Posts in the category

and coins and coins!  Keeping busy getting started on some very simple stacked coin quilts.  I’m going to make two at once… One for a boy and one for a girl.

Coins

I love working with so many fun, bright and bold fabrics! It makes me happy.

Coins close up

And a gratuitous cat photo just ’cause.  She is as tiny as she looks.  I lucked out and got a perma-kitten.

Beans

Hope that you all have wonderful weekends!

So many solids.

Finished up the top for the quilt I’m making my mother. All fabrics that she gave me to use.  Usually I work with many more patterns, but it’s great to sometimes have to work outside of your norm.  I’m happy with it!

Mostly Solids

Using solids makes me think about shape and color so much more. Really fun for me. Can’t wait to see this one come together in the next steps.

Mostly Solids

Another mail sack!

I was in a bit of a funk the other day and wanted to make something that would cheer me up.  What to do?  How about cut into some of your favorite fabric and make yourself a bag you know you love??  Done.

Echino Mail Sack

Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know that I love love love the Mail Sack pattern from Pink Chalk Studios (not to mention how inspirational Kathy’s blog is!) so I figured I’d make yet another. I make the mini version so it’s more handbag-y than tote-y.

Echino Mail Sack close up

Can’t go wrong with this amazing Migratory Birds Echino fabric! I’d been holding off cutting into my little half yard of it, but making myself something with it sure did brighten my day. Sometimes you just need to take the dive and cut into the precious fabric!

Hope that you all have wonderful weekends!

A stash overhaul.

All these stash posts over at Sew, Mama, Sew! had me ashamed.

That’s right! I’m putting a face to the messy fabric out there!!  You’re out there too, right? I feel like we see so many photos of beautiful stashes, but that can’t be how it is for everyone…  All of us are creative types, aren’t we supposed to be messy??   Right?  Please – help me out here.  You all have messy stashes sometimes too right??

I’m not a naturally tidy person. I’m just not. It’s always a struggle for me to keep my things in order. That said, I’d let my stash get completely out of hand over the past couple of months. I’m embarrassed about it, but this is the state it had gotten into…

Before

And that’s AFTER I gathered it all one place for the photo. Can you believe that the last time I thoroughly organized my stash it ALL fit in that tan bin in the upper right of the photo??  Yeah. That was a long time ago…

I read this incredibly inspirational post by Elizabeth and that was that. I HAD to do something about the horrific state of affairs.

First, a good sorting and refolding lead me to this.

After sorting

Then a trip to Ikea later and I had this!

Final Result

Yay! If you click through to Flickr on the photo you can see my notes of what it all is but basically, going clockwise… the basket is my scraps (for me they are very small), the clear bins are less than a yard, sorted by color.   Then there’s my home dec. weight fabric & quilting weight solids, and lastly in the original tan bin, my cuts of a yard or more.

Clearly this isn’t where it all lives in my sewing room, but the shelf it all goes on is tall and deep. There’s no good way to get a photo of it all when it’s put away.  Now I am organized!  Let’s just see how long I can keep it this way…

A little while back, I mentioned that I’d be posting the pattern for  the Sparks Baby Quilt. Here it finally is!  I’ve learned that writing up patterns feels like real homework to me… no fun!  But I do want to start doing it more.  I feel like the more I do it, the easier it will get.

Let me preface by saying that I hope that this pattern works out for you.  It’s the first quilt pattern I’ve written up and I’m generally not someone who follows patterns. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s mistakes and/or confusions.  Please drop me a note or comment if you have thoughts or suggestions for changes.  Also, do let me know if you make the quilt!  I would love to see your results.

Ok – here’s the pattern!

Sparks Baby Quilt

Sparks Baby Quilt

The finished quilt measures 46.5″ x 60″

Needed Fabric:

Blocks – all of mine are different fabrics, but that’s up to you!
– 20 3.5″ square centers
– 20 frame sides,  3.5″ x 6″
– 20 frame tops and bottoms, 8.5″ x 6″

Sashing – I used off white Kona cotton:
– 15 strips of  2.5″ x 8.5″
– 4 strips of  2.5″ x 38.5“

Border – I used off white Kona cotton:
-2 strips of  4.5″ X 48.5” for side border
-2 strips of  6.5″ x 46.5” for top and bottom border

CUTTING:

Let’s do the easy part first.

Cut the sashing and border

Sashing & Borders cut out

Sashing:
15 strips of  2.5″ x 8.5″
4 strips of  2.5″ x 38.5“

Border:
2 strips of  4.5″ X 48.5” for side border
2 strips of  6.5″ x 46.5” for top and bottom border

Then, cut out the fabric for the blocks

Cut centers:
-20 centers,  3.5″ square.

For my centers I did lots of fussy cutting.   After measuring and cutting my first square, I like to then use it as a template for cutting out the rest of the centers.  Some people hate templates, but I find them helpful for fussy cutting.

Fussy Cutting

Using the template makes it easier for me to see which part of the fabric I want to cut out.  Make sure to use the same square as the template all along, and not to trim its edges as you go.  You don’t want the squares you are cutting to gradually change a bit in size.

Cut frames:
– 20 frame sides,  3.5″ x 6″
– 20 frame tops and bottoms, 8.5″ x 6″

Cut Fabric

Next, cut the fabric for the block frames in two.

I do it randomly, but first I lay them out and do some design planning before I decide which squares will be cut which way.  Here the fabric is stuck up on my (tri-colored, yes it’s just three pieces of felt!) design wall so that I see how it will all look.

Design decisions

There are a couple of things I consider before cutting the fabric for the frames in two.  I wouldn’t want to find down the road that all of my oranges have the center in the upper right.  Or all of the blocks that I want on the left edge of the quilt have centered centers. That’s wordy, but I hope you see what I mean.

Also, keep in mind that some of your blocks have a right side up (unless you didn’t fussy cut) – so you can’t flip them around later to change the position of the center.

If you aren’t comfortable cutting the frames randomly, I have broken it down like this:

Block options

8 blocks – off set top & bottom, off set sides
– Cut 8 of the 3.5″ x 6″ down to 3.5″ x 2.5″ & 3.5″ x  3.5″
– Cut 8 of 8.5″ x 6″ down to 8.5″ x 2.5″ & 8.5″ x 3.5″

When piecing these 8 blocks put:
– 2 centers in upper left
– 2 centers in lower left
– 2 centers in upper right
– 2 centers in lower right

4 blocks – off set top & bottom, centered sides:
Cut four  3.5″ x 6″ strips down to 3.5″ x 3″ and 3.5″ x 3″
Cut four  8.5″ x 6″ strips down to 8.5″ x 2.5″ and 8.5″ x 3.5″

When piecing these 4 blocks put:
2  centers higher in the block
2  centers lower in the block

4 Blocks – centered top & bottom, off set sides
Cut four of the 3″ x 6″ strips down to 3.5″ x 2.5″ and 3.5″ x 3.5″
Cut four of 8.5″ x 6″ down to 8.5″ x 3″ and 8.5″ x 3″

When piecing these four blocks put:
2 centers to the left
2 centers to the right

4 Blocks – centered top & bottom, centered sides
Cut four of the 3″ x 6″ down to 3.5″ x 3″ and 3.5″ x 3″
Cut 4 of 8.5″ x 6″ down to 8.5″ x 3″ and 8.5″ x 3″

All four of these blocks are pieced the same way.

PIECING:

Piece all the blocks, randomly or as indicated above.

Ready to peiceStep 1Step 2

Here are all of my pieced blocks:

Finished Blocks

Next, piece the sashing.

First attach the blocks to one another with the fifteen strips of  2.5″ x 8.5″ until they are put together in 5 rows.

Connecting blocks with sashingRows with sashing

Then continue by attaching all the rows to each other with the four strips of  2.5″ x 38.5“.

Sashing 2Sashing 3

Finally, piece the border.

Borders

First sew on the sides, the 2 strips of  4.5″ X 48.5”.

Borders 2

Then sew on the top and bottom, the 2 strips of  6.5″ x 46.5”.

Congratulations! You have a finished quilt top!

Finished Quilt top

From here, if you need to, check out this post for links on how to baste, quilt and bind!  Hope that you enjoyed the pattern!