October 20, 2017

Wool mini quilts

The cool weather and a book with cute projects inspired me last weekend and I decided to work with wool. This mini quilt measures 7" x 9" and the recycled wool pieces came from three sweaters and a pair of pants. The simple embroidery was done with DMC floss. The osnaburg patch with the wording added a nice texture to the work. The background fabric is cotton and the embroidered Xs gave more depth to the project.

I liked it so much that I had to make two identical pieces except this one was bound with flannel. I used batting and a soft backing and quilted around the applique' shapes using Aurifil monofilament. These will be wall hangings as I will buy wire hangers and tiny clothespin to add in the gift bags (yep, two more Christmas gifts finished).

The pattern is by Debbie Busby and can be found in her book Sew Many Notions - Wonderful Wool Applique's, Simple Stitcheries, and More published by Martingale. The projects in this book are fast to make because the shapes are large, the embroidery is easy, and the pieces are manageable so we can take them along and work on our gifts as we travel, watch the children or grandchildren play sports, or wait our turn at the doctor's office.

All photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale. Used with permission.
The wall hanging above measures 24" x 32-1/2". It is a perfect complement to a sewing room and an especially cute gift (that glove!).

The center 'button' on this penny rug has beautiful embroidery and the buttons around it were stitched in different ways turning a simple design into an interesting composition.

What cool pincushions! About those pins... they are fantastic!

Finally, I confess I stared at this jar of tomato pincushions for a very long time. I love it! This will be a gift for me and I hope to get to it before the end of the year.

I like books with pull out patterns and this one has them, as well as great information about how to prepare the wool, how to applique' it, and how to embroider those cute stitches Debbie used.

I liked these mini wool quilts a lot. If you are looking for fun wool applique' ideas for Christmas gifts, check out Sew Many Notions - Wonderful Wool Applique's, Simple Stitcheries, and More. Handmade gifts are amazing: they are fun to make and fun to give to friends and family. It is akin to giving the same gift to two people: one person keeps it while it is being assembled, the other keeps it for life.

Debbie's designs are magical as they bring back memories of those early sewists in our lives. Her own training began by watching her great-aunt, her grandmother, and her mother sewing and culminated with the loving dedication of her home economics teacher, inspiring her to learn hand stitching.

What inspires you? Wooden spools, pincushions, lots of buttons, and cool weather - that's all I needed to be inspired to create.

Have a fantastic weekend,

October 17, 2017

Starry Eve Quilt

I just got "Starry Eve" back from the publisher! It is my Christmas quilt design published in the Winter 2007 of Quilter's World Magazine by Annie's Publishing. Starry Eve measures 46-1/2" x 60-1/2" making it a great lap quilt. One block set on-point is all it takes and this beautiful quilt is ready in no time at all. 

Oh, but take a closer look at three of the fun Christmas fabrics I used from the North Pole After Dark collection by Dear Stella Fabrics:

 Look at this Santa in his minimalist outfit! I smile every time I look at t his print...

I "had" to use this line: the prints are super cool, the colors get away from the traditional red and green of Christmas, and the wintery motifs are fantastic for Utah with all the mountain peaks, ski lifts, and snow.
Photograph by Annie's Publishing. Used with permission. 
My sons are fighting over who will get Starry Eve but my first grandson's name may or may not be already printed on the label...

This issue of the magazine has great Holiday projects (I am loving Chris Malone's on the cover!). You should be able to find Quilter's World magazine at Joann Stores, Barnes & Noble, or online from Annie's Catalog.

Speaking of their online catalog, look at this fantastic crochet blanket called Sleep Tight Teddy Bear I found there:

Is this baby blanket amazingly cute or what???? Must make! The yarn color choices are perfect and happy.

Well, I am all energized and ready to go quilt and crochet. Hope this post inspires you, too!

October 16, 2017

Modern Spools Sew Along - Blocks 3 and 4

Here are two more blocks for the Modern Spools Sew Along (for more details click here). The pattern is by Peta Peace. I love the button jar, a simple machine applique' motif with lots of colorful buttons sewn on top of it.

These blocks are 5-1/2" x 9-1/2" so they are really fast to stitch up. I am using Penny Rose Fabrics by Riley Blake Designs and the collection is called Apple Farm. The prints are super cute.

How are your blocks coming along? I like making one block with applique' and one without it and am glad the pattern is simple as I needed a break from more involved quilting projects.

Have a great Monday,

October 12, 2017

Alterknit Stitch Dictionary

Look at what I am learning to knit: modern knitting stitches! I am pretty excited about this hexi swatch even though I know it is not perfect. I used contrasting yarn colors just as in the pattern photograph.

I learned how to knit while holding one color of yarn in each hand. Phew, that was interesting as I actually had to knit using one method with my right hand and another with my left hand.

I also had to learn how to work with steeks and then cut (with scissors!) the fabric. That was quite an experience because I have never taken scissors to the knit fabric before. Now that cutting was conquered I think I am ready to knit a small project and practice catching the floats while I knit.

I got the pattern from the Alterknit Stitch Dictionary - 200 Modern Knitting Motifs by Andrea Rangel published by Interweave. Andrea combined her love for the outdoors and graphic design with her many years as a pattern designer to create fantastic modern stitches. She has taken knitting to a whole new level of modern! The swatches on the front cover (above), as well as the ones below, give you an idea of what you will find in this stitch dictionary:

In the first 20 pages of her book, Andrea walks us through the basics of stranded colorwork such as how to choose yarn colors, read charts, work with floats, and how to make these amazing stitches while only knitting (no purling). Having all this information in the beginning of the book gives us the confidence we need to choose a stitch and begin working on our first swatch.

Photographs by Harper Point Photography for Interweave. Used with permission.
When we are ready for projects, Andrea includes a sample of them to train us on how to choose and use the best stitch for a particular garment or accessory, from all over designs to accent bands. Her stitches are versatile and on the cutting edge of fun! Isn't this beanie super cool! You should see the one with the bicycles!

I love the Skull & Bones pullover which can be customized for men's sizes also. If skulls are not your thing, how about knitting a row of elephants, cats, owls, or robots? Yes, the 200 stitches include animals, geometric designs, spirals, and a whole lot more.

This is Leaves in Water - a beautiful cardigan showcasing her leaves design. I need to finish a sweater I began a while ago to dive into one of these patterns because these motifs are so tempting.

I am glad I received this book for review as Andrea has opened a whole new world of possibilities in knitting for me. If you love knitting you must check it out!

Enjoy your day,

October 10, 2017

Baby Quilts for Beginners

Look at the fun baby quilt I just finished! A friend just had her first baby and I immediately went to gather all the leftovers I had of these gorgeous fabrics from the Splish Splash collection by Gail Cadden for Timeless Treasures to make a project for the little one (Here is the quilt made with the same line). This cool pattern by Amy Hamberlin is very simple - it is your choice of fabrics which makes the design pop.

The letters are already reversed and ready to be traced on fusible applique'. I blanket stitched them and free motion quilted with gray Aurifil 40wt thread.

The scrappy binding shows the remaining strips and scraps from all the fabrics used in the quilt (my 16-year-old is the perfect quilt holder!). This baby quilt finished at 42" x 45-1/2".

I made this project exactly as it was on the pattern in the book Baby Quilts for Beginners - Easy to Make, Fun to Give, compiled by Karen Burns and published by Martingale. All 13 patterns in this book help beginners, as well as seasoned quilters, create beautiful baby gifts with minimum time commitment and maximum cuteness!

Here are my favorite designs:
All photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale. Used with permission.
 "Sail Away" by Kimberly Jolly of Fat Quarter Shop and It's Sew Emma. This pattern is perfect for beginners but also ideal for veteran free motion quilters because of all that negative space!

 This is "Charm Pack Shuffle" by Amy Ellis. Use precuts or 5" squares from your scrap bin.
"Churn Baby Churn" by Vicki Ruebel is so easy to make and features one of my all-time favorite blocks!

Finally, here is "Happy Hedgehogs" by Piper's Girls. I just love this quilt so much! Hedgehogs and mushrooms will keep me happy as I machine applique' them on my next quilt project...

I'd rather make a quilt than purchase a baby gift; however, I don't always have time to make a quilt but this book is a total game changer. You need to check out the other designs in Baby Quilts for Beginners to get started on those gifts you, like me, have been meaning to make.

As for me, I will now add Fray Check around the appliqued shapes and then deliver it. Fun finish!

Happy Tuesday,

October 6, 2017

Log Cabin Variations - Quilt 2

This is my second pattern published in the book Log Cabin Variations by Annie's Publishing. It is called Albuquerque for its Southwestern look. The fabrics are from the Timeless Treasures New Java Blenders collection which has 25 beautiful colors. These are the ones I used:

Lucious, right? The marbled texture is amazing on the quilt blocks giving them depth and interest.

My friend Lisa let me quilt it on her long arm machine and I kept the motifs simple. Log cabin blocks are so fun to make with endless design possibilities! By changing the colors on two of the strips I created the interlaced effect.

These photographs were taken at dusk so the colors are very dark.

Photo by Annie's Publishing. Used with permission.
Above is the photo from the book where the colors appear more subdued. It measures 49" x 61" making it a great lap quilt or a fun wall hanging.

If you like this design, as well as Natural Elegance, go to Joann Stores or order the book online from Annie's catalog.

I loved making Albuquerque and writing the pattern. Log cabin blocks were the first ones I made when I began quilting so they hold a special place in my heart. Let me know if you make Albuquerque or Natural Elegance - I would love to see your version of them!

Have a wonderful weekend,

October 4, 2017

Modern Spools Sew Along - First blocks

I made the first two blocks for the Modern Spools Sew Along so I could answer some of your questions. Here we go:

1. You need to get Peta Peace's book A Piece of Cake - Sweet and Simple Quilts from Layer Cake Squares for the Modern Spool quilt pattern. You do not need to use layer cakes, however;

2. If you do not want to get the Needle and Notions book also published by Martingale, just look on the Internet for templates of sewing notions. Even though the book is for paper piecing, I am using the motifs for machine applique' (see below);

3. We will be machine appliqueing the notions on some of the blocks as paper piecing (my original idea) would be complicated as we will need to add thin strips to the paper pieced block to bring it to the spool size;

4. The final quilt measures 38-1/2" x 42-1/2" with 23 blocks which finish at 5" x 9". As you see, it is a quick project but so fun! Make it any size you want: all the spools or only spools with machine appliqued notions on it.

I did add a button to the scissors above after I took the photograph. It looks so cool!

Let me know if you have any other questions. I will post my next two blocks on October 16th and would love for you to join me. If so, let me know and send photos of your blocks so I can post them alongside mine.

Have a fun day,


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