Thursday, April 30, 2020

Simple Squares {Finished Quilt}

Today I'm excited to show off my finished quilt for our April Island Batik Ambassador challenge! Our theme was "creative borders and bindings".

As an Island Batik Ambassador, I am provided with samples of various lines of Island Batik fabrics, Aurifil thread, Accuquilt products, and Hobbs Batting to use and share with you!

My quilt is made entirely of 4.5" squares cut from Island Batik stash builder rolls and 4.5" strips of black solid batik to break up the inner 64-patch from the pieced outer border. 

I also used the same black solid for the backing and the binding of the quilt. The border and backing really shows off my leafy swirl quilting!

I used a variegated teal Aurifil thread for the top of the quilt and used a lighter teal in the bobbins. Some of the fabrics highlight the darker teal in the variegated thread and other fabrics show off the lighter teals! The black inner border shows off all of the quilting -- and I only used a single spool of thread throughout the whole quilt and got vastly different levels of thread contrast!

This quilt is finished and ready for snuggles! My intention is to keep this quilt for a picnic quilt (all of those dark colors will hide stains!)

Happy Thursday! Don't forget that our Etsy shop is still stocked and shipping!

Previous posts:
Cutting and Planning post
Quilt top post

Quilt Stats:
Name: Simple Squares throw quilt
Pattern: self designed
Fabrics: Island Batik stash builder rolls, Island Batik solid
Techniques: free motion quilting
Quilting: Free motion leaves and swirls with Aurifil thread
Batting: Hobbs 80/20 batting
Size: 48" square
Started and Finished: April 2020
Future: Picnic Quilt

Monday, April 27, 2020

Daisy Chain Baby -- Part II {New Project}

With a bunch of friends having babies in 2020, it's time to start making baby quilts!

The first quilt I have on my list is for a baby girl that's due in July. I made my baby sized Daisy Chain quilt for her older sister two years ago so I thought it would be a perfect choice to make the new baby the same quilt in different colors!

I pulled out a bag of fabrics left over from a quilt that I made last year (that I haven't gotten to show off yet!) that was a mish-mash of yardage and the stubs from jelly roll strips.

The dark teal print will be the four patch "chains", the pink will be the stars, and the green print will be the border and potentially the binding.

I started by working on the different four patches needed for the quilt, starting with the teal four patches and then making the four patches for the cross blocks.

Next, I decided to continue working with my jelly roll stubs and make the linear four patches.

And now I have all four of my cross blocks completed!

Next I will need to do the cutting for the ribbon blocks for the stars, and the star blocks will take slightly more time than the cross blocks, but there's a good chance I could have this quilt top done within a week or two!

Update 8/11/2020 -- This pattern is now available in our Etsy and Payhip shops. Please visit one of those sites to purchase the full pattern.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Blocked Borders {April IBA Challenge}

I've taken my cut squares for my April Island Batik Ambassador project from squares...

... to a quilt center...

... to a finished quilt top!

My first border is black Island Batik Solid. I used my remaining cut squares for my final border. I am so excited about this quilt top because it is a fun, simple quilt (no triangles!) that has a fun *pop* of black that kind of gives it a three-dimensional look.

For the quilting, I am planning to use a teal varigated thread that will blend with my batiks but will contrast with my solid black inner border. My binding and backing will be the same black solid for even more contrast! This will be a fun picnic quilt for us this summer.

What are you working on this weekend? I'll be quilting this quilt and hopefully starting a new baby quilt!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Rainbow Snippet Blocks {Scrap Busting Tutorial}

Today I am making good on the promise I made last week to share an easy tutorial on how I make my Rainbow Snippet Blocks. These are relatively free-wheeling, choose-your-own-adventure type blocks that can be adapted to any sized finished block.

What you need:

Scraps -- Separated into "strings" and "snippets" (see notes below)
Paper foundation -- I have an old phone book

What are my definitions of "strings" and "snippets"?

For me (and for making these blocks), a "string" is any scrap at least an inch wide and at least 7" long. Since I am trimming my blocks down to 6.5" unfinished, I like to have a little overhang on each side of the block. A "snippet" is anything smaller than 7" -- ie, too short to use as a complete string on its own -- however, the bulk of my snippets are smaller than 3" on both sides.

I'm working with a kind of small local phone book, so my block size was determined by the size of the paper.

