Thursday, November 7, 2019

A Wee Bit of Christmas Prep

I am not one to rush the season. In fact, I hate that. But now that I live 3000 miles away from my sweet grandchildren, I have to do things like making ornaments, much sooner so I can mail them in time. I make the kids an ornament almost every year. Some years I have bought ornaments, when I can find something unique that I like.

Last year, I bought a pattern from Sue at Moss and Lotus. She created a collection of patterns for Tomtes (Christmas gnomes) and I bought the pattern bundle. It was way too late to make any of them in time for Christmas last year, but I pulled them out the other day and got reacquainted with them.
 There was a free bonus pattern for a mini Tomte. It makes the cutest little ornament! It finishes at 2 inches square. I put a bit of batting in it for body and attached a ribbon and Voila!
 I made four of them for the grand kids. They are all the same, except for the fabric on the back, where I wrote the year and my name in Micron pen.
 The nose is a wee little french knot! These were so super simple to whip up using scraps! I plan to tackle the larger Tomtes soon. They will finish at 6 inches square.

The other thing I have done for Christmas is this adorable Santa ornament. The pattern can be found at Mmmcrafts. If you've never seen her stuff, you need to go right now. It will amaze you.

This is the picture from Larissa's pattern. I saw it and fell in love and had to have it. It is the first in a series from The Night Before Christmas ornaments she is creating.
And this is my little Santa ornament. he doesn't have all his accessories here. The pattern is so well written and I found it easy to follow.
 Here he has his accessories. I had such a blast making all these little pieces and then assembling them. I took my time and did it over the course of a week, to give glue time to dry, etc. But I love them so much, I have already decided that this will be the grand kids ornament next year.
My plan is to start now and slowly work on them until they are all done. Each one will be a different color too. I hope you have enjoy this wee bit of early holiday prep. Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Lavender Quilt

So in my last post, I told you about the Seedlings quilt minis I am making from the panels of the Seedlings Quilt. This is a wonderful new book by Jodi Godfrey from Tales of Cloth. There is one quilt in the book that I just really fell in love with, and I have chosen to make the whole Lavender quilt.

The quilt in the book uses white for these triangles, but I decided to use some low volume fabrics that I had on hand instead.
 For the fabric to represent the flowers, instead of scraps, I decided to use V and Company Ombre Confetti Metallic. I knew I could get a range of pretty color from the ombre and the metallic would add a fun touch.
I also decided, instead of a flat yellow color, to use V and Company Ombre in Honey. I feel like that will give me a bit of variation throughout the quilt.
So I have begun making my blocks for this quilt. I really like the consistency I get with EPP. The larger size pieces are a bit of a challenge for me. I am used to hand stitching my paper pieces, but I found that these larger sizes work better for me if I glue them. So I am.
 I got some blocks done, and laid them out to see how it was looking. I am very happy with my color choices. I know it will take me quite some time to finish this quilt, but I really am enjoying the process so much.
So now, I am off to stitch a bit more on this fun project. If you want to see another colorway of this quilt, Rachel, of Stitched in Color did one in blues and I think, scraps. Go to her blog to see how different and unique hers is.
Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Seedlings Mini Quilts

So if you are on Instagram, and you follow Jodi at Tales of Cloth, you know she is doing a Seedlings QAL there. Now, I have the book and I love the book, but I don't really have time to do this QAL right now. So I am working on doing the panels for the Seedlings quilt, but I am doing them as minis.

The first one I did was Caraway. I am very happy with how that one turned out. Some hand quilting and some quilting with Perle cotton.
The next one I completed is Honeysuckle. I love the shape for the leaves and I just made my vine as long as I wanted it to be.
 I decided to just do one vine so the panel would be long and skinny. And I really like it.
I machine quilted it with a fancy vine stitch that my machine does. And then I hand embroidered the name of the quilt block on the side. I have several more of these I want to make until my collection is complete. I am having fun with this, and I can go at whatever pace my time allows.
Have a great afternoon friends.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

I Might Be a Squirrel

Hi there. I have missed you. I have been busy, and traveling and clearly, not here in this space. I must confess, it's partly because I have been busy, and partly because I have been lazy. I have trouble getting around to taking and uploading pictures to blog about, because that's really the point of blogging here.
Right before I left for two weeks in North Carolina to see the the kids and the grand kids, I got this book. Now I just started EPP last year with a sew along with Rachel from Stitched in Color and Jodi from Tales of Cloth. But I wanted to go beyond hexagons and until this book came along, I wasn't sure how that was going to happen.

This book not only made that happen for me, I think it turned me into a squirrel. I wanted to make ALL the quilts. And I wanted to make them NOW! So when I got home, after a week of acclimating to being home, and then doing a craft fair, I started.

 First, I made the honeycomb paper shapes, and began that project. Very close to hexagons, so very easy to stitch. I liked so many of the quilts, I decided to just do some small versions of the panels for the big Seedlings quilt as mini quilts.
 Then, I branched out into the shapes for the peppermint quilt panel. This was a very different shape for me to tackle, but still pretty easy. These are my first few, and I am not sure how many I will do. I have 6 now and 9 might be my limit.
This is a closeup of the Caraway panel. It is the first one to be finished. I hand quilted with Perle cotton on the Caraway plants, and then hand quilted around the rows of plants.
This shot is a little blurry, but it is quilted and bound. I used a chain stitch to embroider the name on it and I think I will do that for all of them. I am not sure how many of these I will make. There are 12 quilts in the book.
So far I am really enjoying this process. I thought about buying the shapes, but decided to make them myself to save some money. It's not hard, but it does take time. I finished the Honeysuckle panel yesterday, but haven't photographed it yet. That will be in my next post.

The one full size quilt I will be making from the book is the Lavender quilt. Hands down, my favorite. I think that one will take me quite some time, but I will take some progress photos for you.
And lest you think I am not squirrely enough, I am also doing some sewing projects, Christmas ornaments, and still crocheting on a blanket.
This is the most recent picture, and it is taken in North Carolina. This is the back side of my Dune blanket from Lucy at Attic 24. I am several more colors deep into it now. I will also do a post on it very soon with more pictures.
So there you have it. I am all over the place, and I still have one more craft fair to do in two weeks!
I will talk to you soon.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

You Can Teach an Old Quilter New Tricks

So I quilted my 36 patch quilt this week. I was so happy to get it finished. It's been a long time since I finished a quilt for me. I used many of my all time favorite fabrics, and a few new favorites as well.
 You will see Lizzie House, Elizabeth Hartman, Laurie Wisbrun, Heather Ross and many more.
 Some of these fabrics are ten or more years old. Some were the final scraps, but some were larger yardage. It only takes 2 WOF  x 2 1/2 inch strips to make enough for the block.
 I used to have Dear Stella Confetti Dots in every color they made. Now they are all gone almost.
So I started quilting diagonal lines over each square. I love the way it looks, and as I know this quilt will get lots of use, this should be enough quilting to hold it together.

So now, about the new trick? It is in reference to the binding. I have been making quilts for 30 years. I learned pretty early on why double fold was better than single fold. I figured out my best way to get a mitered corner.
I learned to use my walking foot to attach the binding. The one thing I had trouble with was joining the two ends of the binding on the quilt. I couldn't wrap my head around it, so I just tucked one end inside the other and it left a small, but mostly unnoticeable gap. I did my quilts that way for years.

Then, I saw a tutorial by Amy Ellis showing how to join the two ends on the bias and make a smooth transition. You can't tell where the end is, as it just looks like all the other places you joined the binding strips. This is, for me a game changer. I have bound 3 quilts like this so far. Maybe it was seeing it done on a video. Whatever the reason, I now have a new trick in my repertoire.

I had planned to show a picture of the entire quilt, front and back at the end of the post, but I apparently cut off the bottom row of blocks. I am sorry and I will take a new picture and share it next time. Until then, Happy Quilting and enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

My Good Fortune

This is a very appropriate name for this Mystery Quilt that Bonnie Hunter held earlier this year. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had started this and then become very frustrated with it and stopped. It was my first bit of good fortune to start this quilt. The second bit of good fortune, for me, was that when I stopped, I downloaded the rest of the instructions for later. I did this, not knowing it would be more than 6 months before I came back to it.
All the completed clues were put into a project box. It sat beside me while I sewed many more projects.

 These were what Bonnie referred to as "bonus" blocks. They were left from making another block and saved for later use in this quilt.
 These were the neutral or low volume blocks I blogged about earlier this week. I love how these turned out.
 Sew and trim, sew and trim, sew and trim. Easy, but time consuming. But this time, I didn't mind. I put on some music and just dove right in.

And this is the first batch of 20 blocks, completed. Stunning, am I right? Bonnie knows her stuff.
 And these are the rest of the blocks, now all pieced. There are 35 blocks all together. The last row will not fit on my design wall, but I don't care. I just love looking at this and thinking of my Good Fortune in this whole process.
So for today, I am putting in some time on another project that I need to move forward. Tomorrow I will get back to this and sew all these beautiful blocks together. And then, my good fortune will continue on into the borders.
Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Giant Dahlia

I know you have seen those giant Dahlia panels that everyone has been free motion quilting. I have seen many lovely versions of them and wanted to try my hand at it. So I did, and then it became a quilt. Here are the pictures:

First, thes are the pictures of the day I was doing the binding on the quilt. The colors are stunning!
 The colors look pretty good here, they are fairly true to the fabrics. I am sure you recognize the Ombre Confetti Metallic from V and Co.
               The dark sashing is Kona Solid in Emerald.
             This is after washing and drying for maximum crinkle effect.
My label

All the quilting was done on my Bernina home machine. I used my walking foot for the straight lines and my BSR for everything else. Needless to say, I am pretty happy with how this came out.
Talk to you soon.