Wednesday, February 03, 2016

WIP Wednesday...and a couple finishes...

 I think I've shared my Buttermilk Basin Block of the Month from 2015.  Each month, Stacy shared a free pattern for a cute wool applique block.  Then, in January 2016, she revealed the final layout of the blocks...here is a picture of Stacy's quilt.  



I really like the setting, so I decided to forge ahead and make the 239 1.5" half square triangles...I used the Easy Angle ruler.  I love it because there is no trimming and it makes perfectly sized triangles.


The next step was to sew them into strips of 9 like this.  I sewed all the strips and started to stitch them to the blocks.  I REALLY thought I was sewing them in the right direction....but then I took a closer look. 
If you look at the original above, you'll see the triangles are turned a different way.  It's the HSTs that are sewn wrong, not the strips.  Ugh...oh well, I was not going to unsew all those triangle strips!!  I actually like them this way and it really didn't make a lot of difference!

Here is mine all sewn together.  I love it so much!!  I'm a little intimidated to quilt it as it will need some "custom" work...but I'll do the best I can.  I'm just not super confident in that area.


The block of the month was such a success...Stacy is offering another one for this year!!  You can head over to Buttermilk Basin and download your free pattern.  I think it'll spell "Let it Snow!"  :)  
(I promise I'll find some mini buttons for my snowman's eyes!!)


I joined a sew along with A Needle Pulling Thread Quilt Shop...@anptquiltshop and/or #52weekstarchallenge, if you're on Instagram.  I thinks she's also on Facebook.  The challenge is to make one sawtooth star each week for 52 weeks. Sounds easy enough, right?  ::wink::  Can you believe we are five weeks into the year already??!!

Just today, I finished this Mondo Bag...the fabric is from an old jelly roll I've had hanging around.  These bags are made from a printed/grid fusible interfacing, so the assembly is pretty easy.

I forgot to show this little table topper I whipped up a couple weeks ago.  Remember the Bitty Blocks quilt I showed before?  I had a few extra basket blocks...then added a few HSTs from another project...a couple 9 patches from something else...and voila!!  

Perfect little table topper for a square breakfast table.  (can you see Chloe watching the birds from her perch?)

Well, that catches you up with what's going on in my sewing room!  What are you up to?

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Monday, February 01, 2016

Quilt Retreat!

Last Monday through Friday, I was lucky enough to be at a quilt retreat!  This is my second time at this location, called Cocalico Quilter's Inn.  Click the link for info and lots of pictures of the inside. The Inn is owned and operated by Burkholders Fabrics in Denver, PA.    Burkholders Quilt Shop is only about a mile away...which meant almost daily trips to shop!!
  I took this picture on Wednesday, I think...it had really warmed up and the snow was melting pretty quickly.  It was snowy last year, too!

The building is a refurbished farmhouse.  The builder used a lot of reclaimed wood from the original house and barn....it's really beautiful inside.  There are about 10 bedrooms inside with 1-3 beds in each room.  Plenty of bathrooms too.

This is the sewing room...there were 9 of us and we had plenty of room to spread out.  


Another shot from my spot...

I was playing with the panoramic option on my camera...

I made this little table mat for under my machine...I had a few blocks from a quilt along I started last year.  I didn't stick with the quilt along, but the blocks I had worked great for this.  Not every quilt has to be HUGE, right??  :)


The theme of this retreat was "Crumbs and Strings."  Sheila taught us her technique for making strip sets without the need for a foundation.  Then those strips sets were cut to make these blocks...each strip set made a full block and then units to make the pinwheel type block in the picture above.  It was really fun to see these blocks come together!

Here are a few of everyone's blocks...there was everything from batiks, to civil war-ish, selveges, and mine, which are the darker blues.  Lynn also chose blues...Hi Lynn!!  :)

Next step after making the blocks....are the sashing and stars...


This picture doesn't show how pretty these batik strips really are...

Here is my top...those units around the outside border are "leftovers" from the original strip set.  There was almost no waste!!  It only measures about 38" x 46" at this point, so I need to decide on more borders to make it bigger.

Sheila also taught us "crumb" piecing and we made these cute little drawstring bags...

Here are everyone's all lined up...they are sooo cute!! 

 I also had time to whip up this Quickie Strippie for a friend that will have a baby soon.  Another nighttime picture, so the colors aren't quite right.

 Here are all the ladies (minus one, who had to leave early)!  We had so much fun!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

WIP Wednesday -- Bitty Blocks

Since January 2015, I've been sewing along with Quiltmaker Magazine's "Bitty Blocks."  Each month, a new 3" or 4" block pattern was released on their blog.  You could make as many or as few as you wanted.  About March or April, they gave us an idea for a row quilt for our blocks.  I made 16 of the 3" and 12 of the 4", based on the size of one of the layout ideas.  It's been soooo fun making these blocks each month.  ALL the blocks have been made from my scrappy stash of squares and strips...so it's been easy to get a wide variety of fabrics.

I was finally able to catch up with December's blocks...3" pinwheels.  I made these with 2 1/2" squares.  So simple...but I love them!

I should have been sewing in rows all year as I went along...but nooo...I didn't do that!  Next step was to get all the rows sewn together....

But there were more blocks needed!  I needed three rows of flying geese.  Of course, they are itty bitty flying geese...finishing at 1" x 2".   I turned to my box of 1 1/2" squares for the sew and flip method...can you believe I had enough pairs of squares for 150 flying geese?  If you look close at that box...it doesn't look like much of a dent was made either!!  

Instead of totally scrappy, I thought using one colorway would help tie it all together.  I had some left over red strips from another project and cut the rectangles I needed.  It took a few days to get them all sewn...but look at those pretty geese all lined up! 

All ready for sashing strips!  I'm still deciding what to use/how to sash it.  I'm really trying to use only fabrics from my stash and so far I haven't found a big enough piece to use for sashing.  If I use all the same fabric, I'll need a yard...if not, I'll do a scrappy sashing too.  I'm still working on it! 

I really didn't expect to love this project so much!  I did enjoy making the blocks each month...but seeing it come together now...it's just so fun and scrappy.  I love it more each time I look at it! Hopefully, I'll have more progress to share soon with sashing and final borders!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Two Finishes!

I'm so excited to share two quilty finishes!  Recently, I signed up for a UFO Challenge with the local guild here in town.  Every other month, they will pick a random number and we'll pick that number off our list to finish.  Since the challenge is just getting started this month, we were to finish #1 on our list.  First on my list is Oklahoma Backroads.  This is from a workshop I took with Bonnie Hunter in March 2012.  I've had this top done, except for borders, since I went to retreat in November 2012!!  Why, why, why???  I pulled it out, added borders and loaded it on the machine for quilting.  I just love the scrappiness of it.  I look at all the different fabrics and can remember when I bought them, where I used them, maybe someone gave it to me...so many memories!

It's all from my stash, including the backing.  I bought a bolt of this fabric for $3/yard from Burkholders a couple years ago...I've just about used all of it up with this quilt. 

I surprised myself using the brown for a border...but it's perfect, if I do say so myself!  I tend to always choose blues or reds...but I didn't have enough of anything in my stash to work.  Then I pulled out this brown....LOVE!!  I used the same fabric as the back for the binding...using a light fabric for binding is something I don't do often either...but it works!!


 My second finish is the Quiltville Mystery "Allietare!"  I'm always motivated to finish these mysteries...I've finished six of the seven I've participated in.  The first one is the one still unfinished!!

Anyway...here it is before quilting.  My cat is exceptionally large, e'hem, big boned.  But this picture gives an idea of the size.  It's half-sized from the original pattern.  All the grey half square triangles and small black squares finish at 3/4".

I believe this was my first attempt at a scalloped border...if I've done it before, I don't remember!  LOL  I used a small Fiesta bowl as the template, and I have to say...this part worked out remarkably well.  Actually sewing the binding on...hmmm, not so much.  I needed about two other hands to maneuver the binding, quilt, presser foot up and down, etc.  But I just went for it!  

It's not perfect...but the best part is, sewing it up and hiding all those wonky seams!!  I did a 2" bias binding as Bonnie recommends.  She has some great tutorials on Clue 6 of her pattern.

Ta-da!!  I love the scalloped binding!  As tough as it was, I would do it again...it gives it a fun, whimsy effect.  I would be fun for a baby quilt.  It's far from perfect, and I can see the flaws...but I love it anyway!

I hung it up on that same fence as Oklahoma Backroads above...to get an idea of the size again... 

 The black has a small grey print...but doesn't really show in the picture.  I used a thread called Cookie Dough, which is a muted gold...

Leftovers on the back!  The camera had a hard time with this red on the back and that grey is the same as the grey on the front...it looks almost blue in this picture! 

This corner is what the red really looks like.... 

Just can't thank Bonnie enough for another fun mystery!!  Mystery quilts are not my favorite...but Bonnie's never disappoint!!


Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Monday, January 04, 2016

Quiltville Mystery 2015 -- Revealed!

Happy New Year!!

Miss Bonnie didn't let us down...the final layout of the mystery quilt was revealed on New Year's Eve.  I didn't see it until the morning of January 1st...but that's okay, we were having too much fun with friends from out of town celebrating the New Year!

After our company left on Saturday...all I wanted to do was sew, sew, sew!  I got to work putting the blocks together and by late last night I had this!

The colors are so much prettier in person.  The yellow in the picture seems to "pop" more that it does in real life.  I'll admit, after seeing some of the colors other quilters have chosen, part of me wishes I would have switched things up a bit too.  But, I love stretching myself to use color combinations I would not normally choose.  My daughter said it looks very sunny!  I agree!

I have three rows sewn together and hopefully I'll get back to it again later today.



 Since this likely will be a wallhanging (will finish about 41" wide), I'm thinking about making it square.  Hmmm...what do you think?  Do you prefer a square or rectangle wallhanging?

Be sure to check out all the other Allietare quilts in progress over at the Quiltville Blog link up!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Farewell 2015....

and in just two more days...we'll welcome 2016!!  Just crazy!!  Time just goes by soooo fast!!

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!  I can show you a quilt I finished a few days before Christmas for our daughter.  She has always loved purple...and I realized I'd never made her a bed sized quilt, so it was time she had a queen size quilt!  The pattern is Scrappy Trips by Bonnie Hunter.  I've made two of these now and I just love this pattern.  I could definitely make another.  I used a mix of cotton prints and batiks.
This picture shows the true colors...
But I like this one with the afternoon sun shining down on it.

I can't take all the credit for this quilt.  Chloe helped sew on the binding...


She also helped with the hand stitching part too!!  :)


I didn't get as many pictures at Christmas as I would have liked...but this was a fun night of cookie decorating.  A tradition the kids have loved since they were little....the more frosting and sprinkles, the better!

We so enjoyed having Zach's girlfriend, Harleigh, this year!

Sunday after Christmas, we all toured Colonial Williamsburg.  We are tiny in this picture, but yes, hubby is wearing shorts...on December 27th.  It was 78 degrees that day!!

I'm caught up on the mystery steps!  Clue 4...

and clue 5!  The last couple years, Bonnie has revealed the full quilt on New Year's Day...will she do it again this year??  I think we need some more pieced units...but who knows!!  She always has something up her sleeve!


I had one customer quilt to do this week...this one was a biggie!  99 inches wide...that's about as big as I'm comfortable with on my frame.

I'm so excited!  The electrician came this week and installed 4 ceiling lights in my sewing room!  It's sooo much brighter in there...it was so dark, even during the day if it is cloudy outside.  Now I have plenty of light, night or day!!  (you can see that BIG quilt on my machine getting the binding sewn on!)

Thank you for all the kind comments on my last post...I do love blogging and "meeting" quilty friends from all over the world.  Some of you are set to "no-reply," so I wasn't able to reply directly.  I hope each of you have a blessed New Year.  I can't wait to see what 2016 will bring!!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle