Snuggle Time… Come Look!!

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I am all ready for Fall. Got my new Hugs and Kisses quilt. My coffee and my quilt books. I AM READY for the cooler weather!!

Finished sewing on the binding in the wee hours this morning. Had to wait for some decent light so I could take photos.

I have definitely found a new way to sew on a binding. I love how the extra 1/4″ batting I left all around looks. It is so much fuller and I didn’t have any problems getting near perfect corners.

This is how the corners looked pinned.

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And how they look machine sewn.

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Want to see one more? I am so loving this binding.

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And I love how the back looks.

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I have to tell you. I am really pleased how this quilt turned out. Wonky looking white strips and all. It measures 62″ by 62″. I will definitely make another one using this design. (Hopefully I have learned a thing or two on the block construction.)

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I will try to get a couple photos of the full quilt outside. If the weather cooperates.

Wait until you see what is on my table now. You won’t believe it!! πŸ˜€

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

Linking up to….

OK, What Is Today? It’s BINDING Day!!

It took 5 hours to quilt my Hugs and Kisses quilt top. I stippled the 5″ squares and left the diamonds plain. Didn’t see the need to mash them down. They kind of “pop” up at you. I like that.

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I didn’t do all five hours in one sitting. I did 8 columns, took a half day break and finished the other six columns yesterday. And I ended up clearing off my 2nd banquet table and pushing the two together. Working from one wasn’t working. The back kept going all wonky.

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Quilt top is trimmed and ready for the binding. Notice I left 1/4″ of the batting all around.

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Going to see if I like it this way. I always feel like the binding should be fuller. Have you ever done this? Hope I like it. If not, I can always unpin the binding and trim off the extra 1/4″.

Anyhoo, glad that is done!! My one regret… that I didn’t think to use the cranberry scissors fabric for some of the 5″ squares.

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Don’t know why. I had already decided on the back and binding well in advance of finishing so I had plenty of time to use it. Oh well. Something to think about for the next one using this design.

BBL to show you the finished quilt. I am not going to hand sew the binding. No siree. I am tired of looking at it. Want to finish up as quickly as possible and move on to something else. πŸ˜€

Thanks for coming along with me as I created this quilt top.

Today Is Quilting Day

Well, it had to happen some time, right?

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I cleared off one banquet table and got started. Or so I thought. I FORGOT TO MAKE A BACK!! Silly me. Had to put the sewing machine back on the table. Had to piece the material for the backing since it was only 45″ wide. Duh…

I guess that is what happens when you haven’t quilted any large projects for a LONG time. You forget what to do.

Anyhoo… back taped to the table, basting spray and pins in hand.

Whew!! I am plum tuckered out just from all that. BUT I will start quilting this quilt top TODAY. I thought about straight lines but I think I am going to stipple it with medium sized puzzle pieces.

OH. Forgot to tell you. I added the 28 additional blocks several days ago. Quilt top now measures 62″ by 62″. 14 blocks across and 14 blocks down. 196 total.

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I slowly sewed along the diagonal lines and the white strips in the center matched up much better this time.

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I know I can still do better so I am figuring out how best to make the next ones. I am not trying for 100% perfection. Just trying to better my percentage.

I have been working on some other things, too. Will show you in a few days.

Hope you are staying busy with your projects. Working on anything for Fall?

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

I’m Done… Hugs and Kisses Quilt Top

I’m done!! Feels good to say that.

Though actually, I AM NOT DONE. I decided to go ahead and make another row of X’s and O’s. 28 more blocks. To make it 14 blocks across and 14 blocks down. I already studied the quilt top to see which colors to use.

This is what it looks like now. 168 blocks. 63 1/2″ across and 52 1/2″ down.

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I would have been finished about a week ago if I hadn’t swapped out all the darker colors, too busy prints and the see through fabrics. I have almost 80 blocks I didn’t use. Probably will use some of them in a darker themed quilt.

But this was a learning experience for me. I struggled sewing on the diagonal. And I was obsessed with trimming. I am thinking for the next quilt top using this design I will trim after I decide where each block will go. That way I should be able to better match up the white diamond strips.

Here’s a close up.

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I guess it isn’t as bad as I told you yesterday. Some parts are OK.

Hopefully it won’t take me long to make 28 additional blocks. I want to get it quilted and moved to the Finished Column. πŸ˜€

Go here if you would like to make your own Hugs and Kisses quilt.

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. 😦 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. πŸ˜€

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.

Hugs and Kisses: The Block That Keeps On Giving

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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.

