Monday, June 04, 2018

a geranium dress for my girl

I'm not a serious garment sewist by any means, but I like to dabble in that arena from time to time. I made this geranium dress for my girl on Saturday evening and she wore it to church on Sunday. (Pattern is available here.) I sewed the size 12 and added 2" to the length, which turned out to be the perfect fit. Hurray for the ability to customize your project! I love how it fits her slender frame. Someday her and I can wear our matching dresses if we care to. (You can see my gingham washi dress here.) I'd better jump at that chance before she gets much older, right?!? :)

I also wanted to take a moment today to say thank you to those of you who left kind comments about my finish it up Friday break. Thanks for understanding and for making it such a fun event for so long. I sure appreciate it!

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, June 01, 2018

two of a kind

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

I want to start this week by saying that this will be the LAST week of finish it up Friday for the summer. I need to step back and take a breather. Did you know that I started finish it up Friday in October of 2011? That means we've been at this finishing business (with the occasional hiatus during my social media breaks) for almost 7 years. That's CRAZY! Also, that's a LOT of finishes! I'm very much looking forward to the break from finish it up Friday so I can spend more time with my kids this summer. I do plan to keep blogging, if I can find time to sew, that is. :)
 
Speaking of finishes.....I have a PAIR of quilts to share today.
When I was making my epic Heather Ross quilt, I was actually working on two at a time. I made one to keep and one to give to a friend. I'm so glad I did!
Each of the quilts is a twin size, measuring about 67 1/2" x 91". I used my Easy as Pie tutorial (available here), but I expanded it to make a twin size rather than a lap size. I LOVE the simple pattern because it was QUICK and easy to put together and it lets the fabric shine.
The quilts are identical on the front, but the backs are slightly different. I used a mixture of the same two fabrics for the backing, but I alternated the arrangement of the fabrics. I used cotton lawn from Heather's line Sleeping Porch, which I found on clearance, (bonus!) and I knew that they would make beautiful backings. The combo of the orange and cream colors reminds me of an orange creamsicle. It carries out the summertime feeling of the quilts. Also, the lawn is lightweight and DREAMY!!!! It quilted up beautifully.
I quilted them both with loop de loop quilting on the baby lock Tiara that I still have on loan. I used 50 weight Aurifil thread-color 2026-which is a lovely creamy color that blended with all of the fabrics quite nicely.
Normally I don't use a light or white binding for a quilt, but these bright yellow dots were a perfect match to the colors in the quilt. It is smooth and lightweight, so it was a delight to hand stitch down to the back. (Hurray!)
This cute lined fabric (Fine Lines by Michael Miller) works perfectly for labels. You can see the backing fabrics better in this photo, too.
I gifted the quilt to my friend yesterday and I'm happy to say that she LOVED it!!! I also enlisted her to help me take quilt photos after I gave it to her, because I'm nice like that. Hahaha! :) As you can see, it was a little bit breezy down by the lake.
I especially love this photo....it's the epitome of a Minnesota summer. I am soooo pleased that these quilts are done NOW so that they can be enjoyed and used all summer long.
 
That's it for me today! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank you, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Friday, May 25, 2018

fast four patch quilt top

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

This week I have a simple 4 patch baby quilt top to share. I started it yesterday afternoon and I finished up the top this morning. It was a fun one to sew up!
The pattern is called fast four patch and it's in my friend Amy Smart's book Fabulously Fast Quilts. I was joking with a friend recently that I should actually sew something from my collection of books that I have on my bookshelf. This is a great start! It was fun to follow a pattern and to SKIP the math for once.
For this quilt, I started with the backing fabric, since it was THE perfect size for a quilt back, then I pulled fabrics for the front from my stash. I have NO shortage of aqua options, obviously. Hahaha!

The quilt top measures about 40" x 48". I LOVE how it turned out!
 
Another finish for this week.....as of yesterday at 3 pm, my kids are DONE with school for the year. I'm not sure I'm completely ready for the transition, but I am determined to enjoy as much of summer vacation with them as I can. They sure do grow up fast....
 
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! Have a great and SAFE weekend. xo
  

Friday, May 18, 2018

another new floor!

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

Well, I haven't sewn a single stitch on my machine since LAST Friday. I can't remember the last time that happened!
I've been working on redoing my daughter's room off and on since January. Any of you that have ever done a home remodel project knows that everything takes longer than it should. Right? This past weekend I FINALLY got to the fun part of this huge project...laying the new laminate floor! I used the same flooring in my own bedroom a few years ago. It's held up remarkably well and I still like it, so I thought it would be smart to put matching stuff in my daughter's room. It only took me 2 days to install it. Of course the finishing details are the real bugger and I have a million of those left, but we shall celebrate progress!
The flooring is Distressed Brown Hickory laminate from the Home Depot. I'm so pleased with how it came together!!! The wall paint color is Plateau by Pittsburgh Paints (purchased from Menards). I LOVE this color so much! The trim got a fresh coat (or 12, haha!) of white paint, too. SOOOO MUCH work when into this, so it's good to see it taking shape. Finally!


Here are a few before photos...

Wallpaper border circa 1998...had to go!
Of course it didn't go without a fight. (It never does...)
This photo is a pretty cringy and a little gross...but it's evidence that it was all worth it! All the blood, sweat and frustration. (I don't think there were any tears. YAY!)
My daughter and I are planning out the quilt that I'm going to make for her new room, but that won't be ready for awhile yet, so this is her temporary bedding situation. She slept in her new room for the first time last night and she absolutely loves it. I'm pretty pleased with it so far, too! I totally need a nap, though!!! (Maybe I should borrow her new bed....hahahaha!)
 
Alright, that's it for me today! Now it's your turn to link up your finishes for the week. Thank you SO MUCH for joining me for finish it up Friday! Have a GREAT weekend! xo

Friday, May 11, 2018

epic HR quilt top complete

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
Thanks to some late evening and early morning sewing during the past 12 hours, I have completed my epic Heather Ross quilt top! The top features fabric from her lines Briar Rose, Tiger Lily and Kinder, along with some pieces from her Mendicino reprint. The pattern is based off my OLD Easy As Pie tutorial, which can be found here. The quilt top measures 67 1/2" x 91". (Or so. hahaha!)

I started cutting it out last Saturday, so it feels AMAZING to have the quilt top done already. It's amazing what a little focus (and an easy pattern) can do. :)

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday! Have a GREAT weekend! xoxox

Thursday, May 10, 2018

churn, churn, churn

Another day, another WIP! It's been fun to work on so many different projects this week. Thanks for following along with my mini series!
Today I pulled out my scrappy churn dash blocks. I've been thinking about how I will set them all together, but I still haven't made a final decision. I HAVE decided that I would rather make the larger blocks than a ton of the smaller ones. Oddly enough, my accuracy seems to be better on the smaller rather than the larger blocks. (How backwards is that???)
I joined 4 small blocks together to see how they look, but I'm not sure that I will be doing too many (if any?) more of those. There is a LOT of bulk in the back of this block. It is pretty cute, though....
It has been delightful to come across tiny little details like this little owl peeking out from the patchwork. So fun! It's sure to bring a smile to your face whenever you see it!
 
I have a tutorial for the larger blocks here and a tutorial for the smaller blocks here, if you care to make some of your own.
 
One thing I DO know for sure....I'm not in danger of running out of scraps ANY time soon. Ha!

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

lost in the crowd progress

For my WIP today, I decided to work on my lost in the crowd blocks. (You can see the inspiration quilt here.) I'm having a little 4 patch party! These little bits of happy fabric are fun to sew up. I have plenty of new scraps to sew thanks to my new Heather Ross quilt that is in progress.
I came across some 3" squares in one of my scrap bins, so I chopped them into quarters. Each block yielded four 1 1/2" blocks with no waste. How handy and timely!
I have 305 blocks complete. (I had to replace a few because my dog ate at least a few of them. Good grief!)

I did the math over lunch today, and according to my calculations I will need 1200 pieced 4 patches for a queen size quilt. I have to admit that I was actually a little disappointed that it wasn't a higher number. Maybe it's time to seek professional help? Ha! Anyway, that means that I'm about 25% done piecing the 4 patches. That's pretty encouraging!

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

cutting up the good stuff

Over the past few years I've collected a decent amount of Heather Ross fabric. I LOVE it because it's so cute, but I find that I don't use it because it's too cute. A few months ago I bought her new line, Kinder, but I told myself that I had to actually USE it if I bought it. Otherwise, what's the point, right?
I decided to combine 3 of her lines (Briar Rose, Tiger Lily and Kinder) plus a few other prints into what I hope will be one EPIC quilt. When I was chopping it up, I had to remind myself on a few occasions that "it's all just fabric!"
Working on the layout proved to be a little trickier that I was expecting, but I think it's coming along nicely. Phew! I'm using the measurements from my easy as pie tutorial, but I'm making a twin size quilt rather than a lap size. I'm very happy with my pattern choice so far. The simple design allows the fabric to do all the work. It definitely has a 70's color vibe, but I think I'll like it anyway. :)

Monday, May 07, 2018

a week of WIPs

I thought it would be fun to do a little mini series on the blog this week while I'm working on my WIPs. (WIP stands for Work In Progress) Each day I will strive to work on a current project and share my progress. Maybe I'll actually accomplish something. Accountability is a good thing!

A few weeks ago I brought home two very full grocery bags of scraps compliments of the free table at the Minneapolis Modern Quilt guild meeting. I resisted for awhile, but by the end of the meeting I knew that they were coming home with me. I'm happy to have adopted them.
I started sewing little bits together almost right away. This will be yet another version of a bright birch trees quilt. (Pattern is available here.)  This is my 4th time making this quilt. I LOVE it every time....I often say that this quilt is the poster child for "every scrap deserves a chance".
So far I have 8/20 blocks complete! I have several more strips sewn together, so the forest should keep growing at a decent pace. At least that's the hope!

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, May 04, 2018

June 2-a completed quilt

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

I worked very hard this week to finish up this quilt! I started it last summer when I hosted my June quilt QAL. I basted it about a month ago. I started quilting it on Tuesday and worked on it for the better part of 3 days to quilt and bind it. I'm so pleased that it's finally complete! It's such a happy quilt, isn't it?
While the quilt top assembly didn't take too long, figuring out a quilting plan did. I finally decided to treat a few of the elements separately. I did loop-de-loops in the pieced sashing. I quilted the diagonals in one direction continuously, but I had to start and stop for the diagonals in the other direction. There were a A LOT of knots to bury on this quilt! (I use the tutorial here.)
I used a walking foot to do some concentric square quilting in the polka dot blocks. That took a lot longer than I bargained for. More knots to bury! I estimated that it took me about 6 hours to quilt JUST the center 18 squares. I think it took me at least 10 hours to quilt this entire quilt. That's crazy! This quilt isn't that big. I'm happy to say that the quilting turned out better than I imagined, so it was totally worth it....sore shoulders and all. :)
For the backing, I used this cute typewriter keys print and added borders on all 4 sides to frame it so it would be centered. I LOVE this combination! I'm also pleased that it all came from my stash.
The binding is a tiny gingham that was printed on the bias. It's from the line Cottontail Cottage by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda. I love how it frames the quilt. Gingham binding is almost always a good idea!
The quilt measures about 51" x 68".
 
The links to the June QAL can be found here:
 
 
The original pattern for the June quilt (85" square) can be found in my book No Scrap Left Behind. Isn't it fun to see the same pattern in a different color option? That, to me, never gets old.
 
Alright! That's it for me today. Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank you, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday! Have a great weekend!
 
 
 
 

Friday, April 27, 2018

annex double zip pouch

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

Today's finish is a fun double zip boxy pouch. I bought the supplies at Stitch Supply Co. well over a year ago. I think I was a little intimidated by the double zipper, so I may have procrastinated a little bit. I'm so glad I finally took the time this week to sew it up.
I LOVE a quilted panel on the outside of my zip pouches. Even though it takes extra time, it's totally worth it! This pattern calls for Pellon Flex Foam, which is quite spongy, so it creates a lot of opportunity for the fabric to shift during quilting. Thankfully I had some 505 spray on hand, which I used to keep the fabric in place while quilting the outer panels. It worked like a charm! My Hera marker (by clover) is one of my favorite tools for marking and it came in very handy for this project, too. I marked the fabric BEFORE I placed in on the foam, so I got a nice crisp line/crease to follow.
It was fun to pick out two different fabrics for the lining...
 ....and two different colored zippers, too.
The pattern is called the Annex double-zip box pouch by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness. The zip pouch shown in this post is the largest size. I'm excited to fill it with portable projects and use it! I don't think you can EVER have too many cute zip pouches.

