Sunday, February 25, 2018

Little Things and Snow Days

February has happened!
And some of you may know that for 20 days of it, we were completely snowbound!
Suffice it to say, I had plenty of sewing time on my hands!
In my last post, you can see my Carolyn Friedlander HST quilt!
That was fun!
And then Bernie at Needle and Foot supplied another source of sewing motivation through her "Spread the Love/Quilting For Kids" quilt drive, for A Doll Like Me!
Put me down for 2, Bernie!
18" x 18"
I had grand plans for HST quilts, but came across a beautiful jelly roll I had won some time ago, by Verna Mosquera, and so made this log cabin! I put my newly acquired machine binding skills to good use on both these doll quilts!
For the second doll quilt I was able to use a few leftover blocks from my Tumble Bug quilt, (pattern available in my Etsy shop!) along with some sweet pastel solids!
16" x 24"

I dug out some long forgotten flannel for the back of this one!

Along with the doll quilts, I took this snowbound opportunity to make a few other little things.
A pot holder for my sister...I am going to make her a couple or a few, but ran short of insulated batting, so this is it for right now...
Scrap happy playtime, for sure!

I made a little coaster for a gal in the courthouse, who has had a lot on her plate with the terrible road situation....
I am hoping this will bring thoughts of an early Spring!

I am also doing a little mini swap with an IG friend, always fun!
 I used one of my favorite orphan blocks, which made me love it even more!
 After playing with all these "littles", I was ready to bring out a fun project that has been waiting patiently since last year....mmmm!
But it really deserves it's very own post, so stay tuned, it shall have it shortly!

We were finally able to get out and to town, and have been twice just because we could!

Linking up with the Doll Quilt Wrap Up and Parade at Needle and Foot!
 A few of our February visitors!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Friedlander HSTs...A Finish!

Number 3 on my Q1 Finish Along list!
 Quilting and binding this one up was such a happy way to spend several snow days!
 I was so excited to have it finished with some daylight left, I managed to pry my #1 Quilt Holder out of the cozy house and out into the subzero yard for a couple of quick pics!
 Thank you Nash! You're the best!

This wonderfully simple HST quilt began in October of 2016 and you may read about that here!
Suffice it to say, it is charm pack friendly!
For the quilting, I had some wonderful Sulky variegated threads squirreled away just for this quilt!
I have always aspired to making an HST quilt just like this...rows, loosely grouped by color and fancy, quilted on either side of each seam line!
I really couldn't be more pleased with how this turned out!
For the second time ever, I machine bound a quilt!
My thread matched the binding perfectly, which put me over the trepidation threshold!
 I also used a pack of Post-Its as a guide, and it made all the difference in terms of keeping my stitching straight!
Did I mention that I am super pleased with this one?
Doe/Carkai HST Quilt
47" x 67"

There are still plenty of snow days ahead...what is next on that list?!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Ribbons and Bows, for Moda Bake Shop!

"Come in! I've been baking!"*
I am so very excited to share my latest Moda Bake Shop creation with you!
Ribbons and Bows is a quilt design inspired by all those big, fun bows that Mamas put on their baby girls! I had special fun with this since I am a boy mom, and the bows around our house all shot arrows!  
I feel super lucky to have used the incredibly gorgeous Ombre Confetti Metallic bundle by V and Co!
Talk about adding some girly glitz to the project!
Not only are the hues of this collection incredible, the range within each color are clear and simply wonderful to sew with!
 Ribbons and Bows consists of several different blocks that are made of simply pieced units: half square triangle, quarter square triangle and square-in-a-square.
It is a very fun quilt to piece and see come together, so crisp and clean!
The challenge for me while making this was keeping the organization of fabrics and the layout of them consistent.
 Because the fabric combination of 2 colors is unique in each ribbon block, one must take care in cutting and piecing.  That is all that keeps this design from being a truly beginner friendly project.
I quilted a simple diagonal grid which added so much fun texture! 
I think Moda's Grunge Hits the Spot, wideback (!) is a perfect backing choice for this quilt!
A colorful, pieced binding finishes it off!
Finished measurement:  68" x 68"
Fabric:  Ombre Confetti Metallic, by Vanessa Christenson
Bella Bleached White
Grunge Hits the Spot, in Pool

The blocks could also be easily whipped up into some cute accessory pillows!
And I wonder if using plaids might turn this into a suitable "Bow Tie" quilt for a little fellow!
Let me know what you think!  I am excited to hear your thoughts on it!
Also...this is my first quilt finish for the year, and Number 1 on my Finish Along list!

*Does anyone recognize the quote? It is from one of my favorite movies, Waking Ned Devine, an invitation from Miss Kitty.  Your dose of trivia for the day!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Do You Sew Along?

I love a good Sew Along!
There seem to be many really fun options for Quilt Alongs, Sew Alongs and BOMs this year!
Jessica of A Quilty Habit has compiled a list for her newsletter subscribers, if you need any ideas!
She is also hosting the Modern FMQ QAL, which I am joining in on, YAY!
Aside from the obvious benefit of making a quilt, the best parts of a Sew Along, for me, are the friendships formed, the encouragement along the way, and seeing the variety of different "takes" on the same pattern/design!

My first experience with a Sew Along was actually a Block of the Month back in 2012!
The HST Sampler BOM by Jeni Baker of In Color Order!
The block tutorials are still on her blog, and they are available all together in pattern form as well!
Our progress was shared monthly in In Color Order's Flickr group!
I finished the quilt in December 2013!
I credit Jeni and this BOM with my enduring love for, and success with, HSTs!
It is also where I met Gina, "toots2u" on Flickr and @partyofeightourstory on IG!  We have been friends ever since!

