Monday, July 30, 2018

Christmas in July Projects Done and Design Wall Monday

If you read yesterday's post, you know that I've been working on and teaching Christmas in July projects. Although these two are not technically Christmas projects, they are winter-themed, so I'm including them in my list of Christmas projects done early. :-)

This first table runner is called Bethlehem and the pattern is by Doug Leko and is in the book Once Upon a Memory

The runner measures approximately 14" x 42" and I find that it's a good size for our table - not too long and not too wide. See all those flying geese? There are a total of 80 and they measure 1" x 2" finished. Yikes! That's a lot of small geese. 

I did some very simple quilting on this runner. I simply quilted straight lines (sort of echo lines) around all the triangle units. Instead of trying to keep a perfect 1/4" seam, I used the edge of my walking foot. Sooooo much easier!

I stitched in the ditch (or close to that!) of all those flying geese triangles and figured out a way to stitch all the way down one side and back up the other. By doing that, I created a square in a square look in the small center squares. It was so easy and fast and I'm very happy with the results.

This next runner is Winter Wonderland, a Judy Niemeyer pattern. This runner measures 20" x 74" and because it's so long, I'll most likely use this as a bed runner. 

This is paper pieced, but it is very easy to do. And, since there are only four blocks, it's pretty darn quick too. I fell in love with this pattern when it was first released back in 2011 and like the updated version (2107) even more. I'm happy to have finally made this and since I have extra papers, I'm planning to make a pillow and small wall hanging. 

It's difficult to see in this pictures, but I quilted a swirly loop design from the top to bottom in the light blue centers, and then I stitched right along the inside edge of each one. I also stitched right along the inside edges of the dark blue centers, and then I stitched right along the outside edge of the blue snowflake points. (I knew that stitching in the ditch was going to be a challenge for me, so I just dropped my feed dogs, held my breath, and stayed as close to the edges as I could. It's not perfect, but it looks good to me. Besides, snowflakes aren't perfect and no two are alike, so it's ok if mine aren't perfect.) 

To make the pieced parts of the blocks stand out, I quilted a meander in all the background fabric and I'm very happy with how that looks.

I'm taking a break from Winter and Christmas projects and have this panel up on the design wall. I'm contemplating how I want to use it. I have a few ideas and some coordinating fabrics, but we'll see what I decide after looking at it for a couple of days. I'll keep you posted!

Have you used this panel? If so, what did you do? I'd love to see pictures.

What are you working on today?

Check out the quilting eye candy at 


Sunday, July 29, 2018

Classes and Projects - Lots of Pictures!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm finally close to getting caught up with things. The 12 Days of Christmas winners should be receiving their packages within the next day or two and I am pretty well set and on task for the schedule I set for myself to get a variety of projects completed.

Keeping with the Christmas in July theme, I taught a couple of classes that were really fun and very productive. Check out what these ladies made while learning the basics of paper piecing. 

Bonnie's light green fabrics look great!

Hazel added a touch of pizzazz with the green swirl. 

Linda was a quick learner and only has one more tree section and then the base to sew and then she's ready to add borders. 

Dorothy wanted to keep her greens pretty similar in value and texture. I think she did a good job of that and still have interest in the tree. 

Sue chose to make her tree patriotic and very scrappy. I can't wait to see this completed. 

Like Linda, Barb was a quick learner and even though it looks like she made a mistake (she sewed section 3 with the paper backwards), we are choosing to believe that she has just started piecing her second tree already.  I generally tell students that we don't make mistakes. We make design changes. 😄

I also taught the Poinsettia Millefiori Quilt and had an awesome time spending the day with twelve very fun ladies.

One of the best things about this quilt is that no two will be the same. Although no one was ready to lay out their entire quilt by the end of the day, they all were very productive and made a lot of the blocks. (Of course I didn't get any pictures of blocks up on the design wall. 😑)

A couple of the ladies decided that they wanted to cut everything before they started piecing. Good for them! They will be able to whip up their blocks in no time.

Me, I'm kind of an instant gratification kind of gal and like to cut a little and then sew a little. Cut some more, and them sew some more. That's what the majority of the group did too. 


I love all the variations!

It's hard to believe that everyone started with the same fabric. 

