Monday, November 26, 2018

still quilting and a few small projects

I hope all of you who celebrated had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! We had a lovely weekend full of family, delicious food, and time to relax together. I could use a few more weekends just like it!
I did not accomplish my goal of getting the binding on this quilt before Thanksgiving. In fact, I'm still working on the quilting today. Turns out it needed more quilting than I was originally planning. That, and I spent a lot more time in the kitchen than I thought I would. (Isn't that always the way?) I figured it's best to add the extra quilting now rather than trying to add more later. I'm almost 75% done quilting at this point, so it shouldn't be too much longer. I am getting excited to bind this one!
I took a little time this weekend to sew up a zip pouch with this lovely scrap of yellow floral fabric that I found, which was designed by Bari J for Art Gallery Fabrics. I thought it was so pretty that it needed to be a pouch. I'm not a huge fan of sewing zippered pouches, but I sure enjoy using them, so I go through the motions once in awhile anyway. :) This one isn't perfect, but it will work for toting around a knitting or crochet project quite nicely. It's loosely based on this pattern, but I used a single fabric for the exterior. I also used fusible fleece for the outer layer and quilted it before assembly. It is a good combo!
I've been working off and on (mostly off) on a few prototypes of mini thread catchers. The patchwork squares in the one above finish at 1". Why is tiny always so cute? It's quite addictive....and honestly, quite putzy….but it's mostly worth it! Ha!
Last, but not least, I used my friend Anna's new Forage fabric to make this normal sized thread catcher. (Pattern is available here.) This "thread catcher" is currently in my sewing room holding chocolate....which I highly recommend. The patchwork squares in this one finish at 2", which seem huge in comparison to the previous one...but it's good, because it holds more chocolate! (It also works well for catching threads, or giving small gifts like charm packs, mini charms or even fat quarters to your friends. :))

On another note, we tried out a few new recipes this weekend, which I would highly recommend:

Smitten Kitchen's green bean casserole is AMAZING! It was the first thing to disappear at our Thanksgiving dinner. It was SO GOOD that I'm going to make it again tonight. It's totally worth the time and effort!

Chocolate cake in a mug by Pioneer Woman was also amazing! My daughter actually made it for my husband and I to share after dinner last night. It took barely any time at all (especially compared to the green bean casserole mentioned above) which just goes to show, that it all evens out in the end. :)

Alright, that's it for me today! Happy Monday to you!

Monday, November 19, 2018

black licorice quilt progress

My sewing room is feeling a little full these days because I have so many works in progress...I'm afraid to count how many! I figured it was high time to get working on a finish, so this weekend I decided to baste my black licorice quilt. I prefer to pin baste because I get the best results. (I have a basting tutorial here that you might find helpful.)
I'm quilting a simple cross hatch through the black rectangles. I'm living on the edge and I'm NOT marking my lines before I quilt them. So far, so good! Quilting with black thread on black fabric is pretty forgiving. Also, the rectangles are small (2" x 1 1/2" finished), so eyeballing it isn't too hard. I'm moving right along with the quilting, thankfully! My goal is to finish the quilting and apply the binding before Thanksgiving day, so hopefully I can sit and relax with some hand stitching after cooking all day! It should be fun!

Do you have your hand stitching planned out for the holiday yet? Or am I the only one that does that?

Happy Monday to you!

Monday, November 12, 2018

lost in the crowd construction begins

I constructed my first block for my lost in the crowd quilt today! Originally I was going to assemble the quilt in rows rather than blocks, but oh, Mylanta, that would be a pain. I figured out pressing directions to ensure that ALL the seams in the entire quilt should nest in the final quilt assembly, even if I construct it in a block based format. Nesting seams is very important to me because it produces a neat and tidy quilt top.
Here's a rustic pressing diagram that shows my plan. (Arrows indicate pressing direction.) When I sew the squares into rows, the fabric is pressed toward the background fabric. When the rows are assembled into blocks, I will alternate pressing direction every other block. The A blocks will have the horizontal seams pressed up. The B blocks will have the horizontal seams pressed down. When the blocks are sewn into rows, every seam should nest. Hurray!!! I hope that makes sense to you and not just to me. Hahaha!

One block done, 63 more to go! I counted today...I have 822/1200 4 patches made. Not too bad, considering that I started this project in February! I love seeing a plan come together.

Because I know that someone will ask, the background fabric is Kona Lime.

Happy Monday to you!

Monday, November 05, 2018

biased projects

Later this week I will traveling to Michigan for glamp stitch-a-lot, where I'll be teaching improv string piecing to the students. I made the class sample many months ago, so I decided to immerse myself in a few "biased" projects to get warmed up for this weekend. It's been fun to revisit this technique! (You can see my biased tutorial here and the finished quilt here.)
I made a few pincushions from scraps to get started, because pincushions are ALWAYS a good idea!
They each measure about 3" x 5" and are filled with crushed walnut shells.
Then I moved on to some pot holders. They finish about 8 1/4" square. (I use Insulbrite for the inside, so they are heat resistant.) I also used bias binding, since the corners are rounded. It takes a bit longer to make them this way, but I really like the look!
AND...I started another quilt! I'm using mostly stash mixed with a few scraps. I thought I would try something new. Hahaha! It's definitely still a work in progress, but I'm enjoying the process. I'm still trying to get the color balance right, but maybe I'll get there by the time I make all 40 blocks. That's the hope, anyway!
I hope your week is off to a great start. Happy Monday to you!

Friday, November 02, 2018

magnificent maples quilt top complete

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

I'm pleased to share my finished magnificent maples quilt top with you today! Almost all of our leaves are now on the ground, not in the trees, but at least I finished the top before the snow arrived. I'll take it. :)
There is 1" finished sashing in between each of the leaves and a 2" finished border around the outsides. I don't often time myself when doing certain quilt making tasks, but this time I did. The quilt top assembly took me over 5 hours! (That is after all the leaves were made and most of the sashing was cut.) That seems like a long time!
I'm thrilled with how it came together! The quilt top measures about 64" x 84" and it was made completely from my stash. Woohoo!

Did you know.....I started blogging 12 years ago today. (!!!!) That's so CRAZY to think about. Thank you (yes, YOU!) for stopping by and reading and being a part of this crazy adventure. I appreciate it more than I can say.

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the month. Thanks, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday! Hope you have an amazing weekend!