Monday, October 29, 2018

Needle, Paper and Scissors

When discussing paper piecing, it's important to determine whether the topic is english paper piecing (EPP) or foundation paper piecing.  The former is done by hand, and the latter is a machine piecing technique.  For this months Island Batik Ambassador challenge, I decide to do EPP.  Since I usually like to piece by machine, this was a great way to do something different, and since it's very portable it was a great project to take with me during our travel times.  I used scraps from the Eclectic Garden and British Rose collections for my project - such fun colors!
I like to baste my pieces by hand, so I put my wonder clips into use to hold down the corners while I stitched the edges.

I really didn't have a plan when I started, I just started making stars.  Can you see my mistake in the green one with the purple center?  I can goof up just as well hand stitching as I can when machine stitching!

I decided to make 7 star units and joined them with light yellow diamonds.

This was a great relaxing project!  So nice to put my feet up and stitch for a while :)  I added Dragonflies in Lilac triangles to finish out the edges, then added Dragonflies in Jelly from the Lavendula line.

Since I'd done all the piecing by hand I decided to hand quilt it.  I received this lovely spool of 12 wt thread from Aurifil in my July Ambassadador box from Island Batik, and the color looked great with this project!  Light Blue Grey blends nicely with both the lights and darks in my quilt.

I decided to use the Dragonfly in lilac for the binding as well, and this I did machine stitch!  Those corners are a little tricky, but they came out really nicely as well!

Isn't it pretty?

I love the geometric look on the back.  I used Rice for the backing.  One of my favorite neutrals!
This was really a fun project!  I don't know if I have the patience for a large EPP project, but his small one was really pleasant, and I enjoyed having a project to stitch by hand in those little moments of time that I would have probably otherwise been looking at my phone - much more productive and relaxing!

Thank you to Island Batik and Aurifil Thread for providing the materials for this fun project!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Christmas All Year - Finishing the top

Hello!  Today is the day we finish up our quilt tops.  If you've been good about making your blocks each month you will now have 9 finished blocks ready.  They should all measure 12 1/2 inches square.  If not, you have a couple of options, which I will give more detail on after I go through the basic setting instructions.  Go grab your Finishing the Top instructions, and let's put this quilt top together!

First, lay out your blocks in a 3 x 3 grid.  This is the layout I decided on - I thought the hourglass looked best in the center because it has more background than the other blocks. 

Next, cut your sashing strips.  I ran into a bit of difficulty here - I found two slightly different red fabrics that I liked, but neither one of them was quite large enough to cut all the sashings.  Being determined to use my stash to complete this quilt, I decided that since they were very close in color that I could use both.  I used one color for the sashing strips around the outside of the blocks and the other for in between the blocks.  Here are my two sets of strips together so you can see how close in color they are:

I used the one with more gold for the outer strips.

And you will need to cut your cornerstones.  I chose a fun green with candy canes.
Assemble the center in strips.  I like to web my quilt top, but it does get a bit bulky when you are working with all the blocks and strips, so if you would like to just assemble them in separate rows, you can definitely do that! 

If you look at the bottom corner you can see how my rows are all sewn chained together.  I had a twist in that bottom sashing strip, so had to clip the first chain to get it ready for sewing to the block row above it.

And the center after sewing together!  At this stage your pieced center should measure 48 1/2 inches. Now you are ready to add the borders all around it.  I chose 5 1/2 inch strips for my border for a quilt that will finish at about 58 inches.  If you want your quilt larger, you can add bigger borders. 

Piece your side borders first.  They will measure the same as your pieced center.  Sew them on and press the seams toward the border.  Then measure your quilt across - I usually take three measurements - top edge, center and side edge.  If there is much difference I will usually go with the center measurement, or add the three together and divide by three for a happy medium.  Piece the borders and sew them to the quilt, press seams toward the borders and your top is done!
I'm loving my fun top!  I plan on getting this quilted over the month, so I'll be posting updates here on my progress.  On November 25 I'll be back and let you know exactly how I quilted it, and give you a binding lesson, too - I am so excited to have a new Christmas quilt to enjoy this year!

If your blocks do not finish at 12 1/2 inches, but are all about the same size, you can cut your sashing at 3 1/2 wide and the length that your blocks finish at.  Or if there is a lot of variation in sizes, you can add coping strips to the edges of your blocks to make them all measure the same.  To add coping strips, sew 1 1/2 inch strips to all four sides of each block, then trim them to all measure the same as the smallest block.  Cut your sashing strips 3 1/2 by this measurement and proceed as instructed.  Hopefully your blocks are all fairly accurate and you won't have to mess with them!

Can't wait to see your finished tops!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sewing, Sewing, Sewing....

What a week!  I've been keeping the pedal to the metal this week and have churned out an amazing lot of progress - but no finishes this week.

I've got all the blocks finished for the Brothers and Sisters quilt and am working at the border units.  Only 190 rectangles that have a sew and flip triangle on each end.  I do a bunch, then trim and press.  Those will probably keep me busy all week long.

Plus I tackled the mountain of scraps that have been building up!

That's a pretty impressive mound of blocks I've got done already.  Almost enough for a quilt top - woohoo!

You could barely even see the bin of strips before I started!  
Now look!  I've really reduced the level making all those blocks.  Don't worry, I'm in no danger of running out any time soon...I've got a big stack of leftover fabric ready to be processed and added to my bin.

It's been a fun week of scrappy projects!  

Linking up with Cynthia for Oh Scrap!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Friendship Star Variation

The last two weeks I've been steadily working on the Brothers and Sisters Quilt, and am happy to say that I now have all the blocks finished!  One of my favorites was this friendship star variation:

At first glance the block looks quite complicated, but in reality it is very easy to make.  It's basically a friendship star with a diamond in the square as the center, and a sew and flip triangle added to the half square triangles.

For a six inch block you will need to cut four 2 1/2 inch squares of background for the corners and two 2 7/8 inch squares (cut in half diagonally for four triangles).  Cut one 2 1/2 inch square for the center, two 2 7/8 triangles (cut in half diagonally for four triangles) for the star, and eight 1 1/2 inch squares for the contrasting small star.

After you sew the four half square triangle units, place a small square at the lower left corner of the star triangle.  Sew a diagonal line across the small square like you are making a snowball unit.  Trim and press out.  Make a diamond in a square unit by sewing small squares on each of the four corners of the center square.  I like to sew the two that are diagonally across from each other, then trim and press out, and then add the final two small squares.  You can see what all this looks like before pressing below (this is a different color combination, so don't let the change in color confuse you).

Then assemble your block, making sure your star points are facing correctly!
This looks way better!  Good thing I was on my last block, I think it was getting to be quitting time!

You just have to do a little easy math to figure out how to make your block any size.  If you divide your finished block size by three you will know what size your finished units will need to be.  Add 1/2 inch to that for your center and corner squares, and for your half square triangles add 7/8.  For the measurement for the small triangles use 1/2 of your finished unit size and add 1/2 for the seam allowance.  So for a 12 inch block, your units will finish at 4 inches.  Cut your center and corner squares at 4 1/2 inches.  Cut your half square triangles at 4 7/8 inches.  Cut your small squares at 2 1/2 inches.  Not so hard, right?

Here is one of my 9 inch blocks.  So pretty!  I have one other block that I need to re-do, then I am ready to add sashing and assemble the center of the quilt, this project has taken a while to assemble so I am pretty excited to see what it looks all sewn together.  Then it's on to piecing the border!

What's under your needle today? 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Thank You!

I was super excited today to find that I won the Put My Quilt On It barn quilt contest!  I just want to say a big thanks to all of you for supporting me and voting for my design. 

I am really looking forward to seeing my design hanging on the garage wall I can see from my sewing room.  Don't worry, I'll be posting pictures as well as letting you know when my block will be available on their website - not sure how long it will take, but it's definitely exciting!

The other prizes are exciting too - an entire fat quarter bundle of solids from Kiwi Fabric plus patterns from Woodberry Way and Quiltaposy. Lots of fun sewing in my future, I think!

Thanks so much for all of your support, I definitely couldn't have done it without you!



Saturday, October 13, 2018

What a week!

The past week has really been a whirlwind of craziness around here!  Lots of fun stuff happening, and I have just been so encouraged in continuing to enjoy my fascination with all things quilted.  First of all I want to express my appreciation for all of friends and family who support me.  I really don't post a lot of stuff on my personal facebook page, but when I did post to ask for their vote in the Put My Quilt On It contest I was absolutely floored at the response!  Even if I don't win the contest, that really made me feel so loved and supported.  I've received so many nice messages and comments and e-mails!  So, a big thank you to one and all!  I definitely feel loved by all of you, and it means a lot to me.  (and if you haven't done so yet, you can still vote - my quilt is number 4)

I also got a ton of positive feedback about my Honorable Mention for Solar Flare.  I was extremely happy to get a beautiful laminated plaque and certificate from the Northwest Quilting Expo this week!  My friend, Shirley, posted this comment which really resonated with me:  "You have put in the work, energy, skills, knowledge, building your style...You totally earned this! 🎖️""  I definitely have worked and put a lot of energy and time into this vocation of mine, and I very much appreciate the opportunity to share my work and be acknowledged for it.  

Much of the time it is very difficult for me to put myself in the public eye.  It feels very vain to show my work and say "Look what I did!".  But at the same time I love it so much, and do want to share, and to encourage others to see what they can do as well.  It's a tough balance, and is definitely a struggle at times, and I just want to express thanks for all the support and encouragement you all give me when you comment on my posts!

