Thursday, January 17, 2019

100 day vortex quilt-along

100 days?  really?  Making a vortex quilt is so addicting!  After 30 days, I had enough for 2 queen size quilts!!  That's A LOT of therapy, folks!  And all for FREE!!!  No buying fabric.  Pull out ALL your scraps, even from those nooks and crannies, the ones that you were saving as a set just cuz you might use them some day.

You start by sewing 2 pieces together that are the same size, and look good together.  And you do that for a long time.   The idea is that if you are sewing 2 pieces together that are squared before sewing, you won't have a bunch of trimming to do after you press.  (keep your long scissors close to your machine, and square pieces as  you choose them, no pressing)

Then after you've done a bunch, you take those together and do the same thing.  Find pieces that are about the same size, and look good next to each other, and sew them together.  For. a. long. time.  

Then you do it again, and again, and again. Oh my . . . some of those fabrics are VERY old! 

Till you decide to put them all up on your design board and you realize that you have enough to make several quilts!!!

It's quite a messy process, which is why I found that I couldn't work on anything else at the same time.  

My regular machine is getting a check up.  This Singer Featherweight was made in the Czech Republic in the 40's.  It sews a solid stitch, never wavering, a very good back-up.  You can find them on e-bay, and they are relatively easy to maintain. Notice my big scissors there, you will need to keep them in a handy place to help square up pieces.  You don't have to be exact, just eye-ball it.  Seam allowances don't really matter.  

Towards the end, you'll have big squares that you try to fit together like a big puzzle.  You night need to trim some back or add to one to make it fit into the your finished top.

When you think you've had enough, and you can fit all the pieces together to make a good size quilt, you give it a good starchy pressing, and "stay-stitch" all around the circumference. 

I have not quilted these 2 vortex quilt tops, but I have cool plans for their back and quilting process.  You will read about those at a later date.

I learned this technique from the amazing Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts.  You can find her instructions here.  Thank you Amanda!  We miss you :(

In Amanda's blog posts on Vortex quilts, she gave us permission to throw away scraps that we didn't like.  You know, we hang onto them because you can't waste them.  Hmmmmmm,  one of those scraps is probably worth maybe a nickel.  If you hold it up and it doesn't bring you joy? ** Thank it and throw it out!!!!  WOW!  It felt sooooo good to throw out those few scraps that have been haunting my scrap bag all these years.  And I will like those vortex quilt tops for years to come, cuz I didn't try to fit ugly scraps into them that I just couldn't throw away.

** "Tidying Up" now available for all you Netflix bingers :0

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christmas Count Down bags

These Christmas count down bags have been on my "to-do" list for years.  

They're fun for all ages.  Since we are now empty nesters it was just my husband and I doing fun things with each other.

We read Christmas books, went for walks, listened to music by the fire place . . .

The numbers are written with a permanent pen onto duck canvas.

A nice new Christmas tradition to enjoy for the whole month.

Friday, October 12, 2018

llama patchwork quilt

This snuggly quilt accidentally got left at my house the other day.  After a year of loving, it is even softer.  I washed it and decided that it would stay at my house for a day or two (mean Nana :)

I keep wanting to make one for myself.  I think I'll start today :)  (cuz I've only started 1/2 a dozen other projects today . . .)

38 x 47 - washed
5" squares 
llama minky, (I prefer the kind sold by
essex linen in charcoal
other fabrics: 
several lines by Carolyn Friedlander
Figures by Zen Chic
Big letters found on etsy 
plus sign, Cotton and Steel
And a square of that number fabric sold at Ikea a long time ago.

This quilt is not quilted and the linen essex (it may chambray) tends to fray easily so after sewing the top together, I stitched a running zig zag along the seams so that they wouldn't fray.  

After the top is made, pin top and llama minky, right sides together, trying to push in the llama hairs that are trying to sneak out.  Sew around all 4 sides, leaving a 6 inch hole in the middle of one of the sides.

Turn right sides out, and stitch opening closed.  Then, top stitch 1 1/2 inches all around the edges.  

Minky gets all over the place while you're moving it around, so try to finish the minky process all in one go.  Your lint roller will come in handy after that.  

Minky is 100% polyester, so it machine washes on cold and dries on low.

Have you used the llama minky before?  What have you made?  Do you have any tricks to share?  

Monday, September 17, 2018

figures sampler - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Last summer, I started seeing all these fun blocks pop up on IG from Tula Pink's sampler QAL so, afraid I'd miss out on the fun, I jumped in.  It was loads of fun seeing all the blocks pop up each day.  

I borrowed my friend's Tula Pink's sampler book.  Instructions have their place :)

"Figures" by Zen Chic had been sitting around waiting for the perfect project.  

I see some Cotton and Steel thrown in there too.  

And some Carolyn Friedlander

I loved the freshness of each block being different.

I was going to town making all these blocks but after a while, it was getting too crazy for me.

  After seeing Robin Picken's version here,  I decided to start going in a different direction. . . more of an "organized chaos". . . .

pulling each color outward to their own corner.

It actually went much faster at that point because I found my favorite blocks (which are usually the easier ones) and made them in 5 different colors.

Sometimes I just sewed a bunch of scraps together and called it a block :) . . . My quilt, My rules :)

I knew exactly how I wanted to quilt it.  There isn't much I can draw . . .

But I can do numbers.  So I drew a bunch of random numbers in random directions.

You may notice that the quilting is not continuous.  

The reason why this quilt took so long (a year!), is that I buried all those beginning and end threads into the middle of the quilt.  Thank goodness for the tennis open and some other championships that were going on.  

There probably aren't too many 8's in there since there are 6 threads to bury on that one.

This just may be my new favorite !!!

Have you entered a quilt in Amy's quilt festival???


Blogger's Quilt Festival - kitten around quilt

It must be that time of year, for the temperatures are changing and the acorns are lining the streets, that time of year when I can go all over the world and see the latest creations in quilting . . . all while sitting at home in my pj's, eating my favorite cereal.  No tickets to buy, no long lines to wait in, no miles of walking.

When our grand children turn 4, I like to make a quilt for them. By that age in their life they usually have some sort of obsession.  

 When I saw the pattern for this kitty quilt, I fell in love with it, and knew it was the perfect pattern for our 4 year old kitty loving grand daughter so we went to go buy fabric together.

No "winging it" on this pattern . . . I had to carefully follow instructions.  Not so easy when you're "instruction impaired" :) 

whiskers are paper pieced...

For this project, I used these design boards that I made a few years back.  Each kitty had over 60 pieces, and it sure helped to keep them apart as I assembled them production style.

 Lori Holt has a great tutorial on youtube if you want to make yourself some.   They help keep pieces separate and are so handy when you're limited in space, because you can stack them.  

At the last minute, I decided that I didn't like the dark kitty on the bottom.  His eyes weren't showing up and he wasn't blending in with the other kitties, so I switched him out.

favorite kitty ...
I love the contrast of the gingham and the dark pink yarn ball.

Search #kittenaroundquilt on IG to see others making this quilt.

LOOOOOve the triangle border.
It took a long time at a point when I was ready to be done, so I'm glad that I pushed through and made the extra effort . . . WELL worth it!!

Who can resist the waste created from making flying geese?  Not me!!  I sewed all those HST together and put them on the back.

Do you see the cross-weave pattern created? (try squinting)
I got the idea here from Carrie Nelson's blog, aka "Miss Rosie Quilts" (been waiting for years to shamlessly copy Carrie's pillow!!)

My new "go to" fast quilting design???  modern loops.  So easy and FAST!!!  All you have to do is mark a line across your quilt every 6 inches or so .

aprox 52 x 74, washed
fabrics are from everywhere
back is flannel (Hanover)
batting - warm and white
gray is Kona Ash
pattern is "Kitten Around Quilt" by Pen and Paper Patterns
quilting is "modern loops"

You can find the pattern here

 (4 yr old kitty quilt lover)

Now, I hope you have blocked out your week and plan on kicking back and strolling through all the entries in Amy's quilt festival.  Thank you, Amy!!


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