Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stems!

I decided to work on this cute wall-hanging recently since it is so bright and spring-like.  Now that we are finally losing our snow I wanted something bring.  The pattern is a free pattern on the Accuquilt site if you want to make one for yourself.  I'l post a picture when I get a little further along.
I had green and a blue hand-dyed fabrics that I dyed a couple years ago that I thought would be perfect for the boarders!  It seemed like a great excuse to use up some of my fabrics.

I got the top two miters done on the quilt but before I could put the bottom boarder on I wanted to get those stems on so that the edges would be caught in the seam allowance.
  

I pulled out my Clover bias maker and made some stems from bias fabric.   After I have pressed the bias stems I like to wrap them around a tube and pin them down so that they hold their shape.  I love this method since it really holds the creases in the bias and prevents them from popping open.  I don't do a lot with bias stems but this is what works for me.

So what are you all working on?  Spring themed projects or UFO's?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Another Little Zippered Clutch!

Hi all!

I did just a little bit of sewing yesterday.  I had some scraps left-over from my Lazy Angle Sampler so I grabbed my Accuquilt Go! and the 2" square die and I cut them up in just a few seconds.  I absolutely love that little die!  I wasn't going to purchase that die when I first got my Go! but you all know how much I just love my 2" squares so I got it.  I am so glad that I did now - it makes cutting my leaders and enders so much faster and easier.

Well after I cut all the scraps up I realized that I had about enough of the squares for some type of a project.  I just love these little zippered totes from the Quilts and More magazine since they perfectly fit my Kindle.  I made a couple more of these clutches a while ago but I thought that one would be pretty in these soft colours.  What do I need with three Kindle clutches you might ask?  No idea LOL!  Do we ever really need a reason to make something pretty?  I certainly hope not - or I will have to start thinking up reasons for what I make.  Could you imagine that?  Having to have a purpose for everything we make.  I guess we could just say that the purpose is to be happy and enjoy the process.  Maybe I'll just give this little cutie away - that would make me happy too!

Want to make one of these little clutches for yourself?  The instructions are on the All People Quilt web site and you can find them here.

What are you all working on this fine spring day?

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Lazy Angle Sampler is Finished! And We Have A Winner!

Yey I finished it!  The Lazy Angle Sampler is completely finished and bound!  I am so excited that I completely finished this project in less than a week LOL!  I really like the way the quilt looks now that it is completely quilted.  It gives the quilt a lot of texture and depth.  I also love that this was all left-over fabric!!!  It feels so good to shop in your stash instead of running to the store to buy fabric.

Like I said in my last post it was a real adventure learning this ruler and it was a little humbling to be forced to go back and do what I should have done in the first place - read the instructions!
Here's a close-up of some of the machine quilting.  I love this pattern for a densely quilted back-ground.  I think it really suits the paisleys in the fabric.  Of course I always think that quilted feathers, and their siblings, look amazing on just about any quilt - so I am a little biased.

What do you think?  Too much quilting or just enough for this wall-hanging?  I tend to think that you can go as closely quilted as you want with a wall-hanging since it needs to lay flat on the wall and not drape over a person or bed.


Ok Ok have I made you wait long enough??  We have a winner for the Accuquilt Baby Go! fabric cutter!  What I did was separate out all the valid entries/comment from the invalid ones.  I really didn't want to have to re-draw the name so I did it this way.  Invalid comments were either no-reply accounts or people that did not leave me an e-mail address.  If you left me an e-mail address you got entered - don't worry.  Out of all the comments left we had 411 valid comments and therefore valid entries.  I checked and double-checked all the entries.  If you're wondering if yours was valid - if you heard back from me via e-mail it was valid! I used the random number generator at http://www.random.org

Drum-Roll Please!!!

The Winner is valid entry 330

Sallie from Sallie's Sampler from Texas, United States! Congratulations Sallie!

Sallie has left a new comment on your post "Accuquilt Baby Go! Give-Away!!":

I would love to win! I would use it to make baby quilts for our church quilt ministry. Thanks for the chance!  

