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Friday, December 30, 2011

I have climbed Jacob's Ladder quilt....

Do you love this quilt! I love the contrast of the lights and blacks. Very well done! Rachel from The life of Riley made this gorgeousness! Check out this list of tutorials, I really like the grid mini quilt tutorial. And here are some finishes, go have a visit...

 The front and bindings are all batiks.
 I received 13 blocks and made 20. I would have made more, but I ran out of the green, plus I really like the layout.
 12 mitered corners.  That's a lot of sewing, un-sewing, and re-sewing to get them matched up.  Some went together the first time.  There was one seam I did four times.
 Green straight line quilting in the black areas.

 Black straight line quilting in the block areas.
 The back is a Kona cotton in black.  I just love the texture of the quilting lines.  Someday I will do a whole cloth quilt.
I just couldn't make this one fit in the layout, so he's high lighted on the back.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Applique circles quilt from mansells on the move..

Clare from mansells on the move blog, made this darling circle quilt for her baby. Love this quilt. Clare has all her quilt finishes here, there are some darling ones. She is a travelling Mama, currently in Scotland, her blog header and graphics are darling. Her blog is a fun read, so be sure to head over...

Applique circles quilt

Applique circles quilt

Two quilts in two weeks? There's no stopping me!

This is the first of many quilts I'll be making for our baby who is due next month. I'm loving being able to work on small quilts AND keep them. Before I found out I was pregnant I'd run out of excuses to make a quilt in anything but a superking size for us, but they'll hopefully be lots of excuses to make mini quilts over the next few years.

Applique Circle Quilt

This quilt is exactly a yard square and is intended to be used as a play mat with a baby gym. The fabric I used is from Moda's It's A Hoot range. I'm slowly learning that there tends to be a bit of a lag between me buying fabric and actually using it for a project, by which stage the yardage has often sold out.

I learned my lesson this time and bought two packs of charm squares and yardage as soon as I saw it on sale. I had a few reservations that the colours were a bit girlie (we don't know what we're having) but when mixed together I think it looks sufficiently unisex....

Applique circles quilt

I had a new tool to play with when I did the binding for this quilt. Previously I have always used this method to finish attaching the binding. It produces great results, but is fiddlely to do. Then when I was searching youtube for quilting tutorial videos for my sister, I found this video which recommends using a binding tool to achieve exactly the same finish. After finally tracking a UK store down that sold them and waiting for the stock to arrive, I can confidently say I won't be going back to the old method!

Applique circles quilt

I also bought myself a copy of Block Party- The Modern Quilting Bee. I have been wanting to get involved with or organise a quilting bee for ages and there are some great ideas and patterns in the book. I'm just trying to decide whether it would be insanity to start a bee with a new baby on the way, or whether it would actually be a rather nice manageable size quilting project - what do you think and would anyone be interested in joining the fun?


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Fun competition from Quokka Quilts....

It's finally here! A very, very exciting competition dreamed up by Laura at QuokkaQuilts
If you have looked through the Fat Quarter Shop's FQ bundles section, you will surely have noticed the 'Blogger's Choice Bundles'.  Who wouldn't want to have their very own bundle listed in the FQS? 
Now you have the opportunity to choose and potentially WIN not your own Fat Quarter bundle of fabric, but a WHOLE HALF YARD of 15 fabrics of your choice - 12 prints and 3 solids, courtesy of the wonderful Kimberly at the Fat Quarter Shop. 
What you need to do:
  1. Go to The Fat Quarter Shop website and choose 12 coordinating prints and 3 solids from their selection.  
  2. Either a) create a blog entry about your set of fabrics;  or b) if you don't have a blog, upload them somewhere they can be seen in one link - eg flickr, picasa, etc. You must include pictures of your fabrics. You can 'borrow' these from the FQS site. It would be very helpful to the judges if you could do a photo collage of your various prints. Instructions below if you don't know how - new IT skills are always useful! 
  3. Go to QuokkaQuilts and link in your entry by 15 January. Please link your photo collage as the thumbnail if you can! Laura is going to post hers in the next few days.
Now Laura says she is easily corruptible and open to bribery, so she had to find some independent judges, these being the following wonderful bloggers:
Each of these lovely ladies is going to choose ONE entry as their favourite. Then Amy of Amy's Creative Side is going to be grand high judge and choose the best final entry from the five finalists. She is well qualified as there is going to be an "Amy's Choice" bundle featured in the FQS in the new year.  
So get browsing and share your inspiration for coordinating fabrics into a quilt with us! 
The linky party will close on January 15. 
How to make a photo collage
  • Picasa is one of the best free downloadable applications for working with photos. One useful tool is the collage tool. You can choose your photos and arrange and rearrange them into a collage. 
  • Mosaic maker is a free online tool. You have to have your photos uploaded somewhere first (eg flickr) for it to generate the mosaic for you. 


