Saturday, December 29, 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
I've been working through some works in progress this week! I have a ton of new things I want and need to start, so I thought I'd take this last week of the year and try to finish up a few things. This first project has been on-going for well over a year. I originally made a 16-block quilt and then set it aside.
I just wasn't happy with the kind of off-kilter layout the 16 blocks gave. So...I made a few more blocks and now have a 25-block arrangement that I really like! This is now hanging in the closet waiting for a backing...still not completely finished, but at least it's out of the box!
This Fig Tree quilt had been hanging in the closet (waiting for backing, quilting, binding) for well over a year as well. I pieced the backing right before Christmas, and just attached the binding last night. Just a little bit of handwork and this will be finished soon!
I've got a few more things to finish up by the end of the year, and then a whole lot of starts for January!
One of my starts will be a quilt-along with free blocks (2 per month) for the next six months. At the end I'll give you a couple of different finishing options. I hope you'll join along--more on this project soon!
Thanks so much for stopping by...have a wonderful day!
Posted by Sherri McConnell at 10:56 AM
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
I hope you had a Merry Christmas and are enjoying this holiday season with your family and friends!
With the new year just around the corner, now is the perfect time to get organized and set your sewing and quilting goals! For some fun ideas on this topic, read my post over here at the Moda Cutting Table Blog today!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Posted by Sherri McConnell at 11:43 PM
Sunday, December 23, 2012
It's been non-stop sewing around here...and there is still so much to do! I have at least come to accept the fact that at some point tonight I'm just going to have to put all of the sewing away. First, though, I need to get my Vintage Modern "Sugar Dish" quilt bound since it's a Christmas gift.
I've seen a lot of really great double zipper bags on-line lately and have been wanting to try one. On Friday I tested out two patterns. The first pattern was a complete disappointment...I really didn't think the pattern was very well-written; it had few diagrams and didn't at all address ways to sew a bag with professional results. I was determined to get this right, so I tried another design and downloaded this amazing pattern, The Essential Wristlet, by Erin Erickson.
I can't say enough good things about this pattern. The pattern offers two different sizes and also offers the additional zip pocket as an option. There are clear photographs for each step, and if you follow along you'll be able to sew a bag with professional results. I love that my phone fits in either the outer zip pocket or the inner pocket. I think this will be a great little bag to take along when I don't want to take my whole purse--and yet it's roomy enough to take all the other essentials: keys, chap stick, money, etc. I will be adding a wrist strap to this bag after Christmas as well.
I also just had to sew these tumbler blocks together made with Tasha's amazing collection The Simple Life. I'll get back to this project after the holidays.
Finally, I've been spending quite a bit of time on these little house ornaments by Retro Mama. The other night I decided I wanted to give each of my children and a few friends a homemade ornament this year. So Saturday afternoon I began assembling these little homes!
All I have left is to stitch close the openings I used for stuffing. They have been a lot of fun and each have their own little personality. I'm only keeping one for me...it will be hard to decide which one I want!
Thanks so much for stopping by...I hope you are enjoying your weekend and hope you have the merriest of holidays!
I'll be taking a break for a couple of days to enjoy Christmas with my family but will be back in a few days!
Posted by Sherri McConnell at 4:29 PM
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
I guess I should have titled this post "What I finished Tuesday Night!" But since it's after noon on Wednesday, the Wednesday title seemed appropriate!
This is the last big quilt I'll finish before Christmas--it might even be my last quilt top finish before the end of the year; I have a lot of smaller projects I want to work on.
The fabric is Vintage Modern by Bonnie & Camille for Moda...I never tire of working with these fabrics! The pattern is "Sugar Dish" by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew. This is my second quilt from that pattern; however, both times I've altered the pattern just a bit. The first time I made a smaller version to make a crib-sized quilt. This time I made 63 blocks (set in 9 rows of 7 blocks each) and added a 4 1/2" border all around to make a twin-sized quilt. The pattern is actually a jelly roll pattern, but I used a fat 1/8 bundle and some scraps from my scrap bin. Confession: I have a fat 1/4 bundle of this line I don't think I'll ever be able to use...I just love looking at it. I almost needed to pull out one of the fat quarters the other night but thankfully found just enough in the scrap bin!
I think the backing is going to be pretty cute, too...I ran out of the pink print and put in a row of the pink stripes! The pink stripes will also be the binding when I get this back from the quilter.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Posted by Sherri McConnell at 12:15 PM
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
There is still so much to be finished in the next week...and yet I started a new quilt today!
It's always fun to sew with Vintage Modern. I'm using the pattern "Sugar Dish" by Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew. I'm altering the pattern a bit, though; I made 63 blocks and will add a 5" border to make a twin size quilt. I'm also not making any of the Dresden blocks. I'm hoping to set the blocks together tomorrow. This quilt is for the daughter of a friend of mine...her baby sister already has a Vintage Modern quilt, and since they'll soon be sharing a room, big sister needed a matching quilt!
I'm determined to make a couple more tumbler projects before the end of the year as well. You might remember my Sew Cherry tumbler mat...
And my Vintage Modern tumbler mat...
And my Odds & Ends tumbler table runner. It seems I just couldn't get enough of this shape in 2012! I'm not at all tired of tumblers! In fact, lately I've been looking at every collection with tumblers in mind.
To make my tumbler obsession even worse, this new tumbler template by Carrie Nelson (aka Miss Rosie's Quilt Company) arrived the other day. I must say this is one wonderful template; I spent one evening reading the instructions cover to cover. The instructions are actually simple with a lot of terrific information to help with designing tumbler projects. So, needless to say, I had to cut some tumblers for my after Christmas sewing.
I cut up half a Layer Cake of Notebook by Sweetwater into tumblers...
I made these 5"--a couple of inches bigger than my earlier tumblers. I think this is a good size...big enough to sew together quickly, but still small enough to be cute!
I might have also cut up half of a Layer Cake of The Simple Life by Tasha Noel...I must say I have no idea what these tumblers will turn into, but I'll definitely be sewing them soon!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!
Saturday, December 15, 2012
I've been doing a little finishing. Of course, every time I finish something I think of something else I could start and finish before Christmas, so the list is not getting any shorter. I finally finished up the binding on my casserole mats. The larger one is perfect to set a 9 x 13 casserole on, and the smaller one works for my smaller serving bowls. I put a layer of batting and a layer of Insul Brite in each one so they will work for hot dishes just out of the oven. The bindings on both are from Vintage Modern...seems that line works wonderfully with Cherry Christmas!
I'm finished with the Christmas tree skirt! I had a little delay sewing the binding today--my Christmas tree decided to go crashing to the ground while I was sitting just a few feet away. Everything was okay, though; a new stand was the perfect fix, and hopefully the skirt will grace the tree by this evening. (Luckily we hadn't added the ornaments yet, so the lights were the only things to rearrange)!
(Tree skirt photo from Instagram)...The lighting was kind of bad, but I sure do love having the aqua!
I also sewed up this Mama Said Sew dishtowel. The red fabrics and the pattern are by Sweetwater. This is such a nifty technique for dressing up a towel; I'll definitely be making a few more for gifts.
Another recent project was this cell-phone pouch. It's just the perfect size for your phone, a lip gloss, and a little cash. The fabrics are Secret Garden by Sandi Henderson, and the pattern can be found here. This was my first time making this pattern, and I was really pleased with the instructions and photos. I would definitely make this again!
This is just a preview. I'm making a quilt right now out of these lovely fabrics, Indigo Crossing, by Minick & Simpson. Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts has designed a beautiful block of the month quilt that will begin in January. I'm happy to be quilting along. This is one you'll want to join...the patterns will be available as beautiful pdf downloads and will be free. There will be finishing instructions for both a 6 block or 12 block version, and Monique has gathered a group of quilters who will share their versions of her designs each month. We're all using different fabric collections, so the inspiration will be a lot of fun! You can read more about this quilt-along here.
I'm also over at Moda's The Cutting Table blog today with some last-minute gift ideas--a few of the ideas are things I've shared here, but there are also a few others on the list over there!
I'm grateful for the cool and rainy weather the past day or so...it's been perfect for Christmas lights, Christmas music, and quilting. Unfortunately, I can't end this post without mentioning the incredible sadness I am feeling along with the rest of our nation at the tragic loss of lives in Connecticut on Friday. I can't even begin to imagine the pain and horror experienced by those who experienced this terrible nightmare. My heart especially goes out to the children--it's just incomprehensible to me that anyone could hurt an innocent child. A teacher at my high school was shot and killed by a student when I was a sophomore; I was just across the hall from where it happened, and the incident has powerfully affected me my whole life. Incidents like this always seem to bring back memories and images of that day. Words just can't express how I'm feeling today, and my heart and prayers go out to all of those affected.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Posted by Sherri McConnell at 10:09 AM
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Happy 12-12-12! I've been sewing some mittens...trying to get caught up on a few things before the Christmas rush really settles in!
These mittens are from Lori's Row Along; they are fun to make and best of all involve no paper piecing!
I loved making each pair!
I'm still missing my leaf row, but at least I'm not two rows behind any more, right?!
After completing each new row I love getting all the rows out of the box and just looking at them!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Posted by Sherri McConnell at 8:27 AM
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Yesterday I got to spend a lot of time sewing--it was wonderful! I finished up two projects and even got them dropped them off at my local quilter's!
First, I finished my Vintage Holiday quilt; I decided to go with the red border. The blue looked good, but in comparison to the red there really was no doubt in my mind that the red was the better choice.
I also started and finished a Christmas tree skirt. The red houndstooth print (from the Vintage Modern collection) is going to be the backing for the tree skirt.
I really love this quilt and just can't wait to see it quilted!
I decided to go with a simple patchwork for my new tree skirt. I was deternined to use my Sew Cherry scraps but simply didn't have enough...so off I went to my scrap bin.
To my surprise, my 12 Days of Christmas scraps really coordinated well with the Sew Cherry line. My tree skirt ended up being about two thirds 12 Days and one third Sew Cherry.
I didn't get a picture, but I used the blue print for the border of the tree skirt...so it was a really good thing I had ordered it! I still have a lot of Christmas sewing to do, but first I need to clean up my sewing room. That will definitely be tomorrow's project!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Monday, December 10, 2012
First I have to say thank you for all of the wonderful comments and suggestions on my "Decisions" post! The blue fabric is arriving today, so I'll make a decision and share the finished quilt top asap! Also, I got to sew this weekend! I started and finished a Sew Cherry table runner using this tutorial.
It was super fast to put together, quilt and bind. I made the entire runner from scraps, quilted it myself, and even made a scrappy back and binding!
My runner actually has 5 "strip-pieced" blocks...just three of them are shown in the photo above. I got a little decorating done this weekend, too, thanks to my daughter who came over and helped with the boxes! It's amazing how much the whole spirit of the house changes with the decorations set around!
More Christmas sewing is on the agenda today. I just realized I need to make a Christmas tree skirt--quick! I had two; however, I gave one to my younger daughter last Christmas, and I just gave the other one to my older daughter this weekend!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Posted by Sherri McConnell at 9:41 AM