Friday, November 21, 2014

Unloved Fabric + Giant HSTs = Fast & Easy Quilt

I don't know why I cannot seem to just get rid of fabric that I have fallen out of love with.  Maybe it is the impression my grandparents, who grew up during the depression, made on me but I feel I must sew up the fabrics I have.



And as my goal was to sew up old stash this year, I thought I would grab one of the last big stacks of fabrics that has been taking up space and sew it into a quilt.  All told, I had about 10 yards of fabric in these four prints - guess it is going to be a big quilt!

Jasmine over at Quilt Kisses has recently made some giant star quilts that I loved and she inspired me to make something similar from these fabrics.



Because of the number of prints I was using, I couldn't use the same design as Jasmine.  But I liked the idea of using giant HSTs to create a big star and get this quilt together quickly. So I settled on a star in a star in a star design.




The outside HSTs are 16".  I knew I would need that big 16.5" square ruler I bought myself earlier this year!  The quilt top really went together easily and the fabric quanties I had were almost as if I had bought them to make this quilt.




I knew this quilt was going to go directly into my Etsy shop so I really didn't want to go buy backing fabric for it.  I don't normally keep fabric pieces big enough for a queen size quilt so I had to make a piece I had work by adding in some leftover fabric from the top.



 I had to use up every scrap of fabric I had left to make it work.  But when you are determined to not buy fabric, you get pretty creative!

Not a bad finish for just a weekend!  I spent this week hand sewing up the binding and now I can cross this one off the list.

So what about you - are you able to pass on unloved fabric or are you like me and feel a need to sew it up yourself?  I will say this year has sure changed my fabric buying habits!


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Scrap-A-Palooza! Quilt #11 Part Three

I know I have been a bit silent on my blog lately.  It is that time of year where I am busily quilting up a number of clients holiday projects so my schedule is pretty tight.  By the end of each day, I just don't seem to have much energy to sew or sit at my computer.  Luckily I only had to quilt half a day today so I thought I had better share my progress on this month's Scrap-A-Palooza quilt.

Last week I shared how I was constructing the blocks for this quilt.  This week, I will walk you through how I assembled the quilt top.

The first thing I did was determine the size I wanted the quilt top.  Because I was using combinations of 3" to make my blocks, I needed to choose a width and length that was divisible by three.  I settled on 39" wide x 48" long. Then I needed to break up the quilt into components that could be easily sewn together.  I decided to work the quilt in three sections.  
The first 12" x 39", the second and third both 18" x 39".




Starting with the top section, I laid out some blocks to fill the space.  Remember, all my blocks are made so each side measures 3.5", 6.5" or 12.5" unfinished.  As I laid out my blocks, sometimes I would re-make some to spread certain colors throughout the piece.



Next, I need to sew up the sub-components.  In this row, I formed four of these.




Then it is just a matter of sewing those sub-components together.




The second row is a bit more complex.  Once you get your blocks where you want them, you need to identify the sub-components.  You are really just looking for the natural breaks in the blocks. 




I settled on these three sections.




Here it is all sewn together.














I went through the same process for sewing up the third and final row.  This one I also broke into three sub-components.  Can you see them?  Now it is easy to see the next step of simply joining the rows together to finish up the quilt top.









Here is the quilt top all sewn up.  I love the look of improv this method provides without the fuss of figuring out how to fit all the odd sized blocks together.

I love the colors and playfulness of this quilt.  And to think it was just made from some leftover fabrics from a previous quilt and some stray solids from my stash.

Doesn't it look far more involved than the simple process above?

I was able to find a bright orange fabric in my stash for the backing so it is all ready to be quilted.  With the holiday coming up, I am hoping to sneak it into the rotation.   I should be able to share a finished quilt next week!

Hope you are staying warm!!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Remembering to Play!


When your business is also your hobby, it is easy to get caught up in deadlines and forget to schedule yourself some time to simply play.  I need to remind myself constantly to take time out, turn up the radio and just let the creative juices flow.





I pieced this block a while back during a time when I really needed to find some "me" time.  Shortly after finishing it, I decided to use it for a round robin I was participating in.  I was hoping to end up with a fun wall hanging for my sewing room.




When I received the quilt top back, I wasn't disappointed.  It is always so fun to see where others take your original block.  It is sad that it has taken me so long to get it finished!




I love the four seasons represented by the trees with their cute embroidery stitches.
Cute, huh!






I now have this lovely quilt finished and hanging in my sewing room.  A constant reminder to take time out to "play" with my fabrics.







With the new year coming, maybe I should make some sort of resloution to change how I spend my time....Hmmm, I am going to have to think about that!







ALYoF2014 

This wallhanging was my November goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes with Sew Bittersweet Designs.  It is hard to believe I have finished it so early in the month! Woot! Woot!





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I love a Great Deal on Fabric!

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know I am a bargain shopper.  Quilting can be an expensive hobby so when I can get the high quality fabric I have come to love at a great price, I jump at the chance!


I recently made my first purchase of fabric through Craftsy.  They were having one of their sales and I thought I would see what they had to offer. I have to admit, I was quite surprised at their prices.




There was one item I couldn't believe was being offered at such a low price.  Even though I do love bargains, I am also of the school that if it looks too good to be true, there must be a catch.  I kept going back to this Park Bench quilt kit and decided to take a chance. I have always loved this quilt!



I was so pleased when I got the package.  10 yards of Carolyn Friedlander's Botanics line and the pattern for Jaybirds Quilts' Park Bench - all for $68.00 (including shipping)!

I wasn't planning on sharing the kit with you until I was ready to start it in January but I see Craftsy is having another sale over the next couple of days and I see they are offering quite a few more bargains.  Sadly, they have sold out of this kit but I wanted to still share the sale with you in case you wanted to take advantage of some of the great deals too!

http://www.shareasale.com/u.cfm?d=231729&m=29190&u=1009810&afftrack= 

Hope you find something you like!


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*This post contains affiliate links but the opinions are truly my own.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Scrap-A-Palooza! Quilt #11 Part Two




With the colder temperatures outside, I am more than happy to stay inside and work on this month's Scrap-A-Palooza quilt.  The fun colors and playful fabrics I am using this month are also helping me find my sewing mojo.  I can feel it slowly coming back!







Here is my progress so far...








This month I wanted to make an improv quilt without having to do all the quilt math to join together the blocks.  To achieve this, I am working with the magic number combinations I shared in Part One.  




 
I started with the 12 1/2" blocks.  While I could make the blocks from stars or any manner of block designs, I decided to go with a simple log cabin or courthouse step block.  Starting with a central focus piece, I simply sewed on varying widths of strips until I reached the desired block size.  Many finished out a little larger and I simply squared them up to finish out at 12 1/2".  You can make each block as detailed or as simple as you like.




The next blocks I made were some 6 1/2" blocks.  The three across the bottom are simply cut from a single fabric.  The two on the top are pieced.  You really can sew together the blocks in any fashion you desire - you just need to be sure they measure 6 1/2" when completed.






The really small scraps, I am sewing into the 3 1/2" blocks.  You will need quite a few of these to act as fillers when you go to construct the top (which we will cover next week).  I also plan on cutting some solid white squares to make into 4 patches with some of these pieced blocks.





And remember, your blocks don't have to be square - they just need to have the sides measure one of your magic numbers.  The two whale blocks measure 12 1/2" by 6 1/2".  I am working on a vertical block next from the bird fabric.





As I finish each block, I have been placing it up on my design wall.  This will help guide you on what sizes and colors are needed.  I want my quilt to finish at about 42 by 48".  My next step is to probably add in some solids to help break the chaos up a bit.

I am really enjoying playing with these adorable fabrics!  
I hope to find some time this afternoon to make some more.

Hope you are finding time to spend on those things that make you happy!


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she can quilt (Scraptastic Tuesday) 


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Stash - Market Bling

Did I get some very happy mail this week!  Just before Christa (of Christa Quilts) went to market, she announced she was going to be sharing some of the samples and such she picked up at market with four of her readers.  Needless to say I signed up for a chance right away!  Imagine my joy when I found out I was one of the winners.   I was even happier when I saw how big and the package was.  
Thanks so very much Christa!!!



There were thread samples from Coats and Aurifil




A great bag pattern from Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness.




Lots of great fabrics in all sorts of sizes and prints.  Each and every one are going to be put to good use.  I especially loved the mini charms of the Kona Solids, Moda's Feed Company (swoon) and More Hearty Good Wishes (also by Moda).  The little fat quarter bundle of AMB solids was pretty nice too!



 And there was also some other fun samples of products and a Moda bag (which is great because I live in a "no plastic-bring your own bag" city).


Christa has a great on-line shop where she has an amazing selection of precuts and Aurifil threads.  Check it out if you get the chance!


Thank you Christa for sharing your market bling with some of your readers and all the generous companies for supplying these great items!

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Some LOL to lift the Spirits!

I have been in such a sewing funk lately!  I go into my sewing room and have zero ambition to work on any of the projects waiting for me.  So when I found out I won a gift certificate at FabricsNQuilts for participating in the 4th Annual Scrap Quilt Challenge, I decided to buy some fun charm packs and make another Charm Pack Cherry quilt.

I chose the bright colors and fun prints of the LOL line by Me & My Sister Designs.  A simple quilt pattern in playful prints would hopefully motivate me to get my creative groove back.
 
 


Once I found some time to sew, in no time at all I had the quilt finished!  





The LOL collection worked really well with the pattern.  I did kick out the stripes and a few of the pieces with a white background.



 But they worked perfectly on the back where I needed a bit more fabric because the backing I was hoping to use just wasn't quite big enough.
 


 
If you remember, I made this pattern once before with the Twenty Three line and some Kona Ash.  However, I messed up the pattern and sewed a few blocks together incorrectly. It is hard to say which layout I like best!

The Charm Pack Cherry Quilt is free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop. This quilt was the perfect project to help me find my sewing mojo!


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