Thursday, July 29, 2010

Decisions...


A whole stack of the extremely yummy Meadowsweet 2 means you have some decisions to make...


A whole stack of new designs from the amazing Camille doesn't make the decision making process any easier...especially when you want to make every pattern! "June Bug" seemed to be the perfect match for Meadowsweet 2...so a decision was made!



Heat n Bond Lite is my favorite fusible to use for machine applique'.  I like to buy it by the package and use a 50% off coupon at Jo-Ann's (it's also available by the yard, but buying it by the package also makes it easier to store).


Every shape that you need to fuse needs to be traced onto the paper side of the fusible web.  Cut out each shape leaving just a little bit around the outside edge.  Also, cut out the middle of your shape (I usually leave just about 1/4" on the inside).  This will make sure that your applique' shapes are soft and flexible...so that your quilt is also soft and flexible! Iron shapes to the wrong side of your applique' fabric using a medium heat and only pressing for a few seconds.


Next, cut out all shapes on the outer drawn line...they are now ready to be fused to the background fabric. One nice feature of the "June Bug" pattern is that Camille includes a guide that you set underneath your background block to ensure that the petals are placed in the correct position. After the block is set in place you can slide out the guide and iron.  Remove the paper backing (actually, I remove the paper backing from the fusible web before setting in place) and iron using a medium setting for just about 5 seconds.  If you use too high of a setting or iron for too long the glue doesn't seem to stick as well.  You don't need to use steam here, either.



The "June Bug" pattern is perfect for someone new to machine applique' since the shapes are simple and have smooth curves.  If you look closely at this picture you should be able to tell that I've already machine applique'd the edges on this block.  I used a buttonhole stitch on my machine and made the stitch length just a bit wider.  Practice on some scraps until you get the stitch look you like. I think machine applique' gets easier the more you practice, and simple shapes are best for practicing! After finishing the machine applique' I like to press my block from the back first and then press the front.



Here are all my blocks ready to be machine applique'd...two down and nineteen more to go!



My alternating blocks are all finished...hopefully I can get the machine applique' finished today!




I also had to cut out another bag pattern while I was cutting my "June Bug" quilt...can't wait to finish this one...these are the perfect fabrics for an end-of-summer bag!

And if you haven't entered my giveaway yet...you can still enter here! I'm enjoying reading the comments (there are a lot, so I won't be replying to these...). I'm  also really appreciating the ideas for future posts...you've given me some great ideas, so thank you!  Hope you have a wonderful day!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Favorites...


I've been working on another Fresh Cottons quilt, "Vanilla & Blooms"...I can't wait to start adding the applique'd flowers...it's really going to make this quilt.  I have loved making this pattern--my favorite pattern at the moment--it's simple and quick, and there is something very vintage about the design that I love! I think this might end up being my favorite Fresh Cottons quilt!



Favorite threads right now...the new Soul Blossoms thread collection from Amy Butler...if the threads are this gorgeous...just imagine how beautiful the fabric will be!


Favorite fabric out this month...Sandi Henderson's Meadowsweet 2 (this is just seven of the 14 prints...I'm expecting the remaining seven pieces on Monday). This collection is even more wonderful than the first Meadowsweet (which I also love)--it has a softer look that I really like!



Oh...and a giveaway to celebrate my 2nd Blogiversary!  I just want to say thank you to everyone for all of the wonderful tips, techniques, tutorials, and comments...it's just been amazing how much there is to learn through blogging.  So...if you'd like to enter please leave a comment sharing what quilting topic you'd like to learn more about...or what topics you'd like to have covered in a tutorial.  I'll keep the giveaway open until July 31st when I'll randomly draw 4 names. The first name drawn will get their choice of prizes...the second can choose from what remains, and so on.  First choice is the Verna Piece of Cake quilt above--I've loved Verna and made several quilts with it; this pattern is my favorite pattern to use when making a quilt for a gift...fast and fun!


I also have two $20 gift certificates to give away, compliments of Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works (thank you Jackie)! There are lots of fun things to choose from in Jackie's shop...I've ordered from her before, and her service is excellent!



One more winner will get a PDF pattern of Stephanie's newest bag design...the Oak Park Bag. Stephanie's blog was one of the very first I started reading two years ago, and I've enjoyed absolutely every one of her posts!  Thanks again for two wonderful years of blogging!  Have a great day!



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Surprises...



Surprises are always a lot of fun...and this week I had some great things come my way.  First of all, this amazing star pillow came from the lovely Janelle Wind in Australia. Back in February she announced a surprise on her blog and asked if anyone could guess what it was...I immediately guessed she was writing a book...and she sent me this wonderful star pillow which is a bonus project from her new book (her book is titled Pieces of Me...and I'd love to find a copy if anyone knows of a U.S. source).  If you go to this post you can see the other delightful star pillows she made! Janelle's workmanship is exquisite, and I love having this little pillow greet me every time I walk in my sewing room!


I also received an unexpected package from Cindy of Sew Cindy. Cindy just returned home from a wonderful trip where she was able to visit Sister's Oregon, and she was so kind as to send me some wonderful souvenirs from her trip...a wonderful postcard and a change purse pattern and kit which I can't wait to stitch up!  Thanks so much Cindy!

 
Back in my sewing room...I have a quilt to bind this week...



One of my favorites..."Saltwater Taffy" made with Fresh Cottons (pattern and fabric by Joanna of Fig Tree & Company).
And I'm just finishing up another quilt with Fresh Cottons...this is "Clovers" (also by Joanna Figueroa).


I have the body of the quilt set together and just need to add borders and get it quilted!  I have just loved sewing with Fresh Cottons...it's one of my favorite Fig Tree lines ever (although I LOVE Breakfast at Tiffany's too...can't wait to sew with it again as well).

Oh...and one more surprise...you might remember I just celebrated my 2nd blogiversary on July 1st...and I celebrated my birthday this past weekend...so it's time for a giveaway!  I'll be back soon with all the details! Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What Do You Do in the Summertime?



I've been doing a little sewing...staying out of the heat for sure!  I've got my Pint-Sized Wild Thing pieced together...once again just waiting for yardage to come out in the fall so I can add borders.  It really is a fun quilt, and makes a terrific baby quilt or wall hanging!

I've also been catching up on my Jelly Roll Sampler...ten blocks finished now, and block eleven comes out soon!  I really have enjoyed this quilt and can't wait to see it all come together.

Block 8  by Judi...super fun to make...



Another fun and easy block (the easiest yet), block 9 by Toby Lischko...
And block ten, Kari's block, is a favorite! It's really been fun to do a quilt-along where the blocks are released just a couple of weeks apart...long enough to get them finished and quick enough to get the quilt done rather quickly!


I've been doing a little summer reading too...I absolutely loved Sew Retro: 25 Vintage-Inspired Projects for the Modern Girl & A Stylish History of the Sewing Revolution.  Actually, I read it twice, cover to cover, the day I received it.  First I went through and looked at all of the wonderful vintage artwork and fun projects.  Later that evening I read the book cover to cover.  I really enjoyed reading and learning about the history of sewing in modern times and loved all of the interesting tidbits and trivia that were presented. Timelines throughout the book show the relationship between sewing and world events, and connections are made that I didn't even realize existed. There are fantastic interviews included too...my favorites were the ones with Amy Butler and Kathy Miller...both very inspirational women in the sewing world today.  The book discusses quilting along with sewing (and some of the fun projects are quilting ones) and is a terrific read for anyone who loves the sewing arts! As a side note...Country Home is back with a fantastic summer issue and one of the highlights is an article on the home of Denyse Schmidt...of course there is some Flea Market Fancy in the photos!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fabric Candy


I LOVE this fabric...hope to be able to get more It's a Hoot soon (I was so grateful to be able to buy this charm pack--but I definitely need a lot more of this fabric)!


I just love every color and every print.  I started sewing right away...one of those times when you know exactly what you're going to do with a fabric...



Soon I had a fun stack of blocks...


I used Camille's pattern "Pint-Sized" to make mini "Wild Thing" blocks...they are so small...and so cute!


I'm getting ready to set them together into a quilt for my sewing room...




FatQuarterShop's Designer Mystery Block of the Month arrived the other day...it's the cutest Santa's Hat block designed by Bonnie and Camille...love it!



Oh, and I started a fun project with my Bliss scraps (I'm determined to use every last piece...I love this fabric)! Be back soon with some finishes!



Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Vacation...


I had a chance to get out of the heat for seven whole days...yay!  It was wonderful to visit Mountain Green ( a very picturesque small town up Weber Canyon in Northern Utah) with family and also to have so many great quilt shops close by! Here is a little bit of what I was up to....



I basted hexagons...


I went to lunch and did some fabric shopping with family and friends (left to right Rae Ann, Susann, Nanette, me, my sister-in-law LeeAnne, and Lori)!  We're pictured here at Pine Needles but also shopped together at Material Girls!  I was also able to visit Quilter's Haven. with LeeAnne...another wonderful shop!


While at Material Girls I was able to pick up some of Monica's new fabric, Holiday Happy!


I was really looking for Lecien Flower Sugar 2 and Lecien Color Basics...I found a great selection at both Material Girls and Pine Needles (thanks Lori for helping me find them all)! (I'd been wanting some of these fabrics ever since seeing them on Pam, Elizabeth, Monica, Lori, and Nanette's blogs)! The Color Basics coordinate wonderfully with both Flower Sugar lines and also with Monica's fabric.



Quilter's Haven had more Lecien...I was able to pick up a few prints from earlier lines...so glad I stopped in! I might just have enough fat quarters now to start a new project.


This darling bee was a gift from Lori...love Miss Bee's apron! Rae Ann gave everyone some cute thirties fat quarters along with a measuring tape and chocolate, and Nanette had wonderful squares of fabric from her Japanese and vintage stash all tied together with rick rack--thanks so much!



I couldn't wait to look at Nanette's fabric squares...project already in mind!



I had a little down time on this trip and also started a new quilt...pattern Rosettes by Joanna Figueroa...fabric Luna Notte  and Martinique by Moda. I love the center star design with the "ribbons" around it...with these fabrics this will be a very soft, vintagey quilt. I finished one block...


and started block two! Planning on lots of sewing and quilting this week...after all...it's way too hot to go outside!  Have a great day!