Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pieceful Monday

Monday, Monday! I planned to post throughout last week. I really did. However, after we got back home from moving our daughter to Florida, I spent most of my time doing some housekeeping (laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) and then doing this . . .

Pieceful Monday - piecefulthoughts.com

When I wasn’t napping, I did make a little bit of progress on some of my sewing projects.

On Wednesday, I stopped in at JoAnn Fabrics to get backing fabric for The 70273 Project Quilt. I took my time and wandered through the store. I came away with more than just the backing for the quilt, but thankfully most of it will be used for some projects I’m working on.

I’m also beginning to construct the blocks for this quilt. This will be a gift, so I can’t reveal too much about this yet. This is a kit using Maureen Cracknell’s Garden Dreamer line. I love the colors and the feel of the fabric.

Pieceful Monday - piecefulthoughts.com

And I started work on a bed quilt for my daughter. I’ll show you more on that soon. For this project, she picked the cutest fabric with toadstools on it. We bought the fabric all at 50% off at a local quilt shop. I bought my first full bolt of fabric. Thank goodness it was 50% off! I’m looking forward to getting this put together soon. I think the toadstools will be fitting, since these little guys seem to show up at her place quite often.

Pieceful Monday - tree frog - piecefulthoughts.com

Recently Lori of Humble Quilts posted that she is once again going to make a trip to Columbia and would once again be taking pillowcase dresses along for the little girls. I have wanted to make some of these for Lori, so today I made my first one. They are so easy and quick to make. You can read Lori’s post and find directions for the dresses here.

Pieceful Monday - pillowcase dress - piecefulthoughts.com

I took this picture in the late afternoon sun. I’ll post more pictures as I get more dresses made!

Happy Monday, friends! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Linking up today with Beth and Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts.  

Wendy

Baby Quiltiness

Well, I’m delighted to share that all three baby quilts are delivered to the parents. Two of the quilts are snuggling babies, while we patiently await the arrival of the third.

So today, I just want to share a little quilty baby love with you. Remember that Periwinkle Quilt? This was made using Lella Boutique’s Sugar Pie fabric and the pattern is from this Missouri Star tutorial.

It’s looks all fine and lovely snuggled over the rail on my deck. However, it’s so much cuter snuggled this way.

Isn’t she beautiful? I’m just a little partial, since she is my cousin’s daughter’s baby. This view of the quilt really shows off the lovely quilting by Connie of Turnberry Lane Machine Quilting.

This is why I enjoy quilting, to be able to share some joy with others. Allyssa and I worked together to choose the pattern and fabric, and I’m so happy that she likes the quilt. I’m pretty sure her little girl loves it too, as you can see from this last photo!

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you have a fun week of sewing!

I’m linking up today with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts.

Wendy

 

 

Three Project Peeks

I have three project peeks for you today. This week has been a fast one with the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop and seeing all the fun projects from the bloggers who are participating. I hope you keep following each day, fill your to-do list with some fun Christmas projects, and make sure to comment on each blog so you qualify for the great giveaway. You can find the details on the giveaway and the blog hop  here.

So let’s get to the peeks! I’ve had some fun this week working with my stash of fabric. Do you ever get fabric and know you want to make something — like, you kind of have an idea, but not really? I have had a couple of pre-cuts that fit that description. Finally this week the lightbulb went on, and I had to get to work on them.

So I’ve been doing a little of this. This will be a gift for a friend.

Three Project Peek - piecefulthoughts.com
This is not my design, but a fun little project.

And a little of this. I have no idea what I will do with this.

Three Project Peeks - piecefulthoughts.com
This isn’t a design of mine either, but it sure is colorful!

And a whole lotta this. I have no idea what I will do with this either, but I am having so much fun.

Three Project Peeks - piecefulthoughts.com
I told my husband, “It’s improv, but I have a plan!” He thought that was funny.

None of these projects are done yet, but they are well on their way. I’ll post my progress!

In Other News

What else is going on in my life? Here’s a few random things.

  • In less than a month we move our daughter to Florida.
  • In a little more than a month we go on our 30th anniversary trip.
  • I have 6 quart jars of brandied cherries soaking up the sun in my kitchen window.
  • Fred and I have separated, but we are still friends. He is residing with my other boots and shoes. PT is more fun than wearing Fred the Boot.
  • I’d like my own personal chef so I wouldn’t have to make dinner.
Before You Go

Since we’ve been talking about Christmas projects this week, and if you’ve enjoyed the QAL that’s been going on with the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop, I want to put a little plug in for another QAL coming up on August 1st.

Earlier this year, I was part of the 2017 New Bloggers Blog Hop and I have met some of the most amazing bloggers through that group. Some of them have put together the I Wish You a Merry Christmas Quilt-A-Long and if you enjoy QALs, you don’t want to miss this one! I’ve seen the blocks that will be part of this, and they are cute! You can get all the details here.  Don’t miss it — you’ll have a fun quilt all ready for Christmas!

Have a great weekend, everyone! I hope you sneak some sewing time in!

Wendy

Mini Garland Tutorial

Well, wow! What a fun week it has been for the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop! Thanks so much for all of your kind and encouraging comments! I hope you have been visiting the blogs each day and finding some great ideas for Christmas!

So many of you commented on the little JOY mini garland that I thought I’d do a really quick tutorial on how I put it together. It really goes together quickly. Depending on the number of blocks you in the garland, this can easily be made in a day or less. So let’s get started!

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

You’ll Need These Items
  • Your colored block. I’m using a leftover block from when I was drafting the garland. If you are just joining us, you can read about how to make the colored letter blocks here.
  • Four 1″ x 5″ strips of fabric to use as borders around the block. You can adjust the length of these strips to match the size of your block after it’s cut. I used a charm pack square, so I cut mine 1″ x 5″.
  • One piece of background fabric. I also used a charm pack square here, but you can go scrappy with this. It needs to be just a bit bigger than your trimmed block.
  • One scrap piece of fusible fleece or regular batting the size of your backing fabric.
  • Chopstick or other turning tool

Take the colored block and trim it down to the size you want. I leave 1/2″ around my letter, to allow for 1/4″ seam allowance and some space around the letter.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Next, gather your scrap strips, or charm pack square for your border, and cut them 1″ x 5″, or 1″ by the length of your colored block square after trimming.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Take two of the strips and sew one strip to each side of the colored block.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Trim them even with the colored block. Then take the other two strips and sew them to the top and bottom of the block. Trim them to the size of the block. Now you have your bordered block.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Next, take your scrap piece of fusible fleece and fuse it to the wrong side of the block. (Note: If you are using regular batting, place it on the wrong side of the block. You can either secure it with a quick spritz of spray baste or with pins.)

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Here it is with the fusible fleece added — you just can’t see the fusible but it’s underneath there!

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Next, take your backing fabric and trim it to the exact size of the bordered block. Lay the backing fabric on top of the block so that the backing and block are right sides together. Stitch around the block, using a scant 1/4″ seam. Make sure to leave an opening so that you can turn the block.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Clip the corners to reduce bulk. Just don’t clip through the stitching!

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Turn the block, and use a chopstick or another tool to push out the corners.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Give the block a good press with the iron, tucking under the seam allowances of the opening. Stitch close to the edge all the way around the block.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

All done and ready to hang with a cute mini clothespin!

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

I hope you enjoy making this little mini garland. I’d love to see pictures of what you make!

Don’t forget to keep following the Blog Hop and commenting — you don’t want to miss out on that giveaway. You can find all the details over on Sarah’s blog at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Happy stitching, friends!

Wendy

 

Color Me Christmas

This is the 4th day of the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop, and today I’m one of the stops along the way!

Be sure to check out the other blogs for today; I have them listed with links for you at the end of this post. Remember that commenting on all of the blogs today makes you eligible for giveaway, too!

Kids and Christmas

When my kids were little, I recall having a mad scramble around Christmas for gifts for teachers, friends, grandpa and grandma — you know what I mean, right? I was always looking for something fun for them to make that didn’t add further stress and cost to the works!

Today I want to revisit an old craft with you for an easy kids sewing project that is relatively easy to do and can be used in a variety of ways. Using some scrap material and a few art supplies, this easy project goes together pretty quickly. So let’s get started.

Gather Your Tools

You’ll need the following items:

  • Light table or sunny window
  • Tape (opt)
  • Simple drawing or design with bold lines for tracing (or you can freehand the design)
  • Pencil for tracing
  • Freezer paper (optional)
  • Crayola® brand crayons (other brands don’t saturate well)
  • Crayon sharpener
  • Two sheets of paper towel OR a sheet of clean paper
  • Iron
  • Small piece of light background fabric (I used a 5.5″ square)
Kids’ Fun for Kids of All Ages

We’re going to be tracing a design on fabric, coloring in that design, and then setting the color with the iron. (Remember doing that as a kid?) Kids should be able to do all of this with a little guidance, depending on their ages.

You can use plain white fabric or a low volume fabric. I experimented a bit and found that low volume fabric adds a bit of fun to the background, yet the crayons cover it quite well.

Color Me Christmas - piecefulthoughts.com

If you are going to be tracing a design onto the fabric, this is where you use the light table or sunny window. Choose a design that is simple and easy to trace. I used letters, but you could find a fun pattern from free online clip art or a small coloring book (you might have to reduce the image), etc.  Place the design under the fabric and center it. Trace lightly around the design. Don’t worry if the lines get dark, it can be covered up in later steps. Besides, those little imperfections will bring a smile in years to come!

Color Me Christmas - Tracing with Light Table - piecefulthoughts.com

Tip: If you are going to freehand the design, or have the kids draw rather than trace a design on the fabric, consider stabilizing the fabric with freezer paper to keep the fabric from stretching and frustrating those little fingers as they try to draw. Taking a scrap piece of freezer paper and lay it shiny side up on your ironing table. Iron the shiny side of the freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric. The freezer paper will adhere to the fabric and is easily removable once the project is done. Leave the freezer paper on for the next step.

Color Me Christmas - Freezer Paper Stabilizer - piecefulthoughts.com

Okay, now to the fun stuff. Have the kids color in the design with the crayons. Let them be creative and use whatever colors they wish. Encourage them to color with bold strokes; darker coloring shows up better. This is also where that sharpener comes in handy.

Once the coloring is done, remove the freezer paper (if you’ve used it) by simply grabbing a corner of the paper and pulling it away from the fabric.

Place the fabric between two sheets of paper towel (or paper) and iron to set the crayon. Just run the hot iron over the paper towel or paper a few times, holding it briefly over the design.

Color Me Christmas - How to - piecefulthoughts.com

Working Together

Now that the coloring is done and set, it’s time to jazz it up a bit. This is where you can have all kinds of fun and let your imagination go. Kids can also do this with guidance, depending on their age, but you may have to do more oversight on the following steps. I’ve kept my designs pretty simple, but you can feel free to use your imagination and give your block some personality!

You can embroider around the design, as simple or elaborate as you like. This can be done by a child if they are comfortable with using needle and thread. You can stabilize the block before stitching with a bit of fusible interfacing if you wish.

Color Me Christmas - Embellishing - piecefulthoughts.com

Or you can just outline the design with a permanent ink pen designed for fabric (I use a Micron pen). Be sure to set the ink with a quick press of the iron.

Color Me Christmas - Mug Mat - piecefulthoughts.com

For the mug mat above, I used a 5.5″ square of Moda Grunge for the background. I simply drew a freehand snowman on my block, so you can see how easily and quickly this project can be done. This is helpful for those little ones who just want to quickly draw something and be off on another adventure! I didn’t embellish the snowman much, other than adding some outlining and three tiny buttons on his tummy.

To finish the mug mat top, I used two 1.5″ x 10″ strips of fabric, one light, one dark, and sewed them together on one long side, pressing the seam to the dark fabric. Your strip should measure 2.5″ wide. Then I cut the strip into five 1.5″ pieces and sewed them back together, alternating the red and white squares to form a checkerboard. Sew it to the right side of the snowman block. Spray baste the top, add batting and backing and a little quilting. Bind it, and done!

Here are a few samples of some fun things I did with this crayon art. Let your imagination flow.

A mini quilt with a touch of improv. I just cut around the letter in a wonky shape and added scraps of fabric by following the shape.

Color Me Christmas - Mini Mini - piecefulthoughts.com

A fun little mini garland to hang in a little nook or cranny.

Color Me Christmas - Mini Garland - piecefulthoughts.com

Here’s some other ideas:

  • Rather than mini garland, add a magnet to the back of each letter for use on the magnetic board.
  • Add a colored block to a zipper pouch for a personalized gift.
  • Make ornaments — you could even date them using the fabric pen (don’t forget to set the writing with a press of the iron!)
  • Using a fusible like Steam-A-Seam, fuse the small block to a lunch-size brown paper bag for a cute gift bag.

See? All kinds of ideas! Have fun with this project! I’d love to see a picture of what you and your kids create!

Don’t forget that in order to qualify for the giveaway, you need to leave a comment on my blog as well as the others scheduled for today.

Here are the other blogs to visit today.

Ok, friends, leave a comment and then hop on over to the other blogs!

Wendy

Friday Fun

This week was a little off with the holiday and other things happening, unrelated to quilting. I planned to get a post done on Wednesday, but spent the day at the Twins game on Tuesday (it was hot and the game was long) so I had nothing to post about.

Now that Friday is here, I thought I’d introduce you to a new, hopefully temporary, member of our household. Meet Fred.

Friday Fun - meet Fred - piecefulthoughts.com

Fred and I are getting to know each other. I’m not sure I like him much. He’s a bit cumbersome and messes with my fashion statement.

Back in April (yes, April) I sprained my ankle while we were in New Mexico. We did all the things you should do for a sprain, except go to the doctor (because we thought it was just a bad sprain, y’know?). This week, 4 months later, I decided I should ask the doctor why the swelling wasn’t going away and find out what stretches I should be doing now that it felt good enough that I should be able to start my daily walking again. I came home with Fred and a possible fractured fibula. Another doctor appointment next Tuesday. Thankfully, it’s not my sewing foot! I’m not sure if this is Friday Fun, so let’s move on to the fun part.

When I have been doing some sewing, it’s been mostly secret sewing. Here’s a peek at the fabric I’m playing with. This little project will be for the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop, which starts on July 14th. Watch for my post on July 17. I hope you’ll stop by and see what I’ve been working on.

Friday Fun - Secret Sewing Sneak Peek - piecefulthoughts.com

When I have deadlines and I get overwhelmed, I start a whole new project, totally unrelated to anything. Do you do that? Please say yes. Here’s what I decided to start on over the weekend, thinking I could get it done in a day or two. I’m itching to finish it, but it needs to wait for now. You may need your sunglasses, this fabric is bright!

Friday Fun - New Project - piecefulthoughts.com

Stay tuned, friends. Fred and I will be back soon. I expect he’ll be around for awhile. We’ll see!

Enjoy your weekend! I hope it’s full of stitching!

Wendy

Batiks and Babies

Batiks and babies are on my mind here at Pieceful Thoughts today. While I am procrastinating on other projects, I pulled out some batik strips and whipped them up into a quilt top.

The batiks are leftover from two other quilts I made, one for my daughter and one for friend who let us stay at her cabin. They are bright greens and blue batiks; very calming and fun to work with.

Batiks and Babies - piecefulthoughts.com

The pattern is a free download I found a few years ago. I used  this pattern for my daughter’s quilt, so I knew it would be easy to do again. However, I miscalculated in one step of the cutting so things don’t quite match up correctly. No matter, this is going to be a practice quilt for me as I learn free motion quilting.

Batiks and Babies - lawn view - piecefulthoughts.com

Babies and Baby Quilts

Both of the finished baby quilts are in their new homes, and just in time too! One of the babies has arrived. A beautiful little girl named Sophia Joan. I can’t wait to meet her and see her with the quilt. The day I took the picture, which was, of course the morning I was handing it off, was rainy and cloudy, so the pictures aren’t the best. I hope to have some better ones to show you soon!

Batiks and Babies - SoJo's Quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

Batiks and Babies - quilting detail - piecefulthoughts.com

Batiks and Babies - Backing View - piecefulthoughts.com

The Mini Periwinkle Quilt was given to my cousin Deb, who is the grandmother of the soon-to-arrive little girl. We are all waiting, (im)patiently for her to make her appearance! Here’s a picture of the quilt, taken on yet another very wet, dark day. This pattern is from the Missouri Star Quilt Company, and the fabric is Sugar Pie by Lella Boutique.

Batiks and Babies - Periwinkle Quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

Batiks and Babies - Periwinkle Quilt Back View - piecefulthoughts.com

The rest of the week has been spent secret sewing, in anticipation of the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop! I’m looking forward to sharing my project with you!

Linking up today with Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter, Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, and Susan at Quilt Fabrication.

Wendy

 

My Janome Skyline S7

Most of my weekend has been spent getting to know my new Janome Skyline S7, so I thought I’d share a bit about what I like about this machine so far. I still have much to learn, but I have tested it quite a bit this weekend.

This is the first machine I’ve ever picked out and purchased on my own. All the other machines I have were gifts from my mom, except for the little toy sewing machine I own, which was a gift from my daughter. It’s kind of like buying my first car!

New Janome - piecefulthoughts.com
It’s dark in my quilt cave, even in the daytime, but I was also trying to drown out the clutter in the background!

This is a hefty machine, weighing 24 pounds. I used to slide my little Janome around on the table when I needed space to work. I won’t be doing that with this one. It stays put.

At 19″ x 12.5″ x 9.25″, it has a nice wide bed as well as a much longer harp than I’ve been used to working on. This weekend I’ve worked on two baby quilts, two mini quilts, and a bag and the bed and harp made finishing these projects so much easier. There was plenty of room to move and shift the fabric as I was sewing.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Thread Cutters – The thread is automatically cut at the touch of a button when you finish sewing. I am completely spoiled by that feature already. The thread tails are so much smaller, I’m already l saving thread with this feature. There are also three other thread cutters well-placed in this machine: by the bobbin winder, in the bobbin compartment, and by the needle threader.

Lighting – The lighting on the workspace of the machine is very good. I can easily see what I am sewing. I still have one other task light off to my side, more for the work I do when not using the machine.

Bobbin Winder – As silly as it is, I love the bobbin winder. It is easy to use and it is so quiet (and there’s that nifty thread cutter).

Storage – There is ample storage for the 11 feet and other accessories.

New Janome Storage - piecefulthoughts.com

AcuFeed Flex – This was one of the reasons I went with this machine, so I’ve been eager to give it a try. I used it to quilt and bind two mini quilts. It feeds the fabric and batting through evenly with no puckering. None. No skewed corners. In addition to the dual feed, there’s also a “pivot” button feature. When you stop sewing the foot lifts up about halfway with the needle down, so you can pivot corners easily while binding. It’s a great feature.

New Janome - piecefulthoughts.com

Needle Threader – I have a needle threader on my other Janome, but I hardly used it because it never worked that well. On this machine, however, it works easily and consistently.

Free Arm – Like other Janome machines, part of the bed detaches, leaving a free arm that is useful when sewing bags, sleeves on garments, etc.

New Janome - Free Arm - piecefulthoughts.com

It came in handy when I worked on this market bag this weekend.

New Janome - Market Bag - piecefulthoughts.com

This bag is lined with a fairly stiff pellon and the machine handled it beautifully. If you want to see more about this bag, you can read my post about it here.

So there’s a little peek into what I am enjoying as I get to know my new machine. I have quite a bit left to learn, with 11 feet, 91 needle positions and 240 stitches. That should keep me occupied for awhile. I’m sure most of what I’ve commented on is basic in the newer machines, but it’s all new and fun to me!

Linking up today for Main Crush Monday with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts. 

Wendy