Saturday, December 31, 2016

Simply the End of 2016

So many things have happened in the past year.  Some of them were life altering and some had an effect that was not as bad but caused me to re think, re adjust, re do whatever it was that I was doing.  

Not gonna lie, it was a right pain in the arse! I took on 2016 as a personal life challenge.  I will not be sad to see it go.  Life challenges are hard work.  Hard work has never been something that bothered me, in fact, I like to work hard.  I love the sense of accomplishment that comes with a job well done.  But the amount of work that was required this past year was somewhat exhausting.  But I did it!  I made it to the end of 2016!  

To end the year simply, I finished a pouch for my daughter I had started a couple of years ago. Not a massive project but a simple one that had me at wits end because I could not figure out the best way to see embroidery lines on black fabric.  

Here is my end to 2016.  A WIP that I was bale to complete! I am happy with the results even if the process of getting to this point was frustrating. 



The lining is just perfect!


The quilting is super tiny!  I quilted using Aurifil 50wt, topstitched with my FAVORITE 28wt and constructed with 40wt!  


I loved the quilting!  Tiny pebbles and swirls!



I didn't use a pattern, I swagged the size and just made it my own.



The best part is the vintage zipper.  The blue is perfect! 



Without much fanfare, this is my end of the year.  It is my small way to celebrate taking something difficult and re thinking it to make it manageable and rather beautiful! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!  I look forward to making 2017 EVEN BETTER!!!! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

WIP Wednesday and Whatnot

On Christmas morning I awoke to a full day of Sickmas!  Thank goodness my family was home and was super kind.  All of the Christmas prezzies had been purchased and wrapped for the kids and no one seemed to mind cereal for breakfast and my sweet son went and picked up Chinese food for dinner while I sat like a blob on the sofa in my big fussy blue robe.  Sick and all it was a very good day.

I made it back to my sewing machine on Tuesday and made a resized version of Elizabeth Hartman's cat pattern to a pincushion size!  It is scrappy and absolutely ADORABLE! You can find the original pattern here.

Let me know if there is a want for the resized pieces for the pincushion.  It is fast and easy and really fun to make!


I also was TOTALLY excited to see MY NAME in the latest issue of American Patchwork and Quilting!  Go out and get your copy now because it has Wendy Sheppard from Ivory Spring ( I love her and she is brilliant) on the cover and in this issue is also full of tips for real life sewing organization!  I know I need more help! The biggest joy was that my name was spelled correctly, LOL!




Today was in my sewing room and back to work on getting things back to some normal.  Normal may not be the correct word.  Getting back to Go-Go!  That is really more accurate.   

I am not really a great sitter and non doer.  I was not really ready for quilt blocks but did feel like sewing ( YAY getting better).  I decided to recover my ironing board!  

With my old ironing board cover as a guide,  I grabbed my favorite Alexander Henry fabric, new ironing board fabric ( Joann's has a 50% online coupon right now) and batting and starting cutting!  I also had some biased cut Liberty Lifestyle binding for the cord to go through!  I used Aurifil 40wt thread to stitch it up.  The 40wt is heavier and more durable for items that get higher use.




It only took a couple of hours to have a wonderful new cover that makes me SO HAPPY!  The colors just make me smile! 





It is the little things in life that really mean so much!  Color, organization and being able to GO-GO!  



Monday, December 26, 2016

Monday Motivation {Quilt Patterns}

Welcome back to Monday Motivation!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  The kids really enjoyed opening their gifts and had loads of cookies and other good things!

With the year coming to a close, I thought it would be fun to start looking at quilts to make for 2017.  Not that I do not already have quilts that need to be finished, LOL!  But what is the fun in starting and finishing a quilt when you can have a few more started and waiting πŸ˜‰





Messy Jesse's Scrappy Irish Chain Quilt is spectacular!  The free pdf pattern can be found here.



This mini Pineapple Quilt is a perfect little project to take on when you want to sew but don't have a lot of time!  This beauty is designed for Sassafrass Lane for Dear Stella Fabrics and can be found here.




Ashley Miller designed this lovely Take Flight quilt for Birch Fabrics.  You can find the free pdf pattern here.


Single Irish Chain quilts are super fast and easy especially when you use jelly rolls! The Gardenvale Chain Quilt by Oda May on Moda Bake Shop is perfect for a fast finish! You can get the free tutorial here.



Postcards from Sweden by Jeli Quilts is a colorful quilt with a free pattern on Craftsy! You can get this pattern by visiting here.


Another colorful option is the Rainbow Diamonds Pattern on Craft Buds here.



A few years ago on Instagram, Scrappy Trip Around the World was all the rage!  This is fun and easy way to use up so many scraps!  Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville has the best tutorial for this block here



Lynne from Lily's Quilts designed this stunning free pattern for Makower UK available here.



Bev from Flamingo Toes designed this fun U.S. Map quilt that might be a fun project to make with the kids to learn all of the states! Heck I may even learn a thing or two πŸ˜‰ You can find the tutorial for this pattern here.



