Monday, January 31, 2011

An Accuquilt Giveaway!!

Did that get your attention??!  If you haven't signed up for my GIVEAWAY yet you can do so at this post!  There's a few more days until Friday when it closes so get your entires in.  I'm giving away a great quilt kit and a pattern!

I also wanted to mention a great Accuquilt giveaway over at Sew Cal Gal's blog!!!  She's just finishing a great blog hop of the Accuquilt and EQ design contest and is giving away not only a Go! but also a few dies for other lucky winners who already have a Go!  What a great giveaway!  You should all hop on over there and check it out!  This is a great opportunity!

I also wanted to make sure that you stop on by on Valentine's Day as I will be posting a special Valentine's Day project tutorial for you all as part of the Bloggers Who Have Accuquilt Products Valentine's Day special!  I know that I just posted my Valentine's Snow Globe Fabric Postcards tutorial  but this is one that I will post on Valentine's Day and not before this time ;-)  Everyone seemed to enjoy that tutorial and I had another idea so why not!  I hope that you will join me for it!

Any guesses as to what it is?  Should I give a hint?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Birthday Giveaway!!! Contest Closed

It's my birthday tomorrow and I thought that I would celebrate here in blog-land by hosting a GIVEAWAY!  Contest is now closed.  Thank you to everyone who entered!

Quilters like fabric and patterns and kits so I thought that I would combine all of these for my prize!  I am giving away a kit for "Daffodil Fairy" which includes all the yummy hand-died fabrics you will need and the pattern to make this beautiful little quilt.  And I am also including the pattern on the left for "Tapestry Quilt."  Both of these patterns are by Catharina Breedyk Law and are spectacular quilts!

Ok here's the fine print!

For one chance to win you can comment on this post.

For a second chance to win, become a follower and leave another comment here for a second entry.  If you already follow my blog that's fine just leave a comment here telling me that you do.

For a third chance, blog or tweet about my giveaway and leave another comment here telling me where I can find your post!

For a fourth chance to win like me on Facebook and leave another comment here.  Again, if you already like me on Facebook just tell me so in a comment.

Every comment is your entry - 1 comment one entry ;-)

Please, please make sure your blogger is not set to no-reply, or leave an email address so I can contact you.

I will do the drawing on Friday February 4, 2011.

Good luck!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Scraps???!!! More UFO's???!!

 Maybe I should just stop looking in my quilt closet?  Maybe some skeletons should just stay in the closet?  Anyways, I was looking through my quilt closet a couple days ago and found a few more things I had forgotten about - sigh.

I found a pattern and the fabric to make a couple pillow cases/shams for my sons.  Pre-washed pirate fabric no less!  And a pattern for a very fierce and cool high-heeled stocking pattern.  I had such plans for that stocking pattern LOL!  Well there's always next Christmas right?
Well, it was a good day for me to find the stuff for these shams/cases because my oldest son was home sick with a fever and sore throat; so, I made the shams up and he was able to lay on pirate pillows for most of the day while he slowly started to feel better.  It was serendipity.

The pattern was a store pattern and not a published one and I found a fairly major flaw in the pattern while sewing it.  The pattern is completely directional and they don't mention it at all in the pattern!  Of course I didn't realize that until after everything had been cut and mostly sewn together.  So consequently the pirate map is side-ways.  It's not that noticeable, and my kids don't mind, but, imagine if I was doing a non-kid print?  As a customer I would have been heart broken!  Since doing the pattern I have written that the length-wise grain ends up being the bottom of the pattern.  I like the finished product of the pattern since the case opens up on the back instead of the end; but, wow I wish I knew that ahead of time LOL!  Ahh well the kids don't mind.  And I am sure if I hadn't left this pattern sitting there for 4 years I would have realized it and remembered the store sample better.

Note to self:  Do projects in a more timely manner!

