Friday, December 11, 2009

Pajama Pants

So last night I had my first ever sewing class at Stitch Your Art Out in Pine Grove Mills, PA. Kim Davis was my instructor for the class. And what a wonderful teacher she is; very patient. I had such a wonderful time working with Kim and my classmates chatting away about life and sewing. I cannot wait until next Thursday.



We are making pajama pants. I am using Red Letter Day by Lizzy House from Andover Fabrics. I just couldn't pass up making pajamas from the geese and duck print. Kim suggested that I need to get a pair of yellow duckie slippers to complete my bedtime attire :)
I promise to post pictures of me in the pajamas when I am finished. But I probably won't have the slippers.

We were able to trace the pattern from the master pattern using a cool Pattern Ease stuff. Much easier to handle than that tissue stuff in commercial patterns. And OMG so much pinning! I am not used to so much pinning since most of quilt construction is smaller than 6" and I don't have to pin.

Then carefully cutting out the fabric. My biggest problem in the past was raising up the fabric to much and distorting the tissue. But with my flat sided Fiskars I was able to keep the fabric flat on the surface of the table; for the most part ;) I am glad I spent a little money on their purchase.

We were also able to sew the two back and two front pieces together at the crotch. I ended up getting one inseam finished and ironed before we had to pack up and leave. My "homework" is to finish my second inseam.

What is interesting to me is that the pattern author has us make a 1/2" seam and then cut it down to 1/4" before finishing the seam. I am sure there is a reason behind this, but I have no idea why we would do this. Then the whole bit about finishing seams.

I know that fabrics fray, duh? Why didn't I think about this when I tried to make clothing before? Just goes to show you how much better I learn stuff in the classroom setting. Reading a commercial pattern for me is like reading Greek. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Kim suggested finishing the seam using pinking shears, a zig-zag, or a second straight seam inside my original seam. I chose to use a zig-zag since I don't have a Serger and am not a big fan of the pinking shears. They always hurt my had to operate them. Maybe I should get them oiled or something; )

I am hoping that finishing the seams will add some strength to them. As any clothing I have made in the past has not stood up to wearing and washing. But then again, I didn't finish my seams on that clothing AND really know what I was doing in the first place :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brrrrrrr...


It's a little chilly in my office today. So I am wearing my monster gloves to keep warm. Along with a fleece jacket and a fleece blanket :) These lovely monster gloves are from my Handmade Swap and the lovely Kayla.

I also finished up my ORB Secret Santa gift too. I am putting it in the mail tomorrow for a special ORB buddy. Nope, I am not telling who, so don't bother askn' :)

Wallet

Secret Santa

The wallet is made with IKEA home dec weight fabric I picked up a while back. The dots in the middle are a Micheal Miller, I think. The fat quarters are Leanika from Dena Designs over at the Fat Quarter Shop. And the journal cover is Snow Flowers by Dena Designs.

Oh, and my younger sister posted picture of her drive home last night. Lots of snow blowing over in Illinois. I wonder how the roads are this morning? I am glad to say that she made it home safely.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bumbles Bounce


Our two newest ornaments from Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer TV Special by Rankin and Bass. The Bumble (a.k.a. the Abominable Snow Monster of the North) with Rudolf and Yukon Cornelius with his sled dogs. I love all of the Rankin and Bass holiday specials. The stop motion animation is incredible.

I had totally forgotten about purchasing these ornaments. It was a wonderful surprise to pull them out of their boxes last night and put them on our tree. Yes, hubby and I were actually able to put our up this year. See, we have to travel sometimes around the holidays. And with three mischievous cats, we decide not to tempt fate and leave them munchies when we are away from home.

I purchased LED lights for the tree as well. I love them and feel better about keeping the tree on and not consuming to much energy to do it. Expensive little things though, 11.99 for 60 lights. But I know I did the right thing :)

ORB Round 4 Sting Tutorial
I should be posting the next tutorial for the string block this weekend. I had hoped to get it done this week. But it just isn't working out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

College Professor

My ceramics professor, Gil, in college recently moved to rural Boone county near Louisville, Kentucky. He and his wife, Yuki, have lots of animals. You know dogs, ginea pig and...chickens. Gil recently wrote an article about his chickens and the circle of life. Check it out. It is a great read.

