Sunday, April 25, 2021

Hand and machine quilting my quilt

Im quilting my Stars Upon Stars quilt using a combination of hand and machine quilting. 
I couldn't make up my mind how I wanted this quilt quilted so I'm doing both. And I am REALLY out of practice with the hand work. But that's OK...I'm willing to have this scrap quilt be less than perfect. 
The thread I'm using is a first for me. It's very rough...natural feeling...almost like burlap but in a pretty Greige color. It was a gift from a quilty friend. I've been waiting to try it out. 
I'm hoping I dont run out of this thread because it doesn't have a label and I haven't seen it at any stores locally. If anyone knows what it is, I love to know! So for now I'm using it just here and there. I may switch to a perle cotton to do some detail quilting later.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Finished the scrappy hexagon quilt top

The Scrappy Hexagon Quilt top is finished!
If you'd like to make a similar quilt, I have the how-to here:
I debated over adding a border, just to the top and bottom to make it longer. My daughters both decided they preferred it border. So that meant I needed to do an extra row of hexagons (2 rows of triangles). I had 22 extra triangles but needed 28 to do a row that starts and ends with a diamond.

So two nights ago I started sewing and cutting, I was determined to get 6 scrappy triangles made.

After making them I thought I would push myself to make the two rows so that they were ready to attach in the morning. Well, I couldn't stop. I stayed up until the top was done. 
And that feels SO good! Done! I'm looking through backing pieces now to see what in my stash will work. It would be wonderful to make another quilt strictly from stash and scraps. I'm sure I'll find something.
Since the top was finished the night before, I ask Al if he would like to head out for a drive.. See the coast of Michigan south of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. This is less than 45 minutes from us and just a GORGEOUS area. He said SURE, why not!
His knees are acting up so he couldn't climb any steps but I just couldnt resist!

 The view was unbelievable! My heart was hammering like crazy when I got to the top (I think I need to do a bit more exercising, I'm out of shape). I wished I had counted the steps...there were SO MANY!  

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Scrappy Hexagon quilt progress

The Scrappy Hexagon quilt is progressing. HOW-TO post is the one before this.
 I'm digging through the final 1-1/2" scrap strips to make enough triangles to complete the top.

I took a little time away from the quilt to make a mug rug. Ever feel the need to just have a finish? Me too. 

I had a pile of little short scraps collecting on the cutting table. I was ready to toss them in the garbage when it occured to me they might make a scrappy block. I don't need just one odd scrappy block so I decided on a new mug rug....can't have too many of those.

 So now I'm at the final part of the top. I have 5 rows of hexagons. The quilt is about 60" long and 70 wide. 

I've been looking at it, trying to decide between a top/bottom border, no border with an extra row of hexagons or something else.

My daughters both said NO BORDERS! Well, I guess I'll take their advice and do one more row of hexagons, which kind of throws off the symmetry that I usually do. The top will now end with a row that has diamonds on each end. Personally, I would of liked DIAMOND rows to be interior rows. But to do that I would have to a 7th row after this addition. Too large for my purposes and for the amount of scraps I have left.

I'll add the 6th row today and see how I like it. (I call it the 6th row even though it's really the 11th and 12th rows...2 pieced triangle rows needed to make a hexagon row)

I'll let you know how it goes🙈

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Scrap Happy Quilt Tutorial

Scrap Happy Hexagon Quilt

I had a pile of 1-1/2" scrap strips and needed a quilt to use up some (so that I could close the box😂). I guess I could have found a bigger box as someone suggested...
Well, this is the quilt I came up with. It uses the strips, a solid background and one template. (This picture, above, is sideways)
Today is NATIONAL QUILTING DAY so in honor of that, I'm posting a FREE tutorial here to make this quilt.

This is a Fons and Porter template that measures 6-1/2' high. All sides are equal (60° angles). Any 6-1/2" equilateral triangle template will do. 
I DO sort my scraps a bit. I make my scrap quilts using LIKE scraps...either all brights or all muted or vintage...I rarely mix civil war, for example, with brights. I just dont feel they belong together. If a scrap doesn't FEEL right to you, dont use it. And if you really don't like a scrap, get rid of probably won't like it in your quilt. 
So to start I dig through my scraps and sew the strips together until i have a tall enough piece...i lay the template on it once in a while to make sure everything is long enough. 

Another option if you have LONG strip pieces, is to sew them together lengthwise into one long scrappy strip (at least 6-1/2" tall and 8" wide).

