Friday, July 25, 2014

Tie Dye Pillow

I'm excited to announce I finished my first of four Q3 projects: my tie dye pillow! I used my last fat quarter of hand dyed fabric that I dyed up a few months ago; time to do some more! I'm really pleased with how this pillow turned out and with the fact that it's done and I can start using it! (Sorry in advance for the low quality pictures - took them at night w/ flash).

Original FQ 



Pre-quilting. I'm told this pattern is reminiscent of Ricki Timms' Convergence but I honestly just kind of made it up out of my head.

All quilted and bound - I used a really pretty purple aurifil thread

The back - featuring covered zipper - tutorial here

Stuffed. The pillowcase is about 23" square and shown on a 24" pillow form. I prefer them to fit snugly as the pillows tend to deflate a little with use.

I leave you with one last picture to make you smile: my puppy giving me snuggles while I was hand sewing the binding down


Linked with all the Friday Finish ladies 7/25/14

Monday, July 21, 2014

For Pink's Sake - sewing for a cause

Just taking a minute to share some pink blocks I made for Anna at life sew crafty. She is making a quilt to donate on behalf of her mother-in-law who recently beat breast cancer! Go, Tina! Anna has also organized a blog hop and a place to donate to raise money to help offset Tina's medical expenses. Head over to Anna's blog for more info and to participate!

I just popped these blocks in the mail along with a handful of pink charm squares.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Gifties: Friday Finish Edition

It's all about the gifties here lately! I won't complain though, I love to make 'em and I love to give 'em away!

First up is a cute patchwork iPad sleeve for my friend, Rachel. Rachel's gramma recently passed away unexpectedly and I wanted to do something to give Rachel a little something to smile about. She told me she likes green, blue and purple and a few hours later I had the finished product. I used Kristin Link's tutorial (from Craftsy) with her alternate measurements for the iPad size (from Sew, Mama, Sew website).
My patchwork draft

Pieced heart

Finished sleeve...forgot the label of course

Pretty grey solid lining.

I also whipped up yet another bunting banner. I can't believe how popular these things are becoming in my family. And they go together SO quickly! This one is for my dad. He has a small hobby farm that he calls "Tin Top Farm" because of the steel roofs on the buildings. He requested bunting when he saw the one I made for my nephew Riley. 


The iron-on letters make this project a breeze

Close up of letters and (wonky) top stitching

Finished banner!

Linking up with the Friday gals - see the buttons on the side bar. Happy Friday!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Studio Tour

It has been a while since I have posted any pics of the studio.  Construction has been substantially complete since early last fall with the exception of finishing off the drywall etc on the interior west wall.   I am completely settled in now and I have to say that the studio is definitely my 'happy place.'

Of course it could always be bigger but the truth is I have room for everything as long as I keep organized.  The studio is all cleaned up now in anticipation of some company coming this next weekend so it was a great time to take some photos to share.

My husband gets all the credit!  The studio is a converted porch on our new barn.  The space is approximately 10' x 40'.  Hubs did all the construction work including installing my gorgeous white oak and cherry floor.  Of course he had a great helper (me)!  The energy efficient windows let in a huge amount of light.  The ceiling fans and overhead lighting are also perfect.    The studio is heated with a pellet stove and having lived through one winter already, I can say honestly I was never cold.

Hubs also built me a custom table with a slot for my Bernina PE350.  The top is made from ambrosia maple to which he applied a red dye.  It is really stunning in person!  He aslo made a custom cabinet for my long arm thread which is so convenient.  The shelves along the south wall  under the windows house my fabric stash.  I love having everything where I can see it.

The studio also features a very large design space on the north wall.  I  have some completed quilts displayed there now and can easily fit several large projects.  I have to use a step ladder to reach the top!

The chalk board signs are a reclaimed bed frame that I bought at an antique store.  I think they add just the right touch!

Enjoy the pics!


After getting caught up on some deadline projects I am finally making some time to work on the American Hero Quilts that I volunteered to quilt.  I am almost finished with the first of two. 

It was requested that the quilting not be a large  meander and other than that no instructions.  The panel style quilt top really lent itself to some light custom work so that's what I did.  Each border has its own design.  I did some outlining of the central eagle and faux patchwork stars, along with a bit of cross hatching.

