Friday, November 30, 2012

This and That

Well, first there’s the sampler.  One of my quilt groups decided to do a sampler in 2012.  Each month one of us brought directions for a twelve inch block.  One month was an extra choose your own (which is why there’s a T block in the upper left corner: T for Terrie).  So, I had a bunch of French General lying around and decided to play with those fabrics.  This is a truly lousy picture but it’s the layout I’m thinking of.

Once I had the twelve blocks done I decided I wanted to have them surround a center block, so out came the GO!

I just love those feathers!  I traced the design onto vinyl and then laid the tracing on a light box with the fabric over it to get the positioning right.

I’ll have better pictures once I start actually putting it all together.  I have to visit the quilt shop for the sashing fabrics first though.

My brains is still locked into “use it up” mode.  Well, I have three dressers in my sewing room stuffed with fabric.  There’s a lot of new fabrics out there I just love, but I’m feeling a little too guilty to buy them at the moment.  I need to use up more of what I’ve got first.  And finish more of those in process projects as well. 

And while bookmarks don’t exactly clear the drawers out, I do get to use up scraps on them.  Given my miniature quilt focus, I often buy charm packs.  And then I only need to use parts of them.  So I have a lot of charm pack bits and pieces.  The bookmarks are just lovely for using them up. 

Once again, I pull out the GO!  After layering bits of those charms on the 1 1/2" strip cutter,  I’ve got a pretty little pile to work with.

Which means I’ve added some more bookmarks to my Etsy shop.

Happy Christmas fabrics:

And some beautifully toned red, white and blue paisley:

Some American Jane:

I even cut up an old strip section I had.  (Way back when, I had gotten pretty darn far on a Strips n’ Curves quilt.  The problem was I never liked how it was coming out.  Every few years I’d pull it out and finagle with it until I decided I still didn’t like it.  Cutting it up for bookmarks was actually very liberating!)

You can see on the back that I cut up a pieced block as well.  There’s the curve:

I’ve got more coming up as well.  I’m hoping to finish up a rag quilt today or tomorrow that I can show off as well.

Hope you are having as much fun in your sewing space these days as I’m having in mine!

Friday, November 23, 2012


Well, it’s been break and I’ve had a swell time playing in the sewing room.  That slows down dramatically today as I need to get back to grading, but meanwhile, here’s the fun I had this week.  First, I finally got the drunkard’s path quilted.

So, the quilting is kind of boring.  I originally had a leafy design I was planning on using but I did up a section of the table runner, and, to be blunt, it looked utter crap.  So, after an hour picking out those stitches, I decided a simple stipple was the better part of valor (not to mention my best shot of getting it done in time for family and friends visiting Thanksgiving Day).

I am A-Okay with the stipple . . . and very happy with the runner on my table.

And I made up oodles of bookmarks to list in my Etsy shop.  There’s the fun Steampunk ones.

And some vintage posters I just love:

There’s the bookmarks with bikes:

Men in flight:

And some Kaffe Fasset fun as well:

And more that you can see in the shop if you’re interested.  I did make a change in how I’m doing the image on linen bookmarks.  With the tutorial I did last year, I showed cutting out a window for the images.  This year I decided it was faster and just as nice to simply fuse and sew them down.  If you’re interested in making some of the bookmarks yourself, check out the tutorial listed on the sidebar or simply click here.  And if you are looking for a great place to find vintage images, check out the Graphics Fairy.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Drunkard’s Path and More GO!

I love the look of the Drunkard’s Path, such a simple block but it has such great movement.  This is another one of those blocks that the GO! makes so easy to cut.  I run some charms through and bam! I’m ready to start sewing.

I needed my quilt width to be a hair smaller to fit my wall table, so I trimmed these blocks after making them.

Here’s another close-up:

And the whole thing:

I had insomnia last night which meant I slept late today and that means everything is running behind.  I won’t be starting the quilting today.  I still have high hopes for tomorrow though!

Meanwhile, last night I finished up another few snippet ornaments – these got listed in my Etsy shop as well.

There are many reasons I love my GO! but I have to say, little projects like these are pretty high on my list of why.  Still, I may be done with snippets for a little bit.  After all, I still have more mug rugs to make up!

Friday, November 16, 2012

More Snippet Fun

I’m at the point of the semester where mindless sewing has enormous appeal.  Well, I had a bunch of cut up snippets left from earlier projects, so I thought I’d make up more ornaments.  Using the GO! to cut them, of course.  A star and a bird.

And a tree and a dog.

I love making these up.  They are just so darn cute!

And I still have more snippets left!  I see another batch coming.  These, too, got listed on my Etsy shop

Meanwhile, I do have another project to finish over the next few days since I want it out for Thanksgiving.  Another drunkard’s path table runner.  I’m hoping have it quilted by the end of Monday, so I should (fingers crossed) have pictures early next week. 

How about you?  Do you have holiday sewing projects stacking up?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More Bookmarks

A couple more of those very sweet and pretty ones.

And then I pulled out some very bright and fun leftover charm squares as well.

I’ve got a lot more than I’m showing here.  I get going on a roll when it’s these little mindless projects.  So soothing when the start of the end of the semester madness is just beginning!

These went up in my Etsy shop as well.  I’m thinking in my next run of these I’m going to play with some Kaffe Fasset prints.  Because what doesn’t look good done up in Fasset?

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Latest Wee Thing

Once again, it is time to start thinking about those bookmarks I make for family and friends each year for Christmas.  I played around this morning and came up with these.

I’m still in my use it up mode, so I decided to try and use up some of the left over charm squares I have lying about.  Aren’t these fabrics just so pretty?

I pieced a little bit for the backing.

Very sweet. 

Not exactly manly for the Y chromosome crowd.  Batiks might be the ticket.  Batiks in manly colors.  We’ll see.  Meanwhile, these make me happy.

I made more than the two shown, so I already have extra on this type.  This pair just got listed in my Etsy Shop Daisy Fair (just in case anyone is so moved).

Meanwhile, sometime in the next few weeks I’ll do up a little tutorial on these – though they are so easy you don’t really need one.  Never the less.  Why not?

Oh, and here’s the Xmas ornaments on a darker background.  A little better?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dresden Plate Tutorial, Part Two

I nearly forgot I was planning to write up a tutorial for this (which is why there are no photos for the first several steps – oops).  For the record, you can find Part One of the tutorial, here.

1.  I cut out a background fabric 17" square.  This is actually a little larger than I need.  I figure I’ll trim it back a bit after I decide on how I’m laying out the blocks.

2.  Fold the background square in half and press.  Open up and fold the other way and press along the fold.  The folds quarter the block and help you orient the plate.

3.  Center the plate on the fabric using the folds to orient the block.  You can pin the plate in place, or – like I do – place small dots of Roxanne’s Glue Baste It behind the points to hold the plate in place.  Iron to set the glue.

4.  Attach the block using your preferred method: hand applique, button-hole stitch, or edge stitching.  (I used edge stitching).

5.  If you like, cut out the fabric behind the plate to reduce bulk. 

6.  (Okay, finally, we’re back to the place where I have photos).  Making the inner circle:  directions that come with the die suggest cutting out two circles for each block, sewing the circles together (right sides together), cutting a hole in the back of one to turn it inside out. 

That’s not how I did it.  I wanted my circle to be a smidge larger so I used applique fiber paper that dissolves after the quilt is washed.  So: I ran the fiber through the die.

7.  Then I cut a circle of fabric about a half inch bigger all the way around the circle.  Place the fabric right side down, the fiber circle on top.  Use a glue stick to edge the entire circle, to about 1/4" in, with glue.  (Make sure your glue stick is good and fresh and puts down a smooth sticky layer of glue).

8.  Gently fold in just the very edge of the fabric.  The goal is to just tip it over the edge of the paper and press the fabric down without any pleats in the fabric moving out to the edge of the circle.

9.  Once you have completed the circle, you can press the remaining fabric down.

10.  In addition to running the applique fiber through the GO!, I also run through a square of freezer paper.  Once I have a circle, I fold it in half twice, once again creating a cross.  Mark the edges of the folds.

11.  Iron the freezer paper onto the right side of the fabric circle.  Since I once again use glue dots to baste the circle in place, I gently dab little dots of glue on the back side of the circle.

12.  I use the marks on the freezer paper and the fold lines on the background fabric to center the circle on the Dresden plate.

13.  Since I’m using glue dots, I iron the circle to set the glue.  You could also just pin it in place.  In either case, remove the paper and then applique the circle down using your preferred method.  Once again, I edge stitched.

14.  Sit back and admire your pretty block.

I have been making progress.  I have all twelve of my blocks done!

Now I need to decide how I’m going to set them.  I like the idea of a bit of scrappy sashing.  Or I could just go with it as they are now.  Is that too bland?  I’m thinking sashing just a half inch wide (since that’s all the fabric I’ve got).

Other news in the news:

Bari won the Karen Stone More Quilts Software.  Congratulations, Bari!

I mentioned wanting to get a couple of mug rugs done before Thanksgiving – so here’s number two.  You can’t tell from the photo but the background fabric is linen and I quilted pretty densely.  Very pretty.  I used the AccuQuilt GO! Cherry Blossoms die for those delicate little flowers.

All I can say is, “Whew!”  I’ve got my quilt mojo back with a vengeance!