Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Happy Mail

The two best mail days in my year are the days that my Island Batik ambassador boxes arrive.  This year, the spring & summer precuts were not ready yet when the boxes shipped, so we were told we'd get them later in the summer.  Today was that day!  I received 2 beautiful Island Batik precuts, each with 2 yards light and 2 yards dark coordinating yardage.  


First there was a strip pack of Midnight Dazzle with 2 yards of Sky (pale blue) and 2 yards of Imperial (red) to go with it. 


And then a 10" stack of Passion Petals with 2 yards of Cat Scratch-Smore, a fun dark cream/light caramel blender, and 2 yards of Flourite, a basic that's a green/blue marble.  I haven't seen either of the yardage fabrics before and it's always exciting to see new colors.


 
So many pretty colors!  Purples and jewel tones are my favorite, so they clearly know my preferences!  I can't wait to play with these new precuts.  



Tuesday, September 14, 2021

back to school pencil cases

School has started here and I made Fire Monkey a pencil pouch for the new school year.  I used A Pencil Case for Lola, one of By Annie's free patterns.  Annie also has a tutorial for the pencil case.  

 

 

The obvious fabric for Fire Monkey was fire trucks, of course, and I used the same fabric for the outside and inside.  I made a second pouch for my niece, Noodle, also a 2nd grader.  Noodle's case had sea turtles on the outside and a candy print on the inside, but I didn't remember to get a photo before I mailed it to her on the west coast.  I heard it was a hit with her, though.  

 

loaded and ready for school
 

I was pleased with how little fabric I needed; this is a great project for scraps.  They also sewed up fairly quickly.  Fire Monkey seems happy with his.  Here he is hamming it up after his first day of school: 








Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Coreopsis

I've been doing an informal quilt-along with Wendy  of Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life of the Coral Coreopsis pattern by James & Gracie.  Here is my finished quilt!  I used Kona solids, and for once, I do not know what they are!  Most of these came from leftover layer cakes and were no longer labeled. I could look them up, and at some point I probably will.

 
I didn't remember to get a photo of just the top before it was layered on a piece of fleece with polka dots, so you can't really see it well before the quilting.  I quilted with a large spiral and dark gray thread.  This will go to the local children's hospital.

with the backing showing a bit

Others may know this but I did not: Coral Coreposis is a plant/flower.   From my limited research, the plant is Coreposis and coral indicates the plants that have a dark orange color.  Since mine is not in the colorway, I dropped the "coral" part of the pattern name. 


I set finishing my quilt as my One Monthly Goal with Patty of Elm Street Quilts.  Unfortunately, while I wrote the goal post in time, I forgot to actually link it at the beginning of the month.  (Last month, I finished my goal but didn't post. I am not doing well.)

Monday, August 30, 2021

Scrappy Placemats

 For Christmas 2019, I made my dad some scrappy placemats to replace the pretty gross ones he had when I visited him in early 2019.  The deal was that if I made him new ones, he would get rid of the old ones.  I was only able to make 4 in time for Christmas, but I promised more would come.


I didn't get them done for 2020 Christmas but I am ahead of the game for Christmas 2021!  I finished 6 more (only 4 pictured, as my table isn't very big) so he will have 10.  And hopefully now can get rid of the gross ones that couldn't be washed.  These are machine washable which will be an improvement.

I used 2" scraps of Kona solids in any shade of blue, green, or brown and sewed them completely randomly. There are 80 squares in each placemat. The binding is black, because when I made the first batch, I knew I could "match" black and wouldn't be able to match anything else.  That was a good choice on my part, knowing that I would not remember the right color years later.  I also have to say, I know a lot of people love machine stitching binding, but this further reminded me that I hate it.  I bound all of these by machine and wish I hadn't, especially since I have plenty of time until Christmas. Oh, well.  They are finished now!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Playing with Clam Up

I am currently obsessed with making bags using By Annie patterns. After going more than 20 years as a quilter who couldn't make bags, it turns out I just needed the right patterns! I've bought quite a few of Annie's patterns and actually have a few completed that I still need to post. One that I recently bought is the Clam Up pattern, a cute little dumpling pouch in five sizes. 

 


I went through my novelty scraps to find what I had that would be a good match for each size.  For the smallest Clam Up, I had a piece of leftover quilted soft & stable from the Call Me I made my mom last Christmas.  For the other 4 sizes, I didn't quilt the fabric.  I wanted to see all the variations of Clam Up in this first batch.

Each bag nests inside the next size up!

In my quest to try all the variations, I made one of each size.  I really like them all.  On a recent trip (before Delta really took over and made travel scary again), I took the extra large, large, and extra small.  They all came in handy!  I put my toiletries in the extra large, my sewing supplies in the large, and hair clips and bands in the extra small.

Extra Large

The large is currently my favorite size.  It is perfect for a few sewing supplies and stands up very securely for easy access as I need something. 

Large

A great feature of these bags is that they nest inside each other when empty.  I'm thinking of making a set for my niece for Christmas because I think she will be amused by opening a pouch to find another pouch inside, like Russian nesting dolls! 


Clam Up has options for square or triangle tabs at the bottom.  I tried both.  I like the look of the square tabs better and I find them easier to hold on to.

Medium

There is also instruction for adding a swivel hook.  I added this to the extra small bag.  It actually calls for a 1/2" hook but I only had a 1" hook.  

extra small, with swivel hook

They call for a double slide zipper but I also tried one with just one zipper.  No real issues, but since I use zippers by the yard and they come with lots of pulls, I'm not sure the single slide zipper saves me anything. I'm bummed that on the small bag, I seamed the fabric wrong so my fairies are upside down.  Oops! But that one also has my favorite lining fabric.

small

  
inside of the small

These are really fabulous pouches and now I want to make them in all the fabrics!  I look at scraps and think, "that could be a medium, that could be a large, that could be a small..."  I've been using them, too, and it's always nice to use something you made!





Thursday, August 12, 2021

Fancy Feathers - Try a Tool blog hop

Welcome to my stop on the Try a Tool blog hop with Island Batik and Studio 180 Design!  This hop features Island Batik's new collections, in quilts hops next month, and highlights the fabulous tools by Deb Tucker's Studio 180 design.  I was sent the Wing Clipper tool.  Can you guess what common quilt unit the Wing Clipper is used for?  Flying Geese, of course! For fabric, I have the Fancy Feathers collection designed by Kathy Engle.  Fancy Feathers is full of purples.  So many pretty purples!!! 


The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, Studio 180 Design, Schmetz, Hobbs, and Aurifil. 

 e

I started in EQ8 playing around with flying geese.  While I thought about using my favorite sawtooth stars, I decided I needed something different for this project.  It took a lot of playing, but I ended up with a block I liked.  I am not a perfectionist quilter at all but Deb's tools make it so easy to have perfect units!  My flying geese were never perfect, but on this project, every single one was perfect.  And the other thing I love about her tools is that they make a ton of different sizes.  The Wing Clipper can be used for 9 different sizes of flying geese.

 


I highly recommend using the Wing Clipper with the Quilter's Magic Wand, also by Studio 180 Design.  It's a rod that has a line etched down the center, and that line is a perfect 1/4 inch from each sign, so it's a great way to mark your stitch line for flying geese.

Wing Clipper in action

Quilter's Magic Wand

In addition to the units Deb's tools are designed to make, some can do other things, too.  She has Technique Sheets that show you how to make different units with the same tool.  I really liked the units made with the Geese on the Edge technique sheet.  I decided to use those units as a fun border.  I am so pleased with how it came out!  And I loved the Geese on the Edge technique, I will definitely play with that unit again.


I used nineteen of the twenty fabrics from Fancy Feathers.  There is a beautiful teal print in the collection that I was originally going to use as the inner border, but when I put the top together I felt like the teal was too distracting and that another purple would look better.  I added two purples from the always-available Foundations line and the background is Batter, a neutral I absolutely love.  I couldn't come up with a clever name for this so I'm calling it Fancy Feathers.


I did all the piecing and quilting with a Schmetz needle.  I quilted in diagonal lines using Aurifil Lilac/2562 in 40 weight.  This shade was part of the 2021 Color Builder box of purple threads, inspired by the Cross River Gorilla.  More on the Aurifil color builders coming in October! The batting is Hobbs bleached 80/20, perfect for a quilt with a light background.

Yes, that's me trimming while watching Olympic Archery


  

I loved working with the Wing Clipper and know I'll use it for lots of flying geese in the future!  Thanks to Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design for letting me play with the tool.  Be sure to check out Curlicue Creations to see what Jennifer made with Fancy Feathers and a different Studio 180 tool.  And you can find the schedule for the full hop here



Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Try a Tool Blog Hop

Today is the first day of the Try a Tool blog hop with Island Batik and Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design.  Each Island Batik ambassador was sent one of Deb's Studio 180 tools to play with.  The hop will also showcase the newest Island Batik collections, hitting shops in September.  

 


My day on the hop is this Thursday.  I have the Fancy Feathers collection by Kathy Engle.  Aren't these purples so pretty?!!!  I can't wait to show you what I made with these fabrics and Deb's Wing Clipper tool.


 To celebrate the first week of the blog hop, Island Batik is giving away a 10" stack of Butterfly Blooms AND a 2 1/2 strip pack of Autumn Wings!!!!  That's a whole lot of beautiful batik butterflies! You can enter the giveaway here.  And there will be a new giveaway each week of the hop!

Here is the complete hop schedule.  And don't forget to come back on Thursday to see my project with Fancy Feathers!

August 10:

Mania Hatzioannidi, Mania for Quilts
Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail 


August 11:

Elizabeth DeCroos, Epida Studio
Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts


August 12:

Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood
Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations


August 16:

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts
Gail Renna, Quilt Haven Threads


August 17:

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese
Sally Manke, Sally Manke Fiber Artist


August 1
8
:

Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky
Suzy Webster, Websterquilt 


August 19:

Jennifer Eubank, Archipelago Quilting
Jennifer Fulton, Inquiring Quilter

August 23:

Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting
Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine


August 24
:

Megan Best, Bestquilter
Janet Yamamoto, Whispers of Yore


August 25:

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia
Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde


August 26:

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights
Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts

August 30:

Joanne Hart, Unicorn Harts
Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs