Friday, November 27, 2015

Mini Barn Quilts

If you have been to my blog before, I don't think that it's a mystery that I love things that are miniature (except candy bars, those should always be supersized).  At barely 5 ft tall, I'm practically miniature myself.   So when Terri Ann over at Childlike Fascination announced her brain child Mini Barn Quilts, I knew that I had to have some.  I have a few people on my Christmas list that I thought would appreciate these tiny creations, so I ordered four to assemble during my week off from work.

The first items of business was to acquire Mod Podge, brushes and wood glue, then sort through my fat quarters (and of course purchase a few more) for smaller print fabrics.  Scale is very important for this project.  Once I decided on fabrics, I could begin using the Mod Podge to adhere the fabric to the wooden pieces so that they could dry overnight.  The next morning, I used an x-acto knife to cut out my pieces.

Before I glued the pieces to the base, I arranged them to make sure everything fit together they way I wanted them too.

Now for a step that I almost missed...or rather almost forgot.  When you take the small wooden pieces out of the bag and begin adhering your fabric, pay attention.  One side is the wooden surface and the other has a paper covering.  You glue your fabric to the wooden side and then peel the wooden paper off the other side before you glue it to the base.  I was so excited to start gluing to the base I almost forgot.

In no time at all I had my four mini barn quilts finished, two Missouri Star kits and two Flocks of Swallows.

So, if you are just looking for a change of pace project or need an idea for a loved one, head over to Mini Barn Quilts and give them a try.

My last thought before I leave...I wonder if I can con someone into building me a miniature barn for my barn quilt?

Come join the party!  Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh QuiltsMain Crush Monday at Cooking Up QuiltsRichard and Tanya Quilts and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Loss of Willpower--My Fabric Stash Grows

One of my goals this year was to resist the urge to grow my fabric stash by leaps and bounds.  Our home is on the small side and I use our dinning room for my sewing space, so there isn't a lot of room for me to hoard collect fabric.  I've been in the process of trying to better organize my space, so that things look neater, are easier to find and, heck, maybe my family can have meals at the table again.  Okay, that last one is a big maybe.

I purchased some selves last month that have been a life saver.  It gave me a place so store my books, quilting supplies so they are within reach, and two of the red totes house pre-cut fabrics.

So since I have been a very good girl, I rewarded myself with some fabric from some of my favorite quilt shops a few weeks ago.  The first is located in Morgantown, WV, which is about an hour and a half away from where I live.  It's called Country Roads Quilt Shop.  One of my favorite things is chatting with the ladies that work there.  The store has a great selection of civil war reproductions, batiks, and Moda lines.  While I was there I picked up two charm packs (Moda Gooseberry and Moda Paradiso)  and some coordinating yardage.  I think I will be able to join the colors of the two fabric lines into something cute.  Just not sure what yet.

My second stop was at a store called Sew Chic, in Fairmont, WV.  I always find the neatest yardages of fabrics at this store and it has a very large section of flannels.  But that day my focus was on finding white on whites.

I can never own too many.  I want them all.

I was feeling a bit sad because I left behind charm packs of Bonnie and Camille Hello Darling at the other store.  Since I had 20 minuets to dwell on that on the drive between stores, I had to pick up some at this store.

For now, they will join my other charm packs and wait for me to have some inspiration.  The nice thing is, I know they are there for me when I need them.  Just like good friends.

With Christmas around the corner and a week off from work, I have decided to try to do some Christmas present sewing.  I think I have cooked up a quick and easy project to sew some love into.  So of course I picked up a few extra yards of fabric for the occasion.  Any guesses as to what I am up to?  Who knows, maybe I'll squeak out a tutorial too.

And last but not least, another Christmas project I hope to complete this barn quilts!

If you haven't heard about these awesome little kits you should hop over to Mini Barn Quilts and check them out now.  They were created by Terri Ann over at Childlike Fascination and I have to say, she had a great idea when she decided to bring these to life.  Plus the customer service I received from her was great.  I ordered two of each of the kits.  The Flock of Swallows kits were on back order and she was very quick to give me the option to wait, get a different kit or refund.  I was perfectly happy to wait and in no time at all they showed up.  I promise to post more about these later as they come to life.  

Do you have any special projects to complete before the holiday seasons?  Do you ever plan too many and not get them done?  I know I'm hoping I have not bit off more than I can chew.  :)

Today, I am linking up with Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sewing With Friends

This past weekend I got to do something I had not done in with real the same room...and it was invigorating.  It was just what I needed.  My friend from high school contacted me to say she would be in town and invited me over to work with her and her aunt on a project.  (This is the same friend that awarded me with my Scraptastic Award)  She wanted to make a quilt with olives on it and showed me a picture of what they hoped to create.  Of course I couldn't resist a chance to play with EQ7, so I offered to do a mock up of something similar.  Because she is still new to quilting, her aunt had a technique in mind that would involve the quilt to be made up entirely of small squares.  So I went to work creating a map to follow.

My mock up wasn't exactly like that picture she showed me, but I thought this might be a bit easier.  Plus I was able to give her the dimensions of her quilt and fabric requirements so that she wasn't flying completely blind.  One of the worse feelings in the world is not having enough fabric.  The thought makes me cringe.

When I arrived at her aunt's absolutely beautiful log cabin, I was quickly greeted and into the sewing studio we went.  I had to look like a toddler visiting Toys R Us for the first time in my life.  Her aunt's sewing space was to die for.  I think if I tried I could possibly live under the sewing machine tables and she wouldn't even know I was there.  She has plenty of space to hold small classes, do custom long arm work, and display and create gorgeous pieces.

Ok, back to our project.  It truly was a group effort.  While Courtney sewed away at her HST unit's, the rest of us worked on squaring and ironing them.

Of course we took breaks for the delicious pumpkin cookies Courtney's mom made.  I have to get the recipe.

After all the trimming and pressing was completed, we could finally start on constructing the quilt.  We used a technique where we arranged the fabric squares on a fusible layout grid.  I have to admit I had never tried this method before, but it made the quilt come together much quicker than I imagined it would with all the little pieces.  After we had sections laid out, we ironed our squares so that they would adhere to the webbing and would not move.

We had to build the quilt in four separate sections that would have to be combined.

Why do I always looked stoned in pictures...urg.

After the first section was laid out and pressed, Courtney was able to start sewing, while the rest us continued to lay out the quilt.  She would fold a row of the squares together and sew 1/4" seam.  

Then she could fold the next row and sew.  She continued on until all the vertical rows were sewed.  The horizontal rows could not be sewed until all the sections were joined together.

So for the time being we had a bunch of smooched long olives.  We also decided it would make a great creepy eye ball pattern for Halloween.

Once all the vertical rows were finished we could begin connecting the sections and sewing the horizontal rows.

So after several hours of team work, Courtney was able to leave with an almost completed top.  The only thing left to do is add borders after she grabs more yardage.  And I'm pretty sure she graduated to confident beginner :)

I'm so thankful that she called me and let me help with her project.  Not only did I get to spend the day quilting and talking about quilting, I was able to learn a new technique that would work great for making teeny tiny miniature quilts.  I hope if they get together for another family sew day, I'll get a call back.  Do you ever get together with friends and family for sew dates?  I need to figure out how to convert my family and other friends into quilters.  Bwhahahah

Monday, November 16, 2015

Solving Some Mysteries--Quilts That Is

For the most part, things have been kind of quiet over here in Wonderland.  My actual real life adventures have not allowed for much writing time on my blog.  In the free time I have been able to find, I have been busting my butt trying to catch up on the mystery quilts I'm participating in.

The Midnight Mystery Quilt hosted by Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Designs was the first quilt to receive my attention.  When she announced this quilt along I decided to make two different colorway versions.  I chose to use the colors gray and white in both quilts, but swapped their placements in each quilt.  I am super excited to see how these quilts come together.

I am also participating in the Gypsy Queen Mystery Quilt A Long hosted by Cora over at Cora's Quilts.  When I started sewing last week I was only 11 weeks behind.  Who's counting?  No big deal, right?

So I cut and sewed and cut and sewed some more...

I even created quite a pile of goose poop...

Goose poop?  That's exactly what I said too when I heard Daisy over at Ants to Sugar make reference to the term on her Periscope chat last Thursday night during her segment on the #honestcraftroomies hop.  She told us that goose poop is the pile of tiny triangles that are left over when you trim flying geese units.  Love it!!

As the weekend comes to a close, I'm not completely caught up, but I have some of each block completed.  I'm hopeful I will be completely caught up by the end of this week.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for mystery quilts.

I did manage to sneak in a bit of retail therapy last week.  Oliver was so excited he couldn't wait for me to take it out of the bag.  But more on that later.  So for now, I find myself crushing on mysteries still waiting to be solved...mystery quilts

Today I am linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt InfatuationLet's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, and Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Stitch Fix--#2

**Warning--I interrupt my normal quilty posts for a Stitch Fix break** 

I came home from work on Monday and found a sight that made me second fix had arrived.  A little retail therapy in the comforts of my own home.  I quickly retreated to the bedroom to explore the contents of the box.

Lets just say the colors contained within the box made me as happy as the scrappy quilt on my bed.  Before I sorted through the colorful pile, I read the note from my stylist Raquel.

Kut From The Kloth Jonathan Skinny Corduroy 

I think I cringe every time I pick up a pair of jeans and see the word "skinny" in them.  I embrace who I am and "curvy" has always been a better adjective, but I digress.  I had visions of the pair of skinny jeans from my first fix, so with a big sigh I tried them on and to my surprise they fit.  Not only did they fit well but the dark gray color would fit into my wardrobe just right.  Had they been some sort of crazy bright color, I would have immediately put them in the go back bag as soon as I tried them on.

