Monday, January 30, 2012

Another Quilt Along

Talk about jumping on the bandwagon with all these quilt alongs. I found another blog that is doing a quilt along called Sew Happy Geek and she's been posting a fun quilt along. I went through my stash of fabric that I had laying around and starting picking some colors. Black, Red, White and also a flower print that I wish I didn't really use because it just isn't fitting in very well. My first block that I did was called the Woven Block. It really seemed to go together very well. I was happy with my seams and when I don't have to rip anything out I'm even happier!

Next block was called the Snowball Block. We had to lay 2.5" squares on top of our 6.5" squares. Sew in a diagonal and then cut 1/4" past our seam. Again luck was on my side and the seams and points turned out very well.

Friendship Star Block will be my 3rd block for the Quilt Along. What I thought was going to be a very easy block turned into more of a challenge. Those Half Square Triangles or HST's that everyone refers to just kicked my behind. The points aren't lining up like I'd like and that flower print is not working!

My last block that I have pictures of so far is the Pinwheel Block. I love the colors and how my points lined up. The red just pops out. As you can see the flower print is no where to be seen - Yeah!

Now I'm off to do some more blocks. I'm having fun sewing and so excited to see what else is on the agenda at Sew Happy Geek.

Have a Great Day!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Whirling Star

Remember my first attempt at the Ribbon Star Block from Faith over at Fresh Lemon Quilts? Well I've moved on to the Whirling Star Quilt Block. I'm still using fabric that I purchased at Joann's from a series called "Sunny Collection". I think my new favorite color choices are yellow and gray - LOVE!

The Whirling Star consisted of paper piecing fabric to what else - paper. Being someone who's never made quilt blocks before this was quite a challenge. I needed to use a 90/14 needle so it would perforate the paper so when the time came for me to remove the paper it could be done easier. I also needed to adjust my stitch length on my machine to 1.4. I have all these notes above my sewing area because a true 1/4" on my machine is a stitch width of 3.0 and my needle needs to be mirror imaged for it to move. Crazy! Since it takes so much concentration for me to think, cut and then sew (I did have to rip out my small sample piece) I didn't take any pictures of this process. Maybe next time. So without further adieu, here is my rendition of the Whirling Star Block.

For a first-timer I think all non-quilters would ohhhh and ahhhh over my block. From a distance the points look pretty darn good. Obviously this is a learned skill that I haven't even cracked the surface yet - but I will. So for a refresher here are the 2 quilt blocks together.

Have a Great Day!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Outdoor Valentine Pillow

Who would have thought for $6 I can buy a Canvas Dropcloth from Home Depot and make outdoor pillows from it? Not me! So far I've made 4 other pillows from 1 dropcloth. Here are the directions to make my newest pillow for the front porch.

The pillow's finished size is 12" square. I cut my Canvas Dropcloth into 3 pieces: 1-13"x13", 1-7"x13" and the last one is 9"x13". The pillow will be an envelope style because I am covering other pillows that usually stay on the porch (one of these days I'll show what's underneath). I used my serger before I hemmed the 2 smaller pieces.

I traced some heart die-cuts that I had on some Steam-n-Seam and ironed it onto 3 different pieces of scrap fabric. I then placed the 3 hearts on the pillow front and used my invisible marker to mark where I wanted to sew the banner line.

I then used my blanket stitch to outline the hearts with red thread. At first I just sewed on the lines for the banner but the stitches were just to faint. I ended up going over them with a narrow satin stitch.

The pillow itself was fast and easy. I probably put to much thought into them which dragged the process down but overall sitting on my front porch it looks pretty cute.

Now I need to find some sort of spray to deter the squirrels from eating my red cushions that go on the chairs. If anyone knows of any sort of spray that they don't like the smell of feel free to pass that information on to me.

I think I'm just going to have to link up to some of my favorite sites.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Solstice Stars Series

I've done it! I finally went out of my comfort zone and joined a Flickr group that lets you post pictures of quilt blocks that are a part of a series or group. I came across a blog called Fresh Lemons written by Faith. Faith was starting a series called Solstice Stars and the first block is the Ribbon Star Quilt Block. I have some fabric that I am working with for the Craftsy Block of the Month and I decided to use them for this one too. I got the fabric over at Joann's when they were running one of their many specials (sorry this girl doesn't have any fancy quilt shop fabric). I really love the grays and yellows. This just might be my new found favorite colors. I worked all afternoon on my quilt block deciding which 4 fabrics to go with. I have to say that this block was so enjoyable for someone who has never really made any sort of quilt blocks before this month. I'm a newbie and proud of it! So here it is:

Can you believe it? All the points lined up perfectly! I'm so patting myself on the back right now on how I was able to do this and how great it looks. I didn't even have to like I usually do!

Pillow Blankets

Just wanted to share the Christmas gifts I made for my nieces. I knew they would be the perfect recipients of these fleece Pillow Blankets.

I went to my local Joann's and bought 2 1/2 yards of fleece in different colors of purple. All 3 of them have their rooms painted a shade of purple. I wanted the  pillows to not only hold the blanket part but have a zipper so they could put whatever treasurers that they take to sleepovers could hide.

I was quite impressed with myself on how well I put that invisible zipper in. It took alot of Sewing, Ripping and Repeating over and over again before my brain had the ah ha moment. The Pillow Blanket is really just made up of a piece of fleece with a rectangle pocket in the middle and on the bottom.

To finish off the blanket's edges I didn't want to hand stitch around them using a wide blanket stitch. I knew by hemming the edges it would make them to bulky so I ended up serging all around with my serger. Next time I'll make the thread color match the fleece to hide the stitching but all in all it still looks great!

To insert the blanket part into the pillow can get a little tricky but once you finally have the knack at doing it, it is second nature. Fold the blanket twice. Line up with the edge of the pocket, then fold the opposite side over that. The opening of the pocket needs to be facing down when folding.

Flip the pillow over and start folding (twice) into the pocket. Takes practice - trust me! For the girls I appliqued their first initial with the fleece from one of their sister's blankets. I loved the way they stood out.

Cute, practical and fun to snuggle in all wrapped into one! Now I should make some for us.
Have a great day, it's cold outside!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Recycled Christmas Cards

Update: I won the CSI Project's Pick of the Week! I'm so thrilled!

If I see something that I really like I tend to hoard file it away for a later project. That is the case with the 2 Christmas Cards below. The boating picture was received by my husband's aunt and uncle many, many years ago. Since we have a cottage and love to boat it just seemed appropriate to keep this card. This card turned into something special when I opened it before I started this project to realize that my husband's uncle has been gone for over 10 years. It now holds even more special meaning to us.

The snowman and little boy was a picture that I just thought was the cutest card. Don't all children feel that sense of connection when they have finished making the most memorable of snowmen.

I finally had my husband cut out a piece of oak that he had in his garage to the appropriate size for my cards. I wanted the wood to be a little bigger than the card. At first he just brought me the piece of wood so I had to con ask him nicely to please stain my wood.

I bought some Mod Podge because that is what I remember as a little girl people using to glue pieces of paper to anything. Little did I know there are alot of people who love this stuff. My very first piece I spread the stuff on the wood and layed the card on top.

Little did I know that it sticks really well. It took me a few tries to get it centered so it wasn't that noticeable. I think I've put at least 5 coats on top of the cards.

I was a little nervous after the first coat. I didn't want the brush strokes to be seen. I waited at least a half hour between coats just to make sure that the Mod Podge dried.

I am so glad that I tend to save items for future use. My mom saw my Snowman card and commented how she has those cards. Again another memory that we will have. I'm so excited to bring my 2 Christmas Cards out every year and be reminded of such wonderful people who have touched our lives.

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