one of many

one of many

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An Inspired Bee...Wanna Join Me?

I recently bought a copy of this book:

I know you all have seen it.  If you haven't gotten a copy yet, you're going to want to.  I have been reading, re-reading and getting inspired on every page.  I couldn't decide where to start.  I have made a couple of small ticker tape quilts and am loving playing with my scraps.

Now here's where the Bee inspiration comes in.  I started making a couple of slabs, which for those of you who haven't seen the book yet, is a chunk of fabric made up of lots of little scraps.  This. is. so. cool!!  Then I got to thinking "I wonder what kinds of scraps other quilter have and what their slabs would look like?"

I want to organize a Bee to make 10 1/2 inch square slabs that can then be made into a quilt.  The slabs are usually all one colorway of scraps.  I am thinking we make a color of the month, two blocks each and then we swap with each other.  I am still trying to work out the details, but I need at least 7 other people besides myself to play along.  We can go as high as 16 people.  If you are interested, leave me a comment saying so.

I have emailed Amanda Jean and Cheryl to get permission to use the technique in their book.  I have heard back from Amanda Jean so I am going forward with the planning.  I hope you all want to play with me.  This could be the beginning of something really fun.  C'mon, let's go!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Doll Quilts

My brother is a cancer patient and I have done some sewing for him along the way.  I have made hats to keep his hairless head warm in the Vermont winter.  I have made quilts to warm him and some to raffle off for the cancer cause that he supports.  I have made pot holders for him to raffle off or sell for the same cancer fundraiser.  Now, I was asked to send something for a silent auction that some family members are doing to raise money to help him out personally.

I didn't have much time, and I struggled to think of something that would be quick, easy and yet good enough.  Then it hit me...doll quilts.  They are small and you can get a bit intricate with them and still finish quickly.  So here we go...I had a jelly roll of Always and Forever by Deb Strain that I had been wanting bust out.  And I have been wanting to make some flying geese blocks forever.

This is how I cut it: one strip I cut into 4 1/2 inch strips  and another into 2 1/2 inch squares.  This will yield 8 flying geese blocks.

 I sewed the first square onto one corner and then trimmed 1/4 inch from the stitching line.
 Press them all open, toward the red corner piece like this.
 Then stitch the other square onto the opposite side of the rectangle. Again, trim 1/4 inch from the stitching line.
 When you press them open, you have the block like this.
 You can take the trimmed triangles and stitch them together to make tiny HSTs like this.
                                            Play with them a bit, like this....
                                                      ...or this
 This is how I chain pieced all the blocks together.  It goes really quickly too and you save tons of thread over the course of a project.  Need to take these to the iron? Don't clip the thread until you push one of those little HSTs under the needle to keep the chain going.
                                                   I played with the arrangement a bit.
 Then I made some more with a charm pack of Fairy Tale Friends by American Jane so I could make a second doll quilt.
 This was so fun and so easy folks.  I made these in just a few hours between laundry, helping my daughter paint furniture and dinner last night.  I finished them up this morning in about 20 minutes.  And I made little pillows to go with them.
So cute with the pillow.

The back, although the yellow is very washed out in this shot.

 I had my model, my youngest daughter's American Girl doll who lives with me in the sewing room, show off the quilts for you.  She seems rather bored to me, don't you think?

I think she really likes them though.  I hope the future owners like them too.  They were fun to make.  Now to get them in the mail. 
Have a great day.

Monday, April 30, 2012

{Small} Ticker Tape Parade

I was going to set this up to post tomorrow, but after hearing that others had issues with blogger lately, I decided to just go ahead and post.  So lucky you. You get two posts today.  Enjoy.

When we had the Table Topper Blog Hop, I made a Ticker Tape quilt in yellow.  I than quickly decided to start making more in other colors.  My plan is to hang them all up together above our bed.  We don't have a head board, so it would be great to put something so cool there.

When I made the first one, it was so simple to just grab yellow scraps.  It's my favorite color after all and all the yellows looked great together.  So today, when I decided to avoid delay making another Swoon block and make another ticker tape instead, I expected it to be just as easy.  It was not.  I decided to go green for number two.  Do you have any idea how many shades of green there are?

 I think it came out okay.  I had a bit of a time with the darker pieces.  I tried to spread them out so there was balance.  Even though these are taken outside, it is overcast and you can't see them too well.
 In this piece I did not include some of my green scraps for various reasons: too dark, too blue green, too yellow green etc.
 The piece with the little red hearts is from the first quilt I made and the green raindrops is from baby B's Jack and Jenny quilt.  Everything else is in between.  That's 20 years of quilting greens people.  I am amazed to see them all together like this.  Amy Butler, Laurie Wisbrun, Sweetwater, and some so old I have no idea who made them.  They didn't always put so much info on selvedges you know.
 And here they are together.  My first and second.  I used a yellow-ish, pink-ish, orange-ish for the binding.  I am happy with how it came out.
So what do you think?  Purple, red, pink, blue next?  So much fun awaits.
Have a great week.

Strawberries!

