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

Holiday Mug Rug

I don’t know about you, but I am busy making things for the holidays.  I am working on small gifts for co-workers and friends, craft fair projects, decorations, and of course, gifts for family members.

I always try to get started earlier in the year, but it seems that inspiration doesn’t strike until the last minute and then I try to fit in more in a few weeks than is humanly possible. And…

I LOVE IT! 

I love being creative, and I love making things to bless people.

Yesterday afternoon, I made 36 key fobs for friends at work, at art class, and at bible study.  I love projects like this — this project is quick, easy, and a total scrap buster.  I basically, kinda, sorta followed the directions at the Pellon project site if you want to know how I made them.

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Another scrap buster I recently designed and made was this mug rug.  I thought I would share it with you in case you would like to make one (or a few) for the holidays.

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You need to know how to paper piece simple designs.  I am not covering that here.  But if you would like the pattern,click here for link to the house, and click here for link to the tree.  It finishes at 6″ x 9″.

Here is one I threw together in August for a benefit craft fair. You can see that when I made mine I forgot to print the house pattern as a mirror image, so my house ended up facing the other way (oops!).  Not a big deal if you ask me.  But if you would also like your house facing the other direction, you can find that pattern here.

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(P.S. – the links to the paper pieced patterns are to my google drive.  If for some reason they do not work for you, please let me know and I can send you the pattern by email)

Charity Quilts in Progress

As if I didn’t already have enough projects, I started two new quilts this week.  As usual, I have created my own busyness.  Thankfully, however, I find this type of busyness very stress relieving rather than stress causing.

First I picked up this stash of fabric from a member of my guild.  She had cleaned out her stash over the holidays and her request was that if you take any, then you use it to make a charity quilt.  Our guild makes and donates charity quilts to the foster care program in the county.  So I took what ended up being approximately 4 yards of fabric, and decided to make a lap quilt.  Some of these are already made blocks, some are smaller than a fat quarter, and there are two pieces that are just over 1 yard in length.  I also decided that I have to make it right now or I may never get around to it!

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So, I cut the fabric into strips…

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I decided to make the quilt using a bento box pattern.  This is where you sew the strips into a large square and then cut the squares into fourths, mix them all up, and sew them back together again.  I didn’t have enough of the fabric that I picked up for all the strips I would need, so I have been using fabric from my scrap box to fill in where needed.   I love that I’m able to use some of the scraps I’ve been saving!  I would love to make an entire quilt with scraps.  Maybe one day… so far I’ve only been able to fit them into projects here and there.  Edit: I remembered that I have made a quilt with all scraps.  I made a wonky star last year.  I just have so many scraps, and I keep adding to it, so it doesn’t look like I’ve even put a dent in it.  So my goal is to make another quilt with just scraps.  🙂

I just finished piecing all the squares last night… today after work I’ll trim them up, cut them into fourths and lay them out to determine how I want to rearrange them.  Hopefully I’ll be sharing another finished quilt with you next week.

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I haven’t gotten as far on the second quilt I started.  I picked up two charm packs last fall during a shop hop, which gives me four 5-inch squares of each of these fabrics.

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Well, that in itself isn’t enough to make a lap quilt.  So I either need to add a neutral, such as cream or white, or more fabric.  I have decided to follow what Aspen Hill did here with her charm pack.  This means I need to add both white AND more fabric.  So I went through my stash and found fabric that I think matches and cut an additional 74 5-inch squares.DSC_0532

So that’s where I am with this quilt.  I have 154 5″ squares cut out and ready.  I still need to cut the white strips.  My plan is to do that and start piecing once I get the other quilt finished.  I probably won’t provide many updates on this quilt since it is for a friend that may read this blog.  But, know I’ll be working on it and will share it with you when I can…

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Scrappy Trip Along

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Even with working 65 hours a week, I have been able to finish a small project.  One of my goals this year was to do a Scrappy Trip Along quilt.  This quilt pattern has really taken off — there is even a Flickr group.  Apparently this design has been around for 14 years.  Wow, I feel like I’m so behind having just recently discovered it.  But it’s still very popular, and pictures of new quilts made with this pattern are being uploaded daily.

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I used a 1/2 jelly roll of Moda Birdie that I had left over from a baby quilt I made a few years ago.  I had just enough of the jelly roll left to make this quilt 40″ x 40″, which is also a good size for a baby quilt.  I did have some problems with the strips of fabric stretching, so not all my seams line up correctly.  I hate that — but sometimes I have to tell that perfectionism thing to take a back seat.

I also used this opportunity to practice some free motion quilting.  I chose a design called Paisley Flower by Leah  Day and then adapted it for a larger quilt versus a 6″-8″ square.  My flowers ended up being 3″-7″ in diameter, with the average being about 5″, and it still took quite a while to quilt.  I still need to practice sewing over the same line more than once, but I am very pleased with how it turned out.

DSC_0701And look at the colorful pile of fabric scraps I had left over.  I think I might put this outside and lets the birds use them to decorate their nests.  Or maybe I’ll make one myself similar to this.  DSC_0683

 

This would be a great quilt to use with scraps.  I might just make another one another day. They all look great when done