Friday, August 12, 2016

Scrappidy Do Dah

Scrappidy Doh Dah Quilt

Quite a while ago I had downloaded a cute idea for a scrappy quilt made out of pieces of leftover fabrics from previous projects. I had quite a few blocks already made but not enough to make the whole quilt top yet.  Each block was made out of a 6 inch square and a 1 1/2  x 9 inch rectangle of fabric.

The square is cut in half corner to corner to make 2 triangles. The rectangle is then sewn in between the 2 rectangles to make a bigger square.  Use a square acrylic ruler to trim the blocks  to 6 1/4 inches or whatever is suitable. Easy Peasy! :)

In March I found out that a close friend of mine had cancer. My quilt guild makes comfort quilts regularly to give away to people in the community who have illness and I had often taken part in making them, but up until now, it was for strangers. My friend lives in different part of the province and was going to Edmonton for treatments in April. I had promised to visit her there, not having seen her since last year.  Why not make M a comfort quilt that I could take along?! It was only about 2 weeks until the time of the visit, so it would have to be something relatively fast.

I took out my Scrappidy Do Dah blocks and laid them out on the floor (my "design wall" :)  ) to see if I could make a pleasing pattern. I rearranged them numerous times taking photos to look at each time, until I had something I liked.  I needed to make 4 more of a  lighter colour to balance out the blocks, but in the end, I think it turned out looking quite pleasing.
I burned the "midnight oil " to get it completed in time. I finished hand stitching the edging strips the night before. and made up a label using the embroidery alphabet on my Janome. ( After 3 attempts, I was satisfied with a label for it. That's another story!

Pinned April 3, 2016

Quilt layers:  bottom fabric taped to the kitchen floor, batting smoothed out on top of that and next the quilt top smoothed out at the very top. 

Then in early April, we went to visit her and brought her the surprise quilt. She was so pleased! And so am I!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Split Square Kitty quilt

Split Square/ Kitty quilt

Split square Kitty quilt

One of our little Grand daughter just turned 3 this month (February) so it's time to make her a "Big Girl" quilt. She loves kittens, puppies and the colour pink so the quilt I'm making for her has two of these on it.  I decided to make 8 inch split square blocks. I had made a similar split square block as a border around a panel about 2 years ago for my husband's grand niece's baby. I loved how the blocks looked on that quilt and have wanted to make a whole quilt like that ever since.

It is made from 2 strip sets, one light, one dark with 4 different fabrics:
-a dark mottled pink,
-kitties on white background,
-tiny white flowers on pink, and
 -green polka dot fabric for contrast.

The kitty fabric and the dark pink are my main fabrics.
Cut the fabrics into 2 1/2 inch strips, then sew 1 main fabric strip to 1 supporting fabric strip lengthwise. (Kitty fabric sewn to the green spotted fabric;   the dark pink fabric to the small flowers. )

 Next cut the strip sets  2 1/2 inches wide crossways.  Cut rectangles 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches from both main fabrics.  (Kitty and dark pink in this case.)  Sew a little strip set rectangle to the same colour fabric rectangle. Now you have a 4/12 inch block. Sew 4 of these blocks together (with the small squares in the centre) to make the larger 8 1/2 inch blocks.

4 small split square blocks = one 8 1/2 inch block

I made 30 blocks like this and then sewed them together, 6 rows of 5 blocks.

6 rows of 5 blocks

These 30 inner blocks measured 40 1/2" X 49" inches when sewn together.

2 inch wide inner border

 Then I added the narrow border of white fabric (cut 2 1/4 inches to make a 1 3/4" width inner border.
Now the quilt top measured 44" X 52" inches. I was aiming for a 50" X 60" quilt so I added a 4 1/4 inch outer border. (Cut kitty fabric strips 4 1/2" wide for outer border.)  I had to cut 5 strips in order to have extra to add to each of the sides. 

Now for the back:  I had the perfect size of pink fleece fabric in my stash for the back with lots of overhang.

Outer 4 inch kitty border

I cut a piece of batting to fit the quilt top with 3 or 4 inches extra on all sides. Then I taped the pink fleece to the kitchen floor with strips of masking tape, and smoothed the batting out over it. 
Next I smoothed out the quilt top on top of the other 2 layers.  I pinned tall the layers together starting in the middle and working my way outward (a total of 186 pins.)

That was many hours of work just to get to that stage! (About 40 hours work, I would guess.)  
 Now it was time to quilt it. Because fleece can be slippery to work with, before free motion quilting, I first ditch quilted down the centre of the quilt, both vertically and horizontally to hold the fleece tight to the quilt top.  I ditch quilted around each individual block as well, and then sewed all around both sides of the inner border.

Free motion quilting: flowers and ocean waves patterns

Free motion quilting
Sometimes it's hard to know how to quilt a quilt once it's pinned together.  I loved the flower pattern that I had quilted on the pinwheel blocks of my Kaleidoscope quilt so I decided to use that idea again. 

I started with sewing a circle at the very centre of each 8 inch block, then I sewed 4 petals around it, one in each small centre square and next I sewed a larger petal around each small petal. It looks somewhat like a rose. After that I continued by sewing a wiggly, swirly line to the middle of the next 8 inch block and made another rose there, and so on. I need up with 30 roses. 

Now for the inner border. A simple free motion wave pattern in white thread should do the trick. 
Last: the outer border. Maybe my signature free motion butterflies?  Hmmm, maybe I should continue the flower theme and make a daisy chain- a continuous row of daisies all around the outside!  

After that, sew a 3/8 inch seam all around the outer edge of the quilt, Next, trim the excess fleece and batting off the sides.  Almost done…

Finished quilting and binding Mar 2/16

Now cut 2 1/4 inch fabric strips and sew together to make the binding (perimeter of quilt plus 1 inch for each corner and 6 inches overlap at beginning and end… (a total of 50 + 60 + 50 + 60 + 4 + 6 =  230 inches.) Press binding lengthwise, wrong sides together.

Pinned binding strips

Last, sew the binding around the edges on the front sides of the quilt, flip the edging over to the back, and hand stitch all around. NOW you are finally done!  Yay! Time to enjoy the fruits of your many hours of labour. : D

May your needles never be dull and your bobbin never run out.  Happy Quilting!

I love the back quilting pattern- flowers and oceans waves

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Kaleidoscope Quilt and Split Square Kitty Blocks

Kaleidoscope/ Grandma's Dress quilt
Kaleidoscope/ Grandma's Dress quilt has finally been quilted

It seems to take me forever to decide on a quilting design for this little kaleidoscope quilt. These blocks are mostly staggered pinwheels with some solid white blocks in between to give it this extended pinwheel look which I love!

The back is a soft pink minkee fabric, a bit tricky to sew with but not as bad as some of the thicker patterned minkee.

Before I started quilting, I stitched in the ditch down the centre of the quilt to hold the minkee in place. Then I ditch quilted around the inner pink border and added a bunch more pins to the outside to hold the minkee securely. (I learned this trick the hard way!)

The rest of the quilt is done in free motion quilting (using my beloved Janome Horizon 7700 machine.)

Free motion daisy design on the inner pinwheel/ split square triangle blocks.

Free motion butterfly and swirls design in pink thread on the pink outer border.

Ocean swirls in white thread on the white border.

Minkee back of quilt shows the quilting stitches well.
The binding I did in white which offsets this quilt nicely.
I can't part with this one!    😊  💗  

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bows and Boughs- Christmas table runners

Bows and Boughs Runners

It's always nice to have a decorative table runner at Christmas. Long before I took up quilting, I had bought me first table runner at a craft sale and it was a Christmas one. It was quite simply made from two pieces of fabric, one of which had a border around it, but I loved it and still use it.  🎀

Since our daughter and her husband were hosting Christmas this year with all of his family plus a few from our side (about 16 people counting all the kids), I thought she should have a nice big fancy table runner for her huge dining room table.  I had enjoyed making the "Bows and Boughs" paper pieced presents and evergreen tree blocks so much that I decided to make some extra ones and turn it into a table runner for her.

 Paper pieced tree blocks and present and bow blocks

The bow blocks were the trickiest to make as they each involved 7 or 11 pieces.
The tree and present blocks are each 5 1/5 inches by 8 1/2 inches in size. I added a strip of white between each present block and tree block to make it 16 inches wide.

