Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Around The World Blog Hop Post

My good friend Christa of Christa Quilts asked if I'd like to participate in the Around The World Blog Hop.  I said sure!  Each hop post consists of answering a set of questions about the writer's creative process.  I'm always curious to know how others think, and I'm guessing you are too.  I was supposed to post this on Monday, but due to computer problems (ugh!), it had to wait until today. 

1.  What am I working on?  I am a quilter, but lately I've taken a little break from quilting to work on some simple projects.

Chevron tote

Moonflower tote/purse
Such instant gratification.  : )  I'd like to make some matching accessories next, like wallet, sunglasses case, tissue holder, etc.

Before making these bags, I started on a 16-patch quilt made from Moda Printemps fabrics.  It will be set 6 blocks x 6 blocks (72" square). 





I'll get back to it soon, maybe at the retreat I'm going to with Christa later this month.  Can't wait for that.  

2.  How does my work differ from others in its genre?  Doesn't everyone's?  I love how each person interprets a particular design differently.  Quilts that have vintage roots and modern style are my favorite to make.

3. Why do I create what I do?  I am a born sewer; I begged my mom to teach me at an early age (6, I think).  I began quilting when I took a continuing-education quilting class at the local university and decided to make my now grown daughter a baby quilt.  At first, I thought it was so much work! Of course, I was hooked and have been making them for myself and my family every since.

4. How does my creative process work?  I'll see a quilt or color combination that I like (I love Pinterest for this), and then think about how I'd interpret it. I rarely work with a pattern.  Whenever I make a quilt, it almost always takes me 3 times to get it right, with both the arrangement of the fabrics, and the quilting.  That frustrates me, and there's always a lot of ripping involved.  But, I've learned to accept that it's the way I work.  It doesn't seem to help to sketch it out first, makes no sense. ; )

I hope you enjoyed a little insight into my process. I'm tagging my good friend Linda at Linda's Tangled Threads, so look for her Around the World blog post next Monday.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Chevron Tote Bag







I love tote bags.  They're so handy when a purse is just not enough.  I found this easy tutorial on Pinterest and decided to make one for myself using a Riley Blake Chevron and a coordinating print from Lori Holt's Bake Sale.  It finishes at about 18"W x 13"H (flattened), and the straps are approx. 29" long. 


I used the Pellon Fusible Fleece to give it stability and covered a piece of cardboard to make the bottom rigid.  It was a fun and easy project.  Right now, I'm working on a smaller one using Moonflower (gray, white and yellow) to carry as a purse.  I promise to share when I finish in a couple of days. 


Next, a new fabric wallet seems in order.  I'm really enjoying working on little projects that finish quickly.  

Linking to: Sew Many Ways - Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party
                 My Quilt Infatuation - Needie & Thread Thursday

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Simple Project: Ruffled Kitchen Towel Tutorial




I've been wanting to make a ruffled kitchen towel for the longest time, and when my order of Moda Mochi Dot Linen/Cotton fabric arrived, I knew this was the perfect fabric.  It is a bit heavier than regular cotton, and has a nice texture.  Once I figured out the steps to make the towel, a tutorial seemed in order.  If you want to make one of your own, gather your materials and I'll show you how.


You'll need:  5/8 yard of linen/cotton fabric for towel (or a purchased one), 1/3 yard fabric for ruffle, 1/8 yd fabric for band, thread to match towel, ruffle and band.  I recommend pre-washing all your fabrics, especially the linen/cotton (or purchased towel) which shrinks about 10% (air-dried), and any that are dark.  The black rooster fabric bled quite a bit.  After pressing, cut fabric as follows:

Towel fabric - 20" x 30"
Ruffle fabric - 11" x WOF (width of fabric)
Band fabric - 3 1/2" x WOF

We'll make the towel first. Press a 1/2" hem on both long sides of towel fabric.  


Fold under 1/4", pin hem and sew on each side. 




 Repeat on short sides.  Your towel is now ready for the ruffle.




  Fold fabric ruffle fabric so that selvages are together and trim them off. 


Fold in half right-sides-together so that the fold is along the long edge.  Pin each short edge and sew a 1/4" seam on each one. 


Clip the folded corners only (not shown), turn right side out, match raw edges and press.


Now it's time to gather the ruffle.  Choose your longest stitch length, loosen your bobbin tension and run a line of basting stitches 1/4" from the raw edge.  Leave thread tails on both sides.  Tip:  Write down or snap a quick pic of your settings before changing them.


Carefully gather up your fabric until the ruffle is approx. 1/4" longer than the width of the towel.  


Place the ruffle on the towel so that the bottom extends about an inch lower than the bottom edge of the towel. Let ruffle extend a tiny bit over the sides of towel (like 1/16"-1/8").


Stitch in place over the basting stitches (don't forget to put your stitch and bobbin settings back to where they were).


Now it's time to make the band.  Measure the width of the ruffle at the top.  Add a scant 3/4" to the measurement and cut band that width.  (We are adding a little bit for turning.)  


Fold in half right-sides-together like you did for the ruffle, and pin along short edges.  Sew a 1/4" seam on each end. 


Clip folded corners only.


Turn right-side-out and press with raw edges together. 


Place band on top of ruffle, raw edges together and pin.  Be sure your band is straight and even across the towel. If your ruffle edges peek out a little on the top, don't worry, just make sure the band raw-edge is no higher than the ruffle raw-edge.  Sew 1/4" from top edge of band. 


Flip band up and pin in place. 


Sew sides and top of band with matching thread.  Edges of band should extend a tiny bit (1/16"-1/8") over the sides of towel for good coverage. 

Pin and sew sides of ruffle to towel.  Ruffle should also extend a little beyond the sides of the towel.  




Enjoy!


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Linking to:  Sew Many Ways: Sew Darn Crafty
                  Quilt Story: Fabric Tuesday
                  Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish It Up Friday
                  Sunny Simple Life: From The Farm Blog Hop

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Sewing

With summer in full swing, there hasn't been much time for sewing (or blogging) lately.  Knowing that, I decided to go ahead and start a little project anyway.  It was super quick (a few hours), and turned out rather cute, I think.  


A close-up of the main fabric and the pattern used:

Welcome Great Pumpkin by Quilting Treasures
 
Love Villa Rosa patterns

Given that the pattern had a retro feel, and that the "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" holiday special was first shown in 1966, they seemed to go together nicely.  I think I'll back it with a black and white chevron, and machine-quilt it with vertical squiggly lines (my favorite quick quilting technique) using gray thread.  Not sure what to bind it with - maybe black?  The top finished at 40" x 51". 

I hope summer is going well where you are.  It's always a really busy (and hot!) season around here.  Thank goodness we've had overcast days, which helps keep the 110's at bay.    


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Linking to:  Fabric Tuesday
                  WIP Wednesday
                  Finish It Up Friday 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Simple Project: Ironing Board Cover




I decided to clean up my sewing space last weekend, and after moving my ironing board to a new spot, thought it could use a new cover.  I looked around online and found this tutorial.  After choosing the fabrics, I got to work.  It was pretty easy to make; I think it took longer to pick out the fabrics than to actually make it. I just put the new cover over the old one, which had the padding attached. 

tie on new cover, old one still in place




I did make one mistake {maybe two}.  When tracing around the board, I only left 3 1/2" instead of the 4" that the tutorial recommended.  It doesn't seem to be causing any problems though.  I really like how it turned out, and that it adds a pop of color to my white room.  The maybe mistake is that I didn't pre-wash my fabrics.  Hopefully they won't bleed or shrink too much.  Maybe all that heat will set the dyes.  : /


All in all, it was a fun project! Now I'm thinking about painting a cabinet in the room a fun color, like apple green.  My son, who shares the space, asked that I not paint it pink.  : ) 

Fabrics used:  Sew Cherry (green dot/flower) and Large Gingham by Riley Blake, Pam Kitty Picnic (middle band) by Pam Kitty/Lakehouse.  

Linking to:  Sew Many Ways - Sew Darn Crafty
                    Quilt Story - Fabric Tuesday 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Notebook Covers

I wanted to make some gifts for Mother's Day, and since we like to keep it simple, I chose these notebook covers.




I used Lori Holt's tutorial that she did for AllPeopleQuilt.com. The covers came together quickly and turned out great.  Each has a small pocket on the front for pens and pencils, and two large pockets on the inside covers for notes and such, and fits an inexpensive standard spiral notebook. 






After the cutting was done, each took about 1 to 1 1/2 hours to complete.  Later, I found some cute coordinating pens at Walmart and put one in each notebook (no pic of those).  And of course, I made one for myself, because I'm a mom too.  : )  I used some adorable Pam Kitty fabric for mine.




I think I'll keep sewing & quilting notes in it.  Like my long list of works-in-progress.


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Fabrics available here 

Linking to:  Sew Many Ways - Sew Darn Crafty 
             Quilt Story - Fabric Tuesday 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sew and Tell


After getting my heart quilt finished (yay!), I decided to turn my attention to this little quilt.  Since it isn't very big ( 46" x 56"), I thought I would try basting it on a large section of my kitchen counter.  I used tape and some large clamps to secure the backing, and pin-basted 1/2 at a time.  It worked pretty well!  

So, last night I started in on quilting it.  I decided to quilt curvy lines in the squares, and am doing all the white areas first. 



I really like how it's looking, and am wondering if I'll even need to quilt in the colored squares.  We'll have to see.  I plan on echo-quilting around the applique, and doing some quilting inside the flowers and leaves.

In between the heart quilt and the Posie Patch, I had a little sew-in one afternoon with some quilt-y friends (you'll remember them from the quilt show).  Pam brought us some mini quilts she had just finished up:



  

Aren't they the cutest!  Now I'm thinking of making one (or some).  She was finishing up the binding on this one:


Sorry, it's hard to see the colors in the photo, but it I would call it a low volume 16-patch quilt.  She made it to fit her picnic table.  Don't know if I'd want to eat on it.  : )   Pam is leaving us next month to spend the summer in Wisconsin, but she'll be back in the fall.  Hopefully she'll come back with more show-n-tell.

Linda made us the cutest little closeable fabric baskets, just perfect as thread catchers.  You can see it at my Instagram (sorry, I couldn't get the pic to show up here). 

I worked on my Happy Pinwheels quilt, and finished it up that evening. I'll start quilting on it after I'm done working on my Posie Patch quilt.


Hope you all had a happy Easter.  We had lots of family over, including these little cuties who are waiting for the egg hunt:


Despite her size, the little one in the middle gathered the most eggs; no head start for her next year.  : )