Just a little extra post today to show what I did with my morning.  I went to do my annual strawberry picking at a local berry farm.  I picked about 10 pounds and spent about 15 bucks.  Great deal if you ask me.  The season started about 2 weeks early due to the crazy warm weather we had.  It will probably end in mid-May too.  You should go pick if you love strawberries like we do.  Wanna see?

just washed

I use this colander every year

I love the aqua with the red

close up...mmmmmm

10 pounds is a lot!

So pretty.
Hope you have a delicious day!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A finish...and Another Swoon Block

I was able to quilt and bind my Hometown Quilt this week, and cross another item off my 2012 project list.  I started this quilt awhile ago.  Just looked and it was back in September.  It was a quilt I saw on Moda Lissa's blog, but the pattern came off of the Moda Bake Shop.  The piecing was fairly quick and easy, and then life got busy so I just folded it up and put it aside.  Part of the reason for that was I couldn't decide how to quilt it.

 I am a bit lazy when it comes to quilting in that I hate the process of marking the quilting pattern.  So I outline, or stitch in the ditch, or do an all over design.  But this quilt needed something else.  So I caved.  I made a template of houses.  It's a pretty small quilt after all, only about 43 x 50.  And I marked the whole thing.
 I used my walking foot and did the bottom lines first, all the way down to anchor the quilt.  Then I used my Bernina Stitch Regulator to free stitch the houses themselves.  The lines aren't too straight, but I don't care.
 I love the effect of the rows of houses...Hometown!  Get it?
 I used the grey scallops from the Ruby line by Bonnie and Camille for the back, with a red boarder.
 And here it is in its just washed crinkly goodness.  A perfect lap size.
                                            Here is the back.

Don't you just love the rows of little houses?  And now, my next accomplishment for the week:

 Swoon block number 7!!! I like this one so much.  It might just end up being the center block in my quilt.  I will audition it there as soon as they are all done.  Only 2 more to go...sew exciting!
Spent most of today helping my oldest daughter to nest.  Looks like baby B will be here sooner than originally expected.  Gotta get that dresser painted and loaded up with cute baby things.
Have a great week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bee Blocks and Swoon

So it's well past middle of the month and I knew I needed to finish up my bee blocks for the Comfort Quilt Bee.  I had one done and the other cut out and started.  Let me just say right here and now, that while I think this block is beautiful, it was tough to put together.

 Here are a bunch of the HSTs I had to make for one block...not too bad, right?
 But then they all had to be trimmed to 2 1/2 inches.  We are talking less than a quarter inch off of each one.  It was making me a bit crazy.  I have issues with fussy stuff like this.  I guess I am just a rebel when it comes to precision things.
 But they did turn out nice and I am pleased with the result.  I have to make the signature block and then they will be in the mail this week.  YAY!

I don't know if I have said this before, but the most important thing I learned in piecing these kinds of things was from Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.  Shorten your stitch length and your squares and points turn out so much better, every time.  No one ever taught me that before.
During the piecing of these bee blocks I said, more than once that they were more trouble than the Swoon blocks.  Which reminded me I need to finish 3 more to have mine done.  So I decided to take a picture of all 6 that are done so far, to help inspire me to get off my butt and finish them.  So here they are.
Hope you have a great week.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Table Top Blog Hop-My Turn!

So if you've been hopping along this week, you know that we have all made small quilts that are displayed in a very cute table top frame, made by Ackfeldwire.  They have so many neat frames and the little decorative top is easily changed out to reflect the season if you wish.  If this is your first visit to the hop, please go through and check out some of the previous days entries.  There is some great talent here.  Now, on to my little quilty goodness.

Originally this blog hop was going to be in February, so I had planned something Valentine's Day related.  I wanted to try paper piecing, and I thought  heart would be pretty easy.  This was my second attempt, but alas, it was to big for what I had planned.  So I made a third one (the first ended up in the trash) and fit it into my quilt.

In my family the movie, The Princess Bride is a
particular favorite and for many years now, my husband has responded to many things I have said with "As you wish" which fans of the movie will recognize as Wesley's way of saying" I love you" to Buttercup.

So I had planned to put this into a small quilt for Valentine's Day for him, as my gift.  I got the heart made and the words done on separate pieces of fabric and put it all together with a red border. 

I have done several pieces of quilting lately with pebble quilting and he really likes it, so naturally, I decided that's how it should be quilted.
 And here it is in all its glory.  He loved it.  I love it.  And it sits in our living/dining room where we can see it all the time.
 This angle shows off the quilting a bit better.  The paper pieced heart is not quilted at all so it stands out.  Then, with it being spring and all, I wanted to make another one.  I recently bought Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg (Crazy Mom Quilts) and Cheryl Arkinson (Naptime Quilter/Diningroom Empire). It is chock full of GREAT scrap quilts.  I wanted to make a Ticker Tape quilt, but not one in a big bed size.  So I made this:
 It started out to be a bunch of colors, but soon I realized it needed to be yellow.  Yellow is my favorite color of all.  I. Love. It.  I now am planning to make more in each color of my scrap bins and hang them as a collection in my bedroom once I get around to repainting it.
 I think it will be quite striking.  In any case, I love it and that's all that matters, right?
Hope you have enjoyed your visit here and hop along to the other wonderful blogs and see what they have to show you.  And a big thanks to Madame Samm for organizing this.  She does have the best ideas.  Here are the other links:
Friday April 20th 

Charlotte (you are here)