Saturday, December 31, 2011

one last quilty finish of 2011

deep deep sea baby quilt

Bertha really earned her keep yesterday, as we put together a quilt back, and then quilted and bound this baby quilt, all in an effort to get this guy finished before 2012.  I am so happy with this baby quilt, I just love the colors, and squares on point really have a special place in my quilty heart.  I'm not sure what it is, but pairing them with borders and lattice?  Me likey.  

deep deep sea baby quilt

I thought for one hot second about pebble quilting this little guy, to look like bubbles, in sticking with the underwater theme, but A.) I wanted this done yesterday, and B.) I thought maybe something I'm more comfortable with, like a nice stipple would be best for Bertha's maiden quilting voyage. 

deep deep sea baby quilt

The quilt back is pretty simple, when I purchased the Deep Deep Sea fabric bundle for the majority of the fabrics in this quilt, one of the prints was this half yard cut of a panel.  I typically don't buy panels, but it came in the bundle, so I was planning on just cutting into it, and figuring at least the colors would go together, but then I thought how perfect would it be to piece it into the quilt back and show off the entire print.  I'm so happy I did, I think it works perfectly paired with the Deep Blue Kona.

deep deep sea baby quilt

deep deep sea baby quilt

Quilt Stats:
Name:  Deep Deep Sea Lattice
Size:  42" square  
Fabrics:  Deep Deep Sea by Studio E and various accompanying fabrics from my stash, Kona White for sashing and Kona    
                Deep Blue for the lattice
Binding:  Denyse Schmidt's Picnics and Fairgrounds in Blue and Green dots, 100% machine attached 
Quilting:  All over meandering stipple, white Gutterman thread done by me

Well, this really is all I've got for 2011!  See everyone in the new year!

a quilty 2011

It's hard to believe that 2011 has come to a close, but here it is!  I didn't set out at the beginning of 2011 with a list of goals, aside from improving my quilting skills ( how boring, I know). However, I'd say I've done just that, here is this year in pictures:

2011 completed quilts

1. Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt, 2. New Wave Quilt, 3. Mini Stacked Coins Quilt, 4. Central Park baby quilt, 5. Scrappy Rainbow Quilt, 6. Double Wedding Ring Quilt, 7. Chocolate Sanctuary baby quilt, 8. Garden Fence Quilt, 9. Tangled Windows Quilt, 10. Christmas Tree Skirt, 11. deep deep sea baby quilt, 12. Quilt #1 My Favorite Little Quilt Swap, 13. DQS 10 Completed Doll Quilt, 14. DQS 11 quilt top, 15. FTLOS mini quilt, 16. Doll Quilt

Thats nine quilts ten quilts, one tree skirt and five mini quilts.  Now that Bertha and I have become fast friends, I'm hoping 2012 will bring more full size quilts, and perhaps, ahem, a king size quilt just for us. I have one more finish to add to this list, pictures tomorrow!

At the end of 2010 I had just discovered virtual quilting bee land over on Flickr.  I certainly jumped right in with two feet, and I think I am a better quilter because of it.  It certainly made me challenge myself and develop new skills that I may not have tried on my own.  I have decided to become a little more selective in the bee's I participate in in 2012, as I was starting to feel bogged down by "obligations" in bees and swaps, etc.  One of my goals for 2012 is to give myself more time to quilt what I want to quilt, not what I have to quilt.  Here's a look at 2011's bee blocks.

2011 bee blocks

1. pinwheel-ish block, 2. Pinwheel block, 3. November Solid bee block, 4. November Simply Strings bee, 5. Solid Bee-August/Littleloops, 6. 4x5 trial block, 7. Simply Strings for LRStitched, 8. June Simply Strings Block-Valkryie, 9. 3x6 beehive 15, 10. Solid Bee-KateQuilts May, 11. October block for Kelly Solid Bee, 12. trial block, 13. Sew Fun block for Amy, 14. 1st quarter 3x6 bee block , 15. December Simply Strings block for Gwen, 16. January Solid Block Bee for Natalie, 17. December Solid Block Bee for Lynne, 18. Feb. Solids Bee Block for gwenschimek, 19. Feb. Simply Strings Block for flightin, 20. Simply Strings for LRStitched, 21. Solid Bee, 22. 4x5 Hive 14 Q3, 23. Simply Strings September Jonquils and Ladybugs, 24. August Simply Strings Block for SheReads, 25. Sew Fun pinwheel block for Quilt Happie, 26. Solid bee for CNSnow, 27. Simply Strings for LisaJanLovestoQuilt, 28. April blocks for Dustin- Solid Bee, 29. April blocks for Suzy- Simply Strings, 30. beehive 24 2nd quarter for Lynette Russell Designs, 31. 4x5 modern bee - hive 14, 32. beehive 24 2nd quarter for yellow_bee_58, 33. beehive 24 2nd quarter for missplanner, 34. beehive 24 2nd quarter for rebeccasrags, 35. beehive 24 2nd quarter for denawayne, 36. 3 x 6 caretaker swap

I'm really excited for what 2012 has in store, I'm hoping to tackle a few of those abandoned WIPs I seem to have accumulated this year (that means you, postage stamp quilt, spider web blocks and 3x6 bee blocks...), a few more full size quilts, and more quilts with curved piecing!  Within the past year I've also began dabbling in designing my own quilt patterns, and I'd like to keep this going in 2012.  It'll be fun to look back next year at this time, and see if I've done any of these things!  

Here's to a happy and healthy 2012, Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Deep Deep Sea baby quilt top

Deep Deep Sea baby quilt

I think I have one more baby quilt in me for 2011, so I'm going to do my darnedest to squeeze this one out by Saturday!  This quilt is a commissioned baby quilt that I had all intentions of finishing some time ago, and hustle and bustle of the holidays seemed to get in my way of seeing it through.  Luckily there was no rush on the baby quilt, so I was able to put it off until now.

Deep Deep Sea baby quilt

This quilt started when a friend sent me this picture of the baby to be's nursery, and asked if I could make a quilt that would go along with the nursery theme.

I immediately started looking around my usual online fabric haunts, and came across this perfect fabric bundle on etsy from Tomodachikitty.  The underwater theme fits perfectly, its like these fabrics were made to belong in this nursery!

And from here a baby quilt was born.  I paired these adorable Deep Deep Sea fabrics from Studio E with coordinating blue and green prints from my stash, and added some Deep Blue Kona and Kona White for the sashing.

Deep Deep Sea baby quilt

I am happy with this quilt so far, I just love how crisp and clean the blocks on point look with the sashing.  I must admit, there are a few quilty boo boos in this quilt top, I think in my quest to "simplify" piecing this top together, I actually made it much more difficult.  I figured out what I was doing wrong about half way through, and from there it was smooth sailing.  But alas, I see the error of my ways glaring me in the face.  I'm counting on those slightly misaligned blue seams to blend in when all is quilted and washed.  

Deep Deep Sea baby quilt

I'm super excited to give Bertha a chance to show off her quilting skills, I'm almost giddy at all the throat space she has which should make quilting a baby quilt of this size a breeze!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bertha's first project

Whew!  I'm starting to settle back into the normalcies of life after the whirlwind of this past holiday weekend.  Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and enjoyed  time spent with family and friends, I know we sure did. 

Santa was overly generous this year, and left a new sewing machine under the tree, which I was ecstatic about.  I just love my new machine, which I've affectionately named Bertha, as in Big Bertha, as she towers over my old machine and makes it look like a toy.  

We've been spending some time getting to know one another, and just last night she completed her first project.  I have been eyeing this iPad case tutorial from Faith of Fresh Lemons for some time now, and had every intention of making one for the hubby's iPad for Christmas, however I just ran out of time.  My soon to be sister in law just received a Nook for Christmas and asked if I'd make her a case, and I immediately thought of Faith's tutorial and of doctoring it up to fit a Nook.  

I altered my dimensions to make it Nook sized, and decided that I wanted a top zipper closure instead of a flap velcro closure.  Because I used the zipper tabs on the top zipper, the case is quite roomy on the inside, but I think it works.  

I just love the front zipper pocket idea, this was genius Faith!  It will be perfect for storing head phones, charging cables or miscellaneous items that are always getting misplaced.  After seeing how well this turned out, I'm thinking my Nook needs a new home too.

Amanda loved the quilt that I made her for Christmas this year, so I used some more Terrain to make her Nook case, I'll be giving this to her this weekend, hopefully she likes it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last minute gift ideas: Jane Market Tote

I had been eyeing the Jane Market Tote pattern from sometime now, and after seeing Kati's bag posts (here, here, here and here) last week (yes, she has been a bag making machine!), I knew now was the time to get creating.  I finally purchased the pattern for these bags (it's in PDF form, so instant shopping gratification) and thought these would be the perfect Christmas gift for a few coworkers.  

The most fun part, or course, was picking out all the fabrics.  Thanks to Kati, she shared with me her secret for making these bags fat quarter friendly, and my available fabric choices increased exponentially.  It really felt nice to use up a good bit of my fabric stash, using fabrics that I've had laying around for quite some time now.    

In using Kati's suggested alterations, these bags are just a pinch smaller than the resulting pattern size, but I still think they make a great on-the-go tote size.  I also added interfacing to everything but the pockets and lining for a little added stability, and it really makes a world of difference.  I also lined my pockets and folded the pockets so that a pinch of lining showed through. 

Hope my coworkers dig these as much as I do, Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Last minute gift ideas: Easy Patchwork Placemats

Patchwork and linen placemats

Is anyone else mildly freaking out that Christmas is in a mere 6 days?  I'm actually doing ok.  I think.  Just about everything has been purchased, and all my hand made gifts have been made, but I now have an overflowing closet full of things that need wrapped.  In case you are scrambling for a few last minute hand made gifts, over the next few days I have a couple of quick and easy projects that would make great last minute gifts!

Patchwork and linen placemats

I whipped up these patchwork placemats using up some scraps left over from my recent Christmas tree skirt.  My Accuquilt GO! and 2.5" inch die made quick work of the cutting (however you only need 30 squares per placemat, so rotary cutting would be easy also), and I pieced them into a block of 5 squares x 6 squares.  

Patchwork and linen placemats

I was fresh out of quilters linen, so I actually had this linen I picked up at Joanns a while back that's from the garment sewing section.  I used some very light weight interfacing on the wrong side of the linen to stabilize the fabric, as the linen had a little stretch to it.  

Patchwork and linen placemats

These finished placemats measure 12" x 18".  I skipped messing with binding to save on time, and layered some batting before sewing these wrong sides together and turning right side out.  I edge stitched 1/8" from the edge, and then 1/4" on either side of the linen/patchwork seam.  

Patchwork and linen placemats

Yield: 2 fun and festive (and more importantly quick and easy!) placemats.  

Happy holiday sewing!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day Winner

First of all I have to say I am completely overwhelmed by the response to this giveaway!  649 comments?!?  That is certainly a record for sewcraftyjess.  Thank you to everyone who entered and commented, please know that while I wasn't able to respond to everyone's comments, I did read each and every entry, and was in awe of everyone's WIPs!  I'm glad to know I'm not the only one in holiday crunch mode.    

Now, onto the winner of the bundle of Kate Spain Terrain fat eighths and holiday pin toppers...drum roll please....

Congrats Katie!  I will be contacting you shortly to arrange delivery of your winnings!  (don't let that "#75" fool you...she is indeed the 475th comment, the comment number-er widget only goes to 200 and then resets itself.  Want to number your own comments?  Here's the tutorial I used.)

Thanks again to all who entered, now back to that feverish holiday sewing!  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sew Mama Sew! Giveaway Day

***This Giveaway is now closed***

It's that time of year again, and one of my absolute favorites, Sew Mana Sew's Giveaway Day!  Welcome to my little corner of the blog-o-sphere, and thanks for stopping by.

If you're new to sewcraftyjess, again hello and welcome, please, stay and play for as long as you'd like!  My name is Jessica and over the past two years I have become quite the quilting enthusiast!  My eye is always drawn to bright fun modern prints, which makes up the bulk of my fabric stash.    For Giveaway Day, I thought I'd do a little destashing, and pass along a few prints from one of my favorite fabric lines, Terrain.  

Now onto the good stuff, here's what's up for grabs:

I'll be giving away six fat eighths of Terrain by Kate Spain for Moda as pictured, and two hand made holiday themed pintoppers to add in some holiday cheer as well.

As for the nitty gritty, here's how to enter:

1.  Leave me a comment telling my about your latest or current crafty project.  (If you are a no-reply blogger, please include your e-mail in your post!)
2.  How about we add one more chance to win, become a follower, and leave me a comment, or leave a comment letting me know if you already are! (again, make sure I have your contact info if it's not listed in your profile)

The giveaway will be open until Friday, December 16th at 5:00 PM PST.  

Mr. Random draw one winner and I will notify him/her about their winnings (again, please please make sure I have a way to contact you, if the winner does not have contact info listed either in their profile or in their comment, a second winner will be drawn).

I will ship internationally, so all are welcome!

***This Giveaway is now closed***

Thursday, December 8, 2011

it's the holiday season

lined drawstring bag

I am officially in full on holiday mode here, and checking my to do's off my list one thing at a time.  You all know how much of a sucker I am for a good swap, so when Amy organized the Secret Santa swap over on twitter, I just couldn't resist.  

lined drawstring bag

I put together this lined drawstring bag using Jeni's tutorial, and am absolutely in love with this pattern.  I'm thinking there will be many a Christmas gifts "wrapped" in one of these drawstring bags.  Jeni also has a pattern for this drawstring bag for 7 different sizes as well, I'm thinking I'll need to purchase that pattern!  

lined drawstring bag

Secret intel tells me my partner digs this Merry Main Street Alexander Henry print, so I paired it with some Ready Set Snow by Me and My Sister designs for Moda.  The outer accent red fabric is another Christmas Moda print as well.

lined drawstring bag

Here is my swap package ready to be shipped off tomorrow, hopefully my partner likes!  I used some more Merry Main Street to "wrap" a quilting/sewing book for my partner (which would totally give it away if I showed what it is!) and added a few fat quarters from my stash and 2 holiday pin toppers.

twitter swap package

How is your holiday sewing coming along??

Monday, December 5, 2011

Festive Christmas Tree Skirt & tutorial


My monstrously large behemoth Christmas tree skirt is finished!  I have been wanting to make a larger Christmas tree skirt since last Christmas, and of course waited until December to tackle that project.  I have a few tree skirts including this one, which I absolutely love, however find it to be just too small for our large live tree we get every year.


This skirt measures 60 inches in diameter, and took a little quilty math and geometry to figure out the logistics, but in the end I must have retained something from 9th geometry with Mr. Rizzardi because it came together easy as pie.  With a little help from Google on how exactly to use a protractor (seriously never thought I would need those 9th grade skills again...) I had the dimensions for my large and in charge tree skirt.  


I used a plethora of various holiday prints from my stash as well as some non-holiday red and green favorites.  I didn't get a chance to snap a picture of it nestled quite nicely under our tree, but I am so so pleased with how this turned out, and I'm sure will be used for many years to come.

Christmas tree skirt

Quilt Stats:
Quilt Name: Festive Christmas Tree Skirt
Size:  60" round (diameter of 60")
Fabrics:  Assorted holiday and red and green prints
Binding: Bias cut red and white stripey fabric found at Joann's
Quilting:  Straight line quilting 1/4 inch on either side of each seam done by me


In case you'd like to make your very own tree skirt here is a tutorial for how I made mine:


Printable PDF pattern available here

Please note:  Read ALL instructions before beginning

Fabric Requirements

6 yards total of assorted prints
·         (32) 6.5" x 26.25" or (32) 6" x 23.75" strips of festive fabric (choose one set measurements for all 32 strips of fabric)
approximately 1 yard fabric for binding
3 yards fabric for backing

1.  Measure and cut (32) strips of fabric using either 6.5” x 26.25” or 6” x 23.75” for all (32) strips.  Using the first set of measurements will yield a completed skirt measuring approximately 60" in diameter.  Using the second set of measurements will yield a skirt slightly smaller than 60” in diameter. 
  • As shown below, if you choose to use the first set of measurements, creative cutting will be necessary when cutting the angles for the wedges, as the cutting line will be longer than a standard 24” quilting ruler.

o   Tip:  Like shown below, align a second quilting ruler to reach the full cutting distance OR use the 6” x 23.75” measurements listed above, which will allow you to make all cuts using a standard 6” x 24” quilting ruler.

tree skirt tutorial

2.  Once fabric strips are cut, make one small mark to indicate the center of one short edge (6.5” or 6” edge): at 3.25" from the edge if you are using the larger measurements or at 3" from the edge if you are using the smaller measurements.  Make (2) more marks, 5/8" on either side of your middle mark, as shown below.
  • Tip:  cut several strips at one time by layering multiple strips on top of one another to save time marking and cutting.

Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial

3.  Now align your ruler from the far left mark you just made to the opposite left corner and cut your fabric.  Repeat for the right side.

Tree Skirt Tutorial

4.  Once all (32) wedges are cut, sew all wedges together using a ¼” seam allowance.  Leave one seam un-sewn.

5.  Spread out the tree skirt top on a design wall or the floor.  The seam that was left un-sewn should overlap by about 1/2" as shown below.

Tree Skirt tutorial

6.  Trim approximately ¼” off of each wedge at the un-sewn seam so that it lays flat and no longer overlaps.  Do not worry if more than ¼” needs trimmed, simply trim so that the seam no longer overlaps.  

7.  Baste, quilt and bind using bias binding to finish the tree skirt and enjoy!

Please contact me at should you have any questions, happy holidays!