Sallie has been notified and  will soon have her amazing new die cutting system!

Thank you so much to everyone that entered!  I hope that you had as much fun as I did!

If you haven't had enough of giveaways here's a great give-away for a jelly roll at the Pink Please blog!  http://howaboutpinkplease.blogspot.com/2011/03/just-wing-it-jelly-roll-giveaway.html

Happy Quilting all!!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Lazy Angle Sampler

Hmm I thought it was spring today?  We had almost lost most of our snow and then today got a huge dump of snow again!  Oh well, all the more reason to stay in and finish this little sample quilt top! 

I pulled out some Sentimental Journey left-overs from a couple of other projects and played with the Lazy Angle Ruler by Lazy Girl Designs.  This ruler is unlike any ruler I have ever used before - it uses all sides and both the front and the back of the ruler!  That took a little while for me to get my head around I can tell you - but how smart is Joan Hawley for thinking about the ruler in this way? 

Before I realized that I had to flip over to the back-side of the ruler I was more than a little frustrated with the process.  I was thinking - I've done so many of Joan's bag patterns before - why am I having so much trouble??  Then I picked up her companion book Lazy and Lovin' It again and actually did what Joan says to do in the book - which is read all the instructions first - duh!!!  I had done a light skim of some of the instructions at this point.  I'm usually able to dive right in but not this time - this time I had to do as I was told and read all of the instructions first LOL!  Then the ruler made sense and I could proceed - yey me!  I had to laugh at myself and it was a little humbling to have your frustrations be so completely of your own making LOL!  Ah well - at least I figured it out!

Now I can see that the possibilities for this ruler are endless!  The companion book Lazy and Lovin' It has 250 blocks in it!  250!  That's a lot of blocks in one book - and a lot of blocks for one ruler.  Very cool!

Now I just need to layer and quilt this Little Lazy Sampler!

Have you entered my give-away for a Baby Go! fabric cutter yet?  If you want to enter please go and see all the details on this post.  You have until Friday to enter so hop on over to this post and leave your comments!  Good Luck!

What are you all working on today?  Something new or a new finish?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Accuquilt Baby Go! Give-Away!! Now Closed

It's GIVE-AWAY time!  
Now Closed

To celebrate National Quilt Day I decided to hold a Give-Away!!  I have the great pleasure to announce that I was chosen by Accuquilt to give away one of their amazing Baby Go! machines and 3 dies of your choice!  This amazing little machine will cut 60% of the dies available for the Go! machine.
Isn't she cute??!!

If you have been reading my blog for a while you all know how much I love using my Accuquilt Go! machine and how easy and fun it is to get accurate cuts in so much less time than scissors or rotary cutters!  So, I am thrilled to be able to offer an Accuquilt sponsored give-away to my readers!  Thank you so much Accuquilt!

This is a must have  tool that every quilter should have!

Ok here's the fine print!

For one chance to win you can comment on this post.  Tell me why you would love to win this little cutie or what you would make with it.

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 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!!!!  Please see my previous post here on how to make sure that you are not a no-reply blogger!  If a no-reply blogger is chosen then I will be forced to draw another name and I really don't want to do that!

UPDATE!!!!  Several of the entries so far are invalid because they are no-reply bloggers!!!!!  If you don't receive a reply from me then your entry is invalid.  You need to follow the link on the button bellow this and fix your settings.  If your comment has not been answered by me then you are a no-reply blogger.  Once you have fixed your settings you will need to re-enter!


The winner will be chosen on Friday!  We have chosen a winner - thank you to everyone who entered.
God luck everyone!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Anticipation!

Hello all!  Well I am here to tease you a bit today LOL!  Tomorrow is National Quilting Day and I am so very excited for the give-away that I am going to start - - - - - tomorrow!  I know I am such a tease!  Well I wanted to post about the giveaway early because I have a bit of homework for you to do.  I promise it is just a little bit!

I want you all to make sure that you are NOT a no-reply blogger.  Simply put - if you are a no-reply blogger - I have no way to contact you!  If you win my give-away and you have your settings set to no-reply then I will have to draw another winner.

Don't get panicky or anything - this is a really easy fix.  There is an amazing step by step tutorial at the Pleasant Home Blog.


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This is a wonderfully clear and easy to follow explanation and I hope that you will take a minute to make sure that you have your blogger settings set to win!

An easy way to tell if you are a no reply blogger - have you ever had a reply from me to one of your comments on my blog?  If so then you have your settings set correctly.  If, however, you have posted a comment and I have never replied to you - you may be a no-reply blogger.

Ok so now you all have your homework I hope that you will swing by tomorrow and enter my give-away!  Any guesses as to what it is???

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Making Scrappy Preemie Quilt with the Accuquilt Go!

Happy March Break everyone!  I haven't had much time to quilt for the past few days since my kids are off for March Break right now.  It's time to do fun stuff with the kids!  I have had a bit of time though to make a few preemie quilts for my local NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit).  A while ago I busted my scrap heap using my Accuquilt Go! cutter.  You can see my scrap busting post here.  I also used the Value Die to cut up all my kiddie prints into usable pieces.  Well I decided that this was a great time to dig into those pieces and start making some preemie quilts!  My local NICU likes the preemie quilts to be approximately 22" square to 24" square to fit into the incubators.  Check with your local NICU to see what they prefer before you make these though since I know other places like other sizes.
I usually try to make several preemie quilts each year.  If you'd like to see some of my past preemie quilts you can see them here and here.  There's some more ideas for other quilts there if you're interested ;-)
I used the Value Die to cut 4.5" squares in the novelty prints and 2.5" squares in novelty prints and in white fabrics.  I didn't cut any of the half-square triangle units for this project.  This was such a quick and easy way to cut up lots and lots of scraps into usable pieces!  Yey!  Of course if you don't have a Go! you can cut these pieces with a rotary cutter.
Next I divided the novelty prints into a girl pile and a boy pile.




Using the 2.5" squares I chained pieced them into 4-patches.  Then I joined a 4-patch to a 1-patch and pressed towards the 1-patch unit.
Arrange the blocks together in a pleasing manner.  a 4-patch, 1-patch arrangement always looks nice to my eyes ;-)  Add on a boarder of 4.5" cut.  You should only need two strips of fabric to do the 4 boarders.  You can of course add multiple boarders if you have smaller scrap strips.  In the first picture you can see the green preemie quilt had two boarders - that's a great way to use up thinner strips.  It's all up to you and what you have and what you like!
 Now on to laying the quilt sandwich!  I always like using the "inside-out" method for my preemie quilts so that I don't have to bind them.  To do this layer your batting, then backing right side up and then your quilt top wrong side up.  You can see that in the picture.  Place a few straight pins around the outside of the quilt sandwich to hold it together - you really don't need to do more than this since the quilt is so small.
Sew all the way around the quilt 1/4" in leaving a small opening to turn the quilt.  Back-stitch at each end of the opening - this will really help to keep the  opening nice when we turn it.
Trim off the excess batting and backing 1/4" away from the sewing line.
Using hemostats (you can get quilters hemostats at most quilt stores) turn the quilt right side out.  Just insert the hemostats into the opening and reach to the end of the quilt - your hand does not go into the quilt - just the hemostats.  This is how we can keep that opening so small.
 Pull the quilt all the way through and use the hemostats or a point turner to push the corners out.
 Turn the opening under 1/4" - sometimes this can be finicky and take a bit or work.
Press this with your iron to get a nice finish.
I like to use a little Lapel Stick to seal this opening closed until it can be sewn.  I used to use pins but Lapel stick is sew much easier!

Now quilt as desired.  I usually just do a big meander so that the quilts are not stiff for the babies.  To seal the opening closed I simply start my machine quilting along the edge with opening  then continue meandering and finish off the quilting by over-lapping the end of my quilting with where I started this.  You can also whip stitch the opening closed by hand.  Many people prefer to do this if they are not as comfortable with their free-motion quilting skills.  However, this is a great place to practice your quilting since the quilt is so small!  I used variegated cotton threads to quilt and it gives the quilts some extra colour!  Avoid using invisible or mono-filament threads to quilt preemie quilts since the preemie babies have such tiny toes and fingers and the invisible thread can cut them if they get their toes caught in them!
Here we are!  4 little quilts all in a row!  Easily cut from scraps and ready to be enjoyed by some little babies and their families!

I hope that you enjoyed this little tutorial - if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here.

I also hope that you will consider making a few of these for your local NICU - just be sure to contact them to see what their requirements are since they might be different.  This is a such a rewarding way to quilt!

Happy Quilting all!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Uninspired

Ever have one of those days?  Those days where you are just so very uninspired?  Well that was me today.  I actually stood at my cutting table looking at everything that I left there from my last post and I thought "mhe" I don't feel like it.  I just didn't feel like quilting today.  It was so odd!  Usually I can persuade myself to piece some leaders and enders but today I just couldn't.  So odd.

Does this ever happen to you?  I am usually up for some chain-piecing but today was a no-go.  What about you all?  Ever have a low day?  I think that we need to learn to listen to our bodies and minds and do what strikes us.  So hey - no quilting for me today apparently!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A New Quilt on the Frame and a New Project Experiment

Thank you all for your compliments to my 70's quilt!  It was a lot of fun to work on and I enjoyed it very much.

We've recently put a new quilt on the hand quilting frame at the bee that I belong to ~ The Silver Thimbles.  I know that this isn't a very good photo.  The lighting was a little dim for the photo and I was standing on a chair with the camera at the ceiling to take this LOL!  But, I thought that you might like to see what we are working on in the group.  It's a very nice quilt using different blues, lavenders and greens on cream backgrounds.  We're doing fairly simple quilting 1/4" inside each shape and a star in the middle square of each star.  I think it will be very pretty - I just can't believe that she is giving it away as a gift!  But that's what we quilters do isn't it?  We give away so much of our work either as gifts or charity.  It's so nice to share the love that way.

Today I pulled out the Lazy Angle ruler by Joan Hawley.  I've had this ruler for a few years but have never even taken it out of the plastic! Woops!  Well I got it out today and pulled out some Robyn Pandolph Sentimental Journey odds and ends and did a little cutting.  I used the fabric in my very first Crazy Shortcut Quilt; but, I had pieces left that were just too big to throw out - the perfect size to play!  Since these really aren't my colours I don't mind chopping into them at all ;-)  Don't get me wrong - I like the fabrics but I'm just not in love with them.  Why is it I need an emotional attachment to fabric to get really inspired?  It's kind of odd maybe LOL!

I chopped and cut and flipped and rearranged and I think I have something kind of neat going on!  That's the really neat thing about this ruler.  You can get odd shapes with easy rotary cutting in multiple sizes.  I'm pretty intrigued - but I'm not in love yet.  Maybe if the colours were different?  More vibrant perhaps? I just can't decide what my next step will be.  Hmmm

That's okay!  I have to go and teach a pilates class now so maybe when I get back inspiration will strike and I'll sew tonight.  The weather networks are calling for yuck weather so it would be a good night to stay in and sew!

What are you all working on today?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

That 70's Quilt

Hi all!  Are you all getting the amount of snow that we are?  We got a huge dump of snow over the weekend so I decided to take these photos of my new quilt outside so I could share!  This photo isn't the best to show the quilt (lighting) but it really shows the snow!

I received some really cool fat quarters for my birthday in January (thank you very much!) that were unlike anything that I have used before.  There were some Tula Pink fabrics and some Michael Miller ones too.  I grouped together these fabrics and thought that they would really suit a Crazy Shortcut quilt!  So I looked through the book and found one of the patterns that I have never done before ~ Fast Friends.  The long angular lines of the pattern really suited the lines of the fabrics I thought.  While I was working on the quilt I kept thinking that it really looked 70'ish so the name "That 70's Quilt" came into being LOL!  It has stuck with me since then.  I did the decorative stitching in a chartreuse green colour that really grew on me while I was stitching.
I had to snap a picture of the back of this quilt since the colours just look so great together.  You can also really see the decorative stitching.  I just love this technique for quilt-as-you-go!  It's so fun and  getting to use your decorative stitches is just wonderful.  So many of us have hundreds of stitches - that we paid for - and never use them!  With the Crazy Shortcut Quilt method you can use all of your decorative stitches and have a lot of fun with them!

