Friday, December 31, 2010

Some quick zipper pouches

During the snow storm on Sunday, I whipped up a couple of zipper pouches. They were super simple. Next time I will probably take a few photos and put up a tutorial.

 These are specifically so that little hands that dig through my purse looking for Goldfish don't find my female products and make up! But you could easily re-size these for anything. They might be a little addicting to make.

On a personal note, we made settlement on our new house on Thursday. Now the big/long move starts! I think it's going to take us the whole month to get this one done.

Have a happy New Year's Eve everyone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My 2011 goals and intentions

Since 2011 is almost here and I have a million crafty ideas swirling around in my brain, I thought I'd try to get a list together of my quilt goals for the coming year. I also compiled a list of all my finished projects for 2010. There is a link at the top of the page or you can go here to see it. Here is what I have in mind for the new year.
  1. We are moving to a new house so curtains will be at the top of the list.
 (not sure what happened to the first picture, but I can't get it to show up!)

2. Step out of my comfort zone and do new things!  I have already set this one in motion by joining a couple of swaps: The Make Mine Modern swap and the Spicing up the Kitchen swap. Very excited about these!
And then I joined a short bee called the 3x6 Sampler Bee. You make only 6 blocks instead of 12. I figure this will be a good way to get a taste of online bees. I think sign ups are still open for all of these if you are interested in joining me.

3. Make stuff from the books I have. This may sound silly, but I have gotten quite a few books and somehow I keep getting so much inspiration from the internet and making those projects instead.

4. I love string block quilts and really want to tackle one this year. This may be a two-fer because there is a pattern for string block quilts in The Practical Guide to Patchwork.
5. I'd like to attempt a Cathedral Windows Pillow
6. A King size quilt for our new bed
7. A twin/full quilt for my daughters new big girl bed.
8. I'd like to continue to try and come up with my own patterns more.

I think that's a pretty ambitious list for now. And I'm sure it will grow as the year goes on. What do you have planned for the new year?

    Monday, December 27, 2010

    Sophisticated Baby

    I finished off my Sophisticated Baby quilt. Okay, I seriously need to cut my threads better before I take photos. I ran out to photograph this as the snow was starting to fall. I wanted to get pictures before we get the foot of snow or so that they are calling for.
    The main fabrics used were McKenzie by Dena Designs. Then I added some additional fabric lines to mix it up. I'm really happy with how elegant the quilt came out. I have a pregnant mamma in mind for this one. I just hope she's having a girl. She doesn't do the cutesy baby stuff and I think she would love this.
    I tried my hand at some free-motion quilting within the squares and did little hearts. (ugh - again with the threads!!)
    I backed it with some Innocent Crush to break up the girly pink.  You can really see the hearts on the back.
    Some basic stats:

    Quilt name: Sophisticated Baby
    Pattern: Park Lane by Bunny Hill Designs
    Some of the fabrics: McKenzie, Innocent Crush, Snow Crystal, Robert Kaufman Basics, Le Jardin de Papillion
    Measurements: 52"x52"
    Started: 12/13/10
    Finished: 12/23/10

    Sunday, December 26, 2010

    I won a giveaway!

     A bit thank you to Tammy for having her Sew Mama Sew Giveaway. I actually won and I just received all this great stuff from her right before Christmas. 
    There was also a Michael Miller charm pack and she allowed me to pick a yard of fabric or a charm pack from her shop. I got the Opal Owl Charm pack. I'm still totally into owls and the colors in this one are so fun! Check her out, she's got some great stuff!

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    WIP Wednesday and another question

    The machine is going in to be looked at this morning. I'm hoping they don't have to keep it. But I guess if they do it won't be so bad. I can pack up my house instead. After all, we are moving in a week or 2. whoops.

    Quilting has begun on this baby quilt. I'm loving how sophisticated it is! Though at 52x52 I think this is the largest baby quilt I've ever done.
    I'm collecting fabrics for my daughter's first big girl bed. The Vive La France line from Monaluna has definitely been my inspiration fabric. I have 2 pieces of furniture in her room with french poodles and the Eiffel Tour so these were a no brainer! And my argyle pillow was done to coordinate with these.

    I'm going to have to name these posts Just Wondering Wednesday since I always seem to have a question. How do you buy your batting? 
    Because that baby quilt is so large, I pieced together some batting to fit it. You can see in the above picture where it's pieced.  Do you do this with your smaller pieces? I tend to buy my batting when it's on sale and I guess I picked up a couple that were supposed to be for "baby quilts". At 35x45, they aren't very big. I don't have room really to buy a big bolt of batting. What do you do? Buy as you need? Stockpile large sizes?

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Argh! My machine

    Okay I need to vent to people who understand!! My sewing machine is giving me problems again. I just had it in for service over Thanksgiving. It's now running very loud and my top thread keeps breaking. Aurefil again.

