Saturday, December 26, 2015

GO! Whew

Yup, I got it done. There I was Christmas Eve quilting the table runner -- very simple in the ditch along the sashing. And there I was Christmas morning adding the binding. But, yup, done! (Or done enough. I may add more quilting later).

A little closer look. I do love those Jim Shore Santas.

And because I am always sewing on Christmas Eve, a Star Wars zipper bag:

Then a zipper bag with a vinyl window to show off those utterly adorable hedgehogs:

Another bag with a window that is all about the pretty blue fabric:

All together now!

So, there it is. Whew! I managed to get the table runner on the table in the nick of time and got my GO! Sew project in for the week. Now to decide what next week will bring . . .

Monday, December 21, 2015

GO! On

It's a keep on keeping on kind of week. Finishing up the semester madness. Very little time for sewing. But since I've been lucky enough (ha!) to have had middle of the night insomnia several nights running, and since last night after counting my breaths for an hour trying to get back to sleep, I finally gave up and went down to the sewing room . . . I managed to get the top to the AccuQuilt GO! Drunkard's Path table runner done!

One of the things I really like about the drunkard's path block is that, once its made, I can trim it square with some wiggle room on what size I make the blocks.  In this case, given the table top I need the table runner to fit, I trimmed the square circle units to 6 1/2 inches square (6 inch finished).

Now I just need to find the time to quilt it before Friday. Along with all those other little sewing projects I'd still like to get done. Sure I can . . .  my capacity for self-delusion about how much I can get done rises in direct proportion to how much closer Christmas celebration gets!

Monday, December 14, 2015

GO! Minis and More Christmas

Well, my swap mini quilt made it to its destination. Whew! I was worried there for a few days. This quilt used the Equilateral Triangles (which I've noted before serendipitously fits the Pyramid Triangle foundation from Miniatures in Minutes). So, first, little triangles:

The challenge was to create a monochromatic quilt. My partner said she liked orange, triangles, and a light touch on the quilting. So, here it is:

The pieced center section measures 7" by 8" finished. I do love minis!

And in order to keep up with doing something each week using the GO! (though I was sick, sick, sick, this last week), I pulled out a pretty Christmas charm pack.

And ran it through the AccuQuilt GO! 3 1/2" finished Drunkard's Path die -- because look at how well the charm fits the die!

Just a wee bit of fabric waste.

It's a start.

Christmas decorations are, bit by bit, making an appearance -- which always baffles Cooper.

But we did get our lovely wooded tree from Festive Tree put up. We just LOVE this tree. Our living room is small -- avoiding the space hogging of a real tree is great. Plus this speaks to my own true love's Scandinavian roots.  It is much prettier than this picture does justice!

 Meanwhile, is it white enough out there?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

GO! Ornaments

Sometimes using the GO! is just a small piece of the whole, but I still turn to it for a quick fix. Case in point: wee Christmas stockings.

These are from a Miniature Quilts magazine. Anyone else remember those? I print the pattern onto a leave-in foundation since it adds a nice bit of firmness to the stockings.

How do I use a GO! die? Well, those narrow strips finish at a half inch wide. I just took a bunch of my old Christmas fabric scraps and piled them on the 1 inch die strip. One pass through the GO! and I had all I needed. (By the time I took the photo below though, I had already made a bunch of those stockings, so these are the bits that were left).

One stocking all done, one needing backing and lining. Almost there.


I was part of an ornament swap, and that group of six above were the ones that got sent away.  I'm still waiting for one of the ornaments headed my way to get here and then I'll show pictures of what I received in the swap.  (So, so cute!)

And then, because I need a few more ornaments for gifts, I did another set of the AccuQuilt GO! reindeer and dove ornaments. Years ago I made up a tutorial on these that you can find here. Instead of cutting out squares though, this time I cut out paper shapes from the dies and then laid them out on the fabric aiming for as many shapes as I could get.

I roughly cut around the shape leaving just a smidgen of room and then run it through the GO! It takes a little more time than just cutting out 5 1/2" squares, but then I do get more ornaments from one of the 11 inch squares. And I won't lie -- it takes a goodly amount of time to lay out all those snippets and fuse them down. After all that work, I want as much return as I can get!

This is what I got from my weekend ventures: four doves, two reindeer, and a little heart. The color in this photo is really sad: the actual color is a little richer, a little more gold and cream.

These need ribbon and a button added. The ones below are finished.

So pretty and elegant.

I'd be showing pictures of the mini I made for the swap but it hasn't been delivered yet. Uh-oh. Hello, priority mail? The delivery date on the receipt said (last) Thursday, then the website said Friday, but no quiltie arrived. I have my fingers crossed for tomorrow delivery.

Isn't it nerve wracking sending quilts through the mail? I still always worry a bit. I did have a mini quilt get permanently lost in the mail once. That was very, very sad.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Swapping Minis

My Mini QT Swap quilt has arrived.  Isn't it gorgeous?

The challenge was to make a monochromatic quilt. We informed our partners of colors we liked, and I mentioned taupe as a favorite for me. This is perfect.

My partner hand-dyed the fabrics (they started out as a Kona white) using walnuts! She got the different shadings from leaving the fabric in longer to get deeper degrees of colors. Amazing.

She passed on some fabrics bits as well and I will have to decide on the perfect use for them, don't you think?

And in the package, she included some steampunk fabrics and a big old hunk of Hershey's chocolate.  I do believe my husband, bless him, was most impressed with the size of that chocolate bar.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting confirmation that the mini I sent to her has arrived, so I can't post it here yet. I can post a wee peek though. It's what I made up with that stack of  AccuQuilt GO! cut triangles I showed a few weeks back.

I can only hope she enjoys the quilt I sent her as much as I love the one she sent me!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

GO! Tea Towels

So this week's GO! Sew is a pair of tea towels.

So cute! I used the AccuQuilt GO! Fowl die and the Queen of Hearts dies when making these up. I made the all in blue version first and just outline stitched the appliqué. Afterwards I looked at it and wished I had buttonholed it. When I did the second tea-towel, the red and blue version, I used machine buttonhole -- and yes, more of a pain in the neck but also much more in that vintage spirit. So, buttonhole it is.

I really wanted a vintage appeal so I pulled out my 30's reproduction bin that includes a few bits of actual vintage fabrics as well. These pretty blues go way back!

I just love the one with the blue stripes and pretty flowers.

And the fabrics weren't the only vintage bits either. I've inherited sewing boxes from my mother, my grandmother, and my mother-in-law. The bits of rick rack I used came from the sewing bins. Some of those bits go way back as well, particularly that yellow one.

And then there was the thread (because I inherited a bunch of that as well -- I remember my mom sewing clothes for me, back when it was cheaper to sew your own than buy in the store . . . ).

Those bits of blue scrap were all that was left of the one scrap of rick rack!  And look at the wooden spools. I love them.

From the top: how about that 10 cent pricing for a spool of thread, or the one that has the information stamped into the wood rather than a bit of paper?

And then there's the 30's reproduction fabrics.

So bright and happy. Of course, you know you're old when your scrap pile probably counts as vintage in and of itself. I bought those fabrics to make a baby quilt for my nephew. Now he is headed off to college. Vintage is a relative term!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

GO! Christmas Hot Pads

So this week's GO! Sew is more little Christmas gifts. The hen and rooster hot pads I did earlier worked so well, I decided to try some Christmas ones as well.

These were fun to make. I'm getting a little better at free motion outlining. Or at least I've learned to go slow enough I make fewer mistakes.

I really love this deer die -- so pretty and elegant.

For reasons purely mysterious, I had trouble with the binding on the one with the dove. Which is why I am absolutely positively not taking a picture of the back.

Isn't the snowman adorable? This one is my favorite, I think. I even managed French knots for his eyes! I lightly trimmed the mittens, so they aren't quite as fat as the die cuts them.

I have a few more to make for gifts, so it's a good thing these whip up so quickly.

I used a bunch of dies with these: the 8 inch circle (perfectly sized for hot pads -- and I can run the fabric, batting, and InsulBrite all through the GO! just fine). Then there's the deer, the dove, the 2/3/5 inch circles, and the holiday accessories dies.  Also the 2 1/2" strip cutter for the binding-- I was even able to cut the strips on the bias.  This GO! Sew challenge I gave myself is leading me to learn all kinds of new tricks.

So far so good on my GO! Sew a Week challenge. I've used my GO! to make up a project and managed to post on it every week since September 7. Which is to say -- go me! (Some puns just can't be suppressed).

I nearly forgot to mention! Thank you to AccuQuilt because I won Eleanor Burn's GO! Sampler book. The quilt on the cover is so pretty in pastels --

But, of course, the one that really spoke to me is the warm colored reproduction style on the back --

A project for the New Year perhaps?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

GO! Dove of Peace

As I was finishing up this table runner, I couldn't help but think of Paris and the other cities and countries that have so recently suffered at the hands of terrorists. I believe with all my heart that love is stronger than hate, that those who do good in the world vastly outnumber those who do evil, and that while peace remains elusive, the very fact we cherish it as a dream speaks to the best of who we are.

 I used three GO! dies in the making of this quilt: the dove, the 6" finished quarter-square triangle, and the 1 1/2" strip cutter (for single fold binding).  I rotary cut the central squares 6 1/2" (6" finished).

Wishing peace and comfort to the City of Light, to Beirut, to Russia and all who have suffered these attacks.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

GO! Hot Pads

Just playing around to see how well I like using the AccuQuilt GO! 8 inch circle for making hot pads. I'm thinking I'll make some holiday ones up for gifts.  Meanwhile, I used the GO! Fowl die to play with.

Those are cute enough. I think I might try some simple piecing in the background next time. Perhaps some snowmen in a simple snow and sky landscape?

Meanwhile, I've got some hen and roosters hot pads. As typical given my photo skills, I have to say they are more fun and colorful up close and personal.

This last one was the first one I stitched -- with a contrasting yellow thread, no less. Yeah, those are some hop, skip, and jump stitches I've got going there! But hey, they're hot pads. I can live with it. 

And I've got two bigger projects in the pipe line as well. I just got the Circle Rag die. I'm really curious to see how that will go.  Meanwhile, it's a beautiful fall day. The leaves are falling and the sky is blue.  Gorgeous days . . .  I'm doing my best to appreciate them before those cold winds of winter begin to blow. But when those cold winds do start to blow? There will be new quilts to snuggle under. So, there's that. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

GO! Pincushions

With Miniatures In Minutes foundations 

Once again I'm using the GO! Equilateral die to cut out patches for the Pyramid Triangle foundation from Miniatures in Minutes. Here they are, cut out and ready to apply to the foundation.

Since I had an odd shape, I marked blue X's on the foundation to show which patches would go down first. 

I placed the first two outer patches of each pincushion first.

Before adding the next set of patches that I could then sew top to bottom on the foundation.

Here it is with all the patches sewn onto the foundation.

At this point I cut the foundation to separate the two pincushions (since otherwise it would be just like me to forget and sew the two of them together). Below, the foundation on the left is trimmed and ready to Fold and Sew. The foundation on the right has its rows sewn together and just needs the paper removed. 

And the result? Cute little hexie pincushions!

There's the Pretty in Purple one:

But my favorite is the Red and White. So cute with some vintage fabrics that go way back.

I've got a busy week ahead, and I'm just not sure I've got sewing time on the radar. I'm hoping though. This GO! sew a week challenge has kept me moving on. Yeah, I'll have to squeeze some time in. Daylight Savings Time Fall Back.  Hey, I gained an hour!