Saturday

Grab Bags

allpeoplequilt.com
Grab Bag
I found this nice pattern on the allpeoplequilt.com website last week.  I like how the single handle works by sliding the long handle through the short handle to cinch the bag closed.  And there are 6 inside pockets in the bags, three on each side making it a great bag for keeping organized.

It was fun to mix and match fabrics to create these and I completed all four during two morning sewing sessions.  The pattern and instructions can be found here. The instructions call for thin quilt batting or craft fleece but I used heavy craft interfacing which keeps the bag's nicely rounded shape. The instructions are easy to follow, even though the completing the handle is a little tricky.
all people quilt

Wednesday

Making Fabric Labels

Iron-On transfers
I am a whiz with a word processing program. I took the time to make some templates in MS Word so I could easily print out fabric labels at my convenience.  As it turned out, it wasn't as easy as I thought.

Making the square fabric labels is pretty easy. First, I insert a table in Word, then enter the text for my label and add a little graphic.  In the cell of the table, I then manipulate the text to the desired font and font size then center the text and graphic at the same time.  After that, I copy and paste the cell into all the other cells. Using the borders and shading option, I make a cute little frame around them, then made the cell borders invisible and then they were ready to print.

In order to print them on fabric, I use a laminated sheet of eight and a half by eleven sheet of paper.  Since I am too frugal to actually buy it, I made the laminated sheet by putting strips of packing tape on the paper.  It was nice and stiff and slippery. I then cut a piece of muslin a little smaller than the fake laminated paper and using masking tape, I secured it to the sheet.  Then I just ran it through the printer. I did have to give it a little shove since it was somewhat thick.  After I let it dry for a few minutes, I took the muslin off the sheet and applied Heat N Bond lite to the back and cut the labels out.

I use my old rotary cutter for all these paper cutting projects, so I don't ruin the blade on the rotary cutter I use for fabric. Ok, so this was much more putzy than I thought it would be.

I then attempted something new.  Iron-on t-shirt transfer sheets. Again, with the Word program, I made a table and added my name and logo and saved the file. All I had to do then is use the mirror setting on my advanced printer settings to print out the labels on the t-shirt transfer sheet.  Only one problem...my Canon ip4200 does not have a mirror image setting. Crap! I thought I would try using my husband's all-purpose printer.  Since we are all networked together, this would be easy to accomplish.  I just had to choose his printer from my list of available printers and open the advanced settings and viola! - there it was, the mirror image setting. Hooray - progress.

Of course, I would print out a sample sheet on plain paper to make sure it was going to work before using up a sheet of expensive t-shirt transfer stuff.  But wouldn't you know it - his printer was out of ink. Grrrrr! So he generously ran out to Sam's Club and bought more ink confessing that he should have done this quite a while ago.

I admit it's a little frustrating when I'm gung-ho on getting a specific task done. Even though I can fill my time with plenty of other little projects, I really wanted to get this one done. Once the ink cartridge was replaced, it worked like a charm.  I printed my page of mirror image labels and ironed a few on the twill tape I bought just for this project.

They turned out great!

Monday

Happiness is . . .

doing something significant on Memorial Day with our granddaughters.

Southern Wisconsin Veterans Cemetary
Avery, Chloe and Grandpa
Southern Wisconsin Veterans Cemetary
Chloe and Grandpa

Friday

Tiny Treat Totes

All People Quilt Small Treat Totes
Tiny Treat Totes
I found the pattern for these cute little bags on the allpeoplequilt.com website. The instructions make 4 cute little bags. I like the use of grosgrain ribbon as handles. They are just sturdy enough for the size of the bags.

I have plenty of cupcake fabrics so I think I will make a whole bunch of groups of 4 of these bags. I am certain they are a perfect size for my granddaughters or as gift bags for their friends or even their teachers.

All People Quilt Small Treat Totes
Tiny Treat Totes
Just throw in some candy and they become Sweet Tiny Treat Bags.

Wednesday

Ron Swanson - WIP

Pixel Quilt
I couldn't resist making this Ron Swanson quilt top. I followed the quilt along blog posts found over at Happy Zombie's blog. If you want her free pattern you can find it here.

I use a lot of grays for quilt backs which means I have a lot of long strips of assorted gray fabrics left over. So I decided that if I could pull the necessary 4 shades of gray and black and white solids from my stash, I would make this.  It took me less than 10 minutes to pull out everything that I needed.

The instructions called for two and a half inch squares but I cut all mine at one and three-fourths inches instead. I really didn't want such a large Ron hanging around.  So now I can pick a fun fabric for the back to complement all the solids on the front.

I am totally unsure of what I will do with this when it's done.