I also found a bag with a book and a whole lot of fabric in it.  It's the book More Elm Creek Quilts by Jennifer Chiaverini.  I submitted a couple blocks for the reader quilt that Jennifer does for all her pattern books in 2006.  So of course I bought the book and had great plans to make the quilt "Lucinda's Gift" from the book since my blocks were in the quilt.  I pulled out creams and blues and greens, from my scrap heap, and shoved them into a bag and there they sat since 2008 when the book came out.  I guess I sorted out the whites too because they were in another bag inside that bag LOL!  Now I am trying to decide if I still want to do the quilt or not?  Thoughts??  It's a pretty quilt I just can't decide if I want to actually make it or not.  If the bag has been there for almost 3 years I must not be very motivated.

How do you decide which of your UFO's to actually complete and which to forget about?  This would be a great scrap quilt but I am not sure that I am motivated to do it.  All the strips are cut at 1.5" and I can't help but thing hmmmmmm my Accuquilt Go has a 1.5" strip die available for it. . . . this quilt would be so easy to cut using the die . . . LOL!  Maybe I just want an excuse to buy another die.  So do I put the stuff back in the bag or leave it out for a bit until I make up my mind?  Decisions decisions.

BTW stay tuned - I am having a special give-away in a couple days so check back right here at Sunshower Quilts!

If you are enjoying my blog I hope that you will click FOLLOW under my picture on the right.  I absolutely love chatting with you all so leave a comment or ask a question.

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Valentine's Heart Snow-Globe Fabric Postcards

I thought that I would share a cute little Valentine's Day project for you all.  I use my Accuquilt Go! fabric cutter for this but you could easily draw a hear template and use that instead.  These are my snow-globe fabric postcards with Valentine's confetti encased in a plastic covering.  When you shake the post-cards the confetti actually moves around!  I hope that you enjoy my little tutorial and consider sending some of these extra special cards out to your loved ones!  I was going to save this post for Valentine's Day but if you want to make a few of these to send out you'll need it ahead of time - so here it is!

First you will need a stiff product like Timtex or Stiffy for the middle of your cards.  This stabilizes the cards and it is easy to stitch through.  It's the same product that we used for the fabric bowls that were so popular a while ago.  Check your local quilt shop they will probably have it.  Some people I know have used Duck Cloth for the center but I haven't.

Cut a 6" x 4" piece of white fabric for the front and one for the back of the card.  Also, cut a 6" x 4" piece of Timtex or Stiffy for the middle of your card.

I used the small and medium hearts from my Go heart die for the cards.  The large is just too big for the 4" x 6" card.   I cut a few hearts from some heart fabrics I had in my stash.  If you want to put a fusible on the back you can do that before you run the fabrics through your die.  I used a product called Lapel Stick hat worked really well to stick the fabrics down to the back ground fabric.

Note if you would like to read my review of Lapel Stick you can see it here!
 Next I used a clear vinyl and cut a heart using the medium sized heart only.  Again, if you don't have a Go or the Heart die you can make a template and cut this out with scissors.  The vinyl I purchased in a regular fabric store in a medium weight.  the vinyl went through the die without any problems at all - I did one layer at a time since it was so slippery!
I used my Lapel Stick again to arrange the hearts on the cards in a pleasing order.

Then I got out my stock of beads and confetti!  Here is were the fun really starts since you really get to play arts and crafts.

I buy my confetti at Dollar Stores where they stock it seasonally; or, you can get it at a Party store pretty much year round.  I just love all the little hearts and cupids that you can get.  Too sweet!
First you need to put down a few beads.  You need to put a few beads in the mix or the plastic will stick to the fabric and your confetti won't move around - and you want it to move - that's the fun part ;-)  I've used a medium sized red bead and put down about 6.
 Carefully put some of your confetti on the heart.  I used different colour and sizes of hearts and cupids.  If you miss the heart use tweezers or a stiletto to put it back onto your heart.  The confetti really seems to stick to my fingers so tweezers work best for me.

Push the confetti to the center of the heart.  This is very important because you don't want that confetti falling into your sewing machine!  Don't worry it will spread out when we are finished.
Next carefully place the vinyl over the confetti and beads.  It will be puffy in the center but don't worry this will all work out!  Carefully move this over to your sewing machine.  I usually do this step right next to my sewing machine on my sewing machine cabinet.  It's just too easy to spill all of this if you do this step on a different table.

You may need to use your stiletto in this step to help keep the vinyl down.
Using a stitch like the blanket stitch on your sewing machine carefully applique everything down.  you want to make sure that some of the stitches are off the vinyl and some are on the vinyl.  A satin stitch will not work here as it will cut the vinyl and you'll have a mess on your hands.  If you don't have the blanket stitch on your sewing machine a loose zigzag would work too but just make sure that you are on and off your vinyl.  This will help seal everything in.  I used a 30 wt Sulky thread to do the applique and a 90 Topstitch needle.
 Finish up the applique around the second heart.

I wish I could show you a picture of me shaking the card LOL the confetti really moves around inside the heart.  I guess you'll just have to trust me.  But, you can see that the confetti has spread out around the heart now.
 Since I also used a red thread in the bobbin if I just fused a white piece of fabric to the back it would show the red thread right through the backing - yuck.  So, I decided to take a second piece of the Stiffy and glued it and the backing fabric to the back of the card.  Easy-peasy.
 I have a Postcard stamp I got off Ebay a few years ago and I use it to stamp the back of my postcards.  If you don't have a stamp you can draw the lines on by hand with a fine-tip Sharpie pen.  I did that for a while then invested in a stamp.
After the backing is fused on take your cards back to your sewing machine and do some type of stitching around the outside to seal all the layers together.  I love this uneven zig-zag stitch.  It really hides and inconsistencies and I think it looks amazing!

Use a Sharpie to address your cards right on the fabric and put on a stamp.  Take them to your post office to be hand canceled.

If you'd like to see my other fabric postcard tutorial you can go to my Crazy Patch Fabric Postcards post.  There you can see the clear envelopes that I use and how I add a hanger onto the cards.  I thought that it might be repetitive if you have been reading my blog for a while.

I hope that you have enjoyed my Valentine's snow-globe cards!  If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them here!  I absolutely love to hear from you all and I try to answer every question.  If you enjoyed this tutorial I hope that you will take a second to click FOLLOW under my picture.  That would mean a lot to me - and you can also like me on Facebook.

If you make any of these cards I would absolutely love to see a picture!

Happy Quilting all!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pinning the Night Away!

Just because it is a leaders and enders project doesn't mean it doesn't deserve to have a few pins!

Yes that is me sitting there in my pajamas pinning my leaders and enders (L&E) project while watching TV.  I have to admit that I am looking forward to finishing this project.  All those open points where you have to insert a pin to find the point and then pin on either side etc etc ~ well I am getting a little tired of it.  I have my next L&E all ready to go so that's probably a big part of it  LOL!  I honestly don't mind pinning in front of the TV though.  It's easy and relaxing and it really affects the end result of the project.  I think I treat pinning the way a lot of quilters I know treat hand turning the binding to the back.  It's a nice easy bit of hand-work.  Personally I've been doing as many bindings by machine as I possibly can now :-D
Doesn't my hand-full of pinned blocks look pretty?  They are all ready to go and will become L&E now that they are pinned.  It is amazing how many you can do in such a short period of time!  I do like working on another project while I am working on my main one.  Or, should I say, main one for the moment!  I have been working on a few projects at a time for a while now and loving it!  Maybe it's because I have been dealing with my scraps right away, instead of shoving them in a bin, or, maybe it's just that I am in the mood to quilt again.  I don't really know ~ but I can say that I enjoyed pinning tonight.  It made me see the progress that's been made and that the next step is coming up!

I worked on a few different things this weekend and had a great time spending the whole day in my PJ's today.  Decedent I know!