Hawthorn Gideon Polka Dot Sweater

Playing around on Pinterest, I have seen this sweater appear on several other blogs and thought it was cute.  However, I did not pin it.  I was super excited to see that Raquel had chose it for me.  It's heavier weight which will be super warm and fits in all the right ways. 

 Corduroy jeans and the Hawthorn sweater

 And the super coolest thing about the sweater?  It is reversible!  Two in one, I had to keep it.

Market & Spruce Lauderdale Knit Cardigan

I fell in love with this piece the second I saw the color and picked it up.  It is super soft and the turquoise would add a nice pop of color to any outfit.  If it had not fit, I probably would have had a complete meltdown.  Which would have been okay to do, since I was in the safety of my own room without any security guards to escort me out and tell me I'm making a scene.

Plus I was able to look in my closet to see if I had anything that would go with it, instead of assuming that I do and finding later, nope not a thing.

Look by M Sammie Plaid Infinity Scarf

I absolutely loved this scarf.  I hope this picture does it justice.  The colors were beautiful for fall and it was soooo soft.  If it had been a little bit cheaper in price it would have been hanging in my closet or around my neck as we speak.  But since I was sending the next item back I couldn't justify keeping it.  Honestly, I can probably find something a bit cheaper very similar the next time I go out.

Cool side story.  My daughter came home from school and said remember that scarf you got yesterday?  I was in class today and I said to my teacher, "Is that scarf from Stitch Fix?"  She said the teacher looked surprised and said, "Yes, how did you know that??"  Jen laughed and said my mom got it in the mail yesterday.  Good eye, baby girl.  Good eye.

Market & Spruce Sawyer Space Dye Dolman Sleeve Knit Top

I loved the deep burgundy of this shirt and the fabric was super comfortable.  My daughter's first comment when she saw me in it was, "Wow, mom, you look comfy."  However, it was a bit big on me.  It kind of hung like a tent and came almost down to my knees.  So with a sad look on my face I placed back into the bag to go back.

So, to my stylist, Raquel, I say, great job!  I was super impressed with my second fix.  Want a fix of your own?  Check out my first fix here and read about all of the coolness that is Stitch Fix.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

TBT--Winter Rose Garden

It's time for another addition of Throw Back Thursday over at A Quarter Inch From the Edge.  On the first Thursday of every month, Jenn hosts a linky party for us to throwback to quilts from our quilty past.

A Quarter Inch from the Edge

Today I bring to you  the Winter Rose Garden quilt.  I laugh as I type that because there is nothing winter or rose garden about my quilt.  Until just a few minuets ago, I have always referred to this as the quilt in the living room.  When I decided to write about this particular quilt I figured it was time to find the real name of the quilt.  For that I had to knock down some cobwebs in my head and remember where it came from.  The pattern came from the Fons & Porter magazine Easy Quilts Spring 2011.  I still have the magazine somewhere, but the last I remember something got spilled on it and I put it in a safe place.  Thank goodness for internet search engines and photographic memory.

I fell in love with Moda's October line when I found a bolt of the black fabric with the tiny orange/red berries on it.  I had to have it.  I bought several yards and later a charm pack.  (The charm pack became my Falling Leaves Quilt)  When I saw the Winter Rose Garden pattern in the magazine I thought the wide boarders would be great for showing off those berries.  Still pretty new to quilting, I tried to match the yellow and red to the berries.  Not sure I quite got it right, but you have to start somewhere.  Once the top was pieced it set in my back room for several years just hanging out.

After I finally started tackling free motion quilting, I thought that at roughly 54" squarish, this quilt would be perfect to try to custom quilt.  So I tried to stick with things I knew; ribbon candy, continuous curves, straight lines, and back and forth lines.

I used my walking foot to do the cross hatching in the center squares and wanted something easier.  So in the corner black squares I opted for this curvy flower design.

In the inner black boarder I attempted a vine and leaf pattern.  I would love to say I 100% free handed this but I didn't.  I traced the pattern from the book Quilting Dot to Dot: Patterns for Today's Machine Quilter by Cheryl Barnes on to Glad Press and Seal and placed it on the boarder.  I quilted right over the lines on the plastic wrap.  I loved how it turned out, but it was a pain in the behind getting all the sticky wrap off the stitches.

You can see the stitches better from the back of the quilt.

Since it was one of the first non-allover designs I had attempted and there were many stops and starts, I feared that my stitches might not be as secure as they should be.  But it is still going strong after many washes and getting used daily.  Even Newton loves being near the quilt.

That concludes my throwback for this Thursday.  I hope you will pop over to A Quarter Inch from the Edge and check out all the other cool throwbacks today.  You can check out my previous TBT's; A Quilt For My MomThat Time It Rained Babies and Hind Sight is 20/20is--A Baby Quilt.

Come join the party!!  Today I'm linking up with; Can I Get A Whoop! Whoop! at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Richard and Tanya Quilts

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