Monday, July 29, 2013

July finish.

My goodness, I can't believe how quickly the summer is flying by. We're already at the end of July. Eep!

I'm pleased to report that I got a great start to Master W.'s quilt, and have finished 42 of 72 blocks. Woot! My July goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes over at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bitter Sweet Designs was simply to get started on the blocks. It feels so good to see that big pile of finished blocks.

By the looks of things, I should be well on my way to getting them all finished up in the next month.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I'm feeling Clashy Bright!

I'm excited to share that my mosaic was one of 10 selected as finalists for Rachel's Clashy Bright fabric mosaic contest. Woot!

Every single one of the finalists offers a unique and gorgeous take on the theme. Hop on over to vote for your favorite!

And if you're looking to vote for mine (many, many thanks to anyone who votes for me!), it looks just like this:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Traffic Cone Block: A free paper piecing pattern

Have you ever dreamed up a project, going so far as to design a pattern and purchase the fabric, only never actually start it?

Maybe it was the fear of trying something new (anyone else out there afraid to try paper piecing?). Or maybe other, easier projects slipped ahead in line. Or, in my case, a little bit of both...

This past week I'd run out of excuses – and easy projects – and I could no longer ignore Master W.'s quilt. So I bit the bullet and bought my first roll of freezer paper so that I could begin sewing the first of 72 traffic cone blocks for Master W.'s bed quilt.

And you know what? Paper piecing isn't really all that bad when you start with freezer paper and a simple block. Freezer paper piecing is much simpler than you'd think:
  1. Trace your block to the dull side of the freezer paper. I taped mine to a window and used the sunshine for a light box effect.
  2. Cut out the traced block pieces.
  3. Use a dry iron to press the pieces to your fabric, lightly adhering the shiny side to the right side of your fabric.
  4. Rotary cut each piece, adding a quarter inch seam allowance along each side of the piece.
  5. Line up any points when stitching the pieces together, sewing each piece in numerical order.
  6. Press open your seams and enjoy a perfectly pieced block!
I'm having so much for working on this quilt. There are nine different prints set against Kona Steel. Each print will be used in eight traffic cone blocks (so far I've finished 22 blocks). This is going to finish as a twin-sized quilt, so when all 72 are assembled I'm going try out another new-to-me quilting technique: quilt as you go. 

Would you like to give my traffic cone pattern a try? I had a lot of fun designing it and would love to share it with you for your personal use. You can download it for free, then print it out at home. Since it's a 9 x 10" block, it will print in two pages (don't let your printer scale it down in size), which you'll have to cut out and tape together. I numbered each piece and those that need to be taped together have an "a" and "b" side to take out some of the guesswork.

I'd love to see any projects you make with this block (feel free to post your links in the comments of this post), and would appreciate it if you'd credit back to this post if you blog about it. Have fun!

You can find this project linked up at:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Clashy Bright

Rachel over at Stitched in Color is hosting a mosaic contest called Clashy Bright.

Normally I wouldn't gravitate toward clashy bright colors and prints... but I saw this contest as a way to stretch my color muscles. To try something new and a little dangerous.

Can color be dangerous?

Oh yes. Especially when it's purple and orange and turquoise all having a party together.

I'm starting to dig all these crazy colors mixed together. Danger can be fun too, you know.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

For the boss baby.

Hubby's boss is pregnant with her first baby and due in the next month or so. I know I promised myself I wouldn't start any more quilts until I'd finished Master W.'s bed quilt...

But when it comes to babies, I just can't help myself.
This scrappy patchwork quilt was easy and fun to whip up. Baby is going to be a girl – cue the massive amounts of pink – so I dug through my overflowing pink scrap bag, as well as my pink fabric stack to get started. After grabbing any and all pink fabric I could find (including some lovely scraps I won from the super generous Sew Wonderful Life), I snagged some pretty aqua and green scraps to round things out. Then I spied a sad little bag of Kona White scraps, left over from my postage stamp quilt. Most pieces were too small to do much with, but I wondered if some splashes of white throughout the quilt might add some visual interest.

I know there are many shortcuts out there for making patchwork blocks, but I'm one of those oddball quilters who actually likes organizing and sewing up each and every square. So, the following night I gleefully headed over to the cutting table, where I cut everything into 2.5" squares and organized the neat little stacks of squares by print.

Another evening was then spent laying out my quilt top. My only rules were that no single print should end up next to its twin, and that there would be at least one white square in each 9-patch block.

A few nights later, the top was done and I was left pondering the back. I could have gone out and purchased some fabric for the back, but I liked the challenge of finding a way to make the entire quilt from stash (I even pieced two pieces of batting together for this quilt). What you see are several large leftover pieces from stash, as well as several lovely vintage sheet pieces that I won in the most recent Sew Mama Sew giveaway from the wonderful Carpe Lanam. Aren't they pretty?

I quilted it up with some wavy lines, bound it with some more scraps and ran it through the wash to get that squishy, crinkly effect. The result: a soft little quilt, perfect for baby push-ups!

And I must say that I love that my little helper is finally big enough to hold up quilts! I love seeing her sweet little face peeking out from behind the top of the quilt!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: July Goal

I missed the June goal setting party, but I'm happy to be back for July. This month my goal is to begin Master W.'s bed quilt. Ideally, this means I will have completed a test block and start cutting and sewing. Crossing my fingers that my test block goes together easily.