Friday, July 29, 2011

China Doll

A couple of years ago I saw and decided I MUST HAVE some Michael Miller China Doll fabric. I'm not sure where online I found it, but I got something like 4 yards of it. It was getting kind of scarce then, so I'm not sure if I could even find some now. I love it. I think it's so sweet. But it has just sat there for the past couple of years.
Then I found this tutorial, and I decided it would be perfect for that fabric. Sometimes I run out of ideas for my larger print novelty fabrics.
Of course, if you know me at all, you know I made mine bigger -- 56" x 72". Instead of making 16 of each block, I made (31) of the 4-patch blocks and cut (32) of the larger blocks. Depending on your fabric width, you should be able to get either 4 or 5 of the 8 1/2 inch squares out of the novelty print. So for my size quilt, you would need about 2 yards of the novelty fabric. Cut this into seven strips that are 8 1/2" x WOF. Then sub-cut each of these strips into (5) 8 1/2" squares. If you can only get 4 squares from each strip, then cut 8 strips to get your (32) 8 1/2" squares.
For the (31) 4-patch blocks you will need to cut (124) 4 1/2" squares. You can use fat quarters or quarter yards -- or just use your scraps. You will need at least 7 FQs to get the correct number of squares for your 4-patches.
After you have cut and made all your blocks, lay the quilt out in a 7 block by 9 block pattern starting (and finishing) the first row with one of the 8 1/2" novelty blocks, alternating blocks as you go.
Okay. I have been searching and searching for where I found this tutorial. I think I linked from blog to blog until I found it. Then I forgot to bookmark it, and now I cannot find it again. The original quilt was baby-sized, and it had these cute surfboards for the main fabric. I'll keep looking, but if anyone knows where this is, PLEASE, tell me so I can link back to it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Soldiering on.

Made with MoMo's Freebirds line.
I feel like all my posts are too similar lately -- one picture and either a bag or a flimsy. But other than the QALs that I couldn't stop myself from joining, I have been trying to finish up older projects. I have made 6 or 7 backs for quilt tops that have been lying around a while. So even though my sidebar number is actually going up, I am making progress towards finishing things.
This is Old Red Barn QAL #6 -- Hexies. I think they're up to #9 or something. I had all these in rows and just had to sew them together. I was thinking initially that it wasn't big enough and that maybe I would add a border. However, in the interest of ever finishing this, I think I'll just keep it as-is. I have some leftover layer cake squares that I can put on the back -- along with perhaps a solid. Sometimes I despair of ever getting my numbers down, but I'm just going to keep at it and hope I get there. In the meantime, I am having fun. I really love the process of quilting, and I focus more on that than the finishing. It's why I have so many WIPs, but it's also why quilting is so relaxing for me. I don't force myself to do something I don't want to do very often. I just set things aside and wait until I'm ready to go back to them. My WIPs are a little overwhelming to me sometimes, but mostly they're not. Maybe I'm loathe to finish them BECAUSE I enjoy the process so much. I don't want it to be over. Or maybe I just get distracted by new things too easily. That's probably the more likely explanation. ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011


I can't promise that this is the last bag of this sort you will see. I suppose I should branch out, but this one just makes up SO quickly!
For my daughter's friend's birthday gift. Fun and summery! I should probably iron it a little better, though. :/ Tutorial here. Go make your own. Seriously. It's so easy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Another Whimsy Flimsy.

It's possible that I'm a little loopy from lack of sleep, but the phrase "Whimsy Flimsy" keeps cracking me up. Yeah, I'm funny. I know. ;)
From Amanda Jean's Round and Round QAL last year. I only had the last two rows (well, four if you count the sashing strips) on either end to finish, but I had to put it away for a rest. I just pulled it out this week and finished it up really quickly. I just have to do that sometimes -- put things away while they're daunting. They don't feel so difficult after some time has passed. Now I have to buy something for the backing. I only had a FQ pack, and I've made two quilts from it already. Plus, I'm doing a Farmer's Wife quilt with what's left. Made from Joanna Figueroa's Whimsy line.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A little windy.

It's a little windy today. This is how my first attempt at photographing this quilt went. I need some of those big clamps to clip the quilts to the fence, I guess. (Please, ignore my weeds. Our weed-eater is having technical difficulties.)
This time the wind is helping to keep it against the fence. You can hardly see the kaleidoscope pattern, but I had to give up for now. I'll have better pics when it's finished. It has the same color palette as this quilt, because it came from the same pile of fabrics. What can I say? I thought they were pretty.
What I'd really like to point out here is that I am STILL caught up with the QAL. Now I just need to get caught up with my Farmer's Wife quilts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another bag.