For Star Wars fans, Shwin and Shwin designed and AWESOME Lord Vader quilt!  You can find the pattern here.





Amy Sinbaldi from Nana Company designed a lovely quilt she named Rooftops and this free pattern is available here.





I hope you find inspiration in these tutorials and make some creative time for yourself! 


Please join me for more fabulous tutorials, inspirations and humor that I share everyday on:









Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I was horrible at planning Christmas this year.  Not that I am usually fantastic at getting everything done in a timely manner but this year the kids school changed the vacation calendar.  I lost the week before Christmas! 

Did I plan on this happening?  NOPE!  But we have had a exciting week of insanity including shopping, mailing, making and more shopping because everyone shops for Christmas dinner on Friday at 9pm, right! Katy and I discovered that by 9 pm most of crowds have gone home but by that time of night at Wegmans there are no fresh turkeys remaining.  Really! NONE!  It did not matter one bit though because we had a brilliant time quietly shopping for other items we needed.  

We also had a laugh at peoples' reactions to her deciding to not only get into the cart but have me push her around the entire store and shop with her IN the cart.  If you have not seen Katy, she is 5ft 8in.  She took up a significant part of the cart! The reactions were priceless and she had such a blast.  Honestly, I did too.  

Life is about moments.  Time is the best gift anyone can give. It is also the most precious gift to receive. 

Thank you to everyone that has been hanging out with me on this little blog of mine.  I LOVE having your company!  The comments you leave, seeing some of the projects that you make from my patterns, and just seeing you on all the social media...you are all so AMAZINGπŸ’—

I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas πŸŽ„




Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Speak Sewing to Me

I have read that people have different love languages.  There are a few different kinds but sadly my love language is not represented

My love language is SEWING!  Even my youngest child recognizes it as an actual love language. I know this for a fact since he is always trying to speak it to me. 

I have one example to share from only two weeks ago. He was working on an Algebra worksheet  ( or maybe some other Math, I cannot remember that part clearly) in class and noticed that it looked like a quilt when finished.  

" I asked for an extra to bring home to you Mom!"  

I say we petition to have Sewing included in the list of love languages πŸ’–




Feel free to copy and share to promote the Sewing Love!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday Motivation { upcycled sweater quilt}

Welcome back to Monday Motivation!

Can you believe it is almost Winter, Christmas and the end of 2016?  This week I am sharing something I started last Winter and finished before this Winter so I am thrilled.  Happily this project goes with last week's Monday Motivation for up cycled projects you can find here.

This week and next will not be a collection of items as I usually share.  Getting ready and having my family home for the holiday takes more time that I had anticipated. Isn't that always the way it happens?

My Monday Motivation is an up cycled wool sweater quilt!



Made from 100% wool sweaters that were in my thrifted, gifted or found ( mostly found) stash, I felted the sweaters by washing them in the hottest setting of my washer twice (to be sure) and then I put them through a tumble to seal the deal.

The fibers of the wool, when they are submitted to heat,  shrink making them tight and able to cut into squares without the fear of fraying.
 
The sweaters are easy to cut into any size square you wish to use!


I stitched the blocks together using 1/2 in seam and Aurifil 40wt thread. The sweaters are thicker than quilters cotton and need a thread weight needed to be heavier.  Using the high setting , I pressed the seams as open as I could ( it was not  perfect) as I stitch it together.


When the quilt top was completed, I stitched around the entire top.  This is a step I do for all of my quilt tops.  I did want to show what the edge of the wool looks like after it is washed.



I backed and binded my quilt with a lovely flannel!


In no way is this quilt perfect.  This is a utility quilt.  It is a quilt that is made only to be useful.  The family members are already asking who will be the owner of this beauty.


I appreciate that my family recognizes that simple and useful items have a beauty and value of their very ownπŸ’—


I hope you find inspiration in these tutorials and make some creative time for yourself! 


Please join me for more fabulous tutorials, inspirations and humor that I share everyday on:


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Almost the end of 2016 WIP Wednesday

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen...

There is room for none of those reindeer or any of the other ones in my Go-Go Studio!  It is FILLED to the tippy top with unfinished projects for the year!

As always, trying to get ahead of the WIP's in my studio is a constant battle.  I have stacked some of them up to see if maybe a Christmas miracle will happen in 2016 and I will be able to finish these up to greet 2017 with a clean slate!  I am a dreamer 😊

I have projects both big and small for lots of sewing pleasure!  There are so many blocks that I cannot even stack them all without them falling down!



I have pincushions in various stages of completion.  I will tackle the just needing to stitch up the back ones first! I am considering writing patterns for all of the fun blocks I have been making.

What patterns would you like to see for pincushions?



My Aurifil Designer Block of the Month from 2013.  All of the Aurifil Designer Block of the Month blocks are free and you can get them by visiting here.


This year I had decided to try Quilt As You Go.  So far I am really enjoying the process.



