Saturday, November 26, 2016

A place for baby Abigail...

I have spent the last few months since the baby was born reorganizing my craft room to make room for baby Abigail. I know it sounds like I thing I should have done before she was born but it never happened. She has been enjoying life in bassinets, swings, and rock n plays. A baby with no bed of her own!! So sad. As she has been getting bigger it's become apparent that we could not keep her in a bassinet much longer. Last week my mom was visiting so I utilized the time to get things done so we could get the baby in her crib. 

My ironing board used to be here and my rod to hang my quilts.

I also moved around my craft table/desk and sewing table. So now this is what it looks like. Sooo clean and organized at the moment. I figured photographic evidence was necessary.



I have also been working on a string quilt to slash through my scraps. I have finished up all the string blocks and just have to trim up about half. I scored some new blades for my rotary cutter at a black friday sale at Joann fabrics. So I should have them trimmed up shortly. It turns out one quilt is not going to make a dent in my scrap stash.

I have been debating on the layout of the blocks. The star layout would have low volume blocks in the corners. The quilt would have 4 stars. 

It would be similar to the quilt I made for Mirabelle about a year ago. Although the individual blocks were only 5" and the current quilt has an 8" block.

I also looked at a zig zag pattern or a string block diamonds

 I'm not sure of the final layout. At present I have enough blocks for the 4 star layout.

Last but not least I wanted to remind everyone about the Santa Stash Swap.

I haven't had a chance to spread the word too much. You can still sign up until 11/28!!!

Linking up to crazy mom quilts

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Santa's Stash Swap

 I know I personally end up with extra fabric at the end of most of my quilting projects. In some cases I see something I love or that is on sale and grab it up but haven't found a project for it and it's sitting in my stash. Other times I buy a fabric and think it's the right one and get home and change my mind. Some quilts get more than one backing before I decide which way to go. I don't think I'm the only one with this problem. In any event this is a swap for people with extra stash that they would like to shake up.

I am hoping that this one will turn out well and will be a lot of fun!! For this swap you can choose what you would like to send, and what you would like to receive. The options are 4 fat quarters or an 8 oz bag of scraps. 

This is a Secret Santa style swap. Meaning that the person you send to is not necessarily the person who will send a package to you. The guidelines are as follows.

  • The swap is open to participants in the USA only to keep shipping costs low.
  • You will send your package by a method that includes a tracking number.(USPS first class parcel includes tracking if mailed from the post office I believe.)
  • All fabric should be quilt shop quality fabric. 
  • Send good quality fabric that you would want to receive. 
  • If choosing the scrap option make sure pieces are at least 2.5" in every direction and no larger than a fat quarter (18" x 22")
  • If choosing the fat quarter option make sure they are 18" x 22" each.
  • If you would like to participate please send the following information to by 11/26/2016.
    • What you will send (4 fat quarters or 8 oz of scraps)
    • What you would like to receive (4 fat quarters or 8 oz of scraps)
    • What types of fabrics you like, be as specific as possible to help your partner.
      • Example: I like red and blue fabrics, I am working on an eye spy quilt right now and could use some more fabrics. My favorite fabrics are Robert Kaufmann and Riley Blake. I don't like yellows and gold. I don't like floral fabrics or 1930's reproductions.
    • And finally include your name and mailing address.
  • I will send your Secret Santa information to you and their wish list by 11/28/2016.
    • Pick, package and mail to your Secret Santa by 12/17/2016 to hopefully receive by Christmas.
      • Make sure that you do your best to follow the wish list of who you are sending to. The idea is to swap from within your stash so get as close as you can to their wishes. You can shop for fabric if you would like to, or if you need a reason to go to a quilt shop.
    • Post the goodies you receive at the Santa Stash Swap Flickr page.

    ***The bag in the picture weighs 8.57 oz and fills a quart size ziploc bag pretty snuggly. This quart size ziploc bag empty weights 1/4 oz. Make sure to check your weight on a kitchen scale or at the post office. Quilting cotton weighs about 5-6 oz per yard, and batiks are about 4 oz per yard. So know that batik heavy scrap bags will take a little more to get to 8 oz.***

    Can't wait to get to swapping!

    Thursday, October 27, 2016

    I'm so crafty it scary!

    Just a quick post about something I whipped up for my little girl this weekend. I started thinking about making trick or treat bags long before I had kids. I bought the fabric and it has been in my stash for some time now. Either that or I caught it on clearance. 

    When Moda came out with "Candy" charms I did an "I want Candy" charm swap. I enclosed a piece of the candy print at the time with each pack I sent out to the people who were my swap partners. It was also about that time that everyone was taking on the scrap vomit quilts and granny squares. There really is so much you can do with a 2.5" square! 

    So in conclusion it looks like this fabric has been in my grasp since 2012, and I am pretty sure its not the oldest stash fabric. Some day I will get help for my fabric buying..... You can catch a glimpse of my fabricy shame in the background of the picture. At least now it is well organized by color. 

    So the day before the trunk or treat I decide that I want to make a trick or treat bag for Mirabelle. I was up with baby Abigail and surfing around the internet. I found this pattern and decided it was a better option than trying to reinvent the wheel or work out some of my half baked ideas. 

    I think it turned out pretty good. I didn't get any actions shots of its use though. Hopefully I will be able to soon. 

    What's great about this pattern is that you can make any size you would like. I scaled down the pattern from a 15" square to a 12" square. I also cut my fabric into 2 rectangles (12" x 24") instead of 2 12" squares. Mostly to save me the headache of having to line up one more side. I still stitched the side so there would be a seam to line up things. 

    The bag is reversible an it comes together very quickly. I waited until the day of the trunk or treat and was done in less than an hour. It might take you longer to pick fabrics from your stash! I just happened to have one of the fabrics in my collection that she used in her tutorial.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016

    October blocks Nurture circle, do.good.stitches

    A quick post of my October blocks while one baby is sleeping and the other is with daddy.
    This month we are doing a block with a modified half square triangle. Little nip of the corner and a smidge of grey is added. I don't think I am giving justice to the design so I'll go right to the pictures. 

    The colors selected were a light yellow,  burnt orange and a coral. I did the best to find close colors in my stash. The request was for solids or prints that read as a solid. My stash is definitely lacking solids, and also orange fabric. So the chance of me having a solid orange wasn't very good!
    This is our last quilt this year. It has a fresh summery feel which is appreciated as the days get shorter and cooler. 

    On an unrelated not we went to trunk or treat this Sunday and the babies seemed to enjoy it. And we gave away most of the candy so I won't be eating 6 bags of sugar!

    One wild flamingo (Mirabelle-15 months) and one confused monster (Abigail-2.5 Months)

    Getting the blocks off in the mail. Almost time for my maternity leave to be over :(
    Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!!!

    Thursday, September 29, 2016

    Nurture circle quilts finally done!!!

    I have finally finished the two quilts for the Nurture circle of Do.Good.Stitches.

    I have a couple good reasons for why these are so late. In August I had a baby girl named Abigail Grace. She is a cute distraction that has been sucking up most of my free time and sleep. She is 7 weeks old now and starting to sleep a little better. Fingers crossed!!!

    My other daughter Mirabelle turned one in July and has learned to walk and is running a muck.

    The other thing that has been taking up my time is this crunchy masterpiece that we bought at the end of July. It needs many things and we are in the process of tearing up the inside.

    And we are also finishing up a kitchen remodel in the house we are living in. Here is the awesome back splash we put in. God willing we will get this kitchen done soon. We started it back in 2015 when before Mirabelle was born!!!

    In March we did this block by Patch the Giraffe called Picnic Pinwheel. I blogged about it here. I am not sure what about this quilt that caused me such trouble. But it seemed like I hit so many snags on this one. First I cut the backing wrong, so I had to piece it. Not a big snag but annoying to have an extra seam. Then I quilted it and bound it and right before I tossed it in the wash I noticed that there was a HUGE pucker. I tried to smooth it out but it was just too big. So in the end I had to unstitch oh so much of the quilt and quilt it again. Let me tell you that unquilting is much more time consuming than quilting. Especially when  you have the helping hands of a toddler. 

    For the backing I used cross stitch in teal by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts.

    For the May quilt I put together a scrap square that I called Hollywood Squares. I blogged about it here. This one was less trouble but I was holding onto it so I could mail both quilts together. 

    For the backing I used a combination of solid Kona fabric in a dark teal (glacier) and a complimentary fabric that I dug out deep from my stash.

