Thursday, September 22, 2011

The one where I change my mind again: Let's have a quilt along.

Remember this stack of fabrics:

That stack now looks like this:
Despite the fact that that I canceled this quilt along a few weeks ago, I've decided it would be a really fun project and am planning to go for it.  Since it's my blog, I get to change my mind.  I did make the decision to cancel it the evening of my very bad day.  Life is a bit better this week.  I also wanted to complete my quilt top before starting the quilt along.  I had to make sure everything worked out before I started leading you through it.

Here's the deal.  This quilt along will be for a quilt 64" by 84".  This is a perfect size for a twin quilt or a nice big throw.  The design calls for a main color and four coordinating colors for the stripes.  You can easily tweak the pattern to use only one or two coordinating colors.  If you have been thinking about giving diamonds a try, this quilt is a great place to start.  The majority of the quilt is strip-pieced and comes together quite quickly.

The fabric requirements:
  • 2/3 yard each of four different coordinating colors for the stripes (I used blue, green, yellow and orange).  You need exactly 24".  You might want to order 7/8 yard just in case.  
  • 3 1/8 yards of your main background color
  • 2/3 yard for the binding
  • Approximately 5 yards for the backing
If you are using just one coordinating color for the stripes, you'll need 2 2/3 yards.  If you are using two coordinating colors, you'll need 1 1/3 yards of each.  Again, you might want to order a bit extra as this is exactly what is required.

To celebrate my first quilt along, Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics if offering a 15% discount off anything in her shop for the next couple weeks.  She has a fun selection of bright solids that would be great for an argyle quilt.  Just enter the code argyle and she will get you squared away!

The first official quilt along post is scheduled for Monday, October 3.  Start thinking of your favorite color combo and get that fabric ordered! Thanks for sticking around.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday 9.21.11

I have multiple things on the stack this week, but it doesn't look a whole lot different from last week.

Two fun new items arrived yesterday.  I ordered these fabrics from Brenda over at Pink Castle Fabrics

I've wanted to try a border print skirt for a while.  When I saw this Lecien print in her shop, I knew it would be perfect.  It will be a great fall skirt and matches my favorite orange cardigan. 

The Folksy Flannel print is for a new pair of pajama pants for me.  It's starting to get cold around here at night.   This fabric is currently in the dryer.  If I hurry, I might have a new pair of pajamas tonight.  That is if I can find my pattern around here. 

Also, I ordered a new batch of my blog cards last week.  They came on Monday.  I'm all set for Sewing Summit.  I'm tossing around the idea of creating a handmade name tag, but can't decide how I might design it.  I have just two more weeks. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Aurifil Winners

Our winners for the Aurifil thread bundles are:

#90 leigh said...
I have been wanting to try out this thread for a while now!

#76 The Polka Dot Apron said...
I have been wanting to try these out, so this would be a super win!!! **fingers crossed** Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

#83 Amy said...
Thanks for the giveaway! Aurifil is the "in" thread, and I would love to give it a try :)

#193 thepalmierifamily said...
I doubt I have a chance in the world being so late, but here's a shot at it, Julie P.

#35 Manda said...
Ooo pretty pretty colours! :)

Congrats!  I'll send you all emails.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jane Market Tote

I know many of you have seen posts about this pattern already, but I just had to share how much I love this bag.  I bought the pattern for the Jane Market Tote just last week because I thought it would be perfect for the new Heather Bailey home dec fabrics that I fell in love with.  The Market Tote is a great little pattern.  I was able to put it together reasonably quick.

It's probably no surprise that I adore these fabrics, although the floral print is a bit girly for me.  If I were to ever redo my blue chair though, I would choose the tile print in a heartbeat.  I love it!

Everyone seems to be making bags to take to Sewing Summit.  I really wanted to join the club and make a fun bag to take.  Since I'm traveling approximately 30 minutes to get to Sewing Summit, I didn't exactly need the Amy Butler Weekender that so many are putting together.  This bag will be a perfect addition to my purse at the conference.  It has a great amount of space for handouts, a water bottle, and little extras from the conference.  It's also perfectly practical since I know I will get a lot of use out this in the future.

The main change I made to the pattern was adding interfacing.  I added a medium weight stabilizer to the outer lining.  I added pieces of Peltex to the base of the outer lining pieces to give the bottom a nice stable base.  I also added simple flat pockets to both sides of the inner lining.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Color Wheel Charm Swap-- Almost Complete

All the fabric is in.  I received 112 yards of fabric for this swap.  That's a lot of fabric.

I started sorting it into stacks on my own.  I spent two hours and only made it through about 45 stacks of charms.  Luckily my quilt guild buddies helped me out with the rest.  Everyone stayed late to help sort after group last night.  That went MUCH more quickly. I actually think it was one of our funnest groups.  We just chatted as people went down the line with their stacks.  I so appreciate their willingness to help me sort all these stacks.  I don't know how I would have done it without all these lovely ladies.

Now onto packing everything up.  I hope to make it to the post office on Monday with everything.  Everyone who participated will get a wonderful stack of fabrics.  People tried really hard to meet their color assignments, and it shows.

I've learned a lot from this swap.  I'm really happy I did it, although I did have many doubts throughout the process.  I learned a lot and will change several things next round to make it a bit easier on me.  I grossly underestimated how much time this would take to manage all of this.  But, in the end, I can definitely say it was worth it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Aurifil Giveaway--CLOSED

A couple weeks ago I received a fun little package from Aurifil.

I received some spools of thread to try out.  I can't wait to find the right project for that variegated thread.
Aurifil has five different types of thread:
  • 12 wt cotton: Embellishment and Sashiko
  • 12 wt wool: Cross stitch and hand embroidery
  • 28 wt cotton: Hand quilting and blanket stitch
  • 40 wt cotton: Machine quilting and embroidery
  • 50 wt cotton: The best thread for piecing and applique
I received a spool of each type to try out. 

I also received a couple color cards.   I love all these colors.  I just want to display them.  These are all their wool thread colors.

And all the cotton colors.

These cute little spool were also in my package:

I admit I'm a little sad to give these away.  I love all the fun colors and could definitely find a use for them, but five of you will get a chance to win a set of threads from Aurifil.  Each pack contains a spool of all five Auriful threads.

Just leave a comment, and Mr. Random will pick our winners on Tuesday, September 20th.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mug Rug Madness

Erin over at Two More Seconds is hosting her Mug Rug Madness again this week.  She asked me to join up this round.  I was really excited to come up with a project.  The theme this time around is Christmas. The Fat Quarter Shop generously donated some Countdown to Christmas by Sweetwater to make my mug rug.

I chose to use the 6-pointed star block from the Summer Sampler Series again with a little variation.  This time I cut my pieces into diamonds rather than triangles.  I cut the center diamonds by folding my fabric and placing my 60 degree triangle ruler on the 2.5" line at the fold.   I then outlined each diamond using 1" strips of various black fabrics from Countdown to Christmas.

Piecing this project was exactly the same as piecing my hexagon quilt.  Sew the "Y" seams by stopping 1/4" from the edge and starting a new row of stitching on the adjacent seam.

I first sewed the star together, stopping and backstitching a 1/4" from each outer edge.  

Then I carefully added each white print diamond.  

I placed one layer of batting in the middle and quilted this following the lines of the design.  I used black thread inside each diamond outline.  I used off-white thread for a few rows of echo quilting on the white diamonds.

It's bound in the red dot fabric from the line.  I love this print and actually bought some extra for my red stash. I put together a short tutorial a while back for binding hexagons as the wider angle makes it a bit different from traditional binding.

It's about 9" which makes for quite a large mug rug, but when you're talking about cookies for Santa, you need a large mug rug.

Don't forget to head back over to Two More Seconds to enter the giveaways for this round of Mug Rug Madness!

The Mug Rug Madness was sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop.  They have this Countdown to Christmas line in stock right now!  It's perfect for holiday projects.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Yesterday was a terrible, horrible, awful, miserable bad day (or however the line goes from the children's book). I won't go into details here, but suffice it to say, the Mini-Destroyers struck again.  It was bad this time.  The hubs came home to an extremely frazzled wife.  After I had a good cry, he sent me downstairs to sew while he put the kiddos to bed.  I actually got quite a bit done last evening.  It was truly a nice break from the craziness of my day.

First off I made this scarf using the scraps from my shirt.  I used the tutorial from Stop Staring and Start Sewing.  It seriously took me 10 minutes to put it together and will be perfect with my favorite grey sweater once autumn hits around here.

I also basted this guy.  You won't see finished pictures of this project for about a month though.

I cut all my strips for my argyle quilt.  I've had serious debates about what to do with the quilt-along I proposed for this quilt.  I've tried to nail down dimensions and come up with a pattern of sorts to guide people through a quilt-along, but kept questioning myself.  I kept worrying that people might want to make a different size, incorporate more or fewer colors, etc.  Also, several other things have come up that will be taking a lot of my time over the next few months.  Rather than giving you a pattern and hosting a quilt-along, I plan to simply share my process in multiple posts.  I have a hard time sewing from patterns and an even harder time actually writing one down.  When it comes to quilting I just sort of wing-it.  Although the quilt-along sounded like a lot of fun, I'm going to take the easier route and record my process of putting this quilt together.  It will end up being a glorified tutorial, but I think it will be adequate information for anyone who wants to make their own argyle quilt. 

Finally, I have this charity quilt all basted and ready to quilt.  Members of my quilt guild made the blocks and I've put them together.  Someone donated the fabric for the borders and batting.  I plan to finish this one up in the next couple weeks.

Not exactly a work in progress, but this is what I received from UPS yesterday.  Yes, that would be 14 cans of 505 basting spray.  Before you begin to believe I've completely lost it, this is a group buy between seven people.  It's still a lot of glue.

I have a few other projects in the works, but as you all know Christmas is creeping up on us.  That means many projects will have to wait for months to be seen.

Last of all, just so I don't leave you with a horrible impression of my kiddos--here is a cute picture of them this morning.  This is another WIP--getting in shape.  My goal is to take the twins biking on the mornings Miss C has preschool.  They tolerate the trailer and whine a bit, but I think they are so dang cute in the helmets.  I'll tell you when they decide they are done they are loud, but it also gives me incentive to ride faster when they're screaming to get out.