Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday - Design Wall and Last Day of Christmas in July Blog Hop

I can hardly believe that it's the last day of the
Christmas in July Blog Hop
Confessions Of A Fabric Addict
 
 
was our organizer and she did a fabulous job.
 
There's still time to check out all of the participating bloggers and see their awesome projects. Some of us even have giveaways in which you might be interested.
 
I posted at tutorial on Saturday and I have a giveaway too.
You can check that out HERE
 
So now that the hop is almost over (at least my post is done) AND I finished all of my projects for the Desire to Inspire Challenge (I'll post pictures after Henry Glass & Co. puts it on their blog), I am back to finishing up a t-shirt quilt and a few other odds and ends.
 
Here's the t-shirt quilt. I have two borders to sew on and then it's ready for quilting. YAY!
 

I have to admit that I am a little bit happy to be sewing something other than Christmas fabric. I loved the hop and challenge, but I kind of feel the need to work in a new set of colors.  :-)
 

Besides the Blog Hop, check out what other people have on their design walls today.
 
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times
 
and
 


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Christmas in July - Tutorial and a Giveaway!

Even though our temperatures have been in the 90's all week,
we are celebrating Christmas in July
with a continuation of the
12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop
 
Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

Thanks to Sarah - Confessions of a Fabric Addict - for organizing this hop.
And in case you haven't see it already, Sarah is hosting a Christmas Quilt Along. 
If you sew for just one hour a day, for twelve days, you'll end up with a really neat quilt that measure 76" x 76".
What a deal.   
Sarah, you are awesome!
 
*******************************
Joining me today and providing a tutorial for a machine applique pillow cover with a string of Christmas lights is
Paige Alexander @ Quilted Blooms 
 
Like me, Paige is offering a giveaway so be sure to check out her site. 
 
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In case you missed a day or two of the hop,
here's a complete list of the participants.


July 14th:     Sharon Vrooman @ Vrooman’s Quilts
                    Carole Carter @ From My Caroline Home


July 15th:    Yanicka Hachez @ Finding Myself As An Artist
                   Chris Dodsley @ Made by ChrissieD


July 16th:     Marsha Hodgkins @ Quilter in Motion
                    Leanne Parsons  @ Devoted Quilter


July 17th:     Tonia Conner @ All Thingz Sewn
                    Selina @ Selina Quilts


July 18th:     Lara Buccella @ Buzzin Bumble
                    Soma Acharya @ Whims and Fancies


July 19th:     Joanne Harris@ Quilts by Joanne
                    Suzy Webster @ Adventurous Applique and Quilting


July 20th:     Vicki in MN @ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
                    Jennifer Fulton @ The Inquiring Quilter


July 21st:     Michele Kuhns @ Crayon Box Quilt Studio
                    Jan Ochterbeck @ The Colorful Fabriholic


July 22nd:     Alla Blanca @ Rainbows. Bunnies. Cupcakes.
                     Zenia Rene @ A Quilted Passion


July 23rd:     Joanne Hubbard @ Everyone Deserves a Quilt
                    Paige Alexander @ Quilted Blooms


July 24th:     Carolyn Jones @ …by CJ
                    Tisha Nagel @ Quilty Therapy


July 25th:     Susan Arnold @ Quilt Fabrication
                    Beth Sellers @ Cooking Up Quilts

                    Linda Pearl @ One Quilting Circle


*******************************
Like my blog title says, I believe that
Everyone Deserves a Quilt
and I think that
Everyone Deserves a Christmas quilt too.
 
 
This quilt will finish approximately 57" x 75", but it can easily be adapted to be larger or smaller.
There are two repeating blocks for this quilt, and each one finishes 9". You will be making 18 star blocks and 17 chain blocks.
 
When I saw these fabrics, I knew that they were just screaming to be made into a lap quilt. Since I didn't have a real definite plan when I was buying the fabric, I had to do some quick estimations and keep my fingers crossed that I guess correctly.
 
 
As soon as I got home, I started sketching and it wasn't long before I knew exactly what I wanted to do. And thankfully, I had bought enough of every fabric. YAY! 

 
So what do you need to make your very own quilt?
 
