Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time…


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Stash swap

So this year the local guild that belong to decided to do a monthly blind swap of 12 -3.5 inch squares.  Every month, we get a random bag of 12 squares from someone else and by the end of the year, we will have a finished quilt.  These are the charms I received in December:

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IMG_0518Did I mention that this exchange was with my traditional guild?  No pearl bracelets here:).  (Of course, I didn’t give out any mirror ball dots or AMH squares either.  I chose a traditional looking charm pack  from my stash and cut 12 blocks down to 3.5 inches).  I’m hoping this exercise helps me grow.  Some of the quilts that I find most beautiful have some odd fabric pairings.  I decided to pair the red and blue squares with a scrappy selection of tan/cream and white fabrics and make HSTs for now:

IMG_0517That lower right fabric is Osnaburg (a linen looking cotton).  I have seen some beautiful quilts made by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen using Osnaburg so I have been stalking JoAnn’s  for months and finally found some.  Have you ever tried it in your quilts?

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Starting the year out right

Project Endeavor 2014 is starting off well.  Of course, snowpocalypse is partially the reason I am getting so much done right now.  I finished my hubby’s pillow and my friend’s water bottle carrier (yes, they were late for Christmas but I finished them instead of putting them away for next Christmas).  First – the leg lamp pillow:

My version of the Leg Lamp pillow designed by Sarah Bailey of Sew What Sherlock.

My version of the Leg Lamp pillow designed by Sarah Bailey of Sew What Sherlock.

When I first saw that Sarah Bailey at Sew What Sherlock was designing a leg lamp pillow, I was giddy.  My husband has threatened to buy a leg lamp for years and now he has one that has my stamp of quilty approval.  I used Kona for everything except the shoe and garter belt which was a lacy print from Moda’s Little Black Dress.  I even added cheap nylon netting over the leg Kona like Sarah suggested.  This pattern is Awesome–go get her free pattern here.  As some of you may know by now, I kind of decide to do awesome things at the last minute (like this pillow) and then realize that I’m in over my head.  I only had a few paper piecing mishaps–not using a big enough fabric piece  here and there which I ended up patching in as another piece and mistakenly layering the netting in the wrong order when I sewed the leg –but I was able to get it all pieced in an evening.  (I added the “Fragile” to the side using scrapbook letter stencils to cut letters out of fabric which I glued on and then stitched around when I quilted the pillow.)  In fact, if I hadn’t completely forgotten to buy matching threads to quilt it, my husband may have actually received this pillow on Christmas Day.  Ok, maybe not because it did take me some time to figure out how to sew this zipper in the back of the pillow too–I found a great tutorial for that here.  I suggest that if you make this pattern into a pillow, put some sashing around the entire block so you can actually see the shoe.

The second project was a water bottle carrier that I made for a friend at work.  When I saw this boston terrier voile fabric by Kokka, I knew I had to buy it and make Staci something.  The easy answer would have been to make a cute voile scarf but Staci isn’t a scarf wearing kind of girl.  Staci has recently started volunteering with an animal rescue organization and devotes a lot of time on the weekend going to Pet Smart and trying to get abandoned pets with good families.  Staci is also a pretty thrifty person too so I know she takes her own water with her and since she’s kind of a germ freak, I know she’s not setting that bottle down just anywhere–thus, the perfect gift which she can use while volunteering and walking her own BT dog, Preston.  I used the pattern from Kathy Mack at Pink Chalk Fabrics which you can find here.  This pattern is super easy until you get to the part where you have to sew the circle in at the bottom–that was a bear.

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I have also finally finished piecing all my Skillbuilder blocks and have borders on all of them now.  I may be optimistic in thinking I can get that done by Jan. 19 since I still have 17 blocks to fmq, and borders to make/quilt for it and I am waiting for 4 more yards of background fabric  to get here ( don’t you hate it when you buy a unique color of Kona at JoAnn Fabrics and they don’t order another bolt just in case you run out?–perhaps I should re-think my aversion to using Kona white).  I’m not counting on the fabric getting here until next week since over half the state is still under lockdown due to the snow.  I’ll save the Skillbuilder for it’s own post since it pretty much consumed my entire year-but here’s a glance at the most recent fmq attempt–not great but at least it’s not full of eyelashes on the back.  I still need to tie in some threads and quilt the dotty fabric–I think Alyssa did pebbles but I think a nice feather would look good…

My loops aren't even on every side but since this is really the first time I've done anything other than a stipple since June, I'm okay with that.

My loops aren’t even on every side but since this is really the first time I’ve done anything other than a stipple since June, I’m okay with that.

Goodness, a week in and 2 finishes–Project Endeavor may be just what I needed.


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I Feel Good

I knew that I would now.  Just pretend that’s Jackson Brown singing in the background (and not me).  I finished my the top for my Jinxed quilt.  This quilt and I have been through so much in the last 10 months that I literally feel like it’s one of my kids.  Not one of the good kids but the kid that constantly defies you at every turn and makes you dissolve into tears.  I still love it though.  As promised, here are a couple pics that I took.  Lil Bee was very excited to be in photograph assistant.  Hopefully once I get it quilted and bound, I’ll have better lighting for the finished shots.

JinxedOf course the finish wasn’t without it’s mishaps.  I marked all my blocks with a Frixion pen so that I wouldn’t sew them together wrong and thus far, the marks have stayed.  I’ve been assured on Instagram that these marks will fade once I wash it though.

Should I just quilt arrows all over just in case the Frixion pen doesn't wash out?

Should I just quilt arrows all over just in case the Frixion pen doesn’t wash out?

Can you believe that I bought most of these fat quarters of Art Gallery fabrics on sale 50% off.    My LQS has some crazy good sales sometimes:).   So any thoughts batting and quilting?  Should I buy black batting?  I’m not planning on using it for display and I’m kind of worried that it will make the lavender and cream fabrics look muddy.  If you have any experiences with black batting, I would love your input.  I’m think I’m going to hand quilt this one just because my fmq needs a lot of work and I don’t want to do straight lines with the walking foot.

One last photo–it’s my favorite one,

Lil Bee and Jinxed


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Double Digits

made by my mom

made by my mom

So let me start out and say that I did not make this pillow.  It was made by my mom.  She made it for my son’s birthday yesterday.  Isn’t it awesome!  Mr. H loves it, he’s been carrying it from room to room to use ever since.  He did have one criticism about the pillow–it has 2 football players that are Tom Brady on it.  (My son is a huge Peyton Manning fan).  I wouldn’t have known so I know my mom didn’t know–they just look like generic football players to me.   So, you are all forewarned–if making a pillow for your little or big football player–take note of the players you are fussy cutting from the fabric.

the back of the pillow

the back of the pillow

So today Mr. H turned 10.  It’s hard to believe that my little cutie boy isn’t a baby anymore (although he’ll always be my baby as long as I’m alive).  He’s my favorite boy of fall.

Mr H at his game-they won!

Mr H at his game-they won!


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So perhaps I too am a Drama Queen

or maybe my daughter just comes by it honestly.  After berating myself most of the evening yesterday, I got some much needed sleep.

Upon waking this morning, I pulled out my Step 2 directions and realized that I had used the directions for the blue colorway which was slightly different.   After a little more fabric cutting, it looks like I won’t have to unpick all 16 four patch blocks (just 4).  So my goof is just a minor bump rather than a huge pothole.

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So instead of this,

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It will look more like this

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I’m fine with that.  Thanks for all your kind comments and commiseration.  I appreciated it.


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Paper piecing rockstar..er, at least working on it

Paper piecing

So this weekend, I decided to tackle that Schoenrock cross so that I could at least make one for the QAL that Leila from Where the Orchids Grow is hosting.  I listened to most of Lesson 1 on my Strip Paper Piecing class with Peggy Martin on Craftsy and instead of easing into paper piecing with the Polka Dot Twist block, I felt I was ready to tackle the Schoenrock Cross.  I always like a challenge.  It didn’t go too bad.  It took me about 6 hours but I did have to rip the seams out of 4 of the triangles (one twice).  Admittedly, it wasn’t too wise for me to use fabric that should be fussy cut because I didn’t get those little girls and foxes completely in any of the strips and my birds that I did fussy cut were an afterthought (you may notice they aren’t centered either).  That aside, I’m happy with how it turned out for my first attempt.

Sadly, I was hoping that I would be able to do 9 blocks of this and make a baby quilt but I don’t think my 1/2 yard cuts of Walk in the Woods is going to stretch that far if I have to worry about where I cut my strips.  So it looks like I will just be doing a some type of strip quilt/simple block design for the baby quilt and using some other fabric for more Schoenrock Cross blocks.  Here is my finished block:

My Schoenrock Cross

My Schoenrock Cross

Isn’t that white embroidered dot cool?  I love it in the block–my machine however did not; since I don’t have a way to lessen the pressure on my presser foot, I was lifting it up every time I sewed over one of the embroidered dots (sigh, just another reason that I need a new sewing machine).  One day…..Anyhow, you should definitely go to the Flickr group that is set up for the Schoenrock QAL -there are some amazing blocks over there–beautiful use of fabric.

So I think I have conquered my fear of paper piecing; now I just have to get over my fear of wasting fabric.  I can see where the strip piecing probably saves on fabric as opposed to traditional paper piecing but I still ended up with a lot of odd shaped triangles (that I am saving but I don’t know that they are useable for something sewn).

Incidentally, the Craftsy class on paper piecing by Peggy Martin is awesome–I bought it during the pre-Christmas sale and it has 6 different paper-pieced quilt lessons in it.

 


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My First FINISHED Quilt

I know, I already have a finished quilt on my blog but it is my second finished quilt.  My first finished quilt (as opposed to my first quilt started–which has not been completed…) is this one. Honestly, I do have plans to do quilts that have something other than owls.  I made this quilt for baby Amber.  Her father is one of my super great friends from my days in Philly a long time ago.  They (meaning Derek) didn’t want to know what the baby was so I was in a bit of a quandary trying to think of something appropriately gender neutral and simple enough for my limited skills.  I decided owls were appropriate and made this simple 1600 Jelly Roll quilt that I modified slightly–adding the brown on the side to look like a tree trunk and appliquéing the Sue Spargo owl and branch on it.  I started this quilt in October 2011 and finished it in December 2011.  The reason this simple strip quilt took so long was because I decided to hand quilt it since it was for special people:)

I hand quilted meandering leaves with a cream thread and did a bark like stitch on the brown tree trunk. I was so delighted after I sent it and found out that the theme of baby Amber’s room was OWLS!  I really enjoyed doing the hand quilting and plan to do it again on future quilts.ImageImageImage

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