Getting The Pillow Fever Again


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I have always loved making pillows. They are just so fun and relaxing to make. Especially when just piecing little squares. But be warned. They can be addicting.

This is my latest one. I spent a week on it. ๐Ÿ˜€ (I hear you. Stop laughing.)

Here’s what happened… Two weeks ago, I made a table runner from some of my leftover Hugs and Kisses blocks. The blocks were collecting dust in a pile in a corner. I always feel bad when I start a new project without finishing sewing some of the UFO’s. So I gave the X and O blocks a bit of my attention.

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Making the runner did not take long since the blocks were already made. Just needed stitching together, borders added and quilted. Simple quilting. Straight lines. Plus a bit of stippling. And done.

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Then I decided a pillow was needed to go with the table runner. But had to search high and low for the fabrics used in the X & O blocks. That took a day and ended up with me dismantling one leftover Scrappy Trip block for the exact peach fabric I needed. And then, wouldn’t you know it. I got some sort of stomach bug and ended up being all queasy-stomach sick for five days. Didn’t feel like doing much of anything. Certainly not sewing. At least not for long stretches. I would sew a border and then take a nap. That was my routine for days.

Finally yesterday, I was able to sit in the sewing machine chair longer than the loo chair and managed to work on my pillow. It is made with 2 1/2″ squares and several borders. One border is a strip of squares cut in half. Quilting is diagonal lines.

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I put binding all around the sides just as I would a quilt.

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My machine sewn binding is getting SO GOOD, don’t you think? I may never go back to hand sewing.

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Before I got sick, I had finished another doll quilt with matching pillow and a little handbag. Never got to show them to you.

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All inspired by one of my leftover Scrappy Trip blocks. I have so many of them left that I could turn each one into a doll quilt. One for each day of the month. But I won’t do that. I have other ideas for them. (Or I could send them to you if anyone wants them.)

I also finished sewing together ten Wonky HST blocks. They sit waiting for their polka dot corners.

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None of my other on-going scrap projects got worked on. Need to do that before month’s end. Got to show some progress, right?

Well, that is it for me. That’s all of my Show and Tell.

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What have you been working on? Do tell….


Linking to.

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2013/05/pin-cushions.html

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2013/05/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-lots-of-quilting.html

http://richardquilts.blogspot.com/2013/05/link-finish-friday-68.html

http://aroundtheblockdesigns.blogspot.com/2013/05/really-random-52313-portlandia.html

http://www.sew-much-ado.com/2013/05/we-did-it-wednesday_21.html

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. ๐Ÿ˜€

What all have you been creating? Do tell.

Learning Two New Quilt Blocks Before Year’s End: Granny Square and Braid


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Granny Square and Braid. These two blocks have been on my To Learn list all year. That list is so long, I thought I needed to cross a couple things off before the new year got here.

So… I Googled both and found easy tutorials to follow. (See bottom of post)

First off, since I was working with my orange scraps, that was the color I used to make the first Granny Square block. Made four.

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Then I made two green ones. Not sure what I will do with the orange ones but I think the green ones will look nice next to my scrap block I showed you a few days ago. What do you think? Might work, huh.

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The Granny Square is easy though the hardest part (to me) was getting a pleasing arrangement. I think I like the darker shades best. The light shades seem to get lost.

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I didn’t use white fabric for the last round since I will probably use white for sashing. Squares are 2 1/2″ and I used scraps where I could and some stash. The block finishes at 9″ square. As I make my way through my scraps, I plan to make more Granny Square blocks in different colors.


Braid Block

I LOVE the look. I have seen some really pretty quilts around the net using this technique. Mine will be all different shades of green (still working from that huge bag of green scraps). I was kind of worried it would be too bland BUT I think with the sashing it will be OK.

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I sewed 50 strips and it measured 36″. Got a ways to go before it begins to look like a quilt top. My strips are 1 1/2″ by 4 1/2″. The tutorial said any size strip will work just to make sure the length was 2 1/2 times the width. Most of my scrap strips were 1 1/2″ anyway. Didn’t make sense not to use them. I was so excited to get started. But it took about four hours to cut all the strips. I cut hundreds.

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Why did I cut so many? No clue. I couldn’t stop!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Now, I have to sit and sew. And take frequent breaks. Hopefully I won’t get bored building my braid quilt top. I will set up a reward system. Sew 50 strips. Go for a snack. Sew 50 more. Go take a nap. That sounds like a plan I can work with.

What about you? What quilt blocks are on your To Do List? Do tell.


Here are the links to the tutorials I used.

http://blueelephantstitches.blogspot.com/2012/01/granny-square-quilt-block-tutorial.html

http://www.quilterscache.com/B/BraidBlock.html


Linking up to…

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2012/12/finish-it-up-friday-122812.html

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2012/12/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-gift-for-very.html

http://richardquilts.blogspot.com/2012/12/link-finish-friday-47.html

Candy Giveaway


Update Sunday, November 18: Contest is now closed for comments. Thanks for entering!!


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Have you heard? Moda now has Candy. Cute little 2 1/2″ fabric squares.

You are welcome to one of these mini charm packs. I bought duplicates.