When my four-year-old saw the bag I had made, he wanted one to carry his books and toys around in. So he chose some fabrics, and away we went. Here is the finished product.
And he carries around all kinds of things in it. I even found him carrying his Playskool bus in it. I now have requests from 3 other little boys for their own bag.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It finished itself . . .

There were 80 of these blocks, which seemed rather daunting. So I used them to chain sew through other projects. I joked before that it was going to finish itself, and it kind of did. Other than when I pieced the rows together, I really didn't focus on this quilt as "what I was working on." So it felt like it finished itself.
Now if I could just get it to QUILT itself. (Tutorial here.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

A little decorating . . .

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not much of a decorator -- or much of a finisher. I've been teaching some sewing classes to some of my friends' daughters, and I had to make some samples. I figured I might as well make some samples to match my boys' room.
And a banner.
This is not its final destination, obviously, but I was displaying it for the girls to see. I think it will eventually end up at the top of their curtain (that I haven't made yet).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

King David's Crown block #1

One down . . . 19 more to go.
But at least I have 5 more cut out and ready to piece. Yes, there are Y seams in this one. And some of them didn't go so well. I am assuming that I will get better as I go along. I'm using some older fabric lines all mixed together -- City Girl by Kitty Yoshida for Benartex, Shangri-La by 3 Sisters for Moda, Chez Moi by Sentimental Studios for Moda and a whole bunch of other things that match. I can't even remember them all right now. I love this block, though, and still would love to do it in a bright pastel palette.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Caught up!

Usually with a quilt-along, I don't manage to actually quilt along with everyone else. I get sidetracked. I don't finish. Now, I haven't finished yet, but I'm to the spot where we're supposed to be. All my blocks are finished and awaiting layout.
So maybe something like this.
I used these same fabrics (except the white) in my Running in Circles quilt. That stack of fabric (the second one) went farther than just the one quilt. I'm trying to use up my stash, but its half-life makes me think it'll never reach zero even if I don't buy anything new. Even after two quilts, there's still some left. That means I'll have to think up a new project. I wonder if I can do that! :) Happy quilting!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Another pile . . .

. . . This one is of Kaleidoscope pieces. Now to add the white. I'm actually quilting along this time. Cross your fingers for me to keep up. Off to the sewing room to finish this up!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer job chart

Have you already exhausted all your summer ideas one month into the summer? Are your kids bored? Is your house trashed? May I present one solution? The summer job chart. Each job they perform is worth one space around here -- clean bathroom sink = 1; clean toilet = 1; unload/reload dishwasher = 1; make bed =1. You get the idea. For younger children, you may want to give them two points per job or they might never finish.
I just took pieces of poster board and drew a little path and then sectioned it off. The kids helped me color and stamp it. About every 20 to 25 spaces there is a reward -- ice cream at McDonald's, a slurpee, a trip to the dollar store, a book at Half-Price Books, et cetera. The prizes get more expensive near the end ($10 at store of their choice) culminating in a summer movie of their choice. I made a marker for each child using some Stampin' Up stamps I have, colored them in and then "laminated" them with packaging tape. I use masking tape on the back, but you could easily magnetize them and put the game on the refrigerator. I'm thinking mine might go there next year.
My kids ask me for work, and I already got all of my downstairs blinds cleaned on the first day I put it up (which was just last week -- a little late this year). I made this chart a couple of summers ago and have saved it to reuse. I don't use it every summer, because the kids get bored of it. I alternate it with other things, but we're back to it this year. So go make your own game so your kids will stop complaining that they're bored and will start cleaning your house. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In which I actually finish something . . .

I feel like I've been showing a lot more of my process lately and not much that's finished. So here's a little bag that I finished using this tutorial. I will now have to make a whole bunch more. It was so easy.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kaleidoscope QAL

You might remember these piles of fabric. I finally cut into one of them, and I have all my kaleidoscope pieces cut. Now I just need to cut the background triangles. Quilt along with Elizabeth if you want to.

Monday, July 4, 2011

More Farmer's Wife Blocks

You may remember I am doing two iterations of this quilt -- one from Whimsy and one from It's a Hoot. I think I only have 8 blocks, so I'm still behind, but here are a few more to catch me up a little bit.
Hope you have a Happy Independence Day, fellow Americans!