Finishing Touches on My Scrappy Star

I’ve decided who I’m going to gift this scrappy little star quilt to so I thought I would get it ready to go to the long arm quilter. I have been toying with the idea of putting a border on it because it turned out just a little small. So I tried out some fabrics I had and landed on this gorgeous blue, red, fuchsia and orange batik. It’s such a gorgeous fabric and ties in with a lot of the scrappy batiks in the quilt.

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It also ties in nicely with the dark blue and sunflower batik I bought for the back. I chose a bright yellow to be used for the binding. I love a binding with a nice pop of color!

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Here’s a look at what the binding will look like.

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I messaged my quilter a week or so ago and she is actually keeping quite busy during the shutdown. She has saved a slot for my two quilts. All I need to do now to have this one ready is to get the back pieced.

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For the quilting design, I’m thinking of something floral and curvy, maybe with a golden thread. I have time to ruminate on it as this is planned for a holiday gift.

 

Bright and Happy Weekend Fish

I was looking at Pinterest last night and you know how it happens. You go down some rabbit hole and pretty soon you find something you’ve always been looking for but didn’t know it. Well, last night I ran across this fun little fish pillow pattern and decided that it would make a quick and fun little project for today.

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The pattern included options for a checkerboard or tiger stripe body, but I opted to improv piece my own from my Kaffe Fassett Collective scraps. The pattern has you top stitch the pieced panel onto muslin. I just did a quilt as you go technique instead. Then cut the body pattern out of the resulting piece.

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I always love the way an improv piece looks after you trim it up. It’s the part of the process I love the most. It looks so clean and tight!

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It went together pretty easily, but there were a few curves to sew. I don’t mind curves, but these are curves with some bulk and some interfacing. So they were a little bothersome and didn’t go together as well as I would have liked.

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I was going to use some yellow Aboriginal Dots fabric for the face, tail and fins, but I couldn’t find the piece I KNOW I have. Also couldn’t find several other colorways I know I have. So the first one I found was this purple, and I think it’s pretty perfect!

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Here it is… all ready to sew the two sides together. It seemed like I got to this point pretty quickly.

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Finally! All those fins tucked in where they’re supposed to be tucked in! Ready to stuff.

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All stuffed and sewn closed. I used a long handled wooden spoon to shove the stuffing into all the nooks and crannies.

Not really sure what I thought I’d do with this when it was done, but I’m thinking it will end up hanging from the ceiling of my sewing room.

Here’s the pattern. I found it on Etsy.

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Leafy Paper Pieced Zipper Pouches

I’m really fascinated by paper piecing and have seen some really amazing things made with this technique. I’ve dabbled a little but haven’t done anything too difficult or large. It really goes against the type of quilting I like to do. I’m not attracted to really fussy quilts with lots of tiny pieces. I can appreciate the work and skill that goes into making them, but it’s just not something I’m very interested in making.

But I have made some small paper pieced projects — a lot of them have been used as panels in my zipper pouches. Here’s two on a leaf template that I just love. I sewed them into nice little tailored zipper pouches with lots of details, and a zipper pocket on the back.

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There were a lot of pieces in these blocks. It’s amazing how many seams it takes to make the curve on the lower part of the leaf. You can see all the seams.

(I went into m way-back machine and found that I purchased the pattern for the leaf on Etsy. You can find it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/637507460/geometric-leaf-foundation-paper-piecing

I just love making panels like this for a zipper pouch. It’s a fun way to experiment with a new technique or a template. I like that I can try something new without a huge commitment to make an entire quilt.

How pretty is this?!?!

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And this one too. I love the gorgeous batiks, but there’s something about that chambray that just makes me so happy. I love the way it comes out so crisp and tailored. Gah!

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I just love all the detail of the quilting on the paper pieced panel, the top-stitching all over he pouch, and the zipper finish on the top and pocket. I just love all these crisp details. They really make a piece like this special.

These pouches have a generous zipper pocket on the back. It’s a great size to hold an extra set of circular knitting needles, your stitch markers, darning needles, scissors, and all the other stuff you need when you’re knitting. And I just love the pop of color from the lining. Nothing like a little surprise in a lining.

Click on these photos for a larger photo and take a look at the details on this pocket. It’s a really easy and quick way to make a pocket and it looks so good!

I’ve been collecting other paper piecing templates that I will make at some time. I have a really fun one of a fish that’s all bones. It’s so cute and so different. I expect to see it on a pouch some time.

 

A Little Enthusiasm Mustered

I took the day off from work today because I have two personal days I need to take before June 30 or I lose them. I am not one who likes to lose my days off!

I had a nice sleep in and then got up and had some breakfast and some good coffee and then got ready to go because one thing I wanted to accomplish today was to get the green and blue batik quilt for my nephew’s wedding shipped off.

I’ve had a little bit of sewing enthusiasm the last few days, so I wanted to take advantage of it. When I got home I sewed a couple of rows of the scrappy hexagon quilt together. It looks like I may be able to finish this quilt top this weekend! There are only four full rows in this quilt, and 6 partial rows.

It was pretty hot today, so after lunch I sewed the center seams on the outer fabric and lining for 20 face masks made from Kaffe Fassett Collective scraps. Then I sat down in the shade outside and clipped the seam allowances on the curves.

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I use a non woven fusible interfacing in my masks. This particular interfacing was a little thicker so I’m using it with the thinner Kaffe fabrics. It was a little too stiff with batiks, but works well with this fabric. I was finally able to get my hands on ten yards of the Pellon medium weight non woven fusible online. I’ve been trying to get some for a couple months.

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For the lining I’m using a white on white cotton that I’ve had in my stash for years. it’s a great way to use up fabric that I don’t love as much as when I bought it!

I sat with a small garbage can on my lap as I clipped. Looks like I missed the can a few times.

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I was covered with this confetti by the time I finished clipping all 20 masks!

Since it was so hot today I waited until after dinner to take the dogs for a walk so we only got one walk today. My friend’s dog Argos is staying with us for a few days. It’s more work to walk three dogs!

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After our walk I decided to cut a few more masks. I had found some Kaffe scraps the other night that would work well and had some batik pieces I was planning on using for masks. I now have about 50 masks cut out and in various stages of construction. I still have to cut the lining and interfacing for about 20 Kaffe masks, and have to cut the interfacing for 20 or so batik masks.

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I had made about 30 masks a couple of weeks ago and am down to only three! I’ve given the rest away to friends, co-workers, and I shipped a few to family. I’d really like to always have some on hand when people I know need one. I think we’re going to be needing them for quite some time.

Riding the Blue Spots Wave

I’m taking advantage of a brief spurt of enthusiasm for sewing to finish up the scrappy hexagon and blue spots quilt top.

It poured after dinner so I spent about a half hour sewing blue triangles to hexagon blocks and got ten done before the rain eased off a bit and we headed out the door.

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To start the assembly I sew one blue triangle to opposite sides of the hexagons. Then these blocks will be sewn together in diagonal rows. This all goes together really quickly because these blocks are big.

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It gets a little tricky on the bottom and top of the quilt, but it’s still pretty simple construction.

After our walk I finished sewing the triangles to all hexagon blocks that aren’t on the bottom or top row. I want to do those rows when I’m fresher because they require a little more attention.

But I did cut the remaining triangles I need to finish all the blocks. Then I sewed most of them into pairs. I’ll show how the bottom and top rows go together on another blog post.

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We got rained on for the first two miles of our three-mile walk. But like they say in Oregon, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate equipment. So I put on a rain coat and a water proof baseball cap, leashed up the dogs and headed out. They got really wet, but they just don’t care!

For the final mile of our walk we got to watch a really beautiful sunset develop.

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So, of course, I had to have the boys pose too!

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The past couple of weeks I’ve been making sure to walk through our park on the way home from our walks and let the dogs run free for a few minutes. They really enjoyed their run in the cool and damp air tonight.

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Rico’s enthusiasm shows all over his face… and his head… and all over Bender!

Scrappy Hexagon Blocks Done!

I told myself that I wanted to finish my scrappy hexagon blocks this weekend, and I finally dug in this afternoon and finished the last 8 blocks!

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All I have to do is cut a few more blue spots triangles and then I can start putting the diagonal rows together. It will all go together quickly from this point because the blocks are big. Most of the work has been done.

I just love these blocks. How can you go wrong with a scrappy collection of Kaffe, Phillip and Brandon fabrics? They are so amazing and the colors are so bold and bright.

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I even celebrated with my first beer since the end of January! It was delicious. It made me a little light headed! It was worth the 240 calories!

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I’ll chunk away at putting these rows together over the next couple of weeks. And I need to decide which project I’ll finish next. I’m thinking I’ll start working on finishing up my crumb blocks quilt. You can see it on my blog here here, and here. (sorry… they’re not listed here in chronological order.)

You can also find some blog posts about this scrappy hexagon quilt here, here, and here.

Aboriginal Quilt Ready for My Long Armer

I reached out to my long arm quilter this morning to see if she was currently taking work — and she is. This was the push I needed to finally piece the back for my Aboriginal quilt and get it all off to her for quilting.

This will be a gift for my brother and his wife. They will use it as a throw quilt in their living room. You can find blog posts about this quilt here,  here and here.

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I used some of the leftover fabrics from the front to make a strip across the back. They were all nine inches wide and varying lengths. I separated each block with a strip of the sashing.

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This is the first quilt I’ve made from the Aboriginal fabrics and I just love it. The fabrics are so gorgeous with colors that are rich and deep. The fabrics are really soft and wonderful to sew on.

I’ve been looking at quilt designs for this project and love these two options. My long armer said she doesn’t have these exact designs, but does have options that are very similar. Once I choose that and select a thread color for the quilting, it will be on its way.

I have enough of the blocks left over to make another one of these for my nephew. I even bought a piece of fabric for the backing a couple of months ago in an online sale. So all I need is a little time to get it done.

I took Friday off from work and will also take next Friday off as well. It was really good to get an extra day off. I slept in and puttered around the house, cut out a few masks, and then took the dogs for a five mile walk along the Fanno Creek Trail in SW Portland. It’s been rainy and that’s the best time to hit the trails since I get them almost all to myself.

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We took another walk later in the evening, so got in about 7.5 miles yesterday. We took a nice 4.5 mile walk around the neighborhood this morning and will take another walk this evening. I try to talk 5 miles a day during the week and get in at least 7 or 8 miles a day on the weekends.

Tomorrow I’m going to work on one of my unfinished quilts. The scrappy hexagon with the blue spots background is on the design wall right now. I only need to sew 8 more hexagon blocks and can then start putting it all together. I think that will be my next finish.

Wedding Quilt Finally Has a Wedding

I’m pretty sure that this quilt has been sitting in my closet completely done for at least two years.

am5I pieced the disappearing nine patch top several years ago starting with six inch squares, anticipating that my nephew and his girlfriend of many years would certainly be announcing a wedding soon.

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Early last fall they finally announced they would be getting married on July 3, 2020. When I heard the date I knew I was ready. If only the world was ready now.

They will be going ahead with their wedding with just a small number of immediate family members present for the ceremony. They’ll have a party in celebration when everyone is safe to travel again. They’re thinking sometime next summer.

So I’m getting this all ready to box up and get on it’s way to Wisconsin. I made a label last night and got it all affixed to the back of the quilt. This is the first label I’ve made myself. My previous labels were made by a friend who has an embroidery machine. I did the lettering on my Bernina, which only allows memory of one line at a time.  The batik fabric I used for the label is in the front of the quilt and is also the border.

I had to program in each line letter by letter, manually line it all up, and keep the lines even by hand. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, but am not happy with the way I zig zagged the edge. For the next quilt label I’ll figure out a better way to finish the edges.

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The quilt is made from beautiful blue and green batiks that I pulled from my stash. To me, it feels like cold water. And my nephew is finishing up his masters degree in biological sciences and loves the outdoors, so I selected a fishy quilting design stitched in variegated blue thread.

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If you didn’t know the fish were there, you may never see them! They are pretty subtle, but really fun. And I love the way they make this a little whimsical.

This was the first quilt I made where I used up every single block that I had made for the front. The back includes a strip of the disappearing nine patch blocks across the width of the quilt.

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The backing is a bright and cheerful green batik that I got at a local sale. The backing fabric was also used for the binding.

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I’m always a little sad to box up a quilt and send it away. I just love holding it and burying my face in it. But I’m happy to know that this one will have a happy new home!