I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bright Hopes Block Tutorial

November is my month to have A Twist on Tradition Bee make me some blocks, and since I put the fabric in the mail this morning, I thought it would be a good idea to write up a quick tutorial.  That way there the girls will know what they are making.  The whole premise of A Twist on Tradition is to take a traditional block and give it a modern twist.  For my block I decided to modify the traditional Bright Hopes block by using bright solid fabrics accented by the Kona grey. 

This block is made by using the partial seam method.  It may look a bit confusing but I assure you it is quite easy to put together.  In the picture above is how I would like to have the blocks laid out.

Stitch your first seam, starting about halfway down from the center square.

Stitch your second seam by finger pressing your first seam to one side.  This will create a length that is equal to your next section. 

A quick note: I find the quickest and easiest way to piece this block is to press all the seams out from the center square to one side, instead of pressing all your seams open. 

You are going to sew the next two sections in the same way, working around the center square.

To complete this block place your needle where the partial seam ends, and sew the first section to the last section. 

Press your blocks open and remember not to trim.  I will take care of that when I receive the blocks back from you. 

Thank you for making these blocks for me.  It has been so much fun to be part of this bee.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bee Blocks

Yesterday, I spent most of my uninterrupted time working on bee blocks.

Here is the block I put together for Jenniffier of Jenniffier's Sometime Creative Life and my A Twist on Tradition Bee.  Jenniffier asked us to put together these fantastic Goose-Zag blocks.  She used traditional flying geese blocks and modified it with fabric placement and layout.  This is the tutorial she put together for her block.  I can't wait to see them all put together. 

Then, I spent the rest of my time cutting and sorting fabric.  November is my month and I have to get these packages out into the mail as soon as possible.  Hopefully, I can get that done today.  All I have left is to address the envelopes and put together a quick tutorial.  Umm... easier said than done? 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Stash Report #4

Wow!  Is it Sunday again already?  It has been a crazy busy week around here.  First, I wanted to mention that the candles I made last year have made Dani Marie Designs 2011 Ultimate DIY Gift Guide. You can check it out here.  How exciting!  I never thought that this quick gift that I did with my kids, would ever receive this much attention.  You can read the the original post here.

dm designs

Now on to the good stuff.   Little by little I am trying to add to my painfully sparse fabric stash every week.  So, I ventured out to my favorite quilt shop and picked up this fantastic dessert roll.   Someday, I hope to make a black and off white king size quilt to match my bed room, because it makes me sad that as a quilter, I do not have a proper quilt on my bed.  The shame!  So, I pulled the black and off white from the roll and added it to what I already have. You know, for a rainy day, as for the green, I am sure I can find something for that.

Authentic by Sweetwater for Moda
As for the rest of my day, I hope to finish up all the Halloween costumes that I am working on for the kids.  My oldest son is going to be a victim of Camp Disaster, complete with rubber snakes and spiders.  The girl is going to be a Butterfly with extra big wings and a black glittery tule skirt, which is now covering about 50% of my house.  Ugh!  My youngest, who is 3, is going to be a giant orange M&M.  I know, how cute!

So, what did you work on this weekend?  Did you start any new projects, or did you finish up any of the old ones?   I think I might be ready to start a new quilt, maybe I will join the Drunkard's Path Quilt A Long, hosted by Katie from Needle and Spatula, and Kristie from OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder.  I love a good scrap busting quilt.

 Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quilt fail?

Well maybe, depends on how you look at things.  I finished my faux string quilt last weekend, but it didn't turn out exactly like I had planned.  I am slightly upset about it, but I have to remind myself that from the beginning it was in experiment in many ways.  You can read more about that here.  

First, let's talk about the seams, because I didn't use batting and decided to quilt directly to the minky, you can see all the seams and even see what direction they are ironed in.  Had I used all printed fabrics this would not have been a problem but because I used off white (kona snow) it was just shear enough that the blue from the minky showed through.  This by far is my biggest aggravation with this quilt.   

Here are some of the things I did like about using the minky.

1. When you layer your quilt top on the minky it kind of sticks together.  So shifting was not a problem.
2. Machine quilting it was a breeze, and because there is no batting the quilting does not have to be as tight.
3. I love the weight of this quilt! It was everything I thought it would be, soft, snugly, and warm, though I don't think some of my northern friends would agree. For them it might be more a summer throw on a cool night, but here in Florida it is perfect!

The last thing I have to say about the quilting is that even though it showed up perfectly on the minky side, you can't quite see it on the front.  I think next time (and yes there will be a next time) I will keep it simple and just stitch in the ditch, and just use darker fabrics. 

I learned a lot making this quilt, and I will use these things and go forward, because after all isn't that what it is all about?  Lastly, I will enjoy and love this quilt with all its imperfections.

Quilt Details:
Fabrics: Quilt top, Kona Snow and Chocolate, by Robert Kaufman, backing, minky 
Finished Quilt Measurements: about 54" x 68"
Blocks and Piecing: 6 1/2" squares & 6 1/2" HST, in a 10 x 12 layout
Quilting: Echo quilting in a zig-zag pattern
I am linking this up to Fabric Tuesday over at QuiltStory.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Stash Report #3 - Happy Mochi Yum Yum

I know Sunday is almost over, but I just had to share what I added to my stash this week.  A fat quarter bundle of Kona Solids and Happy Mochi Yum Yum, by the very talented Monica Solorio-Snow, or the Happy Zombie as she is known by some.  Ever since its release last spring, it has been on my short list of fabrics that I really wanted to get my hands on.  Now that I have some I can hardly contain my excitement.  I definitely plan on adding more of her line to my collection.  I have the perfect quilt in mind for it, but I will need some more prints for it before I can begin.

I found this bundle in a great little Etsy shop called Sew Fresh Fabrics.  You might of heard of it, but if you haven't, you must take a minute and check them out.  They have a huge selection of fabrics and a bunch of these cute little bundles.  I love how they paired the Happy Mochi Yum Yum with a few Kona solids? A good call if you ask me.


I must admit I am not much of a online fabric shopper so this was a completely new experience for me.  I am very fortunate to have more than a few local quilt shops near by, so there hasn't been much need for me to go online, but I am really in love with this line, and I just couldn't find it locally. 

So, what have you added to your stash this week?  Leave a comment and let me know.  I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

iPod Touch Case {a tutorial}

Today, I am going to show you how I made a case to protect my iPod touch.  I needed something that was going to protect the touch screen of my iPod when I threw it into the pit that I call my handbag.  This is a very easy and inexpensive project to do.  Also, by changing the measurements you can adapt this project to other handheld devices that you own. 

To make yourself a iPod case you will need:
  • Peltex 72F Double-sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer
  • fabric
  • single fold bias tape
  • thread

Following manufactures directions I ironed my fabric on the back and on the front of my Peltex stabilizer.  For this project I am using some left over scraps I have of coordinating Hunky Dory by Chez Moi for Moda.  This might also be a good time to mention that if you are working with directional fabrics or large prints you might want to rough cut a much larger piece than you need so you will have plenty of room to fussy cut later.

The math is pretty easy.  To determine the size you are going to need the formula is length x width x height.  My iPod measures about 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 1/4".  Taking those measurements I cut 2 pieces of my fabric covered Peltex to about 5 1/4" x 3 1/4".  This will give me enough space for my 1/4" seam allowance and enough room for the case to expand once the iPod touch is inside.  Do you follow me so far? 

Once I have the Peltex cut to the size that I wanted, I  rounded the corners using a spool of thread and a marking pen.  This will give my case a more finished look and make it easier sew the bias tape around the edges.

Next I took a piece of bias tape that is slightly longer than the lenght around the peltex, so the ends overlapped slightly.  Then I sewed it on with a zig-zag stitch.

Then I marked 1 1/2" down from the top of my case.

With one piece of Peltex on top of another and a 1/4" seam allowance, I sewed from one pin all the way around stopping at the other pin, locking my stitched at the beginning and at the end.  Now I have a finished case for my iPod touch.

This sandwich might be too thick for some machines to sew through. If that is the case, you could also sew it together by hand using some embroidery floss. I used a button stitch on this one to give it a more finished look.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think, or if you have any questions.
I will be linking this project to some of these great Linky Parties.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hanging Hoop Wall Pocket Swap

I think I might be squeaking this one in just under the wire.  The deadline for sending out this swap is in 2 days, and I hate to admit it but it had completely slipped my mind.  It wasn't til yesterday when the mailman dropped off my box of goodies, that it all came back to me.  Thankfully mine is mostly done and all I had to do was put the finishing touches on the back.

I love mine!  My partner out did herself, don't you think?  She even added a little pin cushion at the bottom.  Too cute!  I wish I would have thought of that.

Here is what I will be sending out to my partner.  I would just like to stop at the quilt shop in the morning and pick up a few fat quarters to send along with it before I put it in the mail.  Every swap package needs a bit of fabric don't you think? 

This swap was a lot of fun to do and I hope my partner enjoys opening her pocket hoop with all the little goodies, as much as I enjoyed opening mine.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Stash Report #2 - Finding Solids

This week I did a little spring cleaning, and I found this little piece of heaven in my stash.  It has been in there forever and a day and I think it is time to pull it out and do something with it.

It is from the line Two Young Street, made by Prints Charming.  It is not an easy fabric for quilting because it is such a large print but I love it.  I don't know why, but it just speaks to me, and I haven't had the heart or the right project to make me want to cut into it, until now.   

Pictured: black, chartreuse, crocus, and orange.

I have done a few sketches and pick out a few of the solids to go with it... but I am on the hunt for a few more before I can start.  I would really like to pick up the pink, and the aqua, maybe even the red, if I am feeling feisty.  :)

So, what do you have going on?  Starting any new projects or are you just finishing up the old ones?  I am still working on my fuax string quilt, but I should be ready to share more about it later this week.

Till then,