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Mar 30, 2011

Fabric goodies

Mar 30, 2011
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I went to Cleveland last week to visit my folks and attend the Cleveland Sewing and Quilting Expo with my mom.  This was only the second time I've been to an event like this....the first being the NQA Show in Columbus that inspired me to start this blog last summer.  We had a nice time and I thought I'd show you the goodies I picked up while there.

My theme for the day was stashing building on a SAHM budget.  That said, I paid anywhere from $1.50-$2.00 per fat quarter and only $5.99 per yard for all I bought.  Good deal!

I wish this stack was my Supernova Quilt-along stack, but I don't have enough colors.  We'll just go with stash building.

Tweet Tweet by Keiki yards

Wonderland by Momo yards

And more Wonderland FQs - this purchase had someone ask me if I was a hair dresser?

Good finds!  And before I forget, I owe you a winner from the Crafty Girls Workshop giveaway!

The winner is....

BaileyGirl5 said...3

I like you on Facebook....

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Mar 28, 2011

Grocery Bag Dispenser Tutorial

Mar 28, 2011
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My husband is always throwing away all my spare grocery bags because they are in disarray in my pantry.  I need those for dirty diapers!  I finally got around to making this cute dispenser bag and thought I'd share it with you...

**If you prefer to print out your patterns, a downloadable PDF file is available for just $1.00.** 

1 fat quarter (18" x 22") print
1/4 yard coordinating solid
2 - 1" x 20" strips interfacing
22" x 29" batting
22" x 29" muslin for backing
11" of 3/4" wide elastic
2 - 1/4" eyelets

1.  Cut the print fat quarter down to 18" x 20".  Save the leftover strip for the bag's handle.

2.  Cut the coordinating solid into the following sizes:
                 2 - 5" x 20" rectangles
                 1 - 2 1/2" x 20" strip (for binding the top)

3.  Sew one 5" x 20" rectangle to the top of the 18" x 20" print and one to the bottom using a 1/4" seam allowance.

4.  Before sewing the decorative stitching on the red solid, we will add interfacing to give the material extra support.  Pin the 1" x 20" strip interfacing to the wrong side of the red solid along the seam you sewed in step 3.  Do this at both the top and bottom seams.

5.  Sew a decorative stitch about a 1/4" from the seam on top of the interfacing.  Use the seam as your guide. I chose a little leafy stitch to pick up the leaves in the apples.  Sew decorative stitching at both the top and bottom seam on the red solid.

6.  Now make your quilt sandwich.  Muslin backing on the bottom, then batting, and quilt top on top, making sure to center the quilt top over the larger layers underneath.  Baste with pins.

7.  Now it's time to quilt.  Important!  Only quilt the top red solid and the print portion of your quilt.  Leave the bottom red portion unquilted.  It will be much easier to make the casing for the elastic and gather it all up if  the bottom is left unquilted.  In addition to stippling an all over pattern on the top two portions of the quilt, I also stitched-in-the-ditch using a walking foot at the seam where the print meets the bottom portion of the red solid.

8.  Trim the excess batting and muslin from all sides of your quilt.

9.  Trim with scissors the unquilted batting and muslin from the bottom portion of the quilt to reduce bulk.

10.  The top of the quilt is finished with binding.  The bottom has elastic casing to keep the grocery bags in.  The next step is to make the binding.  Using the 2 1/2" x 20" strip of red solid cut in the beginning, fold it in half widthwise, wrong sides together.  Place the raw edges of your folded strip against the raw edges of the top of the quilt and sew across the entire length of the strip, 1/4" from the edge.

11.  Fold the binding strip over and sew the entire length of  the strip to the back of the quilt, using a top stitch (about 1/8" from the edge) to secure the binding.

Here's what the binding looks like from the front.

12.  Now we turn our attention to the bottom of the quilt to make the casing for the elastic.  Fold the bottom edge under 1/4" and press.

13.  Fold again, this time 3/4" to create the casing for the elastic.  Slip your elastic strip in there just to make sure it fits.  Press.

14.  Stitch a topstitch (about 1/8") from the edge of the casing along the entire width of the quilt.

15.  Use a safety pin, threaded through the end of your elastic to feed the elastic through the casing.  Make sure to hold on to the other end of the elastic so it doesn't disappear into the middle of your casing sleeve!

16.  Fold the quilt in half with right sides together.  Match the seams where the red solid meets the print and pin in place.  Also make sure to match the elastic and casing sleeve.  Then sew along the length of the open edge to create a cylinder with one gathered end.

Turn it right side out, and it looks like this!

17.  Next we'll make the handle.  Grab the leftover strip of print you cut off earlier.  It should be about 2" x 18".  To have finished looking ends on the handle, fold under (wrong sides together) about 1/4" on each short edge and press.

18.  Fold the strip in half widthwise, right sides together.  Then sew along the entire length of the strip about 1/8" from the edge.  Turn the strip right sides out.

19.  Using a pen, mark the desired location for the eyelet hole.  I placed my eyelets about 1/2" down from the binding.  If you are looking at your cylinder from the top (with the gather at the bottom), place the lengthwise seam at 12 o'clock or at the back.  The front of your bag, the part you'll see is now at 6 o'clock.  Ideally, you should place the eyelets at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock.

20.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the eyelet press to install the eyelets at the locations you have marked.  Thread the handle through the eyelet and tie a simple knot on the end.

Done!  And now you have a beautiful way to store these bags for recycling!

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Fresh Poppy Design

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Mar 26, 2011

Guess what?

Mar 26, 2011
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My bed quilt is being featured over at Lilac Lane!  Stop by Melissa's blog to check out her weekly feature "What's on your bed Friday?"

Thanks for the feature Melissa!
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Mar 25, 2011

Follower Friday: Meet Alexandra of A(squared)*w

Mar 25, 2011
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Hi there!  Today's featured guest is Alexandra of asquared(w).  If you remember, I featured her super cool Embroidery Hoop Clock tutorial about a month ago...and it doesn't stop there!  She has a couple other cute tutes that are worth checking out, not to mention her Start Square series.  Let's see what she's made of...

Alexandra of Albuquerque, NM

Occupation:  Math teacher 

Significant Other/Kids/Pets:  Married, no kids, pet hedgehog named Snowflake.

# Years Quilting: About 3

Hand or machine piecing or quilting: I do everything by machine, but I love the look of hand stitching. I have my wedding quilt set aside that I want to hand quilt, when time and inspiration strike!

How you learned to quilt:  My mom taught me basic sewing skills when I was young. When I was in high school I made a patchwork duvet cover.  Not knowing anything about patchwork, and not wanting to ask for help (you know how high schoolers are!) I did not cut any of the pieces to same size squares. It's a very crazy quilt, made with satins, velvets, corduroy (oh, and all black! Did I mention that?!). It was so complicated that I gave up sewing after that. After college I dabbled in interior design and took up sewing again. I wanted a yellow quilt, so I bought a book (Amy Buter's In Stitches), bought some fabric, and figured it out along the way! I wish I could get back all those years that I didn't sew. :(

Favorite Completed Project: That first quilt is still my favorite completed project, probably because I made it for me with my preferences and not for someone else. I don't know what all the fabrics are even because this was before I knew about designers. I like that I don't think of it by fabric designer or collection, it's just a bunch of yellow fabrics that I love!

Quilting workstation setup: I use a bar height dining table, which means I don't have to hunch over to cut things, but I have to sit on the edge of my chair to reach the foot pedal. The entire table is covered with a cutting mat (bought on sale at JoAnn).  Next to my chair I made a small ironing table (from the Oh Fransson

tutorial). I have 2 big bookshelves in the closet that hold my fabric and books and boxes of WIPs.

craft room 1

craft room 2

Machine(s) You Sew on:  I currently have a Janome MC 6600. I absolutely LOVE it! The thread cutting button is my new best friend. It has a built in walking foot that I use all the time, although I find that I change the foot out quite a bit (there are 4 different ones that I like depending on what I'm doing). 

Notion or Tool You Can't Live Without in Your Sewing Room:  I can't live without my little embroidery scissors! Some people love their seam ripper, but I actually use these a lot more than my seam ripper. In fact, I frequently use these INSTEAD of a seam ripper. I love how sharp they are and how close I can cut any stray threads. I should probably get a few back-up pairs!

One of my new ongoing blog projects is Start Square. Every other week I am posting a block tutorial that starts with a 13" square.

start square stone

To keep up with Alexandra and all that she's up to, check out her blog asquared(w) or see her stuff on flickr.

If you would like to be featured on Gen X Quilters' Follower Friday, send your information (listed under the Follower Friday page at the top) to Have a great weekend!
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Mar 24, 2011

Rainbow Eggs Pillow and a New Look!

Mar 24, 2011
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Before I chat about my springy pillow, I just wanted to show off GXQ's new look!!  (Hop on over from Google Reader if you need to...)  Lee has been so awesome to help me out when she's got a million things (and a quilt along!) going on over there at Freshly Pieced.  THANK YOU ten times over Lee.  Wonderful job!

And don't forget to enter the Crafty Girls Giveaway here..

---we now return you to your regularly scheduled program---

Does this pillow make you happy?  I can't help but be cheerful when I look at this pillow.  

I've had this pillow in my mind since I received my It's A Hoot charm pack in the mail from Sew Delightful Fabrics in December.  I couldn't get past all the egg fabrics and my need for an Easter pillow.  Sure makes me feel like spring!

There are 16 eggs, raw-edge appliqued on the solid bone background.  I stippled all over, but avoided the eggs.  Then (and this is the crazy part), I cut a bunch more charms into 1.5" x 5" strips and made a strip long enough to pipe the pillow all around!  I wasn't sure if this part would look good or disasterous, but in the end, I love the hodge podge of colors it's creates!

