I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday

Finished: Can I get a Whoo Hoo!? because I got a couple of those...

July Bee Blocks - Done and in the mail.  These blocks were fun and easy to do.  Of course it helped that this month's bee mama had all the squares cut out for us.  Thanks Michelle!  Also, I was really excited to see that Little Island Quilting finished her quilt using our bee blocks.  It came out Awesome.  You can check it out here.

Doll Quilt Swap 11 - Done and waiting to be mailed.  You can read more about this quilt here and here.  I was thinking this quilt (made larger) would be fun for a Quilt-A-Long.  Anyone interested?

New Projects: Thank heavens NO! I spent most of this week playing catching up. It is amazing what a list will do for ya.

On Going Projects:

Make Mine Modern Swap - I am making a sewing machine cover for my partner.  She had a couple of them on her inspiration mosaic.  So, I think she might like one. 
Farmers Wife QAL - I am almost up up date with my Farmers Wife blocks....still cutting and piecing.  You can read more about them here.

Memory Quilt - Lots of progress was made with this quilt.  I have about half of my blocks put together and I am almost ready to lay this out and start arranging the blocks.  This is my favorite part.  The surprise inside.  I love seeing how it all comes together. 

Still No Progress: -
2010 Scrap Quilt
Apple Core Quilt

Follow me over to Freshly Pieced to see what everyone else has on their sewing table this week for Work in Progress Wednesday.  :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

With a Twist - A Finished Quilt

As some of you may have guessed from my last post, I have finished my Doll Quilt.  I was very excited about being part of this swap.  I has been so much fun.  From stalking my partner on Flickr, putting pen to paper, making the quilt, and now putting together all those fun little extras.

When trying to design this quilt, I played around with a lot of different shapes but felt like, that’s been done or I have seem those a thousand times.  It wasn’t until my husband suggested right angle triangles, than things finally fell into place.  You don’t often see those, but the hardest had to be the math.  I had to make sure the doll quilt measured less than 18” and had at least 6 pieced blocks.  Sounds a little like algebra to me, don't you think!?  I knew some test blocks were in order, but where to start?  That is when I knew I had to pull out the paper cutter and start cutting out triangles. 

See Lighting McQueen over there in the corner?  Yeah, that means my little guy was "helping."  Sometimes I am amazed that I get anything done. 

So, there was more than one test block and a lot of trimming involved in the making of this quilt.  I had some trouble getting the rectangle points to line up properly.  But after some trial and error I finally got them right and couldn't be happier with the results.

Quilt Details:
Fabrics: Kona white, and some bright colored scraps from my stash
Finished Quilt Measurements: about 14" x 14" square
Blocks and Piecing: 4" blocks, in a 4 x 4 layout
Quilting: Echo quilting in a zig-zag pattern

Today, I am linking this up to Fabric Tuesday over at QuiltStory.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hang Your Quilt Using Corner Pockets & Command Hooks

Today while I working on my mini quilt for DQS11, it occurred to me that it isn't much discussed how to hang these lovelies.  Or maybe it is, and I just haven't noticed?  I hope that isn't the case, but you know, it happens.  :) 
Anyways, after I finished my quilting and squared up my quilt, I cut 2 - 31/2" squares and ironed them in half diagonally.

Then I placed the triangles in the top 2 corners and used a zig-zag stitch to secure along the edge, reinforcing the ends.

Once my corner triangles were attached, I sewed on my binding and did a quick check to the front to make sure all my zig-zag stitching was hidden in my seam allowance.

I hand sew my binding to the back with a invisible stitch, but if you wish to do it by machine, that is fine, either methods will work.

Once your binding is on, you are ready to hang your precious little lovely. 

In the above picture I have a piece of 1/4" board that I had stole from my husband's wood pile.  I like it because it lays flat and doesn't bow.  You can get board like this in the lumber section at your local hardware store and sometimes even at the craft store.  It is inexpensive (at the hardware store) for a long piece and it cuts simply with a hand saw.  Just sand down any rough edges, and you are ready to go.

I like to attach Command Hooks to my wall when I hang quilts, for 2 reasons...
  1. It is easy to move around or change the quilts I have up on my wall.
  2. I am horrible about how I measure, and where the nails should go.  I usally just eyeball it, and end up with way too many holes in the wall.  I don't have that problem with the Command Hooks. 

Isn't she pretty all bright and happy?  I think I might be a little sad to see her go, but she was made for another.  I just hope my partner loves her as much as I do. 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsered post. All opions are my own. If you know of a product similar to Command, I am sure it would work just as well. I just happen to like this product and thought I would share.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Farmers Wife Friday - Week #3

This week I skipped around a bit.  I had to get away from the #13 template.  Every time I see that little guy I just cringe.  I have cut enough of them to last me a lifetime. 

#80 Single Wedding Star

#7 Bird in the Air 

#61 Northern Lights

10 blocks down 101 blocks to go...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Reading through blogs...

The Next button has changed my BLOGGING life!  Pardon my french, but now that I have added it to my Favorites bar, I find it much easier to read and comment on my favorite blogs.   

 Don't get me wrong I didn't mind Google Reader, but I have a love/hate relationship to it.  I loved that you could read blogs quickly and when your time is limited that is a plus, but if you want to leave comments... Well that takes more time that I don't always have.

 I hate that Google Reader has made me a horrible comment poster.  OK, maybe that isn't Google Readers fault.  Maybe I am just lazy, but you must admit it can be a pain to scroll back up after you just read a post, to click the link to get back to the original blog post, then scroll back down to the end of the post, you just read, and leave a comment.  Phew!  That was a long winded sentence, but you catch my drift right? 

Beside I am a visual person and Google Reader is drab and boring.  I would must rather read through my blogs on bright colorful pages filled with crafty delights and useful links. 

If you want to add a NEXT button to your Favorites Bar check out this tutorial I ran across on Clover and Violet.

And because every blog post needs a picture....

Check back soon to see what I have done with these cute little postage stamp blocks....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Holy scraps!  It has been weeks since I last caught you up with a Work in Progress Wednesday post.  To be honest lately I have been feeling a very overwhelmed.  I have been busy with the kids and feel that the people closest to me are pulling me in different directions, for one reason or another.  So, in an effort to feel less overwhelmed, I cleaned out my sewing space (my happy place) and accessed what I have going on, commitments deadlines, and unfinished projects. 

First up my, I {heart} the 80's Swap, is done and ready to shipped off to my partner.  I am just waiting to hear back from my swap mama for the OK.  More on this one once my partner receives her goodies.

New Projects: - Yeah, a got a few of those...

Doll Quilt Swap - I am so excited about this one.  Here is the the quilt top.  I just need to add a boarder, piece the back, and of course quilt it, but all that seems like cake now that I figured out the math on the right angle triangles.  Boy, they were a pain.  Is it to much to ask to have all your points match up? 

Make Mine Modern Swap - I gotta plan on this one and it is almost done.  I will share more on this one soon.
July Bee Blocks - Got to get these started and sent out, July is almost over for heaven sake.

On Going Projects:
Memory Quilt - in my last post for WIP Wednesday I mentioned that I was sketching out some ideas and going through the my bin of baby clothes.  I am happy to report that I have most of the quilt cut and should be ready to start piecing soon.  This weekend if the sun, the moon, and the stars all aline. 

Farmers Wife Quilt-Along - No completed blocks since my last Farmers Wife post, but I have spent some time cutting out the pieces.  Some of these blocks have a lot of half square triangles!  I am connecting with my inner Farmers wife and tracing and cutting out each template indivually.  So, this might take a little time.

No Progress:
2010 Scrap Quilt - I still need to finish hand quilting this quilt, but it is too hot, I live in Florida after all.  Who wants to sit under a heavy quilt in this heat?  I might have to wait till winter to finish this one.
Apple Core Quilt - haven't touch this one in ages....

Wow!  I thought this was suppose to de-stress me.  It has a little....at least now I am organized.  Now it is time for something fun.  Follow me over to Freshly Pieced and see what everybody else has going on.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jeweled Bobby Pins {a tutorial}

Believe it or not, but I am actually starting to think about Christmas.  This year I am going to be organized.   Of course I say that every year, but this year I really am going to try.   I would love if I could make it a handmade Christmas, but I do realize with 3 kids and a husband who travels, that might be a little difficult.

First up, some Jeweled Bobby Pins.  On my Christmas List I have some friends and cousins who live up north, that have school aged daughters.  Every year I try to find (or make) them something cute or unique, but they must be small, lightweight, and easily shipped.  Nothing worse than paying more for shipping than the gift is worth.


For this project you are going to need some bobby pins with a wide bar, beads, and some fishing line.  I did try this out with some jewelry/craft wire, but I was not happy with the results.  The fishing line worked much better.

First, I cut a length of fishing line about 25 inches long.  Then, I threaded it through the back of the bobby pin and centered it.  Then I inserted both ends of the line through the bead, and slid it down to the end.

Lay your bead flat on the bar of the bobby pin and cross each side of your line under the top bar, then bring the line up again, as pictured above.
Repeat till you have the desired amount of beads on your bobby pin.

Once you have the desired amount of beads along your bobby pin it is time to secure the ends.  Too do this take both ends of the line and and insert it back through the last bead, pull tight, and knot. 

Then pull it through one more bead and snip off the extra line. 

As you can see we had some fun today with some different bead combinations.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mosaic Monday - Doll Quilt Swap 11

I am super excited because partner assignments came out last weekend for the Doll Quilt Swap on Flickr and I am in!  For those of you are not familar there is a lottery for each round of the Doll Quilt Swap since there are so many who want to participate.  I am a total newbie at this, and I am really excited to make a miniature bed style quilt, for my secret partner.  My quilt has to be at least 9" but no more than 18" on any one side, and it must have at least 6 pieced blocks. 

I also need to make a mosaic so my partner can get to know me better.  As you can see I am leaning towards bright and colorful quilts.....

1. Just about ready to send..., 2. DQS 10 Received, 3. DQS 10 received from Lolablueocean, 4. My Mini from Isabel, 5. DQS10 Quilt Received!, 6. Doll quilt from Quiltedoma, 7. At Last!, 8. DQS 10 Quilt Received, 9. DQS10_Front, 10. Cacophony of Color - Bella Solids Parade, 11. DQS11 Angel Quilt #2, 12. DQS11 Angel Quilt #6

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Machine Embroidery - Framed Art

Have you ever wanted to frame any of the great machine embroidery designs that are out there?  I love this design that I got from Urban Threads and it is perfect for one of the swaps I have coming up.  I have unsuccessfully tried to frame machine embroidery designs in the past, but the fabric alone, just isn't strong enough, and if you have a dense design like this on the fabric tends to pucker and doesn't lay flat. 

 If you are a regular follower of my blog you may know that I love this product from Pellon, called Peltex 72F Double-sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer.  I have great results when using it for machine embroidery, and this project is just screaming for me to use it.  

You will need a few things:
  • a frame (with or without the glass)
  • the tread you need to digitize your design
  • your machine's hoop with a inside of at least 8"x6"
  • Sticky - or similar self-adhesive, tear-away stabilizer product 
  • Peltex 72F Double-sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer
  • a scrap of white cotton fabric

First, you are going to iron your piece of white fabric to the rough side of your Peltex, and then peel off the clear film off the back.  Trim down your fabric covered Peltex to a 6"x8" rectangle and mark your center guidelines with a disappearing ink marker.  Just enough at the edge and a dot in the middle, so your can line up your needle.  This is important because you can't apply water to it later to remove the markings.  

Hoop your Sticky into your hoop, being careful that your hoop guidelines match up to the Sticky guidelines.  Then remove the top layer (or paper) to reveal the Sticky.  Then use your guidelines place the Peltex rectangle into your hoop.

Load into your machine and digitize your design.

Once your design is digitized remove from hoop, and cut away the excess Sticky from around the edges.  Do Not remove the Sticky from the back of the Peltex, just leave it attached.  It is best not to disturb, if possible. 

Next you are going to trim to a 5"x7" rectangle using your guidelines to keep your design centered.

Now it should fit perfectly into your frame.  Secure the back of your frame as needed.  

This project is a great for all those unused or thrifted frames you have lying around the house.  Also, I have used frames with the glass or without.  It is more of a personal preference, than a requirement

I love the way this project comes out. 
The Peltex stabilizer gives it just enough strength to make the design clean and crisp. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Farmers Wife Friday #2

I spent the better part of this week catching up and making blocks for the Farmers Wife Quilt Along.  I know I don't have to but I hate start a project one step behind.   It just sets me up for a fail later.  Besides it was a rough week and I really needed some quilt therapy. 

Here is what I have done so far....

I redid this one from last week, because the color combination was truly bothering me.  Besides, I think I really want to have a bit of the off white in every block, to keep the look cohesive, and the previous block had none.  Now, I am happy.  :)

Did anyone else have trouble with this one?  I had to do it a couple of times.  It keep shrinking down to under a 6" square.  Cutting out all 32 triangles each time was not fun either.  Thankfully when I was just about to throw in the towel.... the last one I did, came out correctly.  

Here is what they look like together. 

This has been a fun learning experience for me.  I have dusted off some of some the old piecing skills I haven't used in years and learned some new ones.