Monday, October 21, 2013

The Traveling Stash

Yup, that's right.  Today it is all about The Traveling Stash!!!  I was super surprised last week to find that the stash was heading my way.  I ran to the door when the mail arrived and  had so much fun going through this not so little parcel.  I was blown away to see everywhere this stash has been.  It has been traveling for 2 years!!  Wow!!!

I loved going through my own personal stash and picking what to add to the parcel. Hope the next recipient will like some of these little goodies :)

And then all of these lovelies went back into the box :)

And this is what I kept out and added to my own stash.  So fun!!!

And now the box is all taped up and it is full to the brim and bursting at the seams.  Now all it needs is an address to be sent to :)

So . . . . Do you want a chance for the Traveling Stash to make it's way to your home.  Just leave me a comment and you could be the next person to sift through it's contents ;)  And please, due to mailing costs, just U.S. entries this time.  Sorry international folks, I will get you on the next one :)

I will randomly choose a winner on Saturday, the 26th :)

That's it for today.  I am off to play on the Long Arm this morning ;)  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Shabby Hexie Twist - A Baby Quilt Tutorial

**Note - For those of you popping over from The Jolly Jabber, A layer cake in these beautiful prints would have also been a great plan for making the Shabby Hexie Twist quilt, hint hint :)

I am so excited to share my newest finish and tutorial with you.  I got the idea for this quilt when I was having an itch to do some raw edge applique.  I just love the look and feel of all those shabby raw edges crinkled from the dryer.  The idea then morphed into a sliced up, mixed up, raw edge, hexie tutorial  and I call it Shabby Hexie Twist :)

So, let's get right to it.  To make your own Shabby Hexie Twist baby quilt you will need:

   15 Fat Quarters
   3/8 Yard for Binding
   1 1/4 Yard for Backing
I was so excited to use my Blogger's Choice Fat Quarter Bundle  (which is now available) for this project.  I absolutely love these colors together and the prints are just fantastic.    Thanks again Fat Quarter Shop for having me as part of your Blogger's Choice program.  So fun!!!

For this project, you will also need a Hexagon Ruler.  I choose to use the You Hexie Thing (catchy name) Ruler by June Tailor and the tutorial is based around this ruler.  This is a great ruler for allowing you to cut all different size hexies :)

One note about this ruler.   After cutting my first few Hexie's and making quite a few mistakes on lining the ruler up, I decided I needed a little color grid help. Yup, just black lines are confusing to me, what can I say, I like color :)   I found it vastly helpful to color the adjoining lines like so.  Just a little tidbit that you might find helpful as well ;)


Okay, so to start, we need to trim our first fat quarter (after it has been pressed of course) into two strips of 9 1/4" each.  Depending on how generously your fat quarter has been cut will determine the orientation :)

The 9 1/4" strips will allow us to cut heaxagons with 5" finished sides.

Place your ruler onto the strip aligning the top and the bottom of the strip with the corresponding mark on your ruler  (the yellow one )  Also align the left hand side of the strip with the mark on the ruler.  Once you are all lined up, place your rotarty cutter in the designated slot and cut in the slot.  Repeat for the other side.  (Where the yellow lines are added.)    Note - Like any slot ruler, be careful to align your blade directly in the slot and not on the plastic of the ruler, it will dull your blade and nick your ruler, found from experience :)

Once you have cut the first two slots, rotate your ruler 90 degrees and once again, align the top and bottom.  You can also align the left hand side where you just cut.  Once all sides are aligned along the yellow line, cut the two remaining sides using the designated slots.

And you have a perfect hexagon.  Yippee!!

Repeat the process cutting another 5" finished side hexagon out of the second 9 1/4" strip.  Set the 2 large hexagons aside.

Now, from the remainder of the strips we will cut the "applique" hexagons.  Using the guide shown above, cut the strips into width's for other sized hexagons.  Mine will make a 3" side hexagon, a 1 1/2" side hexagon, and a 4" side hexagon.

Now, cut your hexagons from the new strips the exact same way as before using the designated grid.  In this example I am using the purple lines.  Once again, having the color grid really helps when you start moving to these middle lines ;)

Repeat for all your strips.  You will have 4 to 5 hexagons cut from your fat quarter.

Now Repeat for all 15 of your fat quarters being sure to get 2 large hexagons from each fat quarter.  Note - After cutting the first fat quarter I wanted to speed the cutting up a bit so I cut the 2 large hexies first and then from the remaining strips and cut rectangles from the strips to cut the applique hexies from.  This allowed me to stack up the rectangles and cut one size all at once.