I have a massive stack of these lovelies!  LOVE red!   I wrote a free tutorial for these fun blocks here.


My stack of blocks for The Splendid Sampler is growing! You can still get ALL of The Splendid Sampler block patterns for free by visiting here. Fun blocks and FABULOUS community! I have had an incredible time being a part of this project!


My up cycled garment blocks.  I have started to make the sashing for these.  I caught a cold and was down for the count a few days so this is one of my highest priorities for my sewing.  



What are you working on this week that is not quite finished?


Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday Motivation {up cycled sewing}

Welcome back to Monday Motivation!

I am a huge supporter of making quilts and other items from reusing textiles. I call them the thrifted, gifted and found fabrics.  All of these fabrics are low or no cost.  They are generally easily obtained by going through your own closets, asking family or friends and also visiting your local thrift shops or yard sales.

The colors and textures are unlike quilters cotton and when sewn together are really something special!

Monday Motivation is upcycled sewing projects!

If you have never sewn with garments, look for 100% cotton shirts.  I have successfully used cotton blends and other fabrics but there can be more prep time and effort involved.  For beginners, I highly recommend 100% cotton only.

This is an up cycled quilt I made using only red thrifted garments and black for the center blocks. The blocks are a simple log cabin. You can read more about this quilt by visiting here.




Another quilt I made using thrift shop shirts is on my son's bed.  It is also log cabins ( my favorite) and turned out better than I had hoped for!  You can read more about this quilt here.



There is a certain knack when deconstructing clothing for getting the most from each item.  There are several tutorials on how to take garments apart making the most productive use of your time and yielding the most fabric.

Here are my two favorites for shirts!

Luke Haynes created a tutorial for Bernina We All Sew on how to deconstruct garments for easier storage and use. The tutorial can be found HERE.





The fabulous Bonnie Hunter has a video on "De-Boning" a shirt.




For jeans, the Deconstructing Jeans With the Least Amount of Waste is very good and can be found HERE.



When sewing with garments, for piecing and quilting the shirts, I use Aurifil 50wt.  For any denim projects, I use Aurifil 40wt or 28wt.  The denim is thicker and requires a more hefty weight of thread and also a denim needle. Skipped stitches and broken thread are never fun!


After you have prepped all of your fabulous new fabrics, you will need some projects to try them out!

Great looking denim lunch bag tutorial by Between the Lines.



Sew We Quilt has a lovely quilt using a fun fabric that she found in shorts!  See more of her tutorial HERE



This cushion cover collection by Ashbee Design is adorable!  You can find the Ampersand Tutorial HERE!


This is my all time favorite upcycled garment quilt tutorial! Seven shirts, One Quilt tutorial by Life is a Stitch! You can find this really fantastic tutorial by visiting HERE


Upcycled quilts can be very exciting! Mamaka Mills shares how she makes this cool block using striped shirts here.  


It's Always Autumn has a fantastic tutorial for this beautiful Modern Denim Quilt here.




And if you thought that all up cycled denim projects are just blue, you need to check out Andrea's Notebook for this FANTASTIC colorful quilt tutorial



This denim whale is possibly the cutest thing I have seen all year!  You can find this tutorial by visiting Valaan Villlapaitia 




I hope you find inspiration in these tutorials and make some creative time for yourself! 


Please join me for more fabulous tutorials, inspirations and humor that I share everyday on:





Thursday, December 8, 2016

Aurifil Christmas Cushion Cover

If you have not made my Aurifil Designer of the Month Block Geese Feet, now is a great time!

This block is perfect for making not only the quilt for the Block of the Month but also for Christmas cushions! Make one for you and one for a friend or loved one!  The block is a quick sew! You can get the free pattern for this block by visiting HERE.



After making the blue and white for I decided last week to make a red and white block to add to my collection of Christmas cushions for my sofa! I grabbed all of the red and white Moda fabric I could quickly get my hands on and started working!

I added borders and then finished my cushion with an envelope back using the free tutorial by Julie Herman on Sew Mama Sew. It includes multiple sizes for you to customize your cover for just about any size cushion! This is my GO TO tutorial for making cushion covers!




The quilting is simple.  I used Aurifil 50 wt to stitch in the ditch, outline basic shapes and added in the triangles for fun! I used a 2.6 stitch length on my Bernina and it was a small enough piece that I did not have to baste or use a walking foot.  Easy peasy! 



Also, check out this AMAZING red and white by Kathy from Kathy's Quilts who has been making all of the Aurifil Designer Block of the Month blocks in red and white πŸ’– You can see more of Kathy's block by visiting her blog HERE.



Kathy also WON a large spool collection of Aurifil thread by Pat Sloan for making last month's block and sharing a photo!  After you make this block, share it on Pat's linky party or her blog HERE for your chance to win!  Make a great block AND the chance to win gorgeous thread! LOVE THIS!  

A new winner is chosen every month so you still have two more chances for this year! 


Linking up to Finish It Up Friday 
on 
Crazy Mom Quilts 




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