Saturday, April 28, 2012


The lovely Heather & Megan of A Quilt Story are featuring my I*Spy quilt this weekend!  Be sure to head over and take a peek!

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Big Winter Stitching List - Wrap Up!

Well it's time to check-in and see how my gigantic, overly ambitious list ended up!  Back in October I made my Big Winter Stitching List as part of the Winter Stitching link-up over at Fairy Face Designs.  Then I made some adjustments at the Mid-Winter Check-In and added a few projects and removed a few too.
Here's the final tally:

  • Finish the Jellybean (Thimble Blossoms Pattern) for my mother-in-law - DONE!  It was a Christmas gift, she cried, loved it and it lives happily on her couch now. 
  • Finish the Subversive Cross Stitch - DONE!  Was a Christmas gift to the hub's aunt and she loved it!  It's hanging in her craft room.
  • Finish the Christmas wall hanging - DONE!  Blogged here.  Finished it with plenty of time to spare.  Hanging it for Christmas was a problem itself so it got nicely draped over a built-in in the Family Room.
  • Make a Sewing Kit for my mom - DONE! Kind of...I actually made her a pin cushion organizer thread catcher, blogged here, since I realized she would love that much more.  I gave it to her for Christmas (along with a trip to the International Quilt Festival in April!!!) and she loved it!

  • Pick fabrics and make at least 4 Swoon Blocks - I'm up to 3 blocks!  And I just cut the 4th this weekend

  • Learn Embroidery - I haven't done any more embroidery since the check-in so this is a no-go
  • Start & Finish my Rectangle Block Quilt - Still at a stand still on this one, although I did go buy the backing.  Now I just need to quilt it!
  • Finish the stocking for Stockings for Kids - DONE! I finished mine, blogged, and had a great time making it.  There were over 200 stockings sent in for foster kids!!

  • Make a wall hanging for the dining room - I bought all the fabrics - I just need to make it!
  • Make potholders - Nope!
  • Hometown Charity Quilt - Yes, Done! I finished stitching down the binding this weekend.  I'll have a whole post about it soon.
  • Sew.Happy.Quilt.QAL - Had a great time and have my top all done! Blogged here

I feel pretty good that there were only 4 things that I completely didn't do!  Plus I made two other quilts and a bunch of bee blocks in addition to all of this - so I'd call it a pretty productive winter!!

How did you fare with your list?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday - 4/18/12

What a busy week!!  I have so many new projects I want to start but I have a few that I have to get finished before I can start them.

  • April Bee Blocks - I'm in the Heal @ Do.Good Stitches group and a member of the Stash Bee.  I managed to wrap up my April blocks early!
1. Stash Bee - Granny Square #2, 2. Stash Bee - Granny Square #1, 3., 4. Heal @ Do.GoodStitches
  • I*Spy Quilt Tutorial -  Finished & Posted!  Would love to know if anyone tries it.

  • Hometown Charity Quilt - I basted it last night and have about 3/4 of the quilting done!  I should be able to finish quilting it and get the binding put on tonight or tomorrow.

No new projects until I get the Hometown quilt finished but I have lots of ideas swirling!!  Also there are a few spots left in the Aqua & Red Charm Swap; we'd love to have you.

Linking up over at Freshly Pieced - be sure to go and see what everyone else is working on.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I*Spy Quilt Tutorial

Do you love making half-square triangles?  Yes?!  Then you'll love making this quilt.  I used a variety of charms from an I*Spy swap but you can use charms from any swap or charm pack!

Here's what you'll need:
  •  96 Charm Squares - 5"x5" Square
  • 1 and 3/4 Yards Neutral Fabric
  • 1/2 Yd Border Fabric if using 1 fabric
    • If you want to use 4 colors like I did you'll need 2 - 3" strips of each
  • Backing - Approx 3 and 1/2 - 4 Yds
  • Binding - Approx 1/2 Yd
Finished Size - Approximately 54" x 70"
First things first, let's turn that neutral yardage into 5" squares.  Cut your neutral into 12 strips 5" x Width of Fabric (WOF).  Then sub cut each strip (save time by stacking a few together) into 8 - 5" squares.  Then with a pencil or marking pen mark the back/wrong side of each square with 3 lines.  The first should go diagonally across from corner to corner, this is your cut line.  The 2nd and 3rd go diagonally across and are drawn 1/4 inch from each side of the cut line, these are your sewing lines*.

Like so:

Draw Lines

*If you are confident with your 1/4 inch sewing abilities you can skip the extra two lines and just sew 1/4 inch on each side in the next step.  I choose to add the extra markings just so everything is accurate.

Once you've marked all of your squares take one neutral and pair it with one charm, right sides together with your markings face up and pin together.  Then sew on your marked lines (or just 1/4 inch on each side of center line).  Chain piecing will save you tons of time here!!

Sew Lines
Once you've sewn them all together you'll need to cut.  I give each block a quick press before I cut just to keep everything crisp - this is totally optional!  Grab your rotary cutter and cut down the center line of each block (blue line in the picture below).  This will leave you will two triangles with a 1/4" seam on each.  Press seams open.  You now have 192 blocks.
Now comes the worst part of the whole project; trimming all 192 half square triangles.  There are a few things that can help make this a little less painful:
  1. A rotating cutting mat
  2. A 4.5" ruler block (with grips stuck on the back!!!)
  3. A fresh rotary blade
Have everything together?  Now trim all of the blocks down to a nice 4.5" square.  If you use a ruler block be sure to line the diagonal line of the ruler up with the diagonal seam line on your block.
Whew!  Now we need to start turning these into pinwheels.  Since I used I*Spy fabrics I wasn't worried about what got pieced with what as long as it wasn't two of the same.  If you're using charm packs and you want certain fabrics to be in pinwheels together you'll want to lay out all your blocks now and then piece them together.  Here's what the end block will look like:

Pinwheel Block
Pair up your blocks and pin right sides together.  I laid them next to each other like in the diagram below and then flipped Block B onto Block A (Right sides together), just to make sure that it would turn out the right direction once sewn together.  Complete for all the blocks leaving you with 96 "units".

Unit 1

Now that you have all of your 2 block units we're going to piece them into blocks.  Take the units and stack them into two piles.  The first should be laid in the direction as above (Unit 1), then second stack should be laid as seen below (Unit 2), like the pinwheel block above.  Flip Unit 2 up onto Unit 1, right sides together, match your center seam, pin together and sew. 

Unit 2

Press your seams open and you have 48 pinwheel blocks!

Next, lay out your blocks in an arrangement you like, in rows 6 blocks across and 8 blocks down.  I just tried to make sure that two of the same print weren't right next to each other.  Piece across the rows, left to right, being sure to match the center seam and pressing all seams open.  Then piece each row together, from top to bottom, again pressing your seams open.

The last part needed to finish the top are the borders!  From your border fabric cut 6 strips 3" x WOF.  If you choose to use a different color/print on each border like I did you will need 8 strips total, 2 of each print.  Sew them onto your quilt top putting the sides first and top/bottom second or vice versa. 

You will need to piece some of your strips together and trim for them to fit.  I tend to sew two strips together and attach them to the sides lining them up at one end and letting the excess length hang at the other end.  After attaching I trim that excess and attach it to the remaining strips and use those for the top and bottom.  Like so:

Now take that awesome quilt top and baste, quilt and bind as desired!

I had a lot of trouble taking pictures that accurately showed what I was explaining so I hope these diagrams help!  If pictures would really help some of you out I'd be happy to make another block and try again at taking some pictures of the process.  Seeing as how this is my first tutorial I'd love some feedback, too wordy/detailed or not enough etc, and to know if anyone gives this a try.

Just a Bee Block Kind Of Night

I finished the Hometown Charity Quilt Top but instead of making the backing and basting, I decided to procrastinate that and finish all of my April bee blocks instead.

For the April Heal @ Do.Good Stitches group we're making the Ribbon Star Blocks by Faith.

For the April Stash Bee we're making Granny Squares for Angie.  I raided the stash for these - hoping she likes them!

Do you have any bee blocks you're working on this month?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday 4-11-12

Happy Wednesday!! Hope you all are having a great week.  I didn't post last week so this is recapping the past two weeks:

  • I*Spy Pinwheel Quilt - Finished, blogged, gifted and loved :) Tutorial coming soon!
Pinwheel I*Spy Quilt


  • Hometown Charity Quilt - I finished all of the blocks last night and laid them out.  I also ordered my backing and binding fabric so *hopefully* I can finish it up in the next week or so.

Top Laid Out *Ignore my basement junk*

Close up of Blocks
  • Heal @ Do.Good Stitches - Pulled my fabrics for the April block.  We're making the Ribbon Star Block.  Now I just need to cut and piece!
My Plan

New Projects:
  • Aqua & Red Charm Swap - Started a new charm swap!! Check out this post for the details

What are your sewing plans for the rest of the week/weekend?  Anyone going to the International Quilt Festival in Cincinnati this weekend?!  My mom and I are going (my Christmas/Birthday gift to her) and I'm so excited!!

Linking up over @ Freshly Pieced.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Aqua & Red Charm Swap

I had so much fun hosting the Charming Green Fabric Swap that I've decided to host another.  This time we'll be swapping aqua and red fabrics!

Here are the details:

1) We are swapping 5" charm squares, each person will purchase 2 (1/2 yard) cuts of fabric, and cut it into 5" charm squares. 1/2 yard = 24 charms. You will have 48 total, 24 of each print.

2) Choose fabrics with a small print suitable for a 5" charm square. One of them should be mainly aqua, the other red. Fabrics that are aqua + red together work too! Fabric should be designer label, 100% cotton, quilt shop quality fabric. No Hancocks, Joanns or Michael's fabrics.

3) Please Upload pictures of your fabric to the Flickr group and include the name of the fabric, designer, etc. This ensures that there are no duplicate fabrics chosen and allows everyone to find out more about the fabrics in case they would like to order more once they have received their charms.

4) Fabric must be new and unwashed and must come from a smoke free environment.

5) Before mailing, cut your fabric into 5" x 5" charm squares. Press your fabric before cutting. Here's a great cutting tutorial

6) Put your fabric (48 charms) in a zip lock bag and include an index card with your name, email address and Flickr name.

7) Mail to me prior to 5/5 and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope so I can return your charm squares back to you! US Participants only. Sorry international friends, soon I'll have one for all!

Interested in joining?  Just head over to the Flickr group and request to join.  The first 23 requests get spots in the swap, #24 & #25 will be alternates (if they'd like).

Aqua & Red not your colors?  There's another great swap going on that is swapping green and purple fabrics.  Head to their Flickr group to check it out!


Monday, April 9, 2012

I*Spy Quilt

I've posted a bit about it before, but my husband's cousins have two adorable little girls and we spend time together every Friday night.  They were over at our house one day (which they find boring since we don't have cable or kid stuff haha) and I was trying to think of something for us to do.  We were down in my sewing space and I decided that I'd pull out the charms I got through the I-Spy Charm Swap and we could lay them out and play a little game.  That was when E informed me that it was almost her birthday and sweetly requested that I use these "pretty fabrics" to sew her a quilt as a present.  Melted my heart!! So the only logical thing to do was start planning and cutting. 

I have a tutorial *almost* done so hopefully I can get it up later this week - but I just couldn't wait to share the quilt until then.

Without further ado - The I*Spy Quilt!

I*Spy Top
Top & Back


I used 96 different charms and combined them with Kona White for the background.  I had the different colors of polka dots in my stash (they're from Connecting Threads) and backed it in purple gingham by Michael Miller and bound it in a Bella purple (not sure the name).

This was also the first big project I free-motion quilted on my home machine!  I won't deny that I need some more practice but once it's all washed and crinkly everything fades together.  I will definitely be doing some more FMQ at home soon.

The gift was a huge hit, she loved it and snuggled up with it that night!! Her older sister also informed me that if E didn't like it that she'd take it :) - Guess I better get working on a quilt for her too!

Keep your eyes peeled for the tutorial soon!

Linking up at Manic Monday over @ Sew.Happy.Geek


I've decided to add this quilt as my entry for the Festival of Half Sqauare Triangles over at Canoe Ridge Creations since everything except the border and back is made from a HST!  Be sure to check out the other entries.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Inspiring - Spring

I just love Spring!  The colors are so inspiring - Greens (my all-time favorite), Aquas and Sunshiny Yellows.  Here's a little mosaic I made this morning of some great finds on Flickr that remind me of Spring.  I'm using this color palette for the 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee and some other projects as well - I just can't get enough of it!!

Spring Mosaic

1. washed and folded, 2. thrifted, 3. dresdan2, 4. Sneaky peek, 5. Around the Blocks - Square Themed for Sheridan, 6. PTS UPDATE, 7. If it's a boy quilt - front, 8. International Stashbusting Bee--June, 9. Sunshine Squares, 10. Katie's Blocks, 11. dqs9, 12. 3 x 6 Bee, 13. Filmstrip quilt, 14. The Beehive - Spiral Cabin for Karlyn, 15. Closeup of the deconstructed 9-patch, 16. Step into My Parlour, 17. Dandelions by Sarah Fielke, 18. Green Spinning Stars, 19. Amy's Spiderweb - 192:365, 20. lonely starburst, 21. Kaleidoscope Baby Quilt, 22. Snow Gnome Pillow, 23. DQS11 Quilt Finished!, 24. Swoon Quilt top, 25. Spiderweb baby quilt, 26. PTS4, 27. Quilting Divas, 28. Ocean Waves Front, 29. dqs9, 30. Around the Blocks - Square Themed for Sheridan, 31. 3x6 Round 2 - Green, Blue and hints of Red or Pink, 32. ~ workinprogress, 33. network 1, 34. DWR Hand Quilting Detail, 35. Closeup of the deconstructed 9-patch, 36. ~ green ~

What colors are inspiring to you this time of year?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March in Review + Small Blog Meet

Hope you had a great March!! Mine was full of unseasonably warm weather and loads of sewing!


  • On a Whim quilt finished
  • Sew.Happy.Quilt. QAL Top Done
  • Remaining QAL Blocks Done
  • Two Do.good Stitches blocks done
  • Bookshelf Mini Finished

I also finished the pinwheel I-spy quilt but I’ll have a whole post with the tutorial some time next week.

April will be another busy month since I have lots of projects with deadlines that I have to finish soon!

I'm linking up over at Lily's Quilts March Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet. Be sure to stop over and check out all the links!