Friday, February 26, 2016

a big week

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

It's been a big week over here. Boy, am I glad it's Friday!
My middle child turned 13 on Wednesday, so no more little boy.... (sniff, sniff.) My husband thought it would be a grand idea to buy him a brand new drum set to celebrate this milestone. Things got serious pretty quickly! And loud. HA! Actually, he's a great drummer and it's exciting to be investing in his future in this way....even if I do have to wear hearing protection while I am sitting in my living room. :)

Along with that, I finished writing my book this week. (!!!!!!) I'm beyond thrilled and quite exhausted. Words can't even begin to describe....
Completely unrelated...this is a new quilt I started working on this week. I am loving it so far! And...I'm so looking forward to sewing for fun! Hurray!

Now, it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank you for joining me for finish it up Friday! Have a great weekend. xo

Thursday, February 25, 2016

fleet and flourish fabrics

Today I'm happy to be a part of the Fleet and Flourish blog hop. This beautiful fabric line was designed by Maureen Cracknell and is made by Art Gallery Fabrics.
The floral on the bottom left is my absolute favorite from the whole line. It's SO delicious!
It didn't take long to come up with an idea for the fabrics. I was inspired by the Vast Quilt by Jeni Baker, from her book Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle. It was THE perfect pattern to show off the large scale prints. I cut my blocks at 13'' square (rather than 18'' square) due to the size of fabrics I had on hand. It worked out very well!
Since I'm such a hard-core scrap user, it felt a little weird to cut into so much new fabric all at once. I almost forgot what that felt like...but it sure was fun! I made the entire quilt top (and basted it!) in one Saturday. I could get used to that. :)
Here it is, finished! I love how it turned out! I kept it simple by free-motion quilting loop-de-loops over the entire piece.
Whenever I make a quilt with an entire fabric line, I like to mix in a few choices of my own, just to add my own stamp on it. I only added two fabrics...this yellow ochre solid, and a yellow squared elements print from my stash (you can see just a touch of it on the left hand side of this photo). I like how the yellow pops from the rest of the colors and how it highlights the yellow details in the other prints.
 The backing is a mish-mash of things from my stash. It's kind of quirky, but I love it all the same!
I finished it off with an eggplant Kona cotton binding. I'm not a fan of cats, but this cat print by Lizzy House (from a few years ago) is pretty darn cute! It was a welcome addition to the backing.
The quilt is BIG, finishing at about 72" x 84".

While I was making this quilt, my oldest son kept commenting on how the fabrics don't look like me. I thought that was funny--and pretty astute of him! These are a bit of a departure from the usual candy colors that I seem to gravitate toward, but it was still a delight to work with them! My husband likes it quite a lot and thinks I should make another one...but this time a king size quilt for our bed. I'm kind of surprised that they still pay attention to my quilting shenanigans after all these years! I'm pretty lucky. :)

If you care to see what others are making from this beautiful fabric line, check out the other stops on the blog tour:

Feb 22nd ~ Amy Friend
Feb 23rd ~ Heidi Staples
Feb 24th ~ Amy Smart
Feb 25th ~ You are here!
Feb 26th ~ Brooke Sellmann

Feb 29th ~ Amber Carillo

March 1st ~ Nicke Cutler
March 2nd ~ Nicole Daksiewicz
March 3rd ~ Christopher Thompson

March 4th ~ Alexis Wright

March 7th ~ Jessica Stewart
March 8th ~ Stephanie Kendron
March 9th ~ Heather Bostic
March 10th ~ Ali Brorsen
March 11th ~ Melissa Kelley

March 14th ~  Maureen Cracknell Handmade

Monday, February 22, 2016

pattern winners

The pattern winners for this week are Joan G, Linda Rose, Anja, and Brooke! Ladies, please email me and I will get your choice of 3 PDF patterns to you! Thanks to everyone who played along. Happy Monday to you!

Friday, February 19, 2016

pixie basket

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
Today's (start) and finish is a cute little project that you could probably make in less than an hour. Be warned, you MAY want to make about 100 of them. I know I want to!
There is a tutorial for the pixie basket here. Thanks, Heidi! This was the perfect project to brighten up a rainy day.
I used scraps to make this basket, of course, including the measuring tape pieces. They are actually from the selvage of the fabric. I couldn't bear to throw it away, so I'm thrilled it came in handy today. Hurray for saving everything! :) This is scrap project #127!

