Monday, April 14, 2014

Finally.

For months, probably about six, if I'm being honest, I've been contemplating how to quilt this.
The lovely wonky bee girls, Nicke, Sara, Amanda, Melissa and Jessica, just rock my socks.
Truly. This quilt is the happiest combination of color and patchwork.

Hence, my quilting dilemma. I have felt overwhelmed, because I felt like I could easily ruin it with my quilting. But, I decided to bite the bullet this weekend.

I'm three bobbins in, and close to the halfway mark. I'm taking my time, and letting the patchwork guide my quilting.

I'm really proud of my free-motion progress. In my latest attempts, I've worked to stretch myself. Although, I still love my first FMQ quilt dearly.

Slow and steady. Loving every minute.

I hope to finish the quilting this week!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A winner and some Geraniums

First thing is first! The winner of the RJR Cotton Supreme Solids fat quarter bundle is, #18, Amy!

Congrats, and thanks to everyone that entered!

I'm not sure if you've tried the Geranium dress pattern by Rae, but you should if you have a little girl to sew for. I've made several of these dresses, and I recently finished a few more. My friend, Rue, just had her second child. I thought her oldest, lovingly referred to as Tadpole, might like a dress.

I used this favorite Garden Party print, with a fun orange print for the yoke lining.

My grandmother has shared a collection of buttons with me, and I found these in her stash.

I also made a few that were intended for a craft show last fall. I wasn't able to participate, but decided to add the dresses to my etsy shop.

This is such a great pattern for baby shower gifts, and for big sisters, too!

Monday, March 31, 2014

String blocks - a few tips

Is it really April 1 tomorrow? That seems impossible, but it's true. April means lots of good things. Tomorrow, my grandmother turns 89, and later in the month, we celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday. And a wedding anniversary. And the second annual Stash Bash. It's also my month to plan the Love circle quilt for do.Good Stitches!

It's been awhile since I've made string blocks. I don't know about you, but I always seem to have a pile of string scraps lying around.

Last week, I divided them into two piles based on length, and made a bunch of blocks.

Here's a few tips that might help, if you've never made a string block before.
-Working with a foundation is best for string blocks, and I prefer paper. As Jeni pointed out, using a fabric foundation (even muslin) adds bulk, whereas the paper can be ripped away when you're finished.
-If you have graph paper or an old telephone book, this works better than printer paper, but that will work, too!
-Start with your center strip, and glue-baste this piece to make sure it stays in place!


-To create a cohesive look, you can use a single color and width for your center strings. Or, you can mix it up to your heart's content!
-The most important thing is to make sure you keep a 1/4" seam allowance throughout.
-Make sure your strips are at least 1" wide.
-With all paper piecing, it's best to leave the paper on until you've sewn your blocks together. It helps to minimize bias.
-Setting your stitch length to 1.5 or 1.6 will make ripping that paper a little easier, too.
-When pressing any paper-piecing, use a dry iron (no steam!).


-Oh, and little triangle scraps are great for the end pieces!

Any other tips? Did I leave anything out?

Specifically for do.Good Stitches bee blocks this month, I'm asking for 8.5" blocks (so you can just cut a 2.5" strip off a sheet of paper to create that template!). For the center strings, I'd like 1" strips of any blue solid, and then the rest of the strings can be any width and any color. I'd love to see a mix of solids and prints.

As you can see, these are addictive to sew! And my pile of strips doesn't seem any smaller.

Friday, March 28, 2014

RJR solids

I'm so excited to share these pillows with you. Are you familiar with RJR Cotton Supreme Solids ? Thanks to Brenda and the RJR team, I was able to try them out, and I found them to be an excellent line of solids.

The range of colors is immense, and the fabric has a lovely hand.

I felt a little overwhelmed when I was choosing colors, but I decided to go outside of my comfort zone. I started with Night-290 (which is less purple than the link), and promptly added Flamingo-338, Seafoam Green-301, Just Peachy-278, Cove-294, Denim-106, Arabian Nights-160, and Cinnamon-196.

I was in the mood for some half-square triangles (I used my favorite method. Using the leftover strips I cut to make the HSTs, I made a second simple pillow, which allowed for some free-motion quilting practice.

I really love how these pillows turned out, and they've made a nice addition to our bedroom window seat!

And we have a little giveaway, thanks to RJR Fabrics! You can win a fat quarter bundle of the eight solids I chose.


Just leave a comment here
(and please make sure you leave an email address, if you are a no-reply commenter!) and tell me about your current patchwork obsession. I've been wanting to make a lone star quilt for about a year now; maybe someday soon!

I'll pick a winner Monday morning.
Thanks for entering!

And if you're on facebook, check out this page, where you can easily follow along with the blog hop. There are lots of fun projects being made with the Supreme Solids!

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