Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Arrowheads

 Weird title, I know.  These pink Anita's Arrowhead blocks are the closest I can get to a Springy pic today. I think this will become a table runner someday soon.

Let me back up a little. In August 2010, I bought Anita Grossman Solomon's book Rotary Cutting Revolution. I'll say it again. I think she is a quilting genius! Back in 2010, I made my first pancake (Anita's term for the first block that doesn't always come out right, like the first pancake). It was good, but I wasn't excited about making more. I did get excited about playing with stripes and made this. I've been collecting striped fabric ever since.

Fast forward to 2013. I signed up for Anita's Craftsy class called Traditional Blocks Made Simple. I watched all the lessons, and picked up amazing tips along the way. Finally on Friday, I raided my batik stash and started cutting.

In no time at all, I had 4 blocks done!

 More cutting and stitching while watching basketball and I had 12 blocks done by half time of the Florida game. (Go Gators! Senior Erik Murphy lives around the corner from me. His mom came over to pick up some Girl Scout cookies before her last trip to Florida. I look like a Hobbit next to that family. I'm 4'11" and their 3 boys are between 6'8" and 6'11"!)

Saturday morning, I headed back to the batik stash for more. By noon I had the 3 pink blocks done and 10 more blocks started. I'm having so much fun with these blocks! Can you tell?

I think I'll keep going, pulling pairs of batiks from the stash, cutting and sewing until I have enough blocks for a man-sized lap quilt. A friend's husband had a brain tumor removed last week, and we've been praying for his full recovery. He is improving, but has a long road ahead. I hope to have this quilt ready for him when he moves to the rehab facility.

I wish you all a blessed Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ninigret Raffle Quilt

 I cannot tell you what a relief it is that this quilt is done! Now I just need to have the tickets printed so the members can start selling them. Visit the new Ninigret Quilters blog! (There's not much there besides these pictures, but I'm working on it.)

Julia and I took the quilt down to the beach in Narragansett for a photo shoot. It was a beautiful day (until the clouds rolled in). This was the first shot we took and the best one!

There are some really lovely sculptures by Anne Mimi Sammis.  This shot would be better if the grass wasn't still brown.

 Shadows too harsh.

Towers in the background, but quilt washed out.

I like this one at Point Judith.

 This blowing corner reminds me of the magic carpet in Aladdin.

Julia's job was to keep the quilt from blowing into the ocean!

I needed one straight shot, so we set up the rack at home, and Pete and his friend held onto it to keep it from blowing over. It doesn't take much of a breeze to catch a quilt like a sail!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Finish- Mini for Ninnie

 I started this little quilt last May and finally quilted it up. I will be donating it to the Ninigret Quilters' silent auction at our show in October. We affectionately refer to each other as Ninnies, hence the blog post title!

Here are the signature blocks that produced the bonus triangles that became these stars. I don't always save those triangles, but I know I should.

The butterfly print on the back was a "prize" from the Fall round of the UFO group on Threadbias. Isn't it lovely? I folded 5" squares into triangles to act as corner pockets to hold a dowel to hang it any which way. The mustard color squares came from a charm swap stack.

 I quilted it with a peachy So Fine thread from Superior that blends with everything. I used a walking foot for the straight lines through the white and the gentle curves through the stars. No marking required - my favorite kind of quilting!

I'm not sure how I feel about the gray binding, but it is done, so that's that. The gray print came out of my fat quarter (or less) pile, too.

Mini Friendship Stars
13" X 18"
Started: May 2012
Finished: March 27, 2013

Not bad for a pile of leftovers!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fabric Box Tutorial

 I hope you enjoy this little fabric box tutorial as much as I do. It is simple enough to complete in about an hour, which makes it perfect for a last minute hostess gift. Fill it with candy and you are ready to go! 

A friend gave me the pattern* a couple of years ago, but after I made the first sample, I lost the pattern! Luckily, I remembered what to do, and wrote up my own instructions. There was no indication of who had designed it, so if you know whose pattern this is, please do let me know. I haven't seen anything else like it online.

*The original was a one page, hand drawn pattern that looked like it had been photocopied a number of times. I interpreted the pattern in a completely different way from my friend.

Let's get started!

You will need:

 (2) squares of fabric, between 8" and 12". My sample was made with 10" squares. 

A piece of batting the same size as the fabric (or a little bigger).

(4) coordinating buttons, optional.

A walking foot, if you have one.

Step 1: Layer the fabric, right sides together, on top of the batting.

Step 2:  Stitch 1/4" seam around perimeter, leaving an opening of about 4" on one side.

Step 3: Trim away the batting from the seam allowances to reduce bulk. Trim as close to the stitching line as you can without clipping into it!

Step 4: Turn right side out and press.

Step 5: Top stitch close to the edge, closing the opening as you go.

Step 6: Quilt as desired. I just kept going around and stitched concentric squares...

... until my bobbin ran out!

Step 7: Fold the quilted square in half, right side in. Mark a 2" triangle in the corners.
(If you started with a different size square, you may want to alter this dimension.)

Stitch the 2 bottom corners, back-tacking at the beginning and end. Since I had used a Frixion pen for marking, I just needed to hit it with an iron to erase the line!

Step 8: Open it up and fold it in the other direction, marking and stitching the remaining 2 corners.

Step 9: Turn the box right side out.

 Step 10: I like mine with the points folded down...

 ... and the inside flaps tacked down.

If you would like to eliminate the inside flaps, try Connie's modification with French Seams!

Step 11: Stitch on some cute buttons, if desired.
(I bought these buttons at Walmart. I think I need to go back and get more in every color!)

Starting with 10" squares, the boxes finish at about 4" x 4" x 3" high.

My original sample was made with Meadowsweet leftovers. I still love that collection so much!

And this is the one I made last weekend for Barbara. This one started with a 12" square, so I made the sides a little higher (2.5" corners in step 7).

Have fun with the tutorial and let me know if you make one!

Edit 4/13/14: I am not affiliated in any way with the pattern being sold on Craftsy for $6.

Edit 5/22/14 for clarification: The pattern I was given did not include any authorship information, or I would have given credit from the start. There were just a few hand drawn diagrams and cryptic text open for interpretation. It was not a copy of the pattern being sold on Craftsy. I wish there was a name on the original drawing, but there was not. I struggled with offering it online, but I felt my finished product was more detailed and my instructions were much clearer. I added the quilting and the buttons that were not included in the original.

The pattern on Craftsy was not offered until after I had posted my free tutorial. I believe the designer used the ideas that I had fleshed out. If she used her own photos and text, there is no copyright infringement. I haven't purchased it, so I don't know that to be true. She claims there are design differences, but her sample in the Craftsy listing looks just like mine. It is even quilted the same way. I don't believe she is the designer of the pattern I was given many years ago.

Because the basis for this fabric box was not my original idea, I struggled with offering the tutorial at all. I did not feel it was right to profit from it by selling the pattern. Again, I wish the person who drew the original diagrams by hand had signed her work.

It is in the spirit of sharing that I offer this free tutorial. They look great filled with candy or a small potted plant. You may use it as a guild or sewing bee project. You may make them to sell for charity fundraisers. If you make them to sell for personal gain, please drop me an email.

Visit my Pinterst board to see how other sewists are interpreting this project.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday

 I'm still making progress this week, but not quite at the breakneck pace of last week. 

Low Volume, Bright Hopes- I really enjoyed this little piece and I think it is a pattern I would like to teach at my LQS. There is a pretty fat quarter bundle in my stash that may become a class sample soon.

The guild raffle quilt is finished (except for the label). Julia and I will be taking it to the beach today for a photo shoot. That should be interesting!

In Progress:
I pulled out the Mod Bento swap quilt from the UFO pile last weekend. My LQS was having a huge sale, so I picked up a few yards of this gorgeous Amy Butler Love print for the back. I pieced the back and pin-basted yesterday. Now I'm trying to decide how to quilt it. I'd love to get it done by this week for the first quarter of the Finish Along.

Fabric box  - made one for a gift, but no time for process photos for the tutorial.

Friendship Star Mini - cut batting, chose backing.

On the near future list:
Swap Soup- quilting (backing already pieced)
Three by Three- fix borders

Time to link up!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fabric Box, Eggs and Snow

 I got back to my normal family schedule this weekend, so there was not much sewing going on. I picked up Julia on Friday for her spring break. Yay! A whole week with my girl!

We were invited to her boyfriend's house to decorate eggs with his mom. We couldn't go empty-handed, so I made her this fabric box and filled it with candy. Julia picked out fabric that Barbara would like. (I promise to get the tutorial done this week!)

 We each made one Ukrainian egg using Barbara's pysanky supplies.

I'm sure you can guess which one is mine and which is Julia's!

Why is it still snowing?

Have a beautiful Holy Week!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Low Volume Bright Hopes

 I'm not sure what's gotten into me. I finished another quilt today. OK, it's a small one, only 36" square, but I just started it on Monday.

When I was attaching the binding today, I was struck by the irony of using low volume prints in Bright Hopes blocks. It was the perfect finish for today. My day started out pretty low, but I knew there would be a bright spot to look forward to. My son presented his portfolio, a high school graduation requirement in our district. He did a great job and my mother and I were proud to be there to support him. His future certainly is bright!

Fabric used:
72 charms from the low volume swap
36 bright squares from the scrap bin
DS Quilts print from stash for binding
1 yd of low volume backing from stash
scraps of batting, stitched together
Aurifil 50 wt cotton thread, #2000

Low Volume Bright Hopes
36" square
Started 3/18/13
Completed 3/21/13