Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Good Fortune All Caught Up

Well, week 3 sorta kicked my butt. I did have other things going on, but still. I struggled a bit with getting blocks to turn out with the correct dimensions. Once I got that down, wasting only two blocks, I moved on. I want to make as much of this quilt from my scrap bins as I can. This slows down the cutting process quite a bit, but no matter.
 This is the box  am using for all my block so far. Week 3 is right on top there in the green. I am still having counting issues, as I had about 30 extra green rectangles when I was done.

Everyone is pressed, but I still have dog ears to trim on about 100 of the HST bonus blocks. I figure I can do that later.
And here are my week 4 blocks. I made about 3/4 of them one solid rectangle and did a bit of strip piecing for the rest. Orange is a color I don't have a lot of, especially in my scrap bins. But now I am all caught up.

That will not last, as I am traveling for the holidays, and when I come home I will have two weeks worth of clues to catch up on, but, no matter. It will get done. It always does somehow.
Happy Tuesday before Christmas.
Linking up with Bonnie Here.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A Christmas Dress

So much of Christmas sewing is secret, but the dress I made for Miss N is not. Her mother knows about it and as an almost 3 year old, N doesn't read my blog, so I can show it to you here.
I used the Geranium Dress pattern with the expansion pack for the collar, sleeves and the sash. I have long wanted to do a dress with a sash. I loved sashes when I was a little girl. The fabric is Sarah Jane's Peter Pan line. When I first saw it, I just knew the plum and pink had to be a Christmas dress for N. It's hard to tell here, but there are also gold metallic stars on this fabric.
 I found the perfect fancy buttons in my button jar. They add a bit more holiday sparkle to the dress. You can see the gold stars better her.
 And here is the lovely sash all tied up in a bow. It gathers at the side seams where it is attached to the dress. I also had just a bit of pink left so I put a small border around the bottom of the skirt. I love that detail.
And of course, there had to be pockets. My girl loves pockets. I cannot wait to see this on her. We will be there for Christmas this year, so I will get to see it in person.
Have a great Thursday and I'll see you soon.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Swoon Worthy Finish

I have finished another quilt. This was one of those quilts that needed making for someone in need. As I have often done when a friend or co-worker has had a great need due to life's circumstances, I decided to dive in and make my friend a quilt. This friend is also my daughter's friend and so my daughter told me what colors would be best for this quilt. So we started with that.

We chose brown and blue. Once I got home from NC, I searched my stash for as much brown and blue as I had. I also had decided on the way home that I wanted to make a Swoon quilt. I had made one years ago, but I wanted to make one with 16 blocks in a smaller block size. Camille has a pattern for Swoon 16, so I went to her shop and bought that.
 Then, once I had the pattern and knew the amounts of fabric, my husband and I headed to our local quilt shop to find more fabrics to supplement my stash.
My husband is very good with selecting fabrics and finding the colors I needed. And as a bonus, he helps me carry all the bolts to the cutting station.
 I spent about four or five days cutting all the pieces for the blocks. I only assembled the first one before I cut all the rest. I stuck it up on my design wall for inspiration.
I wasn't very far into things when the quilting motif presented itself to me. Swirls...lots of swirls.
 Once the blocks were done, we decided that the sashing needed to be blue and I ordered it on line. A Moda marbles shade of blue. After the main quilting was done, I decided to quilt the border in infinity swirls. That is what I call these.
 And when I was almost to the first corner, I had to find a way to turn the corner, so I did this double circle. I like the way it turned out.
I found this extra wide backing at Pineapple Quilts. They sell lots of interesting wide backing fabrics. You can buy by the yard, or you can buy a 3 yard cut for one price. At the time I bought this, I believe they were having a sale on the 3 yard cuts. It is so different that I just knew it was the one.
 Back to the quilt store we went to get a brown for the binding. Once the quilt was all quilted, I knew brown was the choice and I didn't have enough of it left. Gosh, I loved making this quilt.
I used one of my new labels from Dutch label shop and sent this baby out priority mail. It got there super fast and made my heart sing when I knew it had been received. For me that is the best part of the quilt process. It is a hug from across the country. Having been on the receiving end of this just 3 short years ago, I know how it feels. It feels great.
Have a lovely Wednesday my friends.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Good Fortune, Week 2

Here we are in week 2 of the Good Fortune Mystery Quilt. This week's clue is HSTs. Not my favorite blocks to do. Bonnie has a special ruler and method. I can't see getting it, for me it wouldn't get used too much. I really don't like HSTs.
Bonnie's link up page can be found here.

