Monday, December 29, 2014

Scrappy Hearts Origin Story

I started something new over the holidays.  There is a young lady in my family who can use all the love and good wishes she can get right now.  To me that means she needs a quilt, ASAP!

I chose Cindy Carter's scrappy four patch hearts pattern before I even got back to my sewing room.  What better way to send health and happiness than with a quilt full of hearts?

Her favorite colors are blue and purple so I started pulling those fabrics from my stash the moment I got home.  There was a little of this and a little of that, but I managed to find nine dark blues that went together well.  I was shy on purple, so I still had to visit the fabric store. (Oh calamity!) 

I thought the quilt would be scrappy enough with all of the blues chosen for the hearts, so the plan was to find a single purple for the background.  My selection of blues had other ideas...

And now the fabric is washed, pressed, and ready to cut.  So off I go!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Monday, December 15, 2014

An Experiment in Binding

After having such trouble with the binding on the card trick potholders I decided to try and find another way.  I had attempted to join the ends the same way I would on a quilt, after it was partially attached, and there just wasn't enough play along the short little sides.

My first thought was to cut the back large and roll it over the same way I do on baby quilts.  Then I promptly cut the pieces too small and had to come up with a new plan.

I found a tutorial to make the binding into a loop with a straight join before attaching it to the potholder, and I thought I might be able to adapt that method to use an angled join.

First I cut a strip of fabric at 2.25 inches.  I lined it up on the potholder to determine where my ends would wind up.  These potholders were a little smaller than the last, so one strip fit just fine.  Then I cut the ends so there was a 2.25 inch overlap.

I lined up the corners and drew a diagonal from one edge to the other.  I sewed on this line, trimmed the excess triangles off, and then ironed the loop in half.

Then I pinned the loop of binding down to the front of the potholder.  It was a little on the large side, so I might make it a very little bit smaller next time.  It wasn't too big that I couldn't make it work by easing it in a little as I went though.

The moment of truth!  The corners seemed a little more determined to give me trouble with the mitering, but it's pinned down now and ready for a little hand sewing tonight!  Just in time, because these will start their journey on Wednesday!  Phew!

Linking up with MOP Monday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Card Tricks Complete!

My card tricks are all finished!  Hip hip hooray!

A pair of tricks!

A view of the back.
They finished at eight inches square and were constructed with two layers of cotton batting.

I think they turned out fairly well.  More practice is needed for sure, but not too shabby for a first attempt!

In other first attempt news, one of the local quilt stores had a class on using a Nolting long arm machine this weekend.  I think I liked it better than quilting on my little machine.  I found she was certainly more intuitive for free-motion!

The store owner had 15(!) quilts still to finish before Christmas, so it may take a while to get some more practice in, but I'm already planning to come back in the new year to try again!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Woodland Sampler - May

Both of my card trick blocks have been assembled and quilted.  There has been a lot of learning happening during the process, but all's well if it ends well!

Starting the Quilting

Binding Pinned
This was my first time quilting using a walking foot and, though this wasn't the simplest first piece I could have tried, I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.  However, I do need to look into why my machine has taken to skipping stitches.

The first potholder went through a lot of stitching and un-stitching (and possibly some yelling...) on the way towards getting the ends of the binding joined, but the second one went a bit smoother.  Hopefully the next set will be even easier still!

All that's left is a bit of hand stitching to finish off the binding!

I also picked up my Woodland Sampler again.  This cross-stitch fell off of the to-do list back in May.  I stitched the May box in July, and over Thanksgiving a gnome took up residence there!  I'd like to finish half the year before 2015 rolls around...  Only one more small square to go!

May Gnome

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A New State - Nevada

This past weekend my husband surprised me with a trip.  Since he kept the location a secret all the way up to the drive towards the airport, finding a quilt store was a high priority once our destination was revealed (Las Vegas)!

Nevada - Quiltique

Google likes to rotate my pictures.

Never having been to Nevada before, once I found a quilt store I needed to find a good fabric to add to my 50 state collection.

I was a little surprised that I couldn't find a fabric with the lights of the strip, but I decided to go with the red in the bottom left to represent Red Rock Canyon and it suited me much better!  A bit of the blue may go with it to show how blue the sky was, but I'm still up in the air about that.

Red Rock was pretty awesome.  We didn't get to spend nearly enough time wandering around out there, so we will have to go back with more appropriate gear for sure!

The top two are some cute little critters that I just couldn't resist.

Linking up with  .

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fabric Recovery - Brown

Since cold water worked well for removing the wayward color from my finished quarter cabin blocks, I have begun a similar soaking process for the rest of the fabric.  I started with the brown since it was the obvious offender.

When I put the fabric into its bath, it hung on top of the water for a few seconds, then started to fall piece by piece.  It looks a little bit like a sting ray here!

