Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway! Fly a Kite By October Afternoon

It's the last day of January. Already? How about a really fun giveaway?!

The awesome ladies at Fat Quarter Shop are going to give one of you awesome readers a Jelly Roll of Fly a Kite by October Afternoon for Riley Blake.

I am so excited because I love this line of fabric. It's cute and whimsical and, of course, I LOVE the colors!

To enter just leave a comment. If you want, tell me what you would make with a Jelly Roll! I'll use Random Number Generator and announce the winner next Tuesday! Have fun!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentine Birds ...

Our family has been going through so many changes for the past few months. Plans that we thought were going to happen soon look like may take longer than we thought.  So I wait. I've mentioned before how impatient I am. I don't like change and I don't like waiting, but I am trying.

I made my way through boxes and bags in my sewing room and set up my machine and sewed. It felt so good to sew. And boy is it ever faster than hand sewing!? (though I still love hand sewing)

I made this little Valentine wall hanging. Isn't it sweet? I've had the idea swirling around in my head but didn't think I'd be able to make it with my machine packed up. All I can say id God bless these people! hahaha! I love my machine! Really. LOVE.

I used red and white Baker's Twine as a little hanger. I really like that and think I'll use it again for wall hangings.

For the back I used one of my favorite prints. I just love this one.The binding is some fabric I had left over from making stockings for a Christmas dolly.

I'm keeping this one but I think I'll make one similar for the shop. 

Have a great day!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hand Pieced Quilt-A-Long Block # 1 Churn Dash

Hey there! are you ready to start the hand pieced quilt along? I'm not a real formal person so there are no rules. I'll try to post a new block every week. Fridays seem good as we will have the weekend to work on our blocks. Margaret asked for some of the basic info on hand piecing so I have a few pictures of how I hand piece. This is just the method I have been using and  it is far from perfect but it works for me. I hope it helps.
So let's begin...

Block # 1 Churn Dash ( 6 inches finished)

                                                     (click to enlarge)

2 - 2 7/8 inch squares from background fabric for half square triangles
2 - 2 7/8 inch squares from main fabric for hst
1 - 2 1/2 inch square from background fabric for center
4 - 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 rectangles from main fabric
4 - 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 rectangles from background fabric

When your pieces are cut the next step is to draw your sewing line onto the WRONG side of your fabric 1/4 inch away from the edge. I try to go with a scant 1/4 inch here. I prefer to use a mechanical pencil for this. 

Do that to all of your pieces and then draw a diagonal line on all of the 2 7/8 inch squares.  Draw a sewing line 1/4 inch away from the diagonal line on each side. Then you can cut your piece on the center diagonal line.

I am using red thread so you can see my stitches here. I use a single thread (left loose on one end). I knot the end twice so I know it won't pull through my fabric. 

I use a running stitch and try to make smallish stitches.

When you come the last stitch at the end of your piece take 3 more stitches on top of the last one. That is enough to secure your thread.

Here is the first completed HST (half square triangle). I really like the bit of rippling, bubbling, whatever you want to call it, on the seam line. I think it adds to the charm of hand piecing.

Sew all of your HST's and rectangular pieces together like this.

Then sew your pieces together in rows like this.

Lastly sew your rows together making sure to match, or butt, your seams together. I like to press the hst's toward the center in those rows and for the middle row I like to press the center out towards the rectangles. 

Now you have one completed block for our quilt along. Isn't it pretty!?

I'm excited to see the blocks from everyone who joins along. I'll try to put a linky tool thing after next week's post. I also started a little flickr group for the quilt along, a place where we can give tips and encouragement! Please come over and join the group. I'll be lonely there all by myself .

Have a great weekend and lots of fun sewing block # 1 !!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

So Far... So Good...

I have finished 7 6.5 inch Churn Dash blocks by hand and I am so happy with all of them, I'm still not decided on a 3 x 3 layout or 3 x 4 layout for the doll quilt. I prefer a rectangular size so I may have to cut more fabric as I I've only cut enough for a  3 x 3 layout.

 I love how feminine and girly these blocks look. Really old fashioned too. I think that is appropriate since they are being hand pieced.

It seems as though a few of you are up for a hand piecing quilt along which is great to hear! I'll be drawing out a rough sketch this weekend but so far this is what I'm thinking:
12 ~ 6.5" (unfinished) blocks
I'll be looking through Quilter's Cache to find traditional blocks and re-size them. I'll post the out line soon but I'm thinking for the first block a Churn Dash might be nice  :) I'm going to be using scraps. I'm also going to be working on it with my oldest daughter. I think this is a great opportunity to teach hand / life skills and encourage useful creativity. I'll be posting the rough draft and some tips I've picked up too if you are new to hand piecing as I am. I'm also going to try to put a linky thing for each of our quilt along post so we can share our progress and encourage each other. Sound okay?

Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

My First Hand Pieced Blocks...

I made my first hand pieced blocks over the weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the process. I made 6.5 inch Churn Dash blocks that will become part of a doll quilt for my someday quilt wall.

I am making the whole thing by hand. It's rewarding for me knowing I can do it and that I can sit with my family in the evening and be apart of what they are doing.

Here is a picture of the back of one of the blocks. I like seeing all of those little stitches :)

I cut out my pieces and then draw a 1/4 inch line from the edge of the fabric. That is the line I sew on.

I'm happy this process is teaching me patience which I lack at times. Only one time did I think that if I were using my machine I probably would have had all of the blocks pieced in the time it took to prep and sew 2 blocks. But the thought faded with the joy I felt from hand sewing them. I'm not sure why I find this so much more rewarding right now. I'm even thinking of a Hand Piece Along type thing. Maybe a small sampler doll quilt?! Anyone care to sew along? anyone? anyone? chirp...chirp.. :)

Friday, January 13, 2012


hand·work  (hndwûrk)
Work done by hand rather than by machine.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

 that's what i have been doing lately.

I have this little tub filled with multiple handwork projects.  Diamonds, hexagons and


I am also working on this embroidery I hope to use some of these prints for the patchwork border. I have found that I really enjoy hand sewing. It's very relaxing. I look forward to winding down in the evening with a hot cup of tea and sewing on one of these. It's quiet and peaceful and perfect for the winter months.

Just for the fun of it I made a mosaic with my Farmer's Wife blocks so far...I think I am going to try to make a few by hand. Some of the pieces are so small that I think these blocks would be a great start to hand piecing blocks. Maybe I'll make a whole quilt by hand one day....


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