Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Improv Wall Hanging

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday. 

About a year ago I decided to try a Pinterest idea and use my home printer to print words on burlap. I printed some words from Philippians 4:8 (Pure, True, Lovely, Right, Honorable, Excellent, and Admirable), which is a favorite verse of mine. It turned out fairly well, although I almost destroyed my printer, when the burlap got caught and wound up around the rollers inside it. I hot glued and stapled the the burlap to OSB (thin plywood) cut to size and hung them on a very blank wall in my living room. I always had in mind to paint that wall something bold as a backdrop for the burlap plaques... Fast forward a year or so, other decorative additions to the living room and the burlap plaques weren't working for me, they were a tad on the boring side. 

I saw Urban Mod by Art Gallery Fabric and I fell in love. I decided a wall hanging made from the fabric to mostly cover that wall would be lovely. I ordered several Kona Solids to go with the Urban Mod, two shades of gray, olive, and canary. I don't know if I will use the Kona Canary it is a bit bright. Now I am incorporating the printed burlap into a wall hanging. I am going completely improv on this one.  

I tacked up some batting on the wall of my sewing nook, started cutting strips of my fabric, and started piecing my first block yesterday. I backed the burlap in muslin before sewing any fabric to it, to stabilize it. 

I assume this will be my main WIP for a while.

PS. I completely finished my mother's Lilac Diamond Quilt and will be giving it to her this weekend. I plan to post all about it on Sunday or Monday! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lone Starburst Quilted Pillow

I posted about my first paper pieced project, a Lone Starburst out of Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2 in Lilac as well as some Kona Solids Olive and Violet. I decided to turn that 12.5 inch block in a larger block and quilt it.

 I added 3 inch borders... Although after I quilted it I wound up trimming them down. I used a high loft batting and muslin for backing.

I followed the seam of the star burst and then I decided to venture outside of my comfort zone and use my walking foot to follow the outline of the star. I think it turned out very nicely. The high loft batting caused the star burst itself to "poof" up a little and it looks nice.

I loved the way the back of it turned out, unfortunately that is hidden inside of the pillow now. I will definitely be making this block again and quilting it the same way so that the back can be seen because I really love this. 

I used Pond Kona Solid for the back of the pillow. I used recycled stuffing from an old pillow that we weren't using... and Voila!

A simple matching pillow for the Lilac Diamond Quilt. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Paper Piecing First

My big March project, my mother's Lilac Diamond Quilt (a full blog post with lots of pics will follow after I give my mom the quilt next weekend!), is quilted and I am binding it by hand now. 

The fabric I chose for the Lilac Diamond Quilt is so beautiful, I really wanted to make something else with the leftovers, but the colors are so vibrant and busy, I hadn't quite decided what I should do. I have been seeing some beautiful work done with paper piecing, I know its been around for centuries, but I was unfamiliar with the technique until recently. I decided now was the time to play around with it. I found this beautiful template for a Lone Starburst on Six White Horses and I downloaded the pdf file. Honestly I didn't know where to begin. I had no clue about paper piecing. I searched around the web for a tutorial, but honestly didn't find anything that I really followed well. So I just started experimenting. 

You need 4 As and 4 Bs to make one Starburst:

After some trial and error, I realized a few things, just going to list them out below:

1. Put the fabric on the back of the paper, and sew on the lines on the front.

2. Decrease your stitch size if you want to get the paper off without ripping out the seems from the fabric!

3. The first piece of fabric needs to face right side up, while all of the others are right sides together. Which means wrong side facing you.  


4. Use big enough scraps of fabric, this is great for using up tiny pieces, but don't just "hope" its enough because then you are using your seam ripper a LOT and its really tough to pull out the seams because your stitches are so small! 

This is NOT a tutorial, those are just a few pointers. I don't feel qualified to be giving anyone lessons on paper piecing at this point, BUT it was tons of fun. After a LOT of trial and error, ripping out a LOT of seams, realizing that my pieces of fabric were NOT big enough... I managed to get the 8 sections made for my Lone Starburst. I worked on this Thursday evening and Friday evening!

1 of 8 Starburst Sections

1 of 4 A/B Sections

My eight sections before I sewed them!

After I finished my 8 sections, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to piece them together with the paper still on, or if I took the paper off and then just lined up my seems and sewed the pieces together... I went with the latter. It worked out okay. My seems weren't perfect, but they looked pretty good and I was pleased, as it was my first paper piecing attempt and I did it all on trial and error. 

One A/B Section Sewn Together

My Lone Starburst! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I Won a Giveaway and Quilt Expo

I enter fabric giveaways all the time. So many bloggers out there and their sponsors are very generous with some beautiful fabric! I didn't have much time to enter many, but last Friday/Saturday I participated in a Blog Hop Party hosted by Michelle at the Quilting Gallery.

There were over 200 Bloggers that participated, I did NOT have the time to enter all of their giveaways, so I entered the ones whose blogs started with a "J" and I scanned the list for bloggers in Missouri, hoping to possibly get to know some nearby quilters.

I WON!!!

Krista at Sew What's Cooking was giving away 6 Fat Quarters of Timber and Leaf by Sarah Watts for Hawthorne Threads. I can't believe that I won them!

On top of all of that Krista mentioned the The Thimble and Thread Quilt Expo in St. Louis in her post announcing the winner. And... I actually have today free, so I am going to head up there!

... Also, I have been working on my Skill Builder Block of the Month by Pile of Fabric and I have pieced three of the four. The instructions for the next two blocks will be out next Thursday... So I still have the fourth the piece and I have to FMQ (Free Motion Quilt) all of them, but I am catching up!

Block One

Block Two

Block Three

I am sticking to my promise to use scraps! I did have to order the white background fabric and I will have to order more of it because that will be used throughout the entire quilt, also, I need to figure out what I will use for the backing before I can begin quilting each of these. I have been wanting to try the QAYG (Quilt As You Go) Method, so I am definitely going to choose that option for quilting these. 

Pile O' Fabric

That's all for now!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Fabric and WIP Update

Today I received some new goodies in the mail that I ordered on Friday!!! Ohhh how I love little bundles of new fabric and I definitely don't receive them enough :>)

I ordered some Urban Mod by Art Gallery Fabrics from Hawthorne Threads.

I am going to make a wall hanging for my living room with these fabrics, the design is still a "thought in progress!"

I have been eyeing Rock N Romance by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics as well for some time, and it is about going going gone! So I decided I must have a few pieces for myself....

I ordered 4 half yard prints, and of course after I got them I kind of wish I would have ordered a couple more prints. 

Then Canton Village Quilt Works was having 10% off Kona Solids, so I ordered some grays and a white. They will go nicely with my Urban Mod wall hanging. 

I wanted to order some more colors, but I thought my money would be better spent on a Kona Color Card so that I could match solids with the prints I buy for quilts. I really needed it for my current WIP because I haven't bought the backing for it yet. 

So it is WIP Wednesday is it not? I think I might give a little peak at how my mom's Aviary 2 - Lilac Value Quilt is coming along... 

The 168 HSTs (Half-Triangle Squares) are sewn together, the narrow inner border is almost completely finished, and just the outer border to go before the top is complete! The picture below is of the center of the quilt, where the first four squares join and work their way out. 

Quilt Center

Also, I found this challenge that I thought I would share... 

It is not just a quilting challenge, it is a craft of any sort. They give the theme on the 15th of the month, and then you create your project, and submit it by the 15th of the next month. The first challenge begins on March 15th. Looks like fun... I just might do this!

Le Challenge

Friday, March 8, 2013

Lincoln's Puff Quilt

I was so excited when my younger sister found out she was going to have a baby boy. I thought I had the perfect quilt for her, the Animal Junction Quilt. I had been saving it for someone special because it is so fun and I hand quilted it. 

I went to visit her in TX and gave her the quilt, but at that time I saw her nursery theme... Navy, White, and Orange with Chevron and Elephants prints. Of course the quilt I made her didn't match and I couldn't get those colors out of my mind after I came home. I wanted to make a quilt to match. 

I surfing quilt fabric and quilt designs, and came across Honeybear Lane on Etsy. I thought the Puff Quilts were darling and I saw she had a PDF Tutorial for sale! I bought it and downloaded it as soon as I got the link, wow it is a comprehensive tutorial! 

I ordered the following fabrics

Daiwabo House Designer - Tip Top Canvas - Elephants in Ivory on Tangerine & Riley Blake Designs - Large Chevron - Large Chevron in Orange

Daiwabo House Designer - Tip Top Canvas - Elephants in Ivory on Tangerine   Riley Blake Designs - Chevron - Large Chevron in Orange

Riley Blake Designs - Chevron - Chevron in Navy                        Jack and Lulu - Its a Shore Thing - Cabana Stripe in Navy
Riley Blake Designs - Chevron - Medium Chevron in Navy  

Riley Blake Designs - Cotton Dots Medium - Medium Dots in Navy  Amy Butler - Lotus - Full Moon Polka Dot in Tangerine
Riley Blake Designs - Dots - Medium Dots in Navy      Amy Butler - Lotus - Full Moon Polka Dot in Tangerine

Shannon Fabrics House Designer - Dimple Dot Cuddle / Minky - Dimple Dot Cuddle / Minky in Orange & Navy

Shannon Fabrics House Designer - Dimple Dot Cuddle /  Minky - Dimple Dot Cuddle / Minky in Orange  Shannon Fabrics House Designer - Dimple Dot Cuddle /  Minky - Dimple Dot Cuddle / Minky in Navy

The cutting began! It started out as a very fun/quick project. All the little squares were 5X5 (this would work great with charms, I think I will try that next time:) Then I made the pockets by sewing 3 sides to 4-1/2 X 4-1/2 muslin squares. I stuffed them with the polyfil and sewed the 4th side together. I had a whole table full of puffy little bean bags. They were so colorful and fun! 

Not the greatest pic, but you can see the little puffs!

Then I had to arrange all of them, I followed the directions in the PDF Tutorial. Instead of a square puff center, I did 4 extra rows of puffs and had 8 puffs X 12 puffs. 

It was when I started sewing these beautiful puffs together that I realized this was no longer easy. It was a physical challenge! I was working on my old Kenmore sewing machine from the 1960s and was unable to purchase the special walking foot that is recommended. I think this is the quilt that made me realize I was ready for an upgrade! 

I had a bit of trouble with the border, but I made it work with some minor adjustments.It wasn't as straight as I would like, but it looked fine to everyone, but me. 

So there it is! It really did turn out so lovely, but it is very heavy. It matches Lincoln's room perfectly and although it is definitely not a baby blanket because of the weight, it will be great for crawling on and playing on as he gets a bit older. Writing this post is making me want to go make another one! I learned so many new things making that quilt and the Navy and Orange are just so fun. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Honestly I feel like lately my biggest WIP has been this blog, it has definitely been the most time consuming! I know I don't have many regular readers as of yet, but some of you may have noticed that it looks different each time you take a look... Sorry about that. I want it to be cute, but functional and easy to read. I have tried out many different templates, some from, some from other websites. Finally I think I have settled on this template and I did a lot of customization myself. I am not promising that it won't change a bit here and there, and there are a few more additions/edits I would like to make.

My Quilting WIP (Work in Progress)

That would be my Mom's Value Quilt. It is going well. All 336 triangles have been sewn into 168 medium/dark squares. I pressed and trimmed all squares, so now they are exactly 5.5 inches.

I spent an entire afternoon arranging and rearranging the the squares for the perfect layout. It is during projects like these that I am so happy to have a ping pong table in the middle of the space we use for sewing/crafting, office, school, and fly tying (my husband does that).

The arrangement is set and the first row has been sewn together!  I am really excited as it is now starting to look like a quilt.

Also, I am going to take on a Skill Builder Block of the Month challenge. I have never done one of these and I am already 2 months behind, since I am just joining. So I have some catching up to do, but I think it will be great for me to build some new skills and improve on some others... May even be an excuse to buy more fabric... Although I promised Nate I wouldn't buy any new fabric in March, that is going to be a really hard promise to keep!

Pile O' Fabric

Monday, March 4, 2013

London - Minus the Red

A friend/Co-Worker is expecting her first child, a baby boy. I knew I wanted to make a quilt for the baby, so I asked what the nursery theme was to try and get an idea about what I should do. She said she was going for a "London" themed nursery, BUT she didn't want any red, only gray, black, blue/navy, and cream... I was honestly at a loss! I almost just made her a typical baby quilt, but when I put that much love into something I want it to be well loved and really speak to the recipient... So I determined NOT to give up. I browsed hundreds of fabrics, patterns, and quilts online.

There are some lovely lines of fabric available that really scream LONDON. I really liked "London" by Makower UK, but there was a ton of red it in.  Then I stumbled across Dear Stella's Mayfair Town and 
Country and I knew that was it.

I still wasn't sure how I was going to use the fabric to piece the quilt. I saw quite a few examples of Union Jacks, and wondered if I could do that. I found a marvelous tutorial by Lynne at Lily's Quilts for A Double Fat Jack. I grabbed some leftover fat quarters and whipped out one within a couple of hours, I was excited and ready to go.

I thought if I make four of these Double Fat Jacks and then sash them together, that will be a decent size baby quilt. As each Double Fat Jack finished is 22" X 29" so I estimated that the finished quilt would be 50" X 64" which is a bit bigger than a crib quilt.

I went to and began the selection process. I was tempted to choose some of the fabrics that have red, but I didn't.

I selected the "Trees" to be the main portion of the Union Jack, I would use the Navy Tiny Diamonds for the crosses on two of the flags, and the Gray Tiny Diamonds on the other two flags. The Cream Tiny Diamonds would be the "neutral" and the London would be the sashing.

I ordered yardage instead of fat quarters -
1 yd Cream
3/4 yd Navy
3/4 yd Gray
1-1/4 yd Trees
1 yd London

I planned to use Gray Minky Dot backing, I am partial to Minky Dot as backing, especially for baby quilts.

The fabric arrived quickly! And I got to work following the tutorial on Lily's Quilts.

First completed Double Fat Jack

I was able to complete the two Navy Double Fat Jacks and then my project was put on hold. My Uncle passed away and I went to Texas for a week.

I returned from Texas the night of February 20th and I had a lot of catching up to do and not just on this quilt. The quilt needed to be in the mail by Tuesday February 26th to make it to the Baby Shower! I finished the top by Friday February 23rd.

The top was finished, but I ran into a little problem. The piece of Gray Minky Dot I had thought I would use, was not large enough! Saturday morning I was desperate so I went to Joann Fabrics. Honestly I haven't found a LQS nearby since moving to Missouri (I am 20 minutes south of St. Louis), so if any readers know of a great LQS anywhere in the St. Louis area please let me know. They didn't have the Minky Dot I wanted so I went outside the box a bit... I got flannel. I have never backed with flannel, but there was this cute gray flannel with black bicycles printed on it, and the Baby's Dad is cyclist! I was nervous to say the least.
I didn't have time to work on the quilt on Saturday, but Sunday afternoon I quilted it, a simple stitch in the ditch, and at 12 am I finished binding it!

I think stitch in the ditch quilting for this one was great because the 4 Union Jacks came through on the back of the quilt. 

I mailed the quilt Monday February 25th. Whew! That was a bit hectic, but I was pleased with the finish... And my friend/co-worker, as well as her British spouse were very surprised and excited.

Creating a quilt from start to finish for someone specific is very special to me; selecting the fabric, selecting a pattern/design, and then making something specific for a particular person is wonderful. The whole time I am making a quilt for someone I am thinking about them and praying for them. It is a very intimate experience for me, I know that sounds strange, but it really is the only way I can describe it.

Linking up with Plum and June