Monday, January 1, 2018

An end to 2017 and my 2018 quilt block

Well this year turned out to be a bit crazy! Life has been pretty busy for me since the end of May, and I really haven't gotten as much sewing done as I wanted to this year.

Thankfully my craft room is up and running for the most part. It's not completely organized yet, but it's good enough to do a few projects. We were building a house this summer, but then we decided at the last minute not to move. So all that stuff I had to pack had to be unpacked. It was a bit of a headache!

I took that opportunity to donate probably 3/4 of my fabric stash I had been hoarding. My tastes have changed over the years, and I realized that I was holding onto stuff I probably would never use. So I found out that one of the churches in my area sews stuff for Little Dresses for Africa and I donated like 5 medium sized moving boxes of fabric to them. I know they will put it to good use! And it feels good to get rid of some of the excess stuff in here!

So now that I have my streamlined stash, I'm working on building up my solid Kona Cotton stash. I'm hoping to eventually finish my 100 Modern Quilt Blocks from Tula Pink. I started a sew-along in the spring but only got up to about 23 completed blocks before life got hectic and I couldn't keep up with it anymore. Below are the first 15 that I finished. I'm using different Kona Cotton solids with a constant smoke grey mixed in. My goal is to use as many possibly Kona colors as I can!


I wanted to do a fun last (and quick) project for 2018, and I decided I wanted to make myself a mini quilt with 2018 on it. I've been into paper piecing lately, so I decided to try my hand at designing and came up with this 2018 block.


So in a couple days I worked on sewing it little by little and finally got it finished last night...well, I was hand sewing the binding on at the NYE get together we went to.

I think it came out super cute! I used Kona Ash, Azure, and Steel fabrics with Aurifil dove grey and light turquoise thread.


I designed it in 3 different sizes. This was the medium-sized one. The number block itself is about 6" x 15" and finished it's around 9 x 17.5" with the boarder.

I've put the pattern up on Craftsy for free. You can get it HERE. It's my very first pattern on Craftsy! Yay! I hope people like it.

I'm hoping to put some patterns up to sell this year.



Until later, happy sewing!
Jamie

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Pi Mug Rug

We did a Secret Santa swap this year at my school for the teachers for the first time ever. The National Honor Society kids organized it and told me that I was gifting for my sweet math teacher friend. She is a crocheter so I knew she would love something crafty in addition to some chocolate treats.

So I found this adorable (and free!) Pi paper piecing pattern on Crafty from Stars & Sunshine. What math teacher wouldn't love a Pi mug rug???


This was actually my second paper piecing project and it's kinda got me hooked on pp! I chose purple because our school color is purple and I'm totally into grey as a neutral this year. Plus for a mug rug, I figured darker was better! I enlarged the pattern by 150% and ended up with a 6.5" mug rug.

Again, the picture is crappy because I was literally finishing the binding (by hand) the morning I had to give it to her!). So, I had to take it with my phone in my classroom (with bad lighting). I may or may not be a last minute crafter! :D

I'm happy to say that she loved it! I'll definitely be doing more paper piecing in 2018!

Until later, happy sewing!
Jamie

HMQG Swap Mini

In the late spring I signed up for a swap that my quilt guild was doing with another modern quilt guild. I was super excited...I had until the Sept 16th meeting to get it done. No problem!

Then life happened and the summer got crazy. My craft room was not really accessible and I quite frankly lost my sewing mojo so I kept putting it off. And off. But, I finally got it finished...on the morning of the meeting. I normally like to hand bind my mini quilts, but that was taking forever so I had to machine bind it. And then I ended up being an hour late to the meeting. Whoops! But I got it done though!

On her preference sheet, the lady I was making the mini for said she liked Christmas so I thought I would go in that direction. I found this adorable Patchwork Tree Quilt Block Tutorial from Amy at Diary of a quilter that I thought would be great for our modern quilt swap. So I ordered this super cute Red Dot...Green Dash... Moda charm pack.



I decided to add white sashing to mine to make it look a little cleaner and I used my go-to wavy line quilting. 




I think it came out adorable. Actually, I hated to give it away! I think I'll definitely have to make myself one in the future. The pictures definitely could have been better, but I was running so late that I literally took them using my phone on the table outside the guild meeting before I walked in to turn it in. 

Until later, happy sewing!
Jamie

Tumbling Cats Mini Quilt

In May I was super excited to go on the bi-annual quilt retreat for my quilting guild. It was going to my first quilt retreat ever. Then we had some family issues, and at the last minute I couldn't go...I was super sad to miss it. But, I had been working on a mini quilt for the secret sister swap we were doing, so I was excited for her to get it.

She's a librarian and love cats. Easy to accommodate! So, I found a pattern called Cat Weave from The Sewing Chick and Tumbling Cats from Better off Thread, then I modified those a bit. The hardest part was trying to decide on the color. As the focal fabric, I chose Anna Maria Horner Starry Eyed and then I mixed it with some Kona Cotton solids.



I did some 1/4" quilting lines which were definitely a pain keeping straight! It made me wish I just stuck with my wavy lines.


Then I made her a book mug rug with cat fabric using Kate Basti's awesome (and free!) Tall Tales quilt block. It was my first paper piecing block EVER! Super fun! Plus I added a silverware holder that I've made a bunch of times before.


Then I threw in a bunch of goodies. 


I wish I would have gotten to give it to her in person, but she thanked me a bunch via pm and in person. It was definitely a fun project!

Until later, happy sewing!
Jamie

Fernando the Turtle Block

I love turtles and I've been working on some animal block patterns using the flip and stitch method. I especially love the tortoises of the Galapagos Islands, so I came up with this guy that I called Fernando.

Here's my first test of the Fernando block. I think he came out pretty good!



The wavy lines came out great!




The thing I like most about this block is that it uses one solid piece for the shell so you can use a pretty print and keep it intact. I think the block was around 12". I'd check except I gave him to my mom! The funny part is that I finished the binding (by hand) on the bus during a field trip. Thankfully I didn't stab myself.

I'm hoping to whip up another Fernando soon and maybe even a whole quilt. We'll see!

Until later, happy sewing!
Jamie


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tablet case

This year at school they gave us tablets in addition to our new laptops. However, they failed to give us a case for it 😒. It has been sitting in my bag (I honestly haven't used it much), and I'm afraid I'll end up scratching it. Then I'd have to pay for it...no bueno. So, I decided to make a case since I can sew and all 😃.

This is what I came up with for one side.Purple is generally not my go-to color (unless we're talking about LSU-themed stuff), but our school colors are purple and white so I went with that. I'm currently obsessed with grey (which is totally new for me), and I love this Kona Cotton Steel color! I used scraps for the purple and then of course I love to set stuff off with white. It makes it look crisp!


I was going to do straight line quilting like the wine snuggie, but at the last minute I decided to just do my go-to my organic wavy lines. I used white Aurifil 50w thread and then went back it and did lines in Aurifil grey (#2605) between the white lines.



I really like how the grey looks a bit invisible in some parts. I wasn't sure if I gone a little overboard on the quilting because I was afraid you couldn't see the purple enough. Then I put it on the design wall and stepped back...and it looked fine.

After much indecisiveness, I went with polka-dots on the back. I used my sizzix dies on fabric that I had backed with Heat n' bond lite. I really prefer the ultra hold version of the Heat n' bond over the lite but I am out of it. I did the same quilting pattern as the other side, except some areas look a little weird since I was purposely trying to quilt into the circles to secure them The quilting on the other side definitely looks better! And I realized I should have increased my stitch length...but oh well!


I reaffirmed my feelings about the Heat n' Bond lite when I noticed that some of the edges of the circles that had not been quilted over were sticking up...even when I went back and ironed over them again. Grrrr. I will probably drive me a little crazy and may have to whip out some fabric glue later. Oh well...

So here it all is put together:




Again, for winging a pattern, I'm pretty happy about the way it came out! This was also my first time ever to sew a zipper that wraps around the corner. It really wasn't that bad at all! To help, I used the Creative Grids Curved Corner Ruler which is amazeballs! I estimated how wide I needed the case and then cut the corners at a 2" radius.


My tablet fits perfectly! I did a ton of quilting and used a really low loft batting so it's not super cushy, but it will keep it from getting scratched (which was my main goal!).


I'm pretty jazzed about this project. I may even make another for my coworker.

Until later, happy sewing!
Jamie


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Wine Snuggie

My cousin and his fiancé had an engagement party last weekend, and I wasn't sure what to do about a gift. I wanted to make something that was small (I didn't have time for something large anyway!), and I wanted it to be something they used.

So I decided on a wine carrier since I know she likes fancy drinks and goes over to her friends' houses often to socialize. I've never made one before so I just winged it without a pattern (as usual)! It I have to say, it was pretty simple. I think the hardest part was figuring out where to put the handle. 

Since they are young and hip, I went with a modern-looking colors combo...I've been trying to be brave with color. I decided on Kona cotton steel for the main part, along with white, orange, and ice Frappe. I had the darker greenish color in my stash already so I'm not sure what color it was. 

I decided on some straight line quilting and just changed direction. I used aurifil 50w thread - grey (#2605) on the kona steel and then just white on the rest of it.



At first I was going to do a round bottom, but I ran out of time. So, I went with a straight bottom. 


I actually kind of like the way that the bottom came out. It looks like a wine bottle snuggie!




Overall, I'm VERY happy at the way this turned out! I love its modern clean look!

In hind-site, I realized two things. One - I wish I would have chosen LSU colors (purple and yellow). They are both LSU alumni (like myself) and love LSU stuff. Doh! Two - I think a vertical strip of color would work better on this design rather than a horizontal because the left and the right side didn't quite match up in the back (but you don't get to see that!). 

I'd definitely make one of these again! I've actually had requests from some friends for one.

Until later, happy sewing!
Jamie



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   Sew Fresh Quilts