Friday, July 31, 2015

ALYOF July Goal Complete!

My July ALYOF goal was simple--to bind this quilt. I had ideas of doing something fancy--either a binding that was pieced so each section was color coordinated, or a new technique I learned to bind from the back side (more on that later!)...however, my ultimate decision to go with the plain periwinkle binding was made for one reason only: fabric availability. 

I had forgotten that when I made the quilt I had very little left in the way or scraps. The periwinkle was the only option I had without buying more fabric! So periwinkle it was!

After I bound the quilt, I washed it. Love the enhanced texture!

Linking up with ALYOF over at Sew Bittersweet Designs.
Until next month...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Glisten bundle winner!

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my Glisten tutorial post. Congratulations to Shauna, who was randomly selected to win her own fat quarter bundle of Glisten!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Christmas in July Hop: Stocking Tutorial!

I'm over at Windham's blog again this week, taking part in their Christmas in July blog hop. If you've followed my blog at all, it should come as no surprise that I chose to make a stocking; I've made stockings for my immediate family, all of my nephews and nieces, as well as my sister and brother-in-law and sister-in-law and brother-in-law (see them here). Each family's stockings use different color palettes and have a slightly different look as I've experimented with various designs. One thing they all have in common? Color! So I was excited to work with the Glisten collection by Whistler Studios. It's all gold and silver with metallic accents--a little more sophisticated than what I've used for stockings in the past. 

I couldn't stop with just one stocking, though, so I created a second one (fat quarter bundles are great for making multiple stockings!) and am sharing the tutorial here, on my blog. Enjoy! Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of my post to find out how you can win a fat quarter bundle of Glisten! And don't forget to visit Windham's blog to see my second stocking tute!

Here's a look at the Glisten fabrics:

10 fat quarters*
1/2 yard of lining fabric
12" x 22" piece of batting
12" x 22" piece of fusible interfacing
Fabric chalk

*You'll only use a strip or two from many of these fat quarters, so you'll have plenty left to make additional stockings or some other Christmas project!

Let's get started!
Download the template here. You'll have to assemble the three pieces to make the full stocking shape. Then you can decide which way you'd like your stocking to face--I've seen them both ways! 

Lay the stocking template on the batting piece and trace it. This will help ensure that your fabric strips cover the entire stocking shape. 

We'll be assembling this stocking front using improv strip piecing, with the batting as the foundation. I'll list the strip widths I used to piece the stocking front, but you can also use whatever strip widths you'd like--especially with the improv piecing--yours won't look exactly like mine.  The lengths are approximations--just make sure your strip is long enough to cover the stocking outline. Reserve one full fat quarter for the stocking backing. 

Cut one 3-1/2" x 12" gold strip and one 2-1/2" x 12" white/silver snowflake strip. Layer the gold strip right side up on an angle, making sure it covers the bottom of the stocking outline by at least 1/4". Layer the snowflake strip on top, right side down. Pin, and then stitch through all three layers.

Press the strips open.

Add a third strip (mine is a 2-1/2" x 14" fussy cut gold snowflake strip). Here's what the fabric looks like:

I cut the snowflake strip you see here at the bottom to use on the stocking but I love the little houses too!

Lay the strip right side down on a different angle than the snowflake strip. Tip: Always aim for a little more angle than you start with. You want the end result to look like angled improv strips and not strips that you might not have sewed straight!

My next strip is a 4" x 14" ornament strip. Set it on a different angle than the previous strip.

After each strip added, fold the batting back and trim the seam allowance to 1/4".

Add a 2" x 12" gold strip, and then a 4" x 12" fussy cut reindeer strip, continuing to vary the angles and trim excess seam allowance.

Here's a look at the fabric with the reindeer and sleigh on it:

My last three strips are a 2-1/2" x 12" gold snowflake strip, a 2-1/2" x 12" silver strip, and a 4" x 12" gray strip. Tip: Cut your last (top) strip wider than you need it. This gives you some wiggle room to make your stocking slightly taller or to simply square up the stocking top. 

Lay the stocking template on top, making sure the strips cover all the areas under the template. (The stocking shape doesn't have to line up exactly with your original drawn line--that was just a guide.) Pin the template and cut out around the shape.

Your stocking front will look something like this:

Following manufacturer's directions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fat quarter you've reserved for the stocking back. Lay your stocking front on top, right sides together, pin in place, and cut around the stocking shape. You could use the template as well, but I like to use the stocking front to eliminate any possibility of cutting out the backing shape with the stocking toe facing the wrong direction! :)

With the front and backing still right sides together, sew around the stocking with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving the top edge open. Turn right side out.
Fold the lining fabric in half right sides together. Pin the stocking template on top (direction doesn't matter here!) and cut out the shape. Sew around stocking edge. Leave wrong side facing out.

I cut the stocking binding and loop from the same fabric--the metallic gold. Cut a 2" x 9" piece for the loop and a 2-1/4" x 22" piece for the binding. Press the binding strip in half lengthwise wrong sides together as you would for a quilt. Press the 2" x 9" loop piece in half lengthwise wrong sides together, then open up and fold each long raw edge in to the center fold and press again. Refold on main seam to enclose all raw edges and stitch down the middle. This is your hanging loop.

Tuck the lining inside the stocking so wrong sides are facing. Line up the top edges of stocking and lining, and pin, aligning the seams of both layers. Fold the loop in half and pin raw edges to the lining, just to the back side of the non-toe side seam. 

Stitch back and forth with a scant 1/4" seam allowance to secure the loop (this will all be covered up in the next couple steps). Pin the binding in place, matching raw edges, like you would a quilt. Arrange binding strip so the seam will be on the back of the stocking, near a seam, where it will be least visible. 
Stitch the binding to the stocking layers from the inside of the stocking. This may seem strange, but trust me, it's much easier! Join the raw ends of the binding with a straight seam rather than the traditional angled seam--it's just easier on a project this small. 

Fold the top of the stocking down for easier access and hand stitch the folded edge of the binding to the stocking lining.

After the binding is secure, fold the loop up and stitch back and forth several times where the loop is folded. This will make it more secure and point it in the right direction.

Don't forget to head over to Windham's blog to see their entire Christmas in July blog hop and my second stocking tutorial!

And last but not least, here's a little behind-the-scenes look at my "photoshoot"!

Now for the giveaway!

For a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Glisten, like Windham on Facebook, follow their blog using Bloglovin' and leave a comment here with an idea of what you would do with this bundle. Giveaway is open through Friday, July 24th at 11:59 pm EST.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Magazine winner and what I've been working on...

First, congratulations to Debbie at Sheltered Stitches! You were randomly chosen to receive my extra copy of Modern Patchwork! I have emailed you for your mailing address.

I saw this the other day--my name (misspelled!) and quilt in a suggested post in my Facebook feed! :)

And here's what I've been working with lately...which you'll see in a tutorial here on the blog soon...the Glisten collection by Whistler Studios from Windham:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

My name in lights...(or actually, a magazine!)

The summer issue of Modern Patchwork magazine recently hit newsstands, and I'm thrilled to have two projects featured in it! 

I pieced each of these quilts in a few days (tight deadlines!) back in February, so it's been really fun to see them in the magazine.

Here's the first quilt in the magazine, a variation of a disappearing nine-patch. The fabric line is Morning Walk by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics. It was quilted by the lovely Diane Oakes and is being held up here by my two older boys.

Here's my original (and smaller) version of this quilt, made using a layer cake of Tula Pink's Nest collection. I quilted this one myself. Amazing what different fabrics do, isn't it? 

Here's a close-up of the quilt, showing Diane's quilting:

And here's the second quilt, which is my favorite of the two (have you noticed I love turquoise?!). I made this using only turquoise scraps from my stash. And then when I decided to add in the four gray squares, I bought six different gray fat quarters to supplement what was in my stash to find grays in the right shades, as well as the right "color" gray--some were too purple-y, some too yellow, some too blue... And I also discovered a cool feature on my iPhone camera--you can convert the view to grayscale, which is really helpful for judging scale!

And a close-up of the quilting, also done by Diane Oakes. She did a great job on both quilts!

If you want to see more of the magazine, you can purchase it in your local book shop or quilt shop. You can also purchase it online here. But...I bought a few extra copies and I'm going to give one away!
Leave a comment before Friday, July 17th at 11:59 pm EST letting me know what color scraps you have most of in your stash. I will randomly choose a winner to receive one of my extra magazine copies.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Flora Table Set Tutorial

I'm over at Windham's blog today sharing a tutorial for a table set using Kelly Ventura's dreamy Flora collection.

I fell in love with these fabrics! I love their soft, watercolor designs--especially the large florals (which come in FOUR different colors!), and the raindrop-looking pattern. The color palette is gorgeous, too. I'm always a fan of any shade of teal, and I love how the coral pops with it, plus the grays for the neutral. Yum! 

I created a placemat design using the large florals (but not cutting them up too much!) and the mottled solids, and then used a variety of the prints for a table runner. 

Head over to Windham's blog to see my tutorial and find out how you can win a bundle of Flora
And thank you, Windham, for letting me play with these fabrics!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What's pale and red with black stitches all over?

My thumb! Yep, my rotary cutter attacked me last Thursday (apparently I was cutting too hastily and not paying enough attention?). The blade jumped the ruler edge and left a lovely gash in my thumb. I'll spare you the gory photo.

The result? 11 lovely little stitches and a thumb that's none too helpful at the moment.

And, instead of finishing the project I was working on (a tutorial I'll be sharing soon), as well as packing for the weekend away and making flag shirts for my youngest son and nephew (see my boys' shirts below and find the tutorial here), I visited the urgent care center. It could have been so much worse, so I won't complain.

But I am giving myself an easy ALYOF goal for July to compensate.

My goal is to add the binding to this quilt:
I am choosing between using one of the four colors featured in the quilt, or if I feel really fancy, I will bind each section in its own color.

And then my unofficial goal for the month, prompted by last week's injury:
Purchase something like this:

Should I be surprised that it's called the Klutz Glove?!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Patriotic Projects

I didn't make any new patriotic-themed projects this year, but I thought I'd repost some from previous years.

First up, flag t-shirts modeled by my boys. This photo was from July 2013--they look so young! 
You can find the tutorial here.

And my stars and stripes door quilt. You can read more about how I made it here.

And then a bargello flag wall quilt that I made for my dad more than seven years ago (that's as specific as I can get as to its age--this was way before blogging!):

Happy July 4th!