Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Scrap Sewing Continued

I am happy to say that I worked with the pile of scrappy strips that I shared yesterday. 

Last night I sewed a few strip sets.  

As you can see from the picture taken after they were pressed, the edges do not need to be even. The length of the sets needed to be approximately 12" for the long ones and 8" for the short ones.

The 12" strip sets also needed to measure at least 11" tall.

The 8" strip sets also needed to measure at least 11" tall. 

I decided to work with the long sets first. I am presenting some demos at an upcoming event at Chestnut Ridge Sewing, so I decided to "practice" one of my demos using scraps, rather than yardage. I'll have a sample of how I used these strip sets with me. If you are in that area Thursday or Friday, stop in and see me. I'll be in the classroom. :-)

I am sure many of you have made bowl cozies, but I will admit that I made my first ones this past summer and really enjoyed making them. Here are a couple of pictures of one that I made. 

I used the Creative Grids Bowl Cozy Template Set and love the fact that I can make two sizes with it. I like the scallop edges, and think it makes picking up the cozy really easy. Plus, I just like the way it looks. :-)

I decided to make a small cozy using scraps and I really like how it looks. (There is a a template available from The Gypsy Quilter for use with 2.5" strips, but I really wanted to mix and match strips widths.) I also used the pre-cut 100% cotton batting, which made this cozy go together very fast. (Taking pictures of this is NOT easy.  LOL)

Just because I can, I am going to share a few pictures showing my process and a few of the adjustments I've made from the original pattern. One of the reasons I had not made any of these prior to this summer was that quite honestly, I was never much impressed with them. I always felt that they kind of looked sloppy and I didn't like the "fullness" or "not fully quilted" look of the ones I've seen. I am a quilter and while I don't like overly dense quilting, I really don't like quilting that is spaced too far apart. (Yep! I'm picky.)

Ok...back to the process. As you can see from the strip sets below, there is no real rhyme or reason to my strip sets, other than that they should measure at least 11" high by 12" long. I do prefer to have a wider strip on the ends and not a really narrow one, like 1". I think that makes any needed trimming easier. 

I squared up the strip sets to 11" x 11", as per the instructions on the template set. (I've seen instructions that say to start with 10" - 10.5" squares, but that is too close for comfort for me.) 

Using the instructions on the template set, I folded and cut the strip set to end up with this odd looking piece. The cut out V sections are for the darts that will be sewn after the pieces is quilted. This, and the curved sections create the scallop look that I like so well. (I'm not going to show how to cut the template. It's pretty straight forward if you follow the instructions on the package. That, and the fact that I forgot to take pictures. LOL) 

Using a chalk marker, I drew the lines I wanted to quilt. This is more than usual, but as I said earlier, I like these cozies to be more heavily quilted. 

For this scrappy cozy, I also stitched in the ditch of all the seams. Here is a picture from the back, showing all of the lines of quilting that I added. It looks like a hot mess, doesn't it?  

Here is a picture of the back of the original cozies that I made. This shows that I sewed a few "extra" lines on those from what is suggested on the instructions. I really like adding the stitching that creates a square along what will be the bottom of the cozy. I feel like it helps them stand more upright. Honestly, you can quilt as much or as little as you like. It doesn't matter. You can even use decorative stitches, if you want. You are the decision maker here. :-) is my scrappy bowl cozy. I like it and have enough strip sets sewn to make at least two more. I am also going to make a couple of the large cozies. That strip set will measure approximately 17" x 17" and be trimmed to 16" square. I'll follow the same procedure, including using the large pre-cut batting.  to work with the small strip sets. That project is a little different, but along the same lines. It will also be used in the kitchen. :-) 

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Working with Scraps

As I've recently posted, I have been very busy with "work" type quilting and I really want to sew something that is "just because." I know that the project needs to be quick and mindless, yet fun. 

So...while trying to clean up and organize my sewing area, I started playing around with an idea on a way to use some of my "smallish" pieces of fabric. You know what fabrics I mean, right? Those pieces that are too big to throw away, but too small to put in the tub with yardage. I know that I could (and I have) cut them into small segments to have on hand for scrap piecing, etc. Bonnie Hunter calls it her Scrap User's System, and I've used that on occasion. But honestly, I want to sew something and not cut and organize my overwhelming pile. (Yep, I'm kind of being a baby right now!) 

I needed to simplify things and just do a little bit; so I pulled out a bunch of small pieces of fabric that remind me of Fall colors. I pressed what needed pressed and reviewed my project idea. I made some notes, decided what I needed and felt pretty good, knowing that I will soon be creating/sewing something.

I will be working on two projects at the same time (of course!) and decided that for one of the projects, my strips need to be 12" long and for the other project the strips need to be 8" long. (Those lengths may be adjusted after I figure out what I'm doing.  hahaha)

I cut what I could lengthwise and then cut a variety of widths of fabric ranging from 1" up to 2 1/2". I put the strips in a pile, based on the length size. 

Here's what I have. 