Merry Christmas!!!

Heather's family 

Megan's family

Friday, December 23, 2011

Stitched Buntings and Birdies from Clover and Violet

Today's feature is from Clara and Jennie of Clover and Violet. Super cute blog!!  I really love their little niche.  They design really cute bags and totes, I love this Ruby Market Tote they did. They also do a lot of stitching and embroidery...and this quilt today is to-die-for sweet. And you can totally make your own, check out this index, tons and tons of info and directions on this quilt! It makes me want to start stitching this instant!!  Make sure to stop by Clover and Violet and check out all their fun tutorials and their shop!

It's finally done!  I wasn't sure way back in May when I started this quilt that I'd ever actually finish it!  But all the wonderful participants of the Embroidery 101: Stitch & Quilt Along kept me going, and now I have one of my favorite quilts ever! {And, if you missed out on it the first time around, the tutorials and patterns are still available here!}


Along with everyone else, I learned a lot through making this quilt. Each block was not only an adventure in stitching, but also in drawing and designing, things I'd never really done a lot of. I really feel like I grew with each block.


But instead of saying too much, I'll let the quilt do the talking this time. Here are a few of my favorite blocks, though it's really hard to narrow it down...





Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cute softie doggie from Saffron Craig...

Have you seen these cute Saffron Craig Softies? Are they not darling?  All you do  is cut the shape out of the fabric, and sew together! So fun and cute!
Cat and Puppy Softies

This is my darling 8 year old. She was being mopey, even though she is my happiest child generally...

She wanted to do this project 100% by herself and I let her. IT is that easy and fun. She did a lousy cutting job, but it didn't really matter in the end!

She kept telling me "mom, it is inside out!" I tried to explain it to her, but I figured she would realize it soon enough. I turned the speed really slow, but she did an awesome job!

Look how proud she is? She is giving it to her little sister Sophie for Christmas. What a cute fun easy project!  The other girls want to make them too!

Be sure to check out Saffron Craig, she is an Australian designer, really fun, unique fabrics. I took these photos of projects from her blog to show you all some of the cuteness!

Saffron Craig hand made Christmas goodies


Saffron Craig - Quilt made with Magical Lands pink
Beautiful colorway...

Hope you are all ready for Christmas, just 3 more days! (I have so much to do!)


Amazing Teacher Quilt from Squares and Triangles

We featured Tanya from Squares and Triangles not too long ago (here)...and I raved about her quilting gallery (and if you didn't see it then see it now!) I think we could feature almost every one of her quilts!!  I love this quilt though, it's unique and thoughtful.  Plus Tanya is so good about documenting her quilting journey, including all of the things she learned with this quilt.  Tanya also sells some of her goodies if you're in need of a nice handmade gift.

Some background:  My child’s first grade teacher LOVES pirates. She was a pirate on her first day of school.  Her room is decorated with cartoon pirates and ships.  She uses pirate sayings to get them to pay attention.  And for Halloween…yes, she was a pirate.  So, I thought it appropriate to make her a quilt for teacher appreciation week with a pirate (well, pirate ship) theme.
This is her first year of teaching, and I wanted the quilt to represent how I feel about teachers and how grateful I am for the time and effort they put into teaching my children.  So, I drew out a picture with a large ship surrounded by small ships, representing a teacher being surrounded by her students.  It kind of made itself after that.
This quilt represents a few firsts for me.
– This is my first time doing improvisational piecing throughout the whole quilt (the rotary cutter became both my best friend and my worst enemy.)
–This was my first time sewing a curve (the sun)
–This was my first time doing this maze free motion quilting.  I have done block-type meandering before, but I wanted this to look more like a maze.  I think the overall quilting pattern helps the seams melt away.  I love how it turned out.
Maze Meandering quilt pattern
–This was my first time using fabric marker, which I used for the back of the quilt (It has been blurred in the photo to keep their names private.  Don’t worry, it hasn’t bled…yet)
I am excited for my child to give it to her next week.  Hopefully she will use it as a wall hanging (I plan on using this tutorial to make embroidered hanging loops) or, eventually, I hope she’ll be able to wrap up her grandchildren in it.
This quilt measures 39.5 inches  x 46.5 inches.
Thanks for visiting!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Fabric Tuesday, link up!

I know you've all been crazy busy with Christmas and holiday plans, well at least I have!  Do you have some projects to link-up to Fabric Tuesday?

First I want to introduce you first to our newest sponsor, Fabric Envy.  Andrea is so sweet and nice and wears many hats...wife, mom to 4, fabric shop owner and amazing photographer.  I know so many of you can relate to her in one way or another!  Well here is the fabulous news, she has an awesome sale going on right now and that she's extended through Wednesday!

One of my favorite things to receive and give my crafty friend is FABRIC! Seriously, I cannot have enough :)  It is such a good gift for crafters, and you don't even have to make anything!

Check out these goodies!!

I love this program Andrea has and I know many of you will.  A vendor program.  Do you have an Etsy shop? Do you use designer fabric to create products you sell?

Well she has an awesome program just for you!!  I think this is so cool, you get a 15% discount ALWAYS, quarterly coupons, friend referral benefits, and lots more.  See HERE to apply.  There's many ways to find out more about Angela and her designer fabrics. You can follow her on facebook, see her blog, check out her stuff!

Fabric Tuesday #66!
To see how to play click HERE!
Can't wait to see! :)


Tutorial: Mini Christmas Quilt

First, winner of our $40 giveaway from Five Monkey Fabric, #198:

Mimi said...
Oooooh I love the Black and White bundle, 4 Fat Quarters - sweet!!! Thanks!

Congrats!!  Get shopping!!  Thanks to Five Monkey Fabrics for such a great giveaway to our readers :)

