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Dec 31, 2011

Secret Santa Swap on Twitter

Dec 31, 2011
Pin It My friend Amy (Sukie) set up a Secret Santa Swap on Twitter for the holidays.  It was fun to get to know some new sewing friends and the swap was made easy by not requiring a handmade item.  You could purchase supplies or other items from your partner's wishlist.

Here's what I gave to my partner Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations:
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Dec 24, 2011

Christmas Trees Quilt

Dec 24, 2011
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Merry Christmas to those who are celebrating!  Today I am showing off my new Christmas quilt before I take some time off for family and lots of eating....
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Dec 21, 2011

Charmed Prints QAL Showcase

Dec 21, 2011
Pin It What a crazy time of year to wrap up a Quilt Along!  Next time I promise I won't do one of these SO close to the holidays.  THANK YOU so much to those that participated!  I hope you enjoyed working on the quilt as much as I enjoyed designing it.  Keep it in mind for all those baby quilts!

Today I am highlighting those participants who met the criteria of posting a quilt top in the flickr group.  What a great collection of quilts!  This is the Charmed Prints Showcase to date.  If you finish one up later one, we'd still love to see it!

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Dec 19, 2011

Charmed Prints - Post your Quilts and Tops

Dec 19, 2011
Pin It Just a reminder that on Wednesday, I'll draw the winner of the Charmed Prints QAL FQ bundle.  To be eligible to win, you just need to upload a picture of your complete quilt top (and quilted quilts too of course) to the flickr group.  Be sure to get your pic up before I draw on Wed. morning!

Gen X Quilters
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Dec 15, 2011

Pouch with Charmed Prints Sample

Dec 15, 2011
Pin It I took some crummy photos of my original pinwheel blocks for the Charmed Prints QAL...  so I ended up redoing my tutorial photos with a new block.  The new block was super cute and instantly made me think of a certain friend, so I made up this little pouch....

My friend moved here from Japan in the spring and I tutor her in English once or twice a week while our children play.  She brought me a bunch of fabulous fabrics from Tomato in Tokyo when she moved.  This little deer block just called out her name!!  I knew she'd love the Japanese Kokka print.

It ended up being the perfect size to fit her pocket translator.  I'm so glad she likes it!

These little projects are so fun to whip up sometimes... Pin It

Dec 13, 2011

Completed Charmed Prints QAL Quilts

Dec 13, 2011
Pin It A Charmed Prints QAL finish!  I hope you have enjoyed the Charmed Prints Quilt Along.... today is the official day to show off your finish (or close-to-finish if you have a quilt top!).  I enjoyed putting this quilt along together and watching each person's take on the design pop up in the flickr group.  Thank you to everyone who is participating!  Since this is such a crazy time of year, I'm going to leave the linky open for quite a while - if you end up finishing your quilt after the new year, I'd still really love to see it.  In my opinion, the best thing about this QAL was the ability to customize it.  Each person made their version completely unique.

Here's my finish:
Is that orange calling you?  It didn't start out as an orange quilt in my mind, but I love how the orange accents in the prints are picked up.  I think I have a new found love for gingham.

The Fussy Cut Feature Blocks:





If  you look closely, you can see I had a rotary cutting misfire here on my last pinwheel.  I couldn't bear to omit that little dear, so I did my best to salvage the block.  By far, the one with the most problems... but oh well, like my kids will notice?

The Flange:  This was a fun little skill to add to my back pocket.  When used in certain situations, I think it gives just a little needed pop.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Charmed and Fussy Cut
Size: 47" x47"
Design: Charmed Prints Quilt Along, designed by me
Fabrics:  assorted charms from GXQ Japanese Imports and Spoonflower Fabric Swaps
Piecing: Me
Quilting: Me -  Stipple on my home machine

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Dec 9, 2011

Tutorial: Simple X Block

Dec 9, 2011
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This is the block I used to make my Hello Sunshine quilt with Nicey Jane.  It's one I customized with EQ7 to be the size I wanted.  It's simple and elegant when paired with some great fabrics.  Here's a tutorial for the block in case you'd like to try it.

Simple X 

1 - 10 1/2" square with your background fabric (Kona Maize in photo)
1 - 3 3/4" square with your center fabric (green/blue geometric print)
4 - 3 3/4" x 9" rectangles (floral print)

1.  Cut the 10 1/2" square across both diagonals to create 4 triangles.

2.  Sew a 3 3/4" x 9" rectangle to both the left and right side of the 3 3/4" square.  Press.

3.  Take the remaining two 3 3/4" x 9" rectangles and sew the solid triangles to the right-hand long side of the rectangles.  Refer to the photo for the triangle placement.

4.  Open the unit and press.

5.  Next sew the remaining two triangles to the left-hand long side of the rectangles.

6.  Open and press.  Your two units should look like the picture below.

7.  Now we are ready to sew the unit from step 2 in between the units with the triangles.  Pin one triangle unit right sides together with the unit from step 2, making sure to match the seams where the geometric center square meets the rectangle of the triangle unit.

8.  Open and press.
9.  Repeat step 7 on the other side of the block.

10.  Open and press.

11.  Trim off the excess material of the floral rectangles to square up the block to 14".

There you go.... done!

Nicey Jane Hello Sunshine #1

Nicey Jane Hello Sunshine #7
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Dec 6, 2011

Charmed Prints QAL: Quilting and Flange Binding

Dec 6, 2011
Pin It Well, here we are!  The last post for the Charmed Prints Quilt Along.  Are you ready to finish these puppies up?  I'll be telling you exactly how I am finishing up my quilt and referencing you to some other good tutorials for the details on each process.  Sound good?  As always, be sure to let me know if you have any questions...

