Monday, July 31, 2017

pincushions 21-31, the finale and a blog break

Well, it's the end of July and I completed another month of pincushions!!! Let's catch up, shall we?
 Day 21--simple hand embroidered hearts on "notebook" lines
Day 22--twin pincushions made from a sweet little floral print that I adore. (even if it is polyester. ha!) The tabs are made from a tape measure that would no longer retract. I love re-using things like that!
 Day 23--morning--a tiny Jacob's ladder pincushion
day 23--evening--another version of the Jacob's ladder block, but this time in red and white. I had it in my head all day long, so I had to make another one in a different color way.
 day 24--simple bias solid stripes with a tiny metallic polka dot tab
day 25--fronts--These were made from scraps that were leftover from my friend Mary's fabulous owl blocks that she was working on at retreat.
day 25--backs--the backs are quilted, too, and are made from more scraps from the same project. Don't they make a fun set?
day 26--I showed these on Friday already, but I had to include them in the line up. Fabrics are from my new collection Emma & Myrtle for Connecting Threads. :)
day 27--a simple cube pincushion, again from my new fabric line!
day 28--the front--I really didn't feel like making a pincushion on day 28, but as usual, red and white polka dots were the answer! This pincushion measures about 2 1/2" square. It's tiny!
day 28--the back. I love how the back turned out, too. I'm glad I pushed through and made something, even if I didn't feel like it. That's all part of the challenge!
 day 29--A simple design made from the leftovers of day 19
 day 30--ticker tape pincushion that uses teeny tiny Liberty scraps
day 31!!! And the last one....a happy flower block, inspired by my friend Rene's wonderful blocks. I feel like this was a fitting way to end the month!

Thank you ALL so much for your kind comments and for cheering me on as I made a pincushion (or more!) a day. I appreciate you following along on this crazy journey. It's been a lot of fun!

Here's a picture of them all together:
 There are 44 in all!!!! It wasn't easy to get them all in the frame. Ha!
 And here they are in calendar order. :)
It's been a fun month! Thanks again for all of your encouragement!

It has been my usual practice in the past few years to take a month off social media, and I've decided that August is going to be my month off this year. I'm tired and I need a break! I need to soak up the last few crazy weeks of summer with my kiddos. I also have plans to take a trip with my husband to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary! (How can I be that old??) I'm looking forward to catching my breath and returning at the beginning of September.

Thank you for reading my blog and being a part of this. I appreciate it more than I can say. xoxo

Friday, July 28, 2017

Emma & Myrtle fabric

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

This week was a big one!!! My second fabric collection with Connecting Threads was released and my oldest son got his driver's license! My first line of fabric was released the day he started high school, so apparently fabric release dates coincide with big milestones in my house. Might as well deal with all of the emotions at once, huh? 
Anyway...back to the fabric! This is a vintage inspired collection that was named after two of my great aunts, Emma & Myrtle. There are 19 different fabrics in the line, but not a polka dot in the bunch. (Can you believe that?!?! I'm not sure how that happened! Ha!) Don't get me wrong....even with the absence of polka dots, I'm thrilled with how the collection turned out! I had a lot of fun sewing with it already and I'm looking forward to seeing how others use it. Emma & Myrtle is sold exclusively at Connecting Threads. They have kits, bundles and yardage, all available here. I plan to share more projects, more about the fabric design process and all that at a later date, but I wanted to share the big news with you today! (Eeeek! This is nerve wracking!)

I've been using some of the scraps to make pincushions! (Shocker, right?!?!)
 These are the ones from day 26 of my pincushion-a-day challenge....
and this is day 27! I was thrilled to use some previously interfaced scraps from bag making on this one. It made my frugal side very happy. :)
Alright, I think that's it for me today! Now it's your turn to link up your finishes for the week. Thank you, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

marmalade quilt--the beginning

Last weekend I had the opportunity to retreat with some of my friends at our annual Gruber's retreat. I believe that this was year 8! I'm so thankful for good friends from all over the country who were brought together through the internet and our common love of quilting! We have expanded our retreat to a 5 day stretch--what a treat that is! It still goes too fast. :)
My main project for this retreat, other than my pincushion a day (of course!), was to work on this quilt! I opened up a much loved (and hoarded) layer cake of Marmalade fabric by Bonnie and Camille. This stuff has been aging nicely in the stash, but it was finally time to use it. It hurt a little bit to pull the ribbon off, but I'm so glad I did. It was high time!!!! This fabric is sooooo pretty!
I mixed the layer cake with some good ol' Kona cotton in Snow. The FREE pattern is available's my cartwheels quilt from the Moda bake shop. I enjoyed sewing up these blocks!
I got all 84 blocks sewn together. This isn't the final lay out, but I'm glad I got a photo of all of them together.

I'd be curious to know what your most precious, hoarded fabric is in your stash. What is holding you back from using it? (No judgement here....I'm sure I will be able to relate!)