WIPW #7 - 7/16/14 - Feeling Pretty Good

Hi all! Thanks for stopping by for WIP Wednesday. I have to say I'm feeling ok about my projects right now; I'm not completely caught up but I have made some definite progress lately. I want to start out by making an official WIP list for myself - I honestly don't have all my projects written down in one spot anywhere. I will also briefly describe the status of the item. Feel free to scroll past all this boring stuff to check out the pictures!

Full Size Quilts

  • (Big) Lone Star - not touched in a loooooong time
  • Pink/Green Diamonds - not touched in a looong time
  • PoD - back burner until my next paper piecing bender
  • Quatrefoil Hexies (Q3) - need to order a background fabric for this
  • CMM - have made 2 of each block for all months except June

Other Misc. Projects

  • Palette Bag (Q3) - still need to trace pattern for second side panel
  • Blossom Bag - a few pieces cut out, a ton left
  • (Another) Sew Together Bag - idea fermenting and some fabric pulled
  • Outdoor cushions (Q3) - started cutting!
  • Tie Dye Pillow (Q3) - see pics below!
  • TTF Bunting - nebulous idea, no fabric pulled, needs to be completed by Saturday...eek!

I've spent most of my sewing time in the past few days working on my tie dyed cushion/pillow. I still haven't gotten around to doing a batch of tie dye, but I decided to use my last fat quarter of hand dyed fabric to get this project started. I paired it with a pretty purple/red violet solid that I think actually came from JoAnn's before I turned into a Kona snob. The slice and insert piecing is a pattern I drew up in my idea notebook a long time ago. I drafted all the cutting measurements and final layout last week and finished the piecing yesterday. I'm a little hung up with what color to use for the quilting as well as exactly what I am going to do. Please leave a comment with what color you think I should go with!

Original fat quarter

Strips in first direction

Piecing completed

Potential quilting colors - please let me know what you think!

And here's a pretty begonia that hangs next to my back door and makes me smile!

I'll be linking this post up with all the usual awesome ladies - check out the new side bar (called linkies and events) where I added all their lovely buttons. Happy stitching!


Monday, July 14, 2014

MQG Michael Miller fabric challenge

As a member of the Rochester Modern Quilt Guild I was fortunate enough to receive a small pacage of Michael Miller fabrics and to be able to participate in the challenge.  The rules were simple; use only the fabric provided alone or along with any solid, or any other Michael Miller fabric, and the item must be quilted. 

This left things pretty wide open and there are some AMAZING completed projects showing up on the MQG site, Instagram and Facebook.

After suffering from a bout of zero inspiration ever since I brought the fabric home, I finally had  an idea!  I was standing in line  at the PO to mail my mini quilt swap box and I noticed  a rack of greeting cards.  One was designed with just punctuation marks  and I  thought   how  cool it would be to re-create that as a quilt.  And then I  said, "aha!" Why not do that with the Michael Miller fabrics?

I printed out some punctuation and then traced them onto lightweight fusible web.  Then I chose a black background and randomly fused the pieces in place.  I have been wanting to try matchstick quilting and that solved the problem of how to stitch, or even whether to stitch the applique in place.

For the quilting I  used  different weight threads in coordinating colors.  Some is Aurifil, some is poly quilting thread and some is Mettler embroidery thread.   The quilting was extremely time consuming (it took several hours using a high speed machine and this is a small piece) but I love the effect!

I applied a faced binding which I also love and some small brass  rings for hanging.  The finished mini is about 14" x 20".

Mini Quilt Swap - my loot

I posted a few days ago about the mini quilt I made for the Schnitzel and Boo Instagram swap and I wanted to show you the quilt I received.

I hit the jackpot!  My partner for the swap was Patty Sloniger (@pattysloniger)  a licensed fabric designer for Michael Miller.  The mini quilt she sent is absolutely gorgeous and I love the colors!  She used some of her new fabric line Emma's Garden,  and also sent me some of the scraps.  Woot woot!

Also included in the package  is a darling quilt themed watercolor which is already hanging on the wall in my studio (as is the  mini quilt).

The box of goodies was fabulous and just the pick-me- up I needed last week.


I already posted about the bunting that I made for my nephew's birthday, but I want to share a couple of other small gifts I've made lately. I've said it before, but I really love making small projects...instant gratification!

Here's the bunting...I just couldn't resist sharing it again! Side note: my mom, Kimberly, was holding my niece Aubrey (who is 2) when my nephew opened the bunting. Supposedly, Aubrey said "mommy...mommy...mommy...I want that" when she saw the bunting. Needless to say, I already bought another pack of iron-on letters (pink) to make more bunting for Aubs (and maybe some for me).

A quilted zipper pouch for my niece, Aubrey, so she had something to open at the party as well.

And a set of quilted coasters for one of my gal pals. These coasters are super special as they are made out of my own hand dyed fabric. So unique! I think the next time I make coasters I am going to incorporate some FMQ. These coasters are super fun and fast to make and really help you burn through those small batting scraps. They make great gifts!

Happy stitching, my friends!


Edit: Before I could even get this posted, I went ahead and made Aubrey's bunting - I was so excited. The more I make of these, the faster they seem to go. I did have to make a new freezer paper template though - my old one wasn't sticky anymore.

Here's my layout.

After I applied the letters.

And the finished product. Love the yellow...such a nick kick of color.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A bunting we will go...

My nephew Riley turns 4 in a few days and his birthday party is this weekend. I wanted to make him something (to procrastinate on the projects I should be working on) so I decided to make him some bunting with his name on it. I had left over iron-on letters from the SGQ bunting, although I had to modify some letters to change them into what I needed. I used a few colors of Robert Kaufman Dazzle fabric that I bought a FQ stack of way back when and also some whale novelty print I had laying around. I don't normally buy novelty fabric but I spotted this a JoAnn's a long time ago and it is actually very soft with a nice hand. And Riley is probably the person in my life who will most appreciate whale fabric, by a long shot. I used pre-made bias tape again so this project went so fast. I top stitched with lime green thread again, this time as a contrast, to tie in with the green letters. I'm really pleased with how it all came together!

Final order
After applying the letters
Finished bunting
Close up of top stitching (and my leg, haha)

Happy stitching!

Linked with Sarah, Amanda Jean and Audrey

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mini Quilt Swap

Such fun!  I just participated in the 2nd round of the Schnitzelandboo mini quilt swap.    Partners were randomly assigned and we were set loose to 'stalk' our selected recipient on social media  and then create a mini quilt for them.

I had grand ideas for a unique  quilt featuring rainbow colors since that is what my partner likes.  During my week of vacation in early June I set to work.  I selected fabrics.  I cut circles.  I set the circles into blocks.  I sliced the blocks into quarters.  I made  'sprouts' and stems.  I pieced in white  for the background and voila! The top was complete after a day and half of steady work.

And then....OH NO!  I re-read the Schnitzel and Boo rules.  The minis were supposed to be no bigger than 24" square!  Mine measured in at almost 36" tall....DRAT!!!!!!

Back to the drawing board.  The second version took much less time since 1. I had already picked the fabrics, 2. The pattern was too small for set in circles so I just  snowballed the  corners to make the little sprouts and 3. I had some experience in how to assemble the columns and white background from the first attempt so not as much brain work was involved.

So, several hours later I had a smaller version that complied with the size  guidelines.  They look soooo cute together!

Now for the quilting.  I did a small meander in the white background with white thread.  In the colored colums I quilted a different pattern in each and all the sprouts have a small feather.  I used coordinating color threads.   My FMQ skills are  improving on the Juki!  (By the way, I LOVE my Juki!)

The binding is a small text print which I think adds a nice frame without being overpowering. 

The last step was to grab some goodies to throw into the package.  I chose some rainbow ric rac, washi tape, skittles, clover binding clips and a new seam ripper (which I knew my partner needed   since she posted about it on IG!).  And the package was ready to go.

I just found out this morning that she received it.  I am still waiting (not too patiently I might add) for my package to arrive.  This is definitely the hard part!  I had so much fun with this swap that Iimmediately signed up for another - the Strawberry Swap (IG #thestrawberryswap).