 So I ended up cutting squares of the blues and the neutrals. Here are the blues I cut, all from scraps!
 And here is my pile of neutrals, also all from my scrap bins I am happy to say. I draw a line from one corner to the other and sew a quarter inch on either side of the line I have drawn. Then, I cut on that line.
And here is the first pile, cut and pressed and ready to have the dog ears trimmed off of them. I know it's a lot of trimming, but this is my preferred method.

And here are some of the lovely results. Not even half way through, but I'll get there. It's all about the process, right?
See you next week for more Good Fortune.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Good Fortune

So I decided to play along with Bonnie Hunter and the Good Fortune Mystery. I have never done a mystery quilt along before, so I am looking forward to this. The first clue came out on Friday. You can find it here if you want to join us.
I decided to have a little extra fun with this so I pulled out my featherweight. I haven't sewn on it in quite a while, so I needed to anyway. It is an excellent machine for piecing.
This was my grandmother's machine. It was manufactured in 1948. My mother learned to sew on it, I learned to sew on it and my daughters learned to sew on it. Now that I have a granddaughter, I am hoping she will want to learn to sew, so I can pass it along to the next generation.
 I really want to try and make this a scrap busting quilt, so I began by pulling out my scrap bins to make these little beauties. They sew up really quickly, using Bonnie's tips for assembly. I have made four patches before, but I am always really happy to get new tips to try out for piecing. It's one of the best reasons to do a quilt along.
 Here is a stack, ready to be pressed open. I hope that I can get the rest of these done today or tomorrow. Christmas sewing is paused, waiting for some fabric to arrive.
And here is what I have done so far, almost half way there. I want to be ready when the next clue arrives. This is going to be so much fun to see where this goes. There is a link up every Monday so you can show off your work too, and see what others are doing. It is great inspiration.
So if you're looking, go to 

C'mon and join us! 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Christmas Crafting

Hello there. I know it's been awhile. Some secret sewing going on, plus, just a bit of laziness on my part. When you get out of the habit of blogging, even for a few weeks, it's hard to get going again. Right now I am working on some Christmas stuff. What I have to show you today is not gifts, so no big secret.
Remember this fabric from 2016? Cotton and Steel? Well  bought some because it was so cute. And then I didn't use it. Until now.
 Well I carefully fussy cut these cuties out, and stitched them together and stuffed them.
 And then I bought some small wooden letters at Michael's. I drilled the holes and painted on the year to make them into ornaments for the grand kids. I just strung the Santas together and tied them to the bottom.
 As I was stitching and stuffing the Santas, I was keeping them in an Altoids tin. I love how cute they are all together in here.

One more for J. I also had some tiny jingle bells left from another project a few years back and put them on the bottom. Can't have Christmas without jingle bells.
 My other project is a table runner for my oldest daughter. We will be there for Christmas this year, so I wanted to make a new festive runner. I bought some yardage of Swell Christmas with her in mind. She loves vintage looking things like this.
 It took me awhile to come up with something that would really show off the vintage look. I drew this out and ended up paper piecing it to make it work.
 Then I found this red in my stash that had the perfect color and the perfect vibe to be the border.
Some more Christmas fabric from a few years ago for the back, a label and it's done and ready to go.
Kinda hard to photograph since it's 84 inches long. But I am happy with the result. I know she will be too.
Until next time, happy Friday.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Seams to Me

I am working on some secret sewing right now, and trying to get started on my Christmas sewing, so I don't have a lot I can share here. But I can use a couple of pictures to show you what I have been thinking about. 

