October 31, 2015

Updates: Retreat, Charm Swap, Fabric & Gifts

This post is a little long, but many necessary updates.  First off, this AMAZING bag below was given to me by From Bolt to Beauty.  PB & J is one of her favorite fabric lines, so I was so tickled that she was parting with so much of this yardage. Isn't it just perfect? I cannot wait to stuff it full of notions. I just love it and the inside has dividers, which makes it even better.  Thanks Michelle.

Next off is fabric, so about that -30.25 yards.  Here are the 4.5 yards of Cotton & Steel that I had to order at 20% off.  Already included in that number. 

While at retreat I had to visit the local quilt shop Quilted Threads.  That top print below has a bunch of architectural drawings as the print (how awesome), then some grey linen, and a variety of chambrays. The following shot is a couple more Cotton & Steel prints and a Dear Stella dot. For an additional 5 yards. Make the net zero total now -25.25.  Still in the negatives :) 

While at retreat, Michele and I sorted the charms from our "Tone it Down" low volume swap.  Aren't they so pretty, this round was truly magnificent! All the fabrics are just perfect, especially that little sheep print below. 

These last couple weeks have been hectic at work, and my machine was in this week for it's annual check up. Things have been light on the sewing front. I do have a couple projects to share from retreat, and hopefully by then I will have my machine back for more project completion :) Hope everyone is enjoying an nice safe Halloween. 

-Patch & Chels

October 25, 2015

Sew Your Scraps: Part III

Well, I am a little late on the peak foliage but you can still see all the essence and beauty of Fall in New England. These were actually photographed last week, so now most of the leaves have fallen and have been attacked and displaced by Dad's turbo rake. 

Dad actually has been very helpful with the quilt photoshoots, he actually came back from helping his friend wire a street lamp to help conquer the fall winds. So thanks Dad for your help! We had a few (so many!) snafus along the way. First off, my camera died after a couple pictures.  So Plan B, use the cell phone. These shots are not bad considering. Lesson learned, always bring an extra battery or charger.

We moved wood cages to new spots, those didn't work and with the phone for the camera I was limited in what I could overlook. Used clothes pins to pin the quilts to the wood cages those went flying in the wind with the quilts. Lets say nothing was right. Good thing the sky was super blue and everything was pretty so I can announce something did look good.

Then Dad brought out the old Jeep for me to display the quilts on. Well, we are now moving in the right direction. I can't drive it, but he will let me drape a couple quilts over it! 

This weekend I am actually enjoying some time away at quilt retreat with the New Hampshire Modern Quilt Guild. There will be more information to follow once I get some pictures taken and sort through all the shenanigans! 

Net Zero Update: 

Quilt One: One block is equal to one jelly roll strip x 64  - 4.5 yards, 0.5 for binding, and 3.5 yards for backing. Total of 8.5 yards. Quilt Two: The quilt top is 2.75 yards, 0.5 for the binding, and 3.5 yards for the pieced backing. Total 6.75 yards. Now I am at a monthly total of -34.75. I did purchase 4.5 yards of Cotton & Steel on sale at Fat Quarter Shop so that's a grand total of -30.25 yards!

Hope you enjoyed leaf peeping around my parent's house!  

- Patch & Chels

October 22, 2015

Sew Your Scraps: Part II

Happy scrappy sewing!

Lately, I have been working through my scraps.  The last project (check back to Monday's post) used both 2.5" squares and 6.5" x 2.5" rectangles, and I cut too many rectangles.  Way to many!  From the extras I was able to create a second quilt. This actually worked out perfectly because I never have a blanket or quilt when I go to my boyfriend's place. He has a comforter or the cat's blanket to snuggle with, which is complete nonsense! 

240 - 6.5" x 2.5" rectangles

Sew the rectangles into columns of 15 rectangles, make 8 columns. Then sew the columns together. The quilt top should finish about 48" by 60". This second quilt was super quick and easy to sew up!

Piecing Tip: Just like last quit, when sewing your rows together always grab different colors to place next to one another. Make sure you include a good variety of lights, mediums and darks every 5 rectangles of the row. This will spread out the colors so the quilt will look balance when all the columns are sewn together. For this one you may want to lay out your columns so no two fabrics or similar colors are touching one another. 

This quilt could also be made from one jelly roll (42 strips) by cutting each strip into 6 - 6.5" x 2.5" rectangles. You will have 12 extra parts to play with or you can remove 2 of the strips before cutting.

Check back this weekend to see these two quilts finished up. I'm planning on photographing them up at my parent's house with the foliage :) Should look amazing with all the bold colors in the quilts.

-Patch & Chels

October 19, 2015

Sew Your Scraps: Part I

Ah, Fall. The leaves are in full display, the pumpkin flavored everything is out, and the crisp air has moved in for the season.  Last night my sister and I showed two little girls how to make pillow cases. It was so much fun. The oldest was able to make hers all by herself, 8 years. Both to her Mom's and my surprise! She had asked about making a quilt.  Any pointers? I was thinking it would be another fun project for us all to do together. I shamefully forgot to take pictures of the experience they were so stinking cute too!

Ok, away from soliciting free information, and onto giving free information! Are you like me with too many scraps you don't know what to do with them all? It got me thinking about a quilt pattern that uses a lot of small scraps.  Typically I cut down scraps to 2.5 inch squares for easy use later so the bulk of this design uses 2.5 inch squares. Over last couple of months I have also been cutting scraps down to 6.5 inch x 2.5 inch rectangles.

Here is what I came up with ...

Piecing Tip: When sewing your blocks together always grab different colors to place next to one another, so you have a good variety of colors in each blocks. Don't worry about matching or if the colors "go" together. Make sure you include a good variety of lights, mediums and darks in each block as well so there is always something bold in each block. This will spread out the colors so the quilt will look balance when all the block are sewn together. I never lay out a scrappy quilt I just go for it :)

The Blocks:

640 - 2.5" squares
128 - 6.5" x 2.5" rectangles

Each row will have the following block layout, make 8 rows in total.

A   -   C   -   B   -   C   -   B   -   C   -   B   -   C   -   A

Sew each of the rows together to create the quilt top, should finish about 64" by 64" inches. 

The "Sew Your Scraps" series will have a total of 3 parts over the next week, well because I had cut too many 6.5" x 2.5" rectangles and the whole point of scraps is to not be wasteful. So, there was actually enough to make 2 separate quilts. The tutorial for the right quilt will be coming out later this week!  Check back for another scrap de-stash idea.

- Patch & Chels

October 15, 2015

Picnic Pinwheels: Throw Size

Last month I released my first pattern called Picnic Pinwheels. In September I only had time to make the baby sized quilt. So, while cleaning out my stash I found a jelly roll that would be perfect for this pattern, so I tried out the throw size. Here is what I came up with! I used Chantilly by Lauren and Jessi Jung for Moda. 

Clearly when I took the photos I forgot to capture the backing, oops. Well its a pretty grey and white floral. This quilt has such a nice drape, and is super soft! Still debating if it's a keeper ...

Net Zero Update: 
One jelly roll -2.75 yards, Extra coordinating fabric -0.5, Background fabric - 3 yards, Backing Fabric - 3.5 yards, and Binding - 0.5 yards.  This quilt puts me at a net loss of -10 yards for this project and a monthly total of - 20 yards.

October 12, 2015

Let's Be Real ... The Honest WIP List

1. Family Challenge 2015
Each year my grandmother and I do a quilt challenge. We each get the same fabric and have to create a quilt. My mom and aunts are the official family judges. This year we added in my cousin and my cousin's grandmother. Should be fun to see what everyone comes up with. We are using a Jolly Bar of  Somerset by Fig Tree. 

2. Charity Quilts: Scrappy HST, Peaches HST
These are all quilt tops from when I first started quilting! No photos but I though I would finish them and donate them to a local charity. 

3. Rocky Mountain Puzzle 
This year my Stash Bee block was the Rocky Mountain Puzzle. Thus far I have done nothing with all the blocks and would like to make a few more to fill out the quilt. 

4. Bias Strip Quilt 
As my first official quilt class I took Bias Strip Quilts with Sherri Lynn Wood this spring. These petals are fun to make until you have to put them all together. Some will require hand appliqué. Although I have almost finished the hand quilting this is the most current photo of the project. 

5. Churn Dash 
A little instant gratification project while at retreat this spring. 

6. Round Trip Quilt 
Still waiting to get mine back!  Hopefully soon I can see it in person and get it finished.  (The quilt below is not mine!)

7. HST Quilt Along
A group of us guild friends are making a Modern HST quilt. The top is done, I just need to finish this one. 

8. Patchwork City Quilt Along
Not much progress has been made on this project. Ok, only 3 blocks are done.

9. Farmer's Wife Quilt
I have found the perfect chicken fabric for the backing, so that means it's time to finally get this quilt finished.

