Friday, November 30, 2012


I just finished up the September quilt for the Believe circle of Do good stitches.

September Believe Quilt 
The sun was actually shining for a few minutes so I got a shadowy photo. Maybe I should have waited 5 minutes.

For this quilt, I asked our group members for two blocks each in a pink/grey/red/black color scheme, using Jacquie's Orange Crush quilt as an inspiration for the block design, with just 2 or 3 colors per block.

I decided to make the quilt with 15 blocks on the front and 5 on the back.
September Believe quilt back 
The gray solid fabric and the print used for the main backing fabric are from Connecting Threads. I got another pink fabric from Connecting Threads too, but it was more coral pink than I wanted so I stretched the 2 yards of the shirting-like print with a horizontal strip of grey and the wide strip of blocks. 
(See, the clouds came and no more shadows by the time I took this photo in the same place.)

I machine quilted it with rows of wide figure-8 swirls. Thread is Isacord from my LQS.
Sept Believe quilt detail 
This was a quick way to get the quilting done. It took some time to get used to quilting on this scale; usually I quilt smaller. It was fun, too.
Here's what the quilting looks like on the back:
Sept Believe quilt back detail 
 It feels good to have another finish for the year!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mini Zig

I finished up my Mini Zig quilt, and am planning on entering it into QuiltCon's Modern in Miniature quilting challenge.

minizig on fence
I can't really explain how I made it; it was quite challenging to put together and I switched to a different construction method after making all the left leaning strips sort of like this: measure, mark, pin, sew on the line, press, cut, start over. For every single piece of each strip. Then I messed up on seam allowance when I started method 2 (angles make things different) and in the end replaced all of the pieces I sewed on the messed up way. I think I ended up with a reasonable technique for making this kind of chevron piecing that keeps the side edges of the strips on the straight grain of the fabric.


Here's the sketch I made before starting; I switched the colors around because my stash is low on reds. And I like blue:

The quilting is a mix of straight line machine quilting, free motion quilting, and a few rows of hand quilting. Here are some photos that show the quilting better:

minizig detail 4

minizig detail 3

minizig detail 1

And, the back:
I used the leftover triangles as leaders and enders, and then made them into the three little blocks on the back.There are still lots of larger scraps left over from this project, but the tiny ones are all used up.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Handmade Monday

Hi everyone! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving holiday (or a good weekend if you're not in the US.) My brother and sister-in-law and their kids came to visit us on Friday, and we had a Thanksgiving ham dinner which was pretty low key and also yummy. (Turns out if you wait until the day before Thanksgiving, it might be a bit of a challenge to find a turkey or even a turkey breast.) We made a charity quilt top that I will get quilted soon and I'll show here in the next couple days. And we watched movies and went to Snowflake Lane which was so much fun. They had Christmas music, high school drummers and tambourine players in festive costumes, and fake snow which totally looked real.

The internet can't stop talking about cyber Monday today, and this morning I saw news stories about how the big places' warehouses work (yep, they are super busy today) and the fact that people like to shop online at work because the internet's faster there. I thought I'd share a few suggestions of handmade gifts you can buy if you want something a little more unique or personalized or if you just like handmade better.

*Aunt June--Lauren is an amazing artist who has cool things in her shop, like a calendar tea towel, American Sign Language tea towels, and cute note cards.

*Candied Fabrics--Candy has a great assortment of handmade goods in her shop, including ornament houses, headbands, and iPad sleeves. She is also selling her DVD, Dyeing to Stitch, and a pattern for a convertible messenger bag.

*Blue is Bleu--Audrie sells handmade quilts and other items at extremely reasonable prices, and has quilt patterns in her shop as well.

*Amy's Creative Side--If you'd like to make a quilt, Amy has patterns for sale. Amy's also the author of Modern Basics, and her 2nd book is coming soon!

*Piece N Quilt--If you are making anything quilted for holiday gifts this year, Natalia's book Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting can help you figure out how to quilt it. This book is also great for more experienced free-motion quilters.

*Tula Pink--Tula is offering free gifts every day this week, and today she has an adorable VW Bus pillow pattern.

*Sew Inspired Pattern Shop--And finally, my quilt patterns are on sale this week. If you've been thinking about making either the Evergreen State Quilt or the Ruffle Crush quilt, now's a good time to get the pattern!
Ruffle Crush closeup 
Evergreen State quilt 
Evergreen State

My friend Candy also wrote up a gorgeous gift list over at her blog; check it out! And if anyone else would like to write up a handmade gift list, feel free to link up in the comments!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

We decided to eat out for Thanksgiving dinner this year, so I had more time to sew*.
I finished up this quilt top for the believe circle of do good stitches this morning.

It looks slightly off balance with more darks along the right side (and the middle column is almost all grays, oh well), but it is done! I have five more blocks that will be part of the back. Still not sure how I will quilt it or what color to use for the binding (I wish I had more red on hand.)

I also spent some time last week working on this mini zig quilt:
mini zig quilt in process

and here it is with the top all finished (instagram photo):
mini zig top finished 
I am almost done with the quilting on it and love how it's turned out.

We're going to have pie at some friends' house in a little while, I can't wait. I hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

*original quote from Amylouwho


Thursday, November 08, 2012

This week's projects

I've been working on the back for the goodnight monkey quilt. Yes, I finished the top a year and a half ago. Hopefully my monkey won't decide he's too old for it by the time it is all finished!

I've also been thinking about making a bag. Like for a long time. I am in love with the quilt-as-you-go bags made by Elizabeth and Amber and others. Here is my pinterest board of bag ideas. I need a new church bag, and will probably make just a basic tote bag, a little larger than the one I'm currently using. Here's the pile of fabrics I'm thinking of using:

I'm trying to finish up a couple of things before I start this but I'm enjoying looking at the fabric for now. I kind of wish I had a couple more of those darkish (sort of ugly) yellow fabrics....

One more thing! My entry for blogger's quilt festival was nominated in the Favorite Home Machine Quilted category! I'd love it if you head over to Amy's Creative Side and vote for my supernova quilt! Voting ends tonight, just FYI. Thanks so much to those who nominated my quilt, and to Amy for hosting the festival. She puts in a ton of work on it and it is so amazing to see everyone's quilts twice a year.

Friday, November 02, 2012

October Round-up

Happy November! The last chunk of October was super busy here with a birthday girl and 3 Halloween celebrations.

I have a few things to share. I"ve been working on quilting my king size quilt:
Making a new "4" shirt for a new 4-year-old: (Also, I took extra pictures while I was making this; does anyone want a tutorial for this kind of reverse applique?)
And getting ready for Halloween. Skeleton shirt cutting templates are here.
And I made a pirate peasant top and skirt with patterns from Little Girls, Big Style. She performed a couple of dances in her costume at dance class earlier this week.
Here are all 3 kids in their costumes:
kids Halloween 2012
The hobo's sign says, "spent life savings on cardboard and marker, anything helps."

We had fun at an elementary school Halloween Bash last weekend, a church party with a carnival and trunk-or-treat on Tuesday, and regular trick-or-treating on Halloween. There is way too much candy here right now.

And finally, today I finished up my bee blocks for the Believe circle of do good stitches.
October bee block2
I made this pink one first and there are some value problems with it--some of the light pins are too close to the background fabrics so the pinwheels don't show up very well. I did a better job on the blue one.

October bee block1
If you'd like to make similar blocks, here's the tutorial: Wonky Pinwheel Block. (At the greenleaf goods blog.)

Next up: basting and quilting something quick (I hope!)