Friday, January 29, 2016

Sew Solid with the Fat Quarter Shop: Castle Bow Holder Tutorial and Giveaway!

I am excited to be joining in for the Fat Quarter Shop's first Sew Solid hop of the year! Today we're showing off the new Castle pattern!

Click here to see the video tutorial! They have kits all ready to go for you to make your own pillow in the pink "queen" colorway above or in a blue "king" colorway!

When I saw this castle pattern, I immediately thought of all of the little princesses in my life and set out to make something especially fun for a little girl's room -- a princess bow holder!

To make it, you'll want to follow the cutting directions in the castle pillow pattern, but omit the pieces set aside for the pillow backing. I used teal blue, yellow, and pink fat quarters for my castle.

Once you've constructed your castle, layer with your desired backing and batting, then quilt. I used an all over meander for mine. Trim as if ready for binding.

I then cut 5 pieces of pink ribbon slightly longer than each of the places that I wanted to add ribbon. I folded the ends under and sewed the ribbon to the mini quilt with a few forward and backward stitches across the width of the ribbon. For each of the four short pieces, I tacked the ribbon down at each end. For the long piece of ribbon, I tacked the ribbon down at each end and at two places along the length.

Add a hanging sleeve and bind as desired. I used a pink, yellow, and blue print from my stash.

And voila -- your princess's bows have a royal place to stay neat and organized!

Check out all of the quilters participating in today's hop!

Interested in making your own Castle Pillow or just feeding your fabric addiction from the Fat Quarter Shop? Comment below with what is on your quilting wish list for a chance to win a $25 Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate!

Edit: The giveaway is now closed and our winner is #34 Patti!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Stitched Stars

I've been able to make a little bit of progress over the last week on quilting my star quilt -- two more completed! Last week I did the two stars on the "left" side of the quilt.

Left column #2
Outer star: A combination of Shadow Waves and Striated Earth

Left column #3
Center star: Lightning Bolt
Outer Star: Mussel Shell

This week while I've been snowed in, I got one more large star done.

Right column #3
Center star: Pointsettia
Outer Star: Originally invisioned this as Sea Algae but it ended up more like Cucumber Vine

These patterns were all fun to do! The lightning blot gives some very fun texture and it might be fun to try it on a little larger scale. I'm getting a little burned out on all of that pebbling so I've had to take some breaks from it. The next section I will be working on are 8 small stars.

Linking up at WIP Wednesday and Let's Bee Social!

Monday, January 25, 2016


On Friday, you might have seen me post this picture on Instagram:

I was standing in line at the cutting counter line at Joann's to get flannel cut for the backing of my Summer Breeze baby quilt. I also picked up a cross stitch kit as a quiet project so I didn't drive my sweet husband insane with the sound of the sewing machine. Totally normal pre-snowstorm prepping activities.

I'm in Frederick, MD -- which is an hour northwest of DC and an hour west of Balitmore -- and the snow here started at 2 PM Friday and finally quit around 10 PM Saturday night. Here's what it looked like at 6 AM on Saturday in our parking lot:

And here's what it looked like Sunday at 7 AM:

Here's some pictures I took while we were digging out our cars later Sunday morning:

But being snowed in since Friday ain't bad when you're a quilter. I started working on the blocks for my Rainbow Mini Swap:

I have all of my little rainbow wedges sewn together so hopefully you'll see more of these string hexies very soon!

Stay warm and stay safe!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blue Breeze {WIP}

My blue Summer Breeze quilt has continued to be a good break from all of that FMQ that I have been doing on my star quilt.

Here are the little pinwheels:

Here they are in the finished blocks -- these were super zippy to put together!

Here's the top all laid out together -- somehow I miscounted and ended up with four extra rail fence blocks!

While I was slightly interrupted and had to stack all the blocks up before I put the top together, I managed to keep everything in order perfectly -- check out the adorable-ness that is this quilt top!

I am about 90% set that I will be using navy blue to back and bind this one to tone it down a little bit. I will definitely quilt it in white or light blue on the front, but I think that if I do a navy backing, I might also use navy in my bobbins. What do you think -- do you like to quilt with two different colors front and back or do you mainly stick with one color for both?

Sharing at WIP Wednesday!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Finished Taffy Quilt

Another cuddly baby quilt finished!

I quilted this whole quilt in one sitting last weekend and just finished up the binding last night while we watched football.

Here it is pre- quilting, post-pinning:

And here it is all finished!