Quilting By The Numbers: 24, 150, 19 and 0

I can NOT believe August has come and gone!! So fast. Just like that. Here and gone. Well, one more day. Today. All those To-Do’s, To-Make’s. Did some. Didn’t do A LOT.

BUT… I did accomplish quite a bit this week and last.

24. I worked on my charity pillowcases.

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As you know my goal is 5 a week or 20 a month. And being the Queen Procrastinator that I am, I didn’t start the ones for August until September was breathing down my neck. Talk about pressure!! But I did it. 24 pillowcases. How’s that for a Breakneck Sewing Marathon.

I have to say, I like this batch. Batch 6. I like them a lot. Some fabrics are new that I recently caught on sale at JoAnn’s. Footballs and helmets, owls, miniature toy cars.

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And some were leftover from other batches. I am using up quite a few novelty pieces.

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This batch also includes a few softer, sweet girly baby pink ones.

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That makes a total of 106 pillowcases made so far this year. I am on track to meet my 2012 goal. πŸ˜€

150. That’s the number of Hugs and Kisses blocks I have completed. The scrappy blocks I am making from all those squares I cut. I pulled out four of my favorites. They are in the front.

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This is how all 150 look up on my design wall. I need 12 more blocks to finish off the “X” on the right side and six along the bottom row. Unless I add more columns and rows, the quilt top will be 14 blocks wide and 12 blocks long. Each block finishes off at 5″ square.

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I didn’t realize how much I work with jeweltone colors until I saw Crystal’s comment on my blog. And I do!! My quilt will be brighter than the one I was inspired by. Bolder. Not sure I am happy with the larger prints like the navy huge circles. May swap them out.

Later this year or next year, I would love to make these blocks using baby themed fabrics. Also I have an idea for one in black and white. Need to get it mapped out on paper before I cut the squares.

19. My string blocks are coming along too. I am making them for a swap in one of my quilt groups.

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I got the final count for the swap a couple days ago. Including myself, there are five people participating. So I only have to make 16 blocks. Four per. I actually am finished. So far, I have made 19 but want to continue making them so I can select the best of the bunch for the swap. (I took out the four I am using for my wall hanging.)

I kind of strayed from the swap guidelines (make scrappy, don’t color coordinate) on a few. Not sure if I will keep them or use for the swap.

Purple and Turquoise.

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Michael and Henry.

I am calling this one the Michael and Henry block. I used three Michael Miller and four Henry Glass fabrics. I like it. Think I will keep this one and make more.

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Swap mailout deadline is Sept 30. Can you believe it!! For once in my life I am ahead of schedule. Probably because they are fun to make. And addicting. I can’t resist pulling out 12-14 strips and laying them out on a square of muslin. Then when I get bored with whatever I am making, I make a string block. My Boredom Breaker method seems to be working well.

Do you like making string blocks? Have you ever tried it? Try it. You might like it. What a great way to make a dent in the mountain of scraps I know you have. πŸ˜€

Zero. 😦 Sadly, this month will go by without a quilt top finish. How did that happen!! I could make a list but they would all be excuses. So I won’t bore you. I really DO want to quilt my quilt tops. I have to keep telling myself I will feel so much better once they are finished and the binding is sewn on. I have the finished look in my head. Now I need to get the finished quilt in my hands.

Hopefully I will have a finished quilt to post in September.

How about you? What Fall projects do you have lined up? Do tell…

Don’t forget to enter my “Be An Animal” giveaway. Three lucky people will win prizes. Could be you!!

Linking up to…

Guessing Game Winner Is… Fran.

Drumroll please…

I cut a total of 945 squares (751 – 2 1/2″ squares and 194 – 5″ squares)

The winner of my guessing game is Fran. She guessed 857. Her guess was the closest without going over.

Fran said:
August 23, 2012 at 11:38 am
I am going to say you cut a total of 857.

Congrats, Fran, please send me your name and address so I can get something pretty mailed off to you.

And a special thank you to everyone who left a comment. I enjoyed reading each one.

Many of you commented you wanted to see what I was making. I am making a quilt called Hugs and Kisses. I saw it at Little Miss Shabby’s site (link at bottom of post) and really loved it. It seemed easy enough for me to make. Scraps I have. Tons of them. This quilt is tailor-made for me.

So far I have 40 blocks finished. Can you see the X’s and O’s? πŸ˜€

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Each block measures 5″ square. I will probably make 100 more. As I finish more blocks, I will rearrange them to mix the colors up well. And I’ll do a post in a couple days so you can see how I am making mine. I am doing two things different from the tutorial.

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Hopefully mine will be as pretty as hers.

Go here for Little Miss Shabby’s tutorial. (Hope it’s OK. I borrowed this photo from her site.)

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