It’s SPRING And Everything Is Growing


The month of April was all about digging, cutting and trimming. Nope, not outside. Inside. In my sewing room. Having a love affair with my scraps. Oh how I love thee.

It is so satisfying working with scraps, even the teeny tiny pieces. If you have worked with them, then you know how time consuming the process can be. It takes weeks, even months to “grow” them into a piece large enough for a quilt. I even have names for my latest scrap projects. Hot Pockets. Stairsteps. Wonky HST’s.

Want to see?

This is HOT POCKETS.

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At first I was just piecing together scraps. Mixing up the fabrics and colors. Then to make it more interesting, I decided to add a square of polka dots here and there. Little pockets.

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So far, I have orange, lime and pink sections. Lots more colors to add. Except for the pocket square, it is 100% scraps. Probably a few more months of piecing.


STAIRSTEPS is next. Last month I showed you the beginnings of this project. It looked like this.

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It was made with cut off ends from my Scrappy Trip Around The World blocks. Didn’t have many so I created strips from scraps.

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At first I named this project Dominoes. But after taking about 30 photos, I started seeing little burgundy steps. Stepping down row by row.

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So calling it Stairsteps just made more sense. I LOVE creating these strips. I have pulled from everywhere. Charm packs, scraps purchased on Ebay, fabric from friends, stash. But mostly my scraps. Sashing is 1 1/8″ wide and I get three strips per WOF.

Three panels are completed. They are hanging on my design wall with avocado fabric in the background. I plan to use it for sashing.

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This photo shows how I want it to look when finished.

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WONKY HALF-SQUARE TRIANGLES (HST’s). Except for the white filler triangles along the outsides, this project is 100% scraps.

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If you remember my Hugs and Kisses quilt, all those snowball-type corners created a ton of cut off ears.

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I wasn’t sure what I would do with them but saved them anyway. There are hundreds of them. So far, I have made 20 of these wonky blocks. The HST’s are different sizes, hence the wonkiness of the blocks.

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I haven’t completed the design yet. Working on how I want to connect the blocks. I am thinking 50 blocks should make a nice sized quilt. More details coming. More photos to follow.


You may remember me showing you my 5 by 5 blocks last month.

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Well, they grew too!! From 8 blocks to 18. I added aqua/turquoise (love them!!), red, blue, mauve and pink.

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I will probably do a couple blocks in black/white and maybe gray. Still thinking on this one. The final design hasn’t popped into my head just yet. Maybe add a HUGE border to make it lap size.


Even my Block of the Month quilt from my quilt group grew since the last time you saw it. This is April’s block.

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I now have six blocks completed. Half way there.

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Won’t have the quilt top finished until around the end of November. One block per month. But I have been auditioning fabrics for sashing and borders. Leaning toward more of the purple for the final border and maybe the back.


Not too many finishes for April. Just a few. I will post photos on my sidebar. The little doll quilt I showed you a couple days ago is finished. I ended up using the mauve fabric for the binding.

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Binding machine stitched front and back.

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And the doll pillow I was making turned out human sized so now I have to start over and piece more squares to make a much smaller one.

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Just one of these should do it. Squares are 1 1/2″.

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Well… that does it for me. I had one Heck Of A Scrappy Month. Happy. Happy. Happy. :D

What all have you been creating? Do tell.

Being All Loopy Is NOT Easy


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The bonding continues.

With my new sewing machine.

Hats off to the quilters who make loops seem so easy to make. They are NOT!! The process looks simple enough. Going round and round. But try it. You want to make the loops all perfect and consistent but something happens between Point A to Point B. You realize you have to go left instead of right. The space is smaller than you thought. You get boxed in. And so on and so on.

I wanted to practice on something other than a scrap quilt sandwich. So I made this little doll quilt from one of my extra Scrappy Trip Around The World blocks.

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The heart country-look fabric had been in my stash over two years. Some of the first I bought when I was stash building. It had been auditioned many, many times but rarely used. I thought it would be perfect for this project.