Tuesday

Fresh Lemons and Stash Fabrics

Fresh Lemons Giveaway Winner
Winner #634
At the beginning of each month Faith over at Fresh Lemons Quilts has a big giveaway.  I always get the email notifications of these events and yet I never put my name in for consideration.  So for the month of May I decided to not be so darn lazy and actually entered by commenting on the giveaway post.  You can find that post here.

All it took was 45 seconds to actually type and hit enter and yet I rarely take the time. So guess what happens when I finally do take the time? Yes, I won! So I want to thank Faith and Beth for offering such a wonderful prize.  I do appreciate the fabric bundle and I guarantee that I will use it. I learned a valuable lesson on taking time out to fill out an entry.
Stash Fabrics Bundle

Saturday

Another Postage Stamp Quilt

Scrap Fabric Quilt
I had so much fun making my last postage stamp quilt that I had to make another. To make this quilt it takes many 2-inch by 7-inch strips of fabric. My scrap basket is so large that I was on a mission to reduce the overflowing basket of scraps. So I decided that I would cut no more than two 2" x 7" strips from any given fabric.  That would make for an interesting challenge and yet it wasn't as hard to come up with enough variety as I thought it would be.  So over the last week I cut some strips, sewed them into blocks, recut the blocks and on and on...

It wasn't long before I had the whole quilt top done.  The challenge then becomes finding a backing that will complement all those scraps.  I chose a flower pattern that really had nothing to do with any of the fabrics on the top.  I bound the quilt in a Kona solid that complemented the backing fabric.

Now my scrap basket is much more manageable - at least for now.

Wednesday

Happiness is . . .

Baby Ducks

Tuesday

The Huppah

One of my favorite blogger/designer/quilters is getting married. She invited all her readers to help her by making a block for her wedding quilt. The quilt will be used as their wedding huppah. The link to the request for blocks can be found here.

A huppah is the canopy a Jewish couple stands under during the wedding ceremony. It can be a sheet, a family heirloom tapestry, or a quilt. It is held up by four poles and it symbolizes the home that the couple will build together. 

I love learning things about different religions and this certainly was something I did not know about until now. It sounds like a beautiful tradition. 

The bride had some requirements regarding the fabric colors used in the huppah so I ordered a bundle that was already made up with those specific colors. I didn't know what I would do with the fabric then I just decided to make my favorite thing...patchwork.  I surrounded it with a border to give it that modern look that is so popular in quilting. 

I didn't think the block looked all that great once it was finished but when I looked at all the other blocks submitted so far I realized that it will look good among all the other blocks. The similarity to all the others and in a group of blocks makes them all look much better. I can't wait to see the finished quilt.

Best Wishes to the Bride and Congratulations to the Groom!

Monday

Tumbler Block Doll Quilt

Tumbler Block Doll Quilt
Tumbler Block Quilt
I have Lori Holt's Thimble Ruler Set. There are 2 rulers in the set; one is a 10" ruler and the other is 5". I started to use the 5" ruler with the idea that I would make a quilt.  I seriously thought I could do that.  Then I started to cut the blocks. They were very small. So I stopped.

For a very long time I stared at the stack of cut blocks.  I cut them from one of my favorite fabric lines and looked at them for months.  I finally decided to sew them together and after stringing 9 of them in a row  I was exhausted.  I made a total of 8 rows of 9 little blocks.

After stitching them together, I had the cutest little piece of fabric.  Earlier in the year, I made my granddaughter a doll quilt and after looking at this, I decided it would make a fabulous doll quilt for the other granddaughter.  After all, I couldn't possibly make something for one of the girls without doing the same for the other one.

I added an one-and-a-half-inch inside border out of ecru and a two-and-a-quarter-inch outer border from the fabric line as well.  I had some leftover backing from a larger quilt I made using the 10" thimble ruler so I used that on the back of this mini-version.  I also did some straight-line quilting on the diagonal for a nice contrast.

I think my granddaughter will love it. And on another note, I have grown tired of this fabric line.  I purchased a fat-quarter pack that contained 35 pieces of the line and I also bought 5 yards of my favorites from this line.  It's time to put the rest away for a very long time and move on to other pretty fabrics.

Saturday

Quilted Scrap Fabric Basket

Sweetwater Noteworthy Fabric
Scrap Fabric Panel
 I have so much Noteworthy Fabric and I love it so much that I decided to make quilted fabric panels out of the scraps.  It feels good to use up the pretty scraps and it also gives me the opportunity to use up larger pieces of batting as well.

Using a quilt-as-you-go method, I created a large piece of quilted fabric to make a basket.  The basket measures 8" x 8" finished.  It is a decent size but not terribly large. I used tutorials I found here to make both the fabric panel and the basket.

I do love completing a project where I don't have to go to the fabric store for anything!

Scrap Fabric Basket - Noteworthy by Sweetwater
Scrap Fabric Basket