January 30, 2015

Auntie's Star Quilt

My Aunt has been requesting a navy and white themed quilt for quite some time. She also loved my Patriotic Star quilt, so I thought a star quilt using navy and white. I am going to use the star block tutorial over at Cluck Cluck Sew. When the Lexington line by Moda came out last fall I bought some half yards to make this quilt. **Not all are Lexington, some fabrics are from my stash. 

My Aunt is going to very happy to see this post, and know here demands are being meet.

-Patch & Chels

January 27, 2015

Art Gallery Charm Swap

Michelle, over at From Bolt to Beauty, and I are doing another Charm Swap!!!! Last Fall we had a successful low volume charm swap so we thought we would change the theme this time and try something new. If you have never experienced Art Gallery fabrics you are missing out. They are such fun colors and patterns, and the softest fabric you will ever feel! It really is amazing.

Sorry, to all my international friends, due to postage we are going to limit it to the United States only.

Who is your favorite Art Gallery designer? To be honest there are so many to choose from! Right now my favorite would have to be Emmy Grace by Bari J., Michelle on the other hand is all about Winged by Bonnie Christine.

Emmy Grace by Bari J.
Cultivate by Bonnie Christine 


Fabric Type: Art Gallery (only)
Fabric Size: 5 inch Charms
Participants: 28 Peeps, first come first serve! Don't wait :)
Timeline: Fabrics Due, Monday February 24, 2015 
Fabric Returned: Mailed out, Monday March 10, 2015
Yield: 56 charms, 2 of each print

Meadow by Leah Duncan 

  1. Each person will purchase 1 yard of Art Gallery fabric and cut it into 5 inch charm squares.  1 yard will yield 56 charms exactly, you may want to purchase 1.25 yards just in case of an oops when cutting.  
  2. Scale matters, choose prints that will work with a 5 inch square (smaller prints work the best for charms!)
  3. Fabric should be from the manufacture Art Gallery, no other brand will be accepted. 
  4. Fabric must be new and unwashed from a smoke free home.
  5. Before mailing cut the fabric into 56 - 5 inch x 5 inch charm squares. Press/iron before cutting to ensure accuracy. Unsure how to cut a charm, check out Elizabeth Hartman's tutorial
  6. Send your fabric in a Ziploc bag with an index card with your name and email address.
  7. Upload pictures of your fabric to swap to our Flickr group and include the name of the fabric, designer, etc. This will help ensure we won't get duplicates of fabric and also, find out more about the fabrics we will be receiving. Or, if you really love one of the prints and just want more, you will know how to get more! 

Geometric Bliss by Jeni Baker 


All participants must include a prepaid self-addressed, stamped envelope along with their charms when mailing. The best way is to include a prepaid priority mail envelope for $5.75, if it fits it ships :) This will make it faster for us to get your fabrics back to you A.S.A.P!

Rapture by Pat Bravo

Cherie by Frances Newcombe

Are you convinced yet?  Head over to our Google Doc's page and sign up. Remember this is first come first serve.  There is also an alternate list at the bottom if someone drops out there still could be a chance. Also check out our Flickr group to see what everyone is getting before purchasing your fabric.

If you would like to host your own charm swap head over to Ellison Lane and find out the details on how to host your own swap. The post is very helpful and includes lots of tips to help make your swap run smoothly :) 

Indelible by Katarina Roccelle

Gossamer by Sharon Holland

Hopefully Michelle and I will see you this time around as well :)

-Michelle & Chels

January 24, 2015

HST Quilt Along at NHMQG

Recently, I picked up this bundle of Gypsy Caravan by Amy Butler on a ridiculous sale at Craftsy. No plans, and no strings attached. It was sitting in my sewing area as I picked my fabrics for our HST Quilt Along at NHMQG. As nothing was working I sat there and kept looking over until I made the decision, this bundle is it! Paired with a Kona Bone for the background and I was good to go :)

The whole quilt is going to made from HST so, it was easiest to get all the fat quarters and background cut into 8.5 inch blocks, as I am using the 8 HST at a time method. If you are interested it's linked here. All the squares are cut and ready to go. The first four blocks went pretty fast minus having to square every one of them!

HST are the death of me, they are so tedious.  Good thing I have a whole year to complete the rest of the quilt!

-Patch & Chels

January 21, 2015

Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew!

This year I was asked to participate in Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew with Fiona from Celtic Thistle Stitches, how fun! On the 18th of each month one of us will be putting out a tutorial for a fun Christmas/Holiday themed sewing item. See the schedule below of who goes each month. There will be links open and opportunities to win giveaways periodically throughout the year! 

