Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sew Sweet Simplicity Free BOM Block 1

I told myself I wouldn't start a new project the rest of the year....oops....I just couldn't help it. :)

This Block Of The Month only lasts 5 months and you have a choice of making a 4 block or 6 block total quilt. There are many other options involving this free BOM but you will need to check it out yourself for all the details.  LINK

Originally I planned to use my stash of 30's Repros and even make the option that includes some simple applique but then I remembered that I still didn't have my computer fixed which meant I couldn't print the applique patterns.  Time to rethink and shop my stash again.

New train of thought....sorry for the poor lighting....picture doesn't show true colors.

One option suggested by the designer was to use a large print in the center of each block rather than doing applique.  I've had the large red, black, white and grey floral piece in my stash for a little while and thought it would be perfect.

Although the designer shared excellent, detailed instructions for cutting and piecing the block, I decided I wanted to do ALL the cutting using my Accuquilt Go.  This meant I had to spend a few minutes figuring out the sizes needed and what dies to use.  If anyone wants to know the dies needed just leave a message in the comments section and I will ask permission from the designer to share that information.

Let the cutting begin..

Well, THAT'S not going to work.....the corners of the snowball blend in too much with the large floral I wanted to use....

I could rearrange the fabrics I planned to use and cut everything out again (all the small pieces) OR I could use everything that was already cut and just switch out the one large floral piece (much less time and work involved).....

Yes....I must admit that the solid black center looks much better than the large floral.  Of course I can always use the large floral fabric as a border....time will tell.

I can call it complete as it is now OR I could add a simple flower design applique in the center using a flower die and my Accuquilt cutter. I think I'm going to wait on making that decision.  It will be simple to add later if I choose to do so.  For now I consider myself finished until the next block pattern is released next month.  This Block only took one morning to start and finish so I don't really feel guilty in deciding to add this NEW project to my goal of finishing UFO's for the remainder of the year. :)

It's not too late to sign up for this free BOM if you would like to participate.  Let me know if you decide to do it along with me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Few Finishes

I'm still without a computer and having to use my Kindle to write this post...please forgive the short, blunt writing style.

Much of my time lately has been spent finishing projects.  I'm not sure if these items will end up being gifts or not. I often fear that my family and friends get tired of receiving my handmade gifts. :)

Not sure who (if anyone) would use this runner. I think it's perfect for spring or summer and the fabrics make me smile.

A set of placemats....
Some of the fabrics in this set above remind me of the 1970's.  To be exact, one particular fabric makes my thoughts go to the television show The Partridge Family. Can you guess which one?

This next set of placemats are more subdued but still make me smile....

I was also able to finish hand sewing the binding on the quilt my Dad made and just this afternoon I machine sewed the binding on the top of the Mesmerize quilt and have it ready to take with me to my daughter's basketball practice tomorrow and hand sew the binding to the back.

In the middle of all this hand sewing, I was able to load my mom's Lazy Sunday quilt top on the longarm frame and start quilting it. I'm supposed to hurry and finish this so my youngest daughter can use it now. :)

Are you finishing projects or starting new ones this week?

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mesmerize is now Quilted

Still having to use my Kindle since we still haven't decided the best course of action to take concerning our home computer's hard drive crashing. All solutions cost lots of money....ugh!

Finally was able to load the Mesmerize lap quilt on the frame and start quilting.

Once again I stitched up a set of placemats to take advantage of the unused fabric and batting on the frame (at the bottom of Mesmerize).

The finished quilt draped over my living room banister.  All it needs is binding to call it DONE!

Close up of quilting. I used the design called Continuous Baptist Fans from Urbanelementz.com

Here's the back. I used a beautiful 108" wide Stonehenge fabric.

A picture of the quilted placemats ready to be cut apart and binding attached

It's that time of year again when I find myself with more opportunities to hand sew....waiting on my daughter during hours of basketball practice, etc., plus the cool evenings as I relax while watching tv.  This means I need to keep plenty of projects ready to grab when needed.  So rather than take a break from quilting, I decided to load another project on the longarm frame.