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Now I have to decide on the binding. Maybe green. And a doll quilt needs a little pillow, right? :D

What else have I been working on?

I have spent practically all month working with my scraps. And loving it. Will be sad when they are all gone. But HEY. That is good news. It means I need to get busy cutting into my stash.

Will be back tomorrow or Wednesday. Lots to show you.

Regarding my awful loops… practice, practice, practice.

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Linking to…

http://www.conniekresin.com/2013/04/lunky-tuesday.html

…… And A Pillow Completes The Look


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Yay!! I have a finish. TWO finishes.

First finish… a table runner. Or a wall hanging. I put those little triangle hanging tabs on the back. I added a bit of stippling. I was tired and wanted to get it finished so my stippling wasn’t planned out. I just started and kept going until I was done. I didn’t quilt the three triangle sections in the center. Just the triangles all around the edges. I think it is quilted enough. :D

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With the leftover fabric I made this pillowcover. Forty-eight 2 1/2″ squares.

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I didn’t think it would fit but I forced this huge pillow inside. You should have seen me poking out the corners. I could have used an extra pair of hands.

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I lined the front with flannel and the back with muslin. Quilting is all straight lines going around and around ending in the center. I did the quilting on my new sewing machine. I love it!!

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The back, using the floral fabric, is envelope style.

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Table runner measures 44″ by 27″. Pillowcover measures 18″ by 20″. I will definitely make more pillowcovers.

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Well, that does it for me. What all did you finish up this week? Do tell….


Linking up to…

http://www.conniekresin.com/2013/04/linky-tuesday_23.html

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2013/04/bohemian-garden-quilt-top.html

http://aroundtheblockdesigns.blogspot.com/2013/04/really-random-thursday-41813.html

http://richardquilts.blogspot.com/2013/04/laff-63.html

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2013/04/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-baby-steps.html

Plugging Along… 1/4 Inch At A Time


I decided a few straight lines just wasn’t enough for my Crossroads to Jericho table runner. It needed something more. MORE straight lines. One fourth inch apart.

Here I am plugging along. Working with the 9 patch areas.

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Thank goodness there are only eight. Or I would still be quilting into next week. Going back and forth in such a small section is very time consuming. Start. Stop. And no matter how carefully I turned to go up and down, you can still see where I sewed. I went around the 9 patch block to try to camouflage it a bit. Oh well. I did the best I could.

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Two more sections to quilt straight lines and then on to the fun part. And hopefully the faster part. Stippling. Or loopy loops in the border area and maybe the triangles.

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Should have it finished by Friday. Need to work on some of my other UFO’s.

Scrappy Trip Quilt Top Is Done… And More


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My Scrappy Trip quilt top has been finished for about a week. I have it neatly draped over the upstairs railing… waiting… Waiting for me to get up the courage to sandwich it and quilt it. I was thinking about straight lines but now I am thinking Cathedral Window-like loops all over it. I am really pleased out it turned out. The majority of my seams abutted exactly as they should have.

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I am thinking of doing another one. But with the colors and fabrics of my choice. More controlled. More planned out. Not Everything But The Kitchen Sink. Like this one.

But first… I need to decide what to do with all the leftover blocks. As you know from my last post, I have 27 extra blocks. I put them up on my design wall. And guess what? I have enough for a second Scrappy Trip quilt!!

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Isn’t that amazing!! I have been playing around with them and even could do a few as doll quilts or table mats.

I like these four with the same burgundy plaid fabric going down the middle. All but one. The upper right one.

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It needs a touch of light orange or whatever color that is. I will probably take it apart to balance the look.

Also these three are cute together.

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Wouldn’t they make a sweet little doll quilt? Only have the three. Will need to make a 4th. No rush though. They will go in the UFO pile for now.

Speaking of my UFO pile. I pulled these two Crossroads to Jericho blocks out to work on.

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Several months ago when I was making my Crossroads blocks with black squares, I experimented replacing the black with white. Just to see if I would like them. Only made the two. When I pulled out the little baggie, I remembered I had cut a bunch of squares and triangles. Enough for six more blocks. So… I sewed them together. What a difference a few months make!! Look at those points. Much better than my first ones.

