Friday, May 17, 2019

A tote for the journey

Our quilt guild is putting together raffle baskets for our upcoming quilt show.  Each basket will represent a global destination.  My group had "Africa" as our destination and  we decided on "safari" for our theme.  My contribution to the raffle basket was a tote bag.

For the outside of the bag, I chose an animal print that I felt could be used by either an adult or a child.  I picked a grey tiger stripe fabric for the inside of the bag and tied it all together with an orange fabric for contrast:

To begin, I wanted to do some straight line quilting on the animal fabric.   Time to dig out the guide bar from my machine's accessory kit:

The guide bar attaches to the needle bar of the machine, and the length is adjustable. ( I set mine for about 2 inches.)  To start,  I pinned the fabric to a piece of batting and secured it with one line of quilting along the far right edge.  For my first  row of quilting, I eased the guide bar along the first line of stitches and my new stitches were automatically lined up about 2 inches to the left.

For my next  row of quilting, I eased the guide bar along the previous stitching line and my new stitches were automatically lined up about 2 inches to the left of that one.

I continued all the way along the fabric until I had several evenly space quilting lines on the fabric.

For the interior of the bag,  I followed my own tutorial for making an easy peasy pocket.

For the handles, and some other helpful totemaking tips, I referred back to another blog post from the past.  (Both blog posts were written back in 2009! 😁 )

I found a nice wooden button for the closure, and here is how it turned out:

In keeping with the "safari" theme, I added in a kids color-by-number coloring book with a cute lion on the cover:

Ready for their closeup!

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Friday, May 3, 2019

I couldn't wait.

This month's chosen color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is ORANGE .  So why am I showing a rainbow of blocks?

The truth is, I have learned that the real challenge of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is...waiting!

This month, I dutifully pulled out the orange scraps

then I made my usual half dozen "Birds in the Air" blocks,

and, also the bonus crumb block:

But...rather than pack them away to wait until next month, I went ahead and sewed up the same blocks from the  blue and purple fabrics that I cut out last month.  Now what was a gal to do but put them up on the design wall and take a peek?!

Each month I have been making 6 blocks of each color, but this layout requires only 4 of most colors, so I will have plenty of leftovers to put towards a second quilt.

Whenever the June color is announced, I'll have to consider starting a new pattern for each month's scraps, as I'm planning on keeping this kid sized,  but I'm just fine with that. If I can't think of a pattern, there is plenty of inspiration from the other bloggers who post each month over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link up page.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake...

 In honor of all the birthdays, I designed a sweet little birthday cake mug rug.

This little cutie measures only 5 X 6 inches, and I made a batch of them for my quilt group. I started by searching my fabric stash for any fabrics that made me think of frosted confections and came up with these:

I envisioned a strip pieced project that wouldn't take too long to put together:

The strips for the cake layers went together quickly.

But that little cake stand pedestal was a bit of a bear.  Lots of tiny pieces,

and some fiddley piecing was involved before I came up with these:

Once the strips were all prepared, I was able to chain piece them together.  I used the striped fabric for the back, and did a pillowcase style construction to make them into mug rugs.  Then I stitched in the ditch to outline the cake.

Here are 11 little mug rugs so sweet you can almost taste the sugar! 😋

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Things you do when you should be doing other things

I have a couple of quilts that need to be finished and bound before our upcoming quilt show, but instead I was making these:

I had attended a regional quilt show this past week and stopped at the Deb Tucker booth displaying all her rulers and patterns and this mini caught my eye.

Nine little LeMoyne Baskets that finish at 3 inches!  I already own the Rapid Fire LeMoyne Star ruler that the pattern calls for, so I purchased the pattern.  I opened it up at home just to see what I was in for, and I saw that it called for  strips  that measure 1 1/4".  Looking over at my cutting table, I also  saw this little container of strips that were leftovers from my Tumbling Blocks.

Well Geez!  How could I not  make a few blocks just to try the pattern?  (And, how about this cute little dish they were sitting in that I bought at TJ Maxx?)

So off I went, making a trial run of a few blocks, and after a while, there they were!
The bottom one is trimmed, the top one is not.  

Now that I have that out of my system, I can go back to doing the quilting tasks that I should be doing and put this project back on the Future Projects list.   But before I put it aside, I picked out all the fabrics for the rest of the LeMoyne star baskets and cut them to size.

Bye for now sweet little fabrics....I'll be back after the quilt show!

