Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Day - Organizing "Play Day"

In reflecting on the year, it’s been so much fun posting projects I have been making. It’s great having a community to share with. I love that followers are from all across the world!!!! Quilting is definitely an international love of all things fabric and quilted. I would love to hear comments of any kind and in any language (I know several folks that can interpret)!

What am I planning to do New Years Day? Well I like to treat it as an organizing play day. I recently organized my fabrics. Now tomorrow will be the perfect day to organize arts, crafts, and sewing supplies. 

Crank up some great music and relax. It is great to see your fabrics, ribbons, ephemera, etc.

Just have fun!

Once organized it will be that much easier to clean up after each project and/or at the end of each night. 

I try to always pick up as much as possible at the end of the day. Especially since I have numerous projects I work on at the same time.

Happy New Years!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Day of Play

Everybody needs a Day of Play! You don't have to make anything big. It can be an art quilt or even one block! I frequently get inspiration from seeing a color combination anywhere from a newspaper flyer, an image, an outfit someone was wearing, or colors in nature.
Hand dyed ribbon and lace, embroidery, silk ribbon

Then I start by looking for those colors in my fabric stash. Once you pull them out and set them together I like to grab other fabrics in the same color but a little different shade. Variety is the spice of life. And it is the spice in quilting. I would much rather look at 4 shades of green than just all of the same green fabric.

Then just try cutting out shapes from your fabrics and lay them next to each other. (If you have fabrics you don't want to cut into this is a great way to cut a little square or circle) You might as well use the fabrics you cherish! Tip: I noticed that once I cut into a fabric its easier to start using it in other projects - which is the goal after-all
Many different types of fabrics from my cupboard, vintage silk scary and vintage ribbon.

Fusibles are a great way to play. They allow you to cut out any shape without fraying.

Ideas to add or try:
  • Stamping
  • Fabric paint
  • Paint splatters
  • Beads
  • Ribbon
  • Lace
  • Embroidery - running stitch, french knots, etc.
  • Layers
  • Machine quilting  

Hand dyed ribbon

It's all about your Day of Play! Enjoy! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mini Quilted Christmas Tree Decoration

This teeny tiny paper pieced block is 1.5" square in the center. The pattern was so tiny that I wanted to give it a try. It makes for a cute decoration or ornament.

It went together fairly easily and I love the perfect points on the tree. A tip I had read for paper piecing paid off by back stitching at the beginning and end of each stitch. That was especially important for something so tiny. I had a picture of the back with the paper pattern but now I can't find it. I added a traditional binding and some hand stitching.

This is another variation I did without paper piecing by making 2 flying geese and a 3 strips. It is tiny also. Nice for gifts and quilt guild exchanges!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Miniature Storm at Sea

Storm at Sea is one of my favorite quilt patterns. This is my miniature version with batik turquoises and teals and cream. Even though all of the piecing is straight seams, it gives a curved effect.

The cream fabric has a subtle text print that made me think of on old navigation map. I imagined making this while on a ship going across the ocean. So it called for hand quilting. This is 19" x 19".

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Happiness is... an organized fabric stash

Yes indeed, happiness is... an organized fabric stash!

After I had organized my kitchen towels I realized it was time to organize my fabric stash a little better. I already had the general color groupings, but I went through and refolded everything and got rid of any fabrics that weren't zinging for me any longer. I took them to the Quilters Anonymous Guild meeting where there is a fabric donation table that all members bring in scraps of any kind and other members may find just what they were looking for. 

Once you can see everything at a glance its fun to see which colors you are drawn too and may need to fill in ;) I have my fabric strips organized in bins which makes it super easy to pull out for projects and the crazy quilts. 
 And of course there is the big basket for all the little scraps!
 Always treasures to pull out that are just right for making the scrappy zipper bags and little art quilts.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Kitchen Towels

I started wondering why I have so many kitchen towels until I pulled them all out of the cupboard to get them organized and stacked up better. Well take a look at these stacks....hmmm they look at a lot like a fabric stash!
I tend to buy 100% cotton towels but I also like the 50/50 cotton/linen towels. Here are some of my retro towels.
I really like the calendar fabrics on Spoonflower. If you order a fat quarter it is the perfect size to sew into a kitchen towel. Here is a previous post of the 2015 kitchen towels. Spoonflower is running their 2 for 1 fat quarter special until November 12, 2015 so I just ordered some 2016 calendar towel fabrics. So may great designs and colors.
I figure you can never have too many dish towels since they do wear out at some point. They also can be cut up for quilt projects later even if there are stains you can cut around them.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dia de los Muertos - latest in series

I didn't get this posted quite in time for Dia de los Muertos, but here is my latest art quilt in this series.
  I must say I love her bow!

This is made with cotton fabrics, ribbon, fabric paints, and embroidery. It is 16" x 18"
Check out some from my previous post link here.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fabric Basket

Fabric baskets are a great weekend project and they make nice gifts too, especially if you fill them with some goodies! With holidays coming up I can see one with bath salts and bubble-bath, etc.
I've made a few different kinds of fabric baskets over the years which are great to make them in whatever size you need. I needed a catchall for scissors and rotary cutters. So I made a template in the size I needed [I had to put my math hat on - ha!] and lined the outside fabric with fairly heavy fusible interface. Then squared off the bottom sides.
I cut the lining to the same dimensions as the outside except I cut the top edge 1/2 inch shorter so I could fuse the outside edge over the top. This was stitched with the same squared off bottom sides and positioned inside.
This shows the seam down the middle. To finish it off I used a decorative stitch around the edge. This is 8" x 5" around and 4" high.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Scrappy Little Leaves

This is a scrappy little wall quilt of several different kinds of leaves finished just in time for Fall! This was inspired by the Scrappy Little House quilt I made for a travel project. So used the same idea with leaves by starting with 5" charm pack for backing squares and 5" batting squares. While on vacation I hand quilted them with embroidery floss. Here they are before embellishing.
I then added a backing fabric, and sewed 1/2" strips through all layers to hold the layers together.
I love how the variety of colors just meld together so well.

  Here are the leaf sketches I made and then traced them on the fabrics.
Here is my little sewing buddy Olive - all happy to be my office chair while I'm sewing at my machine! She is always by my side.
Thank you for following my blog! Happy Fall to All :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Little Quilts in Home Decor

Here is an idea for home decor with little quilts. I got our battery powered lantern out for possible power outages in Fall and Winter so we'll be ready. And of course a big candle too!

Almost time for the Halloween decor with Fall colors next!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mug Rug

September is National Sewing Month - whoo hoo! It was nice getting a summer vacation. I took along several sewing projects to add some hand quilting. I finished this little mug rug coaster with some french knots and some running stitches.
Lots of things are in progress and I will add new posts soon. September is also a good time for me to bring my sewing machine in to get a good cleaning and tune-up to keep it in great running condition. Its so hard to be without it for awhile but its a must do on my list!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Baby Quilt for my Nephew's Baby

 This is a baby quilt for my Nephew's baby girl on the way!

 I backed it with yellow flannel so it will be nice and soft!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Currently on my design wall

Here is a quick shot of what's on my design wall. Seems like I can never just work on one thing at a time because I have too many ideas!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Small Wall Quilt

This is a small wall quilt that is 25" x 20". I had a 5" charm pack of a Tula Pink fabric collection and wanted to just play with putting them together for a nice pop of summer colors on the wall.
I put 2 of the squares right sides together and sewed 1/4" around all 4 corners. Then cut diagonally in both directions to get 4 squares.
                                                 I hand quilted around the blocks.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Slash and Sew Quilt Variation

This Slash and Sew (or Slice and Sew) quilt is a great summer time quilt. Yeah even though there have been really hot days, the evenings can get cooler and its nice to have a light weight lap quilt while reading, watching TV and hand stitching.
To get the floating shapes use a solid or near solid background fabric and contrasting colors for the inserted strips. I started with roughly 10" x 12" background blocks and 2 1/2" strips in variety of oranges to maroons. Then I cut the background block in half at an angle through the shorter portion and inserted a strip of fabric. So it will be roughly 12" x 12" once the insert is sewn in. The blocks will all be trimmed later.
Then I cut random sized strips through the block. I cut between 2" - 2 3/4". Layout an arrangement that you like. Then you will sew this strips together based on the layout.
Wait to trim the edges to square up the block until you have all of the blocks completed to determine your smallest block and then trim up based on that block. 

 Layout in rows that looks pleasing. Sew the rows together.

I layered the quilt with cotton batting and quilted the top in a chevron design. This was really fun to design on the fly and see how it turns out!

NOTES: There will be some small pieces cut off from the edges but save these for little projects. Also each row doesn't need to be the same size in width.