Friday, December 9, 2016

Meadow Mystery {December}

My December Meadow Mystery QAL blocks were quick and easy to put together since we were just making 9 blocks out of the units we had made in the previous months. Much less trimming than previous months, too!

Here's block #1 --

...block #3 --

... and finally block #4 --

Here are all of this month's blocks put together for fun:

There are still lots of pieces and units that we haven't sewn at all or haven't sewn into blocks just yet! We had previously made block #6 in September, so we will find out soon (hopefully!) what is in store for blocks #2 and #5.

The blocks we made this month didn't use any of our fabric A (my magenta ziggy stripe) or our fabric D (my purple floral), so I'm guessing those might make an appearance again in January!

Don't forget to enter my Sparkle Giveaway!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Deck the Halls Blog Hop and Giveaway!

I am back at Benartex's blog, Sew In Love With Fabric, to share another fun holiday tutorial using Amanda Murphy's Sparkle line for their Deck the Halls hop! Today I'm sharing a fun table runner pattern!

I love how perfectly festive it is!

You can use this basic table runner pattern with any 12 inch finished blocks (12.5 inches unfinished), so if you have your own favorite blocks, you can switch them up!

Here's your chance to win a mini bundle of Amanda Murphy's Sparkle line!

1. Leave a comment with your favorite Christmas fabric line -- old or new!
2. Followers get a second entry -- just tell me how you follow.

I'm also linking up this post to Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day! Please hop over and visit all of the other blogs hosting giveaways!

Also sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday and Finish it Up Friday!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Spin {a la Leaders and Enders} + Ten Tips Tuesday

Do you ever see a new quilt pattern and think for a second and then immediately decide that you have to make it? It happens to me once in a while and it happened over the summer with Melissa Corry's Top Spin pattern on Moda Bake Shop.

I decided to convert this into a leaders and enders project. For those of you unfamiliar with leaders and enders, Bonnie Hunter has written multiple books based around leaders and enders projects, and has a good explanation of the process on her blog.

To start off, I pulled a three yard cut of a floral hydrangea and leaf print that has been languishing in my stash as my inspiration/backing fabric. I pulled out all of my green, pink, and purple scraps from my color-sorted scrap boxes and cut as many squares in the various sizes as I could. This pattern calls for 6", 5", and 4" colored squares.

Here's what I was able to cut from one pass through my scrap boxes as well as my inspiration fabric:

While what I've started off with won't get me anywhere close to a full quilt, it's at least a starting point for this quilt. For now my plan is to start sewing all of the half square triangle units with what I have cut, start assembling blocks with the units I have, and then keep repeating the process until I get the size quilt that I want. I'm planning to make a baby sized or throw quilt rather than a bed sized quilt.

Here's the large and medium sized HSTs that I have sewn and trimmed so far:

Here are some of my tips thus far on the leaders and enders (L&E) process and "controlled scrappy" quilts:

  • Your choice of L&E project really makes an impact on how easy it is to work L&E into your normal sewing. For me, I'm just making HSTs, and having my squares pre-paired next to my sewing machine has made it much faster and easier. 
  • I'm still finding myself falling into the habit of cutting my threads as normal sometimes, but any little bit of thread saving does help. It's becoming more and more natural.
  • I'm actually not sewing both sides of my HSTs at once -- I do one side at a time so I am not going through units quite as fast.
  • For a scrappy quilt, it has become obvious what colors I need to add in each size. I have a ton of purple in all three sizes, a fair amount of pink in each size, and a lot of green in the smallest size, while having none/hardly any in the large and medium sizes. I will likely comb through my larger scraps and cut a lot more green and some additional pink squares.
  • This is most certainly what I would call a "controlled scrappy" quilt in that it has a specific color scheme and there were pinks, purples, and greens that I chose not to use in this quilt. I haven't decided yet if I will cut into my inspiration fabric or not -- I have three yards of it, but that could cover nearly all of the back and the binding for a small quilt.
  • While cutting all of my squares, I pulled out one color at a time from my scrap boxes and then sorted out any pieces that were too small or the wrong color. With what was left, I ironed each piece and laid it out on my cutting board to get an idea of the size and tried to maximize how many squares I could cut. Typically, this involved cutting 6 inch squares, then 5 inch squares, then finally 4 inch squares. 
  • Sometimes I could cut just 4 inch squares from a piece, some pieces I cut multiple 6 inch squares. I didn't try to cut an equal number of squares in each size, I just tried to maximize how many squares total I was cutting and minimizing waste.
  • I find it is almost always helpful to cut a fresh edge when pulling things from your scrap bin. Even if it is a 1/16th of an inch, a nice fresh edge is always easier to align with your ruler.
  • Recently, I started a "scrap bag" where I put all of my small scraps -- including things under 2 inches wide, the last small piece of a particular fabric, etc. Having this separate from my scrap bins has made it quick and easy for anything that calls for strings or small scraps. (It is literally a gallon sized kitchen bag, totally not glamorous!)
  • I usually sew with cone thread but I usually have a "bobbin cone" so I don't have to unthread and rethread my needle and machine. I do my best to fill a few bobbins at a time so I don't need to stop mid-project. When sewing scrappy, I often use off-white thread.
Have you worked with leaders and enders before? Do you have any tips for me? 

Sharing at Tips and Tutorials Tuesday and Let's Bee Social!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Stash Bee and #thanksmas

It's time for the last block of the year for the Stash Bee!

Cheri requested these fun Christmas candy cane blocks! I was able to make a dent in my green scraps which is always good in my book.

We also had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family. When my family isn't going to be together for Christmas we celebrate "Thanksmas" on Thanksgiving. So we put our trees up early and exchange presents between Thanksgiving dinner and dessert. It's a fun thing and means that I have to get all of my shopping done early!

Here's my quad-berry pie in the oven:

My sister's dog Peyton being festive:

My #thanksmas present from my sister and her husband! YAY!!!

And of course, Frankie the bunny in a food coma.

I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings with your families and friends! :)

Sharing at Sew Cute Tuesday and Let's Bee Social!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Scrappy Farmer's Wife {111 blocks}

I have finally finished all of my scrappy Farmer's Wife blocks as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2016!

Here are my last two individual blocks:

#105 - Wild Goose Chase, #111 - Wrench

I went ahead and laid out all of my blocks. I am very excited to start working on laying them all out in the on-point setting (as in the original pattern, since I did make all 111 blocks!)

I breathed a big sigh of relief upon finishing that last block -- it is so good to have all of them done! I am going to say that I will not be doing another round of 6 inch blocks next year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge right now!

Sharing at Scrap Happy Saturday and Oh Scrap!