I'm not going to lie. It feels pretty darn good to have cut up a bunch of fabric! You might recognize some of these fabrics. There are Kim Diehl fabrics, pieces from recent projects, and even some very old Thimbleberries fabric. I have no more of these fabrics in any yardage or even large pieces, and that feels really good. I am feeling better already and I haven't even sewn a stitch yet. LOL

Next, I'll review my the notes I made for the projects and start sewing. I'm still finalizing my project details and process, but I'll sew a test later today and go from there. I may try to sketch out something in EQ, but I don't think I want to do that right now. I just want to sew...

I'll take pictures and share my progress over the next few days. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

More Quilts

As I said in my last post, I've been doing some sewing, but of course not as much as I'd like to.  Isn't that true for all of us?

I love that my grandchildren like to use my quilts. They like sleeping with them, making tents and forts, and they especially like using them for picnics. 

Avery and Peyton chose this quilt that I would say looks pretty darn much like winter because the fabrics are frosted and the quilting is a bunch of snowflakes. They said that is EXACTLY why they chose it. It was very hot that day (upper 80's) and they said that just thinking about snow would help keep us cool. I like how they think! 

I know that these next pictures will drive some of you crazy, but I really don't mind that my quilts get taken outside and put on the ground. If I don't want a particular quilt used, it is kept in a "safe" place and the kids all know that they are not allowed to make their choices from those quilts. I have never had a problem. 

The kids all like using colorful quilts and if food gets spilled, I just gather up the quilt and put it in the washer. These two quilts have been washed dozens of times and I think they have many, many more picnics in their future. 

It made my heart sing watching the twins "reading" while sitting on the quilts. 

These two love to be read to and to "read" to other people. After this last picture was taken, I joined them on the quilt and relaxed while they "read" the most amazing story ever. That's what they called it and I have to admit, it was a pretty good story. 😊

I think I'll take a break and read tonight. I hope you get to do something that gives you pleasure! :-)

Thursday, August 24, 2023

I'm Baaaaack!

Whew! It's been a long minute since I've posted. I've been busy doing all kinds of things, but obviously blogging wasn't one of them. I'm breathing again, and I'm feeling the desire to blog. Yay!!

I'll be sharing quite a few things that have been happening over the past few months (ok - almost five months, but who's counting?), but I won't be sharing them in any particular order. 

I was happy to do some applique work for my daughter Lynn to include in a raffle for school. While I love the look of it, I don't love to applique. Honestly, I don't have the patience for it. I admire those of you who applique, but I can only seem to do it in small amounts of time. This project was very simple and it turned out ok. It's a simple applique on fleece, which was pretty darn easy and done on the machine. 

It's football season and I've offered to make at least one more of these for Lynn, if they have another raffle. I've also offered to make more for those chilly Friday nights when the family heads to the stadium to watch a school game. 

Speaking of taking a quilt with you when you go out...
Jack had a couple of outdoor singing gigs with the Symphony Chorale this summer and they were all wonderful. Since he always has to arrive early for practice, I took binding with me.

The quilt is called Ombre Ripple and the pattern is by Pine Tree Country Quilts.

For some reason I don't have a picture of the full and completed quilt. I'll have to try and rectify that as soon as I can. Right now, the quilt is hanging up at Chestnut Ridge Sewing because I'll be teaching a class in October. I used a variety of Pearlized Marble fabrics by Kanvas Studio for Benartex. They are perfect for this quilt and there are so many colors from which to choose! 

I'll be back soon with more eye candy. Even though school has started and I have been assigned some sub-teaching days (including today), I'll be spending time sewing and getting ready for a variety of upcoming classes.  :-)

I hope you get a chance to do what makes you happy. 💗

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Secret Sewing

 Yikes! I totally missed March...

Well, I didn't really miss it; I was just busy and didn't have time to post anything. 

I've been crazy busy with secret sewing projects so I wouldn't have been able to share many pictures any way. 

I just finished trimming 195 half square triangles. 

Yes, you read that correctly - 195 half square triangles.

These are actually bonus HST from trimming 224 flying geese units. This secret sewing project includes two quilts - one "biggish" one and a small wall hanging. The flying geese were used in the quilt and the HST were used in the wall hanging. I'll be able to show these projects sometime this summer.

I have been working on various Quilts of Valor as leader and ender projects, but I haven't taken any pictures yet. I'll try to do that soon and share them here.

I have three quilts that are wedding gifts that I'll be able to share after those weddings, all which take place within the next 45 days. 

I told you I have been busy.  :-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Color Challenge Block

             I love a good challenge and when it involves fabric and color, you can count me in the game. 

Jen, from Patterns by Jen, has hosted monthly color challenges for quite a few years now and I've participated in three of them. I took a break last year but am participating in a limited way this year. I couldn't resist joining again in 2023 because the colors are awesome, and how she introduces each color is so darn fun. This year she is using classic cars! 


2023 Monthly Colors

February - Aqua
March - Red
April - Olive Green
May - Baby Blue
June - Grey
July - Purple
August - Brown
September - Mustard Yellow
October - Blue
November - Green
December - Orange

I chose to participate in February for a couple of reasons. I love pretty much any color that is related to blue, so aqua is perfect. I also fell in love with the block when I saw it. And finally, to be totally honest, I wanted to have a month early in the year so I didn't get bogged down with work and end up being rushed to make my block. 

