Friday, October 30, 2015

be positive hoop art

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
I've had two empty embroidery hoops (found and purchased at a local thrift store) hanging on my sewing room wall for months. Yesterday, I finally filled one and I love it so! I'm guessing that hoop art is on it's way out, because if I've made one, that is a sure sign. Ha! But, to quote my daughter, "it don't matter!" I love the low volume scrappy patchwork paired with hand quilting and dense machine quilting. Since I am lacking in the embroidery skills department, (it's true!) I free-motion quilted the words instead. It was so much faster and I had better results. I love this project so much!!! It's hanging on my sewing room wall and it is scrap project #114.

It was so fun to try something new! That being said, I have a feeling that next week I'll be back to pincushions! :)

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Monday, October 26, 2015

simple patchwork dish towel tutorial

Well, hello! Today I will share a simple (and fun) little tutorial on how to make a patchwork dish towel. The strip of patchwork is a perfect opportunity to customize for any holiday....or make one out of your favorite color scheme, as I did here. This is a great way to use up those mini charm packs that you may collect, but aren't quite certain what to do with. Scraps from the scrap bins are a great option, too. Always!
What you will need:
one flour sack dish towel (mine is about 30" square)
15  2.5" squares (number of squares may vary depending on the width of your dishtowel)
white thread
working sewing machine

All seam allowances are 1/4" unless otherwise noted.
Sew the 2.5" squares end to end to make a patchwork strip. Press seams to the side. Make sure that the strip is at least 1/2" longer than the width of your towel.
Align the patchwork with the edge of the towel. Pin in place.
Find the starting point for your seam. Start 1/4" seam from the top of the towel and 1/4" in from the right hand side. You may want to mark this point with a pencil or water soluble pen. (See photo for starting point.) Sew along the right side of the patchwork.
Stop sewing 1/4" from the bottom edge of the towel.
 Press the patchwork strip away from the edge of the towel.
Trim ends of patchwork so they extend about 1/4" on each end. (My dish towel is a little wonky, so I'm just following the edges as they are.)
Fold the patchwork down and finger press the raw edges up about 1/4". Press seam with a hot iron.
Fold the patchwork strip back up. Tuck in all raw edges and pin in place.
Use a scant seam allowance to top stitch around the entire patchwork strip. I didn't sew on each seam within the patchwork strip, but you could if you wanted to! Back stitch a few stitches at the beginning/end of your seam.
The back looks nice and tidy because I used white thread....
and the front is pretty cute, too!
Here's a close up of the top stitching.
I would recommend making a bunch....some to keep and some for gifts! I can't guarantee that this will make doing dishes more fun, but it should make your kitchen a bit more cheery. :) I hope you have fun with this tutorial!

Oh, and this is scrap project #113. Yay!!

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, October 23, 2015

the frugal gal mini quilt

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

Thank you all so much for your kind comments about my crazy little half square triangle project last week! And thank you to those of you who weighed in on whether I should turn it into a pillow or mini quilt. In the end, I decided on a mini...for practicality reasons. I couldn't imagine letting anyone lay down on this! I'm happy to report that it is already hanging on my sewing room wall.
This piece is heavily quilted with a 1/2'' diamond pattern, which creates a beautiful texture. Since it only measures 20 1/4" x 20 1/2", it didn't take that long to quilt it. I love that about smaller quilts! Last evening my silly middle child was joking that he wanted to snuggle under it, so he tried, but it only covered one arm and part of his chest. Of course then he commented on how warm he was. I think he might be crazier than I am! :) For a split second I thought about how cool a LARGE scale quilt like this would be, but then I came back to reality. We have plenty of other large quilts to snuggle under. Plenty!
I used a subtle binding to finish it off, as to not detract from the tiny triangles. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out! This is scrap project #112.

The best part is...with this finish I am down to only (ha!) 20 works in progress. This past summer I had 25 WIPs, so that's pretty exciting!

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank you for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

just four fun

This is a simple little quilt made up of 4 patch blocks, but sometimes simple is good! This quilt can be made from fat eighths, scraps, a charm pack, a few mini charm packs OR a combination of all 4. Plus, you only need 1 1/2 yards of background fabric! For the quilt shown, I used good neighbors fabric and white background fabric, both from Connecting Threads. It is quilted with an all over loop pattern. The quilt finishes at 42" x 48", so it's a nice baby size.
For the backing I used this lovely orange dear stella print that was aging nicely in my stash. I like it a lot! I finished things off with a sunny yellow striped binding.
Mary tested the pattern for me and she used 4 April Showers mini charm packs to make her quilt. She added wide borders (cut at 4 3/4") to make it into a lap size quilt. I thought that was a great idea! Thanks, Mary, for testing my pattern and for letting me share your beautiful quilt!

I have a free pattern here, if you'd like to make one of your own--without having to do the math! :)

Friday, October 16, 2015

finish it up Friday, 10/16/15

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

I wanted SO badly to have this project finished today, but at some point you just have to admit defeat. At least I got the top assembled, so it's one step closer!
This project started out innocently enough, as all crazy projects do. I was trimming down half square triangles and the remaining bits were just under 1" square. That's too big to throw away, obviously, so I bordered each one with a big gray frame. I added white sashing to set them apart.
The half square triangles finish about 1/2" square. (Thumbnail included for scale.) I know, this so crazy, but that's why I love it so very much! The good news is that I didn't go all out and make it a bed size quilt. There may be hope for me yet! :)
Now, I need to decide if I should turn it into a pillow or mini quilt. I'd love to hear what you think!

It's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

ladder leap in good neighbors

Several of my quilts came home from Connecting Threads this week, which was exciting! Shipping quilts makes me nervous and I am always more than a little relieved when they come home safely. I thought it would be a good time to share my second version of the ladder leap quilt, this time sewn up in good neighbors fabric. The gray solid is from Connecting Threads as well. 
It's interesting to me to see how a pattern looks sewn up in different fabrics. The solids version and this version are pretty close, all things considered...but they still have their own look and feel. For this version, I used a lighter gray solid as a background than the solids version. I like that it creates a softer look, but there is still enough contrast between the blocks and background.
 I backed the majority of the quilt with these fabulous orange dots (Spot On by Robert Kaufman)....
....and of course some scraps from the front made an appearance in this backing as well.
For the quilting, I did the same treatment as the solids version...which is a combination of free motion quilting and straight line quilting. If it isn't broke, you don't need to fix it! :) I loved making those loop-de-loops! Once you get in the groove, it's so much fun.
And here are both versions together. I love them as a pair!!! I think that my boys will be happy to sleep under them! Each quilt measures about 64" x 88".

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

ladder leap winners

Thanks for all of the positive feedback about my ladder leap quilt! The winners of the PDF pattern are: Marjorie's Busy Corner, Anne D., Jasmine, Little Black Cat Quilting and Suzanne. (Please email me so I can send you a copy of the pattern.) Congratulations to the winners! A big THANK YOU to each and every one of you who stops by here to read and comment. It means so much! xo

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, October 09, 2015

ladder leap in Konas

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

Well, I did it! I finished a big quilt this week and man, it feels good. This twin size quilt is called Ladder Leap. A big thank you goes out to Cindy for giving it a great name!
I designed this quilt to be sewn up in my good neighbors fabric, but the fabric wasn't available when I was designing and testing it, so I used Kona cottons for the first go round. Once I sewed up the quilt and knew the measurements were accurate, I set the top aside and it hung out on the WIP pile for a good 5 months or so. Sometimes they need to marinate there, I guess!
I knew it would be impossible to pick a single thread color for this quilt, and an all over quilt pattern just wouldn't do, so I quilted the elements differently. I chose a free motion loop-de-loop for the background and straight line quilting-in 8 different thread colors-for the blocks. (I used this technique to bury my thread ends for all the starts and stops.) All of the quilting was done on my Juki. I enjoy being able to quilt my own quilts on my home machine, but let me tell you, I was a sore for a few days!
I am always looking for ways to use up scraps and adding some on the back never gets old. It was a bit of a risk to use all solids on the back, because there is no room to hide less than perfect quilting stitches...and I prefer to have a safety net at all times. :) But in the end, I think it worked well!
I really like the texture that the quilting adds, even to the back.
I auditioned a lot of different binding options-I even got the family involved in helping me choose. In the end, we picked the good neighbors gray stripe. It finishes off the quilt amazingly well! I like how it ties the different grays used on the front and back together.
I cut my binding at 2.25" for this quilt, so it's a little thinner than my normal 2.5" binding, but I love how it works on here! It was an absolute delight to hand stitch down.
The quilt measures 64" x 88". My middle son is trying his hardest to claim it for his very own, but that hasn't been decided yet. It's nice to know that this quilt will be well used and loved!
I slept under it last night and I give it my seal of approval, too. :)

Pattern: Ladder Leap (available in my Craftsy shop)
Finished Size: 64" x 88"
Fabrics: Solids are Kona Cottons in Steel (background), Snow (block borders), Kumquat, Capri, Ash, Limelight, Lime, Corn Yellow, Buttercup, Cyan (blocks) and medium gray (backing).
The binding is silver lining two toned stripe from Good Neighbors.

One BIG announcement that I am excited to share, Connecting Threads now ships to the UK and to Australia!!! So, if you live in either of those countries and you want to get your hands on a bundle of good neighbors fabric, you can, as of this week! They are offering free shipping on orders over $75, too.

If you'd like to win a chance at a free Ladder Leap PDF pattern, leave me a comment in this post. In your comment, I'd love to hear what you plan to do this weekend! I'll pick a few winners in a few days.

Ok, now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank you for joining me for finish it up Friday! I hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

scrap happy pillow (with tutorial link)

My scrap happy pillow is a featured project over on the Olfa blog, complete with tutorial.
There is a little interview, too, as a part of their designer spotlight program.
This pillow cover is a great scrappy project that takes about a weekend or so to complete.... long as you don't get distracted. :)
It would be cute sewn up in a specific color scheme.
Think fall, Halloween or Christmas.
But, full on scrappy works, too!

The pillow cover measures 20" square and is scrap project #111!

Monday, October 05, 2015

ladder leap quilting in progress

My latest quilt finish was 7 weeks and 4 days ago.
That's a long time (for me) and it makes me twitchy.
If all goes according to plan, that will change this week!
I am looking forward to snuggling under this quilt while hand binding.
Amazingly enough, I'm not even dreading the 100 thread ends I will need to bury.
It'll all be worth it!

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, October 02, 2015

finish it up Friday, 10/2/15

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
I turned the little log cabin hexagon block that I was playing around with a few weeks ago into a coaster/mug rug/mini mat. I can't believe how much better it looks finished! I trimmed down the gray borders a bit, which helped balance the proportions. I love what the quilting adds, too! It matches my favorite coffee mug perfectly!
This tutorial was super helpful for binding those tricky angles. 5 out of 6 of the angles were spot on, so I'm calling that a win! :) I'm giving myself extra bonus points for using up some bias binding that I had leftover from this was just enough! The black and white binding reminds me of an old diner a good way! This is scrap project #109.
I had a few spare half square triangles floating around, so I turned them into this cutie pie little pincushion. I hate to pick favorites, but this one HAS to be right up there. Look at that little chick! Eeep! I love that something so simple can be so cute! This is scrap project #110!

The pincushion party for Good Neighbors has wrapped up this week! Check out the amazing work by Adrienne, Cindy, Amy, Chase, Rene, Erin, Nicole, and Teri. If you want a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Good Neighbors fabric, be sure to enter here!!! (Open to US and Canada only.) In that post you can also see ALL of the pincushions from the entire party in one mosaic. So much fun! I hope you enjoyed the pincushion party as much as I did!

Now it's your turn to link up. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!