Monday, September 29, 2014

Alphabet Blocks - A B C

When I saw the cute little alphabet blocks Val at Val's Quilting Studio was making, I was instantly inspired to make some of my own.  I followed her links and saw that Temecula Quilt Company was posting a pattern for each letter.  (About two a week.)



I thought these little blocks would be a great project to use some of my scraps on.  As I was trying to decide what type of scraps to use, I began sorting my scraps into three main colorways - pastel blues and green, fabrics with black backgrounds and bright hot colors.   Most of these scraps I consider to be those hard to use scraps. Rather than choose one colorway, I have decided to just make three sets of letter and use up these fabrics!



 While the letters through G have been published, I have only finished the first three letters of the alphabet.  These little cuties are all 4" blocks and loads of fun to make.  It will be fun to see how each quilt evolves.  I have challenged myself to make the layout of each quilt different - just to keep it interesting!

To keep me on track, I will be posting each week to Live a Colorful Life for the Choose Your Own Block along.  You can see what every one else is working on here.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Some Wonderful Fabric Additions

Boy, have I been on a solids buying spree!  It all started with this simple but wonderful fat quarter bundle I won as part of the American Made Brand Blog Tour from artist Terri Stegmiller.


 Any time I get my paws on a new bundle of fabric, design ideas start swirling in my head and with this bundle, I instantly envisioned a pattern using only solids.  At the time, I had too many things on my plate but the idea has continued to fill my mind.



Then I found out I won a solid fat quarter bundle from Marmalade Fabrics for participating at the Purge Along with Rachel over at Stitched in Color (If you don't follow her blog already, you should!).  I chose the bundle with these lovely greens.  And thanks Marmalade for putting a color label on them!




I took that win as an omen that I should move the project up on the list.  So to add to the pile, I did a little late night shopping and picked up some 1 yard cuts of some of the newest Kona colors.  I kind of figured I would stop there.


 But oh no....The Fat Quarter Shop had that 20% off sale.  Look what came in the mail yesterday.
So that is it...I am done for a bit.
Really....





I also want to share this Arizona fat quarter bundle and Aurifil thread I won from Katie over at Good Golly Ginger (another great blog). She also gave me her Sand Drift pattern (very lovely!).  I love this fabric line and cannot wait to make something from it.  But I have to get a few other projects finished before I will allow myself to play with these.

Wasn't I supposed to be purging my fabric stash this year!?!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Scrap-A-Palooza! Quilt #9 Part Four Finish

The temperatures are finally cooling down here in the Pacific Northwest and we finally had some rain!  Oh how I missed the rain!!
I am so delighted I chose to make a 16-patch for this month's Scrap-A-Palooza quilt.  Some people see Fall as a time to get out their sweaters and wellies, but for me, it sends a signal to my brain that I need a quilt to snuggle under.  And a scrappy patchwork quilt like this 16-patch starts the season off perfectly!
 
I found it interesting that I used this same process last fall to make three quilts.  Here is a shot of the blocks getting put up on my design wall as they were sewn.









In Part One of this quilt, I shared how I seperate my leftover bindings and other 2 1/2" strips in a tub under my cutting table.  The bin was over flowing so that was the inspiration for this month's quilt.  











In Part Two, I shared a quick tutorial on how I sew up these blocks.









In Part Three, the blocks were finished up and a top was completed.  I also shared the process I use for balancing out colors when laying out a quilt.











Today, I am sharing the finished quilt!



And I even had some older fabric pieces I was able to use for the backing and the binding.

And now for a few statistics:
Size: 48 x 56"
Fabric: Leftover 2.5" binding strips. Each block has one print and one solid fabric
Total Pieces: Need 84 2.5" strips at least 21" long (makes 42 blocks)



100 Quilts for Kids 
Here is a photo of the 3 quilts I made last year.  All of these quilts went to support kids and I have decided to throw this month's Scrap-A-Palooza quilt on the pile getting donated to Bags of Love as part of 100 Quilts for Kids again this year.  The drive ends September 30th so get your quilts finished up and linked to Heather's blog at Quilts in the Queue.




Just a reminder, if you are ready to sew up some of your scraps, all of the quilts from the series can be viewed in the Scrap-A-Palooza quilt gallery tab above.  Not only can you see the quilt I made but I love to share what others have done.  There is all sorts of inspiration!



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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Quick Zip (or Two)!

My beautiful niece turns 18 in a few days and at the last minute I decided to make a couple of zippered pouches for her (really just to hold the giftcards that were her real gift).



My niece is not only beautiful but brainy.  This last summer she was accepted into the Girls Who Code immersion program (very proud!).  So when I saw this fabric a few months ago, I knew it would be perfect for a future project for her.  The fabric is from Robert Kaufman's Mod Geek collection.



Not having a lot of experience making zippered pouches, I used this Cash and Carry pattern by Atkinson Designs as a guide.  I decided to just make two at once so that hopefully I would end up with at least one good pouch.


Well, the pattern was super easy and both turned out perfect.  I should have thought a little more about print placement but to be honest, I was too focused on worrying about the zippers!



Love the green fabric on the inside!

So both are off on their way to my niece.  I wish her the very best on her birthday and look forward to watching her make a big imprint on the world.


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Freshly Pieced



Monday, September 22, 2014

Sew Kitschy - Final Block

For nine months I have been sewing along with Kristy over at Quiet Play participating in her Sew Kitschy Block of the Month.  I am both sad and joyful that this month we complete the final block of the series.  Each month the blocks required more skill and the number of pieces in each block seemed to double with each month.


 I did have one area that didn't quite fit.  Her left arm looks a bit odd but I think I can fix it when I get to the quilting.  Plus, that seam was one of the last pieces to go together and fixing it required way too much work.  But I do think I did quite well otherwise and am happy to say I no longer have any fear of paper piecing!


Here are all nine blocks.  
Now it is is time to get the project finished so I can get it hanging in my kitchen.

I am already planning my next paper pieced project.  It involves Kristy's London Calling patterns and I can't wait to get started on it.

Quiet Play 
You can check out who else tackled this block by going here.  Some pretty impressive projects getting made!
 
 
 
 
 
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Fun Finish - ALYOF

For this month's A Lovely Year of Finishes goal, I was hoping to turn this pile of fabrics into a quilt.  It has been so long since I allowed myself to work on newer fabric just for the fun of it.  I definitely enjoyed this project!



I started out with these four fabrics.  Each are a 1/2 meter cut.  I wanted to come up with a design that used up a majority of the fabric.  Any other fabric used in the quilt had to come out of my stash. (I love to give myself challenges like this - keeps my brain sharp!)


Here is the fun quilt I came up with.  It is fairly large at 56" x 64".  For the blue trim, I used a Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen (my fave!) and the cranberry fabric came out of my stash.



 The prints in these fabrics are simply adorable!  I was glad I was able to come up with a pattern that kept the pieces large so these prints can really be enjoyed.




Another challenge I faced with these fabrics was this print.  It is a border fabric so there was just a single strip available.  I tried many designs to showcase these better but decided I liked this layout the best.  I like the asymmetry it gives to the quilt. 


 I had just enough of the cranberry fabric to use as the backing.  It took some creative piecing but I was able to make it work.

ALYoF2014 



So not only did I finish my September ALYoF goal but I met the challenges I gave myself for this quilt!  Plus I got a pretty cute quilt out of the deal...



I so enjoyed working with these newer fabrics!  As soon as I finished this quilt, I grabbed a Happy Go Lucky layercake I have been saving and started cutting in to it.  I will be sharing my plans soon....

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scrap-A-Palooza! Quilt #9 Part Three

Ah September...you are flying by so very quickly!  With my customer quilting backlog taking up most of my time, I am just not getting into my sewing room this month as I had hoped.  I did make progress on this month's Scrap-A-Palooza quilt however!



In last week's post, I shared the process for making these blocks out of my leftover binding pieces (or 2 1/2" strips of fabric). These blocks really only take a few minutes to sew up.  In each block, I paired a solid fabric with a print - as long as it was green or blue, it went into the quilt.




As each block was sewn, I just added it to my design wall.  I like to start looking at the layout on my scrap quilts before I finish all the blocks.  This allows me to focus on making the last blocks in the colors I need to balance out the quilt a bit.



 For this quilt, I identified three types of blocks that stood out and needed moving a bit.  The bright turquoise, lime green and the lighter blocks.  I decided I needed to sew one more bright turquoise block and that I didn't like the lighter blocks toward the center of the quilt (so they were moved to the outer border).  I also moved a couple of lime green blocks around.  With just those minor changes, I started joining together the blocks.


 Here is the final layout all sewn up.  To think these blocks all came from leftover binding pieces...
What fun!



 It is even prettier in the sunlight!


Now to get it quilted up.  I am off to find some fabrics for the backing.  With so many colors, I know I will have something in my stash!
 
 
Quilting is more fun than Housework 
 
I Scrap-A-Palooza because Quilting is more fun than Housework!
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Zig Zag Quilt Revisited

What do you do with a little baggie full of 2" cut miscellaneous fabric squares?



Well, remember the Scrap-A-Palooza quilt I made back in May?  I decided to revisit this pattern!



 And I am so pleased I did! 


Not only did I use up all the cut squares (and even a few more bits out of the scrap bin) but I also used this nubby eyelash striped fabric that had been languishing in my stash.  I adore the striped look with all those colored squares!


And with all the color on the front, I easily found a wonderful red older fabric for the backing.  I love it when a beautiful quilt rises from a stack of unloved fabric!




And while I am sharing finishes, I wanted to provide a link to Julie's quilt over at  Floribunda Quilts.  Her quilt is made from the same block just in a different layout.  I love it!  Thanks for sharing Julie!


100 Quilts for Kids


My little scrap quilt will be sent off with all the others to Bags of Love as part of the 100 Quilts for Kids event hosted by Quilts in the Queue.  There is still time to join in!





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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Scrap-A-Palooza! Quilt #9 Part Two

September's Scrap-A-Palooza quilt is slowly building on my design wall.  Thankfully this month's blocks go together really quickly.  I have been finding so little time in my sewing room lately it is nice to spend just a few minutes in there and still see progress being made.






As I shared last week, this month I am sewing up all those leftover bindings and other 2 1/2" strips into 16 patch blocks. The colors I am working in are anything green and blue.  Because a number of my binding strips are solids, I thought I would use a solid and a print in every block.


Below, I have shared how I am putting my blocks together.









 I start out with two fabric strips at least 21" long.  Simply sew the strips together.  Before pressing them open, I fold the sewn strip in half and cut with my scissors.



You will end up with two pieces like this.  Now just sew these two together alternating the fabrics.  I now press all the seams in one direction (or open if you prefer).



 Once pressed, I use my 12 1/2" ruler to trim the block to width.  I align my ruler to the center seam, make a nice clean cut on the right side, then cut the piece into four 2.5" segments.


 Next you just flip the second and fourth segment to create a 16 patch.  Take this to the sewing machine and sew.


 Here is a finished block.  It measures 8.5".




 It has been quickly joined by a few more blocks on my design wall.  I am wanting to make 42 blocks for this quilt so I have quite a few more to sew.  Once I get about 3/4s of the blocks sewn, I will see if there are any colors I need to pull from my stash to help balance out the quilt.  Then I will work on final block placement.  I will share more on that next week!
 
 
 
 The "homework" for this week:  (Easy Peasy!)
  • Pair your fabric strips
  • Sew into blocks

Drop me a line if you are joining in so I can follow along on your progress.  I love to feature the projects of others - it is so fun to see what everyone comes up with.  Feel free to grab the button in the sidebar to share with your readers what you are up to.  
 
And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.
 
I Scrap-A-Palooza because Quilting is more fun than Housework!
 
 
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the Purge