To start, you'll sew together your snippets into a row at least 7" long. I have found that for a 6.5." block, I use between 3-5 snippets per pieced snippet row, so I usually start sewing pairs together, and then gauging how many additional snippets are necessary to reach a 7" length. I make two snippet rows per block, so I often start with 8 snippet pieces, sew those into two rows of 4 snippets each, and then see if either row needs an extra piece.

Once sewn and pressed, I trim the edges straight -- as perpendicular as possible to the snippet seams, but not overly worried about a little wonky piecing in the blocks. (Note: if you want wonk, go for it!) I simply trim the row as wide as I can based on 1/8th inch measurements.

My blocks typically have 5 rows -- two snippet rows and three string rows. For the first seam, I align one of my snippet rows on my paper and layer a string scrap on top, right sides together. I sew these together -- snippet row, string scrap, and paper -- using a quarter inch seam and press towards the string scrap. I repeat this process until I have alternating string and snippet rows.

Here are the strips atop my foundation with the first snippet/snip pair sewn to the foundation:

Here's my finished sewn piece prior to trimming:

An aside: "What if my block doesn't end up being long enough?!?"

I've had this happen once or twice. I just add another string scrap to one end. Or use two string scraps in the middle of a block if I have particularly skinny strings.

Once your sewing is finished, use your rulers to trim the block to 6.5" square (or the size of your choosing). Again, I try to keep the seams relatively parallel across the block, but if you'd like your blocks to be more wonky, you can trim the block askew in addition to using wonky strips.

Until I use the blocks, I will leave the paper on. Before sewing blocks together, I will remove the phone book paper.

I hope that this tutorial is helpful to you! This has helped me use up a lot of scraps in the last month and hopefully I will have enough blocks for a quilt before too long!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Scrappy Sewing {Flannel Burp Cloths}

As I mentioned in some of my recent posts, one of my sewing goals for The Great Stay Home Marathon is reorganizing my sewing room. I use flannel for backing baby quilts, but I often end up with flannel scraps that I don't know what to do with a lot of the time. However, there is another impending baby boom in my circle of friends (four babies between June and November!) I decided to pull out the flannel scraps and make some really simple burp cloths.

There are a lot of different burp cloth tutorials out there and I reviewed quite a few before starting. I ended up making mine slightly smaller to be able to cut more rectangles out of the fabric -- 9.5" x 14" is the final measurement I used.

I did not get overly fancy with contrasting fabric and made each one with the same fabric on both sides. I sewed the rectangles right sides together on three sides, turned it inside out and then top stitched the entire thing to close the final seam.

Out of the first batch of fabric, I made four girly ones and four gender neutral ones. I have a bit more of another grey flannel print to make a few more before all of these babies start showing up.

Happy Tuesday! What are you sewing this week? Are you working on sewing room organization like me?

Our Etsy shop still has plenty of solid fabric in stock if your local quilt store is closed! We are shipping out packages on a regular basis!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Quarantine Project {Scrap Busting Blocks}

I have been in a "purge, purge, purge" mood since we painted my sewing room in January. It's been good to finish things up, use up scraps, and try to be more organized. Now, at this exact moment, my sewing room looks like a bomb went off, but I am kind of in the middle of pulling things out and putting things away more organized, so it will get better shortly.

In an effort to use up scraps, especially my snippet scraps, I did allow myself to start one Quarantine Project -- but just one! I have too many other things that need to be finished and too many Island Batik projects for the rest of this year to start too many new things!

I started making these 6.5" scrappy blocks out of my snippets and strings about two weeks ago -- and have already managed to make a pile of blocks! They alternate (mostly) between a string row, a snippet row, a string row, a snippet row, and then a final string row.

I have six purple blocks...

...three green blocks and one aqua block...

...two yellow, one orange, and one pink...

and finally, three brown blocks.

I don't have any sort of plan for these blocks just yet. I have piles of blue, teal/aqua, and green scraps ready to go for my next sets of blocks. I have been sewing the snippet rows as leaders-and-enders sometimes when I have been working on other projects.

I will also put together a tutorial for next week on making these blocks. They can be adapted to any size and it's not necessary to use a paper foundation, but I find it does help me some.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Happy Dance {Frolic Mystery Quilt}

Today I am doing a happy dance -- I have finally finished the last six blocks for my Frolic mystery quilt top!