I also have a little wrap up for the My Happy Place Row Along.  Congratulations to Paula who won the Martelli Rotary cutter and blades!  And also Congratulations to  K. Johnson who won the drawing for a free full version of EQ8!  As a special bonus, Electric Quilt has given us a coupon code for 20% off all EQ products in their store.  This code is STBSRA20 and it expires on October 23, 2018.  If you've been on the fence about buying, this would save you over $40.00 for the full version and allmost $20.00 for the upgrade.  Not to mention all the other fun add-on products if you already have EQ!  Thanks to Electric Quilt for being an awesome sponsor!

Last, but not least, the pattern for my Rainbow Corona Mini Quilt is now available in my Etsy Shop .  Thanks to those who requested this as a pattern - I hope you enjoy it!

Now we are off to finish painting the trim on our house - wish us luck on getting it all done.  I'd rather be quilting, but it's nice to have our house looking nice again!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Put My Quilt on it Finalist

I was having a pretty good week already, but I was super excited to find out that I am a finalist on the Put My Quilt on it contest!  I was just scrolling through Instagram and randomly found the contest the other night, and thought it would be fun to join in.  I really loved the block I came up with, so am really delighted that it was chosen!

To see all four entries, you can go to the following blog post:

Vote now in the Put My Quilt on It Contest

I'd love your vote!  It would be so much fun to see my design as an actual barn quilt!

Monday, October 08, 2018

Monday Motivation

I finished up my last wedding wedding project last night, so this week should be mostly quilting. Yay!

My design wall is so full, but what I really want to get going on in the Brothers and Sisters quilt.  I am halfway done with the blocks, and am ready to get the rest finished up.

The quote I picked to motivate me this week doesn't show up well on this busy block, but it says:

"Life is something like a remarkable, exciting puzzle.  It comes piece by piece in packages marked days."  John Powell

Don't you just love that?  Let's enjoy each piece as it comes.  Some are dark, and some are light, but each one is an important piece of the puzzle of our lives.

Have a wonderful week!

Linking up:

Monday Making

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Ready for the weekend!

At least half of a weekend... I worked at the quilt shop all day yesterday.  I did get to play all day long on Friday, though, so I can't complain!  I enjoyed spending my day in a class by Cynthia Brunz of Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  It was great to meet Cynthia - we've been friends online for quite a few years and I was glad for the opportunity to meet in person.  She's a great teacher, and a very talented quilter as well!  I got a lot of great tips for dealing with my out of control stash in the class.  The class was for her  Geese Migration quilt.  When we got to the middle of the afternoon we all pooled our blocks together to get some ideas for arranging them when we are ready:

Isn't it cool how all of these blocks are made from 11 different peoples fabrics, but they all go together so wonderfully?  I've got five blocks done so far, and want to make at least 25 total, but maybe even more to make a bigger quilt. We'll see!

I've been spending a little time here and there working on my project for this month's Island Batik Ambassador challenge and it's starting to come together.  Just one more star to add and it will be time to figure out how in the world I want to finish this.  I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I am enjoying the hand stitching - who knows, I may become a fan of EPP yet!

Don't forget, there is still time to enter to win the final giveaways for the My Happy Place blog hop - visit my post for an opportunity to win a Martelli Rotary Cutter and Blades, as well as links to the other posts with giveaways!  Thank you for all the nice comments - I've been really touched at the positive response to my row pattern - I've even spotted one in progress on Instagram!

Linking up with Kathy for Slow Stitching Sunday, as well as Cynthia for Oh Scrap.

Slow Sunday Stitching

Quilting is more fun than Housework
Hope you get some stitching in today, too!

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

My Happy Place - Under the Stars

Welcome to my post for the My Happy Place blog hop hosted by Marian at Seams to Be Sew!  Please make sure you stop by her blog to say Thanks for all the work she does setting this up.  I hope you have enjoyed all the beautiful creative row patterns we've seen so far as much as I have.  Let's just say I will have to do a lot of sewing to make all the patterns I've saved so far :)  Add to that the awesome prizes from all the sponsors that Marian has worked so hard to provide - that makes this Row Along a spectacular event!

On to my row now.  I spent quite a bit of time thinking about what I would like to use as my theme.  So many places make me happy, it was hard to decide!  I finally decided that I would like to do a row featuring stars - I love seeing the twinkle of stars, and it always makes me smile when the weather is clear at night and I can spend a few minutes gazing into the great expanse of space and see all the lights above me.

I decided that 9 mini star blocks in a field of scrappy blue would be perfect for what I envisioned.  I managed to miss out on the opportunity to use fabrics from Northcott, (who so generously provided fabric to all who wanted it!) because of all the work we were doing this spring.  I decided to use some Island Batik fabrics for my row.
 I had plenty of lovely blues, but had to dig a bit for the yellows!

Yes, the stars are small, only 3 inches finished!  But you've got this - it's all easy piecing, just smaller pieces!  And you only need 3 of each star.  So try it!

Here is my block - isn't it fun?  I love the mix of stars and the scrappy blues for the sky!

I quilted it in a swirl pattern with deep blue thread, and bound it with a blue bandanna print.

Here it is, hanging out on my design wall.  I'm going to add a hanging sleeve on the narrow end and hang it this way!

Are you ready to make your own?  You can download my pattern here - it will be free for one week (through Oct. 11) then will be available for a fee after that.

Now for the second fun part of the Row Along!  The Giveaway:

I get to give away 1 Rotary Cutter and a 5 pack of blades!  With this you'll be able to do a whole lot of rotary cutting!

These cutters are supposed to be excellent for those with mobility issues or arthritis - you can read more about them here at Seams To Be Sew.  This cutter is a value of $24.99, and 5 blades are $24.99.  This giveawy is available world wide - but the winner will have to pay for the shipping cost.  Well worth it, I would say!
*please read disclaimer and guidelines at the end of the post

Enter here:

As an extra bonus, there is a giveaway for EQ8!  If you like designing quilts, you will love this program!  This prize is a coupon code via e-mail so no shipping needed. The value of this product is $239.00   Read more here...

Electric Quilt

Lots of opportunities for an entry here, so make sure you take some time and enter as many as you like!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to you!  Make sure you stop by and visit the other blogs featured today:

Thursday, October 4, 2018

*Rules and Guidelines For Giveaways
Please take the time to read it.

Giveaways offered by sponsors are assigned to the various bloggers for their featured day.

There are no prior announcements on who is doing which sponsor except to the sponsor themselves.

You'll have to visit the blog or the featured blog to enter the giveaways.

Not all giveaways can be entered at Seams To Be Sew.

I will start announcing winners on September 11, 2018, and finish announcing winners on October 10, 2018.

In most cases, the blog where you won at also will announce their 

You must give a valid email address when you enter the giveaways, any email returned to me, loses the ability to win automatically.

With the exception of Show and Tell Day, all giveaways run for approximately one week.

You are given 3 days to answer the email, if you do not answer within 3 days a new winner will be drawn. Check those spam/junk mail folders, you may miss that winning email if you don't do so because there are no exceptions to this rule.

If you are notified that you are a winner, in most cases, you will need to provide your name, address, city, state, zip code, country, telephone number, and email address.

In some cases, you will be asked to comment on the blog to enter the giveaway... do the right thing and thank them for the time it took to create the pattern, thank them for the pattern and...

Thank the sponsor by buying their products for the giveaways. This helps them continue to offer great prizes for these types of events. You can also comment on their social media pages. Even if you don't win, letting them know you love their products is a huge incentive and they really do love hearing from you.

No purchase whatsoever is necessary.

You must be 18+ in order to win a gift.

You are responsible for claiming and paying any tax owed on the value of any gift that you win. Prizes valued at $500.00 should be claimed.

All winners are chosen at random.

All winners will be announced on the blogs via the Rafflecopter entry form and/or post by the blogger at the site where they won and here at Seams To Be Sew. All winners must allow for their first name and first initial of their last name to be announced on this blog.

Odds of Winning a prize are based on a total number of rafflecopter entries during each week and in total for all giveaways.

This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.

Participating bloggers may enter any of the giveaways.

The word giveaways in the rules and guidelines are also known as sweepstakes.

Most of the giveaways are international shipping this year
in some cases, you will be asked to pay for shipping your giveaways.

I am not rich and I do not ask sponsors for money, they provide prizes only.

If they shipped the prize to me, you will be asked to pay for shipping.
All giveaways will be shipped that are in my home within 48 hours of my having heard from you.

An invoice will be sent to you via Paypal, and shipping will take place via Paypal, so your Paypal email will be needed to send the invoice. You will receive a tracking number except for overseas shipments. All shipping will either be first class which averages out at 2.77 to 4.00 up to 13 ounces. Paypal fees are added to that amount to cover that fee. All fabric bundles from Michael Miller, Hoffman, and Moda will be shipped via Priority Mail to protect the fabric itself.

Please note, every effort is made to protect the prizes. They go into a plastic bin when I receive them, and it is covered by an air tight cover. I have a dog in my home and I have a smoker in my home, so I do everything possible to protect the prizes.

Most companies are very good about getting prizes off to customers quickly also, but some companies are overseas, so please allow all sponsors a 2-week time period before you report to me that you still haven't received your prize. When the company is overseas, it can take 6 weeks to 90 days for an item to also arrive.

Whether or not you read the above, the rules for giveaways are in place to protect everyone. I do not want to hear you didn't read them, they will be posted on my blog daily during each featured day. There is no excuse for not reading them.