We had such great times at the ceramic building during college. Gil introduced me to humus and lots of other interesting foods. He was such a calming influence on all his students. Patient, helpful and always there when you had questions about art as well as life in general. I will always remember the small amount of time I spent sharing a studio with Gil and Yuki.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Beatnik Bee

One last bee getting started. But this one is a themed bee. We are still looking for two more members. So send me an email if you would like to join. [Edited: We are all filled up now, thanks!]


An online quilting bee is where 12 members work over a year to make quilting blocks for one another. For the Beatnik Bee, we wanted to stretch our design skills a little by taking traditional blocks and changing them to a little more modern in flavor. For example,
  • stretching traditional blocks to make them rectangles instead of perfectly square
  • or making them a bit larger, like a single block for the whole quilt.
  • or taking a modern painter and thinking up a way to design a block that is inspired by one of their paintings, like Franz_Kline.
  • or using modern fabrics for a traditional block.
Like I said, stretching our design hats. The Beatnik Bee is an off shoot of the Block Party Quilt Along group.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Charity Quilt

A while back I asked for block donations for a charity quilt. You all responded with such enthusiasm to help out the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund, the JWC's charity recipient for the next two years. The quilters in the blogsphere are so generous.

Well, I finally got around to sewing the top together. I was pleasantly surprised to find out you all had sent me enough blocks to make not one, but TWO, tops. Here is a picture of the first one. I hope to sew together the other one tonight.

Thanks again!

Charity quilt top 1

Sunday, November 15, 2009

ORB Round 4: Cutting and Piecing Your Snowball Blocks

You will need five squares to complete one snowball block.
  • (1) 12 3/4" X 12 3/4" squares (main square)
  • (4) 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares (corner squares)
The amount of squares you will need for each size of top for Option 2:
  • 6x7
    • (42) 12 3/4" X 12 3/4" (main squares)
    • (168) 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" (corner squares)
  • 5x6
    • (30) 12 3/4" X 12 3/4" (main squares)
    • (120) 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" (corner squares)
  • 4x5
    • (20) 12 3/4" X 12 3/4" (main squares)
    • (80) 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" (corner squares)
Your corner squares will be a different fabric from your main squares, so make sure you mix and match your fabrics to accomidate this. Here are some completed squares.
2 Finished


Cutting your fat quarters

You should have the following number of fat quarters for the top specified:
  • (47) for the 6x7 top
  • (31) for the 5x6 top
  • (22) for the 4x5 top
Cutting one fat quarter will produce all the pieces you need to complete a single snowball block:
  • (1) 12 3/4" X 12 3/4" squares (main square)
  • (4) 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares (corner squares)
Cut the following number of fat quarters using the directions below:
  • For the 6x7 top, you will need to cut 42 fat quarters.
  • For the 5x6 top, you will need to cut 30 fat quarters.
  • For the 4x5 top, you will need to cut 20 fat quarters.

Square up fat quarter
1) Square up your fat quarter

Cut 12 3/4" from bottom
2) Cut 12 3/4" from the bottom

Cut 12 3/4" from left
3) Cut 12 3/4" from left side

Cut top strip down to 4 1/2" wide
4) Take top strip (22" X 5") and cut it down to 4 1/2"

Cut (4) 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" blocks from strip
5) Cut (4) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" blocks from strip


Cutting your 1/2 yard cuts

You should have the following number of 1/2 yards for the top specified:
  • (17) for the 6x7 top
  • (13) for the 5x6 top
  • (8) for the 4x5 top
Cutting one 1/2 yard cut will produce:
  • (3) 12 3/4" X 12 3/4" squares (main square)
  • (9) 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares (corner squares)
As you can see, you will only produce enough corner pieces to complete (2)  of the (3) main squares you get from cutting 1/2 yard. This leaves us about (3) corner squares short of completing the third main square. I have included instructions on how to get the remaining corner squares in a seperate set of instructions labled Cutting a 1/2 Yard To Get More Corner Squares.

