Friday, September 11, 2015

Green Bay Packers Quilt

Whew I made it! I finished my modern Green Bay Packers quilt just in time for the first game of the season. Green and gold fabrics are Cotton and Steel basics; I would use them again for another Packers quilt.

This football quilt was one of the most challenging quilts I've ever completed! I'd put it in the modern sampler category with the different sized blocks, asymmetry and traditional blocks combined with improv blocks.

I really like the football blocks - I didn't have a pattern but I was inspired by cluck cluck sew's Touchdown pattern so I just winged it. I also added one great big Swoon block, starburst blocks, and letters from the Spell it with Moda tutorials which are all over the place on the internet and sort of tricky to find. The rest of the blocks are random improv or simple pinwheels, HSTs and hourglass blocks. The flying geese blocks were made with the Quilt in a Day ruler in 4 and 8 inch blocks - this is the first time I have used the ruler following the instructions - boy did that make ALL the difference! I can't see using anything else for flying geese... I must acquire all sizes of the ruler now. Crisp points every time!

The tiny cross block is 3 inches finished, very small pieces in that block! I went with straight line quilting every 1 1/4 inches in a gold colored Mettler thread. Since I backed the quilt in chocolate colored minky I wanted something that would't give my machine lots of trouble due to the impending deadline. I also did a scrappy binding in solid green and gold fabrics. It measures 55x57 - great size for game day

Although I truly hate to part with it I decided to donate this quilt to Shorewood Cocker Rescue annual fundraiser this weekend in southern Wisconsin. The chocolate backing goes great with the footballs and also our beautiful foster Mya, who has been with us since May of this year waiting for her forever home!

We have a very busy weekend planned - Rescue fundraiser on Saturday, football on Sunday and today is my birthday so celebrating of course! Wine, cake and yummy food I hope! My hubby brought home an orange flower arrangement with gerbera daisies, roses, sunflowers, lilies and other things I can only identify as very pretty so we are off to a good start!

This quilt is an adventure and most definitely one of my favorite quilts of the year!

Link Parti's 

Take a look at the linki parti's I get down with here or by clicking on the Linki Parti's link above. Linking up to Whoop Whoop Friday What a Hoot! Sew Cute Tuesday Quilt Story My Quilt Infatuation and crazy mom quilts

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Swoon

I finally made a swoon block!

I guess you can also tell it's football time in Wisconsin!!  We love our Packers!

I have been working forever on this quilt top and finally finished it up yesterday, which felt really amazing! My initial plan was to make a quilt to donate to an upcoming fundraiser for the Cocker Spaniel Rescue that my hubby and I volunteer for. Not sure where it is going to end up since the event is coming up in just a couple of weeks. I didn't plan on all of the planning time that would go into this quilt. Lots of math and graph paper and pondering.... Sometimes I would head down to sew and just move things around on my design wall for awhile... no sewing.

I tried to keep most of the blocks to dimensions of 3 inches. The footballs, letters and flying geese were oddballs... in other words, lots of oddballs to work around! Borders are always the answer! The block above is a 6 inch starburst.

Almost all of the fabrics are Cotton and Steel. I'm really like the metallic and little bird fabrics - although the star in the corner was really bright for the photo, jeesh! This is one of the loudest quilts I've ever made but I'm really happy with how it has turned out so far!

Love the tiny string blocks on the side - great use for all of the scraps I made with this quilt. The letters are from the Spell it with Moda free tutorials. I'm planning straight line quilting and a football brown minky backing to pull it all together. It should be super warm for game days!

Link Parti's 

Take a look at the linki parti's I get down with here or by clicking on the Linki Parti's link above. Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday Sew Fresh Quilts Freshly Pieced My Quilt Infatuation Whoop Friday crazy mom quilts and Quilt Story 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sea Monster Baby Quilt

It has been awhile since I shared the flimsy for this baby boy quilt. I usually quilt up my finished tops right away. July was crazy so this one was folded up and neatly stashed away until everything calmed down a bit around here. I'm not quite ready to bid farewell to summer just yet though... then again we do have football to look forward to!  This quilt was featured at My Quilt Infatuation Blossom Heart Quilts and Quilt Story!!

I used a tutorial by cluck cluck sew called Scrappy Summer. I have seen this pattern referred to Penny Patch as well.

It was a great scrap busting project and I made it a little larger than I usually make my baby quilts because these blocks were fun to do and before I knew it I had a few too many! I used a palette of orange, navy, blue, grey and mustard along with Kona White for the the four-patch blocks. I love when I don't have to buy anything new to finish a quilt! Not that I mind buying fabric!