After sewing enough strips, press them all one way.
Now cut your triangle pieces out.
The hexagons are made up of 6 of these triangles. Three are stitched together then a background spacer then another three.

 The next row will complete a hexagon WITHOUT you doing any Y seams.  But pay attention to the direction the triangles are placed. 
NOTE: Row 1 & 2 are identical, just flipped. Row 3 & 4 are also identical.

For the background, cut 6-1/2" wide x W.O.F. strips. Cut out triangles using the same acrylic template.

For the edge pieces (beginning and end pieces of each row), you need to cut 1/2 triangles BUT make sure you use the line 1/4" from center so that you have a triangle with a seam allowance. See below.
It takes two rows to complete the hexagons. Each row makes either the top half or the bottom half.
 I staggered the third and fourth row by starting with a single triangle...this will create a diamond at the beginning and end of row 3-4. You can do it the same as I did or just repeat row 1 and 2. If you repeat 1 & 2, your hexies will be all in a row stacked on top of each other. Just depends on the look you want. 

I'm making 5 large hexies across... So my quilt should be about 70" wide. The hexagons are about 14" wide when finished. I may add an extra 2 rows to get a bit more length ...this will depend on how many scrappy strips I have. 

I'll add some extra pictues tomorrow showing piecing of triangles. Right now it's just a bunch of pieces on my "design" floor.
I'm sewing together row 1. I have five 1/2 hexagons made, a bunch of blue background triangles and 2 background 1/2 triangles (to start and end this row).
If you've sewn triangles together before, you know the points need to stick out and that the stitching is done "ditch to ditch". It's very important to line up the edges correctly. 
If you HAVEN'T, go to Google...key in "sewing triangles together". You'll find some helpful videos.

 If any part of this process is unclear, just let me know. I'll be happy to add details.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Working on the Star Upon Star Quilt

We are back from our SHORT Florida vacation and are SO happy to be home. Usually we're gone for a month and a half but last year we only signed up for 2 weeks because of the virus. And I'm so glad!
So when we arrived back to freezing Michigan, I got started on finishing up my Star Upon Star Quilt.
I put on the final border and am now pin basting it.

This quilt started with some vintage friendship stars I purchased at a resale.They were poorly constructed but the fabrics were adorable. I took them apart, recut the pieces square and put them back together. They went from 6" blocks to a 4-1/2". I had to use some of my vintage stash to make a few more to create the center. The stars were not all facing the same direction so I kept that cute, wonky detail. I like how random they look together. 

I then bordered the center and was going to call it good. After thinking about it, I decided to border it again with a scrappy star.... Loved how it looked. But I figured if I repeated the border one more time, it would bring the quilt up to a more "usable" size. I had used up almost all of my gray solid so I dug in my stash and found the stone color. They worked well together. The final border has some of the gray worked into the points to bring the two border colors make it look intentional. And it kind of looks like a those!. So that's when I called it good...finished! 

This used up a good amount of darker stash and scrap. I found a backing piece in my stash also. It was just a few inches short of working, so I added a few leftover half square triangles to increase the size. That worked! 

Today I should be done with the pin basting so that I can get free motion quilting it this week. I'd love to have a finish by the end of March!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Warming up in Florida

 Al and I are in Florida, warming up from the below zero temps in Michigan. I brought my favorite beach quilt... It's called SUMMER BREEZE and is one of my patterns from 2013. This quilt pattern is SUPER easy, uses 12 FQs and a bit of yardage...15 fabrics in all. I bet it would look cute in cut-up shirts. You know what? I think I'll try that. I need two fast and easy quilts for my grandsons bunk beds. This will be a perfect pattern!

So here's the weather we left behind...looks pretty but SO cold!

I'm so grateful that we were able to make our yearly trip down here. It won't be as long as usual but it's better than nothing. I hope you are all keeping warm and dry. I've been reading about the cold going down to southern TX! And the ice! Stay safe everyone!

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Stitched up "Sewing to go" bag

I found this cute sewing supplies tin at Home Goods last week. It's perfect to hold my epp papers, thread, scissors, etc for trips and car rides.

I loaded it up with everything I need for English paper piecing.

I have a bag of scraps and strips that need to become hexagon flowers but there wasn't enough room in the tin for this, I decided to make a tote to hold the tin and the fabric.
It turned out perfect. I needed something to sew at the end of the zipper I had inserted. The L.L. Bean label is from a shirt I cut up for works perfectly. 