Star Background Fabric - 1 3/8 yards
Star Center - 5/8 yards
Star Points - 1 yard
Chain Block Center and Corners - 1 yard
Chain Rectangles - 7/8 yard
Border 1 - 1/2 yard
Border 2 - 1 1/4 yards
Binding - 2/3 yard
 
Star Blocks (Make 18)
Cutting
Star Centers
   *Cut 3 strips, 5" x WOF (width of fabric) and sub-cut into 18 - 5" x 5" squares.
     Each strip will yield 8 squares, so you will only need to cut 2 squares from the last strip.
 
Star Background Fabric
  *Cut 5 strips - 5" x WOF. Sub-cut into 70 - 2 3/4" x 5" rectangles.  Each strip will yield 14 rectangles.
  *Cut 6 strips - 2 3/4" x WOF
          From 1 strip, cut 2 - 2 3/4" x 5" rectangles  AND  12 - 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" squares
          From the remaining 5 strips, cut 60 - 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" squares
 
Star Points Fabric
  *Cut 11 strips - 2 3/4" x WOF. Sub-cut into 144 - 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" squares. 
    Each strip will yield 14 squares.     
 
Assembly
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the star points squares. Lay a star point square right sides together on a star background rectangle. Be careful of the orientation of the drawn line. You may find it helpful to place a pin in the corner, as shown in the picture below.

 
Sew along the drawn line. Trim 1/4" from the sewn line.
 

 
Press to the corner (star point). 

 
Each star block will have four of these units, so you will need to make a total of 72 of these.
 

Now we are going to do the same thing to the other side. Remember to watch the orientation of the drawn line. It doesn't matter which direction you sew, Do whatever feels the most natural or creates the best results.


Trim and press as before.

 
Oops! I forgot the picture of the finished flying geese unit!
 

Once you've completed all 72 flying geese units, you are ready to sew the star block together.  YAY!!
 
Lay out the block as shown below. Each star consists of one center square, four flying geese units, and four corner squares. Isn't this pretty?
 
 
 
All we have to do now is sew each row and then sew the rows together!
 
 
I'd like to share a few tips that will help you sew and keep those points we all so desperately love in star blocks.

 
When sewing, sew with the flying geese unit on top and the solid piece close to the feed dogs. Not only will this allow you to watch the seam allowance direction so it doesn't get flipped over, it will also ensure that you get nice sharp points.
 
In the picture below, you are sewing the flying geese unit to the star center square. Can you see the X that is created from your previous seams? Use this as a guide to know exactly where to sew to maintain the points.  
 



 
  
 
I also find it helpful to add a few extra pins so there is no shifting when I'm sew the units together. I especially like to place a pin near the end of the seam I'm sewing as well as along the perpendicular edge. I know it's extra time, but I think the results are well worth the time and effort.
 
Back to the block construction...

 
Press the top and bottom row to the small corner squares and press the center unit to the large center square. In other words, press away from all of the flying geese units.
 
 
Once all of the rows are sewn, sew them together. Follow the same procedure for hitting the X to keep those points sharp.
 
WooHoo! Make 18 of these beauties.
 
 
 
Are you still here? Great!
Just a little bit more and then the fun begins.
Don't forget that once we've got the quilt top together, there is a giveaway.  :-)
 
Chain Blocks (Make 17 )
Cutting
Chain Centers and Corners
   *Cut 3 strips, 5" x WOF (width of fabric) and sub-cut into 17 - 5" x 5" squares.
     Each strip will yield 8 squares, so you will only need to cut 1 square from the last strip.
   
 *Trim the remainder of the last strip to 2 3/4" x WOF (approximately 35").
    Sub-cut the strip into 12 - 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" squares.
 
  *Cut 4 strips - 2 3/4" x WOF and sub-cut into 56 - 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" squares. Each strip will yield 14
     squares. A total of 68 squares is needed.
 
Chain Rectangles
  *Cut 5 strips - 5" x WOF. Sub-cut into 68 - 2 3/4" x 5" rectangles.  Each strip will yield 14 rectangles.
 
Assembly
(I promise that this block is very easy and will go together much quicker than the star blocks!)
 
Lay out the block as shown below. Be careful if you are using a directional fabric like I did.
 
 
Just like with the star blocks, sew the units into rows and them we'll sew the rows together.
 
 
Press towards the rectangles.
 


