Round Trip Quilts, Stop 4

Mary's Round Trip Quilt

I just finished up my addition for Mary from See Mary Quilt.  We are now over halfway through on the Round Trip Quilts, stop 4.

Well that went amazing and was super easy. A little late, but it will be in the mail ASAP. #roundtripquilts

This was Mary’s original center.

Chelsea from Patch the Giraffe was next, and added these awesome arrows to the quilt.

Christina from WiPs and Tuts went absolutely crazy and made what probably felt like a million tiny log cabins.

Kim from Ties that Bind Quilting added some needed breathing room while keeping the rainbow theme.

Then it was my turn… I started making half square triangles.

And kept making more half square triangles.

And more.

Until I was done.  Then I sewed, and sewed, and sewed, and ended up with this awesome herringbone border.

This project has made me want to make a medallion quilt, and to not want to mail this on.  It can stay with me, right?

 

Linking up to some of the following:

Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsWiP Wednesday @ Freshly PiecedLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric

Quilted Oven Mitt Tutorial

Hello again!  This week I have a tutorial to make quilted oven mitts up on the blog at Fort Worth Fabric Studio.  Check it out!

Quilted Oven Mitt Tutorial

Making your own oven mitts is a great way to bring what you love (quilting) into the kitchen in a tasteful and useful way.  I hope you find the oven mitt tutorial useful, and please let me know if you make a pair!

Linking to some of the following: Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays @ Late Night QuilterWiP Wednesday @ Freshly PiecedLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationFinish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFFFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth FabricShow off Saturday at Sew Can SheStash Bee Link Up

4×7 Sewing Challenge

This February Sarah from Berry Barn Designs is hosting a fun challenge called the 4×7 Sewing Challenge to sew for yourself for 30 minutes each day during February.  I haven’t quite made 30 minutes each day – some were more and some were less – but I like trying to sew a little each day.

I’m trying to make my sewing more purposeful.  As in, choose projects that I really want to finish.  Finish the projects I start.  Do something with the scraps or throw them away.  Finally finish the quilt for my bed.  That type of purposeful.

I made two sets of leaders for my new velcro longer setup (which so far I am in love with, other than having to make leaders).  I watched Sharon Chamber’s youtube video on how she loads her quilts, and while some of it doesn’t apply because she uses a different type of machine than I do, I love her leader method.  It helps me attach the quilts to achieve a flatter surface which results in a more even stitch especially at the top and bottom of the piece.  It’s also easier to load because I can center the quilt easier – and if it’s off by a little, re-center much easier.  You can see the newest 50″ leader in action below.

new leaders for the longarm

I also pieced a little mini that I had started during the January meeting of the Quilting Circle I am part of.  I am really trying to not create new UFO’s so I pieced the top, made a backing (even attaching a label!), found a scrap of batting that fits, and it is in line for the longarm.

Spool mini quilt

I also made another block for the “Real World Red & White” quilt.  I was obsessed with that quilt last winter, and then as it warmed up my interest waned.  I had though about signing up for the 4×5 block exchange on flickr this winter to get more blocks for the quilt.  I did the 2014 Winter and 2014 Spring (received and sent) iterations and received some great blocks, but I have so many blocks that I want to make myself.  I had to really ask myself if I was going to sign up because I wanted to do a bee, or if I wanted a forcing function to get 6 more blocks done.  I really wanted a forcing function, so I’ve decided to just challenge myself to make 6 more blocks.  I would like to get it done by mid-March.  That’s one block a week, and seems do-able.  This week I started with the Stepping Stones block from Piece n Quilt’s 30 days of blocks.

Stepping Stones block from Piece n Quilt's 30 days of blocks

Week 1 was super productive!  Here’s hoping I can keep up the momentum with week 2!

Linking up to Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs, and some of the following: Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsWiP Wednesday @ Freshly PiecedLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric

Hanging Towel Tutorial

I am a blog contributor this winter at Ft. Worth Fabric Studio, and my first project just went live!

Head on over to the FWFS blog to see the hanging towel tutorial to make one for your kitchen.

Let me know if you make one… it’s a quick and easy project.  It’s a great way to use up scraps or to add some holiday color to your kitchen.  Sometimes you just need a project that is a quick win… and this project is a good palate cleanser that can be completed in one sitting.

Hanging Towel Tutorial

Linking to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsWiP Wednesday @ Freshly PiecedLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict

 

Round Trip Quilts, Stop #3

I am part of a round robin group made up of quilters from the Plum and June New Blogger Hop last summer.  We are on our 3rd round of this round robin, and I’m having a lot of fun and being challenged to continue to come up with something good enough for each of these amazing quilts!

Paper Pieced Stars

This round I have the center from Chelsea at Patch the Giraffe.  She started us off with four paper pieced stars from solids and a low volume background.  She didn’t specify how the additions had to be made, just requested that they be solids with low volume backgrounds.  Her original center can be found here.  

Round Trip Quilts - Chelsea's Quilt, Round 1

Next, it went to Christina (WiPs and Tuts) who added the two side borders.

Round Trip Quilts - Chelsea's Quilt, Round 2

Kim from Ties that Bind Quilting added the row along the bottom, or rather the top now that I notice Chelsea’s original orientation.

Then it was my turn…  You can tell I was working late on this and how dark and stormy it was so far in January by my complete and total inability to get good in-process photos.

First, I pulled my solids and realized I needed to buy more because I had used up my stash.  I like using solids, but don’t have a huge stash of them, but was still surprised by how little I had.

Patch the Giraffe, Round Trip, Stop 3

Luckily these are colors that I personally enjoy, so I had no problem adding a few to the stash.

Paper Piecing flying geese

I used the “Goosing Borders” pattern from Jeli Quilts on Craftsy.  I printed out 3 pages, which is 6 sections and got started!  Once each section was done, I alternated them to create the wave you see below.

Patch the Giraffe, Round Trip, Stop 3

Chelsea, I hope you like it because I love how your quilt is turning out!  I enjoyed getting to work in this color palette, and if you decide you don’t want this – I will totally take it off your hands for you!

Linking up to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsWiP Wednesday @ Freshly PiecedLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric

 

Looking Back at 2014

2014 was a good year.  It was my second year at home with my daughter.  My husband was in the middle of grad school to get his Master’s Degree.  My brother-in-law got married.  And I kept sewing!

I didn’t realize how much I sewed until I started making mosaics and realized how many pictures I have!  I did not make as many quilts, because there are only so many quilts a person can use and because I choose to do more challenging work for the ones I did make.  This also reminded me that I need to start making blocks for my Real World Red and White quilt if I ever want to get it done.
2014 Quilting for me I also joined bees and a swap for the first time, so some of my quilting time was dedicated for other people.  I really enjoyed pushing my boundaries and learning new techniques as part of these bees, so I am continuing in Stash Bee this year – and already signed up for two mini quilt swaps!
2014 Bees and SwapsI joined the Plum and June New Blogger Group.  As a part of that group, I joined a round robin bee – the Round Trip Quilts group.  It’s seriously one of the hardest and most awesome quilty things I’ve done.   I love the challenge and creativity that our group is demonstrating each round.  I can’t wait to see how everyone’s quilts turn out!
2014 Round Trip Quilts Sewing
I also started sewing more and more clothes this year.  This isn’t near all of them.  Much of what I sew are basics like leggings and shirts that I apparently did not feel were photo worthy.  I should think about whether or not I feel that way for the future.  Also, fancy dresses are fun to sew, but don’t get worn.  Those leggings get worn to death.
2014 Sewing for my daughterAnd I embraced “selfish” sewing, and made a few things for myself!  Taking pictures of myself in clothes I’ve made is much harder than taking the pictures of a quilt block or of my daughter.  Not only does the light have to be good enough to take pictures, the weather has to be appropriate to wear the garment, it can’t be wrinkly from wearing all day, and my hair has to look acceptable.  Sewing bloggers, I salute you and your herculean efforts to document your makes.  In the coming year I want to become better about blogging what I’ve made for myself.
2014 Sewing for meI also entered a quilt show for the first time.  I didn’t really enter thinking I would win anything, but it does make the experience more fun ;)  I really entered because my local shows are full of quilts that all look the same.  I wanted to show that there are quilts that aren’t made from drab colors.  I wanted to enter a wearable category and show that you can quilt a sophisticated bag.  I hope my work demonstrated that you can be young and make technically sound work that is modern and beautiful.

I also have to brag on myself for a minute – I took 2nd in the Group category in the NC State Fair.  I was pretty proud of that because I had heard that the group and dual category are the most competitive categories.  Luckily I found that out after I entered – otherwise I may not have had the nerve to enter the group category.  Then I found out that a quilter who has been quilting longer than me and does amazing custom work had quilted the 3rd and 4th place quilts in the group category.  That made me feel pretty good!

