Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Splendid Sampler Block 40

The Splendid Sampler Block 40 by Me and My Sister Designs was released today!  Flights of Friendship is a fun little block with a rainbow of colors!  This block is one of the 100 free blocks in the Quilt Along organized by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson!

I could not help but match up an adorable array of colorful items to match the whimsy of the block!




I created my block with colors from my scrap bins, background fabric is a scrappy collage of Zen Chic Modern Backgrounds for Moda Fabrics and I pieced the block using Aurifil 50wt thread in a neutral shade.

You can make this block and all of the thirty nine other blocks for free by visiting The Splendid Sampler! There are two blocks released every week on Sunday and Thursday.  This is a mystery block!  You never know what will be coming your way until the day of release!  Could be appliqué or pieced!  Might be a paper pieced or embroidery block.  I have found this to be an EXCELLENT skill building event!

You will enjoy this very active group of designers and supportive sewing friends! If you have not tried all the techniques that are presented, there is support from many experienced quilters that are happy to help! Alyssa from Penguin and Fish has been graciously Periscoping tutorials for people to watch and ask questions live!

There is no time better than now to join the party!  Visit The Splendid Sampler to find out more!


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WIP Wednesday

It amazes me every year how I think that Summer will be a time of catching up on projects and also a time of leisure.  I am delusional.  Every year the reality is I have people home all day everyday.  Having them here is a joy but it also means that the time I have to spend sewing decreases.  I love them here so my schedule gets readjusted to accommodate them being home full time.

For the past few days I have been sneaking in a variety of sewing projects while still being available to the kids.

This week I added to my collection of blocks for The Splendid Sampler with this beauty using fussy cuts, Liberty of London and Zen Chic Modern Backgrounds for Moda.  For this free paper pieced block please visit The Splendid Sampler!






In about three weeks my son and his lovely wife will be welcoming a new baby into their family!  They have two adorable boys and now they are having a girl!

With this news, I realized I still have to do the quilting on the quilt top I put together for her! YIKES!

I have not quilted anything in a very long time and was hesitating since I did not want to mess the quilt up!  I started out on my regular machine but then noticed that the upper tension was completely WHACK!  I had to grab Jack ( my seam ripper) and rip out ALL of the quilting I had been working on.  I was not pleased.


Luckily, I have a small collection ( my family would say it is a large collection) of vintage machines that I adore.  I was going to use my Singer 301 but my Viking was closer so I set it up on the dining room table.  She went right to work without any tension issues!  I am a happy Go-Go Gran! Plus she is just pretty!



This week I have also been working on my Aurifil Block of the Month blocks from three years ago. All of my piecing and quilting is with Aurifil 50wt.



Block one is simple grid!  I love the way it looks!  Simple elegance!

This week is block two and I am trying to find my free motion groove!   I still need to figure out what I will be quilting on the rest of the block but I am pleased with my imperfect progress!


Are you working on any WIPs this week?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday Motivation {kitchen}

Welcome back to Monday Motivation!  When I am not sewing, I am in the kitchen.  I love to cook ( not so crazy about the cleaning).  I like my kitchen to have a bright and fun vibe to keep me motivated to get through the dishes in the sink.


Let's sew some kitchen items with free patterns and tutorials from top designers and bloggers!









These Double Sided Placemats by Rae Gun Ramblings are awesome for two reasons.  First, they are easy to make!  Second, KIDS can make them!  Great way to get those Summer boredom blues under control!




Purl Soho's free tutorial for this Linen Cross Back Apron is stunning!  The most exciting part...POCKETS!  I can see these being useful in the kitchen but also for covering clothes when dying fabrics!  





Log Cabin Hexi Potholders are perfect for scrap busting!  Sew Can She has this easy tutorial for you to make these adorable potholders for your kitchen! 



Pineapples are HOT this year!  They have been popping up everywhere, so why not in your kitchen!  For the July Hot Pad of the Month Crafty Staci created this sweet pineapple tutorial!  





My family consumes more tortillas than Texas, Arizona and California combined!  When we moved to Virginia from San Diego we could not find what we considered good tortillas until WalMart started carrying TortillaLand Uncooked Flour Tortillas.    These are the real deal!  They are tortilla perfection! To keep them nice, soft and warm ( the best), a Tortilla Cozy would be amazing!  Pieces by Polly has a free tutorial for Fairfield for this very useful item! 




Burning your hands taking hot bowls from the microwave is not fun!  Becky from The Patchwork Posse has the answer and a tutorial for this problem, a Microwave Bowl Potholder







Miss Mary Sewing Classes has an easy tutorial for these cute potholders ( kitchens need a lot of potholders) that can be made in no time at all!  I love fast sewing finishes!




These DIY Painted towels are almost too fabulous to use on spills or to dry dishes! Get the template and the tutorial from Addicted 2 DIY!





Summer is also a time for cookouts with friends!  Christina from 2 Little Hooligans has your casserole covered with a free tutorial for a Casserole Carrier! 







For more fun, inspiration, sewing, quilts and more, please join me on:













Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bobbin Size Matters!

We have all been there!  You know that place where you are deep in your sewing Zen...the world outside does not exist...your complete focus IS the STITCH...BE THE STITCH...then it happens...

YOUR BOBBIN RUNS OUT OF THREAD!

The words that come after the bobbin thread is gone are usually not the ones we are most proud of saying.  I am very lucky that Tara is not a judgmental dog.  Some machines do feature a sensor that tells you well in advance when the bobbin will be running out, but the real thrill sewers among us still like to push those limits to see exactly how much further we can go before it is serious.

By then, it is too late!

You are in the middle of the quilt, no bobbin thread and of course it was the MOST INCREDIBLE free motion quilting that has ever been achieved by human hands on a domestic home machine.  It is enough to make a grown quilter cry.

I propose companies design bigger bobbins thereby creating happier quilters!

Here is an idea of what I think a decent sized bobbin would look like for my machine!





When it comes to bobbins... SIZE MATTERS!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Guest posting at Sew4Home! Confessions of a Beginning Garment Sewer

A few weeks ago,  I was invited by Sew4Home to write about my recent adventures with garment sewing.  I hesitated for about a New York second before saying yes!

Sew4Home is a fantastic resource website for sewing enthusiasts from all areas of the sewing spectrum.  You will find great new projects to add your sewing must make list. They also have tips, tutorials and incredible giveaways.   If you have not visited their site, grab a cup of something that you love and set aside some time to enjoy ( and bookmark) their posts.

In Confessions of a Beginning Garment Sewer,  I reveal what I learned, what patterns I liked the most from both commercial and independent companies dnd provided tips that I really do believe will help if you decide to start making your own clothing!


Here are some of the garments I made and reviewed for the post! 






Simplicity Jiffy Pattern reprint 1364


Colette Pattern The Ginger Skirt 


Simplicity pattern 1369

The Shoreline Boatneck by Blank Slate Patterns


I made all of these and many more in the month of May. Pretty sure I have been bitten by the garment sewing bug.  I am now looking forward to finding new patterns to sew!  What are some of your favorites?

Thank you Sew4Home for the lovely invitation!  I had a blast! 



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WIP Wednesday Economy Blocks and Quilt As You Go

This WIP  Wednesday is dedicated to finishing up commitment projects!  These are the last of the Economy Blocks needed for the traveling quilt that has been on the road for a very long time!

It will be nice to finally mark a project as finished on the very long list that I have in the sewing room.  I have enjoyed making these blocks for myself and for this quilt.

You can see more of the blocks I have made the past couple of weeks by visiting the first week 's blocks  ( free pattern link) and last week's WIP Wednesday.



The colors of the week for #bescrappy on Instagram with me and Susan this week were pink and gold!  I honestly was not sure I had pink and gold!  I went digging through the stash to find something that may be able to pass as looking like this combination.  I found Sis Boom and Anna Maria Horner!

Jennifer's Nostalgia collection has outstanding pink/gold options. The collection in its entirety is so lovely.  I do happen to adore everything that Sis Boom creates, so this is not surprising ;o)




I paired it Anna Maria Horner out of print ( aren't so many amazing fabrics out of print) Little Folks voile and created these adorable fussy cut blocks!










I also am trying out Quilt As You Go using the great tutorial by Maureen Cracknell with another WIP!  It is the Aurifil Block of the Month from three years ago using Kate Spain's beautiful fabrics.


I am hoping to have this quilt finished by the end of July.  We will see how this plan progresses as More activities get added to the Summer schedule!

What are you working on to get marked OFF your WIP list?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday Motivation {free embroidery patterns}

Welcome back to Monday Motivation!

I was asked the dreaded question yesterday from the kids, " What are we going to DO all Summer?"

Last Summer Break ( 2015) was two and a half months.  That is a long time to entertain people and keep them from becoming screen zombies.  The rules about screens and gadgets for the kids are very strict ( read ...MEANEST MOM EVER!).  It becomes my task to organize and at least initiate activities every day.  I am always so very excited about this job!

The kids are not drawn to very many things in my Go-Go Studio but the one item that is mentioned most by them are the little embroidery pincushions I have.  They say that they look like sewing Pokemon and try to give them names. It was the 25 year old that was suggesting the Pokemon names.

Embroidery is a wonderful quilt activity that kids of many ages can do while just sitting around.  There are numerous free patterns available for everyone on the internet for immediate use.  It is also great for fine motor skills and eye hand coordination.

Monday Motivation is Summer embroidery!









It is no secret that I am completely addicted to coffee.  It is my must have every morning when I wake up.  I am not officially awake until after my second cup.  My kids know to ask if I have had coffee before speaking to me too early in the morning.  This adorable free pattern Love of Coffee by Wild Olive is perfection!






The in house engineer was a Navy pilot and really has always been fascinated by outer space.  Naturally, with three boys ( and a girl), there have always been planes and rockets on prints, books and bedding somewhere in our home.  I saw this free little Outer Space embroidery pattern by Love The Blue Bird  and fell in love!



July 4th will be here in just a couple of weeks!  These super simple and sweet 4th of July free embroidery patterns by Becky from The Pink Samurai would be great to make on a car trip to the beach ( I am dreaming). 



We have lived from coast to coast and a couple of places in between!  This Embroidered USA map free pattern and tutorial from Flamingo Toes would be a great way to make little hearts on all of the places you love! 





When we lived in San Diego, we saw lots of hot air balloons!  They are so beautiful!  This darling Hot Air Balloon pattern is by Spool and Spoon




Mollie from Wild Olive made these embroidered wooden ornaments that could possibly be for a very beginner with very few stitches to create.  Love these gemstones! 


When the flowers finally started arriving, so did the bees ( and now lightening bugs too)!  Hurray for bees pollenating our plants and giving us honey too!  This free little bee pattern was found on Bee Knees Industries 





Need a colorful shopping list reminder when you visit the Farmer's Market?  This free pattern for the Farmer’s Market Tote Bag project was featured on Sew Mama Sew 



Create a meadow filled with flowers and NO ALLERGIES! The free Floral Meadow pattern and tutorial can be found by visiting Hodge Podge Craft  



Because Flamingo Toes is just the BEST! Check out these adorable Embroidery hoop art with free patterns and tutorials for Let's Get Lost in Summer







Want to see more fun, inspiration, sewing, quilts and more, please join me on:





Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Splendid Sampler Block 37

The Splendid Sampler has been going strong!  If you have not been sewing along join in on the fun, there are still sixty three blocks for you to make. You can also go back and download and make past blocks!  The newest lovely pieced block released today is by Laura Flynn from Cotton Patch Quilt Shop.

I had so much fun creating this very pink block! Honestly, pink was never a favorite color but when I make projects using beautiful pinks, I cannot, for the life of me, remember why I had a dislike for them.



My background fabrics are Modern Backgrounds by Zen Chic for Moda ( they are awesome).  All of the pinks are Liberty of London from my stash and the sweet center fussy cut is from Munki Munki pajamas.  Yes, I will cut up anything to make a good fussy cut.

All of my piecing is done with Aurifil 50wt thread.  I use a wonderful neutral #2600 ( Dove) that is perfect to use with any color fabric with the exception of pure white.  I have even used it on red with great success.  The pink for the staged shot is an exceptionally gorgeous variegated pink #4660.  I am smitten with it ;o)




If you have not been sewing along with The Splendid Sampler, start! It is an amazing skill builder with a variety of techniques that will help everyone from beginning to expert. It is for everyone to enjoy!   The blocks are completely free with professional downloadable pdfs for you to use.  With over 80 designers, you will not be disappointed the same old block twice a week.

There is also a linky party on The Splendid Sampler website for every block and a very active, supportive and growing Facebook group.  This group is filled with the organizers of this amazing adventure, Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, many of The Splendid Sampler Designers and thousands of friendly quilters just like you!

I hope you will be joint in on the fun!  The MORE the MERRIER!


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Quilts For Pulse

Quilters show support and love by uniting and creating.  The tragedy in Orlando sent shockwaves throughout the country this past week.  The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild started making quilts and asked if anyone would like to help to show their support for the victims, families and first responders.

The quilting community gave a massive shout YES!



To help the cause, there are a variety of free block patterns available The Modern Quit Guild has the links for these patterns on their blog.  For information on how you personally or your guild can become involved, please visit The Modern Quilt Guild.



I made the blocks in the first photo using the Cluck Cluck Sew pattern that is very fast and easy! I made five in a short amount of time yesterday morning.

Patty Young's sweet daughter is hoping to encourage more young people to sew for a cause with a video on how to sew these blocks.  For the tutorial please visit here. She is a lovely girl with a big heart!




I hope you will consider making a block, 10 blocks, a quilt top or ask your quilt guild to help support the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild give comfort.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WIP Wednesday Economy Blocks and Sewing Deadlines!

When do you start a project?  Do you plan out your projects so they are completed in a timely manner or do you wait until the deadline is looming and then start a new project that popped into your head at the exact wrong time? Or is it the right time?  


Sometimes the best ideas happen when you are up against a deadline! 






There are a group of traveling quilts that have been on the road for a very long time.  They were started years ago and have been all over the country.  Life had gotten in the way of completion of the quilts but they are all having their last additions being added and then they will go to their homes.

Here is part of what I was asked to add to.  So many colors and techniques.  It is very overwhelming to know what to make that will fit best into this whimsical wonder of quilty delight!



Enter Economy Blocks!  You kind of saw that one coming didn't you?  

Here are a few of the blocks I made yesterday to add to this quilt!  they are full of life and color!  They are the perfect addition to making this quilt dance with joy!  I am really happy I took the plunge with the Economy Blocks and even happier that they are going to be in a quilt that will be loved! This is one WIP that I will be able to take off my list this year!!!!








I also had an epiphany about deadlines and sewing!  I added a new optional definition to the Merriam Webster Dictionary for the word deadline...




It looks more complete now :o)

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