S.S. Holiday: Table Runners For The Holidays


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Something new….

I am always thinking about ways to use my fabric stash. I get an idea, so excited!! Make one or two, get bored. Or run out of steam. Then I sit and wait for the next idea to pop up. But I just thought of an idea with “LEGS”. A perfect ongoing project. I can use both stash and scraps.

I am going to call my idea the S.S. Holiday. S and S for STASH and SCRAPS. And HOLIDAY. I will make table runners for whichever holiday catches my fancy.

And not just the in-your-face, decorations everywhere holidays. Such as Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Halloween. Think whimsical, unusual, funny and silly.

I will make at least one a month, maybe more. Depends on how much time I have and which holidays I already have fabric for. No doubt I will buy new fabric so I won’t commit to only using stash. But I won’t go overboard. A Fat Quarter here and there. Even just a half yard will be more than enough should I see a fabric PERFECT for a holiday.

I have my first table runner almost finished. You will have to come back to see it. 😀

What is your FAVORITE HOLIDAY?

One Quilt Finished And Another Started


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I finished my Red Hot Chili Peppers Spool Block Quilt. I machine sewed the binding. I am getting used to how a machine sewn binding looks. Flat on the top. But wider looking which I like.

It is larger than the first one. Nine spool blocks for this one.

This is how I made the back.

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I was going to be lazy and just do all one fabric but didn’t have one piece large enough. So had to do a pieced back.

And the binding I wanted to use… the white with black speckles… didn’t have enough of that one either. Only had one Fat Quarter left.

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So went with this black with white swirls instead. I think it looks OK. Just the “pop” it needed. Not too much. Just right.

Quilt measures 35″ by 37″. Colors are cranberry, forest green, white and black.

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This is my favorite photo. Stippling. Oh how I love you!!

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When I am stippling, I feel so free. Free to go left, right, wiggle around. Go whichever direction I want. But always thinking ahead about an exit strategy. Don’t want to be boxed in or cross over any stitches. I flip over the back every few minutes looking for tension issues. So glad I took the time to watch numerous videos on how to stipple.

I love the crinkled look.

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And DONE!!

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You can read more details on how I made it here.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/my-christmasy-red-hot-chili-peppers-quilt/

Go here for the Freda’s Spool Block tutorial.

http://fredashive.blogspot.com/2010/01/string-spool-tutorial.html


My next project…

Since it took several days to make and finish the Red Hot Peppers quilt, I wanted my next project to be something I didn’t have to “think” about. Or worry about. Just sew. Strip by strip. It is a quilt-as-you-go table runner. I saw the directions somewhere on the net. Have to find the site so I can link to it.

For now, this is where I am.

Fabrics gathered.

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Back decided on and sewn along the batting top edge.

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And a few strips sewn and pressed.

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The PRESSING is a pain. PITA!! But it is necessary to have a straight seam before adding the next strip. So, I will be Slow and Steady.

Update 12-23-11: Found the site.

http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2010/08/table-runner-tutorial.html

Spool Block Wall Hanging Quilt


It’s done!!

I finished my Spool Block mini quilt last night. It is small. 26″ by 31″.

My 1st Spool Blocks. I am so in love with how this turned out. I am keeping it forever!!

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I used six of my 4 1/2″ scrap blocks. Added lavender sides and purple tops and bottom to form the spool. And then added the borders. Usually I struggle with borders. One side up. One side down. Not even. But not this time. I did them as I was supposed to. Measure the center. Cut the border per that measurement. I was tempted to add extra just in case. But resisted. And guess what? They came out perfectly. Three borders. Purple polka dots. Red dotted swiss. And purple floral. And sad news… I am just about out of the first two. 😀

For the back I was going to use more of the 4 1/2″ scrap blocks. But opted for this look instead.

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Even after adding the borders, I knew this would be a wall hanging. It shouted “hang me” up. So off I went in search of how to correctly add a sleeve.

My plan was to sew on a strip of fabric on the back BEFORE sewing on the binding. But the YouTube videos I watched said to add it AFTER completely finishing. So that is how I am doing it. How do you add on a sleeve? Before or after finishing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv4xirLbx1U&feature=related

Well, I am glad it is finished. Have been working on it for several days.

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My craft room wall is filling up. Ah, my beloved quilted clock. Time to make another one.

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And I already have an idea for which fabrics to use for my next spool block quilt. This one will use nine scrap blocks.

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The plan is to make it lap quilt size. And I have an idea on how to do the area surrounding the spools a different way. Trying for a more balanced look.


What else am I working on, you might ask?

Here are some of the other projects I am juggling. Due to attention span problems. 😀 Should be finished with all of them in a couple days.

Angel Table Runner

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3 more doll quilts

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Fabric gift bag

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And then after my craft show, I am going to tackle making a larger Spool Block quilt like this one.

http://fredashive.blogspot.com/2010/01/string-spool-tutorial.html

Jeweltone Quilt Top: New Layout and DONE!!


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All done and ready to make the back and then quilt.

This is the new layout. Single rows of 12 scrap blocks each.

I tried all the colors before deciding on the avocado borders. Liked it best.

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And then decided to make a color strip border just for the left and right sides using all polka dots and dotted swiss fabrics.

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The five inch strips looked far and wide between colors so I cut them in half and went with 2 1/2″ instead. Separated by 1 1/2″ black polka dots.

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The smaller ones look so much better.

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Here’s the completed quilt top. 15 rows. Green, gold, turquoise, red, blue, burgundy and purple. Colors repeat once and ends with a 3rd green row.

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I have been working on this quilt on and off for a month. 180 blocks @ 15 minutes (average) per scrap block = 45 hours. And that was just for the scrap blocks!!

For the back, I will use some leftover blocks and large pieces of the dotted fabrics. And with the quilt top being so full of color, I will use black for the binding. Right now it measures 64″ by 80″. It was made from about 98% scraps since I did cut some strips from my stash and used about a dozen 6″ charm squares to chop up.

So glad it is finally finished. That was a LOT of work. But I did enjoy working on it.

Now I can start on something new. Still with scraps though. I made a dent in my scraps but still need to reduce them more. And mainly, I like how I have no fear whatsoever in combining all different types of prints. I would never have created this look working with just my stash. With scraps, you don’t mind experimenting. It is already a scrap. No harm if you don’t like it. Take it apart and return it to the scrap bin.

So… what are you working on?

Do you have a lot of scraps? Are you working to reduce them or just letting them pile up? 😀

Aqua/Turquoise: Saving The Best For Last


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Isn’t it always the case? You put off doing something for fear of failure. That is what was going on with me and my Aqua/Turquoise scrap blocks. I only had a few scraps and I knew it would be tough going trying to stretch them and make 24 blocks.

And then I got this in the mail. From my friend, Debra.

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Some really cool scrap pieces in there. Including turquoise. I used her scraps and some other pieces I found in my stash. Even found some charms I bought last year just sitting. I cut them into strips. They worked great.

So… this is the last color. And I am REALLY loving them. In fact, there isn’t an ugly one in the bunch. I had a tough time picking a favorite. I like all 24 of them.

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I took apart my “table cloth” quilt. Hubby said it looked like five table cloths. 😦 And now I have the strips separate, not doubled up. Still with black polka dot sashing between the colors.

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I am just about finished sewing the strips together. Then I have to decide on a border. Or no border. Probably yes, a border. And a pieced back.

Thanks much, Debra. I used all of the aqua and turquoise. Love the skulls with red roses fabric.

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Jeweltone Scrap Quilt: Ready To Assemble


Reveal time….

Layout 1. Sashing between color strips.

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Layout 2. Different color arrangement. No sashing between color strips.

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I can’t decide which way is better. I like the clean look of Layout 2 (no sashing between colors) but it is certainly going to be time consuming to perfectly line up the horizontal black polka dot borders.

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Which way do you like? What color would be your center?

Scrappy Week 2: Ends With Blue


Week 2 was busy but short. Had to take a few days off crafting for personal traveling. And the whole time I was away I was thinking about my scrap block project. Those finished. Those still to make. And what all I plan to create from them.

Before I left, I had a handful of blue scrap blocks completed. And I have to admit… I didn’t think all those blues would make a pleasing block. Surprise. Surprise!! So far, I like them. I made more yesterday. For a total of 50.

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My favorites…

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Blue is about half finished. Definitely will take more time. I am thinking another day. And even then, I will still have quite a bit left. (I am itching to begin on my favorite color. BROWN. 😀 )

The layout for Scrap Quilt #1 will be two rows of 12 scrap blocks per color. Sewn together with sashing. These are finished. Purple, green and red.

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I wasn’t happy with the lack of dots on the avocado center sashing. So I recut it on the bias. Much better, don’t you think?

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New, cut on the bias.

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Old, cut straight.

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These (wine/burgundy) need the middle sashing. I didn’t have wine polka dots so had to search the net. Found a color I am hoping will work. Just waiting for it to arrive. I will use this fabric as a second option if the new one doesn’t work out.

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The golds and yellows?? Not sure what I will use for the middle sashing. I have bright yellow polka dots but no gold and haven’t been able to find an exact gold polka dot fabric. I have seen metallic but not what I want. I need a dark mustard color. If anyone knows where I can find it in 100% cotton, let me know.

Once I get all color sets sewn together, I will start arranging the strips on my design wall. I am leaning toward one quilt with bright colors and one with earthtone colors.

What projects have you made from all scraps? Do tell…..

Scrappy Week 2: Jeweltone Quilt

With all the 4 1/2″ scrap blocks accumulating in little bags all around me…

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I decided to lay them out on my work table. I tried different arrangements but didn’t like any of them except this one. And you know how much I LOVE POLKA DOTS. Makes sense I would use them to connect the blocks. Right!!

Quilt will measure approximately 70″ by 80″. 24 scrap blocks per color strip plus the sashing measures 15″ across.

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I am thinking five colors should do it. Any more and it would be too large for me to manage. To stabilize all the seams underneath, I am going to sew either straight lines or wavy lines down each strip before doing the quilting. Using matching thread. And then quilt with diagonal lines or stippling. Should be interesting.

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Not sure what I will use for sashing when I get to the wine/burgundy blocks. No wine/burgundy polka dot fabric. But I do have lots of other polka dot colors.

This quilt will use only a small portion of the scrap blocks. I have other ideas on how to use them. And then at the end, if I still have blocks left, I will probably offer them to you guys and have a giveaway.


In my last post, I mentioned BLUE was next. Here you can see them. Somewhat sorted. Many more than I thought I had.

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Two bags full. So many shades of blue. Light blue, royal, navy (different shades), blue gray, medium blue, blues with other colors. Tie dyed.

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And aqua/turquoise.

Not sure what to do with this color. Not a lot of it. Aqua may be one of the colors missing from my Scrappy Project. We shall see.

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More updates in a couple days…….

Scrappy Week 2 – Going Green


Next up?

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Green…

One of my readers, Dorothy, asked me to show how I am sewing the strips together before cutting them into 4 1/2″ blocks.

This is how I am doing them.

First, organize. It is easier and faster to just grab a scrap if the piles are sorted. If they are really wrinkled, I will press them before beginning.

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Next I do the “touch the ruler” test. Select a scrap, briefly touch it to the ruler, making sure it is at least 4 1/2″ long.

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Width doesn’t matter. Wide, thin, teeny tiny, wedge shaped. I use them all. The wonkier the better.

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BUT I make sure the edge is straight before I sew. A quick trim with scissors. I don’t use a foundation to begin. Just sew two scraps together and build on those. I sew enough scraps to make about 6″ height. If I want to cut the block on the diagonal, I use scraps at least 5 1/2″-6″ long. And alternate the widths when possible for an interesting look.

So… you can sew wonky.

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Or you can cut wonky.

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You can also sew a continuous strip of scraps and then cut out multiple blocks.

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It is faster on the cutting side but LONG going on the sewing side. I have tried both and like sewing individual blocks better.

I have been working on these off and on for three days and just about used up all of my green scraps. 42 green blocks finished.

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My favorite.

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Blue is next. I have quite a collection of blue scraps. And all the scraps from my many Barbie projects. But I think I won’t use them and just save them for something Barbie related.

Update in a couple days….

Sweet Dreams: Made With Love From Scraps


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Except for the back on the doll quilt and the mattress cover, this set was made from all scraps.

You are probably wondering how I collected so many scraps since I only just started quilting this year in January. It was easy. Though I have sewn for more years than I care to remember (think teen-ager), I was clueless to the art of quilt making. Thus my earlier projects were filled with “oops” cuts and wonky sewn pieces. I recut and resewed quite a bit. It was a rough beginning.

But thankfully my learning curve has inched up and I am making fewer mistakes.

I no longer cut fabric just to see if it works. Now I let my eyes and camera do all the auditioning. There will be future scraps for sure. The back of a quilt, for example. Rules (plus tried and true experiences) instruct how many inches larger the back should be than the quilt top. Scraps, scraps and more scarps. No way around it. But if quilt backs are my primary source of scraps, I can live with that. Eventually I hope to downsize my scraps to a smaller storage bin.

But until that happens, I will happily create pretty things like these. 😀

Table mat by day…

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Doll quilt by night…

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Both the quilt and pillow are reversible. I used the mini 1 1/2″ squares on both sides.

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This is actually the mattress. I created a “sheet” for it using lavender and white polka dots and trimmed it with lace on the long sides.

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I REALLY LOVE THIS!!

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(Psst, don’t tell Crystal, but I am working on a bracelet using the free beads she sent me for her Jewelry Challenge I told you about. Over at Bead Happily Ever After.

http://beadhappilyeverafter.com/blog/?page_id=17770

Can you believe it!! I can’t even remember the last time I fondled little seed beads. I had to go “find” my beading supplies. They were well packed away. Fireline, needles, size 8’s seed beads. Where oh where are you!! Took about 30 minutes yesterday to find everything. So the rest of today and tomorrow I will be finishing up my entry. I will show you once it is done. Yippee!! Maybe I will pack up my fabric and put the cover on my sewing machine so I can bead. Not!! 😀 )