Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Friday Night With Friends

I joined FNWF for the first time last week. I didn't quite understand what I was supposed to do, like a blog post (I thought it was a linky!)  Anyway, I got these blocks sewn together from an Aurifil BOM program of last year!

A few of my blocks differ from the quilt along, but I'm really happy with how this turned out. I have to especially thank Connie who blogs at Freemotion by the River for coming up with this great sashing idea and graciously allowing me to copy it. 

Now I need to get quilting!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Quick Runner

My mom has a birthday in April and she hinted told me that she would like a spring table runner. Here's the thing about my mom - she doesn't sew. At. All. She doesn't understand it and has no interest in it, other than the finished product. As far as she's concerned a one fabric mug rug takes as long to make as a king-size, hand-stitched postage stamp quilt!

That's a bit of a problem when she wants a large quilt. She doesn't think anything of asking me to whip out a quilt for her bed or for a church fund-raiser or even for one of her friends. In her mind the hard part is choosing which fabrics go together.

The upside is when she wants something small like a table runner -  I can use great fabrics in colors that she loves and she'll think it was a very complicated project.

So.....I made her this quick bargello-ish table runner for her birthday. It took all of about 2 hours start to finish. I think the straight-line quilting took longer than anything else.

It actually turned out prettier than I expected and now I kind of want to make one for myself!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Small Blog Meet

I recently came across a wonderful blog called Lily's Quilts. The blogger, Lynne, has a linkup for sharing your current projects and another for bloggers with less than 50 followers to post their projects and, hopefully, gain more followers. What a thoughtful and generous blogger!

Here are a couple of recent projects I've completed:

I made a new doggie leash for my dad. If it wasn't such a cute fabric, I wouldn't bother posting it. It was only about a 10-minute project. I made it a little shorter than a normal leash because it'll attach to one of those split leashes used to walk two dogs.

A couple of weeks ago I made these little springtime handbags for my granddaughters:

And my favorite recent finish was this Sew Together bag made for my daughter:

Now I'm off to link up with Small Blog Meet and find a few small blogs to follow. If you're reading this post, I'd be thrilled if you would follow my blog!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A First Quarter Finish Along Finish!

I had quite a list of quilts to finish for the first quarter of this year. Today is the last day of the quarter and I only got one of the projects from my list done. But, that's okay - it's better than zero! And I know I'll do better next quarter. I just needed to get into the swing of things  ;)

Anyway, I had two of these rail fence quilts cut out. I finished this one:

 Here's hoping to get a whole bunch done next quarter!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

For the pantry

We recently bought a new house. I love it more and more the longer we're here. However, it has pretty high ceilings. That includes the pantry, so there's quite a bit of empty space between the top shelf and the ceiling. For some dumb reason, that bothers me. The whole house needs some serious decorator help and I'm bugged by high space in the pantry - go figure!

Anyway, I've decided to make some little wall hangings for in there. I want fun and whimsical and something I can make from scraps. So I messed around with some applique and free-motion, scribble-type stitching and came up with this:

However, I'm not 100% thrilled with it. I wonder if I should've made individual pictures. I'm going to try a couple other ideas, like some fruit or maybe an uneven layer cake.

The lighting in there is awful.  Hey! I'm pretty sure that's the problem with my cooking!

 Anyway, here's how they looked before any stitching:

And here's how it looks from outside the pantry, looking in:

The picture just happens to be near the "snack section" - there really is real food in there too!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Well, that's embarrassing!

My daughter and her two little girls (ages 1-1/2 and 4) came over to visit for a little bit last night. They often bring a toy - or six - with them to play with. But what really jumped out at me, was they were sharing (sort of) an old diaper clutch that I had made for my daughter before her first was born, and using it as a purse! One would set it down and then the other would pick it up and put the wrist strap over her shoulder and carry it around the house.

How could they not have purses?!???!! For Christmas, I made my 1-year-old grandson a little messenger bag with a dinosaur print so he would have something to gather worms and bugs and such. But how did the girls not get little hand bags?

Anyway, today I made a couple of quick purses, using this tutorial from Make It & Love It.

I made one a little bigger than the other and lined the small one with orange fabric and the larger one with light purple so they would each know which one is theirs.

They came together quickly and turned out pretty cute, I think.

And here are a couple of pictures of Rigo with his little messenger bag. He obviously needs to be well hydrated before he heads out on his big adventure!

That was probably the only time it would ever have been safe for my daughter to stick her hand in that bag!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

SewTogether Bag

I'm a little late to the SewTogether Bag explosion. But, I finally made one and I really like it! As I worked on it, I couldn't help but wonder how the designer ever came up with it - and then figured out how to put it together! Wow!

I made the outside pretty simple. Some have amazing quilt block or gorgeous piecing. 

I think I spent as much time picking out fabrics as I did sewing! Now I'd like to make a scrappy one and use some wild fabrics for the inside. 