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Not big enough for a quilt. But just the right size for a table runner or wall hanging.

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I am half way through the quilting. Just straight lines thus far. Will probably add a few loops and wiggles.

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With the leftover fabric, I managed to get enough 2 1/2″ squares and borders to make one pillow.

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I am thinking of a maze design for the quilting. Starting in one corner and go around corner to corner and keep going until I reach the center. We shall see. Hope it works.

Working with white fabric is still new to me. I rarely sew with it. Don’t know why. I just don’t. BUT.. I like it. It is Kona white that I bought about six months ago. Only drawback, well, a couple of drawbacks. I had to constantly wash my hands so I wouldn’t soil it. And also I spent about an hour trimming the fabric edges on the underside. I was thinking they might be seen through the fabric.

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What about you? Do you like sewing/quilting with white fabric? Do you trim the seams before quilting? Do tell…..

March Ends On A High

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Already eight days into April and I haven’t even finished posting about my March projects. Bad Donna!! Bad. Bad. (Better late, than never, right?)

I had a GREAT March as far as sewing projects go even though I was so obsessed with not wasting thread that every thing I sewed had a “pause.” A pause for me to grab a scrap and sew it to something.

You’ve heard of Distracted Drivers. Well, have you heard of a Distracted Sewer? That’s me. I can get off track 10 times in an hour. But in my mind, my method of sewing is organized chaos. At the end of the day, as I am turning off the light to my sewing machine, I look around to visually tally up what I managed to start, move along or complete.

Here are those starts, move alongs and completes…

Charity Pillowcases

First off, speaking of “high” up there in my title post, I got it from this guy.

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One of the twenty-four charity pillows cases for March. I have to say this batch, Batch 12, was for the guys. Spiderman and basketballs. I have favorites in every batch. Love these. That red, white and black one was my pieced pillowcase for the month. I am trying to do one a month that is patchwork.

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Sixty-six made so far this year. I am six over target.


ScrappyTripAroundtheWorld Quilt Blocks (STATW)

My STATW blocks are finished.

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I am using 36 blocks (12 1/2″ square) for my quilt. I made more than the 36 since I couldn’t make up my mind on which shade of burgundy I liked best for the center of each block. So, silly me, ended up with 27 extra blocks.

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I will either use the extra blocks for a charity quilt or give them away.

Also, the chopped off ends of each strip will be made into a pillow.

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I am using the darker burgundy for sashing.

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The plan is to make a long, long slender pillow. Will have to see how far I can stretch those chopped ends.


Block of the Month Quilt

This quilt is a project from one of my quilt groups. It won’t be finished until around the end of November or early December. Each month I get a new block to make. For March we had to make two.

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You can see I now have five blocks completed.

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Seven to go. Going to be fun deciding on the sashing, borders and binding.


Crumbs Quilt

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I am LOVING this!! All from my little bits and pieces of scraps. My Crumbs. So excited to see it grow. I have been working on and off for a month. I need to set aside some time to work on it more this month. With the pieces so tiny, it takes a while to create.

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What you see up on my design wall, took hours and hours and hours. Days!! :D


5 by 5 Quilt

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Not sure what I will do with these blocks but I will add a few more colors and hopefully an idea will pop up. I had way too many 2 1/2″ squares cut and wanted to use up some of them. I have seen a few quilts made with these 25 square color blocks and they look really pretty.


You already saw these. I quilted them in March.

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So, that does it for closing out March. April will be about quilting some of my UFO’s and bonding with my new sewing machine. I have been practicing free motion quilting on it. Getting the setting and tension to my liking. Still learning what all it can do.

What about you? Are you on track to finish up some of your UFO’s? Do tell.

I Am Having A Tea Party


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Welcome to my Tea Party!! :D

I had sooo much fun making this Tea Party set. Table mat, rug mug and oven mitt.