Of course everyone had to check out their classmates blocks. Marcia stated to lay her blocks as she was making them to get an idea of what the quilt might look like.

I thought I might have to do a bag check on everyone when they were leaving because we all found a block made by someone else that we loved and wanted to add to ours. There might have been a little planning to distract someone and do a block switch, but that plan was quickly foiled. 😁 (It might have worked if we could have whispered when making the plan, but nooooo. We were loud and laughing too much for that.) 

I always enjoy teaching, but it's especially fun when the class has really enjoyable students. Thanks Ladies!

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of a couple other Christmas-themed projects that I completed this past week.

Have an awesome week! 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

12 Days of Christmas in July

It's the second day of the 12 Days of Christmas in July, which means it's my turn to share. Yay!

Sarah, over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has put together another great Blog Hop and I'm excited to be a part of this group. I encourage you all to check out the posts from yesterday, as well as all the posts over the next 10 days. There will be some great projects shared, tutorials offered, giveaways, and a Quilt Along. It really is like Christmas, even though it's 90+ degrees outside. 

Saturday, July 14th

Selina @ Selina Quilts

Sunday, July 15th

Monday, July 16th

Jamie @ L'Fair Quilts

Tuesday, July 17th

Sharon @ Vrooman's Quilts

Wednesday, July 18th

Marian @ Seams To Be Sew

Thursday, July 19th

Danice @ Homespun Hannah

Friday, July 20th

Saturday, July 21st

Sunday, July 22nd

Anja @ Anja Quilts
Moira @ Quilted Snail

Monday, July 23rd

Brenda @ Songbird Designs

Tuesday, July 24th

Wednesday, July 25th

Brandy @ Pampered Pettit

Be sure to read all the way to the end of the long, picture-heavy post because there is a giveaway.

So here's the back story to the projects I'm going to share.

About a year ago, I participated in a Hoop Quilt Along organized by AnneMarie Chaney. I loved the results and made a number of hoop quilts. Like many quilt-related projects, I was hooked and not only made a bunch, but I taught some classes on this, and continue to do so. You can see some that I've made HERE.

This got me thinking about what other "quilty" wall art I could make. I wanted something really fast and easy because I thought these pieces could be replacements for quilts that I want to make for someone, but just didn't have the time to complete. (I know none of you have that problem, right?) 

I started gathering supplies and decided that the first thing I would do was to simply wrap some fabric around a canvas frame. Here's that first project I made.

I started with a basic artist canvas that measured 12" x 12". These are available at any art store and many discount stores as well.

I decided on the fabric that I wanted to use, (part of the Holiday Traditions line by Jan Shade Beach for Henry Glass) and realized that the panel was not large enough to cover the 12" x 12" canvas I had. No problem! I'll add a border and that will act like a frame. So I measured the panel, trimmed it so there was a little of the grey and then did some quick math to determine how wide my border strips needed to be to cover the top, sides, and have some wrap around width. (The canvas is 1/2" deep.) 

In order to cover the canvas and to wrap around it, I needed to add a 2 1/2" border on all sides of the panel that measured 9 7/8". To reduce bulk, I pressed all my seams open.

Easy peasy! Now I just need to put it on the canvas.

After thinking about it, I decided that I didn't want raw edges that could potentially fray, so I folded the edges 1/8" and pressed. I folded and pressed another 1/8" and them sewed a seam along the edge.

I decided to miter the corners because I thought it would look much nicer. 

Next, I centered the fabric under the canvas. To do this, I marked the center of each side of the canvas (It's difficult to see this in the picture, because it's just a little pencil mark. Trust me, the marks are there.) I then folded the fabric in quarters to find the center points and I marked those with pins. 

I started on the top and bottom and wrapped the fabric around to the back and secured the fabric with thumbtacks. 

I made sure there were no wrinkles on the front and the fabric was secure. Bingo, I have a wall hanging to go along with the other projects I've made from this line.

I love this fabric line and have used it a lot. You can check out some of my other projects using this fabric HERE and HERE.

I couldn't just do this one project, so I played around with a few more ideas and this is what I came up with.

