Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Floral Quilt in Progress

I just started a new floral quilt.  This one is for my sister-in-law who lives in Germany.  It is all pieced, and I need to have it finished in the next week.  She is here visiting, and I hope to be able to send it home with her.  :) 

I fussy cut all the floral squares at 9.5 inches.  Half of them have this bunch of roses,

and the other half have this cute bird. 

The sashing and cornerstones are 3.5 inches wide, so the quilt top finishes at 51 x 63 inches.  The sashing is a random green from my stash and the cornerstones are Kona Crimson (one of my favorite reds).  I haven't decided what to name the quilt yet.  Any suggestions? 

I think I will quilt the floral squares like I did in my mother-in-law's quilt

And I am thinking of quilting the sashing like I did the borders in my American Hero wallhanging. 

What do you think?


P.S.  I am linking up with Let's Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday (buttons on sidebar). 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pattern Testing

I just realized that I never blogged about this finish from June.  Leanne from Devoted Quilter asked if anyone wanted to test her Spin place mat pattern.  I volunteered and this is what I made.  My boys love purple, so that is why I decided to use this fabric.  I love the way it looks with just two fabrics.  I used the same two on the backing for fun. 

Leanne's pattern is now available.  The only change I made besides just using two fabrics, is making the vertical strips all finish at two inches.  Hers has different dimensions, but my family likes things more even and symmetrical. 

I have only made one so far, so my boys are excited to use this on special days.  Cheetah just reminded me that he gets to use it for his birthday this month. 


Friday, July 18, 2014

Scatter Sunshine: A Finished Quilt

I just finished my rail fence quilt which I have named "Scatter Sunshine."  I made it as part of Amanda Jean's Scrap Basket Quilt Along and it will be donated to Margaret's Hope Chest for someone suffering from postpartum depression.  This is my first quilt along I have participated in, but I didn't have time to start it until after the final linky was posted.  At least I finished it before the August 1st deadline. 

Scatter Sunshine was also my July goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes (Link #13).  It is so nice to have it finished in the middle of the month.

While these colors are out of my comfort zone, I really love how this quilt turned out.  It is so bright and cheerful.  Cheetah thinks we should keep it, but he really says that about every quilt I make.  ;)

I decided to practice my feathers to quilt it.  That is the theme for Amy's Free Motion Monday Quilting Adventure this month.  I started by using my wave long arm ruler and added stems on the vertical seams between blocks.  I learned it was easier to do this side to side with Princess El.  (It was also my first time using Machinger's gloves, they worked pretty well.) 

After quilting all the stems I pulled out my clear vinyl to practice drawing the feathers.  The painter's tape keeps me from drawing on the quilt top. 

Because of the markings on my ruler the vines are mostly parallel.  I discovered that if I marked the center (the red line), the feathers were easier to draw. 

I really liked the look of the finger feathers.  I think that is what they are called when you leave a space between each tear drop shape.  I marked between the vines with a hera marker and got to work. 

The feathers look better from farther back.  :)

But I love the texture they add.  The feathers are just under six inches from side to side.  Much easier than when I tried eight inch wide feathers, but I wonder if narrower would still be easier. 

I bound the quilt in one of the orange prints from the quilt. 

I added a corner label while sewing down the binding.  You can see the blue and yellow plaid I used for most of the backing in this picture.  It is an old Debbie Mum print. 

I added a strip of a solid yellow to make the backing long enough.  It also made it so I didn't have to worry about matching the plaid when piecing the backing. 

All in all I love how this quilt turned out and hope it will be a blessing in someone's life.  I know how difficult it is to cope with postpartum depression. 

Quilt Stats #110
Name: Scatter Sunshine
Pattern: Rail Fence from Amanda Jean's Quilt Along
Quilting Design: Finger Feathers
Fabric: From my stash
Amount Used: 6.5 yards
Batting: Hobbs 80/20
Size: About 54 x 66 inches
Date Finished: July 2014
What I Learned:
  • It was easier to quilt with the ruler left to right instead of up and down. 
  • It is easier to quilt feathers up the stem than down the stem, but I want to practice so I can do both. 
  • I love the texture the feathers give.
  • My feathers look better a little farther back. 
 Now all I need to do is write a letter to the recipient and send it in the mail.  I was able to hand deliver the quilts to Emily for the Hands2Help challenge, so it has been a long time since I mailed a quilt.  Any advice? 