I'm linking up with Sandra and  other like minded quilters who run off chasing squirrels and" Drop Everything and Make It" over at mmmquilts .  So glad to know I'm not the only one.  😺
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Monday, April 15, 2019

Rolling up my sleeves

My husband was shopping around for a protective sleeve for his computer tablet, so I offered to  make one for him.

I started with some Star Wars fabric:

I layered the fabric with some batting  and quilted it, using the narrow white margins in the pattern as my quilting guide:

Then, using a navy corduroy fabric for the lining, I sewed it up into a sleeve:

I sewed the corduroy with the nap of the fabric towards the bottom of the sleeve.  This made it easier for the tablet to slide down into the sleeve, and offered just a bit of resistance to help keep the tablet from sliding out of it.

Here it is, in use.
 (The tablet fits down into the sleeve.  I left it out for the photo.)

I think that truly this should be called a "tablet cozy", rather than "sleeve", don't you think?

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Friday, April 12, 2019

True colors

Color icon cyan.svg

The color that was chosen for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge was AQUA, and it seems that I am not the only participant who has had  a bit of trouble distinguishing between the colors of Aqua, Turquoise and/or Teal.  Or how about Cyan? Lets just go with bluish green and call it a month.  😊

Here are the Birds in the Air blocks I created  for this month:

And here is the crumb block that goes with it:

I get a lot of enjoyment out of choosing the fabrics for each month.  So much so, that I may have accidentally gone ahead and prepared the fabrics for some of the future months.  In fact, I may have also accidentally  decided to prepare both purple and red violet blocks even though there is only one month coming up designated as "purple". 😏

For now, here are the blocks I have completed so far:

It's starting to look like a rainbow!

My second project for the RSC is to applique my hexie blocks to a white background square.  I only had one aqua hexie, so I used this month to catch up on the red ones that would have been done back in February:

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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Getting the green light

Participating in Rainbow Scrap Challenge is inspiring me in more ways than one.  

It's been 10 whole years since I started this blog and one of the first projects I blogged about were these English Paper Pieced hexagon flowers:

These little cuties measure just 1/2" on each side, and I had a lot of fun with fussy cuts and 1930's reproduction fabrics.  Back in 2009, I had a stack of 40 finished hexies, each with a yellow center.

I had always planned to make them into a table runner but instead, they had been stored away in the 30's fabric stash.  The idea of making lots and lots of white hexies to join them into a grandmother's flower garden was an intimidating prospect.

At this point, I can't help but think of that line from Beauty and the Beast:
Really?  Ten years!  

Then, along came the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I noticed that Deb A of VT quilter was sewing up a selection of hexagons each month as part of her challenge.  She is appliqueing her hexie flowers to a solid background fabric instead of connecting them with additional hexagons.    I wondered if I could do the same.  I sorted out my hexies by color and took a look:

We have already done the color red, but I could work on the green for this month and still have orange, blue, purple and pink to work on in future months.

I decided I want the appliqued blocks to finish at 3 1/2 inches.

I cut white background squares to 5 inches to give me some wiggle room that I can trim later,  and appliqued my first green hexagon.

Over the course of the next week, I finished the applique on the rest of the greens:

I'm really looking forward to getting these hexagons sewn up and put together into a quilt.

And speaking of green is a handy wearable magnet that I use when doing handwork as a place to capture pins:

So... to Deb A. and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, thank you for getting me going again on these little lovelies.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Searching for Shadows

As previously posted, I finished making all 12 squares for my quilt guild's Half Square Triangle sampler.  Here, I'll refresh your memory:

The pattern calls for sashing with cornerstones like this:

But, being the rogue quilter that I seem to have become, I wanted to try something different.  I wanted  to make the blocks stand out by creating an illusion of a shadow behind them.  Here is what I had in mind, from my Electric Quilt software:

To create the shadows, you start with two strip sets, each a combination of sashing fabric and shadow fabric:

Then you slice the fabric into individual strips:

For each sampler block I needed to sew one shadow/sashing to the bottom of the block

and then add the second shadow/sashing strip to the adjacent side:

So off I went, adding shadows to all 12 blocks:

I liked the effect, but thought that maybe the shadows were going to be too big for the blocks.  So, they each got a quarter inch trim and I tried again:

In retrospect, I probably should have gone with the first option, because after sewing the blocks together, I ended up with this:

Admittedly, it makes for a nice way to showcase the blocks, but I think the shadow effect got a little lost. Next time I will have faith and stick to the original plan. 😕

Anyhow, I'm still happy with the way it turned out, and I will be adding an additional outer border of a turquoise/lime green batik to bring out the turquoise in the blocks.

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