Wednesday, October 31, 2012

little finishes

I had a couple custom orders this month that I wanted to show you but I had to wait until they arrived at their new homes before I did that. I love this colorful bird family quilt. 

I used my precious (and dwindling) stash of American Jane fabrics along with some other favorites.

The second order was for a Christmas stockings bird quilt. It is very similar to the one I made last year only made to order with the number of stockings representing the number of children the customer has.

These aren't really custom orders but things I made and never blogged about. I made this bird quilt this summer as part of a trade with Kristine. She sent me a Humpty Dumpty Irmi switch plate. I love Irmi!!! and it matches the lamp I have. She also sent me a beautiful pair of earrings and vintagy recipe cards! Love it all!!! Thanks Kristine!

and I blogged a little about this last year when I was making it but I never showed the finished quilt. This was for one of my best friends. Her husband e-mailed me asking if I'd make something for their 2nd anniversary. The traditional gift for a 2nd aniversary is cotton. So this is almost 100% cotton excepting the little piece of linen I used as sand. They were married in the Caribbean . Is he thoughtful or what? Can you tell I had it already packaged and forgot to take a picture of it? Hence the wrinkle through the middle :)

( I miss my barn & silo shots!!!!)

I'll be back with some super, dooper, over the moon exciting news that has something to do with this magazine! Can you guess what it is? It will include blog hops, giveaways and quilt blocks galore!!! And I am totally thrilled to be apart of it all!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival :: Fall 2012

Thanks for all of your comments on my finished quilt. I decided to enter it into the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by the very lovely Amy @ Amy's Creative Side. Thanks Amy!

For anyone new visiting from the festival, Welcome, here are some stats on the quilt. For my friends who have already read about my quilt, please indulge me one more time :) Thanks!

I started this quilt in January 2012 as part of the Hand Pieced Quilt-A-Long I hosted. I wanted to learn how to hand piece and so that is how it began. I took my time with the pieces in each block as I marked them for stitching, sewed tiny stitches to put each piece together. The sashing and borders are all attached by hand. It is hand quilted. The binding is attached to the front and back by hand. The only electrified thing that touched this baby was an iron. I mentioned in my previous post that we were without electric for over a month collectively this summer and my hand pieced quilt was perfect to work on in that situation. I also love that it was part of a quilt along and many people tried their hand at hand piecing, literally :) This is absolutely my favorite quilt to date. I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I look at it. I also plan to incorporate much more hand work into my sewing life. It's so satisfying!

 Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Finished quilt measures : 24" x 32"
Special techniques used :hand pieced, hand quilted, completely done by hand, applique
Quilted by : Me ~ Erin
Best Category : Hand Quilted Quilt, Mini Quilt, Wall Hanging Quilt

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy all of the beautiful quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival!!!

Hand Pieced Quilt Finished!!!!

I appreciate the comments you left on yesterdays post. They were very comforting. I am so grateful for all of the friendships I've made through quilting and blogging.
Today I have less words and more pictures! I finished my hand pieced quilt. I am so happy with it. I keep staring at it. Picking it up, putting in down and picking it up. I love it!!! I had no idea when I ventured into hand piecing that I would get so much satisfaction from doing so. I NEVER thought I'd have the patience for hand piecing. But I enjoyed every block, every stitch. I never rushed anything while making this quilt. I guess that's why this little thing took 10 months to make :) It's a really good feeling knowing that a machine never touched it. Well, except the iron. It also fit in so perfectly with our move and being with out of electric for weeks, getting electric back and losing it again for 2 weeks. Ma Ingalls I am not, but at least I  know I can live without electric, if I had to, and still make really pretty quilts.

P.S. I ♥ electric and running water and every time it storms I pray we don't lose it like we did this summer!!!

I hope you have a happy weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Gift

A couple of weeks ago we had back to back visits from our family. It was so good to see them. I realized just how much I miss them since we moved. I've been struggling with that lately. I miss our friends. I miss my sweet, smart, caring midwives. I miss convenience. I feel isolated. We live so far out and I do like it, but at times it is frustrating. I've really learned a lot, about who I am and who I thought I was, this summer. Now that fall has come, and we have really settled in, I feel...well...a little sad at times. I know I have some major pregnancy hormones flowing right now. I also know that when the baby comes this winter I will be busy and not be thinking so much on these things but for now life has slowed down and I feel homesick. I can always tell when I'm out of sorts because sewing and creating hold no appeal to me. Although I did sew a few custom orders the past couple of weeks, I really haven't had the desire to make anything else. Blogging was appealing but I don't like being a downer, complaining or seeming ungrateful, so I just wait for it to pass. On the flip side of things I have enjoyed having my own home. Painting, cleaning (yes, I said cleaning. ha!) hiking our hills, taking pictures of the kids, planning next year's garden, homeschooling, talking about chickens, goats and piggies. And I am finally sketching out new quilt ideas and rummaging through my stash again. I suppose the slump couldn't have come at a worse time though, as I was asked to submit a project for a book and I just could not come up with anything I knew was worthy to be in a book. I didn't like that feeling at all! Then at my midwife appointment last week she could not hear the babies heartbeat. I was sent for an emergency ultrasound and I was scared to death. My heart was beating out of my chest and I thought I might pass out. All I could do was pray and surrender. As soon as the tech started the ultrasound, our little girlie was flipping and moving around. Her heart sounded great. So I praised God, loudly and with tears. Before the ultrasound when I was waiting to be seen I kept thinking how I wish we were closer to our family. I'm just trying to take the good with the bad and rejoice in the positive. Here's a positive. My husband watched (my very favorite movie) Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley version) with me. It will probably not happen again. But he said it was a good movie. Although he still jokes with me about (the very best part of the movie) Mr. Darcy's hand!!! If you've seen it. You know the part I'm talking about.

Another very positive thing that happened while I was feeling this way was I got a little ray of sunshine in the mail. Amy @ nanaCompany sent me this tote as a thank you gift for the small quilt I sent her. I was in total shock when I opened the package. She posted about the tote here. I even pinned it to Pinterest when she posted about it! That's no small feat with dial up :) I love everything she makes but especially this because, as some of you know, I have a major love for Atsuko Matsuyama prints. And also for ticking. This girl has mad sewing skills. Her quilting is perfection and her piecing, fabulous.

This "All natural" label was absolutely perfect for me, too. I worked at 3 natural foods stores before I had kids. I used to be a bit of a natural foods fanatic. I've relaxed over the years. I've come to realize that you may be a complete health food nut/ yoga guru type, healthy as can be and die at 30 on a motorcycle (one of my best friends) or you may be a person who has eaten "oleo" trans fats, hot dogs, drank beer and vodka everyday all of your life and live to be 96 and still going ( my step-grandmother). God is in control! I still watch the foods we eat, cosmetics/toiletries we use and the household cleaners we use. So this was just a fun little added bonus for me. This little gift couldn't have come at a better time. It really lifted my spirit and made me smile. I love, love, love it, Amy!!! Thank you so much. I will cherish it.

And thank you all if you read my very wordy post today! I'll be back tomorrow with less words and more pictures.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hand Pieced Quilt-A-Long ~ Binding

Well we've finally made it to the last part of the hand pieced quilt along. Thanks for sticking with me all these months. It was a very slow quilt along and I've enjoyed it so much. I loved seeing everyone's blocks in the flickr group and I am really looking forward to seeing more finished hand pieced quilts.

Today I'll show you how I make and attach the binding to a quilt by hand.

I was able to use 4 strips 2.5 inches by the width of fabric (WOF) to bind my quilt. Double check to make sure this will be enough for your quilt.

I mark a 1/4 inch line on each end of my strips.

Then I mark a 1/4 inch line on the RIGHT (meaning printed) side of the all of the strips of fabric along one long edge.

Sew your ends together to make 1 long strip. If using 4 strips you will have 3 seams. Press your seams open and fold your long strip in half length wise. Now some (most?) people press their binding strip in half at this point. I no longer press my binding as I find I don't like sewing into the crease. I simply fold and start attaching the binding to the quilt.

I take my binding and find the halfway point on the bottom front of my quilt in this case underneath the green Ohio Star block. Pin the binding to the front with all raw edges of the quilt and binding lined up together. Give your self about 6 inches and use another pin to mark where you are going to actually begin sewing on the binding. Start sewing at the second pin.

I use a running stitch to attach the binding to the front of the quilt. You will be going through multiple layers here so you may not be able to get as many stitches on your needle at one time. Use a pin to mark 1/4 inch away from the corner's edge. Sew a few stitches perpendicular to your running stitch line along your pin to the bottom edge. I use a back stitch for this part. This is for your mitered corners.

Now fold your binding up, perpendicular to the binding that is already attached. Hold that in place.

Fold the binding back down on top of the fold you just made. Making sure your your folded edge matches up with the raw edge and everything is nice and tidy.

I take several back stitches here as I start from the corner. Again there are several layers ans you want a nice strong stitch.

Your corner should look something like this when you fold your binding to the back of the quilt.

Continue to sew the binding onto the quilt top mitering all of your corners as you go. Stopping about 6 inches from the bottom center (green Ohio Star block on my quilt). Trim your extra binding so that it lays 1/2 inch over or on top of the beginning of your binding strip.

Sew the ends together. There won't be a 1/4 inch mark on the piece you trimmed use the marking on the beginning of the binding strip.

Press the seam open. Fold again and continue to sew on the binding.

Now your ready to sew the binding down to the back of the quilt. There are a blue million tutorials on this subject. So instead of adding another one of the same I'll give you a link to the method I use. I used to use a whip stitch to do this but a couple of years ago I found a tutorial by Amy @ Amy's Creative Side and I absolutely love it! Your stitches are invisible and it looks so clean and sharp.

Amy's tutorial to attach the binding to the back of your quilt using a ladder stitch is great. Check it out.

That's it!!! After you attach the binding to the back you are done!!! Wash gently, dry, crinkle and enjoy!!!

I finished mine yesterday. I am in love. I'll be posting pictures this week.

Thanks again to all of you who joined me. I was new to hand piecing and hand quilting when I started this. I'm glad I didn't let my fear of not knowing what I was doing stop me. I've learned a lot about sewing through this quilt along and I felt such a sense of accomplishment finishing my quilt even though it was a smaller one. I admire the ladies who make big quilts completely by hand. I hope to do that myself one day.

Below are the links to all of the quilt along posts!!! I hope that the info is helpful to someone out there :)

Block #1 ~ Churn Dash

Block #2 ~ Jacob's Ladder

Block #3 ~ Ohio Star

Block #4 ~ Bear Paw

Block #5 ~ Granny Square

Block #6 ~ Shoo-Fly

Block #7 ~ Card Trick

Block #8 ~ Friendship Star 

Block #9 ~ Square in a Square

Block #10 ~ Log Cabin

Block #11 ~ Flying Geese Pinwheel

Block #12 ~ Honey Bee

Sashing and Borders


The flickr group is here. Come on over and see all the other pretty hand pieced blocks and quilts.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Simple Life Winner

The winner of the Fat Quarter Shop giveaway of The Simple Life layer cake is ....

#60 Lexilooo!

Thank you all who commented! and for sharing your project ideas and favorite girly names with me!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Simple Life :: A Super Cute, Super Sweet, Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway

Hi there! I hope you all have been well. I got some very exciting news on Friday. We had our ultrasound and found out we are having a little girl. I have never found out what I'm having before, and never thought I would, because after going through labor I think it is such a sweet surprise. But we were all there and I just had a very strong urge to know. This is probably our last baby so I thought why not try something different. It was just as exciting as finding out after labor. So now I have another sweet little girl to make dresses, dolls, purses and cute little quilts for. The first thing my son said when we found out was "Dad, we're going fishing!"

In other exciting news, my friend Tasha's new fabric line for Riley Blake, The Simple Life, has shipped and is in shops!!! I know most of you quilty people (especially those who love aqua and red) know who Tasha is and love her illustrations, embroideries and all the little lovelies she makes. I love this fabric line and I can't wait to get mine and make those sweet little girl things I mentioned before.

Fat Quarter Shop has generously offered to giveaway a layer cake of Tasha's new The Simple Life line to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment on this post and I will use RNG to pick a winner next Monday. If you feel like it (because I read every comment) tell me what you would make with this if you win, or your favorite girly name, or just say hey, or all of the above!

Have a great week! I'm hoping to be back Friday with the last part of the hand pieced quilt along, Binding! I finally finished the hand quilting and I can't wait to get it bound, washed, dried and crinkled!


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