Friday, February 28, 2014

New Pillows and Giant Spiral Video Tutorial!!

I am so excited to share my finish today because it has been on the "To Do" list for some time!!  At the beginning of the year, I put Petal Pop on my bed to lighten things up a bit for the winter :)   And it has been driving me nuts for 2 months that there were no matching decorative pillows to go with it.  And lucky for me, Amy started a Pillow Collective project that was the perfect motivation for me to get this project done.  Yippee Skippee for 2 new Giant Spiral Pillows!!!


They look so awesome at the top of the bed!!  I just love popping in there now just to check out the "finished" look.  So fun!!!


I wanted to keep these fairly simple so they didn't take away from the beautiful bedspread so I decided to just do some basic envelope style pillow cases.  I whole cloth quilted the giant spiral on each pillow top and then added the backing envelope enclosure.  I love how clean and sleek they look.

For the quilting, I used a 12 weight Aurifil thread. (even though I called it 30 weight in the video, don't know where that came from ;)   I love the heavier look and the slight sheen it has.  Perfect for the decorative look I was going for.  And I just about used the whole spool on these 2 pillows :)


Oh, and another bonus to making these pillows, it also crossed something else off my list.  Several of you have been asking for a Giant Spiral quilting tutorial recently and well . . . 


Here it is!!!!  I hope you find it helpful for all of your Giant Spiral quilting projects ;)


**A Little Note - I was having a terrible time saying walking foot in this video.  I kept referring to it as a presser foot and even as a free motion foot there at the end.  So please, just disregard my inability to call the foot by its correct name.  I still get a little nervous when I record these and sometimes the words get a little jumbled up :)

I am so excited with how these turned out and so very happy to have a master bed that once again has some beautiful decorative pillows.  I think I will just go pop back to my room and check them out again :)


Have a Happy Quilting Weekend!!!

Linking these to Amanda's, Sarah's, Amy's, and Fort Worth Fabric Studio's :)  Wow, thats a lot of links, take a second to check them out.  They are awesome!!!
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Trim Triminey, Trim Triminey, Trim Trim Trimroo

I spent a good portion of yesterday trimming.  I tell you what, it takes a while, and is quite monotonous, but there is nothing like a pile of perfect HST's.  They just make piecing a breeze :)  And then you get the bonus of the super happy trim pile.  Someone wrote a while back that they keep their trim in jars as decor in their sewing room.  What a fun idea.  I think I need to be on the look out for some cute glass containers :)    I can't show the project these HST's will go in for a bit but anyone want to venture a guess as to what line I was using in my HST's??  Well make it fun and the first per to guess it right will get a pattern of their choice :)  EDIT - First Comment and it was right, Congrats Cindy, it is Daydream by Kate Spain ;)


Oh and I had to share this fun little shot from my trimming session.  Josie was in my sewing room playing behind me while I trimmed away.  I thought she was playing with her toys but upon turning around I found that she would rather play with my thread cones.  Snap Shot time!! (and please forgive the horrible flash on the floor, once I took one shot she wasn't willing to not look at the camera ;)   I asked her what she was making and she said a train.  I tried to join in the train building but she was rather particular about what color order the cones were in and preferred me to just watch.  So stinking cute!!!


Thanks for popping in today and have a Happy Quilting Day!!
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long - Building the Block Sides

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Star Light Star Bright 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


Feb 26 - Building Block Sides
Mar 5 - Building Block Corners
Mar 12 - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
April 2- Star Light Star Bright Parade and Grand Prize Winners


Before we get to this weeks assignment, we need to pick a winner for the Star Centers Assignment.  It is so fun to get to see these blocks starting to take shape!!!  The winner who will receive a $25.00 Gift Certificate from Southern Fabric is . . 

#28 - Lesley Foye!!!! - Congrats :)

  

So now, onto this weeks assignment ;)  If you are just finding this QAL, it's never to late to join in the fun :)  You don't have to sign up or anything, just start following along with the weekly assignments ;)

THIS WEEKS ASSIGNMENT - BUILDING THE BLOCK SIDES

Yippee, I am so excited.  Seeing your stars was so fun and now the block really starts to come together!!

Alright, to start go to your now slightly smaller pile of HST's for your first (or only) block.  You should have 24 HST's now.  For today's assignment you will need the 16 HST's in the black box.  Those are the (16) Diamond Fabric/Background HST's.  The other 8 HST's put aside back in those zip-loc baggies keeping them grouped as a block.


To those 16 HST's you will be adding your Flying Geese. You will add the 8 Geese of the matching Diamond Prints to your HST's.  There will be 4 with the Diamond Print as the goose and 4 with the Diamond Print as the sky ;)


You will be making 4 sides per block.  So for each side you will need to layout 4 HST's and 2 Geese, 1 of each kind, as shown below.  You can sew these together in rows, or columns, but I prefer columns so that is that is how I will be showing it, but if you like doing it a different way go right ahead :)


Quick Note before we start sewing -Just like when we sewed the stars, each time I sew a seam I lay my pieces back out into the layout above, it just keeps from having those little oops moments.  I highly recommend chain piecing your 4 sides, and you can assembly line piece all 4 sides for all of your blocks as well.  Just remember to layout the pieces on top of one another so that you are only ever looking at one side on top, and it has layers of sides beneath it and take care when clipping your threads to always stack your pieces back up in the same order.

Okay, lets get to sewing.  Place the bottom pieces onto the top pieces with right sides together and aligning raw edges.  Pin if you are worried about the pieces slipping.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edges.  *see next picture for sewing note.


And just like the Stars, when sewing the 1/4" seam you have a little guide in your seam allowance that will ensure you a perfect point.  On your Geese unit, the thread will make an X in the seam allowance. Sew your seam directly through the middle of that X and it will give you that nice perfect point.


Clip your threads and then press the seams open.  I like to press these open to avoid bulk.


And now you have 3 columns or vertical rows :)  They should look something like this :)


Now we are going to sew those columns together.  Place the right hand side column and the left hand side column onto either side of the center column with right sides together.  Align the center seams and pin them in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edges,  *see next picture for sewing note.  Press the seams open.


And again, we have a great guide for perfect points.  The print fabric will make a little V in the center seam allowance, sew your seam directly along the bottom of that V and it will give you that wonderful perfect point.

And your side is complete!!   If you are doing multiple blocks and were assembly line piecing, enjoy all your side units.


If you were doing one side at a time, just repeat the process so you have a total of 4 sides per however many blocks you have in your project :)


And that's it!!    And now you can enter to win the weekly prize :)

The Weekly Prize is sponsored by Green Fairy Quilts and a huge thanks goes out to them for their support of the Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long.

This weeks prize is 4, yes 4 Charm Packs from Green Fairy Quilts.  That is going to be some fun choosing for one lucky winner!!!  Oh, I just love Charm Packs!!!



    
So what do you have to do for a chance to win the charm packs?  Simple . . . Just link up your Block Sides :)  You can link to a blog post or a flickr picture, or whatever.  Just make sure to link up by next Wednesday morning as I will be announcing a winner in next weeks post :)

If you don't get your Sides done by next week you can still link it up :) (just not in time for the prize :) The linky will remain open until the end of the Quilt-A-Long.  So if your out of town, or just had a busy week, no worries!!!  Just link up when you can :)

And don't forget to add your Block Sides to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group!!!  I can't wait to see them all :)

So let's get sewing!!  Oh, and if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me at happyquiltingmelissa@gmail.com.  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!
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Monday, February 24, 2014

I Won Bronze!!!!!

Wow, Wow, and Triple Wow!!! I am just brimming over with emotions right now I don't really know what to say.   I guess I just need to say it - My Back to Basics quilt took 3rd in the Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake Challenge.   EEEkkkk!!!!  Seriously, I probably sound like one of those stammering Olympians when the reporter asks them how they feel about winning a medal.  I am overjoyed, humbled, excited, honored, and thrilled and I just can't stop smiling.  Is there a word for that??


Thank you so much to the Modern Quilt Guild for putting on such an amazing challenge.  I mean 390 entries, that is amazing!!!!   And oh, it was so much fun.  I loved seeing all of the wonderful projects created with just 6 basic fabrics.  The amount of creativity and all of the entries were just incredible!!    Thank you to Riley Blake for sponsoring this challenge and letting us all work with your awesome basics!!!


And Thank You to each of your wonderful readers who stop by.  I can't begin to explain how your sweet comments and wonderful emails inspire me to keep creating.  You are such a wonderful motivating influence for me and you push me past my boundaries and to greater heights.  Thank you for that. It means so very much thank you are sharing this journey with me.


And one last note,  several of you have asked if I will be making a pattern for this quilt.  The answer is Yes ;)   I have it started and plan to have several size options as well.  I would love to say I will have it done by the weekend but we have friends coming to stay so I know that is probably not going to happen.  So let's just say it is Coming Soon :)

Thanks again for popping in each day and making my day a truly Happy Quilting one!!!  Here's wishing you a truly Happy Quilting Day as well :)
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Charm Pack Cherry

At the beginning of the year I was contacted by the lovely folks of Fat Quarter Shop asking if I wanted to take part in another one of their awesome Shortcut Quilts.  Well of course!!!  A few days later I had some beautiful Sphere Charms along with some Bella Solid Navy charms in the mail and since there was no cutting to start with (totally awesome!!!!)   I got right to sewing. 


This quilt is so fun to put together and so incredibly easy.  It really is a shortcut quilt and goes together in a day or two. Don't you just love having a quick "go to" baby sized quilt that you can just whip together when you are in a tight spot for time ;)



And Kimberly of the Fat Quarter Shop has done an excellent video tutorial of how to put the quilt together filled with lots of great tips on pressing, nesting, and just about every little tidbit that will make putting this quilt together a breeze!!


I was super excited to find that my quilt was being used as one of the "backgrounds" for the video.  It was so fun to see it pop in and out of the shot every once and a while.  And here is the fun shot the Fat Quarter Shop took of the quilt. I must admit, a much nicer shot than the ones I have taken on the poor dying grass :)


You can download the free pattern for Charm Pack Cherry right here at the Fat Quarter Shop.  This is such a great little series they are putting on and I am so happy to be a small part of it :)  


Oh, and I quilted mine with al all over swirl design on my home machine.  This is one of my favorite go to designs and I know, I have not forgotten that I promised I would do a video of this swirl quilting.  My tripod is having a few issues at the moment  (the duct tape just doesn't seem to be holding it together) so I am trying to rig another solution.  I will get this done, I will, I will I will ;)


So what do you think??  Ready to whip up your own Charm Pack Cherry's???   Fat Quarter Shop is making it all the easier for you by discounting all of their charm packs by 20% this whole week!!!!  You can see their awesome collection of Charm Packs here,


I think I just might be stocking up and making a pile of these to have on hand, it is always nice to be prepared ;)  You can see lots more wonderful versions of Charm Pack Cherry by visiting the Fat Quarter Shop's blog here ;)  


Thanks so much for stopping by and have a Happy Quilting Day!!!!
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Feb Bees - Check

First off, I want to say a HUGE Thank You for all of the sweet comments and emails you sent my way for my Back to Basics quilt making the Top 10 of the MQG Riley Blake Challenge.   You all are just so sweet, thanks for keeping me on Cloud 9 all day :)


I tell you, I love being part of such amazing bees.  The women I get to associate with are just amazing and each month I have the wonderful opportunity to try new things.  Oh, and I also love finishing those bee blocks and getting them in the mail so I can check them off my To Do list :)  (Do any of you write things on your To Do list that you have already done, just so you can check them off??? )

 For the Beejeebers block this month Jodi asked us to make some Scrappy Sprouts using this tutorial.  These blocks were so much fun to make and went together in a flash.   And of course, I made a purple one ;)


For the Bees Knees, Nedra asked us to make this Flying Geese Block.  I totally tried a new technique with this block with varying success.  Sorry Nedra, apparently I am the world's worst foundation piecer.  I don't know how I managed to get points not lining up when there were lines to do that for me.  Grrr.


You see, Nedra sent us these fun Triangle on a Roll sheets to piece these flying geese and she even spent the time to cut all of the fabric for us before hand.  This type of piecing is pretty new to me, and I have to say, I was missing the ability to chain stitch something awful.  I kept having issues with my fabric slipping on the paper.


When I was half way done I gave up.  I know, pathetic, but I wanted my block for Nedra to look good and I just wasn't having my points line up which was frustrating me like no other.  So I tore off the paper back of the four sets of three I had done to that point and opted to just made a bunch of flying geese the old fashion way.   Yes, I was sewing little baby triangles on the sides of triangles, and funny enough, they turned out better than my other ones.


In the end,  I think I was able to salvage the block.  There are still some points that are off, but  it is passable.  Obviously, I need to practice some more foundation piecing, only not with someone else's fabric ;)  Even though It didn't turn out great, I was happy to have tried a new technique.  It is always good to keeping stretching out comfort zones ;)


And speaking of salvaging things, I made a part of the originally requested Birthday Dinner from yesterday's post for dinner last night.  And can I just say, they were Delicious!!