I had a few remnants of this snowman fabric and cut it down to fit into this oval frame. Had I had some coordinating blue fabric, I think I would have covered the matting with it so it really popped the snowman. Of course I could also just decorate the mat. :-)

I have a friend who loves butterflies and anything pink and brown. I had all of these fabrics in my stash, so I made her this little 8" x 8" picture. I simply fussy cut the butterfly and used that as the star center and then added the striped border. It was done the same way as the holiday sleigh above, although this is not a thick canvas, but one that is quite thin. This can be hung on a wall or placed on a stand as I've done here. (The border really is equal on all sides here. I just could not get a good picture of it.) 

I think this little picture is great for someone for whom you want to make something, but perhaps not a quilt. It's still handmade and still "quilty."

Like many of you, I have a bunch of fabric scraps that were left over from finished projects and I really want to use them. A few years ago, I was commissioned to make a pinwheel quilt for someone. The lady picked the fabrics and I got started. It didn't take me long to decide that I needed to show her the progress to be sure that she wanted me to continue. I didn't love the fabric combinations she chose and really wanted to be sure that she did. She did, so I kept going. 

There are very few pinwheel quilts that I've made that I have not loved, but that quilt was one of them. While going through my stash to pull fabrics for these "quilty" wall art projects, I came across scraps of those fabrics. Since the woman now attends the same church that I do, I decided to surprise her with something to go alone with her quilt. This is what I came up with. 

I took the left over fabrics and made six pinwheels. I pieced them all together and instead of quilting them, I put them in the frame. Easy peasy!

The best part of this project is the construction of the pinwheels so they meet up perfectly in the center. The half square triangle (HST) units are constructed using the Magic Eight method, but there is some special piecing that I do to make the perfect points.

I layer the fabrics, right sides together. The light fabric has an X drawn through the corners. 

Sew 1/4" along both sides of the drawn lines. 

Cut the pieces apart on the drawn lines as well as through the middle, both vertically and horizontally.

Press the seams to the dark fabric and trim the HST to the desired size (3 1/2" for my project).

Now here's the key to perfect pinwheel centers! Start sewing your HST units together 1/4" from the top edge. In other words, you will start sewing where the diagonal seam begins.  

If you start sewing at the end that doesn't have the diagonal seam, you will stop when you come to it. Does that make sense?

Here's a better picture showing the 1/4" start and stop points. Press to the dark fabric, which will result in seams that nest when put together.

When you sew the two half pinwheel units together, be sure to sew with an accurate 1/4". Doing this will have you sew right along the X that is created from the previously sewn seams. (See right in the middle of this picture.)

Look! Perfect center points, every time!

To reduce bulk at the center point, gently press the center seam so the pieces open up. One half will press up and the other will press down. You'll also be creating a mini pinwheel on the back side. Be sure to press from the front to make it lay flat.

I'll be giving this "quilty" wall art to the lady at church later this month and I'm sure she'll be surprised. 

And finally, I did one more "quilty" art project. 

I reverted back to the hoop concept and simply quilted some background fabric, made a simple set of pockets, and hooped it to create a fun sewing room storage piece. 

The background fabric is a Peppered Cotton that I simply meander quilted. The pocket is from the Studio e line My Happy Place; and I simply interfaced it for stability, folded it in half and top stitched along the fold. I then lined it up with the bottom edge of the background piece and sewed a seam down the middle to create two pockets. I then sewed along the sides and bottom to stabilize everything.

I hooped all the layers, centering the pocket seam with the top of the hoop.

Here's the back - another Peppered Cotton by Studio e

I trimmed the edges, stitched them to stop fraying and then folded them around the back and glued in place. 

I thought about wrapping the hoop with fabric, like I did with the original hoop quilts, but I decided against it. I like it like this!

Whew! Thanks for indulging me with reading about my projects. I am kind of OCD and when I start something, I really can't just make one. 

If you are still reading this, I'm sure you're wondering about the giveaways. Since you've spent so much time here, I'm giving away two items.

First up, one lucky winner will receive the sewing hoop above. A second winner will receive a set of two canvases, a 12" x 12" square (1/2" think) and an 8" x 8" thin canvas.

To be entered in the giveaway, be sure to comment below. I'll pick a winner on Thursday, July 26th, the day after the hop ends. I'd love to have you follow me, but that is not required to be entered to win. Also, please be sure that you are not a no-reply blogger. I need to be able to contact you, so be sure I can reply to you. If you aren't sure, leave your e-mail in your comment.