Tag Archives: quilt projects

Magnolia Mystery Progress

The Magnolia Mystery Quilt by Meadow Mist Designs is the first mystery quilt I’ve done. It has been a fun quilt to make, and I’m enjoying finally putting the blocks together.

I chose the following fabrics for my quilt. It was a bit of a challenge to choose fabrics not knowing the design. Nancy from Grace and Peace Quilting was working at Quilt Cove (a local quilt shop) and encouraged me as I chose fabrics. She was a great help!

Magnolia Mystery Progress - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

 

I enjoyed the pace of the steps of the quilt, with directions coming once a month. It gave plenty of time to get the steps done, as well as allowed me to work on other projects too.

The instructions are well written as well as visually helpful, making it so easy to piece the blocks.

So here are my first two blocks. I opted to make the lap quilt size. Once I have the top together, I’ll post a picture.

Magnolia Mystery Progress - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

My Best Nine 2017

Instagram has its #bestnine going on once again. I haven’t posted mine on Instagram yet, so thought I’d post it here first.

The choices were interesting and typical of my quilting this year. I discovered improv this year, and look forward to trying more improv projects in 2018. Of course, I’m delighted that my little Tomtes made the cut.

Have you made a mystery quilt? Did you enjoy the experience? Why or why not?

I hope you have some time to relax and sew a bit during this busy holiday season!

Wendy

 

Stocking Story

Let me begin this stocking story by letting you know that I didn’t post on Friday because I had a medical procedure done. Nothing serious, just a screening. However, it left me feeling a bit like this.

Stocking Story - Friday Recovery - piecefulthoughts.com

That my cat, Max, by the way. He lives a stressful life, no?

By Saturday, I was feeling much more lively and spent the day in my sewing room. Of course there were Tomtes. You can see what I was up to with them on my Instagram feed.

I also finished a quilt for my daughter, but won’t be posting pictures of that until she comes home this weekend.

So, today I want to share a stocking story with you.

Remember when I told you about Rose from Something Rosemade sending me the fun Christmas fabric? I shared this little stocking that I made from the fabric in a previous post.

Stocking Story - Cheater Fabric Stocking - piecefulthoughts.com

Well, I made another stocking from that fabric and sent it to Rose. I was going to post a picture of it after she had gotten it, and realized that I completely forgot to take a picture of it before I sent it.

So here’s an older picture of another stocking. Rose’s stocking looks similar to this one because it is made from the same pattern.

Stocking Story - from the original pattern - piecefulthoughts.com

I have had this pattern for years and used it several times. To say I’ve gotten my money’s worth is an understatement. The stocking pattern is copyrighted, so I decided to see if I could find the designer and ask if I could show how I made the stocking.

I went in search of the company to no avail. However, after multiple searches, I finally found Cindi Edgerton at A Very Special Collection and she graciously gave me a little information.

The original company on my pattern is Granny Nanny. According to Cindi, that company was sold to another, which sold to another. After that, Cindi had no idea where the pattern or designer ended up.

Cindi has some Little Stockings patterns that are very similar to the one I made. You can find Cindi’s method for foundation piecing here and also on this video.

All that being said, I don’t feel comfortable sharing a tutorial on how I made the stocking. I can, however, tell you how it is different than other paper piecing.

The stocking is no more than approximately 10″ tall. It is a great size for gift giving and for tucking in a little Christmas display.

The unique part about its construction is that it combines paper piecing with quilt as you go. This is done by adding a layer of very thin batting between the paper and the fabric. When done paper piecing, the front of the stocking is already quilted. A backing is stitched to the front, a lining is added and finished off with a cuff and a loop.

This is an easy step to add to any paper foundation pattern. Just remember that the batting needs to be very thin, ideally no more than 1/8″ so that you can still see the foundation paper for placement of your fabric.

If you have any information on this designer, please let me know. At the very least, I’d like to thank him or her for this fun pattern.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Wendy

Messy Creative Fun

Messy creative really does describe me. I have messy creative piles all around my sewing room. Some are orderly; some not so much. I had thought I wasn’t going to post today because I really have nothing new to show you, but then I thought, why not? I’ll show you the mess I’m working in as I continue my fascination with those cute little Tomtes. You can see my earlier work on them here.

I should probably explain why I’m working on the Tomte designs. While my mom was living, she collected Swedish things, and one of her favorites were the little Tomte figures. Each Christmas, I would go to a nearby Scandinavian store and find her something. Not always a Tomte, but something I knew she would like. So whenever I see a Tomte, it brings a smile and a tear. I miss her at Christmas, and this is one way I can remember the fun we had together.

Okay, this post is really going to be keeping it real, friends. You’ll even get to see my highly scorched ironing board that I need to re-cover. Someday. So let’s get to it.

Continue reading Messy Creative Fun

Cool Tool Monday

Cool Tool Monday hasn’t happened in awhile, but today I have something to show you. In one of my last posts, I showed a picture of a stiletto, and many of you wondered what that was. So today, we’re going to talk all things stiletto (not the shoes, sorry!).

What is a stiletto? Google’s second definition (the first is the shoe definition) is “a short dagger with a tapering blade”. In essence I suppose that is what a sewing stiletto is, without all the dangerous and ominous wording. However, I wouldn’t try taking your favorite sewing stiletto on a plane.

In my earlier post, I showed a picture of these two stilettos, recently gifted to me by quilty friend. In that picture, I had the sheaths on both stilettos. Here’s a picture with one sheathed and the other uncovered.

Cool Tool Monday - Sewing Stiletto - piecefulthoughts.com

When you see the points, you can understand why most of them come with a sheath.

Here’s the stiletto I was given by my mom. It has always been special to me, because when she gifted it to me I felt like she was telling me I had earned the status of quilter. Funny how little things  affect us like that, isn’t it?

Cool Tool Monday - My sewing stiletto - piecefulthoughts.com

So why is a sewing stiletto so handy?

One of the reasons I use my stiletto so often is to help guide the fabric as I sew.

Cool Tool Monday - Sewing Stiletto uses - piecefulthoughts.com

I’m chuckling as I look at this picture. I noticed in earlier pictures that my sewing foot was all fuzzy, so I cleaned it off (which led to cleaning out the bobbin, etc.) only to find that I missed the fuzz up and around the screw, not to mention the random threads in the photo. So just ignore that . . .

Anyway, the little point is handy for guiding the fabric through the foot.

Have you even had this happen?

Cool Tool Monday - How to use a sewing stiletto - piecefulthoughts.com

Using a stiletto as you are coming up to those seams helps to avoid seams flipping over. You can easily lift your sewing foot and use the stiletto to tuck that seam under, and get back to sewing.

Cool Tool Monday - Guiding the fabric through with a sewing stiletto - piecefulthoughts.com

Another use for the stiletto in my sewing is to rip seams. Rather than separating the seam with my hand and picking out the thread, I use it this way. It takes a little longer, but I find this method works well for me, especially with bias seams. I feel like I can keep the bias from distorting as I rip while slipping the point carefully under the stitch and gently pulling it out.

Cool Tool Monday - using a sewing stiletto as a seam ripper - piecefulthoughts.com

One other handy use for the stiletto is for lifting those little paper piece foundation papers out of those small spots where fingers can’t get to them. Although I prefer to use a tweezers, this works pretty well.

Cool Tool Monday - stiletto and paper piecing - piecefulthoughts.com

So, what if you don’t have a stiletto? Here are a few substitutes.

Cool Tool Monday - sewing stiletto substitutes - piecefulthoughts.com

Toothpick

I would only use this for guiding the fabric and picking out paper foundation pieces. It may not be strong enough for seam ripping.

Small Scissors

Again, I would only use this to guide the fabric, and then only very carefully. The scissors blades are too thick and make it a bit clumsy to use, but it will work in a pinch.

Seam Ripper

You can use the pointed side of the seam ripper to do the work of a stiletto. However, I think the single shaft of a stiletto works better and is easier to use when you need to feed that fabric well into the sewing foot area.

Some also use a chopstick or a wooden skewer that has a decent point. I don’t use my chopstick, since it has a thick point and is used mainly for turning corners and stuffing.

Until I received my stilettos from Rose, I didn’t know you could make them. (Who knew they can be made from turkey lacers?) They would be a fun, fast gift idea for a sewist, wouldn’t they? Bonnie Hunter shows how to make them. You can read all about it here.

Do you use a stiletto? If so, what is your favorite use for them?

Happy stitching friends!

Wendy

Stars of Joy

Do you remember the little star woolie project I was working on? I had forgotten about them until I unearthed my project list today. It’s been buried under a flurry of scraps from all the Tomte fun going on here.

Stars of Joy - woolie project from Buttermilk Basin - piecefulthoughts.com

All I needed to do was add backing fabric and stitch around them. That part was easy. Stuffing them wasn’t. All those little points were a bit difficult.

This pattern is Trio of Joy Stars from Buttermilk Basin. The stars finish at 10 inches. I didn’t want them that big, so I reduced the pattern to 75% and I’m much happier with them.

To add the backing, I just laid the woolie star right sides together with the backing fabric and sewed around the star, leaving a space for turning. After stitching, then I cut the background fabric around the woolie star. It was an easier way to stitch them together for me.

I used a chopstick to get the stuffing into the points, but it didn’t work very well. The points were sharper than I expected, and it was difficult to get the stuffing into those little points.

If I were to make this pattern again, I’d make it into a wall hanging, just stitching the stars onto a fabric background.

Since they didn’t finish well enough for me to give them as a gift, I just decided to add them to my Christmas decorating.

Stars of Joy - finished woolie stars from Buttermilk Basin's Trio of Joy Stars pattern - piecefulthoughts.com

Thanks for all the comments on my Christmas stocking and my little Tomte in my earlier posts. A few of you wondered what a stiletto is, so I’ll see if I can get a post together soon to show you how I use it.

I hope you all have a grand weekend full of quiet moments and humming sewing machines! It’s time to get those Christmas projects done! What are you working on this weekend?

Linking up today with Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Powered by Quilting.

Wendy

 

Teeny Tiny Tomte

This teeny tiny Tomte is  something I just had to make. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen it, but I can’t resist posting it once again because it’s so little and fun.

Tiny Tomte Fun - little ornament - piecefulthoughts.com

I’d seen these little Tomtes on my feed and thought about making one. Then I read Kitty’s post at nightquilter.com, her little Tomte was so cute, I had to get the pattern.

Moss & Lotus designed these cute little guys. The patterns are paper pieced and there are several Tomte designs, including this little 2″ fellow.  There is also a Tomte Sew Along on Instagram where you can see all the creative fun going on.

My little Tomte is made with little pieces of the fabric that Rose sent me. It takes me just a couple of minutes to make one block. I used some of the string Rose tied the fabric bundle with to make the loop for hanging.

Next up is to make one of the larger patterns. I’m just having trouble trying to decide which one! Join along in the Tomte fun. If you do, I want to see a picture!

Linking up today with Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers and Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social.  

Happy Stitching!

Wendy

 

Little Christmas Project

Well, my Thanksgiving was wonderful. I enjoyed having both of my kids home. We talked, laughed, played games and ate yummy food. While I was sad to see my daughter head back to Florida, she’ll be home again soon for Christmas.

Christmas always seems to sneak up on me. My latest state of mind is that I am ahead of my Christmas shopping, since I have two of the most difficult gifts to find purchased (no Black Friday shopping either). I know a few more that I need to get and will likely be able to pick them up today.  I’m taking a different approach this year and trying to get the more challenging gifts done first.

Of course, I haven’t really started thinking or making the sewing projects for Christmas. I think about Christmas gifts at two times during the year — July and then mid-November. I always have good intentions in July and plan to get things done ahead of time. Anyway, I took part in the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop this year and it was fun to see the different projects. If you want to take a look at them again, you can go to my post here.

Santa came a bit early for me this year. One of his elves got busy and sent me some goodies. Rose of Something Rosemade sent me a little package of Christmas fabrics from her stash. Do you follow Rose? You should! She makes beautiful, colorful quilts and writes a lovely blog! Pop on over and say hi — I’ll wait . . .

So, when I opened my happy mail, here’s what I found inside.

Little Christmas Project - fabrics - piecefulthoughts.com

This bundle of fabric was tied with the cutest little red and white string. I was very excited to see these pretty Christmas fabrics. See that top piece that looks a bit like patchwork? I’ll show you what I did with it in a minute. Right now, you need to see what else Rose tucked in the package.

Little Christmas Project - gift stilettos - piecefulthoughts.com

Two little stilettos — how cute are they? Here’s a close up of each one.

Little Christmas Project - stiletto - piecefulthoughts.com

I love this one. She looks a bit like me, I think, except that my hair never looks that snazzy. I do love her lip color too, and I want those glasses!

This next one made me grin from ear to ear. I mean, seriously, how cute is this??

Little Christmas Project - pigs fly stiletto - piecefulthoughts.com

The little blue pig is perfect, and the word “fly” just made it all the better! Isn’t it fun?

That cute little bundle didn’t gather dust (there’s a few fabrics in my stash that have, I’ll admit it). I made a few little projects out of them, and I still have fabric left over for more.

Back to that little patchwork fabric, which is actually fabric printed to look like half-square triangles. (If I had been thinking a bit more when I started this project, I would’ve taken pictures. I got so into this project, I completely forgot!) I cut a piece 9″ x 12″, then cut a piece of fusible fleece the same size and fused it to the wrong side of the patchwork fabric. Using red thread, I stitched on the lines and — voila — I had a little quilted piece of fabric. I pulled out a stocking pattern and traced it onto the fusible fleece. Then I cut a piece of coordinating fabric from the pack and laid it right sides together with the patchwork fabric. I stitched on the line drawn on the fusible fleece and cut out the stocking, leaving a 1/4′ seam allowance.

I traced the stocking onto another piece of fabric to use for the lining. With right sides together, I sewed the lining pieces together. Once that was done, I tucked the lining into stocking, stitched a binding to the top and added a hanging loop. The whole project took me a little over an hour.

Little Christmas Project - Patchwork Stocking - piecefulthoughts.com

The finished stocking is about 10″ tall. It’s the perfect size for tucking into a corner or hanging from a cute little hook. This will be a gift for a friend.

What about you? Do you have a fun, fast Christmas project you enjoy making? I’d love to hear about it!

Linking up today with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts and Beth at Love Laugh Quilt.

Wendy

 

Pieceful Monday

Pieceful Monday, well, peaceful Monday anyway. I woke up to an amazing sunrise. Had I not been in my jammies with hair all askew, I would’ve grabbed my camera and ran out for a photo. Instead, I just sat and looked at it, thankful that God has given me another day to enjoy.

I really did plan to post last week after I returned from visiting my brother and sister-in-law. However, I wasn’t home long enough to post anything, much less have anything to post about. I’m late getting this out today too, but I wanted to get something posted before Thanksgiving.

So, what have I been up to?

Well, stitching with Nita, my sister-in-law, is always fun. We spent the day at her shop. She loves to teach quilt classes, so as you walk in the door of her shop you see a large table that can accommodate 8-10 sewists and their machines comfortably. The other half of her shop has the cutting area, fabric, wool and, of course, patterns.

I didn’t bring any project along, knowing that Nita would have something for me to work on. She gave me a Buttermilk Basin wool table topper to work on. I didn’t get very far on it, but I did make some progress. You can see the pattern here.

Once we were back home, I had little time in my sewing room. I snuck a little time in on Saturday, which I spent trying to get caught up on two of my QALs. I didn’t make too much progress, but getting 10 blocks done is better than none at all, right? Here’s they are, from the Magnolia Mystery QAL by Meadow Mist Designs.

Pieceful Monday - QAL Progress, Magnolia Mystery QAL - piecefulthoughts.com (c) 2017

I’m still working on my Solar Flare quilt, which is my version of the Wayward Transparency QAL by Quilting Jetgirl. Hopefully I can sneak in some work on it this week. I haven’t gotten any further than the one quadrant I showed you in my last post.

I have one woolie star finished. No more finishes on these until I get more polyfil for the other two. Stuffing those star points is a challenge. Here’s the picture of the trio before stitching the backs on.

Pieceful Monday - Woolie Star Trio, Buttermilk Basin pattern - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

My pineapple quilt tops, both large and small, are ready to be basted and quilted. I may not get this done soon due to the holidays. At least that excuse sounds good. I do think I know how I want to quilt them, now I just need to take a deep breath and get to it.

One project I’m thinking of making for a possible Christmas gift is this pillow from My Quilt Infatuation. I have some Minnesota fabric left over, so it might be fun and easy to get done. I think I’d make my pillow a bit smaller, since I have the state outline ready to go. I’ll post pictures if I get this going.

Tomorrow our daughter comes home from Florida, so I’m not sure that much quilting will happen this week.

I hope you have a pieceful Monday, friends! I may not post anything else this week, so Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Enjoy your time with family and friends!

Wendy

 

Quilt Along Catchup

There was not much sewing in my quilt room this weekend. There were other activities that took my time. However, I did have some time to get some sewing done on my Wayward Transparency quilt for Quilting Jetgirl’s Quilt Along. It’s been fun seeing what others are getting done, and now it’s time for me to get caught up!

This quilt along is working with color value. We were encouraged to choose colors, then, according to value. I chose to go with one of the suggestions on Quilting Jetgirl’s posts, because I liked the colors of the fabrics. They are bold colors — does that surprise you?

Pieceful Monday - QAL fabrics - piecefulthoughts.com (c) 2017

I’m a little behind on my sewing for this month’s step, but I should be able to get caught up. Here’s what I got done this weekend.

Pieceful Monday - Quilt Along Progress - piecefulthoughts.com (c) 2017

I am looking forward to finishing this top because I like how the colors play together! I have named it Solar Flare, because that is what kept coming to mind as I stitched this part together.

Pumpkin Update

I didn’t want you to think I’ve left the pineapples behind. I’m happy to find that if I add two more pineapples, one to each row, it will fit just right in the wall unit space!  That will leave me with two orphan pineapple blocks, and I think I know what I’m going to do with them too.

I have to get a few supplies for the quilting, and then I should be ready to get started with the quilting. I’ll post more about it soon!

Tomorrow and Wednesday I’ll be spending some time with my brother and sister-in-law, and I get to help her at her shop. I enjoy spending time with them, and the shop is an added plus! I may not get a post done for Wednesday, but I’ll be back on Friday!

Happy stitching!

Wendy

Pineapple Crush

I’m definitely crushing on these pineapple blocks. The bright oranges, golds and greens just make me happy.

So I have some decisions to make because I only made 12 blocks (that wasn’t the initial plan, but stuff happens). I have a wall unit in my living room that BigJ built, and he specifically designed a space for quilts. Here’s a photo from an earlier post.

Pineapple Crush - wall unit quilt display - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

I currently have a mini wall hanging from eight of the pineapple blocks.

Pineapple Crush - Mini quilt - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

The quilt at this point measures a wonky 26.5″ x 38.5″ because of the long skinny blocks. I could add a border, but that might make it too long for the space. I may just add two more blocks to the end of each row so there will be 5 blocks across rather than 4. First I need to have BigJ hold it up so I can see if the current length will work in the space. I think it will, but it will be close!

Then I’ll need to make some decisions on how to quilt it. If you have some fun ideas, feel free to share. Just keep in mind I’m still working with my walking foot and haven’t ventured much into free motion quilting yet!

So let me try to give you a little idea of how these blocks go together. The patterns appeal to me because they have a bit of an improv feel. The construction is a bit like a modified stack and whack. Modified because rather than just slicing, rotating, and sewing, there is an actual pattern and method to how you do it.

Sewing the blocks together is a bit like traditional piecing, but also like improv because you don’t match seams. It’s also not unusual to have to lop off a point as you go, and that takes some getting used to. The block construction is very forgiving because you construct and then square it. I find that very relaxing.

Another part of the construction I enjoy is not really knowing which fabrics are going to be together until I begin working on the block. I know what fabrics I have in the mix, but after rotating them I don’t look at them until it’s their turn to be sewn together. It also keeps me from trying to be too matchy!

This will be my fifth Buggy Barn quilt that I’ve made. Two have been given away; two others are in my UFO pile. We can talk about that another time. Haha. (Hint: it has nothing to do with the patterns and everything to do with my procrastination.) I am determined to finish this one.

Linking up today with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Sherry at Powered by Quilting for Friday Foto Fun and Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wendy