Thursday, April 26, 2018

April showers bring May flowers


Recently on Instagram, I had a blast taking a sneak peak into the #quiltvsquilter posts! They had a picture of the artist in the center with various finished projects, the best of the best, displayed in little images all around creator. It was fantastic! Snipits of information, who they were, things about them and so forth.  And though I didn't join, I realized, that I don't give too much of myself away on Instagram or in this blog. So... today... I'm going to let you know a little bit about moi.


For starters, I love animals. We have lots of them around our house. At times I feel like it's Snow White's forest. The animals we intend to feed: our wonderful super dog Charlie, Dora and Lucy (the cats) and our 6 chickens (Pecos, Clara, Betsy, Dahlia, Gina, Pena) ~ all named after streets in Colorado. Hence, we decided to get the chickens on our family trip. And NO, I'm not happy about the fact that they were named. The animals we don't intend to feed: coyotes, foxes, other people's dogs, other people's cats, squirrels, deer, skunks, possums, groundhogs, and the ever wonderful buzzards that our home has been notoriously known for. From March till late Autumn these giant vultures perch themselves on our roof. Might I add, daily. We even had the local paper write a story on us years ago.

My paying job?  I'm a memory support nurse, specializing in dementia care. I'm also an nursing aide instructor for the skilled nursing center I work at. This means everything I say, I repeat, multiple times... even to my children and hubby ;)

Nursing is not where I intended to be. I have a degree in the Arts with a special focus on painting. The game plan was to be an art teacher. Somehow, I swayed off that road and found myself doing something I believe needed me more. At least for now. One thing very few people knew about me until now ... I still paint. It's relaxing just like I find sewing to be. Maybe one day, I'll post my pictures.

So how did I get started up with sewing? I took a Home Ec class in middle school, made a sweatshirt and a backpack. That was it. I was hooked. That Christmas, I asked my parents for a sewing machine. and ever since, I've been puttering away.

Random things, I love donuts. Heck, I love food period! I'm a messy cook. I rarely have my nails painted. I love digging in the dirt. And I collect rocks and vintage sewing machines.


Well friends, I think that's enough about me. Let me finish this post by sharing something more noteworthy. This awesome Campfire Quilt!!!



I love these fabric patterns working together!


My daughter & a quilt her mama made:)





How gorgeous is this? Ya, it's got a couple wonky lines, but I don't mind. I'm so thankful to the local Little Red Quilt Shop  for getting my top quilted. This was not as easy peasy as I thought it would be. I think I made a mistake right from the beginning when I chose fabrics that were NOT part of the same manufacturer. I know what some of you might be thinking. Cotton is cotton, right? Not really. Just and example, take Art Gallery fabrics and Cotton and Steel. They're both cotton fabrics, yet they have a completely different drape/feel. Plus, the pattern calls for thin, long strips. It was inevitable that my quilt shape would give way. Eventually, it began to distort so much, I didn't bother finishing the last couple rows. It's okay, I still love it.  Hands down, it's still a stunning pattern! There was a faint 'bubble' which one can hardly tell because head quilter Karen did such a great job on the long arm! Can't wait to use this piece under the summer stars!

On the forefront, I'm in the midst of starting multiple projects. Why why why do I do this to myself??? Something tells me I'm heading toward a crafty mess in the sewing room. But I bet it will be a beautiful one!

Till next time friends! Happy Trails :)




Saturday, March 31, 2018

Some started, some finished... Just a little catch up.


Even though it's Spring in Ohio, we are not feeling it.... The cold just won't go away. On the warmer days, that being 46 at the highest, I've managed to clean up the garden, clean up the flower pots and cut back our tall grasses. Yes, it was cold, but at least sunny. Still, we're yearning for those gorgeous greens to start popping throughout the trees! If only there was a way to tell mother nature, enough is enough.

On the sewing front, bright colored projects are swooning about. It's been a mad case of trying to utilize my current fabric stash and finding the right outlet to use them in. Take a look at what's been going on!


I finally finished this project, started umpteen months ago. The blocks came together making me wish I had purchased more fabric to make this into a colossal quilt. I've never been one to favorite the color orange, but this piece has my heart melting blending with the greens. I love it to pieces!


I did that binding I told you about in the previous post! Wide on one side, thin on the other. 
It just comes out so darn sharp! And for me, it's quite easier to make:)


And the block below? It's the start of something I'm not so sure I should continue. 
On one hand, I love the brightness, on the other, I'm debating my choice in pairing.

 

The only thing that keeps me working on this piece is the vision I have in the end. 
Geez... I hope it comes out. 


