Friday, August 30, 2013

Finishing Up the Month

With the month quickly coming to an end I had a few projects that needed to be finished and go in the mail.  So I have been a little crazy in the sewing room this week.  And with school in full swing and only 1 kidlet home in the afternoon who still takes a good 2 1/2 hour nap, it is a whole lot easier to get in my sewing room and get some serious chain stitching going :)

My first finishes are my Bee Blocks, Yippee for getting them done with 2 days to spare :)

Joelle in my Beejeebers group asked for a wonky work block.  She gave us a list of words to choose from and I jumped on happy.  It just made me smile the whole time I was putting it together ;)

And Jodi from the Bees Knees asked for some Scrappy Summer Squares a la Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew.  Didn't she send the cutest fabrics to put these together.  They really do scream summer ;)

My next two finishes are some more of those secret projects so I can't show them yet, but in the near future, I promise :)  I thought it would be fun to show you the quilting though.  I have been on the Long Arm the last 2 days.  Each time I play on it I get a little more comfortable.  The first quilt, I decided to use my all over echoed paisley design.  It is one I am very comfortable with so a great one for practicing on a new machine.

And the second quilt I got a little more out of my comfort zone.  This quilt sort of a incorporates my love for piecing, so I decided I wanted to quilt it with some of my most loved Free Motion designs.  Those would be swirls, pebbles, and paisleys.  So I grabbed some paper and pen and started sketching.  This was a rough draft for the concept I was after.  Pretty fun huh :)

And this is how it came out on the quilt.  Sorry, it is a little hard to see, crazy background fabric :)  But I am pretty excited with how it went from concept to quilt.  It isn't perfect by any means, but it really, really, makes me smile :)

And now, I am off to the post office.  Whoo Hoo, what a weight off!!  Have a Happy Quilting Weekend!!!

Linking up to Amanda's and Sarah's :)
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

T-Shirt Quilt Kit Winners

Thank you for the sweet, sweet comments on my T-Shirt Memory quilt.  It has quickly become a favorite around the house :)  And now, I need to pick 2 winners for the T-Shirt Quilt Kit :)

Thank you again to June Tailor for providing 2 lucky readers with these fantastic Kits!!  

And the winners are . . .  


Who happen to be . . . 

Congrats A.J. Dub. and Mom C.    A.J. sounds like she can sure use this quilt kit.  That is a lot of T-shirt projects to put together ;)   Mom C. just happens to be my wonderful MIL, and I know she will use it.  She has been entering giveaways on my blog since I first started it and she finally won one.  Yippee!!!

Have fun ladies ;)  And a Happy Quilting Evening to ya all!!!
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Going, Going, Almost Gone :)

So I know I have said it before, but I am just over the moon excited with how many of you all are quilting along with me for the Star Surround QAL :)  I get so excited each time I get an email with someones new linky!!  It is just so fantastic to see everyone's projects coming together and they are all just stunning!!

So I know a lot of you wanted to quilt-a-long but didn't have time right now.  So, I wanted to throw this little shout out for yall.   There are still a few of the Star Surround QAL kits available but they are going fast.  The solid kits at Christa Quilts have been marked down an extra 20% so they won't be around much longer.  So if you wanted one but were waiting to have more time pop on over and check them out :)


And if you wanted to do a scrappy version, there are still 3 of the custom bundles available at The Intrepid Thread, but like the solids, they are almost gone.  So, if you want one to set aside for the future, pop on over and check them out :)


Alright, gotta get the kids out the door for school then I am off for some long arm fun this morning ;)  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Just Keep Trimming :)

So . . . Can you tell what I have been doing lately??

Nothing quite like a lovely pile of trimmings :)  And these trimmings won't be sitting around long.  Tomorrow night the scouts in my son's troop will be taking all of my bags of trimmings and super small scraps and  using them to stuff animal beds for our local animal shelter :)  Should be fun!!

Now I am off to make the covers for those animal beds so they actually have something to stuff :)
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Star Surround Quilt-A-Long - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky!!!!

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Star Surround Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win one of 4 of the $75.00 Gift Certificate grand prizes sponsored by The Intrepid Thread and Fat Quarter Shop ) you can find a list of the post links here :)  Here is the schedule

Aug 26 - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
Sept 16 - Star Surround Parade and Grand Prize Winners

Okay, I am so super excited for this week!!  But first, let's pick a winner from the Star Surround Pieces Assignment.  I am constantly blown away by how many of you are keeping up and quilting-a-long with me!!  You are just amazing!!!

The Star Surround Pieces Assignment winner who gets  a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Southern Fabric  is                                                                          #29- Sharon!!! - Congrats :) 


Alright, this is the week we have been building up towards!!!  The last week's assignment.  This is the week all of those project tops come together!!!  So, So, So  exciting!!!!    I just can't wait to see them all.  Yippee Skippee!!


So this final assignment will be done in two steps, Piecing the Block, and then Piecing the Project.

Grab your center star and your surround pieces for one block and lay them out as follows.  You can choose to build one block at a time or chain stitch all your blocks at a time.  If you want to chain stitch, it helps to put them all in one big stack laid out as follows :)

We are going to start by making rows.  To do this, place the pieces on the right and left onto the center pieces with right sides together.  Take care to line up each seam and pin them in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along each of the pinned edges.  (If you are chain stitching, it is easiest if you do all of the left hand side first for all of your pieces and then repeat for all of the right hand side pieces :)

When stitching your seams, you want to remember all of the same tricks you have used to put the pieces together that give you those nice clean points.  So, when I am sewing the top and bottom rows together, I turn my pieces over so I can see that fun little white triangle created at the HST intersection and sew directly at the bottom of it.  And yes, I sew over pins as this is upside down and I can't pull them out, I won't tell if you wont :)

Then, when sewing the center sections together I take care to cross directly through the x intersection with my 1/4" seam.

And one last little trick.  Many of you were worried about how straight your flying geese were.  This is how I fix that.  I use the X intersection and the square coming up as a guide.  I don't really pay attention to the edge of my geese as a guide but rather aim for the edge of the square so that when I cross it I am at exactly 1/4".  And you can do the same thing at the front of the flying geese using the square you are leaving and the x intersection as a guide of where to aim for.

Once your seams are all stitched, press the top and bottom rows outward and the center row inward.  This will allow you to next the seams in the next step.

So you should have 3 rows now that look something like this ;)

Now the final seams.  Lay your top and bottom row onto the center rows with right sides together.  Once again, take care to align and pin each seam in place.  If you find you are having a little bubble from aligning your seams, simply smooth the bubble down and place a horizontal pin there to keep it down.   Stitch a 1/4" seam the pinned edges.  Press the seams open.

And Ta Da!!!  You have a stunning Star Surround Block!!

Now Rinse and Repeat for all of the blocks in your project ;)  If you are chain stitching, just finish all that pressing and you are ready to go :)

Once your blocks are all made you are ready to sew your project top together.  (And please excuse the rest of these pictures, I am literally standing on top of my desk with my head scrunched up against the ceiling trying to get all the blocks in frame).  Start by laying your blocks out in your chosen layout.  Mine is 3 x 3.  Play with the placement of the blocks until you get a color layout that is pleasing to the eye.

When you have a layout you like, you are ready to sew the rows together.  Like all of your sewing sew far, take care to pin each of your seams, use a 1/4" seam and press open when finished.   You all have different layouts, but I find making rows first and then sewing the rows together is the easiest way.  For a 3 x 3 layout, I simply sew the second block to the first, and then the third to the first and second.  If I were doing a 4 x 4 layout I would sew block 1 and 2 together and block 3 and 4 together first and then sew blocks 1/2 to blocks 3/4.

One other little hint with this stage.  When you go to pin your 2 flying geese in the center of each block, lift up your top block and be sure to directly align your flying geese.  You want the two points to match up with each other, you can make this little diamond to ensure that :)

And when you are finished making your rows and they are nicely pressed, you can move onto sewing them together.

This is just like sewing the blocks into rows only on a much longer scale.  Place your first row onto your second, pin all of the seams, match your flying geese, sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge and press. In my case, I will repeat to add the final row.  In a 4 x 4 layout, once again, sew row 1 and 2 together and row 3 and 4 together.  Then sew the top to the bottom ;)

Now, just sit back and enjoy your beautiful Star Surround Project Top!!!  And be sure to link your project top up to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group!!!

And now that you have your Project Top complete, you are ready to link up to the Grand Prize Linky!!!!


The Grand Prizes that you are hoping to be picked for is   . .

A $75.00 Gift Certificate that you can spend as you like!!  There will be 4 lucky Grand Prize winners, 2  winners will receive a Gift Certificate to The Intrepid Thread and 2 winners will receive a Gift Certificate to Fat Quarter Shop.  Talk about some fun Shopping Sprees!!!


In order to be eligible to win the Grand Prize you need to Link Up your completed project top (not quilted yet, just the project top) at the end of this post!!!  You have until the evening of SEPT 15th to get your project top sewn together and linked to be entered :)  And please, if you linked up a completed top last week, be sure to link up again this week.  You have to have a link at the end of this post to be entered to win one of the Grand Prizes.  


