Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chattertime at Hearts to Holly in Charlevoix

One of my good "internet" friends asked about Chattertime. The last time I was there I took a few sneaky pics... We have a wonderful classroom where we can meet almost every Friday morning. Sue provides a treat (her sister is the best baker!) and coffee. We have show and tell. Sue shows us the newest fabrics, tools or tells us about trips, specials, sales, etc. Mostly we chat and eat. OH, we stitch too :) Some of us bring hand sewing.. some of us just come for the food and friends. If you're ever visiting on a Friday morning, stop in and join us.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Making Fans and Plates

We had our monthly guild meeting last night and Hearts To Holly Quilt Shop did demos of popular templates and tools. Since I was doing one of the demos, Sue let me choose what tool or template I would like to show. My favorite (right now) is the Fantastic Fan. It comes in 3 sizes and I've tried them all. This is a quilt center I made using the 12" size (makes a 24" plate): And this is the smallest size that I had... 3" fan (6-1/2" plate):I'm really hooked on making these. The one above will probably be turned into a summer mug rug since it's so colorful.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Catching up on projects plus goodies from swaps

Here's some pretty Charlevoix fabrics that I wanted to use for my second quilt. The first is already half (well, maybe 3rd) of the way done. Yesterday when I was working we ran out of some of my FAVORITE fabric... the light blue waves that are in this picture. I'm now on a search for it because it's the main fabric of this quilt (or was). I wanted it mostly blue and yellow with splashes of the red. Today I picked up the yellow floral. I already had the yellow stripe and the reds. I may have to work in the other blue in place of the waves. I like it but I didn't want to have two florals of the same pattern in the quilt.
Another project finished up today... the rug I've been crocheting using scrap strips. It's finally big enough. It was supposed to go in the girls bathroom but it's been hanging out in my sewing room so long, I think that's where it'll stay. Check off another project FINISHED! Now I need to start on the rug for DD2.
Lately I've gotten some wonderful squishy mail. Pat sent me two beautiful mug rugs, Sharon sent me some pretty green happy blocks I won on scrappyandhappy (yahoo group) and Dorian sent me this cheery mug rug in my favorite color of aqua for the mug rug swap on Quilt and Needle (Thank you so much Dorian). Yup, it's been wonderful getting the mail :)
And now another Happy Block swap has started. It was my choice this time and since I'm just dying for summer to get here, I thought I would do a summery swap. Here's my blocks: Fruits or veggies in the center and picnic tablecloth type designs for the outer fabric. I would love to do a quilt for myself out of these... to take in the summer to the beach.. hmmm.. might have to start another project.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Surprises in the mail

Look what came in yesterday's mail!! I found two mug rugs from Pat.. we swapped mug rug sets on our Yahoo group and these were two that I was just WISHING we going to be mine. It's a secret swap so we don't know who our partners are until the mug rugs arrive. Pat had posted a picture a while ago and said she had mailed them out... well.. I kept waiting and watching for something to arrive and it didn't.. I figured someone else had been the recipient of these beauties. Then she posted yesterday that her mug rugs were taking quite a long time to arrive at ____'s house but she had confirmation that yesterday they had been delivered. I thought, MAYBE, they would be at my house. I worked till 4:30 then went to a friend's house right from work. When I arrived home around 7 I checked the mailbox... nothing... then the kitchen counter..nothing. Al was at work and when he got home at 10 he had the mail with him. WELL, there was the package for me, FROM PAT! I was so excited!
If you look closely, the roses in the mugs are Charlevoix fabric and I'm nuts about that stuff. Right now I'm working on two coordinating twin quilts using some of the fabrics. One of the quilts is peach/coral with blue. The other will be blues and yellows. Here's a picture of the blocks for the first quilt. Now don't those mug rugs look perfect with it? I think these mug rugs will have to go on the night stands in the guest room where the quilts will be (this will be in the new house). Sure hope no coffee or tea mugs sit on these.. water should be ok. Thank you, Pat! :)Yesterday after work I stopped at a friends house. We trade fabrics every so often. She knows I'm collecting 30's reproductions for my seven sisters quilt so she had me come by to pick some out. She has quite a large collection of them... lots of different ones. We had a great time chatting about quilts and fabrics and quilt shows. She told me how she once got 3rd place (or so) in an ugly quilt contest (her first quilt, before she took any classes). It's hard to believe she could make one that bad because her quilts are perfection! She has loads of beautiful quilts on beds and walls in her house. It was like going to a quilt show.. inspired me to get some more UFOs finished up. Maybe I can get one of these Charlevoix quilts finished by the time we have our quilt show this summer. This is just SOME of the pieces she gave me... aren't they nice?
NOW, since I won the happy block swap on Scrappy and Happy, I get to choose the theme of the next happy blocks. I was thinking about it all day yesterday and decided on doing "Summer Fruits and Veggies". Digging through my stash, I found a pile of fabrics that I think will suit the theme. This should make a nice summer picnic quilt... fruit and veggie centers with dots or checks (think summer tablecloth prints) surrounding them.
Time to get some sewing done... Al is working again today. Chicken soup is simmering on the stove so time for me to get something accomplished.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I Won Happy Blocks :)

Today was a great day... I won the drawing at our Yahoo group for the Happy blocks... This month they were kelly green with yellow centers. These are the four I made. Very springy, don't you think? The colors are better in person. The yellow is bright and cheery and the green is a child's crayon green.. Now the hard part... what to make. Adding a third color to these might be nice but maybe I'll wait till they show up to decide what to do with them.

I made another mug rug, not too long ago. I didn't post it because it was going to my sister and I wasn't sure whether or not she reads this blog... I wanted it to be a surprise. It's pink and cream... very girly (unlike us, right MaryAnn?!). I was playing with some leftover charm squares and decided they looked cute together. So, she told me she's going to hang it up in her dining room turned sewing room.... Another mug rug destined to live out it's life hanging on a wall instead of cozy under a cup of tea...hehe... I should really learn to use darker colors. Who wants to spill coffee and tea on pink and cream? I guess it IS a miniature quilt. Well, off to the sewing room...

Binding Tutorial

Today I worked on a scrappy project... doing the binding on it. The corners of this one aren't 90 degrees and as I was doing them I thought that maybe someone out there would like a tutorial on how to do binding. If you follow this step by step you'll be able to do 90 degree bindings and odd ones too.

I cut my bindings about 1-1/2" to 2" for most projects since I do single layer bindings... in other words, I turn my bindings to the back, turn under the raw edges then stitch them down. Many people do double bindings... they stitch the fabric on double (it's folded in half lengthwise, both raw edges being caught as they go around), then when they turn it to the back, it's already folded on the edge. If you do double bindings, you'll probably be cutting them 2-1/2" or so.

Another choice in binding is cutting it straight along the WOF (width of fabric) or cutting it bias (at a 45 degree angle to the selvage). On this project I cut it straight but I usually prefer bias binding. Either way will work with the tutorial.

Here's a link to it:

Let me know if you have any questions or if I can add pictures to make it clearer. I've helped my daughters to do bindings and I'm hoping that this will help others. Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy.

Finishing the baby's I-Spy quilt

I made the 64 block, stitched the rows together then finished the top but Jenn and I decided to make the quilt a bit bigger. It's 48&q...