And of course, what sewista works on one project at a time? Nobody I know. 
When Campfire popped up on my Pinterest feed, I knew I had to have it!
This project is for moderate skilled quilters. So far, I'm finding what appears to be simple straight lines, could sometimes be tricky. This project is definitely fun so far, but boy oh boy, you gotta stay sharp. No slacking allowed here!



Happy Easter to all! May your days be filled with all the blessings!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Bearpaw Quilt

Hello friends! It's a gorgeous sunny day here in Ohio. Nothing in comparison to the days we've had. The flu hit our house in a very hard way. One of the girls had pneumonia and the other one the flu. Yes... it was inevitable that me and hubs would eventually get it. But now that things are finally tapering down and everyone is getting back into the groove of things, the sunshine felt super swell :)


Being sick has its perks ya know! Like all the free time you have to start spring cleaning, organize, and sew....... Yup! I was able to finish quite a few projects and gain momentum on some strewing ideas.

Take a look at one of the things completed! A colorful Bearpaw quilt! 


And those sexy boots? Thank you to my dear hubby who's such a sport! I know I can always count on my best friend to make sure this quilt doesn't get sopping wet during picture time! Especially since I'm vertically challenged.





I'm just loving the random colorplay and that border. Soo ecstatic about how tight this binding came out. Is "tight" even a quilt related term? Well... what I mean is that it's so neat. I searched everywhere on the internet for a tutorial that would give me thick binding on one side, thin on the other. Never found it. But playing around sure paid off. I'm thinking, I might just make up this tutorial myself.  Curious, is this a yay or nay for my fellow sewistas? Honest opinions always requested!




On a random note, being sick also meant re-organization. And in an attempt to save space I've decided to purge some of my fabric. So, The Mint Needle on Etsy will be selling some fatquarter bundles. Should I mention at massively reduced prices! Yes, friends, so please spread the word:) I need to make room for more fabric!!!






Until then, I'll be continuing this addiction to material and sewing with a big smile on my face! Happy stitching to all!







Friday, January 26, 2018

A Heartfelt Mini Quilt




I hope everyone has had a great start to the new year! Projects have been looming on this end, and like everyone else, "wips" are scattered throughout the sewing room. Oh, what a beautiful mess it is!




 I wanted to show you all, my take, on a Valentine's Day inspired wall hanging. Now, I know that these are not exactly hearts but those colors and the tones! This was an extremely fast sewing project that was worthy of sharing. I almost wish I made four of these to create a bigger bedsize quilt. 


Here's how to get your project going!


It's best to use a colorful pallet. Scraps and even a pretty fat quarter bundle you have been eyeing out is worth the shot. All you need are 12 fat quarters, (that's what I used), or fat eighths, and 30 5x5 inch white fabric blocks.  (A charm pack is perfect too!) 
Technically, if you're using fat 8th's or fat quarters, 15 is optimal. That way a set of 3 colors can be used per block. 




Picking your lightest tone.... cut 4 - 2x2 blocks. 



For the second color......... cut 4 -  2x2,  and 4 - 2x 3 1/2 inch blocks

For the third row......... cut 4 - 2x 3 1/2 inch blocks and, 4 - 2x5 inch blocks

Stitch them together with a 1/4 inch inseam. This will create a 5 inch square. Repeat the cuts for all of your fabrics. 




The next step is to arrange your layout!
Do you prefer light to dark or vice versa?


After it's all arranged, start stitching the pieces row by row. Like the picture below!


Make sure to press your seams open as you go along!!

For the 2 corners that will only need one block, make sure your seams overlap a 1/4 of an inch.




When everything is all stitched together, this is what it should look like!


Time to take it to the cutting board!

I know that this is always a tricky part for any quilter. You cringe at the thought of slipping with the blade and cutting your work! Well this is a fool proof method if done correctly. 

With your ruler, measure a 1/4 inch out. This seam should already exist anyway. 



Slowly trim off the excess, one block at a time. 

Once complete, you'll end up with a beautiful mini quilt that didn't take too long to make!



The completed size is 26 1/2 inches by 32! 

I hope you enjoy creating such a simple but delightful piece!

On another note ~

I'm getting a really bad itch to get better at free hand quilting. Especially since this wall piece is ready for completion! How often do you spend time just practicing? 

There's a great bear paw quilt that's in the works. I just can't wait to show you!

And.... has anyone thought about future gardening? Dahlias have already been ordered and even though it's mush and slush outside, I've found the perfect spot for them!

Happy Trails till next time friends!