Now, as just mentioned, you only have to have your project top done to enter into the grand prize link up . . . but I wanted to encourage you to finish these projects and not set it in a pile of "to be quilted" so . . . I am planning a little Parade for the 16th of September :)  The parade will be for quilted and bound Star Surround Projects!!  

So, how do you finish up those projects??? 

Baste, Quilt, and Bind!!  I know, I make it sound all so simple.  If you are new to quilting, and need some help with these last few steps, you can see my Video Tutorials that go over the basics of how to do this ;)  Also, there are some helpful free motion quilting tutorials if you are stuck on how you want to quilt your project ;) 

So you have Basted, Quilted, and Bound and have a stunning finish and you want to showcase it in the Parade.  In order to have it in the parade, I need you to please send me an email (  with your favorite finished Star Surround Project picture attached as well as the name you would like your photo listed with, where you are from, and a blog or flickr photostream link if applicable.  You can email me anytime from now until the evening of Sept15th and I will get you added to the Parade!!!  

I am so looking forward to seeing everyone's finishes!!!  You can decide if you would like to add your finish picture to the Flickr group now or wait until after the parade to keep it a secret :)  Grand Prize winners will be announced on Sept 16th along with the amazing parade filled with all of your beautiful quilts, pillows, table runners, ect.!!!  I can't wait!!!  Let's make this the biggest finish parade ever!!!  

So, just to make sure we are on the same page, once you have your project finished, don't forget to email me your picture, name, where you are from, and a place to link your picture by Sep 15th!!!!  

Alright, I know that was a lot.  If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to email me at, I don't want any one to miss out on the grand prizes or parades because of confusion ;)

I can't wait to see your finished projects!!!  Thank you so much for quilting-a-long with me!!!!  Now, off you go to finish up :)  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!

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Friday, August 23, 2013

T-Shirt Memory Quilt Tutorial and Giveaway!!!

So this quilt has been on my to do list for a long time and I am so excited to finally get to share it!!!   Here's the scoop.  About a year ago my wonderful MIL, Barbara brought up a box of my husbands old High School shirts.  Isn't that cool that she saved them!!!  I put them in a drawer and planned it to be the next project, and then the next, and then the next.  You know how it goes.

Then when I was at Spring Market I popped into the June Tailor booth as they were demoing a T-Shirt ruler.  This totally perked my interest as I knew I still had those T-Shirts sitting in the drawer :)  And it all led to today, finally getting to share this T-Shirt Memory quilt, a special finish for my sweet husband ;)

Okay, so how many of you have one of these on your bucket list??  Well excellent, because I took some pictures on the way to show you just how easy these quilts can be :)  So let's get to it.

To start, you will need a pile of T-Shirts, and then the tools that makes life easy, The June Tailor T-Shirt quilt kit which includes a T-Shirt Transformation Ruler, T-Shirt Interfacing, and a T-Shirt Pressing Cloth :)

Grab your first T-Shirt and cut it along the side seams, shoulder seams, and neck seam.

Now you have just the design and it will lie nice and flat.  Smooth all the wrinkles out with your hands.

Now, take your T-Shirt Transformation ruler and lay it over your design.  This is where I decide what size I want to cut the design.  The ruler has 3 different size guides (10 1/2", 12 1/2", and 15 1/2")  and you could cut all your designs square to make them easy to sew together, but I wanted to just cut around each design, so I will use combinations of sizes.  For instance, on this shirt, I decided to use the 12 1/2" guides on the top and bottom and the 15 1/2" guides on the sides.

So before I do any cutting, I want to add some interfacing to the back of the shirt so it doesn't stretch like crazy when I am sewing it.  I decided on 12 1/2" x 15 1/2" rectangle so I will cut a piece of interfacing 1" larger than that so 13 1/2" x 16 1/2".  Now center the interfacing over the wrong side of the T-Shirt and give the interfacing  a super lite press just to stick it in place.  Don't hold it long as you don't want to melt the design on the front of the T-Shirt.

 Now flip the shirt over to the right side and lay your pressing cloth over the shirt design.  Press adhering the interfacing to the shirt and ensuring the safety of the design with the pressing cloth.  I like to press from the front so that I can be sure it is lying completely flat as some of those designs really want to crinkle, especially if they are a bit older and have been crumpled in a box forever ;)

Now, back to your cutting mat.  Lay your ruler over the design once again.  Using the diagonal lines ensure that your design is centered.  I also like to use the gridlines to help me center the design.  Once your ruler is in place you are ready to cut your design.  Since I am using the outside of the ruler on the sides I can simply just cut along the sides of the ruler.

For the top and bottom, simply mark the guidelines in the groves using a water soluble pen.

Then remove the T-Shirt ruler and place a long ruler along the edges of the markings.  Cut along the edge of the ruler.

And your perfectly cut t-shirt design is done.  And with the wonderful T-Shirt interfacing adhered to the back you won't have to worry about your design stretching when you go to sew it into a quilt ;)

Repeat this process for your entire stack of quilts.  Like I said before, I wanted to cut right around the designs, so I used a whole lot of combinations of sizes, for instance, this one uses the 12 1/2" along 3 sides an the 10 1/2" along the left side.

And I even did a few perfect squares in the mix.  Like this 12 1/2" square :)

Now their were a few that because of their small size or super skinny nature that I had to pull out my quilting rulers for.  But I just used the same concepts I had with the t-shirt ruler taking care to line things up well.  They are a little easier to line up as they are smaller ;)

Once you have cut up all your T-Shirts you are ready to start making your quilt top.  First, decide about what size you would like your quilt top.  I went for a nice lap top size of about 60" x 75".  Using a tape measure, mark this on your work surface, either the floor or a design wall ;)

Now play around with your T-Shirt designs until you have a layout that you like.

Once you have a layout in place, do a little mental calculating of where you are going to make squares and how you plan to sew them together.  I  used little pieces of tape to help keep track of these mental caculations.  I plan to sew 1,2,3, & 4 together.  Then do 5,6,7,&8.  Sew 9 to the side of that.  And then 1,2,3,&4 (the top) to 5,6,7,8,&9 (the bottom).

So, now to fill in the holes.  And to do that, we need lots of scrappy goodness!!  I love a good scrap busting project!!  I choose to use 4 color scraps, the ones most used in the T-shirts.

So, staring at grouping number 1, simply start adding around the designs.  Always use a 1/4" seam to add pieces.  This is totally improv piecing.  Don't stress to much about a plan, just add a slab and keep adding until your piece is large enough.  Trim as your go to keep squaring up your design.

And you can work on more than one design at a time.  Since I plan to sew these 2 together, I want to make sure I make them about the same width.  I don't want them to line up perfectly, so I will add big sashing to opposite sides.

And no one says you always have to add a sashing strip.  I threw in a few pieces here and there that were pieced and then added.  Just adds another little scrappy dimension.

And once you have your two pieces about the same width, go ahead and sew them together.

And then, take the new piece to your mat and square it up.  This is super important!!  If you want your quilt to lay flat, be sure and square up each piece when complete.

Now lay your nice piece back in it's designated spot and make sure it is close to the size you planned.  If it isn't add a little more, if not, move on to the next piece.

Just keep adding sashing and bits of piecing to each of your designs, incorporating a mixture of your scraps.  Here I am finished with the units that will make up my "top".  (I split the original 2 into 2 and 3).    So now I just put 2 and 3 together and 4 and 5 together to make 2 rows.  Sew those 2 rows together and then add 1 to the side.

And the top of my quilt top is all done!!  Now I am ready to move onto the bottom pieces.  Just keep sashing, and piecing, adding and trimming and before you know it. . . .

You have a completed quilt top filled with wonderful T-Shirt memories and scrappy goodness!!!

Now to finish your quilt just Baste it, Quilt it, and Bind it.  I know, I make it sound oh so simple.  If you are new to quilting you might find these Video Tutorials on the basics of finishing a quilt helpful :)

I decided to quilt around the T-Shirt designs with a scallop and in the scrappy areas I did this fun design that kind of reminds me of pom-poms.  It is just a back and forth zig-zag in quarter, half, and circles.  Seriously, so much fun to quilt!!

Now just sit back and enjoy your T-Shirt Memory Quilt!!!  The fun thing about this is that my husband loves it because it has memories of High School and I love it because the scrappy goodness has memories of so many other projects I have made.  Double bonus!!!

So that's it.  I hope you have enjoyed the tutorial and I have inspired you to pull out those old T-Shirts and get quilting.  And if you do, I would love to see them in my Flickr Group!!!

And I have one last little thing to help inspire you ;)  The wonderful folks at June Tailor have been so kind as to send me 2 T-Shirt Quilt kits with the ruler, interfacing, and pressing cloth to giveaway to two readers!!!  Yippee Skippee!!!

So what do you have to do to win this ruler . . . Simple

1 - Leave a comment here of whether you have a drawer, box, or closet, stuffed with old T-Shirts :)

 2 - For a bonus entry you can follow Happy Quilting (any way you choose, bloglovin, email, facebook, ect.) and then leave a comment here of how you follow.  

That's it.   2 entries max per person please.  I will leave the giveaway open until August 29th and then announce 2 winners shortly after.  Good Luck!!!

Have a Happy Quilting Weekend!!!

Linking up to Amanda's and Sarah's
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