I was showing it to my husband last evening and he hinted that if I ever made a masculine looking one, he might be able to take it off my hands and find a use for it. Ha! I guess I'll have to keep that in mind. I'm thinking I might try it in vinyl, perhaps.

Alright, that's it for me today. Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank you, as always, for joining for me for finish it up Friday! Have a great weekend!


Monday, April 23, 2018

visible mending

I've seen a lot of people sharing their visible mending projects on Instagram and we even had a demo about it at quilt guild a few years back, but until recently I haven't given it a try. I mean, we patched our clothes growing up, but believe me, it wasn't pretty. Ha! A few weeks ago, I finally dipped my toes in the water of visible mending and I'm so glad that I did! It makes my frugal heart happy.
These are my younger son's jeans. He wore a hole in the pocket area from carrying his phone around. The pocket lining started peeking out from the hole and it was just awkward. I used a piece of denim from an old pair of jeans and thin polyester black thread for the stitching. I didn't want to use perle cotton because it would be too visible for his tastes. I went with poly thread because I figured it would be stronger and withstand more wear.
One of the knees had a hole in as well. Thankfully I patched it before it split the entire way, side to side. (I have another pair of his jeans in the mending queue where that happened.....)
I was surprised that the mending turned out as well as it did, honestly. It felt GREAT to give new life to my son's favorite jeans. He wears them a lot since I patched them and he thanked me multiple times for mending them. Isn't that the best?
A few weeks ago, my daughter discovered one of our puppies chewing on a quilt. It was NOT a happy day, let me tell you! The good thing is, of all the quilts that the pup could have chosen to chew on, this is about the best case scenario. (f there is such a thing....)
Last evening, I added a patch of contrasting solid fabric to each side of the quilt and did some big stitch quilting with perle cotton.
The stitching is pretty rustic, especially on the back, but I think that's ok! I'm glad I was able to fix it. Like a friend said, now that's part of this quilt's story. It definitely adds character!
 
Have you given visible mending a try? If you haven't yet, I would encourage you to do so...but hopefully you won't need to do it on any of your quilts! :)

Friday, April 20, 2018

biased-a completed quilt

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

Last weekend I put the final stitches in the binding, so...my biased quilt is complete!
This is a simple string quilt that was foundation pieced onto phone book papers, which are later removed. (You can find an in depth block tutorial here.) It's a great use for a phone book, don't you think??? :) While the construction method is fairly straightforward, the color work is complex, I would say. It was a fun quilt to build, one string at a time. I am VERY pleased with how it turned out!
I kind of got sucked into this project and I didn't want to work on many other things at the time, so I pieced it rather quickly. (That's a good thing!) I used solids from a variety of manufacturers in more colors than I could guess. I know I say this all the time, but as with any scrap quilt, more is better!
For the back, I used this BRIGHT lemon yellow print from my good neighbors fabric line (which is out of print). The binding is Kona pomegranate, which is a beautiful pinky-red that is super hard to photograph accurately, but trust me --it's a good one! It's one of my current favorites, actually. I made biased binding for this quilt, even though you can't tell, because it's a solid fabric. Since the name of the quilt is BIASED, I thought it was fitting. It's the little things, right?
There was no question in my mind that I was going to send it out to be quilted professionally because I didn't want to mess it up! The quilting was done by Steffani Burton. (Thanks, Steffani!) I love the contrast of the quilted swirls against the graphic lines of the piecing. I think it makes a nice pairing.
I labeled this quilt right away, too! Labeling isn't my favorite, but I feel that it IS important and I'm trying to do it more consistently. Two in a row is a pretty good start. Ha!
The quilt measures about 60" x 75". This is my second quilt in my Salute to Solids series, where I am on a quest to make 10 scrap quilts from the solids bin. You can see the first quilt in the series here.

I'm going to be teaching an improv string class based on this quilt at Glamp Stitch-a-lot in Ann Arbor, Michigan in November. You can find more details here, if you are interested!

Ok, that's it for me today! It's your turn to link up your finishes for the week. Thanks, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday! Have a GREAT weekend!