P.S.  I am linking up with Amy's Free Motion Monday Quilting Adventure and Can I Get  Whoop Whoop.  (Buttons on sidebar.)  I will also be linking up with Amanda Jean for her Quilt Along and Finish it Up Friday

Saturday, July 12, 2014


I have always said that I like to have one or two works in progress at a time.  One of the reasons why is because I enjoy having a hand sewing project.  I haven't had an ongoing hand sewing project for about a year, and I have been thinking about starting one to have a portable sewing project this summer. 

This week as I was reading some posts for the New Quilt Blogger's Blog Hop, I was very interested in Jan's (The Colorful Fabriholic) post.  She mentioned hand piecing quilts with a group she belongs to.  We began emailing each other about hand piecing using the traced-template method. Jan describes the method in this post

I have used the traced-template method before when hand piecing Summer's Flower.  I made this quilt nearly 20 years ago. 

I also used it when finishing Compass Rose last year.  This was someone else's UFO that I was given. 

After discussing it with Jan (who was so encouraging), I decided to make a Drunkard's Path quilt.  I am mostly following the Dancing Daisies tutorial from the Moda Bake Shop.  The tutorial shows how to machine piece the blocks, so I pulled out this old book to make templates to sew a 4 inch block by hand. 

My cutting line templates look like this on a charm square: 

I can trace around them and mark matching spots through the holes.  I do this on sand paper glued to a board to grip the fabric. 

Then I can line up the sewing-line templates with the dots and trace them. 

I just use good scissors to cut the curved lines. 

Before going out to purchase fabric, I tested out the templates on some scraps.  I enjoyed it a lot. 

The back looks really neat.  Because you only sew on the line, it is easy to swirl the seams to make it more flat. 

The fabric I purchased is a Chance of Flowers layer cake with Kona Snow as the background.  The plaid on the bias will be my binding. 

I selected my backing from the clearance section at my LQS.  It was nice getting it for a discount. 

The first thing I did when I got home was cut the layer cake into quarters. 

Then I cut out 40 charm squares from the Kona Snow.  Here is one fourth of my quilt ready to be traced and hand pieced. 

I have already sewn 8 four inch blocks. 

The tutorial has the values like the picture above, but I may switch the light and dark. 

I have plenty of time to decide.  But first, I need to decide if I want to use the fabrics with the cream background. 

I don't know if there is enough contrast.  If I don't use them I may need to purchase a charm pack or extra yardage.  What would you do? 

This project will definitely be a WISP-- Work In Slow Progress.  However, I am very excited to do it.  I have 8 done and only 312 more to go to make a 64 x 80 inch quilt. 


P.S.  I will be linking up with Let's Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday (buttons on sidebar).

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rail Fence in Progress

I am happy to report that I was able to spend some time sewing this week (besides adding patches to Cheetah's Boy Scout uniform).  I have all the blocks sewn and up on my design wall for the rail fence quilt.  It is bright and cheery, so I am thinking of calling it "Scatter Sunshine."  It is the name of a song we sometimes sing at church, but I think it appropriate.  I keep singing it in my mind while working. 

This quilt is part of Amanda Jean's Scrap Basket Quilt Along and will be donated to Margaret's Hope Chest for someone suffering from postpartum depression.  I am hoping to have it finished and in the mail by August 1st. 


P.S.  I am linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Month of June and July Goals

Summer is always a busy play time with my boys.  I am grateful I was able to do any sewing during the month of June.  Last June I didn't sew anything at all. 

My big finish for the month was R's cuddle quilt.  It is a 60 x 72 inch lap quilt for my brother that has Minky on the back. 

However, my favorite finish is the three cuddle quilts I made for the favorite animals at my house.  I love seeing my boys play with these quilts. 

Another time consuming finish was getting eighteen baby blankets ready to tie.  The messy part is all done and I can tie them as I need to gift them. 

In addition to the above finishes, I moved the furniture around in my craft room.  While things are a little tighter, I am enjoying the new layout.

I also reached some milestones with my blog.  I wrote my 101st post and hosted a small giveaway.  Then, I participated in my first blog hop.  It was the New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop hosted by Beth at Plum and June.  Such a fun experience.  This awesome blog hop continues on July 9th and July 16th. 

Plum and June

My goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes for the month of July is to make a rail fence quilt out of my yellows and oranges. 

It is part of Amanda Jean's Scrap Basket Quilt Along.  She already has the link-up open, but thankfully is leaving it open for the whole month of July.  I only have my strips cut (the extent of my quilting last week).  It needs to be finished by August 1 and will then be donated to Margaret's Hope Chest for someone suffering from postpartum depression.  July is a family-filled time for me, so I will be very happy if I can finish it this month.