Sew...lets get to some specifics and the questions I know you are all asking. Jen has all the information on her blog, but here's the quick version

How much fabric do I need?

The general rule is that each month, a fat quarter of light and a fat quarter of dark of will be enough. This year we will be making just one size block. The finished size of each month's block will be 12" (12 1/2" unfinished).  

There is also the option to have all of the same background, instead of using the color for that month. If you are using the same background throughout the year you can download the cutting instructions for the background on Jen's blog.

You do not have to use stash fabric for this challenge, unless you want to do so. Jen has some great information and wonderful links to help you choose just the right fabrics for this challenge.  

Block Patterns

Blocks are available for free during the month on Jen's blog. After the month has passed blocks are available for $1. 

To make it even more wonderful, Jen will share a video each month to help you with the block construction. They are amazing! 

February Block

I fell in love with this block as soon as I saw it! 
I think it is so darn fun!

But first, let's discuss the color AQUA.

According to Wikipedia: 

In Latin, the word aqua means water. Aqua is a variation of the color cyan, which is located between green and blue on the color wheel. Because the colors are regarded so closely, cyan and aqua are often used interchangeably in areas like web design. 

Aqua is one of the three secondary colors of the RGB color model used on computer and television displays. In the HSV color wheel aqua is precisely halfway between blue and green.

So, what exactly does that mean to me? Honestly, it means that I often confuse the colors aqua, blue, teal, and turquoise. 😅 

Here is an awesome site that will help you learn all about the various shades of aqua. It is worth taking a look just to see all the beautiful pictures. 

So what are the meanings and symbolisms associate with Aqua

Aqua evokes feelings of reinvigoration, youth, and dreaminess.
Because of it's water roots, aqua has an energy and striking tone that makes it a wonderful accent for many other colors. 

When aqua is in your aura (An aura is a quality or feeling that seems to surround a person.), you are mostly calm and know how to chill. Because of that, your understanding and compassion is a gift to the people you meet.  Basically, you live your life with a focus on joy and innocence. Gee, I want to be like that!

Let's take a closer look at the February/Aqua Block

This block is fun and easy to make and Jen's instructions are perfect. Don't you just love how the light fabric seems to peak out from the corners of the dark center? I think the somewhat wonky flying geese units are perfect and fit right in with the aqua aura explanation, don't you? Because there are no outside 1/4" points to worry about, it made me relax and be carefree when constructing the block, which is exactly what I wanted. 

Speaking of being carefree and relaxed, I don't always find it easy to choose fabrics for my projects. I believe choosing fabric is like a journey. Sometimes you know the way by heart and everything is simple. Other times you hit road blocks and there is nothing easy or fun and the whole thing becomes a task. Here was my journey for this block/project. 
(I looked for an aqua car, but this was as close as I could get.)

I really wanted to use that stripe, but it just wouldn't work. As you can tell, I included fabric that was more teal than aqua; but it looks good and as I said early, I often confuse aqua, blue, teal, and turquoise so I'm right on course.

In keeping with the carefree spirit, I played around and turned the block to see what it would look like if placed on point. Oh my goodness! How fun is this?!?

This looks like some kind of animal and I think it is really cute. I am feeling the desire to make more blocks and create a quilt from this layout. 

Speaking of quilts, I made four of these blocks and put them into a darling little wall hanging. I love it!

I love looking at the back of a quilt, and this one was no different.

Do you want to make your own block? Take a few minutes and jump over to Jen's blog. I know you will love what she's doing!
Thanks Jen for this wonderful block and awesome challenge! 

And yes, I do believe Everyone Deserves a Quilt!

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

More Sample Sewing

The last few months I've been busy with sample making and pattern testing. I shared some pictures of quilts I recently made for Myra Barnes (Busy Hands Quilts) and today I'll share the last two quilts I made for Tammy Silvers (Tamarinis)

I'll tell you right off that these pictures are not good and they do not do these quilts justice.  Sorry Tammy! I actually had them packed and ready to send to her when I realized that I had not taken any pictures. I unpacked the box, threw them up on the design wall, took these two pictures, and got them packed up again just in time for the mail carrier. Whew! It was close, but I made it.

This is Fizz and it is much easier than it looks. Tammy used the Studio 180 Tucker Trimmer, but I did not. Either way, this is a pretty quick quilt to make and I love the modern vibe it gives. This quilt measures 51" x 68".

While trimming the triangle units, you will have what are normally "waste" units. But, in her infinite ability to "waste not, want not," Tammy created a bonus quilt that is just as fun as the "real" quilt. This measures 42" x 48". 

Not bad, huh? One pattern, one set of fabric, and two quilts. 

I'll be back tomorrow with my block for the Monthly Color Challenge hosted by Jen of Patterns by Jen

I'll share a secret... I followed Tammy's example and did a little more than the basics. Be sure to come check it out tomorrow. :-)