Monday, December 31, 2012

WIP rundown

Since it's the last day of the year, I thought it would be a good time to review my WIP scary as that may be.
#1: Missing U Quilt
Today I spent a good amount of time getting this quilt top put together. I really like it! I think I'm going to add a scrappy 6" or 8" border around the whole thing in GRAY! I'm excited about that least as of today. We shall see if I lose steam and end up finishing it as is. (Which would be perfectly lovely, too.)

#2: Super Scrap Happy
A few months ago I declared this quilt top done, but I'm going to add a few more inches to the least 5 or 6". I should have no issue rustling up enough scraps to do so.

#3: Oh My Stars!
This one could use some attention. It's been awhile since I worked on it.

#4: Pezzy
Top is done. I am waiting for backing inspiration to strike. Or the right sale to come along. (hee hee!)

#5: Trees
16 blocks pieced....just 4 more to go. (YAY!)

#6: Log Cabin Blocks
Another scrap project. Focus fabric all the way from Sweden, thanks to my sister.

#7: Machine Quilting Sampler #2
About half done. This is an on-going project, as I use it when I teach machine quilting classes. I have another class coming up in January, so I will be doing more on this soon. (Incidentally, I REALLY like this quilting design!)

#8: Leftovers
I'm pretty sure that this is my oldest WIP. It uses leftovers from my off kilter quilt. I'm not sure what is taking me so long to finish this one. I really like the colors (even though there IS purple in it!) and it would be easy to finish the top. All I would need is a plan....and an hour.

#9: Malena's Quilt
My niece and I started making this quilt on Labor Day weekend while she was here visiting from Iowa. It was intended to be a joint project, but I'm kinda itching to work on it and try out some fancy stitches on my new Horizon at the same time.

#10: It's ALL just Fabric
Not sure how big to make this...probably just a wall hanging.

#11: Reclaimed Stars
THIS might be my oldest WIP. It's a quilt made from clothing pieces and "ugly" scraps that I just couldn't throw away. I do like this one, too, even though it's not my normal style. I would like to make it at least a decent sized lap quilt.

In addition to these, I have a bunch of orphan blocks that I don't know what to do with but can't bear to part with them quite yet. They barely count. :)

I think that's it! It was actually fun to review the state of things and to see photos of them all in one place. It looks like I have plenty of fodder for upcoming finish it up Fridays!!!

Hope you have a happy and SAFE New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

winner and a WIP

The winner of the 1000th post giveaway is Kim who said:

Merry Christmas from us too! We're in NY and right now I'm loving bright reds, oranges an yellow color combos.

Kim, please email me so I can send you your prize!

Thanks to all of you for your kind comments! I appreciate them very much. Thanks so much for reading!

Now, for the WIP portion of this post....Last night we had a sew night at my LQS and I needed something fun and easy to work on while I socialized. More importantly, I needed a diversion from my trees. Luckily I have MANY WIPs to choose from. Ha!
This is my version of Cheryl's Missing U quilt (from Sunday Morning Quilts). This project provides good scrap therapy! At least 3 more blocks to go....perhaps more? I'm not sure...but it's fun to decide as I go. :)

Hope you are having a great Saturday!

Friday, December 28, 2012

finish it up Friday, 12/28/12

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

It's been a busy week and sewing time seems harder than ever to come by these days. Winter break is such a misnomer-especially if you have kids! (I don't sound tired at all, do I?)
Somehow I managed to eek out a mini quilt this week. It's a small version of my checkerboard quilt (from Sunday Morning Quilts). I made this as a shop sample for my LQS.
I put an envelope back on it so it can be used as a pillow cover when it's done hanging at the shop. (I like to think ahead!) It measures 20" square. The colors are a little more creamy and toned down from my normal bright palette, but I like that it's a bit different. It turns out that it looks great on either of my couches. Sweet!

How about you? Do you have a finish to share? If so, please link up and show what you've accomplished. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

how to make a ticker tape on canvas

Today I'm excited to share a fun little tutorial with you! You are probably familiar with my ticker tape quilt, right? Well, I've translated the idea to canvas! I made a few several months ago and shared about them here. Since then I've made a few more and took photos along the way so you can make one of your very own.
Materials needed:
-Artist canvas (11" x 14" shown)
-Sharp scissors
-Mod Podge (matte finish)
-Stiff bristled paint brush
-Disposable paper cup
-A sheet of card stock or two
-SCRAPS! Several fabric scraps in any various sizes. I like to use scraps that are less than 1" on at least one side. The smaller the better! Of course! :)
Take a piece of fabric and use sharp scissors to trim off any stray threads or frayed edges.
Place the fabric face down on a piece of card stock. Paint the back of the fabric with mod podge.
Place the piece close to the corner of the canvas. Paint over the top of the fabric with a thin layer of mod podge.
Repeat the steps as above to attach several more scraps.
An alternate way to attach the scraps is to paint the area of the canvas first.
Then place the fabric scrap on the canvas.
(This scrap has not been painted with mod podge at all.)
Now, paint a thin layer of mod podge over the scrap. This way may be a bit less messy. (I think?) Either way, after attaching several scraps, my hands tend to get goopy. But no worries, a little soap and water takes care of that.
Continue to add scraps in a random yet orderly fashion.
Keep filling in the blank areas of the canvas....
....until every last corner is filled.
Step back and admire your work!

These make great wall art for kids rooms! Or hall ways. Or....fill in the blank. :)
If you are inclined, you could do this project with your kiddos, too!

Hints and Tips:
I don't pre-plan the placement of pieces...I just design as I go. If this is the route you choose to take, remember to take a step back (so to speak) every so often and check your color distribution.

Use a high quality stiff bristled brush. Cheap brushes lose bristles easily. I picked up a high quality artist brush on clearance at JoAnn's for a couple of bucks.

The stiff bristles are helpful when you want to paint the stray threads back into place.

Use a new brush if at all possible. If you have any residual paint in your brush from a previous project, it will work it's way onto your fabric and canvas. Not good.

If you make a ticker tape on canvas, please consider adding your photos to the quilting with crazy mom flickr group! I'd love to see what you come up with.

If you have any questions, I will try to answer them in the comments. Hope you have fun with this tutorial!

Terms of Use:
This tutorial is for personal use only. Please do not sell items made from this tutorial. Thanks so much!

Monday, December 24, 2012


Hello there! Merry Christmas to you! :)

I can hardly believe it, but this is my 1000th post! That's a whole lot of writing! And quilting! It's the perfect time to say THANK YOU to you, my readers. I appreciate you reading, commenting and encouraging me as I quilt my little heart out. :) Comments are my blogging fuel, you could say, and your encouragement means so much. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

To celebrate, I've gathered a few of my favorite things to give away to one lucky reader. International entries welcome.
Some of my favorite things include....POLKA DOTS! Of course!
(notice, not a purple one in sight ;) )
Also, a full yard of black and white striped fabric (perfect for binding), a hand made scrappy pin cushion (made from the trimmings of this purse), 2 spools of Connecting Threads Essential Cotton Thread in cream and grey, a pack of self threading needles (perfect for burying knots), a pack of Clover wonder clips, and a signed copy of Sunday Morning Quilts. Plus, I'll throw in a customized thread catcher in your favorite color combination.

If you would like to win this package of my favorite things, please leave me ONE comment in this post. In your comment please state where you live and what your favorite color/color combination is. I'll pick the winner sometime on Friday, December 28.

Happy Christmas to you!
Amanda Jean

Friday, December 21, 2012

finish it up Friday, 12/21/12

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

I have no finish to share today, (boo!) but I still wanted to host. So, I thought I'd show you what I've been working on this week instead.
I've had this idea in my head for a few weeks now. Last Saturday night I finally had a chance to sit down with some graph paper to sketch out this block. Lots of math, lots of cutting, and a little sewing later (with several happy squeals along the way) and voila! Trees!!! It is SO FUN to see a plan take shape!
The blocks feel very vintage and retro, don't they? I'm so charmed by them!!! For a bit I considered making a KING size quilt out of these....but that might be a little crazy. I'm aiming for a nice lap size instead. I'll need to make 20 blocks for that size. That's managable!
I'm really enjoying the process of piecing this quilt rather than rushing through just to get it done. That feels pretty darn good! There is a LOT of cutting, though, and that's not my favorite.
Yesterday I cut one of the FQs wrong (grrrrr) and I didn't have any extra I ended up piecing some of my pieces. I tried to line up the dots as well as I could, as to not distract from the print. These pieces are only 1 1/2" wide! I think I'm taking my level of crazy up a notch, (maybe too much?) but I really wanted to use this fabric! I bet (I hope) this makes me smile every time I see it in the finished quilt. This was my 3rd cutting error so far in this quilt, which is NOT a great track record, so it's a good thing I'm good at making do!

(Because I've already been asked several times, yes! I'm happy to say I'm working on a pattern for this quilt. Stay tuned!)
On a side daughter brought this home from school yesterday. They were talking about jobs in school and this is her paper. It totally made my day! She is a product of her environment, no doubt about it! :)

How about you? Do you have a finish that you can share today? If you do, please link up to a specific post. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Monday, December 17, 2012

bright birch trees

I finished this quilt back in September but I wanted to get the pattern* written before I posted about here we are in December. Everything takes so much longer than it should!
This quilt is proof positive that every scrap deserves a chance. Even the little ones! I do love working with little pieces!!!! (I know, what a news flash.) :)  The solids used on the front are Pure Elements by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery fabrics. They are super smooth and I wasn't sure how I felt about that, but they sewed and quilted up nicely. Hurray!
I do love a two sided quilt. On the back is my 'on the edge' quilt. (which is where I reside most of the time, hee hee!) The solid fabric is Ocean Mist by Connecting Threads. I am quite fond of their solids, as you probably already know. :)
 It's a bright one, isn't it? It makes me smile. :)
The center strip is my favorite one in the whole quilt. It finishes just a bit over 1/2" wide. So itty bitty! It makes me squeal a little bit every time I see it.
For the binding I used a super fun Patty Young print. I love how it finishes things off. This is sure to be a favorite quilt of mine for a long time!

If you are interested in making your own bright birch trees quilt, you can find the pattern in my shop. The pattern is sold as a pdf only, so a file will be sent to your email address used in your pay pal account.

*All proceeds from the sale of this pattern now through December 31 will go to a friend who is raising funds for an upcoming adoption! If you would like another way to help (please do!) you may purchase a calendar here, which will help bring their baby Tulip home. (If you do purchase a calendar, please be sure to use the coupon code TULIP at checkout.) Thanks for your help!

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, December 14, 2012

finish it up Friday, 12/14/12

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

I'm happy to report that I finished up my drano quilt yesterday. I LOVE THIS QUILT!
 It's big! Measures 69" x 96".
The pattern is a traditional one called steps to the alter. Katy did a quilt along on her blog a few years back, so if you want to make one of your own (and I think you should!) you can find the directions here.
I threw it on my daughter's bed this morning for photos. I think it would be happy living here. (Although I do not think that will happen!)
I love that there is such a variety of scraps in this quilt...good, bad and ugly. It somehow all works wonderfully. I love the black diamond squares that give the eye a place to rest. Kind of.
 I used a simple black and white striped binding to finish it off...
...which ties in the backing quite nicely.

Speaking of the backing...I toiled over what to put on the back. I pieced a whole back out of fat quarters that I had in my stash because I didn't want to buy anything new for this quilt.
I kind of liked it-it felt campy and fun-but it wasn't quite the right match.
So I went back to the drawing board and ended up piecing it with some newly purchased fabric (the red and black) and a bit from my stash (the grey and white). I'm very happy with the outcome.
I quilted it with straight lines using my new Janome horizon. It was so fun! That thing straight line stitches like a dream. No shifting or pulling whatsoever and not a pucker in sight. Woo-hoo! (you can also see more quilting detail in the photo above.)
I'm considering using this quilt for temporary wall art behind my couch. I think it fills up that blank space perfectly. :)
I've heard that these things are addictive. I can testify to that. I'm thinking of starting another...

How about you? Have you a finish to share today? If so, please link up. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday! Have a good one!