They cut the exact same way, its just that there is no excess on the sides.  The exact square sizes are as follows:  1 1/2" - 3 1/8" x 3 5/8"       2" - 4" x 4 5/8"     2 1/2" - 4 7/8" x 5 3/4"  
   3" - 5 3/4" x 6 5/8"       3 1/2" - 6 5/8" x 7 5/8"     4" - 7 1/2" x 8 3/4"     4 1/2" - 8 3/8" x 9 3/4"
   5" - 9 1/4" x 10 5/8"    

So once you are all done cutting you will have 30 large 5" finished sides hexagons, 2 from each of your 15 fat quarters, and a whole lot of Applique hexagons in varying sizes.


And now we move on to the applique part.  Grab your first large hexie and any applique hexie.  Center the applique onto the large hexie.  You can measure or just eyeball.  I just eyeballed it and little errors on centering will get sucked into the seam allowance so don't stress.  Pin the applique in place to the large hexie.

Now, move over to your sewing machine.  Secure stitch your applique to your large hexie.  To get the shabby fun edges, stitch a 1/4" straight stitch from the edge of your applique.  Pivot 1/4" from the edges and sew all around the applique, back stitching a stitch or two at the beginning and end.

And now your hexies are attached.  You can add another layer or call it good.  Then move onto your next large hexie.

Before you know it you have a pile of appliqued hexies.  Be sure to applique all 30 :)


Now it is time for a little slicing.  Align your appliqued hexie on your mat with the points matching on a vertical line. Using your long ruler, cut the hexagon in half from point to point.  Cut all 30 hexagons in half.

Now, take 10 halves (preferably all different) and cut them in half again to make 20 quarters total.  To cut them, align the flat side along a horizontal line centering it with the vertical lines.  Cut .


And now the fun part.  Layout your half and quarter hexagons as shown below.  You will be making 10 rows that start and end with a quarter hexagon and have 5 half hexagons in the row.  Play with the layout until you have the colors and prints all placed in a manor that is pleasing to the eye.   I find it helpful to mark the tops of my rows here so I don't have to worry about mixing up my placement.

And now, we can sew the hexies into rows.  Start with the first row.  Place the first piece in the row (the quarter hexie) onto the second with right sides together and aligning raw edges.  You will have 1/4" tail overhang on each edge.  Pin in place and sew 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press.

Now, place the third piece in the row, onto the now sewn together first and second piece in the same fashion aligning raw edges and ensuring the 1/4" tail overhangs.  Sew 1/4" seam and press.

Continue in this fashion adding piece by piece until you have sewn he entire row together.

Then repeat the process for all 10 rows.   Once again, it is helpful to mark your rows, especially if you decide to start assembly line sewing :)

And now you are almost done, just sewing the rows together is left.  I like to sew the rows together by first making sets of 2.  Place the first row onto the second with right sides together.  Align the raw edges and all of the seams, they will match up perfectly.  Pin the seams.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press.  Repeat for the remaining rows.

Once the rows are sets of 2 simple sew the double rows into a quilt top. Place the first double row onto the second with right sides together, align and pin seams and sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press.

Repeat adding the third, then fourth, and then finally the fifth double row.  And then stand back and smile because your quilt top is done.


Now just to finish.  Time to baste it, quilt it, and bind it.   And yes, that is a whole lot of work in one little sentence.  If you are new to quilting, you might find these video tutorials on finishing your quilt helpful with this step ;)

And be sure when quilting your top, not to tack down all your raw edges  You don't want to lose all of that shabby goodness.   I quilted my top in an organic straight stitch echoing the hexagon pattern.

And last but not least, wet your quilt down and then throw it in the dryer so you can enjoy all of that shabby raw edge goodness.  Clip any loose threads that might have built up in the dryer session.    And you are done.   

 You now have one adorable 40" x 44" Shabby Hexie Twist Baby Quilt for I am sure, one adorable little wee one.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you do make your own Shabby Hexie Baby Quilt I would love to see it.  You can add it to my Flickr group here ;)

Have a Happy Quilting Weekend!!!

Linking this finish up to Sarah's and Amanda's ;)

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm Blushing!! Craftsy Blogger Awards :)

I was absolutely tickled pink when I woke up this morning to find an email that I had made it to the final round of the Craftsy Blogger's Award for Best Quilting Tutorials.  I didn't even know I had been nominated and to make it to the finals, wow!!!  I am just giddy.  Thank you, Thanks you, Thank you!!!

