Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Feeling the Fabric Love :)

Man, oh man, I am totally perma-grin right now.  I got up to check my email and my quilting blogs (like I do every morning) and come to find that I have won not 1 but 2 fabric bundles.  Oh, my goodness, oh my goodness!!  

I won a beautiful Park Avenue jelly roll and 2 yards of coordinating fabric from V and Co. sponsored by Burgundy Buttons.  V and Co. always has lots of great stuff on her blog including tons and tons of great tutorials.  Burgundy Buttons is a wonderful online store with lots of great sales and Leah (the owner) is one of the nicest people in the world.  Thanks to both of you wonderful ladies!

While at Stash Manicure I found that my Chubby Stars in Fall quilt was chosen as the November Banner of the Month quilt!  Ahh,  totally on cloud 9 right now.  And if I wasn't already feeling super honored, Madamm Samm is having another giveaway just for saying congrats to the winners of her giveaway's today, so now I get to spend the day reading sweet, nice, and wonderful comments about my little quilt.  I am so very touched. I keep jostling between super smiley and touched and weepy.  It is a pretty great emotion :)

Oh, and ya, For winning the banner of the Month quilt, I also won this beautiful collection of Victorian Suite in Ivory from Jennifer and Shabby Fabrics.  Thank you to both Stash Manicure and Shabby Fabrics.  You ladies have made my day!!

So ya, I am totally feeling the fabric love.  So much that I want to give some of that fabric love back!!  Check back tomorrow and maybe you can get some fabric love luck as well :)

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Long Weekend

We'll even though it was a long weekend there wasn't a whole lot of sewing going on.  We had family and friends in town for Thanksgiving and we had a blast!  The holiday weekend was filled with great company, lots of laughs, a local hangout in the kitchen and lots and lots of food and pie!  I managed to remember to take one picture, and ya, it turned out blurry.  What ya gonna do?

Thanks again to family and friends who came to spend the holiday with us.  We had such a great time!

After our company departed we turned to the next holiday tradition.  So once again, no sewing, but we did manage to put up the trees :)  Yes, that is trees as in plural.   I have 2 trees, I love Christmas :)

The kids call this Mom's tree and they are pretty much spot on.  I put on the lights and ribbons and they put on the ornaments.  Then when they leave the room I redo the ornaments and spread out the clusters :)  This is the first year I have done the ribbon going down the tree instead of around and I love it.  I know, I am a few years behind on this trend but I still love it!

This is the kids tree.  I let them put on the ornaments and then I leave them where they put them.  Ya, this is so hard for me, especially since this year they decided it would be fun to group similar ornaments.  But it is theirs, and they reminded me every time I tried to give "helpful" hints that this was their tree and I couldn't tell them how to do it.  The two kiddos in front are my two youngest, as soon as they saw I was taking a picture of "their" tree they just had to jump in :)

So now, (after a mountain of laundry and a lunch appointment) I am hoping to get back to my sewing room :)
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Cutting Mat Caddy!!!

It's here!!  I am so excited!!  My third Moda Bake Shop Tutorial!!!  I am so super happy about this little tutorial.  It is a fun little project to put together and super handy to have :)  It makes for great storage and easy travel!!  So after you are finished with your Black Friday shopping and your turkey and pie digesting, click  on over to the Moda Bake Shop and check it out.  And while you are having a look you can always leave me a little comment love :)

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baking and Baking :)

So how many pies do you need for 7 adults, 6 children, and 2 babies??  Why 6 of course :)  Yup, I have been baking this morning, but oh, how much fun it is to bake when you have company and fellow women in the kitchen.  We had a blast and the pies look spectacular :)

And speaking of baking . . .make sure to check back the day after the big turkey feast for some other "baking".  That's right, I have a new project coming out on good old Black Friday.  How many of you have fabric on your black Friday shopping list :)
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Project - Check

Ya, I am finally starting some of my Christmas Project quilting.  I really scaled back this year as far as holiday sewing. I only have 3 "smallish" projects and now I can check one off.  I can also show you the project now because it is for my amazing Sister-in-law who is coming for Thanksgiving.  They are coming today!! (hence the need to finish the project :)  And since it is no fun to open Christmas decor on Christmas day, I am going to let her have this part of her present early so she can enjoy it throughout the whole Christmas Season :)

I won this adorable wall hanging in a giveaway back in the summer and was so excited.  I knew who it was for immediately, and then procrastinated 5 months to make it :)  Isn't it just so sweet!!

I debated back and forth between the idea of outlining the pictures or quilting the backgrounds.  In the end I decided on quilting the backgrounds.  I hoped that this would really make the sweet pictures and words stand out and oh do they ever!  They just pop!  I quilted a little (and I mean little) swirl.  I am so excited for how it turned out.  Don't you just love when the idea in your head turns out the same when you put it on the fabric!

Here it is all ready to go :)  I still need a little work on my bows, that didn't turn out quite the way I had planned in my head.  But after tying and retying, I decided this was good enough to go :)

Oh and don't you hate it when this happens!!  I did it not once but twice, on two different corners!!  Enter the seam ripper!  The second one was almost disastrous as I was just about out of the green thread.  I ended up with about 10 inches left.  That is cutting it a little to close :)

And last but not least, I can also check off my One Thing One Week Challenge.  Ya, I made a goal that had to be attained by Tuesday so that I know I would get it done.  Thanks again Amy for always giving us the extra push to get those stitching goals done!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

We'll I did get One thing done

Okay, so I know most of the quilting world really gets busy on the weekends.  I always have plans to get so many projects completed over the weekend but it never seems to play out that way.

First, I sleep in (with 4 little ones climbing all over my husband and I).  And then there are normally errands to run.  If it is a week with a Kids Build we have to head over to Lowes, seriously, the kids really don't like to miss that.  And then there is always lots of games in the afternoon while the littlest take naps.  And before you know it, it is dinner and bed, and then I am normally so pooped I follow the kids to bed.

So ya, I don't end up with a lot of quilting time on weekends, but honestly, that's okay.  I am really trying hard to keep this whole quilting love balanced with family.  I know I don't always do the best (especially when I am close to finishing a project, It is just like a book, I can't stop until it is done) but I really am trying.  It's all about keeping things in perspective, right :)

Okay, so I think I am getting sidetracked, I really just meant to lead into the one thing I did this weekend.  So here it is :)

 I actually put this top together a few weeks ago.  It was my "guinea pig" for figuring out my pattern for Nature's Pathways.  I learned a lot :)  So what I did this weekend was find this adorable snuggle fleece for the back and attach it.  (ya, so like 15 minutes of sewing :)

I am so excited about it!  It is just a little mini quilt, I call it a car-seat-snuggie.   It is just the perfect size for tucking those little ones into their car seat.   I made it to go with my Snuggle Squares quilt (and with the scraps from that quilt) and both will be sent off to my amazing twin sister who just found out that her first little wee one will be a girl!!  I am so excited for her!!  Love you Jen!!
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Nature's Pathways

We'll it never was beautifully sunny, but good enough to get a decent picture.  Introducing Nature's Pathways

I just love the way the sashings  pop out and I just can't get enough of scrappy bindings, Love them!!

Another view of my leafy vine quilting

The back.  I did mitered corners on the borders for the first time.  I really liked doing them:)

Ready to be snuggled and loved :)
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Need the Sun

I finished quilting up and binding my "Jo-Anne quilt contest" quilt this morning (and some of this afternoon).  You know, the earthy tones one that I will probably call A Nature Walk or Natures Pathways or something along those lines.  (by the way, thank you for all of the great suggestions, I really am having a hard time picking a favorite, but that is a good thing :)

Well anyhow, now that it is done I just want to get outside and take some wonderful pictures of the beautiful earth tones and Argghh, it is all muggy, wet, and nasty.  No sun at all, just total cloud cover and threating to rain again.

What ya gonna do??  I will try to get outside tomorrow and take some pictures because I really don't want to reveal the finished quilt with pictures taken inside that just don't do the colors justice.  So, I will leave you with a little sneak peak and show you the new quilting design I tried out .

I figured since it was all "nature-ish" I would try to create a "nature-ish" all over design.  I played around for a bit on paper and ended up coming up with this.  I'm going to call it leafy vine.  I did it rather small scale so yes, it took quite a while to quilt up but I am so super happy with the outcome.  Until tomorrow, Happy Quilting

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Moda Bake Shop Booth

Okay, so I didn't get to go to Quilt Festival in Houston. Never fear though,  it is on my list of things to do in the hopefully near future.  I did however, happen to have a quilt at Festival.  I was so excited when the Moda Bake Shop asked if they could use my quilt to display at their booth.  I still get a little peppy whenever I think about it. We'll just imagine the peppy little dance I did when I saw these pictures over at the Moda Bake Shop.

