Friday, March 29, 2013

Finished: Dinner Napkins with Mitered Corners

My sister celebrated her birthday on Thursday, and I was super excited to make something for her that she'd been wanting for awhile :-D She fell in love with the Farmington Feathers print by Martha Negley during a fabric shopping excursion for Renegade Craft Fair materials, and she was dying to have some napkins made from the yellow and red fabrics. 

Fabric napkins are the jam. They are so cute, they last forever, and they cut down on your use of disposable paper towels and paper napkins. All good things. I washed and dried my fabric before cutting it. This is very important to help your napkins lie flat after future launderings. I used heavy starch and ironed the yardage. Then I followed No Big Dill's tutorial for mitered corners. I love how her tutorial is put together, and I instantly fell in love with her blog.

I like big napkins, but I wanted to maximize fabric. It would have been awesome to get two 22" squares out of the WOF, but I could only get two 20 3/4" squares. I should have ended up with 18 3/4" napkins, but my finished versions were 18 1/2" square. Oh well, close enough. That's still a great size  for a napkin.

My sister was thrilled when she opened her eight new dinner napkins. Is there anything better than someone loving your handmade gift? I hope your latest handiwork is as enthusiastically received!

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Finished: do. Good Stitches Starburst Cross Quilt

I'm a quilter and the host for the Cheer Circle of do. Good Stitches, and I'm thrilled to have our first finished quilt for 2013 all quilted and washed with photos to share!

Taadaa! This is the Starburst Cross block from a tutorial by SewCraftyJess. It worked out well for a bee sewing project, since all the star points are situated towards the middle of the blocks.

There were some challenges, though. The tutorial called for scant 1/4" seams, and some of the tiny seams were popping even as I was piecing the top. I knew I was going to have to quilt it heavily. It was just as well since I needed lots of practice. I just wish I had more time! Somehow everything is getting pushed back this year, and now it all needs to happen at once.

The other issue was that two of the blocks came in a full inch too small. Rather than cut them all down and lose a lot of quilt top, I pieced in two coordinating squares of fabric on the top, and worked the small blocks into the back.

I've never done so much FMQ, and this is only the second quilt I've attempted it on after my most recent Marine Den quilt.

In the words of Angela Walters, I quilted it to death.

I'm confident that this quilt will survive many trips through the washing machine in the future.

I really love the sweet little touch of the appliquéd do. Good Stitches label. I'm so glad that I ordered a fat quarter of labels for the Cheer Circle. We'll be good on labels for years to come :-)

Quilty Stats:
Pre-wash dimensions: 56.5"x 45"
Post-wash dimensions: 54"x43.5"
Batting: Warm & White from The Warm Company
Front Fabric: Assorted prints from do. Good Stitches Cheer Circle Members
Back and Binding Fabric: Yellow plaid donated from my Mom's stash.
Quilting: Free Motion and Stitching in the Ditch with the Janome Horizon 8900 QCP.

All of this quilting has been so. much. work. I'm completely thrilled with the outcome, though, and I look forward to donating it to Project Linus. I hope you're just as happy with the projects you're wrapping up these days :-D

Happy Crafting!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Finished: Marine Den in Blues and White

March has been a quilt-heavy month around The Clubhouse, which is why it's been a little quiet around here. I'm letting the sewing machine cool down a for a minute, though, so I can share with you a finished quilt from earlier this month!

This is the first Marine Den quilt that I've completed since last spring. It's one of three versions resulting from the (never ending) pattern writing process. This is also the FIRST quilt that I've ever free motion quilted. Sure, there have been some practice swatches over the last year, but I credit taking an FMQ class with Angela Walters at Fall Quilt Festival and my Janome Horizon 8900 QCP for giving me the confidence to take the leap.

I can't remember what Angela called this design, but I was immediately more comfortable with it than any of the others I ever tried, so there ya go. I also did some stitching in the ditch between the pods and around the pod centers. You can see how someone with great FMQ talent could go to town on the solid pod sides, but I wan't confident enough to try that at the beginning of March, though. Maybe next weeks ;-)

The back is this amazing sateen print from Heather Bailey's Garden District Line for Free Spirit. It's the  SAHB001Aquamarine print. This is definitely a heavier weight fabric, kind of like a lightweight home dec material. I think it made a great, tough quilt back, though. I used it for the binding as well. The colors in the undulating florals and paisley motifs inspired the colors for the front of the quilt.

Quilty Stats:
Pre-wash dimensions: I can't find where I wrote down my measurements. About 58" x 39"
Post-wash dimensions: I can't find where I wrote down my measurements. About 56.25" x 37"
Batting: Warm & White from The Warm Company
Front Fabric: Assorted Kona and Cotton Couture Solids, random prints, and the RJR Cotton Supreme Solid in French Vanilla (RJR9617-111)
Back and Binding Fabric: The SAHB001Aquamarine print from Heather Bailey's Garden District Line for Free Spirit.
Quilting: Free Motion and Stitching in the Ditch with the Janome Horizon 8900 QCP.

I've got another completed Marine Den quilt hanging out on the top rail of the stairs, and I just finished that do. Good Stitches quilt tonight. Get ready to see it later this week once I get some photos :-)

Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday: DGS Quilt

This week's WIP is a do. Good Stitches quilt top that I'm proud to be putting together for the Cheer circle. Yay!!!

This block is from SewCraftyJess's Starburst Cross Tutorial. I picked it because the star points were towards the middle of the blocks, and I could square up the blocks to a consistent size if some of them came in smaller than the 12.5" outlined in the tutorial.

Alas, two of the blocks that came in were really small. I decided that I could piece them into the back and just fill in the two empty spaces on the front with coordinating fabric. I'm really happy with the way that turned out. 

I'm glad it wasn't too windy for picture taking today. It was a good opportunity to figure out how to use the Austin Modern Quilt Guild's new quilt display stand from Craftgard. I'm bringing it to our Quilt Photo Shoot event on Saturday, so I figured I should probably determine how to use it. I'm so glad I did, because now I know to bring giant hardware store clips instead of just clothespins for folks whose quilts don't have quilt sleeves. I also have some curtain hook rings with clips on them that should be a good fit, too. I'll try those out and report back about our photo shoot next week!

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced :-)

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Clubhouse in Quilting Mode

Can you spot the parrot on the loose?

I've gotten so many nice comments about my overhauled spare bedroom sewing space (aka The Clubhouse) that I thought ya'll might like to see it set up for some serious (if still completely amateur) free motion quilting.

Taadaa! Since the sewing cabinet and the drawers are on wheels, I just pull them out into the middle of the room, and slide the Ikea Galant table behind it for some extra quilt-supporting real estate. Here's what it looks like with a quilt on it.

I really like this set up for quilting and for attaching binding. Both are times when I really don't want a bunch of floppy quilt weight putting unnecessary strain on the needle or making it harder for me to move the quilt where I want it to go.

I'm also in super love with my 11.5"x17" Queen Size Supreme Slider which I picked up from my friend Cristy Fincher's shop, Purple Daisies. Between the Supreme Slider and two Quilt Halos, I felt like I was having a much easier time FMQing than I really should have had, given my limited experience ;-)

Cristy's offering 20% off through March 24th in honor of National Quilting day. You don't even need a coupon code, so go ahead and get a Supreme Slider, stock up on a couple of Quilt Halos, some rubber thimbles, glue tips, and hand appliqué needles while you're at it.

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Rose Star Update

Taadaa! I'm back from road trippin' in Louisiana. As promised, I've got rose star blocks to show for all of those hours in the passenger seat. (Thanks for driving, Mr. Pins.)

Oooooh! Soooo shiny. Ok, not really shiny. Oooooh, matte fabric texture-y lookin'. 

I like this one with the road sign fabric. Quite appropriate for the highway hand stitching :-)

Here's where we are on the design wall. I wanted so badly to have another full row completed, but I have a hole in that third row.

What can I say? Sometimes you just need to take the picture already and go drive through the throngs of SXSW-goers so that you can go to a baby shower in Frost Bank Tower. True story. Downtown Austin makes for some good people watching this week. I'll be catching up on email, sewing, and laundry indoors, though. 

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced. 

Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm the Guest Host today on Lee Heinrich's blog Freshly Pieced. Head on over there for all of the WIP Wednesday shenanigans!

Happy Crafting!


Monday, March 4, 2013

QuiltCon Shopping

I didn't want to go too crazy shopping for fabric at QuiltCon. I had looked through the list of vendors before the show, but I didn't know how much fabric to expect. Though I'm sure it will be an even bigger show in 2015, it still took me all four days to pop in to all of the booths between classes and lectures. I had a few specific prints on my radar and I was happy to pick up a few at QuiltCon.

I loved this Architextures fabric as soon as I saw it at Quilt Market in the fall. I'd love to get a fat quarter pack, but I didn't see that anybody had one. I'll have to order one online.

There were lots of awesome Kokka prints. It's amazing that I stopped at this. I've had my eye on the radios for ages, and phones will always have a special place in my heart. Bring on the telephones.

I recently realized that I don't have a lot of orange in my stash. All of my red, orange and yellow fabric has been sharing the same small drawer. I think of orange as being my least favorite color. I love it paired with other colors, but I never think to buy it. I made a point to buy some orange prints when I was shopping with my friend.

I didn't stick to orange entirely, though. I totally find myself drawn to prints that are an appropriate scale for use in rose star blocks. Boy have I been neglecting those during all of this QuiltCon and Marine Den quilt pattern business. There should be some road trips this month where I'll get a chance to catch up, though :-D

Finally, I couldn't walk away without this bundle of Japanese Rainbow Solids from Superbuzzy. They're 100% cotton, but it's a fat weave with some lighter colored threads. They've got a lot of texture and depth. I can't wait to play with them :-)

I hope you've got some new goodies in your stash, too!

Happy Crafting!