Sunday, January 25, 2015

Perfectly Imperfect

My love affair with feed sack and teeny tiny squares has officially come to an end!  I must have touched, pieced and looked at 2000 2" squares the past week.  Revisiting this again is not in the near future!

Hopefully it will also bring to an end my OCD regarding leftovers! Honestly, I cannot finish a project and move on when there are extra pieces.  Cannot do it!  In my defense (and I'm really pushing this), I had to use each and every square left from my Postage Stamp quilt. Why? Because the prints were paired with white.  White is hard to match.  This particular white belonged to my daughter, and I haven't a clue what kind it is.  I didn't want to get it mixed with something else....see OCD!!  Anyone else have this problem?!


With that confession, I'm introducing my Postage Stamp Trilogy!  Seriously, I made three! This is the last in the series! (for now).  I wanted to make it a little more traditional and add some color.  The second one I haven't shared yet.  It's traditional with a slightly modern twist.  

I decided to use a block called Retro Cross Roads.  That's the name I know it by, but as we all know sometimes there are several different names for the same block.  





This block is 12" unfinished.  Normally for this block, the center and corner squares don't have a solid.  But since I had some of these center blocks already made, I decided to make it work for me. 


I love the X's!  It's like a great big kiss in the middle of all the little squares!


There is a slight problem.  After sewing the rows together, I discovered one row doesn't line up.  It is way, way off!  Like 1/4" or more!  Now that's a problem!  Can you see it?!  It's so irritating!

Tomorrow I will fix that issue!  I need to buy some white batting tomorrow.  I don't often use white, but it sure makes a difference if you are using white fabric in your quilt or backing. 

I'm not sure how I will quilt it.  It's small and manageable, so maybe this can be FMQ practice.


I've been thinking.  I feel like I get tunnel vision when working on a project.  Like postage stamp quilts.  I made three.  Back to back.   Then there was all the khaki/woven stripes/feather projects.  Hand dyed HST's...see what I mean?!  

 What about you?  Do you do that?  Or do you like to change it up after every project?  Maybe even have several going at once?  

It is interesting how we work.  Methodical or free spirit sewing.  I sometimes sew both ways...after all you know what they say...

Variety is the spice of life!

What?!  

I think what it means:  You should try different things, because trying different things keeps it interesting!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Off Set Log Cabin Tutorial ~ Jelly Roll



Off Set Log Cabin 
12 1/2” x 12 1/2” BLOCK 
(24 Blocks = 1 Jelly Roll)  

1 Jelly Roll (40 - 2 1/2” strips 43”/44”)
3 - 4 Fat Quarters/Scraps (setting square)
1/2 yard - Border
1/2 yard - Binding
4 yards - Backing

CUTTING
A - Qty 24
4 1/2” x 4 1/2”

B - Qty 24 
2 1/2” x 4 1/2”

C - Qty 48
2 1/2” x 6 1/2”

D - Qty 48
2 1/2” x 8 1/2”

E - Qty 48
2 1/2” x 10 1/2”

F - Qty 24
2 1/2” x 12 1/2”

* Each block requires: 1 A, B & F piece and 2 C, D & E pieces

Sew piece B to piece A.  Press seams.  
Add C pieces, D Pieces, E pieces and end with F.  Refer to chart.

Arrange your blocks in a layout you like.  Sew each block together, press seams.  Sew your rows together, press seams.
  
If you choose to add a border, now is the time!  I cut my pieces 3” wide sewing the top and bottom on first, then the sides.  Pressing the seams towards the border.

This is the layout that I used for my Batik Jelly Roll Finish 


And a few other possibilities!



 This would be a great project for not only jelly rolls, but perfect for using up some scraps!

Tip:  By adding more 2 1/2” strips you could make your blocks even bigger!  Or maybe sashing in between the blocks?!  
  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Postage ~ Over Due!!

Where to begin!  I tend to work from project to project.  I love starting and finishing one thing at a time.  I may be thinking about my next project during that time, but I usually finish one thing first. 

People talk about their UFO's and WIP's.  Some have none, while others have 3, 4 or 10!! When I see that I think to myself, 'Self...how can that be?  Self, you don't have any UFO's or WIP's'.  And then BAM, I remember.  I have one that has been lingering in the deep, dark depths of my fabric closet.  Tucked away, shoved to the side and happily forgotten.

Back in 2011, I agreed to make a postage stamp quilt with my daughter Britt.  She would help, we would make two.  One for her and one for me. We were going to use a white solid and feed sack prints. We set about cutting 2" squares.  There wasn't any strip piecing here! We had with 60 different prints.  After our cutting marathon we ended up with the following:

1858 2" print squares
and 
1856 2" white squares

Needless to say, by the end we put them all neatly in a tote for later. Overwhelming is an understatement!  Super long story short...

We made one quilt back in 2013.  And it was for my daughter.  One down. Put the tote away.  Forget.



Okay, now it was time to delve into the deepest, darkest shelf.  Pull out the tote. Do it again. This time I was on my own.  My daughter has moved on from this quilting nonsense! 
Bound and determined I began the long and daunting task of piecing each and every teeny tiny square together.

Tote Full of Squares
Pieced Together Squares
Loving The Seams!
Pinned and Ready To quilt
Block by block.  Seam by seam. Stitch by stitch.  The long monotonous process went on and on and on and on. Until the end when this happened!

48" x 68"
An amazing piece of goodness!  


Straight line quilting.  Bright white backing.  Hand stitched binding. Machine washed and dried. Crinkle magic happening!




That...My daughter Britt.  Why is she so happy?  She didn't have to help is my guess!!  XOXO
The break down on this quilt:
1632 2" blocks
816 White
816 Feedsack prints

48" x 68"
60 different prints
Kona White back
Machine Quilted

If you are still reading...I'm happy!  This is rather a long winded post!

I have always love this kind of quilt.  It takes hours and hours of work from start to finish. Each step made me excited to get to the next step.  And yes, by the time I got to the end I was ready for it to be done!  

Believe it or not there are still blocks left over!  Crazy...crazy...crazy!  Me, well its hard to let go.  Hard to put them back in the tote and cram it in the closet.  I want to use them all.  I don't want to revisit this project later. When it's time, I'll cut more.  Most likely in a few years after this!

Yes, I made something else.  But, I'll share that a bit later!

Linking:

Monday, January 19, 2015

Batik Jelly Roll Finish

Time to share my first quilt finish of the year.  Here is is January 19th and I haven't finished a quilt yet...what the heck?!

I started this quilt the first week of the New Year.  Total Opposite.  Using a beautiful Batik Jelly Roll for the inspiration.  

51" x 73"
The colors are amazing!  My first thought was not to use the greens, but in the end I feel they work and don't stand out like a sore thumb!



I machine quilted using a straight line grid and then filled in some of the blocks with a free motion 'finger' design.  Free motion quilting is something I am not comfortable with.  I'm getting pretty good with the crazy finger design!  Hopefully I can try something else on the next project!


Normally borders don't make the cut with my quilts.  This one needed a beautiful frame and using the rich, dark purple worked for me.  The purple is Kona Regal and was available at Joann's at one time.



I love pieced backs.  I knew I wanted to use a few different colors.  Having an extra batik block, I got my 'log cabin' on and pieced this large version.  Around the batik block is Kona Regal, from there it goes to Cerise, Hibiscus, Purple and Indigo!  (all Kona)


I did say I was going to get a tutorial for this block...and it's just about finished!  Yay! I'll get that posted soon!

LINKING:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Fabric Heaven~New Stash

Not much excites me more than new fabric!  I hate to admit that, but it's true! Yesterday was pure bliss...


First up:
Bella Solids and Shape Flex Fusible Interfacing.  This batch is Bella Shocking Pink, Aqua and Gray.  Stefanie is a wonderfully talented lady and a member of Music City Modern Quilt Guild. She also has an online fabric shop featuring Moda.  Cotton Bliss. It's fun to order and get your fabric hand delivered!!  

I have never tried the shape flex interfacing.  Stefanie highly recommends it and I decided to give it a try.


I am always one step behind the latest and greatest trends!  Low volume.  Low volume. Low volume.  After expressing interest in acquiring some,  another Guild Member sweetly tagged me on Instagram with some great options.  Jenny seems to always have an awareness of what is current.  She is amazing and I am so happy she roped me into joining our guild!  

These two fat quarter bundles are from Pink Castle Fabrics.  I have to say this is my first purchase from them and I will be back for more!  Super, super fast shipping!

The top bundle is Word Up.  Love the text prints so much!  While I was shopping, I saw the wonderful solids bundle...how could I resist?!  That bundle is called All The White Stuff.  I cannot wait....

You would think that was enough, right?

No...


The sweetest little surprise was given to me from Kate Alicea!  Also a Guild member and another sweet and generous lady!  She wasn't sure what kind of low volume fabric I was interested in, so she brought me samples from her very own private stash!  

Besides calling this post Fabric Heaven, I should call it Amazing Guild Friends!  Our guild has been growing so fast since I first joined.  I have met some amazing people...all so very talented, hilarious and amazing!  I look forward to our monthly meetings so much.  Secretly, I wish every Saturday was a guild meeting!!!

LINKING:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Oy Vey ~ Bionic Bag Workout

I always say I want to try new things!  Push myself!  Case in point:

Have you heard or seen the Bionic Gear Bag?  Back in October or November, a couple ladies showed their bags at our Guild meeting.  Many of us were amazed and decided we should make one!  With encouragement from our 'Bag Specialist' Jenny and Stefanie, we ordered zippers, picked fabric, bought the patterns and started making the bags together via Facebook.  Stefanie started us out right before Christmas with some great videos, but with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we put it on hold.

