Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bonnie Hunter's Strip Twist for Liam's Birthday

I've been feeling the pressure of needing to have several gifts finished around the same time.  January was easy with one grandson's birthday.  March was son-in-law's birthday.  But now, I have a daughter, granddaughter and grandson all having birthdays within a 3 week span of time.  

For my youngest grandson Liam who will be turning 4 years old, I wanted a quilt to match his personality. This meant that the quilt needed to be wild and fun.  I also needed a fairly simple design that would come together quickly.

I chose to use Bonnie Hunter's pattern called Strip Twist.  She offers this pattern, along with many others, completely FREE on her website. Just click on the link above to be taken directly to this pattern.

I chose to use a Jelly Roll (pre-cut 2 1/2" WOF strips) of a fabric line called The Lorax by Robert Kaufman. I also pulled from my stash, lots of solid colored 2 1/2" strips that would coordinate and compliment the colors in this fabric line.

Bonnie Hunter is well known for giving clear, easy to understand instructions.  It was certainly true for this design also.  Before I knew it, the strips were sewn, cut, sewn again and now I have all of my blocks ready to assemble.

You can make as many blocks as you desire to create the size quilt you prefer.  In my case, I made a total of 40 blocks and played around with the layout.  I settled on an 8 block across x 10 blocks down layout.  You get to play and experiment at this point to place your blocks in the best spot to get the desired "wow" factor.

Then it was time to quilt.....

I chose to use a quilting pantograph design called Bauhaus from Urban Elementz.  I thought the modern design really complimented the wild, crazy and fun Strip Twist pattern and Dr. Seuss - The Lorax fabric collection.

Quilting is finished and I'm very pleased with the outcome!  The final measurement is 62" x 77".

To add to the craziness and whimsy of the entire quilt (and since it was all I had in my stash of fabrics without shopping :), I used a light blue polka dot flannel and a light green polka dot flannel as the quilt backing.  I didn't have enough of either fabric to back the entire quilt so I pieced the two together. Half of the back is a soft, snugly flannel blue on white and the other half is a soft, snugly flannel green on white.  The texture of the quilting on the flannel back is extremely nice.

All that's left to do is sew on a handwritten label and attach the binding.  Although I typically hand-sew the binding on my quilts, whenever making a quilt that I'm sure will get lots of wear and tear (aka LOVE), I tend to machine sew the binding on both the front and back.  I've got the binding cut and ready to start sewing. For the first time, I'm using flannel as my binding also....I'm curious to see how this works. :)

Find time to make and create today....it's so much cheaper than therapy!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tumbler Purse - One Fear Conquered

Is it just me, or do you have things you want to do or make and are scared to attempt?  I see tons of gorgeous bags/totes, etc., that I'd love to make but the fear has been so great that I just keep putting it off.

I'm sure most quilters are familiar with the Missouri Star Quilt Company and it's founder, Jenny Doan.  She offers tons of youtube video tutorials making quilts, wall hangings, table runners, bags, totes, etc., mainly using precut fabrics.

I found this particular video and decided it looked easy enough for a newbie bag maker.  The fact that my oldest daughter will be having a birthday in early September was just the incentive I needed to face my fears and DO THIS!

Here's the link to the video tutorial:  TUMBLER BAG
***Remember, if you receive my blog posts through e-mail, you will need to visit my actual blog online in order for the links to work. :)  www.quiltandsewforever.blogspot.com

The video is so clear there is truly no need for me to do an entire photo tutorial, but here's a glimpse into my own bag making venture.

I needed one Charm Pack and tumbler ruler (Missouri Star Quilt Company offers their own acrylic ruler)

I started to cut my tumbler shapes and was wondering what was "different" about this ruler.  It was difficult to see if I had it on the edges of the fabric correctly.

Duh!  I'm such a DUFUS!  There wasn't anything wrong with the ruler other than the fact it was brand new and I'd never removed the brown protective paper on the front side!  I strongly advise you to promptly remove the paper before cutting your tumblers. :)

Ahhhh....so much easier to see and cut now!!!  The directions actually only called for 40 charm squares. The package contained 42 so I pulled out two of my least favorite pieces. 

Another first....sewing tumbler shapes together.  EASY PEESY!  They went together beautifully...no problems whatsoever.  Before I knew it, I had my front and back main sections pieced, pressed and ready to go.

I continued to follow the video directions to add interfacing to the tumbler sections, use a contrast fabric for the top decorative band and to cut everything to create the shape of the purse.

It was so cute at this point, I was really excited and glad I decided to attempt this project!

Once that contrast band was added to the front and back sections, the next step is to top stitch the band seam where it attaches to the purse.