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All have 42 squares. 100% cotton. Duplicates of some prints.

Top row.

Everlastings by Sandy Gervais
Odds and Ends by Julie Comstock of Cosmo Cricket
Harvest Moon by Kansas Troubles Quilters

Bottom row.

Tapestry by Joanna Figueroa, Fig Tree Quilts
Metropolitan Fair by Barbara Brackman
Spa by Deb Strain


Tell me in comments which one you would like.

I will use Random Generator to select ONE COMMENT on Sunday, November 18 and mail on Monday, November 19.

Everyone welcome. I will ship international. Good luck!!

4 Rows To Go, Maybe Add 2 More


Still working on my Hugs and Kisses quilt top (X’s and O’s). Eight rows sewn together.

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Four to go. Still up on my design wall.

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BUT… I am thinking the quilt top might look better if the measurement down was the same as across. That would mean making 28 more blocks. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Not sure I want to keep adding to something already bad.

No, for real. IT IS BAD!! From afar (across the street at the neighbors), it looks good. If you look really closely, you will see the white strips do not line up properly. This is the only diamond that came even close to being OK.

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So sad. But it is my first quilt top using this design. I know I can do better. I just have to slow down when sewing on the diagonal.

I like most of the blocks. A few, not so much.

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Like this pink one on the top left. I think it is a 1930’s fabric reprint. To be truthful, it could have stayed in the scrap bin. Or better yet, maybe leaped by itself into the trash bin. Not a good decision on my part to mix it with the jeweltones.

Oh well, it is what it is. (Don’t you hate that saying!! It is what it is.) Not going to pick them out. I will accept my mistakes, learn from them and move on.

One thing I did have 20/20 on… making sure I knew where what went. I added a quilting pin to the first block of each row.

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Thank goodness. After two days of figuring out where I wanted each block, getting them all mixed up during the sewing wasn’t something I wanted to waste time with. So that one little step kept me from pulling out what little bit of hair I have left. ๐Ÿ˜€

Here’s what I plan to use for the back and binding.

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I like it and will use the burgundy scissors for the binding. I thought maybe orange polka dots for the binding. Might be too loud.

For anyone thinking about trying this design, it goes together fairly quickly after the blocks are made.


Go here for the instructions.

http://www.littlemissshabby.com/2011/11/hugs-kisses-quilt-block-tutorial/

Hugs and Kisses: The Block That Keeps On Giving


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Finally….

I have settled on the final look for my Hugs and Kisses quilt. The X’s and O’s design. It took awhile and I ended up making 238 blocks. My quilt uses just 168. 14 blocks across and 12 blocks down. That left 70 that I discarded due to various reasons. Print too conflicting, too loud, too pale, too dark, not a perfect blend. Those were mainly the reasons. I think I have a good mix now. I double, triple checked the “tips” to make sure there were no duplicates inside the diamonds.

So… now that I am happy with the arrangement, it is time to take them down one by one and begin sewing the columns and rows together.

There was one thing I hated about making this block. The trimming. No matter how carefully I sewed on the diagonal across the 3″ and 2 1/2″ squares, I still had hangover on the sides that needed trimming.

But there were a couple things I LOVED!! This block is forgiving as well as giving.

The Forgiving. What do all of these cut squares have in common?

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They are flawed. Tips missing or chewed up. One edge shredded. One has a dark blotch. These for a regular quilt would probably be discarded, tossed in the scrap bin. But for this block, since only half of the square is visible, they can still be used.

The Giving. The design of this block automatically creates dog-ears. Lots of them. Four per block. But with sewing an extra seam 1/2″ from the corner-to-corner diagonal seam, a Half-Square Triangle is made when trimmed. Yes, I know. That takes more time to complete each block. Time I have. And more scraps accumulating in the scrap bin I don’t need. So, I took the time to sew the additional seams.

And guess what? This is what I have to show for it.

Almost 1,000 Half-Square Triangles (HST’s). Can you believe this?

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The process is pretty simple. (I posted the link to the instructions on the bottom.)
You can see how I made mine from these photos.

One 5″, two 3″ white and two 2 1/2″ squares. Per block. (Instead of drawing a pencil line down the center to mark where to sew, I pressed a crease on the diagonal fold.)

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First sew corner-to-corner on the pressed diagonal line to add the two white squares. Mark 1/2″ from the sewn line. Now sew on the marked line. Cut in between the two sewn seams. And you get your first Half-Square Triangle. HST will be about 2 1/8″. Press white triangle up. (Don’t do any trimming just yet.) Repeat process to add the 2 1/2″ squares.

This photo is showing all the seams you will sew. You will cut in between the seams.

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The first cut produces a 2 1/8″ HST and the second cut produces a 1 5/8″ HST.

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I have wanted to make a quilt and pillows out of HST’s. Now I can. I will NEVER again cut away the dog-ear ends and toss them in my scrap bin.

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How about you? What do you do with your dog-ear ends?


Go here for the instructions to make your own Hugs and Kisses quilt.

http://www.littlemissshabby.com/2011/11/hugs-kisses-quilt-block-tutorial/

Weekend Cutting Marathon


(Update: 8-24-12 09:45am
Guessing game is now closed. Fran is the winner. She guessed 857 squares. I cut 945 squares. Thanks so much, everyone, for submitting a guess.)


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All weekend was spent with my rotary cutter glued to my right hand. Standing over my cutting table. Shifting from my right foot to my left foot. Sighing about every hour. ๐Ÿ˜€ I even missed a couple of meals. I wanted to get my squares cut and over with.

You see, I saw this quilt on the net that I love and want to make. It takes 2 1/2″ and 5″ scrappy squares. Plus 3″ white squares which I cut from my stash. The scrappy squares took forever. I AGAIN went through all of my scraps.

This is what I ended up with.

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Guess the total number of 2 1/2″ and 5″ squares I cut, without going over.. and I will mail you one of my handcrafted items. I will select something pretty for you.

So.. let the guessing begin.

Leave your guess in comments. Guesses submitted via e-mail will not count. Must be posted here on this post. You have between now and Thursday, August 23 midnight EST to enter. Good luck and thanks for entering my contest.

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I will ship international. Everyone welcome.


Linking up to…

http://www.conniekresin.com/2012/08/linky-party-tuesday_21.html

My Tree Is Quilted and Finished


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Just finished this today. My evergreen tree is quilted and ready to hang. That is, after I make the sleeve and sew it on. I already have a rod long enough so I should be able to hang it sometime today. It measures 30″ by 30″.

I am pleased with how it came out though I could have done a better stitch-in-the-ditch for sewing on the binding to the back. I haven’t done much stitch-in-the-ditch. But I am sure with practice I will get better.

For the quilting, I made diagonal lines from the top and followed down the “branch” tips on the left and right. And then I outlined the trunk and several squares above it. Along the last border, I sewed two straight lines all around.

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You can see the quilting better from the back.

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Here’s my machine sewn binding. Not too bad. I will go slower next time so I can stay inside the ditch.

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I even have an idea for Christmas. Using little scrap pieces of red fabric and making gift boxes with red squares. Add red polka dots or some other red Christmas fabric for the border and it will be perfect for the holidays. So that means I will be making a second tree. ๐Ÿ˜€

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It was fun and easy to make. If you want to make one, use pre-cut charm packets if you have them. Using scraps was great and I love working with scraps but the preparation time delays you getting started.

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OK, that is a finish for me. Yay!! (Now I am off to work on a UFO.)


Go here to read about how I made my tree and for links to other patterns.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/for-ever-green-didnt-want-to-rush-christmas/


Linking up to…

http://bowdabrablog.com/2012/08/18/saturday-showcase-craft-projects-15/

http://richardquilts.blogspot.com/2012/08/link-finish-friday-28.html

http://mamalovequilts.blogspot.ca/2012/08/tgiff.html

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2012/08/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-sweet-baby.html

Ragged Edges Quilt and New Back Idea


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As I was making the charity blocks for Margaret’s Hope Chest, I decided I wanted my own Ragged Edges Quilt. So I made duplicates in most cases where I had enough fabric.

I have to tell you, this project was a Labor of Love. One thing kept me going. I could see the potential for something pretty to blossom. An explosion of color. I used every fabric source in my craft room. Stash. Charm squares. Scraps. I searched high and low looking for anything I could use to make monochromatic blocks. It took me four (I repeat… FOUR!!) days to sort through everything and get the blocks sewn. I touched every scrap in my Scrap Bin and pulled out those that were at least 3 1/2″ square.

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Though it seemed to take forever… I enjoyed getting reacquainted with all the different scrap pieces and colors. I even took the time to put them in color order.

Just about every color is represented in my Ragged Edges quilt. It’s All In There.

Purple (lots of purple), pink, red, orange, blue, navy, wine, green, yellow, peach and aqua. I wasn’t so sure about mixing the darker colors with the bright rainbow colors but I think it works out OK. I am even thinking of using wine for the binding. To bring it all together.

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Counting the charity blocks and those for me, I made a total of 75 blocks. I am using 56 for my quilt. They are up on my design wall. Next I have to sew them in columns and then rows. I will let them stay up there for a day or two. So I can look at them. ๐Ÿ˜€

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The blocks I made for Margaret’s Hope Chest were mailed a few days ago.

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And I just found out the deadline was extended until August 20th. So there is still time if you want to make some blocks. Go here for the details.

http://margaretshopechest.blogspot.com/2012/07/prison-visit-tomorrow.html

http://margaretshopechest.blogspot.com/

http://margaretshopechest.blogspot.com/2012/06/end-of-summer-work-party-with-amanda.html

Join in if you can.ย  Thanks!!


Update on my Umbrella Quilt Top

The dust has settled. And a new idea for the back to my umbrella quilt has emerged. While still waiting for a 50% off coupon from JoAnn’s so I buy more purple fabric, I got to thinking. Maybe, just maybe, these might work.

White and lavender polka dots with the little bit of purple I have left. I think I can stretch the purple.

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Hope my “new” idea works. More details and photos to come.

OK, taking a break now.

What have you been doing? Do tell.


Linking up to…

http://conniekresin.blogspot.com/2012/08/linky-party-tuesday.html