What did you all work on this weekend?  Accomplish anything?  I love to read your comments so don't be shy ~ reply!

Chat soon!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Twister Baby Quilt is Finished!

 I finally finished the binding on my Twister baby quilt!  While waiting for my Large Twister Ruler to come in I decided to try a tutorial I found online to make your own Twister ruler.  I used 8.5" squares and used my 6.5" square ruler to cut it up again.  Honestly ~ the Twister rulers are much easier to use than the 6.5" square LOL!  The little grippy feet on the bottom of the ruler make life much easier when it comes to re-cutting the quilt top since it holds the ruler above the seams so it doesn't shake or rock.  I would buy a 6.5" Twister ruler if it became available though because I like the size of these blocks.

I used my Accuquilt Go! cutter to cut up some of the left-overs into stars to go in the boarder.  I think that it really high-lights the stars in the blue fabric, and, joy! it uses up some of the scraps!!  Gotta love those artistic opportunities that a quilt technique can present you with!  I used a button-hole stitch to machine applique the stars down and just love them!  My Go! is making me like applique again!!  This was one of the main reasons that I bought the Go!  To fall in love with applique again.

Here's a close-up of the machine quilting I did in the pin-wheels.  I pretty much just tried to emulate the quilting that they did in the book and I love it!  I love to quilt feathers and I love the way that they look so it seemed like a match made in heaven!  All-in-all, though, it makes for a pretty densly quilted baby quilt; but, the batting is so soft so it's not stiff and heavy.  This is just a bit more quilting than I usually do.

I plan to re-do this pattern and use the Large Twister Ruler to do a nine-patch of pin-wheels instead of a 16-patch and see how I like that.  I already have the fabrics pulled from my stash; and, I tell you, it was all I could do to force myself to sit down and finish this binding before I cut into the next fabrics!  Some days my self-restraint is better than others LOL!

So what are you all working on this weekend?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Already Blew my Resolution!

I can't believe I already blew my resolution about not buying any new fabric unless I absolutely needed it!  I mean it's only January!!  *bows head in shame*  Oh well, I didn't blow it that badly ~ I only purchased 2 meters of Halloween prints and they were in the 50% off bin ;-)  Am I forgiven?

I actually went into the store to buy a bunch of batting today.  Since cotton prices are on the rise I was just recently told that batting would be doubling in price!  Doubling?  Seriously?!  Here in Canada we pay between $10.00 and $15.00 for a cotton blend batting already.  So, I bought 8 meters of cotton batting to compensate a bit.  When I heard that cotton prices were going up I thought ~ that's ok I guess I have a huge stash that I can still make quilts from.  Well duh I never even thought about the batting.  Batting is something that we need for every project and I figured I might as well stock up before the price goes up.  At least I am set for a little while.  Who knows I may go back and buy some of the cotton/bamboo batting.

I do wonder if the rise in cotton prices will make some of the newer batting from recycled materials more popular?  Have you seen these before?  There is the Quilter's Dream Green Batting made from recycled pop bottles.  Has anyone tried these?  I think that if prices continue to rise that natural fibers may be priced right out of the market.  The rise in cotton prices really shouldn't affect the price of this recycled batting.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekend Happenings

Hi all!
Here in the Ottawa Valley we got a lot of snow this weekend but that didn't stop us from playing with our new toy!  Yey an out-door fire-pit!  We played with our out-door cooking items; from left to right:  pop corn maker, sandwich maker and hot dog cooker.  Yum!  My youngest was obsessed with this thing all weekend and wanted to be constantly cooking on it LOL!  I love cooking out-doors as much as the next person but keeping an open fire going while the snow is coming down is challenging at the best of times!

I didn't manage to complete anything this weekend but I did putter a lot and do a lot of smaller jobs.; so, this post may ramble a bit.

