Thursday, July 31, 2014

Orphan Block Sampler - ALYOF

Back in April of this year, a friend delivered to me a big bag of scraps for me to play with.  Hidden inside that bag were a few orphan blocks leftover from some of her previous projects. If you have been following my blog long, you know I love the challenge of taking orphan blocks and making them into something fun.  I immediately started thinking what I wanted to do with them.

Right around the same time, I read on the Sew Mama Sew blog that Sarah Schraw was sharing her DYO Sampler and they were having a Summer Sew-Along.  Looking at some of the orphan blocks, I started thinking about using them all in one quilt and making a sampler.
Unfortunately, work got in the way and I had to put a few projects aside for a bit. I finally had some time to work on it this month!

When I am working with orphan blocks and designing a quilt, my favorite way to work on them is to turn up the radio and start putting bits of fabric up on a design wall.  

I had previously purchased an orange peppered cotton by Studio E to use as the background fabric so I slowly began to let the quilt evolve.
Here is an early picture of the process....

At this point, I was only using leftover blocks from two projects.

However, I also had these leftover HSTs from a third project that I was hoping to fit in somewhere.

I soon had the center sewn up and was still struggling a bit with the next steps.  The HSTs just didn't seem to be working no matter how I laid them out.

After stepping away from it for a few days, I finally came up with the idea to just alter the HSTs a bit.  I simply added some fabric scraps from the quilt and created the arrow shapes.

I thought they added a fun design element.

 I considered creating a pieced border with some of the turquoise scraps I had but found I like the quilt as it was.

So now I just had to find time to quilt it!

I decided to quilt the background with some stacked swirls.  I love the texture it created on the peppered cottons.

Thankfully,  I already had some fabric in my stash that would work for the backing, and yes, I picked it up on sale.

It now hangs on thw wall in my kitchen.  I always smile when I walk towards it.  The arrow that points to the left leads to my sewingroom and studio - the right points to the dishes....

I far prefer to take the left path!

 If you are curious about how I usually hang my quilts.  I use old sewing machine needles.  In fact, I use these to hang just about everything in my house.  They leave tiny holes and are extremely strong.    And as a longarm quilter, I always have a large supply of them!

My Button

And as I had this project as my July goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes over at Sew Bitter Sweet Designs, I can cross it off as being accomplished!   You can see what others finished up this month by going here.

 If you are interested in more ways to follow me, you can find me on 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!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Splurging when I should be Purging!

It has been quite a while since I have purchased any new fabric.  I have not imposed any "no fabric" diets - my lack of new fabric simply comes down to not having time to do any shopping.  So recently, some of my friends felt I needed a break so they organized a little fabric shopping trip to one of my favorite fabric stores (Quiltwork Patches in Corvallis Oregon).  

Fabric shopping with good friends....How could I say no?!?

 I have been wanting to get some more yardage of Studio E's Peppered Cottons for a project I have planned.  These fabrics are a shot cotton and I love the rich colors that are available...In fact, I can't cut into them yet because I am not done petting them!  I am just finishing up a project using a spicy orange which I hope to share in a day or two.

 And Alexander Henry tugged hard at my pocketbook with this wonderful zebra head print.  It is called Zahara by the De Leon Design Group.  Isn't it wonderful!  Not sure yet what I am making but I am perfectly happy just owning it.  It is now sitting on one of the shelves in my studio - coincidentally with a number of other Alexander Henry prints I have picked up over the years.

Is there a fabric designer whose prints always seem to capture your heart?

Just say No to Housework!

If you are interested in more ways to follow me, you can find me on 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 with Fabric Tuesday at QuiltStoryFreemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday, and Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Every Kitchen needs a Radio!

I finally found some time to work on this month's Sew Kitschy paper pieced blocks with Kristy over at Quiet Play.  This cute vintage radio is block number seven out of nine.  I decided to keep track of how long I spent on sewing up this 10" block.  After 4 hours of continual sewing and trimming, I finally had mine completed.  It seems a bit boring but when I quilt this block, I will add some fun detail to it.

 Here is a night time picture of all the completed ones taped to my sewing room wall. (Sorry - but it was really late when I finished!)  The lavender background really clashes a bit with the colors.  But having them displayed keeps me motivated and helps when I am choosing fabrics as I finish future blocks.  Hurray!  Only two more to do!

I can't wait to get this finished up and hung in my new kitchen!

Quiet Play
Kristy over at Quiet Play is hosting this Block of the Month.  You can buy this pattern set along with other great patterns in her Craftsy shop.  
I recently bought her London Calling pattern and have something wonderful planned.  But I have to finish this project first!

Linking up with Anything Goes Mondays at Stitch by Stitch and Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.  I will also be linking up with Kristy at Quiet Play.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Scrap-A-Palooza! Quilt #7 Finish (Part Four)

Oh how I love playing with scraps and color!  This month's Scrap-A-Palooza quilt was really fun to work on so I finished it up very quickly this month!  I still have another week in the month and my lovely quilt is already quilted and bound!

