Thursday, November 10, 2016

Coloring Book!

My kids and I love to color!  We color on road trips, we color at church, and we color at home.  We are pretty open to any coloring book, but I have to say that my favorite are color by number and mystery mosaics.  I enjoy those even more than the popular "adult coloring books".   We recently tried out a new type of coloring book called Griddles, and we loved them too!  A mixture of my favorites, with a nod to needlework and quilting... 

The author of the book started a needlecraft company years ago in the 1970's called Fingerworks.  The coloring designs in the book are actually from her needlework designs she has converted into this book! 
each page is set up as a grid (which also takes me back to high school algebra and x,y coordinates)
I love that each color is lumped into a section.  It makes me happy to start and finish a color at once.
There are two sized grids.  My kids have mostly done the smaller ones.  I will admit that my 4 year old cannot do these, she tries and gets frustrated, and it took my 6 year old a little while to figure it out, but she gets it now and loves it.
You can find Griddles here!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Scrap busting and planning

I am on a scrap busting mission.  After this quilt and this quilt, I wanted to keep going through my scraps.
 This scrappy rail fence was totally inspired by this quilt by Amanda Jean, and it is a good one.  I can see my bucket of scraps shrinking.  Each square is 3.5 x 3.5, so it uses many of the smallest scraps I keep.  I've been sewing nine 3.5 inch square into one 12.5 inch block.  It keeps me going and keeps my sewing space a little more organized.  
The scrappy rails led to this scrappy log cabin.  Each log finishes at 1 inch in width, and the finished square is 5.5 inches.  I don't love this one as much as the first, but I'm sure as it grows i'll like it better.  

Not sure how long these will take, but I have visions of using up all my scraps...haha.  I know it's wishful thinking, but I'm starting to think I want to change the way I store scraps.  Currently I have one larger bin that I keep near my cutting table, as I cut I add the leftovers to it, and as I sew I always sift through it.  When it gets full I sort it into colors and transfer to separate color bins.  

I want to eliminate the color bins.  I rarely use them, because they are put away and they are starting to bother me.  Why keep stuff if I am not using it?  So...I will keep sewing scrappy quilts until my bins are empty (fingers crossed) and then just have one big bin.  When it gets full I'll either make a quilt, or give the scraps away.  That's the plan...we will see if I stick with it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Custom Lined Drawstring Bag

I'm pretty sure everyone has made one of Jeni Baker's lined drawstring bags.  Every bag I have made using her pattern turns out so adorable.  

My daughter had a birthday party to go to and wanted to gift smencils, so we made a bag to store them in.  This is the first time I have made a custom bag and it went really well, once we figured out the math...the tricky part is not really knowing if it will be the right size.  Lucky for us, we got it right on the first try.  

My only regret is that I wish the accent piece at top was a little longer.  I've taken notes, so next time should be better.  

I really need to be on top of things enough so that we can gift more presents in bags...It would be good for my stash, and a great way to use novelty fabric!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

pillow


Several months ago,  I did some pattern testing for Amanda Jean and in return she sent me this lovely pillow.  What a fun surprise...

I don't know about you, but whenever I receive a handmade gift, I sit and stare at it, trying to figure out if I can duplicate it.  Amanda Jeans workmanship is exceptional.  All the seams line up perfectly...encourages me to do better.
The style feels like something I would make myself, and it fits in perfectly in my little girls' room.
 Thanks Amanda Jean!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Shimmer Quilt

I finished my Shimmer Quilt as I rewatched the first season of Poldark , which is probably the reason I finished it so quickly.  Are you watching?  If not, I highly recommend it.
These blocks are pretty simple to make, and it was fun picking fabrics for each block.  I tried to stick with muted, less bright colors...and it feels perfect for fall.
 Yellow seems to be my go to color for binding lately.  This print is by April Rhodes, from her Bound line. (I just realized I used Bound fabric for the binding, it was meant to be).
 For the backing I used a Cotton and Steel print that I found for a steal at fabric.com.  It seemed a perfect fit to offset the bold colors on the front.
for the quilting, I stitched in the ditch horizontally and vertically, and then some diagonal coss-hatch. My quilting choices have definitely evolved over the years, I find myself trying to hide my quilting lately.

Quilt stats:
Finished size:   53.5" x 66.5"(after washing and drying)
Pattern:  Shimmer Pattern 
Fabric:  front: stash + back: cotton and steel +  binding: bound by April Rhodes
Batting:  Warm and White

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Quilt donations

I finally went through my stack of quilt tops and purged.  It was time to get rid of some of them. I don't know about you, but sometimes the quilt top is as far as I want to go with a particular quilt before I lose interest in it. Sometimes I don't even get the blocks sewn together before I want to be done with them... and then they start adding up, and then they kinda stress me out, because I know I should finish them, but I would much rather work on something else (that was a run-on sentence).  

So after going through my stack of works-in-progress, I found several that I sent away to various charities.  I have also found several finished quilts that I plan to ship as well.  It feels so good to know they will be used and feels so good to have them off my to-do list.

Several posts ago, I asked for charity suggestions, and wanted to share them here in case you were looking to clean out your work in progress pile.  Each has a different area of service they focus on, and all appear to be wonderful charities.  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Pink Plus

I feel such satisfaction in a good scrap quilt.  I started these pink plus blocks because my pink scrap bin was overflowing.  I probably should've kept going, because I've still got too many pink scraps.  
 I paid no attention to shades of pink and put them all in this one quilt...from the purply-pinks to the peachy-pinks, and I'm a little surprised that it worked out so well.  
 Polka dot binding.
 I love Sarah Jane's border prints, and I used this one on the back.  You can also see how I quilted it.  I  basically quilted straight lines, in the ditch along all the pluses.

I thought I'd share the measurements for this block.
each block finishes at 8 inches.
background:  4-3.5" square & 4-2" squares
plus 1-5"x2" rectangle & 2-2" squares

I kept my plus all the same fabric and tried to keep the background similar fabrics.  Some of the pluses pop more than others, and I like the effect.

Quilt Stats:
Finished size:  39.5"x43" (after washing and drying)
Pattern:  See notes above
Fabric:  front: scraps, back:  Let's Pretend by Sarah Jane, binding: Lucy's Crab Shack (Moda)
Batting:  Warm and White
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