    Both of these quilts are on the way to covered in love, the charity that we quilt for. I am linking up to crazy mom quilts Finish it up Friday,

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    September Do.GoodStitches Nurture Circle

    This month our circle is following this tutorial for Crosscut Blocks. The tutorial can be found here. I started the blocks using the tutorial and cut the background for the first three blocks. As it turned out they didn't mention in the tutorial that you needed to cut the background fabric larger than 9.5 inches to end up with a 9.5 inch block in the end. So my first three were cut too small. However this block has some overages so I was able to save the blocks. I ended up cutting my next three larger and then cutting down the blocks to 8.75" which was the ending size of the smallest blocks. 

    After the first step you sew the blocks together and then cut out 12 5.5" blocks. I ended up slicing the 1st stage fabric into 5.5" strips and then cutting 3 squares from each strip. Once you have your 12 blocks then you sew then into 3 10.5" blocks. Here is how my final squares turned out. 

    I don't know how I feel about this block. I like a more patterned traditional block. The random improv blocks always make me a little twitchy. I am interested to see this come together. 

    Tuesday, August 2, 2016

    August Blocks for the Nurture Circle

    So I am coming down to the wire on my pregnancy. I am set to have a c-section in 8 days. I may not last that long if my blood pressure doesn't play nice. I have been trying to finish up sewing projects before the baby comes. Unfortunately being pregnant in the heat of the summer also makes you tired and more likely to nap more than sew. 

    This month for the nurture circle of Do.Good.Stitches we were tasked with paper pieced kaleidoscope blocks. You can find out more details at the original post here. I was motivated to get them done before baby time. I am still sadly behind on quilting the march quilt for the circle. I have it on my list of things to do. Fingers crossed that it will be the next thing I get finished. 

    These blocks are a good way to eat up scraps. I am tempted to make a quilt of them to empty some of my scrap bin. On  the downside it takes some fine tuning to get the two halves lined up. I had some issues with the dark teal and red block working out the kinks. I had to take them apart a few times and that is something that paper pieced blocks do not appreciate. 

    I am finished and here is what I came up with. The request was for solids for the center points and low volume for the background. 

    Tuesday, July 5, 2016

    Y do the seams hate me

    The Nuture circle of do.good.sitches this month was a supersize castle block. The original post was from Amy from the Badskirt blog for Sew Mama Sew. The link can be found here. It is my first adventure into Y seams. I have avoided many quilt blocks with Y seams. It seems like it was a wise choice on my part. 

    I have been working on this block for about a week. It has been a long process to get the one block finished. There was alot of seam ripping and cursing. I had some trouble getting the block to lie flat. In the end it got as good as it was getting with much starch and alot of cursing.

    The request for colors in this block are below

    Here are the color/design guidelines:
    1. Outside corners should be solid, true, white
    2. Inner square ring should be a gray / neutral 
    3. Fussy cut center octagon if it makes sense with the fabric you're using (see hints and tips below on how to do this)
    4. High contrast between diamonds and outer ring of trapezoids. (My sample block is good, but I'd like even higher contrast). 
    5. Trapezoids and center octagon should be in the same color family
    6. If the outer ring is directional fabric you will need additional fabric - otherwise your trapezoids will alternate directionality.
    7. I'd like to keep the diamonds cool colored, and the trapezoids and octagon warm colored.

    I dug out some very funky print for the center. I think it is Robert Kaufmann. It looks like a crazy Hawaiian shirt. It is one of those prints that is really better suited for large blocks. On  the down side we usually make 2 12" blocks and this month we made 1 jumbo block that was almost 21". It ate up alot more fabric that normal. Here is the finished block, I could have kept fussing with it but it wouldn't have ended well.

    I hope the quilt turns out awesome but I can't imagine making a whole quilt of these blocks. If I were to make it again it would be one block for a pillow or a baby quilt. I am glad its done!!!!! Crossing this one off the list!

    And just for a dash of cute here is a picture of my doodlebug in her 4th of July finest.

    Monday, July 4, 2016

    May Quilt Nuture circle of Do.Good.Stitches

    Finished up the May quilt for the Nurture circle of Do.Good.Stitches. Technically I am not yet done with the March quilt but I got stuck on this one. You know how it is when you get focused on a project and can't do things in the order you know you should. So here it is!

