Posts Tagged ‘quilting’

Look, look!  I had such fun making this:

Hexagon Tree Block

It’s my block for the Love circle of do. Good Stitches, a charity quilting bee.  This month, Ara Jane asked us for tree blocks on white.  My head was spinning with so much freedom until I landed on a bowl full of hexagons that have been languishing in my kitchen…

I arranged the hexagons randomly on a white block and then sketched the tree trunks and branches in between with pencil.  Then, I removed the hexagons and machine stitched the outline of the trunk and branches in medium brown thread.  The idea to fill in the tree with free-form stitching came from Meg’s book “Sew Liberated“.  She makes some cool tree pillows with trunks like these.  Meg suggested free motion stitching using a stabilizer fabric underneath.  After some trial and error, I decided not to mess with stabilizer or free motion.  I stitched this with a simple clear presser foot.  It was quick and fun!  Last I machine appliqued the hexagons in place.

Fun Stitching!

But, guess what, I need to make TWO blocks!  Hmm… what to do next?

Read Full Post »

This post is part of a series {Colorbrick} a Beginner’s Quilt-Along.  You can join in anytime, even if you’re not a beginner!  Please see this page for links to all posts, and join us on Flickr to share your questions and work-in-progress!

gutermann thread.

photo courtesy of Brooke/Glory of the 80's

Your finished Colorbrick quilt will measure 52.5″ x 67″.

Materials List

Materials you’ll want right away:

-10 fat quarters for printed “bricks”

-Neutral solid for sashing & binding.  Choose

  • 1 ¾ yard of 59” wide linen (available here) OR
  • 2 yards of 43/44/45” fabric (such as Kona Cotton or Essex Linen/Cotton)

-Neutral solid for backing.  Choose

  • 2 yards of 59” wide linen (available here) OR
  • 3 yards of 43/44/55” fabric (such as Kona Cotton or Essex Linen/Cotton)

Rotary Cutter Setup (cutting mat, rotary cuter and quilter’s ruler)

-High quality machine-stitching thread, such at Gutermann, Sulky or Metler.  Cotton suggested.  I used a solid neutral Gutermann thread for the piecing and this golden/yellow variegated Gutermann thread for the quilting.

gutermann thread.

photo courtesy of Brooke/Glory of the 80's

Materials you’ll need by Oct 26th:

-55 x 69” wool or cotton blanket for batting or twin sized purchased batting that allows for quilting up to 10 inches apart.

-Basting pins or Spray Adhesive

-Walking Foot attachment highly recommended.  My machine doesn’t have a built-in walking foot, so I purchased an attachment that does the job.  Without a walking foot, your sewing machine pulls fabric from the bottom only.  When you’re sewing a thick quilt, this uneven feeding will easily cause puckers and bunching.  A walking foot pulls the fabric from the top as well.  I promise it will come in handy on countless projects!

Read Full Post »

Red & Aqua Sampler Quilt Top

Read Full Post »

Here’s that finish I so totally needed!  It’s a sewing machine cover for my secret Urban Home Goods swap partner.

Sewing Machine Cover for UHG

I just hope it fits!  This sewing machine cover style allows for wiggle room, but I had a really tough time choosing measurements because of some discrepancies which I shall not disclose for fear of revealing my partner’s identity.

backed in Dolce

After piecing the top, finishing this machine cover was lots like finishing a quilt.  I wanted to use this half yard of Dolce “Rita” print as the backing, but a half yard was not quite enough.  Stitching a solid aqua border around the backing allowed me to use the half yard and provided a wrap-around aqua binding for the front.

rickrack binding

Since I didn’t have matching thread that would hide my stitches, I opted for a zigzag finish on the binding. Zigzag is so forgiving!

I need to keep practicing my quilting....

Hand-stitched twill ties to the back, and it’s done. This was a nice small canvas for practicing machine quilting. I know there are a few wavy lines, but I hope my partner won’t mind.  I did my very honest best.

inspired by Red Pepper Quilts

This is my first time piecing with white. I know, I know, it’s because I’m such a linen lover! When I originally started the hourglass piecing, I went without solids and paired print with print. While the blocks were pretty alone, they looked just awful as a group. Oops. I did start over with the white, which is what Rita from Red Pepper Quilts used as well.  Soooooo much better.  Happily, one of the rejected hourglasses became an easy pincushion.

Little extra
See, I just sewed the sides of the square block together with raw edges exposed.  Matching sewing machine cover and pincushion… I like it!  I hope she does too!  And now that my work is done, I’m glad to be anticipating receiving my own surprise package sometime soon.  Yah!

Read Full Post »

Wanted – a few good quilters.  By “good” I mean, good-hearted, generous and passionate about helping others.  Ok, it helps if you’ve made a few quilts too (I’ve only made 3 myself).  This one will be my 4th…

Red & Aqua blocks

That’s the collaborate effort of the Love circle, which is the first virtual charity sewing bee that formed at do. Good Stitches.  We’re doing a red and aqua sampler quilt and only about 1/2 of the blocks are represented above.  I’ll be piecing and quilting this beauty next month, after all the blocks arrive!

So, back to you.  Are you interested in stitching for children in need?  Two new circles are forming right now.  The Hope circle benefits Piecing Hope, which is funneling quilts to an African orphanage for aids victims.  The Faith circle benefits the local needy through our local Christian churches.  Both of these groups are in need of quilters.  Quilters are those members that plan, assemble and quilt each month’s project.  They are not responsible for providing materials for the quilt top, as each member pieces blocks from their own stash.  You need to be an active Flickr member to participate.  And, quilters, do need to be located in the US.  If you’re interested, please visit do. Good Stitches to request an invite or just comment here.

At this point, I am {sadly} having to turn down those sweet souls that are requesting membership as a stitcher for these groups.  If you cannot commit to quilting, but do want to participate, you can join now as a “member” and be on the waiting list for a future charity circle.  I anticipate that another will open before the end of the year!

Come quilt with us!

Read Full Post »


Is there anyone looking over your shoulder?  This post is top secret… my project for the {Urban) Home Goods swap.  Of course, I can’t name my fab secret partner, because it could be YOU, so let’s just call her Mrs. X.

Mrs. X included a list of sewing ideas for me, her blind swap partner.  She implied that she’d be happy with anything, but I know what she really wants – a sewing machine cover!  How do I know this?  Because that’s what I really want!!! Oh, and she did include it on her list and in her inspiration mosaic…

Mrs. X has a style that’s light, upbeat and eclectic.  Fortunately, I had on hand these lovelies that I think we’ll suit her very well:

Secret project for {Urban} Home Goods Swap

At first I thought I might make a sewing machine cover like this one, but in the end I decided to mix it up.  I’ll do the same cover style, which allows for a margin of error in the fit, but a different patchwork pattern.  What do you think of this?

Work in Progress

Completely fabulous, right!?!  It’s a quilt made by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts.  If you don’t know and love her already, I dare you to click.  Her work is so precise!  She also has a light and upbeat style, so I thought of Red Pepper Quilts when I imagined what Mrs. X would like.  This Hour Glass quilt has been one of my Flickr favorites for a while now.  What a perfect opportunity to give it a go.  And, quite happily, on a small scale.  I’ll be using Rita’s  Hour Glass Block Tutorial.  Wish me luck!

Read Full Post »

I about jumped out of my skin in surprise to discover that I sold my Meadowsweet Baby Quilt through my natural baby store EuphoriaBaby.com.  It’s my very first handmade sale ever, so please forgive me for this little party!

Meadowsweet Quilt for EuphoriaBaby.com

But, I have something to share besides my good news.  I’ve been saving a few pictures of the finished quilt to share with you when/if it sold.  This one showcases a hand embroidered tag I made to identify my work.  I used Epson printer transfer paper to transfer “Stitched in Color” and “handmade 2010” to a plain piece of cotton.   Then, I embroidered over “Stitched in Color” and hand stitched the tag to the quilt back.

Handstitched Tag

This was my first go at embroidering in the Dauphin font script.  I hadn’t quite figured out how to alternate between chain and back stitches.  It came out all right, but the practice served me well for my later work on the patchwork Christmas stockings.  The continuous chain/back stitch is definitely quicker than what I did here.

Warm & natural for baby

The angel who bought the quilt found my blog and Flickr account after making her purchase.  She was so kind as to leave this comment in Flickr

Your work is beautiful, and I’m so pleased to have something handmade with such care.  My baby girl is due in early November, and I’ll be sure to send you a photo of her wrapped in this amazing piece. I bought it because it gives me a “treasure forever” feeling. I love it. Even the front. 🙂

I am soooo thankful. Her comment really made my day! Wishing you all a  most wonderful start to the new week!

Read Full Post »

Ok…. YES!  You all so absolutely knew I was starting a Christmas tree skirt.   Great minds think alike, right?  Well, with no suspension left, let’s get to work.

tree skirt piecing

I promptly slashed about 5 inches of each fabric, end to end, to make this pile of strips, ranging from 1-2″ wide. In the morning, the sun fell on it in such a lovely way. Who knew a pile of scraps could beckon me so?

But, when I pieced my very first triangle, I immediately started having second thoughts about that teal. Even though the Christmas spice prints have a tad of teal in them, the solid strip just stood out so much from all of the other warm shades.

I was set on proceeding sans teal, until it came to me in the shower (ah, for clear shower thoughts)… the teal is my only dark value. Remember those value quilts? Sew Katie Did suggests that if you’re not happy with your color choices, pay attention to value.  Now, I do want my skirt to have a range of values.  To me, that makes a quilt seem happy, full-of-life and also gender-neutral.  So here goes:

new fabrics

I added 2 black and white prints and a darker green textured fabric.  See how friendly they are with that teal?  I think they tip the overall warm/cool balance and help with depth of value.  Now, here’s the result:

a beginning

So, do you think that it works?  Please say yes!  Sometimes I think it looks a little nutso, but I remind myself that our Christmas decor has the personality of those multi-color vintage Christmas lights.  Not very subtle. And, hey, this is very merry, right?

In other news, Aria has discovered that she can actually, truly help me with this project by deciding on the order of strips for piecing.  I laid down a few rules (or the child would have chosen all prints!) and she was off.  I’ve really been sewing a lot of what she lays out, so this is a true collaborate effort.  Good memories, I’m sure!

helping mama arrange strips

I have a confession:  Aria is disappointed that none of these fabrics are designed by Anna Maria Horner.  She also hopes to meet the designer when we go to Nashville this month.  I suppose that reveals the depths of my affections for Ms. Horner (blush).  When we were working together today, Aria was shocked to discover that Anna Maria Horner makes solid fabrics.  Imagine THAT!  Perhaps that legitimizes my insistence on so many solid fabrics in this project to my little artist-to-be.

just a little mess

P.S.  The table, is just a little messy.

Read Full Post »

Oh my, how I’ve enjoyed hand quilting Aria’s Fairytale Patchwork quilt!  The entire process has been so relaxing and satisfying, especially experimenting with different quilting patterns.  Here are a few new ones.

Quilted Diamonds

This pattern, quilted diamonds, ended up being my favorite style for quilting on the Princess and the Pea blocks.  It looks especially nice on this Diamond Mine (from Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks collection) block, which actually inspired the quilting pattern.

Quilted Star

Here’s another fun one.  I only used this star pattern on a few unicorn blocks, as I came to the idea a bit late in the game.  I like how it works with the layout of the print!

Quilted Frame

And, a simple pattern.  It creates a clean-lined, understated effect that works on almost any block.

I’ve been asked how long the hand quilting takes.  Let me start by saying that 95% of the time, I was stitching while watching a show with my husband.  So, given frequent breaks to watch the screen and an overall level of comfortable distraction, each block took me about 45 minutes to complete.  I would begin a block by marking my stitch lines with a chaco pen, and then carefully centering the block in my quilting frame.   On the few occasions that I stitched sans TV, the work came along much faster.

I have now completed all 26 blocks.   The overall effect is fairly random, since I varied the quilting patterns enough so that no 2 touching blocks share the same pattern.  So, now, at last the quilt is finished.  And, for some reason that makes me sad.  I think I’ll just so miss the hand quilting!  How can I watch Alias empty-handed?  It just won’t be the same.  I definitely need a new handwork project.

Although this quilt is a gift from my  mother and I for Aria’s November birthday, we’ve agreed to give it to her now.  She’ll be so excited!  I’m dreaming of making a pillowcase from extra fabric scraps for a  birthday surprise.  Shhhhh!


Today at home.

Today at home



And, a new book to read, thanks to my sweet mother in law.

Read Full Post »

I am so glad that our first round of charity quilt-making with do. Good Stitches is finally here!  I started the Flickr group in June, and was thrilled to see so many kindred spirits join up to do some good.  Because of summer travel plans, we decided to wait out July and make our first quilt this August.  I’ve been chomping at the bit to start!

{If you find yourself wishing you had joined in time, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’m making a list for do. Good Stitches Too, a second group I expect to launch this fall.}

Piecing in Aqua & Red

So, without further ado, let me tell you what we’ll be making!  This first month, I am quilting.  I settled on a Red & Aqua Sampler Quilt.  The concept is simple:  each bee member will make 2 blocks in aqua and red.  But not just any 2 blocks!  The blocks must be made in the same block style (log cabin, square in square, flying geese, etc) and the block style must be a straight, non-wonky design.  So, block styles with rectangles, triangles and squares are perfect.  Blocks incorporating curves and irregular (ie wonky) cuts are out.  I imagine that this sampler style will allow the completed quilt to feel harmonious, even though each member is sewing with her own fabrics, which will obviously vary quite a lot! 

do. Good Stitches - Round 1

Completed 12″ blocks are to be mailed to the quilter (that’s me) by August 31st.  But I hope folks send them in early, because I can’t wait to start putting this together!  I’m committed to finish the quilt by the end of September, when I’ll mail it to Wrap Them in Love.  From there the quilt will make it’s way to a child in need of warmth and love!

Here are my finished blocks for round 1.

Red & Aqua Sampler Quilt blocks

The cycle begins anew in September, when our next quilter will launch a new quilt.  Yah!  By the way, there are two levels of bee membership, which you can read about here.   If you want to help by making blocks, but aren’t prepared to finish a quilt, you can sign on as a “stitcher” only when we launch the next charity bee!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »