The Sweetest Baby Quilt

In my effort to organize my sewing space, I found fabric I’d forgotten I had.

Rosewater Free Spirit Baby QuiltThis Rosewater jelly roll by Free Spirit is the perfect example. I bought this when I first started quilting a couple years ago. I even bought yardage for the back. (Surprise!) I didn’t have a plan for it, but really liked the soft colors, the shabby chic look of the prints, and  especially the price…it was a Daily Deal from Missouri Star Quilt Company, and I bought a lot of them at the time.

Since I’m still mulling over the problems I’m having with a new pattern, I decided I needed another quick project to work on. The strips were already cut, I just added the thin sashings and voila! another finish!

Rosewater Free Spirit Baby Quilt

The backing is a floral called Garden Romance from the Rosewater line.

Garden Romance Quilt back

For batting, I used Quilter’s Dream 70/30 Cotton/Polyester blend. It is a dream to work with! This quilt is so cuddly and soft and is perfect for a little girl to snuggle up with. As you can see above, the quilting is just straight lines to keep everything cuddly soft. The binding is made from leftover jelly roll strips – I cut them in half so there would be a nice variety on this small quilt.

Rolled Quilt Rosewater Free Spirit Fabrics

I love this finish and am happy to share it with you. It measures approximately 39″ x 42″. This quilt is available for sale in my Etsy shop.

I can’t wait to dig into my stash and see what else I can make without buying more fabric!

Linking to Lorna @ Let’s Bee Social and Kelly @ Needle & Thread Thursday

 

 

 

 

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Posted in 2016 Quilts, Baby Quilts | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

MCM #26 – I Finally Organized my Stash

This is almost too embarrassing to share, but I’m all about the truth tea here in my little part of the world.

Organizing My StashWhat you are looking at here is my cabinet of shame. Otherwise known as my fabric stash.

Sigh.

How can anyone create anything when faced with this??

Answer – It can be done, but with much frustration. I mean, who wants to scour through this mess looking for that one piece of perfect fabric and take up precious sewing time?

I know I don’t, so I decided to tackle this situation head on.

There are tons of blog posts written about stash organization and I think I’ve read most of them. I finally figured it out. What it all comes down to is finding a system that works for you with the way you work. Sounds simple, but it took me some time to reach that conclusion. Sometimes I just have to be knocked over the head with the obvious to see it.

What works for me is having most of my fabric in this cabinet. I feel like I have a small fabric stash, but even so it can quickly get out of hand (as evidenced by the above photo!) I also have a small sewing room and need to make the best use of the space I have.

To begin dealing with this mess, I first took everything out of the cabinet so I could start with three empty shelves. Then I tackled the easy things first – charm packs, jelly rolls, fat quarters. All of those are easy to stack and that’s what I did.

Next up – yardage. But how to deal with it? I love the look of fabric folded on comic book boards but I don’t have them and didn’t want to order them and then have to wait for them to be delivered. (I’ve said it before, patience is not something I have a lot of..) And since I’m being honest, folding fabric on and off those boards probably wouldn’t fit my style…it’s pretty but not practical for me. It’s not the way I work.

So, I decided anything over a yard would be folded in 9″ widths. Why? It’s easy to fold fabric by the yard, then in half and half again. What I ended up with were pieces that were 9″ x WOF. Then I folded the piece lengthwise into thirds and it fit perfectly on my shelf.

Anything l yard or less would be folded in 6″ widths. I chose six inches for two reasons. One, I usually buy fabric in 1/2 yard pieces. This is easily folded by thirds into a 6″ width. Two, I will instantly know by looking on the shelf if I have less than 1 yard of any particular fabric. No more time wasted finding the perfect fabric and then discovering I don’t have enough for the project.

Solids are stacked together, prints are together, and larger pieces that can be used for backings are together. The great thing about this now is I can see what colors I need to concentrate on adding. For instance, I have very little low volume fabric and now know to look for that when shopping.

All my threads are together on the top shelf, and since there is now room for all of them there they aren’t crowding my other work spaces. I’m looking for an alternative storage solution for the thread; I would rather have that shelf space for fabric.

Here’s the cabinet now:

Organized Fabric Stash

Isn’t this so much better??? I’m happy to say that it has been this way for several weeks now and I’m finding it easy to maintain. You know that little rush you get when you walk into a fabric store and see all that goodness on the walls and shelves? Everybody feels that, right?? I get a little of that now when I head to this cabinet to find a piece of fabric for a project I’m working on. So fun!

Smaller pieces are folded and placed in a bin. I try to work out of the bin as often as I can so that it doesn’t become too full. Scrap pieces are put in color coded scrap bins that are the size of shoe boxes and stored in the closet. (I’ll show you those in another post.)

Bin of large scraps of fabric

Bin of large scraps of fabric

I have made a conscious effort to deal with the scraps and leftover pieces of fabric from every project as soon as I finish that project. It has made a world of difference in keeping my sewing room more organized.

Scraps are cut into squares – anywhere from 5″ to 2-1/2″ – whatever I can cut. I don’t fret about it as much as I used to. I know at some point I will find a project for these pieces and cutting them before putting them away keeps everything nice and neat.

Example of cut squares after finishing a project

Example of cut squares after finishing a project

I love having my fabric organized. I found so many pieces I’d forgotten about while working on this project, but now I can see every piece of fabric I own. It’s a small stash, but even small stashes can get out of control; it is much more manageable now.

I have other areas of my sewing room to work on and will do that over the summer. I’ll share more as I finish them. Right now I’m just enjoying having an organized cabinet!

Do you struggle with organizing and managing your stash and projects? I’d love to hear/see your solutions.

This organized cabinet is my crush for this week. Before we see what you are crushing on this week, let’s recap a couple of last week’s projects.

Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts made this stunning quilt for her mother. Read her heartwarming story and see more great pictures by visiting her blog. I love her color choices for this quilt.

Photo by Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts

Photo by Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts

Deana of Dreamworthy Quilts shared this braided quilt – look at those soft and soothing colors! I’m looking forward to seeing this one quilted.

Photo by Deana of Dreamworthy Quilts

Photo by Deana of Dreamworthy Quilts

 

And check out Sandra’s (Sew of Course) custom designed beach bag. This little bag is begging for a day by the ocean – I hope you get to go soon Sandra! 🙂

Photo by Sandra of Sew of Course

Photo by Sandra of Sew of Course

 

Now it’s your turn! What are you crushing on this week? You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic about a project you’re working on, a handy gadget you love to use, or anything that has you excited to be in your sewing space – here’s how:

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Posted in Let's Talk, Main Crush Monday, Scraps, Tips & Tutorials | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

A Colorful Finish

When I told you about this quilt on Monday and said that I wanted to make something easy and fast, I was working on this quilt. It definitely met my requirements. I had the flimsy done on Sunday, quilted it on Monday, and did the binding on Tuesday. And today I have a finish to share with you! How cool is that?

Rainbow Love QuiltThe quilting is a really easy meandering loopy design. It keeps the quilt soft and a bit fluffy.  I had some other designs in mind, but didn’t want to do anything dense that would add weight to the quilt. After all, it will be living in Florida so I figured the lighter the better.

Rainbow Love Quilt Design

I used Kona Cardinal for the back, and a pieced batting from scraps I’ve been waiting to use. This entire quilt came from my stash and I’m very happy about that!

Kona Cardinal BackingRectangle Quilt PatternThese pictures were taken right before sunset – look at the golden light hitting the quilt. Kinda makes it glow, right?

The binding uses all of the colors in the quilt piecing and I love the way the colors frame the quilt.

Remember when I talked about the machine binding I did on Michelle’s whole cloth quilt? I said if I did it again I would sew the binding to the back first and then sew the front of the binding by machine. This would keep the line of stitching that runs alongside the binding on the back. That’s what I did on this one. And I’m super pleased with how it looks.

Machine Binding

Front and Back of Machine Binding

 

The red thread blends perfectly with the backing fabric and is barely noticeable. Because the binding is multiple colors, I used Superior’s Mono Poly on the top of the binding and it really is just about invisible. I also stitched the binding down using my Sweet Sixteen. This is the first time I’ve done that and I will do it again. I felt like I had much more control of the stitching and the stitches look much better than they did on the whole cloth quilt.

Each quilt teaches me something and this one is no different. I’ve learned that fast and easy can be as satisfying as a more difficult project. I’ve learned that I’m very happy to use what I have on hand. I’ve also learned that skills get better with practice and it’s good to try new things. But most of all, with this quilt, I’ve learned what a great community quilters are and I’m proud to be part of this great group.

This quilt will be shipped off on Thursday and I hope whoever receives it finds comfort and warmth when wrapped up in it.

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social, Needle & Thread Thursday, Crazy Mom Quilts, and Sew Your Stash.

 

 

Posted in 2016 Quilts, Friday Finish, Quilts | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

MCM #25 – A Colorful Project

Happy Monday! 🙂 I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend and are ready for the week ahead.

My MCM this week isn’t so much about the quilt top I made over the weekend as it is about a fast project.

I have a couple of new patterns I’m working on and they are nowhere near ready to share yet. There’s a lot of decision making that goes with designing and writing a new pattern, and sometimes those decisions take time. While I’m letting those projects ‘percolate’ in my mind a little, I wanted to make a quilt that would be fast but still satisfy my need to create.

#quiltsforpulse

The tragedy’s that have taken place in Orlando recently are so heartbreaking. When the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild put out their call for quilts or blocks I knew I wanted to help in some way.

I originally thought I would just make a couple heart blocks for them. Then I found these bright fabrics in my stash, and knew I could do an entire quilt top.

Rainbow Fabric Love

I went with a basic 3″ x 6″ rectangle design. What makes this project so fast is the magic of strips. I cut strips 3-1/2″ wide x WOF, sewed them together in color order (red, yellow, orange and green, blue, purple) and then cut them 6-1/2″ wide.

Rainbow Strips

Strip Piecing

I chain pieced the white rectangles to the 3-color blocks, and then sewed them together in rows. A 3″ sashing between the rows, and bam! quilt top was finished.

You might ask why I didn’t just sew a white strip to avoid the chain piecing. As you can see in the pic above, my ruler is 12-1/2″ tall and with the white strip the finished piece would have been exactly 12-1/2″. I wanted more room for measuring. I have a 24″ ruler, but it is only 6″ wide. But if I had had a bigger ruler, I would have added that fourth strip and saved even more time!

This week I plan to quilt and bind the quilt, so hopefully I will have a finish to share with you later this week.

The advantage of working on an easy quick project like this is twofold – it doesn’t require a lot of attention to piecing and therefore my mind can wander and hopefully help with some of the details of the other projects I’m working on; and because it’s a bit of mindless sewing, I can concentrate on the person/s who will eventually receive this quilt and sew in some love and support. I hope it helps in some small way….

So now let’s move on to your crushes from last week. Did you see Gretchen’s little Sweetpea Pods she made? I’m so happy she shared these; I’m looking forward to making a few of my own. I love the thought of having these little pods on hand to fill and give as small gifts.

Photo by Gretchen of Gretchen's Little Corner

Photo by Gretchen of Gretchen’s Little Corner

 

Sandra of mmmQuilts did some great quilting on her mini. I love all the texture she achieved and guess what? She named it Textures! 🙂 Oh, and this is a mini of her Blue Skies & Sunny Days pattern, so be sure to check out her blog for more info.

Photo by Sandra of mmmQuilts

Photo by Sandra of mmmQuilts

 

We should all give a big quilty thumbs-up to Andree for breaking her own “I don’t do swaps” rule and making this lovely runner for her swap partner. Sometimes rules just need to be broken!

