Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Let's Get Acquainted! Blog Hop

Plum and June

Welcome!!  I am so excited to be a part of the Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop.  I have a fun little project to share, but since I think we may have some new visitors stopping by I'm going to share a little bit about me first.
I'm Kelsey, of KelseySews, and I live in Northeastern Ohio with my husband Thomas.  I work for an insurance agent during the day and spend my nights running or quilting.  We just bought our first home last year and I love doing projects around the house - we just put in a veggie garden this weekend!
Beth also put together some crafty get-to-know-you questions for us to share-
  • How long have you been quilting - A year and a half or so
  • Favorite quilting tip(s) - Keep your thread snips on a ribbon and tie it around your sewing machine - then you can always find them!
  • Favorite blogging tip(s) - Blog for you first!  Worry more about sharing what you love than how many followers you have.
  • Favorite fabric - Ruby by Bonnie & Camille
  • Favorite craft book - The new Fat Quarterly book - It's amazing!!
  • Favorite book (or book you are currently reading) - I like non-fiction and cooking books a lot - I just finished a great one about canning at home 
  • Favorite children's book - Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (the book is so much better than the movie!)
  • Favorite quilting tool - Sticky grips for the back of my rulers
  • Favorite music to listen to while quilting - The Beatles ( I walked down the beach "aisle" to a Beatles song at our wedding last summer)
  • Favorite TV show while hand stitching - Criminal Minds, my favorite show
  • Binding - by hand or by machine? -  Usually by hand
  •  Please browse around my little blog and check out some things I've made.  Here's a little mosaic of some of my recent projects:
    Now here's a little background on the project I'm about to share for the blog hop.  I don't know about you, but at our house we have a dish drainer that we sit on the counter to use when we hand-wash dishes.  The one we have didn't come with a plastic tray to go underneath (plus those aren't anything great to look at) so I've always just layered some dish towels underneath to try and keep my counter dry.  I decided to make a cute little dish mat for my counter, then I can put it under my dish rack or just set dishes on it to dry and it will add a little something to the kitchen.  I knew I would use a towel for the back but I needed to figure out something for the front.  Beth challenged us to use novelty prints for our blog hop project but I don't have very many and none seemed right for this project.  Then I thought, what about using something other than quilting fabric?  That's a novel idea!  I don't know about you but I'm not sure I want my dishwater dripping onto something made out of $10/yard fabric!  I was looking through a miscellaneous fabric bin and found two shirts that were my husband's.  He has a habit of putting his elbows right through the sleeves and then I have a pack rat habit of washing them and keeping them because I'll "use them someday".  Well now I did!

    The Dress Shirt Dish Mat

    Finished Size 18" x 21" - I measured my dish rack to come up with this size, you can easily adjust to fit yours

    You'll Need:
    • Two dress shirts (or fabric)
      • Cut each one into twenty-one 3.5" squares
    • A bath/beach towel - I bought a new one at WalMart for $2.75
    • Walking Foot - Not required but highly recommended since we'll be sewing through the towel
    A little note - all seams are 1/4" unless specified and I pressed all my pieced seams open

    First, take your two clean dress shirts and cut a large rectangle out of the back.  Then, using your rotary cutter cut each one into twenty-one 3.5" squares.

    Take your squares, pair them up (my case - one blue w/one green) and piece them all together - chain piecing will save you a lot of time.  Then set 7 of the now sewn together pairs aside, pair up the remaining 14 pairs, and sew those together (again matching a blue w/a green).  This will leave you with 7 sets of 2 and 7 sets of 4, pair those up and piece together leaving you with 7 strips of 6 squares in alternating colors.  Lay these out to keep your rows in order.
    Next, piece all your rows together.  Once you've done that, you'll want to lay out your towel and then lay the completed patchwork on top similar to when you're basting a quilt, but we want right sides together.  Cut the towel around the patchwork leaving about an inch or so extra of the towel on each side.

    Using your walking foot stitch 1/4" in from the edge of your patchwork on three of the sides sides and 1/3 of the way in from each corner on the 4th - This will leave you with an opening so you can turn it right side out.

    Before you turn, trim the towel to match the edge of your patchwork.  Now turn right side out, be sure to use something with a point to get the corners, and then tuck in the edges of the patchwork and towel where the opening was.  Using your walking foot sew on the top, the complete length of this side - you'll need to go a bit closer to the edge than 1/4" so that you can catch the fabric you folded in.

    The final step is to quilt it!  I just did 1/4" from each seam line which created a nice grid and 1/4" in from all the edges to match the edge where I top stitched to close the hole.  Now you have a great little mat with lots of uses - dishes, diaper changes, bathroom counter etc!

    Erin from Billy Button Design is posting as part of the blog hop today and Nik from Bold Goods and Alyssa from Pile of Fabric are posting on Thursday so be sure to head over and see what they're sharing!  Also, you can keep up with the whole blog hop, see the complete list of participating blogs and check out the blog hop news every Monday over at Plum and June

    I had a great time sharing and I hope you had a great time visiting!


    Friday, May 18, 2012

    Bloggers' Quilt Festival

    Amy's Creative Side

    The quilt I'm sharing for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival happens to be my favorite quilt to date - The Hometown Charity Quilt!  

    This quilt is special to me because it was donated to raise money for cancer research.  Our cousin's wife's sister passed away from a rare type of brain cancer last year which happened to be similar to the type that my aunt passed away from years ago - small world right.  They hosted a fundraiser earlier this month to raise money for cancer research and I donated this quilt to be auctioned off.  As much as I love making quilts, one person only needs so many, and it brought me a lot of joy to be able to use my hobby to help raise money for charity.  

    Now some quilty details:

    Pattern - Starry Eyed for Moda Bake Shop by Angela of Fussy Cut
    Fabric - Hometown by Sweetwater for Moda
    Size - 62" x 78"
    Quilted - By me in an all over loopy design

    You can find my original post about this quilt here.

    Be sure to head over the Bloggers' Quilt Festival and check out all of the entries!!!


    I'm in the spotlight over at Knotted-Thread today!  Hop over and check it out and be sure to stay and look at some of the amazing projects Jennifer is working on (her Retro Flowers Quilt is amazing!).

    Have a great weekend!!

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    Pay it Forward & A Blog Hop

    Earlier this week I was lucky enough to be one of the first three commenters on Jennie's pay it forward post.  Now I get to watch my mailbox in anticipation - and pay it forward to three of you!!

    1. I will make a crafty gift for each of the first three people to comment on this post. This little gift is a surprise, and will arrive to you anytime within the next 365 days.

    2. To sign up to pay it forward, you need to commit to pay it forward too! Post this, or something similar on your blog so others can get involved.  Be sure to keep the cycle going!

    3. I will email you asking for your mailing address so I can get your little treat in the mail. {Please make sure that your email address is visible on your profile or leave it in the comment.}

    In other news, Plum and June is putting on a great blog hop over the next few months for new bloggers - head over and check it out!  I'll be posting my project next week.

    Plum and June

    Be back soon with some actual sewing projects!

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    WIP Wednesday 5/9/12

    Spring has finally arrived in Ohio so I've been doing a lot of gardening and not much sewing.

    Lots of this!

    I have managed to get a few things done though!

    • Hometown Charity Quilt  - More on this here

    • Swoon Block #4 - Only 5 more to go!  Slowly but surely I will finish this quilt

    In - Progress:
    • Modern She Made Swap - I finally decided on what I'm making my partner for the swap and started getting everything cut out

    • Double Wedding Ring - I don't have any pictures yet, but I'm making a double wedding ring quilt from all of my scraps.  I'm using this pattern and The Plaid Scottie's QAL and have about half of the arches pieced.  Pictures soon!

    Linking up over @ Freshly Pieced.  Be sure to stop by and see what everyone else is working on this week.

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Hometown Charity Quilt

    A close family member was hosting a silent auction to raise money for cancer research and they asked me to make and donate a quilt.  Here's what I made:

    I picked the Starry Eyed pattern by Angela for Moda Bake Shop and made the whole thing from Hometown by Sweetwater.  I really liked this pattern!  The instructions are great and the only swap I made was to use a jellyroll instead of a layer cake and it worked out perfectly.  The backing is one of the deep red prints, the border a blue plaid and the solid is Bella Porcelain.  I quilted it on my machine with all over loops.  It finished at about 62"x78".

    My only wishes - that I took more pictures (I procrastinated until right before we had to leave and it was raining) and that I made two!  My husband really liked this one so I might have to buy some more fabric and make him one of his own.

    Linking up @ Sew.Happy.Geek for Manic Monday and Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday!

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    Share the Love

    Back in February the lovely Taryn of Pixels to Patchwork passed the Liebster Award on to me.  I posted about it (good blogger) but then never added it to my sidebar (bad blogger). 

    Since then some other lovely bloggers have passed the award on to me again and I really appreciate it.  I didn't want to skip posting about it and not give them the thankful credit they deserve. 

    They all have wonderful blogs and you should go browse around!  A great many thanks to:
    And, please go visit the great bloggers who I awarded the Liebster to back when I first received it:
    Are there any blogs you love to follow?  I'm always looking for more to add to my reader :)

    Not to completely change gears but I am still around and stitching :)  We've had some really beautiful weather this past week or so and we've been trying to get yard work done and my veggie garden planned out.  I'll be back soon with some quilty projects (and finishes!).

    Have a wonderful weekend!!

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    April in Review

    This year is flying by!!  I can't believe it's already May.

    Here are my finished projects from April - Lot's of Bee Blocks.  I also wrote my first tutorial and was featured for the first time.  Very exciting!

    I have a few others that are almost finished, plus a few new projects.  I'll take some pictures and share soon!

    I'm linking up at Fresh Sewing Day - be sure to go see what everyone else is working on. 

    Have a great day!!!