    I've got to take it back in for service again. This machine is only a year old. What gives? Am I using it too much?! It's a Bernina 230. What kind of machine do you have? Do you like it, have you had problems? I can't get another machine already. Please tell me this is a blip and my machine will be fine. I'm already having withdrawal and I just put it away 15 minutes ago.

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Tutorial: Argyle Pillow

    I have a thing for argyle. I love love love it. Since I started quilting a year ago, I have wanted to do an argyle design, but I haven't found a pattern for it. I've seen plenty of square argyles, but never a diamond. I figured eventually I would create my own design and when I saw this one from Katie at From the Blue Chair I was totally inspired. I decided to do one for my daughter's new room and document it for a tutorial. 
    Here's my completed pillow.
    In hindsight I wish I had chosen a lighter brown, I feel like it dominates the pillow too much. Or, that I had just stitched those lines on like Katie did. But anyway, if you are interested in making your own, here's how I did it. I will warn, this is not a beginner project. Diamonds are a pain to line up your points!

    You will need:
    1/4 yard of your two colors (pink and green) or 1/2 yard of one color for a monochromatic argyle
    1/2 yard of your white for the rest of the diamonds
    1/2 yard of backing fabric
    1/4 yard for the "sashing" (the brown- I'm calling it sashing for lack of a better term)
    16 inch pillow
    Spray starch - I'm not usually a big starch user, but it's helpful to starch all your fabrics with all the sharp points in this one.

    Start by cutting your diamonds.

    Cut two 3.5 strips for each color and four 3.5 strips for the white.

     Take one strip and line up the 45 degree line with the bottom. Cut off the portion on the left.
    Slide the ruler over 3.5 inches (keeping the 45 degree mark lined up on the bottom) and cut on the right side of the ruler and you will have a 3.5 inch triangle.
    It will look like this one above.

    Lay out your diamonds when they are all cut. For a 16 inch pillow, you will need 18 colors and 20 white. I debated between this layout and the one I finally chose. (by the way, there are too many diamonds here. I couldn't figure out the math so I just made it too big and cut it down).

    Once it is laid out, you will piece together the dimonds in rows in the direction indicated by my wonky arrow.

    Draw a quarter inch line on the piece you are working on.

    Line the quarter inch mark on the green piece so that it lines up with the edge of the piece beneath it. (Where the arrow is pointing). It should form a nice "V".
    Once your rows are put together, you will need to join them. To line up your points, match the quarter inch line so it intersects with the color going in the opposite direction beneath it. In the photo above take a look at the left pin. You can see the green fabric underneath meeting the quarter inch line above to make a "V".
    Once all your lines are sewing together you can cut your sashing at 3/4 of an inch.
     Measure the halfway mark for your diamond width and cut. This should be 1.5 inches. Then you can start attaching the sashing.

    I've had to jump ahead a little in my photos to demonstrate the best way to line up your diamonds. I was this far in when I figured it out! Up until this point I had been eyeballing it and doing some seam ripping. What I learned was this: Attach the sashing to one side of the cut. Then line up the other side of the strip overtop of the new sashing so the sashing lines meet up (or the diamond tops and bottoms). You can see this above on the line where the arrow points.
    Flip the row over where it stands.
    Then shift it to the left over to the edge of the sashing where you will pin it without shifting it up or down.

    Continue until you have both directions completed.
    Trim to 17 x 17. At this point I debated adding fusible web for stability. This is totally your call. I chose not to add it.
    Cut your backing fabric into two pieces. One should be 17x14 and the other 17x10.  On both pieces, take one of the 17 inch length sides and fold it in 1/2 inch and press. Fold in it another 1/2 inch and press again. This will keep the edges nice.
     Placing fabrics right side together, lay down the large piece first. Make sure the folded edge is face up and line up your edges.
    Lay the second piece on top and pin everything carefully. Sew around with a 1/4 inch seam and back stitch over the folded section for stability. Finish your edges as you like. I found with so many layers of fabric I couldn't use my pinking shears. I don't have a serger so I zigzag stitched around the edge.
    Place the cover on your pillow and you are done! Hope you like it.

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    PMQG Solids Challenge

    Our last PMQG meeting was Tuesday night and everyone brought their solids challenge project. We were originally given these four solids to work with.
    The challenge was to use 1 additional yard of fabric to create something. You could break that 1 yard up as much as you wanted. I chose to add small amounts of 6 additional fabrics and make a small casual table runner for our kitchen table. The final dimensions came out approx 28x17.
    This was an idea I saw in a magazine for a large lap quilt, but couldn't find the original so I kind of recreated it smaller. These are 4 patches cut at a tilted angle. I also have to say, I've been using this and my husband spilled coffee on some of the white and it came out!  These Kona solids are awesome.
    Close up of the quilting. I wasn't sure how to quilt this one because the angles don't all meet. So I wound up outlining the boxes.
    The back I did a diagonal stripe which I could probably also use as the "right" side too.

    Head over to the Philly Modern Quilt Guild to see what everyone else did!


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