Sunday, June 30, 2019

Bee Inspired :: All Caught Up!

I don't know about you, but I find myself constantly putting off things until later.  I say I'll do it tomorrow, or next week and before I know it a month (or two) have gone by.  When I finally have no other choice than to get it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.  And, most of the time it was so much fun!

Case in point, my Bee Inspired prompt for April!  Here it's the end of June and I'm just getting to it.  

The April prompt from Shelagh @stuartmoorestextiles was 'April Showers Bring May Flowers'.  


One block needed to reflect the moody April weather using gray pink to dark pink with silver gray accents depicting rain.  These are images Shelagh provided us.  


The second bock was all about blue skies and yellow flowers.  The yellow didn't need to be an actual flower just shapes that resemble flowers.  

The pressure was on...

I decided to start with the flowers.  I gathered my yellow fabric and began the cultivating of my flowers.  Three flowers later, I what I needed.  Yet, I couldn't help but see three eggs over easy!  Yikes!  I reminded myself that these were flowers, they look like flowers and therefore...they shall be flowers!

My idea was the center would be darker as if they were still in the process of blooming, and from there the yellow would become lighter.  Improv flowers are very enjoyable to make, it's the 'fitting' together after the fact that can sometimes be the hard part!

18" x 18"
I had to walk away several times when I became frustrated, but kept coming back until the job was done.  I think it looks pretty good! 


When I make improv pieces like this, I get highly focused!  Almost like I'm in a frenzied trance!  Fabric is flying, rotary cutter is humming and the mess is growing.  By the end of it all I'm exhausted!  Literally mind-numb!

Do you ever feel like that?!  Not that I know this from first hand experience, but it's like running a marathon!  By the end a good stiff drink is needed!

The next day I tackled the moody block.  Once I came up with a semi thought out plan, I grabbed a variety of pink and gray fabric.  This is where my love of pink came in handy!  I have a lot to choose from.

17" x 18"
I just love the images of the pink skies that Shelagh included!  Whether they are real skies or computer enhanced, they are gorgeous.  I was drawn to the second photo and decided I would try to replicate it using curves.  

In order to get the vibe of the photo, I went heavy on the pink for about two-thirds of the block.  Working towards the top using more gray, but including slices of pink.  Does it look like a stormy sky?  Given the colors, the theme and the prompt, I think it works out to be just that!

My last curve adventure was 'Making Waves'.  I was so excited to finally get back to making something with curves again that I was inspired to do it again with this block.  I also promised a tutorial on curves and I have not forgotten!  I have all my strips ready to go...I just need to sit down and do it!

The devil is in the details as they say!  I can almost say I'm caught up with our Bee Inspired group!  

May was my month with the prompt:  A Moment of Zen.  With improv on the brain and being on a roll, I decided I'd try my hand at my own prompt.  I'm nearly finished and I'll share those along with the blocks I've received from my bee mates very soon.

Bee Inspired Mates:  

Kathryn @kupitis
Heather @quiltachusetts 
Audrey @artandstole
Christine @ccpquilt 
Daisy @warmfolk 

Our Hashtag if you want to follow along and see what were up to:  #beeinspired2019 

And of course, the original Bee Sewcial group:  #beesewcial  #inspiredbybeesewcial


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Cotton Cuts :: COSMOS Puzzle Mystery Quilt + Giveaway

I was very excited when I received an email asking if I'd like to participate in a Mystery Puzzle Quilt Blog Hop!  It didn't take but a second to say yes!  Jenny Unger of
Cotton Cuts is putting together what promises to be a super fun event!  

What really grabbed my attention and what I think is a game changer about this Mystery Puzzle Quilt, the pieces for each block are precut!  One challenge I've faced when participating in a block of the month is pulling out my fabric every month to cut and then make the block.  The idea of having the fabric cut and sent each month is mind blowing!

Cotton Cuts Fall 2019 Puzzle Mystery Quilt starts next month!  Cotton Cuts along with 8 other wonderful quilting bloggers/instagrammers are hosting a charity blog hop!

Each month, one of us will assemble a Puzzle Mystery Quilt clue and post about it.  At the end of the 9 month project, Cotton Cuts will finish the quilt and raffle it off, with all the proceeds going to Valley Industries.  Valley Industries is a sheltered workshop for disabled individuals that Cotton Cuts uses for their box fulfillment process.

You can get all the details at Cool Cottons Puzzle Mystery Quilt.  A few of the highlight details are:

Every month for ten (10) months you'll receive:

PRE-CUT pieces of fabric (triangles, squares and strips - we do all the cutting, even those pesky corners on your triangles - so you don't have to cut a thing!)

Instructions for turning the pieces of fabric into puzzle pieces.  This isn't a block of the month, but rather a puzzle pieces of the month!

In the tenth (10th) month, you'll receive the key to putting together the puzzle...

With the precut fabric, you purchase the colorway you'd like as well as the size of the quilt you'd like to make.  (48" x 60" and 72" x 72").  Quantities are limited and some colorways have sold out, so - reserve your colorway today!  

Click on this link to see what colorways are still available:  PMQ Colorways. 


Cotton Cuts has chosen Sunprints 2019 by Alison Glass for the PMQ 2019 Charity quilt.  
I will be making the August block and am anxiously awaiting the day my precut fabrics will arrive!

Again, check out Cotton Cuts for more information on the Cosmos Puzzle Mystery Quilt.

To kick things off, we are doing a Cosmos Clue scavenger hunt.  

Giveaway has ended!

The giveaway is for one (1) cosmos fat quarter bundle of your choice to one of my readers provided by Cotton Cuts.  

To be eligible to win, leave me a comment telling me which colorway is your favorite.  

But wait...that's not all...

For the Grand Prize winner, Cotton Cuts will randomly pick one (1) winner from the comments of all eight (8) blog hop bloggers/instagrammers!

Giveaway ends June 28th at Noon

Look for the clue on the following sites and enter to win prizes! 


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Mini Mini Binding :: A Tutorial

I've been on a mini mini obsession once again!  I cannot resist the challenge making mini quilts, as you are most likely aware, and thought it might be a good time to share my method of binding by making a tutorial.  


I don't believe there is a standard size for mini mini quilts, that decision should be left up to the maker.  I tend to stay in the 4-7" range, but have made a 2" before!  Whatever your comfort zone is, that's the size you should make.  If you want a challenge...go smaller!  The minis in this photo range from 5-6".

Many of my minis are paper pieced like this one:  Skinny Minny Geese.  The pattern is by Kelly of Jeli Quilts and available in her Payhip shop.  

Some paper pieced patterns are perfect for mini minis like this Skinny Minny Geese one, while others might be too big.  I solve that problem by reducing the size when printing the templates.  

I've made what seems like a 'gazillion' minis and have come up with a binding method that I use nearly every time.  It works well for me and I hope it works for you too!

Just like binding a standard quilt you need to figure out the length of binding needed.  I don't get my calculator and pencil out for this size of quilt!  I add up all the sides and then include another 8-10".  That will give you extra when joining the ends.

Cut your binding strip 1 1/4" x length needed.

Draw a 1/4" line on one end of the 1 1/4" strip.  It's easier to mark the line before sewing the binding on and will come in handy when joining the two ends.

Position the strip along the edge just like you would with any binding.  I  center the end in the middle on the edge.  

Using a scant 1/4", stitch 1/4" from the corner, backstitch.  Be sure to leave enough of a 'tail' in order to join the ends.  I sew about an 1" in length for the first side.


Miter the binding at the corner.

Stitch across the side stopping 1/4" from the corner and backstitch.

Continue sewing and mitering the corners on each side until you reach the fourth and final corner.  

At the final corner miter and pin the corner in place.  


Lay both ends of the binding flat along the edge.  Fold the binding so the fold is butted up against the edge of the marked binding.  Finger press to make a crease.

Draw a line that is 1/2" on the outside of the crease.

Cut off the extra binding.

Pin the two edges together and stitch on the line.  This is a 1/4" seam allowance.

*It can be difficult joining the ends on small mini minis  which why I pin the final corner.  If I need extra 'give' when sewing the ends together, I unpin the corner, sew the ends and repin the corner before sewing the final side.

Finger press the seam open and stitch across the final side.


From the back, fold the binding towards the quilt lining up the raw edges.  

Press and pin your binding to the back.  Gently fold the binding around the corners and pin in place.

Stitch the binding to back using your favorite finishing method.

This rainbow heart is 6" and is part of my Rainbow Heart Trio pattern that is available on Etsy.  It works well with prints or solids, rainbow or not! 

If you are a mini mini maker or would like to be, maybe this tutorial for the binding will tip you over the edge!!


Monday, June 17, 2019

Modern by the Yard:: Interlocked

It's time for another installment of Modern By The Yard!  For those who aren't familiar with the magazine it's published by Benartex and features quilted projects of all kinds along with a few fun extras.  The E-Zine is free and available to everyone.

I was asked to design a quilt using Weeks Ringle & Bill Kerr's yarn dyed collection 
Warp & Weft.  The woven fabrics are right up my alley!  The plaids, stripes and checkerboard are a beautiful combination and packed full of color.  

To view Issue #11 and all the previous issues by following this link:  Modern By The Yard.

Now on to the project...INTERLOCKED!

It was a challenge picking which fabrics were going to be featured in my design.  Normally I'd go crazy and use as many as I could, but I restrained myself and narrowed it to 
seven (7) woven and one (1) solid.

The block used in the quilt is a rectangle (6" x 13") graphic design that appears to connect or join together like a puzzle.  You may recognize the block from my Neon Pink in progress quilt, which is still in progress!

I love woven fabric whether it's stripes or shot cotton solids, but there is one thing that I've found is critical when working with this type of fabric.  Starch, starch and more starch!  The weave of woven fabrics is not as tight as regular cotton fabric and it can easily stretch or distort.  Starch makes the fabric stiff which helps when cutting and sewing.  This is a crucial step for me when I'm working with stripes or plaids.  Starch helps to keep the lines straighter, but I will say you will be hard pressed to get them perfect.  Never the less, I love woven fabrics and won't shy away from using them!

I used Aurifil white thread for a simple plaid like design and finished the quilt off using the dark blue plaid for the binding.  I will say it's a dream hand sewing the bindings on when its a woven fabric!  

The backing is the Tiny Plaid green, and for extra oomph I added a strip using left over pieces from the blocks across the back.  Who doesn't like doing that?!  It's such a great way of dealing with leftovers!

34" x 49 1/2"
I like to fine tune my designs (if it's going to become a pattern) by making is a couple times.  Besides my Neon Pink WIP, I also made the Interlocked version using just solids. 

Peach, apricot, coral, it's all there!  After making this one I knew it was going to live on and become the next quilt for my very own bed!  

It seems pretty modern to me and I don't know about you, but I see many possibilities with this design! From fabric, to background to colors.  It would make a great scrappy quilt, don't you think?!

I hope you check out the latest Modern by the Yard issue and all the others too!  There are some beautiful designs and lots of inspiration.

I'd love to see your quilt if you decide to make this design!  


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Tested and Mother Approved :: Half Circle Runner

Much like the old commercial for Kix the cereal...this design has been tested and approved!  Approved by me, but I don't think that matters in this case!

Half circles have been intriguing to me and when I finally made the time to play with them, I was hooked and inspired!  There are so many options and I was determined to make my mark in the world of circles.  

When I was testing I made several blocks in order to be sure I could line up the seams and get a feel for circles.  Half Circles :: The Test is the result of my efforts.  Efforts I was all to happy to make, happy with the results and happy to use said 'test' blocks and make a runner out of them!
15" x 42"
In my mind, that was the easy part.  The hardest part, and the part I struggle with the most is quilting.  I remember when I first started quilting and blogging I asked once if quilting really mattered that much.  Naive.  Newbie.  In my mind I thought back then that the design is what spoke, not quilting.  Perhaps that gives you a glimpse into my mind and why quilting scares me!  Quilting does matter.  It's the make or break of any design.    

So we stress about it.  We set projects aside until an idea feels right.  Or maybe we even send it off to a professional who can make the determination of the right design for us.  Granted, this is just a runner.  A small piece that is inconsequential in the long run, but one I want to be killer good!  Which leads me to continually trying to make quilting a part of the design.

I decided to just do...and not think too much about it.  My first decision was thread.  I used Aurifil #5022 in Mustard.  I felt like it would be a good choice to blend into all the colors and not standout too much. 

The first thing I did was stitch in the ditch around the circles.  Then it was diagonal lines around the outside.   I first had my lines marked at 1", and then decided to make them 1/2".  It seemed so simple.  I struggled with making the lines line up, spaced evenly and at the right angle!

Struggle, yes!  I made it through and then had the circles to focus on.  I've never been one to see the big to say this was easy is a stretch!  It seemed appropriate to add some circles and that's just what I attempted to do!  

I will never say I nailed a pebble! some point it doesn't matter!  I will always and forever factor in the fact that pebbles are not perfectly round and after washing and the crinkle matters very little!

After pebbles, was a little swag action and a geometric star of sorts.  

I'm comfortable with how it turned out, enough so that it was time to bind it with a dark purple!  Which made for a very happy night of hand stitching Which I love to do so much.  No sarcasm...I really do!

I'm going to call this little adventure a test that panned out!!  It gave me the confidence to make an actual quilt using larger blocks. The troubling part for me is...lets revisit the to quilt it!


I don't want to quilt this.  I do not want to quilt this one!!  I do not want to do sub par quilting on this quilt....HELP!

That's where I'm at right now!  My mind says that there is so many options for this design, my common sense says 'you ain't gonna do it justice'!  I believe this is going to hang on my design wall for many months to come!

Normally I don't bring personal into my quilting blog.  However the past few days have been so devastating and heartbreaking that I'd like to make mention and request that you pray for a couple of families.

One of my daughters best friends husband just passed on Thursday of brain cancer.  He first had tumors four years ago and had a clean bill of health until a year ago when the tumors returned. His family grew since then to include Julian (8 months old) as the little brother to Elvie (9).  Aaron and Jessica were one of those couples who you knew were destined to be together as one.  Aaron passed on Thursday at the very young age of 33.  His brain cancer brought everyone to their knees.  Unexpected to say the least.

Also, my ex-sister-in-law succumbed to brain cancer just this morning.  She fought for ten years with colon cancer and in the past month she received the devastating news that she had brain cancer.  She fought valiantly for so long only to have another death sentence handed down to her. 

If you can send a prayer, I know that these families would receive it with open arms.  It's such a devastating diagnosis for anyone.  One, but two...Prayers...that's all that matters.