Sunday, January 31, 2016

Crafty Gifts

I can't believe I never posted the gorgeous crafty gifts I received at Christmas! I was lucky enough to get some beautiful handmade gifts. This lovely crocheted bag was made by my friend, Star. I love the color! It's made perfectly! I have crocheted in the past but prefer to knit. This bag will be so useful when I go shopping, especially quilt shows!!

Star also made me this cute pin cushion, I thought it was an ornament! I've been using it while paper piecing. Very helpful! Thank you, Star, for 2 wonderful gifts!!

Sarah sent me a kit to make 2 different bags. Sarah sent me this gift all the way from England! I'll get to it eventually!

Sarah also sent me a tin full of buttons. We all know you can't have enough buttons! Thank you, Sarah!

I made a few Nickita bags for a few of my friends. I felt as though I was working on an assembly line! I worked on 5 bags at the same time. I think it took less time doing it this way. These bags are the only handmade gifts I got to make this year. I always seem to run out of time!

Here's my Sweetheart Quilt displayed on my kitchen table. Unfortunately, Molly thinks it's the perfect spot for her to rest! Fresh kitty!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

More Scrap Blocks

I've been cutting my fabric to prepare to make scrap blocks. I've been cutting 2 1/2 inch strips and then subcutting them to size of the blocks.  Once I reached 12 blocks, I decided it was time to sew them together. It takes so long to cut these blocks, but so fast to sew them up! This first picture shows the 12 new blocks I made today.

Here are all the blocks I've made so far. I have 12 blocks left to make that feature 1 square. However, I've decided to make a few squares made of 4 mini blocks. I plan on making 4 more of that particular block. I'm going to make this quilt with 49 blocks using a 7 X 7 formation. The quilt should measure approximately 70" X 70". I love using up my scraps but so far, this hasn't made much of a dent in my stash. I guess there will be more scrap projects in my future!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Infinity Scarf (My Way!)

I finally made my first Infinity Scarf. I had directions which I wasn't crazy about. I looked up more patterns on various websites. I wrote up my own directions after reading up and actually making the scarf.

I used 2/3 yard of rayon batik. The fun thing about this pattern is you can make it longer or shorter. It all depends on your preference. I cut my fabric in half, parallel to selvages. I sewed the two pieces together using 1/2 inch seam. Then I ironed the seams open. I sewed the long piece into a tube, right sides together. I also matched up the seams while making up the tube. Then, I turned it inside out and pinned the short sides together. Also, matching up the seams. You can only sew a portion of this seam. Do the best you can. Iron open the seams. Sew the opening by hand. I ironed the seam allowances so hand sewing would be easier. Ta da! You're done!

Here it is! Your brand new scarf! I plan on making more. They're quick and a great accessory to wear!

Here's my knit shawlette. This one is taking much longer than my infinity scarf! It shouldn't take me too much longer. It's getting faster to knit as I decrease.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

First Finish of 2016!

My Sweetheart Table Topper is finished! It's already sitting on my kitchen table. This was such a fun and quick project. I'm so glad I finished it in time for Valentine's Day.

I had a hard time deciding how to quilt it. I didn't want to do anything too fancy. I wanted it to be fun and not overpowering on this small project. I decided on this teardrop with echoes. I really like how it came out. It's not too much but definitely adds texture to the project.

Here's a closeup of the quilting. I think the quilting took me 30-45 minutes. It was fast but I feel it was appropriate for the space I wanted to fill.

I love the binding! I chose a stripe but cut the strips on the bias. I love the movement the stripes add to the hearts. I found the best tutorial on making the binding. You can find it here at Jaybird Quilts. She makes it so easy! Have fun looking around on her website. She has lots of great quilt stuff there!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Another Farmer's Wife Update!

Here are all my Farmer's Wife blocks so far! We had a 2 week break at Christmas but have started up again. There are 33 blocks completed so far. There are a total of 99 blocks in the book. I doubt I will make all 99 blocks. I'll be happy with a lap sized quilt. I think I'll be making about half the blocks. I've made 11 blocks since my last update post. Have a look!

This is Joy. This was not very hard to make. I paper pieced all of the blocks in this post.

This block is named Lily. This block took me forever! It was difficult and I swore a lot while making it! It came out looking great but it was a tough one!

This is Mrs. Morgan! After the struggle I had with Lily, this one was a breeze to make!

This is Autumn! I did not pick fall colors. It reminds me of a gift!

This is Priscilla. This one had 2 wonky seams through the middle but it worked out very easily.

This is one of my favorites. Her name is Cat! (I do love cats!)

This is Malvina. Paper piecing made this one very easy and fast. 

This is Daffodil. It resembles a daffodil if you look for it!

I love the symmetry of Ava. 

This is Mrs. Brown. My colors remind me of Christmas! Not a tough block.

And the last block is Lucy! This one had some tiny squares but paper piecing made it manageable.

There you have it! Those are my blocks. I love working with 1930's fabrics. So pretty! This is such a fun project. There are over 6000 participants in this sew along. You may be seeing lots of Farmer's Wife quilts in the future!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Scrappy Progress

I'm finally making some progress on this scrap quilt project I started a while back. At the beginning, I seemed to just make a block while working on other projects. It was going way too slow. I decided to cut a few blocks at a time and sew them together later on. Before I knew it, I had ten more blocks. This picture shows the blocks I have just completed.

Here are the blocks I had already made. I need a total of 49 blocks. Five blocks will be made of those smaller blocks. I feel as though I'm halfway there! (Sort of!!)

These are all the blocks so far. It's nice to see so many of my fabrics in one project! Brings back memories of older projects. I've already starting cutting out more blocks. I'm glad I figured out a way to get this done.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Sweetheart Table Topper

This cute little Sweetheart Table Topper is a free tutorial over at Jaybird Quilts. You can follow this link to her free tutorial. I saw the tutorial last year but I never found the time to make it for Valentine's Day. I decided to start early this year and actually get it done in time to display it for the holiday. My son's birthday is February 14 so I make sure and put lots of Valentine's Day decorations out!

I used this ruler to make the topper. I think she also has a smaller ruler you could use to make the topper. Her directions are very clear and these rulers make it quite simple to make.

Here are my hearts all cut out. Actually, each piece is a jewel shape. Put two together, pretty hearts are made! I just used pinks from my stash.

I cut little triangles for the background. Also, from my stash! I recommend trimming off the points from the background triangles. It makes piecing so much easier!

Each topper is made up of 6 blocks. Each block is made up of 3 jewels and 4 background triangles.

I made three at a time. You just have to be careful about placing the correct colors near each other to complete your heart shape.

I made all six blocks.

I sewed 3 blocks together which made one half of the topper.

My two halves are ready to be sewn together.

Finished!! I just have to figure out how to quilt it. Time to pin baste and get quilting! Much thanks to Jaybird Quilts and her awesome patterns. Julie is so nice to have this pattern available for free. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Machine Quilting Progress

 I have diligently been working on machine quilting the Tone It Down quilt. It's made up of 20 blocks surrounded by sashing. There are no outer borders. Each block takes me about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to quilt. I do a little at a time. I find if I machine quilt for too long, I become sloppy,

It's difficult to take a good picture that really shows the quilting. I find using no flash works out the best. However, it still isn't that good.

I think you get a good idea of what I'm doing to the block. I've completed 7 blocks and have started block 8. I really like it so far. I'm using a Sue Pelland ruler to make the stems of the feathers. It works great! I don't think the ruler was intended for this use, but it works for me!

I encountered a problem now that I'm working along the unfinished edge of the quilt. I have to account for the binding that will be sewn on after the quilting is complete. I've decided not to finish the 9-patch squares since I'm not sure exactly where the binding will be. I usually take a 3/8" seam as opposed to 1/4". I'm making little curves on either side of the diagonals that looks like a leaf or petal when complete. It's impossible to figure out where the binding is going to land on this particular spot. I've decided to add them later after the binding has been added.  I think they'll be placed much better this way and I won't be cutting off any points I would have quilted. You can see I made a space on the side of the feathers where the binding will be. I think the points are harder to determine. I'll do the 9-patches later.

We've put away all the Christmas decorations. I brought my Rock Candy Quilt back out again. I found Molly laying on it. So glad she made herself comfy while I wasn't looking. I'm hunting for my lint remover. Thanks so much, Molly!

Old and New!

I made this quilt about 15 years ago. It's called Starry Night. I signed up for a Block of the Month. I would receive directions as...