Square Pegs Quilt

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile you know that I make a couple of quilts for charity each year.  I just finished a quilt for a group that I am part of called do. Good Stitches which is organized by Rachel at Stitched in Color.  There are several groups and each group is made up of 10-12 quilters that stitch blocks and/or assemble and finish the quilt.  I am a quilter at this time which means that I am also responsible for coming up with the design and colors for that month.

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For my month, I decided to use the Square Pegs pattern available at Moda Bake Shop.  I asked the stitchers in my group to use their scraps and make blocks in melon colors.  Think watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew.  And boy did they deliver.  It’s so bright and fun.  And will be a great quilt for the women that benefit from the makeovers done by Enchanted Makeovers, the charity it is going to.

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I quilted it with organic stacked half-moon shapes.  The blocks are 13″ square.  And because I asked our stitchers to make it scrappy, I had to refigure the instructions for assembly, but it was an easy pattern to figure out.

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It snowed this past weekend and the snow made the perfect background for this bright quilt.  It was 8 degrees when we were outside taking the pictures.  Just a little cold so I didn’t take many pictures, but thankfully I didn’t need to.  Today, 5 days later, it’s 70 degrees.  Gotta love NC weather!

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Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Refrigerator Quilts

Happy New Year!

Last June at one of our modern quilt guild meetings, one of our members shared her ‘refrigerator quilts’.  She was making one small quilt a week (around 12″ square) to hang on her refrigerator.  Since small quilts take less time, it’s easy to try a variety of techniques without being fully committed with a large quilt.

Our challenge that month was to make a refrigerator quilt, so made this cute butterfly and sunflower quilt out of my fabric scraps.  It is all applique and measures 9-1/2 x 12-1/2.

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It’s hung on my refrigerator since then.  But now it’s winter and I need something on the refrigerator that matches the season better.

Enter Project Quilting Season 8.  Hosted by Persimon Dreams, Project Quilting starts January 1st each year and is a total of 6 challenges every other week based on the theme for that week.  This weeks theme is “Eight is Great”.  The challenge is to create a project that has something to do with the number “8”.  I thought this challenge series would be a great opportunity to make more refrigerator quilts.

For this first challenge, I decided to make 8-pointed snowflakes.  Just in time too, for the big snowstorm we got last night.img_5589

I tried a new technique.  I used a Fiskars craft knife to cut out the fine details of the snowflakes.  It was a bit tedious, and the tip of the blade was dull after just one snowflake, but I love how lacy they are.  (I layered a printout of the snowflake, Lite Steam-a-Seam 2, and the fabric, and then cut on top of a self-healing mat)

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I free motion quilted all over, and then add hand embroidered ‘wind’ swirls.  It finishes at 11″ square.

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The front fabrics are all Cirrus Solids by Cloud 9 fabrics.  Part of the fat quarter pack I won almost two years ago here.  The quilting is done in Aurifil clear poly thread.

The back is an Art Gallery print that just matched it perfectly.  I hate using such nice fabric for the back of anything, but it matched so perfectly I just had to.

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This was super fun!  I can’t wait to see what the next challenge will be.

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Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Project Quilting Season 8 at Persimon Dreams.

 

Sampler Quilt

Believe it or not, I have never made a sampler quilt. The Goose Tracks quilt I made several years ago by HoopSisters is probably the closest I have come.

I always thought a sampler quilt would be a good option for building skills in various types of quilting.  So when Pat Sloan and  Jane Davidson announced the Splendid Sampler earlier this year, I decided to give it a whirl.  The Splendid Sampler is a 100-block sampler quilt with 6″ blocks that are traditionally pieced, paper-pieced, appliqued, and hand-stitched. And we have a whole year to make these 100 blocks.  Piece of cake.  After all, what’s one more project?

Of the sampler quilts that I have admired over the years, I really like those with a variety of colors best.  For the first several months of this adventure, we had not yet sold the old house, purchase a new house, or moved, so my stash was still in storage 5-hours away.  So some wonderful ladies I met on the internet sent some fabric my way so I could get started.   I am so thankful to them.  To that, I was able to add a few scraps I had laying around, and ended up with a good mixture of pinks, peaches, blues, and greens.

I sorted everything into light, medium, and dark values so it would be easier to pick fabrics for each block.

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Fabrics separated into Light/Medium/Dark values

And the adventure began.  Blocks are released twice a week.

Here are my first 12 blocks

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I was able to stay on top of it until mid-April when we moved.  And then I got behind.  And as you can see, I haven’t done block 11.  I’m not a huge fan of hand embroidery  It’s beautiful and I greatly admire it.  I just don’t want to do it.  So any hand-stitched blocks may take me a bit longer.  I really should do block 11.  It is titled ‘Crocheted Thoughts’, and since I also crochet it would be good to include it in my quilt.  In fact, I have actually thought about crocheting it, rather than embroidering it.

They are also releasing ‘bonus’ blocks as we go along.  Here is the first bonus block.  This may just become my block 11. 🙂  We shall see.

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I have a few more blocks finished, but not another dozen yet.  I plan to work on them more this weekend, so hopefully I will have another set to share with you shortly.  I think they have released block 52 60, so I fallen behind more than I would like.

Are you participating in the Splendid Sampler?  If so, have you been able to stay current with this project?  Oh, I had grand plans in the beginning, and then life got in the way.  Isn’t that how it always is?

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

 

Modern Lone Star

There are certain quilts that must be on every quilters list to make at least once in their lifetime.  Things like Log Cabin, Churn Dash, Dresden Plate, (any) star block, Drunkard’s Path, and certainly the Lone Star.

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To date, I’ve made quilts for my oldest 2 children, and the grandchildren of course.  But I have 2 more children I needed to make quilts for.  I decided to make my middle son (now 23) a Lone Star quilt.  He is 6′ 4″, so even a quilt for snuggling on the couch would need to be larger than usual.

I pulled together some fabric scraps from my stash and then bought a couple of yards of chartreuse fabric to make it pop.  The solid fabric is Kona Slate.  Each diamond is 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ and measures 6 1/2″ point-to-point.

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Then once I had the lone star together, I cut it down one side.  Let me just say, that was super scary.  I shared with you previously here and here some of the challenges and lessons learned while piecing it, so to take a rotary cutter to it at this point was nerve racking.  If I messed it up, it would have to be remade.  But it worked great and the part I cut off, I flipped over to the back.

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I quilted it lightly with parallel lines 1/2″ apart following the lines of the star.IMG_3414

It was so big, I didn’t even get a complete view of the quilt until we were able to hang it for pictures.  (By the way, it’s really hard to photograph such a large quilt.)  I LOVE how it turned out!  It’s so beautiful!

Finished at 70″ x 90″.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

UFO Finish #4

I love this mini quilt.  I started this quilt last year when I started a much larger lone star quilt.  I had never done a lone star quilt so I wanted to ‘practice’ on something smaller.  I often practice new techniques in a similar fashion.  I’ll make one or two blocks to see how a quilt will go together, or if a bag or some other project, I may make it first with fabric that I really don’t care about before I cut into my good fabric.  Many times it ends up being a waste of time because (1) the pattern is so complicated I never want to make another one after the first (haha). or (2) because it goes together smoothly.  Other times though, I’m able to find areas that need to be improved or find things I would do differently in order to save fabric usage.

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I pulled this navy scrap with orange, teal, lime green, and purple elephants from my scrap bin and then found more scraps that complemented it.  For the most part the placement of each color was due to how much of each fabric that I had on hand, but I wanted the points to be bright so that the star would SPARKLE.  So orange was the only way to go there.  I just love orange these days.  It’s such a bright, cheery color.

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I used this tutorial by the Hopeful Homemaker for piecing my strips.  I did one thing different that I found to be very helpful.  When piecing the diamonds, I first ‘basted’ the seams with a long stitch.  I found that I often needed to adjust the seams just a smidgen in order for them to line up and it’s so much easier to pick out longer stitches.  Then, once I was happy with how the seams lined up, I would stitch one last time with a small stitch.

One thing I didn’t do that I wish I had was starch all the pieces when piecing.  I usually skip this step because I am impatient and want to get it done, but it really would have helped provide a much crisper, less puckered and wrinkled, finished star.

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I decided to offset the star rather than center it on the background.  It took me a few days to figure out how I wanted to quilt it, and I love what I came up with. First I marked and quilted diamonds to extend the star shape to the bottom and right.

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Then I free-motion quilting the remaining areas with a paisley flower.  I practice my FMQ every chance I get, and this was a very fun design to stitch.  I just love it!

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Then I decided the bottom right corner was a perfect place to put a small elephant.  He’s so cute!

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Quilt finishes at 17.5″ x 17.5″.  Each diamond in the star is 1″ x 1″ finished.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

QAYG Hot Pads

Our kitchen was in dire need of hot pads so I whipped-up some scrappy ones this past week.  I used the quilt-as-you method (QAYG), so they were super fast and easy to make.

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If you would like to make some of your own, this is what you will need for two 8″ x 8″ hot pads.

  • approx 8″ x 16″ piece of insulated batting (such as insul-bright)
  • (2) 8″ x 16″ pieces of cotton batting
  • 9″ x 17″ piece of backing fabric
  • fabric scraps (strips work best)
  • adhesive spray

Layer the first three items above as follows:  first place the backing fabric wrong side up, then place a piece of cotton batting on top on that, then the insul-bright, then another layer of batting.  Use adhesive spray to baste the layers together so they don’t shift during sewing.  This creates a 4-layer quilt sandwich to start with.  I’m not sure where I bought my insulated batting, or even what brand it is because I have had it for so long, but my insulated batting already had two layers of batting, the insulated mylar, and plain fabric on the back.  It is quite thick, and I tested it by placing a hot iron on it and the backing fabric was still cool, so I didn’t think I needed to add any additional layers.  So I skipped the 2nd and 3rd items above and decided to use it as-is since it already had all 4 layers.

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Now onto the fun part!  Choose two fabric strips and place right sides together.  Position onto the exposed batting on the top of your quilt sandwich, and sew down one long edge.

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Flip over the fabric so that you can see the right sides of both fabric strips sewn, and iron to flatten the seam.

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I chose to use shorter strips than needed so I could later go back and sew-on fabric strips going the other direction.  In the above picture the bird fabric is too long, so I cut off the bottom to make it the same length as the first strip (below).  Also you can choose to make this project even more scrappy by piecing smaller pieces of fabric together to make a longer strip as seen below on the left.

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Then chose another strip, place it face down and line up the edges with the strip to the right and sew down the long edge.

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Continue in this fashion, placing a strip face down, sewing down the long edge, flipping so that it is right side up, and then adding another strip face down along its edge, sewing down the long edge, flipping so that it is right side up, and so on…  I have 13 strips sewn like this across the batting, and then I used that same method to fill in the remaining corners by sewing strips the opposite direction.

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And here is where I just realized I forgot to take more pictures…

Once the entire surface area was covered with strips, I basted along all 4 edges, trimmed the edges even and then cut in half to create two 8″ x 8″ squares.  Then I used some scrap binding that I had on hand to finish them.  Voila!  Two new hot pads for the kitchen.

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As you can see, this is a pretty fast process, and because the quilting is done as the same time as the piecing, there is no reason to go back and quilt all the layers together once you’re done.  Of course, you always could do more quilting if you wanted to add more detail or designs, but that was not my purpose here.   And I used up some more of my scraps which is always fun!

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

 

 

 

 

 

Anchored with Love

Happy 2016!  2015 was a year of many changes, some of which I haven’t seen the purpose for yet, so I’m very excited to see what 2016 brings.

I’m starting my sewing/quilting year off with a project I just love.  The two oldest grand kids just left after visiting for a week.  While they were here, they batted their little eyelashes, smiled their sweet smiles, and asked me to make a pillow for their mom.  They decided they wanted an anchor on the pillow.

So I pulled out my small scraps- blue they said.  Well after looking at the scraps we decided to use turquoise colors instead of blue.

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We used various turquoise values and prints and they helped lay them out onto the traced image we had of an anchor.  And then we decided to add the heart in coral to show how much they loved their mom.  From my stash, we used a light grey print for the background and raw edged appliqued the anchor to it, and then used a dark grey solid as the border.  At the last minute I decided it needed a little something extra so I added the piping around the edges.

I love how it turned out and honestly hated to give it away.  I would be happy to have it in my house.  I just love the beach, and since we’re living in the mountains now, it made the sand, sun, and surf seem just a little closer.

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Finished at 15″.  Used a 16″ pillow form.  The back is done using an envelope closure so the pillow cover can be removed and washed if needed.

Linking up with SewCanShe for Show Off Saturday