For the quilting, I did free motion swirls all over the quilt. The scale ended up being slightly smaller than I originally intended, but I am very happy with the quilting, nonetheless. Here's the front and back post-quilting, in the middle of finishing the binding yesterday:

Since I didn't have enough strips left over from the jelly roll to bind the quilt, I bound it with some green vine yardage in my stash -- I am pretty sure it is from the Honey Honey line.

And as usual, I backed with flannel -- this time I used grey since I was having a hard time finding a green or blue that went well with these fabrics.

This one is in the mail to it's rightful owner!

Quick Stats:
Pattern: adapted from Salt Water Taffy baby quilts on Moda Bake Shop
Size: 39 x 52 inches
Fabric: jelly roll of Road 15 by Sweetwater
Backing: grey snuggle flannel
Quilting: Swirls in off white thread
Binding: green vine from Honey Honey

Linking up at Fabric Tuesday and Finish it up Friday!

Friday, January 15, 2016

In Blue.

Blue is definitely a wintry color and a good color to start with in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2016. 

My eleven Farmer's Wife blocks for January are now completed -- hooray!

I am so happy with how these turned out. Making these 6 inch blocks is so much fun. 

I actually used up about half of my true blue scrap pile making these blocks. After finishing these, I toyed around with the idea of starting a second RSC16 project but I decided against it because 1. a 50% reduction is pretty stellar and 2. I need to have at least some blue options for Stash Bee blocks throughout the year. 

My other new blue project, the Summer Breeze baby quilt is currently my main piecing project. I am excited that I'll be able to piece the top completely from my stash -- which is always a bonus! All of my rail fence blocks are completed and I have more than half of the pinwheels completed. The pinwheels will have a 2.5 inch border of white strips to make the blocks 8.5 inches so that will be the next undertaking once the pinwheels are done.

Despite it being mid January, we have yet to see real winter arrive in Maryland. It has been in the teens and twenties on and off, but no real snow to speak of. It tried to snow -- when it was 40 degrees. There's a little dusting from Tuesday night, but that's it.

I am just fine with this, but everyone I know is itching for snow, especially Park Ranger Husband. Driving in the snow gives me palpitations because last winter I was in an accident so I'm really only ok with the snow if it means that I get a snow day and the next day the roads will be clear to drive. Plus a snow day means a sew day for me, so I'm always hoping for that. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

WIP Wednesday: FMQ for Days.

I started working on the free motion quilting for my 2015 Stash Bee quilt, which is made up of large star blocks. Here's a picture from when the top was completed.

My intention is to quilt each star with different free motion fillers and patterns, and then the background (regardless of whether if it is pink or blue) will be pebbled. This is a big project (despite it being a smaller quilt) intended to stretch my skills and to produce something show-worthy. I'm going big or going home with this one.

I now have three blocks done and am excited to show you each one! Some of the quilting is hard to see, but hopefully you can pick out most of the designs!

Center block:
Innermost star: meander
Middle star: loops
Outermost star: wiggly echoing of the medium star

Center bottom block:
Inner star: overlapping lines similar to Matrix (first time using this pattern)
Outer star: swirls and curls

Center top block:
Inner star: 8 leaves/petals (which are really hard to see in this picture!)
Outer star: Echo Shell (first time using this pattern)

I can quilt the star area of an entire block and start the pebbling outside of the star with one bobbin. I need a second bobbin for each block to finish (or nearly finish) the pebbling in the background and "connect" to the previous blocks or next blocks I plan to quilt. That's a lot of thread!

One difficulty is dealing with the "pointedness" of each star -- sometimes it makes using certain fillers difficult. When I did the Matrix-like quilting, I had to do a lot of back tracking to be able to quilt the star points. Doing the leaves in the third block was easier because the leaf points extended into the star points, which is unfortunately hard to see. I really liked the Echo Shell pattern. It did take a little forethought to get it into the points correctly, but I think it turned out awesome!

Now that I have the three center most blocks completed, I am going to do the middle two stars (or group of stars) on each side.

Linking up for WIP Wednesday, Let's Bee Social, and Free Motion Mavericks!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Weekend Sew In.

My husband is currently out of town on business so I have had the whole apartment to myself since Friday and as such I have turned the living room into a semi-permanent sewing studio until he gets back on Wednesday, so I have lots to share this week!

Since Yvonne was nice enough to "hive crash" and make me a pineapple block  so I hive crashed back and made her a block!

She wrote a GREAT tutorial so check it out! I cannot wait to see her finished quilt!

I also started a new project using some of the strips I collected in the 2.5 inch strip swaps I hosted two or three years back. I had quite a few strips that were from Dear Stella's Lanikai line -- but mainly the larger prints. 

I picked a pattern out of Scrap Basket Surprises -- Summer Breeze -- and started to work! I was able to get all of the rail fence blocks completed and started cutting for the pinwheel blocks as well. 

I don't plan to do the outer borders as this pattern instructs since I don't have enough fabric to do so! It will end up 40 x 48 without a border, so I think that's a pretty good baby quilt size!

And of course, Clara was on high alert as official quilt inspector.

Happy Monday!

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday and Fabric Tuesday!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Square Pegs {Featured}

My Square Pegs quilt is being featured on Sew 4 Home today as a part of their Love That Fabric! post on Basic Mixologie!

If you're visiting from Sew 4 Home, welcome! Stay a while! 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January OMG {One Monthly Goal}

Since A Lovely Year of Finishes has ended, Heidi at Red Letter Quilts has created a new incarnation of the goal setting party called One Monthly Goal -- OMG for short!

This month my OMG is to put together the top for my Midnight Mystery Quilt!

Here's what my finished block looks like!

I actually have a lot of extra fabric, so I am considering making a few more blocks to make it rectangular instead of square -- I would need three more blocks to do that and I'm pretty sure that I can do that with what I have left. I am going to lay it all out and look at it for a few  days to be sure!

Here's Cheryl's diagram of the finished quilt!

Linking up with OMG!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2016 -- January Blues

This year I decided that I would work on busting some major scrap-age by participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

What I really like about the RSC is that you choose your own project(s) and each month work on blocks in that month's color. That way you can make as many or as few blocks as your heart desires!

This month's color is "snowflake" -- true blue with purple accents!

For my project I am going to work my way through the original Farmer's Wife quilt.

Since there are 111 blocks and 10 months in the RSC (November and December are for quilt assembly and quilting!) I am planning to make 11 blocks each month in each color. Some of the blocks I plan to do using the paper piecing templates from the Yahoo group, but most of them I can piece and rotary cut myself.

Here are the first 9!

Row 1: #1 Attic Windows, #2 Autumn Tints, #3 Basket
Row 2: #4 Basket Weave, #6 Big Dipper, #7 Birds in the Air
Row 3: #8 Bouquet, #9 Box, #10 Bowtie

I still need to do #5 Bat Wings and #11 Broken Dishes. I waited to do #5 because its one that is easier to paper piece so I will work on that this week and will finish up with #11! 

I tried to not think too much about my fabrics other than picking out dark vs. medium vs. light and adding in a little bit of purple here and there. Some of these fabric combinations are a little out there for me, but I think it will all turn out lovely! It's used up a ton of scrap thus far and hopefully it will continue to do so the rest of the year!

Monday, January 4, 2016

New {Bee} Year

The start of a new year brings the start of so many new things -- including a new year for bees! This is my FOURTH year participating in the Stash Bee, third year as hive mama, and second year as bee mama!

Stash Bee 2016

For my month as queen bee, I decided that I wanted my hive mates to make me pineapple blocks -- not pineapple log cabins, but fruity pineapples. I actually collect pineapple "stuff" -- ornaments, candle holders, wine stoppers, etc.

The block I requested is sort of a combination of two tutorials (here and here) but it ends up looking more like the second Dear Stella block but not quite so tiny!

For fabrics, I told my hive mates to feel free to go scrap-tastic but stay away from any large prints, since the squares are a maximum of 2 inches when finished. I found that small to medium scale prints or tonals worked best for me. Here's my fabric pull:

For background, I requested a bright white fabric (not off white!)-- a solid or a white on white print is preferred. I used medium-to-dark olive greens, but use whatever looks good together from your own stash. I used all different shades of yellow, but stay away from anything with large amounts of colors that aren't yellow.

Now onto the tutorial!

16 - 2.5 inch yellow squares
2  - 3 inch yellow squares
4 - 3 inch green squares
2 - 2.5 inch background squares (not pictured)
4 - 3 inch background squares (I accidentally put 5 in this picture, you need 4!)

Pair your 3 inch squares together as follows to make half square triangles:
Yellow + white  -- make two
Green + white -- make two
Green + green -- make one -- use two contrasting greens!

Trim each HST to 2.5 inches.

You will end up with:
4 - yellow and white HSTs
4 - green and white HSTs
2 - green and green HSTs

Lay out your 2.5 inch squares as shown below.

I found it easiest to sew my squares into rows of four first.

I then ironed each row in opposite directions so that it was easy to match the seams (which there are a lot of!). Sew your rows together.

Ta da! I've already seen two finished blocks and they are SO cute! I cannot wait to see them all together. 

Happy new year to you! :)