Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas trees and other goodies

 Today I'm working on Christmas items... These cute little stuffed trees will be decoration at Demo Days. The shop carries the book that has this pattern and lots of other cute ones.
 These trees are small... not a lot larger than my spool of thread. We're going to make quite a few and string them like garland.
 This pile of strip scraps is being turned into a second Christmas quilt. I'm doing one in just Christmas fabric but using the pattern I used to make my Blue Strip quilt. If you haven't tried strip piecing, you should! MINDLESS (my favorite type of sewing).
 These are some of the strip blocks that are done and trimmed. Some of the fabrics are from the 80's... time to use THOSE up!
Below is how I'll put them together... every 4 strip blocks put together like this form a diamond...  4 diamonds across and 4 down (64 blocks total). It should be about 72" square which is a pretty good size for a lap quilt. Since I build my blocks on muslin, I won't need to use any batting. I'll probably find a nice flannel for the back.... that will make it cozy.

 And if you know how I sew... one project at a time is unheard of! SOOOO... I'm also working on this tablerunner that is on my ironing board. The light aqua is the background of the triangle trees... there will be an aqua border with tree trunks built in and then maybe another border after that. This is also in the book that has the little stuffed tree garland. I can't remember the name but they will have it at Demo Days at Hearts to Holly. I could have made about 5 things from that book... cute wall quilt... nice pillows... a snowman lap quilt... just lots of great items. When I find out the name of the book I'll update this post.
And here is my only purchase when I went to another quilt shop in my area... I was looking for something different to add to my Christmas quilt and found this pretty string of lights fabric. Bought a 1/2 yard of it... just enough to play with.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hexagon Christmas Tree pillow

Al and I are PUP sitting for our daughter's dog, Harrison (Harry for short). She and Jon have taken off for London to get in a last trip before starting a family. They know once they have children, the trips won't happen... at least not for a while. So Harry is here for 10 days or so... 10 LONG days. He's a bundle of energy!
Al is working today so I'm the entertainment committee for the day. We played catch and fetch and tug-a-war............ and now I'm pooped. Figured I could do some hand sewing while he relaxes on a quilt.
This is a Christmas Tree Pillow that I'm making as a shop sample. It's just 1" hexagon pieces put together in rows of 1, then 2 then 3... continuing until row 6. Add a final brown hexi as the trunk. This is an English Paper Piecing (EPP) method (you can see a how-to at with this link)... applique the tree to a background... layer with batting and a muslin backing. Quilt using floss through all layers. Then turn it into a pillow and stuff. You could add sparkly beads at the hexagon junctions... but with a puppy here, I know he'd just try to nibble them off. I've already pulled pins out of his mouth when he grabbed one of my pincushions.
I'll post of picture of the finished pillow when it's done.... WITH ANY LUCK, that will be today :/

UPDATE, same day evening: Finished up the pillow with lots of help from Harry (yeah, right!). Here it is...

Did a little machine quilting too... I like adding swirls of snow or wind. Harry didn't want me to add the piping... he was having too much fun grabbing it and running.

Monday, November 11, 2013

FREE Mug Rug Patterns and Ideas

While I was working today, a lady came in asking about MUG RUG patterns. I mentioned that I have a few free ones on my blog. This COULD be one... with all the work that went into it, I call it a mini quilt but it's mug rug size.

After thinking about all the mug rugs I've made, I thought maybe I should have a page that tells where they are because even I couldn't find them easily.

SO, here it is:

Aqua & Red Hexagon Flower Mug Rug

Dr. Seuss Mug Rug Ideas

More Dr. Seuss Ideas

Dr. Seuss Crazy Quilt Mug Rug


Christmas Ornament Mug Rug Free Pattern

64 Patch Mug Rug Idea - This is just 1-1/2" squares stitched together to make an 8" block then turned into a mug rug.

Teapot Paper Piecing block to make into a mug rug - Sometimes I use these paper piecing block (if they are about 8") to use as the front of my mug rug.. and sometimes I add a small border first.

Paper Pieced Coffee Cup Mug Rug Idea - No pattern for this but I found a free paper pieced coffee cup block online and added a strip to all sides to create a mug rug.

Hope this helps. As I do more or find more, I'll add them on here. Pretty much any small block can be bordered and then finished off like a miniature placemat to make a mug rug. I grab them all the time to use on my coffee table. They hold so much more than a coaster (you know, all the cookies and treats that go with coffee;).

Happy Veteran's Day

Dad in the Navy 1950's Korean War
Wishing all the Veterans a good day.
Thank you for all you are doing and all you have done!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Stitching

 Jenn and Harry came for a visit today. He was in DESPERATE need of his own bed...
I spotted a cute one on Pinterest so we made a similar one. Well, when I say we I mean Al. This is the pic of what we wanted:

We forwarded the picture to Al and "presto"'s done. He's so talented! It just needs that gray wash and Harrison's name stenciled on it.
So, Jenn and Harry headed home.. We made a real mess in the sewing room so I'm going to spend some time cleaning and playing with my fabrics.

I have a few new ones from the shop... have to decide what I want to make. Aren't they cute? It's called Bluebird Park from MODA. Hearts to Holly has it in stock and in the popular HOLLY BUNCHES (12 FQs).

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Modern Male Quilter and Teacher in Charlevoix

Gregg is a quilter and teacher in northern Michigan who was teaching a class at Hearts to Holly. This is a blue ONE BLOCK WONDER that Gregg made in about 4 days. This was a stripe fabric... turned out so pretty!
 This is another of his quilts... this class was a few weeks ago. I just love this one. Emily from the shop, made it in black and white with lime... really nice also!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Making something out of nothing

Yesterday I had a little time before Al and I headed to Jenn's house to help pass out candy for Halloween. There were a couple of blocks that needed finishing up and one that needed applique pieces basted to it so that I could hand stitch them down on our way to Traverse City... it takes us about an hour. Usually I grab some hand sewing so that I'm not bored in the car.
Well, finished up preparing that and still had some time to spare. I was looking at this pile of trash and thought... wonder if I could make something from that... kind of a challenge to myself.
So I started a crazy quilt block... just adding one piece next to another and another (even putting in some of the selvages) until I had a nice big piece.
Trimmed it down to an 8-1/2" square.
Well, now what? Thought about putting into my box of orphan blocks (yes, I have a box of those) but I still had time before we were leaving so I decided it would make a cute mug rug for my sewing room.
I kind of have a Dr. Seuss theme going in there... a Dr. Seuss quilt my sister made me... a matching pillow my sister made ... a Dr. Seuss picture frame my sister bought me (huh, seems to be a theme here too :).. a bunch of Dr. Seuss books and stuffed animals..  YUP, needed a matching mug rug.
I dug through my scraps of batting (yes, I save all of those too).
 And dug through my leftover panel pieces to come up with a backing piece (looks like a picture of Al and I waiting for the kids to visit)...
Gave it a quick quilting...
Then dug through my leftover binding pieces (got a box of those too)...
and ended up with this:
 Stitched the binding down on the way to Jenn's house......
And here's the funniest part. Al saw it and said "you're not giving that away, are you?.. It's too nice".
Sometimes I could just kiss that man!

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...