A Quilt for Nana

010This small quilt was a long time coming for my mother in law. Years and years ago, I had bought fabric that matched her newly decorated basement and attempted a quilt that was far beyond my skill level at the time. Understandably, I got incredibly frustrated and set it aside.

Fast forward almost a decade to when I came across the leftover fabric that I had bought, I decided to make her a simple, fast disappearing nine patch. I pulled as much of the original fabric as I could and then added some white on white prints and some of my favorite texty print, How to Make Chicken Soup.I decided to make it very random by making my nine patches all different. Anything went as far as placement of the fabrics and colors. After I cut them down, I tried make sure there was balance and flow.

017I had a bit of fabric leftover and decided to get creative piecing the back with a few extra blocks. I quilted vines and leaves along with some loops. I even quilted a hidden message in it for her to find later.

021I love how this came out. While it is a small quilt, it fits her really well and it looks amazing in her not so newly decorated basement!

WIP Jacob’s Ladder

I’ve been working on the pieces for a Jacob’s Ladder quilt for about a month now here and there. I had just finished all of the scrappy four patches when germs distended on our home. First, the little man got the flu. He lovingly shared it with my mother-in-law and my hubby. I was fortunate to escape the bug. I thought that sanitizing the house and not sharing kisses protected me and while it did from the flu, I caught a nasty head cold that gave me a sinus infection. So for the past week and a half, progress on this top came to a screeching halt and all energy was spent on getting a the house healthy again.

I managed to sneak in a bit of time a few days ago to sew the half square triangles and today, I finally managed to get them pressed and trimmed. I pulled a lot of aqua and teal from my stash to make these. I even cut into a few of my top ten favorite fabrics!

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I was just going to call it a day there but I couldn’t wait to see some of the possible layouts. I don’t have a real design wall, just a cheap flannel backed table cloth that I hang from the open beams. It works for the time being. Making a design wall is pretty low on my priorities at the moment.

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I realized after I had changed the layout again that the bottom middle of this one wasn’t quite right but I hope it’s good enough that you see what I was going for.

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I’d love to hear from you about which layout you like the best. I’m struggling to decide myself and would love some feedback from you guys!

(Sorry if you got this post twice! I’m learning wordpress on my new kindle fire and had a hiccup with some of the pics not showing up!)

Vortex Purse

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My other sister also received a purse for Christmas this year. I made the panels for this vortex like purse by digging through my strips and using anything that was in the color spectrum. I had very little utility cloth left, so I did some reverse math to make the pattern. Once I had the size decided, I layered the utility cloth with batting and started sewing pieces down. I decided not to free motion over the panel once it was to size because I was concerned that it would distract from the piecing.

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After the PDX Purse fiasco of assembling, I was much more confident in making this. It was still incredibly awkward sewing the top stitch and in some spots, you can really see where I got off track, but I’m happy to say that with each bag I make, it is getting easier and my skills are improving.

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I did a mishmash of two different fabrics for the lining and a solid dark green for the pocket. The purse is only 14″ by 11″ so I didn’t install a snap or a flap for closing it. I also didn’t use duck cloth for the bottom of the bag like I did for the PDX Purse and my Tinkertote. I’m sure it will hold up well for my sister without it, and if it starts to get too worn, it just gives me an excuse to make her another one, right?!

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These adorable Corgi pillows went to my sister-in-law, owner of the cutest Corgi, Scooter. I made the silhouettes by going to her facebook page and tracing pictures she had posted of him. Then, I traced it on the wrong side of my fabric and used needle turned applique to finish the edges.

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This was the first time I had also tried paper piecing. Once I got the feel for it, and a better eye for judging how big my fabric needs to be for each piece, I had fun making the stars. I will definitely be using paper piecing again, it is a great way to make complicated blocks and have all the points meet.

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On the second pillow, I pulled all the lime, aqua and teal fabric could find and made these tiny plus blocks. The finished squares are only an inch! Some of the smallest piecing I have ever done!

Check out Pillow Pallooza Part 1 andPart 2 to see the other cute pillows I’ve made! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope every one has a great day!

