Monday, March 21, 2016

Quilty Circle Project Bag Gift

I have just returned from a wonderful family fun ski trip in Colorado. I needed to take a gift for my creative sister-in-law with whom I was staying.  Her primary hobby is oil painting but she does do some quilting projects from time to time.  I have enjoyed making the Quilty 365 Circles introduced to the quilting blog world by Audry in various holiday themes so I based my gift on that idea. 

Remember my Valentine Circle Quilt? That table sized quilt had 32 scrappy circles sewn to 32 scrappy five inch squares.  These circles are simple and fun.  My relative enjoys decorating for the Christmas holidays so I used my stash of Christmas fabrics to make up a scrappy variety of over 32 squares for her to choose to make a scrappy Christmas circle quilt.   

I called this idea the Quilty 32....

First, I made a project bag.  I searched through Pinterest and Google for vinyl project bag ideas.  I just winged my bag design loosely on this tutorial but more like this tutorial.  I love this Echino deer and dot print and I knew she would too.  

TA DA!  Quilty 32 project bag created!

Next I made a project board based on Lori Holt's design.  I used batting on the front of the board and I glued a sheet of sandpaper on the back.  This is so you can draw circles anywhere even while riding in the car without the fabric slipping.  These design boards are great because the batting holds everything, fabric, pins, needles, without moving around.  I have made several for me and now I cannot sew without them.  Finish off with some binding around the edges.  (That cool melt glue gun got the best of my pretty binding but oh well you get the idea)

Next, I cut out four different sets of 5 inch background squares for her to use.  I also had some old, old labels that I included for her finished quilt.

I cut out a generous selection of Christmas prints from my Christmas fabric stash.  I cut two sizes of a circle pattern for her to choose which size she was most comfortable with.  One 4 inch and one 3.5 inch from a heavy weight Pellon for her to trace her circle pattern from each of the fabric print squares.  I even included some leftover Christmas trees from making last year's mug mats that I did not use. As you can see in the photo I traced and cut one circle leaving 1/4 inch allowance for needle turn. This gave her an idea of what she would be working on. She chose the 3.5 circle which left a nice sized edge on the 5 inch background square after her circle was stitched down.   

I also made her a mini pin cushion from selvage strips using this tutorial by Crazy Mom Quilts. I also included in her Quilty 32 project bag some needles and thread and a Frixon pen for tracing. She was completely set up to make her Quilty Circle quilt.

My SIL liked her gift very much. She and I happily stitched circles while it was snowing in Colorado this past week.  The sight of all that snow was magical to this native Texas girl.  

I hope you give this idea a try the next time you need a gift for a stitching friend.

Monday, February 29, 2016

February Wrap Up

February was a great month for stitching around here.  Each of these projects deserves a post all of its own but I will briefly highlight them here because I was super productive and there are quite a few to show this month. I had one finish and several starts.  This is the turning into the year for hand stitching and mini quilts. It wasn't planned. It just seems to have happened.  I usually get more time to stitch in the winter months. Springtime is just around the corner with beautiful sunny days here in south east Texas so the yard and garden will be competing for more time.  

1. Quilty Circles 
I finished my Valentine Quilty Circle.  It is just as cute as it can be. Hand quilted and hand stitched binding. There are more photos at the end of this post.  Audrey at Quilty Folk started this circle a day and her idea has taken the heart of hundreds of quilters and circles are being stitched around the world.   
The backing is pieced using several older fun prints. This quilt barely made a dent in my Valentine fabric box.  I may have to make another one next year.  

2. Circa 2016
I started the Circa 2016 being offered Temecula Quilt Company.   This is so much fun.  The instructions are perfect.  Everything went together so precise and so fast. I made most all of this quilt in one day.  I am using some ancient scraps.  I have saved a bag of small bits for years (1996) and I am so excited to use them in this mini quilt.

3. Quilty Circles 
 I am hooked on making these seasonal mini circles... I made this mini for July Fourth.
I finished the last of the February blocks. See all of my blocks here. I am looking forward to the March blocks which should be posted tomorrow.  Sentimental Stitches is offering these blocks free on her website. 

5. Valentine Basket
I found this little Valentine project in Quiltmaker Magazine Jan/Feb 2014 No 155  Page 32. Pattern is called Love Blooms Here by Paula Stoddard.  I am thinking about using this as a center medallion and making surrounding blocks based on The Stonefields Quilt by Susan Smith. 

I made all five blocks of The Splendid Sampler over the weekend.  I wasn't super interested in this one until I saw the Happy Happy block by Jen Kingwell...I was hooked.  Everything she designs makes me want it.   This is another project using older scraps.  This is a mixture of some Robin Pandolph pastel scraps and other fabrics I have kept in a shoe box left over from several quilts made around 2006.  I am really excited to be using them in this project.  I still have the stems to embroider on the flowers.  Every one's block is so cute. I just could not resist this block.  This should be a fun quilt and I am glad I joined in with all of the others.

