Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Christmas Corner February 2015

Welcome to Christmas Corner!  I've made a mini pillow with a pocket to hold a secret surprise.
This is the Secret Santa Pocket Pillow

The back pocket that can hold a a sweet note or a small treasure (or a gift card).

The inspiration came from this darling block pattern by Marcia Hahn on the Quilter's Cache here.  Marcia has 100's of wonderful free quilting patterns at the Quilter's Cache.
Marcia's block is 12 1/2".  You can visit the quilter's cache (see link above) to make Marcia's block or for my mini pillow, check out my cutting instructions and tutorial to make a 6 inch Secret Santa Pocket Pillow.
Also I'm trying something new.  I'm hosting my first link up party and hope you'll link up some of your favorite Christmas projects/gifts.  There are no rules.  You can link up current projects or from the past; finished or in process.  I would love to see your version of the Secret Santa Pocket Pillow!  Note the Link Up is at the end of the tutorial (wasn't sure how to put it here)
Tutorial for the Secret Santa Pocket Pillow
This is quick to make (less than an hour once you gather your supplies).  All seams 1/4".

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Organizing scraps and Kaleidoscope blocks

I got in the mood to chop up scraps into neat and organized squares.

After a number of hours, I went to my Pinterest page to look for ideas for using my nicely stacked squares.
  That's when I noticed the scrappy kaleidoscope quilts.  The bigger scraps would be perfect for this!
 I found a free template and printed it out and started cutting.

You end up sewing 4 into a half circle and then sew those two together, and then add the corner triangles (white ones go on the colored triangles or colored for the white triangles) to get the block.  It's just one block!

At the end of the day, I had made 9 blocks  -- 
Can you see the secondary circular pattern emerging?  (I did sew one wrong--do you see the mistake?)
I did see a simple 4 patch which alternates with a white square that I'm planning to work on soon too!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and A Quilting Life

Monday, February 16, 2015

February Free Motion Quilting Challenge

I finished up my pillow for the FMQ challenge from Quilt Shop Gal with a red polka dot binding.  The tutorial is by The Crafty Quilter.
Leah Day is February's expert.  Here is a link to her wonderful blog.
For Quilt Shop Gal's Feb. FMQ challenge, I chose option 1, which was to use Leah Day's double stipple design somewhere in our pillow.  I stitched the double stipple in the grass, the blue background, and also on the house.
I then proceeded to apply some feathers to the heart, some cross hatching on the roof, and a plain stipple in the outside borders.  You can see how it was easy to cross hatch stitch along the rows, boxing in 9 polka dots to create the even cross hatching pattern.

And even the words are FMQ'ed.  I have FMQ words into a quilting design before but they weren't so visible.

This pillow cover can also be a wall hanging.

I added the 4 inch folded in half triangles to each corner before binding so a dowel could be inserted for hanging.

Linking up with Quilt Shop Gal and Crazy Mom Quilts

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine Parade

Happy Valentine's Day!
Here's a little parade of current and past projects.  See my "Be Mine" page for links to tutorials.
This is my current project which doubles for Valentine's Day and Quilt Shop Gal's February FMQ challenge.  (This tutorial is available from Julie, the Crafty Quilter on her blog)

Instead of hand embroidering, I FMQ the words on with a heavier red thread made for machine embroidery.

I was impatient to try "writing" with FMQ and winged it and didn't mark it first.  I'm so lucky that it turned out pretty good so I don't have to pick it all out!  I think in the future I will mark it though.

Hope you have a very nice day!  Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Spring Time Sewing, a Blog Hop, and patterns

The weather is warm and beautiful today and I've gotten involved with some fun spring quilting activities!  (I do hope for more winter and rain because we are in desperate need of it.)

Susie from Susie's Sunroom is having a Blog Hop to celebrate her first published pattern.  
Simply Striped Pillow Blog Hop  March 2-8
It's called the The Simply Striped Accent Pillow.  
Here's the schedule.

March 2   Elaine    Summercrafter       http://summercrafter.com/

March 3   Susie  Susies Sunroom     http://susiessunroom.blogspot.com/

March 4   Geta      Geta's Quilting Studio    http://cadouri-din-inima.blogspot.ro/

March 5   Sheri   Sunshine in the Attic        http://www.sunshineintheattic.blogspot.com/

March 6   Lara    BuzzinBumble         http://www.buzzinbumble.com/

March 7   Amanda    The Patchsmith   http://thepatchsmith.blogspot.co.uk/

March 8   Amy  Amy Made That!    http://eamylove.blogspot.com/

Here's a peak at what I'm working on for Susie's March Blog Hop:
 I hope you'll stop by to see Susie and all the creativity and variety the quilters employ with Susie's Simply Striped Accent Pillow pattern!
 This darling paper pieced pattern by Esther of I Patch and Quilt is soon to be released.
Wall hanging or pillow?  Happy Spring or Happy Easter in embroidery would be a nice addition.
The pattern also includes a bunny and a daffodil.  Here's a photo from Esther's post.
Here are the hashtags to find Esther's lovely creations on Instagram:
Thanks for stopping by!  Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sweet Hearts and Valentine's Quilty Project

Sweethearts Mini Quilt
One week until Valentine's Day!

