Sunday, February 12, 2017

Life Lately

Life has been busy lately and my phone is getting full of pics, so here's some of what's been happening!

Mom's  house in January. Aren't these doily jars she made pretty? I spent a weekend with her after she had foot surgery.

Her pup Teddy helped me pin baste the rainbow spiderweb quilt. 

Mom gave me a new quilting ruler which is designed to be used with pre cut jelly roll strips. It's called the X Block Ruler and I tried it out right away when I got home. I think they turned out pretty neat! I haven't decided what I'm doing with these yet. 

I saw the Log Cabins by Luke Haynes exhibit at the IQSCM. It's wonderful the way the quilts are displayed. You should go see it, I loved it. 

The same weekend, I heard a talk by quilter Joe Cunningham at the IQSCM. He began the talk by playing guitar and singing which made me happy. He talked about the history of quilts, showed some of his own quilts and had us all laughing.

Hmm, I've been spending a lot of time at the quilt museum, haven't I? Haha! Lincoln Modern Quilt Guild has started up again and we had a sew day on Saturday. Look at that crowd! The Quilts of Valor group was there sewing too, so it was a big quilty party! 

We learned about sewing curves at the sew day. This is what I made using the Quick Curve Ruler. The colors are inspired by The Addams Family musical and Fester's girlfriend, the moon. :)

So now I'm playing around with some block placement. This will most likely stay this way until I'm done with our school musical in a few weeks. (We're doing The Addams Family this year!) So that's life lately, with a little knitting and lots of piano playing mixed in for maximum busyness! 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Rainbow Spider Webs

Back in December, I got the itch to make a spider web quilt. But I didn't want to make small blocks that would take forever to make into a quilt top. I wondered what it would look like if I made large blocks. I jotted down what I thought I wanted it to look like and decided on some measurements. 

If I made 15" squares, a 4 x 4 layout would make about a 60" throw. I cut out 15" newspaper squares and cut them in half diagonally for templates. For the kite shape, I marked it 4" on each side from the corner and made a template. 

My plan was to make a scrappy color wheel with blue kites and to use fabric and scraps that I already have. I started by making a color wheel in the center and built out from there. 

Not exactly like my drawing but I'm loving it! 

I got this far and thought, cute baby quilt! But it was only 40" square and I still had more scraps sooo..

Now I'm adding more blocks to make it 60". Stay tuned! 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Best of 2016

Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs is hosting the Best of 2016 linky party. I decided to dig through last year's posts and join in the fun!

Here are my top 5 most viewed posts, which got the views because they were linked up with Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. Thanks to all the people who host linky parties so we can all share with one another and be inspired! 2016 was all about working on improv quilting for me.These are some of my favorite quilts I've made because they are all improv quilts!  

Since I'm looking back, here are the other projects I completed in 2016.

Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to lots more crafty fun in 2017! 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Fabric Rope Basket

I'm still on a rope bowl kick after the small ones I made for gifts. I recently received a box of old yarn and it happened to have this skein of bulky, really scratchy craft yarn or macrame cord? I wasn't sure how to use it but I thought it might work in a rope basket. First I tried sewing it with no fabric but it squished down to a weird plasticy and flat consistency. So I began wrapping the yarn with fabric.

I decided that I wanted to try making a larger basket, so I started out with a big bottom disk. This process was much slower than just sewing the rope together with an occasional pop of fabric. Having to stop and wrap the fabric scraps really takes awhile, it took me most of the day to make! 

To make the sides, the disk is placed vertically against the side of the machine. As I sewed along, the  basket was growing wider and wider until I stopped to look up how to bring in the sides. Turns out, if you keep the loose end taught, it will begin to close in. 

By this point, the basket was getting pretty hard to manage. I practically had my head inside the bowl to hold it up and to see where I was sewing haha! I added two handles and finished off the rope end with a fabric tab. Here's how it turned out.

I used up lots of white scraps but my favorite bits are the little pops of orange. 

It's a little wobbly and wonky in spots but for my first attempt, I think it turned out pretty good! It works nicely for holding my yarn, which is what I was going for. And I used up a few more fabric scraps! Now that I've tried sewing both plain rope and the fabric rope, the plain rope is definitely faster and easier to sew than adding fabric to the whole project. I'm not finished experimenting with these rope projects though, they're really fun to make!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Handmade Holiday Gifts 2016

Here are the Christmas gifts I made this year.

The always useful Microwave Bowl Potholders went to my sister and brother in law. I used fabric that I bought when we were in Alma together last 4th of July.

A mustache zipper pouch filled with some beard grooming items for my brother. 

I finally gifted the Frosty Sunshine Quilt to Gary's mom and made a pillowcase to go with it. Then I got on a roll making pillowcases! I looked up my pillowcase tutorial  and went to town using up some cute prints from my stash. Those pillowcases went to Gary's nephews who, of course, weren't very excited to get them but I hope they get some use out of them! 

After seeing a bunch of these on Instagram, I jumped on the rope bowl trend. They were fun and easy to make! I was able to get three 5 1/2" diameter bowls from 100 yds of cotton clothesline rope. I used fabric scraps in the colors that my mom and sisters would like. 

There are a bunch out there, but here is a Rope Bowl Tutorial. I'm looking forward to making more of these, possibly a large basket to hold my yarn! 
Did you make any Christmas gifts this year? I'd love to see! 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Single Roses: A Musical Quilty Collaboration

I showed a little sneak peek of this project in my last post and now I'm excited to show you the finished product!
My cousin, Kathy, and I are birthday buddies and we just celebrated at the end of November. We are both musicians as well, but she actually writes and records her own songs! When she asked me if she could use one of my quilty photos for cover art on her upcoming mini album, I said YES! But then, I got excited about the possibility of making something specifically for this project and asked for more information. She told me the name was going to be "Single Roses," and immediately the ideas started churning. 

I've been wanting to work on improv curves and thought this would be the perfect project! It took me a couple tries to get something that looked somewhat flowery. The "roses" are so curvy, they do not want to lay flat! I had to take in a lot of seams after the fact to get things flatter. Then came the puzzling part of connecting eveything together! It was tricky and I almost ran out of background fabric but I got it figured out! 

The quilting helped flatten things out, as well as the blocking in the end. I really like how the big stitch quilting looks on the roses, especially with multi colored perle cotton thread. The back side is fun with the big stitches, too! For the backgound, I did straight line machine quilting. 

The finished wallhanging measures 18" x 24" 
I used mostly Grunge and solid fabrics.
This was such a fun collaboration, I'm so happy with how it turned out! 
Click over HERE to listen to Kathy's music! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Sewing

November seems to have disappeared! Is anyone else surprised that tomorrow is December?  

Even though I don't know where the month went, I have been doing some sewing and I've actually FINISHED a couple projects! The Lincoln Modern Quilt Guild had a bag sew along at a sew day earlier in the month where we could make a wine holder bag, the Sew Together Bag or the Bionic Gear Bag. 

I made the Bionic Gear Bag. Thankfully, my friend Kristie had already made one and she helped me get started! It wasn't too bad to make, even though installing zippers is not my favorite. I just had to take it one step at a time. 

I love this bag! It holds A LOT of sewing supplies. I tested it out over Thanksgiving break at mom's and it kept all my stuff together. It works great in the car, too!

I made a nice stack of Christmas potholders for my Aunt's Christmas barn. I had my assembly line down this year and made 20! 

Here's a little peek at a project I made for my cousin, Kathy. I love how my circle improv turned out! I worked on quilting this over Thanksgiving and I can't wait to take some photos and share the finished product! 

While we were all together at mom's on Thanksgiving, my sister Becky and I had a discussion about the frayed edge napkins we made as little girls in 4-H. We both felt that the experience back in the day was stressful because Grandma V was helping us get these made for the fair and she was a perfectionist! We ripped and redid our stitches so many times, it's amazing there was any fabric left to sew! My sister says this napkin project is the reason she doesn't sew anymore ha! As it turns out, mom made some in 4-H, too, and she just happened to have all of our napkins tucked away in her tablecloth drawer. We thought a mother daughter photo was in order :)

So that was my November, sewing wise. I would love to see what you're working on!