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Jul 29, 2010

Stash-Buster Birthday Banner Tutorial

Jul 29, 2010
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It’s Birthday Week at my house (my boys’ birthdays are 8 days part) and this year I was inspired to make the house festive with fabric. I kept seeing adorable banners on others’ blogs, but I didn’t want to spend money on it. Ta-dah! Here’s my version of the Birthday Banner – it truly uses up the scraps.

Makes 9 banner flags spaced 3.5” apart.

MATERIALS:

1 – 3 yd. wide bias tape

3/4 yd. assorted scrap fabric

Template plastic

Thread coordinating with bias tape



DIRECTIONS:

1. Take an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper, marking the center of the 8.5” side with a marker. Draw aline from the center point to the opposite corners of the paper forming a triangle. Cut out the triangle and trace it onto the template plastic. Cut the triangle template out.



2. Sew scraps together to make rectangular panels that are approximately 10” x 12”. I found it fun to have a theme when sewing these panels

For example – stripes, crazy piecing (anything goes), sewing half-square triangles into blocks, then sewing blocks together, etc.

3. Each 10” x 12” panel should create 2 triangles. You will need 18 triangles total (fronts and backs). I chose to make the front triangles scrappy and the back side solids. Have fun reminiscing about projects you’ve made when you find little bits of old fabric!

Trace the template on the panel making sure you can cut 2 triangles before marking. Mark triangles and cut.

4. Once you have all 18 triangles, you can begin sewing flags. Lay out the front and back sides of the flags before starting to sew.  With right sides together, pin and mark a dot on the pivot point.


5. Sew down one long side of the triangle, ¼” from the edge, pivoting at the point and sewing back up the other side. Leave the short side of the triangle open to turn right sides out.

6. Trim excess fabric from the point, making sure not to clip the stitches. Turn right sides out and press.

7. Center the middle flag at the midpoint of the bias tape. Pin in place. I used my 3.5” ruler as a guide to evenly space the rest of the flags. Pin all in place.

8. Sew along the length of the bias tape to stitch in place all flags. I actually sewed 2 lines to secure them, but I supposed you can use a double needle too. Press.



I hope yours turns out great!
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Jul 27, 2010

WARNING: Free Motion Rookie Ahead!

Jul 27, 2010
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So I watch the little video clips posted by Leah Day on  365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs and it looks so easy.  Every day she creates a new design.  I'm inspired!  I've got to try it!  Oh my.

My test piece.  I want stars for a Thomas the Train quilt for my son. 

WARNING:  Uneven stitch length ahead!



Here's the stars on the actual quilt front.  The busy pattern on the panel perfectly hides the mistakes and is a good place for me to practice.  I'm hoping no one will notice I have no idea what I'm doing.


Quilt back: Since this is a child's quilt, I think I can get away with the random uneven stars.  I think it looks almost primitive or childish.

Well, my neck and back are tense.  Taking a break after about 3 rows of stars.  Can I finish it before his birthday Aug. 6?
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Jul 26, 2010

Jessica's Batik Tote Bag

Jul 26, 2010
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My friend Jessica had her baby shower over the weekend.  She is one of my oldest friends - from the junior high school era.  Remember all the bangs and braces?  We've lots of those pictures as we grew up (most of which I wonder "What was I thinking?!")

Anyway, we were in each other's weddings and now she is having a little baby boy in August.  I made this "Mom Bag" for her.  It's great for throwing books and toys  in for church or using as an overnight bag.

This is the 3rd mom bag I have made from a pattern I designed myself.  It's very basic.  No pockets, no zippers.  Just your simple lined market bag with a strap that is long enough to sling across your body.  They turn out pretty well and I am thinking of making up the pattern and posting it here.

Here are the other color variations I've made:  Large Tote, Christy's Tote.

I hope Jessica and her little guy get a lot of use out of it!

This bag is partying @:




Photobucket
 



Fresh Poppy Design
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Jul 21, 2010

Snowflake Quilt: Blocks and Layout

Jul 21, 2010
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**Don't forget - Today is the last day to enter for our GiveAway (until tonight @ midnight)!!! See Post on 7/19/2010.***



More work on the Snowflake Quilt: After cutting the charms, I started sewing blocks. There are 3 blocks used for the center snowflake.
You know how excited you feel when all the blocks are done and you can layout a portion of the quilt? Sometimes this is my favorite part. I hurriedly shoved all the scattered toys to one corner of the basement (my workspace is shared with the boys' toy room) and began laying blocks into the snowflake shape.


Bummer. This layout was a bit of a let down already! :( Rookie mistake. I failed to notice when looking at the pattern that the authors had used all dark or medium blocks in the center to really highlight the white snowflake shape. Well, the corners are all clipped, so there is no going back now. Hopefully, it will grow on me as the rest of the quilt comes together.... Pin It

Jul 17, 2010

Perfectly Personalized Pretty Pincushions

Jul 17, 2010
Pin It Try saying that 5 times fast! Whew! My parents came to visit this week while my husband was in Japan to help with the boys. My mom came with this little project in mind.

We made these pincushions with fabrics from my stash and personalized them using my machine. The buttons and ribbon were also things I had lying around. Cute and "free"!

She's trying to convince me to make up a bunch of them and sell them at the church holiday craft fair.


These pincushions are partying here:


The Girl Creative



Photobucket




Fresh Poppy Design
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Jul 14, 2010

New project: "Simply Charming - Seasons" Snowflake Quilt

Jul 14, 2010
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When I picked up this pattern book, I was surprised to find that I liked 9 or 10 out of the 12 patterns inside..... Usually, it seems only 1 or 2 catch my eye, so finding this pattern book was exciting. There is a pattern for each month of the year, all of them based on using charm packs. Super cute!

It came with a kit for the "January" quilt - a snowflake lap quilt. I am usually against buying kits since I love the process of picking out your own fabrics and watching everything come together, but I decided to give this one a shot. Below you can see the kit and a photo of the finished pattern.

Instead of charms, the kit had 11 - 6" cuts of different fabrics. So the first step was to cut the fabrics into 5" charm squares.




Next I plan to start making blocks for the center snowflake. Slow progress, but I'm sneaking downstairs to cut during naptime!
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Jul 12, 2010

Does the Process Pledge make you feel naked?

Jul 12, 2010
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There. I said it. That's how the Process Pledge makes me feel. Now don't get me wrong.... what a fantastic idea to showcase all the hard work that goes into a quilt. But boy, does it make me feel vulnerable, exposed......naked.


Isn't it hard as an artist to show your work before it's finished? Until it's perfect - and everything is exactly the way you want it? Am I the only one who feels this way?


I think the Process Pledge will help me as a quilter to admit that not everything turns out right the first time. And hopefully, recognize that mistakes help me gain knowledge and learn. So although, this is going to be like pulling teeth at first, I'm pledging and willing to try.


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Jul 5, 2010

GenX Quilters Tip: Mitered Corner Quilt Labels

Jul 5, 2010
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My sister-in-law Liz showed me this tip recently. It's so simple and it gets rid of the bulk- I'm not sure why I wasn't doing it before. She gets a shout out here for going back to nursing school. She spent several years working as a seamstress in costume design before deciding to do a career change. Happy Birthday Liz!



Press in 1/4" of fabric, wrong sides together on all 4 sides. Open fabric to reveal crease lines.


Fold each corner in at a 45 degree angle so that the hypotenuse of the triangle lays on the intersection of the crease lines. Press.


Keeping the corner tucked inside, fold 1/4" seam sides in again. Press and pin.


You are now ready to hand sew the label to the quilt. No bulky corners and a nice clean finish!




If you have tip to share with GXQs, please email me at genxquilter@gmail.com. (You may have already published it on your blog - that's okay!)






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