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Winter Solstice


Hello dear friends! Before we say goodbye to 2017, I wanted to do a little post on my latest project. 
Making table runners like the one below! At first, you'd think it's a complex piece. Right? Not at all! This was one of the quickest 'sews' I've ever done and I'm so excited about it, I just had to share!



The best thing to use are fat quarters for this projects.

You will need to cut 12 - 3 inch squares of fabric choice #1, 
and 12 - 3 inch squares of  fabric choice #2

Cut 12 - 3 x 5 1/2 inch rectangles of fabric choice #3
Cut 12 - 3 x 5 1/2 inch rectangles of fabric choice #4

Draw a diagonal on your 24 three inch squares. Line them up on one side of your rectangle fabric and stitch on the drawn line.



When it comes to cutting, trim a quarter inch from the stitched line, like the picture below.




Press your seams open.


Ooh la la! Love pressed seams!



When you lay your block out like below, it will appear that your seams will not match. After you stitch 2 rectangles together at a time, I promise they will. The 1/4 inch seam is where the compensation takes place. 



See! I told you!


Once your block is stitched, take a coordinating fabric, pulling from your 4 fabric choices and cut 6 - 8 inch squares.

Next, cut them on the diagonal. This will become your four corners, or in the picture below, the cream fabric.



In between your blocks, you can use strips to separate. I think a 3 1/2 inch width is a good size. However, you can make them as wide as 5-6 inches if you prefer. Either way, they will need to be cut the length of 14 1/2 inches, the finished block length. 

Once, your blocks and strips are set and sewn, cut an 11 inch block on the diagonal as well. These become the pointy ends of your table runner. That's it!

Could you believe how quick and simple this is?!?!

I love it, and because of that, I can't stop sewing these blocks!

Last but not least, I'd like to wish everyone a truly very Merry Christmas!
May you celebrate with your loved ones in good health and happiness!

See you all next year!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Aprons, Aprons, Aprons

OH how excited and happy I am that I've been able to enjoy some sewing time! My schedule is slowly returning back to normal which means all of those ideas and works in progress are coming together. The pieces of fabric that have been measured, cut, and ironed were finally stitched to make some really adorable aprons. Ones that I've been longing to complete. Here's a look at some finished products!








Now.... part of me is debating, very seriously, should I start creating patterns for these aprons? Many people are unaware, but I've never used patterns for ANY of my aprons. Always creating from the mind and just having fun, cutting away, there is no "template".  It would be such a delightful thing to have other people share in the constructive process just like I have. What do all of you think? Patterns yeah or neh?


Happy Stitching till next time friends!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October


Every time I come back to this little space on the Internet, I can't seem to grasp how much has passed since my last visit. Oddly enough, I didn't even get a chance to write a post for September.... & it was such a beautiful month for us!  But here we are at the end October and only weeks away from Thanksgiving!

Even though there is a plethora of things I want to catch up on, I'll try to stick to the basics! My latest project, drum roll please........... my take on a Halloween quilt!







Now I'm figuring that most of you might not even think it's "halloweeny" but I sure do! I see these  colors and for some reason, candy wrappers pop into mind. It's not very large measuring only 40 x 52 inches.

All you need is 2 solid color fabrics and 5 pattern fabrics.

The half square triangles measure 3 inches in size. 

Make 48 half square triangles (hst's) of each patterned fabric with your solid color. 

The purple and white hst's in between the black rectangles were just extras I used to break up the design. There are 20 of these. A complimentary solid colored square would look pretty too! 

The center patterned fabric is a 5 1/2 inch square. Together, they make a finished 10 1/2 inch block. The black rectangles were cut to 3 x 10 1/2 inches for size.  You will need 31 of them.


I'm absolutely thrilled with this one and I think you will be too! Think of the possibilities. Pastels, florals, blue tone quilts...... I can go on and on!

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Now, can I get a second drum roll? ............ Capricorn is complete! Taking this lovely pic to get framed later today. The cutest thing was watching my little peanut flip and say "when can you hang it in my room?" 
 I can't seem to get enough of these colors. 
Satsuma Street on Etsy is the place to find this pattern!




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Now, time for some sneak peeks! 

Currently inspired by birthday fabric, I knew these fabrics would make the cutest party aprons!




And who doesn't love gnomes???




You can see I'm trying to play catch up with ideas!


On a different note, the end of the year is looking rather busy. With my nursing job taking over more into the 'teacher' role, I'll be preoccupied with a late year class and all the fun "paper stuff" it entitles. So, if you don't hear from me in awhile, I can only hope that when you do, I'll have more projects and ideas to talk about. 

Till next time friends, stay on the happy trails and avoid unnecessary terrain!