 It all started the first week with a sketch and a pile of jeweled colored strings.  

For someone who says she doesn't buy much blue fabric, I sure do have a ton of blue scraps!

The second week was spent making the color blocks.  I had a great time playing with different string widths and fabric prints to come up with all my blocks.

To speed up the process, I rough cut my strings, sewed them together then cut the blocks to size.

Last week, my time was spent sewing in the sashing.  I made my quilt in three columns so the piecing was really simple.

In no time at all, I had the quilt top finished.

Well, here is the finished quilt!  I can't wait for the temperatures to cool so I can try it out. The colors in this quilt really do is hard to believe these beautiful colors were hidden away in the scrap bin!.

As I am really trying to purge some older fabrics this year, I used a wonderful purple batik on the back.  Because I didn't have quite enough, I added a lime green inset that runs vertically on the back.  And for the binding, I used the striped fabric that I trimmed off the back of the floral quilt I finished last week.  I thought it worked perfectly!

I always promote using these scrap quilts to step out of your comfort zone on the quilting, so I used variegated threads on this quilt.  I have never been a fan but many of my customers love them so I have a large supply of them on hand.  I really tried to keep an open mind but I gotta admit, still not sold on them.  How about you, are they something you like to use?

Why Scrap-A-Palooza?  Because Quilting is more fun than Housework!

And now for a few statistics:

Large Lap Quilt
Size: 56 x 66"
Fabric: Tone on Tone greens, blues and purple strings.(at least 8" long)
Total Color Blocks: 18 at 7.5 x 17.5" unfinished
  Background Fabric Used: approx 1.5 yard

Before I share what others are making, I want to remind everyone that links to this quilt and all the scrap quilts from previous months can be found on the Scrap-A-Palooza quilt gallery tab above.  If you have scraps, I am sure you will find lots of inspiration on how to use them!

Diann over at Little Penguin Quilts has been playing with her green scraps.  You can read about her quilt here.  I am really looking forward to seeing this quilt come together.

So are you curious what Quilt #8 will be?
I think it is time for one of my go-to string quilts.  And because I am growing tired of cool colors, I think I will pull out some hot colored scraps. I will have to see what inspires me!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Upcoming Blog Events

I love a good blog community event and there are two that are coming up that I really want to share with you.  Both events are very near and dear to my heart.

Purge button

The first is the Purge over at Stitched in Color.  Between now and mid September, Rachel is providing lots of ideas to move some of that unloved fabric and those space cluttering orphan blocks into some great projects.  Every few weeks you can share your progress and possibly win some prizes.

Wouldn't it be great to win some new fabric to fill the spaces you just de-cluttered!

Need some ideas on what to sew with those unloved fabrics you are ready to purge?  Check out my Scrap-A-Palooza gallery for inspiration.  Every quilt is quick and easy!

Quilts in the Queue

The second event is 100 Quilts for Kids.  Heather over at Quilts in the Queue has taken the reins on this event and it is due to kick off August 1st. The great thing about this event is you can donate your quilt to a local organization if you have a favorite.

I participated last year and I hope to make a number of quilts for this year's event.

Quilts in the Queue
Don't have any good ideas for a project?  Well, Heather is also hosting a Waves Quilt-Along during the event.  The fabric requirements will be available July 22nd.

I have a whole lot of solid pieces I need to declutter so I will be happily  joining in!

Digging through my sewing room, I came up with some other unloved items that need to be made into something beautiful.  I hope to turn each of these into a fun quilt for a kid.

First are these leftover strip pieced leftovers.  With some creative cutting, I think I can get some fun blocks out of these and creative a very playful quilt.

These orphan blocks came from a wonderful friend.  They are made from the Architextures collection. Lots of random sizes but I think there is a quilt in there someplace!

And I also have these bits.  I love the bright fun colors so I just couldn't toss them.  While they don't look like much, I am hoping to  join them with some string blocks I have hanging around my studio.

And I already shared my plans for getting this big airplane panel out of my stash.  I put this one on my 3rd quarter Finish Along list.

So I hope you take some time to see what you have in your sewing room and consider taking part in these events.  I will be sharing progress on all of my quilts as I finish them.  I hope they inspire you to purge your stash and give a child a big hug through the gift of a quilt!

Linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times, Stitch by Stitch for Anything Goes Monday,  and Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Friday Finish - FAL

I admit, I am not a summer person!  In fact, I melt in the heat and spend most of the summer indoors dreaming of Fall and cooler temperatures. 

With all the time spent indoors, I was able to get one of my old quilt tops on my longarm and get it quilted up.  This is one of the first quilts I designed.  While the fabrics are really old, I still love the colors and layout of this quilt.  I might just have to make it again using some contemporary fabrics.

For the quilting, I used a dusty plum colored thread and quilted in some giant flowers.  I thought they worked really well with all the large scale floral prints in the quilt.

This quilt is quite a large lap size quilt.  It measures almost 80" square.  I really do hate when my feet pop out from the bottom of a quilt!

On the back, I used a bold striped fabric I purchased when I finished the top all those years ago.  Probably not what I would have chosen for the backing today but I really didn't want to pick something else and have 5 yards of this fabric in my stash.

I did consider momentarily turning the fabric into some basketweave stars. Thankfully, I came to my senses before I started another quilt.  The colors are right so it might work its way into my braided star quilt.

For now it resides on my design wall of long term projects.  All waiting for me to find some time to work on them!

Finish Along 2014

And as I had this project as part of my 3rd Quarter Finish Along goals with The Littlest Thistle, I can scratch this one off the list.  That leaves me two and a half months to finish up the other 3 items.  So far, so good!!

Sharing this post with TGIFF, Richard and Tanya Quilts, Forth Worth Fabric Studio,Crazy Mom Quilts,  Sew Can She, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  And, of course, the 2014 Finish Along with Katy.

the Purge

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Final Week of the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Just want to send out a big thank you to everyone that stopped by in June to get to know me a bit better during the start of the 2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop, sponsored by Beth @ plum and june.  The final week of the hop is in progress, and I would like to invite you to check out a few more amazing amazing quilters.

Sharon @ Fabrics and Flowers
Serena @ Sew Giving
Carmit @ Quilting Rainbows 
Jenny @ Jack's Room
Elli @ Lovelli Quilts
Sally @ Wonky Patchwork
Leanne @ Devoted Quilter
Karen @  Capitola Quilter

Sadly, this brings the blog hop to an end. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience, made some new friends and want to send my sincere thanks to Beth @ plum and june for hosting such a great event!

2014 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop @ plum and june
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Scrap-A-Palooza! Quilt #7 Part Three

I don't know about you, but I am not finding much time to sew lately.  I have a number of projects I have been itching to work on but each day goes by in a flash and I haven't even visited my sewing room.  
So sad!

One of the projects I have been working on is this month's Scrap-A-Palooza quilt.  I was really starting to second guess the background fabric I had chosen so I wanted to get the top together to see how it looked.  Could I have made a big mistake?

Last week we started sewing together our color blocks.  For my quilt, I decided to use up the many green, blue and purple strings in my scrap bins.

I chose Kona Stone (over Ash) for the background fabric.


For this week, the first step is to get all the color blocks sewn up.  My design had a background strip sewn to the green end of each color block.  I also flipped every other block to create a staggered look.

Once the final layout is chosen, it is time to add some sashing.

I decided to sew my blocks in three columns.  My original design had wider sashing but because I was questioning my color choice,  I decided to make them thinner.  I cut my sashing at 1.5" x 17.5".  I pressed all my seams toward the sashing material to reduce bulk.

The thinner sashing required me to sew up more blocks to add another row on the bottom of the quilt to make it the size I wanted.  No worries, I still have plenty of scraps!

Once I had the three columns sewn, I measured the length of a column and cut some thin sashing to length.  I pinned and sewed in the sashing, matching up the horizontal sashing.

I also added a 2" border from the background fabric around the entire quilt.

I am happy I chose the Kona Stone.  It is such a wonderfully warm neutral.

I tried to get some outdoor photos but the wind kept messing up my shot.

And when I laid it out on the patio, I was nervous a neighborhood crow was going to "bomb" my quilt.  You can see his ominous shadow as he sat on a birdhouse just a few feet away.

I am very pleasantly surprised at how pretty this quilt is!  I love the vibrant jewel tones.  When this one is finished, it might be tough to give away!

Now, I am off to find a backing fabric.  With all the colors in this top, I am sure I have something around here that will work.  I think I will keep the quilting simple on this but play with thread colors.  I will share what I come up with before the end of the month!

I do hope you try something slightly outside your comfort zone when you quilt up your scrap quilt.  They are perfect to practice on!

Here's an overview of the important stuff to do before the next step!

  • Finish up your blocks and decide on a layout
  • Add sashing and sew up the top
  • Dig in that stash for a backing (it is in there - just keep looking!)
  • Try a new quilting pattern - something out of your comfort zone.

And remember, you can check out all of the previous quilts made in the Scrap-A-Palooza series by checking out the gallery tab. Not only are the steps to each part linked up but I have also shared quilts made by others so you can find lots of inspiration to sew up those scraps. 
Scrap-A-Palooza!  Every month there's a party!!

I will be sharing this with My Quilt Infatuation, Sew Fresh Quilts, and Freshly Pieced.  Hop on over to see more sewing inspirations!

the Purge
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