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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thread Holder

Check out this awesomeness!!!

I think it's supposed to be for jewelry.. .but isn't it perfect for thread? It has space for all my new Essentials thread from Connecting Threads! I'm studying it and I think we could make one! When I get around to it, I'm going to try to make one...and of course I"ll take photos along the way and I'll try to provide a tutorial. =cDDDD

Today I re-arranged my sewing space. See where my sewing tables are? This is where the couch was before. I brought this table in from the back and it fits perfectly in that cubbyhole. The cubbyhole is perfect for all my fabric and whatnot because it's shaded from the sun. yay!

I went to my LQS WV Quilts and found this perfect Sashing Fabric for my Floribunda blocks. I'm doing QAYG (surprise surprise) and here I've marked my quilting lines for the sashing. I'md doing a half feather-type of deal. Awwwwwww Beautiful!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Floribunda Blocks Fused

All 12 blocks are fused. I cut the background blocks to 13" and after tracing the shapes outline onto the background, I found that 13" was perfect, and I don't think I'm going to be able to cut them down to 12.5." I'm not doing the sawtooth border so using graph paper, I've calculated the layout to fit with the 13" blocks. The Center block is cut to 30" even. I used my regular printer and taped the sections together and I'm getting ready to fuse it now.

Here's a little sample I did with Erin's .pdf files and I pulled the drawings up in Paint and colored them in. (BTW, you can do this by pulling the file up in adobe, and pressing the PRNT SCRN button - that saves the image to your clipboard. You can then open up PAINT and press CTRL+V or right click and press paste.) Yes, those with EQ7 have it MUCH easier.. if anyone wants to gift me EQ7 I'd be super happy!! HAHA LOL! =c) But with paint you can get the general color idea. I'm still not sure about the purple borders. I'm looking for a lighter brown background with a purple print.. purple or plum or something. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Birthday

Today I'm celebrating my 2nd 29th birthday. I decided I would spend a bit of my DH's money at my LQS Phyllis's Quilt Shop . I then went up to my DH's work to show him what he bought me for my birthday! (LOL) I love him so much. He is always so supportive and even though I think he could not care less about quilting, fabric, and notions.. he always acts excited with me, and tells me everything I make is beautiful. I truly feel God designed him just for me and I'm very VERY lucky to have him in my life. :c)

Right now I am finishing up two reversible tote bags from this FREE pattern. I've already made two of them (for some reason these totes just work out in TWOs) and the pattern is very easy and the instructions are pretty clear. The pattern calls for 2 yards of fabric but I also like to use 1/2 yard cuts and that way you can get a little more contrast with the straps and pockets.

This time around I'm using an absolutely gorgeous line of fabrics by Amy Butler called Daisy Chain that I got LAST year for Christmas. This pattern doesn't call for zippers or buttons, but uses sew-in velcro .. which I CAN HANDLE!! ; )

Once I finish this project up I'm going to start on my new project -Erin Russek's Floribunda BOM. Oh and BTW, She is offering all the blocks to this BOM except the center piece for free but only this week. You can purchase the center piece, called Miss Hannah, from her etsy shop.

I know this BOM is ending.. and I'm just starting it.. but that's the way I roll. More than 3 projects at once really clutters up my work space, which is my living room in the winter. So I like to wait until the whole BOM ends, then I can start it and go at my own pace. Does anyone else work like this???

I hope Erin doesn't get mad at me for doing this - but just to give myself an idea of what the layout will look like I opened up her final layout in Paint and added my color choices for borders and sashing.

Since I used paint, it wouldn't let me fully color the background blocks the beige-y/cream color I wanted to use. But you get the idea I think. ~OR~ I'm debating on going with her 2nd colorway and use the brown as the background for the applique but still use the gradated color scheme for the appliques. Erin really is such an amazing designer and I'm really excited for her next BOM as well!!!

So here's the stuff DH bought me for my birthday today (unknowingly lol)

My mom's husband gave me a Joann's giftcard for Christmas so I got the batting that was half off, and the fusible which I used a half-off coupon. Also some velcro for my bags.
Then on the left is the beautiful fabric I got at Phyllis's. PHyllis was there and she is so knowledgeable, friendly, and oh so helpful!! See all those 1/4yrd cuts of neutrals were only $1!!! Then the dark brown is for the Floribunda BOM. The cream above that is for the BOM as well.
So far the dreaded 2nd 29th birthday has been a good one. But your days are what you make of them right?! We Quilters sure do know how to have a good time!! = D

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Couple Finishes

This Quilt is from the book "3D Folded Blocks." Please forgive me for what I'm about to say... Okay, the premise of this book seemed interesting. I really like the look of pleats and folds in quilts and thought this would be a really neat idea. BUT, it's not much like quilting at all. Also, there are several errors in the book. Errors that I noticed right away and would seem like a glance from an editor would notice. ANYWHO, if you like the look of quilting, but don't really like all the piecing.. give this a try.... you might like it. Just make sure to read all the instructions for each block/quilt to the end... and maybe make your OWN chart.. because many times one part of the instructions will say you need 2 of one piece, when you really need 4 or vice versa. Oh, and I would definitely recommend getting a walking foot if you have one.. and some extra needles. I would use a leather or at least a denim needle .. and use some cheap ones because I kept breaking my good ones. On a good note.. you are able to use up a lot of stash with these blocks. IF you make a whole bunch of them... the blocks aren't very large. I think I would like it if the finished block size was a bit larger.. but then you might have to stitch in the middle of the blocks to hold them together.. thus leading to more broken needles. Remember guys, this is just ONE person's opinion. This is a very new and interesting technique and YOU might like it! This little sampler turned out cute didn't it?! =cD

2nd ~
My sister got me a pack of charm packs from "Me and My Sister" Designs. = D Me and my sister!!!
So, I sewed up this little quilt measuring 60 x 60 and was able to use up all the charms in the quilt. Isn't it adorable?! I pieced, quilted, and bound this in the last 3 days.

Close-up of the back (3 leftover charms)

Front -

Back -

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Country Christmas

Pieced and Quilted by: Katie Wiseman
Inspiration by: Sindy of's "Christmas Row-By-Row" Pattern

Monday, January 3, 2011

Half Square Triangles... The Novel

With all the buzz over the latest Bonnie Hunter mystery Roll Roll Cotton Boll, and the step with the 600 HSTs, it has had me pondering...

How many ways can one make a Half Square Triangle...
....or is it a Triangle Half Square?

Many Quilters swear that their way of creating half-square triangles is the best... which method is YOUR favorite?

I have challenged myself to try to find out just how many ways there are to make HSTs. = D Here is a "short" list of all the various ways I have found broken down by method. I have also included links to tutorials and videos when available.

Cut two triangles and sew them together.
Either cut a square in half, or use a template to cut your triangles.

Pros: Great if you need to just make 1 or 2 HSTs/ Good for fussy cutting/ Nice if you do not have a rotary cutter/Good for especially large HSTs/Very little Waste
Cons: Takes the longest/ Still have to trim dogears/Might have to square-up

Cut Triangles from Strips with use of a specialty ruler.
: Great way to use up scraps/No need to cut-off dog ears/No need to square up usually/Very little waste
Cons: Slow process/Working with Bias
*EZ Angle Ruler - A favorite of Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville - Great for use in Scrap Quilts - Cut Triangles from Strips and also no need to trim dog ears.
*Fons and Porter Ruler -similar to the EZ Angle Ruler.

2 HSTs @once.
This is probably THE most popular method out there. Layer two squares right sides facing, draw a line down the middle, and stitch .25" on each side, then cut to create 2 HSTs (at once.)
Pros: One of the more efficient ways to make HSTs/ Very little waste
Cons: Will need to trim dog ears/Sometimes innacurate and needs squaring up
Without Specialty Ruler:
Photo Tutorial:
Video Tutorial:
Using Specialty Ruler:
June Taylor Ruler: Assists in accuracy
The Angle Ruler: Goes on your sewing machine so you don't have to draw your lines on your square before sewing.

4 HSTs @once:
You can make 4 HSTs (at once) with this simple method. Stitch all around the edges of two square right sides together. Cut on the diagonal and VOILA!
Missouri Star QC shows us how it's done:
PROS: Good for mass-production/ One of the faster ways to make HSTs/Not a lot of fabric waste
CONS: Still have to trim dog ears/ Might have to square-up/ working with Bias edges

8 HSTs at once:
Draw two diagonal lines on your squares right sides together - stitch .25" on both sides of each line, cut, and you will have 8.
Click HERE for MY latest tutorial on 8@once HSTs.
PROS: You can make a lot at once time/Great for mass-production/Not a lot of waste
CONS: You still have to trim dog ears/ You almost always have to trim or square up/You have to start with a very big square so you must have some pretty big pieces of fabric for this

Paper piecing:
Stitch onto printed paper for amazing accuracy - Rip the paper off when you're done.
Pros: Very Accurate/No trimming/Little Waste/Great for Scrap Triangles and squares
Cons: Peeling off the paper/ additional cost- of paper and ink
*Thangles are available already printed on specialty paper and you supposedly don't have to change your needle or stitch length. (Great for Sawtooth borders)
*Trish Stuart shows you in this VIDEO how to use Freezer paper to paper piece HSTs. I think you are able to reuse these too? (Freezer paper would be easier to remove than regular paper)

Using Strips to make multiple HSTs
Penny Halgren shows you in this VIDEO how to make multiple HSTs using strips.
PROS: Great for Jelly Rolls or precuts/Little Waste/might be Good for Scraps/
CONS: Might have to square-up/Will have to trim dog-ears

The Grid:
Draw or print a grid on your large piece of fabric right sides together to make mass HSTs.
PROS: you can mass-produce your HSTs/ might be additional cost -ink and paper/little waste
CONS: Will need significantly large pieces of fabric to start with/ Will have to trim dogears/Might have some squaring up to do
*INKLINGO lets you print directly on your fabric for NO paper-piecing. Video Tutorial
*This Video shows you how to use CATS Templates. This is definitely new to me. Very interesting and I'd love to know your thoughts on this method if any of you have tried it.
*These two websites offer FREE Grids for you to print using your regular ink-jet printer OR you can print on to paper and paper -piece. Several sizes of HSTs to choose from.


Stitch and Trim - Stitch a Triangle to a square and trim off excess.

CONS: Wasteful
PROS: Good for working with very small pieces or pieces already in place./Accurate/


Stitch around the edges of a folded square placed on half of a full square.
PROS: Great for small pieces/Nice 3-D Effect/Stitching is on the outside instead of within the block/Accurate/No trimming
CONS: Wasteful/Time consuming

HSTS from Tubes:
PROS: Good for Scraps/Good for Precuts/Fast
CONS: Some squaring up required/must trim dogears/ Bias Edges
Tube Method Video

I also found this interesting VIDEO. This method makes 2 HSTs and 2 QSTs at once by sewing together little pocket 4 patches. CHECK IT OUT!