 
Now sew the rows together to finish the block. (See, I told you this was much faster than the star blocks!)
 
 
Quilt Top Assembly
 
Lay out the blocks following the picture below. You will have seven rows of five blocks each. Rows 1, 3, 5, and 7 will begin and end with stars and rows 2, 4, and 6 will begin and end with chain blocks. Again, be careful if you have used a directional fabric.
 
 
 
With the star blocks always on top, carefully sew rows together. Because the star blocks will be on top, you will be able to see the X and maintain those perfect points.
 

 
Remember when I told you that I like to take the time and add extra pins? Now would be a really good time to do that!
 
 

Press towards to chain blocks, which will help reduce the bulk that is created at the intersections.
Press all of the rows in one direction. Out of habit, I press up. The quilt top should measure approximately 45 1/2" x 63 1/2".
 
 
Yay! It's time for borders and then the giveaway!
 
Border 1
Cut 6 strips - 2" x WOF. Diagonally piece all of the strips together. Trim and press seams open. Measure the length of the quilt and cut 2 pieces that length.

Sew these to the sides and press to the borders.

Measure the width of the quilt, including the newly added side borders. Cut 2 pieces that measurement and sew them tot he top and bottom of the quilt top. Press to the border.  The quilt should measure approximately 48 1/2" x 66 1/2".

Border 2
Cut 7 strips 5" x WOF. Diagonally pieces the strips together, trim and press seams open. Following the same procedure as before, add the border to the sides first and then the top and bottom of the quilt top. Press to the borders.


And there's your completed quilt top!
 
This was as close to a winter/Christmas picture as I could get. The firewood reminds me of the cold and I can't wait to snuggle under this beauty while sitting by the fireplace.
 
 
I'd love to see quilts made using this tutorial!
 
And now for the long-awaited giveaway...

Do you send out Christmas cards?
 
Here's your chance to win 20 beautiful cards
and the stamps to go with them.
 

 


On Sunday, July 31st, I'll randomly select a winner from the comments left here on my blog. 
 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Christmas Blog Hop/Quilt -Along and Design Wall Monday

It's Day 5 of the
Christmas in July Blog Hop and Quilt-Along!

Sarah has done a wonderful job with this Quilt-Along and since I was a pattern tester for her, I can verify that, yes, you can have a large quilt top (76" x 76") by then end of the hop.
 
Jump over to Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict and get sewing.
 
Besides the Quilt-Along, there are two bloggers featured every day and so far, everyone has provided fun and really neat ideas.
I post on the 23rd (Saturday) and I'm providing a quilt tutorial and giveaway. :-) 

Here's the entire list of bloggers.

July 14th:     Sharon Vrooman @ Vrooman’s Quilts
                    Carole Carter @ From My Caroline Home

July 15th:    Yanicka Hachez @ Finding Myself As An Artist
                   Chris Dodsley @ Made by ChrissieD

July 16th:     Marsha Hodgkins @ Quilter in Motion
                    Leanne Parsons  @ Devoted Quilter

July 17th:     Tonia Conner @ All Thingz Sewn
                    Selina @ Selina Quilts

July 18th:     Lara Buccella @ Buzzin Bumble
                    Soma Acharya @ Whims and Fancies

July 19th:     Joanne Harris@ Quilts by Joanne
                    Suzy Webster @ Adventurous Applique and Quilting

July 20th:     Vicki in MN @ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
                    Jennifer Fulton @ The Inquiring Quilter

July 21st:     Michele Kuhns @ Crayon Box Quilt Studio
                    Jan Ochterbeck @ The Colorful Fabriholic

July 22nd:     Alla Blanca @ Rainbows. Bunnies. Cupcakes.
                     Zenia Rene @ A Quilted Passion

July 23rd:     Joanne Hubbard @ Everyone Deserves a Quilt
                    Paige Alexander @ Quilted Blooms

July 24th:     Carolyn Jones @ …by CJ
                    Tisha Nagel @ Quilty Therapy

July 25th:     Susan Arnold @ Quilt Fabrication
                    Beth Sellers @ Cooking Up Quilts
                    Linda Pearl @ One Quilting Circle

*******************************
It's also Monday so that means
it's time to show
what's on the Design Wall
 
I have a couple of things on which I'm working, including my
I had a productive weekend and four projects ready for quilting.
 
Don't get all excited over that.
They are not all big projects and I have taken time to sleep and eat.
 
I'm saving pictures of the final projects for the end of the month, but here are few teasers for you.
 
This is just plain fun!
It being made from "bonus" half square triangles from another Challenge project.
 
 
This is where the half square triangles in the project above originated. 

 
I like hexagons and log cabin blocks and I've married them in this project.
 
 
I love it when I can work on two projects at a time. I'm making quarter square blocks as a leader and ender. I'm not quite sure how I'll use them, but I know I will.
 
 
Yes! My machine was smoking this weekend!

 
Check out what other's have in their design walls today.
 
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times
 
and
 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Progress

I know it's Tuesday and there should be a Tip Tuesday! post but I didn't have time to write it. I spent the morning with my best friend who was getting her last chemo treatment and then I got busy finishing up the Christmas in July Blog Hop Quilt Along project. 

Here is where I was yesterday...


I've added the top and bottom borders and I like it. I have decided to not add the floral border that was the original focus fabric and I'm happy with that choice. It's a good size - about 80" x 80" and I can live with that.

 
This will have to go into the quilting que, but I hopefully it will get done soon.
 
After I finished those borders, I started cutting the challenge fabric. I'm separating the large blocks here and playing around with ideas for this.
 
 
I also made some flying geese units.
 
 
Yes, a couple of the projects are going to have stars, so these flying geese units are going to be star points.
 
 
 Units are made and stars will be constructed tomorrow.
 
To be sure that I don't waste fabric, I am making practice blocks out of scrap fabric. I like what I've made so far and will post more pictures soon. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Design Wall Monday

I am beginning to work on the Desire to Inspire challenge, but decided that I need to get a couple of projects out of the way before I dive into that. (In reality that means that I am a little nervous to get working on those gorgeous fabrics and this will allow me just a little more time to look at my sketches and be totally comfortable with my choices.)
 
This is a quilt on which I was proud to be a pattern tester. Sarah - Confessions of a Fabric Addict is hosting the Christmas in July Blog Hop and she is doing a quilt along. Sarah told us we can show the quilt on our blogs, so this is not a spoiler. You really should consider doing this. You will end up with a good size quilt - 76" square and you'll only have to spend about an hour a day and by the time the hop is over, you'll have a quilt top made. Easy Peasy!
 
Check out her posts HERE and HERE.
 
I made a couple of minor changes, but for the most part, here is the quilt. I did not put the cornerstones in the four corners because I planned to add the floral fabric that is in the star block centers as an outside border and I wasn't sure I would like the same fabric for the border and cornerstones. 
 
 
Here's the floral fabric next to the quilt center.

 
Neither Jack or I were thrilled with it so I began to think, and we know that means trouble.
 
I removed the cornerstone from the center and replaced it with a square in a square cornerstone to replicate the star block centers. I did the same for the four corners. Now I'm adding a small border of the same green that I used in the block. (I don't know why the picture below is so much darker.)

 
I only have two borders to add to this and it will be off the design wall. YAY!
 
The cutting of the challenge fabric will commence this afternoon and the sewing will begin tonight. I'll post updates. I promise!
 
Check out Judy L's Patchwork Times
 
and
 
 
for more quilting inspiration

Friday, July 8, 2016

It's Here!

When I saw this truck approaching the house yesterday afternoon, I knew that the fabric for the Desire to Inspire Challenge had arrived. 

 
It was fun to open the box and see this...
 

And then this gorgeous bundle of fabric.

 
Can you see the pinecones in the top left of the picture? Our grandson Ronan was here when the fabric arrived and when he walked in he was carrying some pinecones. So, how did he know that I was going to be getting Christmas fabric delivered?  Mmmmmm  (Please, no judging that we still have pinecones sitting around our yard.)
 
When he saw the fabric, he got all excited and said, "Isn't it too hot for Christmas?" You've got to love the mind of a four year old.  :-) He was thrilled when I said I wanted to take a picture with the pinecones and even more happy when I suggested that we go outside and take a picture of him holding the fabric and the pinecones.
 


 
I've already got some ideas and am going to start figuring out some cutting plans. I'll keep you posted on my progress.