Wednesday

My Small World Quilt WIP

Alice by Angela PingelI have decided to stick to the color palette found in the Alice by Angela Pingel fabric collection. The colors are outside the box for me. I've never been a fan of blue fabrics, especially navy blue and it is a part of this fabric line.

The first instruction in the pattern book states to make 527 squares for sky so I started to cut those out. I had forgotten how messy my sewing studio gets when digging through scraps. I will have to get over that. I decided to put them in a jar to keep them neat since they will be used sporadically as I build each section of the quilt.

The first blocks in the book are hourglass blocks and each one of them goes in a different section of the quilt. I want these sections to all be differentiated from each other so that means that I will end up with two of each block. I think I will use the extras on the back, so I will set them aside. I hope I can give my version of this quilt a modern yet whimsical look. I'm not that fond of planning things way in advance so we shall see how this goes.


Monday

The Solstice Project

The 182-day solstice challenge blocks are driving me crazy. I guess I just don't like unfinished projects. I know how hypocritical that sounds since I have many, many unfinished projects. I decided to make my own rules for this project. First of all, if the blocks are larger than 12 and a half square I will skip them. Second of all, if there is applique to be done, I might skip them depending on how much applique.

With that said, I am finished with the blocks up to week 11. And yes, I skipped week 8 and 12, modified week 9 and am considering making week 14 because the applique part looks pretty simple. I also have to complete week 13's block which looks pretty.

Here is my modified week 9 block and my completed week 11 block:


Sunday

Orange Strip Quilt for Kids Quilt WIP

I was so inspired at this month's Quilts for Kids sew day that I am making a few more charity quilts. We get all this wonderful fabric donated to us yet sometimes I find it difficult to turn the fabric into something cute. Some of the fabrics come in a variety of sizes and the pieces can be challenging to make into a decent sized quilt.

For instance, this red-orange fabric collection came in a variety of lengths but all the pieces were 12 and 3/4 inches wide. So I decided to cut all the pieces into 4 and 1/4 inch strips. Then I took all the strips and just sewed them into long columns. Once I finished sewing all the pieces into columns of the same length, I wasn't sure what to do with them after that.

I left the long strips on my sewing table overnight. Then next morning I looked at the strips and they were sitting on top of some orange fabric I had left over from another project. I couldn't believe how well it matched my strips! Of course, the rest was history. I cut long strips of the orange and sewed them in-between the prints. How quick and easy this all went together. So today I am quilting it and hopefully getting the binding done as well.

Friday

'Lil Twister Table Topper

I finished the 'Lil Twister tabletopper today. I do like the results however, I would do things a little differently if I make another.

First thing, I placed some tangerine print charms next to the border and when I cut the pinwheels out, it the prints got lost in the border. The instructions stated to place the charms in a random pattern. I will be less random next time.

I took out all the solid charm squares. I only needed 35 of the 42 charms from the pack, so it worked out great that there were 7 solids. Now that this project is complete, I see that when I cut the twister pinwheels, it really looks quite busy. I think if I would have left the solids in, it would tone things down a bit.

I like the end result and it will look nice on my kitchen table throughout this spring.

Thursday

Animal Print Quilts for Kids Quilt Completed

I've had this fabric for a while. It was donated to Quilts for Kids and I thought it would be easy to make a nice quilt out of it. It was not as easy as I thought. I think it's the colors. Even though they are nice primary colors, the background makes it a little difficult to turn into something sweet and soft.

So I found some chambray fabric in my stash and I put it next to the fabric. It seem to soften it a little. I decided to make sashing out of the chambray and put it between blocks of the animal print. That was the animal print could still be a focus fabric and the blue chambray matches some of the color in the print.

I quilted the quilt in large meandering swirls which took no time at all. Then I found this cute bug fabric to set off the animal print and I used that for binding. It may not be the cutest quilt ever, but it does have a bit of whimsy in it after all.

Wednesday

'Lil Twister Table Topper WIP

I borrowed my friend, Sue's 'Lil Twister template to make a tabletopper. I couldn't wait to give it a whirl. I used 35 charm squares to make a panel with a 3" border. Using the template, I cut out all the "twist" blocks and sewed them together. It really look quite cute.

It was a bit of a challenge to cut the blocks out without cutting too far around the template. There's a little wiggle-room, but not much. I ended up with some waste in the form of little squares in-between all the cuts.

When I put the new blocks together, there was a bit of stretch in the fabric since the blocks were now on the bias. It did make it easy to nest the seams when sewing the rows together.

Now I just have to add another border, quilt and bind this sweet little tabletopper.


Tuesday

Quilts for Kids Frog Quilt Completed

I finished another Quilts for Kids quilts today. At last month's meeting I discovered the joy of attaching binding by machine.

Bonnie, one of the volunteers was demonstrating how to sew binding on using a long-arm machine. Her technique included stitching the binding on by starting from the back then folding it over towards the front.

I felt more confident to try it after watching Bonnie complete a quilt in no time at all. It was so quick and easy and the mitered corners came out very nicely. I can't believe I didn't try it years ago. I probably won't use this technique on some of my better quilts until I build up my confidence but for now I will do all my donated quilts this way. Now I can finish my quilts at a faster pace which means I can make more sooner. :-)

Sunday

Farm Girl Sampler Barn Block

When I made my Farm Girl Sampler quilt top, this was my first version of the barn block.

I love the fabric in the windows. I carefully placed the birds on the wires in the windows. I also chose complimentary fabrics for the barn door.

I really wanted a red background fabric for the barn so I chose this whimsical piece. Only when I made the block, the door and the windows just disappeared in the business of the red fabric.

Even though I still think this is really cute, I chose to make a toned-down version for the quilt top. But I will still find some way to use this block.

Friday

Star Wars Weekender Bag

Star Wars Overnight Bag
I finished my Star Wars weekender bag today. Even though the pattern I used stated that the bag finishes 16" wide, 15 1/2" tall and 6 1/2" deep I'm never really that good when it comes to determining what makes for a good sized item without the visual. Once I had this bag completed I could see that this is definitely a good sized bag!

The pattern is recommended for an intermediate sewer but I thought it was pretty easy. I did add a zippered pocket to the inside of the lining that was not in the instructions so I made it more complicated than need be.

The pattern called for a 22" zipper and I used a 24" zipper because I had it on hand and it was not an issue. There was no need to cut off the extra 2 inches because the bag pieces on both sides of the zipper were long enough to accommodate the extra zipper length.

I made this bag thinking that maybe my granddaughter might want it but she wasn't that thrilled with it. She is currently into Pokemon so maybe if I made another in that fabric she might like it more. I did make this as a sort of prototype. I want to make another using some sewing-themed fabrics to use for sewing retreats and sewing classes and maybe even a summer-themed bag for taking to the beach.

I really like this pattern. It's free and it can be found here. Because it really can be used as a weekender bag, I might look for another pattern in something a little smaller. At least I now have a visual reference so I will know what size I'd like to make next. And another great thing about this bag is that it is on my list of goals to complete in 2017 - so I get to scratch it off of my to-do list - yay!

Wednesday

My Small World Pattern by Jen Kingwell

My daughter bought me the My Small World pattern book for my birthday and it came in the mail today. I am so excited about this pattern and look forward to starting the quilt.

I will definitely spend some time reading through the entire booklet a few times to make sure I understand how this crazy thing goes together.

I know I need to try a few new techniques in order to make this, so that will be great fun to learn.

Stay tuned!

Monday

Quilts for Kids Finished Quilts

I really struggled to get good photos of some of these quilts. They turned out to be way too busy. I'm not making excuses however, it was definitely a challenge to use up these fabrics.

The reason I say that is that the fabrics were all donated to our Quilts for Kids group. We take those fabrics and try to turn them into something cute and usable. At the same time I see these quilts as an opportunity to try new techniques in both piecing and quilting. Sometimes the end result looks amazing and sometimes it can be an epic fail.

I think the pink quilt is an example more on the fail end of the quilting spectrum. I used coordinating fabrics from the same fabric line and added more subtle fabric in-between and yet the result is way too busy. So busy, I can't photograph it successfully. But it is still cuddly and very cute up close.

I used the same pattern for a blue and green version of the quilt with much more success. The
 pieced blocks are better defined within these colors. But it's still not the greatest. Again, up close, the fabrics are cute and bright and I'm sure it will be loved by someone.

For the last quilt, I used a total fabric collection that was available. And I used every last piece in that collection. The pattern I used is called Zoo Dwellers and it was free. Here is the link to that pattern. I really like it and I am certain I will use it again. Some of the pieces in the collection weren't large enough to make some of the blocks so I pieced the leftover scraps in order to complete the blocks. It was a fun puzzle and a great challenge to use it all.
Quilts for Kids
It felt good to get some Quilts for Kids quilts completed. I like doing these for charity and I feel like I get something back since I used these quilts as an opportunity to try techniques I normally would be afraid of.

We had our last meeting this past Saturday and I picked up more donated fabrics. I can't wait to dig in and see what I will come with for next month's meeting.

Friday

Weekender Bag WIP

I'm starting the Weekender Overnight Travel Bag. The online tutorial for this bag comes with all the pattern pieces. I printed out the pieces, taped and cut them out so they are ready to go. The tutorial can be found here.

I still have to get some more heavy duty fusible interfacing and then I will be ready to do. In the meantime I can decide how I am going to lay out the pattern pieces.

I have enough Star Wars fabrics to make the bag but determining which fabric to use for each part of the bag is still in question. It's also the fun part. I can't wait to start cutting.

I have both white and black webbing for the handles but I won't know which one to use until I decide which fabrics are for the outside of the bag.