I  got the chance to try a backing technique that I have never used before.  I was working on a baby quilt, from my stash, and I had this piece of yellow flannel that is perfect for the back except for one thing ~ it wasn't wide enough.  Luckily it was longer than I needed so I cut in on the diagonal and moved the right side down until it was wide enough to fit the quilt.  Pretty cool!  John Flynn came up with this method ~ and there is math involved if you want to do this on a larger quilt ~ but I just eye-balled it and gave it a whirl!  I would do the math if this was for a larger quilt.  I'll show pictures of the finished quilt once it is quilted.
 Here you can see a bit of the baby quilt.  Yes ~ it is another Twister LOL!  I love these guys!  I made my own twister ruler for this one since it doesn't, yet, come in the size that I wanted.  I wanted to start with a block between 5" and 10" so I used my 6 1/2" square to do this.  I can honestly say, though, that if they come out with one this size I would buy it.  I love the little gripper feet on the bottom of their rulers.  It makes life much easier.  I used the excess fabric that gets cut away to make some nice blue stars for the boarder.  Again, I will show a picture once it's all done.
 Next I played around with my 2 1/2" strip bin and used a You-tube video I found on using 2 1/2" strips to make Layered Pinwheels.  You get two mirror image blocks for every set of units so I was just playing with the 6 blocks I made here.  I'm not too crazy about this layout.  This lay-out uses both sides of the mirror image.  I think that if I was to do this I would need some sashing between the blocks.
I think I like the mirror image blocks separated better so that you get the effect of two pinwheels instead of it looking choppy.   These were just some trial blocks to see if I liked the technique.  I do!  The only thing that I will say is that I had a couple pieces of "cheaper" fabric in there aka not quilt shop quality but rather Fabricland quality.  Fabricland is like Joanne's in the USA I think - sorry but I've never been so I'm not really sure.  Anyways, those couple fabrics really stretched under the roller of my Accuquilt Go! machine!  Nothing else did - just those two fabrics.  When I was squaring up my blocks the fabric even shifted under my ruler so I know that it was in fact the fabric and not the cutter that did it.  Some people have commented about fabric stretching under the Go!  I'd have to say ~ check your thickness and quality; and, perhaps compensate with a nice dose of spray starch!  I <3 Mary Ellen's Best Press.
I'm working on the first boarder of my latest leaders and enders project and got 50 of these little guys trimmed and pressed.  just 150 more and the boarder will be ready to piece!

I plan on throwing all those little triangles out ~ I know!  Some of you are cringing at the sight of it LOL!  If you piece minis I would be happy to send them to you just leave me a comment here.  The are 1 1/4" from long flat end to point; so, much smaller than I am willing to do anything with ;-)  With my latest purge and cut phase going on I just can't keep saving things like that. 
And last but not least I cut another 154 3 1/2" square of the background fabric.  Yes, yes I checked and re-checked and checked again to make sure that it was the right fabric!  I actually had to make myself stop checking the fabric and just get cutting.  Once bitten twice shy I suppose?

Now I think I may baste the baby quilt that I am working on so that I can get ready to machine quilt it when the urge strikes!  I have a bit of time yet to complete it but I do want to finish it before the next guild meeting so that I can show all my Twister quilts together.

I love to read your comments so if you have any questions or comments I hope that you will leave them here.  I also hope that if you are enjoying my blog that you will click FOLLOW under my picture!

What have you been working on this weekend?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Out Vile Square ~ Out!

Thank you so much for the kind words of support I received yesterday!  It was exactly what I needed to hear and it made me feel like I didn't have to pull that block out of the quilt.  My silly quilting error makes me think I might need some more lighting in my studio LOL!

Last night my youngest son was trying to help me by offering different suggestions as to how I could make the quilt "right" ~ I could sew a piece over the "wrong" fabric (it really sounds as if he was mimicking my words here) ~ I could take the piece out etc.  He was trying so hard to be helpful.  His keen little eyes found the piece quickly in the quilt!  Then this morning ~ the quilt was still on my ironing board ~ when I got up my eyes found that darn piece right away . .  sigh.  Then my husband came over and said "Oh ya you should pull that."  My guys simply confirmed what my gut was telling me all along.  The piece had to go!