 Yup, total Perma-Grin for me for the next few days!!  Take a minute and click on over to see their amazing booth.  It is so pretty and there are so many projects to really get you going :)
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Quilt Show 2010

SewCalGal has just started her annual Christmas Quilt Show.  This is my first year to jump in on the action and I am so excited!!  I finished this Christmas Sampler Quilt at the end of August as part of the Simple Sampler Quilt-A-Long with Amy at Amy's Creative Side.  I was so fun to work on 2 different blocks each week for 2 months.  Talk about putting you in the Christmas Spirit all year long!!  I was so happy with the final outcome and it made for a wonderful gift for some very special friends :)  Merry Christmas!!  No click back to the Christmas Quilt Show for some major "merry" surfing.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Finish Friday!!

So you remember those block of squares from Wednesday WIP??  We'll now they are a Friday Finish.  Okay, so it isn't totally finished, it still needs a border and a backing, but you get the idea.  I am so excited about this quilt top!!! I just love the earthy hues and the movement that was created within the design. I am thinking of calling it A Nature Walk, or Natures Pathways . . .  Something along those lines.  Any suggestions???

I am planning on adding a border around the outside in this beautiful print.  It is the same tone as the sashing just a little darker.

I just found this print that I am planning on using for the back.  I love it and think it will be the perfect finish.  I will add in some scrappy border's and a scrappy binding.  I love scrappy bindings!!  

So I would love to hear your thoughts on this quilt.  Who knows, if there is enough interest in it, I just might toss around the idea of doing it as a quilt-a-long after the holidays.  Interested???
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Work In Progress for Wednesday

Well, now that I have finished my Project Modern quilt it is time to move onto the next quilt on my ever expanding "quilt list".  So, next on the list, Jo-Ann Quilt Contest quilt.  I am really excited about this project.  I have been working up a new design, testing it out, and then trying to iron out a few little glitches that came out in the "testing it out" phase.  I think I have it figured out now and  I am ready to make it for real.  So here is a sneak peek at this new work in progress.  Don't you just love the earthy tones??

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Keep On The Sunny Side

Okay, so last week was a bear!!  I had my email comprised that I had for 10 years and trying to change over to a new one took way more time than I would have liked.  And maybe it is stupid, but I was really attached to that email address.  Just when I thought I was done with that, I lost all of my pictures, on all of my blogs, including my posts on the MBS.  Sigh, could it get worse??  I really should not have asked, because right after finding that out, I realized my toes were hurting like crazy and looked to find that they had gotten infected.  Argghh!!

BUT that was last week, and it is a new week!  ***  I am determined to move on and look on the Sunny Side of these situations!  So here it is :)

1 - I have all but 4 of my pictures back on my quilting blog.  Those 4 apparently were permanently deleted.  And I figure a weekend to get back up and running ain't bad at all.

2 - While redoing my blog I learned a ton about PDF's and blogs in general. I linked a more paper efficient I Spy tutorial, and redid my quilt archive to what I originally had planned and am much happier with the results.

3 - I have created new Bake Shop tutorials to replace the old broken ones and they are now up, complete with pictures.  (although, little downer, I lost all of the beautiful comments people wrote me about those quilts, but there was nothing to do about it, sigh)  I am all set back up with the Moda Bake Shop and have 2 tutorials in the pipeline :)

4 - The minute I found out my toes were infected I was able to get  antibiotics called in and our good friends offered to have us over for dinner and games so I wouldn't have to be on my feet.  Isn't that sweet!!

5 - And this has nothing to do with the "situations" but certainly brightened my outlook on life when I really had some dark clouds circling.  I found out Sunday that I won a Freebird Charm Pack  from Mariliz's Musing.  Thank you Mariliz, I can't wait to start a project with these super fun and happy prints!!

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Project Modern - Check

So I finally decided how I wanted to quilt my Little Monster on the Go and with what color.  This decision was a long time coming as I just didn't know how I wanted to work around the applique.  I also has a few hours where my toes were feeling better (before they got infected :).   And to top it all off, my husband was helping a friend lay wood floors on Saturday so I had a nap time where I was all alone.  What does all this combine to make.  A finished Project Modern!!   Here is the result!

I just finished submitting it to Project Modern.  I don't know how "Modern" it turned out but I am happy with the result.  Oh, and funny side note -You might recall that I made this with my children in mind because they liked the show so much.  So when completed I asked them if they wanted it instead of their old ratty blankets.  They, of course, decided to stay with their old ratty blankets.  I know, I shouldn't be surprised.  They are bonded to those blankets.  So, as a result, this quilt is going in my Etsy Shop :)
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Friday, November 5, 2010

Losing my Mind over Lost Pictures - UPDATED

So a few days ago I had to change my email because the old one was compromised.  It was a mess.  I had that email for 10 years and changing over to a new address took me all morning.  I thought I had it all worked.  Now I log on this morning to find that all of the pictures on my blog, that were posted under the old email address are gone.  Ahh, I am really hoping that this is just my computer but I highly doubt it.  So can you see the pictures on my blog, besides the one of my toes??

