Monday, December 31, 2012

Our Newest Sewing Geek

Most of you know by now that mom and I finally got Kathy, my sister, sewing!  It took more than 10 years of convincing and millions of comments like "you quilt geeks" and "you guys are such geeks" but we persevered!  We actually convinced her to try sewing.  And...she loves it!  Now she's a geek too!   

She started with some small pillowcases which I shared awhile ago.  Then she tackled pillowcases for Nick & Claudia, her kiddos. 

Nick's king size pillowcase

Claudia's Pillowcase 

It matches her quilt that she got for Christmas.

She likes sewing so much that she even made some aprons for Christmas presents this year!
I'm so very proud of her for giving it a try.  And most importantly, she is doing awesome!  I can't wait for her to try a quilt.  

Is everyone ready for 2013?  I think I am but I'm not sure.  I wanted to sew today but my back is not cooperating.  Ugh.  I have a ton of things that I'd like to do next year.  I think I need to make a list and just get busy.  

Just so you know...Texas Teardrops is on the top of the list.  I am close to having a pattern ready.  I just need to decide if we're doing a quilt along.  

A huge thank you to all of you for all the encouragement over the last year.  I look forward to more adventures with you in 2013!  

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Top Secret Christmas Quilt

I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas!  I know I did.  Unfortunately, we didn't get to go to Missouri to spend Christmas with mom and Gene and the rest of our family.  But, we did get to spend Christmas together.  That is something I don't take for granted since it's never guaranteed that Rick will be here with us.  Too many times he's been deployed.  One of the not so great benefits of being a military family.

I want to share the top secret Christmas present quilt that mom and I worked on in November when her and Gene were visiting.  Awhile back Kathy, my step sister, asked mom and I to repair an old quilt.  You can read about it here if you haven't already.  You will laugh hysterically.  We decided it would be easier to make a new one than to repair the old one.  And the planning began.
Kathy loves big modern prints and she hates it when the fabric is chopped up into tiny pieces.  We decided to mix big prints with some solids.  You might remember a tutorial I shared in October for the Spaced Out 4 Patch, this block was a fundamental part of her new quilt. 
We alternated the spaced out 4 patch with 10" squares of big modern prints.

The overall quilt measures 90" x 110" and it's a monster!  To date, it's the biggest quilt I've ever quilted.  I'm pretty sure it took me a decade to quilt.  I did a large scale allover swirly design.  I really like how the quilting looks. 

I used almost a whole cone of thread for this beast of a quilt.  I used yellow thread by necessity because I didn't have enough white.  Kathy loves the yellow thread.  Woohoo!
There is one block that is not turned the right direction.  Can you spot it?  We didn't spot it until the whole top was together so it stayed just as it was.  Every quilt needs a little mistake.  Right?
I picked the large damask print just for Kathy.  This is one of her favorite prints so it was perfect for the backing. 
This brick wall is my new favorite place to take pictures.  I love it.
Mom and I both worked on piecing the spaced out 4 patches.  Mom put the quilt top together, I quilted it, and she finished the binding.  The binding was quite a task.  I'm pretty sure mom hated doing the was 400 inches of binding.  400 inches!

This does not look like fun!

Hours and hours of work on a quilt for a loved one, priceless.  Kathy loves her new treasure.  Mom and I are so happy she loves her monster.  

However, she has been warned that I will hurt her if anything should happen to this beauty.  I'm kidding...I probably wouldn't hurt her.  Maybe.

{I did base this design on another quilt I saw online.  It had big print squares alternated with 9 patches.  Now I cannot find the quilt and therefore I can't link to it as my inspiration.} 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Snowflake Coaster Tutorial

I shared this tutorial a couple weeks ago on a friend's blog.  I thought I would post it here today in case anyone is looking for last minute gift ideas.  

I apologize now for the length of the tutorial.  There are quite a few pictures.  Don't be scared, they're actually very easy to make. 

Step One: Snowflakes {Make 4}

We are basically making a paper snowflake but we're using fabric instead of paper.  You may remember how to do this but I'll show step by step instructions for those of us who can't remember grade school and paper snowflakes.  

4.5" square of white fabric
Fold square in half
Fold over one side
Fold over the second side
Cut across the bottom
Make several cuts on all sides

Carefully open the snowflake

I used Tsukineko ink to paint over each snowflake.  

I love sparkly glittery things especially at Christmas time!  You can use any kind of fabric paint if you don't have Tsukineko ink.  Make sure you follow the directions for setting the paint.  I had to heat set the Tsukineko ink with my iron.

Step 2: Sew snowflakes to fabric
Layer one snowflake, one 6" square of fabric and one 4.25" square of batting.  The snowflake is on top and the batting is on bottom.  You can see in the picture below that the batting is centered on the 6" square of fabric.  Just ensure that the batting is also centered under the snowflake.  You don't want part of the snowflake hanging off.
I didn't pin any of the layers together.  I didn't have any trouble holding it all together because it is a small project.  I probably would have pinned it if it was any bigger.  I sewed around the edge of each snowflake and around a couple of the holes in the center.  Just pick what you think looks good.  I did not sew around every hole.  I used a shimmery iridescent thread.   
You can either back stitch to secure the threads or pull the threads to the back and tie them off.  I pull my threads to the back and tie them off.  This method takes more time but I prefer that over back stitching.

Step 3: Adding the back to the coaster        

The back of the coaster is sewn on after the snowflake is stitched down.  Place another 6" square on the back side.  The right side of the fabric should be facing out.  
Stitch around the coaster.  I followed the edge of the batting when I stitched around the coaster.
It's a little difficult to see in the picture but there is a ridge where the batting ends.  That's what I followed when I stitched around the coaster.  

Step 4: Trimming the coasters

Our final step is to trim each coaster.  I used a scalloped edge rotary blade.  This gives my coasters a decorative finish and eliminates fraying.  You could use pinking shears if you don't have a scalloped edge rotary blade.  I trimmed about 1/8" away from my stitch line.    

That's it!  Your snowflake coasters are now finished!

You could also add a magnet to the back and make awesome refrigerator magnets.  Or add a ribbon and make them into ornaments.  These little guys are very versatile.  

I'm not sure if I'll be posting again before Christmas so...Merry Christmas!  I hope each and every one of you has a marvelous Christmas.  Mom and I  look forward to sharing more quilting and sewing adventures in 2013!      

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Little Christmas Humor

Happy Friday!  Normally we host Frugal Friday on Fridays but today I was busy wrapping presents and getting ready for Christmas.  So, I decided to take a break this week and just enjoy the Christmas season.  I hope everyone else is doing the same.  

Today I've decided to share a little more about myself.  I don't do that very often.  I usually focus on the quilts or my family.

Today started with a trip to the Dollar Store because I needed tape for my present wrapping adventures.  I found the tape and decided to check out the wrapping paper...and maybe some tags.  

I spotted some cute bows when I was looking for the tags.  Now normally I wouldn't buy bows or tags.  What can I say?  I'm a little weird {and cheap}.  Why bother sticking bows on presents just so they can be ripped off and thrown away?  And who needs tags when you can write the names directly on the packages?  {Mom is shaking her head right now and wondering how we could be related}  

I grabbed the tags, tape, a new roll of paper and the bows and headed home.  I frantically started wrapping presents as soon as I walked in the door.  I really wanted to finish before I had to get Jake from school.  Mission accomplished.  All presents wrapped and ready to go.  And all presents are beautifully adorned with tags and bows.  

There's just one little detail I haven't shared.  Did I mention I found the cutest LITTLE bows ever?  Seriously.  They're not much bigger than a nickel.   

I only bought them because I crack myself up and I knew it would make mom laugh.  After all, I had to wrap the presents she sent for the kids and I knew she would want bows on them.  So, I bought bows.  
Can you even find the bow in the above picture??  {I put my Sonic cup in the picture for a size reference}  This is Hannah's present from mom and Gene.  I sent mom a picture and asked if she could find the bow.  All she texted back was "You're a mess."  I can't help it.  I crack myself up.  I'm still laughing!

The best and Gene have two crazy daughters.  I never, ever buy or use bows and Kathy saves every single bow she ever gets.  Talk about complete opposites.  Wonder if I should save these bows for Kathy??? 

I bought 12 bows for a dollar.  Best dollar I ever spent.

Merry Christmas!            

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pinwheel Quilt

By now you're probably sick of my pinwheel quilt but I have one last post for you.  I was able to take some pictures today of the 100% completed quilt and I'd really love to share the final product with everyone.  If you're over it, come back tomorrow and I'll babble about something else. 

Quilting Lodge Pinwheel Quilt

Quilting Lodge Pinwheel Quilt

Quilting Lodge Pinwheel Quilt ~ Backing

Quilting Lodge Pinwheel Quilt ~ Binding

Quilting Lodge Pinwheel Quilt ~ Close Up
Quilting Lodge Pinwheel Quilt

I hope I haven't bored you to death with the pics of this one.  I'm really digging the striped binding.  Now I need to figure out what the future holds for this little gem.   

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pinwheel Quilt Progress

Today I actually finished my pinwheel quilt, including the binding!  Most of you know that's a miracle for me.  Especially since I have a stack of at least 4 quilts that need binding.  I decided to bind this one as soon as I finished the quilting.  I think this needs to be my new plan so I don't get overloaded with unbound quilts.

I have a couple pictures to share but they were taken this afternoon before binding.  I'm going to take more pics tomorrow of the completely finished quilt.

I ended up using white thread to quilt it.  I just wasn't brave enough to use pink.  What can I say?  I'm a big chicken.  I do love white thread on white fabric!
Quilting Lodge Pinwheel Quilt

Quilting Lodge Pinwheel Quilt with Backing

A couple close ups...
Quilting Lodge Pinwheel Quilt ~ Close Up

Quilting Lodge Pinwheel Quilt ~ Close Up

I used 1 layer cake {Happy by Me and My Sister for Moda} and white Bella Solids for the background.  I used some of my new Riley Blake Mystique Black & White fabric for the backing.  The binding is super cool if I do say so myself.  I really love how it looks.

More pictures to come.     
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