Thursday, February 28, 2013

Giveaway from ChristaQuilts!

It's time for another fabric giveaway, this time from ChristaQuilts!  Christa is a new sponsor who also writes a terrific blog with wonderful tips and quilt alongs! Christa is offering a $20 gift certificate to her store to spend on anything you want! Perhaps you may want to put it towards one of the lovely kits she offers.

In fact, Christa loves quilt kits so much she wants to make more of them, but she needs your help! Let her know what type of kit or size is your favorite. Do you like smaller projects like table runners and wall-hangings? Medium sized kits like baby quilts and throws? Or large bed-sized quilts? And do you prefer pieced, applique or mixed projects?

Run over to Christa's store and take a quick peek at all of the lovely kits she has to offer, then come back here and leave your comment below to be entered into the random drawing. Remember that ChristaQuilts offers FREE shipping in the US with no minimum purchase and also offers discounted international rates.

Don't forget to use the coupon code B13AQL for an extra 5% off your first order with Christa. Those of you that have already ordered from her and used the code don't need to worry. You automatically get the discount already!

Good luck in the giveaway; I'll keep this one open through Monday evening!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Things

It had been about 3 weeks since I worked on my #scrappytripalong quilt (#scrappytripalong is the hashtag being used for this project on Instagram--if you're on Instagram my user name is sherrimcconnell). About a week ago I sewed the remainder of my scrappy trip strips together, and last night I finished up 8 more blocks. So I now have 20 blocks complete.

Blocks 13 - 16

Blocks 17 - 20.  Notice the block in the lower left corner...with the Moda polka dots on orange and the Flea Market Fancy green seeds...yep, I think that's my favorite block so far!

It's pretty fun to see the blocks all together, although this won't be the way I'll eventually set them. I noticed I don't have things arranged very well here (all the navy pieces seem to be on one side, the gingam prints are together...etc).

My final 16 blocks are also ready to go...if there is anything to watch on tv tonight I might get these prepped and ready to sew.

I've really been itching to start some new projects, but I've convinced myself to wait to start anything new until I finish up 2 works in progress. This will be one of my finishes, and I have a set of blocks to set together that will be the second finish. Making myself finish up projects before starting something new has been a great motivator in the past...hopefully I'll be sewing something new by Saturday!

Thanks so much for all of the terrific idea about Mix 'n Match collections--I received some fun ideas! And congratulations to Jeanenne Nielsen who picked as the winner of the giveaway. Please email me with your address, Jeanenne, and I'll get this fun bundle of PB & J by Moda to you!

Just another note: If you live in southern Utah or southern Nevada, you might be interested in the upcoming Dixie Quilt Guild Gems of the Desert festival of fabric art coming up Friday, March 29th from 9-6 and Saturday, March 30th from 9-5 at the Dixie Center. Admission is just $5, and there will be over 100 quilts on display. There will also be a vendor mall and lots of prizes!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Mix 'n Match

Have you ever thought of mixing Comma by Zen Chic with Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie & Camille? What do you think about the combination of Boho by Urban Chiks with Avalon by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Company?

The fabrics above are from three different Urban Chiks collections: 1974, Urban Cowgirl, and Boho--and I love them together. I'm over at the Moda Cutting Table blog today talking about some mix and match fabric combinations.

I thought it would be fun to have a giveaway--to enter, hop over and read my post at The Cutting Table, then come back over here and leave a comment mentioning either your favorite Moda fabric combo from that post or your own favorite Moda fabric combo. I'll pick a winner on Tuesday and send them a Fat 1/8 bundle of some yummy Moda fabrics!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Baskets, HST's and Bags!

Lori's sewing basket row was so cute I had to make it right away!

I have 4 favorite baskets...the two on the top, the red polka dot basket with the grey handle, anthe aqua basket with the pink polka dot handle.

The fabrics for the basket on the left are from Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. The basket on the right is made from Happy Go Lucky and Vintage Modern. (My Happy Go Lucky scraps are officially gone now except for a few 2 1/2'' squares. May seems so far away)!

Basket on the left is Ruby and Vintage Modern, middle basket is Marmalade and Ruby, and the basket on the right is Marmalade and Vintage Modern. I love how these collections work together!

The basket on the left is from Marmalade and Ruby, and the basket on the right is all Marmalade!

I love how Lori has us add the sashing strips now. This quilt is going to be so easy to put together. All of the rows have already been trimmed to the exact measurements. I think there is just a row or two left!

50 half-square triangles may not seem like a lot...but what if I told you I made 28 sets of 50 hst's over the last 10 days or so? Yes, that is 1400 half-square triangles (they finish at 2'')! This project might have slightly taken over my life for a little while, but I know it's going to be worth it in the end!

They are all packaged up and ready to swap! In a few weeks I'll receive 28 own and sets of 50 from 27 other people. So yes, I'll have 1400 unique hst's at that time. The possibilities are mind is spinning! I used the half-square triangle paper by Edyta Star of Laundry Basket Quilts. It was easy to use; however, the papers do take a little extra time to remove.

I finished up these two Abby's Treasure Box bags the other night, too. When I taught this class at Ruby's Inn a couple of weeks ago I needed samples at different stages of the construction process. So it was easy to finish these up since they were already to the half-completed stage!

I'm hoping to do a little sewing today, too. I've been seeing so many amazing finishes all over blog-land that I think it's time for me to finish up a work in progress soon!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Half-Hexie Pillow Tutorial

I have a fun tutorial for you today...but first I want to let you know about some absolutely gorgeous Bella solids bundles Joanna has put together. If you haven't read her post yet this morning, you'll definitely want to stop by for a look.

My friend Lori sent me one of her new Half-hexie ruler sets and some Polka Dot Stitches to play with! I'd been wanting to make a hexagon pillow for quite a while, so this was the perfect opportunity to have some fun with an easy to construct method for hexagons.

You will need 20 5'' x 5'' charm squares, 1/4 yard for binding, 1/2 yard for backing, and Lori's Half-Hexie ruler, of course! I'm using the smaller ruler (sized for charm squares) for my pillow; however, the set also comes with a larger ruler sized perfectly for use with layer cakes!

Cut 2 half-hexagons from each charm square. You'll end up with a total of 40 half hexies. Arrange the hexagons in 8 rows of 5 half-hexies each. Play around with the arrangement until you are happy with the distribution of prints and colors.

Begin sewing the rows together. The sewing will be regular straight y-seams required! I pressed each row in one direction, alternating the directions so the seams would "nest" when I sewed each row together.

After all the rows are sewn, begin sewing the rows together. I actually pressed these seams between the rows open.

After you've sewn all 8 rows together your pillow top will look like this. It's starting to come together!

Next you'll want to use a long acryllic ruler and trim the side edges straight. I lined up the ruler edge with the innermost points of the hexagons.

After you've trimmed the sides your pillow top will measure approximately 15'' x 15'' and will look like this. You can put your pillow together now, or you can do a little hand or machine quilting on the front. I layered my pillow top, a piece of batting, and a piece of muslin and then machine quilted 1/4'' on either side of the hexagon side seams, starting at the center top of my pillow and sewing down to the bottom, pivoting at each point.

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the quilting, but you can see it in the finished pillow pictures.

I wanted a zipper back for my pillow and used this Sew, Mama, Sew! tutorial found here. Here are the measurements I used for my pillow back sections if you are using this tutorial (the directions in the tutorial are for a pillow of a different size). Note: I made my pillow back 1/2'' bigger than my pillow front and trimmed everything up even after sewing the back to the front.
  • Cut one piece 4'' x 15 1/2'' for back flap
  • Cut two pieces 8'' x 15 1/2'' for pillow back sections
  • Use a 16'' zipper. I like to use a larger zipper and cut it off, giving me extra room to work with.
If you don't want a zipper back, finish the pillow as desired.

After making my pillow back, I placed my pillow top and pillow back wrong sides together and sewed with a 1/4'' seam all the way around the pillow.

For binding I used 2 strips of fabric 2 1/4'' by the width of the fabric. After binding, insert a pillow form (I used a 14'' x 14'' pillow form), and enjoy your pillow!

Here is a picture of the pillow back--I actually used two separate fabrics for the pillow back sections and a third fabric for the flap.

And here it is! I think it would be a lot of fun to have a pillow parade here on my blog next month! If you make a pillow using my tutorial, send me a photo, and I'll post a parade on March 22nd (of course we'll have to have prizes for the parade as well)!

The Half-Hexie Ruler Sets are available now here at Fat Quarter Shop!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What I'm Working On Wednesday

I don't have any new blocks to share for my Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt, but I did finish sewing all the strip sets together for the remaining 24 blocks. This was actually a good thing to do, since it keeps me from changing my mind and cutting more strips from my stash.

The amazing thing about this project (as is the case with every other scrap quilt project I've ever worked on) is that my boxes of 2 1/2'' strips are now overflowing, and my box of 2 1/2'' squares is nearly full, too. Every time I had left-over pieces, I cut them to size and added them to the scrap bins. So by making a scrap quilt, I'm ending up with more scraps!

The next two photos are from my's a little cloudy today, so the lighting isn't terrific, but I finished up my spools row for Lori's Row Along. I finished just in time, she released the next row, an adorable basket row, today!

With the addition of each new row, I have to get them all out and look at them together. This is going to be such a fun quilt to hang right near my front door! I can hardly wait to finish this one!

Oh, and congratulations to who Missy Shay who won the Fashionable Fabrics giveaway!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Things and a Rod Pocket Tutorial

It was a happy Monday today when this sugar cookie bouquet arrived to say "Congratulations" from C&T publishing (thank you so much everyone at C&T)! I have to be honest and let you know that 2 of the cookies are already gone...and they were delicious!

I've been sewing and taking some photos for 3 different things I've been wanting to share--hopefully I can get them all finished up soon. For today, though, I'd like to share a few thoughts on how I add rod pockets to the backs of my quilts.

If I know I'm never going to hang a quilt I don't worry about adding a hanging pocket to the back, but if there is any chance I'll be displaying the quilt at home or somewhere else I like to add the pocket before I bind the quilt.

I really like to have the top seam of the rod pocket sewn to the top of the quilt before I add my binding. That way, when I bring the binding over from the front to hand stitch it to the back of the quilt I can enclose the raw edges of the rod pocket. This makes it so I only need to hand stitch one edge of the rod pocket to the back of the quilt.

If I'm hanging the quilt at home and plan to use a small dowel for the rod, I don't worry about making a very wide pocket for hanging; however, if the quilt is going to hang at a shop or show I will make a wider hanging pocket. For a wider pocket I'll cut a strip of fabric 9'' wide and 2'' shorter than the width of the quilt before binding. On the short edges of the rod pocket fabric I'll press in 1/2'', fold over and press again, and then stitch so that the sides both have neatly finished edges.

Next, I'll fold the rod pocket fabric in half, wrong sides together. You can see in the photo above there is the sewn, finished edge on the right. The bottom edge is folded, and the raw edges are at the top.

Next I pin and then baste the rod pocket to the top edge of the quilt. Sometimes I try to match the rod pocket to the backing and other times I'll use a contrast fabric--it just depends on what I have left over when I finish the quilt. For this quilt, I matched the strip of backing fabric at the top of the quilt. The rest of the backing for this quilt was pieced with left-over layer cake squares.

Next I'll bind my quilt--the binding will completely cover the raw, unfinished edges of the rod pocket.

Here is another picture that shows what we have up to this step. The finished quilt is on the botom, and I've lifted up the rod pocket. The binding is ready to be hand-stitched at the top of the quilt.

After I've hand stitched the binding, it's time to hand stitch the bottom of the rod pocket to the back of the quilt. I usually pin before sewing to keep the rod pocket from shifting.

When I'm finished I have a rod pocket with all finished edges, and a minimal amount of hand-stitching since the upper edges are enclosed in the binding seam.

When hanging a smaller quilt, I'll often use two charm squares, folded in half wrong sides together and sewn into the binding seam to create two small pockets for the dowel.

Also, if I don't want the dowel to show from the front of the quilt, I'll make sure the rod pocket is far enough in so that there is room for the dowel to extend beyond the pocket and rest on nails.

I hope some of these ideas might help a little...this is the technique my Grandmother taught me, and I've been using it for all of my quilts that I plan to hang. Because the rod pocket is made of a folded fabric, it bears the weight of your quilt and puts less stress on the quilt itself.

Thanks so much for stopping I'm off to get some more photos taken for tutorials later in the week! Have a happy Monday!

P.S. My friend Stefanie at LittleLadyPatchwork has a new shipping policy: $5 shipping for all orders up to $24.99 and FREE shipping on all orders over $25! Check out her shop here!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

What I'm Working On...Still!

To say things have been a little crazy for me the first six weeks of 2013 might be a little bit of an understatement. Happily, though, I crossed a major project off my to do list the other day, and I'm looking forward to lots of relaxed sewing in the near future.

I haven't made much progress sewing my scrappy trip around the world blocks lately, but I did manage to get the rest of the strips cut yesterday. Now that I have them organized into "block bundles" I'm hoping that finishing the quilt will go quickly. And...I plan to quilt this one myself, using the wavy line quilting I've seen so many people using lately.

I have some fun things planned for the blog, too, including a couple of tutorials I've been thinking about and a sew-along I'll announce next week! So, stay tuned!

I also have a post up over at the Moda Cutting Table blog today. You can drop by over there and learn a little more about the pre-made Bella Bias bindings!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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