Monday, July 27, 2009

We have a winner...

...and entry number 8 was Misty whose favorite holiday is Christmas.

Here's what will be coming Misty's way...

I made this for myself last Christmas and got TONS of compliments on it. (Please ignore the hoop marks - I was so excited about it I took pictures before even trying to iron out the hoop marks!). The embroidery design is from SWAK Embroidery and there are similar designs for other holidays. I can see having a whole collection of holiday aprons using these designs.

Congrats Misty! I'll work on your apron this week and get it out to you soon. Thanks everyone for playing along!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quilt-A-Long Week 4

Week 4 - Cut 9-Patches and Assemble Quilt Top
July 26 - August 1

So now our 9-Patches are complete and it's time for us to cut them up. This is my second Disappearing 9-Patch and it was still just as scary to cut into completed blocks... what if I cut wrong... what if my ruler slips.... OK, take a deep breath and remember to measure twice before cutting.

And once the blocks are cut into fourths, the fun begins! Now you get to decide how to reassemble the squares. Last time I went for a more random pattern. This time I'm setting the blocks so that my white squares (which are the cut squares) form "sashing". Here are some options I had fun playing around with today...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So after winning the lovely kitchen towels from Crystal, I found out today that I won a set a potholders as part of her July Blog Giveaway! How lucky am I? Hop over to her blog and check out her latest giveaways... like everything she makes, they are so pretty!!

And speaking of giveaways, I am VERY behind on posting my Pay It Forward giveaway. Wow - I can't believe it was May when I won Crystal's Pay It Forward giveaway. Part of my delay has been available time, but the other part has been inspiration... I've been working on quilts and children's items so much lately that I just couldn't get inspired to make something for a giveaway. Then while day-dreaming at work today, it hit me! I know just what I want to make! Want to know what it is? Well you'll have to enter the giveaway and stay tuned...

Here are the rules:
1. Post a comment here by the end of Sunday (07/26) letting me know which of the following is your favorite holiday:
4th of July
Valentine's Day
Your Birthday
2. I'll pick a name Monday morning and put together your item that week.
3. If you win, please consider passing along the goodness with a giveaway of your own.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quilt-A-Long Week 3

Week 3 - Sew 9-Patches
July 19 - July 25

This week we are sewing together the 9-Patches for our Disappearing 9-Patch.

The most important thing for this week's work is to keep a consistent 1/4" seam (some even prefer sewing a scant 1/4"). If you haven't checked the 1/4" mark on your sewing foot before, I suggest doing so before you get started. I purchased a new machine last year and was mid-way through a quilt before I realized that the 1/4" mark on my sewing foot was actually a hair over a 1/4". I purchased a 1/4" foot at my local brother dealer and I love using it!

The last time I made a Disappearing 9-Patch quilt I spent forever deciding on placement for the squares in the 9-Patch (and even more time trying to decide on placement when I put the cut blocks back together)! This time it is going together so much easier! I need 16 9-Patches, and with the way I'm putting together the blocks, that means I need 32 3-pieces of print-white-print. And since my charm packs have 33 squares I can make 16 from one charm pack and 16 from another charm pack. And that leaves the 3rd charm pack for the 16 white-print-white pieces I need. And then it hit me - I can chain piece these!

I'm happy to report that all of my 3-piece sections are done. Maybe tomorrow night I'll get them ironed and start putting together the 9-Patches.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quilt-A-Long Week 2

Week 2 - Cut Fabrics
July 12 - 18

If you are using all pre-cut charm packs for your quilt – Congratulations, your week’s work is all done! Don’t you just love the ease of charm packs? All perfectly coordinated and cut for you.

If you are cutting all or some of your own charms, this is the week to get started.

Just like with most things in life... a little prep before cutting will save you lots of headache and frustration down the line. So here's my method for cutting fabrics...

First, line your selvedge ends up together and get the fabric as straight to the grain as you can. Unfortunately, not all shops are as careful when cutting fabrics, and I have ended up with some wonky cuts of fabric before (once losing almost ¼ yard from a 1-yard cut of fabric.) Once your selvedges are lined up and fabric is as straight as possible, you’ll want to cut a fresh edge to work from.

Using your self-healing mat, cutting ruler, and rotary cutter, line your fabric up along one of the horizontal marks and your cutting ruler along one of the vertical marks. If you are working with a Fat Quarter, you should only have to fold your fabric in half; if working with the full 44” wide fabric, you will probably have to fold your fabric in half, and then in half again. Cut along the ruler, keeping the blade of your rotary cutter flush against the ruler. Move the ruler over 5 inches and make another cut. Now you have your first 5” strip (5” x Width of Fabric or WOF). After a number of cuts, take a look at your strips – are they straight, or do they have a little divot at the folds? If you have a little divot, your ruler may have moved just a little bit while cutting. Go ahead and re-freshen your edge cut and then start cutting your strips again. If you find this is a consistent issue, make sure you are applying even pressure along the entire length of the ruler. Also look for ruler grips (little circles of sandpaper) to apply to the fabric-side of your ruler.

Once you have enough strips cut to meet your needs, subcut each strip into 5” squares.

Now if you are "fussy cutting" your squares to maintain a specific image in the cut square, you'll have to make specalized cuts and will probably need some extra fabric to make up for wasted fabric. I'm fussy cutting some 5" squares for a Disney-themed charm quilt and got burnt out about half-way through (darn my short attention span!!) I really need to pick that back up again!

If you're cutting all of your own fabric squares, and aren't fussy cutting squares, you might want to think about using a strip piecing method for the 9-patches. Crystal has a tutorial on her blog about this method - and you could adapt her instructions to use 5" x WOF strips.

Sorry no pictures for this post. I wanted to be a week ahead of our schedule so that I'd have cute pictures to add to each post, but last week as a little crazy! At the last minute I decided that Megan needed a couple of outfits for our trip to Port Aransas last weekend. She looked so cute, but I'm still not sure what I was thinking!! Oh well - that's a post for another day.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quilt A-Long

A group of ladies from a yahoo group I belong to are going to be inspiring each other to complete a Disappearing 9-Patch quilt this summer. I offered to come up with a schedule for us (even though I’ve never hosted, or participated in, a quilt-along.) And once done, I thought wouldn’t it be fun to post this on my blog. So if there’s anyone lurking along that would like to join us, please do! And if you’ve never made a quilt before, but want to join us, jump aboard - with minimal fabric cutting this is a good beginner project.

We’ll be starting Sunday July 5th. And if everything goes according to plan, we’ll have completed quilts before the end of August.

I hope to have each week’s update posted sometime Sunday evening (while watching Law & Order CI and In Plain Sight, so please forgive typos.)

Week 1: July 5 – July 11 Gather Supplies
Week 2: July 12 – July 18 Cut Fabrics
Week 3: July 19 – July 25 Sew 9-patches
Week 4: July 26 – August 1 Cut 9-patches & assemble quilt top
Week 5 & 6: August 2 – August 15 Quilt (and catch-up)
Week 7: August 16 – August 22 Binding


Week 1 – Gather Supplies
July 5 – July 11

Our list of basic supplies includes:

  • Scissors

  • Rotary Cutter, Cutting Ruler and Self-Healing Mat

  • Thread

  • Straight Pins

  • Iron and Ironing Board (and in my personal opinion – spray starch)

  • Sewing Machine - Ok – you really don’t need a sewing machine, but it makes the sewing and piecing so much easier.

  • Fabric

Since we’re not all making the same quilt, only using the same method, and some will be using charm squares, while others are cutting their own “charms”, I really don’t have a list of how much fabric you'll need. For my quilt, I’ll be using a combination of Charm Squares (3 packs with 33 charms in each pack) and Kona white fabric that I’ll be cutting into 5” squares. I did come up with some general finished quilt sizes and number of charms needed to help you along (all of this is based on using 5” charms).

52” x 52” = 144 charms
58.5” x 58.5” = 189 charms
58.5” x 71.5” = 225 charms
65” x 65” = 225 charms

Want to see what fabrics I'm working with? I have 3 Oh Cherry Oh charm packs in my stash that I'll be pairing with some white Kona cotton.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm so happy to have these done...

I feel like I've gotten a lot done in the last week. I'm pretty impressed that I've kept up my sewing momentum. So here's a little look at what I've recently finished up...

Camera Strap Cover
I used some scrap pieces to make a camera strap cover for my new Nikon. My first try didn't work out like I wanted... you see I "thought" I knew the strap width and length, but it turned out to be too wide and long. It would have worked; it wasn't like it was going to fall off, or move around on me, but it just wasn't exactly like I wanted. So I tried it again and it came out perfect! I can't wait to make more of these... I'm thinking one for the Disney trip, maybe one for the trip to the Aquarium.

Burp Cloths
When cleaning out Megan's closet a few weeks ago I found a package of unopened cloth diapers. And then at JoAnns I found this cute piece of fabric on clearance. They were perfect for the free burp cloth pattern from YouCanMakeThis. I'm going to pick up some large rick-rack this weekend for the next set.

Puppy Dog Outfit
The Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows is in a couple of weeks. Since Megan LOVES dogs (well, really all animals) I thought she'd enjoy going this year. And of course she needs a special outfit for the day. I LOVE how this turned out. I've had this Michael Miller fabric for years (and only had a yard of it) - I'm so happy I was able to use it for something so cute!

More Disney Sewing
I finished up a couple more things for Disney. The A-Line top is from YouCanMakeThis (CarlaC's pattern) and the fabric is from a sheet set I got on ebay years ago.

And would you believe the button Mickey top took longer to put together than almost any of the other Disney items? Its all those buttons!

The Disney sewing is also the last of my items for the Spring/Summer Wardrobe Challenge sponsored by TheFabricObsession. Voting opens to the public next week. I'll post information on how you can vote for my entry.