My second Sew Along was the Flowering Snowball Quilt Along, hosted by the marvelous Mary at Molly Flanders Makerie, begun in June of 2014!
This was finished in 2016, and is still one of my very favorite makes!
And Mary and I are still friends, too!

By this time, I knew the fun and benefit of having a monthly block, so in January of 2015 I made up my own BOM which I called "Simply Sawtooth".  
Each month I chose 2 favorite fabrics, and made 2 blocks from each, in "verse/reverse" order, for a total of 4 blocks each month.  The only color parameter I set for myself was that I wanted it to be heavy on the orange.  I had all the blocks I needed by September, and finished it by December of the same year!  So Much FUN!!! Still love love LOVE this one! 

I tried another "personal BOM" in 2016:
But, alas, I never made it past February with this one!

But! I did join another Sew Along in 2016!
with Cheryl Brickey at Meadow Mist Designs!
I had to lift this photo from the Quilt Parade-Day 2 on Cheryl's site...apparently I have never blogged about this quilt top! 2016/17 was a bit that way, I'm afraid!  This one is still only a top...I would like to add a border of some many amazing ideas from others who sewed along!

Also in 2016, I had a lot of fun with an Instagram Quilt Along:
The Get Cozy Quilt Along, hosted by Coriander Quilts!
I mean, seriously, how could I not? It didn't hurt that I had recently won a bundle of "Front Yard", by Sandra Clemons that I was itchin' to use!
The Get Cozy pattern by Pen and Paper designs is so clearly written, and is not paper pieced!
It was awesome fun and you can find it on IG using the tag #cozyquiltalong!

2017 brought a very fun Sew Along hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell!
The Sewcial Bee Sampler Sew Along spanned both blogland and Instagram land, with a new block each week for 25 weeks!

Lots of fun and friendships here! 
Bernie at Needle and Foot posted a fun Sampler Roundup, where I lifted this picture from! 
Guess I wasn't too great at blogging about this one either!
You can see more on IG using the tag #SewcialBeeSampler and all my progress with #SBScedarforksarah .

And speaking of Bernie!
We became friends this summer during a Sew Along she hosted, the #NFsummersewalong, where she held our hands while stitching up a really cute summer top!
This is not only Bernie's picture, it IS Bernie!
I used "Gossamer", the same fabric Bernie did, from her super online fabric shop, Needle and Foot!
I sewed this up right before the fires started out here, and I find the only photos of mine are on IG! 
I am beginning to spot a trend here, sheesh!

Finally, my "personal BOM" this year is a super fun and exciting one for me!
"Simply Flying BOM"
Following the successful "pattern" of my "Simply Sawtooth", I am using a simple block, Flying Geese, with Denyse Schmidt fabrics, in "vers/reverse" fashion, again!
And again,  I will just keep making blocks until I think I have as many as I want!

I had really hoped to join in with Mari, The Academic Quilter for her fourth(?) BOM, Squared Away BOM, and since we are still fresh in the year, I may join yet! 
How about you, are you sewing along with anyone this year? I would love to hear about it!
Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts Let's Bee Social 
See you there!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Making My Sewing Machine Free Motion Friendly!

There she be!
My perfect little sewing table, one my husband made over 20 years ago.
While I quilt my larger projects on our 6' dining table, this one has been perfect for this space and for all my everyday sewing needs.
Except for one!
Free. Motion. Quilting.
Over the years, I have allowed my imagination to throw up so many obstacles to this basic quilting skill!
I thought I had to be able to drop my feed dogs...or I thought I needed to cover my feed dogs, etcetera, ad nauseum!  Well guess what! 2018 is my year to learn FMQ!
 2 days ago, my sweet sewing table took a little trip out to the shop!
And looky what happened!
My very handy, and extremely handsome husband cut into the table and created a shelf/drawer space for my machine to sit in!
I wasn't supposed to show any pics of the underneath, but look how tidy those cords!
 One obstacle down...machine is now flush with the surface of the table!
But what about those pesky feed dogs? 
Look at em just sticking up there like that!!!
It just so happens that my husband  (did I mention he is the "Fix-It-Up-Chappy"?) had already found a solution to this little conundrum one random morning last November or December...
and it involves these little plastic washers that came with my Kenmore, for under the thread, I guess, on the spindles.
Oh yeah! It is about to get really good you guys!
Check this out!
1. Remove cover plate.
 Like so.
See the holes where the screws just came out of?
There are 2 on my machine.
 2. Place washers over the holes.
 3. Replace cover plate.
Ooooh, looky there!
Those feed dogs have virtually cowered in submission!
I have tested it out, and I think the very slight rise in the cover plate will be okay, it is very smooth...we shall see.  At least it is a doable place to start!
The only thing I still lack is a darning foot...and it is on order!
 Enter a most timely Quilt Along led by the talented Jessica Skultety of Quilty Habit
and hosted monthly at the Central Jersey MQG blog! It is open to everyone, not only guild members! Thank you!!!!!
Central New Jersey MQG FMQ QAL
I have my fabrics pulled and 2 more weeks of January left to make my first Fat Quarter FMQ theme! 
Also, a big THANK YOU to Bernie/Needle and Foot for bringing this super fun looking, relaxed QAL to my attention at the beginning of this year! It has really helped catalyze all this progress in my sewing situation!!!!

Seriously crushing on my FMQ prospects! 
Linking up with Beth at Main Crush Monday (I know I'm late, but the linky is still open!)
and Lorna at Let's Bee Social!