Some Economy Blocks (aka Square in a Square)

At the last meeting of the San Diego Modern Quilters Guild I gave a demo on Foundation Piecing (also known as Paper Piecing, not to be confused with English Paper Piecing…yeesh). I started with a demo of the easiest block I could find on foundation, the square in a square or economy block.

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I got my block from Alex Anderson’s Paper Piecing book but there are plenty of free ones available online. I liked my little demo pieces so much I decided to make more

P1010679and I’m not done yet. The question is; What to do with them? I am going to take two of them and design a pouch, I guess if it works out I can make them all into pouches and give them away….save for Christmas?

P1010681They’re just so darned cute and easy to make. A little bit addicting actually.

Main Fabric: Hello Tokyo by Robert Kaufman (getting a little hard to come by these days).

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“Home Sweet Home” the Finished SIL Quilt

I did it! 6 months later the civil war era fabric quilt is done. Yahoooooo!

P1010670I made the label with my NEW Janome 7700 (more to come on that in another post).

I don’t know much about free motion quilting yet so I stuck with stencils.

P1010671I used this one on the border, with a chalk rolling tool.

P1010669Which I think came out rather well.

And I used this one intermittently within the quilt using a wash away marker (which washed out perfectly, huzzah).

P1010673Which looked like this after washing

P1010667I also did “stitch in the ditch” around all of the triangles and parts of the 8 section stars. The pattern itself came from a McCall’s quilting book from back in October 2013 called “Pinwheel Pinache”.

P1010666 In the end mine looks like this :-) It’s about double bed size, hopefully not too big to cuddle with. I also used wool batting (she lives in North Carolina). It’s a little lofty but hopefully still good on the couch.

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A Super Tote For My Sister-In-Law

Sooooo, I’ve been making this quilt for my SIL

SIL's quilt getting basted on the garage floor..it's super clean, really!

SIL’s quilt getting basted on the garage floor..it’s super clean, really!

….and she’s been waiting a long time. Okay, not as long as my sister waited for hers but about 6 months anyway. In the meantime I went to a little weekend retreat at my local quilt shop. Not being able to bring to my SIL’s double bed size quilt with me for quilting at the retreat (I didn’t want to spill into my neighbors spaces) I decided to create a gift to reward my SIL for her patients and to help me get rid of some of that extra fabric (I always get too much, but I am sure you wouldn’t understand that problem :-) ).

Enter the Super Tote!

P1010646…I know, picture quality is an issue this post, my apologies.

I bought the pattern when I was in Los Angeles for the final defense of my dissertation. I went up early and had time to stop by Sew Modern quilt shop. It is called The Super Tote by Noodlehead. If you haven’t checked out her website you really should, it is full of great patterns that go viral in our crafty world, or so it seems.

My bag has …

P1010640magnetic snaps on both outside pockets

P1010639a recessed zipper

P1010642inside pockets

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and side gussets!

All of the fabric was from the quilt except for the green, I needed to add that for the whole place-for-the-eye-to-rest thing, it was a little busy otherwise.

Now if I could just get around to sending it to her.

 

 

 

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The Graduate

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…and there it is. Where have I been? Graduating. Dissertation complete, family in and out of town, celebratory parties partaken of. It’s been a whirlwind from my final defense on April 15th until last weekend, our first alone time together in a long time. Yes, he did get to watch me sew for part of that time ;-)

Meanwhile things were made, SIL’s quilt just needs a binding, I have pics I just need to upload them and share all the wonderfulness I have been hoarding.

Oh freedom, how I love thee.

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A Finished Market Tote!

In celebration of the completion of my dissertation manuscript (no that is not the end of the hell that is doctoral candidacy, I still need to defend the blessed thing)¬† I decided to sew something that could be completed. I belong to the San Diego Modern Quilt Guild and we are having a “grocery bag swap” at our next meeting. Meaning….I think….we all bring our hand made creations, put them in the middle of the table, pull names and pick someone elses bag to keep. In an effort not to be the last picked I think I went for overkill

Market Tote Side #1and the other side

Market Tote side #2This is made with a tutorial by Bijou Lovely called quite simply the Market Tote (grocery bag = market tote I see the connection, don’t you?). It is a simple tutorial to follow which was what I was after since I have only made one other bag in the last 30 years. I used the fabric that I had made my sewing table cover with before it was “replaced” by my current sewing machine and table.

Market Tote Scalloped StitchingI used one of my machine’s fancy stitches instead of regular straight line top stitching on the bottom half.

Market Tote Handlesand contrasting threads on the handles and bag. I decided to make the handles with the black side out because the theme fabric was a bit busy for that area. I like the choice myself but my husband thinks I should have left them facing out. I like the contrast myself. He’s got a great eye but I stuck to my guns on this one and I like the outcome.

Market Tote Interiorthe interior is a piece of fabric that has quilty words on it, I thought that was fitting considering the audience. There are no pockets this time, I just followed the directions as written. Next time I will go rogue and add some.

I’m very happy with the outcome. I can see why people love making bags so much, it can be very satisfying. I say it can be because the duffle I made my sister was quite the process, unlike this one which I got done in an evening and a morning. I’m already making a mental list of worthy bag recipients in my life so I have an excuse to make more!

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WIP Friday…Where Did Wednesday Go?

Yeah, yeah I know the quilty blogoshpere posts their WIP’s on Wednesday. At this point in my dissertation progress I’m lucky to post anything. In fact, this morning I am using my post as a writing warm up. I have now written every chapter at least twice except the last one which has only been written once but we’ll be remedying that today now that I have received new revision for the last three chap’s. Whoopee :-| May they all be ready to turn in on Monday. Don’t get me wrong, there is still the opera to be seen tomorrow night and guild to go to Sunday morningish…with the sew-in to follow. Unless I am feeling particularly behind and guilty.

In any case, stress relief sewing is being accomplished. In fact exactly one month ago I was at that retreat where I began piecing my SIL’s new vintage quilt. It has now turned into this

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notice the “design wall” we rigged up in front of the plantation shutters in the sewing room/den. The picture colors are a little off because I can’t really get much natural light with the window being covered but it’s the best we can do for that room…for any room really.

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Of course every time I brought the quilt to the sewing machine I had this to contend with. ¬† He’s just so darned cute.

Since then the borders have been attached and I am ready to miter the corners. The batting has been purchased, wool, and I need to sew the back together. As this is vintage inspired it is not going to be a pieced back, just one fabric, so that will go together relatively quickly. With any luck I’ll be basting this weekend.

In other piecing news

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I have been sewing cranes. As you might remember they are my extra go-to project. I only have 22 so far I’ll be needing…I don’t know…100 or so. They are all of 4″ square and paper pieced. Let’s just say it’s good I am in no hurry on this one.

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And then there are sprouts. The last couple of nights I have thrown¬†carefully pieced some of those together. I have decided that I would like to finish that quilt next. I need to balance my quilty life with something a little more modern. As I have been working on other projects I have been cutting out 2.5″ squares of any fabric that might work in a sprout so I have a bit of an accumulation. I need to count them and take a little color inventory to see if I am particularly lopsided…which may not matter.

…and lastly,

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bee blocks. These are for one of my fellow San Diego Modern Quilt Guild members. She gave us the fabric with instructions to make two different looking “slab” blocks a la the Sunday Morning Quilts Book (which I happen to own, and love). These bee blocks are great because it allows me to give a block a try that I am not planning to do anytime soon, if ever and it helps out a quilty friend :-)

Posted in Bee Blocks, Big(ger) Quilting Projects, Paper Piecing, Work-in-Progress | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

English Paper Piecing Progress

I am in the throws of finishing the rough draft of my last chapter for my dissertation (while I work full time) so time has been of the essence. Therefore…not getting a whole of sewing done. That being said I have taken some time out at the end of my day to sew while I hang with my hubby.

So here is my progress on the English Paper Piecing Project.

All of the stars are done! And I managed to add more of the red dot fabric as well.

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Remember all those stars came from this one piece of fabric! That Sue Daley knows how to pick ‘em (remember I started this project in her little wall hanging class at the Riley Blake Fabric Fest in Vegas last September, oh how I hope they do another one of those).

In the meantime I put all of the pieces out on my dining room table to see if it would be long enough.

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Yup, looks good. However, I am thinking that when I finish the sides there will be an awful lot of that red polka dot fabric. I have a lot of the red left over so I am playing with the idea of adding a line of red fussy cut hexies along the sides. That would also make it wider.

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I’ll have to see if I have enough fabric to fussy cut one or two different designs that would make the full length of the table runner.

We’ll see :-)

Posted in English Paper Piecing, Little Sewing Projects, Work-in-Progress | Tagged , | 7 Comments