Monday, October 15, 2018

Quick Halloween Crafting

**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

While I love quilting, sometimes it's nice to balance more extensive sewing projects with some almost-instant gratification, while flexing my creative muscles. 

To get my fix of holiday decor, without breaking the budget (aka still have $ left for a fabric) or making the project too complicated for my kids to help, I headed to Dollar Tree.

I'm pretty sure this cauldron of cuteness took me less than half a minute. I filled one of their trick or treating buckets with white shredded paper. Then I topped it off with some chocolate eyes, table tennis balls (to mimic bubbles), and frog bath toys. You could also trade in the plain table tennis balls for eyeball ones, or add extra items like a rat or spider. The practical thing about this, is that it doubles as a bucket of treats for trick or treaters. Just drop a frog and some candy in their bags as costumed kids come to your door.

Cauldron of Cuteness

My next project involves a glass bowl, a glass candle holder, candies, and a candle. Making this one was as easy as setting the candle in the glass candle holder, and the glass candle holder in the bowl. Then I slid the candy in between the glass candle holder and the bowl, first positioning the larger items, and then filling in with the smaller ones, shaking things around to help them fall into place.

Spooky Filled Candle Bowl

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Wonderland Quilt Along: Layout

It's time to pull all our Wonderland Quilt Along blocks together. Grab the layout pattern. First it's a good idea to make sure your blocks haven't shrunk. Trying to stretch them as you piece your top together will make a lumpy, pleated situation later on, so it's best to add in a little now if things are coming up too short.

Unfinished Sizes:
Hookah Hose 20 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Mushroom: 10 1/2" x 20 1/2"
Hookah: 10 1/2" x 20 1/2"
Rabbit: 8 1/2" x 18 1/2"
Bottle: 4 1/2" x  10 1/2"
Cake: 6 1/2" x 10 1/2"
Key: 10 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Teapot: 10 1/2" x 10 1/2"
Teacup: 10 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Suits: 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" each or 6 1/2" x 24 1/2" together
Flamingo: 12 1/2" x 24 1/2"
Roses: 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" each or 8 1/2" x 24 1/2" together
Cheshire: 12 1/2" x 24 1/2"

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Quilters Meet & Greet

Welcome to the 2018 Online Quilters Meet & Greet! Check out the source of all the fun at Benita Skinner's Creative Space. Then hop on over to the participating blogs for inspiration and to get to know all the participating quilters. What's more, there a wonderful Grand Prize that you can earn a chance to win from each blog you visit. The winner will be selected October 1.

I suppose it's proper that I introduce myself. This is what my family and I look like when we're all cleaned up and coordinated. I'm a stay at home of this crew (Bryce-8, Linnea-5, Cade-2, Declan-1). My primary responsibility is to make sure that I have four kiddos intact at the start and end of each day. It's harder than it sounds! Before that, I was a first and second grade teacher. Now I have redirected my teaching prowess toward adults with whom I share my passion for quilting.

While I focus mainly on the modern aesthetic here, I love all forms of quilting. I'm an avid fabric collector and project starter. I adore quilting as a creative and social outlet, and much appreciate a brief distraction from diapers and dishes. I've been quilting for over a decade and have the honor of being an Aurifil Artisan and Quilt Photography Company Brand Ambassador.

Around here, I've gathered up some fun opportunities for you. If you're like me, and always in the mood for a fresh project and opportunity for show and tell, peruse my Linky Party Listing and directory of free Quilt Alongs. Speaking of Quilt Alongs, I'm hosting the Wonderland Quilt Along at this very blog. It's not to late to check out the tutorial posts, join the Facebook groupdownload the patterns, and finish your quilt in time to win some sweet prizes including a large spool collection of Aurifil thread.

I'm so happy you've stopped by and hope you'll do it again. An easy way to do that is to follow me on Bloglovin' or via e-mail using the sidebar.

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I also hang out on Instagram and Facebook, if that's more your speed.


Don't forget to snatch your change at the big haul:

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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Wonderland Quilt Along Block #12: The Roses

Welcome to this month's installment of the Wonderland Quilt Along. See all the fun we've been having in the Facebook group, where some folks are even working ahead of schedule. Share on IG with #WonderlandQuiltAlong.