Ironing another 108" backing fabric (this same fabric was used to back my granddaughter's birthday quilt...it was so pretty and I bought more!).

It will be used to back this beautiful quilt top my mother made for my youngest daughter. The pattern is Bonnie Hunter's Lazy Sunday which was a mystery quilt with clues released in the Quiltmaker magazine last year.

Now you know what's keeping me busy.

Thankfully it looks like I can write new blog posts using my Kindle but my, OH my, it is very tedious and an extremely slow process. :)  Patience reaps many benefits!

Until next time....keep smiling, sewing and quilting!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Computer Woes Again

As luck would have it, the hard drive crashed in my one and only computer. I'm typing this post using my Kindle reader (not the easiest thing to do by the way).  :(

Don't give up on me. I'm really hoping we can find a solution quickly. I have a bunch of stuff to share with you and NEED MY COMPUTER!

Until I get this computer problem solved, keep sewing and quilting!

Until next time.........

Monday, September 29, 2014

Braided Patches Tissue Holder Tutorial


I know there are tons of free tissue holder patterns and tutorials available on the web and I don't claim to be the originator of the concept.  In fact, what I'm about to share with you has probably already been created by multitudes of creative people out there already!  Oh well....all I want to do is share a quick and easy (and inexpensive) project that will make adorable gifts for co-workers, church groups, fellow quilters, friends and family.

Supplies Needed:

From Focal Fabric cut 3 rectangles that measure 4" x 5 3/4" each
From Contrasting Fabric cut 2 squares that measure 4" x 4"

Next take 2 of the rectangles and both squares, fold in half like you would when making binding....leaving right side of fabric on the outside of fold.  Press......

Now your 5 pieces should look like this....

Lay the untouched rectangle of Focal fabric RIGHT SIDE UP on work surface.

Then place both folded and pressed rectangles on top, one on upper half of bottom rectangle and one on lower half with the FOLDED SIDES TOUCHING IN THE CENTER....

Now the fun part.....place one of the folded contrasting squares on the left side with FOLDED EDGE FACING CENTER.  Gently lift the top folded rectangle and place upper end of contrast square underneath. Leave bottom half of folded contrast square ON TOP of bottom folded rectangle.

Now place second folded contrast square on the right side with FOLDED EDGE FACING CENTER. This time gently lift the lower rectangle and place the bottom half of the contrast square underneath.  Leave top half of folded contrast square ON TOP of upper folded rectangle.....

Your project should look like this.....a picture is worth a thousand words isn't it?  :)

Now pin everything together.  I would suggest a pin in all 4 corners.

Using a 1/4" seam, sew completely around all four sides.  I decided to sew it TWICE around to make sure the seams were nice and strong.....

Remove pins and turn inside out.....

The back side....

I bought Kleenex brand portable packs of tissue....(wow...didn't realize how expensive they are now...about .50 cents each).

They fit perfectly...just remember to place them inside you tissue cover with the opening flap facing up!  (I did the first one wrong and had to put it back in a second time.)

Of course, once I started making them I couldn't stop.  I pulled out a box of my larger scraps and started cutting the needed pieces and stacking them in sets....

Before I knew it....

Special ones just for my daughters....die-hard Pittsburgh Steeler Fans just like their Daddy.....

Use your scraps and make one, or a few....I have no doubt that everyone will LOVE them.  They really are very cute. :)

UPDATE:  Just an hour or so after posting this tutorial, I received a photo from a friend/reader showing her finished tissue holder.  Isn't it cute?  She did an awesome job!  Way to go Gen!

Until next time!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dad's Latest Creation is Now Quilted

This weekend was spent quilting the latest quilt top made by my Dad.  All it needs now is binding.


The quilting pantograph design I used is called Renaissance by my friend Denise Schillinger for Urban Elementz.

A quick look at the back of the quilt.....

Yes, I'm guilty for taking frugality to the extreme.....once I had quilted the majority of the 60" x 70" quilt, I saw I had enough batting and backing fabric to add a table runner.  Then I measured the usable space left and quickly pieced together a cute little 20" square wall hanging/table topper last night using fabrics in my scrap box to fill in the last bit of space. :)

The longer table runner is one I made awhile back and put on my Free Patterns page called Simply Classic . 

The 20" square wall hanging/table topper is just a Sister's Choice Block made using 4 1/2" unfinished squares and triangles.

On a completely different subject, a few days ago I made a few more Bowl Potholders for friends.  The Halloween version needs to be put in a mailing envelope and sent to a special friend of mine.  I know she used to always enjoy decorating her home for Halloween but this year has been a tough year for her and I'm not sure she really has time to do much decorating.  Hopefully, she can use this little gift during the month of October and still get a little taste of Halloween.....and just maybe it will put a smile on her face. :)

Speaking of bowls....I decided to make a huge pot of Veggie Soup today......yummmmmy....couldn't be more perfect on a chilly, dreary New York day.

How was your weekend?  Did you spend it sewing?  Until next time.....

Friday, September 19, 2014

Oops My Bad

It was bound to happen!  I made a mistake for the first time in my life!!!  Okay, so it wasn't the FIRST time I've made one.  Honestly my days wouldn't be complete without a long list of oops moments. :)

In my last post I shared the most recent quilt top I had completed.  I'm anxious to get it quilted.  Although there is a short stack of extra wide quilt backing fabrics in my personal stash, each piece was at least 3 yards...big enough for a queen size and/or king.  Cutting into any of those choices for this over sized lap quilt wasn't appealing.  I needed to SHOP!

Lesson learned.....don't shop too quickly and REALLY think things through first.  I found a beautiful piece immediately.  Perfect?....not quite.  Color?....will work nicely.  Pattern?.....ummmmm, it had a large floral design that was very similar to a few of the pieces used within the quilt top.  Unfold and really look at the design?....forgot to do that.  Spend time thinking?....nope, not so much!  Purchase?.....sure did. :)

Although I was tired last night, excitement to start preparing everything to quilt was strong.  It shouldn't take too much energy just to press the new backing fabric.......

Uuummmmm.....how did all those ribbons and bows get there?  Flowers I was expecting but not the ribbons and bows!!

Remember, I started out tired and I'm running out of steam at this point.  There I stood trying to talk myself into believing it would work for my quilt.  I sent a photo to my quilting pal and her response was "Isn't it a little fancy?"  She was correct but I still wasn't ready to give in....I NEEDED this to work. :)

Why, oh why didn't I just give in to my exhaustion and go to bed!!!!  Instead, silly me loaded the fabric on my longarm.

As I finished loading the backing, my daughter walked by and I asked her if she thought the fabric would be pretty backing the new quilt top.  Without skipping a beat she said "NO!"  She thought is was pretty but not for the quilt I had in mind.

You can probably imagine that my frustration didn't allow for a much needed, restful sleep during the night.  I tossed and turned thinking about that darned quilt!  I'm lazy and it takes time to load the fabric on the frame and I just didn't want to take the fabric off, go buy another fabric, load it on the frame, THEN finally get to start quilting.

When I awoke I knew I had two options....1) Make a completely new, suitable quilt top to use the fabric that was already loaded on the frame.  2)  Look through my closet of "items needing to be quilted" and see if I already had something suitable.  I REALLY didn't want to make a new quilt top just because I was too lazy to take the fabric off the frame and I couldn't find anything suitable handing in my quilt closet.

Ta Da......my Dad to the rescue!!!  He had sent me home after our vacation a few weeks ago with a box full of quilt tops he had pieced.  Do you remember reading my earlier post about teaching my dad to sew?  If not, click HERE.   My Dad is a unique new quilt top maker.  He refuses to sew anything other than the 10" square pieces of fabrics called Layer Cakes.  :)

I looked through his stack of quilt tops and found the perfect one.....

It's a Win/Win solution.....Dad gets one of his quilt tops quilted earlier than expected and I don't have to take the fabric off the longarm! :)

Just cut the batting.....

My excitement has returned.  Time to get this thing done so I can go shopping again and buy a more suitable backing fabric for my own quilt, load it and get it finished also. :)

Until next time.....think things through or you might end up with an oops like me!!!!