Thursday, December 19, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Down to the Wire

Still working on the two quilts for the twin boys and I only have essentially two days left before I go out of town for two weeks!  So, my current position is this:  quilt one about 75% quilted and the second quilt is almost done being pieced.  What is still left to do:  add applique initials to quilt one, finish quilting, and bind, then for quilt two, sew the six rows together for the top, quilt and bind.  That sounds ridiculous!  Well, there is one thing that is certain is that I will definitely be taking my machine with me.  Oh, I almost forgot, still have to bake cookies and pack...what?!?!
I ended up with 120 half square triangles from the scraps, what a shall I do with these?
Anyway, another project I started a couple weeks back was a Sew Sweetness bag, called the Petrillo bag.  I was hoping to get it finished for the Sew Sweetness Bag Contest at Sew Mama Sew, but I had my dates mixed up and missed the deadline, so I stopped the bag.  Which missing the deadline and not spending anymore time on the bag was probably a good thing since I need to be working on the baby quilts!  I am hoping to perhaps getting back to this project after I finish the baby quilts, because I am hoping to use it as a laptop bag for my newish computer.
I decided to use three fabrics from the Fort Firefly Collection by Birch Fabrics, because I really love the colors and the awesome moth print which will be the main part of the bag.

I am also planning to make a Washi Dress (finally) from the Rose Garden in coral print from the same collection.  I am pretty excited about this one.  I was hoping to get it done by Christmas, but I am not seeing that one happening, perhaps a Valentine's dress instead.

Lastly, now I am itching to make a Dresden plate using Camille Roskelley's techniques in her newest Craftsy class, Playful Piecing Techniques using these awesome jelly rolls I just got into the shop.  Focus...must focus!

This post is linked up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Giveaway Winner!!!

First, I wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who participated.  I LOVED reading what each of you were hoping for this holiday season and I hope that all of you get what you are wishing for!  I wish I had the means to send each of you the items you have on your list, but I will have to leave that job for Santa.  There were so many good items, I even altered my list a bit, because you guys gave me some great ideas.  I tried replying to everyone, but fell short...very short and I am sorry.  But please know that I do truly appreciate you taking the time to check out the blog (and for many of you Facebook and Instagram) and enter the give away.  Okay now on to what you have been waiting for.

And the winner is.....
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope all of you have a wonderful and safe holiday!  Take care and thank for stopping by. 

Pillow and Tree Skirt Finish....Finally!

Every week I am hoping to have a lot of stuff to show you on Friday or Saturday, but I can never seem to finish what I intend is life!  I was all bummed that I did not finish a certain bag project to post about when I realized  I actually did finish a big project this week!  I finished my sister's tree skirt...yay!  I say that because I was supposed to finish it last Christmas and I only got the top done, and then the tree skirt went away for a while.  Now it is finished, and before Christmas no less.  I used the colors my sister asked for and then I came up with the design.  I really liked how the piecing came out, so much so I might just have to make another one for myself.  But that is a project for next year.  
Please excuse the lack of the ornaments on our tree, it is a longish story so I will spare you, but we are building up our ornament collection again.  Candy canes were playing a big role as ornaments this year, but as you can see in a house with four kids and a husband who loves candy, there aren't many left!
Below is an "aerial" view of the top of the tree skirt.
One of the aspects I really love about the piecing is that it forms an octagon, however there is also a star that takes shape.  I tried to bring that out a little bit with the quilting, by extending some of the pieced lines out toward the center of the skirt.  You can see the star pattern a lot better on the back of the quilt below.
My husband says he likes the back better than the top.  What do you think?  Anyway, I am just glad it is is a load off of my shoulders for sure, just because I have been wanting to get it to my sister for so long.  She actually hasn't gotten it in the mail yet, so I am still a little anxious to see what she thinks!  I will have to let you know.  Well, I took a few more photos to show the quilting so I will show them to you really quickly before I move on to the pillow.

