Attic Window And Update on Red-Black Project


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This is another block I have wanted to try. Attic Window. There are several ways to construct the “window” effect. The hard way and the quick way.

I used this tutorial to make mine.

http://www.claudiasquiltshoppe.com/QAWH1AtticWindow.pdf

Not the Y seam one. The easier one. One day I will try the harder one but for now, I am perfectly happy with this one. More on this block later. I am still working on what it will be. But I can tell you, the black, white and red 1 1/2″ squares will be used.

And speaking of my red/black/white squares…

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It took me two days to sew all the squares into rows and then the rows into one big block. 21 squares per row. 21 rows = 441 squares.

To eliminate the need to backstitch the beginning and endings of the 1 1/2″ squares, I decreased my stitch length. The seams held well and didn’t unravel as I sewed the squares together. Then when I sewed the rows together, I switched back to the default stitch length. This worked really well. No backstitching or lockstitching.

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It measures 22″ by 22″ so far without any borders.

Now I have to decide do I want to make another block exactly like this one. The little squares are already cut. May as well, huh? I like how it is turning out.

SS Holiday: St Patrick’s Day Table Topper


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I wanted to make a St Patrick’s Day quilt. Something small. Table topper for my SS Holiday series or a wall hanging. Maybe even a mug rug. I have a St Pat’s Mug Rug project due soon in my quilt group that I needed to be thinking about.

I have lots of green fabric but none in what I would consider a true St Pat’s green. A bright kelly green. And nothing even close to a traditional St Patrick’s Day fabric (think green shamrocks). Not wanting to add to my ever increasing stash, I decided to make do. Make it work!!.

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And “making it work” means just that. Time to put on the BLINDERS. Time to block out what has gone on before. Time to just make what I want with whatever colors and fabrics I want.

This was my Inspiration Fabric. Some green. Even cups and mugs. Perfect!!

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These are the fabrics and colors I picked from my stash. I cut little 1 1/2″ squares from each.

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Brown polka dots would be the center, the base to build around.

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I Googled shamrock template and found a couple I could use. The largest one, I enlarged it twice to make two slightly bigger shamrocks. Then I ironed lightweight Pellon to the backs.

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Here I am testing shamrock placement and a green border.

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I used Steam-A-Seam2 to hold the shamrocks in place.

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And now ready to applique.

Well, actually ready to test out the Blanket Stitch on my sewing machine. But first, since I had dusted off my sewing machine manual and WAS READING IT (be still my heart)… I did a bit of Twin Needle stitching. Yuck!! Don’t know about you but not my cup of tea. It bunched in the back so I removed all of it.

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OK, back to applique blanket stitching. Here’s my practice piece. (You can see my twin needle practicing here too.)

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Ready to sew. Blanket stitching we go!! My 1st time ever doing it.

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Applique done. Quilting done.

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Ready for the binding. I selected this color to bring in the shamrock navy.

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And FINISHED!! Ready to place on a table or hang on the wall. It measures 22″ by 17″.

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You can read about my SS Holiday series here.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/s-s-holiday-table-runners-for-the-holidays/


What are your plans for St Patrick’s Day? Are you sewing anything?


Linking up to:

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2012/03/finish-it-up-friday-week-17.html

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2012/03/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-busy-week.html

http://conniekresin.blogspot.com/2012/02/linky-party-tuesday_28.html

http://howsweetthesound.typepad.com/my_weblog/2012/03/pink-saturday-march-17-2012.html

Wish I Could Keep You… But You Have To Go Home


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Have you ever worked on a project that you enjoyed so much you hated to see it end? So, you purposely dragged it out. That happened to me with my Brown Bag Project. A project from my quilt group.

You are probably saying, “What’s a Brown Bag project?”

It’s a project where you send off a bag of scraps to your quilt partner and she makes something FOR YOU FROM YOUR SCRAPS. Not sure why it is called Brown Bag since any bag would work. Zip Lock even. But it just sounds more mysterious. Actually it could be called the Mystery Project because you have no idea what will be sent back. I will show you what I sent once I have my completed item back. So you can see the before and after.

