Monday, January 21, 2013

A cuddly Scrappy Trip Along quilt

Scrappy Trip Along

I am so excited to share my finished Scrappy Trip Along quilt today!  Ever since getting sucked in the vortex that was #scrappytripalong over on Instagram (seriously don't go look unless you want to start making now) it was all I could think about working on every time I set foot in my sewing room.  

Scrappy Trip Along

This quilt came 100% from my stash (aside from the backing), and mostly from my scrap bins to boot.  The tutorial from Quiltville is super simple, the hubs was astonished, asking if I sewed all those 1,080 tiny 2" square together individually, and I had to fess up, that the process was much easier (and quicker) than it looked.  This quilt was so fun to put together, sort of a walk down fabric memory lane, watching each block come together. 


I decided to try something new for the backing, and went with fleece that I picked up on sale at Joann's.  I have never used anything but quilting cottons, or a sheet as a quilt back, so I was a little hesitant, but with the temperatures supposed to dip below 0 this week, I thought we needed a super warm snuggle quilt to keep cozy.  I did my research, reading about Kati's adventures with minky backing, and Brooke's quilt backed in a fleece blanket, among a few others, and got to work.


I taped the fleece, right side down to the floor, making sure not to stretch my fabric too much, just enought to eliminate wrinkles, heavily spray basted a low loft cotton batting, and the quilt top, and then pin basted at the intersection of the blocks (about every 12") and that seemed to really keep things in place.  I had almost no shifting during quilting, and zero puckers on the back.


As for the quilting, I had initially planned on straight line quilting, but was worried about puckers and such, so I decided on an allover loopy FMQ design, and it worked quite well.  We had a few glitches to work out, a few skipped stitches in the beginning, but after changing my needle to a nice new sharp one (I know I know, I should do this anyway!), and slowing down my speed just a little, the quilting went quite smoothly and quickly.  It definitely required a little more muscle to move all the layers, since I wanted a heavier quilt for added warmth, I used batting in between my layers, but if you want the snuggly-ness without the weight, you could definitely skip the batting.

I really couldn't be happier with the result, and plan on using fleece as a backing much more often.


The hubs will probably kill me for posting a picture of him, but I figured I'd let you see the "man behind the quilt" as he's my go to quilt holder for quilty photo shoots.  It was super windy yesterday, and his arms were getting tired from holding the quilt up for what seemed like forever.  Totally looks like he's the first one to get to snuggle with Mr. ScrappyTrip!


It feels nice to get in my first real finish of 2013, now off to work on a few of the WIPs I swore I'd finish this year!

Also just as a reminder, today is the last day you can grab my Lucky Square pattern for $6.50 from my pattern shop!  After today the price will be $8.00 in my pattern shop and on Craftsy.

Quilt Stats:
Quilt Name: Scrappy Trip Along
Quilt Size:  60" x 72"
Fabrics used:  Various assorted prints from my stash/scrap bins
Binding:  Aneela Hooey Little Apples Stripe in Aqua
Backing:  Aqua No Pill Fleece from Joann's
Quilting:  All over loopy FMQ done by me on my home machine

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday and a few winners!

Before we dig into what I've been stitching, I think I owe you some winners!  I'd like to first say thanks for all the love and positive comments about my pattern, it means alot, I was so so nervous to finally release this, and all the positive feedback was super comforting :-)

Lucky  Square

The winners of my Lucky Square PDF pattern are Sharon (#94), Lisa R. (#90) and Toni Anne (#54).  Congrats ladies!  I have emailed you with your winnings, enjoy!

Don't forget, if you didn't win a copy of Lucky Square, you can still purchase a PDF copy of the pattern for a discounted price of $6.50 from my pattern shop until Monday, January 21st.  After the 21st, the pattern will then be $8.00.


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

In Progress

Scrappy Trip Along

Now onto what I've been stitching this week!  My main project that has been taking up most all my time, is my Scrappy Trip Along quilt.  I finished sewing up all the blocks last night, and had entirely too much fun arranging and rearranging the blocks on my kitchen floor.



I ran the picture through a black and white filter to check for color value placement, and am pretty happy with the result.  I wish I had included a few more darker prints when I was constructing my blocks, a few of them appear pretty light, but I think I've found a decent balance to spread the darker prints throughout the quilt.  This quilt is priority numero uno for no other reason than I am selfish, and want it finished to snuggle with!

Salt Water Starburst Cross


Before I got sucked in joined in the fun of #scrappytripalong, this was the project that had started as a birthday gift for a special someone.  I have been wanting to revamp my Starburst Cross block tutorial and turn it into a full (free!) pattern, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  I am using my Tula Pink Salt Water fat quarter bundle, and have 8 of the 20 blocks needed complete.  The rest of the blocks are cut and ready to sew, so as soon as I finish up my Scrappy Trip Along quilt, this should be a quick finish as well.

New Projects

Diagonal Lace Socks


I have tried my hand at sock knitting once before, and just couldn't get into it.  I had taken a class at Joann's and actually got as far as turning the heel, but completely lost interest.  I'm pretty sure the mess of yarn and sock is still attached to those double pointed needles in a dark closet somewhere in my house.

In doing my usual blog reading,  I came across Amanda's post about all the socks she has knitted over the past year, and decided I needed to give it another go.  I purchased Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe Up, some pretty yarn from my local yarn shop, Addi turbo size 2 circular needles  and have been knitting away...from the toe up!  It really is great, I've been able to try them on as I've been working on them.  The lace pattern may have been a little ambitious for my first pair, but I'm embracing all their imperfections as uniqueness :-)  Hopefully more to come on these soon, I'm hoping the novelty doesn't wear off, as I have tons of other yarns and patterns picked out already for future pairs!

That about sums things up for this week, be sure to head over to Freshly Pieced and check out all the WIPing going on!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lucky Square Quilt Pattern and a giveaway!


Happy Monday everyone!  I am so excited to share my very first quilt pattern with you all!  You can purchase this pattern, Lucky Square in my pattern shop or on Craftsy.  

This quilt comes together quickly and simply.  The Lucky Square PDF quilt pattern is a great way to use your favorite small scale prints combined with a solid background fabric, to form a patchwork interlocking pattern. Use your favorite fabric line, or scraps from stash for a unique look!


Right now the pattern is available for instant PDF download only (no hard copies), for $6.50 (after January 21st, price will be $8.00) and 10 page PDF instructions include all the information necessary to make this quilt, including detailed cutting and step-by-step piecing instructions, complete with illustrations detailing each piecing step.

Pattern include instructions for 4 different sized quilts, Baby (38” x 38”), Lap (58” x 68”), Twin (68” x 88”) and Queen (88” x 98”)


I really love how versatile this pattern is.  This Lucky Square quilt no longer lives with me, as it was gifted to my aunt for Christmas, and I'm envisioning a second Lucky Square quilt just for us using up some sacred teensy tiny 2.5" squares I've been saving up of my most favorite fabrics since I began quilting 3 years ago.

I am so so grateful for a few quilty friends who answered my pleas for pattern testers to double check my work, and just love their versions of the pattern!  Here are a few who finished up quilt tops using the pattern:

Adrianne completed this version using Essex Linen as her background fabrics and Indie by Art Gallery Fabrics as the prints.  I am in love with how soft her version feels with that great linen as the background.  She also added borders to the quilt edges, which looks great!  Adrianne blogged about her quilt top here.

Michelle whipped up a baby version using a few adorable baby boy prints and white as her background fabric, this will be one lucky baby boy who receives this quilt!

Kirsten made this lap version using Architextures and a Kona grey as the background fabric.  Her husband is one lucky man to be receiving this quilt as a gift, I love how the prints really pop against the dark background!

This is Alison's scrappy version, she blogged about her quilt top here.  Alison has me wanting to dig through my scrap bins and start on a second quilt, like now!

Pattern Testing_Lucky Squares Quilt

This is Brooke's progress, hello fabric envy!  This Castle Peeps version is to die for, and I can't wait to see it come together!

Marla is in the middle of basting her twin size quilt.  She used Kona celery as her background fabric, and I'm totally digging it!

I can't say thank you enough to all of my pattern testers, this certainly would not have come together without them!!

This pattern can be purchased from my pattern shop for $6.50 through January 21st, 2013.  After January 21st, the price will then be $8.00. 

Now for the good stuff..I am offering up a giveaway of my Lucky Square quilt pattern to 3 people.  Simply leave me a comment on this post, and Mr. Random will select 3 winners on Wednesday, January 16, 2013!
Giveaway is now closed

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Takin' a trip

So...have you caught the bug?  You know, #scrappytripalong, the one that's all over instagram and flickr?  I know I just made a "resolution" of sorts to finish what I already have going, before starting anything new...but I simply couldn't resist.  Before I knew it, I was tearing down the beginnings of a new Starburst Cross quilt using my Tula Pink Salt Water FQ bundle to make room for my very own Scrappy Trip Along.

scrappy trip along, blocks 1-16

To say that I am completely smittin' is an understatement.  I am loving this to pieces.  I have already claimed this quilt as my own, and it feels great to do some purely selfish sewing to start out the new year.  I am planning on doing 30 blocks, to have a nice sized 60" x 72" couch snuggling quilt, and am even toying with the idea of using a fleece blanket as the backing, like Brooke did.


I now have 16 of the 30 blocks pieced, and just last night finished cutting strips for the last 14 blocks.  This quilt is like a walk down memory lane of sorts.  Its been fun to dig through my scrap bins and stash, and slice and dice until my hearts content.  I had originally thought I might want to do something to give it some semblance of "order", but I've really enjoyed just pulling 6 strips that I like together for each block, and seeing how they come together.

What about you?  Have you succumbed to the pull that is #scrappytripalong??  In case you need a little push, you can follow my regular updates @sewcraftyjess on Instagram, or pop over to the flickr group for more inspiration than your eyes can handle.    

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012: year in review

I decided to take a few extra days before posting my "year in review" post to really take a look back, and decide what I want to set as goals for 2013.  That and the fact that yesterday was spent entirely on the couch.  Doing nothing.  Taking multiple naps.  Because I refuse to admit I'm too old to drink lots o' wine, and still function the next day.  So blogging was out of the question :-)

It's funny how I get in these mopey funks sometimes feeling like I'm not doing enough or getting enough accomplished.  And then I look back and realize that I made 16 quilts this year!  That's more than 1 quilt a month, on top of the bazillion other projects, including bee blocks, bags, pillows and a random assortment of projects, so I'll mark this year as a success.

I'm laughing a little at myself and those "quilty goals" of 2012, that I talked about way back in January of last year, and apparently my over-ambitiousness of the year to come.  Lets take a look:

I was hoping to tackle a few of those WIPs I had laying around.  I was talking directly to my postage stamp quilt top, solid spiderweb quilt blocks and 3x6 bee blocks that were laying around unfinished last year.  Shockingly the quilt fairies did not sneak into my sewing room while I wasn't there and finish those up for me, so they still remain WIPs.  Among those, I've also added 4x5 bee blocks, do. good stitches blocks and stash bee string blocks that have all been added to the WIP pile this year.  Maybe 2013 will be the year of finishing WIPs...maybe.

As for my other lofty goals, I wanted to tackle more full size quilts...My queen size Swoon I think fits the bill, so we'll check that one off the list, and tackling more quilts with curves gets a double check, with my Retro Flowers baby quilt and Summer Scoops Scallop quilt.

2012 in review

1. Starburst Cross block, 2. strip pieced dresden pillow, 3. Moda Bake Shop Jungle Path baby quilt, 4. DSC04739-2, 5. e-reader sleeve, 6. Technicolor Twist block, 7. Travel Jewelry Clutch, 8. Simply Woven quilt tutorial, 9. Holiday Herringbone Floor Mat

I also wanted to write more patterns and tutorials, and I more than accomplished that goal.  Looking back, I put together 9 different patterns and tutorials, including two Moda Bakeshop tutorials (here and here), 3 quilt block tutorials and various other miscellaneous sewing tutorials.

As for 2013, I am really looking to continue writing patterns.  I will be releasing my first for sale pattern in the next few weeks, and have a bunch of ideas swirling in my head for patterns and tutorials to come!

I think my second goal for 2013 is to say no more often.  I'm really going to try and do a little less "commitment sewing" and a little more "just because" sewing.  I use sewing and quilting as my creative outlet and stress relief, so when sewing starts to feel like a job, it can become not so fun anymore.  While I have enjoyed participating in quite a few quilting bees through the past few years, the first step towards saying no more is to step back from those commitments to free up some additional sewing time.  Baby steps I tell you, baby steps.

I'm really looking forward to what 2013 has in store, and ready to get stitching things that make me happy :-)  What are your stitchy goals for 2013??