Wednesday, July 31, 2013

patchwork pretty:: a quilt top


I just can't seem to stop!  This little lady of ours is going to have more quilts than she knows what to do with when she's born, but you know what?  I'm really ok with that.  I have been eyeing my bundle of AMH voiles that I picked up from Westwood Acres and trying to decide on a quilt layout for some time now.  I knew I wanted something fairly simple to let the gorgeous prints be the focus, but nothing I came up with seemed to sit just right.


While perusing my blog list one day, inspiration struck as I read about Rita, of Red Pepper Quilts' postage stamp quilt!  I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do with these prints, just random enough to perfectly patchwork-y but not overly done so that the prints are really what stands out.  I followed Rita's tutorial, cutting my strips at 3" to end up with 2.5" finished patchwork squares.  This quilt came together quite quickly, and I even have enough strips left over to make a second quilt, with fabric to spare.  A very good friend of mine is also due in October, about a week before our little pumpkin is slated to make her arrival, and I think she will just love a quilt like this for her little lady too.


I am debating how to quilt this.  I am thinking something nice and simple, perhaps echoing the seam lines 1/4" on either side.  We will be headed to the beach soon for a family vacation and I'm toying with the idea of basting this and taking it with me to hand quilt with perle cotton thread.  I've done a little hand quilting here and  there, but nothing as large as an entire quilt, I'm afraid I'll get half way through and then abandon ship, and these fabrics are too pretty to end up in the WIP pile of abyss never to be seen again.

What do you think??  Try out a little hand quilting, or stick to what I know (and what I know I will finish)??

Monday, July 22, 2013

Block Tutorial: Hexagon Star Paper Piecing Templates

Happy Monday everyone!  I am finally posting the tutorial for my Hexagon Star block I designed for the last round of the 4x5 bee!  Only 3 months later, but who's counting.  I hate to admit, but my sewing machine has been completely neglected this past week, she's probably suffering from some sort of abandonment issues, but for good reason, I think I'm in full on nesting mode!  

I'm finding closets to organize and things inside them I didn't even know we had!  Last weekend we did a major purge via the neighborhood yard sale which felt great, and lately I think the drop off boys at Goodwill are getting to know me by name.  While unfortunately these things are eating up my sewing time, it does feel nice to be making room for baby (and organizing the heck out of our house in the meantime!).  This past weekend was spent painting the nursery, and I'm itching to get decorating in there! 

Anyways, onto what this post is really about, a free block tutorial for this glorious Monday! 

Hexagon star block

As was the same with my Wonky House paper piecing tutorial, I don't have step by step piecing instructions for this block included in this post.  If you are new to paper piecing, or need a refresher, there are so many awesome tutorials out in blogger-land, like my favorite from Faith of Fresh Lemon's Quilts, her paper piecing tutorial can be found here.

The Hexagon Star Paper Piecing Block templates can be found here.  Block size is 12.5" unfinished, or 12" finished.  Please be sure to download the templates to your computer before printing, as I've found the block sizing to be off when printing directly from Google Documents.  Also be sure to set your page scaling to "none" or select "Actual Size" from the page scaling options.

hexagon star block 2

This block comes together quite easily, each template is labeled with a section "letter" and then the order to piece each section is indicated with a number.  Once your (6) sections are pieced and trimmed, piece sections A, B and C together, and then piece sections D, E and F together, using the above picture for reference.  Press seams open.  Lastly sew the two block halves together to form (1) 12.5" unfinished block.

If you happen to make a Hexagon Star block, I'd love to see your version in the SewCraftyJess Flickr Group!

I am itching to get back behind my machine, and show Bertha a little love, so hopefully this week I will dig out some time, in between closets I've found to organize (I'm looking at you, linen closet...) and stitch up something pretty with these amazing AMH voiles I picked up from amanda at Westwood Acres.  I'm thinking of some super simple patchwork, can't ever have enough!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

ziggity zag


I have had this quilt top in pieces on my design wall for what feels like eons, and it feels great to finally turn it into a quilt top, and not just any quilt top, but one for Baby Girl!  Aside from a few receiving blankets and burp clothes, and my granny square quilt I've had tucked away for this "hopefully sometime" baby, this is the first quilty sewing I've done for our little lady, and it just makes me smile thinking of all that baby girl cuteness playing on quilts that mama made for her :-)


As soon as we found out we were having a girl, I knew I wanted to make her a quilt using this Joel Dewberry Notting Hill fabric in the magenta color way.  All of those pinks and oranges just scream girly girl to me.  I went with a half square triangle layout using print on print HSTs and print paired with white HSTs for this fun zig zag quilt.  I love that the print zig zags are wider than the white, and these prints play so well together that they all sort of blend together into one when looking from afar.


I am thinking I want to back this in fleece, as I love how soft and cuddly my Scrappy Trip Along quilt is.   I may put this aside for a little while though, as the thought of doing anything with fleece while we are having temperatures in the 90s every day this week makes me cringe (and sweat) just a little, although perhaps I should get to basting while I can!

Monday, July 8, 2013



Oh I'm in love.  It's official.  My first time stitching with voile and I don't want to stitch with anything else.  It's silky smooth and feels like butter, and I can't imagine wrapping baby in anything more soft or luxurious feeling.  I have no idea if using voile is a good idea or not for whipping up a few burp cloths (using chenille as the underside) with the left overs, but I'm doing it anyways, as baby girl can't have enough hand made goods made of this stuff.


I picked up the voile fabric from Hawthorne Threads:  AMH Little Honey in berry, Valori Wells Shine in aqua, AMH Little Honey in gold and Joel Dewberry Tile Flourish in amber.  The flannel I picked up at Joann's on sale, I just love that grey bike print!  The pops of aqua and red are perfect.  I used the same self binding receiving blanket tutorial and backed these in flannel in the same way I made these flannel receiving blankets a few weeks back.


I love that these aren't quite as heavy as the flannel on flannel versions, and that the snuggle quotient is through the roof.  I just grabbed this AMH voile fat eighth bundle from Westwood Acres to make baby girl a voile quilt, as I already know she can't have enough of this silky goodness in her life.


I was a little nervous to start sewing with this stuff, as its quite slippery, but with many pins and using my walking foot, I had zero problems.  I can feel baby girl kicking away as I'm typing this, so I'm assuming that's her seal of approval!  Good taste even from inside the womb :-)

Monday, July 1, 2013

more kool aid drinking

Blocks 13-24

I'm now 24 blocks in with the Tula Pink City Sampler Sew Along and I just can't seem to stop making blocks.  It's something about turning the page and seeing just one more itty bitty 6" block, and I say to myself, oh I can whip up just one more block...and this cycle continues until the three blocks I was initially planning on making turns into 12.  It seems to be working for me, I think I'm a little ahead of the sew along now, but I'll set aside these little guys with the first 12 blocks, and come back for 12 more blocks in another few weeks...or sooner.


These three little guys were the last of the cross blocks.  I'm loving how this sew along is really making me use the entire rainbow of colors.  It's very easy to fall into using colors in your "comfort zone" repeatedly and for me that's blues, and anything I can match with blue.  That green block in the middle almost made me cringe, with those muddy greens and yellows, but  turns out its one of my favorite blocks!


I'm also a fan of the quickest and easiest way to piecing these blocks, and look for short cuts when I can.  I took a deep breath when I saw block #17, all those teeny tiny 1/2" strips, but strip piecing was my friend, and in no time block 17 was complete.


I will say these blocks are trying my purple and pink stash and scrap bins.  Purple is by far the color I have the least of, and it seems that every other block has some sort of purple to be included.  I may be exaggerating, but it really is alot of purple. I'm really trying not to repeat fabrics, so hopefully I can hold out without having to buy more!


It would not have taken much convincing to make "just 3 more" but I reigned myself in and stopped at 12.

tula 1-24

I pulled up last weeks TouchDraw drawing and inserted the newest 12 blocks into the layout, and this has me giddy enough to want to run home from work and make 12 more blocks to see them in the layout.  I'm becoming incredibly tempted to really push to get this done for our beach trip next month...that's not crazy, right??