Sunday, March 31, 2013

ONE NEW THING WEEK 14's something that has been on my list for ages!  A Sparkle Punch baby quilt! I loved Elizabeth's Sparkle Punch quilt when I first saw it. However, the thought of making all those stars was overwhelming. I love star blocks - I just don't like making them, and a baby-size quilt seemed more do-able! I put together this stack...

(Oh how I love making fabric stacks!)  This is quite different from what I usually pick, but I keep picturing the quilt in a softer colour palette!  I decided to make the stars a bit smaller - I'm cutting my squares at 3 inches instead of 3 1/2 inches.  I haven't really done any math for this - I have a rough idea of the size of the finished quilt in my head and just started cutting (how unlike me)!  Here's what I have so far...
Love it!  I spent a few hours this afternoon making star points. I have a bad habit of giving the points too much 'wonk' (is that a word?) and find I have to re-do some of them which is so !#$%^& frustrating!  I'm challening myself to finish up the top by the end of the week!
And...I managed to make about 50 of these this past week...
I bought the bunny cookie cutter a few years ago and finally got around to using it!  These turned out great and I had tons of fun making them!
Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I have a confession...I don't sort my scraps...
They all just get tossed into a bin like this.  I do have a 'girl' one and a 'boy' one, though.  I do go through them from time to time, especially when I'm desperately searching for a little piece of something to help out with something I'm working on.  These tubs get moved from room to room but found a permanent home in my new sewing room (pictures to come, I promise)!  These poor little scraps just keep on getting squished and more squished as I add to the tub! 

Last week I picked up this magazine...
(It already looks a little dog-eared, doesn't it?).  I came upon this quilt and just fell in love...
Of course, it's by none other than my most favourite quilter of all time and the person responsible for changing the way I make quilts, Amanda Jean!  And then...I had a lightbulb moment!  What a perfect way to use up some of my poor little neglected scraps! Anyway, down I sat at my machine with my 'girl' tub sitting beside me on the floor. I decided that for once I wasn't going to make any rules with regard to colour, print, pattern, etc. I was just going to grab a piece of fabric and sew it to the next.  I consider myself a little on the conservative side when it comes to colour so I wasn't sure I would be able to follow through.  Well, wouldn't you know, I had a blast just grabbing pieces without any thought to colour, print, pattern, etc. I made a few little test strips as per the instructions and loved them. Aren't they cute!
 To make things a little easier, I spent a bit of time cutting strips...
The instructions are to use FQs cut into strips so I thought this might make it go a little quicker.  Oh this is going to be fun, fun, fun!  I'm planning on just a small baby quilt but I can't wait to get this one finished! I love the look of scrappy quilts but didn't really think I had it in me to make one!
(Oh yeah, Week 13!  We're already a quarter of the way through the year! Yikes!)

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Okay...let me preface this post by saying by no means am I a professional.  But I have made hundreds of quilts! I love reading quilting blogs and I love looking at tutorials. I have to say, though, that I'm often perplexed when I see how people finish off the ends of their quilt binding.  Perhaps they haven't come across this method, but I use it for every quilt I make.  I first saw this method in 'Happy Endings' by Mimi Dietrich.  It's really very easy - and foolproof in my opinion.  I'm not going to go over how to make binding, attach it, mitering corners, etc. This tutorial strictly shows you how to attach the ends of the quilt binding.  Here we go... 

Firstly, leave about a 10 inch tail at the beginning and end of your binding. You will need this extra length to manoeuvre the binding. After you have attached your binding remove any selvedge edges. 
Next, overlap the left side of the binding over the right side.  You want an overlap equal to the width of your binding less 1/4 inch.  In my case, my binding was 2 1/4 inches so I have an overlap of 2 inches.

Then cut the top piece of the binding.  Don't be scared!!! The next photo shows my 2 inch overlap...
You now have the top piece of the binding overlapping the bottom piece. the two ends right side together just as when attaching binding strips together.  Pin and draw a diagonal line from corner to corner like this... on the diagonal line.  Try not to "stretch" your binding strips when doing this as your binding may end up too long. This part can be a little tricky and awkward. You might feel you need a third hand! If you don't have enough extra binding to manoeuvre properly, just unpick a bit from the quilt!
Before trimming, open up the binding and lay it down on the quilt to make sure it's not twisted...

If it's not twisted, open it back up and trim with a 1/4 inch allowance. I just use scissors...!

Then, press the seam open (I just give it a good finger press)!
Now, lay the binding back down on the edge of the quilt and stitch it down...
It should fit perfectly! (Please ignore my wobbly stitching line - I was balancing a fairly large camera on my lap!)  And ta-da - a beautifully finished binding.  You will never be able to tell where the start and finish of your binding is!
Isn't my scissor fob cute!  It's from my friend, Caroline, who has a sweet little Etsy shop here where you can find scissor fobs and lots of other gorgeous items!
Anyway...I hope this was easy to follow!  Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or check out the book mentioned above!  There are tons of great finishing tips to be found!

Friday, March 15, 2013


I finished my Posey granny square quilt and I'm in love!  I think this is my most favourite quilt I have made yet!  I also discovered my love for lavender!  Here it is...
The rainy weather made it difficult to get a good shot. This is the best I could do.  I found the inspiration for this quilt here! I love her style (and she's Canadian, too)! 
I've been working on my hand quilting (see previous post)!  I'm having a few issues - I think I need a different needle - I think the one I'm using is too long. Also, my thimble keeps falling off!  I've never been able to get used to sewing with a thimble.  I remember my mom using one all the time but I can't seem to get the hang of it. It feels awkward and strange and my fingertip gets all hot!
 I just finished up this top (more granny squares) and I think it just begs for hand quilting...
I'm determined to get the hang of it!
Linking up with Amanda Jean today!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


This week I'm determined to master something that has been on my list pretty much since I started quilting about seven years ago!  Wait for's hand quilting!  I love the look of vintage quilts with hand quilting.  I've tried before - not very successfully - but I'm determined.  I've bought books, borrowed books, watched tutorials, etc.  It wasn't until I found a tutorial from this website that I felt ready to try again! While watching her video, which is really well done, I had a lightbulb moment and I feel ready to give it another go.  I thought it might be a good idea to try it out on a smaller project so I whipped up this...
I can't seem to get enough of these granny squares lately.  I thought this might make a cute little 'mug rug' for my new sewing room. (Sorry, no pictures yet...but I promise! I'm still tweaking things a bit!) I bought this fabric years ago on a trip to Seattle. I made a sweet little quilt with it and have been saving the leftovers for something special!  I backed it with Kona snow so I'll be able to see my stitches easily to see how I'm doing!  I basted it with thread and used bamboo batting.  I'm going to try it sans hoop!  I've seen hand quilting done with and without a hoop and I'd like to see how I do without a hoop to start off.  I had an incredibly busy week so I didn't get a chance to actually start on the quilting!  I hope to get a chance in the next day or two and will post pictures of my progress. Wish me luck!!!
Also, is anyone in the market for a tabbie cat...I have one free to a good home!
Just kidding!  This guy is forever lurking about in my sewing room.  As soon as I open the door, in he goes.  I actually enjoy the company (most of the time)!  He usually sits on my cutting table and watches me sew!  He also likes to go where I can't reach him. He often goes in behind my WIPs hanging on my quilt ladder (like in this picture)! It's funny how they know how to stay just out of reach.  He's napping on the ironing board right now - his favourite spot! He knows he's not allowed in there unsupervised but sometimes I give in!

Friday, March 8, 2013


I love linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday!  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish anything this week except for this little top...

I'm so happy with the way this came together.  I bought two mini charm packs of Posey with no idea what I was going to do with them.  I picked up this pretty lavender Kona (I can't remember the name of it now) and tried a few different layouts.  I couldn't come up with anything I liked so I tucked them away.  Then...I saw this quilt and fell in love with it! I love making these little granny squares - they come together really quickly!  I think this is the first time I've used purple in a quilt and I quite like it!  I'm not sure what to put on the back.  I want to get this one finished up and don't want to wait for Posey yardage. I have some of the lavender Kona leftover so that may have to do!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Well...I finally felt brave enough to tackle my Y-seams!  I have to say...I was pleasantly surprised!  I really had no trouble. Yes, they are a little finicky and you really have to pay attention - it's easy to line up the hexies incorrectly.  And believe me, you don't want to have to pick these apart.  About halfway through I realized my machine was having some tension issues. I had to pick out an entire row and as I had used smaller stitches I nearly went blind. (Note to self:  Check tension on underside when sewing hexagons.) Anyway, aside from being a little tedious, it's not an unpleasant process. 

I think maybe next time I'll cut them bigger - each row took half an hour to sew together! Or perhaps a doll quilt!!! I used the tutorial found here. The only thing I did different was not press my seams open when joining the hexies in a row.  The seams just get in the way when they are pressed open.  Anyway, that's what worked for me! Overall, I say WHY NOT! to Y-seams!
Also, I've been having fun making these...

I just love these little mini granny squares!  I use the method found here. Mine finish at 6 1/4 inches.  I think they are so sweet and I can't wait to finish these and get this quilt put together. I think it's going to be one of my favourites! Now that my brand-new sewing room is almost complete, I'm hoping that my productivity will increase!  I'm not quite ready to show you some pictures, but it's coming together almost exactly how I planned.  It's so nice having a dedicated room for my sewing.  No more searching for fabric, buying duplicate fabric (not such a bad thing), etc.!

Friday, March 1, 2013


Hurray - A Finish!!! This is another one of those quilts that's been on my list for ages!  I really like how this one turned out...

I used some of my Ann Kelle prints - I love these fabrics and I see there are new ones available.  Time for a little retail therapy!  This quilt came together so easily and it was tons of fun to make!  Now...back to those @#$%^&& Y-seams!
Linking up with Amanda Jean!