I decided it was time to finish it up.  I can read...I'm sure I can finish it!  I'm not a person who can make bags/purses.  They intimidate me.  Freak the crap out of me!  But I was determined to power through.  



The pattern is available through Craftsy.  Here is the link to the Bionic Gear Bag.

I picked Tula Pink and Anna Maria Horner fabric for my bag.  Love the combination of fabrics together!



The first step was zippers.  Lot's of zippers! This bag has 5 zippers total and I choose 5 different colors.    



Such a pretty combination!  It seems like I never can remember from one zipper project to the next how to put zippers in.  Retention is not my strong suit!



I'm not going to lie.  I had to read some of the direction over and over and over before I figured it out. The step where you put the sides on...I ripped it out three times!  The first time I discovered I didn't sew the two pieces together before attaching them to the pockets! Then I put one side on the wrong way!


This bag is a massive tug of war!  Twisting, turning, pulling and pushing!  I was scared for my machine!!  

Once I got the sides on the right way, it was time to fit the outside together.  Pins are your friend through each and every step of this bag!  


  
With all of the pieces together the final steps are binding.  It was a long and slow process. I have never machine sewn a binding from start to finish.  You thought I used a lot of pins in the previous picture?  You should have seen the binding pins.  I wanted to be sure I actually stitched in the ditch while actually catching the other side of the binding!  For the most part it was a success.  

The part that I was worried about was the big long crazy zipper!  However, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be!  



Look at all the zippers!  I do have a few spots that aren't pretty.  A couple of the inside pockets I missed catching the inside lining by a tiny little bit.  

My take on this bag, my bag...I love it!  It's full of personality, especially with the flaws. In my eyes however, its perfect!  I do want to make another one, one day...soon!  It was a huge struggle.  You almost need to be a bionic woman to make it!  I powered through.  

I tend to jump into things and then second guess myself.  I'm happy I did.  It was a huge confidence builder.  Huge!



Look at the space!  I'm not sure I have enough 'stuff' to fill it up!  I may have to go shopping!

Has anyone made the Bionic Gear bag before?  What did you think of the process? Will you make it again?  I heard there is a smaller version of this kind of bag.  I would love to find that pattern too!


It's too cute not to show it again....

LINKING:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chevron Tutorial

I love Chevrons!  And if I can make them quickly, all the better!  I recently tried this method and was very pleased with it.  I may have been the last one on the planet to try it! Just in case I'm not, I made a tutorial!  

Start with 2 squares the same size.  Place them right sides together.



Stitch around the entire outside using a 1/4" seam.  I don't usually use black thread on white...but you couldn't see the white thread!



Next, cut diagonally from corner to corner.


This will give you 4 HST (half square triangles).  Press seams.  Trim the little ears off!


Arrange your blocks into a lovely little Chevron.


With right sides together sew the two top pieces together using a 1/4" seam.  Repeat with the two bottom pieces.  Press seams.  I like to press one seam to the left and one to the right when making HST's.  That way when I sew the top and bottom together, the center seams lock together.  
  

Lastly, sew the top to the bottom piece, matching the center seams.  Press seam. 


And there you have it!  One quick set of four HST's! 

A couple notes:
I used 8" squares starting out.
After cutting diagonally, I ended up with 4 - 5 1/4" HST's
The finished Chevron is 10" square

Friday, January 9, 2015

Me & My Arrow

I have been obsessed with feathers.  I know you couldn't tell...as it seems every other post I do is feather this or feather that!  This is the last one.  I'm moving on. Different colors, fabric and designs.  

This table runner was another one of my experiments.  I wanted to put a twist on the feathers and finally try to make arrow.  Testing...testing...   

15" x 45"

Here's the scoop:

Smaller feathers.  Yep!  I used Anna Maria Horner's pattern.  HERE.  I used up some of the left over pieces from the bigger feathers and had to make a few more strips.  There were a few modifications, but all in all it was the same process as the big feathers.  The feather blocks ended up being 7 1/2" x 10 1/2".  


I tried to make my very own version of an arrow, however it strained my brain and didn't turn out as good as I wanted it to.  Luckily there are others who have shared and mastered the arrow technique!  I ended up finding this perfectly great ARROW tutorial at Grace & Favour.


I shortened the arrow to fit a table runner and to have a better fit with my feathers.  This arrow is 3 1/2" x 13"  


It still needed a little extra.  Some filler.  Chevrons seemed like a very good idea.  I tried a different method for the HST's.  Something different, something new for me!  It sometimes is the little things that excite me!  I have a tutorial in the works!

Piecing together all the elements was pretty easy and straight forward.  The backing is an off-white and the binding is Kona Raffia.  

My favorite 1/2" geometric straight line quilting put the final touches this baby needed.



Next time you see feathers ~ I hope it ends up being in a quilt.  I will be making one.  Just not in the near future!