I made a similar Bows and Boughs block at both ends.  In between I put a strip of 2 1/2 inch dark green sashing then added a piece of red reindeer print fabric to the centre. Last I added a 2 1/2 inch dark green border to both sides of the runner.   This reindeer bows and boughs runner measures 21' X 58" in total.

I added the batting and the green mistletoe back fabric, then used the back fabric to the front to make a mock border.  Next I machine quilted it. I echo quilted 1/4 inch around the tress and presents in white thread, then ditch quilted around the sashing in dark green. I free-motion quilted a small mistletoe pattern on all the sashing in dark green thread, and did a simple meander pattern on top of the reindeer centre fabric.   Last came the mock edging.

I  liked this runner so much, I decided to make one for myself, so I continued paper piecing more bows, gifts and trees.  I chose a green swirl fabric for the centre of mine. My table is much smaller than my daughter's so I reduced the size of the centre fabric. I added the same dark green sashing to make a runner measuring 20 3/4 X 44.

20 3/4" X 44" Bows & Boughs runner- kitty approved!
I used an off white Christmas fabric for the back. After adding the batting to the middle, I sandwiched the 3 layers together, turned them right side out and quilted the top. I echo quilted around the trees and presents, then ditch quilted around the sashing.
Next I free motion quilted some mistletoes shapes into  the centre green fabric and also on the 2 centre sashing strips. I just did a simple swirly stitch on the outside sashing.
Last I sewed a 1/4 inch seam all around the border and I was done!

I'm really happy with how my table runner turned out! The only downside was that I didn't get mine finished till mid January! I guess it will just go into the linen closet till next Christmas.
After that I got industrious and started putting the extra tree and presents blocks together into place mats. Those are still unfinished, but I have lots of time to do that before Christmas 2016.  🎅

Happy quilting!   

(Paper piece templates were from the McCall's Quilting magazine- Dec. 2011 issue pg 58)


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Bows and Boughs Wall Hanging

Bows and Boughs Wall Hanging

 In the 10 years that I have been quilting, I have never made a Christmas wall hanging!  I was so focused on making quilts, place mats and runners, that I had only in the last 2 years made any wall hangings at all. ( One Hallowee'en paper pieced hanging "Wacky Jack" my Oct. 2013 blog and a paper pieced cats and plants hanging, "Tabby's Place" May 3, 2014 . See Photos below.)

So I decided to rectify that over sight but couldn't really fined a specific pattern that I liked. I looked through my old quilt magazines and saw several Christmas quilts with blocks that I liked so I decided to use 3 different ones and put them together into one wall hanging.

The first block I made was a Snowman block. I had downloaded that pattern off the Connecting Threads website in the fall.  It involved cutting out the 12 1/2 inch square background, which I did from a blue and white fabric that I had bought previously. Next I printed a copy of the template pieces and cut them out.

After that I cut the snowman's various pieces from scrap fabric, his body, hat, arms and carrot nose, plus 3 snowflakes.  I used Steam a Seam 2 to adhere the pieces onto the background, then I used a satin stitch (Stitch # 52 on my Janome 7700 Memory Craft) to stitch around everything, changing the colour of thread as needed.  (On the back I used a thin muslin to give the appliqué some stability.)
Last I used a straight stitch on my machine and black thread to carefully stitch his eyes and smile, going over it twice. Voila he was done and I love his happy smile!

The second block I made was the wreath block. I printed and cut out the template pieces, tracing the wreath pieces on different green fabrics and the bow parts on red fabrics. Again I used Steam a Seam on the backs. The back fabric is a white on white snowflake fabric which I had bought a while back from Connecting Threads.  I arranged all the wreath pieces they way I liked, then pealed the paper off and pressed them on. After that I did the same for the bow pieces and 3 red berries on top.
Last I did t quilting, I free motion quilted the wreath pieces one by one, about  1/3 of an inch in from the edges, but used a satin stitch at the edges of the bow and berries.
(This pattern was from the Mc Call's Quilting magazine December 2012 issue page 68)

The third block I decided to make was the one called Bows and Boughs (from Mc Call's magazine Dec. 2011 issue page 58). It involves paper piecing which I rather like. (More about Bows and Boughs in my next post.)
Again I printed the paper piece patterns on my computer (using thin paper- easy to tear off.)  There were 2 different presents and 4 different bows, plus the trees which all went together to make a quilt, but I just needed one of each for this hanger. I added 3 1/2 inch squares of Christmas fabric under the present and tree blocks to look like  small presents. It was fun to make and it lead to making other present blocks and tree blocks which I turned into 2 table runners, but that's my next blog post. :)

Happy quilting!

Other wall Hangings

Tabby's Place Blog
Wacky Jack wallhanging

Advent Snowman Calendar Nov/Dec 2015

Snowmen Advent Calendar   November/ December 2015

Growing up, we always had an advent calendar as kids to count down the days till Christmas.
I had ordered a kit from Connecting Threads to make an advent calendar for my grandkids.
The kit was a simple panel with snowmen printed at the top and 24 numbered squares under that. Another piece of fabric had 24 small mittens printed on it.

You were supposed to put batting behind the mittens, cut them out and hang them on each numbered square as each day came along. My daughter thought that was not a good idea as the little ones (who were aged 11/2 years and twins 3 1/2) would probably play with and lose most of the mittens before the month of December was even half over.   

Pockets! I decided numbered pockets were the answer.  I kept the top of the panel with the printed snowmen, but cut the rest off.  I made 5 rows of 5 pockets instead, then appliquéd the 24 mittens onto the pockets.  I used a quilt/ fabric pen to write the numbers on the mittens. I had a 25th pocket so decided to fussy cut a reindeer from some fabric scraps and wrote a "25" on that.  That would be the Christmas pocket!

After that I cut a piece of back fabric to fit, added the batting in the middle and made a mock edge* on it.

Snowman back fabric

It turned out quite well and my daughter filled the pockets with little treats and prizes for our grandchildren to "discover" each day. A nice way to do the Christmas count down.      

 (How to do  Mock edging:  Cut the excess back fabric to 1 inch wide, fold it in towards the quilt and press. Flip it over to the front and sewing it down.)  Easy Peasy!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Carseat cushions Sept. 2015

Carseat Cushions
Our grandkids are often travelling by car. It takes over 2 hours to drive here to Grandma and Grandpa's place.

Their paternal grandparents live 2 provinces away, a 2 day drive, so it is essential that the youngsters are comfortable in their car seats.  They had been complaining about "sore bums" so I decided to sew them each a car seat cushion.  "How hard can it be?!" I thought.

We measured the dimensions of the seat, the front, back, sides, distance to the seat buckle. Then I drew a small diagram to take home.

The back of the seats are 12 inches across and the front is 13 1/4 inches wide. The distance to the buckle from the back is 6 inches and from the front is another 5 1/4 inches.

I taped 2 pieces of white paper together and drew a parallelogram the size of their seat bottoms, plus drew a slot where the buckle hole should be 3 inches wide
Paper template

I decided to make a practice cushion. I used this template to cut out 2 pieces of fabric, and a piece of batting (about 1/8 inch narrower on all sides)
In the centre I cut the slots to accommodate the car seat buckle.  I sewed a narrow seam around the buckle opening on both the top and bottom fabrics.  So far, so good!

After that I layered all the pieces with the fabrics right sides together, then the batting on top. I sewed a 1/4 seam all around the layers, leaving a a 5 inch opening to turn everything right sides out.  It turned out well and fit the car seats reasonable well. My daughter decided a half inch bigger would fit better.

Waterproof interfacing

For the "real seat covers" I added 1/4 inch all around the outsides of the fabrics and added a piece of waterproof lining/interfacing (found at Fabricland) for the inside. (Just in case of spills or accidents.)

I also added a 4 inch double strip of fabric to the cushion back to tuck into the back of the seat so the cushion didn't move around.

Next I layered all the pieces with the fabrics right sides together, then the lining on top of them and the batting last. (The "tucking in" piece was tucked towards the inside of the layers with raw edges out.)

I sewed them together the same way as the practice one:  a 1/4 seam all around the layers, leaving an opening to turn everything right sides out.

Last I sewed a 1/8 seam all around the whole cushion then also around the centre buckle opening.
Voila, it was done! Easy peasy!  Now their little tushes will be comfy on long car trips. :)
Happy quilting.

Reverse sides of cushions