Tuesday, December 29, 2015

diamond pin cushion

The other day I needed a little bit of sanity sewing.
(Or perhaps this could be considered insanity sewing?)
Either way, it was just what I needed!
It was inspired by my diamond pillow pattern.
Finished size is 4 1/2'' square.
It is scrap project #123!

Also, thank you so much for your sweet comments about the quilt for my dad! They are all appreciated! xo

Monday, December 28, 2015

a quilt for my dad

Welcome to the last finish it up linky party of the year! It's a little odd to be hosting finish it up Friday on Monday, but I didn't want to skip it altogether. :)
Making my dad a quilt has been on my to-do list for the past several years. I started the top last Tuesday night (!!!) and I actually finished it in time for Christmas! Crazy. Pants. Making a quilt in three days isn't that big of a deal on a normal week, (hahaha!) but on the week of Christmas, with so many other things going on, it's kind of ridiculous. (My poor husband.)
I enlisted the help of all 3 kids and my husband to make it happen. The kids helped iron, counted out the quilt blocks and did some of the layout. Everyone helped tie at least a few blocks. Most of the fabric came from shirts that my husband wore in the past. He also suggested the addition of the cow fabric. I love that it was a group effort!
When it came time to photograph the quilt, I had a lot of fun finding various spots around my dad's farm. It was so nice to have my sister and my niece volunteer as quilt holders!
The back of the quilt was already pieced. I made the back for an entirely different quilt, but I ended up changing direction on that quilt. I thought about chopping it up and just using the fabric, but then I came to my senses. (Ha!) So, I built the front of the quilt to fit this backing. It worked out pretty well!
Because of the time constraints, machine binding was a must! It's far from perfect....but it will be durable!
I used polyester batting inside the quilt, which is not my usual choice, but I wanted the quilt to be nice and lofty. I used red heart yarn (!!!) to tie it. I wanted the quilt to have an old school/throwback feel. This is the kind of quilt that I slept under growing up. I knew I couldn't make his quilt too fancy or chances of him using it would be slim. That's just the way it is! :)
The quilt measures approximately 60'' x 78''. I'm pretty sure my dad liked it. It is my hope that he actually uses it!
This quilt is scrap project #122!

As I have done for the past 3 weeks, I will be choosing one winner from the commenters and one winner from the links to win their choice of 3 PDF patterns from my pattern store, as a thank you for being a part of the party!

Now it's your turn. Please link up your finishes! This is a great time to show off all your Christmas sewing. :) Thank you for joining me for finish it up Friday on Monday! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Happy Monday to you!

Monday, December 21, 2015


The winners of this week's giveaway of 3 PDF patterns are Claudia and Lucy. Thanks for all your comments and kind words! Happy Monday to you!

Friday, December 18, 2015

rose city roller socks

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
I have a new pair of hand knit socks! I finished these this morning...just minutes ago! I love how they fit! This is the second pair of socks I knit with this particular sock yarn. (You can see the first ones here.) I still can't believe that I was able to squeeze out four socks from 2 balls of yarn! love that I was able to use almost ALL of the remaining yarn I had on hand. It almost feels like I got a free pair. :)
I especially love the contrast toe, which was even more leftover sock yarn. One day I will figure out how to do a contrasting heel as well. But for now, this is great!
I used this pattern as a guide. What a fun knit! This is my 15th pair of hand knit socks to date! I already have pair #16 on the needles. :)
One more little finish for today...I finished my rainy day birdie coaster (#2!) that I started back in September. I love how it turned out! The pattern is in Erin's book Sweet Tweets. The crocheted edge was the challenge, as my crochet skills aren't super strong, but I think it ended up pretty cute! I used the instructions as a guide (noticing a theme?)..and then I kind of made something up that looked good on my coaster. For the edging, I used up more leftover sock yarn (yay!), which worked pretty well! The pattern called for embroidery floss, but I wanted to use what I had on hand. It is scrap project #121!

Next week we will not have a link up party on Friday, since it is Christmas day. I think I will move it to Monday, the 28th instead, so you can share what you made for Christmas or any other finishes you may have between now and then. Does that work? I hope so!

Also, I will be picking 2 winners (one from the comments and one from the links) this week to win a 3 pack of PDF patterns of their choice from my pattern store as a thank you for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week! I hope all your last minute Christmas prep is going well. Remember to breathe! Have a great weekend! xo

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

it's not too late!

There is still over a week until Christmas...so if you are a last minute person like me, here are a few gift ideas to make. It's not too late! Hahaha! I met up with a good friend of mine for lunch yesterday, so I made up this little gift package for her.
I used some good neighbors fabric (and a few other prints) to make a pair of Christmas dishtowels and a pot holder. I love how the rounded edges of the pot holder make the simple patchwork more interesting. Simple is good! I used bias binding to finish off the edges, which I hand stitched down while waiting for my son's choir concert on Monday night. (Every minute counts! Ha!)
There is a tutorial for making a simple patchwork dishtowel here, if you care to make some of your own. I love how the set turned out! These are scrap project # 120!
I also made a few decadent sauces. I used this recipe for the salted caramel sauce. (It's soooo good!) It's very salty, so you may want to reduce the amount of salt to start with and adjust to your personal taste. I did add the full amount and only 1 out of 5 in my family thought it was too salty.
The hot fudge sauce is a recipe I've had for years. It's easy, and it only takes about 10-15 minutes to make.
Hot Fudge Sauce
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) evaporated milk
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool slightly and pour into a jar. Keep refrigerated for up to two weeks. (It probably won't last that long!) Warm for several seconds in the microwave before using.
There you go! If you have any great last minute gift ideas, I'd love to hear them! I can always use a few more.

Monday, December 14, 2015

more PDF pattern winners

The winners of 3 PDF patterns from my shop this week are Julie and Carol. Emails have been sent. Thank you to all of you who joined in! We will do it again next week! :)

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, December 11, 2015

a thread catcher, fabric ribbon and mighty lucky, oh my!

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

This week I did a little gift sewing! I made this combination thread catcher/pincushion for a good friend of mine. I always have a hard time picking fabric for others, so I did what I could to mix her likes with a little bit of mine. I think it turned out alright! :)
The pincushion is made from quilting cotton which was fused with Pellon SF 101, (my all time favorite interfacing) and then I filled it with crushed walnut shells. The magnetic strip is handy for holding metal bobbins and hand sewing needles. It's handy to have one of these next to the sewing machine, or on the arm of the couch when hand sewing binding.
I modeled it after the one I finished about 3 years ago! (There is no pattern, I'm sorry to say, but there is a similar one-see this post for photos-in Krista's book Make it, Take it.) I use mine all the time...it's one of my favorite sewing gadgets. I'm happy to report that my friend liked hers, too! This is scrap project # 119!
As I was wrapping up my friend's gifts, I realized that I didn't have any nice wide ribbon, so....fabric to the rescue! I made my own "ribbon" from the red and white ovals good neighbors print. I love how it kind of looks like peppermints! (This fabric really needs to be a Christmas quilt backing!)
It makes pretty good ribbon, wouldn't you say? I LOVE how it turned out!
One more thing to share today...have you heard about the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club? It's like a gym membership, but for quilters! It the first of its kind subscription based program where you will receive a different design challenge/instruction each month from 12 different quilters. (The line up is impressive and I'm a little nervous/excited/thrilled to be a part of it!) You can read all about the details of the club here. I'm looking forward to learning and being challenged in a guided format each month! It sounds like a lot more fun than going to the gym, doesn't it? :)
As I mentioned last week, I will be picking 2 winners from each Friday post (one from the comments and one from the links) during the month of December. Each winner will have their choice of any 3 PDF patterns from my pattern store. Just a little thank you for joining me for finish it up Friday!
Ok, folks! Now it's time to link up your finishes for the week...if you have anything that isn't secret sewing, that is! :) Thanks, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday! 

Monday, December 07, 2015

PDF pattern winners

The winner from Friday's link up party is Cheryl and the winner from the comments is Sherry. Emails have been sent! :) Thank you for all you who joined in....we will do this again next week!

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, December 04, 2015

tiny things are my favorite

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

Once again, I am thankful for accountability of this linky party and the push to finish something each week! It gets a little harder during this time of the year...but I don't need to tell you that!
These little guys....1 1/2" finished half-square triangles...are my new favorite. (Quarter in the photo for scale.) They were an off shoot from another project, of course. Quilting is one big rabbit trail, isn't it? But....it's a fun trail to be on and I wouldn't have it any other way!
I had the bright idea to use these tiny HSTs to make a cherry pit warmer. My feet will be perpetually cold until May or June of next year...but this little cherry pit warmer will help! The inside is filled with cleaned (and sanitized) cherry pits. To warm it up, I place it in the microwave for a few minutes, along with a cup of water, to prevent burning or scorching. It retains the heat for several minutes. I've also filled these types of warmers with rice, which seems to retain the heat even longer than the cherry pits. Either way, these warmers are a must in my house! I think they would make great gifts, too.
The back side is patchwork, as well. I layered the patchwork onto 100% cotton batting (since it will be microwaved, be sure to avoid any polyester in the batting) and then I quilted it with straight lines. I sewed the two panels together, turned it right side out, filled it and stitched it closed by hand. It didn't take long at all...once the patchwork was made, that is! :) My son already requested one in his favorite color scheme of blue and green. He knew better than try to claim this one as his own! This is scrap project # 117.
These blocks were leftover from my just four fun quilt (free pattern here) and since there were 6 of them, I thought they would make a perfect set of coasters. I love to make coasters because they are quick, they are cute, and they use up those long, skinny strips of leftover batting.
These finish at about 4 1/2" square and they are reversible. (Love that!) Binding coasters feels highly ridiculous, but it finishes them off so nicely...I knew it would be worth it! I used my how to bind tiny things tutorial, which worked like a charm. My husband asked if he could take them to work to put in his office, so they have already found a home. Hurray! These are scrap project #118.

To thank you for reading, commenting and joining in my linky party, I thought it would be fun to offer up some prizes each Friday in December. Each week I will pick a random winner from the links, and also a random winner from the comments. If I pick your name, you can pick any 3 of my PDF patterns...just as a thank you! This party wouldn't be a party without you! :)

Now it's your turn! Do you have a finish to share this week? If so, please link up! Thank you for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Monday, November 30, 2015

cafe umbrellas quilt

This quilt has been finished since July...and I've had it back in hand for a few weeks already, but I never found the time to blog about it. (It's so difficult not to share things in real time!) This one was named by my friend Stephanie...who thought it looked like café umbrellas. Isn't that a fitting name?(Thank you, Stephanie!)
All of the fabrics in the front of the quilt are from my good neighbors fabric line. (I added solid white, which is also from Connecting Threads.) The idea was to design a block where the stripes make a diamond design. There is quite a bit of extra fabric leftover because the triangles are cut twice on the diagonal (rather than once) so the stripes form the pattern. The fabulous free-motion quilting was done by Steffani K. Burton. She does SUCH a nice job!
I have big plans for the leftover triangles...they will be some sort of flying geese some day. Probably in another year or two! Ha!
For the backing, I used 8 different 1/2 yard fabrics from my stash in colors that match the front of the quilt. There was a lot of auditioning to get just the right mix, but it was worth it! I love using up stash for quilt backs.
Polka dots, pigs and stripes...
 ...more polka dots in various sizes and a fun text print.
The scale of the teal dots (also from the good neighbors line) work so well for binding!
I thought twice about using this large gray dot on the back, because I wanted to hoard it until the end of time...but the scale was too perfect not to use! I'm glad that I did use it. After all, that's what the fabric is for, right? (I need the reminder sometimes!)
I really enjoyed piecing this quilt! It was fun to make something a little more traditional and I love the secondary design that the blocks make. There is a pattern for the café umbrellas quilt here, if you are interested. Connecting Threads has kits for this quilt on sale (today only!) for 50% off while supplies last. It's a great bargain!
The quilt measures 59 1/2" x 76 1/2", which is a nice lap size. It's nice and bright and cheery, unlike the weather today. :)

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, November 27, 2015

floor pouf

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

For something a little different today...I made a floor pouf for my home!
I actually bought a kit (which might be a first for me) from Modern Textiles. I fell in love with the floor poufs while they were still developing the pattern. It was a fun, practical project and I highly recommend it!
The pouf is filled with a combination of wool batting, (the old, old stuff that we would never put in quilts these days) along with some fabric scraps, batting scraps and a little bit of polyester fiberfill to the top to keep the top nicely rounded. There is an insane amount of filling in it!
I made sure to fill it quite densely, as recommended by the pattern, so it can be used as an ottoman or even a chair for a little person. My kids love it! This one was made using decorator fabric, but you KNOW that I'm already dreaming of making a scrappy version. :) 
It's so nice to have a BIG finish to share today!
I also wanted to give you a heads up...Craftsy is having their best sale of the year right now and it runs through Monday, 11/30/15. All classes are $19.99 or less, so if you had your eye on one, now is the time to purchase! I'm currently taking the class Basics of Digital Photography, which is fabulous. It's about time that I actually learn how to use my camera properly! On the quilting front, I'm taking Jacquie Gering's class Creative Quilting with Your Walking Foot, which is filled with great information. I've been watching both classes as I trim HST blocks and while I am chain piecing. It's so nice to be able to maximize my time and keep my mind occupied while I do those mundane quilting tasks. My class, Colorful Scrap Quilting is on sale, too! Craftsy classes never expire, so you can watch on your own timeline and re-visit the lessons as often as you like. That's a good thing! 
Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday! Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

an epic thrift store day

I had a bunch of errands to run today (along with everyone else in the country!) and one of the fun stops was the thrift store. Man, I cleaned up today!!!
First up, this funky, but super fun rug. I paid 79 cents for it! It is so fabulously homemade! I thought I would put it in my kitchen, but it's a little small for that, so it will either end up in one of my bathrooms or else by the side of my bed.
I love, love, LOVE the color scheme. I think I need to build a quilt around this color palette! It's so good!
This shelf was obviously homemade in someone's garage.....and I love that it's not quite symmetrical. :) I've been on the lookout for something tall and skinny with storage for my sewing room. This is just the ticket!
I found a board in my garage (already cut to the perfect size) and I covered it to use as an ironing board. I only paid $11.99 for the shelf and the rest of the materials were things that I had on hand. The best part? I got the project done within a few hours after I got home. Hurray! Oh, and my husband approves of it, so THAT'S good, too! Ha!
I covered the top with the tomato red cross stitch print from my good neighbors fabric line. I kind of love it! I purposely chose a darker color to cover it with so hopefully it will wear well and last for a long time.
And the last deal of the day....this quilt is hand made, tied and it is in really good condition. I paid $7.99 for it. I certainly don't NEED another quilt, (are you laughing with me yet?) but for that price I just couldn't leave it there!!! I love it so much!

When you add it all up, I spent less than $23 total! I'm thrilled!

This is my favorite week of the year...and thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday. For those of you in the States, Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you have a wonderful, blessed day! xo

Monday, November 23, 2015

pincushions galore

I thought it would be fun to show my entire pincushion collection with you today! Some were made by me and several were made by my friends. I love them all! I could barely fit them all in one frame (hahaha!)....no surprise there!
These two are my favorite ones to use....at least this week! :) I love that they have a firm base (a repurposed tuna can) and that they sit up higher than most pincushions. There is a tutorial here, from a long time ago, if you care to make one of your own.
 My pincushion "candy bowl" is full! This makes me super happy!
And one more...I made this little one on retreat this weekend. I found a scrap with my birth year on it and it was centered on the piece of fabric, so I just HAD to make a pincushion out of it. Isn't that the cutest? It's scrap project # 116!
If you are curious to know how I make my pincushions, I basically follow the directions in this tutorial...I just change up the patchwork on the top panel. I like to fill my smaller pincushions with crushed walnut shells, which I purchase in large quantities from the pet store. (They are sold as lizard litter). If the pincushions are over 5" or 6" I fill them with poly fiberfill, so they don't get too heavy. I hope that helps to answer any questions you may have!
Happy Monday to you!

Friday, November 20, 2015

catch-all fabric baskets

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

Well, it feels like winter here, so it was time to crack out the butterfly fabric! :) I actually used fabric from my stash this week--a noteworthy event to be sure. Ha!
Last summer my friend Michelle gave me a little fabric basket/tray as a gift, and I have found it so useful for corralling fabric scraps on my sewing table while I work. I have a lot of scraps, (ahem!) so I thought I would sew up a few more baskets. These were a fun, quick project to make that could be used for organizing so many different things! I was able to use up some scraps of weird stabilizer stuff (I think it was Pel-Tex) that I had leftover from making some bags years ago, so that was a bonus!
Let me mention the bamboo turner, pictured above. It's one of my new favorite tools! I usually use a knitting needle or something similar to poke out the corners of my little projects (like pincushions) but that bamboo turner is amazing! It's by Merchant & Mills and I bought it at Modern Textiles. It's a nifty little tool that I would recommend if you like sewing gadgets! Or if you make hundreds of pincushions, like I do. :)
You can use this video tutorial by Crafty Gemini to make the catch all baskets, if you care to make some of your own. Thanks, Vanessa!

Speaking of tools...I picked up this Clover needle threader at the free table last month at my guild meeting. (Don't you love that?) I haven't been successful in getting the needle threader to work, (although my son did) but I love the little cutter on the top! I use it for cutting apart blocks after chain piecing. It's so fun that I can even get my kids to do that task for me once in awhile. :) It ALL helps!
And just to keep things real....this was the project I was hoping to finish for today. I pulled out my scraps from this quilt and I was hoping to turn them into a throw pillow. The color balance wasn't quite right, but I didn't have the motivation or energy to push through...so that will be saved for another day. It's close, but not quite there yet! It's ok...I have plenty of other projects to keep me busy. Ha!

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes. Thanks, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday!