Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy Monday!

I can't believe it, but I have two finished projects to share today - I managed to log 6.5 yards as busted!

I just barely finished the quilting and binding on my AYOS project for April.  This month's pattern was Summer Day.  My version is a slightly smaller than the original pattern, but I was using scraps leftover from my 2011 Lemon Taffy quilt, and I had just enough fabric left to manage a 6x6 grid.


All of the fabric, including the binding, came from a huge Black Friday purchase from Connecting Threads.  It's difficult to tell in this lighting, but the Flying Geese borders are a pretty yellow rose sprig print that ties everything together nicely.

I opted for simple zig-zag quilting over the borders, partially because I wanted a minimalist, almost hand-quilted look ... and partially because I plain 'ole ran out of time to do anything more elaborate.


Be sure to stop by Pink Pincushion and a Quilting Life on Tuesday to see the full parade of finishes.  With all of this month's fabric purchases, I can't wait to find out what May's project will be!!

My other finish of the week was my Southern Belle Wallhanging:



Now, I know that I bragged a couple of weeks ago that she was all finished, but technically I still had all the threads to bury on the back ... which is now done.  And, I'm very, very happy to introduce:


Southern Belle - a wallhanging pattern by Poplun Designs, now available for purchase in my etsy shop.  

Here's all the stats:

Skill Level:                   Intermediate

Wallhanging Finished Size:                             40” x 40”

Wallhanging Fabric Requirements:
 Red & Brown print (A):           1 Fat Quarter
 Brown Swirl print (B): 1 Fat Quarter
 Brown Diamond print (C): 1 Fat Quarter
 Tan Swirl print (D): 1 Fat Quarter
 Tan Floral print (E): 1 Fat Quarter
 Red Solid fabric (F): ½ yard
 Cream background print: 1 ¼ yard
 Batting & Backing: 45” x 45” each

Supplies:
 Rotary Cutter, Square Rotary Ruler (with diagonals marked), and Cutting Mat
 Fabric pencil or water-soluble fabric marker
 Iron, Ironing Board, and Starch (if desired)

I was really inspired by all of the Carpenter Stars I had been seeing in blogland lately, but I really liked the idea of incorporating them into a larger, overall pattern, rather than just showcasing them as separate blocks.  When the quilt top came together, it really reminded me of Southern Belles, swishing around in their giant hoop skirts.  I'm so happy that she's finally finished and that I can share her with you!

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Yikes!

Did you know that the month of April only has 30 days ... not 31?  For some odd reason, I was sure that I had until Wednesday to finish this month's AYOS project, but nope - I only have tomorrow to finish.  Yikes!  I just  finished piecing the top this afternoon ....

(Sorry - cell phone picture!!)
.... and I'm hoping to make some major progress on the quilting after little man's bedtime tonight!  Hopefully it'll all go as planned and I'll be back tomorrow with finished pictures to share!  I'm releasing another pattern tomorrow too, so please stop by!

BTW - did you see that Carrie Nelson on how to "pop" seams while making four patches - a trick that is SERIOUSLY useful with this pattern.  Swing on by her blog to check it out!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy Friday!

I'm hoping that you all are having just as beautiful a day as I am today!  It's a beautiful 68 degrees outside with lots of gorgeous sunshine and blue sky!

My little guy, who is still desperately trying to cut his first tooth, made it through both Target and Safeway this morning ... without a peep ... in the cart.  That's a huge step for us!

... he was just smiling before I could catch him on the camera, believe it or not ...
Now, we're just hanging at home, enjoying the breeze through open windows.  Little man is singing himself to sleep in his swing - is that just the SWEETEST sound, or what! - while I'm sipping a giant, icy-cold Diet Coke, listening to my new favorite album (loving Gotye, by the way), and updating my etsy shop.  And, to top it all off, I have a new pattern to debuting today!

Introducing ...

... Spring Has Sprung - a baby quilt pattern by Poplun Designs.

Here in Sacramento, most years we hardly have very much of a spring.  It seems like it’s rainy and blustery one day, and then spring buds seem to start busting open almost over night.  Then, the next thing you know it’s super hot and everything seems to dry up almost over night {again}!  This quilt celebrates those few gorgeous days - just like today - of newly sprung spring!

Here's all the stats:
Skill Level: Beginner

Quilt Finished Size:  39” x 39”

Quilt Fabric Requirements:
 Pink Floral print: 1 Fat Quarter
 Pink Stripe print: 1 Fat Quarter
 Green Polka Dot print: 1 Fat Quarter
 Yellow Basket-weave print: ½ yard
 Cream Background: 1 yard
 Yellow Ric Rac (½” wide): 4 yards (if desired)
 Backing & Batting: 45” x 45” piece of each

Supplies:
 Rotary Cutter, Square Rotary Ruler (with diagonals marked), and Cutting Mat
 Fabric pencil or water-soluble fabric marker
 Iron, Ironing Board, and Starch (if desired)


This pattern is currently available in .pdf form at my etsy shop.  Now I need to go and make some serious progress on my AYOS project for April!!  Happy sewing and have a beautiful weekend!



Monday, April 23, 2012

It's a Lazy Monday ...

... since I'm just now getting around to my first post for the week!  Teething and a weekend of beautiful sunny weather means yet another week of hardly any time spent at the sewing machine.  I did manage to start my April AYOS project.  This month's project is Summer Day:

Photo Courtesy of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.
I'm doing my version. in pretty pastel shades of yellow and I've managed to finish all my cutting, but I only have four blocks assembled right now.  I was going to post a picture of my progress ... but the blocks resemble a certain geometric shape popular with the Third Reich ... so we'll just have to wait until I have another round of blocks attached before I can offer a sneak peak.  Luckily these blocks go together so quickly!

BTW - super exciting news from Miss Rosie this week - all of her more recent Schnibbles patterns are now available for purchase in .pdf form through her new store!  Hooray for quilty instant gratification!

*       *       *       *       *

Last week was the Northern California Quilt Rush.  Hubby took the day off for some manly bonding time with Aiden so that Mom and I could jet away for the day.  We managed to hit four different shops on the list!

A: Cornerstone Quilt Shoppe in Fairfield, B: A Quilted Heart in Vacaville, C: Cloth Carousel in Winters, E: Sew So Shop in Yuba City.
We had a great time visiting some great shops that we've never had the opportunity to visit before.  I totally made out like a bandit!

I love just about any line that both 3 Sisters and Sandy Gervais put out, so I picked an Etchings layer cake and two Late Bloomers charm packs.


Even though I don't know of anyone having a baby girl anytime soon, but this little bit called "Blank Quilting Feathered Friends" by Tricia Santry caught my eye and I just had to bring it home to add to the stash.


I managed to find this next collection of fabric over three stores.  I love, love, love the turquoise colors.  I'm fairly certain that this group is destined to be a quilt-sized version of my Southern Belle pattern.  Can't wait to start that one!!


And, since it's been over a month since any reporting, here's my stash standings for the year thus far:

Stash Update: 2/13/12 - 4/23/12
YTD: + 35.06

Luckily, I have one quilt that just needs binding, two more quilts that just need some quick quilting, and April's Schnibbles projects, so maybe next month's stash report will see some movement in the negative direction.  Fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finally - some stash busting!!

Yay!  I'm happy to say that not only am I a third of the way through my goals for the week, but I have some serious stash busting to report!  That's right - two finishes to share!

First up is Scrap Metal Stars, using some of my Robot Factory stash.  As I mentioned yesterday, I used Gigi's Thimble's Scrap Jar Stars tutorial for the pattern.


 Instead of going for a random, scrappy look, though, I went for a more planned, symmetrical layout.  Since I was working with only a couple of prints and solids, it was easier for me to plan it out, rather than worry about having enough "randomness" in my random layout.


I finally opted for a simple, pieced back.  I didn't have quite enough fabric left to do a full solid or patterned panel, and with all the white on the front, a solid white back just seemed a bit overwhelming.  Plus, I'm a relatively new parent of a messy, messy boy - white is SO impractical! :)


I used a low-loft, cotton batting and decided to go with very simple, straight line outline quilt, but used orange thread for a pop of color.