There was a lot of color to remove.  I changed the soaking water six times before it stayed clear enough that I was satisfied.

I laid the pieces out on a towel to dry, trying to keep them as square as possible.  After soaking, the squares ended up approximately a quarter of an inch smaller in one direction so I'll have to trim them before they are ready for the sewing process.

Linking up to MOP Monday.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Card Trick One

After getting two substantial quilts out this year, I've decided it's time to work on some small projects.  First up is a pair of pot holders.

I have never worked with quarter square triangles and I don't even have much experience sewing with pre-cut triangles so I was a bit nervous how this was going to come out.

But now I have the first one sewn up and am loving how it looks.  However, I wasn't feeling up to trying to match any more points after the first one, so the second card trick is still waiting for it's turn!

The first of two card tricks.

Linking up to MOP Monday and Let's Bee Social.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Rainbow Baby Quilt - A Finish

The last stitch has been put in my rainbow baby quilt.

The last pin pulled to finish off the binding.

Photographs have been taken for posterity, with crazy morning light (of course).  I enjoyed walking past and admiring it hanging on my wall while I was going about my morning.

And the hand off has been accomplished.  I'm so glad it's done and off to it's new home!

Linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rainbow Hand Quilting - Third Border

The picture isn't very clear, because it was really dark before work, but I have made more progress on the baby quilt.  25% of the third border is finished.  Hopefully I'll be binding by the week's end.

I exchanged my big hoop for a smaller one.

Remember these blocks?
I also finally got around to soaking those blocks I had sitting under my iron as it went through it's death throws and leaked everywhere....

Just soaking in clear water seems to have worked well to get the color out.  So I'll be starting to soak the unassembled pieces when this baby quilt is done.  One of the dark purples on the top needs a little more soaking perhaps, but it did not have as much time to sit as the others.

The blocks are are not as close to square as they were though.  I might try to re-wet them and block them out a bit better, but I'm thinking that I'll have to trim them to size.

Linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday and MOP Monday.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Rainbow Hand Quilting - Third Border Analysis

I was hoping to have two finished borders today, but I still have one hoop position left.  Tonight should see them done, and the hike I went on Saturday was worth a little delay!  Cold, but worth it.

The original plan was to do a zig zag for the third border.  However, after a quick calculation of how much more sewing I would need to do for a zig zag border than a straight border (which turned out to be about 60 inches), I may go with a straight border instead.  The poor little guy deserves his quilt!

Linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday and MOP Monday.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Rainbow Hand Quilting - The First Two Borders

I've been putting in some quilting time every night and am now about 50% of the way done with borders one and two.  I think I'm going to have to revise my estimated finish date again.  I must be putting in more quilting than usual...

The first border is done on the bottom in the hoop.

I've been using tape to mark the line borders.  I have one set for the side borders and one for the top and bottom borders because they are different widths.

I won a giveaway last week, and was pleasantly surprised to find my prize waiting in my mailbox when I got back in to town last night.

But, despite my excitement, I managed to leave the fabric in it's package overnight and used it as a reward to get myself out of bed early this morning.  Mission accomplished!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rainbow Hand Quilting - Starting the Border

More progress on the baby quilt.  I finished all 20 blocks and even managed to start the border.

There is going to be stitching in all three of the borders.  I have started on the first two.  The third one is close enough to the edge that it will require some finessing with the hoop, so I'm going to do that one separately.  No reason to make them all complicated!

I've been getting rid of the batting lint as I go.  It's very striking just how black the borders are again!

Starting to sew - a fun curlicue.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Rainbow Hand Quilting - 89%

There has been some really good progress this past week.  I was able to accomplish just about one square a day, bringing me to halfway through square 18!

The back is the easiest way to see all the quilted blocks!

Square 18 is Mr. Snake.  I was hoping to have him finished for this morning, but I still think I'm in good shape to be done with the panel and working on the borders by mid week!

One of the squares I finished recently had both a boy and a girl.  Since the baby has already been born, and the gender is no surprise, I decided to only outline the little boy.

Each block has an outer and an inner border around its center piece.  For half of the blocks this is a light and dark of the same color.  In the course of my stitching, I've found the boundary between the light and dark is harder to discern with certain colors.  For example, the yellow squares have been quite easy to stitch.  However, the line between the two shades in the red squares is more difficult to see (and those blocks go a good deal slower).  I think they picked very similar reds!

Linking up to MOP Monday and Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Autumn Rose

I finished before the wedding!  That was very exciting.

The last stitch on the binding was put in Friday morning, and the label was attached in the hotel room the morning of the wedding.  I really need to stop running so late on quilts one of these days!

Unfortunately the weather was pretty disgusting the day of the wedding so my pictures are pretty dark, but they get the job done.

