Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer Scrappy Mug Mat Swap

 My Summer Scrappy Mug Rug Swap is ready to ship.

My partner had a few spool blocks in her mosaic, so I went looking for a pattern. I found a Carol Doak design for mini spools and drafted it myself.

Partner also had some selvages in her mosaic, so I used some on the back. I wrote on some blank sections of selvages as the label.

Remember when I tore out the hot pink quilting? This time, I used some light green, purple and yellow. It's better, but I'm still not 100% happy with it.  I am not ripping it out again! It is supposed to look like the thread is coming off the spools.

It was a fun project, and I hope my partner likes it!

And now, because I'm addicted to swaps, I'm off to purchase some low volume fabric for this swap...

Sign ups started today and are limited to 56 participants, so head over there now if you are interested!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Perfetly Imperfect Pillows

 Another task crossed off the To Do list!  Two throw pillows are done for Julia's dorm room.

The stenciled J pillow has an envelope back that buttons up.  It was fun matching the fabric design on the overlap.

Julia pulled all the fabric from my stash for the wonky stars.  The camouflage square is a nod to her boyfriend (Army ROTC) and her brother (future Marine).

The wonky stars are a little wonkier than I had hoped for. Two of the block segments were laid out wrong on my design board.  Ugh!  We didn't notice until the pillow was done - pieced, quilted, and stuffed! Can you spot them? The one next to the gray star above is not terribly offensive. The blue one below is bad!  We'll see how many of her new college friends notice.

Inspired by Karen's Tool Time Tuesday posts, Julia and I took a trip to the home improvement super store to purchase supplies for a giant bulletin board.  We can't wait to get started on that project!

Friday, August 24, 2012

How to Label Patchwork Rows

I've been sewing up a storm!  While working on a throw pillow for Julia's dorm room, I had a brainstorm that I thought you might enjoy. 

There are all kinds of contraptions out there for labeling patchwork rows to keep things in order.  You can purchase pins with lettered beads or numbered flags. I made the numbered pins once by writing on flower head pins with a fine tip Sharpie. I've used bits of masking tape. My friend Karen uses those bread bag tabs. I usually pin a scrap of paper to the first piece in the row.

These blocks are so small (2.5" cut) that I didn't want to use a bulky pin. The freezer paper was still out from the stencil project, and there were even some scraps lying around.  Eureka!

I cut some little bits of freezer paper, numbered the dull side, 

and pressed them to the blocks!

Fast, easy, free (the scraps were destined for the trash), easy to remove (no sticky tape), and flat (no pins to get in the way when pressing the rows).

I'm off to stitch up these rows!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday

 It's been a fun and productive week!


The Girl Scout quilt is done!  I've been too busy to do a whole post about the finish, but I hope to get to that soon.  The girls love it!  It's starting to sink in that they will not be here on Friday nights anymore. {sniff}

Julia's laptop case is done!  The fabric she chose is from Kristian A Howell's Morrocan Mirage collection for Anthology Fabrics.

I used this tutorial by Crap I've Made, but had some trouble with the zipper ends.  That's my finger sticking out of the hole!  I added the green tabs to cover the holes.  They are a design element!

In Progress:
I used the leftover fabric to border a pillow that hasn't been stuffed yet. (Bought some stuffing at Walmart today because the pillow forms were crazy expensive.)

I love freezer paper stenciling.  I really should do it more often!

I'm proud of the mitered corners!  Isn't this cute?

This week's list:
Finish the J pillow and make a patchwork pillow.
Finish the borders on the applique quilt.
Get Julia packed for school!

Don't forget to jump over to freshly pieced!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Modern Mug Mats on Monday

 I was a little focused on mug mats this weekend! The Rhode Island Modern Quilt Guild met on Saturday afternoon, and there was a Christmas/Winter mug mat swap. I had a pile of hexies already cut out, so I pieced some together on Friday night, quilted it up on Saturday morning, and it was ready to swap at the meeting!

I love the striped binding. I used up the very last bit of that fabric. So sad! The polar bears on the back were left over from the tote bags I made for my grand nieces last Christmas.

Ryco ric rac.  Oh yeah!

 It was random drawing and I totally scored by picking this lovely mat made by Kathy.

Since the meeting was held at Ryco, we just had to shop! This pile will become a laptop sleeve for Julia.

And this pile will become throw pillows for her dorm room. We can't leave Ryco without buying more ric rac!

 On Sunday, I started working on a mug mat for the Summer Scrappy Swap. My partner had a couple of spool quilts in her mosaic, so I looked around and found a Carol Doak pattern that appealed to the mini paper-piecer in me. 

I quilted it up in hot pink thread and hated it!  It was supposed to look like the thread was coming off the pink spool and looped around the piece.  Yuck!  I tore it all out!

I'll try again with lighter colors.  First, I need to do something about all the needle holes.  I sprayed it with sizing and it's a little better, but I might need to really saturate the hole thing.  You can see a bit of the backing that I pieced from selveges, another favorite of my partner. 

Sew Modern Monday is on summer break, so visit the Flickr group instead...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Girl Scout Quilt Top

Almost two years ago, my Girl Scout troop had an idea to make a traveling quilt for when they all head off to college.  That time is quickly approaching, so we got to work finishing up the quilt top!

Each girl chose her own fabrics from my stash and a pile of Girl Scout prints.  We also dyed our own fabric with Kool Aid in the microwave, so some of that fabric was used, too. The girls all chose their own block patterns, too.  Some came from books or online, and others were original creations designed on graph paper.  (The hexie block is mine and will include some writing, which I probably should have done before I stitched it into the top!)

Since the blocks were all different sizes, I "sashed" two sides of each block with Girl Scout prints to make them all the same size.  I was happy to have enough of the green cookie print for the border, but I wish I had not used that same print to sash Maia's pretty paper pieced block in the top row.

Genevieve came over on Friday after work to finish up her block.  She used a bit of our troop logo fabric (printed at Spoonflower) and lots of her favorite color purple.

Heather had chosen her pattern and fabric, but wasn't able to complete her block, so I pieced it for her.  Not my best work, but it will do.

I'm off to piece a backing and start quilting.  Then we'll need to determine who gets to use it first!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Quick Crafts

 Julia needed a "secret buddy" gift for work.  Today is her last day working at Girl Scout day camp and their secret buddies will be revealed.  There were a few small gifts and silly notes along the way, but something more substantial was needed for the final gift (and a second "Thank you" gift for the buddy who gave stuff to her).

Julia's camp name is Buglez since she actually plays the bugle.  We had seen these peanut butter filled, chocolate dipped Bugles snacks on Pinterest.  Perfect!  (the leftovers got a little sweaty in the humidity when I took them out of the fridge)

**Tangent alert**  When I first saw this on Pinterest, there was no associated link to the original blog.  So I just put some peanut butter in a ziploc baggie, cut a tiny hole in one corner and squeezed some into a bugle.  I just went on the hunt for the original post and found it here at Cookies and Cups.  Shelly mixed her peanut butter with powdered sugar and a splash of milk and piped it into the bugles with a real piping bag.  I'm glad I hadn't seen the original post before I made mine!  As delicious as that extra sugar must be, ours came out just great!  And I didn't have to clean peanut butter filling out of a piping bag.

OK, on to the packaging.  We used this nifty box again from Cosmo Cricket.  The Amy Butler paper is so pretty!  I hope Julia's buddies enjoy their treats!

I did a little crafting of my own yesterday - a zippered pencil case for Julia in her favorite color!  I combined two tutorials: Spoonful of Sugar and  Sweet Verbena.  I pieced one big piece, quilted it with wavy vertical lines, and stitched up the pouch.  I wish it was a little bigger, and that I had used felt instead of batting.  And I forgot to look for a charm for the zipper.  I'll let Julia pick one out from the stash later.

Next on the sewing for school list: a laptop bag like this one from Crap I've Made.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Top Priority:  Double Wedding Ring
 Do you remember when I finished this quilt top in November?  My nephew's wedding quilt?  Who got married in March 2011?

 In March (2012), I brought it to our guild getaway and played with flowers.

Finally over the course of the last week, I have prepared all the petals and leaves!  My goal is to have the applique done and borders added by the end of August.  I mean it this time!

Does this ruffly leaf look too much like a mustache?   Mustaches are IN now, right?!

 See the deer leaf?  That one is for my nephew.  I might layer it on top of the other leaf so it will blend in a little.  I just noticed that I cut different leaves for the third flower than I had laid out in March.  I'll need to think about that some more.  

I've been set up in my bedroom!  Lots of natural light, air-conditioner and TV to watch the Olympics.  I used the big ironing board as a table, but added my small board on top.  It's time for a new cover!  Starch makes quite a mess.  I spray some starch in the bowl and use the brush to apply it to the seam allowance a la Erin Russek.  I love her techniques and her designs!  The flowers I used are from various blocks-of-the-month.


I think I have three swaps in progress.  Picture Perfect Polaroids and Siggy Quilt Blocks have been shipped.  I'm not quite sure why I joined the Summer Scrappy Mug Rug swap.  I couldn't resist a quickie?  I'm happy with my secret partner, as we seem to have a lot in common.  She should be easy to stitch for.  And then there's the new Rhode Island Modern Quilt Guild!  I'll finally be able to attend a meeting, and there will be a Christmas/winter mug rug swap.  Yippee!

In other (family) news:
Pete performed at the Newport Jazz Festival!  (That's him standing behind the piano.) He was selected as a percussionist in the Rhode Island All State Jazz Band this year, and they were asked to open the festival!  It was a huge honor and an amazing opportunity for them to play for real jazz fans.   They played a killer set!  Quite a few of the band members, including the 2 drummers, have another year of high school, so we're hoping for a repeat next year!

Julia will be leaving for college in three weeks!  I'm approaching panic mode and she's still in denial.  I've been pinning dorm room ideas and cute things to make for her.  I'd better get on that!

Hop on over to see more WIPs...