Saturday, January 31, 2015

Starting Something New!

Thanks to Leanne at She Can Quilt and The Fat Quarter Shop, I got to do a little fabric shopping! I was lucky enough to win a gift card for my participation in January 's Scraptastic Tuesday event.  And it didn't take me very long to put together a big order!



I have been planning a quilt using this lovely stack of Arizona fabrics by Art Gallery Fabrics. I needed a few more fabrics that would coordinate-so a shopping I did go!



Here is the lovely fabrics that made it into my final shopping cart.




 Don't they look lovely all together?!  I can't wait to get started on the quilt.




And while I was shopping, I also picked up a couple of large cuts out of the sale section for future backings.  I like having these on hand for finishing up quilts.  



 



Scraptastic Tuesday happens on the second Tuesday of the month.  So when you are writing up your Oh Scrap post for February 8th, don't forget to grab Leanne's button and link up your scrap project with her.  You too might have a little fabric shopping in your future!






If you are interested in more ways to follow me, you can find me on Craftsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Feedly, Instagram, Google +, or get my blog sent right to your email inbox by entering your email address on the right sidebar!

 
Molli Sparkles 
Linking up:


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Scrap-A-Palooza! Quilt #13 Part Three

It sure feels like I haven't shared much on my Scrap-A-Palooza quilt in quite some time.  I have been busy working away on the top but there are so many other things I am trying to finish up, it just hasn't been given the attention I had hoped.

But with some good music and late night sewing, I have a quilt top to share today!




As a reminder, this quilt is made with turquoise and lime green improv blocks or fabric slabs.  Here is the post where I shared how I made them.




Once I had some blocks made, I started laying them up on one of my design walls.  One of the things I like to do when I am working with color blocks, is to stagger the blocks.




To do this is quite simple - all you need to do is add a spacer strip to the top or the bottom of your block.   For my 8.5" blocks, I added a 2.5" strip.




Here I have a row of green and turquoise all sewn together.  I also added a 2.5" strip of the background fabric the entire width of the quilt to give a little more separation in the rows.

Now the really observant person might have noticed there is a white and a gray background going on in the blocks.  I was greatly inspired by a split sashing on a quilt I saw on the SoScrappy blog and filed it away in my little pea brain to try some day.  I knew this quilt would be perfect.









With a bit more sewing up of the rows, I soon had this fun quilt top finished.  I used both Kona ash gray and white for the background.  And I love the bits of lemon yellow I worked into all of the blocks.














To play around with scale and create a point of interest, I also sewed up some 6.5" blocks and floated them in a white background across the central part of the quilt.




 I really had a lot of fun playing with this quilt top.  I think this is one of the great things about sewing with scraps...I am far more adventurous and playful than if I was sewing with expensive yardage.  And every time I play with my scraps, I feel like I grow as a quilter and a designer!


 I was able to find some fabric in my stash that will work for the backing but I think it is going to take a bit of piecing to make it work.  And with it being scrappy on the front, a scrappy backing is just the ticket!

Now, hopefully I can get this quilted up and photographed in some good lighting.  Hope this inspires you to get out your scraps and play!



If you are interested in more ways to follow me, you can find me on Craftsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Feedly, Instagram, Google +, or get my blog sent right to your email inbox by entering your email address on the right sidebar!

 Linking up:

Sew Fresh Quilts


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Oh Scrap! : RSC15 Blue

RSC 15 I have been following the So Scrappy blog and the yearly rainbow scrap challenge for a couple of years now and have never joined in.  But this year, I thought I would give it a go!



My incentive for joining this year didn't come from a need to get rid of rainbow colored scraps.  You see, I have been wanting to come up with a way to use up a bunch of black and white fabric chunks I have in my stash and I think the addition of the rainbow colors will help me do that.




How the challenge works is each month Angela picks a color of scrap to use.  You choose a block design (or several) and make a few blocks each month using that color.  (For January, the color is medium blue.)  So by the end of the year, you have enough blocks in a rainbow of colors to put together a quilt top.  If you are intrigued, you can read more about it here.




I decided I am going to try and make 4 blocks each month - two using a predominately black fabric and two using a white.  For the inner 9 patch, I will be using some scrap 2.5" squares that seem to litter my sewing room.


I am already looking forward to the next color!


Now it is time to link up and share what scrappy projects you have worked on this week.  Here are the details for linking up:


  • This linky party is for any scrappy project - It can be in-process or a finished piece.
  • You can link up your blog post (not your homepage please) or Instagram photo from the past week that features your use of scraps.
  • If you are linking to a blog post, I ask that you link back to my blog somewhere in your post. So if you are writing about scraps, just get into the habit of including a link as there will be a linky party available every week!
  • If you are using Instagram, please use the hashtag #ohscrap.
  • This is a party so remember to socialize and comment on the posts of others.
  • Following my blog is not necessary but it sure would be great if you do!
Quilting is more fun than Housework
<a href="http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XTyeCeIcFJ8/VJSHulTzvkI/AAAAAAAAGCc/O_OPzksuV2s/s1600/Oh%2BScrap%2BButton.jpg" alt="Quilting is more fun than Housework" width="125" height="125" /></a>

So if you love scrappy projects, feel free to grab my button for your sidebar or posts and get ready to share all your wonderful projects from scraps.  And if you have a great idea for using scraps and would like to be featured, feel free to contact me!











If you are interested in more ways to follow me, you can find me on Craftsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Feedly, Instagram, Google +, or get my blog sent right to your email inbox by entering your email address on the right sidebar!

 Linking up:

Sew Fresh Quilts
RSC15

Friday, January 23, 2015

Little Letters #3

I have learned over the years that I advance the most when I challenge myself.  So as I was planning my three little letters quilts, on one set of letters, I tried really hard to set myself up for a test that I wasn't sure I would be able to work myself out of.



To review...


This fun letters quilt turned out beautifully.  It was straight forward piecing, nothing challenging about the colors or the layout.  I ended up doing a lot of the piecing as a leaders and enders project because I was kinda bored with it.




This second quilt was a bit more challenging.  It helped to remind me to not make quick decisions just based on a single block and because I was using scraps of solids, I was limited on my color choices so getting the blocks of colors to flow somewhat was a bit of a puzzle.  I enjoyed making it.



Then, there were these blocks...



Even though no one was watching me if I cheated, I had a rule that I must pull a fabric from the dark pile and a fabric from the low volume pile and sew them up together in a block- no matter how bad they looked.  I wanted to see if I could take the resulting blocks and make a decent looking quilt from them  (Truthfully, with each block I finished, I felt like I was just setting myself up to fail!)

Having completed the first two quilts in straight froward layouts, I wanted to try and use the letters around the border of this last quilt. Which left me the center...



 As I looked around my sewing room, I saw my overflowing bin of leftover bindings and inspiration struck!  Not much cutting....works for me!!



I did start by figuring out the outer border first so I knew what size I needed to make the center.  I was able to get the letters to flow perfectly around the entire quilt.  I used some Kona Ash gray to border the letters.  This helped to unify the look.



Then it was just a matter of sewing the strips together.  (Jasmine, if only you had posted your race quilt formula a few days earlier!)  Some of the strips I joined at a 45 degree angle and some I used a small Kona Ash square.  No reason for the square, there were just some already cut sitting on my cutting mat.



I even used a big piece of unloved fabric on the back and spruced it up by adding a fun pink print to the sides.



 With the exception of a bit of gray, the entire quilt came from the scrap bin.  While she might not win any prizes in a quilt show, I have to say I adore this quilt.  I challenged myself and I think I came away a winner!


My Button


And this quilt achieves my January goal with A Lovely Year of Finishes over at Sew Bittersweet Designs!  Oh Happy Day - starting the year out right!





If you are interested in more ways to follow me, you can find me on Craftsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Feedly, Instagram, Google +, or get my blog sent right to your email inbox by entering your email address on the right sidebar! 
 
 

Linking up:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

First and Last

Why first and last?  Well, this quilt was the last client quilt on my frame for 2014 and the first one for 2015.  This beauty was on my quilt frame for quite some time - not only is it a giant king size but I also quilted it quite densely!  I thought I would share...





Because the quilt is almost bigger than any room in my house, this is the best picture I could get of the whole quilt.  It is a Judy Niemeyer paper-pieced pattern and done in various gray, white and black batiks.





This quilt had a lot of negative space to fill in so I went with a stacked swirl design.  I tried to take photos from the front of the quilt as I quilted it but the quilting was hard to photograph...



But the back was a different story!




This one had everything - swirls, pebbles, linework and figure eights.  The backing was a dark gray and I used multiple colors of thread in white, grays and black.




I even created a fun pattern by planning some larger pebbles at the top of some spikes.  You can't really see it from the top but it is a hidden secret seen only on the back.




 It is so easy to miss areas when you quilt big quilts like this.  Before I unpin from my machine, I always spend a lot of time going over all the designs.  Thankfully on this one it was good to go!




The customer has already picked up her quilt and was over the moon!  Over the last 6 years I think I have done about 8 of these types of quilts for her.  I shared one I did for her in 2013.




Crazy, Huh!?!



If you are interested in more ways to follow me, you can find me on Craftsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Feedly, Instagram, Google +, or get my blog sent right to your email inbox by entering your email address on the right sidebar! 




Linking up:



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Oh Scrap! : The (not so) Dramatic Life Coin Pouches

Quilting is more fun than Housework

I so enjoy seeing what others are doing with their scraps and as part of my Oh Scrap! series of posts, I want to share with you some of the projects I find (and the talented bloggers behind them).





Today, we are meeting Cassandra who blogs at The (not so) Dramatic Life.  I first "met" Casandra when she won one of my recent giveaways.  It just so happened she had just started her blog and remembering those early days of blogging when you mostly feel like you are talking to yourself, I thought I would support her and follow her blog.

Boy am I happy I did! She continues to inspire me with each new post.
Cassandra is currently working on a mini quilt series that I am fascinated by.  So many great ideas!

Just before the holidays, Cassandra shared a tutorial on making cute little zippered coin pouches that are perfect little scrap projects because they require such small pieces of fabric.  And when I asked her if I could feature them on my blog, she gave me permission to post the whole tutorial.  Thank you Cassandra!

So I am just going to share Cassandra's post.  Thank her for sharing by checking out her blog at The (not so) Dramatic Life and go ahead and follow along for some great inspiration.

Cord/Coin Pouch (Originally published December 20, 2014)

As my nieces and nephews have gotten older, cash or gift cards have become the favored gifts for the holidays because money always fits!  I try to get a little creative in the presentation of this not-particularly-original gift, so this year I am making cord pouches that hook onto a keyring.  These pouches finish at a little under 4″ from side to side, so they can easily hold a thumb drive, USB cord, some change, or even most phone chargers.  Come to think of it, I may need to make a couple for myself!


Finished Cord Pouches
                       Finished Cord Pouches


I knew that I wanted to put a grommet in each pouch to attach a key ring. (If you don’t have grommets laying about, a ribbon loop inserted into a seam would also do the trick.)  I thought that the grommet would look nice in a corner, so I experimented with a couple different shapes before settling on an octagon.  This project will work with most shapes, but if you would like to play along using the octagon, I have included a pattern here.  This Octagon Pattern  is a PDF File you are welcome to download.

I made six pouches, choosing an outer fabric and a lining fabric for each.  Orange tends to be pretty popular among my nephews, so I used a lot of it this year!  I cut one octagon out of each fabric, but for the front side I cut rectangles to set the zipper into before cutting it into shape.  I like to give myself some wiggle room when dealing with zippers, so I cut the rectangles to about 3″x5″.  For each pouch you should have 2 outer fabric rectangles, 2 lining fabric rectangles, 1 outer fabric octagon, and 1 lining fabric octagon.  You will also need a zipper and either a grommet or a small loop of ribbon.


Pieces cut for cord pouches
                           Pieces cut for cord pouches


For an exposed zipper I like to sandwich each side of the zipper between the outer and lining fabrics along the long edge of the rectangle.  I like to pin the layers in place so nothing moves out of place while I’m stitching.  The navy floral fabric will become the outside of this pouch, so it is laying with the right side of the fabric facing the top of the zipper.  The right side of the lining fabric faces the back of the zipper.  This leaves the wrong side of the fabric exposed on each side of your zipper sandwich.  I like my fabric edges to line up with the edge of the zipper.  I also place the fabric in the center of the zipper so I can sew it in place without the pull getting in the way.


A "Zipper Sandwich"
                           A “Zipper Sandwich”

Now you are ready to start stitching!  You will want to use your zipper foot and stitch a consistent distance from the teeth of the zipper.  I like to line up the right side of the zipper foot with the edge of the zipper, but machines can vary, so choose a means of measuring that works for you.


Using the zipper foot to stitch a zipper in place
                                Using the zipper foot to stitch a zipper in place


Now you are ready to press the fabric out to expose the zipper.  I like to press the outer fabric into place first.


Pressing the outer fabric into place around the zipper
                        Pressing the outer fabric into place around the zipper


Then you will press the lining fabric toward the back.


Fabric Pressed in place once the zipper is sewn
                                Fabric Pressed in place once the zipper is sewn


Next you will perform the same steps to sew the remaining rectangles to the other side of the zipper.
For added stability, I like to topstitch the fabric about 1/16″ from the seams we just sewed.  If you have an edge stitching foot, it will make this step easier, but it can also be done with a regular foot (and a little patience!)


Top Stitching the zipper
                                Top Stitching the zipper


Once you have the topstitching done on both sides of the zipper, take a moment to admire your work! Now trace your octagon pattern onto the fabric, paying carful attention to where you want the zipper placed.  I decided to center the zipper across the octagon for this set of pouches.  Do NOT cut yet!


Tracing the octagon onto the front of the pouch
                            Tracing the octagon onto the front of the pouch


We are going to use a very small seam allowance for these pouches, so I decided it would be easier to sew first, cut later.  Move the zipper pull tab into the center of the octagon!  (If you are going to insert a ribbon loop, now is the time.  Place the loop toward the center of the octagon, with the ends sticking into the seam allowance.  Pin or Baste into place.)  Take the octagons you cut out at the beginning of this process and place the outer fabric piece right side down onto the zippered section.  Carefully line up the cut shape with the traced shape.  Layer the lining fabric octagon, right side up, on top of the outer fabric octagon.  With the zipper pull in the center of the octagon, the cut pieces may not naturally line up with all corners.  This is an instance where you should make the fabric line up the way you want.  (If you don’t, the zipper may gap in an unpleasant manner.)  I pin in each corner, but add as many pins as you need to feel comfortable.


Pinning the front and back together
                                   Pinning the front and back together


Stitch all the way around the octagon using a seam allowance of a generous 1/8″


Stitch around the shape using a seam allowance of 1/8"
                                   Stitch around the shape using a seam allowance of 1/8″


Check around the edges of your shape to make sure that all layers have been stitched properly.  Now cut away the excess material in the zipper layer leaving the 1/8″ seam allowance.


Pouch with Edges Trimmed
                              Pouch with Edges Trimmed


Carefully clip the corners in order to achieve nice points when the shape is turned.


Pouch with clipped corners
                                    Pouch with clipped corners


Turn the shape right side out using the zipper opening.  Press to flatten the shape.  Make sure you have pretty corners!


Pouch turned right side out
                                      Pouch turned right side out


To enclose the raw edges of the seam allowance, you will now want to top stitch 1/4″ from all edges of the octagon.  I started and ended the stitching in the corner I was planning to place the grommet since the stitching won’t be visible at that point.  When stitching over the zipper, I chose to turn the machine side wheel by hand, taking a large stitch over the zipper teeth, lifting the presser foot, moving back, and taking another large stitch over the zipper teeth.  I repeat this several times to secure the zipper.  (This should act as the equivalent of several zig zag stitches in a single spot often used to shorten a zipper.)


Top Stitching the Pouch
                         Top Stitching the Pouch


Since we used such a small seam allowance, I like to add another row of top stitching just under 1/8″ from the edge of the octagon.
Now that everything is sewn, it is time to add the grommet.  A grommet has two pieces: a grommet, and a washer.  You will also need a hammer, punch, and a setter to install a grommet.  I used the 00 size for this project.
Once you have decided where to place the grommet, lay the pouch on a piece of scrap wood, position the punch, and give it a couple whacks with the hammer.  You should now have a nice clean opening to insert the grommet.


Top Stitched Pouch with hole punched and grommet ready to install
                 Top Stitched Pouch with hole punched and grommet ready to install


Place the grommet through the hole you punched in the pouch, then place the washer over the center of grommet.  The grommet will be placed in the anvil portion of the setter.  The setter will fit into the center opening of the grommet (on the washer side), and it should then be tapped firmly several times to set the grommet.  You want to hit the setter hard enough to set the grommet, but not so hard that the grommet splits.  When in doubt, start with moderate force and increase as necessary.


Grommet
                              Grommet


Grommet with Washer
                            Grommet with Washer


Pouch in Grommet Setter
                              Pouch in Grommet Setter


There you have it- A useful little gift that practically everyone will find a use for.  I added some candy to sweeten the deal!


Finished Pouch, All wrapped up!
                                         Finished Pouch, All wrapped up!


Thanks again for sharing Cassandra!  I am looking forward to giving these a try in the future.



Now I hope you share what fun things you are doing with scraps this week.  Here are the details for linking up:



  • This linky party is for any scrappy project - It can be in-process or a finished piece.
  • You can link up your blog post (not your homepage please) or Instagram photo from the past week that features your use of scraps.
  • If you are linking to a blog post, I ask that you link back to my blog somewhere in your post. So if you are writing about scraps, just get into the habit of including a link as there will be a linky party available every week!
  • If you are using Instagram, please use the hashtag #ohscrap.
  • This is a party so remember to socialize and comment on the posts of others.
  • Following my blog is not necessary but it sure would be great if you do!
Quilting is more fun than Housework
<a href="http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XTyeCeIcFJ8/VJSHulTzvkI/AAAAAAAAGCc/O_OPzksuV2s/s1600/Oh%2BScrap%2BButton.jpg" alt="Quilting is more fun than Housework" width="125" height="125" /></a>

So if you love scrappy projects, feel free to grab my button for your sidebar or posts and get ready to share all your wonderful projects from scraps.  And if you have a great idea for using scraps and would like to be featured, feel free to contact me!



If you are interested in more ways to follow me, you can find me on Craftsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Feedly, Instagram, Google +, or get my blog sent right to your email inbox by entering your email address on the right sidebar!

Linking up:

Sew Fresh Quilts