Photo by Andree of Quilting & Learning

Photo by Andree of Quilting & Learning

 

One more thing. Have you guys been participating in or visiting the new bloggers in the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers blog hop? There are new blogs to discover, connections to be made, and inspiration galore. I hope you’ll visit Meadow Mist Designs, Quilting Jetgirl and Late Night Quilter and explore the new bloggers they are mentoring.

And now it’s time for you to share your quilting crushes with us. You can link anything that has you excited to be in your sewing space this week – a project, fabric pull, a cool gadget, inspiration, really anything! You can link a blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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Posted in Main Crush Monday, New Project | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Exploring My Curvy Side

Hubby and I were talking the other day about the different quilts I have made.

Him: You need to make some quilts with curves in them.

Me: You think?

Him: Yes. All your quilts have rectangles or triangles, or points that meet.

Me: Um, lots of quilt patterns use squares, rectangles, and triangles.

Him: Oh. Well……

Me: You don’t like my quilts? (freaking just a little)

Him: (Panicked) Yes hon! I just think you need some curves.

(Good thing he was talking about quilts — I already have too many curves….)

Anyway, the next day I was talking with dear Julie and told her about our conversation. I have never sewn a curve. She asked if I had the Quick Curve Ruler. No, I do not but I had been considering it ever since the AQS show in Lancaster in March. One of the vendors gave a quicky demo and I had it in my hand. For whatever reason, I put it down and ended up leaving the show without it.

So, with those two gentle nudges I finally ordered the ruler. It was delivered yesterday and I immediately headed to the sewing room. I mean, it’s time to learn a new skill, right?

Quick Curve Ruler

I purchased the large size which is 7″ x 12″. Kinda wish I had the smaller one and will probably add it to my collection. Using the instructions for the table runner pattern that are included with the ruler, I made this mini quilt:

QCR Mini Quilt

Overall, the ruler is easy to use but there is a bit of a learning curve. (See what I did there??) 🙂

My first attempt at making a block ended up looking like this:

First Attempt with QCR

First QCR Block

See that middle seam and those mismatched curves? NOT suppose to look like that.

Second try was better:

Quick Curve Ruler BlockFor me the problem was squaring up the two curved sections before sewing them together. The 1/4″ mark needs to be lined up with the curve on both ends of the piece and then trimmed. The instructions do explain which marks to use and there is a diagram. I think if the diagram was a bit bigger it would be easier to understand. There’s a lot of room for error there.

However, what I really liked about these curves is how easy it is to sew them. There is absolutely no need to pin. The top piece is held by the left hand, the bottom piece by the right hand, and all I had to do was keep the edges together as they went through the presser foot. Sounds more complicated than it is. By the time I started on my second block I was able to sew the pieces together pretty quickly.

I really didn’t want to make a table runner, but decided a mini to commemorate my first curvy project would be fun so that’s what I did.

Cotton and wool battingThis playful project also gave me an opportunity to test new batting. When I was at the quilt show in Lancaster I bought 18″x18″ squares of different types of Hobb’s batting. The piece I used in this mini is a cotton/wool blend that they say is washable. I like the definition it gives the quilting. You can kind of see the puffiness in the pic above.  It would be even better if I had used a more dense quilting design. I would absolutely use this batting in a full size project.

For the back I used a fun stripe, and did the binding the same as the blue on the front. I don’t know. Even though this is a practice piece and rarely will anyone see it, that binding has been bothering me pretty bad. I may end up taking it off and using something else. It looks good on the back, just pretty squirrelly on the front!

Mini Backing Stripe

So now, back to my curves. For a first try I think it worked out well. I will be playing with this ruler and curves more in the future but don’t expect anything fantastic any time soon. I’ve got a lot of learning to do! I want to explore different ways to use the ruler and see what types of blocks I can create and in what sizes. I’ve heard there are video’s on YouTube, so I’ll be checking those out as well.

How do you feel about curves? Do you have a favorite curvy pattern or project? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Posted in Friday Finish, Mini Quilts, New Project | Tagged , , | 12 Comments