So today I got out my seam ripper and frog stitched the little guy right out of there!  Rip-it rip-it rip-it.  I took a big breath in and started to rip.  I did this very slowly and carefully.  Next thing I knew the piece was out.  I took the quilt with a hole to my sewing machine and sewed it in one seam at a time.  Pinning really helped and my stiletto really helped me get those little seams to stay together.  All in all it really only took a few minutes of very slow and careful work but it was less time than I anticipated.  I guess I am just the type of quilter that this sort of thing bothers; and, if it bothered me now it would still bother me later I am sure. 
Here is the newly-corrected block with the correct colour background piece. I really am much happier now with the top again! No harm was done to the integrity of the quilt ~ which is one of the things I was fearing.  I know that some of you are probably shaking your heads right now; but, I really like this quilt and I would hate to see it hung on a hanger and left to sit in the closet because I didn't want to work on it anymore.  I've done that a couple times and I didn't want it to happen again.
The good thing to happen while I was sitting there looking at this top for all this time is that I thought of a way to finish off the piecing!  I've never liked how the pattern just ends and doesn't resolve itself.  It never seemed finished to me.  So I decided that I could complete the patterns with these blocks as a first boarder!  What do you think?  Pretend it is pieced together.  I just did a few of these units to test it out; but, I like that way that it floats the piecing and how it finishes the pattern.  I'll keep this going as a "leaders and enders" project so the quilt won't be finished anytime soon.  I was thinking that a pieced boarder made all out of 2" squares would be good as a finial boarder.  I used the 2" squares to do the center piecing so they should fit in with the quilt well.

Well enough on that!  I feel so much better now that it is corrected ~ but ~ again thank you for your support!  Quilters really are the best.

PS Tonya's Sewing Studio is having a great give-away for a $50.00 gift certificate to CSN!!  You have to hop on over there and check it out!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Think I Win

I think I win the award for stupidest quilting mistake ever!  I was working on this "leaders and enders" project a bit last night.  I've been working on this project for a couple years now as I piece it while I piece other things.  I really like the secondary pattern that is created with the off-white fabric and it is finally getting big enough that I was thinking that it might be time to put on a first boarder.  So I sewed a couple more rows onto the quilt and left it on my ironing board last night so that it would be out for me to work on today after my fitness class.

In the first picture you can see the sun shining on the quilt.  So when I was looking at the top today I noticed something really odd, confusing and frustrating.  Can you see it?  You might need to enlarge the picture to see it but it's there.

Hint:  look at the off-white background fabrics.
 Can you see it now?  I'm pointing at it.

Yep.  One of the off-white background squares is a completely different print in the same colour!!  How could I have:
a) got one square of this fabric into the stack?
b) not noticed this sooner?

This particular piece of fabric had to go through my sewing machine multiple times and I didn't notice it!  How could I have not noticed this?  I am completely confused.  Every other off-white is the same print except this one.

Now I am not really sure what to do.  Do I leave it and just try and pretend that it's not there?  Or, do I pull that square out and sew in a proper one?  If I am going to pull the block now would be the time to do it.  Once it's machine quilted it's not going anywhere.  I am starting to feel about done with this quilt so I think a lot of my frustration is coming from the realization that I have to do some really fussy work to re-work the center of the quilt. Yuck!

I just don't know what to do here.  Please leave a comment and give me your opinion!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let's Twist Again!

Hi all!
I managed to quilt for several hours yesterday and got a couple of projects completely finished!  Binding, sleeve and label are all on and completely finished - woot!

This is my "Twisted Sixter Table Topper" from the Let's Twist:  Pinwheels . . . Fun, Fast and Easy companion booklet to the Twister rulers.  This quilt is completely from my scrap heap and used up quite a few scraps.  Anything over 5" square and in the brown family got cut into 5" squares and put into this cute little table-topper!  I machine quilted this using a beige rayon thread in a swirling pattern to accentuate the spinning motion.  I'll be doing another few of these for sure.  This size with a boarder added on would make a perfect baby quilt.
 Here is how the quilt started.  36 5" squares in a 6 x 6 set.  Then the quilt top is cut apart again using the Lil' Twister ruler (that's the Lil' Twister ruler top right in the picture).  You can see the first cut made in the top right as well.  Then the pieces are twisted and put back together.  It's amazing how difficult this pattern looks when you see it finished and how easy the actual construction of it is.  Cut, sew, cut again and sew.
Here is the finished Twister that I started the other night.  It is also completely finished, bound and labeled.  I just love the contrast between the dark and light fabrics ~ it really creates a lot of motion and visual interest I think.  I also love that this quilt was from a block exchange that happened over a year ago!  It's nice to get those 4-patches into a quilt and made into something useful.

This quilt is also quilted in a swirl across the pinwheels and feather in the blue boarder in a tan colour rayon thread.

I'm really enjoying this ruler and I can't wait until my 10" Twister comes in so I can start playing with the larger pinwheels.

I love reading your comments so if you have any comments or questions feel free to leave them here ~ and if you'd like to Follow my blog please click Follow on the right hand side.

Happy Quilting all!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

We All Start Somewhere and We Have a Winner!!

While I was dealing with my scrap heap the other day I came across something very interesting and amusing at the bottom ~ my very first quilt blocks!!  Wow!  I actually ironed these for the photo they are just really wavy!  The bottom left two blocks were cut out using scissors and cardboard templates.  I made these blocks by following the lessons in the Fons and Porter Quilter's Complete Guide book. I think that I can honestly say that I have improved a bit in my piecing ability.  My husband and I had a good laugh at the waviness of the Sawtooth Star (top middle) and also at the fabrics.  These were mostly cheap fabrics that were so much harder to work with than the better quilt shop quality fabrics I started to use after these were made.  I have no idea what I'm going to do with these blocks.  Part of me says throw them out and part of me says keep them.  They will never go into a quilt (or lay flat for that matter) ~ I'm undecided right now.  Any thoughts?
Also while I was busting my scrap heap I started to put aside any brown or cream or tan or gold piece that was larger than 5" square to make another Lil' Tumbler quilt like my blue and tan tumbler.  What a great use of scraps this ruler is.  I think that this one will be really pretty and calm.  Some of the squares will be repeated only once but others will have multiple repeats.  It just depended on how much of each fabric was in that heap.  I'm waiting on the larger 10" Twister ruler but it's back-ordered right now so another charm Twister it is.
And I have kept you waiting (and reading) long enough ~ we have a winner!  I wrote down all the names on slips of paper (according to how many times you all entered) I put them into a little Christmas container (I know Christmas is over but it was handy) and then I had my youngest son draw the name (that's his hand holding the paper) and he drew Sunshine's name!  Congratulations Sunshine!!!  I kid you not Sunshine won Sunshower Quilt's first giveaway LOL!  I had a good chuckle about the closeness of the name but I think that's great!

Sunshine has won 10 of the self-sealing plastic envelops, 10 pieces of Stiffy interfacing, and 10 metal rings to finish off her cards.  I hope this gets you started making and sending out fabric postcards Sunshine!

If you have any questions or comments I hope that you will leave them here and if you would like to Follow my blog I would love it!

Happy Quilting all!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Scrap Busting

There's one more day left to sign up for my GIVEAWAY!!  You can read all about it here.

Today I spent a few hours turning my scrap heap into something usable ~ at least I hope that it is usable LOL!  This is just one bin of my scrap heap.  Quilters, this is NOT the way to deal with your scraps!  I have stuck mine in bins for YEARS now and it is just an out-of-site-out-of-mind way to deal with them.

Well I watched an amazing Quilt Possible video about dealing with your scraps using the Accuquilt Go!  by Ebony Love.  It really inspired me so I pulled out my never used 2 1/2" strip die and I pressed and cut and pressed and cut (lather rinse repeat).  The cutting was effortless.  It took a bit of time just to layer the fabric and then seconds to wonderfully cut all my larger scraps into 2 1/2" strips.  I'm thinking a log cabin maybe?

Look at the finished bin of strips!!Light on one side and colours on the other side.  I can't think of anything else to do with these right now except a log cabin or court house steps or something like that but I am sure I will.  I have to say that that bin is just so much more attractive than that heap of yuck in the first photo.  I never, ever would have been able to cut those scraps into something usable without the Go!  I just would have put it off for another 10 years.  I'm thinking about buying the 1 1/2" strip die to deal with my smaller scraps.  It's not that I can't cut 1 1/2" strips it's that this is just so much easier!  It's actually enjoyable and cathartic to do something with these scraps!  They have been weighing on my mind for a long time so I absolutely LOVE dealing with them!  Some of those scraps are about 9-10 years old so I was so very happy to cut them u.

Anyone have any suggestions as to how I should use these 2 1/2" strips??

Happy Quilting all!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I Picked the Pailsey Print and Managing the Lil' Twister scraps with my Go!

 Just a reminder that there are still a few days to enter my GIVEAWAYIf you want to read all about it please click here for information.  Go all the way to the end of my post.
I decided to go with the paisley print!  It's only a very small boarder so it's not very busy.  My main thing about that top print from yesterday is that the small print in it was white instead of cream.  So it just clashed a bit too much for my mind.  Anyways, since this was a scrap project to:
a) try out my new ruler and
b) use up some 4-patches from a swap
I decided to stop over-thinking it and go with my gut and initial impression.  I'm happy I did ~ I really like the over-all effect and I am excited to use the ruler again so it was a successful project all around for me ;-)
The only negative about this pattern and technique is that there is some waste.  Every one of those red triangles in the pieced boarder generates an equal amount of waste.  It was too small to cut into my regular 2" squares for my leader and enders; but, it just felt too large to throw away.  With the price of cotton, and, therefore fabric, going up I didn't want to just throw them out.

Then I got a bit of a brain-wave.  Those little pieces look a lot like the wedges used to make the triangle in a square unit and I have the Accuquilt Go!  die for that!  I laid the pieces on top and cut them into the wedges using my Go!  Some were a bit small but most fit the right side of the die perfectly.  I was really happy about this until I realized that that only gave me one side of the triangles since they were all the same direction - if that makes sense.
Then I remembered that I had some sashing strips left-over from my Sampler quilt that would fit across the die.  So, I dug those strips out of my scrap-heap and hmmmm . . . . they really need a pressing.  Maybe I should organize my scraps a bit better and just stop trying to pretend that they don't exist.
 After the strips were pressed they were the exact perfect size to go across the dies - woohoo!  SO I was able to deal with scraps from the Lil' Twister and from my sampler quilt.  I felt pretty proud about this LOL!

I ended up with 26 pairs of right and left sides to the triangle in a square unit.

While searching through my scrap-heap for my sashing strips I found a single 15" square of a cream.  It looks to me like I cut this for an applique block that just never happened.   Oh well ~ it worked perfectly for exactly 26 triangle units. 

I have no idea what to do with 26 triangle in a square units ~ but ~ I am happy to have easily and quickly cut up, into something usable, what was about to go into the trash for me.  I couldn't have used up these random bits and made the side units without my go or templates (yuck). 26 units will give me 6 stars with two units left over.  Or maybe I could just keep cutting more scraps into these type of units and start another leader and ender project.  These stacked end to end or side to side would make a really nice scrappy pieced boarder.   Hmmmm Any thoughts?  How do you all deal with your scraps?  Stack them up or deal with them right away?

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Happy Quilting all!