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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Neapolitan Sundae

My parents came in town to visit this weekend, but I still managed to take a few hours to quilt and bind up this little baby quilt.  In fact, my mom had never seen me do FMQ, so it was kind of fun to show her how it's done (she does not sew at ALL)!

I made this quilt with my Giant Log Cabin tutorial, and it measures 47 inches square.  I love the fact that the smallish size made it a super quick finish.  And of course, now that it's done, I do like it better, and I think it will be perfect for a baby or little girl.

The weather has been so dreary today, so I had to do this photo shoot in about 5 minutes, which severely limited the creativity in my pics.  I'm just glad there was a tiny break in the rain that allowed me to get outside shots at all!

When I was trying to come up with a name for this quilt, my mom mentioned that she thought it looked like neapolitan ice cream with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry all together.  So, I have to credit her with the name- Neapolitan Sundae!  I didn't notice the stray thread on the label until just now (no kidding- a 5 minute photo session).

For the backing, I had a 1 yard piece of one of the Daisy Cottage fabrics, added some Kona Baby Pink and of course added all of the scraps from the top.  I used Kona Chocolate for the binding, and quilted with a meander in soft pink thread.

I don't know if anyone noticed the button on my sidebar (because I haven't mentioned it), but I opened an etsy shop last week.  I'm just running out of quilts to gift, and although I do donate some, I just thought, why not?  We'll just see how it goes!  So far, Grapefruit Fizz is the only quilt in the shop, and she's getting pretty lonely, so this one is going to join her!  I think I'm going to try to get a few more quilts in there before the Christmas shopping season really gets in full swing.  If you happen to have an etsy shop and have any pearls of wisdom to offer, I'm all ears!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NTT- It's the Place to Be!

Yeah, I'm a rhyming kinda girl.  It runs through my head every week, but I have successfully squelched the urge to actually use it as my post title until now.  Now that it's right there on the screen maybe I'll stop thinking it every. single. Thursday.  I said maybe.  ;)

I finished up Grapefruit Fizz on Sunday and until this evening, I had gotten zero sewing done since.  Nope, nada.  Not a single stitch.

I think it's because I've decided that it's finally time for me to use this little bundle of Riley Blake Daisy Cottage, and I'm just not truly in love with it.  That, and my life has been madness these last few days.  One or the other.

In truth, I wasn't absolutely in love with this bundle when I got it, but I found it on sale (isn't that always the way), and I thought, "Well, it's nice, and will make a cute little baby girl quilt." And I went ahead and bought it.

So, I went round and round with myself about what I should do with this fabric, and I decided to make another giant log cabin.  They're quick to cut, speedy to sew, and totally stress-free.  And it means I can use up this bundle fast, and without a lot of fuss.

I finally got some time at my machine tonight.  I spent about 15 minutes cutting and one hour sewing up this baby quilt.  One hour, y'all- seriously.  That's my kind of quilt top- which, by the way looks way better in person.

I do think it's a sweet little quilt, but still...lesson learned.  Only buy fabric if you truly love it.  Am I the only one who's done this??

Oh, and one other thing!!  I'm sad to say that Vickie, the winner of the FQ bundle giveaway never responded back to me when I emailed her, so wild thing picked another random number.  The lucky winner is number 23- Lisa Cox!  Lisa, I'll be emailing you soon so I can ship out those FQ's ASAP!

Now, check out some of the awesome link ups from last week!

**As a courtesy to these bloggers, if you want to pin the images I'm featuring, please use the links and pin from the original source.  Thanks a bunch!

Paula, The Sassy Quilter revealed this breathtaking Prism quilt!  What a beauty!

Y'all know I'm a sucker for Swoon quilts, and this one by Izzy at Dizzy Quilts is just gorgeous!

and Melissa at My Fabric Relish shared her broken herringbone quilt progress along with this awesome pillow!

Let's party, y'all!

Here are the party rules.  You know the drill!

1.  You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post to make it easier for others.
3. Spread the word and post my button or a text link.  Please find my new button on my sidebar!
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

**And once again, as a courtesy to these bloggers, if you want to pin one of the fabulous projects linked, please click on the thumbnail to go to the original source and pin from there!  Thanks!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Grapefruit Fizz

A little bit sweet and a little bit tart with shades of pink and orange together, this quilt is called Grapefruit Fizz and I just love the way it turned out!

I think the purse strings blocks create such an interesting pattern and secondary pattern when they're all put together, and I definitely see more of these in my future!  

Y'all know me, if there's a polkadot to be had, I will back a quilt with it!  It just so happens that this particular fabric, from the Amy Butler Lotus line goes just perfectly.  How could I resist?

For my newer readers, I made my label using my own method, which you can find HERE.  For the binding, I opted for one of the fabrics already in the quilt.  It's called Boho Stripe from the Wrenly fabric collection.

I have to say that of all of the quilts I've made, this one is definitely near the top in terms of pride in my accomplishment.  This is the only quilt I've ever taken from a sketch to a reality, with a completely original block design.  I really enjoyed that side of the creative process, and it's something I think I'll do again in the future!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to all of you wonderful readers who commented last weekend on the giveaway post!  There were 65 comments.

It seems that I can never get the Random Number Generator to work in my blog post (it shows up blank), so I'm going with the Wild Thing Number Generator.  And wild thing picked number 35 (after which, he promptly asked if he was right, haha!)

Vickie was comment number 35, so congratulations Vickie!  I'll be contacting you by email shortly and I'll get this FQ bundle out to you ASAP!

Happy weekend, ya'll!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Purse Strings Quilt Top

It's late, so this post will be short and sweet-  I got my purse strings quilt top finished just under the wire to join in all of the Friday finish parties.  woo hoo!

It's getting close to midnight and I just finished putting this top together, and I just couldn't bear to wait until daylight to take a good picture.  I really love this pattern!  The design is so cool when all of the blocks are put together.

Can't wait to sew up all of the scraps for the backing and go on a hunt for the perfect backing and binding fabrics!  Happy almost weekend!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Needle and Thread Thursday!

Welcome to another Thursday, y'all!  I'm feeling pretty excited this week, because I'm working on blocks that are lots of fun to make with fabrics that I just adore.  Remember this little bundle?

Well, I'm working away on turning those into these Purse Strings blocks.  I only have ten done so far, but I have an evening of sewing time ahead and hope to have the top finished up before the weekend.

If you missed my tutorial for these blocks, you can find it HERE!  I finished another project using these blocks (just a little one), but I can't share it with you for awhile.  I'm horrible at secret-keeping and knew that I wanted to share the block, even if I couldn't share that particular project, which is why I immediately poured myself into making a project that I could write about!

Without further ado, take a look at some of the fabulousness that was linked up last Thursday!

**As a courtesy to these bloggers, if you want to pin the images I'm featuring, please use the links and pin from the original source.  Thanks a bunch!

Cynthia shared this beautiful Star Surround quilt, and I love the shades of purple!

I love postage stamp quilts, and Adrienne @ Chezzetcook Quilts shared her progress on this beauty!

And Snips Snippets shared this fantastic Star Dresden pillow!

I can't wait to see what's going on this week!

Here are the party rules.  You know the drill!

1.  You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post to make it easier for others.
3. Spread the word and post my button or a text link.  Please find my new button on my sidebar!
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

**And once again, as a courtesy to these bloggers, if you want to pin one of the fabulous projects linked, please click on the thumbnail to go to the original source and pin from there!  Thanks!

Purse Strings Block

I've decided to call this block "Purse Strings" since it looks like the top view of a drawstring bag, and the more blocks I put together, the more I love them!  (Other great names were suggested, but several of those were already assigned to other blocks)  If you read my blog often, you know that I like quilts/blocks that are fairly easy to piece, and yet make a big impact.  This block gets a check mark in my book for both of those qualities!

The other great thing about this block is its size.  This is a 15 inch block!  So, a 4x4 block quilt would make a generous throw size, and a 3x3 block quilt would be perfect as a baby quilt.  Bigger blocks = less teeny tiny pieces, and I'm all about that!   If you would rather a smaller block, here are the measurements for that as well-

To make a purse strings block, cut four 5.5 inch squares to make the "purse flaps," four 5.5 inch squares to make the "strings," and one 5.5 inch square for the center of the block, or the "inside of the purse."  This center square would be a great place to use fussy cuts!  You will also need sixteen 3.5 inch squares of your background fabric (or, corner squares).

I am using only three fabrics (plus white), but this would also be really cute as a scrappy block!

First, we'll make the four "purse flaps."  These surround the center square, so if you have a stripe, chevron, or other design that would look cute in a radiating pattern, go for it!

To make these pieces, we need to line up one white square on the corner of your printed fabric and sew corner to corner.  Like this-

To keep your stitch line straight, many people recommend drawing a diagonal line across the back of your square as a guide.  I really hate this step, so as a little trick, I use a piece of painter's tape aligned with my needle on my machine and table.

You can keep the corners in line with the edge of the tape, and know that you're sewing a straight line! After sewing, take your scissors and trim away the excess, leaving 1/4 inch seam allowance.  It doesn't have to be too perfect!

Give it a quick press, then line up another white square with an adjoining corner.  Sew corner to corner in exactly the same way!

Trim away the excess, and press again!

Repeat these steps for all four "purse flap" pieces.  I promise, once you get the hang of it, it goes really quickly, and the end result is worth it!

The points on these don't go all the way to the edge of the block (unlike flying geese), and that's by design.  When the blocks are all put together, it creates a great shape in the negative space!

Now, we'll use the same technique to create the "drawstring" parts of the block, better known as a Road to Tennessee block.  These are a little bit quicker because you won't have to press until the end.  Start by lining up a white square on top of your printed fabric and again, sewing corner to corner and trimming the excess.  Don't worry about pressing this just yet!

This time, our second white square will be sewn to the opposite corner, rather than an adjoining corner.  Sew the second piece and trim.  Your piece should look like this. 

Now we're ready to press!  Be careful not to drag the iron too much or you'll distort your corners!

Repeat for all four "drawstring" pieces!

After all of that, the rest is really a snap!  Lay out your blocks like this-  Do you see the purse and strings shape?

Sew them together as you would a plain old nine patch.  Give your block a final press, and voila!  A beautiful Purse Strings block!

Of course, the real beauty of these blocks happens when they're all put together!  Lots of quilt blocks are like that.  I love the little figure-eight shape created between these.  I can see lots of opportunities for some creative quilting in these little negative spaces!

Edited 9/21- Here is what the blocks look like all together in the finished quilt! You can find additional pictures of the finished quilt HERE!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Little Help Please!

Okay friends, I'm working on a project right now (that I can't tell you about just yet).  In trying to get my ideas to come together, I started sketching out quilt blocks and came up with this-

So here's where I need some quilty wisdom.  Does this block have a name?  I've looked all through Pinterest and well known quilt block libraries and although I have seen some that are similar, I haven't seen one that is exactly the same.

I find it difficult to believe (although not impossible, I guess) that this is not already a named quilt block, so if you know what it is, please let me know!  Also, if it doesn't have a name, it needs one.  So, if you have a good suggestion for that, I'm all ears.

In the meantime, this can just serve as a little sneak peek of my latest project!

**Edited to add- If this block doesn't already have a name, I think "Purse Strings" fits perfectly.  To me, it looks like a top view of a drawstring bag.  If you think of another name idea, I'd still love to hear it though! 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sugar and Spice

...and everything nice.  I've had this Whimsy fabric line for a long time, and I was kind of unenthusiastic about it, but now that it's put into a quilt, I really love it.  The pink and springy green are so sweet, but the warm brown, pumpkin, and yellow keep it from being sugar overload.  I think Sugar and Spice is the perfect name for it!  It's a little bit summer and a little bit autumn... kind of like the weather these days.

I made this quilt using my Chevron Quilt Tutorial, and then opted to add a white border.  I wanted to be sure that even with all of the brown and orange, it looked light and fresh.

I barely had any of the Whimsy fabric left for the backing, so I used lots of the green polka dot (from stash), along with some Kona Chocolate and Kona White that was also used on the front.  I've gotten to where I love quilting with colored thread, and I chose to quilt in yellow on this one.  I really like the way the yellow stitching shows up on the other colors in the chevrons.

I have a huge, old Pyracantha on the side of my house.  I only love it for two weeks in the spring when it flowers, two weeks in the fall(ish) when it makes beautiful red-orange berries, and dislike it for the other 48 weeks of the year.  It is covered in thorns and grows wildly.  Even though I don't love it, I just can't bring myself to unceremoniously chop down a plant that is so old, and is green year-round.

Anyway, all of that was to say that my Pyracantha happens to be covered in beautiful berries right now, and even though I had to carefully brave the thorns for my sake and the sake of the quilt, I wanted to get a picture of Sugar and Spice hanging from it.

As it turns out, most of the branches thick enough to support the weight of the quilt were so far on the interior that I didn't want to risk snagging the quilt on a thorn and tearing the fabric.  Because then I would have just cried, and I'm not one of those girls who cry prettily.  So, although this isn't exactly the picture I had in my head, it will have to do.

This quilt is destined for a silent auction at my church to benefit a particular mission.  I hope it will go to someone who loves it!

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