Would you like to make your own darling Sweetheart Mini? 
Visit Jera here:  Sweethearts Mini Quilt and tutorial at Quilting in the Rain
 After reading many blogger's posts on their photography, I have been getting more and more interested in the subject.  I got out my tripod today and tried different modes on my camera.  I haven't done that before. 
 The tripod is essential for taking photos without a flash because otherwise they are usually blurry.
There is a big rainstorm this weekend in Northern California, which we really need because of a severe drought.  The clouds cleared a little and I was able to take my dogs out for a walk and got some dappled lighting here, which helps to show the quilting design.

I even bought some Conversation hearts for the photo, but forgot to use them.  Oh well, maybe next time.
  Are you joining Quilt Shop Gal's February FMQ challenge?
Here's a sneak peak at my pieced pillow top so far.

I found the easy tutorial for this darling project by The Crafty Quilter here.
Home is Where the Heart Is Pillow Tutorial @ The Crafty Quilter

Thanks for Stopping by and have a great weekend!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts (as usual).

Saturday, January 31, 2015

2015 Free Motion Quilting Challenge from Quilt Shop Gal

When I saw the pretty pillows people were making for the challenge, it got me motivated to take this challenge! 
 If you click on the pictures you'll go to the individual blogs of these participants.

I sketched out some ideas and then used a Frixion marker which "erases" with heat (ironing) to mark my fabric.  

I began to FMQ.

I was so excited to do some FMQ so I could iron it  and erase the marks to see how it looked.
I pressed the heart and feathers in the center with a hot iron.  The material is polyester and luckily it didn't scorch but it got very flat.  You can see that I stopped pressing any more to avoid that flat look.
After finishing up the FMQ -- a rose bud and leaf/vine motif at each corner, some feathers at each side, some cross hatching and small stippling for the background fill in, I rinsed it out in water and threw it in the dryer.
This did help to unflatten the fabric and batting and pop up the feathers in the heart a bit and the heat of the dryer erased away most of the blue frixion pen marks.  For the remainder of the marks, I carefully took the point of the iron and carefully ran it over the rest of the blue marks.
I thought about adding little white beads or crystals (displayed) to the cross hatching, but decided to wait until my skill is a little better before going to the extra work.
Here's the finished pillow.

I'm so glad for Quilt Shop Gal's challenge for incentive to practice and also her instructions and links to Experts in the field who offer tutorials, advice, and books on the subject.
 I'm linking up with Quilt Shop Gal.  Stop by to see the many other beautiful FMQ projects!

Also linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, January 30, 2015

January Quilt Alongs

With only a couple days left to finish up my January blocks for my quilt alongs, I've been busy.

Zoo Animals Quilt Along from Kristie at Quiet Play
Drop by Kristie's blog to get this pattern free through the end of January.

Flamingo Block made with Batiks
The Not So Last Minute Quilt Along, re-hosted by Cathy at A Quilting Chick features:  Trees for January.
Did you have one of those white or metallic trees back in the 60's (or was it the 70's)?  Someone recently told me that they rapidly lost popularity when the Charlie Brown Christmas special cherished Charlie Brown's sweet little tree.
 This block is reminiscent and nostalgic of a magical time (childhood at Christmas).
My mom bought a lovely white tree and decorated it with pink and gold glass ball ornaments.  Oh my it was beautiful!
Here's my second Modern Tradition Charm Square Quilt Along block:

Snapshots Quilt Along
 A great opportunity to receive a darling pattern and support St. Jude's Children's Hospital with a $5 (or more) donation. Still need to work on this one.

Quilt Shop Gal (formerly SewCal Gal) 2015 Free Motion Quilting Challenge  After seeing some of the work the quilters are linking up, I decided to take this challenge.  
This is a great idea because if it turns out well, you've not only practiced and hopefully improved your skills, but you'll also have something wonderful to keep or give away.  Here I've used a frixion pen to draw on a design that after quilting, can be "erased" by ironing it.
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts. Quiet Play, Modern Tradition Quilts, and A Quilting Chick