When you sew blocks together for a quilt, how do you press the seams? Do you press to one side? Do you press them open? Do you do a little of both? Press to the dark side if there is one? There are many different answers here. I do a little of both, but, I am thinking about changing my ways and here is why:
 This is the back of one of my blocks. As I sewed each seam, I pressed it to the side. I used a good bit of steam and then pressed the entire block again when it was finished.
You can see here, in spite of my best efforts, this block is not as flat as I would like it to be. I did 15 blocks like this and you can see that there are so many seam that overlap, it is hard to keep it flat.
 This is the very last block for this quilt top. I decided to experiment with it and press every seam open on this block. This is obviously the back, but I think it looks much better.
You can see here the seams lie much flatter than the other block, especially where so many seams intersect. This is clearly the best option for blocks with lots of intersecting seams.
 One more comparison for you. This is a close up of the top side of the two blocks. Here, you can clearly see that this block is not lying very flat.
And here you can see a much flatter block on the top side. I was not really surprised by this. A part of me knew it would be so.

I think the main reason I don't press seams open all the time is that I am lazy. It takes a wee bit more effort to open the seam and run the iron through it, than to just press it to the side. And I think I also thought it slowed me down in my piecing. But, it really didn't take me any longer to press seams open in the last block, than to press to the side in the other blocks. I probably used less steam too.

So, that's my lesson for today. What do you think? Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Hello October!

Sorry I have been out of touch for awhile. I spent the last week of September and the first week of October in North Carolina with my kids and grand kids. Then, when I returned home I had some medical stuff to take care of. But I am back in the saddle now and sewing most days, in some fashion or another.
 I finished up the 100 Days 100 Blocks challenge on Instagram. I really loved making all those blocks and posting each day. In fact, I kind of miss the having to post a picture a day over there. Never thought I would feel that way.
I am sort of leaning towards this, or a similar arrangement of these blocks for the finished quilt. I have a bunch of other commitments so it may be awhile before I get to them. I have made a list of all the sewing I need to do and some of the things have deadlines. I have plenty to keep me busy, that's for sure.
 It's m y favorite time of year for cooking and baking too. I baked these two loaves of bread yesterday. They are so yoummy!
 Then there is this pear and oatmeal breakfast bake from the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook. This is a very tasty recipe. I am cooking a bunch of recipes from that new book these next few weeks. It's been awhile since I had so many recipes I wanted to try.
And I bought a couple of pie pumpkins and roasted them for use in baking. These are a few of the seeds, I am drying them out and giving them to my daughter in NC. They have a large yard and I thought maybe they could try and grow some next year. It would be fun for the kids.

So lots going on, and I will try to show you pictures when I can, of the things that are not surprises for people. Happy fall. Enjoy the weather. Talk to you soon.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Bloggers Quilt Festival-Fall 2018 Edition

Hi there friends. I haven't participated in the festival in the past year or two. But I felt like I could do it this year. I decided to go back into time and select a quilt that I especially loved, that was part of a blog about some Christmas gifts from about 6 years ago.
I made this narrow bookshelf quilt for my son-in-law. At the time, he was working on his PhD. I am happy to say that since that time, he has completed his thesis and defended it and is now a Dr. of Literature. So maybe you can see why I chose this particular quilt for him.
I used a jelly roll of Basic Grey for the books. To me, each one looked like it could be the spine of a book and the width was perfect for this.
I used selvedges for the titles on the books. I remember going through all my fabrics, looking for names that looked like they could be book titles. That was fun, actually.
And then I put this sweet little typewriter on the bottom shelf. I know the scale isn't perfect, but to me, this says doctoral candidate.
This, to me, was the icing on the cake. I found this stitching pattern on line and knew for a wordsmith, it was perfect to be the top of the book shelf. I remember stitching and stitching to get this done so I could assemble the quilt. The lines from Edgar Allen Poe still get to me. I remember reading him in high school.

The background of the shelves was quilted to look like bead board. I was so happy with this finished product and My daughter hung it up for her sweet husband. They have moved several times since then so I am not sure where it resides right now, but I am going there soon to visit, so I think I will ask.
Have a lovely week and I will talk to you soon.
Linking up with Amy's Creative Side for the Fall Blogger's Quilt Festival. Go take a look at all the other beauties and visit the bloggers.https://www.amyscreativeside.com/