But first, pick up instructions for this improv block. If improv is too much for your meticulous inclinations, you can always swap out with a paper-pieced version. I love this one by Jitka. Just remember to add sashing or increase the size of the block to result in three 8 1/2" blocks unfinished or a unit to substitute for the three flowers that measures 8 1/2" x 24 1/2" unfinished. If you are confident in your unconventional grid design skills, designing your own layout is an option.

I began with five sided pieces roughly 2 1/2" wide and strips longer than one side of the hexagons and about 1 1/2" wide.

Then I sewed the strip along one side using a 1/4" seam.

I cut the strip even with the neighboring sides.

I worked around the shape, adding a second strip.

I sliced each strip at an angle to make the overall shape appear rounder.

I continued adding strips and trimming, until all sides were enclosed.

Then I trimmed in preparation for the next round of strips, which will be slightly darker and wider.

This is how they appeared after the second round.

A third round began following the second.

Then a third round commenced. I added a few non-adjacent strips at a time and then pressed them all all once.

Trimming occurred after pressing each addition.

By this point, the blooms would fit inside a 8" square will room to spare, so I added another layer of petals.

I tested a couple ways to add leaves. The first was created by adding a chunk of green fabric to one side and then trimming it by following the sides next to it. The other was created by adding a set of rectangles, and then trimming using the adjacent sides as a guide.

I filled in with generous chunks of fabric and then laid an 8 1/2" ruler over the block to square it up.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Wonderland Quilt Along Block #11: The Teacup

Hey everyone! I'm so excited to have you here for block #11 of the Wonderland Quilt Along. As always, make this project your own. Fandom in Stitches has some fun Disney version blocks you might want to add to the mix.

Today we have a wee cup and plate. Go ahead and pick up your pattern.

Now that you're all ready, I have some tricks. Let's start off with that skinny little handle. You may remember my suggestion to use the Quick Turn for the tube on our last block. You could do that, as it can turn little tubes too, but I have another idea. This time I'm using the Clover Hot Ruler, one of my favorite toys. I cut a scrap of fabric on the bias (diagonally) and pressed it over 1/4" using the ruler.

I removed it from the ruler and folded it over again 1/4" before pressing.

I then opened up one side and cut it down to 1/8".

I tucked the 1/8" side under the longer one. This will be the back side.

Then I bent that baby into submission and pressed until cooperation was reached. If you didn't cut on the bias, you're bending may be not-so-much at this point.

Affix your handle on C, the larger side template, with a thin line of school glue, or a glue stick applied to the handle. I ran some stitches over the top and bottom 1/8" from the raw edge of C so I wouldn't be surprised by any sneaky shifting. My top part could have handled being scooted down a bit, but you'll know better.

I sewed the curves using the same process as last month with the Hookah block. Every few stitches I lift the presser foot with the needle down and reposition the top fabric so the raw edges are aligned.

Then I take a few more stitches and repeat the process.

To allow this block to press flat I clip the seam without cutting through my line of stitching.

After sewing on the two side pieces, put removable stabilizer on the back and appliqué the handle down. I used Aurifil clear invisible thread in the top and a matching 50 wt in the bobbin.

The plate is constructed using stitch and flip triangles. I like to sew just a bit to the side of the drawn line that is closest to the corner I will be pressing toward. I'm using my seam ripper as a pointer for you here. This accounts for the tiny bit of bulk the thread width and fold over of the fabric takes up.

Don't forget to cut away the extra fabric from the seam allowance.

Now, I'll share a sneaky trick. I actually cut B 5 1/2" x 2". Then I sewed it on and cut the remaining unit to 5 1/2". This way if my block shrunk during my curved piecing (which it did, given that the 1-1/4" mark isn't exactly on the seam line at the top of the cup), I'm covered.

I cheated again! Here I cut piece A 5 1/2" x 6" (or something larger than the specified 5 1/2" anyway). I attached the 5 1/2" side and trimmed my block down to 10 1/2".

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