The quilt is finished with solid red for the bindings - I've totally been on a  solids-as-bindings kick lately! - and is all set for tomorrow's party!


My other finish was actually a project for Aiden's Easter basket ... which we were incidentally feeling too crummy to put together!  Of well - he's enjoying all the goodies and will never,ever remember how they came packaged!


The quilt top is actually a pre-made panel I found recently at Jo-Ann', that I paired with some coordinating blue Farmyard Animal flannel for the back and brown Basket Weave flannel for the binding.


I've never used the pre-made panels before and they definitely have some pros and cons:

Pros: You can't beat having the quilt already pieced for you - and all the edges on the back are sewn together and serged for durability.  I put this baby together in under three hours, including the time that it took me to hand-stitch the binding to the back.

Cons: Unless you get the first cut off the bolt (like I happened to), or the person doing the cutting is patient enough to undo all the serging and then rip the seams out and then cut (which they absolutely never are), you'd have to buy more yardage than you need, and take the cut home and rip the seams apart from the previous cut edge just to start with the extra 1/4" seam allowance on both sides that you'd need.  Also, the fabric is super, duper stretchy, especially on the edges.  It was a little challenging to keep the fabric tight enough to quilt it without wrinkles without totally distorting it.

Bottom line, though - little man loves rolling all over his new snugglie!

I'll be back tomorrow with my official stash numbers, plus more information about the Northern California Quilt Rush running this week.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Morning Goals

So ... a month of being away every single weekend has resulted in:
A) the whole family getting sick ... right as Aiden started trying to cut his first tooth ... so no sleep for anyone

B) a seriously neglected sewing machine (and sewing blog, for that matter)

C) a dusty house with bathrooms that need cleaning

D) a fridge/freezer so empty that we seriously thought about eating Mounds ice cream bars with Shock Top beer for dinner last night

E) all of the above, plus giant stacks of laundry that seem to be multiplying like bunnies

Did you guess E?  Aside from my New Growth Quilt-A-Long I haven't gotten much accomplished in the last few weeks, so I really enjoyed having some time over the weekend to regroup, reorganize, and make some sewing plans for the upcoming week!

Thanks to little man's awesome afternoon nap yesterday, I was able to finish the quilt top that uses Gigi's Thimble's Scrap Jar Stars tutorial.



I used Robot Factory by Caleb Gray for Robert Kaufman fabrics in my not-so-scrappy version - I'm calling it Scrap Metal Stars!  I'm loving the way this baby turned out and can't wait to start quilting it in the morning.



With luck, it'll be bound tomorrow evening - probably out on the back patio drinking Shock Top and eating ice cream bars - and ready by Wednesday to give to my friend, Christina, at her baby shower for little Elijah, due in early June.

If the quilting gods are smiling upon me, I'll manage to sew down the binding on Southern Belle as well, and finally get the quilt photographed for my pattern cover.



Hopefully that'll be ready to go by the end of the week too!  Once that's done, maybe I'll still have enough time to clean up my sewing table, and post my stash and five boxes update too!  Hopefully that's not being too over-ambitious!

I'm linking up with these sites this week - be sure to visit them to see what is on the agenda for the week out in blog land.
Happy Sewing!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Growth {Part 5}

Quilt-A-Long, Part 5: Come Together!


Welcome to the New Growth Quilt-A-Long.  If you need to catch up on the Quilt-A-Long, you can visit Part 1Part 2, Part 3, or Part 4.  Be sure to share your progress pictures and fabric selections with the Flickr Group!

{A Note Before Starting}:  Mathematically, the seams on the end squares of the white panels made in step #1 should match up perfectly with the second seam in on each end of the main color checkerboard panels; however you actual panel width might be slightly different  Be sure to measure your all five of your checkerboard panels, take an average, and adjust the length of your white panel accordingly

1.    Sew a white background 4.5” square to each end of the four 4.5” x 40.5” strips, to create 4 – 4.5” x 48.5” background panels.  Press seams open.

 2.    Sew a white panel to the top and the bottom of both of the main color 2 x 24 checkerboard panels.  Press seams towards the white panels.

3.    Lay out the multi-color/white panels alternately with the white/main color panels (made in step 2), as pictured.  Sew together into rows, carefully matching the ends together, to complete the quilt top.


 4.    Layer backing, batting, and quilt top together; baste/pin and quilt as desired.  Personally, I’m more of a minimalist when it comes to quilting, so I suggest a simple diagonal cross-hatch, as pictured.

 5.    Sew the 5 – 2” strips of binding fabric together, end-to-end, for a straight-grain, French-fold binding; match raw edges together lengthwise and iron along the fold to crease.  Attach the binding to the front of the quilt, aligning the raw edges and sew.  Fold the binding over and hand sew to the back side of the quilt with a neat blind stitch.  A nice tutorial for this method is available here.

Thank you so much to all those who participated in the quilt along.  Be sure to share your pictures in our Flickr group.  Happy Sewing!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Apologies!

Sorry for the radio silence lately, but after a wonderful Easter weekend in Lake Tahoe, celebrating my dad's 60th birthday with the family, Aiden, Hubby, and I are sick, sick, sick!

The final steps for the New Growth quilt-a-long should be in a day or two.  So sorry for the delay and happy sewing!


Monday, April 2, 2012

New Growth {part 4}


Quilt-A-Long, Part 4: Checkers?


Welcome to the New Growth Quilt-A-Long.  If you need to catch up on the Quilt-A-Long, you can visit Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3.  Be sure to share your progress pictures and fabric selections with the Flickr Group!

Main Color Checkerboard:  In Part 3, step 4, you made 16 - 2.5” main color + white block units.  You’ll need all 16 units for steps 1-5.  Give them a quick press if it’s been awhile since you’ve constructed them, just to make sure you’re working with nice, crisp units.

1.    Pin two units right-sides-together so that the colors are alternating, as pictured.

  
If you pressed your seams towards the colored fabric, your seams should nest together and line up nicely.

  
2.    Sew together and press seam open. 


3.    Repeat with remaining 14 – 2.5” main color + white block units to create a total of 8 - 2x6 checkerboard units.

{Note}: For speedier assembly, do all your pinning first and then you can chain-piece the blocks at once.


4.    Pin two 2x6 checkerboard units together end-to-end (with colors still alternating!!), as pictured.  Sew together and press seam open.  Repeat with remaining 6 – 2x6 checkerboard units to create a total of 4 – 2x12 checkerboard units.


5.    Pin two 2x12 checkerboard units together, end-to-end (with colors still alternating!!).  Sew together and press seam open.  Repeat with the remaining 2 – 2x12 checkerboard units to create a total of 2 – 2x24 checkerboard units.

More Checkerboards: In Part 2, steps 6 & 7, you made 12 -  2.5” tri-color + white block units in four different color combinations.  You’ll need all of those units for the next few steps.  Again, give them a quick press, if needed!

6.    Pin an A-B-C unit right sides together with a C-D-E unit, as pictured.  The white blocks should be alternating.

  
Sew together and press seam open.  Repeat with remaining 11 A-B-C and C-D-E blocks to create a total of 12 – 2x6 checkerboard units in this color combination (We’ll call it Combo #1).


7.    Pin a D-E-F unit right sides together with a F-A-B unit, as pictured, with the white blocks alternating.


Sew together and press seam open.  Repeat with remaining D-E-F and F-A-B blocks to create a total of 12 – 2x6 checkerboard units in this color combination (Combo #2).

  
8.    Pin a combo #2 block to the bottom of a combo #1 block, as pictured.  Sew together and press seam open. Repeat to make a total of 6 – 4x6 checkerboard units.

  
9.    Pin a combo #1 block to the bottom of a combo #2 block (the opposite of what you did in step #8).  Sew together and press seam open.  Repeat to make a total of 6 – 4x6 checkerboard units.

  

10. Pin a step #8 unit to a step #9 unit, as pictured.  Sew together and press seam open.  Repeat to make a total of 6 – 4x12 units.

  
11. Pin together two of the units made in step #10, as pictured.  Sew together and press seam open.  Repeat to make a total of 3 – 4x24 units.

Final construction and finishing instructions are right around the corner. Thanks for stopping by!