Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

It's been a busy weekend!  I managed to finish one lap quilt, got a good start on the final baby clothes quilt (miscalculated the fabric I needed so will have to go buy some more to work on that) basted two other quilts and did finish one Dear Jane block!  That one block took me over two hours to complete as it was all applique, so I am pleased that it is finished at last.  
This is block F-9 Autumn Aster.  I appliqued the blue melons to the background fabric, then appliqued those sections to the blue back ground square and trimmed the background away when done.  Happy to have this one behind me now!

Here is my Honeybee block.  One  down, 11 to go on this one!

And this is the state of my sewing table this morning:
So I suppose you can see what needs to be first on my list today!

Don't forget the Planes, Trains and Automobiles Blog Hop is still going on for this week!  We have two wonderful projects for you today - make sure you stop by the blogs and enter for prizes.

Monday, February 29 – Jersey Shore 
Bea Lee 
Lemon Tree Snippets

Have a happy leap day!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sea Salt Sandy - Planes, Trains and Automobiles Blog Hop

I have another Island Batik project to share with you on our Planes, Trains, and Automobiles blog hop!  Actually I have two versions of my project - one is Super Sized and one is Miniaturized.  When I saw the Sea Salt Sandy fat quarters that I received in my Ambassador Box I was really delighted, and my first thought was that they reminded me of the barrels of Salt Water Taffy you find at Davy Jones Locker (a little shop on the way to the beach in my area).   So my first thought was to make a quilt with that idea - but then I decided we needed to drive our Automobile (since this is the Planes, Trains and Automobiles blog hop, after all)  just a little further down the road and go all the way to beach and visit the tidepools:

AH!  Then the inspiration hit for a circle of Sea Stars!  I placed my stars on a background of
 Egg White.  It's a great creamy color with small dots of pastel color, and was really perfect for my project.  Definitely a good neutral to keep on hand!  So on I went with my Super  Stars - I used nice big 6 inch squares to make this quilt, then finished it off with strips from the rest of the 9 fat quarters I used for the stars.  It ended up being a nice size lap quilt at 64 inches square.
Aren't the colors great?  I just love this line of fabric!  You should definitely tell your local quilt shop you want them to order these!

The pieces were big, so this was a super fast quilt to make!

I had so much fun that I thought it would be a good idea to make another one, but smaller:

This one uses 1 inch squares.  It is only 12 inches square and was even more fun to make than the bigger one!  One of the best things about miniature quilts is that they hardly take any time at all to quilt, so you can really have fun with the quilting.  I finished this off with one of the prints from last Spring's Meadow collection for the border and I couldn't resist a stripy border using a screenprint!  I made this with the intention of using it for a giveaway, but it's hard to let this cutie go.  I might just have to make another one so I can keep it for my wall!
If you would like to have this one for your wall - here's your chance!  Yes, I am giving away this sweet little mini quilt as a prize!  You have several options to enter, so choose one or do all four!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are more posts on our blog hop showing these lovely fabrics:

I can't wait to see what the others have made!  You still have another week to sign up for prizes on the main Island Batik Giveaway for this Blog Hop as well.  If you haven't done this already, make sure you do - the fabrics are fabulous!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cat's Fancy!

This project arrived in the mail yesterday.

I'm excited to start working on it, but have to put off my enthusiasm and finish the other projects that are waiting first.  Have you seen this meme on facebook yet?  I got a good giggle out of it!

In fairness, I do finish a good amount of projects, but there is nothing like the thrill of starting a new one.  I suppose that in this respect I will always be a beginning quilter.  I love the possibilities of starting a new project.  The anticipation of seeing how the fabrics will all blend together and make something that is greater than the sum of the parts, learning something new, or just the comforting pleasure of chain sewing a ton of half square triangles and watching a new show on Amazon Prime while I create.  Total bliss!

Sewing will have to wait till later, for now I am off to Threads That Bind to work.  Another form of bliss, playing with fabric and helping people choose fabrics and projects.  Yay!  Take a few minutes before you get busy to check out today's posts for the Trains, Planes, and Automobiles blog hop:

I think I would like to work on one of Adele's improv projects!  And Maria has several fun projects on her post - plus both are featuring giveaways, so don't miss your opportunity to win a prize!

Have a wonderful day whether you are beginning a project or finishing one.  Drop me a comment and tell me what the last project you started was and I'll share it on my blog this weekend - it will be fun to see what everyone is working on!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Island Batik Planes, Trains and Automobiles hop continues

Today the blog hop features two quilts in the Georgia Peach line.  So pretty!  Visit these blogs and make sure to leave a blog post to win a great fabric prize at each one:

One Quilting Circle
KISSed Quilts

Here's a little sneak preview of my project for Friday's hop:

Tuesday Tip:

For today's tip I wanted to show you how I dealt with cutting out the large templates for the circular table runner I am working on.  The first thing I had to do was enlarge the pattern by 200%.  That's a whole other tip for another day - it was quite a process for me but I got it all right in the end.  