Okay, so now for the pillow.  I really love the labels that Sweetwaterscrapbook has on their Etsy site (and their Moda fabric lines of course).  I am always wanting to buy some, but I am never sure exactly what to do with them.  Well, my will power gave in recently when they were doing their 12 Days of Christmas event.  I fell in love with so many of the labels, but I reigned it in to only a couple.  I used one set of labels for the dishtowels that I made for my sister-in-law and one of the others I decided to make a quick pillow.  Quick because I have so much to do, as I am sure most of you can relate, but I really wanted to use this particular label since it was a Christmas label.  
Super cute, right?  I am a sucker for the chalkboard look.  Anyway, I just used my favorite Kaufman Essex linen in flax for the bulk of the cover and then two prints from the Scrumptious collection by Bonnie and Camille, Bias Stripes in lime and Dots in red, as accents.  I had a hard time coming up with a design for the pillow, and this was not my original vision.  The outcome just sort of happened.  I think I like it, what I like most is that it is done and it didn't take long at all!  I just sewed a zipper in the bottom to insert the pillow, which was a first on a pillow for me, but I think it worked out pretty well and I didn't have to do any hand stitching....score.
Well, two finishes is pretty good I suppose.  Now I just have to get those darn baby quilts finished by this coming Friday...wish me luck!

This post is linked up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Baby Quilts for Twin Boys

Today is going to be a super short post.  Too much to do and not enough time to do it.  I am sure you know what I mean.  I have been working on two baby quilts for twin boys.  I believe I showed you a pile of fabric a while back, and it was still just a pile of fabric the other day!  I, of course, am waiting to the last minute to get these done again....I don't know why I do that.  Anyway, I have the blocks for the first top finished, they just need to be pieced together, so hopefully that will get done today.  I have all of the fabric cut out for the second and since the blocks are really simple I am hoping that the second goes together as fast as the first.  Now I just have to get them both COMPLETELY finished by next Friday!  It might sound like a decent amount of time but around this house it really isn't.  Anyway, below is a photo of the layout I have so far for the first quilt top, placement was tough.

Thanks so much for stopping by again and don't forget to check out Monday's post for the giveaway it you haven't already done so.  Take care and happy sewing!

This post is linked up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, December 9, 2013


Hi everyone!  We are participating in Giveaway Day over at Sew Mama Sew.  If you haven't already checked it out, you should, and enter some or ALL of the giveaways!  What a fun idea.  For the event, we are giving away one Flats by Angela Yosten charm pack and two mini charm packs:  one Glamping by Mary Jane and one PB & J by Basic Grey.  You can see a photo of them below.
I am going to try Rafflecopter this time and hopefully this will go smoothly.  If you have any problems please let me know before the end of the giveaway.  US entries only please.  The giveaway will run until Friday, 13 December.  The winner will be announced Saturday, 14 December.

Thank so much for stopping by, and I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Quilted Patchwork Stocking with Cuff Tutorial

One of the great aspects of this stocking is that it provides a small area where you can experiment with patchwork and quilting designs without a large time commitment and it is great for using up those scraps.  Half square triangles are great to play with for this particular design and mini charm squares are perfect to use for this project as well.  The best part; it will look great hanging up in your house for the holidays!

Fabric Requirements:
        41- 2 ½” squares (mini charms) for front
        12” x 18” piece for back
        13” x 18” piece for the stocking front “quilt sandwich” back
        5” x 16 ¼” piece for fabric cuff (outer)
        5” x 16 ¼” piece for fabric cuff (lining)
        3” x 4 ½” piece for loop
        1/3 yard for lining
        13” x 18” piece of batting for front
        12” x 18” piece of fusible fleece, such as Fusible Thermoloam Plus by Pellon, TP971F, for back (can use batting instead if you want to quilt the back as well)

1.     Print the stocking template pieces (all four) on actual size (you will have to select this setting on the print menu or your pieces will not line up well).  Piece them together using tape, by trimming the edges to match up the lines of the template to create a large rectangle with the stocking outline.  Cut out the stocking template and set aside.
Pattern Piece 4  Pattern Piece 3
Pattern Piece 1  Pattern Piece 2

***The links to the pattern pieces are arranged above as they will be pieced together.  Sorry for four different links.

Piecing the Stocking Front
2.  Arrange your 2 1/2" squares in the pattern that you would like using the photo below as a guide to determine the layout needed for the stocking front.
3.  Starting with the top row stitch the squares in the row together using a ¼” seam and then pressing the seams open or to one side.  If you choose to one side, just make sure that you alternate by row so that the seams will nest well.
***Note:  Chain stitching is a great way to piece the front quickly.  For example, after you stitch one pair, don’t cut your thread, just feed another pair through, making a chain.  Do make sure that you keep them in order, so that you remember what was where!
***Another Note:  It helps to lay the pairs back out again before sewing the rest together to make sure your arrangement is how you would like it.
 4.  Repeat the above step until all rows are together, resulting in nine strips total.
5.  Stitch the rows together using 1/4" seams, making sure that you line up your seams and pin before stitching.
***Yet Another Note:  I prefer to pin to the right of my seams, because there tends to be less shifting when it is stitched.  This keeps my seams aligned more often than not and I do less ripping and restitching.
6.  Place the stocking template on top of your patchwork piece, making sure that there is fabric under the entire area of the template.
7.  Using a fabric marker of pencil, trace the outline of the template onto the patchwork piece.  You could also pin down the template, if you prefer.
8.  Cut out your stocking front along the template lines (or template itself, depending on your previous method) using scissors or whatever tool you prefer.

Cutting the Rest of the Pieces
9.  Using the template, cut one stocking back piece from the 12" x 18" piece of fabric.  I just used white fabric.

***Note:  If using a print for the back, make sure you use the template in the correct orientation.  You can just use the stocking front as your template and make sure that the wrong sides of both the front and back fabric are together.  (Basically oriented as it will be when finished...hope that makes sense)

10.  Fold the 1/3 yard of fabric for the lining by matching the selvages (as it would come off the bolt), so you have a doubled 12" x 22" rectangle.
11.  Place the template as close to the bottom/fold as possible, then using a clear grid ruler, extend the top of the template by 3 1/2" and continue tracing the rest of the side and bottom of the template.
12.  Cut out your lining pieces then from the scraps, cut two 3 1/2" x 7 1/2" rectangles. Set aside

13.  Cut one 5" x 16 1/4" rectangle from the outer cuff fabric, using a grid ruler and rotary cutter.

14.  Using the same method in the previous step, cut one more 5" x 16 1/4" rectangle from your cuff lining fabric.  I just used white fabric again since it will not be seen.

15.  Using the template or back stocking piece, cut one template piece from the fusible fleece.  Make sure that you also cut this piece in the correct orientation.  You want the adhesive acing the wrong side (on the inside) of the outer back stocking piece.

***Below is a photo of all of the pieces you should have.

Quilting Your Pieced Stocking Front
16.  Using a 1/4" seam, stitch one of the 3 1/2" x 7 1/2" rectangles to the top of the stocking front, matching the long edge of the rectangle to the top of the front piece with right sides together.  Press the seam toward the top of the stocking.
17.  Stitch the remaining 3 1/2" x 7 1/2" rectangle to the top of the back stocking piece, in the same manner as the previous step.  Set both the front and the back aside.

18.  On a flat surface, smooth out your 13" x 18" piece of fabric for the "quilt sandwich" back.

19.  Place your 13" x 18" piece of batting on top of the fabric in the previous step.

20.  One top of the two previous layer, place your pieced stocking front with the wrong side facing the batting, making sure there is a bit of batting and backing showing around the entire stocking front.  This is your quilt sandwich!

21.  Pin the three layers together, or use your preferred method of basting, as long as the layers are secure and don't shift too much as you quilt.
22.  Quilt your stocking front using whatever method and design you like.  In the photo below, I just stitched diagonal lines using masking take as a guide and my walking foot on the sewing machine.

Construction the Stocking
23.  Pin the front stocking piece to the back stocking piece with right sides together.
24.  Starting with one of the top corners, stitch a 1/4" seam around the edge of the pieces, stopping at the other top corner, leaving the top open.
25.  Turn right side out, pushing along the seam on the inside of the stocking to smooth it out.  Set aside.

26, To make the loop, with right sides together, fold the 3" x 4 1/2" look piece along the long edge and pin.
27.  Stitch the pinned long edge of the loop with a 1/4" seam, press the seam open and then turn right side out.
28.  Press the loop flat, centering the seam on one side of the loop (this will later be the inside).  Set aside.
29.  To make the lining, pin the two stocking lining pieces with right sides together.

30.  Using a 1/4" seam, start stitching at one top corner, but only stitch down the side about 5" and then stop.  Leave about a 3 to 4" opening (this is for turning the stocking later) then begin stitching again long the side and bottom up to the other top corner, leaving the top open.
31. Take the finished loop and fold it in half, matching the short, raw edges.  Pin.

32.  Line up the pinned raw edge of the loop with the raw edge of the lining (on the inside or "right" side), centering the loop on the side seam of the "back side" of the stocking (see photo below for clarity).  Baste.  Set aside.
33.  To make the cuff, layer the cuff and cuff lining with right sides together and pin along one of the long edges.

34.  Stitch the pinned edge of the cuff pieces using a 1/2" seam.  Press seam toward the front cuff piece.
35.  Then take the joined cuff pieces and with right sides together, pin along the short edge and stitch with a 1/2" seam.  Press this seam open.
36.  Fold along the long seam and press, creating your cuff.
***Note:  When you press this piece, allow some of the front fabric to fold toward the back so that none of the lining fabric shows.
37.  Now take the cuff you just made and place it over the top of your stocking with the cuff lining facing the right side of the stocking, matching up the raw edge of your cuff with the  raw edge of the stocking.  Pin these layers with a couple of pins on the inside of the stocking (remove pins after you pin in the next step but before you stitch).

38.  With the stocking lining still wrong side out, slip it over the stocking and cuff, matching all of the raw edges at the top opening.  Then right sides of the lining and stocking will be facing each other with the cuff and loop sandwiched between.
39.  Pin around the entire edge of the top opening, making sure to also line up the side seams first.
40.  Stitch a 1/2" seam around the top opening through all layers.

41.  Turn the stocking right side out by pulling the stocking through the opening in the side of the lining.
42.  To close the opening in the lining, hand sew with a slip stitch or pinch the edges together and machine stitch close to the edge.

43.  Push the lining into the stocking and you are done!

Please let me know if you notice any problems, corrections that need to be made, etc. with this tutorial, or if you just have any questions or suggestions.  I haven't had a lot of time to perfect it, because I wanted to get it out there before Christmas.  I am also working on a PDF format with more options and variations.  I do hope that you find this tutorial helpful.  Thanks so much for checking it out and any feedback would be much appreciated!

This post has been linked up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Quilted Tree Skirt and Stockings...Again!?!?

Yes, yes, I know the stockings again!  Well, I have one more pieced front and an addition to that part of the "work in progress" is that I am working on a tutorial for them.  I figured that this is probably a good place to start with writing a tutorial....pretty straight forward and hopefully short!  I am hoping to have the tutorial done by tomorrow or Friday at the latest.  So, if you are interested in a stocking tutorial or perhaps just to see what I managed to come up with, stop by again soon to check it out.  Below is a photo of the stocking I will be working on for the tutorial, using an In From the Cold mini charm pack by Kate Spain and Kaufman Essex Linen in Flax.
Then the big project that I HAVE to finish by Friday is my sister's tree skirt.  I feel terrible because I started it last year and tried really hard to get it finished by Christmas, but was only able to get the top completed.  Now, I almost have it quilted, and then I just need to bind it!  Talk about procrastination.  
I seriously have to stop getting distracted by so many awesome projects, like the Round and Round Along at Thimble Blossom.  I seriously had no business starting that one and now I am almost done with another quilt top!  I need to stop making tops and get some of them quilted for crying out loud. Below you can see the Round and Round still needs to have the last row finished.  I also only made five instead of the seven as the pattern called for.  Mostly because I only wanted to use one charm pack and it will give me a lot of negative space to practice by free motion quilting.

Oh and I almost forgot...which I definitely should not, about the baby quilts for two twin boys.  I have all of the pieces cut out but need to start piecing.  I did a couple of block the other night to see how it would look.  I am pretty excited about it, so as soon as I am done with the tree skirt and the tutorial I will be all over those two quilts!
How are your sewing projects going?  Any Christmas sewing going on?  It is such a wonderful time of year and definitely a busy time!

This post is linked up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.