Thursday, December 19, 2013

December is overwhelming...

I started a list right before Thanksgiving of how many things I needed to finish and December and was so overwhelmed. And then I had to pack most of my house by myself with my two toddlers in tow. Luckily I put them in day care a couple of days and had some awesome friends to help out, but I won't be doing that any time soon. Anyways, I am finally back with my husband in Little Rock, Arkansas! The high was 40 degrees for the first week here. Coming from Florida where it had been reaching 80 it has taken some time to get used to. But that has meant a lot of time indoors sewing! And I am catching up on my list. Let's see...

I got my Crazy and Twisted addition finished and sent on time:

Making some pretty stuff today. #crazytwistedquilters Gonna finish tonight and will be in the mail in the morning!!
This sewing machine pattern is from Charise Creates. It wasn't terribly hard, just a lot of odd shapes. I enlarged the pattern 50% so it finishes (after having to trim it down square) at 17 inches.
Crazy and Twisted twist 1
I added 1" squares on either side and stipple quilted it on below the initial block. And added some buttons in the button jar!

I also finished up my Cookie swap!

Cookie Swap Package
I made this Mini Swoon and embroidered it to make it like a big ornament! The green scallop is from Scrumptious and the red snowflakes are from my NEW local quilt shop. I've only found one close by, but I'm sure there are some hidden gems around town that I haven't found. I made some Christmas wreath cookies--my favorite! Basically rice crispie treats but with corn flakes and green food coloring. And I thought this tin from Hobby Lobby matched beautifully. My partner has commented that she likes it, I hope she likes it as much in person!

I also finished and sent my November and December Simply Solids bee blocks. I didn't grab a picture of either of those because I was in a rush to get to a doctors appointment before I went to the post office. I am still working on my Nov. and Dec. Hex Bee blocks. For some reason hand work has been super slow for me this past month.

Next on my list is a Granny Square quilt for my Granny. She is my mom's grandma and has always supported my crafty adventures growing up. She is spending a lot of time in the hospital or stuck in bed lately. So for Christmas my mom asked me to make her something with pretty colors and flowers to enjoy. I just finished the top and just trying to decide on borders then hopefully quilting it up this afternoon.

I am excited to get some finishes finished up to share with all of you. It's been slow going since Thanksgiving and then being away from my sewing machine for 2 weeks. But I am all set up now and cruising along. My lovely husband even bought me this cute China hutch for all my fabric! I love it, but totally plan on refinishing it soon.

Monday, October 28, 2013

MMQAL Addition

Thanks for coming over from Penny's! Have you been having as much fun with the Marcelle Medallion Quilt Along as I have? As I was getting close to the last border on my Marcelle Medallion I was getting excited about finishing (finally!) but then a little voice in my head said "that's it?" I mean I've spent the last few weeks almost exclusively and it's just shy of 60" square. So I looked around Instagram and saw that others had added borders of their own and decided that's what I must do! I fell in love with the churn dash blocks on the Midnight at Oaisis quilt and it was a quick decision after that. So with a stoke of luck I fell upon the best measurement to make these teeny tiny churn blocks fit. Border 7 ends at 57.5" and taking into consideration the seam allowances I found that 19 3" churn dash blocks will fit perfectly on one side. So I put together a mini tutorial for these tiny churns.

For one 3.5" unfinished churn block you will need to cut:
From main color - 2-2" squares
                             2-2x1.5" rectangles
From background color - 2-2" squares
                             2-2x1.5" rectangles
                             1-1.5" square

For border 7 you need 76 churn blocks plus 4 cornerstones. See the bottom for a special hint on the cornerstones!
If you are cutting scrappy you will need 152 each of all the 2" squares and rectangles, but only 76 1.5" squares. I hope that makes since. I cut almost always from yardage so I like to count how many low volume prints I have (say 15 for this round) and then I will try to cut about 5 churns from each print-give or take on a few. 
So once you have all of your squares cut it is time to start assembling your blocks.

Put the rectangles right sides together and sew down both the short sides. Where I have drawn a line here: (ignore the squares for now) 
Once both sides are sewn bring it to your cutting mat and cut 1" down the middle (parallel to the sewing lines. 
Once pressed open they should measure 1.5" square. 

Next take the 2" squares and make Half square triangles (HSTs as they are usually denoted.) place two right sides together. Sew down either side of the diagonal. Press then trim to a 1.5" square. 

Once everything is pressed and trimmed you can lay them out as so:
Looking good! I like to bring them over to my machine and chain piece as much as I can. I haven't figured out how to do multiple at a time, but I assume lots of organization. 
Sew the squares into rows:
Then the rows together to complete the square!
I've also tried pressing open and to the dark side and neither one seemed better than the other. Maybe a little easier to sew through on the open seams, but quicker to press to one side. 
 For the cornerstones:
I will be using an inverse churn block! Using the main color as background and the low volume as the main print. As you can see from above. If you don't want to make those extra 4 churn blocks, you can simply use 3.5" squares for some rest amid the craziness.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Time for a check up!

Anyone with a toddler will know I've been watching too many cartoons. But it is so easy just to turn on the tv to get some free time to sew away. I've been instagraming (follow me at cleargirl811 over there!) a lot these past weeks but no updates over here. So here's what I've been up to:
This is my center for my latest venture: crazy and twisted quilters. A traveling bee where I start my quilt and then it travels to four other ladies who add some quilt as you go around my center. I am excited to see the next addition. 

I finished up this beautiful modernized disappearing 9 patch with Glimma. I will write a whole post on it someday. Here is a snap from my grandparents vacation on the beach. 

I made a peplum top from the lady skater dress pattern. I basically used the pattern pieces and assembled it my own way. I've just finished up a beautiful long sleeve black dress that I will be wearing to my husband's graduation on Friday so hopefully I will get some good pictures of it then. 

I've really been busy working on my Marcelle Medallion! It sure is growing. I technically only have one more border to go, but I will be posting a tutorial up soon (here or at for an additional border with 76 of these cute little guys:
They finish at 3" square and I am so in love with them. 

I've missed sharing with you guys, but I've been so busy just trying to keep up with my monthly bees and other random sewing commitments. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

September's Goal

I was going over my list of things I need to finish this month, and it is quite large! And then I was thinking about all my WIPs and asked myself "why do I do this?!" I have so many projects started or fabrics pulled. I made a list:
First up is my Crazy & Twisted starter. I am looking forward to this travelling quilt bee, but not too much for the shipping prices! I've started here with this fabric pull: It's due to ship off by the end of the month.
First quadrant done!

Initial fabric pull

Remember this star quilt? I finished quilckly and have all the fabric for backing, but I still need to get it together. I think I will straight line quilt in the main star so I can tackle it at home.
And less than 24 hours later she's done! Thanks @jenib320 for the tutorial. Now onto the back. Tonight? Challenge accepted.

On Monday I am taking this simple patchwork quilt and trying my hand on a long arm machine! An old family friend just moved close and said I could come try it for free! I think I will pay her to finish if I don't get it all done myself.
Jungle patchwork progress

I have this cute constellation fabric cut into 4" squares just waiting to be sewn together, but I just haven't had the time between bee blocks and other projects I've been obsessing over.
Beautiful Constellations fabric

I also need to...
1. finish quilting my Bella Hex Quilt (almost there!)
2. Buy a backing and quilt the Modernized D9P (top done)
3. Put together my LV octagons (Blocks complete)
4. Finish my "Home is..." hand worked wall hanging (in the hoop)
5. Work on my sister's Christmas wall hangings commissoned by my mom (fabric pulled)
6. Briar Rose Inside Out quilt top (fabric pulled)
7. Chicopee Scrappy Trip (all cut!)

But for the goal this month I really want to finish the quilt top for my Granny. She is going to dialysis and I know she really could go any day although she has kept kicking through a heart attack, amputation from diabetes, and kidney failure. She's a fighter. So I want to make this flower filled quilt to brighten up her days indoors and keep her warm during treatments. Here is my inspiration from Canoue Ridge Creations:
i have the best mom&dad // they are my biggest cheerleaders, always wiling to take part in a quilty photo shoot (even in the cold!) ❄❄ #finishit2013
Granny Square Quilt by Canoue Ridge Creations on Flickr
Linking up with Fiber of all Sorts for my September goal.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Little Koi

I was so pleased last week when I received an email from Amy Smart that I won her giveaway from Honey Be Good. I chose to receive the 13 fat quarter bundle of these delicious organic fabrics Koi for Coud9. I am so excited to make something great with them.

I do have a plan in mind: this adorable pieced hexagon quilt from Rashida Coleman-Hale who also designed the fabrics. So once these goodies came in the mail I ripped them open and took some pictures as part as the Quilt Photography Workshop link up over at Plum and June

Plum and June

I take all of my pictures on my iPhone. I know they aren't the best quality, but my only other camera is a 5-year old point and shoot and I just don't have time to take it out then upload them. And to tell the truth, my phone is just as good. Hopefully next year I can get a nice camera and take a class how to use it! I am completely lost on all things like that, but I would love to learn.

So I will stick with my iPhone photos for now and just enjoy the simple click and shoot and easy editing right on my phone. And I upload them from my phone too. 

Don't you just love this line? I love these blenders above. I can see the fish-inspired scales, but it doesn't look fishy. I was expecting the main fabric with the koi on it to be a little more navy, but it is a beautiful deep royal purple. So I won't be making a boy quilt with this stack, too many pinks and purples. 

I most of my pictures right in front of my back sliding glass door. I love the wood texture as background and all the natural light that comes in during the afternoon. 

But I must say my favorite print is this charcoal plus print. I want to buy the voile yardage and make a fun dress.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Finished Airplane Quilt: For Charity

May was my month to quilt for the group Inspire at do. Good stitches. I chose to make red, white, and blue airplanes. It is so easy to make baby girl quilts, so I am trying to do boy quilts and mainly older ones. So I received all these wonderful airplanes from some lovely ladies all over the country.

Almost done!

I actually had 2 too many! But I decided to leave them out because it was easier to make the 4x5 configuration for a nice sized toddler quilt and fit better with the minky backing.

20 airplane blocks pressed and ready to be trimmed (with my new Olfa splash!) I will finish my #Alyof goal this month!

I did free-motion loops and clouds quilting on the top with the batting. My machine has been having tension issues and I was afraid to free-motion on minky. So this was the best choice. I think it turned out great. I love all the texture on the front. Here is a close up of the quilting: Loops and Clouds! I just went for it and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

I love the solid red minky on the back and the nice textures on the top. And no binding! I always procrastinate on binding, so I decided to skip that part too. It seems like I did a lot of short cuts, but this had just as many steps as a normal quilt.

Finished Inspire at do. Good stitches airplane quilt

Here is my finished quilt with my lovely husband taking a break to hold it up for me. He's so sweet with giving me extra time to sew and staying up with me late while I try to finish. It has been raining every day here, so trying to get a picture has been difficult. So dreary and no sun!

Finished Inspire at do. Good stitches airplane quilt

And trying for inside wasn't any better. These little monkeys wanted right on it. I guess it's a hit! I hope so because this quilt is my Lovely Year of Finishes August goal (goal setting here). I am also entering it for the 100 Quilts for Kids at Swim Bike Quilt.
Updated: I handed off this quilt to my local Linus Project coordinator and she is finding an appropriate recipient .
Quilt Stats:
12" Blocks pieced from the wonderful ladies at Inspire at do. Good Stitches and tutorial from Badskirt
Pieced and quilted by me on my Bermimi with light blue thread (a Bernina 330)
Finishes about 45"x55"

Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Workspace!

Welcome today for the Studio Spotlight! Linking up from over at Ellison Lane. I work in my dining room and store my supplies in my son's closet (what? He's not using it! Haha). This week I took it upon myself to make it more presentable. And more workable. This is what I was working with before:

It really just got out of hand from not sitting down and organizing it after I would come home with new fabric and not putting things away correctly. So I locked the kids out of the room (and left them with the husband, not alone!), and pulled almost everything out. I refolded all my fabric and sorted better.

Home Dec and some fabrics for a few dresses I have planned.
I really need more cool colors! I love my pinks ;)
Lots of greys, some neutrals and blacks, LV, multi-colored to the right 

I guess I don't need to buy any more batting for awhile...

A few quilts in the works, Chicopee and A Merry Little Christmas high on the list

Solids and scraps.

I sew on my dining room table. I love all the natural light (although it makes it hard to picture) and that it is open to the kitchen to the left and the living room (which I am standing in to take the picture). But it is too open if you know what I mean.

Here is my little guy "helping" mommy. And touching everything. I wish I could close a door and lock them out sometimes, but then I would miss them and they would whine at the door anyways!

It is usually a mess and I have a lot of cleaning whenever anyone comes over, but I'm glad to have a space to create and enjoy my family. I am just hoping that our next house is a little easier to close off. I hope you enjoyed stopping by and come back again! I have a few mini tutorials coming up including my favorite way to do minky blankets and sewing bulky corners with paper piecing. Thanks!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Home is...

I have started an exciting new project that I am just dying to tell you about. I saw this on Pinterest and of course you had to pay $40 for just the tracing paper with the pattern, so I decided to figure out how to do it on my own. I researched different ideas on how to transfer patterns onto fabric. I finally decided to put up the pattern up on a window and trace onto the fabric with a frixion pen. I know there has been some debate on how good the pen erases, but I've never had problems and it was the best transfer pen I had on hand.
Here is my set up on my back door. It wasn't quite wide enough, but I made it work.
Hand Quilted Love
I found this printable to use. You can print large engineering prints at Office Depot and Staples for under $5, but since I wanted to get started right away, I printed it off on my computer using the poster option. I just taped it together and put my 1 yard of white Kona right on top and got to work. I did all the tracing in the afternoon light where it isn't direct so that it wouldn't heat up too much. Then after I was done tracing, I thread basted it together with some batting and a solid blue back (Ocean Kona I believe).
I first worked on running stitches along all the state-to-state borders (the dashed lines). They went by pretty quickly. My advice is to do the longest connected lines first such as the Mississippi River that is the longest connected line.

Now I was ready to venture onto some embroidery. I found Mary Corbet's Needle n' Thread's Lettering Tips and Tricks and sat and watched all of her videos. I learned so much! They are easy to follow and she has a ton of helpful tips. I first wanted to try out some of the stitches I would use on a smaller project, so I stitched up with little initial with satin stitch. The leaves are herringbone, stem is stem stitch, and there are a few little french knots thrown in. I'm glad I practiced the satin stitch first. It's a little shaky on this project, but I got better the more I did.

First try at embroidery

This is what I have finished so far. I am excited to continue, but I really need to put it down to work on some deadline projects (i.e. the triple zip pouch swap, a kindermat cover for a friend, August's bee blocks).

I've been using a large quilting hoop to help me embroider the words.

So wrinkly! But I don't want to loose all my tracing lines...
Here is my finished triple-zip pouch for my partner! I hope she likes it!
When I started this adventure I did not have any pearl 8 cotton, so of course I had to buy some. And I needed a place to store it. So I used my newly purchased Juliana Racquel fabric from Joann's and this tutorial to make a cute bowl. I didn't have double sided stabilizer, so the one side it is a little bunched, but still adorable.

Started my pearl 8 cotton collection and needed somewhere to put them, so I had to whip up this cute bowl with my new fabric purchase.

Linking up at Creative Monday and Made by You Mondays