Then I taped together my pieces and had my full size template ready to go
This is the pieced section that I will be using to cut out my finished piece and the template.

After aligning the template bottom with the square and making sure my template is lined up straight, I place my ruler on top of the paper template and fabric, lining up the 1/4 inch line with the sewing line on the template.  This way, even if I have accidentally cut off part of the seam allowance my fabric will still have the full 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Cut off excess fabric with your rotary cutter.

Without moving your fabric or template, move ruler to opposite seam allowance and line up the sewing line at the 1/4 inch mark on the ruler.  I then move to the side of the cutting table and cut off the excess fabric.  The small curve at the top I cut without the ruler, just carefully use the cutter to trim.

While I am at it, here is how I trimmed the top of the square at the bottom to get a nice point at the seam:
Using a ruler with a 45 degree line, I lined up one of the seams with that mark and made sure the point was exactly at the 1/4 inch mark of the ruler.  Trim off excess and when you sew your 1/4 inch seam your point will meet the seam perfectly!

Hope these tips are helpful to you!  I am always looking for a faster, more accurate way to do things, and enjoy sharing what I have learned with you.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Where Did the Weekend Go?

I can't believe it's Monday again already!  I'm not sure where the weekend went, but I did get a lot of sewing done because we stayed put.  Poor DH had a bit of a cold, so we just took it easy.  I got my quilt ready for this week's blog hop post, but you can't see it yet - you'll have to check back in on Friday to see it.  I also finished a top for a customer quilt, plus got the back ready.  I would have quilted it, but ran out of batting.  Luckily FedEx brought my new roll today, so I can get quilting on the tops I have that are ready to be made into quilts.  I have at least four lap quilts that are in need of quilting.

Yesterday I spent working on Dear Jane blocks.  I got 5 done and one is halfway there!
Notice I have two pictures of one block.  I realized that I had not added the center square after I had it finished.  I was sneaky and managed to add the center by taking out a few stitches and piecing it in.  I've been a slacker this month, so need to do some catching up.  I think I might owe a few from January as well, so I need to get on the ball and get a lot of blocks done this week!

The Planes, Trains and Automobiles blog hop continues this week - here are today's posts:

Hasn't it been fun seeing all the new lines?  Make sure you stop at each blog - there are great giveaways at each one!  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Stormy Day

Let me tell you, today was a stormy day here on the Oregon Coast!  This was our day for a long walk (over 4 miles) and we got drenched.  My coat must have weighed at least 15 pounds when we got home and the rest of my clothes were soaked through - even my "waterproof" gloves were wet through and through.  I was glad we did it, though, we need the exercise!

Today's Planes, Trains and Automobiles post is by Connie Kresin Campbell of FreeMotion by the River, she used the Crystal Cove Caravan line to make a fun quilt that was perfect for our theme! You can see her post here.  Make sure you leave a comment on her blog, she has a drawing for five 1/4 yard pieces of the line!

Tomorrow's posts:

Friday, February 19 – Florida Oranges
Fun Threads Designs
Kauffman Designs

I've been working on some blog maintenance today, so here's hoping I don't break anything!  I really do enjoy the technical stuff, but most of my method is trial and error.  And a little help from google.  I hope to make it a little more organized and streamlined.   I'm working on a very pink quilt for a customer today.  I got the chain blocks done, now just need to decide how I want to do the alternates!  I'll show you that tomorrow.  For now, I am calling it a night!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Working Wednesday!

I haven't posted for a while about a workday at the quilt shop, so thought I would.  Today was a pretty quiet day.  I worked on cutting some fat quarter bundles, picked out fabrics for a new sample, and got caught up on our contacts for the shop newsletter.  I waited on a few customers, it was pretty quiet as our annual quilt run just ended.  It was nice to have a quiet day and the time to play with some fabric.  The sample I am going to make is for my Daisy Garland quilt.

This version will be brighter with a pretty floral print in pink, green, blue and yellow.

Don't forget about the Planes Trains and Automobiles Blog hop!  Today there are three great posts with the wonderful French Roast line:

KISSed Quilts
Made In Scraps
Happy Cottage Quilter

I hope you are enjoying the hop as much as I am - I really enjoy seeing what all the Ambassadors came up with, so much variety!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

PTABloghop Day 2

It was so much fun reading all of your comments yesterday on my Blog Hop post!  I am working on responding, but it will take me a few days to get to everyone.  I can't say how happy it makes me to read all of your kind responses - and one reader was even nice enough to point out a typo in my profile.  I said that I loved quiting.  It's been that way for a while, kind of embarrassing when right before that I say that I love writing.  Apparently I don't love proofreading!

Today is Day 2 of the Planes, Trains, and Automobiles hop and you can't miss checking out Joan's Quilt.  She blogs at MooseStash Quilting and you have to see her adorable take on the theme!  She made the cutest quilt ever.  Definitely not your usual batik quilt!

If you were disappointed because all the entry methods for the Island Batik giveaway involved facebook, they have added an additional method of commenting on one of our blogs.  Make sure you enter, I realized there were actually two prizes on that one, there is also a Sea Salt Sandy Bundle!

I had a relaxing day in the sewing room yesterday after my busy weekend - I got my next Island Batik quilt basted, so I can get it quilted, finished up the last of the quilting for the baby clothes quilt and started a custom order.  It's a Christmas Tree Skirt/Table topper.  It's really pretty, but the directions are a bit on the skimpy side.  Plus one of the cuts is out and out wrong.  Luckily there was enough extra fabric to cut them again, but just barely.  Here is a picture of what it will look like in the end:
It's actually going together really fast, but I'm not looking forward to all that binding!  That's a lot of corners to deal with (20 to be exact).  The Joyeux Noel tree skirt pattern can be downloaded for free here.  Because the four inch squares were too small to use for the templates I decided not to use the templates and simply cut 4 1/4 inch squares, then cut them in half diagonally and sewed them to the end squares.  The extra fabric simply trims away when you cut the fan blade out and it totally eliminates the extra step of cutting the templates out.  I'll write out more details when I finish this project!

Don't forget to keep blog hopping! We have some great quilts to share!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Island Batik: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Blog hop!  All of the Island Batik Ambassadors have been anticipating the start of this blog hop, and I am excited to share with you the project I created using some of the Caribbean Splash line.  These fabrics are coming to your quilt shop right now!  I haven't found it locally yet, but you can see it on the Island Batik Website.
The moment I saw these fabrics I knew I would have to make a water quilt.  The Caribbean is a great place to scuba dive, but you can't get there by train or automobile, so HOP on board a plane to the Caribbean, then strap on your fins for a dive "Under the Sea"!  
I have had this idea for a fish quilt running through my head for many years, so it was a thrill to finally make it come to life!  I received the perfect selection of fabrics for my project.  I had 5 blue fabrics in a nice range form dark to light, two yellow and blue fabrics, one green and blue, one dark green and one light green plus two yellow fabrics.  I knew I wanted to do an on-point setting using four-patches and nine-patches, so I turned to EQ7 to begin the design process.  First I designed several fish blocks, then I imported the fabric images.  After that it was an easy process to color my blocks and place the desired fish in the water background:
I started out by making my fish and placing them on my design wall, then started making the background water - here are a few pictures of my progress:

Then the real fun started, quilting this with lots of fun swirls and watery looking motifs, plus adding detail to the fish!  I used three shades of Aurifil thread in blue, a bright yellow for the fish and an olive green for the plants.  The fish were so fun to quilt!

I absolutely love working with Island Batik fabrics!  They have a wonderful hand to them and vibrant, rich color that just makes your projects pop!  Plus that, they quilt like a dream :)

I am giving away a set of four Sea Salt Sandy Fat Quarters (you'll see that project in a couple weeks) plus some of my extra pieces from that project just for fun!  I love that bright green!

Don't these have great texture?  So much fun to use!

Here is the schedule for the rest of the hop - you won't want to miss any of these terrific projects, plus there are giveaways as well!
Monday, February 15 (TODAY!) – Caribbean Splash
Bejeweled Quilts
Pamela Quilts
Tuesday, February 16 – London Fog
Moose Stash Quilting
Wednesday, February 17 – French Roasted
KISSed Quilts
Made In Scraps
Happy Cottage Quilter
Thursday, February 18 – Crystal Cove
Freemotion by the River
Friday, February 19 – Florida Oranges
Fun Threads Designs
Kauffman Designs
Monday, February 22 – Coral Reef
Mary Mack Made Mine
Purrfect Spots Designs
Tuesday, February 23 – Sweet Georgia Peach
One Quilting Circle
KISSed Quilts
Wednesday, February 24 – Hollywood Hills
The Fit Quilter
Maria Michaels Designs
Thursday, February 25 – Desert Rose
For Quilts Sake
Lemon Tree Snippets
Monday, February 29 – Jersey Shore
Tuesday, March 1 – Tuscany Sun
Tammy Silvers
Wednesday, March 2 – Lavish
Freemotion by the River
Moose Stash Quilting
Thursday, March 3 – Fire Island
KISSed Quilts
Friday, March 4 – Tinsel, Holiday Happenings
Purrfect Spots Designs
KISSed Quilts
Moose Stash Quilting
In addition, Island Batik is sponsoring a giveaway for a Fat Quarter Bundle of French Roasted!
Make sure you enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'd better hop back on my plane and get back to my sewing room, I've got another project to show you next week, and I still need to quilt it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Designing With EQ7 - celebrating 25 years!

I love using EQ7 to design quilts!  I've been using the Electric Quilt program starting with EQ5 in 2002, and have learned and grown along with the program.  I think it makes designing quilts fun and easy.  I've even taught some classes at Threads That Bind to help others learn the program.  I could not do without it for writing patterns.

I designed this project two years ago for a client that wanted a special quilt for a retirement ceremony.

She chose the colors, and I designed the quilt as a medallion, using a feathered star for the center and surrounding it with various borders.  The flying goose border is a border option in the program and for the final border I used the block preference and inserted an option from the block library.  I was able to determine fabric needed with the EQ7 program, plus when it was time to sew the quilt, I printed templates, rotary cutting sizes, and was able to audition a different background fabric easily.

Here is the resulting quilt:
She liked it so well, she commissioned me to create three more just like it this summer!  The best part was all the information was still right there on my computer - making it easy to re-create this quilt with no problem at all, because everything was right at my fingertips.

Several of the Island Batik Ambassadors use EQ7 as well - Carol of SewFunQuilts talks about Sashing and Border Fun today.

EQ7 is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year, and the EQ Blog is celebrating with a year's worth of fun and prizes:  Do You EQ so be sure you go enter.  If you do't have EQ7, you can win it!  I'll be joining the celebration with a new post about EQ7 on the 10th of each month - I'll share some of my current and past quilts I have designed with the help of EQ7.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Modern Love Mug Rug

I created this cute little mug rug last year for an exchange with the Quiltsy Team members on Etsy.  I also entered it into a contest on Craftsy and was a runner up!  I thought I would give you all a fun Valentine's present and write it up into a pattern!  I used leftover triangles from another project - you know those little triangles you cut off when you do that stitch and flip technique for snowball blocks? You could make this with any size of those, I did another one using some smaller triangles:

These triangles measured 1 3/4 inches after trimming, so are 1 1/4 inch finished!  I added borders to make this big enough to make a mug rug.  So I added some instructions for borders as well.

It is really fast to make, so you still have time to make some cute little gifts for your friends!  I plan on making several over the next few days for some special people in my life.

You can purchase the PDF file here:

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Baby Stars

This quilt is made using pieces cut from baby clothes, thus I have named it Baby Stars. I love the bright, sweet feel of this quilt!  The color palette was chosen by the mom who sent the clothes, and it made it so easy to choose the fabrics to go with the clothes!
The teal dot I used for the inner border are also used for the back.  I love the way it sets off the colors in the stars.  The colorful elephant border was also a perfect addition, and I am thrilled with the results!

 I cut a 6 1/2 inch square from the outfits if I could.  There were some pieces that were smaller than that, so I bordered them to make a large enough square for the center.  From the leftover pieces after that, I cut pieces for star points.
 I chose a few bright prints that looked good with the center squares, and made 12 1/2 variable star blocks (24 in all)
I meander quilted the white backgrounds, then stitched around the centers, and added quilting around the motifs in the various centers.  For the plain centers I plan on adding hearts, and a few other special motifs to make sure everything is well secured.  I used Warm and Natural batting, Aurifil thread and lightweight stabilizer behind the knit baby outfits.  For the binding I used the fabric in the stars for a fun scrappy binding.  

I am excited to show you the project on my design wall today, but you'll have to wait until Feb. 15th!  My Island Batik quilt uses the Caribbean Splash line and it is amazing, if I do say so myself!  Make sure you check in that week - the Planes, Trains and Automobiles blog hop will be starting that Monday, and there are loads of great projects made from Island Batik that will be revealed!

Friday, February 05, 2016

Valentine Quilt

I have been busy sewing all week long, trying to get several projects over the finish line!  I got this one done yesterday.  It uses 12 fat quarters to make this pretty quilt.

It is a shop sample and will be hanging at Threads That Bind. We'll be offering it as a bundle of 12 fat quarters and the pattern.  (The pattern is a pattern for retailers from Moda)  It was fun to make and I liked that there were strips left over for the binding.  Funny - I made a scrappy binding on two quilts this week!

Anyway - back to the sewing room...there are more quilts to be finished!