Despite it's slightly rocky beginnings, I ended up loving this quilt so much.  The quilting was simply gorgeous and exactly what I was hoping for.  I think I'm going to have to make a quilt for the hubby and me and have it custom quilted.

I had contemplated binding it in the border fabric but when it turned out that I didn't have enough, green was it!  I think it worked pretty well and gave a little bit of interest to the edges.

I have already heard from the happy couple that they loved it.  What a relief!

Stats -
Autumn Rose
Size: 86 x 98
Finished: September 2014

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What's in a Name - A Giveaway

My baby quilt has been put aside for the moment because I've got many, many inches of binding to sew this week.

My (huge) maple leaf quilt is back from the quilter, and it's gorgeous!  There's no sneak peak of it quilted today (Sorry, I forgot my camera) but it turned out even better than I hoped!

The wedding is fast approaching now and I need to come up with a name for it, post haste.  So I'm going to host a little challenge...

The winner will receive a 20$ gift certificate to Hawthorne Threads!  Anyone can win, near or far, and I'll pick a winner this weekend.

In order to be eligible to win please leave me a name suggestion in your comment (and an email address if you are a no-reply blogger).  Thanks!

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.

EDIT: I've been getting some excellent suggestions today from no reply bloggers; most commonly from bloggers who use Google+ accounts.  Please make sure that I can access your email address if you would like to be entered into my giveaway.  Thanks so much!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rainbow Hand Quilting - 50%

There has finally been some quilting going on around these parts again.  It's been way too long!

I got to spend sit and sew for several hours yesterday.  Between the quilting, the sunshine, and a documentary, it was the best evening I could ask for!

Ten squares of the noisy critters panel are quilted and there are ten still to go.  At the rate I'm going, I might have it finished for the little one's first birthday.  (The baby is due any day now.)  Ha!

The back has been a little stretchier than I remember flannel being, but I'm liking this piece more and more as it works its way towards quiltdom.

The clock (in the lower right) looks like a little bit like a Mario Brothers bomb from the back.  It makes me laugh, and I think it might be one of my favorites!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social and WiP Wednesday.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Plea for Help

I haven't had much time to quilt lately, but this morning I was excited to show off some blocks that I've managed to squeeze in.

Except it turns out that my iron is leaking...  And I had left my finished blocks sitting underneath my ironing board.

The two worst ones.  What a way to start a Monday...

So now I'm considering just throwing out the whole project.  I don't know what this means for my ability to wash the quilt if I make it, and I'd rather not put in all the effort if it's just going to ruin itself when it's done.

If anyone has any advice, I would appreciate it.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

An Interesting Day at the Beach

I believe I was one of the odder sights at the beach we went to this weekend.

Initial Plan

Coming up on the to do list is a neutral log cabin.  So I pulled out and started arranging some tans I purchased recently.  (I must have a deadline I'm avoiding!)

First there are some darker tans.  I think I bought them planning for the floral fabric to be the lightest in this set.  However, despite the pale flowers, I think it reads a bit darker out of the store lighting.

New Plan?
So I tried laying them out another way.  There are so many different shades in that floral piece that it's hard to figure out where to put it, but I'm leaning towards this second layout.

Then there are some lighter tans.  These fell into place much easier.

Now I just have to pick a center for my cabins.  I'd like to follow the neutral theme, but I'm still not sure whether I should go light or dark.  Perhaps a cream solid would work...  Now there's an interesting idea.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social and WiP Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rainbow Hand Quilting - 20%

Once again more time has been spent outside than has been devoted to quilting.  I've hiked three more mountains (for a total of 10 peaks in the last 30 days!), ran a few more miles, and I even got to spend a little time relaxing on the beach!  But my legs have now demanded a break from the madness, so hopefully there will be improved sewing progress in the next week.

There are 20 squares in the panel and I have quilted the first four.  The row with the tiger and the stripes is the center of the quilt; I work my way out from the middle.

I wasn't about to trace all those little dots!

The quilting is easier to see from the back - this rainbow thread stands out really well on the yellow flannel.

The large circle impression is from the quilting hoop.  That will relax out.

I'm pretty happy with how the quilting is coming along, but I'm quickly being reminded of why I didn't like working with this thread the last time I used it.  It unravels all over the place!  I don't know if this is a common issue with variegated thread, but I wouldn't recommend using Mettler variegated.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social and WiP Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June Charity

I completed my blocks in June!  (Which is more than I can say for my June cross-stitch box.).

I loved the colors in the June palette and, if I can be honest, I've been looking for an excuse to use these colors for some time now.  And the best part of these blocks is that my husband really liked the colors too.  So as soon as I decide whether to keep the stripe or go more neutral, I'll be headed off to the quilt store to get more slate blue - a fat quarter doesn't make that much background!

So proud!  All my stripes go the same way.

The next question is whether I will be brave enough to try using the tiny triangle pieces I cut off!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.