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Friday, July 21, 2017

pincushions and dishtowels

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

I've got more pincushions to share today. Man, I love these things!
 Day 15--solid scraps in braid formation
 Day 16--denim scraps with wonky hand stitching
Day 17--diamond quilting on Essex linen. I'd like to make one of these in every single color! I used Essential thread by connecting threads for the quilting. It's nice and thick so the quilting lines really stand out...just what I was after!
Day 18--this iconic pattern is from the book Patchwork Please. I've been wanting to make this one for years, and it didn't disappoint. I literally want to make 100 more of them. I love this one so much!!!
Day 19--this one is called Crosswalk. It's based on a sketch that I did years ago, but I never got around to making the quilt. It was fun to finally make something from this idea! I rather like it in pincushion form.
Day 20--I'm calling this one marmalade on toast. I finally cut into a precious layer cake of marmalade fabric and this is made from some of the scraps. I love using it all! Each of the strips of fabric measure at about 1/4" wide. Crazy but fun!
I was able to go on a quilt retreat last weekend and I'm on another quilt retreat this weekend, so I made a bunch of patchwork dishtowels for gifts for my retreat friends. I think I made 14 dishtowels in all, so I used up a bunch of scraps. Hurray!!! (There is a simple dish towel tutorial here, if you care to make some of your own.) For these, I used rectangles cut 2" wide x 2 1/2" tall, and I pressed the fold down 3/8" on the top seam rather than 1/4". It worked out really well! The patchwork is a little bit smaller than the original tutorial, but as you know, smaller=cuter! I had a lot of fun making the patchwork strips, but I think I'm done with these for awhile! Can you imagine? Ha!

I think that's it for me today! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Friday, July 14, 2017

pincushions 8-14

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

I've actually done a lot of sewing this week, but it is all for gifts, so I can't share the results quite yet. I have also been keeping up on my one-a-day pincushion challenge. Making a pincushion every single day is not for the faint of heart. Each pincushion takes on average about 1 1/2 hours...that's if things are going well! Ha! I have been enjoying the challenge, though. It really pushes me creatively and I love that!

Here are the pincushions from the last week....
 day 8
 day 9
 day 10
 day 11
 day 12
 day 13
 day 14--the front
day 14--the back

Some days I start with a faint plan, other days I have no idea what I will make until I walk into the sewing room and start playing with fabric. Thank goodness I have plenty of scraps to play with! :) I think I could make at least 1001 more pincushions from my solid scrap bags alone. It's mighty tempting! Hahaha!

Here are the first 10 days of pincushions all together. It's fun to see the collection grow!

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

Friday, July 07, 2017

more pincushions!

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

I'm a week into my one-a-day pincushion challenge in already! I can't believe it! Here are the finished pincushions from the past few days....
day 4-the front, which uses leftover scraps from day 1 (...because I'm crazy like that!)
I pieced and quilted the back of this one, so really, it's two in one!
day 5--an old school knit pincushion in DK weight yarn. (I'm working on a pattern for these little guys, but I'm still in the prototype takes awhile!)
 day 6--I'm calling this one "for the love of scraps". I don't think I need to say more... :)
This was a bonus pincushion for day 6...another knit pincushion, this time in worsted weight yarn. These remind me of cupcakes, and that's not a bad thing! Much like cupcakes, I don't think you can have too many of them!
day 7--This little guy is precious, isn't he? Originally I machine quilted this pincushion top, but my tension was off and it looked horrible. After I ripped out the quilting, I decided to hand quilt it. I'm so glad I did. It's much cuter this way. Hurray!

If you have any questions about pincushions, such as what I fill them with, please see this post for more details.

My pincushion basket is starting to fill up already and I'm excited to keep adding to it!

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

Monday, July 03, 2017

pincushion challenge revisited

Like I mentioned last week, I've decided to revisit my one-a-day pincushion challenge. My goal is to make a pincushion a day for the month of July. I did this last year and I had a blast! I'm happy to say that things are off to a great start!
day 1--I pulled out a bag of scraps that my friend Jacey gave me earlier this year. The color scheme is one of my favorites! For the design, I went after the first idea that popped into my head and I was thrilled that it turned out pretty close to my original idea on the first try. (That is NOT always the case. hahaha!)
day 2--this pincushion was inspired by the remainders quilt in my book No Scrap Left Behind. The triangles didn't turn out nearly small I tried again on day 3. I do love the one yellow triangle in this one!
day 3--these triangles finish at about 1/2"! This is what I was envisioning. I love this one so much and I have a feeling that this one will become part of my permanent pincushion collection.
Just to give you an idea of the scale of the triangles from day 2 and day 3....smaller=cuter!

A few things to mention:

1. I almost always quilt my pincushion tops to scrap batting. The quilting adds a lovely texture to the finished piece.

2. I use lightweight interfacing (SF 101) fused to the back of quilting cotton for my pincushion backings.

3. I use invisible nylon thread to hand stitch the openings closed, which I do by hand.

4. I use crushed walnut shells for filling, which are sold as lizard litter. I purchase them at Pet Smart. (25 dry quarts at a time. hahaha!)

I wanted to say a quick thank you for all of you who left name suggestions for my quilt top last Friday. I appreciate the help! There are some great ideas, it will be hard to choose just one!

One question I want to ask of you, do you have a pincushion collection? I'd be curious to know.

Happy Monday to you!