2014 Quilt Show Season

Last year I tried to participate more in the bigger quilting world – through bees and swaps, and also through guest blogging.  I wrote a tutorial for a paper pieced block for Sew Mama Sew.  I guest blogged for Angela Walter’s Business of Machine Quilting Blog.  I took a couple longarm classes and learned some great techniques.

That’s my year in summary.  This coming year I want to piece a little bit more.  I have a to-do list that hopefully I can follow.  I want to quilt more.  I want to continue developing my skills – in piecing and sewing and quilting.  And accomplish all this while moving over the summer and potentially going back to school in the fall… eek.  Here’s to 2015!

Round Trip Quilts, Stop #2

It’s been 6 weeks, so it’s time for our quilts to continue their journey!  I joined the Round Trip Quilt bee, which is made up of US and Canada bloggers that met through the New Blogger Group from Plum and June.  We are a pretty relaxed and free form bee group.  We don’t make (necessarily) an entire border all the way around each time, and we usually (but not always) sew an additional piece to one or more sides of the quilt.  I love our rules because as a group, there are some amazing quilts taking shape.

Round Trip Quilts - Christina

This round I have an autumn themed quilt from Christina at Wips and Tuts.  She used the center medallion from the Liberty medallion quilt that went around quilty blog-land awhile ago.  It’s from the book Liberty Love by Alexia Marcelle Abegg (affiliate link).  This is such a fantastic medallion center, and it’s being added to my never ending bucket list of quilts.

As soon as I saw her initial blog entry explaining the theme of her quilt, I got excited.  I love fall, and I was fortunate enough to get this quilt during fall.  It felt perfect.  Then I discovered I had more ideas than I could easily narrow down!  Seriously, my Round Trip Quilts pinterest board is over half autumn block ideas.

Kim at Ties that Bind Quilting added the first round to this quilt.  She added apples all around the center, which is so perfect for fall!  When I pulled the quilt out of the package, I had two immediate thoughts.  1 – this is awesome and 2 – this is huge for only being the second round!

Round Trip Quilts - Christina

As I said before, I was actually stymied by how many directions I could take this quilt!  I even had a misstep before deciding on the final choice.  My first attempt were some freeform pumpkins, that while I like them, I did not like them with this quilt.  It’s alright though – they will make some pretty sweet placements for next fall.

Round Trip Quilts - Christina

Quilting FAIL

I actually hate them less in this photo than I did initially.  Ironically, the linen I laid down so that I didn’t get the quilt dirty would have made a nice border and made them sort of work even though the style is still wrong for where the quilt is right now.

Round Trip Quilts - Christina

Next, I asked Christina on Instagram (with this selection of brown fabric) how she felt about squirrels because she had mentioned woodland creatures as a possible inspiration topic.  Squirrels (or bunnies as my daughter calls them), are a very popular topic in our house.  The squirrels in the backyard are entertainment during most meals, and there is a Curious George episode that features squirrels that she absolutely loves.  Thus, when I found the squirrel pattern from During Quiet Time, it seemed like a perfect option.  Plus, Christina had ok’d it as an option.

paper pieced squirrel

I reverse printed one squirrel so that the two squirrels could be facing each other.  I wish I would have taken a picture of the back before I peeled the papers off, because all those reverse printed letters and numbers looked pretty funny.  Although, because I was making two at the same time with such similar colors, having one set reversed was a lifesaver so I didn’t connect the wrong parts!

I did have a moment of doubt as to the scale of these two guys.  These blocks are 12″ square.  They are pretty large squirrels.  I considered reducing the size, but due to the paper piecing pattern, if I had done that there would have been some spots that I never would have gotten the paper out of.  Then, I felt better when I considered that the squirrels are actually is really good proportion to the size of the apples.  Christina, I hope you feel the same way!

Fall Quilt

Next I just had to add some sashing at each side and in the middle so that the squirrels lined up properly with the rest of the quilt, and I was ready to pass this quilt on!  This quilt moves on to Liz at Green Cheese Quilting next and I can’t wait to see what she does with it.

The next quilt I received is the center from Chelsea at Patch the Giraffe.  She picked a really soothing palette that I am looking forward to working with.

I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

- Heather

 

Linking up to some of the following: Anything Goes MondayFabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsWiP Wednesday @ Freshly PiecedLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric

Stash Bee Square Dance Quilt

This year I participated in the Stash Bee, an online bee made up quilters all over the world.  I was in Hive 12, and my month was May.  I asked the members of my hive to make me blocks from my Square Dance quilt block tutorial using the paper piecing pattern that I created for this project (now available on Craftsy).

Custom longarm quilting

Here she is – in all her glory!  The members of my hive did such an amazing job with their blocks.  The variety that they added to this quilt is what really makes it shine!  I will really enjoy sitting on the couch cozying up with this quilt this winter knowing that so many people helped make this quilt happen.

A huge thank you to Heather, Cheryl, Jennifer, Michele, Kristel, Laura, Toni, Genevieve, Francis and Willa!

Quilting progress

Above are some pictures of the quilting in progress.  To see more pictures, please see my Quilts Actually blog post about the quilting of this Square Dance quilt.

quilt binding

This quilt was a little rushed because I was working to complete it before the fair.  The binding and I spent some late nights, a lot of time in front of the TV, and an all day guild meeting together in order for it to get done.

Hand sewn quilt binding

It was worth all the work though… I finished it in time to enter it in the North Carolina State Fair, where we earned 2nd place in the Group quilt category!  I’m going to say we were robbed… just kidding… I didn’t actually see the 1st place quilt, so the possibility does exist that it was better.

State Fair Quilt

Once I was able to pick up the quilt after the fair, it seemed like everyday was sunny or rainy so it I had to wait quite awhile for a nice overcast day to take proper photos.  Luckily, our fall colors were at their peak, making a nice backdrop.

Square Dance Quilt

The back of the quilt really shows the quilting in detail.  I also added a few extra blocks in a strip along the bottom.  I love that little pop at the bottom!  I was also quite proud of myself for adding the hanging sleeve right away (granted…it was forced because I wanted to enter it in the fair), but usually I wait forever and don’t have any backing fabric leftover to use.  The sleeve looks so much nicer in matching fabric!

Note to self: make the hanging sleeve when you first finish the quilt from now on.

Custom quilting

This is my Stash Bee Square Dance with my miniature quilt Square Dance.  These two quilts have earned a few second place finishes – North Carolina State Fair, Quilting in the Pines Quilt Show, and Floral Fantasy Quilt Show.

Award winning quilts

Finally, a photoshoot out-take…  My daughter was “helping” to arrange the quilts just like mom.  Maybe I have a future quilter on my hands!  Or a photographer…

little girl quilt

Thanks for stopping by!

-Heather

Linking up to whoever has the link up post this week of the following:

Anything Goes MondayFabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationFinish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFFFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth FabricShow off Saturday at Sew Can SheSewing Saturday at Simple Simon & CoStash Bee Link Up

 

Oliver and S Roller Skate Tunic Pattern Review

I’m continuing my Kid’s Clothes Week theme of fall useful clothing with my Roller Skate Tunic Pattern Review.

Roller Skate Tunic Pattern Review

Pattern: Oliver and S Roller Skate Tunic and Dress (digital version)  This is a great pattern for the digital side, because there is not that much to print.  It was a nice change from some of the huge patterns I have printed off lately.

Pattern Description (from designer): This cute and easy dress can also be made as a tunic, with two different styles for each length. All views include built-in cap sleeves, Empire-waist elastic casing, and keyhole-with-button opening at back.

Fabric Required: For 12-18 month size, 3/4 yard of both the lining and outer fabric.  One button for the back closing… a lion button makes any kid’s shirt better!

Oliver & S Roller Skate Tunic

Amount of fabric used: I’m pretty sure I could have cut it out of a half yard cut of fabric.

Sizing: My daughter’s chest size matched the 12-18 month size exactly, so I made the 12-18 width with 2T length.

Alterations: The only change I made was to add some length.

Instructions: This is a pretty simple shirt to construct, and the instructions are good (as always from Oliver and S).  The marking of the line where the elastic casing goes was a bit tedious, but there are better tools that make it easier (I just don’t own them).  The method to use carbon paper and a tracing wheel would be infinitely faster, easier, and more accurate.

Pattern Issues: I measured the elastic to be the exact width of her chest (plus the seam allowance) as directed, but I think it’s a little tight.  Not uncomfortable tight, but when she lifts her arms, the shirt rides up and stays up.  In my next version I will make the elastic a little bit looser so it hopefully won’t have that issue. You can see what I mean in the picture below…

Oliver & S Roller Skate Tunic

Fabric Choice: I used quilting cotton for the outside and voile as the lining.  The weight works well together.

Finished Product: Overall, I think it’s a cute shirt.  I already have another one cut out, it just needs to be sewn up.  I think with the cutout, the neckline is a little low on my daughter.  Maybe for her size, it gets low proportion wise?  I’ve seen a lot of other versions of this dress and never had thought before, but sometimes there is a little more food stuck in the top after a meal than is ideal.  Until she gets into larger sizes I don’t plan on using the cutout again.

Husband’s opinion: He doesn’t like how it rides up, but hopefully loosening the elastic will take care of that.

Notes for future makes: As stated above, I will make the elastic  a little bit looser in my next version and probably not use the cut out option until she is a little bit older.

Oliver & S Roller Skate Tunic

Final Thoughts: The Roller skate tunic is a well designed pattern that creates a good looking dress.  I like how it is lined, and think it is a very flattering and cute silhouette for a little girl.

Also, the pants are the Oliver and S Sandbox Pants that I made for the Winter 2014 KCW (last January).

Izzy Top Review

Here in North Carolina, fall sewing looks a lot like summer sewing for a good reason.  Last week, I think we had about 80 good reasons to wear short sleeves and still sew short sleeves this far into fall.  Therefore, my latest project and review is the free Izzy Top from Climbing the Willow.

This is also the unofficial start of Kid’s Clothes Week for me!  We have some family stuff next weekend, so in my personal version, KCW runs from 18-24 October instead of 20-26 October.

Izzy Top

PatternIzzy Top from Climbing the Willow.  Available for free in sizes 18 months – 12 years.

Pattern Description (from designer): The Izzy Top is a sweet, feminine curved yoke top pattern that closes with a button (or snap) tab in the back.  It is a very simple pattern to make and only requires basic sewing skills.

Fabric Required: 1/2 yard of main print, 1/4 yard lining for 18 months and 2 years.

Amount of fabric used: every last bit of 1/2 yard of the main fabric.  I had to actually reduce the width of the flared portion to fit in a half yard.

Izzy Top

Sizing: The 18 month size is recommended for a 19.5 inch chest.  The designer also mentions that she designed it to fit true ready to wear sizes.  I think that is pretty accurate.  My daughter’s chest is 18.75 inches right now, and I’m glad I have the little bit of ease because it makes it easier to get on and off.  Also, my daughter has a huge head and needed every bit of the neckline to get it on and off.

Alterations: I added 1.5 inches to the length because my daughter is about a 2T in height.  I used a snap for the back enclosure because I didn’t feel like doing button holes.

Izzy Top

Instructions: The instructions were good.  There are pictures for every step.  The only change I made was to baste the bodice to the skirt portion prior to serging them together.  I basted one one top, and did not on the other and the one I basted first turned out nicer.  Most shirts/dresses I have made in this style have the seam mid-chest enclosed, and at first I was annoyed that it was not, but the seam doesn’t seem to bother my daughter and it was faster a little bit easier to serge the seam.  If you don’t have a serger, you would probably want to lengthen the lining piece about half an inch to be able to enclose the seam.  Or you could do a french seam, or a flat felled seam there as well without issue.

Izzy Top

Pattern Issues: None.  This is a free tutorial, and I think for it being free, she did a great job!  The pattern fit as advertised, there are photos for every step, and it is a cute shirt.

Fabric Choice:  One shirt was a Lisette voile from a year or two ago.  The other shirt I made from chambray dots.  I purchased it in person at Mulberry Silks in Carborro, NC, but I’m pretty sure this burgundy chambray dot is the same one.  It’s a heavier weight than the voile, but still works well for this shirt.

Izzy Top

Finished Product: This is an adorable shirt for a toddler.  The shirt is a little wide for my taste.  I prefer the blue one that I didn’t have enough fabric to make the full width, so I will probably reduce the width again when I make this in the future.

Izzy Top

Husband’s opinion: Likes it, but agrees that the full width is a little too full.

Final Thoughts: This is a well put together tutorial in a wide range of sizes that I will most likely make again as she grows out of the current versions.  I even like it as it gets colder because I can either layer it over a long sleeve shirt, or put a cardigan over it.  I think in the spring I would like to try it with a knit for the bottom portion.

Notes for future makes: Reduce the width of the bottom portion.  I think in the spring I would like to try it with a knit for the bottom portion.

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