Monday, June 30, 2014

Bugs, bugs, bugs

Summer pillowcases for the 2 oldest grandkids - with tons of bugs.  All 4 huggable kiddos will be here on July 3 to spend a few days while we all attend a family reunion on my husband's side of the family. Can't wait for everyone to get here.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Traveling Star #41

This is block #41 in this collection.  My regular readers know that I'm making star blocks out of the 6" fabric squares shared by our guild members when they travel somewhere.  I have a wonderful collection of colorful star blocks from the past two and a half years. And I can't wait to put them together into a big quilt.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

Traveling Star #40

The photo is a bit blurry, but the block itself is a definite winner.  A leftover piece from my South Dakota table runner was just perfect for a Traveling Star block.  #40 - I am close to having enough for a large quilt.

Flannel dinosaurs

A co-worker's daughter is having her first baby in a couple of weeks and the ideal quick gift is a self-binding baby blanket.  I just love these because they are so easy but turn out so cute.

There are so many cute flannels available these days.  I could go on a buying spree.

This blanket and a book for the new little guy will be my gift.  I need to look for a cute dinosaur book to match.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pillow construction

I had a question about yesterday's post about this pillow, dealing with how I constructed it. Did I use batting and a backing?  And the answer is - it depends!

On this scrappy pillow I wanted it to be sturdy and washable, so I did an envelope.  The front is hand quilted through the scrappy top and a piece of cotton batting.  I didn't put a back on this one because the stitching is all inside and I stuffed it with a pillow form.  I can pull out that pillow form to wash the outside.  I used the same envelope technique in my granddaughter's big floor pillow. Just make sure you have enough overlap in the back to prevent any gaps.   

This Cathedral Windows pillow I made for Christmas will not get washed and because of the star buttons I don't imagine anyone will lay on it for long. It is only decorative. This one was constructed with no openings at all and I put a layer of batting under the front and the back before stuffing the whole pillow. Then I just sewed the seam shut with some hand stitching.  I like using the batting layer when stuffing a pillow because it makes a smooth outer layer and you don't feel any bumps from the stuffing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A scrappy pillow

I finished up my scrappy pillow and used an envelope back so I didn't have to add a zipper or any other type of closure.  This fits a 16" pillow form just perfectly.  I did a little hand quilting on the top by outlining the white sections and criss-crossing the squares and triangles. And it will end up on my living room sofa.

Check off one more UFO.  Yay!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Saturday Sampler blocks

We're nearing the finish line with the most recent Saturday Sampler and these are this month's blocks. I have been loving the colors and the combination of batiks with civil war type fabrics. This block has a pretty pink and a green. But I keep thinking the cream background triangles pointing toward the center just look out of place. However this is exactly what the pattern looks like.

I'll be linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Shazam! - finish #2

This binding is perfect - and was a last minute change of plans. But I love it both from the front and from the back.  Isn't that backing fabric just perfect for this crazy round quilt?

I stopped in my favorite local quilt shop yesterday to buy some binding. Cindy helped me find a great black with some wavy lines.  She mentioned that they used to have a black with multi-colored little dots that would have been perfect but they didn't have any left.  But guess what?  I went to put away a fat quarter in my "FQ drawer" when I got home and what was peaking out of the stack? - ONE fat quarter of the black with dots that I didn't remember having.  And I was able to cut enough bias strips from it to bind my Shazam quilt.  Yay!!! It was meant to be!

So here is my Shazam quilt all done. For right now it is on my round kitchen table where I can enjoy it every day.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Quilting with decorative stitching

I tried (and picked out) a couple of variations for quilting this round quilt. First I tried hand quilting in a blending color thread. It just looked so BLAH.  Then I tried machine quilting about a 1/4" from the seams - and that just looked awful.  So next I tried a decorative stitch-in-the-ditch with black thread. And now the colored lightning bolts just pop.  Yay!!!  This is all quilted and just needs some binding.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spicy Spiral is first June finish

A finish for June - my Halloween Spicy Spiral table runner is all quilted.  I used a yellow/green/orange variegated thread and just did a simple serpentine stitch along every other seam.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Shazam is ready to quilt

Sandwiched and pin basted . . . Ready for some colorful hand quilting. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Yellow pigtail blocks

I had about an hour this afternoon to sew and decided to finish my yellow RSC14 (Rainbow Scrap Challenge) blocks. Each month I'm making 3 pigtail blocks using the color assigned to us. I had one of my three yellow blocks already done.  This yellow really brightens up the pink, blue, green, purple, and aqua blocks already in the group.

This last yellow fabric has words on it - so cute. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A successful quilt show

Our quilt show closed at 5 pm today and it was a success.  Our committee will meet later in the week to talk about what worked and what may need tweaking for the next show in 2 years.  Now - it's time to go to bed and catch up on some much needed sleep. So I'll leave you with a couple more photos from the show. Wish I had taken more.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sun - no sewing

My idea of a vacation - a shady loung chair by the pool and waiters to bring snacks and cold drinks. Oh yes, and a good book to read.  My husband is at a conference and I'm just tagging along. Florida in June - what were they thinking??  No where near a beach but the pool is great.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Road trip project

I wanted something to work one during an upcoming road trip and didn't want to take anything that was large or bulky.  Then I remembered this applique project that I started on a trip a couple of years ago, and then set aside - and forgot about it.  Why do I do that?

Anyway, since this is only about 24" square and needs only 1 color thread, it is the perfect item to tuck into my bag. And hopefully I'll actually make some progress on it this time.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

RSC14 - June is yellow

The June color is yellow/gold for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Yellow will really brighten up this set of blocks so I'm excited about this color. So here is yellow #1 with it's colorful dots.  It just shouts SUMMER!!!

But the downside is that I don't have much yellow in my stash. I dug around and found 4 pieces of yellow fabric and they all have dots on them.  I'm also going to use a golden yellow, tone-on-tone dot. But I may need to find a fat quarter with some other yellow print for that 3rd block so that I don't have all 3 yellow blocks with dots.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June goals - Focus!

I find that setting goals - even when I fall short - helps me focus to get things done. I even do this at work, with a To Do list going all the time on my desk. And right now my work goal list is much longer than I would like it to be. And my sewing goal list keeps growing too.

For June I've set some easy goals . . .

  • clean my sewing room
  • 2 Saturday Sampler blocks
  • 3 yellow RSC14 blocks (1 is done already)
  • finish the scrappy pillow
  • layer and quilt my Halloween Spicy Spiral table runner
  • work on Heart 'n Spool exchange blocks (due in August)
And I also need to tackle some UFOs again - I currently have 3 large quilts that need binding. And there are 2 more quilts at the quilters that may be ready soon. It is so easy to procrastinate on these when the weather is so warm. I love to bind in the winter when I can snuggle under the quilt while I stitch. So I'm not going to put any of this binding on my "To Do" list. If I do any of it - great, it's a bonus. And if I don't get to it then I don't need to feel guilty.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Design Wall Monday - Ring 5

The final ring of my Shazam quilt is ready to stitch on.  This is ring 5, and is the one I put together with a backwards rotation of the colors.  I fixed it Sunday and now I'm working on attaching it just like the others - by hand stitching the sections with matching thread. 9 colors - just sayin'.

I think it needs to be hand quilted using thread that blends with each color to outline the "lightning bolt" - which is what I've decided these look like.  But I have to finish attaching this last ring first. And I'm linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.