BACKING:  Depending on whether you like one continuous fabric used for the back or a pieced scrappy back, there are a lot of options.  Unfortunately, I almost always run out of steam by this point, and usually cannot fathom piecing a second quilt top for the backs of my quilts.  For my quilt, I chose to use a super cool Japanese print featuring Anpanman.  Anpanman is a celebrity cartoon show for kids in Japan and has a million different types of merchandising products.  My friend brought this fabric from Tokyo's Fabric-town giant Tomato for me this summer.

Whichever method you choose for making your quilt back, be sure to make the back 3-4" larger than your quilt top in all directions.

BASTING:  Now that our quilt top is done,  we have arrived at my most dreaded step in the whole process.  Basting.  Ack.  Gotta do it!  I know that spray basting has been popping up a lot lately and I've used it on smaller quilts such as this one.  But for now, breathing any extra fumes just will not do for the growing baby!  So it's on my hands and knees with pins that I am basting.

Great Basting Tutorial HERE.

QUILTING:  On to some fun!  Now that your 3 layers are basted together, you can begin to contemplate how to quilt them together.  For a long while, I considered myself a beginner and ventured no further than straight line quilting.  Minimal, at that.  Honestly, this was only a year ago!  If you have the patience, there are some fantastic straight line designs you can try.

Then I built up my courage and ventured into free motion quilting.  I would still consider myself learning in this area.  I've mastered stippling on my home machine and use loopy "Ls" on the mid-arm machine at my LQS.  There are so many things to learn and practice here!  I've found my comfort zone for now though, and am stippling this baby quilt as well.  After all, I want my own QAL quilt to look spectacular, right?

FLANGE:  Add some flair!  Sometimes when I finish a quilt, I like to use the same fabric for binding as I do for the last border.  On this particular quilt, I wanted to add something a little flashy and fun in between.  The flange on the quilt binding was a new-to-me technique, although I have added flanges on blocks for in the Rockin' Robin QAL and really enjoyed them then.  Julie's tutorial instantly came to mind.  I used her method with a very small exception.

I wanted to mention that it is suggested that a large basting 1/8" topstitch is sewn all around the quilt after you complete the quilting.  Julie mentions she does this on all her quilts.  I think this is a fabulous idea....  I love how this small step adds security to each edge all the way around.  I'm definitely going to start doing this on all my quilts.
I differed from the tutorial by adding the 2 side flanges first, then going back and adding the flange for the bottom and top.  The tutorial has you pin all 4 sides of the flange in place and then sew continuously until all 4 have been secured.  This was just my personal preference - the end look is the same.

Flange Tutorial

BINDING:  Most of the time I am in a great hurry to finish up a quilt.  This time, since I used the new flange, I decided to put my binding on the traditional way - stitch to the front, turn and hand stitch to the back.  Most of the time, I'm a machine stitch all the way type of girl, but I really wanted the binding to look perfect.  (I decided a while ago, I am hanging this quilt up and am not letting it be the pukey playmat for the floor)

I listed 2 great tutorials for binding depending on your preference!

Traditional Binding Tutorial

Machine Binding Tutorial

Gen X Quilters

Next week, I'll be showing off the finish photos of my own quilt for the Charmed Prints QAL.  Next week's linky will be on Tuesday if you'd like to link up a quilt top or quilted finish.

If you enter a photo of a completed quilt top to the flickr group by 12/20, you will be in the running for the prize drawing. (Outfoxed bundle from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics)

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Dec 5, 2011

Charmed Prints QAL: Works in Progress Week 5

Dec 5, 2011
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Welcome to the fifth week of the Charmed Prints QAL Link up!  (well, fourth actually, with the crazy posting going on last week, I forgot to create the linky) Anyone participating in the quilt along may join me in showing some progress on the project over the past week.  There have been A LOT of fantastic blocks showing up in the flickr group!  Don't worry if you're behind - or if you're just getting started!!  Please join in on the QAL at any time.

This week we assembled the quilt top.  This part is always so much fun as the quilt finally starts to come together.  Here is my top:

 I am REALLY happy with how it turned out.  Using all these novelty prints creates such an eclectic mix of fabrics.  They seemingly don't go together at first...  but with a little imagination and coordinating fabric, they mix quite nicely!  I'm SO glad I used orange as my main emphasis color.  That's something you don't see too often and will make this a unique baby/children's quilt.

Let's see your progress - no matter where you're at!

And remember, to be eligible for the prize on Dec. 20, you need to complete your quilt top and enter a picture into the flickr group.  You can do it!

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Dec 1, 2011

Poinsettia Quilt

Dec 1, 2011
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 This Poinsettia Quilt is one of my favorites!  It is one of my first few quilts and really brings the Christmas spirit to my home when I pull it out on Thanksgiving.

I found the green border fabric at an after-Xmas sale and somehow everything else just fell into place.  I was still a beginner when making this quilt and selecting fabric was difficult for me.  I was beaming when I finished this quilt, as I finally got the "pop!" I was looking for that makes you say "Now that's a great quilt." The two different tones of red give the petals depth, and I love how the four flowers are accented by the candy cane border. 
This quilt hangs high up in my two-story great room below a crecent window.  Which means my husband has to get out the ladder to put it up and take it down each year..... and with the snow, sometimes we display this quilt until April or May!!  (I certainly don't mind....)
 I loved this pattern so much, I actually revisited it last year to make a table runner for my mom.  Poinsettias have always been a favorite flower of hers, so I made this 2 flower table runner with part of a 12 Days of Christmas (by Kate Spain for Moda) )layer cake.  I added a scrappy border since I only had small 10" squares to work with.

The pattern for the quilt is in this book:  

Debbie Mumm's Decorating with Quick & Easy Holiday Quilts.

Hop on over the Sew We Quilt - this quilt is featured on the December banner!


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