It started off with this fabric which I LOVE. (Tea Patchwork (Color B) Japanese fabric by Yuwa Live)

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Fussy cutting the sections I wanted to use stopped my heart a bit. Had to breath in deeply and just do it. Sad that I had to ruin the sections around the one I wanted. But I am thinking what great “scraps” I will have. And you know how much I love scraps. I will use the ruined pieces in other projects.

Anyhoo… I made the rug mug first. Loved the look. Decided it needed something to sit on. Made the table mat. And after eyeballing the leftovers, knew I could stretch them and make one more item. An oven mitt!! Perfect to complete the set, don’t you think.

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Loving the yellow. Loving the blue. I rarely work with either. The yellow is just the right touch to bring thoughts of Spring. The feeling of sun warming your face. In my parts, the sun can’t make up its mind. Here one minute. Gone the next. It is still kind of cool. The heat is still on. So looking forward to being able to open all the windows in the house.

Well, thanks for joining me for tea. Stay a while, put your feet up. Sip a bit. :D

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(Oh, I forgot to tell you. I quilted the set on my new sewing machine. So far it is working out great!!)


Linking up to…

http://simplymissluella.blogspot.com/

http://www.conniekresin.com/2013/04/linky-tuesday.html

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2013/03/kid-potential.html

http://richardquilts.blogspot.com/2013/03/late-link-finish-friday-60.html

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2013/03/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-whats-your-big.html

http://www.sew-much-ado.com/2013/03/we-did-it-wednesday_26.html

http://aroundtheblockdesigns.blogspot.com/2013/03/really-random-thursday-32813_28.html

ScrappyTripAroundTheWorld: Design Wall Update


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Any clue why this block is called Scrappy? I didn’t use scraps. I had to cut fresh 2 1/2″ strips from stash. I guess because it “looks” scrappy.

Anyhoo, I have been accumulating blocks since I first showed them to you up on my design wall the beginning of February. (On the bottom left)

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I had been making them on and off in between my other projects. After finishing the Crossroads to Jericho quilt top, my attention turned to Scrappy Trip Around The World (STATW).

When I first started making these blocks, the process seemed easy enough. Cut the strips, sew them together, press, sew one side to create a tube, trim the top for a clean straight edge, cut into six 2 1/2″ sections. Whew!! I am tired just typing that.

HERE ARE THE STEPS IN PHOTOS.

Cut and sew together six strips. 2 1/2″ by 15″

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Press with seams in opposite directions.

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Sew one side to form the tube.

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Cut tube into six sections of 2 1/2″ each.

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But wait!! Not finished. Next comes the fun part. Getting out the thread ripper and removing the seams you just sewed. Yep, you have to “undo” the seams to create those pretty columns. I prepared a few at a time so they would be ready to sew back together when the urge hit me. Pinning to match up the seams was sooo time consuming but I preferred it instead of ending up with unabutted (is that a word, :D ) seams.

MORE PHOTOS OF THE STEPS.

Ripping out seams to form strips.

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The first time I did this, I was so confused and ripped out the wrong seams. It was a head-scratcher. Until I figured out the trick. The trick is this. Whatever fabric is on the BOTTOM is the fabric you rip the seam for next. It is like you are going bottom to top.

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Ripping done. All six strips lined up with the burgundy fabric going diagonally down the center.

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Each seam pinned before sewing columns together.

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And done… perfectly abutted.

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I pressed the blocks so I could see them all nice and flat up on my design wall.

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Not happy with the “pink” sections. They stand out too much. Thinking about pulling them and making a little quilt with just them. Right now the blocks measure 76″ by 76″. Six across and six down.

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One thing… I am so glad I decided to used a burgundy color for the centers. Easier to see the diamond pattern.

BTW, in case you are wondering… I am happily bonding with my new sewing machine. Janome Horizon Memory Craft 7700 QCP.

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It seems to sew quieter and is much faster than my old one. I had to dial the speed down. Couple things I have to get used to. The Up and Down Needle Setting won’t stay engaged. I am constantly pressing one or the other. My old Janome had a selection on the screen and when I selected it, that setting overrode the button I pressed on the machine. Does that make sense? So.. not happy with that and also it is awkward having to reach all the way to the back of the machine to lift up the Foot Lifter. My old one was on the side. Closer to me. Oh well.

But so far, those are two things I am adjusting too. Still reading. Still learning. The main reason I got it was for quilting. (Well, actually hubby “got” it. He paid for it. He was tired of me complaining I did not have enough quilting space. :D What a guy!!) It has three separate quilting feet. Loving that. Going to try them out today or tomorrow. Wish me luck!!


Have you jumped on the STATW bandwagon? How many blocks did you make? Do tell…

Go here if you would like to make your own STATW.

http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/scrappy-trips-around-world.html

Binding Day: Done, Done and Done


OK… as you know, I had a “quilting day” last Saturday. It was National Quilting Day. I showed you the three projects I finished quilting.

Well, yesterday was Binding Day.

Binding Project #1.

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I used this Michael Miller yellow fabric with huge white dots to bind my little Tea Party rug mug. Binding is 2 1/2″ folded, machine stitched to the front, then machine stitched in the ditch from the front to sew the backside. I pinned from the back and then slowly sewed while keeping an eye on the pins on the underside. I removed the pins as I approached.

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I used deep plum thread on the top and yellow bobbin thread. I have to tell ya. I LOVE how this turned out. And definitely will make another.


Binding Project #2.

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I bought this WILD fabric (Alexander Henry) a couple years ago and have been auditioning it for many, many projects. But it got tossed back on the shelf more times than not. BUT for this little ticker tape mat, it was perfect.

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I was trying for a wider look so I cut the binding 3″. But wish now that I had cut 2 1/2″ instead. It folded up on the back a tad bit more than I wanted. But other than that, it came out ok when I machine stitched the backside.


Binding Project #3.

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I call this fabric the “tape measure” fabric because that is what it reminds me of.

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This one I did cut 3″ binding strips and left an eighth inch of batting showing to give the binding a wider look.

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Not sure of the brand name/manufacturer for this yellow fabric. Will have to dive into my selvage bin to see if I still have it.

So, that is what I did on my Binding Day.

Have you tried machine stitching the binding back? Or do you prefer to hand stitch the back? Do tell..


Linking up to…

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2013/03/soft-kitty.html

What I Did On National Quilting Day


Last Saturday was National Quilting Day. So, I thought I would stop all that piecing and sewing and quilt something. Something easy. Easy and quick. Nothing like instant gratification to put a smile on your face.

I started with this little mug rug. (It could be a mini wall hanging.)

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I fussy cut the cup from this fabric. I love it!!

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Simple Log Cabin style. As I was just about finished and ready for the last round, I remembered my American Jane fabric had similar flowers as those around the tea cup. And what do you know. They were perfect. Quilting was a few straight lines. Didn’t want to quilt the tea cup.

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This is the back.

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Now just have to decide what to use for the binding. Probably the yellow.


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Next I quilted this table mat. Triple wavy lines.

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I created the mat months ago… from all those small scrap pieces I have lots of. To bring a bit of order to the scrappiness, I purposely mixed in the yellow tape measure fabric here and there.

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The back is just as functional as the front. Tired of the front? Flip it.

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For the binding, if I have enough, I will use the yellow tape measure fabric.


Lastly, I quilted something I started months ago. A ticker tape little quilt with the raw edged pieces sewn on top of pre-quilted white fabric.

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It was the 2nd one I made and had planned to finish it and put both in my Etsy shop. BUT the first took so long to make (after I kept adding stuff), that I was plum tuckered out and didn’t finish the second one. It ended up in the dust collecting UFO pile. Quilting was diagonal lines following the pattern of the pre-quilted fabric.

This is what the first one looks like finished.

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Now I wish I had put the Go Green on the second one. Kinda cute, huh?

So… that is how I spent last Saturday, National Quilting Day.

What all did you do? Do tell.


Linking up to…

http://www.conniekresin.com/2013/03/linky-tuesday_19.html