It’s Pieceful Monday once again, so let me show you what I’ve been up to. I’ve been having fun with some purple batiks, making a mini quilt, and getting down and dusty with my machine.
Churn Dash blocks are one of my favorite quilt blocks to make. The block goes together so quickly and easily, and yet it is so versatile. With a change of just one color, you can completely change the look of the block. Recently I stumbled across a book with a cute little churn dash mini quilt pattern. I got the book for a song, and already had all the fabric in my stash.
At our quilt group last night, we shared our favorite tips for quilting. Here are a few that were new to me:
Pool Noodles – Pick up cheap pool noodles at the dollar store, cut them to size, and roll your blocks or smaller quilts tops on them. You can easily secure the quilts to the noodle with pins. Rolling the blocks/quilts avoids creases, and the noodles are light and easy to transport if you are heading to a sewing day.
Sandpaper – Okay, this wasn’t new to me, but thought I’d share it anyway. Sandpaper is a great base to use under fabric when you need to draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. It holds the fabric steady so there is less distortion to the bias as you draw the line.
Rubber Doorstops – Place three of these under the back of your machine and it will tilt the machine just enough so you can see the machine bed better.
Zipper Pouches – Make a few zipper pouches and fill each one with basic quilting items, like scissors, thimble, etc. Dedicate the pouches to projects you are working on, adding in the notions needed for that project. Then when you are ready to stitch, you can just grab the pouch and all your sewing items are already in there, ready to go.
Reusable Tins – Use the tins from mints, etc. to create little on-the-go sewing kits. Attach a magnet in the tin to hold needles, etc., clip it shut, and off you go.
I thought these were some clever tips using common household items. Do you have a clever, handy tip? Share it with us in the comments!
This weekend I hope to finish the blocks for the commission quilt, as well as finish these bits and pieces into little mini mini quilts or pin cushions.
I’m whooping it up today for handy quilting tips and little projects along the way with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
Happy Friday, all!
Sometimes it’s just the little things that make me feel good. Here’s a few from this week.
On March 1st, BigJ and I had a date night to celebrate our engagement 30 years ago. 30 years! It seems like yesterday. I haven’t aged a bit – ha! We went on a little drive, which took us back to the place where he proposed — Diamond Bluff. There is a much longer story to it, of course. You’ll have to ask if you want to hear it, but it’s too long for a quilting blog post!
Earlier that day, I spent some time with a couple of quilty friends, sipping coffee and doing some stitching while we chattered away. See? It’s the little things that make me happy.
I am 9 blocks away from having all the blocks completed for the commission quilt. Another little thing that makes me happy!
Today I made a little tiny finish. It’s my first finish for the year, in miniature form. One of BigJ’s co-workers, who has become a friend to me, had a birthday this week and I wanted to make something for her.
I pulled out my scraps and started to play. I wanted it to be bright and cheery, because sometimes the job she does can be a challenge. I decided to call this little project a “therapy mug mat” — something happy for her to look at when she needs cheering up.
This is what I came up with.
I had a little fun with some free motion quilting. I consider it not bad for a newbie to the whole FMQ thing. I made a wonky little star in the middle piece and then just organic wavy lines around the rest.
The block is made using Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s small template and concept from her book 15 Minutes of Play. It is so much fun, I will definitely be doing more of this!
That’s my little Friday finish. I hope she likes it!
Have a great weekend, all!
I used to say to my mother that quilting was a “coming of age” kind of thing. You had to be a certain age to be able to quilt. This was an ongoing joke between us because of my first attempt at quilting.
I had found a quilt pattern in a magazine, bought and cut the fabrics according to the pattern, and began sewing, diligently following the instructions. It didn’t work. I was so disappointed. I had really wanted to call my mom and tell her I had made a little quilt all on my own.
I called her, likely in tears, telling her I couldn’t quilt. This was a huge disappointment to me because my grandmother was a seamstress, my mother quilted and so did my sister-in-law. I was pretty sure that quilting should come easily to me. She chuckled and told me to pack it all up, magazine and all, and send it to her. I did. After she had taken a look at it, she called me back and told me there was a mistake in the pattern. In spite of that, I still told her that maybe I wasn’t old enough to quilt yet. And that became our little joke.
The very first quilt I did successfully make was this mini log cabin, which I made a few years later.
The pattern came from the book Little Quilts All Through the House by Alice Berg, Sylvia Johnson, and Mary Ellen Von Holt, which I still enjoy pulling out now and then. The patterns are very basic and simple, and timeless — easily updated with today’s fabrics.
