Thursday, December 29, 2016

Best of 2016

Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting her Best of 2016 Linky Party until January 2nd.  This is a wonderful link-up that highlights the work of so many great quilters and makers.  The rules are flexible, which makes it even more fun.  My five best are my favorite finishes for the year.  To read more about each quilt, click on the heading to get to the original post.

1.  Cotton + Steel Stash Buster Quilt

2.  Interlock Quilt

3.  Flora and Fauna Quilt

4.  Pow Wow Mini Quilt

5.  Sturbridge Rail Fence Quilt

To add to the fun, here's my best nine collage from my @sewsomesushine instagram account.

I'm so happy with what I accomplished this year and am looking forward to 2017!

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cotton + Steel Stash Buster

I've kept this one under wraps for a little while, but now it has been gifted so I can share with you.  I made this quilt for my niece for Christmas and she loved it!  It's a simple pattern with rectangles using quite a few fat quarters of Cotton + Steel fabrics.  I love the color scheme on this one.

This is a simple design that doesn't require much concentration, so it's perfect for a quick sew.

I used a Cotton + Steel basic XOXO in navy for the back and it is quilted in an aqua colored thread.

Each block finishes at 9 inches square, so the quilt is 63" x 81".  Quilting by AB Quilting Studio.  

This was one of two gifts I made this year, and was a finish for Quarter 4 of the 2016 Finish-A-Long

This quilt was inspired by Marissa at GoBeWonderful, see her original here.  

Friday, December 23, 2016

Nativity Panel

It's the night before the night before Christmas!  I recently gifted this Nativity scene wall hanging to my brother for Christmas.  I hadn't used a panel like this before, and it turned out to be excellent practice for some free motion quilting.

I drew around the main parts of the scene in black thread, and then used gray to outline the animals.   I drew around the stones with a matching taupe color.

I drew branches in the trees, and also added yellow to the star.  

My brother is so happy with his gift, and I'm happy that I tackled something new!

Merry Christmas!  

Friday, December 16, 2016

Holiday Runner

It's getting close...we're in the home stretch of getting ready for the holidays!  I've had so much going on at home these past few months.  We've been fixing bathrooms and getting floors refinished.  That means the house is in disarray, along with the sewing room.  We are getting back to normal and finally have our tree up today, so things are improving for sure.

I have managed to get a bit of sewing in, so here's a cute runner for my son's dresser.  Last year I made him this cute tree skirt for his mini tree.  This runner used a great fabric that I was able to cut to add to the two ends.  I was just able to get Santa in on one side!

I added some waves of quilting in red thread to make it look like a windy trail.  I also added some cute red rick rack.  The runner uses just two fat quarters, one for the two ends and one for the middle, along with two one and a half inch wide white strips.  It's 18 inches across.

I love the black, red, and white colors on this fabric, along with the fun Christmas motifs.

I can't wait to see what you've all sewn, I'm sure there will be a lot of reveals in the next few weeks! Good luck with your finishes!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Two Color Challenge

The LIMQG had a challenge for November to create a mug rug using only two colors.  I chose blue and green because I think it's a classic combination and I decided to try out a paper pieced star from Carol Doak's 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars.  This is a great book if you like paper piecing, you can make so many different combinations of stars and you can change the block size using your copy machine/printer.  I have a small pinterest board for star inspiration you can see here.

This mug rug/mini finishes at 7 inches square.  It was definitely challenging to (try to!) get all the points and seams lined up when working with such small pieces.  I also found that the ends of the seams stretched a little, so an even smaller stitch and paying attention to stops and starts would help the finished look.  I enjoyed this challenge, it's great to try something out on a small project.

Have you worked on any skills or challenges recently, I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Persimmon Pillows

It's a cold wet day here in New York after a warm week.  I finished up a few pillows to add to my Interlock quilt bedding.  You can see my king size quilt and sham here.  I think I'm just about done with this amazing Persimmon fabric by Basic Grey.  I do have some yardage that may turn into some regular pillowcases though...

Enjoy the weekend, happy sewing!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

2016 Finish-A-Long Quarter 4

It's the final quarter of the 2016 Finish-A-Long, which means the end of the year is coming soon!  I didn't make a lot of progress for Quarter 3, but I did have one finish and I did work on some other projects from that list.  So here's my hopeful list for Quarter 4:

First up (again) is my Anna Maria Horner scrappy trip around the world quilt.  I actually finished all of the 24 blocks I had planned for last month.  When I laid everything out on my design wall, I decided it needed another column, so I'm back at it for another 6 blocks.  This quilt has taught me so much during the process of making it, and I hope to finish it this quarter.

I did start my second project from my Q3 list which is the Follow My Lead quilt.  I have most of the fabric cut and ten blocks made, so I'll keep working on this one as well.

I haven't made any progress on the Anna Maria Horner Mod Corsage quilt, but we'll try again!  The pattern I have for these is called Grandma's Garden, but I'm open on this one.

I'm also going to be working on a scrappy quilt with Cotton + Steel fabrics.  The inspiration is from this quilt.

My last project will be to make the O Holy Night paper pieced mini from Paper Panache.  I've seen a few versions and I think it will be a great Christmas present.

I hope you have success with your 2016 FAL Quarter 4 finishes, can't wait to see what everyone makes!

Link up here to participate!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Mini Totes

I had fun making these super cute mini totes for my neighbors' three year old twins.  They are always carrying around a bag with little toys so I thought these would be perfect for them.

I used cotton webbing for the handles.  The blue and red fabrics are from the Country Girls line by Tasha Noel for Riley Blake, and the peach and blue fabrics are by Rae Hoekstra from her Lotus Pond collection.  The bags finish at 8" x 11".

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Elm Street Quilts Bag It 2016.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Interlock Quilt for BQF 2016

Amy Ellis is once again hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival. This online event showcases so many wonderful quilts from the blogging world.  This is a great opportunity to share finished quilts, see what everyone's working on, and discover new blogs.

This is my king size Interlock quilt which I'm entering into the large quilts category.

You can read more about this quilt here.
The lovely orange peel quilting was done by AB Quilting Studio.
Fabric line is Persimmon by Basic Grey.

You can find my other BQF entry here.

Thank you for stopping by my blog, I hope you visit again soon.  Don't forget to visit all the categories of the festival!

Flora and Fauna Quilt for BQF 2016

Amy Ellis is once again hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival. This online event showcases so many wonderful quilts from the blogging world.  This is a great opportunity to share finished quilts, see what everyone's working on, and discover new blogs.

I'm entering my Flora and Fauna quilt into the ROYGBIV category.  I love how this quilt shows off the fabrics and I love the simple design.  

You can see the pretty swirl quilting done by AB Quilting Studio below:

The quilt finishes at 48" by 54".  The design is an alternate layout of Amy Smart's Craftsman pattern. 

You can find my other BQF entry here.

Thank you for stopping by my blog, I hope you visit again soon.  Don't forget to visit all the categories of the festival!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Getting those zippers right!

I've been making pouches again...not a bad way to spend time on the weekend.  Nothing fancy, but it was good zipper practice.  I was determined to get the corners right on these, and I made a lot of progress on that front.

So one thing I've learned is to cut your fabric one inch bigger than the zipper length and sew with a 3/8 inch seam.  This seems unnatural for us quilters, but this gives you 1/8 inch of room between the seam and the zipper ends. If you do it this way you don't need zipper tabs, your corners come out nicely and you shouldn't hit the zipper stop.

Love this lining fabric!
So the second thing to watch on these types of pouches is to make sure that the seam allowances and the zipper are folded towards the outside pouch fabrics, away from the lining fabrics.  Once you fold so that the outsides are facing and the lining fabrics are facing, the seam allowance and the zipper sections should all be down facing the outside fabrics.  Stitch in place with a few short stitches, then sew around (remember to leave the zipper open and the bottom of the lining open for turning.)

I'd like to thank Svetlana over at S.O.T.A.K Handmade for sending me these amazing 2.5" squares from her screen printing work.  I worked them into a new laptop case.  You can find two great posts on her sidebar, 33 free zipper pouch tutorials (you can perfect your zippers!) and 33 free tote bag tutorials.  Thank you Svetlana!  You can find her patterns and screen printed fabric here.

Anyone else out there have a great zipper tip to share?

Interested in more zip pouches, check these posts here and here.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social and Finish it up Friday.  

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Scrappy Trip Progress and Tips

Summer's gone by so quickly!  I've been working on my scrappy trip quilt with mostly Anna Maria Horner fabrics.  This is part of my Quarter 3 list for the 2016 Finish-A-Long.  I have a feeling I won't make the completion deadline for Q3, but that's okay, I'll just add it to Q4.

Making this has been a learning experience.  Since there isn't a true pattern, there are a lot of decisions to be made that you might not think of if you just follow a basic block tutorial.  I was inspired by this quilt in making my own.  I used seven strips for my blocks, which makes cutting the tube a little tricky.  I also didn't think carefully enough about contrast when I was putting all of my cut strips into groups of seven.  So here are a few pointers if you think you might work on a scrappy trip.

  1. If you make the block with an uneven number of strips, be sure to lay the tube flat and even prior to cutting or you will get wonky strip sets.  
  2. I found it easier to iron the already cut strip sets alternatively and then sew them back together with nested seams.  This is different than ironing the strips alternatively as the tutorial shows.  I know some of these will need to be pressed again, but it made matching the seams more precise for me.  
  3. Pay attention to placement of your contrasting fabric...for that matter, make sure you use contrasting fabric!  I know this seems obvious, but it took me a while to figure out what looks best, and that's because when I grouped my strips together I didn't always consider contrast, but was considering more of what strips would look good together by color families.  You need contrast for this, otherwise it's just a bunch of two inch squares.  
  4. If you are like me and need to find order in things (even in scrappy quilts) then you might want to think about your final layout and your contrast fabric.  In my finished quilt I've decided to do a vertical zig zag layout.  I realized (late) that it would be good to put a single different contrast fabric in each column of the quilt.  Since I decided this after making 12 of the 24 blocks, I'll need to resew or rearrange a few blocks to achieve the layout I want.  

 ....16 blocks done, 8 more to go!  Happy Sewing!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Quick and Easy Baby Quilt

Do you find yourself making baby quilts when there's no baby in sight to gift them to? Yeah, me too!  I have this thing with making something quick, easy, fun and with fabrics I love. I'm also happy that I'm practicing my FMQ skills on these low pressure projects, that's a win.

This is a fun pattern that uses just six fat quarters for the baby size and you can cut all the pieces out at once with the six layers stacked together...super quick!  There are no seams to match and the hardest part is getting the fabrics in the order that you want for each block.

I did a medium meander stipple all over this quilt.  The texture on this quilt is so nice because the batting is Warm and Plush from the Warm and Natural company.  I've heard mixed reviews on this batting, but I'm in love.  It's just a little bit more loft than the regular version and it has a lot less of the little dark bits in the cotton.  It quilts up beautifully.

The fabrics are from the Pippa collection by Ana Davis for Blend fabrics, I've had them for a while and I'm so glad I found this great pattern to use them with.

Here's to a fast first finish for the 3rd quarter of the 2016 Finish-A-Long.  Also,  a big thank you to the Finish-A-Long hosts and to Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness for the awesome Windy City Bags prize!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation, and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

2016 Finish-A-Long Quarter 3

Quarter 2 of the Finish-A-Long was a success with five out of seven projects finished.  You can read about the five projects here.  Now onto Quarter 3,  here's my current list of hopefuls!

First up is an (mostly) Anna Maria Horner scrappy trip around the world quilt.  I've got all the strips cut and seven out of twenty-four blocks completed.  It takes a good bit of time to make one of these blocks, so I work on it here and there.

Next is a new quilt that uses a fun pattern from Quilt Basket, a local quilt shop in NY.  They have a great concept with fabric bundles called Cutie Collections along with a selection of patterns to use them.  I'm making the Follow My Lead pattern with some Alison Glass fabrics and solid background fabrics.  I don't use a lot of solids so I'm excited to see how this combination works out.

I'm using a bunch of Ana Davis's Pippa collection to make a quilt using a pattern called Big and Tall by Sunnyside Designs.

I've got some new stash treasures from Anna Maria Horner, her Mod Corsage collection.  I got it as a kit with a pattern called Grandma's Garden, so I'll be working on that.  I LOVE these fabrics!

Last on the list are a few zipper pouches using these fun Cotton and Steel fabrics.  I've made a few totes with these fabrics here and here, so matching pouches it is!

This list is pretty ambitious, but it's great to have something to work towards, we'll see how it goes.  I hope you are participating in the 2016 FAL, looking forward to seeing what everyone makes!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Quarter 2 Finish-A-Long Update

My original Quarter 2 FAL list included seven projects, which you can read about here.  I completed five of the seven projects, so that's a win in my book!  Here's the rundown on finishes, click on the title for more information on each project.

Interlock Quilt

Interlock Pillow Sham

Flora and Fauna Quilt

Turnover Quilt

Sturbridge Rail Fence Quilt

With Quarter 2 behind us, I'm looking forward to Quarter 3 of the Finish-A-Long!

Happy Sewing!