So what are you all working on today?  Any quilting projects?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Banished to the Closet ~ For Now . . .

Isn't this a great but sad photo?  Great because I finished my red-work quilt!  Yey!  Sad because this quilt is destined to be hand quilted by the bee I belong to, The Silver Thimbles, and, it isn't my turn yet.  My turn is not for several months yet - sigh.  I've had the fabrics and pattern picked out for this quilt for quite a while, over a year to be exact, but, inspiration just never struck.  Well, inspiration struck about a month ago and I got to work on the quilt top.  Don't worry, I knew it wasn't even close to my turn; but, I felt like working on it - so I did!  And I got the top finished.  And there it is all finished and no place to go LOL! So into the quilt closet it goes.  I am extremely relieved that it is finished though.  I still have to mark the top but I don't want to do that until it gets a lot closer to the time it goes on the frame.  Don't worry - you'll see this beauty again - just not for a while.

Now what to work on!??

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

SIngle Girl Quilt Using the Accuquilt Go!

Are you as intrigued by the Single Girl Quilt pattern as I am?  I just love the simplicity of the shapes in this pattern; but, it has a lot of hand cutting and template work - yuck!  It's such a fresh approach to the Double Wedding Ring basic form though and I love that!

Ever since I got my Accuquilt Go! cutter I am constantly thinking about how I can modify patterns to use my die cutter.

I won the double wedding ring Go! dies in SewCalGal's give-away and started to think about how I could use the dies to simplify the process of creating the single ring.  After playing a bit I realized that each quarter arch was just a quarter of the outer arches of the double wedding ring!





So I pulled out my die and used three of the pieced ring shapes to create a quarter ring.  I loved how the little dog ears made piecing the arch so easy!  This was much easier than cutting all those templates out and cutting this by hand.
 Next I used the inside part to cut a paper arch so I could make myself a paper template.  Yes, yes I know; but, I didn't have much of a choice if I wanted to try this experiment ;-)
Then I used the inner melon to get the arch for the inner arch.  This was very easy to do though.
 Next came transferring the arches to paper.  This took a bit of time to do but that was ok.  I added 1/2" to the outer arch to account for seam allowance.

Note:  Next time I would add more on to give me more squaring up allowance.  Meaning I would simply add more to the outer flat edges not to the rounded parts.
 Cut out the paper templates and make sure that they fit.  Yep, and there is extra added on the inner ring.
 I then used the paper templates to mark and cut out the fabric.  This part I didn't like LOL!  I tried rotary cutting this and that didn't work so I ended up using scissors.

I'm not sure, but, I think if you had the Drunkard's Path die set you might be able to use that instead of cutting these parts by hand.  As I don't have this die I couldn't test it sorry!
I pieced the outer parts to the ring and guess what?  It worked!  If my cuts had been smoother the rings would have been smoother too but not bad for my first attempt ;-)  You can make rings using the Accuquilt Go! cutter but the inner parts would have to be cut the usual template way.  That is unless Accuquilt comes out with a template set for this.  Wouldn't that be great??!  It could even just be an add on to the Double Wedding Ring die set to make the single ring.

I had a lot of fun this afternoon working out this pattern and making it fit the dies.  I'm not going to finish this quilt (in these colours at least); but, I may consider piecing one out of scraps.  I think that would be very pretty!

So what do you think?  Good idea?  Would you make one like this?  Feel free to leave me a comment - I love to hear from you all!

In other news Pleasant Home is having a great give-away of and Accuquilt Baby Go!  So hop on over and enter!

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Happy Quilting!