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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Quick Quilted Coasters- and a Giveaway

Hello All!  It's finally my turn on the Wicked Blog Hop!  I can't believe that October has slipped by and tomorrow we'll all be looking ahead to Thanksgiving.

If you're looking for Needle and Thread Thursday, or even if you're not and you just want to check it out, I posted it a day early because of the blog hop, and you can find it HERE!

For my stop on the Wicked Hop, I want to share a little tutorial on a project that can be modified to suit your decor all year long, and will keep away those really "wicked" rings on your furniture!

I made these super cute quilted coasters (a whole set of six) in less than an hour- no kidding!  Here's what you'll need-

*24 assorted 3 inch squares.  This is a great use of small scraps, or I picked up a FQ bundle with five different fabrics and had way more than enough for the entire coaster set.

*6 squares for backings, cut 5.5 inches.

*and 12 squares of batting, cut 5.5 inches.  I wanted to be certain that the coasters were able to absorb a lot of condensation, so I doubled my batting, which is why we're cutting 12 squares instead of 6.

To make the tops of your coasters, sew your 3 inch squares into four patches, and give them a quick press.

Now, put your four patch and backing square right sides together, and put the two squares of batting on top, like this-

Using your walking foot to be sure that everything feeds evenly, and sew all the way around with a 1/4 inch seam, leaving about 2 inches open.  Be sure to backstitch when you start and stop.  

Remember, you're looking at the wrong side of the fabric on the back!

Clip your corners, taking care not to cut your stitches.  We just need to reduce the bulk in the corners to make the next step easier!

Then just turn the coaster right side out!  These are small enough that you can use your fingers, but a chopstick or the eraser end of a pencil works too.  Just don't use anything sharp or you'll poke right through your corners!  This is where the backstitching is important, because when you turn it, your seam will need to be strong so it doesn't pull open.

I am really not a fan of hand sewing, so I like to close my open edge by folding it inside and stitching all the way around the edge of the coaster.

At this point, you could quilt it however you want!  I know that some spiderwebs would have been just awesome, but I did mention that this was completed in an hour, right?  Instead, I set my stitch length to 3mm and opted for a quick square spiral.  I didn't get too precise with it.  I kept the lines "organic-" which is what I like to call it when I don't care if there's a little wonkiness to it, ha!

Once you've got the basic construction down, you can change the fabrics to any holiday or even match your regular decor.  You can make the quilting design your own, or even modify the top into any favorite block pattern.  Keep in mind though, that the entire finished coaster is only 5 inches- plenty big enough for a drink to sit on, but not exactly a ton of room to show off mad-piecing skills. You know, unless you're into working with teeny-tiny pieces... in which case- more power to you!  You could even fussy cut squares for the top and not piece at all!  Just have fun with it!

So, there you have it!  A set of six coasters that would make anybody smile, and will keep away rings on the furniture- because those are really scary!

I have a good bit of the fabric I used on this project left over, and since it's time for me to stop thinking of Halloween, and start checking off my Christmas list, I don't have any plans for it.  So, I'm offering them as a giveaway!  There is one 12x18 inch piece of each fabric left, plus a 5x12 piece.  So still plenty for another little wicked project!

To be entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment!  I'll use Mr. Random to choose the winning number on Monday, 11/4.  So the giveaway will stay open through the weekend!

Followers will get a second chance to win.  So in your second comment, be sure to let me know how you're following!

oh, and ps- I'll contact the winner by email, so if you're a no-reply blogger or a wordpress user, please be sure to leave your email address in your comment.  :)

Good luck!

Lots of thanks to Mdm Samm and Wicked Wendy for organizing such a fun hop.  By the way, don't forget to check out the final few Wicked Hoppers today!

My Quilt Infatuation-yep, you're here!

It's Almost Thursday!

Okay y'all-  Tomorrow is my stop on the Sew We Quilt Wicked Blog Hop (not to mention Halloween), so I know things will get pretty busy in a hurry!  I wanted to give everyone plenty of time to share what you're working on, either before or after the sugar-induced coma of trick-or-treating!  So, I'm posting Needle and Thread Thursday a day early, and I'll still leave it open through Friday!

In case you missed it, I have my machine back and am sewing again!  Yippee!  So, tomorrow, I'm planning to share a little tutorial for the blog hop, and Friday, I have a tutorial ready to go for the braid/herringbone quilt I mentioned in my last post.  Be sure to keep an eye out for those!

With all of that coming up, I'll just save my NTT sharing for another time, so let's just get right down to the highlights, shall we?

Last week, there were SO many fantastic links!  I know, I know.  I say that every week.  Yep, I do.  I and I really mean it, but this week I had an especially hard time choosing some projects to highlight because there were lots that I just loved.

Jess at Quilty Habit shared this adorable baby quilt, and I just think the little owl is too cute!

Ms. Midge's paper pieced fairy tale quilt is just amazing!

and Diana at Red Delicious Life shared her Accuracy Quilt Along top, and I love the purples!

Okay, y'all, you know what to do.  Bring it on!

Here are the rules.  Y'all 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!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Back At It

Oh my goodness, friends!  I had an appointment on Friday so I was off work, and I took that opportunity to pick up my sewing machine.  My dealer is about 30 minutes away, and they close before I can make it after school, so I was grateful for the chance to get there on a day other than Saturday.  I was without it for two looooong weeks, and I know I will waste no time getting a backup for the future.  I have learned my lesson the hard way.  I just love sewing too much!

I finished up one quilt this weekend and although I have a tutorial all planned for later in the week, I'll go ahead and give you a little peek-

And after that one was finished, last night, I worked on this one-

These are mostly Lottie Da fabrics by Heather Bailey, with a few others thrown in.  The shop that sells my quilts got this fabric line in a few weeks ago and asked if I would make a baby quilt that would really show it off.  They also asked if it would be possible to make the quilt with only fabrics they stock, which eliminated solids.

They also happened to ask for this quilt right after I took my machine in, which means it's been sitting on my to-do list for a couple of weeks already.  The Giant Log Cabin has kind of become my go-to pattern for a quick, easy quilt that can really show off beautiful fabrics.  Since the strips are four inches wide finished, even large patterns stay relatively intact.  Oddly enough, even though I've made three quilts in this pattern (because they are really fun to sew), none of them are at the shop, so I figured, why not?

I'm planning to get this one basted and finished up to deliver Saturday (hopefully), and I hope they love it!

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Second Entry

After thinking long and hard about which quilt to enter into the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side, I just couldn't make up my mind.  The two quilts I had in mind are completely different, and I love both of them!  So, since I can enter two, I decided, what the heck!  This is my first time to enter and I'm jumping in with both feet!

I've decided to enter Feeling Groovy in the Throw/Lap Quilt category.  It measures right at 6ox60 inches.

I fell in love with Pat Bravo's Carnaby Street fabrics as soon as I saw them and I knew that I needed a special pattern to show them off.  I opted for a X-Plus pattern, and it's a choice I'm still glad I made.  Instead of making a scrappy quilt with this pattern as I have usually seen, I decided on two shades of gray, Kona Coal, and Kona Iron for the background, to really let the Carnaby Street shine.

I love how the grays recede into the background and allow the Carnaby Street to jump out, creating an almost 3D effect.

This is also my most favorite quilt backing I've ever made.  I didn't want any of my precious scraps to go to waste, so I improv pieced them into a panel, which I think makes the backing as fun as the front!

This quilt was so much fun to make, from the fabrics right down to the chevron binding in the perfect shade of teal. 

Quilt Stats:
Name- Feeling Groovy
Size- 60 x 60 inches
Quilting- Free motion meandering by me
Entry Category- Throw Quilts

Be sure to hop over to Amy's Creative Side and check out the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  There are so many fantastic quilts linked up, and you won't want to miss it!


Blogger's Quilt Festival Time!

I am so excited to enter the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side for the very first time!  I can't wait to browse through all of the fantastic entries, make some new quilty friends, and get inspired!

I absolutely could not decide between two of my quilts, so I decided that since I'm allowed two entries, I'll just enter both!  My first entry is my scrappy quilt, Serendipity.

Making this quilt was a really special experience for me, because I was able to revisit all of the previous quilts I've made that have gone to new homes.  To make the blocks, I took every single scrap I had and just started sewing- improv style.

The quilt masures 84 x 96, so it was quite an undertaking to quilt it on my home machine, which is also another reason that I feel so proud of it.  It is quilted in a simple meander, which I think fits with the style of the improv blocks and doesn't add too much busy-ness.  It took some real muscles to manage the weight of such a big quilt with FMQ on a regular machine!

I was able to piece the rest of my improv blocks into the backing to add a little bit of interest there.  I love the how the lime green polkadots look with the explosion of color in the blocks.

With all of the scrappy color, any binding or backing color choices would have worked, but I decided to bind with Kona Purple, and I think it keeps it really bright and fun!

The name of this quilt is a reflection of the way the quilt came together.  It is a quilt whose beauty was realized from sewing with humble scraps, from sewing in a style that was completely unplanned.  The name Serendipity fits like a glove.

Quilt Stats:
Name- Serendipity
Size- 84 x 96 in.
Quilting- Free motion meandering by me
Entry Category- Scrappy Quilts

Be sure to check out all of the fabulous entries, and prepare to be inspired!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Needle and Thread Thursday!

Welcome to another Thursday, friends!  The days are getting cooler and the air is nice and crisp around here- perfect quilt weather!  I'm still without my machine, but I've decided that whether it's been serviced or not, I'm picking it up Saturday.  I have too much to do to be without it any longer!  I suppose if they aren't able to do a regular servicing before Saturday, I'll have to take it back after Christmas.

I have two beautiful bundles that I simply cannot wait to get into.  You didn't think I was actually going to stop my fabric ogling just because I'm without a machine right now... did you?

Last week, despite my lack of sewing machine, there were so many awesome projects linked up, there was no shortage of inspiration!  Take a look at a few of them-

Sing While Crafting shared this blue and green beauty!

My Personal Reflections shared her fun Impromptu quilt.

and The Crafty Quilter linked up this adorable cookie plate crumb catcher.

Okay, y'all, you know what to do.  Party it up!

Here are the 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!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Other Side of the Quilt

It's no secret that I absolutely love making the backs of my quilts special by piecing, so when I heard about the link party that Katie from Swim, Bike, Quilt has going on called "The Other Side of the Quilt," of course, I decided I'm totally in.

I piece almost all of my quilt backs these days, so it was hard to select just a few to highlight as my favorites.  Feeling Groovy is probably my most favorite quilt back of all time.  The front is an X-Plus, and I just decided to have fun with the back with improv.  I managed to use every bit of my precious Carnaby Street fabric on this one.

Sewing in an improv style on the back is one of my favorite ways to use scraps.  My very first experience with improv came with this quilt, called Sunning by the Pool.  For me, it's a lot of fun to have a break from the "rules" that come along with sewing a particular pattern.  Once the top is done and all that's left are scraps, it's great to throw caution to the wind and just sew!

Recently, I was able to sew scraps and make what I consider to be a completely reversible quilt on Summer Storm.  On this quilt, I may actually like the back better than the bento box front!

A Dash of Luck also has improv piecing, but has just an offset strip of scraps, which I've also loved doing lately.  My husband jokes that this kind of backing is becoming my "signature backing."  I think this is one of my favorites because I could just eat that Happy Go Lucky fabric up, and I love the fabrics with that happy orange Denyse Schmidt print.

The last one I'll share is not improv pieced at all.  Instead, on Happy Dance, I made extra blocks for a stripe across the back, and I just love the way the colors pop against the black and white polkadots.

Quilt backs are a way for me to unwind a little bit and loosen up my sewing.  Especially after a particularly fussy pattern on the front, piecing the backing can really be relaxing, and I just love the look of surprise when the recipient sees the other side of the quilt!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

NTT, and Quilting Withdrawal

It's official.  I have some serious sewing withdrawal.  I haven't even been without my machine for a week and already I'm antsy.  Of course that means I don't have anything to share with you because there is no stitching going on over here!

Of course, we'll all get our eye candy fix with last week's NTT highlights!

Lindsey at Inspiring Creations shared her Sunnyside Pinwheels quilt.  It's so fresh and fun!

Jess at Quilty Habit's Modern Maples quilt is a gorgeous way to welcome Autumn's cooler weather!

and Beth at Hello Quilty Lady shared this beauty!  I love the brights mixed with the black and white prints!

I'm looking forward to seeing the fantastic things you're working on this week.  Even though I can't sew right now, I'm getting all kinds of inspiration.  So, let's party it up, 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!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Discovering Dawn

Well, my Fall Break of leisurely sewing is coming to a close, but not before I finished one final quilt.  Yeah, that makes three for the week.  For real- My Quilt's more than a name.  It's kind of a problem.

I have to give a shout out to Janet at Simply Pieced.  Last month, when she hosted our local MQG meeting, that girl was cleaning out some of her stash!  She made this quilt with the Eden's Dream line by Studio E, and decided that she was finished with the fabric.  I ended up with almost a full fat quarter of 8 different prints.  A girl can always use more fabric, right?  Thanks, Janet!

I wanted to use this fabric judiciously, so I needed a fairly simple pattern that would create as little waste as possible.  I stretched the fabrics by adding some Kona Coal, Kona Baby Blue, and that cute lime green print which coordinated so perfectly!  I ended up making some 25 patch blocks and alternating with framed 9 patches.  The squares are 2 inches finished.  I used Kona Bone and the creamy ivory is the perfect compliment to the soft colors of the fabrics.  I quilted with a meander in soft pink, and I just love how it looks against the quilt.

I don't see many 25 patches around.  Usually, I see either 16 patches or 36 patches, with good reason now that I think of it.  You can't speed piece 25 patches in the same way since there is an odd number across.  So, to make the 25 patches quickly, I made a 16 patch, then attached a row of four to one side, then a row of 5 down the other side.  Well duh!  That makes sense, right?  I'm a little embarrassed to admit that it actually took a couple of blocks before I started doing them this way.  Then, of course it went much faster.

I used every single scrap of fabric in the top, so that left none for the backing.  That allowed me the freedom to choose a busier print for the backing though, so it's all good!  I just love this gray and cream scroll fabric, and I added an offset stripe of blue just to break it up a little bit.  The binding is Kona Coal, since I already had plenty of it in my stash.

When I first saw these fabrics, the colors immediately reminded me of dawn.  The colors are bright, but something about them is soft as well.  Maybe it's the gray and cream mixed in?  The framed patches give the illusion of looking through windows and peeking out at the sometimes foggy early morning light of dawn.  So, I've named this one Discovering Dawn.  It measures 50x50.  I'm really happy with the way this one turned out, and I'm listing it in my etsy shop!

Besides the fact that Fall Break is ending, the other reason that I rushed to get this one finished up is because my beloved Bernina's service light came on.  It's a little bit troubling, since I've only had her since April.  My dealer assures me that she shouldn't need regular service already, but since Discovering Dawn is her 28th quilt, I wonder if that's the case.  Even though several of these quilts were baby quilts, I think that's still a pretty big workload for 6 months.  I really hope that's it and nothing is actually wrong.  Seriously though- what am I going to do for 1-2 weeks while she's gone?

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