7. Red and Green Blocks
Legends and Lace is generously making these patterns available for free in the month they are offered.  I drew my own version of the block on the bottom left.  I really hesitated at making those tiny leaves on the top two blocks but finally I gave in and just did them any way.  They are not perfect but they have turned out better than okay. Such tiny work really makes my hands ache.   This BOM started in December and goes monthly. 

8. Bloom
At the moment I am working on this. I drew this pattern from a photo in the April 2009 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. There is a great article about Robin Pandolph.  I have admired this her design for several years.  I decided to make this one for my mom for her spring "door" quilt. This is also using more of the shoe box scraps.  I have many of the same fabrics Robin used in her quilt.  I also want to make that Easter Egg mini.    

And finally, I have enjoyed my table quilts during the month of February.    

I have decided I need to make a Quilty Circle quilt for most every holiday.   That is only if I have fabric in my stash for it.  I already have some Halloween fabrics circles cut out.   

And because I didn't want to move all these photos to the top with my IPad, enjoy my Valentine quilt.

Thanks for stopping by.  Welcome March sewing!
Linking up with Audrey and some other circle makers  over at Quilty Folk

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The 1857 Album Quilt

I found a new quilt to make.  

Such a simple sentence but with such a creative journey behind it. For me, the search for designs to make is part of the fun of making the quilt.  These days, I am trying to find patterns with challenge and depth.  Skill and thoughtfulness.  History and art.  Something I think is wonderful.  That process sometimes takes me a while....but when I find it...well, I have to make it.

At the beginning of this new year I read through many blogs, searched Pinterest, thumbed through the stacks of my old and new magazines and saved catalogues. I needed something new to work on.  Nothing grabbed me like this one.  It is called The 1857 Album Quilt being offered by Gay at Sentimental Stitches.  Patterns are free during the month they are being offered.  It is a wonderful antique quilt.  The patterns are not too complicated. The block size is 10 inches and easy on my hands.  There is wonderful and mysterious history to be discovered behind each block.   The quilt was made by the friends of Laura R Ackerman.  It is her wedding quilt.  Gay at Sentimental Stitches is researching the signed blocks and is sharing what she learns about each maker from time to time on this wonderful blog.  

I decided that rather than buying a lot more fabric of the type and period that was used in this quilt, I would use the hefty stash of Kaffe Fassett fabrics that I already own.  I really put some thought into the background of this quilt and I ended up buying only the background fabric.   I am using Simple Marks Pattern 23209 by Malka Dubrawsky for Moda Fabrics.  It is a brilliant but understated brown green gold with quirky red dots.  I think it is a perfect setting for all of the colorful Kaffe fabrics.  I thought it would not diminish this wonderful old quilt if I was to jazz up this 1857 Album Quilt.  So here goes....

Block One

Block Two

Block Three

Block Four

Block Five

Unfortunately my circle is a little wonky,  kind of an oval shape.  I am NOT going to change it now.

Block Six

This orange branch might be my favorite....

The colors are brilliant in this morning's sun.

Block Seven is a heart and orange peel combination and I will be working on the prep and stitching today while joining others at Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Thanks for stopping in to see my quilt today. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Quilty Circle Update: Valentine's and More!

I am totally on the Quilty Circle bandwagon. Maybe a little obsessed even!   I wanted a purpose for all the circles so I began preparing them around a Happy Valentine's day theme.  I used part of a 5 inch charm pack from Kiss Kiss by Moda and part of a Red and White charm pack.  Both were purchased last year from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I have had SUCH A GOOD TIME prepping and sewing these circles.  Working on these happy circles have gotten me through the blahs of January. 

I cut out a big red heart and stitched around it, just because it seemed to be what I should do with that big red heart. I pretty much exhausted my stash of Valentine's prints so I started adding prints I like.  Subjects I like, i.e. birds, cats and dogs.  Bicycles and butterflies.
I am a big fan of shoes and least I really was when I was working full time.  I love this print.

I could have gone bigger but this will make a nice sized table runner.  I just need to get back to sewing and get it finished by the 14th!

And that's not all...I have prepped circles to work on for Halloween.
That's a Scaredy Cat charm pack from Minick and Simpson from a few years ago.  I think this circle project will be a good project to feature those prints using them in Halloween circles.

  And I am working on stash circles too!  As I was squaring up ragged ends of my stash for organization purposes, I cut circles, squares and strips to work on the mood circles/squares.  I haven't done the circle a day as Audrey intended. I prepare them in no certain order and no theme and I work on them in the evening.  I am calling them Final Rounds.  I am using fabric bits and pieces that I want to get rid of.  

So yeah I am having a big time!

I am linking up with the February Circle group over at Quilty Folk