Friday, February 22, 2013

nothing like the last minute

In true procrastinators fashion, I've waited till the last possible minute to tackle these 4x5 bee blocks, but have snuck them in under the wire!

4x5 Hive 7 Quarter 2 blocks

1. for debtrail, 2. for watch meesh run, 3. test block, 4. for bellsbellsjo, 5. for jennaappleton, 6. for adeepi4life

I went a little more traditional than usual for my block design, and used this Road to Tennessee block tutorial, and couldn't be more pleased with how they turned out.  It really is cool that such a traditional block can look so fresh and modern by just using bright and modern fabrics.

I love when everyone's colors are so diverse, it really let me dig through my scrap bins and pull out some of my favorite prints to incorporate into each block.

4x5 Bee hive 7

My mind has started churning, and I think this block would be a great way to use up some charm packs I have laying around and whip up a baby quilt or two for an expecting friend!  

Friday, February 15, 2013

happy feet


I've actually knit my first complete pair of socks!  I've tried knitting socks before...and it ended in disaster.  I had taken a sock knitting  class at Joanns a few years back, and my dog ate my knitting homework.  Even though the awesome teacher was able to fix my dog eaten sock, it was just never the same.  I think that half finished sock is still down in my sewing room somewhere.  


Anyways, this sock knitting experience was much more successful and enjoyable.  I started with purchasing Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe Up, googling the Magic Loop Method and Judy's Magic Cast On, and me and my Addi Turbo circular needles and sock yarn I grabbed from my local yarn shop were off to the races!  Now, that's not to say these socks aren't riddled with mistakes, because they definitely are...and one is definitely a little bit bigger than the other, but that's ok, because I still love them.


I knitted these on size 2 circular needles, and they ended up being a little too big.  I breezed over the step of knitting a swatch to obtain the right gauge, and in looking back I wish I would have slowed down, and not breezed through that step.  I was able to put them through the wash on a hot cycle and let them tumble dry, and this shrunk them enough for them to be wearable, but lesson learned.


After reading about Amanda's hedgehog sock blockers, I knew I just had to have my own.  After searching through Chappy's Fiber Arts and Crafts Ebay store, I couldn't pass up these adorable sheep sock blockers.  Oh the irony.  Get it?  Wool?  Sheep?  Yes totally lame, but they are too cute, and make your socks look super professional.


I've already cast on for my second pair.  I found a local-ish yarn shop that carries more sock yarn than I would know what to do with.  I grabbed a few skeins of Madeleine Tosh Sock, and couldn't resist casting on ASAP.


This picture really doesn't do the yarn any justice, its Madeline Tosh Sock in Oxblood, and reminds me of black raspberries, so pretty.  I'm using a size 1 Addi Turbo Lace circular needle to obtain gauge, and am knitting these ones two at a time!  I of course needed a cute new bag to stash my sock projects, so this boxy pouch was just the ticket.  And might I add how well this Joel Dewberry Heirloom color way, and this Kitchenette print in Raspberry from Jeni Baker's new line Color Me Retro play together!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spread the Love Blog Hop Giveaway Winner

I almost forgot that I owe you a winner today!  I have to say I really enjoyed reading everyone's Valentine's traditions!  I had no idea that Valentines was really on a "thing" here in the States!  Learn something new every day.  

The hubs and I don't really do any thing crazy, he usually sends the requisite flowers to my work (which is just about my favorite thing :-) ), and the last few years we've started going to one of our favorite restaurants with another set of couple friends, usually not on the day its self, but on the closest weekend.  This has become a great tradition to look forward to every year, good food, good friends...can't beat it!

Without further ado, Mr. Random has selected #8-Deborah, as the winner of the $25 gift certificate to Hot Pink Stitches! Deb said she likes to put little hearts in her boys lunch boxes on Valentines Day telling  them she loves them.  Too sweet!  Deb you should have received a confirmation email from me, to claim your winnings.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Salt Water Starburst: Quilt Top


Some of my favorite weekends are those where we lounge around with no plans, or obligations, and just take it easy.  This weekend was one of those weekends.  There were a few errands to be run, some football (and commercials!) to be watched, but mostly (at least for me) there was lots of quality time spent down in my sewing room.  


I had started this Starburst Cross quilt using a fat quarter bundle of Salt Water by Tula Pink in the beginning of January, however this project was quickly brushed to the side as a result of the vortex that was #ScrappyTripAlong.

It felt nice to pull this project back out and finish up the quilt top this weekend.  While I haven't made any strides to finish old abandoned WIPs from years past --yet-- I figured the least I could do was not to add to the pile of WIPs.


This quilt is destined to be a birthday gift for my mom.  She loves the beach more than anyone else I know.  Her birthday is this weekend, so basting and quilting will be on the agenda this week.  As she has one of my very first quilts I completed, I want to make this one more of a winter weight, great for couch snuggling, now that winter is back in full effect.  I grabbed some anti pill fleece for the backing, and plan on finishing it very much like my scrappy trip along quilt.


I have to admit, I wasn't quite sure how I felt about these colors together when the fabric bundle arrived at my house, but seeing them together in a quilt has me in love.  The bright corals against the different shades of blue and limey greens is oh so pretty.


My secondary motivation for putting together another Starburst Cross quilt (the first one was shipped off to last spring's quilt market for the Westminster booth) was to work on an updated complete Starburst Cross PDF quilt pattern with simplified cutting and piecing instructions.  Look for the updated free pattern in the next week or two! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tutorial: Be Mine Valentine Garland

Hello and thanks for stopping by!  Today is my stop on the Spread the Love Valentines blog hop hosted by Ellison Lane Quilts.  I'm excited to share a fun heart garland tutorial which will add a little bit of Valentine's love to your home!


**Check out the bottom of this post for today's giveaway from Hot Pink Stitches for a $25 gift certificate to her etsy shop!**  This giveaway is now closed.

Be Mine Valentine Garland Tutorial

You Will Need:

(18) appx. 5" square fabric scraps
(9) appx. 4" square fabric scraps
4" x 12" fabric for letters
Double Stick fusible web (I used Steam a Seam lite) 
bias tape or ribbon measuring 67" long
Water Soluble fabric marker
Heart template
Spray Starch (optional)

**Tip:  Before beginning, please keep in mind how you want to layer your fabrics.  I chose to use a darker print for the larger hearts, and a lighter print for the smaller hearts, and then a darker red for the letters, so that each layer "pops".  Be advised, by using a lighter print on top of a darker print, you may get some show through of your darker print, especially through white.** 

Be Mine Valentine Garland Tutorial

1.  Begin by printing out the Be Mine Template and the Heart Template (found here and here).

2.  Cut out one of the larger hearts from the heart template.  We will use this as a template to trace onto the wrong side of (9) of our 5" fabric squares.
**Tip:  I found it helpful to spray starch my fabric squares before tracing the hearts, as it helped to keep my fabric from bunching while tracing**


3.  Cut out all 9 hearts you traced onto your fabric squares, set aside.


4.  Next, trace the smaller heart template onto your fusible web (Steam a Seam) 9 times.  You will note that there is on side of the steam a seam that pulls away quite easily, and one side of the Steam a Seam that is harder to pull off.  Trace your hearts onto the side that is hard to pull away.


5.  Loosely cut around each heart you just traced on to the fusible web.  


6.  Peel away the easy to remove paper side from your fusible web hearts from step 5.  (Your heart tracing should still be visible)  Fuse according to the fusible web manufacturers directions on to the wrong side of one 4" fabric square.  Repeat with (8) remaining 4" fabric squares/fusible web hearts)


7.  Cut along the heart outline  You should now have (9) smaller hearts that are backed with fusible web and the paper-y covering.  Set aside.


8.  Using the Be Mine Template, turn the template over, so the letters are backwards, and trace the outline of each letter using a dark fine point marker (Sharpie) or dark colored pen.


9.  Trace the backwards letters onto the fusible web, as you traced the small hearts in step 4.


10.  As in step 6, peel away the easy to remove paper side of your fusible web.  Fuse to wrong side of the 4" x 12" fabric you are using for the letters.


11.  Cut out the letters along the outline visible on the fusible web.


12.  Now comes the fun part, use  your large hearts from step 3, your smaller hearts from step 7, and your BE MINE letters from step 11, remove the harder-to-remove paper backing from your fusible web to expose the sticky side of the smaller hearts and letters, and arrange in the following manner:


13.  Once you are happy with the arrangement, press with your iron to fuse together.  Set aside.  **Note, you will have 3 large heart/small hearts that do not have a letter.


14. Repeat steps 4-7 with the large heart on the Heart template, to form 9 large hearts backed with fusible web.  These hearts will be the garland backs.  Set aside.

15.  If you are using bias tape, you will want to fold in the short raw edges 1/2" to prevent fraying, and stitch along the short edges, and open folded long edge.




16.  Take your bias tape/ribbon, and starting at the left short edge, measure 6" and make a small mark with your water soluble pen.  Continue to make 9 total marks every 6".


17.  Place a large heart with fusible web backing from step 14 right side down (fabric side down, fusible web side up--remove paper covering to expose sticky web), and then lay the bias tape on top of the sticky side of the heart, with the mark you made on the bias tape in step 16 aligning with the left edge of the heart, like so:


18.  Take one of your assembled large/small hearts assembled in steps 12 and 13, and align on top of your heart backing from step 17, sandwiching the bias tape in between the two hearts, press to fuse together.


19.  Repeat this process with the 8 remaining hearts, aligning the left edge of each heart with the marking on your bias tape/ribbon.  Be sure to arrange your hearts in order, spelling BE MINE.


20.  Once all 9 hearts are fused to the bias tape, edge stitch around the border of each large heart to secure to the bias tape.  You could choose to stitch around the smaller hearts and letters also, but as this is a decoration, and won't be washed, I chose not to.

21.  Stand back and admire your new Be Mine Valentine Garland!


Giveaway:  Now for the good stuff, here's how to enter to win a $25 gift certificate to the Hot Pink Stitches Etsy shop, simply leave me a comment, telling me one of your favorite Valentines traditions, if you have any (if you don't, any old comment will do!)  Mr. Random will draw a winner on Wednesday February 6th.  Thanks for stopping by!  This giveaway is now closed.