I can't wait until my daughter comes home from school so we can squeal over the cuteness together!

It feels like another giveaway week. I will randomly select a few winners (from the comments and the links) to win their choice of 3 of my PDF patterns from my pattern shop, just as a thank you for reading and joining me for finish it up Friday!

Now, it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Have a great weekend! xo

Friday, February 12, 2016

micro geese mini quilt

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

Well, I already claim to be crazy, so showing you this shouldn't hurt my reputation at all, right?
These are left over scraps from the handles of the mini coffee cup quilt that I am working on. Most people would throw these scraps away.....and that is great! It's the sane thing to do. However, I had a feeling that they had potential. I trimmed the corners at a 45 degree angle, which produced instant fusible micro geese!
I had a lot of fun playing with different arrangements, but settled on this simple configuration. I was afraid that the quilting would distort it, but there were no problems whatsoever. Hurray!
The scraps are teeny, tiny....
...but they make a mighty fine mini quilt! I really LOVE how it turned out! It measures 14 1/2'' x 19 1/2''. It's scrap project #126!
This mini would make a good partner for my frugal gal mini quilt....and I just may turn them into a series. I'm so excited to see where that will take me! Hurray for small scraps!
Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Friday, February 05, 2016

practicality and a pink patchwork pincushion

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
This week I finished knitting a rag rug runner. The idea behind this project was to have a place for my kids' boots to dry after they go out sledding. You know...somewhere other than directly in front of the door. I love that my kids aren't too old for sledding yet, even though one of them is taller than I am! They certainly make good use of the hill in our back yard. It's so great!
When I first bound off the rug, it was a few inches too short. Since perfect is better than finished (how many times do you hear that??? hahaha!) I put it back on the needles and knit several more rows. Now, it fits 3 pairs of boots nicely. I love that this is not only a good scrap buster, but it's so practical! It's scrap project # 124!

The rug measures about 15'' x 29''. There is a tutorial here, if you care to try your hand at making one of your own. (For this rug, I cast on 28 stitches on size 17 US needles and I used one strand of fabric "yarn" that was cut about 3/4"-7/8" wide.) If you don't knit, but you can crochet, you may want to check out this tutorial instead.
Another practical project this week was sewing up some cloth napkins from the stash. I used up some fabric that I don't really LOVE, but I don't hate, either. (Sometimes it's a fine line, right?) I cut the fabric 18" square, and hemmed the edges. Nothing fancy, but they were quick and we will use them! PLUS, I busted 2 1/2 yard of my stash. That's a great thing!
My daughter got pink eye this I've had pink on the brain. (What can I say, inspiration comes from the strangest places!) I thought about making a pink pillow, but that would take too long, so a pink patchwork pincushion was the next obvious choice. Ha!
I love that little strawberry so much! The patchwork squares finish at 1'' each! The pincushion is about 4" square. It's scrap project #125!

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

add it to the list!

After finishing several quilts last month, I allowed myself to start a new project. In the middle of last year, I had 25 WIPs (gasp)....and I managed to whittle that number down to 10! I think I've earned the new project! :)
I'm using my mini coffee pattern to make the blocks, but I'm shooting for a lap size quilt this time around. (You can see the two minis I made here.) I decided to use the test blocks that I made when I was developing pattern and just add to those. They vary a bit from one another, but I actually like that. One block was too small, so I added a little border. It works!
The blocks are a little fiddly to make, but I think the finished product will be totally worth it! Notice the few handles facing left? I'm a lefty, so I couldn't resist. I'm sure all you other lefties out there can appreciate that, too!

Only 98 more blocks to go..... (Ha!)

Because I know someone will ask, the handles are appliqued on with fusible applique. I prefer Lite Steam a Seam or Lite Steam a Seam 2. I've tried other fusible products but I had so much trouble removing the paper backing and it was maddening. The Steam a Seam products are GREAT!

Monday, February 01, 2016

pattern winners

Thanks for all the kind words about my snowflake pillow! I appreciate each and every one! It was pieced, not bias tape applique, to answer that question. :)

The winners of 5 PDF patterns are: Alidiza, Diana, Carol, and Myra @Busy Hands Quilts! Please email me so I can get your patterns to you. Thanks to all of you for reading, commenting and linking up!

Happy Monday to you!