But I can do a Show and Tell of what my quilt partner sent me and what I made for her.


BEFORE

These are the scraps she sent per the guidelines. Nothing larger than a Fat Quarter or smaller than a 5″ square. A mix of purples and lavenders.

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OH!! I forgot to tell you. I was allowed to use one fabric from my own stash and batting. This is what I used. A dark purple and lavender fabric.

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AFTER

First, I made a table mat. Would also be pretty as a wall hanging. It measures 18″ by 18″.

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I used my Double Strip Ruler to cut the triangles and I have to tell you, the seams lined up perfectly. No stressing out. I will definitely use it again.

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Still lots of scraps left so I made a table runner. It measures 28″ by 12″.

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I just love the look of these two fabrics together. One is a Batik. And the other, a soft cotton print.

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And then, with still some scraps left, I made two stuffed birds. Are you getting the picture? LOL. I don’t want this project to end. 😀

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And lastly… I had just enough fabric left to make the pincushion I showed you a few days ago.

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Ha!! You thought I made that pincushion for myself, eh. I wish, but nope, it goes HOME too. 😦

Everything gets shipped off today. I will be sad to see it go but all things must come to an end. Can’t wait for my quilt partner to see what I made from her scraps. I hope she likes. I know I do!!

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Go here to read about the making of my pincushion.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/cathedral-window-pincushion/


Have you ever done a Brown Bag Swap? What did you make?


Bird pattern here.

http://www.spoolsewing.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/birdpattern1-1.pdf

Pincushion pattern here.

http://www.rileyblakedesigns.com/cutting-corners/2012/02/17/cathedral-window-pincushion/


Linking up to:

http://conniekresin.blogspot.com/2012/02/linky-party-tuesday_28.html

Thanks, Connie!!

Cathedral Window Pincushion


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This is one of the blocks I have been itching to try. I moved it to the top of my To-Make list after deciding to try something small.

I have been wanting to make a pincushion for months. But I wanted to make mine with crushed walnut shells inside and didn’t have any. So, off I went to Petsmart.

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Rather than walk around searching for the shells, I asked for help right off the bat. The lady asked me what type pet I had. None. 😀 I quickly mentioned I wanted the shells for crafts. Specifically, pincushions. Must not have been the first time she heard that. She never blinked. Didn’t say “for real.” None of that. She walked me to a bag. The ONLY bag they had. 7 lbs. I will be making lots of pincushions!!

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But first, let me show you the one I made yesterday. All from scraps in purple and lavender.

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It looks ok. It will pass.

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The button in the center is not just for decoration. It is for saving face. Covering my poor stitching. 😀

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I put the walnut shells in a little sack I made out of batting. Then inserted it into the opening in the back. (I ended up using this darker purple for the back instead of the glittered fabric.)

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It fits perfectly inside one of my recycled wooden frames. Is this cool or what!! It measures 3 1/2″ square and 1 3/4″ high.

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This is the tutorial I used. Go here if you would like to make one. It’s easy. Only one confusing part but I figured it out.

http://www.rileyblakedesigns.com/cutting-corners/2012/02/17/cathedral-window-pincushion/

Have you tried making a cathedral window block? Do you like them?

Meet My New Birds: The Flappers


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It’s the middle of February… so that means Spring is only a few miles away, right?

Am I rushing things a bit? Yep, I am.

Snow season is winding down and I am so ready for the warmth of the sun. And the sounds of spring. In my head, I have skipped ahead and hear chirping. I guess you could say I have birds on the brain.

I recently saw this fabric bird pattern on the net and decided to try it.

http://www.spoolsewing.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/birdpattern1-1.pdf

This is the first one I made.

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It came out smaller than I wanted so I played around with the sizing and enlarged it on my computer. Then made a practice one to make sure the pieces still lined up. Made several enlarged ones until I got the size I wanted.

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Then I decided to do something different with the tail. I tried sticking a piece of cross-stitch plastic inside the tail to give it more weight. I wanted the nose raised a bit higher. Nope, would melt when pressed.

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Next I tested adding buttons to the tail. One on top and one on the underside. That seemed to work. The nose lifted more. The flap idea was so the button didn’t stand out like a sore thumb.

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I didn’t put any stuffing inside the tail. Just ironed in a piece of lightweight Pellon, pinked the tail edges and sewed on the flap and buttons.

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I really like how these turned out and have other ideas for them. And I am going to work on a different design I have in my head.

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Are YOU ready for Spring?


Fabrics used:

  • Michael Miller’s Clown Stripes and Citron Gray (Bird Swing and Quarter Dot)
  • 3 different Henry Glass’ Party In Pink
  • Gray polka dot, black polka dot and yellow print fabrics came from JoAnn’s

5 Years And Hardly Know You


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For the last few days I have been reading my Janome 10001 Memory Craft sewing machine manual and watching the video that came with it. I know I watched the video 5 years ago but some of the bells and whistles are just becoming clearer and making sense now.

First off, I have been saying Janome all wrong. I had been pronouncing it Ja (like you would start off saying jug), NO, Me. That is not how they say it at all. In the video it sounds like they are saying Ja (like jaw) No May.

The reason I dusted off the manual was because I wanted to know more about the twin needle function. How to thread, what to use it for. Also I wanted to know how to download embroidery patterns.

Along the way, I found out I could blanket stitch applique pieces. Even found out I could lock stitch the last stitches when I come to the end. I had been backstitching and sometimes making a bunched up mess. I spent quite a bit of time experimenting with my embroidery screen prompts. My machine can do WAY MORE than I thought.

If you are like me, reading a manual to ANYTHING is right up there with scheduling a root canal. I Hate It!! But usually after finally taking the time, it ends up being so worth it. Time well spent. Hopefully I will be showing you some of my newly learned knowledge soon.

And time to dust these off too. I bought all of this embroidery stuff when I bought my sewing machine. I made a couple of practice pieces and used the Sulky spray adhesive. The rest… just collecting dust… somewhere. Got to go find them.

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How about you? What did you “wing” and not bother reading the manual? Did you ever go back to read it?

Crystal’s Bead Challenge Reveal: My Kissing Hearts Necklace


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I am so glad I gave myself plenty of time to experiment with these pretty red hearts and white tubes. Got them at Crystal’s bead shop. http://www.etsy.com/shop/beadhappilyeverafter. The plan was to spend about two days making a bracelet. The design which was in my head was a charm bracelet with dangling hearts.

But after starting, a different idea popped up.

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And another.

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And another.

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Even necklace ideas floated passed my eyes.

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If the hearts could talk, I bet they would have said, “enough already!! Pick ONE design and stick to it!!” LOL!! Thank goodness stringing wire is cheap.

This is what I ended up submitting. Kissing Hearts. It makes my heart go all skippy just looking at it. I love it!!

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I had fun working on Crystal’s challenge. Go check out the other entries from all of the participants. Very pretty. Looking at them gave me a couple of ideas. I love looking at handcrafted jewelry.

http://beadhappilyeverafter.com/blog/?p=18634

Thanks, Crystal, for hosting your 2nd bead challenge. Can’t wait for the next one.

Flip-It: Planter For All Seasons and Holidays


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This is a recycle project AND a quilting project. My Flip-It Planter.

With a quick flip or switch of the quilted square, your work space will be refreshed and updated all year round. Your 9-to-5 desk, home office or craft table. Any space large enough to hold a container.

I rescued these wooden frames from the trash bin at my last J O B.

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They originally housed a cute little battery-operated calculator/clock/calendar.

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But sadly, like most things these days, the batteries were dead on arrival and some of the clocks got discarded. BUT nothing was wrong with the wood frames. I bagged them. Took them home. After four years, I still hadn’t done anything with them.

Then last year I decided to dust them off and make something. Hubby even helped out. He screwed in a side hinge. Which didn’t work. The sides didn’t line up for the box effect I wanted. He drilled holes in them and I tied them together with cord. Still not what I wanted. That’s when I thought of duct tape. Michaels had some really cute tape in fashion colors and designs. Bought some. Tried again. It worked.

I made these boxes.

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And then I quilted squares from scraps to fit inside the outer frames.

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This year I thought I would try something different. Valentine’s Day fabric on the front. Spring fabric on the back. A little fabric time travel, if you will. 😀

Just finished these new ones today.

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My project uses five frames to create each box. Frames can be also be used to display photos, cards, artwork, etc. I like how they look with the quilted squares.

Any fabric will work or even scraps. Fabric for one season or holiday on front. A different season or holiday hidden on the back until you flip it. Just like a calendar.

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Make them for all the major holidays. Could even give as a gift. Use birthday fabric. And how about a baby shower with baby-themed fabric? Fill the box with baby bath products. So many ideas!!

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If anyone would like to make their own Flip-It Planter, I can put some frames in my Etsy Shop. One dollar each plus shipping. E-mail me or leave a comment. Thanks!!


Fabrics I used: Moda on the front and Michael Miller’s Citron Gray on the back. The gray polka dot came from JoAnn’s. Warm and Natural cotton batting.

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Linking up to Crazymomquilts for finish up Friday.

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2012/02/finish-it-up-friday-week-14.html

Quick Project: How To Make Quilted Valentine Headband


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Over the next week, I will show you the Valentine-themed projects I have been working on. They are quick and easy. Still time to make for yourself or as gifts for your loved ones for Valentine’s Day.

The first…

A Quilted Cotton Headband made with Valentine fabrics.


Supplies List

  • Fabric 1: Valentine-themed
  • Fabric 2: Valentine-themed
  • Fabric 3: Contrast fabric for binding
  • Cotton Batting
  • Large Button
  • Thin Elastic
  • Thread

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Directions to make one Headband

Cut Fabric

Top: Cut one strip 23″ by 2 1/4″ from Fabric 1. (If using scraps, piece together a strip measuring 24″ by 3″. Trim to 23″ by 2 1/4″)
Bottom: Repeat above from Fabric 2.
Batting: Cut one 24″ by 3″ strip.

Quilting

Sandwich fabrics and batting in this order. Fabric 1 face up, batting, Fabric 2 face down. Make sure fabric edges are aligned evenly. Hold up to the light to make sure edges match. Pin to secure the “sandwich” and begin quilting in your desired design. I used a heart design and loops.

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Trimming and Rounded Corners

Trim all sides. You should end up with a quilted strip of approximately 22″ by 2″.

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Now, round all corners. Use something round to mark the corners. Trim off excess.

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Binding (and adding Elastic Strip)

Cut one strip 58 by 2″. Or if using scraps, piece together with mitered corners.

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Go here if you are unsure how to miter. This site has excellent directions, very easy, anyone can do it. http://www.heatherbaileydesign.com/HB_QuiltBinding.pdf

Fold binding in half, press. Pin and sew on the binding. (Go to the above link for directions if you need help sewing on a binding.)

Add in the elastic strip (long enough to go around your button) on one end before completely sewing around the end. Elastic strip should be placed to the left of where you will be sewing. Backstitch several times to secure. I used a very thin black elastic.

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Button Closure

Fit headband around your head to determine placement of button. Sew on button.

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To prevent stitches from showing on the backside. Go in and out of the SAME area. Don’t cross over to the next hole. Will look neater from the back. (Or you could sew on a second button underneath to hide the stitches.)

And FINISHED. Enjoy!!

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What I used…

Valentine-themed fabric from Moda. Black polka dot fabric and heart button are from JoAnn’s. Warm and White cotton batting from JoAnn’s.

It is now in my Etsy Shop.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/92511187/valentine-quilted-cotton-headband-in-red


Linking to Crazymomquilts. Check out the Friday finishes.

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2012/02/finish-it-up-friday-week-14.html