Head over to see Fiona's cute Christmas cushion as the first of the tutorials. She is also offering this  felt giveaway as well! You have to link up to win, so get sewing :) 

This year's schedule: 

January - Fiona @ Celtic Thistle Stitches 
February - Pam @ Threading My Way
March - Sally @ Wonky Patchwork
April - Benta @ SLIK Stiches 
May - Karen @ Practically Pippy
June - Ruth @ Charly & Ben's Crafty Corner 
July - Martha @ Weekend Doings, Chelsea @ Patch the Giraffe (Me)
August - Deborah @ Sunshine Through the Rain
September - Karen @ Practically Pippy, Gina @ Part of Eight: Our Story
October - Nesta @ Ella and Nesta's Little Room
November - Joanne @ Rose & Dahlia
December - Paula @ Mud, Pies and Pins

Remember to check in on the 18th of each month for a new tutorial, before you know it, Christmas will be here again! 

- Patch & Chels 

January 17, 2015

Round Robin ... Border 3

Jennifer's request was a New Hampshire themed quilt, so it's what she got. Before you go thinking I am morbid putting die on this beautiful quilt, our state motto is, "Life Free or Die." She wanted this!

I was a little hesitant adding to this beautiful center and having to cut down one of Jenn's perfectly paper pieced quarter circle to perfectly fit the corner. I just love everything about this quilt and want to keep it for myself! Ok, I may have printed another set of papers to at least make the saying for myself, also being a NH native. 

I added these two little shinning stars because well, that is my favorite part of NH being able to see so many stars out at night :)

-Patch & Chels

January 14, 2015

Welcome to the Stash Bee!

This year I decided to participate in the Stash Bee. Some of my blogging friends invited me to join this year and I happily decided to participate. Last year I joined a round robin group and love it. This only made sense! The Queen Bee this month wanted complementary colors with a low volume background. That was completely doable! 

Plus I was itching to use some of this Noteworthy, isn't is lovely?! 

Here is the block all finished and ready to get sent to it's new home. I hope the Queen likes it!

- Patch & Chels 

January 10, 2015

Sunday Stash

60% off sale at Craftsy, sure, I will have one of everything! I have to give myself a pat on the back, because one isn't even for me! The other weekend my friend came up to visit me and really like my Joel Dewberry - Bungalow, so I got her some fat quarters. I also picked up some Amy Butler for me. At that discount, why not?!  Ok, back to not buying fabric.

Linking up to Molli Sparkles this lovely Sunday for his Sunday Stash.

-Patch & Chels

January 07, 2015

Quilt Ladders ... An Attempted Tutorial

This post was supposed to be a quilt ladder tutorial, but let's face it, every time I turned around I was lost. My father was doing some unexplainable thing, had some jig that just appeared, was using this crazy machine. It finally got the point where I gave up all hope of having a high quality tutorial to share. So unless you have a full wood shop at your house you just might not have the tools to complete this project. Here is my feeble attempt to accurately explain what happened as Dad completed 80% of the work and me with a camera desperately trying to put in my 20%. We made 4 ladders at the same time. Mom couldn't wait to get her's loaded on Christmas day, hence the photo. 
To start, we cut two 16' x 12" x 1" rough-cut boards into 5' sections, and sub-cut the boards into 4.75" strips to make the side rails, 2 side rails per ladder.

Then each of the side rails went through the planar to take the edge off, you can see the detail below. A router would also work but would create a more rounded look.

Then to power sanding. The boards are rough cut, so not too much sanding but enough to smooth them up a bit. After I got going, Dad had all the rungs cut. Each ladder needs 4 rungs,  each measuring 17" x 3.25." I can't even begin to tell you how that got done! Dad has a sander that hooks up to an air compressor, so the thing is a beast and went quick.  

Then there was a jig to cut the legs down to the final size, yep it just appeared! After all the legs got chopped to the same length he took 27 degrees off the bottom using a chop saw (Yes, something I know). This is so they will rest out from the wall. Detail below, say hi to Dad above! 

After all the parts got cut he put the rungs into the Kreg Jig, this one you can purchase, to make pocket holes. He put two pockets on each rung one inch in from each side. It made a mess! 

As Dad was working, I was picking out stain. I decided on Fruitwood (left) and Ipswich Pine (right), from Minwax. Or in his opinion, futzing around.

Then once again a jig appeared.  He cut this jig at a 45 degree angle at 11" long.  Once we marked 3" inches down from the top this would perfectly place each rung. It did make putting the four ladders together quick. There is picture of the jig below, he marked one inch in to show where each rung should line up on either side. I was staining as Dad was assembling. I love how the stain took to the rough lumber.

Then we did the same thing for the other side. Once the whole ladder was assembled I finished staining the side rails. Oh, we used the Kreg 1.5" pocket screws to attach the rung to the rails.

Here are all the ladders done.  Two done in Ipswich Pine on the left, and two down in Fruitwood on the right. Now they are off to get 3 coats of polyurethane, the rough cut lumber required an extra coat! I also learned some yankee construction talk. Holiday: an area that is light or missing polyurethane. Let's say round one had a lot of "holidays."  

Pretty sure you are probably way more confused as to how these ladders are made. If you have any questions, ask! I can send them along to my Dad. They turned out super amazing and all who received them were very impressed! 

- Dad & Chels

January 04, 2015

Patchwork City

Some of the gals from the NHMQG decided to tackle the Patchwork City sampler as a group. Well each working on our own projects but everyone working on the same project. I love this kind of sew along. It just lets everyone's personality show through. Here is my color scheme ... 

Love the fabric second from the right, so different from other low volumes I usually use.

Not sure what happened to my blue picture, but I am super excited to get this project going. My Christmas sewing was getting in the way, now that is done it's time to get my sew on!

-Patch & Chels

January 01, 2015

Patch's Goals for 2015

Happy New Year! It's officially 2015 and time to share Patch and I's goals/ambitions for the upcoming year. Last year this list was so easy to create. I was walking into unchartered territory with starting a blog. I wanted to do it all! This year I want to refine my goals and focus my energy. Therefore, this required so much more thought. 

1. Find Balance. 
Last year I started working out and blogging. It has been stressful adding two demanding hobbies into my life at one time. This year I hope to fall into a schedule that will allow me to feel accomplished without feeling stressed.

2. Charity Quilts
I hope to finish a few charity quilts. This was something I had on the list for last year and never did. Well I have the tops done but not finished. Over the year I would like to get some finished and donated. Actually, I hope to get one done per quarter. 

3. Zippers.
Zippers just look like a challenge, so it's about time I actually learn how to sew them in.

4. Curves. 
At the end of last year I signed up to take a class on curves with my quilt guild. One of the ladies graciously twisted my arm. It was the jolt I needed to take the plunge into learning something new. Still nervous about taking a class with a professional.

5. Embrace the Process.
Many times I just share the end results and not talk about the process or take process shots. I have always wanted to share these moments but I get caught up in the moment and forget to take pictures. This year I hope to talk more about process and show more of how I work. 

6. WIP Control. 
Story of my life. Looks like I am officially down to 5 WIPs!  This has been on the steady decline since summer. After the struggle to lose 15 WIPS (yeah it's as hard a losing weight!), I hope this year I can keep projects coming and going at a steady rate instead of collecting projects.

7. Purge.
Last year began en epic purge/fabric stash decline. This year I hope to keep using up the materials I already have before going and purchasing anything new. I have many scraps that still need to get purged. There are a couple scrap purge quilts I have lined up for the new year. Hopefully they will make a dent in the pile.

8. Diet Restrictions. 
Over the last year I participated in a Fabric Fast. I did not hold true to my restriction, even splurging a couple times last year. On a good note, more fabric was quilted than purchased in the last year, yay. The experience was great to see how much fabric I really need on hand in my stash. This year I am not going to fast, but I am going to stick with purchasing just things I need. 

9. Learn My Machine.
Black Friday specials were very good to me! I bought a Pfaff, surprise. Not sure I shared that information yet. More on that later. I did FMQ my sister's quilt, but that was a huge learning curve. There are so many bits & pieces that go with my machine I have no idea how to use. The machine came with 2 free classes. Now I just need to find the time and the arm strength to get it back downstairs and to the shop.

10. Lose Weight.
Weight loss isn't a quilting goal, but in my quest to find balance might as well put everything down in the same place. The theme this year is 15 pounds for 2015. In the last weeks of 2014 I started running again and got a gift certificate for new running shoes. It's going to be my year to look great!

11. Travel More.
My Best Friend and I are traveling to New Orleans this spring to celebrate our 30th birthdays. It's our Fabulous and Thirty trip. I have always liked to travel and cannot wait to get back out and see things. I also hope to visit my cousin in Denver this summer. No time like the present.

12. Be a Friend.
Growing up my father always said, "To have a friend you must be a friend." Last year I gained many friends out in the blogging community. This year I plan to keep my old friends and hopefully gain a few more friends.

13. More Tutorials.
Last year I started off strong and made a few tutorials, but then I got weighed down with blogging. In 2015, I hope to put out a tutorial ever couple months. In the last month I have been collecting some tutorial ideas to help me out when I find myself in a slump.

14. Enjoy the Moment.
In all aspects of my life I tend to be so focused in getting thing done I forget to enjoy the moment. In the classroom, I am always worried about the time and making sure we get everything done I sometimes forget to enjoy my students. Same thing goes for sewing, when things are going well, I need to celebrate those moments.

15. Keep Going.
With 365 days of blogging under my belt, this year I am excited to see how much more this year will bring. Every month I kept thinking, "It can't get better than this." Then it would. I am happy to have all you joining me in my quilting adventures this year :)

Cheers to another year,
-Patch & Chels