The purple quilt is finished!

This purple scrap jar stars quilt is now in the completed pile! 
It's going to my niece who saw it and absolutely LOVED it. She's moving into a new home soon and her favorite color is purple...seems it was desitined for her!
This is my first finish of 2021 and of the first quarter so I'm tagging it as a #finishalong quarter 1 finish. I started this quilt about three years ago to use up my purple scrap box. I don't have much in that color...most of my scraps are blue. Maybe a blue scrappy quilt next?


Thursday, February 4, 2021

The sewing room is finished!

 The flooring (carpet) finally came and now the basement is done including my sewing room! I'm so excited to start working in here.

I've spent days pulling things out of boxes and arranging cabinets and drawers. The closet is stuffed (not everything fits) so I started filling the guest room closet...that's where I'm hanging my quilt tops that need to be finished. I'll be moving a dresser and chest into the guest room so there's going to be plenty more drawers to stash fabric in (and I'll need it!).

I bought a brand new cutting old one had gotten a little warp to it plus I was starting to wear grooves into it. The best price I found for an Olfa mat (24x36") was at JoAnn Fabrics. They have some for $79 and with my 50% off coupon it was about 40...not bad. 

I'm still quilting the purple quilt. I do a bit at a time because if I work at it consistently, I end up with a back ache. It's almost done...maybe another hour.

Hopefully the TV will get put together soon...I'll be able to sew at my machine and see it straight ahead. I love to do that but I also like to have company downstairs. Al can watch TV and I can sew. Today he was hanging blinds and pictures while I quilted. 
Below is the TV room looking into my sewing room. I dont have a door closing it off...I wanted to be open to whatever is going on. 
Those sidelights, surrounding the opening, are doors that were marked down at our local lumber yard. Someone ordered them then didn't want them. They were in the clearance room for REALLY CHEAP. So, I decided to put them on display this way. They're really beautiful wood doors with beveled glass. They're fixed...just a pretty architectural accent.

We still have plenty of small projects to finish up down here but we're 85% done. Done enough to enjoy it!

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Pin basting a purple quilt


I decided to start quilting one of my finished tops that were piling up, ready to topple over. So I chose this purple Scrap Jar Stars quilt. It's a fun pattern that I've used a few times...once with rainbow colors, once with red, white and blue and this one, all purple scraps with a low volume background.
Purple isn't a color I work with much although I do like it. So making this quilt pretty much used up my supply of purple scraps.

I think I may do one more to use up some aqua scraps. That pile is HUGE!

So this is on the floor upstairs in the dining area...sewing room still needs flooring.😣
The carpet guys told us they would install last Thursday but then someone measured wrong and the carpet they received isn't enough to do our three rooms downstairs. they say maybe in a few days if they can figure how to make it work OR a few weeks to get in more carpet. Let's hope they can make it work. 
I REALLY, REALLY want to start using my sewing room!
So before I started pinning this quilt, I dragged a bunch of tops out. I couldn't decide which to quilt next. I posted this picture on Instagram when I was trying to decide. Then I remembered my niece is moving into her new house very soon...AND she loves purple! 
So that settled it...I'll finish up this one and give it to her as a surprise housewarming gift.
Well, as it was posted on IG, she spotted it and said "LOVE that purple one!" Perfect! 
It has a new home to go to. 

Now to get it done.....

Sunday, January 17, 2021

January birthdays


Dad turned 90 this past week! It would have been nice to have a big party and lots of family around but you know, COVID😣.
So we celebrated quietly with just a few of us and all being very careful...keeping our distance. Dad should be able to get the vaccine but who knows when there will be enough so that his turn comes. Dad probably prefers a quiet celebration...he never likes us to make a fuss. Soooo..
Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Dad! 

The other birthday is one of my younger brothers, who turns 55!! You're officially a senior citizen, Karl! Now you can get discounts🙈😂😂 if you're willing to admit how old you are! 
Happy birthday 🎂!

I've been working with Al on painting the lower level (cant call it a basement anymore! He's done such a nice job).
I just started cutting in the walls. Maybe he'll get those rolled today. And he cut shelves for my closet and hung the door. Getting close to the end! 

Hand and machine quilting my quilt

Im quilting my Stars Upon Stars quilt using a combination of hand and machine quilting.  I couldn't make up my mind how I wanted this qu...