Wonky Pinwheels

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I've finished this little mini quilt for my partner of Round 3 for the DS Mini Quilt Swap. I was a bit hesitant at first with the color palette, but now that it's done and has some Kona Raisin as its binding, I'm liking it! It's on its way to Florida and should be to its recipient tomorrow! Exciting!
All print fabrics for the quilt top and back are from Denyse Schmidt, a composite which include pieces from Hope Valley; Picnics and Fairgrounds; and Sugar Creek. The gray background is Manatee by Free Spirit. The project finishes as an 18" square.
In putting this together, I once again took to InDesign to create a paper pieced template. It's available here if you'd like to give it a try! The download includes four different variations of the pinwheel block~lending itself to the overall wonky design. To construct the project as shown, you'll need 36 blocks total~or  eight sheets of the printed template. Important to remember, the #1 Placement for all four templates needs to be your background fabric. You'll construct the quilt top in six rows of six blocks each. . . easy peasy! This pattern would show well as a pillow too. . .hmmmm maybe that should be next. . .

Autumn Begins

Saturday, September 22, 2012

It's autumn!. . .it already feels like it. The leaves are beginning to fall, my vegetable garden has slowed in production and the swimming pool is chilly. . .and did someone mention football~love it!

The apple trees are beginning to produce, thus homemade applesauce! We stewed our first batch last weekend and filled freshly turned crepes with their sweet cinnamon-y goodness. Delish!!

With the changing of the seasons I'm shifting directions with some of my sewing, tucking away the summer palettes and turning to the warmer hues of Fall. As well as a bit of funky halloween mayhem. These pillowcases feature the Ghastlies. Cassidy loves this line. I paired it with a pale pink Kaufman Radiance and a Yarn Dye in black just for her~coordinates with absolutely NOTHING in her room, but she loves them! The pattern is Pillowcase Pizzazz, BUT this tutorial uses the same method as the pattern.

Picked up some great flannel at work. Red and Gray Woolies from Maywood Studios. These are without a doubt the BEST flannels on the market. They're thick, soft and hold their color~wash after wash. We've been updating Colby's room to reflect his transition into young adulthood~these will wind their way into a fuzzy-edged throw for him.

And who could pass up Fresh Cut flannel~certainly not me!!! It's beautiful! This bundle of pure bliss will also be a fuzzy-edged quilt. . .for yours truly.

I'm continuing to plug away at Neptune's Granny, I love making these blocks. . .here are two I've made this week. I've finally decided on a layout. . .Saints preserve us! 49 is the magic number. . . not 36. . . not 56 but, 49! There, it's written in stone~no deviating from said plan!

Swap projects have been whirling around in my head~these are the final swaps I'll be involved with before the holidays so I'm taking extra special care in deciding what to make for my partners. . .more to come as I finish those.

Enjoy your weekend. Happy Autumn 1st everyone!

Something To Sew Sunday

Sunday, September 16, 2012

 Today I'm starting some swap projects! For my DS Quilts swap partner, I've selected a collaborative of Denyse Schmidt fabrics along with a Kona Coal solid. My plan is to do some wonky pinwheel blocks. Because the perimeter edges are bias, I once again took to In Design to create a paper piecing template. I drew four templates just slightly different from one another~giving it just the right amount of wonkiness.  I'll leave the paper on until just before joining the blocks, allowing the edges to remain straight, thus a square quilt top!

My Neptune's Granny quilt is one of the long-term projects I have in progress. Here are 16 blocks I've made over the past week, with 3 made just this morning. My original plan was to do a 4x6 block layout with sashing. But. . . .I have enough Neptune and FS Arctic White to go much bigger. . .thus it's destined to be a bed size quilt. I love black and white photography; I often find it an important tool when selecting a fabric palette and with block placement.  This photo in particular shows me I need to add blocks with some darker color to that bottom row to achieve a more balanced look.

Mini Trajectory Pillow

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Where in the world did the summer go! I had lots planned for the never-ending "To Do" list~it just all scoots by so very fast. Something very exciting~a trip to Sisters, OR for an ENTIRE week with some of the best gals I know. We took classes, drooled over fabric and wool, rode bikes, drank margaritas and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

As for the sewing, this is what's happening in my sewing room this week. . .

While at Sisters, I saw this quilt, I loved it! I thought it would be great scaled down with blocks small enough to make a pillow.

So, I took to InDesign and drew up a 3" finished paper pieced pattern. Choosing fabrics was easy, I knew I wanted to use solids and I had my Michael Miller Cotton Couture QuiltCon bundle warming on the cutting table (I had a 1/2 yard of white fabric to work with).  I cut the white, background squares at 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"; the colored solids at 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles and ten setting squares cut at 3 1/2" x 3 1/2". I made 26 trajectory blocks.

Layered with fusible fleece and muslin I quilted a simple crosshatch design~I didn't want to take away from the blocks themselves. . .I just love them!

You can see where the setting squares are used. . .

Installed a 14" zipper to the pillow back. Featured fabric is from the La Dee Da line by Erin McMorris. It's a perfect match for the solids of QuiltCon!

Made some binding with some of the leftover Turquoise fabric; stitched it all together and

BAM! A pillow! It measures as an 18" square. I used a 20" square pillow form to give it a full, plump look. Want to make one for yourself? Click here and download the PDF template I've created for Craftsy!

Thanks must go to Megan, as the author and inspiration behind this block!

Springtime Swaps

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Oh, how I suck at this blog posting thing! I sew, sew, sew and then neglect to post pics here. So I'll try to redeem myself, and post a bit of what's been going on in the sewing room since March! Because I know you're not all that interested in how EXTREMELY glad I am school is out for the summer! I'm so tired of homework (my kids homework). . .tangent. . .sorry. . .

I've participated in a number of swaps this Spring, and it was totally fun! Some of my secret swap partners are overseas and it has been a bucket of sneaky goodness stalking them. . .

To Give. . .
This mini quilt was made for my partner in the DS Mini Quilt Swap.  I love the prints Denyse Schmidt has released for Fabric Traditions. The aqua/blue/green colorway are my favorite~and my partner's too. This mini is on it's way to England!
Sewing machine cover, a catch-all basket and some favorite Amy Butler fabrics are my swap collaberative for Modern She Made. Scraps from my bin, a new favorite~Essex Yarn-Dyed in Flax, and a text print for Timeless Treasure made this project super fun! Part of the swap guidelines were to include something circular in the project~thus the pebble quilting. This is also on it's way to the UK.

I also participated in the Potholder Pass! This was so, so fun! My partner, loves Red and Aqua~what a coincidence, me too! So these were especially fun to make. Some applique, some embroidery~sweet! And with text print fabrics being all the rage, I used it for the background. These went to Peggy!
To Receive. . .

I've also received some REALLY great swaps. This is the min quilt I received from Charlotte. It is adorable, and I'm in love with the little tin of mints she sent along with. There is also a great little sewing kit, fun selvedge, the double decker bus magnet (which the kids fight over to hold their picture up on the fridge) and a postcard which I promptly added to my design wall~they're coming in from all over the world! Run on over and check out Charlotte's Flickr page, she's just made these AWESOME pillows from shot cottons~amazing!
These are the goodies I received from Colby in the Potholder Pass. The potholders are perfect for my kitchen! I love them! They match my cookie jar and canisters! But, I'm not using them~they are just for show. My "used" potholders look like they've been to hell and back! These are too pretty to dirty up!

A Tidbit From The Garden. . . 

I do have to share some delicious goodness from our garden. We planted a great, big bunch of strawberry plants this spring and we're already picking berries! This is a favorite right around dessert time.

Well, my summer plan is to get all caught up with my bloggy friends (Dee, Terri, etc.,) I heart you all! And some catch up time is definitely needed!

Roman Stripe: A Block Tutorial

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Leftovers! I'm always finding myself with leftover strips from various projects. Pairing these strips with a favorite solid makes this block a scrap buster.
What you'll need~
• An 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" sheet of paper~one per block
• A solid background fabric*
• Strips of fabric at least 14" long and between 1 1/2" and 2" wide.
Start with an 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" square of paper. From the diagonal draw a pencil line 1/4" to the left or right.
From the gray background solid, cut a 10" x 10" square. Cut along it's diagonal to make 2 triangles. You'll use one triangle per block.
Set machine stitch length to 1.5~a shorter stitch length will allow the paper to perforate away from the fabric more readily. With right sides together, align a solid triangle and one strip length. Set these atop the paper with the aligned edges touching the drawn line. You'll notice both the triangle and strip length extend beyond the paper along all edges~this is a good thing! Stitch a 1/4" seam through all 3 layers.
Press. Be sure not to pull or stretch the gray triangle.
Add your next strip, aligning the raw edges. Press and repeat until your paper foundation is completely covered. Press well.
This is what your block will look like after all strips have been added, but prior to trimming. Give it a good pressing and flip it over. . .
From the back of the block you'll notice all the fabrics extend beyond the perimeter of the paper foundation. Align your ruler with the edge of the paper and trim. Rotate your block and trim until all four sides are sized up.
Time to remove the paper! Begin at the corner with the smallest paper section, fold back on the seam to further perforate the paper. Tear away gently. Repeat until all paper is removed. Press. Remember not to pull on the larger triangle as it will distort its shape and size.
Voila! A finished Roman Stripe block. Quick, easy and a real scrap buster!

*Two yards of a solid background fabric cut to the above measurement (and a good size stash of scrap strips) will yield 56 Roman Shade blocks. One possible quilt layout setting would be 8 rows of 7 blocks each; with a finished size of 56" x 64". Happy sewing!

Simple Addition Take #2

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fat quarters are one of my favorite ways to collect fabric, you can mix and match color and designer to come up with your own little grouping. This project has fabrics from Joel Dewberry, Anna Maria Horner and Kaffe Fassett with a few Free Spirit solids thrown in (my new favorite solid!).
My friend Patty, of Uniquely Quilted, did an awesome job with the machine quilting. We found this perfect paisley design and went with it. . .
It's so nicely stitched on the blue. . .
The pattern is available in my etsy shop. The quilt itself is a very special gift, for a very special teacher.
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