Have a Happy Quilting Weekend!!

Linking these finished Bee Blocks up to Sarah's, Amanda's, and Fort Worth Fabric Studio :)

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Back To Basics with No Power

Yesterday from about 2 pm until Midnight we had no power.  I haven't been without power for that long in a while and it never ceases to blow me away what doesn't work when you don't have power.  Like the internet.  So you can imagine my complete and utter surprise when I got on my email and found a bunch of emails congratulating me on making the top 10.  It took me a bit to figure it out, but when I did, I let out a little scream.  (which at 5:30 in the morning with a sleeping household might not be the best thing, but I was excited, what ya gonna do ;)

My entry for the Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake Challenge, Back to Basics, made the top 10 finalist.  Oh my goodness!!!.  There were 390 entries total, wow!!!  I can not begin to explain how honored and humbled and excited I am to be a finalist.  There were so many incredible entries I can't even begin to imagine how the judges narrowed it down to 10.  The top 3 will be chosen and announced next Monday and let me tell you, I am glad I am not a judge.  I am amongst some amazing talent.   To see all of the top 10 visit the Modern Quilt Guild's Blog ;)   So I guess now I just have to wait until Monday, however it turns out though, I am just so incredibly honored to be a finalist, I so love this design and it is so happy making to know that others do as well ;)


And now with that, I want to share a funny little story that happened yesterday while we were forced back to basics without any power.  See, most day's not having power is a little inconvenient but you can work around it , right ;)  Well Yesterday happened to be my dear Husband's birthday :)  Can you see how that would just add a little twist.  Here's the story :)

In our house, when it is your Birthday you get to pick the dinner.  It can be as crazy out of the box, mom has never made this, as you like.  So for Jacob's birthday this year he requested Stuffed Crab Portobello Mushrooms, Asparagus Tips, and Pecan Pie  (and then whatever I wanted to make to turn that into a meal).  So off to the store I went that morning.  I found a lovely ham on sale and planned some cheezy potatoes to round out the meal.   I got the ham in the oven after lunch and just then the power flicked off.  It came on and off a few times and then stayed off.

At this point, I am a little worried that dinner will be a little late.  We were having Jacob's parents to dinner but they are flexible so no worries there.  And then we wait, and wait, and I start to worry about the food being out to long and I don't want to open the fridge to try and make space for it all.  I am crazy trying to figure out how I can bake mushrooms, potatoes, and ham really quickly.  And finally Jacob calls the power company to find that we don't expect to have power until 7:00 that night.  Utter defeat.  My beautifully planned special Birthday meal is not going to happen.  So I wrap everything in tin foil, use the garage step as a fridge and we head out to dinner at a local BBQ restaurant.


Dinner was good and we came home for dessert.  Luckily, I made the Pecan Pies in the morning so we could salvage the traditional singing and blowing out the candles tradition.  But when I went to get the pies Jacob asked where the whipped cream was.  I told him I normally make it right before we eat the pie and as there was no power it looked like there would be no whipped cream.  Jacob thought for a minute, smiled and out to the garage he went.  He came back in with a battery and wires and another little contraption that had plugs.  He was determined to have that whipped cream, even if it meant running the Kitchen Aid off of a battery :)


In the end, he got his Pecan Pie with whipped cream.  We sang Happy Birthday and he blew out the candles.  Sure the whole dessert was eaten by candle light and flashlight, but it is certainly not going to be easily forgotten ;)


And we spent the rest of the evening just talking and being with one another.  No TV, No Internet, No Stereo . . . A little bit of heaven.  I think we might have to have some more Back to Basics nights, they can turn out pretty special ;)

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long - Center Stars

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Star Light Star Bright 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


Feb 19 - Building Block Centers
Feb 26 - Building Block Sides
Mar 5 - Building Block Corners
Mar 12 - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
April 2- Star Light Star Bright Parade and Grand Prize Winners


Before we get to this weeks assignment, we need to pick a winner for the Half Square Triangle Assignment.   And great job to everyone on finishing that assignment, I know it is a ton of sewing and trimming, especially trimming.  And  I am sorry that some of you found the directions confusing.  I try so hard to write clear directions with plenty of pictures but when we are doing so many layouts and sizes I think that it can get a little crazy.  I hope you were all able to muddle your way through and that we didn't lose any of you.  If you are still lost, just email me, we will work through it :)

Okay, so let's get back to a winner.  The cutting  assignment winner who will receive 2 charm packs from The Scarlet Tread Quilt Co. is . . .                #52 - Cindy1959!!! - Congrats :)

