Sunday, September 30, 2012

Christmas BOM

Hi all - Thanks for coming to class on Saturday. I had a good time and I hope you did too. It is always fun to learn new things and I hope you are enjoying making your half square triangles with the Triangles on a Roll paper.

Below are the directions and photos in case you need this to put your blocks together. Ideally, we would have put these together in class, but we all know what happened there! Thanks for rolling with my mistake!

Directions for putting together the pieced blocks for our Christmas BOM.
Remember - we have 13 blocks in this quilt. Each block is made of 4 sections. So, we need 52 of these little sections.

(I didn't take pictures of the three rows you sew together to make this section. If you need that please look at the pattern)

Once you have the 52 units together and before you add on the green triangle, make sure you trim to 1/4" from the middle red triangle.

Trim with your rotary cutter...and you'll just be taking a hair off.

Now add the green triangle to make this unit into a square.

Turn it over and sew from the other side so you can keep an eye on your seam.

After sewing the green triangle on remember to press toward the green, not open. Sew two of the blocks together, lining up the seams and pinning and press the seam open after sewing.

I stacked my sections so I could make sure my blocks were going to be scrappy before I pinned them. I pinned in three places, see below. After sewing this final seam, remember to press it open.

 And you're done!

Feels good, right?

Our next session is Oct. 27 and we will finally be working with our wool! Please come to class with some of your blocks you have been embroidering the words on. We'll go through cutting our figures, pressing our wool and hand blanket stitching these to our blocks. The threat we will use for the blanket stitching will be in. We'll have lots of fun making our shapes and adding them to our blocks.
Congratulations to everyone on getting your first embroidered blocks ready! They looked great.

Don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions!
- Sarah

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's the little things

I don't remember how I stumbled across a crochet edge pillow case by Rose Hip on the Internet, but I immediately fell in love with it. The vintage look really appeals to me. I've seen pillow cases with tatting on the edges and those are very attractive, but I know tatting is not in my future. I do know how to crochet though!

After a little research I found a tutorial on how to do this and made my first case Sunday night and completed it by Monday afternoon. I have to keep telling myself it is a first attempt and will not be perfect. By about two scallops in I knew my cotton yarn was a little too thick, but I pressed on. The fabric I chose (Ava Rose by Tanya Whelan) was too perfect to abandon ship without finishing.

A few scallops into my pillow case.

Completed pillow!
 Monday night before bed I put the case on my top pillow and it looked amazing! I said to my husband, "This case is so beautiful, I bet tomorrow morning I will wake up beatiful too!" His response wasn't what I was looking for. Men!  But I love it and plan to make more soon. I have such a huge fabric stash and yarn collection I am sure I can make hundreds without having to buy anything else...or maybe I need to go looking for another perfect fabric ... and then the yarn to match!
After a little more research I found another tutorial on Heidi Bears' blog that showed using a back stitch inside the seam to create the base for the crochet. That is going to be the method for my next attempt. Pulling yards of pink cotton yarn through this pillowcase took a bit of time, and I like the look of a hidden base.

Having a nice pillow case on the bed seems like a small thing but means a lot to me. Our English Mastiff, Starbuck, sleeps with us (directly in between us EVERY NIGHT) and I can't put one of my quilts on our bed because of that. But he doesn't sleep on my pillow (usually). So I get to have a nice handmade piece to lay my head on. Like I said, it's the little things.

The big one is why I can't have nice things! Some perspective...this is a king size bed.

Monday, April 23, 2012

T-Shirt Quilts - ShirtTales by Sarah

Looking for information about my custom made t-shirt quilts? Go here:
and get all the details!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Slow progress ahead!

Since my last post I only put about 5 stitches into the reversible quilt. We went on a trip for about 10 days and carrying along a partial quilt just wasn't in the cards.

I had to have something to work on though so I took along my hexagons for the extra project in the Prairie Women Journey 3 class and some wool applique. I made about 5 hexis and didn't touch the wool applique!
I did, however, start a new knitting project. (Just what I need, another new project!)

In doing my Reno, Nevada, research, I discovered it was the home of Jimmy Beans Wool and that they have a retail store in front of their online operation. Well, I couldn't pass that little trip up. So, on a Friday afternoon I spent a good part of my time in the shop trying to figure out a scarf pattern. I bought a new set of beautiful needles and some yarn and got busy. I have since given up on the original pattern, and settled for a cabled scarf with two cables. I'm new to knitting, so I don't know if that is a double cable scarf or a bicabled scarf or what. I call it a scarf with two cables.

The original pattern I tried was a lacey scarf and for some reason I couldn't get my rows to come out right. I even mastered (almost) the picot cast on in the process because I did it soooo many times!
Oh well, it isn't Jimmy Bean's fault! It is a wonderful little shop and the folks were extremely helpful, even pulling a lady from the back who was probably busy filling online orders to help me out!

I did also hit a few shops while I was in Reno - Windy Moon Quilts is a favorite of mine. I've been there a few times and always enjoy the trip. I left with several half yards of cream backgrounds. Going Batty is also in Reno, but it just isn't my type of shop. I left there empty handed. My husband was shocked.

As soon as we got home I got busy on my Easter gifts. Little bags from this Pink Penguin tutorial made with fabrics all from my stash and a few changes from the original pattern.

Back row - Prince Charming fabric and then some Easter fabric with stash additions. Front row: Vintage Violet  and Sanctuary. These little pieces are addictive and I have one more to make. It goes pretty quickly and the results are awesome. It is also pretty cool to see the different fabrics come together along with the lining and handles. You never know quite what it is going to look like until it is all finished.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Making progress!

I am making progress on the reversible quilt and I am halfway done piecing the whole thing together. I have four more rows to add. Must have been off on the number of rows, seems there are only 8 rows. That's fine with me. It is coming together quicker than I expected. See, if I had only tried to put it together earlier it would be done!

Here's one side - Most of this fabric is Sanctuary.

An interesting bit about the light green sashing, it is a tone on tone print with little birds and flowers. The selvage says it is Brids by 3 Sisters for Moda. I'm thinking it should be Birds. Maybe that is the quilting equivelent of the stamp with the upside-down plane on it or the newspaper that said Dewey Defeats Truman!

This is side two - The fabric is Renewal by Brannock and Petak for Moda. The dark green sashing is the one I have to sew down by hand. The light green sashing on the first side is added by machine.

I think I finally have my seam size set right to get the rows to come together just right - no space in between and no overlaping under the sashing. I have a walking foot with interchangeable plates and one is a 1/4" seam guide (love it!). I have to use that one at a certain setting and remove that plate and then add the regular walking foot plate and change the setting again to put on the second side. Lots of moving parts.

Probably won't be able to take this baby on the trip with us as it will be too big. Heck, I may even have it done before we go, but I don't want to get ahead of myself!

My next challenge will be putting the binding on. You sew together the light green and the dark green binding and then machine sew one side on and hand sew the other. The teacher said it can't be sewn on like a traditional binding because you can't miter the corners. She suggests doing it in four sections, but I don't like the sound of that. I think I'm going to try mitering and if it doesn't work then I'll use the recommened method.

I think I'll take my hexigons for the third journey Prairie Women. More portable for a trip!

Monday, March 19, 2012

In my future - Fails turned into Satisfactorily Completeds!

Like some quilters, I have a lot of UFOs in my closet and resting on any free space or shelf in my quilting room. There are those quilters out there who only work on one project at a time, but that just isn't my style. You gotta go with what feels right. Sometimes I get bored working on a quilt after I do my test block. I tend to obsess about starting projects.

When I start something it is all I can think about for a while and then I say "Next?" It is the anticipation that I'm addicted to (maybe that's too strong of a word?) and that is why I have so many projects started or waiting to begin and so few finished quilts for myself.

Just off the top of my head here are some things waiting to be finished in my room:
  • A wedding quilt for a friend (there's still time on this one!)

  • Two baby quilts for a former co-worker's grandchildren.
  • My treasured Worn & Loved Arbor Windows. I have about 20 blocks done. Bought the kit for a queen, but am thinking this will end up being a smaller quilt I can use in the living room...someday! I've also been hording the Worn & Loved fabric line.

  • Lisa's Flower Garden (Hand appliqued tiny wool pieces. I have many done, but not all)
  • Any number of ModaU projects (Block of the Months that I just got too busy to keep up with).
  • Seaside Rose. The reason I got into quilting. The first fabric line I ABSOLUTELY had to HAVE! And yet, here it sits.

  • My Halloween quilt (Started it around Halloween, and then came Christmas. Hello? Who is in the mood for Halloween quilts during Christmas.)

  • Reversible quilt hanging in strips in the closet.
  • A Flag Day Farm quilt (Came home from class and just decided not to go any further)
  • Fuschia quilt (Cut the whole thing out before I did a test block or knew what I was doing. Rookie mistake. That quilt will never see the light of day.)

The list is not complete, but you get the picture. As you can read, some of these were justified DNFs = Did Not Finishes

But, now that I've got a little free time (meaning no huge projects looming) I can turn some Fails into Satisfactorily Completeds! (that's how we were graded back in the day.

I just finished my last teaching obligations at Main Street Quilt Co. for as while, and that opens up a little sewing time for me. Fast forward to a Sunday night in March 2012. For some reason, I had the urge to begin working on one of my UFO quilts IMMEDIATELY! It's the reversible quilt I started wayyyyy back in the 2000s, like maybe 2006? I really don't remember. It was a two or three session class that would net me a reversible quilt-as-you-go quilt. Sitting in my closet in strips - at least my blocks were sewn into rows! Out of sight, out of mind I guess. I remember seeing it several times in my sewing room closet over the years, but never had the urge to do anything about it. Kind of like that piece of fabric you walk over countless times and never bend over to pick up. Or, does that happen just at my house?
So, I got up in the middle of the night to pull it from the closet and search for the last bit of direction I would need to put it all together. 

A few nights ago I was finally able to really work on this project. I cut my sashing strips and sewed them on one row and then connected the next row to prepare for the hand sewing bit. My plan is to take this project with me on an upcoming trip and work on it as time permits.

This quilt is 8 blocks by 10 rows. I am about 75 percent of the way done. I need to sew all my rows together on one side and then hand sew the sashing on the other side. Finally I need to bind the quilt in the same manner. Machine sew one side on, hand sew the remainder.

I'll try to keep you updated on the progress and then what other UFO is up for completion! For now, I'm glad to have this one out of the closet.