Only cut the following number of 1/2 yard using directions in this section:
  • For the 6x7 top, you will need to cut (14) 1/2 yard cuts producing:
    • (42) 12 3/4" X 12 3/4" squares (main square)
    • (126) 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares
    • Leaving us (42) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" corner squares to cut from the three remaining 1/2 yard cuts.
  • For the 5x6 top, you will need to cut (10) 1/2 yard cuts producing:
    • (30) 12 3/4" X 12 3/4" squares (main square)
    • (90) 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares
    • Leaving us (30) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" corner squares to cut from the three remaining 1/2 yard cuts.
  • For the 4x5 top, you will need to cut (6) 1/2 yard cuts producing:
    • (18) 12 3/4" X 12 3/4" squares (main square)
    • (54) 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares
    • Leaving us (26) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" corner squares and (2) 12 3/4" X 12 3/4" main squares to cut from the two remaining 1/2 yard cuts.
1/2 yard cut snowball
1) This is still folded in half. Place your fold to the right and the selvages to the left. Square up the top and the bottom of the folded 1/2 yard cut. Do not cut off the selvage yet.

Cut 12 3/4" from the bottom
2) Cut 12 3/4" from the bottom. Move the top strip off to the side for the moment.

Cut selvage off the left side
3) Cut selvage off the left side of the bottom piece. Get as close as you can to the end of the selvage for the cut.

Cut 12 3/4" from left
4) Cut 12 3/4" from left.

Makes (2) 12 3/4" x 12 3/4" squares
5) Makes (2) 12 3/4" x 12 3/4" squares.

Unfold the fabric leftover from the last cut
6) Unfold the fabric leftover from the last cut (about 7" X 12.75")

Cut 12 3/4" from the left again
7) Cut 12 3/4" from the left again. Keep the 12 3/4" x 12 3/4" square. Place the ~3" X 12 3/4" strip to the side.

Cut strip to 4 1/2" wide
8) Cut strip to 4 1/2". This is the strip from the first cut. It should be approximately 5" x WOF (width of fabric). This still has the selvage on it.

Open the strip; Cut off the selvage
9) Open the strip; Cut off the selvage. Get as close as you can to the end of the selvage. You are cutting a single layer. Make sure you unfold the piece of fabric before cutting.

Cut 4 1/2" from the left
10) Cut 4 1/2" from the left. You can use your ruler horizontal lines to align with the top and bottom of the strip. This will make your ruler squared to the fabric. Then cut 4 1/2" from the left edge. Continue to cut 4 1/2" from the new left edge until you cannot get anymore 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares from the strip.

(9) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" Squares
11) (9) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares are produced from your 4 1/2 X WOF strip

Cutting a 1/2 Yard To Get More Corner Squares

For the 6x7 top, we still need (42) corner squares:
1) Cut (4) 4.5" x width of fabric from the 1/2 yard.

Open the strip; Cut off the selvage
2) Open a strip; Cut off the selvage. Get as close as you can to the end of the selvage. You are cutting a single layer. Make sure you unfold the piece of fabric before cutting.

Cut 4 1/2" from the left
3) Cut 4 1/2" from the left. You can use your ruler horizontal lines to align with the top and bottom of the strip. This will make your ruler squared to the fabric. Then cut 4 1/2" from the left edge. Continue to cut 4 1/2" from the new left edge until you cannot get anymore 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares from the strip.

(9) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" Squares
4) (9) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares are produced from your 4 1/2 X WOF strip

5) Repeat Steps 2 - 4 on the remaining (3) strips.

6) You will still need (6) more corner blocks. Take another 1/2 yard and open it so that you have a single layer of fabric on your cutting board.

7) Cut a 13 1/2" from the left of the opened half yard.

8) Take the 13 1/2" x 18" square and cut (2) 4 1/2" strips from it.

9) Cut (3) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares from each strip.

For the 5x6 top, we still need (30) corner squares:
1) Cut (4) 4.5" x width of fabric from the 1/2 yard.

Open the strip; Cut off the selvage
2) Open a strip; Cut off the selvage. Get as close as you can to the end of the selvage. You are cutting a single layer. Make sure you unfold the piece of fabric before cutting.

Cut 4 1/2" from the left
3) Cut 4 1/2" from the left. You can use your ruler horizontal lines to align with the top and bottom of the strip. This will make your ruler squared to the fabric. Then cut 4 1/2" from the left edge. Continue to cut 4 1/2" from the new left edge until you cannot get anymore 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares from the strip.

(9) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" Squares
4) (9) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares are produced from your 4 1/2 X WOF strip

5) Repeat Steps 2 - 4 for the remaining (3) strips

For the 4x5 top, you still need (26) corner squares and (2) main squares. Take one of your two remaining 1/2 yards and:

1/2 yard cut snowball
1) This is still folded in half. Place your fold to the right and the selvages to the left. Square up the top and the bottom of the folded 1/2 yard cut. Do not cut off the selvage yet.

Cut 12 3/4" from the bottom
2) Cut 12 3/4" from the bottom. Move the top strip off to the side for the moment.

Cut selvage off the left side
3) Cut selvage off the left side of the bottom piece. Get as close as you can to the end of the selvage for the cut.

Cut 12 3/4" from left
4) Cut 12 3/4" from left.

Makes (2) 12 3/4" x 12 3/4" squares
5) Makes (2) 12 3/4" x 12 3/4" squares.

Unfold the fabric leftover from the last cut
6) Unfold the fabric leftover from the last cut (about 7" X 12.75")

7) Cut (2) 4 1/2" strips.

8) Cut (3) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares from each strip.

Cut strip to 4 1/2" wide
9) Cut strip from the top to 4 1/2". This is the strip from the first cut. It should be approximately 5" x WOF (width of fabric). This still has the selvage on it.

Open the strip; Cut off the selvage
10) Open the strip; Cut off the selvage. Get as close as you can to the end of the selvage. You are cutting a single layer. Make sure you unfold the piece of fabric before cutting.

Cut 4 1/2" from the left
11) Cut 4 1/2" from the left. You can use your ruler horizontal lines to align with the top and bottom of the strip. This will make your ruler squared to the fabric. Then cut 4 1/2" from the left edge. Continue to cut 4 1/2" from the new left edge until you cannot get anymore 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares from the strip.

(9) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" Squares
12) (9) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares are produced from your 4 1/2 X WOF strip

You should now have all (20) main squares and (69) corner squares. We still need (11) corner squares.

Take your last 1/2 yard cut and:
1) Cut (2) 4.5" x width of fabric from the 1/2 yard.

Open the strip; Cut off the selvage
2) Open a strip; Cut off the selvage. Get as close as you can to the end of the selvage. You are cutting a single layer. Make sure you unfold the piece of fabric before cutting.

Cut 4 1/2" from the left
3) Cut 4 1/2" from the left. You can use your ruler horizontal lines to align with the top and bottom of the strip. This will make your ruler squared to the fabric. Then cut 4 1/2" from the left edge. Continue to cut 4 1/2" from the new left edge until you cannot get anymore 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares from the strip.

(9) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" Squares
4) (9) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares are produced from your 4 1/2 X WOF strip

5) Repeat Steps 2 - 4 to the remaining strip.

Assembling your block

1) Take one 12 3/4" X 12 3/4" square and lay it right side facing you. This is your main square.

Piecing Snowball Step 1
2) Place one 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" square in each corner of the main square. You need to use a different fabric for the 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares than what your bigger main square is. In my example, I have a large flower print as the main square and the light blue and white fabric as the 4 corner squares.

Step 2
3) Make a sewing line across the diagonal of each of the four squares.

Step 2 Finished
You can see all my sewing lines on the four corner squares. Yes, its a different square. Forgot to take a picture of this step finished with the original block :)

Step 3
4) Pin all four corner fabrics to the main square.

Step 3 - Sew on the line
5) You are going to sew on your line. Not to the right or left of it like we did in the zig-zag quilt. Sew all four corners like this.

Step 4 - Cut off extra fabric
6) You need to cut off the extra fabric at your corners. Place you 1/4" line of your ruler on your seam

Step 4 - Cut along ruler
Remove the extra fabric and place it in a pile. You can sew these scraps together later if you like.

Step 4 Finished
Here is what the block looks like after cutting all four of your corners.

Step 5 - Iron
7) Iron your seams open.

Finished Snowball Block
Finished snowball

Here are my two finished snowball blocks. As you can see, you will have a secondary set of squares created in the quilt from the corners of four of these blocks coming together.

2 Finished

Happy Sewing!