quilting, Uncategorized

Pillowpalooza!

Since I’ve made a lot of pillows lately, I thought it would be a good time to show my work on a blog post. I’ve also included a couple of others I made a few years ago.

Starting with my oldest projects first…the next two sets of pillows date back to when I dug out my Kenmore sewing machine in 2012 and started sewing (then consequently, quilting) as a hobby. These two are some of the the first ones I ever made, and they’re still a favorite.

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If you read my ‘About’ section, you may recall I was given a store-bought comforter quilt with lovely Laura Ashley fabrics that consisted of a variety of colors and textures, which I slowly and surely took apart, and yes, with a seam ripper.

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This ensemble was made from the backing. I followed a tutorial for the foam seat, and as you can see I got really adventurous and made bias binding! I do get this out and toss it on the floor occasionally, so it still gets some use.

Out of all that fabric, those four pillows and the seat cushion is all I have left, and I still have yards and yards of that funky ribbon! The panels in the quilt were about 12″ square, pretty large for a quilt but pretty small for pillows.

This one was made with repurposed half square triangles I had used in a Moda Bake Shop project submission. They were perfectly fine and there was no sense in them sitting in a drawer, so I reused them.

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front
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reversible back

I made it ‘reversible’ so it looks good no matter what side is facing out. I did the same thing with a few others. Sometimes I turn them around just for new look.

The next one is a Dutch Rose block pattern I found in McCall’s online library of 150+ quilt block patterns. All free and a great resource! Here’s the link: The Quilting Company.

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Personally, I think this is the prettiest block I’ve ever made. I left it on my design wall for a month just so I could look at it. 🙂

And here it is in pillow form on my bed. Still love it.

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The front consists of a mix of Moda fabrics; the yellow is Benartex from a bright collection called Transformation by Sarah Vedeler Designs.  As always, I used Kona Cotton for my background, this is Kona Cotton Snow. I put a lovely Art Gallery fabric by Amy Sinibaldi on the back. Such soft and gorgeous colors!

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The next two are pillow covers I made for my mom, also with printed fabric on the back. I used mostly leftover fabric from the quilt I made for her this past Christmas. Hope she likes them!

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Overall, these zippered pillow covers are fairly easy to make and the quilt block possibilities are endless. If you’d like to create some for yourself, here’s the link to my Zippered Quilt Block Pillow Cover Tutorial.

I’m sure you noticed that none of these quilt block pillows are quilted. I opted not to quilt them because I love the look of fresh, crisp fronts. Sure, quilting is an option, I just wanted to mix things up a bit.

That pretty much wraps up my current pillow collection. I’m in the process of making a queen size Hunter’s Star quilt for my daughter and I plan to make a few throw pillows to go along it. Oh, and of course I have other ideas in the works, so eventually there’ll be a Pillowpalooza II!

tutorials, Uncategorized

DIY Portable Ironing Board

One thing that’s for sure is I’m all about recycling and reusing, and I especially enjoy repurposing. With the help of my husband, I turned an ugly unused piece of plywood into a cute, portable lightweight ironing board.

After watching videos of quilters using wooden boards transformed into actual ironing boards, I knew I needed one. I really liked the idea of something lightweight and easy to move around, and it was time to say goodbye to my metal tabletop ironing board (via donation).

So, I did some research and made my own. Here’s how you can make one, too, and here’s what you’ll need:

*A board of your chosen size (plywood recommended)
This DIY = 13 ½” W x 24″ L piece of plywood (reused from irrigation pump packaging)

*Two pieces of cotton batting

*Cotton fabric for board cover

*Aluminum Foil – Enough to cover top with approximately 1″ wrap around back.

*Wood Glue – To glue down aluminum foil edges on back.

*Staple Gun / Staples – To attach batting and fabric.
This DIY = Heavy Duty Staple Gun and  3/8″/10mm staples (a less powerful one would also do fine).

Additional materials: scissors, measuring tape, toothpick, sewing machine and general sewing supplies.

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Once supplies are ready, there are just six easy steps from start to finish!

  1. Cut both pieces of batting:
    Cut ONE approximately 1″ larger than your board, on all sides.
    This DIY = 15 ½” W x 26″ L

    Cut ONE approximately 1 ½” larger than your board, on all sides.
    This DIY = 16 ½” W x 27″ L

    Place the smaller one on top of the larger one (it will be against top of board). When it’s folded around the board, edges will be hidden under the larger one.

    Cut fabric:
    Cut approximately 3″ larger than your board, on all sides. NOTE: Subtract 1″ for selvage edge, if included in the cut fabric.
    This DIY = 18 ½” W x 29″ L (fabric included selvage edge)

  1. Press a ½” hem along all edges, sew a straight stitch.

Tip: Save time—skip hemming salvage edge, if included.

  1. Cover your board with aluminum foil (like wrapping a present). I used a toothpick to apply the wood glue under the folded edge on the back side. Gluing down the foil really helps keep it in place.

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A side note about the foil…I was skeptical if this actually helped to protect the wood, as I had covered this board a while back (this is a redo). Fast-forward a year and a half until now, when I removed the cover and batting. The fabric and batting were water-stained and scorched, but the board was untouched! It definitely works, so I don’t recommend skipping this step. 🙂

  1. Staple on the batting once the glue has dried. Start by pulling in at the point of the corner (helps reduce bulk), staple once. Trim off point. Fold in the sides, staple down each side. You can see what lovely corners you get! Repeat for each corner.

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Continue along stapling down the sides, wrapping the batting nice and snug, but not too tight. Once my batting was attached, I chose to trim it back so the fabric would completely cover it when stapled on.

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  1. Lastly, center your fabric over the board. Using the same method as above, wrap and staple the fabric onto the board.

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As an option, you can apply felt pads to the four corners. I put them on mine as it gives the board a bit of a lift and helps it set even on your table.

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I love this DIY project because it puts an unused item to good use, and it uses materials most people have on hand. As for me, I was happy to use adorable stash fabric that I wouldn’t have used otherwise.

I also discovered that my board doubles for measuring. It’s 24″ long so if I need a quick estimate on how much fabric I’m working with; I can use it as a general guide. You might want to keep that in mind when choosing your size!

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Enjoy your portable ironing board and kudos to you if you salvaged an unused board and raided your stash!

quilting, Uncategorized

Fireworks Quilt Finish

Finally, my Fireworks quilt is done! Last year I saw one posted on Instagram and I knew I had to make one for myself. As usual, I like to use my stash and my Moda Rustic Weave fat quarters came to mind immediately. I bought this bundle two years ago for my Circus Trio patterns. It’s bright and colorful with a woven pattern that gives it texture, just a bit more than a solid.

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Another neat thing about this collection is the light and dark coordinating colors that allowed me to make light colored blocks with dark centers and vice versa. It isn’t widely available anymore, but I did find enough online for the binding.

The quilt pattern (by Thimble Blossoms) wasn’t difficult, there’s just a lot of precision involved. The blocks go together pretty fast despite the fact it took me several months from start to finish. I guess it was all the Christmas sewing in between, given I started this quilt last August.

Sometimes I think of the whole quilt making process and the time involved—going from just fabric, to cutting, to sewing, to a completed quilt. I posted this photo on Instagram after a few hours of cutting fabric.

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Not to mention the time spent trimming threads off the back before quilting…

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before eight+ hours of trimming…
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after eight+ hours of trimming…

What a difference and well worth the effort!

Because of the white front, I chose mellow backing. This fabric is Tic Tac Go by Sarah J. Maxwell for Studio 37 Marcus Fabrics. It has some of the same colors as the front, and I love how it’s so fun.

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I hand-sewed the binding, which I do on occasion.

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Here’s the finished quilt…

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It’s definitely bold and bright!

It measures 68″ square. I opted for professional long arm quilting with up and down loops to compliment all the angles.

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That wraps up my first lap sized quilt finish in 2018. What to do next…?

mini quilts, quilting, Uncategorized

Mini Mania

Doesn’t everyone pretty much love mini quilts? I’m a big fan because they’re cute, they’re not a huge commitment, they go together fast and they’re fun! I enjoy whipping one up in between bigger projects when I feel I need a break.  While I’m not one to hang them all over my sewing room walls, I do like to decorate my door with one at a time; as seasons and holidays change, I change my door decor. Since I’m ready to put up a Valentine’s Day mini, I thought it would be a good time to post ones I’ve made. I’ve given some away but I still have a small collection, and of course I intend to add more.

First up are my circus minis. I released the patterns for these nearly two years ago (my first patterns). They measure roughly a foot square each and for sure would brighten up anyone’s room! Patterns are available here: Monday Morning Designs Patterns

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Circus Lion Mini
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Circus Elephant Mini
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Circus Tent Mini

I blogged about these in my last entry (more information if you scroll to my last post). I made them as gifts, using a Moda Concrete mini charm pack for each.

I also mentioned this mini in my last entry; I kept it for myself because I absolutely love this Riley Blake collection, Floriography.

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I found this free pattern on Instagram and had to make one for myself. It’s available from The Family Hearth, found here: Full Bloom Mini Quilt Pattern. I used my absolute favorite, Art Gallery Fabrics, Etno by Pat Bravo—that’s why I couldn’t part with it!

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Full Bloom Mini Quilt

These butterfly minis were given to my mom as a gift. I made them out of scraps and free motion quilted them, which actually came out pretty decent since it’s not a strong suit of mine! The pattern is by Lella Boutique.

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Social Butterfly Mini Quilt

I mentioned these last time too…

My latest finish is this Friendship Star Mini Quilt, found on Pinterest. I couldn’t get the free pattern to download so I made it by looking at the photo. I am going to donate it to my local guild for the quilt show boutique, hopefully it’ll sell, but since I really like the way it came out I wouldn’t mind keeping it for myself…

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That’s it so far. I’m always looking for something cute and fun so if you’ve got any suggestions, please send them my way!

quilting, Uncategorized

2017 Project Recap

After posting my ‘best nine’ on Instagram, I thought it would be a nice idea to recap all the projects I completed throughout 2017. Since I didn’t start my blog until May, a few have not been posted here.  Along with photos, I am including links to patterns and tutorials in case anyone is interested in making their own.

My first finish of the year was my Boxed Candy Toss Quilt and tutorial. I designed the pattern and made the tutorial for the Moda Bake Shop. I used Me & My Sister Designs Rainy Day! Here’s a link to the free tutorial: Boxed Candy Toss Quilt Tutorial

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Next, I made this heart mini, mostly out of scraps. The fabrics used were Riley Blake, Dear Stella and Moda; all left from quilts I made or fat quarters from a bundle purchased for something else. I wanted a Valentine’s Day themed mini to hang on my sewing room door. I searched and found this tutorial Dear Stella Big Love Tutorial and sized down the piecing dimensions suitable for a mini (the pattern is for a larger size quilt). I love the results! And I was pleasantly surprised when it was featured on Instagram in a collage post #makemodern.

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Early in the year my local guild asked for quilt donations for patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Apparently Quilters Dream Batting donates to my guild and in thanks, several quilts were donated back to them. I donated this one.

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I also made the same quilt pattern, using the same fabrics, for a wedding gift for a niece.

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Fabric is Miss Kate by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. I found the tutorial on Craftsy, link here: Large Granny Square Quilt Tutorial

In March I submitted these Sunrise Clock Mug Rugs to Modern Patchwork magazine. Lucky for me they were accepted and published in the September/October 2017 edition. It was really fun to have one of my projects in a magazine!

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I finished another quilt top (I have yet to quilt it) but since I loved the jewel tones in this Basic Mixology collection, I made this mini out of leftover strips. No tutorial, just improvised as I went along.

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Sometimes I like to take a break from making a quilt, so I throw in a smaller project. I decided I needed a sleeve for my laptop. I found this lovely tutorial from Lella Boutique. Both fun and easy!  Lella Boutique Laptop Love Tutorial

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I made this baby quilt for my husband’s coworker. I used leftover Miss Kate fabric and put white flannel with pink polka dots on the back. I think the mom-to-be was happy with it! I made an easy-to-follow tutorial, especially for beginners; here’s the link: Checkered Baby Quilt Tutorial

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I made two of these star minis for very dear friends of mine. I used Moda’s Rustic Weave mini charm packs for both. The pattern is Summer Star, here’s the link for more pattern information: Summer Star Mini Quilt

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I designed this elephant baby quilt last year, but I didn’t want to release the pattern until I had it tested. Thanks to my testers, Ange and Kathy, it’s now for sale, available for a pdf download: Lovable Elephants Baby Quilt. I used Dear Stella Mini Dot fabrics and made my version suitable for either boy or girl.

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Somewhere on Instagram I saw a this block and just had to make it into a mini for myself. I used fabric from a half layer cake I had purchased way back. The block was hashtagged summersampler17 and it was the June block. I used Floriography by Riley Blake and wow, what a great collection! This was also the first time I ever did a fussy cut, it was pretty fun.

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This Stars & Four Patch quilt was a huge undertaking! When I looked back on 2017 projects, I surprised myself that I started it then, I thought for sure it was a 2016 start. I put it aside for several months, but I knew I’d have to have it longarmed for the best results. When I went to pick it up, I was so thrilled with the quilting—I just love it. The free pattern is available from Moda: Stars & Four Patches Quilt Pattern

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Lastly, another version of my Boxed Candy Toss Quilt. It was about time I made a quilt for my mom and she requested this pattern. I started it in October as a leisure go-to project, but soon decided to finish it for a Christmas gift. I was really happy with how the soft pastels rendered themselves in the design. Fabrics are Collette by Chez Moi for Moda and Kona Cotton Snow for the background. And I actually did the quilting myself! Here’s my free tutorial: Boxed Candy Toss Quilt Tutorial

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All in all, it was a pretty productive year! I finished a lot more than I thought I had. I also have to admit that I didn’t finish everything I started. I have a Belle Prairie quilt top that needs quilted. That’s next up, I won’t allow myself to start another thing until it’s done.  Also, my Fireworks quilt blocks are finished, but not sewn together. I’m not sure who will be quilting that one—me or my longarmer (probably the latter). So that wraps up 2017. On to 2018…

 

quilting, Uncategorized

Boxed Candy Toss Quilt with Tips & Techniques

I finally did it—I made a quilt for my mom. After making several for other family members, non-relatives and donating a couple, I felt it was about time. (I think she might have been waiting for one for quite some time, too).

When asked what she wanted, I got a few easy requests: the quilt be made from my own pattern, Boxed Candy Toss Quilt (tutorial here); that I use pastel-colored fabrics; and that I do my own quilting, design included. Done, done and done.

At first I thought I’d work on it with no time frame, then I resolved to have it done by Christmas. Since I started early enough, I decided to document the process and share some of the tips and techniques I used when making it.

First, the fabric. The quilt top fabric collection is Colette by Chez Moi for Moda (an older collection that I had to have, luckily found on Etsy). The background fabric is Kona Cotton Snow.

The backing (left) is Fleur by Brenda Riddle Designs for Moda and the binding is also Chez Moi from the Nanette collection. I used Aurifil 50wt 2026 for piecing and quilting.

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I have to admit it was a bit weird following my own tutorial, but soon the blocks were done and my quilt top was finished and sandwiched. Before I began quilting, I sewed a basting stitch along the top edge, approximately 1/8″ down, to help to keep everything from shifting and pulling. This is the first time I ever did this and I highly recommend it; it worked great.

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I often think it would be interesting to know how much time we actually spend making a quilt, especially if we do the quilting ourselves. I spent several hours quilting this one, mainly because I used a hera marker for marking the lines (I had to go over them a few times) and the rounded quilting design is more of a challenge than just a straight line—but still fun!

For the wavy lines, I created a quilting template by drawing the design I wanted then tested it to make sure I’d be able to maneuver it through my machine with fluidity. Once I determined it was manageable, I transferred the pattern onto poster board. Something sturdier would have been better, but it worked out OK.

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I always make my binding 2 ½” wide and sew it on using my ÂĽ” foot. Once attached, I secure it with wonder clips and run a basting stitch by hand before sewing it down. In the past, I’ve tried removing the clips while machine sewing, but I ended up with crooked binding on the back. The basting stitch keeps everything secure when sewing, especially if machine sewing the binding. Sure, it’s another step but it’s well worth the extra time and effort.

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I chose to machine bind this quilt using my stitch-in-the-ditch foot (as I always do when machine binding). In this case, I put my needle setting on 7mm instead of ¼” when I attached the binding to the front.

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I only use the 7mm setting if there is a border or if cutting off points on blocks is not an issue (as 7mm is a bit wider than ÂĽ”).  And here’s why I chose to do this…

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the stitching on the back ends up nice and close to the binding edge. That extra width makes quite a bit of difference!

At last, the finished quilt!

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I hope you’ll try out some of these methods if you haven’t used them in the past.  Feel free to leave me comment if you do try something; I’d like to know how it works for you.

 

quilting, Uncategorized

Inspired by Fabric

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I was recently asked if fabric has ever inspired me and my immediate answer was ‘Yes!’ The best example I can give is my Dash into Spring Placemat.

The story behind the idea is pretty simple. As a gift, I was given two charm packs of Moda’s Dot, Dot, Dash! by Me and My Sister Designs. For some reason, I never put them with my stash; I found myself thumbing through the brightly colored fabrics…green, pink, purple, yellow, and blue. And then it came to me—a placemat depicting an outside scene complete with grass, butterflies, flowers, sky and sun! The colors were perfect for it, and all I’d need is one charm pack. I can’t explain where the idea came from other than by just looking at the fabric and thinking about what I could do with it.

So there it was, I had my idea. To get started, I looked up the average placemat size and then I sketched it. Once the design was determined, I made a sample with scraps. Admittedly, the sample process always takes a few tries. Once I finally got it scaled correctly, I took a photo and sent it to a few family members asking them to tell me what they saw (due to the abstract design I felt this was a necessary step). Everyone recognized it for what it was supposed to be so I was good to go!

Next, I began writing the pattern. While doing so, I decided to make it a tutorial instead. Then I decided to submit the tutorial to the Moda Bake Shop. It was my first time submitting any of my work, so you can imagine how excited I was when it was accepted.

In March 2016, my Dash into Spring Placemat was featured on the Moda Bake Shop. It’s also available on Craftsy and right here: dash into spring placemat tutorial PDF.

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So, sure, fabric can inspire us. I hope a gift of fabric has inspired you too as a fellow quilter!