I use my vintage machines to do most of my sewing/piecing, but I was excited to pull out my one and only "fancy" machine, a Pfaff, and use one of the multitudes of decorative stitches it offers and rarely gets used.

If only I'd known ahead of time how cute the decorative stitching would look,  (and that I wouldn't mess it up) I would have used a thread color that would have shown more.  Oh well....now I know! :)

Now it's time to make gussets to create a flat bottom to the bag.  Another FIRST....is it totally crazy for a grown woman to get excited because she made her first gusset?  hahahaha

Next I had to make the lining for the bag.  Once again, the video is so easy to understand and I had no trouble whatsoever doing it.  I did everything exactly by the video...all FIRSTS for me.....added pockets to the inside lining of the bag, made the shoulder/cross-body strap, made the little loop for the front button closure.  I even sewed the button to the front of the purse using my sewing machine!

TA-DA!!!!  If I can do it, YOU can do it!

By the way, are you wondering why I made my oldest daughter a purse instead of a quilt for her birthday, especially since I've been making quilts for other family members this year?

Don't worry, I've not slighted my daughter in the least. :)   I made her a Birthday quilt LAST year when she hit the big 35 milestone! :)  And trust me, it was a BIG QUILT!

Shannon with her Birthday Quilt - Sept 2, 2013
Until next time...go ahead...try something new...I dare you! :) :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Greg's Birthday Quilt

I wanted to share the quilt I made for my son-in-law Greg's birthday.  He had told me that I didn't have to make anything fancy or complicated.  He even suggested I just buy camouflage fabric and quilt it. haha  I thought I might be able to do a little bit better than that...and this is what I designed...

Greg loves the outdoors and enjoys hunting and fishing.  I had purchased the mallard duck/hunting panels several years ago without any specific projects in mind at the time.

First, I measured all the panels and then played around with my EQ7 software.

You can see the darker colored sections where the panels would fit.  The tiny squares are in 1" increments. The lighter colored block spaces were designed to be common block sizes (2 1/2", 4 1/2", 8 1/2", 12 1/2" unfinished).  Next I shopped once more in my stash of fabrics and found an old beige/brown fabric with wolves, bears and deer.  Then I found a larger piece of the darker green (green is his favorite color).

All I did was play around and make different blocks to fill in the spaces.  Then using a solid chocolate brown Kona cotton, I framed the blocks, filled in any other gaps, made the inner border and used it to bind the quilt at the end.

My design wall as I made new blocks and filled in the puzzle pieces....

I used a mottled tan for the backing fabric and the quilting design was Urban Elementz Squibbles - Grande

I thought this looked close enough to a camo design to suit the quilt well. :)  

All in all, Greg was thrilled with his quilt, which in turn made me very happy.  

Until next time!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wine Glass Coasters Tutorial

Need a quick and easy gift?  Several of my quilting buddies have been making these cute little wine glass coasters so I decided to make a few myself.  Even though we are not wine drinkers, we have always enjoyed having sparkling cider for holiday meals, etc.  Even sparkling cider tastes better in fancy wine glasses. :) :)

Accuquilt Friendly

For ONE Coaster you will need:

Four  -  4 1/2" fabric squares -  Accuquilt Die # 55060
One  -  4 1/2" square of batting

Lay one 4 1/2" fabric square face down...

Place 4 1/2" square batting on top....

 ***NEXT Place one 4 1/2" fabric square face UP on top of batting.  I somehow forgot to get a photo of this step.  Sorry. :)  

Then take the two remaining 4 1/2" fabric squares to your ironing station, fold in half and press...

Two folded pieces should look like this....

Now lay them on top of your three layer sandwich (square face down, batting, square face up).

The folded and pressed sides should meet each other in the center.....

Pin or clip all layers together.  (I'm really loving these clips....so much easier to use than pins for projects like this.)

Sew around all four sides with a very scant 1/4" seam....

After it's sewed together, clip the corners just a little (this will reduce bulkiness once we turn the coaster inside out.....

Now turn your coaster inside out and it should look like this.....

To finish, topstitch/sew around the entire coaster using a very narrow 1/8" approximate seam.

Slip the base of your wine glass into the coaster opening.....

The coaster will just stay with the wine glass wherever it goes....isn't this a cute idea?

Just flip it over and now it's a regular coaster suitable for your coffee cup in the morning.  When I showed it to my husband, he jokingly asked..."Do you REALLY have to turn it over to use it with a mug?"  :) :) :)

I quickly stitched together a set of four to give to my daughter.

Until next time!  Keep sewing!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Austin's Birthday Quilt Show and Tell

Back in January my grandson Austin celebrated his 13th birthday.  I started having difficulty accessing my blog to post updates just about the time I was getting ready to reveal his birthday quilt to all of you.  The reveal is a few months late, but hope you enjoy it anyway.

Benartex put out an adorable line of fabrics called "Buried Treasure".  Making a quilt for a 13 year old boy can be difficult...he's not a kid anymore, but not quite a man either.  I felt this fabric line was bright, fun and "cool" enough for a teenager but not too childish.

This is a picture I took one morning as the sun was shining through the window and hitting the quilt so beautifully while on the quilting frame.

The quilting design I used is called Fern Gully by Urban Elementz.  I think it looks a little bit like seaweed or maybe even ocean waves, or palm trees on the tropical islands.....perfect!

How the quilting design shows up on back...

Hanging over my banister before boxing it up to mail to Tennessee.

Isn't SKYPE a wonderful thing?  Otherwise, this Grandma would not have been able to watch her grandson as he opened this special birthday gift.  

I must admit, it is a bit funny when I realize that I'm taking a photo of my computer screen in order to get a photo of Austin opening his gift.  Can you see me in the bottom left corner holding my camera?  hahaha

Family members hold the quilt up behind him.....

Thankfully my oldest daughter (and Austin's mom) was using her camera also and was able to capture him reading the label on back....

Close-up of label....

My favorite photo.....

Austin made a comment to his mom that the quilting made it look like the water was moving in waves on his quilt.  Now, in my opinion, if a 13 year old boy notices the quilting on his gift, then he is ONE SPECIAL GRANDSON and will probably be the recipient of more quilts through the years from this Grandma!!!!

Until next time...keep quilting and sewing!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Simply Classic Table Runner Pattern

My 4th of July weekend was mainly spent in my sewing room.  My daughters all had plans to celebrate with their friends so dear hubby and I spent a relatively quiet weekend.

One evening I pulled out my little box of scrap 3 1/2" triangles and another little box holding my scrap 2" squares and started to play.  This is the result of my playtime....

Simply Classic by Theresa Litz
18" x 42" Table Runner
Supplies Needed:

24 - Red 3 1/2" Half Square Triangles (Accuquilt Go Die #55009)
24 - Neutral 3 1/2" Half Square Triangles
     *Other Cutting Techniques:  Cut 3 7/8" squares, then cut on the diagonal once to get 3 1/2" Half                                                       Square Triangles.  
       Of, if using the Easy Angle Ruler, cut HST's from 3 1/2" wide strips of fabric.

48 - Brown 2" squares (Accuquilt Go Die #55022)
48 - Neutral 2" squares
3 - 1 1/2" x Width Of Fabric strips Brown for inner border (Accuquilt Go Die #55024)
3 - 1 1/2" x WOF strips Neutral for middle border
3 - 1 1/2" x WOF strips Red for outer border

1)  Sew Red and Neutral 3 1/2" HST's together.

Make 24 Red and Neutral Blocks....once sewn together, they should measure 3 1/2" square.

Press toward the red fabric.

2)  Sew a Brown and Neutral 2" Square together.  Press toward the brown fabric.

Sew the Brown and Neutral 2" squares into 4-patch units.

Make 24 - 4-patch Blocks....once sewn together, they should
measure 3 1/2" square.

3)  Using your pieced 3 1/2" Red/Neutral HST Squares and your 3 1/2" Brown/Neutral 4-patch Blocks.  Assemble as per diagram.

Make 12 - once sewn together, this unit should measure 6 1/2".

4)  Assemble 4 of these 6 1/2" Blocks per diagram.

Make 3 - once sewn together, this block should measure 12 1/2"

5)  Sew the 3 completed 12 1/2" blocks together.

6)  Brown (First) Border

Using two -  1 1/2" WOF Brown strips, cut 2 strips that are 36 1/2" long and sew to both long sides of table runner.

Then using remaining 1 1/2" WOF Brown strip, cut 2 strips that are 14 1/2" long.  Sew to both short sides.

7)  Neutral (Middle) Border

Using two -  1 1/2" WOF Neutral strips, cut 2 strips that are 38 1/2" long and sew to both long sides.

Then with remaining 1 1/2" WOF Neutral strip, cut 2 strips that are 16 1/2" long and sew to both short ends.

8)  Red (Outer) Border

Using two - 1 1/2" WOF Red strips, cut 2 strips that are 40 1/2" long and sew to both long sides.

With remaining 1 1/2" WOF Red strip, cut 2 strips that are 18 1/2" long and sew to both short ends.

Now just quilt and bind in your desired style.

Would you like to experiment with your own color choices?  Copy and print this blank version that I created just for that purpose.

After completing this project, I am wishing that my scrap box had held enough blue scraps to have exchanged the brown for blue...then I would have a lovely Patriotic table runner for the next holiday.  Oh well, I guess I can always make another one. :)

Happy Quilting!