Like most say, it was easier than I expected it to be. Especially the first half. The finishing got a little tricky, but maybe I'll breeze through it the next time. :)

Here's the other side - it's the same on both sides. I gave this bag to my oldest daughter. I'm babysitting my adorable little grandson while she attends a conference this week. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Bench Re-do

I really like all the great patchwork chairs that are appearing all over Pinterest these days. We have a pretty large master bath, with a good chunk of superfluous space in the middle of the room. I would love to have a really wild, funky, patchwork chair to set in there. But I've only recovered one piece of furniture in my life and that was in high school. Considering my inexperience, I thought maybe I should try a patchwork bench to see just how difficult such a project might be.

So when my bff was here last week, we shopped a thrift store in search of a long bench. We didn't find a long one, but we did find a couple of short ones which I bought:

Then we gathered some screw drivers, pliers and wine and sat on the floor to start removing the old fabric. What a chore that was! We finally got one bench mostly cleaned of all the old staple bit and pieces, so we primed and painted it. While it was drying, we went out and loaded up on a few upholstery remnants.

From the remnants, we cut random sized squares and rectangles and sewed them together. Then I backed the whole piece with lightweight fusible interfacing because I had added a couple quilting cottons to the mix.

Finally, we were ready for the fun stuff! We had purchased a new electric staple gun and couldn't wait to start shooting it. We stapled the patchwork piece to the bench and then hot-glued a piece of trim around the bottom edge to cover the raw edge of the fabric.

And this is how it turned out:

They'll sit in an entry room and won't get much use - really they're mostly decorative, so I'm not too worried about how well the hot glue will secure the trim.

I still have the other one to do and I'm dreading the removal of all those staples! But the most important thing I learned is, upholstery is hard! I sure don't want to tackle a big ornate chair.

Here's another picture of the two, side-by-side:

Hey! Maybe I can talk my dad into pulling all those staples for me....

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Update on Completions

I considered leaving this post blank, except for the title, to show exactly what I checked off my goal list. Obviously, I didn't finish one single project I committed to this month. I did, however, finish the distraction that took me away from the Pat Sloan distraction that took me away from my goals!

Here's one side (not sure which is supposed to be the front and which is considered the back):

And here's the other side. I'm linking this scrappy quilt up with the Oh Scrap! linky party at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

I did have other things distracting me this month.  A few days into January (maybe that first weekend) my daughter's little dog wasn't eating. So she took her to the vet and got some really bad news - stomach cancer - there was nothing they could do to save the 11-year-old pup. That was heart breaking...plus she had to tell her 2 little girls (ages 4 and 1-1/2) that Lily got sick and went to doggie heaven.

So a week or so later, they decided to look at a few rescue dogs. Mackenzie, the 4 year old, kept saying "not this one" to the first three that Steph thought would be good choices. Then Mackenzie saw "Nala" ( a medium size German Shepherd mix) and said "that's my dog".

Here they are getting to know each other:

A week later, Steph came home and Nala was gone! She had dug out under the fence. So we spent a few days driving all over the neighborhood, putting up signs. My daughter couldn't bear to tell the girls what happened so she told them Nala had gone on a little adventure. 

Just as we were giving up hope, more than a week later, a man called her at 2 in the morning and said the dog was in his front yard! So I stayed at her house, while she and my husband headed off, in the middle of the night, 25 miles(!!!!) away to where she had ended up! 

And now she's back home - safe, sound and tired!

What a relief that was!

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Funny Thing Happened...

...on the way to a distraction. I got distracted.

The other day I was reading blogs and perusing Pinterest to get my quilting engines revved up, when I spotted this quilt on Pinterest:

Obviously, I HAD to pin it. I stared at it for a little while, trying to piece out the easiest way to make a similar one. But that took too much brain power so I moved on to some blogs. All the while I'm wasting time savoring a peppermint mocha and reading, I know I should get busy on the list of quilts that I just publicly committed to finish! That's when I clicked on Pat Sloan's blog and read this post:  http://blog.patsloan.com/2015/01/pat-sloan-hip-to-be-square-challenge.html

Seriously, I've been wanted to make a postage stamp quilt in the worst way! I haven't ever started one because I was afraid I would be overwhelmed by all those little blocks. But the way she's got it coming together looks so doable! So off I scurried to find a background fabric and the perfect scraps. (At this point, that recently published list of finishes was the furthest thing from my mind.) I found this great cream fabric with tiny brown dots (dots - just like Pat Sloan encouraged us to use!). The fabric looked "fall-ish" to me, so I decided to look for brown, green, orange and gold scraps for a warm, fall quilt. I  whipped this block out in record time:

I was flying high! This is going to be a fabulous quilt. So I take off to find green scraps and while digging around, I pulled a big handful of these out of the bottom of a bin:

These are the arm cut-out pieces from some of the 400 little kids aprons I blogged about here. I was pulling them out of the bin, thinking this will be great - I can get a 2-1/2" square out of each. Otherwise, I can't imagine what I could ever do with all these half-curved squares. Suddenly I stopped dead in my tracks and remembered the quilt I had pinned earlier. For that quilt, I would need a bunch of circles cut into quarters and randomly sewn back together for a scrappy look. OR......I could use these already-cut quarter circles.

I dropped that postage stamp block like someone had blown their nose on it and started sewing quarter circles together. So far, I've got almost enough blocks to make a child's sized quilt. Of course, I had to finish a few blocks and sew them together to see how it's going to look:

Right now, it looks a little more messy than scrappy. But I'm counting on the magic of "scrappy" to pull it all together in the end. I can't wait to see it finished. And then I'm going to get right back on that postage stamp quilt...or my list of finishes.

I hope. ;)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Another group to join

I plan on participating in the 2015 Finish-A-Long (FAL). I think posting my intentions is the best way to keep myself humming along and using up my stash. With this group, you post a list of quilt projects to finish each quarter.

My first quarter list has 10 projects on it.

The first one above is the Aurifil Designer Block of the Month from last year. I was zooming along just fine, completing each month until month 9 when I created this mess:

The 2 fabrics that make up the stripes shooting out from the star blocks are supposed to look like 2 different fabrics. And then I pretty much nipped all the points off the stars. I just got frustrated with this block and gave it (and the project) the boot! The thing is, that I really like the way the quilt was looking through block 8. So I'm going to try and fix this.

Then I have 2 rail fence quilts cut from Dr Suess' The Lorax fabric.

Next to them are the fabrics I have bundled to make a wall hanging of houses. It will have a Mediterranean feel (I hope).

Row 2 starts with a Disappearing 4-patch.

Next is a Paddington Bear quilt I'm making for my sweet 1-year-old grandson.

The 3rd one in that row is a scrappy kid's quilt (the quilt is scrappy - not the kid).

Last in row 2 is a Summer in the Park partial quilt top. I followed Missouri Star Quilt Co.'s tutorial for this one.

The bottom 2 are scrappy quilt tops that have been completed for a while, but need to be sandwiched, quilted and bound.

I probably should get busy!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Joining groups

To keep me on track and accountable, I'll be joining some quilt along groups. The first is A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF) run by Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs and Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts. This is a monthly finish group.

I have selected the following project to complete in the month of January. It's a small quilt and should be an easy finish - seems like a good idea to set myself up for success this first month!

It's a Disappearing 4-patch that I did a couple of years ago. I finished it up in a bit of a rush and the quilting on it was awful. I'm not talking a few uneven stitches or some squared up curves. My tension was off, the front was a terrible mess and the back was full of eyelashes.

Shortly after I finished it, I sat down for a couple of evenings and ripped out all the quilting and then never went back and re-quilted it. What?!?!! I have no excuse. That's just ridiculous!

So this month I'll make it right when I turn this bound sandwich into a real, live quilt!

Friday, January 2, 2015

The first one I see

I've decided to start with a couple of kid's quilts. To avoid long hours spent trying to pick fabrics, I told myself I would use the first whimsical print I came across. I opened a box and right near the top was a stack of Dr Suess' The Lorax fabrics.

I have enough to do 2 rail fence quilts.  I'll divide the prints and use two in each quilt, along with some coordinating solids so the blocks don't get too busy.

Here are 2 sample blocks and the cut fabrics for the first quilt..

Each rail fence block will finish at 8" square. There will be 42 blocks in a 6 X 7 block layout. I cut 4 rails for each block, measuring 2-1/2" X 8-1/2. And I'll use the 2 prints in every block, varying the solids to keep it more interesting.  So here's what I cut:

  (42) 2-1/2" X 8-1/2" red print
  (42) 2-1/2" X 8-1/2" blue print
  (28) 2-1/2" X 8-1/2" orange solid
  (28) 2-1/2" X 8-1/2" yellow solid
  (28) 2-1/2" X 8-1/2" green solid

This quilt should finish at about 48" X 56 ".

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I seriously thought it would be a lot

I have somewhere north of a gazillion yards of fabric. Occasionally I buy more. Usually, I just stare at my stash and tell myself I really need to use what I have (isn't that the quilter's mantra?). Mine is so ridiculously big that when my daughter asked me to make aprons for the little kids at the Head Start where she is the director, I jumped at the opportunity without even considering how many she needed. I was intent on whittling down my enormous pile of fabric.

I searched for inspiration and free apron tutorials on the internet and came up with a simple full (and reversible) apron that would use up 2 fat quarters per apron. I whipped one up, mailed it to her and waited patiently for her response.

She loved it and said, "can you make me about 400?" (...crickets chirping...)

Then I did the math - 400 aprons, 2 FQs each = 200 yards! YES! Certainly that'll reduce my stash to few measly scraps. So with the help of a fabulous group of ladies I completed the task and, unfortunately.........

.......did very little damage to my stash!

However, I remain determined. So this is my blog about scrap quilting and using up my stash. I'll be posting lots of scrappy inspiration, some tutorials and maybe a little babbling :) and I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas along the way!