  

So now, onto this weeks assignment ;)  If you are just finding this QAL, it's never to late to join in the fun :)  You don't have to sign up or anything, just start following along with the weekly assignments ;)

THIS WEEKS ASSIGNMENT - BUILDING THE STAR CENTERS

Yippee, I am so excited!!  We are finished with making units and now we are going to start making blocks!!  I can't wait to see how everyone's comes together ;)

Alright, to start go to your pile of HST's for your first (or only) block.  You should have 32 HST's.  For today's assignment you will only need the 8 HST's in the black box.  Those are the (4) Star 1 Fabric/Background HST's and the (4) Star 2 Fabric/Background HST's.  The other 24 HST's put aside back in those zip-loc baggies keeping them grouped as a block.


To those 8 HST's you will be adding some squares.  These are coming from your piles of squares that you haven't touched yet and they will be the same size as your trimmed HST's  :)  You will add 4 Background squares and 2 of each of the two Star Print Fabrics from your HST's for a total of 16 ;)


Now with your 16 squares you are ready to layout your Center Star.  Layout the Star as shown below.  You can sew these together in rows, or columns, but my favorite way is to sew 4 quadrants (4 blocks in a square make up each quadrant)  so that is how I will be showing it, but if you like doing it a different way go right ahead :)


Quick Note before we start sewing -When I sew stars after each seam I sew I lay my block back out into the star.  I find this keeps me from making mistakes in my layout :)  Oh, and for those doing multiple blocks, If you want to assembly line piece all of your star centers I find the easiest way is to layout the pieces on top of one another so that you are only ever looking at one star on top, and it has layers of stars beneath it.  Just take care when clipping your threads to always stack your pieces back up in the same order so that the same star always ends up on top ;)  

Okay, lets get to sewing.  Think of the layout as 4 sets of 4 blocks instead of all 16.  Place the right hand squares onto the left with right sides together and aligning raw edges.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edges, chain stitching the 8 sets.  Press the seams towards the squares.  You will now have quadrants that are 2 rows.


Now you are ready to turn your 2 rows into quadrants.  Place the top rows onto the bottom rows with right sides together.  Nest the center seams and pin them in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edges.   Press the seams open.  And now you have 4 quadrants :)


Be sure that you layout your 4 quadrants so the prints are opposite each other in the layout as shown.


Place the right hand side quadrants onto the left with right sides together.  Nest the center seams and pin them in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edges,  *see next picture for sewing note.  Press the seams open.


When sewing the 1/4" seam you have a little guide in your seam allowance that will ensure you a perfect point.  The background fabric will make a little V in the seam allowance, sew your seam directly along the bottom of that V and it will give you that nice perfect point.  And yes, if that means I have to make a slightly larger or smaller seam in that area I will so that I can get pretty points ;)


So now your Star is in two halves.  Almost there!!


Just place the top onto the bottom with right sides together.  Once again, align your three seams and pin them in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge and again, **see the next picture for another little sewing note.  Press the seam open.


On the two side seams, you once again have a sewing guide but this time you will see it in the thread as the seam is pressed over.  So look at your seam and find the V made from the thread.  Sew directly along the bottom of that V again to get those pretty points ;)


And now enjoy your beautiful Center Star.  Aren't they just so pretty!!!   If you are doing multiple blocks and were assembly line piecing, enjoy all your Center Stars.  If you were doing one star at a time, just repeat the process for however many blocks you have in your project :)


And that's it!!    And now you can enter to win the weekly prize :)

The Weekly Prize is sponsored by Southern Fabric and a huge thanks goes out to them for their support of the Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long.

This weeks prize is a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Southern Fabric.  Oh, nothing like a little shopping spree!!


    
So what do you have to do for a chance to win the charm packs?  Simple . . . Just link up your beautiful Center Stars :)  You can link to a blog post or a flickr picture, or whatever.  Just make sure to link up by next Wednesday morning as I will be announcing a winner in next weeks post :)

If you don't get your Center Stars done  by next week you can still link it up :) (just not in time for the prize :) The linky will remain open until the end of the Quilt-A-Long.  So if your out of town, or just had a busy week, no worries!!!  Just link up when you can :)

And don't forget to add your Stars to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group!!!  I can't wait to see them all, this is where it really starts to get fun!!!

So let's get sewing!!  Oh, and if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me at happyquiltingmelissa@gmail.com.  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!


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