I have a feeling I am going to have some major work ahead to fix it.

We'll I was right.  It appears that since the pictures that I uploaded were done under my old email address log on that they no longer have a proper link to connect to.  So what does that mean for me . . reloading all of my pictures :)  Ya, I cried for a little bit over that.  It also happened on my personal family blog (which is much older and has a lot more pictures).  But after I got over the tears I figured - best get to work.   I have started but it will be a bit before all is back to normal :)
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Presser Foot Pressure

We'll it appears I won't be able to put a lot of pressure on my presser foot for the next few days. I suppose it would be a great time to catch up on some basting :)

(Oh, and that's not blood on my toes, it's the Iodine to clean the area before working on them, the blood is underneath the bandage :)
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Spy Quilt Tutorial

Thank you everyone for all of the considerate and flattering comments you have left on my I Spy Quilt that I posted for the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I have had several people emailing me asking for directions so I thought, sure, why not, I can whip a tutorial.  So here it is :)  (Oh, and it is linked in my tutorial tab just above so that is an easy place to always find it :)

EDIT - I have created a printer friendly version now.  It can be found for free here

Please be kind.   Please do not use this tutorial or pattern for personal gain and give me proper credit when sharing a link to this tutorial.  Thanks :)

First some shopping - Here is a list of what you are gonna need :)  It might take a while to gather up all your I Spy Blocks, no worries, it took me a year :)

Picture Blocks - Scraps or get a 6" Cut  - 98 Blocks Total      
 12 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With Yellow Backgrounds
 12 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With Red Backgrounds
 12 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With Blue Backgrounds
 12 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With Purple Backgrounds
 12 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With Orange Backgrounds
 12 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With Green Backgrounds
 26 Different Picture Squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" With White Backgrounds

Solid Outline Blocks - 1/4 Yard of Each Color
 28 Squares 3" x 3" Solid Yellow
 28 Squares 3" x 3" Solid Red
 28 Squares 3" x 3" Solid Blue
 28 Squares 3" x 3" Solid Purple
 28 Squares 3" x 3" Solid Orange
 28 Squares 3" x 3" Solid Green

Solid  Black - 1 3/4 Yards  
 100 Squares  3" x 3"
 8 Strips 4" x 44" - Sew Two's Together to Make 4 Strips - Trim Excess Solid (or small print)

Solid White - 1 Yard
 96 Squares  3" x 3"
 8 Strips 1 1/2" x 44" - Sew Two's Together to Make 4 Strips - Trim Excess

Rainbow Print - 1 Yard
 28 Squares  3" x 3"
 8 Strips 2 1/2" x 44" - Sew Two's Together to Make 4 Strips - Trim Excess
     Excess yardage to allow for square up of vertical / horizantal pattern

 Backing - 5 Yards (2 Pieces 2/12 Yards) Black and White Print  

 Binding - 25 inches (10 2 1/2" Strips) Black and White Print        

And once you have all of your supplies rounded up and cut you are ready to start sewing :)  Here is the layout for this quilt.

So basically, this entire quilt is made up of 49 blocks that each have 2 Picture Blocks and 2 Four-Patch blocks.  So, all you have to know to make this quilt is how to make that block, and then repeat 49 times :)  So here is how to make that block.  We are going to be making the block that is located at Row 2 Block 5.  (Kind of like battleship, tee hee hee).  So try and find it in the big quilt pattern above!  It should look like this.

Did you find it all right?  If not, look again and try to pay attention to the dark outlines around the blocks, they show where the blocks are formed.  I know it can be a little confusing as you would think you are sewing the 4 I spy blocks together, but alas, you are not.  Okay, so now we know how to find the blocks, lets get onto sewing them.

Grab your pieces needed for this block and lay them out according to the block grid.  Like this.

We start with attaching the the rows for the 4 Patch blocks together.  Lay your left block in each of the 4 Patch rows onto the right block.  Pin along the edge where the center seam will be formed.

Now stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Go ahead and chain stitch all 4 blocks, meaning just continue stitching from one piece to another without cutting threads.

Once you have finished stitching, cut the threads in between each set of blocks and press your seams open.

Your layout should now look like this.  Now you are ready to complete the Four Patch Blocks.

Lay the top row onto the bottom row of each Four patch Blocks.  Make sure to align the center seam and pin along the edge where the center seam will be formed.

Chain Stitch your 2 blocks using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Cut the threads between your 2 blocks and press the seams open on each block.

You should now have a layout like this.  Now you can attach the picture blocks to the Four Patch Blocks.  Oh, and this is a good time to make sure that, if needed, your I Spy blocks are right side up.  Notice how I spun the Red Snail from the last picture to make it right side up :)  (You don't want upside down pictures unless the print is a random print and it will be upside down regardless.)

Lay the left block in each row onto the right block on each row.  Pin along the edge where the center seam will be formed.

Chain stitch your two rows using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Clip the threads between your two rows and press your seams open.

And now your layout should look like this.  And you are ready to complete the final step of assembling your block.

Lay your top row onto your bottom row.  Make sure to match your center seam.  Pin along the edge where your center seam will be formed.

Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.

Press your seams open.

And Ta Da!!  Your block is completed.

So from here on out its all graph pictures.  Sorry, I made this quilt several years ago and while I was happy to use some old scraps to show making this block, I am not ready to make a whole new quilt :)  But no worries, it isn't that hard :)

So go ahead and start on Row 1 Block 1.  Put it all together using your block instructions above.  Then move onto Row 1 Block 2.  You get the idea.  Keep going until you get to Row 7 Block 7 and you have a stack of 49 blocks :)   *** A side note, When I made this I attempted several times to do this in an assembly type fashion.  Each time I ended up creating confusion, getting frustrated, and just went back to one block at a time.  That is not to say you can't do it assembly line, I just found one block at a time to be less of a headache and more enjoyable.

Once you have your 49 blocks finished you are ready to put your rows together.  This is pretty easy as long as you keep it simple.  I just started by sewing Row 1 Block 1 to Row 1 Block 2.  Lay Block 2 onto Block 1 and pin along the edge where your center seam will be formed.  Make sure to match up all of your seams.    Sew your 1/4" seam and press.  It should now look like this.  *** Once again, a side note, If you like you can do this in more of an assembly line fashion.  I just found doing it one block at a time to be easier :)

Now move onto to the next block.  Lay Block 3 onto your now pieced together Block 1 and 2 and pin along the edge where your center seam will be formed making sure to line up your seams and then sew your 1/4" seam and press.  It should look like this.

You get the idea right.  Just keep adding one block at a time until your whole row is complete and looks like this.  

Now repeat the process for all 7 rows.  Take your time :)  It is more important to keep nice straight seams and corners that match up nicely than to finish fast :)  Okay, so once you have all 7 rows completed you are ready to start sewing them together.  This is pretty much the same process, just on a longer scale :)

Now that you are done making the rows you can put them together.  Take Row 1 and lay it on Row 2.  Pin along the edge where your center seam will be formed.  Make sure to match all of your seams.  There are 20 seams to match so pin those first and then ease out any bubbles.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Your 2 rows should look like this.  

Continue adding on one row at a time until all 7 rows are sewn together.  It should look like this :)

Now you just have to add your borders.  Easy enough.  Lay a Rainbow border on your quilt top right sides together along the 2 sides of your quilt.  Pin the edge where your seam will be sewn.  Sew a 1/4" seam along both sides and press.  Your quilt now looks like this.

Now you can add the top and bottom rainbow border.  Do this the same way.  Lay your rainbow border on top of your quilt top right sides together.  Pin along the edge where your seam will be formed.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pin line and press.  Now your top looks like this :)

Now just keep adding borders.  Add the white border next using the same directions you just used.  Your quilt top now looks like this.

Now add the final black border using the same directions as before.  Your quilt top is now done and should look like this :)

So now it is time to turn that finished quilt top into a finished Quilt ;)  Time to  Baste It, Quilt It, and Bind It!!!  Which is a whole lot in one little sentence.  If you are new to quilting, you can see my Finishing Your Quilt Series of video tutorials that will walk you through Basting, Quilting, and Binding step by step ;)  

Then when you are all finished, bring out the kids and let them play :)  It measures 83" x 83" so it is perfect for a picnic or playing on the family room floor ;)    I hope your family loves your I Spy quilt as much as ours has :)

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own I Spy Quilt I would love to see it!!  You can email me a picture at happyquiltingmelissa@gmail.com or add it to my flickr group here or post it to social media with #happyquiltingwithmc ;)  I can't wait to see your I Spy Quilts!!!

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