I enjoy making log cabin blocks because they have a rhythm as the strips wrap around the center square — light, light, dark, dark is the way I used to remind myself as a beginner. I went on to make quite a few log cabins in those first years.
I made this quilt in the late 90’s, starting on an afternoon at my friend Connie’s house, while we each stitched on our projects and my two kids ran around us playing. (Those two kids are now both young adults, so this little mini would have quite a few stories to tell.)
I went on to finish all the blocks, pieced them together, hand quilted it and made the binding, all on my own. Close examination of the quilt shows some of the things I still needed to learn, but all in all, I was very pleased with the outcome.
I called my mom and told her I was finally old enough to quilt. We had a good laugh about that.
Linking up today with LeAnne at Devoted Quilter.
Friday is here and once again I am late at getting this post done. One of my goals for this year is to work on getting more of my posts ready ahead of time rather than flying by the seat of my pants. So far, it’s not going too well, but there is some improvement. So, strapping on my inner Last Minute Lulu, here goes!
I actually started and finished a large quilt top this week. That hasn’t happened in awhile. Now, granted, the quilt was easy because I was working with pre-cuts. Sometimes it’s just good therapy to grab and sew, y’know?
I made this quilt while waiting to begin another project that will involve more intricate piecing. I couldn’t go to the quilt store until this past Wednesday, so I had to find something to do in the meantime. I mean, I have no other unfinished projects that I could’ve, well, finished. Ha!
In Wednesday’s post, I showed you the pre-cuts. I used fabric from Corey Yoder’s Sundrops line along with a Kona Solid in a creamy white. The Sundrops pre-cut pack had a pattern in it named Garden Gate. So armed with everything I needed, I got to it.
Yesterday I was finishing the quilt by putting in the sashing. Easy peasy, until I did this.
Been there, anyone? So I spent some time with Jack, the ripper. We had a long conversation . . . 59 inches of conversation. Not doing that again, I hope.
I was so excited to show you the finished quilt, but I needed to take some photos. So I slipped my hikers on (who needs to tie them – this was gonna be short and quick anyway), and headed out on to my patio. Did I mention it’s currently -2 degrees here this morning? It was a short and sweet photo session, so don’t judge too harshly. Long sleeved shirt, denim capris and hikers; probably should’ve rethought that fashion statement before going out. I don’t think anyone noticed . . . they were probably tucked in their warm houses, slurping coffee!
So anyway — here it is, right next to our Christmas tree which has migrated to the deck. I told you it was tradition, now you have proof.
Even my cat got a short burst of energy from my foray onto the deck. That chilly air wafting through the house had him zipping to and fro, which of course means he will be napping on my ironing board later when I need to use it. Did I tell you that he once singed his fur nestling too close to the iron? Silly cat.
Today I begin cutting into this lovely cache of fabric. This will become a quilt that has been requested by a friend. I hope she likes it. I can’t wait to get started!
Happy Friday, friends! Enjoy your weekend, may it be full of long running stitches (and no Jack)!
We finally have a winter wonderland look in our backyard. We had about 3 inches of snow yesterday, and a little more today. It makes everything look so much better, but really messes up the drive time for those heading to work. I’m happy to be here at home, where my commute is up and down the stairs.
I was inspired to take our Christmas tree down last night (we put it up later in December and leave it up a little longer in January, it’s tradition). The tree is sitting on our deck (also tradition) and has a lovely dusting of snow on its boughs. I enjoy watching the little birds flit in and out of it while I have my morning coffee and catch up on quilt blogs.
I am working on my first quilt of 2017. I thought I’d have the top done and ready to show you, but not quite. Last year, in one of my Sew Sampler boxes, I received a Jolly Bar (5″ x 10″ precuts) of Corey Yoder’s Sundrop fabric line. I had a charm pack of Kona Cotton Solids, so I combined the two precuts and decided to make the pattern that came with the Jolly Bar. No cutting, so easy to put together.
Pretty simple, just chain sew the pieces together. Look at all that cheery fabric as I stitch. I needed something with bright, happy fabric!
Here’s a little peek at one of the rows, patiently waiting for me to finish them into a quilt top. I should have this done by the end of the week.
I’ll be starting another quilt soon, one I’m making for a friend of mine. Today I plan to get the fabric for that, so it’s off to the quilt shop I go!
I shared this little quote on Instagram yesterday. Thought I’d share it with you today.
Happy Wednesday, friends!