As I have mentioned in some of my recent posts, working from home has not been a boon for sewing time for me. I still am working full time -- just at my kitchen table. I have managed to sneak in sewing time here and there (and quite a bit this past weekend!) and the first thing on the list was to finish up these six blocks.

As I mentioned in my last post, I did have to make about 20 additional four patch units to finish up these blocks, which was quick and easy because I still had a couple strips in those colors that I didn't use when I did the cutting for the step originally.

Now comes the big, large, huge undertaking of the pieced sashings and putting the rows together. I know I will need to make more sashing parts along the way, but I might modify the original directions so that I can strip piece them.

Happy Wednesday! I hope the sun is shining where ever you might be!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Measurable Progress {Frolic Mystery Quilt}

I think, perhaps, that I am starting to see the end of the tunnel with my Frolic mystery quilt!

Since last I posted, I have finished these five dark teal blocks:

This means I am officially more than halfway through my planned number of dark teal blocks AND 85% of the way done with ALL of the full blocks for this quilt.

I still have a LOT do to do as far as the pieced sashings go, as well as deciding how I am going to modify my setting triangles (since I am NOT making partial blocks) and potentially figuring out how to use the piles of half-square triangles that I made in the course of the clues that were intended for the pieced border that I am not enamored with.

My thought is to try to use some of the pieced triangles for my setting triangles or to only use some of them in the pieced border.

In the meantime, I am back to making units for my next set of dark teal blocks:

In this pile, I have all of my half-square triangles, flying geese, and additional strip sets for my coral and navy four patches sewn. These will all be pressed and trimmed in my moments of "free time" throughout the week.

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and were able to get outside a bit -- we are spoiled living within walking distance of a national park, so we have plenty of places to socially distance ourselves in nature.

Don't forget that our PDF patterns are 20% off for ten more days! We also still have a limited stock of Kona remaining in our Etsy shop -- we have already sold out of some colors, but we still have 7 neutral colors in stock. We also have a limited selection of batiks and tonals.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Creative Borders and Binding {April Island Batik Ambassador Project}

For April, our project theme for our Island Batik Ambassador projects is "Creative Borders and Binding!"

For my project this month, I am planning a quilt with simple piecing that will be framed by a fanciful border. As an Island Batik Ambassador, I am provided with samples of various lines of Island Batik fabrics, Aurifil thread, Accuquilt products, and Hobbs Batting to use and share with you!

I pulled ten different 5" stash builder strips for my piecing. One stash builder set I got in my most recent Island Batik Ambassador box was nearly entirely shades of teal, aqua, and blue-greens so I had plenty of fabrics in these colors.

I cut each of these strips into 4.5" squares and these will make up the pieced portion of my quilt.

Next up will be arranging these squares for the pieced part of my quilt. I have about 80 squares cut (and fabric to cut more, if necessary!) and I'll be using most of of them in the first "stage" of piecing for this quilt! What do you think I have up my cozy sweater sleeves?

I hope that you are finding things to keep your minds and hands busy! Don't forget that all of our PDF patterns are 20% off until April 16th!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Brutal Honesty {April 2020}

Despite being at home all day, every day, I'm not making much progress on my sewing projects!

Completed tops:
1. Breezy Blooms C2C Bee -- no progress
2. Radiant Jewel Quilt -- no progress
3. Daisy Chain Quilt -- no progress

Tops partially finished:
4. Romantic Garden Quilt -- March UFO - no progress
5. Monthly Wall Hangings -- no progress
6. Pineapple Stash Bee Blocks -- no progress
7. Not Quite Christmas Ribbons -- no progress

Just blocks and units:
8. Sew Kitschy Blocks -- January UFO -- no progress
9. Cubicle Quilts -- no progress
10. Happy Houses blocks -- no progress
11. Birthstone blocks -- February UFO -- no progress
12. Jingle Bell Square -- no progress
13. Big Block C2C Bee Quilt -- no progress
14. Marigold Quilt -- no progress
15. Pave the Way Quilt -- no progress

Quilt alongs and long term projects:
16. Monthly Island Batik Ambassador projects -- In March, I made a baby quilt using the Hattie's Choice Accuquilt die.

17. Mosaic Mystery Quilt -- no progress
18. Frolic Mystery Quilt -- I have all of my navy blocks complete and I have 9 dark teal blocks complete.