Friday, November 29, 2013

Treasured little bits

As I look for deals to fill my shelves with more fabric on Black Friday I pause in amazement at these precious little bits.

These were given to be by my aunt yesterday after she stuffed me with a great thanksgiving meal. She picked them from a thrift store in Texas for $3.00.
Each block is painstakingly hand sewn using  hexagons that are barely half inch in size.

You can see a close up here.

The colors are to die for and if you look at the pink block closely even one of the hexagons is pieced from bits of fabric. Here is the close up of the back.

These blocks are very fragile, I will probably use some fusible interfacing to give them some strength and turn it into a wall hanging. 

Anyway coming back to my original train of thought, these blocks make me realize that I don't need much to create something beautiful. Just my imagination.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The ups and downs of bee blocks

I am participating in two bees this year and am absolutely enjoying it. I find that it really pushes me out of my comfort zone to trying things that otherwise I normally would not. 

This year one of the big skills I learnt was foundation paper piecing. I have been doing the Lucky Star quilt along with Elizabeth Dackson and made a paper pieced house block for Jessica. So when Cath from Wombat Quilts asked for paper pieced blocks I thought huh easy breezy. But to my surprise this did not go too well. I think I picked blocks which were way to difficult for my skill level.
After I was almost done with the two blocks I found that they lacked in workmanship.

On closer inspection the first one had a problem

and so did the second one. 

I was so bummed out that I needed to take a break and decided to tackle the other bee blocks first and come back to this later.

First up I made a block for Carol for CNJMQG bee. This really gave me a much needed boost.

Then the two blocks for Alyce of Wonderland By Alyce. Love the bright colors.

With these done I guess I will go back to making new blocks for Cath. Sorry Cath.

Anyway on this thanksgiving day I am thankful that I have this great hobby to sustain my sanity even though things may not alway go my way. I am truly appreciative of the people I have met along the way and to everyone who reads my blog and follows along my sewing journey.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Burp Cloths

I had made a few burp cloths last year but they were more the size of wash cloths. This time around I decided to make them a little bigger so they can rest easily on the shoulder when burping a baby. I made a neat little stack of six. The fabric is Kumari Garden by Dena Designs and they are backed with cotton chenille.

Once again I cannot emphasize how easy these are to make. Here's a quick tutorial.

1) Cut two 10.5" x 18.5" pieces from a quilting fabric of your choice and 100% cotton chenille. Since these items are for a baby I would recommend pre-washing all the fabrics. 

2) Place the two pieces top side facing each other and pin as shown below.

3) I added my signature label :)

4) Top stitch using a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving an opening for turning it inside out.

5) Clip the corners to reduce bulk. Also trim the extra fabric.

6) Turn inside out from the opening.

7) Pin the opening.

8) Top stitch all around.

9) A close up of the corner.

10) And there...done.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tag Blanket Tutorial

Last week while making the tag blanket I put together a quick tutorial. It's so simple to make yet adorable. 

First up a few simple rules to follow when making items for a baby

  • Prewash all the fabric
  • Use non-toxic ribbons
  • Don't keep the loops too large that a baby's appendage may get caught

1) Cut two 10.5" x 10.5" squares one from flannel or cotton fabric and the other from minky. 

2) Gather assorted ribbon packs and cut little pieces of varying lengths. Pin them to the right side of the fabric as shown below. Distribute them around the edge of the fabric.

3) Place the minky right side down on the fabric and pin it as shown below.

4) Flip it over to ensure there are no folds and its all lined up. It will look crinkly but don't worry about it. It's the minky.

5) Stitch all around leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Stitch with the minky on top so that it does not get caught in the feed dogs.

6) Leave a small opening to turn the blanket inside out as shown below.

6) Clip the corners to reduce bulk.

7) Once reversed pin the opening and top stitch around the blanket once again.

8) And it's done.

Realization: not all projects have to be laborious. Simple can be fun.

Linking up to: Fabric Tuesday

Friday, November 15, 2013

Baby Gifts

I am soon going to be an aunt to a baby girl and am super excited about the new arrival. It's going to be a Thanksgiving baby just like me. :) I must admit though, I have been dragging my feet on making some gifts for her. I have a lot planned, but have been procrastinating. Finally last weekend I buttoned down and started on a few things.

First up a quick baby blanket.

I backed a yard of pre-pieced homespun fabric with some Dot flannel from Amy Butler and viola. It's soft, snugly and love the colors. Gave it my signature butterfly tag. This will have to do till I get some custom labels.

Next up a rolled hem around a yard each of jersey knit fabric to make two coverlets. I have not worked with stretch fabric before but the hem turned out wavy along the edge. This gives it a very feminine look. I am not sure if there is a way to avoid that from happening, but for now I like the effect it produced, especially because it was unintentional. 

Then a little tag blanket backed with minky. I have worked with minky once before and did I mention it's the hardest fabric to work with. But the result is so soft and snugly that its well worth the effort.

Linking up to: Finish it up Friday, TGIFF

Monday, November 11, 2013

Porthole Bee Block

This bee block is for Sandy Mahoney from CNJMQG for our guild quilting bee.
She asked us to make a porthole block. I was very apprehensive at first and read the instructions a few times to ensure I constructed it correctly. After the first one I got the hang of it and even tried an overlapping one.

And standing back and looking at it from a different perspective - kind of similar :)

Linking up to: Fabric Tuesday, WIP Wednesday

Sunday, November 3, 2013

HST Quilt Series - II

The next one in my series of mini quilts using HSTs. This one has a slightly more feminine palette. I played around with the color value to make the blocks look more pronounced from the background.

Linking up to: Fabric Tuesday, Needle & Thread Thursday