    I used a chunk of fabric for the backing that I have had for 5 or 6 years that reminded me of the pattern on the front. I finished the back with a Kona solid called Lagoon which I have most of a bolt of. I happened upon it at a yard sale. Technically I think it was the estate of a quilter that had gone toward the light. I took it as my mission to use the fabric in her honor. So this is one of the many projects its has made it into. 

    For the binding I used a fun mix of bright prints from my scrap bin and a few jelly roll strips. 
    I love how it turned out!

    Monday, June 27, 2016

    Hollywood Squares Flimsy

    My dear husband was baby wrestling this weekend and playing video games which gave me a chance to do some sewing. I haven't yet been able to baby proof my craft room to the point where she won't kill herself. So all baby containment has to be in other areas on the house.

    I was able to finish the quilt top for the May Nurture circle of Do.Good.Stitches. I blogged about it here and also here. I have been calling the quilt Hollywood squares but once I got it together it reminds me of these God's eye crafts that we used to make at summer camp.

    So here is the quilt top as it is hanging on my all. Even thought it doesn't want to hang flat.

    I also found this fabric in my stash that I have had for quite some time. It reminds me of the pattern of the quilt top. The selvage edge says 2010 so I guess I have been lugging this around for at least 5 years. It isn't the fanciest quilting fabric but I think it will go great with the quilt top. So whenever your husband says why do you keep buying fabric here is the reason, some day I will have just the right project for it!

    Pictures of the finished top to follow.

    Saturday, June 25, 2016

    Sewing Saturday

    My sweet husband was in charge of baby wrangling this evening so I was left to sew sew sew. I decided it was time to put together the May quilt for the Nuture circle of Do.Good.Stitches. 

    I started playing around with the layout a few weeks ago and came up with this rough idea. 
    Pardon the messy bed and I was waiting for a few more blocks to come in the mail. 
    I decided to sketch up a layout that would use all the blocks but discovered that I needed a few more to make it happen. I hit the scrap bin and whipped up two more with black centers and two more with black boarders. 

    Now I juts have to work up the courage to slice up some of the blocks into halves and quarters. Here goes nothing!!!!

    More pictures to come of the finished product.

    June Blocks for Nuture Circle

    For a variety of reasons I have been slacking on sewing and posting on here. Most likley it is the 11 month old that is cruising around my house and the baby that is on the way. The newest Peach is coming August 2016. I think with the second arrival I should just board up my sewing room and call it quits. I will hold out hope that with the help of my hubby and sneaking away late at night I will get some stitching in. 

    Here is my most recent completed project. This month the Nuture circle of Do.Good.Stitches decided to make blocks for the people were effected by the wildfires in Fort McMurray Alberta Canada. The original post of from SLO Studio and can be found here. Although this is wrapping up at the end of the month you can always click on the link if you would like the tutorial to make the Maple leaf block. They requested the blocks in the colors of the Alberta flag (red, white, blue, yellow, and green). The fabrics could be solids or prints. I dug into my stash and found some fabrics from my "how did I end up with these fabrics collection". Great fabrics but for some reason they have been in my stash for too long. Usually fabrics that arrived in a scrap package, yard sale or clearance rack. Fabrics that I had a plan for and it didn't work out or fabrics that were too cheap to pass up. Hopefully these leaves will make the quilt recipients happy and warm. 

    Posting at Finish it up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts.

    Monday, May 16, 2016

    March Flimsy Finished

    The March block for the Nuture circle of Do.Good.Stitches quilt is called Picnic Pinwheel by Patch the Giraffe. I love her eye for color and quilt designs. This is just one of many of her quilts that I want to make!!! I choose a pallet of teal, magenta, purple and orange. I was going for bright bold colors to create a happy quilt to bring sunshine to the recipient of this charity quilt. The charity that we sew for is called Covered in Love. The original post is here if you wish to go back and take peak.

    I finally wrangled up all the blocks and got enough time to sit down and put it together. I took for granted how much easier it was to sew when the baby was in a rock and play and stayed put. Now she is rolling, crawling, trying to pull herself up and flinging whatever she can get her tiny mitts on. Hopefully this will be the only time she is hanging off a pole. She is going to turn 1 year in July and become a big sister in August. I should just close up my sewing room for the next decade. 

    Here is the quilt top all sewed together with the blocks from the circle. I love how the top looks all together. It always impressed me when I give the group a color pallet that no one leans towards one or two colors. We always end up with a nice distribution of all the colors. This block looks complex but comes together really quickly, is easy to cut and sew and looks great every way I have seen it. I may have to make one for me! I have a couple teal backing fabrics for this quilt. I never can decide which to buy so I buy more fabric than I need. I blame it on the minimum order requirement for free shipping. But it might be the reason I have a shamefully large stash. 

    Will post pictures once it is all finished!

    Sunday, May 1, 2016

    Nuture Do.Good.Stitches-Hollywood Squares!

    It's my month again as the quilter for the Nuture Do.Good.Stitches circle. I haven't finished March's quilt yet but I got some blocks very late! It's on my list of things to do. This months block should be quick and easy. Most of the instructions are on fabric choices and seam direction.

    First go through your scrap bin and gather all your strips and strings, bold colors and black fabrics. No white if at all possible. No pastels! The strips should be 1.25"-2.5" wide. If you don't have scraps then jump into your stash.

    For this quilt each participant is going to make 2 block, finishing at 12.5" square.  The first block starts with a 2.5" square of bold fabric. Sew a string/strip 1.25"-2.5" to 2 sides of the square,
    Press the seams toward the surrounding ring and then trim down to the width of the central square,
    Sew the same fabric to the remaining two sides of the square, press to the outside, and trim down.

    The resulting square should look like this.

    We will continue adding rings to the block in the pattern of a traditional courthouse square block.

    -If you are using busy prints alternate rings with solid or tone on tone prints.
    -Center should be 2.5" before sewing
    -Rings should be 1.25"-2.5" before sewing
    -Finished blocks should be 12.5"
    -One block should have a black center
    -One block will have a black final ring
    -All other parts should be bold colored fabrics.
    -No/Minimal white
    -No pastels
    -Press all seams to the outside.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016

    April Nuture Do.Good.Stitches Blocks

    This is the block for this month. It was blogged about here by my the quilter this month Louise. It came together pretty quickly and reminded me that I have no solid orange fabric. I have yet to figure out how to sew together long strips of fabric and not have them curve. The suggestion of sewing open the seams helps some. I can't wait to see how this comes together. 

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

    March Blocks - do.good.stitches - Picnic Pinwheel

    This month I asked the group to choose between these 3 blocks.
    The general vote was that I like star blocks (which is true) and the vote was split between the 2nd and 3rd option. I decided to go with option 2. This block by Patch the Giraffe. 

    The difference is that we will be using the following colors. Fuchsia, Teal, Orange, Purple. When you pick your fabrics please pick jewel tones that are either solids or tone on tone prints, minimal white in the fabrics if any.

    Our background color will be white like the finished quilt here.

    The only thing that is changing from the original tutorial are the colors used. You can pick any 4 fabrics you would like, as long as they are Fuchsia, Teal, Orange, Purple and are solid or tone on tone. So if you want to use 2 teal fabrics, 1 orange and 1 purple feel free. Just 4 different fabrics + white background fabric in each block. You will make 2 blocks that will finish 12.5"

    White/Background: 4 - 4.5 inches square, 8 - 2.5 inches square
    Fabric 1: 4 - 6.5 by 2.5 inches
    Fabric 2: 4 - 4.5 by 2.5 inches 
    Fabric 3: 4 - 2.5 inches square
    Fabric 4: 4 - 2.5 inches square 

    Thursday, February 25, 2016

    Feb Blocks for do.good.stitches

    This block was a fun one this month. The post is here if you want to follow along. It was a good way to use up some scraps from the bin. I think this will make a nice quilt once it comes together. Next month will be my month to lead the group. Stay tuned for the fun and exciting block!
    Linking up to Finish it Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts

    Friday, January 15, 2016

    Of the Forest

    This month we are back to quilting with the Nurture circle for do.good.stitches. This month was a tough one with paper piecing. We had to choose one block from the Forest QAL that can be found here. I choose the woodpecker as I thought it looked easier. I was also drawn to the roaring deer block. In hind sight I don't think it was the easiest block. It resulted in some serious cursing but on the plus side ate of some scraps from my bin. With the exception of the light blue all the fabric in the block came from my scrap bin. I can't wait to see what the other girls created but I am hoping for a much easier block next month.
    Linking it up to Finish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts