Saturday

Modified Lickety Split Bags

I made my sister the modified version of the Lickety Split bag for her birthday. She uses it often and receives many compliments on it. (I'm so glad.)  Her co-workers wanted to know where she got it and next thing you know, I was making more bags for them.

Of course with use, comes ideas on how to improve the bag.  My sister mentioned that a little velcro closure on the outside pockets would be nice and a longer handle would also be helpful.

I made these three bags and with each one, the handle got longer.  The brown bag is nice for slipping the strap right over my head.  I hope these "improved" versions meet their needs. If not, I won't mind using them or giving them as gifts.

Tuesday

Super Hero Capes

Craft Fair Items
I recently had a customer order for some really small super hero capes. Even though the client did not need them until the week of October 5th, I completed all 25 of them in record time and delivered them right after they were done.

Just as I put the leftover fabric from the project away, I received notice that the client wanted 25 more! Good thing I bought 10 yards of black cotton solid fabric at the last big sale. Once I had those done I was left with a few pretty good sized chunks of black fabric.  So I decided to make some super hero capes of my own.

The leftover pieces I had were enough to cut two 18" x 24" pieces that would make a nice sized cape for a toddler or small child. I know this because once I had my first one completed, I tried it on both my 2 year old and 4 year old granddaughters. It worked well for both of them. So I dug through my stack of larger scraps looking for child-friendly fabrics and I came up with these 5 capes.  They were so much fun to make I think I will make some more.

Thursday

Dresses for Africa

Sweet Sundays Quilters GroupAs part of our Sweet Sundays Quilters church group, we are making Dresses for Africa. The idea is to use up old pillowcases for these dresses however, I don't have any.

The instructions we used can be found on Nancy's Notions website and the link to those instructions are here. They are easy to make and a great way to use up extra fabric. The only thing needed besides the fabric (or pillowcase) is some elastic and binding. Since I make all my own binding, I only had to worry about making sure I had the elastic on hand. So for little investment, these dresses are quite easy yet rewarding to make.

Others in the group used some vintage, embroidered pillowcases and they are gorgeous.

Wednesday

A Business Move

It's official! I take Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. I finally set up an account to accept credit cards for my craft fairs.

It was easier than I thought and the fees aren't all that bad. I hope this will increase craft fair sales. I do like the cool sign I get to put in my booth.

Sunday

Utility Apron Project, continued

I made my second version of a utility apron this week. This one is a lot larger than my first attempt. In fact, I think it's a little too big. I don't like how far down it goes over my thighs.

This project reminds me of the three bears. One's too small, one's too big so the next one should be just right.

Mama bear will try again and post the results in a tutorial. At least I have two samples to use at craft fairs.

Wednesday

Great Pumpkin Quilt - Completed

Peanuts Halloween Quilt
It's no secret that I absolutely love the Peanuts comic strip and characters. So when I saw this quilt kit at my local quilt shop, I just had to have it. But as is usual, I did not complete it in time for halloween. I did make the quilt top in time, but I never made the quilt back.

Of course by the time I went back to the quilt shop, there was no more Peanuts Great Pumpkin fabric left. So I bought some black Kona.  That seemed appropriate, especially since there is black Kona between the cartoon inspired blocks.

Since halloween was over and done with by the time I considered quilting this, I set it aside.  And now that it is September, it's time to resurrect it and get it done. Surprisingly, I finished quilting it, attached the binding and hand sewed the binding on all in one afternoon.

Here it is, in time for Halloween 2014! Yay!

Peanuts Halloween Quilt

Tuesday

Stacked Coins Quilt - Completed

I made this quilt top over a year ago.  I didn't use a pattern, I just went through a bunch of photos of stacked coins quilt images that I found on Pinterest. From that experience, I decided to just throw a stacked coins quilt together.  I used a jelly roll I had lying around and some Kona white. The bad part of using no pattern is that I cut up many of the strips to get a large variety of prints and colors in the 'stacks' which left tons of leftover fabric chunks. There were more leftover pieces than I used in the quilt top!

Once the top was done, I let it sit because I really wanted to put all those leftover pieces in the back but I had no idea how. Then two months ago, I had a plan to use those pieces. It was quick and fun and it used them up, but again, no pattern. And even after I finished the back, again, I let it sit. The next dilemma that stalled me was figuring out how to quilt it.

I finally chose to soften the stacks of blocks by quilting it in a circular fashion. I took a compass and made a 1-inch perfect circle right smack in the middle of the quilt. From there, I put the needle in the very center and one-stitch-at-a-time, I turned the quilt in circles until I went all the way out to the edges.  It was a very time-consuming project. After three days, I finally finished quilting that sucker! After I was done, I did like how it turned out.  I am certain I will quilt another one this way.

I took my finished quilt outside to photograph. It was a beautiful sunny day and I really liked how I felt in the shade under the tree in the front yard of my house.  So I unfurled the quilt right in the shady spot and snapped a few photos. They didn't quite reflect the bright colors in the fabric but I didn't mind, I still like the way the photos look.

This experience gave me a new respect for pattern designers.


Monday

What's on the design board?

Sandy Klop for American Jane
This month my design board is pretty bare. This is a photo of just a section of the board.  I am happy to report that I've been finishing up some UFOs from last year so I haven't started any new projects.  It feels so good to finish old projects.

I did make a purple star block for my quilt club. During the club meeting in September we have to bring an eight and a half-inch block done with purples. Everyone who brings a block gets to drop their block into a bag then once all the blocks are in the bag, one is pulled out. The owner of the block pulled gets the whole bag of blocks. I can't wait to see what the other blocks look like. Since my most recent project was these star blocks it seemed appropriate to make one for this event.  Plus all the fabrics were still available since I haven't put them away yet.

I also have some of Sandy Klop's fabric on the wall.  These charm squares were completed by someone else and then left with the rest of the charm pack at Quilts for Kids.  I thought I would take them home and turn them into something.  Not sure what yet. Hoping putting them on the design wall would inspire me.

Looking at my empty design board is a reminder that I really need to brush the threads off of it!

Tuesday

Paper Pieced Mystery Block Workshop

Over the last two Mondays I attended a mystery block workshop.  The only prerequisite is that you must have paper piecing experience. I have that however, it's been many years since I've attempted paper piecing. I figured this workshop would be a great way to reconnect with this form of quilting and since I see a Dear Jane somewhere in my future, I thought this would be a great refresher.

We received the first half of the pattern pieces during the first session and were required to bring some lights and darks in small prints and a few solids. It took me more time than I thought it would to complete the first week's project, however, I did get faster the second week. At the end of the workshop, I was much more comfortable with paper piecing but I'm not sure I will make more of these blocks. The pattern is very cute but it was very time consuming and I really have a desire to make a flying geese quilt.  So I do see paper piecing in my near future, just not in the shape of a boot.

*The workshop was offered for free over at Bungalow Quilting and Yarn in Milwaukee. It's a new quilt shop in town and the closest one to my house. I am so glad to have them close by!

Saturday

Utility Apron Project

Craft Fair Apron
Last weekend we had a rummage sale in our neighborhood and my daughter participated by bringing all her baby stuff to my house. That baby stuff always draws a crowd. She was making lots of sales and commented to her father that it's a struggle to hand out change. She tried an envelope which fell apart, a plastic container which meant you have to pay attention to where you put it, and she tried her pockets where money popped out onto the floor with each sale.

Her dad had this great idea that she should use one of his nail pouches. So he dug one out of his tool box for her to use. At the end of the day she had commented on how wonderful it was to have her change handy at all times. Transactions were completed much more quickly without the hassle of trying to find the right change and where she put it.  She said she wished she had that pouch for the last few years of rummage sales - it was that convenient!

After she left for her home, I went to put the nail pouch back in my husband's tool box when it hit me that it would be a great idea to make some pretty ones.  And we have craft fairs coming up so it was perfect timing to invent something a little cuter than the ones we had. Now that it's complete, I think I will test it out by wearing it for a while to see if I need to make any adjustments before I make any more. But I do want to make some more. It was quick and easy.

Friday

Ribbon Star Quilt - Completed

Ribbon Star Quilt
I followed the Ribbon Star block tutorial from the Solstice Star Series feature over at the Fresh Lemons Quilts blog.  The instructions for that ribbon star block can be found here.

After I completed the block, I decided it was so pretty that I would use it as a feature block in a small quilt.  So I framed it in some pretty fabric then got out some graph paper to figure out how to add blocks around it.

Once I had all the blocks worked out and the strips cut, it was easy to put together. I was still worried that my math skills would be off as would the quilt. But lo and behold, it all lined up as planned. Yay!

I started to quilt the borders with some wavy lines. For some reason I was bored with that but continued on anyway.  Once I got all the borders quilted, I couldn't decide what to do with the blocks. The next thing I knew, this thing landed in the UFO pile. It's been there since last spring.  With my fresh finish on another UFO, I was motivated to pick this one back up and finish it.

A few months ago, I did a quilt-as-you-go block of fabric that I turned into a basket.  I quilted it by starting in the center and creating a maze of stitches all the way to the outside of the block.  I decided that these blocks should be quilted that way as well. Before I knew it, I had the entire quilt finished.  I spent yesterday adding the binding and the label it was completed in no time.  I really like the look of this little quilt and it will look good across the back of my sofa for the rest of the summer.

I am really digging getting these unfinished objects done!

Thursday

Giddy Walk Quilt - Completed

Giddy Walk Quilt
I started this quilt a few years back and it landed in the long forgotten UFO pile. I usually like to finish what I start unless I have trouble with something. Once there's trouble, I usually give up quickly and move on to something else. The trouble I had with this one was that I started to machine quilt it without a walking foot. After sewing 5 or 6 rows of stitching, I realized that the layers were not lying nice and flat even though I basted the layers together. There were a few puckers and I really needed to rip out all the stitching and start over.

Then time goes by. And I learned about letting some things go. And I learned that a finished quilt is better than a perfect quilt. And I learned that things can be corrected with a stitch here and a tuck there and then just keep going.  So I took the quilt out two days ago and started out by ironing it flat.  It wasn't as bad as I remembered.  And it was fixable without ripping out everything.  So I kept going. By the end of the day yesterday I had the quilting done and the binding on.  It wasn't perfect but it was done.

This morning I threw the quilt in the wash machine and then in the dryer. When I took it out I was amazed at how much better it looked after a little fluff and dry. It feels so amazing to complete a UFO from so long ago.

This quilt pattern is from the book Quiltstyle: cool and cozy coverlets by Tammy Tadd. The pattern is called Giddy Walk.
Giddy Walk Quilt Back