Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Island Batik February Challenge - Kennel Quilts

I am excited to join with Island Batik and Kennel Quilts for this challenge!  This is a charity I would never had heard of if I wasn't an Island Batik Ambassador, so I am glad to share it with all my readers.  This is a great way to do something good for our furry friends and a super way to use up bits and pieces left after completing a project.
Since I found out you can ship 8 in a flat rate bubble envelope I made 8.  After all, you might as well get the most for your money, right?  My donation is going to a local group that brings in animals from kill shelters in California and places them in local shelters so they can find a forever home!  It's called Rescue Express and they are in the process of replacing all their beds, mats, blankets and towels with more consistently sized bedding to make the pets more comfortable and the laundering and sorting easier.  This size will fit their extra small carriers!

I happened to see Rescue Express on a news article and thought that it would be the perfect place for me to donate to, and I am glad I contacted them.  I plan on sharing their information with my local quild and at Threads That Bind.  These are great little projects to use up the leftovers from projects, I've even pieced the batting that goes inside.  They would be great to make up ahead and keep on hand to try out different free motion quilting designs, or just as warm-up quilting before starting a larger quilt!

Kennel Quilts is a great organization - you can see more information here.  It's a great way to help out by sharing something that we love to do - they always have current needs posted, or you can donate to a local shelter if you like!  It doesn't take much fabric or time and it's a terrific way to put our quilting talents to good use.

I started out with making the XO quilt - this was originally going to be for our Galentine's Day challenge, but it was a bit too large for a mug rug!   I made a smaller version for that challenge, then thought this one would be perfect as a kennel quilt.  I just added a border to make it big enough for a Kennel Quilt, and was really happy with it!  Then I did some strip piecing using a set of leftover strips I had from my first Island Batik box and ended up with a couple of quilts using those.  I did a couple more, just sewing strips of fabric together and trimming to size - these were super fast, and looked wonderful as well!  Finally I pieced some log cabin style blocks using the last of the leftover strips.  It was a fun way to use up all of those pieces that would normally be leftover from a project and they looked terrific as well!  For the last one, I had pieces left from my last Project Quilting Challenge, so I sewed the strips together, then added pieces as needed to bring it up to size.

You can see that you don't need to do anything fancy!  Just some fun and simple sewing, then sew around the edges, turn right side out and topstitch.  Do some quilting to hold it all together and you are done!  (Do make sure you follow the guidelines so your little quilt is animal friendly) Yesterday I washed and attempted to dry - unfortunately my dryer has decided to stop heating, so I had to hang them to dry.  I'll give them a bit of a press to straighten them out, then off they will go to cheer up some lonely pup or kitty!

Thanks, Island Batik for encouraging us to participate in this challenge.  I think I will be donating regularly from now on, as it gives me a good way to use fabric from my projects instead of adding it to my overflowing scrap bin!  I hope you will consider helping out, too :)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Split Square Alternate block Three - Flitter

Welcome to the Quilter's Recipe box - today's block is an original design as I ran out of traditional blocks using this unit!  This is a good example of how you can take the units and create your own designs using the basic units and rearranging them.  I'm calling this block Flitter because it looks like a little butterfly in the center.

For this block you will need four triangles and once center square of your main color, four split square rectangles of an accent color, and four triangles and four split square rectangles of a background fabric.

Sew four half square triangle units and four split square units.

Arrange as below:
I just had to try it out in a quilt layout to see what it would look like, and I love it!

Next week I'll have a new unit to work on - I can't wait to show you some new blocks and variations!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Finished or Not Friday - Reflections Quilt

This was my UFO project for this month - it's a scrap quilt made out of 2 1/2 inch strips.  I've made several similar quilts using Moda Scrap Bag collections.  This one was a pretty eclectic mix of fabrics, but it made up into a pretty nice scrappy quilt!

I added a scrappy back as well - I seem to be on a roll with these, and am loving using up some odds and ends that aren't big enough for a whole back, but are too big to add to my scrap bins!
Blue, Green and Yellow with a pop of orange are the main colors in this project.
Love the barnyard fabrics!
It measures 40 inches square, and was a lot of fun to make!  Easy strip piecing makes it go pretty quickly.
It will make a nice little lap throw, or cuddle quilt.  It's available in my Etsy Shop, and there will be a pattern soon!

Linking up with Myra of Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday!  Come see what everyone is working on :)

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Window Box Quilt - To the Moon and Back

I'm glad to report that my wisdom tooth extraction went well and I am having an easy recovery so far with very little pain.  I'm trying to be good and rest, but I really want to get busy in my sewing room!  I did sneak in there for a while today to package up an order and was really excited to find the missing pieces from my Savannah quilt!  Now I can finish up the blocks and piece the top, finally.  I was so frustrated at not being able to find the pieces - I knew they had to be somewhere, but had no clue where.  Turns out they had stuck on the bottom of a box of 2 inch squares I had set aside.  

Since I don't have anything exciting to share, I can catch up on one of my finished from January that I haven't shared yet.  This is a new sample from my Window Box Pattern that I made for Threads That Bind.  The fabric is Lewis and Irene, LTD - To the Moon and Back.  My favorite is the little rocket ships on the navy!

The prints that look like polka dots are planets.

I made a scrappy back for this one from my stash and quilted it with a simple meander.  It will be a nice cuddle quilt for a little boy!
It's always fun to see how different a pattern can look when you change the fabrics up.  I liked the first version I did, but this one is just super cute!
Here is the original quilt:

I finally found a use for all of the leftover bits of binding that I've been saving.  I thought I would sew them together and use them for scrappy quilts, but I don't ever seem to have time to make those scrappy quilts.  I was looking through my bins for pieces big enough to finish some mug rugs and as I was putting the rest of the binding away I found a pattern and crochet hook for a rag rug.  Right then and there, I decided to get started on it and I just may be addicted!  I've already emptied several small bins of strips already, and have a good start on a lovely scrappy looking rug -

I'm trying for a couple rounds a day.  I have plenty of scraps to work with, and when I run out of the binding scraps, I've got a whole drawer of 2 inch strips I can use, not to mention my overflowing scrap bucket!  I'm super excited to have a new project I can work on in the evenings, plus a way to use these perfectly good bits and pieces of fabric.  As I work each color, I can usually remember the project that it went with.  So many quilts that I've done.  This rug is a real scrapbook of the quilts I have made over the past year and will surely be a great keepsake for me.  There's even a bit of the rocket ship fabric in it already.  It would be fun to count up all the different fabrics, I know I've saved a lot of pieces over the last few years!  

At any rate, it's always great to find a new way to use those bits of fabric I just can't seem to part with.  What's your favorite way to use up your scraps? 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Happy Mail!

I was excited to win a giveaway recenly on Bea's Blog!  I won a copy of I Love Precut Quilts by Tricia Maloney, and Bea set me 5 fat quarters as well.  

I'm a big fan of pre-cuts so I am looking forward to seeing what projects I can make out of this book.  There are are some really cute ones!  I'll make sure to let you know when I do!

Today I have an appointment with my dentist to have two of my wisdom teeth out.  Think some good thoughts for me, I plan to take a couple days to rest, so hope to be back to quilting soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Quilter's Recipe Box - Split square alternate block 2

You are going to love today's block - no half square triangle units!  Plus if you like this is an easy one to make by strip piecing your units.

This is a rail fence style block.  To make it you will need 9 split square units.  You can easily strip piece this by cutting one strip each of your background fabric and your colored fabric.  Each strip needs to be more than 32 inches long.

Sew both strips together on the long side and press the seam toward the colored strip.  This will give you a strip 3 1/2 inches wide and 32 inches long.  Take this strip, square up one end, then cut 3 1/2 inch squares - you will get 9 of them.

Lay them out and sew together - you can make this one in no time at all.  When pressing this one, I try to press so my seams go away from the ends with the center seam to reduce the bulk.  Here's a view of the back so you can see what I mean.

Have fun sewing :)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Project Quilting - Challenge 4 - Brighter the Better

I really enjoyed working on this challenge.  I've been setting aside Saturday afternoon to work on the Project Quilting challenges, and it's been nice working in a smaller format this year.  I thought it might be fun to do a blazing star quilt - something like a sunburst was my original intention.

I pulled some fabric (these are from a couple of Stash Builder rolls from Island Batik)
I really liked the blues and purples, and thought I would use the orange strip from the lower set to spice it up.  I decided it wasn't quite colorful enough, so exchanged the light purple for a bright yellow color.
I liked the way that looked, so cut my strip sets and got to work sewing.
As usual, I was so into the process I forgot to take any more pictures of my progress!  When I was done with the diamond units I decided to rotate every other one for a more interesting look.  Then I auditioned several background fabrics, and ended up with a dark navy with gorgeous swirls.  I thought it made my colors pop more.  Then I added a light green border and a blue with little flowers for the final border.  I quilted it with bright yellow thread for the fun of it!

 I love how the dark background really makes the colors pop!
 The backing was a nice print out of my stash.
 I used another bright blue for the binding
And, the center star came out just right!

This little quilt measures almost 20 inches square, and was made by me in Coos Bay Oregon.  Linking up on Project Quilting for week 4 - make sure you go see the other awesome entries!

We have winners!

I am happy to announce that Mary D, Nancy, Anna Lutz-Brown, and Carolyn Montgomery are the winners of my giveaway!  I have e-mailed all four of you and if you will let me know your mailing addresses I will figure out who gets what and send you some happy mail Monday morning!

Thanks to everyone who entered, it was really fun to see what projects and colors you all liked. I see that a lot of you like blue as much as I do!  Thanks for all the kind words on my projects as well.  I really appreciate the nice feedback.  I think that the project from the first bundle got the most comments.  This is also the same quilt I made in different colors for the third box!  I am definitely working on writing up a pattern for this.  It's a little tricky to explain the color placement, but I am making progress on figuring it out and should have it available next month sometime!

This week was a bit scattered for me.  I've been working on taxes which puts me in a grumpy mood.  Then I have to go into my sewing room and do some mindless sewing!  Like this little mug rug:

And this one:
I've got a whole set of selvage ones ready to quilt and bind as well.

I seem to have lost some pieces for the top I started in the class I attended in January so have stalled out on that project.  I hope I find them soon because I don't want this project to go to the UFO drawer!  I started sorting some of the scraps in the overflowing scrap bin thinking they may have gone there, but no luck so far.  I think I need to start sewing something up from there, but haven't decided what.

I did finish quilting my scrappy quilt!  And I got a new shop sample done, but want to do separate posts for those, so you will have to wait to see them, but here is a little sneak preview:

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Alternate block for Split Square - Greek Cross

Sorry I'm a day late getting this out, I got a little excited about my Galentine's day post!  This variation goes by the name of Greek cross.  It's exactly like the Churn Dash, but the colored rectangle on the split square goes to the outside of the block.

I wanted to use two colors for this block again, but you can use one color if you like.  You will need 4 colored triangles and four colored rectangles.  For the background fabric, you will need four triangles, four rectangles and one center square.  (Use the same measurements as for the original block)

After sewing all the half square triangle blocks together, and the split squares, arrange and sew together into the following block:

Isn't it fun how you can rearrange the position of the squares and come up with a new look?

All the alternate blocks I am making are using Island Batik fabric from the Dotalicious line.  Island Batik and Aurifil threads are having a giveaway this month - all you have to do is take a couple minutes to fill out a survey and you will be entered, and there will be two winners!   

Have a great week!  I'll have next week's block up on Monday for sure, so you won't have to wait.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Galentine's Day!

Nope, not a typo!  I just learned about a fun holiday just for those special ladies in our lives - not Valentine's day, which is all about romance, but Galentine's day - which celebrates our gal pals.  The ladies who give us the wind beneath our wings, and would go to the ends of the earth for us, especially if it means brunch out at our favorite gathering place.  The friends that you can giggle with, and cry with when you need to.

My fellow Island Batik Ambassadors and I were challenged to come up with a quilted postcard or rug mug to celebrate the occasion.  In my box was a bundle of pink and red fat quarters that were perfect for the challenge.  All I needed was a great idea!  I thought of all kinds of variations of heart quilts, but wanted to do something a little different.  
So I came up with this Kisses and Hugs mug rug.  It was super easy to make!  

You need eight 2 1/2 inch squares of pink and red fabric, sixteen  1 1/2 inch squares of light pink and two 1 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch squares of light pink for the pieced top.  Using a sew and flip technique, sew a light pink square to two opposite corners of each red and pink square, then arrange the resulting squares into an x and an o layout.  Sew them all together, then add a light pink strip to the top and bottom to make a 6 1/2 inch x 8 12 inch rectangle.

Add backing and batting, then quilt as desired! Bind in whatever pink or red you prefer.G  I sewed the entire project using the red Aurifil 50 wt thread I received in my ambassador box.  (Works great for piecing as well as quilting!)

Now add the beverage of your choice and your BFF for a great bonding time!

Happy Galentine's day to you all!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Finished or Not Friday - Reflections

If you are looking for my Island Batik Giveaway - Click Here!

I've been working on my Reflections quilt this week as it is the one that came up on the APQ UFO Challenge list. I had intended to work on just one block a day, but that is sooo hard for me!  When I start a project, I just want to dive in and sew, sew, sew.

I have the top done and am pleased with it!  I took notes for the pattern I want to write up.  It's a pretty busy looking scrappy quilt, but I know there are more quilters than just me who love these kind of quilts!

I've used this layout before so decided to change it up this time and do something different.

Right now I am in the process of scrapping together a back, then I can quilt it this weekend.  I'll have to dig and see what I can find to bind it as well.  I made this quilt using one of the Moda Scrap Bags.  This one was truly an interesting mix of fabrics!  But once you cut them all up and put them all together they make a nice little quilt!

I think I'll do something quick and easy for the quilting.  Will have to decide on a thread color, but on this quilt, anything would go!  That's part of the joy of scrappy quilts!  The backing is going to be in greens, so I'll probably go with a green.  It just depends on what my thread stash holds.

Linking up with Myra for Finished or Not Friday!  Come join in the fun with us!

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Happy Mail!

There is no better happy mail than getting an Ambassador box from Island Batik!  Every time I have opened one of these shipments I think that it is the best box ever, and I think they just keep getting better and better.  Here is my live video of my box opening:

I was pretty nervous about doing it - like most people I think my recorded voice sounds really weird and annoying, but I have decided to just get over myself and try to branch out a bit!  It was really fun, and I think I'll try to do more live videos on facebook!

I'm excited to sit down and look at the fun challenges we have been given for each month and start planning out how I want to use all these wonderful fabrics!  Because I have to make room for this bounty of new fabric, I sorted through the remaining fabric from the past two years (4 boxes!) and have put together some small bundles of goodies to give away.

From the first box, which I used to make this quilt I have some nice blues to give away-

From the second box,  Caribbean splash was the featured line, and I had a lovely selection of Sea Salt Sandy, from this line I have some Fat Quarters left over to share.

From the third box - this is when Island Batik started giving us a monthly challenge, as well as the opportunity to do a couple of blog hops for new books.  You can see how the creativity burst forth in my projects!  I actually used most of the fabrics, but do have a couple of those Stash Builder rolls that I can send out.

From the fourth box I had Dotalicious fabrics for my Blog hop project, Big Surf.  I also participated in The Road Home blog hop and made my quilt from bits and pieces from all my boxes!  I'll be sending out the remaining fabric from my kaleidoscope wall hanging in fall colors as a prize for this set of projects.

I wish I could offer to ship these items to all my readers, but unfortunately this giveaway will have to be to those of you living in the US due to the high cost of shipping.  Leave me a comment letting me know which of the projects you like best - I'll try to match your prize to your preference, but no guarantees!
I would like to thank the wonderful people at Island Batik for allowing me to be an Ambassador, as well as Auriful and Superior Threads for the wonderful addition of thread to the current box of goodies!  They do not pay me other than with the products provided and these are things I definitely would enjoy using and would purchase on my own.  I am always open to trying new products, and am happy to share my honest thoughts with my readers!  We are so blessed to live in a time when we have so many options for fabric and tools and I love to show what I like to use and how it works for me.  

I hope your day is a happy one with lots of quiting!

Monday, February 06, 2017

Quilter's Recipe Box Unit Two - Split Square

Are you ready to master another basic Quilt block recipe?  This month's unit is a split square.  It's really simple, just a square divided in half.  As always, you'll get the best results if you make sure your cutting and sewing are super accurate!
By using four split squares and four half square triangles you can create a Churn Dash (or Monkey Wrench) block!

You will need the following cuts of fabric:
Four triangles and four rectangles of colored fabric
Four triangles and four rectangles of background fabric plus one center square.

 For my batik version I am using a different color for my rectangles and making the center out of my background fabric.

After you sew your split square units and half square triangles, lay them out as above
And sew to make your block!  It won't take very long, I promise!  This is one of my favorite traditional blocks, and I feature it in two sizes in my Monkey Around Pattern.

You can download the Recipe Card for this block HERE

Or you can sign up for my newsletter and I will send you the link every month on the first Monday.

Have a wonderful week - send me a picture of your block, please!  I'd love to see them :)