Get ready to die. of. cuteness.  I have to admit that today's Holiday Gift Tutorial is 100% selfish of Heather and I.  We both went nuts when we discovered Erin from Why Not Sew? and her mini quilts.  So unbelievably cute.  And she does not disappoint today!  Make sure to see Why Not Sew? , her darling gallery of birdie quilts and her shop.
 First of all I'd like to say a big "Thank You" to Heather & Megan for asking me to be apart of all of these great Christmas tutorials. I hope I can deliver. All of the projects have been fantastic! For my Christmas Tutorial I am going to show you how I make, and how you can make, a mini Christmas quilt that can be used for a wall hanging or topple topper.
You will need: Heat'n Bond or a fusible web of your choice (you won't need much of this, 4 x 10 inches should be enough) Fabric of your choosing  for applique pieces (large scraps are perfect!) 12 inch square of background fabric (I used linen) 1 3/4 inch square for the present. 13 inch square piece of batting 13 inch square piece of backing fabric Black thread Darning foot for free-motion sewing (alternative-hand embroidery) binding fabric and method of choice Birds, holly leaf, holly berry template here.  
 Draw or trace your pieces onto the paper side of your fusible web. Cut out your pieces leaving at least 1/8 of an inch around your drawn lines. This will insure that the fusible web has covered all of the fabric and there will be less chance of fraying. You may use the birds, holly and berries that I drew for you or by all means draw your own. The ones for the file are not what I used here. I tried to draw nicer ones for you to use that are in the file.  Birds, holly leaf and holly berry file here.
Fuse your pieces to the WRONG side of your fabric.
Cut out your pieces ON the drawn line.
Take the paper off of your pieces and place them like this on your background fabric. When you have them in place iron them down.
Use black thread and set your machine up for free motion sewing (darning foot, drop feed dogs).
I start by outlining the Holly leaves and berries on each side.
Next I draw a branch between each set of Holly for the birds and present to rest on.
Then I outline the present and make little loops for the bow.
The birds are outlined next. I like to go around them a few times. Then make eyes, a beak and little bird legs. For all of these outlines I like my stitches to fall on the fabric pieces and the background fabric. I like a really drawn / sketchy look. Now this is where you can decide if you are finished with your block or if you want to add some embroidered words.
 I wanted to embroider a Bible scripture on mine. I just grab a Sharpie and write right on the background fabric.
Here it is embroidered. I know that it isn't perfect. But it has that handmade feel that my mother loves and this is for her so I know it's okay. You can use a ruler and write very neatly on the lines or use a really pretty font, whatever you like. I prefer this method. Press and square up your block now. There is some shrinkage and distortion from the free-motion stitching and the embroidery. Now you can add a patchwork border or a plain border or leave your block as is. It's really up to you and I have made these using all of the above and they are all great options. Next layer your block (top), batting and backing fabric to make a quilt sandwich. Baste.
For this quilt I am quilting some horizontal uneven lines with big stitches. 
Next thing you do is bind your quilt! I chose a bright cream colored fabric with pretty green polka dots for the binding.
 That's it! Enjoy your new Christmas quilt! I hope my instructions are clear. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with the people you love! Thanks again Heather & Megan!

Thank you to everyone who participated on our Holiday Gift Tutorials series, we are so appreciative!

November 7th: Amber from A Little Bit Biased Tutorial: Holiday Table Topper
November 14th: Quilt Story :) Tutorial: Winter Tree Table Runner
November 21st: Bev from Flamingo Toes Tutorial: Linen Jewelry Travel Bag
November 28th: Corey from Little Miss Shabby Tutorial: Hope Canvases
December 5th: Jeni from In Color Order Tutorial: Fabric Embellished Dish Towels
December 12th: Melissa from Happy Quilting Melissa Tutorial: Holiday Oven Mitt
December 14th: Gentri from Little Lulu's Nest Tutorial: Hoop Art Ornament
December 19th: Erin from Why Not Sew?


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Simple Pleasures quilt from Auntie's Quaint Quilts...

Today we have this lovely feature! Simple pleasures quilt from Christine of anties quaint quilts...(which reminds me of a funny story of Megan, on a trip to England to visit Grandma, she said "what a quaint house you have!" nicely, Grandma got super offended and said it was not a nice word, means "small" (which it doesn't) Makes me laugh thinking of Megan getting busted by Grandma!) Back to the lovely Christine and her blog. She loves to quilt and stitch, this quilt has both. Along her sidebar she has dozens and dozens of quilt finishes through the years! Impressive!  She also has loads of friends from tons of countries along her sidebar, cute idea. Go check her out and be inspired!

This afternoon it was fine and still and not too sunny so I grabbed a few finished items and works in progress and headed outside to take some photos. 

After what seems forever, Simple Pleasures is finally finished.

 I quilted a 1/4 inch each side of the block seams ...

and echo quilted the triangles in the border.

 In case you hadn't guessed it's a Hatched and Patched design by Anni Downs. Her stitcheries are so distinctive.

For this quilt I used a range of fabrics by Heather Mulder Peterson called Cottage Charm.

Several years ago by local Spotlight had this range on it's shelves and I bought up big!

Here's a closer look at the quilting in the border ... simple but effective.

 And to finish a shot of the backing. I'm not usually a fan of yellow but this buttery print jumped out shouting 'pick me' when I was auditioning fabric for the backing.