Friday, December 17, 2010

Awkward Family Pet Photos

Gotta love a pair of cats that would actually sit still long enough to get this picture taken :)

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Charity Quilts

I finally finished theses lap sized quilts that my friend, Tracy from TL Kennedy Longarm Quilting, quilted for me last January. I donated it to a local group for a charity raffle. I used a couple sets of charm squares I picked up at JoAnne's a couple of years ago. I think they turned out well. I like how simple they are. The colors and the bold prints help carry the tops.

Charity Quilt #2

An awesome close up of the great swirl quilting Tracy did for me. You can't tell from this photo, but the thread is a lovely mossy green.

Close up of quilting

I kept the backs simple to using left overs and some yardage from my stash. My goal was to not go out and purchase any addition fabric for the two quilts.
Back of Charity Quilt #2

Sorry about the poor picture on this one. It was last minute and in my office at work right before I delivered the quilts for the raffle.
Charity Quilt 1

Another awesome close up of the quilting. This quilt had a lovely red thread for the quilting. It was very striking contrast on the black fabric.
Close up of Quilting

Another simple back using up yardage from my stash.
Back of Charity Quilt #1

Snowflake Ornaments

I made some crochet snowflake ornaments for my son's teachers. I was finally able to starch and block them last night. They were all nice and stiff this morning. I really like how they turned out.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Courage to be You Charity Blocks

Jennifer over on the 3x6 Sampler Quilt Mini Bee is making quilts for Courage to be You. It is an organization that helps exploited children. I was happy to use my sewing skills to contribute to this worthy cause. Hop on over an pledge a block or two too.

Windmill Liberated
Windmill Liberated
I used Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking II book for this block. She called it a Windmill block.

Jacks Block Liberated
Jacks Block Liberated
I used Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking II book for this block. She called it a Jacks block.


Mint Chocolate
Mint Chocolate
This was made from some stips that I still had after making this quilt.

A little bit of love
A little bit of love
Amy Butler's, Love fabric line.

Improve Block
Improve Block

Soire'e #2
Soire'e 2
Lila Tueller Designs, Soire'e fabric line from a charm pack.

Soire'e #1
Soire'e 1
Lila Tueller Designs, Soire'e fabric line from a charm pack.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Spider Web Quilt for Baby Elliott

Look what the lovely ladies of my Spider Web bee made me :)

I wasn't able to send out fabric in August to the group because of Little E. So they got together and made me blocks from their stashes.

How great is that! We are gonna be able to do I Spy with this quilt. It's gonna be great.

Thanks again everyone. We love it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pressing Seams

I tried out a new quilt block this weekend called the Capital T Block.

T block for Frieda

I always get confused about how to press the seams on new blocks. Pressing to the side works for some things but open seems to work better for others. With the end goal being that the seams do not become overly bulky making it hard to quilt through them.

Do you have a set of rules you follow for pressing seams? Like:
- HST are open
- Geese are always to the side

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Zig Zag Path Block

Nittany Block Party November

Is it really November already? Boy, time files when your quilting with your online friends :) Here is the tutorial I whipped up for my Nittany Block Party quilting bee for the Zig Zag Path block from Maggie Malone's 5500 Quilt Block Designs. Maggie credits Susan Dague with this block circa 1999.

Zig Zag Path (finished)


(3) 5.5” x 5.5” Dark Grey Background Fabric
(3) 5.5” x 5.5” Orange Swirly Fabric
(3) 5.5” x 5.5” Blue or Green Thyme Fabric

**Edit 12/14/2010**
If you want to make a 12.5" finished block use the following measurements:
(3) 5" X 5" Background Fabric
(3) 5" x 5" Orange Fabric (A)
(3) 5" x 5" Blue or Green Fabric

This will give you wiggle room when you square up your half-square triangles to 4.5". Additional instructions for making a 12.5" finished square are in italics below.

9 5.5" squares

Making Half-Square Triangles

One of the grey background squares set aside for the middle square of this nine-patch block. Then take the remaining (8) 5.5” squares and create the following pairs (right-sides of the fabric facing one another.

(2) green and orange
(1) green and grey
(1) orange and grey

Step 1: Right-sides facing

*Note: The green, blue and orange fabrics are directional prints. We want to make sure they are going in the same direction when we place the right sides facing. Take a look at the folded over edges in the photo above. The green fabric’s print is going up and down with the bulb part at the top. The orange print’s swirls are also going up and down with the fatter part of the swirl at the top.

Get your ruler and marking pencil

Now take you ruler and marking pencil and create a diagonal line down the centers of the squares. This is a 45-degree line down the center of the square.

Line up along the diagonal

Use your washable pencil to make the guideline

You will be sewing 1/4" seams on either side of this line. Start off by placing your first paired square underneath your sewing machine’s foot. Align the guideline mark to the right where it touches the 1/4” guide on the foot.

Line up guideline at the 1/4" mark

Sew from one corner of the square along the guideline to the other corner. Now, you might normally pull off the finished square and add the second one. During which you would have to cut the thread to remove the square completely from the sewing machine.

Let us chain piece these squares instead. Chain piecing is where you keep feeding your squares or pieces of paired fabric though the foot of your machine. It creates this long line of stitched pieces. It speeds up piecing because you are not stopping to cut away each individual piece after you sew it together.

Now back to your freshly sewn squares sitting just past your foot. Pull slightly on the finished square to pull it a little away from the needle and foot area. This will give you a little slack in the thread between your first sewn set of squares and the next.

Then lift up your foot slightly and slide in the second set of squares to be sewn under the foot. You align the guideline to the right of the foot at the 1/4” again. Now slowly start to sew.

You can easily chain piece these

Repeat these steps for the third and fourth sets of squares.

In the end, you have all four sets sewn connected to one another by small sections of thread.

Result of chain piecing

All tied together

Now before you take that last square off, you can cut it away from the rest of the chain and continue to chain the squares through to sew the other seam for the Half Square Triangles.

Before removing the final square

Leaving the fourth set of squares under your foot. Cut the threads between the three sets still on the chain.

Pull slightly on the squares still under your foot a little away from the needle and foot area. This will give you a little slack in the thread between your last set of sewn squares and the next.

Then lift up your foot slightly and slide a set squares to be sewn under the foot. You align the guideline to the right of the foot at the 1/4” again. Since you have already sewn one seam down the square you will need to sew another seam on the opposite side. Once the square is under your foot, slowly start to sew.

Start sewing your second seam

Cut away the square that has only one seam sewn of the front of you new chain. Then chain sew the other three squares. Once again, you already have one seam done on the remaining three squares. Feed the squares into the foot so that the new seam is on the opposite side.

You do not have to do the chain sewing at all. I just like to do it because it makes piecing go faster.

You should now have four squares with two seams on each square.

All seams finished

Take them to your cutting matt. Place your rotary cutter ruler a square where the 1/4” line is aligned with one of your seams.

Place your ruler on the seam

The edge of the ruler should be aligned with the center guideline you drew. Cut the square in half creating two triangles.

After cutting

Cut all three remaining squares the same way. You should end up with 8 triangles.

Finished cutting

Take your triangles to your ironing board and press the seams out. Flip it over to the right side facing you and press flat.

Press seams open

You have finished 8 Half Square Triangles, HST for short :)

You now have 8 HST

We are going to square up our HSTs a little before combining them to make the finished Zig Zag Path block. So take out your trusty ruler that has a 45-degree line across it. I use my 6” square-up block.

With the right side of the fabric facing you, place the 45-degree guideline of the ruler on the diagonal seam of the HST. Move your squaring template so that you have a little bit of fabric on the side and bottom past the 5” marks of the template. You should see excess fabric now at the top and side.

**Edit 12/14/2010** If you are making a 12.5" finished block, square up your HSTs to 4.5".

Square up

Cut off the top and side excess with your rotary blade using the sides of the template as guide. Then flip the template around and align the 45 degree guideline with your center diagonal seam. Align the 5” marks of the template with the sides you just cut the excess off.

You should see excess on the bottom and side of the block now. Once again use your rotary cutter and template to cut away the excess.

Repeat the squaring up process on your 7 remaining HSTs AND the 5.5” grey background square we set aside earlier. You should end up with a pile of small slivers like this :)

**Edit 12/14/2010** If you are making a 12.5" finished block, cut your center background square to 4.5" too.


Now arrange your HSTs and the one solid grey block in the following configuration:

All three rows in place

Sew the rows in the following order, pressing the seams open after each step.

Flip center vertical row on 1st row

Flip the final vertical row

Horizontal Rows finished

Flip top horizontal row down onto middle on

1st and Middle row attached

Flip bottom row up onto center row

You now have the final Zig Zag Path (nine patch) block :)

Zig Zag Path (finished)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Summer Bees

Make you feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine of my mind-ind :)

- Seals and Crofts (1972)

Just a little eye candy for you all. These are all the quilting bee blocks that I have finished over the summer.

1. Bee Addicted 2 September Block 3, 2. Bee Addicted 2 September Block 1, 3. Bee Addicted 2 September Block 2, 4. Bee Addicted August Block 1, 5. Circuit Block Party Block 1 August, 6. Circuit Block Party Block 2 August, 7. Scraptastic Bee September Block 1, 8. Scraptastic Bee September Block 2, 9. Scraptastic Bee August Block 1, 10. Scraptastic Bee August Block 2, 11. Spider Bee July 1, 12. Circuit Block Party July 1, 13. Circuit Block Party July 2, 14. Pinwheel Star for Beatnik Bee July, 15. Half Log Cabin for Nittany Block Party July, 16. Asterisk Blocks for Bee Addicted 2 July, 17. Wonky Star for July Scraptastic Bee, 18. Spider Bee June 3, 19. Bee Liberated: July, 20. Nittany Block Party: June, 21. Bee Liberated: June, 22. Bee Liberated: June #2, 23. Beatnik Bee: June, 24. Bee Addicted 2: June Extras, 25. Bee Addicted 2: June, 26. Bee Addicted 2: June, 27. Scraptastic Bee: June, 28. 3 X 6 Bee Block for Michellesews, 29. 3 X 6 Bee Block for Daveandsusi, 30. 3 X 6 Bee Block for funkygoodstuff, 31. 3 X 6 Bee Block for Quiltedoma, 32. 3 X 6 Bee Block for Chmihen, 33. 3 X 6 Bee Block for Neetermo

And just so you all are not worrying, I delivered our son without complications in early August. We have been limiting where we are posting pictures and detailed information about our son to only those places that are secure. We are trying to be careful. Thanks for understanding :)
In case it takes me a little while to get back here to post, have an excellent fall!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

9 Months

The Chairs

Heidi at 36 Weeks Pregnant

Well, here I am at 9 months with Little E! We went to the PSU Arboretum to get some photos taken by our friend Dave. He is a really good photographer. Check out his Flickr photos...

Oh and to top things off the kitchen remodel is going swimmingly :) Here's a sneeky-peek into how it looks:

From Theatre Room View

From Foyer View

From Dining Room View

Backsplash Tile

Not much else going on here except getting ready to have Little E. I am hoping to get to some sewing this week and weekend. Let's see if Little E cooperates and gives me enough energy to do that ;)