I quilted it in a meandering pattern using a variegated light grey thread from my Tula Pink Aurifil collection. Then bound it all together with a spotty mustard and white binding. I don't always wash my quilts after they are finished but I couldn't help but want to see this one all crinkled up! The crinkle factor is one of the main reason I love to use meandering even though meandering is tricky for my brain. I love how fluffy and snuggly it turned out. The backing was just the right choice so thanks to those who shared opinions in my last post about this quilt!

The constellation fabric above glows in the dark! I didn't have a particular little guy in mind for this quilt but I do remember my own kiddo loving glow in the dark anything! Just to be sure it worked I did take this into a closet and 'oooh and aaahh' over the glowing fabric yesterday! Plus there are monsters - sea monsters!!

I would absolutely use this baby quilt pattern again. My finished quilt is around 37x48 and is available in my etsy shop for some sea creature, outer space loving little guy or little guy at heart!

Link Parti's 

Take a look at the linki parti's I get down with here or by clicking on the Linki Parti's link above. Linking up to Sew Fresh Quilts Sew Cute Tuesday Quilt Story LAFF Whoop Whoop Friday Quilt Matters crazy mom quilts and My Quilt Infatuation

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August do.Good Stitches Block Tutorial

I cannot believe it is my turn to be queen bee again! This summer is flying right by. July was crazy! Vacation, visitors, more visitors and a couple of custom quilt orders! It's no wonder August snuck right up! Here's a quick block tutorial that we'll be using for Promise Circle do.Good Stitches this month.

I recently came across a similar design done with paper piecing by Amy Ellis.... I haven't quite mastered paper piecing yet so I figured out another way to make it.

Materials for one 6 1/2 inch unfinished star block:
White background fabric
4 - 1.5in x 3in rectangles
Plus white scraps to complete the points

Fabric for stars
4 - 3 inch squares
1 - 1.5 inch square

Take one of your 3-inch squares and measure 1 1/4 inches on both sides of a single corner. On the wrong side place a small mark at each of the 1 1/4 inch lines. Do this for each of the four 3-inch squares.

Grab your ruler and, starting at the opposite corner of the corner with the two marks, draw a straight line to each of the marks. These will be your sew lines.

Grab a white scrap and place it right sides together with your marked square. Follow one of the sew lines. Before sewing you might want to take a quick peek and make sure you have enough white fabric to re-trim the square, this part can be a little tricky the first few you make.

Next trim the excess off 1/4 inch from your sew line

Open and press

Trim off excess white scrap so that you have a 3 inch square again

Do the same with your second marked sew line so that you end up with a 3 inch square with your color fabric in the center surrounded by your white background fabric. Complete this for each of the four 3-inch squares.

Next assemble the star blocks.

Trim block to 6 1/2 inches

Hopefully I captured all the important steps - if you have questions let me know and I'll be sure to answer them! I've added a link to this starburst quilt block tutorial to my Tutorials page.

Link Parti's 

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July do.Good Stitches

The colors for our July do.Good Stitches block were so pretty that I couldn't put the fabrics away until I cut up bunches and bunches of it! My groupmate MsMinnesota (link to her blog) selected a palette rich in blues with pops of grey, green-mustard and burnt orange. Almost everyone in our group has an abundance of blue... not me, I'm all about teal but I have made an effort to select different blues to add to my stash since joining the group.

I would not have thought to put these all together but they worked beautifully! She selected the big multicolored plus block below - another block I haven't made before. It was very easy to do and I can't wait to see what she does with it!

While considering whether or not to put the fabric away after finishing my blocks or just letting it sit in the middle of my sewing room I couldn't help but note that these colors would make a great boy quilt... And boy colors are tough to pick! So I selected cluck cluck sews Scrappy Summer pattern which I've admired since Alison blogged about it and whipped up a bunch of these blocks in no time! I'm developing a bit of a habit with these do.Good Stitches blocks and color palettes. I did the same thing for May's do.Good Stitches blocks which were done in red, blue and navy also great masculine colors. Trying new things is one of the fun things about being a part of do.Good Stitches.


The Scrappy Summer patter is such a wonderful pattern! It goes together very quickly and works great for scraps. I used Kona White to make the four-patch blocks which are all strip pieced. 

I assembled 30 blocks and arranged them in a crib size quilt measuring about 40x48 over the weekend. Next up is backing and binding additions. I've been hanging onto these little jellyfish guys for just the right boy quilt...  not sure if this is the one or not! 

And these too - running low on blues again I see! Not sure when when I'll be back to finish this quilt as my son in finishing up his Marines training and we'll be off to see him before he heads off to California to his next duty station.

Link Parti's 

Take a look at the linki parti's I get down with here or by clicking on the Linki Parti's link above. Linking up to Freshly Pieced My Quilt Infatuation Whoop Whoop Friday and Sew Fresh Quilts 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sew What?! Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank

When I saw this pretty rose fabric by Gertie I knew that I had to make something ultra summery. The tiny pocket tank by Grainline Patterns seemed like a great fit!

The 100% cotton swiss dot fabric was very easy to work with. Gerties pretty fabrics are carried at JoAnns. After my first attempt sewing a garment with polyester I think the cotton was a wise choice. It was very familiar and 'acted' in ways that I expected it to. I opted for french seams on this top which really made it feel 'put together.'

The pattern has two parts (front and back) plus a tiny pocket, which I did not make as I think it would have gotten lost in the busy fabric pattern. Great for beginners! I sewed up a size 4 which aligned well with my measurements. The bust dart and shaped hemline add a little sophistication to the simply top. As you can probably already see the tank is just a smidge tight in the armpit which attributed to some pulling and creasing across the chest area.

Don't mind the tiny tomato I'm holding - it was the very first out of our patio garden! I saw it when my hubby and I headed out for photos and I was drawn to pick it immediately... Nope, I couldn't wait five minutes to take the photos first.

Sooo, the wonky chest, armpit thing...  I read a number of suggestions to address this issue (it appears to be a common issue for this pattern) and many said just to size up. That's the easiest thing to do for sure. Thing is I like where the neckline and hemline fall and it is perfectly wide enough. If I simply size up all of those things will change. I believe this means I'll be needing to do an alteration or two. I don't think I'll be able to salvage this top as the seam allowances were fairly small. I will probably still wear it because it isn't awful, the busy print of the fabric saved me there. This garment sewing business is tricky, tricky, tricky!

If you experienced this issue, what did you do to fix it?

Link Parti's 

Take a look at the linki parti's I get down with here or by clicking on the Linki Parti's link above. Linking up to Sew Can She and Made by you Monday

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Herringbone Quilt, Final Fat Eighth Bundle Project

After making two triangle quilts (here and here) with a fat eighth bundle of Coquette by Chez Moi I did something a little different and made this girly herringbone quilt. It has been quite a while since I used a lot of white in a quilt so it was fun to revisit something familiar. This quilt was featured on Quilt Story!

I pulled out all of the green and blue fabrics from the bundle leaving just shades of pink, purple and yellow. The blues ended up in a herringbone pillow, the greens are just orphaned to the scrap bin for now.

The backing is pieced in purple and yellow - I was a little nervous that I wouldn't like how it turned out but I'm really happy with it.

I especially love the chevron pattern on the back left by the quilting! I followed every row on either side of the seam using my walking foot. I used white thread since I was using a big dash of Kona White in this baby quilt. I used just under one yard of white for this quilt which measures 36x38.

When making my rainbow herringbone quilt last year I worried that it would be difficult to line up the seams but it is actually a very forgiving pattern. You can grab a link to the herringbone tutorial on my pinterest tutorials board.  I modified it some but the instructions are really good. My cut pieces were 2.5 x 9 which makes this a jelly roll friendly pattern too! I did have a little trouble with the rows not lining up this time around - there is a good dash of 'eye-balling' that goes into this quilt when piecing the rows. At first I thought my seam allowances were off but it ended up that my eye-balling was the issue. I must have had beginners luck when doing the pattern the first time because I didn't experience this issue the first go around.

I'd love to say this is the final installment of my fat eighth bundle but I have a huge pile of scraps so I'm not quite finished with these fabrics. I've used them so much I might just add them to my overflowing scrap bins.

Fat Eighth Bundle Projects 

Just to recap my projects from one fat eighth bundle and 1 1/4 yard of white 
Herringbone Crib Quilt, 36x38, plus 33 inches of white
Herringbone Pillow, 18 inch square, plus 10 inches of white 
A small mountain of scraps!

Link Parti's 

Take a look at the linki parti's I get down with here or by clicking on the Linki Parti's link above. Linking up to Show and Tell Tuesday Sew Fresh Quilts My Quilt Infatuation crazy mom quilts Whoop Whoop Friday Sew Cute Tuesday and Quilt Story 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One Lovely Blog Award

Oh. My. Goodness. I was ridiculously happy to see that someone had selected my blog to participate in One Lovely Blog Award, thanks Amanda! The rules are as follows

1) Share a little bit about the person (or people) who nominated you.

Amanda has some seriously cute things going on over at her blog, The Cozy Pumpkin. I don’t have any littles but if I did I’d be checking out her blog for adorable hand-made clothes. Instead I’m interested in her quilty awesomeness and amazing hand-stitching skills. One of my favorite Cozy Pumpkin quilts is one that she made for her daughters room, a giant tumbler quilt with free motion stippling, yum! The colors drew me in right away but that quilt has some beautiful crinkliness that I can't get enough of! She has a lot of tips and tutes too!

2) Share seven things about yourself your readers may not know.

1. I've only been quilting about 5 years although I had dabbled before. I attempted my first quilt in college, bought a sewing machine, fabric and set out to complete a king size pinwheel quilt with very small pinwheels (I needed about a thousand or two)... still working on that one!

2. I have quilted all of my own quilts. I recognized right away that I couldn't afford to take my quilts to a long-armer. When I first started I just made quilt tops and folded them up and put them in the closet (good idea right?!). After a small pile amassed I bought a plastic free motion foot for my little Wal-Mart sewing machine. I finished one quilt with the little foot and started a second. Unfortunately the machine and foot exploded into a dozen parts! This is the story of how I came to purchase my Pfaff 4.2 Quilt Expressions machine which has been a workhorse and improved my piecing and quilting dramatically. It has made sewing and quilting so much more fun.

3. I probably spend more time researching ideas for quilts than actually making quilts! Anyone else have this problem?! I'm a regular pinterest, instagram, flickr, blog stalker... and boy does that keep you busy!

4. Proud mama time! My son is a US Marine and currently stationed in Pensacola, Florida. He's studying to be an air traffic controller and is waiting to find out where his next duty station will be! He's hoping for the west coast - he is not a fan of Florida humidity. Wisconsinite through and through.

5. Speaking of Florida, my hubby and I met in college while completing our Masters program and were married in Panama City Beach, Florida at sunset. We stayed at a little pink hotel on the beach which was demolished a year or so later and turned into a high rise condo. My hubby put together all of the flowers for the wedding including my bouquet. I bought my wedding dress from ebay for $300. I like to be thrifty like that...

6.  I've been taking an interest in sewing clothes lately! Not sure what got into me.  Over Memorial Day a friend and I got together to sew the Staple Dress. After that I completed the Belcarra Blouse in cotton and a self drafted linen circle skirt! There are some cute dress and tank patterns I've been eyeing up for future projects. This has been a new adventure - there is so much to learn, garment photography, reading patterns, tailoring, apparel fabric... The Pinterest, instagram and blog research is in full swing!

7.  Randomness. I'm currently watching Lost on Netflix; I was never caught up in it while it was airing. I was missing out. I'm also way hooked on Mad Men; I want to be on Mad Men. I just finished reading Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline, a book about the clothing industry in America. Favorite books include Like Water for Chocolate, The Help and anything by Jen Lancaster. Some of my favorite movies are Steel Magnolias, Hope Floats, and Drowning Mona. I love watching old movies, especially Carey Grant, James Stewart and Jack Lemmon flicks. Don't even get me started on holiday movies... I have a large stack that must be watched every single year. Every. Single. Year. I listen to a lot of country and classic rock music. I like a craft beer or glass of wine (or two) pretty much every day. Green Bay Packers have my heart always. And I wish I could remember half of the Spanish I learned in high school. Randomness.

3) Choose bloggers that you wish to nominate for the One Lovely Blog Award and share a bit about them.

Girl With a Sewing Machine: Lala sews some amazing clothes for herself and her young daughter. Great photos and the fabric, oh my, the fabric! I love reading about her sewing adventures in Singapore.

Where is My Instruction Manual: Again with the clothes! A theme here? I want to sew everything she has made. Lots of kids sewing too.

Never Just Jennifer: A quilty blog! I've had this scrappy baby quilt pinned for half a year. I love the random blocks in the simple and slightly off center setting setting. And then there's the rounded corners to fall in love with!  I love Jenn's style and use of color.

This post has been quite an adventure - hope you enjoy!