10. True Pink
In attempt to cut back on some of my pink scraps I made this quilt from my pink scrap fabrics. Too bad it is just sitting with the top done. Although I have backing and binding ready to go. 

11. Sugar Block of the Month 2014
All 30 blocks are made and look great. They need some sashing and to be sewn together. 

12. 1930's Farmer's Wife Quilt Along 
I signed up to do the 1930's Farmer's Wife Quilt along with Gnome Angel. This quilt will definitely be a slow sewing project!

Some of these projects have been on my WIP list too long. Take a look at the watermarks on the photos to see how long some of these have been hanging around! This summer I focused on getting things finished vs. starting new quilts.  At the start of summer I started with 19 projects (added two new projects) and ended the summer with 11, not too bad. How is everyone else doing with their WIP's? Anyone else find it too hard to resit the Farmer's Wife sew along?

-Patch & Chels 

October 08, 2015

Sew Your Stash: Triangle Quilt Tutorial

This summer was too good to be true when it came to summer sales, plus a trip to Marden's for $4.99 per yard designer fabric has really put me in a surplus situation. Ok, my stash is busting at the seams.  I am not one to keep a big stash and since I have outgrown my cart it's time to give myself a good ole reality check. What I have determined, it's time to sew my stash! The goal for the remainder of the year is not quite a fabric fast (that doesn't work for me) but a NET ZERO policy. At the end of each month the goal is to sew more than I purchase, or at least come out net zero. For me, this means I  sew as much as I buy. Who's with me?

Need an idea for a stash or scrap buster? How about this cute triangle quilt? This one finished just shy of a twin sized and I'll tell you how I made it. My grandmother gets me different rulers when she gets coupons from Joann's, and happened to get me these Quilt Sense Wonder Triangles. I highly recommend getting a ruler to make this quilt, but it's not necessary. Sorry there are no progress shots of this quilt being made. One over caffeinated afternoon this quilt happened.

For materials, I pulled a variety of fabrics, both half yards and fat quarters from my stash, about 22 different prints totaling 5 yards. I cut the fabric into 5.5 inch strips, usually two strips of each color. Then used the 5 inch mark on the ruler to cut triangles. The end pieces from the strips became the end triangles to the quilt.  You could also use full triangles then trim them down. 

For a quilt this size you will need 368 triangles, and 32 end pieces. Just a heads up one fat quarter will yield 15 triangles, and one 5.5 strip x WOF (width of fabric at 42 inches) will yield 12 triangles. I made piles of 20 triangles until I had the amount needed. Since I was using my stash I kept incorporating more fabrics until I had enough, then cut a few extra "just in case."  

Next, sew rows of 24 triangles. Speed Tip: This quilt included such a variety of prints, I just sewed together chunks of 8 triangles. Keep going until you have 16 rows in total. Lay out the triangles so that different values and prints are nicely mixed throughout the quilt and sew the rows together.

The quilt top should be about 62.5 inches by 80 inches at this point. If you want a twin sized quilt a 5 inch border on all sides to give this quilt ample drape. The backing will require 4.5 yards of fabric (this number is without borders). I used a Michael Miller flannel to make this quilt super snuggly and the binding is about a half yard of fabric or 8 - 2.5 inch strips.

The top quilting is done using simple straight line stitches one inch apart in pink thread. I also like triangles with just an echo on both sides of all the seams as another quilting idea.

So, how am I doing on my net zero policy after this quilt? This will put me at a -10 yards; 5 yards for the front, 4.5 yards for the backing, and a half yard for binding. My stash is still overflowing but at least I am headed in the right direction! Plus I have a super snuggly quilt to snuggle under during this nice crisp weather. Happy fall sewing! 

- Patch & Chels 

October 05, 2015

1930's Farmer's Wife - Aunt, Becky, and Bonnie

Here we go! Looks like this quilt along has taking over the quilting community. A couple weeks ago, I posted about my stash for the quilt along. Over the weekend I was able to get some quality sewing time in! It was awesome and very productive. After Gnome Angel released the tutorials for the first 3 blocks, I was determined not to fall behind. This weekend #8 Aunt, #12 Becky, and #16 Bonnie got finished. Now I just need to keep up the pace ... 

If you have not seen the others work head over to the Instagram hashtag #fqs1930quiltalong. It's been awesome to see everyone else's color choices. 

- Patch & Chels