Now, I'm off to make an Easter wall hanging with the rest of the charm pack to match.

I'm entering it in the Pillow Party!

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Mar 22, 2011

GXQ New Sponsor: Crafty Girls Workshop

Mar 22, 2011
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Hello everyone! I am very excited to bring to you Gen X Quilters' new sponsor, Crafty Girls Workshop!

Anna is the crafty brains behind the Crafty Girls Workshop.  She not only has an online shop, but if you're lucky enough to live near San Antonio, TX, she also has a studio there to take classes, rent studio time, shop and be inspired!

Anna's sewing philosophy involves fun and beautiful projects that are easy and FAST.  As a result, she carries lots of delicious precuts from Moda.  Anna also carries quite a few Bella Solids, Blue Hill Fabrics, Free Spirit, Michael Miller, Riley Blake, and Henry Glass.  She has patterns, both downloadable pdfs and hard copies, to help you plan your projects.

Make sure you notice the coupon code listed on the Crafty Girls Workshop ad on the right side bar.  Every time you shop with CGW, simply enter the coupon code, GENXQUILTERS, and you will receive 10% off!

Anna has graciously agreed to offer you a fantastic giveaway in her introduction to you....

a $20 gift certificate to the Crafty Girls Workshop!

Here’s how to enter: 

1. Become a follower of GXQ and leave me a comment (or let me know if you already are one). (1 entry) 

2. Hop on over to Crafty Girls Workshop and tell me your favorite finds in a comment. (1 entry) 

3. Go to Anna's blog and become a follower there (or let me know if you already are one). (1 entry) 

4. Go to Crafty Girls Workshop Facebook page and "like" SFF. (1 entry)

5. Go to Gen X Quilters Facebook page and "like" GXQ. (1 entry)

Leave a separate comment for each entry on this post. Entries will be accepted until Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST. 

The winner will be chosen by a Random Number Generator and announced on Tuesday, March 29, 2011.  Pin It

Mar 21, 2011

New! First Quilts on the First Guest Blogger Series on GXQ

Mar 21, 2011
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I love seeing and featuring others' work.  I was thinking it may be cool to start a new little guest blogger series here on GXQ if you are game.

The concept is simple.  Show how far you've come.

Now, I know I've read plenty of other blog posts about some beautiful, nearly perfect, magazine-cover looking first quilts.  Mine was definitely NOT like that.  

I'm sure I've shown you this before.  I taught myself to S-E-W with my first quilt.  Cut squares with scissors.  Didn't use a pattern (more like, scared of using a pattern - thinking I'd mess it up).  That's why the blocks are staggered.  I knew I'd never get the corners to match.

First Quilt Ever - 2006

It's not quilted or tied.  Honestly, I didn't even know what that meant.  I tend to jump head first into things, and don't want somebody to tell me how to do it.  I didn't reference a single book.  I had NO idea about quilty blogs.  This is what happened.

Now it's not the most hideous thing ever, but it's no prize winner either.  I've heard some bloggers say they want to burn their first quilt.  Never!

We need to celebrate these to show how far we've come.

2011 - Quilting my own quilts on a frame (I guess my color choices have remained the same!)

If anyone is interested in playing along, I would like to feature one First Quilt on the First of every Month.

  At the end of the year, Mr. Random Number Generator will choose one of the Firsts to receive a prize.  After all, we've got to add some more fun to this - and what isn't fun about a giveaway!

Here's what would need to be put into the post:

1.  Picture of your First Quilt and the story behind it
2.  Picture of your current work
3.  Story on how you've grown in your quilting, sources of inspiration, funny incidents, etc.

If you are interested in guest blogging for this post, please send me an email ( with the 2 pictures (First Quilt and Current Quilt) and your blog info.  I will then select the monthly featured guests and set up a schedule.  I hope to fill to the end of the year (?), so that's 9 posts.

Can't wait to see how we've all changed and grown!

BTW, Sew Delightful Fabrics is having a Spring Cleaning Sale - everything in the shop has been marked down!
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Mar 19, 2011

Raiding Harbor Freight for Quilting Supplies

Mar 19, 2011
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About a month ago, I read this post over at KarrieLyne's.  Then later I read this post at Erin's.  

Everyone talking about Harbor Freight Tools....
 it dawned on me that there is one right next to the Joann's near me.

So yesterday I decided to check it out.  Yep!  I'm on the bandwagon.  The blades (I bought 6 packs of two @ $1.79 each) fit my Dritz rotary cutter.  I wasn't sure if they would fit since all the online talk concerned Olfa's.  Aaaaand - grippy quilting gloves for $1.59.  This should be a BIG improvement for me since I've never used gloves.

Before the toddler got too squirmy (nobody needs him running around in a store with SO many power tools, blades, and hazards), I managed to find these mini clamps for $1.99.

They are perfect for clamping my quilts to the back yard fence I use for a lot of photo shoots!

Check it out!  It's absolutely worth it for the rotary cutter blades alone.
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