the unit. The advantage to using a square ruler, as opposed to a rectangular ruler, is that you can cut the dog-ears off as you cut the sides.

I was shocked at how quickly I had them all trimmed. Lining up four HST units at a time on my rotating mat also helped speed things up.

I had everything trimmed and pressed in time to play around with them. Below are my three favorite layouts I tried.

The photos only show four blocks. I have enough HST made up to do 12 blocks. I may make more though so I can have more blocks.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Today I am shamelessly promoting my LQS, Heartstrings and Heirlooms.

We are in the process of getting our online store up and running.  I now view things differently when shopping online. Before I began working at my LQS I had no idea how long it takes to properly list a single item for sale in an online store. I sure hope I get faster, but when you include setting up for photos, taking the photos, and editing the photos it can take 20 minutes or longer per item to get it listed. But enough whining and on to the giveaway!

I'm giving away one of our pillowcase kits. The kits include all of the fabric you need to make one pillowcase plus a free pattern.

I know that one of these kits says "Out of Stock" but I can assure you that we can make more. So choose the one you like best regardless of whether or not the system says it's in stock.

To enter, you need to go to the Heartstrings and Heirlooms online store. Just click the link in the previous sentence and then click on "online store." Look around in the store and on the rest of the website while you are at it. The pillowcase kits are in the KITS category. Decide which one you like best, come back here and leave a comment telling me which one you like best.

If you are a follower of this blog you may leave a second comment saying "I'm a follower and I like _____ pillowcase kit" or something similar. You must include which pillowcase kit you like in your "follower" comment so that I don't have to search through the whole list of comments to find your other comment saying which kit you like.

PR Angels are also appreciated. If you blog about, post on Facebook, Twitter or promote this giveaway in any other way you may also leave a comment (third way to enter). As with the follower entry, please include which kit you prefer in the comment telling me how you publicized this giveaway.

Choose carefully because if your name is drawn you will win the one you chose.

Please be sure that I have a way to contact you if you are the winner. If you are a Wordpress blogger or a no-reply blogger, just leave your email address or blog address in your comment. I will pick a winner on Monday, June 23rd using a random number generator and pop your kit in the mail to you shortly thereafter.

This giveaway is open to everyone no matter where you live.

Good luck!

And if you don't win you can always purchase a kit. It might even get mailed off to you by yours truly!

Edited to add: This giveaway is now closed. The winner of the is Mary Beth.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Finish::Woven Heart

My "sew-cation" is over. I had a great time and got a lot accomplished! I made a list of projects I wanted to work on before the week began. There were 20 items on my list and I finished or worked on 14 of them. Pretty good, I think.

My second finished quilt of the week is my Woven Heart. The first was my Stars & Scrappy Stripes.

I really love this one! The extra time required to cut the solid background fabric and piece it back together really paid off when it came for quilting. The quilting design is simple but I love the texture it creates.

The finished size 45" by 54". I have already made a bag for it since it will be going to my local hospital "quilts for oncology" project. It will be hard to let this one go, but I can make another.

If you'd like to make one you need 70 squares of heart fabrics and 200 squares of background fabric. You can click here to see the first one of these I made with a scrappy background. For the first one I also used individual fabric squares for the heart fabrics rather than using rail fence blocks. The layout is 15 squares across and 18 squares down. You can see the fabric placement in the photo above. Any size squares will work. I used 3.5" squares (which finish at 3"). Bigger squares will of course make a bigger quilt and smaller squares will make a smaller quilt. I used 3.5" squares because I had bunches of left over rail fence blocks that were 3.5" squares and it made the perfect size for my "quilts for oncology" project.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Stars & Scrappy Stripes is Finished

Despite my feline helper, I'm finished with this one.

I did a meander in the stripes, outlined the stars and did a little detail work in the center of each star.

Piecing all those little rail fence blocks took some time, but I love the look! This would be easier to do with a honey bun pre-cut.

Here is the back.

It is now washed and ready to donate as soon as I make a bag for it. It will be given to the oncology department of my local hospital.

The details:

Finished size is 45" by 54"
The pattern is Stars & Scrappy Stripes. Click here to go to the tutorial.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I've decided I'd like to teach a QAYG (Quilt As You Go) class next quarter at my LQS. Another project on my list for this week was to give this method a try. I dug through my orphan block basket and found four blocks to try this out on.


It's not perfect but good enough to give me an idea of how the technique works. So I pulled out the 17 nine patch blocks my mom sent me and made three more.

These are very FLORAL blocks. I like flowers but not really floral fabric. There is only one of these blocks I really like and sadly it isn't even one of the three I made.

Now that I have 20 I'm going to use these to try the technique out "for real". It may even become my class sample.

Notice Miss Boo is still keeping a close watch over me this week! I know she looks like she is sleeping, but don't be fooled. She was very aware of everything I was doing. If I leave the sewing room for very long she comes looking for me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mixer Muu Muu

For Mother's Day I received a new mixer. My first "real" mixer.

We have a small kitchen so the mixer has to stay on the counter. As attractive as it is, it needs a cover, mainly because we live in a very dusty climate. I don't want to have to wash the bowl and paddle before using the mixer.

So I made a cover, which I'm calling a mixer muu muu.

It has three pockets (two on the ends and one on the back side) for the various attachments and the cord. Hopefully this will keep it clean in between uses.

This is project number one off my list of things I wanted to do this week while I'm home alone. In case you are worried, I am being well supervised by Miss Spooky.

She jumped the gun a bit yesterday by attempting to perform her quilt testing duties before the quilt was finished. I left for just a minute and came back to this! She quick closed her eyes to give the impression that she was sound asleep. I wasn't fooled.

I hope to have the above quilt finished up soon. I'll show you a full picture when it's done.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Another Little Bag for Summer Camp

My men are off to Boy Scout Summer Camp this week! On Saturday, as I was helping my son pack, I realized he didn't have a safe place to keep his money while at camp. And, I've been promising to make him something with this Pokemon fabric I've had for a while.

So I pulled out one of my favorite small zipper pouch patterns, Cash 'n Carry by Terry Atkinson, and whipped him up a little money pouch.

He loved it!

I hope he is keeping better track of his money than he is of his Merit Badge Sash, which I found on the guest room floor yesterday afternoon (about 6 hours after they left). I carefully helped him lay it out with all of the things he needed to take on the guest room bed, but obviously it got dropped as he was getting dressed and out the door. *SIGH* I didn't get up to see them off as they had to leave at about 4:45 am. Maybe I should have.

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Partial Finish

This will be the project my scrap group ladies will be working on this month.

I'm calling it Woven Heart. It uses some of the extra rail fence blocks I created for my Stars and Scrappy Stripes. This one will also be donated to my local hospital for an oncology patient when it is completed. It will finish at 45" by 54".

Yes, I cut squares from a single solid background fabric (Kona Ash) and sewed them back together. The quilt is slightly larger than the width of fabric so I would have had to piece it any way. I prefer the grid look created by the squares rather than having some long rectangular pieces and some squares. It will also mean no marking for the way I plan to quilt this.

This is the second heart quilt I've made. The first one is a slightly smaller version. I blogged about it here: Scraps of My Heart.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Throw Me in the Briar Patch

My son and husband are preparing to go to Boy Scout Summer Camp next week. Son will be working on several merit badges, one being the First Aid merit badge. He had to put together a first aid kit to take with him.

They purchased a basic kit then began adding the things he needed which weren't included in the purchased kit. However, as you can see by the rubber band, the zipper on the kit didn't even make to camp before breaking. So Husband asked, "Do you think you can make a bag for this first aid kit?"

My answer was,  "OF COURSE, I can make a bag. What did you have in mind?" He wanted a simple drawstring bag that was about twice as large as the first aid kit. He chose a solid red fabric from my stash and asked that I put the white cross on both sides of the bag as well as our last name on the bottom.

Done and done! They were so impressed that I could whip up a bag so quickly and that it "looks so good!" I'm not sure if I should have done it so quickly or so well the first time. I might be stuck making more bags for them now. Oh well ... throw me in the briar patch! I love to make bags!

Since they are going off to camp next week, I am also busy preparing for my week home alone. I'm actually getting giddy with anticipation of all the sewing I can potentially get done while they are gone. I've also been looking at my calendar for next week wondering what I have scheduled that I can reschedule or cancel so that I can sew more. I don't know if you will hear much out of me next week or not.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Put a Bird on It

I finished the quilt made from the blocks my mom sent me.

Click here to see the top prior to quilting and read my first post about this quilt.

The quilt finished at 45" by 57". It is simply quilted with an all over meander and will be donated to my local oncology department at the hospital.

There is a story behind the title of this post - "Put a Bird on It."

There are actually four birds on the quilt. (If you look closely at the first photo in this post I bet you will be able to spot them all.) I was about a third of the way through quilting this when I ran across a hole in the white background fabric where you see a bird in the photo above. It looked like a rotary cutter accidentally sliced the white fabric. I don't know if I did this or if my mom did it before she sent me the blocks. Either way, it didn't really matter how it happened, I had to fix it. I didn't want to rip out all the quilting I had already done so I put a pin over the hole and kept quilting.

I knew I would need to applique something over the hole, but what shape? Then I remembered that we had these cute bird AccuQuilt dies at my LQS. I took some pre-fused fabric to work with me on Friday and cut out a few birds. I ended up putting four birds on the quilt. This demonstrates one of my general design rules, "If you make a mistake do it intentionally a few more times, then it becomes a design choice instead of a mistake." So the first bird, the one pictured above, is covering the hole. The rest are "a design choice," LOL!

The quilt has been washed and is all ready to be donated later this month.