So now there is a final round of voting that will go on from now until October 28th.  You can vote for one blog in each category.   There are so many amazing blogs over there and some of the authors I know personally and are good friends.  So much fun!!

Vote for me for Craftsy's blogger awards!

If you are new to my blog and just coming over to "check things out" from Craftsy, welcome!!!  You can find a list of all my tutorials on the tabs above.  On the tab for Quilt Tutorials  you will find over 30 tutorials with step by step instructions from start to finish.  On the tab for Other Tutorials you will find over 30 tutorials grouped into projects, blocks, technique, and guest tutorials.  On the tab for Video Tutorials  you will find videos on finishing your quilt, applique, and free motion quilting.  And finally, on the Quilt-A-Long tab you will find 5 different quilt-a-longs with steps broken down into weekly manageable tasks ;)

So ya, a whole lot of tutorials ;)  That's just a sneak peek at what you will find, so pop around and check em out.  Who knows, maybe you will even find a new project to start.  And I mean, who doesn't love a new project :)

Thanks again for the nominations.  You all are the best!!!!  Have a Happy Quilting Day :)

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fearing Feathers No More

Okay, so if you have been hanging out here for any number of time, you now that I love feathers but have been super afraid to quilt them.  Every time I tried to draw them they came out crazy weird and just not so pretty.  But I have been determined to conquer my fear and have tried them a few times with results that were okay but not that I was particularly pleased with.  Like this border on my Stars quilt.  You can't see it to well, but what you can see doesn't particularly have much of a feather shape and the overlap, well I won't even go there :)

So, when Angela Walters put out her Craftsy Free Motion Quilting with Feathers class  I thought it might be just the thing to get me over my fear.  I signed up and have been squeezing in bits and pieces of time to watch all of her Feather lessons.  I learned so much!!!   Like that the way I was practicing them was way harder than it needed to be :)  Mostly, I learned to just relax and have confidence.  Angela is a great teacher that way!!   I have been practicing on paper for quite a while just waiting for the right quilt to test out all my paper practice on.

And then came Playing the Scales.  It was perfect.  The up and down motion of the quilt created the perfect rows to make feathers in and the fabrics are so big and bold I knew it would blend like crazy.  (In fact, I had a really hard time trying to get pictures that actually showed some of the quilting :)
I quilted feathers going left to right in brown on the high volume keys and feathers going right to left in white on the low volume keys.

And how about some close up's.  Sorry, it is still kind of hard to see them.  But oh, these were so much fun to quilt going up and down and up and down.  It really was nice to have the fabric be my guide of where to fill in.  It really was perfect as there was one less thing to try and figure out.

And after a few tries, I even managed to figure out how to quilt the spaces where the feathers curve in on each other.  There are a few that look not quite as as good as this and some that look even better, a good average I figure ;)

And by the end of the quilt, my backtracking was hardly noticeable and I was doing a far better job of staying right on the lines.  It's amazing what practicing on a whole quilt will do for you ;)

In the end, I am totally ecstatic with the end result.  Of course they are not all perfect, and I know they can only get better with more practice.  But I can honestly say, I Love Quilting Feathers!!!!  I am not afraid anymore.  And oh, that feels so good!!!   I am just so happy.

Thank you Angela, you are an awesome teacher !!!  Now bring on another quilted Feather project :)

linking up to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story ;)
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Monday, October 14, 2013

A Cutting Weekend

First off, I wan't to say a huge Thank You for all of your sweet comments on my Playing The Scales quilt and tutorial.  You all sure know how to make a girls day!!

These last few day's have been filled with a whole lot of cutting.  I just love the cutting part of making a quilt.  I think it's because when I am cutting I am starting a new project and starting a new project means I am playing with all new fabrics and colors.  And you know the anticipation you get when you start a new project and you just can't wait to see how it will all come out.  Oh ya, good times :)

Remember this beautiful stack for my daughter's new bedspread . . .

Well, lots of cutting and even some trimming later, it is starting to turn into blocks.  So exciting, I promise to show more in day's to come, but everyone loves a good pile of trim, right :)  (And yes, the trimming is what is making my wrist sore, just got to push through that stage :)  

And my second cutting project I was so excited for!!!  You remember my Blogger's Choice Bundle for the Fat Quarter Shop??  Well, it's available!!!  So exciting!!!  I got my bundle this weekend and after some squealing and jumping up and down over how pretty the bundle was, I was off to the  cutting mat!! 

A few hours later I had a pile of scraps and a smile on my face ;)  More on this quilt to come too . . . think tutorial :)

So that is what I was doing this weekend??  How about you??  What were you working on??

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