PDX Purse

Before my sister moved to Tennessee last August, we sisters celebrated my birthday by going to a local fabric store, dinner and then dessert. A perfect afternoon. While at the store, my sister casually pointed out a few fabrics that she really liked and dropped the hint that a few of them would make a really cute Portland themed purse. So while she was looking at different fabric, I grabbed what I could that wouldn’t draw too much suspicion. I found the cute bike fabric and the Waterfront Park bridges at Hawthorne Threads, then pulled a few things from my stash.

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I didn’t use a pattern for this purse, but I did apply a lot of the lessons from the Tinker Tote Craftsy class. I pieced the whole front panel of the purse together before layering it with batting and utility cloth before I free motion quilted the design. I hadn’t found a rain fabric I liked in the color way I wanted, so I quilted a rain motif as well as clouds and sun. Even though most native Portlanders would never use an umbrella, I thought it would be super cute. Then I tried writing and some block letters for the first time. Overall, I am very happy with the result. I added some yellow duck cloth and straight line quilted the bottom for a very sturdy, durable base.

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I made a cute little pocket with the paper clip fabric that I am love with. The Tinker Tote class is totally worth the price just for the zipper pocket instructions. I have used it three times now and every time I use it, I am amazed at how easy it is.

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It wasn’t all easy. I got really frustrated with the straps and turning the bag. I think ripped and resewed the last seam about five times before I called it good. Even then, I realized I did the straps wrong, but I wasn’t going to rip it again. Sorry sis! Next purse I make you will have better straps, I promise!

I hope you all have a great day!

Pillow Pallooza Part 2

I had a blast making these three pillows for some of my husbands extended family. They are very near and dear to my heart and I wanted to show them that. The first is a swoon block I made for my Aunt-in-law. 024This was my first time meandering and I am really happy with how it came out and how much fun it was to quilt. I almost wish I had put borders around the block so that the pattern is easier to identify. Lesson learned.050Next is a pillow I made for my Cousin-in-law. I decided to try machine applique for the first time. It wasn’t as intuitive as I had hoped it would be and I struggled a bit with it. I hope that as I work on these techniques that they will become easier, or maybe machine applique is not for me.022My Grandma-in-law had been hospitalized for 2 weeks just before the holiday and I really hope that this brightens her living room a little and reminds her that her grandson and I think of her often and love her very much. I LOVED making the granny square and hope this year to make a quilt with this block. I quilted it simply, hoping to emphasize the lines.

I’ve been enjoying taking a much needed break from sewing to get through the crazy holiday rush and catch my breath from the five christmas celebrations. Then yesterday at work, I managed to cut my finger really well. At first I didn’t think I needed stitches, but hours later, I decided to go to the urgent care. Sure enough, I needed 6 stitches and now the break I’ve been enjoying has become mandatory until the stitches come out, or at least until I can bend my finger a bit better. I’d post a picture, but I’m not sure how many of you would appreciate that.

I hope everyone has had a fabulous holiday season and very happy new year!

Pillow Pallooza part 1

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I’m excited I can finally start sharing the many Christmas gift projects I have been working on! These pillows are for my Mom who is going to use them in a John Deer inspired office for her husband.

I had these wonky circle blocks stuck in my head for months thanks to pinterest. I am very new to curves and wanted to practice a design that is a little more forgiving than more traditional blocks. I used a variation of stack and whack to make these. I stacked up squares of fabric and clipped the top right corner. Then I cut a curve in all of the fabric and shuffled the cut pieces until I was happy with them and sewed them back together, Then I’s stack them together, using the clipped corner as a guide and cut again. I did this several times until I was happy with the look. Then I measured them and cut as big of a square as I could and put them together. I think it makes a really fun and playful block. I’d love to try this technique again and make a wall hanging for my living room! It also makes a lot of fun scraps that could be used in an improv quilt somehow.

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I used several different quilting designs in each section of the pillow. I like the look that it gives it and it was excellent practice and gave me a feel for each design. I used a variegated yellow thread from Aurifil. I love Aurifil threads for quilting and piecing.

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The pebbling is my favorite part of both pillows. It was a lot of fun to sew and I really like how it changed the fabric to look like a print in a way. Here are a few more close up shots of the quilting. These smaller projects have really given me some confidence that I can fmq a larger project!

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I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas or just a great day if you don’t celebrate the holiday! Thanks for stopping by!