Monday, December 5, 2016

Scout Quilt

I've have a couple of quilt tops that I really want to finish before the end of the year. The last few years, I've made it a goal to start the year with a clean slate - no tops in a pile waiting to be quilted. Since it's December, I better get going!

I made this one about 6 months ago. A fun pattern that I've had for a while and perfect for my stash busting goal this year.  The pattern is Scout by Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew.

It truly is a great pattern for pulling multiple fabrics from your stash. It's all strip pieced and I pulled pieces that had the full width, but maybe only 5-10" left. In many ways it felt good to use up the end of some fabric pieces, but a little sad too. I love seeing my favorite fabrics used in a quilt, but why does it feel sad that it's no longer sitting on my shelf? 

The quilt did turn out happy and colorful. I did straight line quilting in the vertical strips and hooked feathers in the herringbone strips.

The backing a a fun Cloud 9 fabric with arrows on it. And I had just enough of this Art Gallery navy for binding - about 1/4" leftover - close!

I've also finished up quilting my Scrappy Trip quilt. I'll share that as soon as it stops raining and I can get some photos...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Chic Country Quilt

Chic Country ~ a Quick Curve Ruler pattern by Sew Kind of Wonderful...

This was my first time using the Quick Curve Ruler. I know there are probably some easier designs to start with, but I didn't think about that and chose the one with all the points to match!

And as hard as I tried - some points matched and others didn't. There is even a disclaimer in the pattern that states: "We have taken a very complicated traditional pattern and simplified the cutting/piecing, but when working with bias each block will have some variation with the pieced points." Yes, there are definitely some variations!

But once it was all together and you look at it from a distance - it looks pretty good! I couldn't be happier with the colors and fabrics in Little Ruby by Bonnie and Camille.

I considered circular quilting, but ended up with straight lines spaced 3/4" apart hoping to smoosh it all down flat.

And it worked!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hexie Garden

I've had the pattern Hexie Garden by Atkinson Designs for years. Those of you who know me well or have been hanging around here for a while are probably not surprised. It's a very "me" quilt :)

I've been waiting for the perfect fabric line to come along - I even tried a few blocks several years ago using some of Anna Maria Horner's fabrics and the look just wasn't right. I'm loving this version using Bonnie and Camille's new line Handmade. The inclusion of black for the first time sparked the idea!

"Whatever You Are Be A Good One"...

The quilt was very easy to make - no Y seams required. The blocks are big and it went together very quickly!

I've been doing some very simple quilting lately and this one has straight lines across and then diagonally following the hexagons in both directions. It made for a nice 60 degree grid and a pretty design in both the hexagon centers and the background.

The backing is also from the Handmade line. There is a hexie cheater print in the line and I almost went with that, but it seemed too predictable.

We photographed the quilt at one of our local office buildings. I drive by this building on Stone Avenue weekly and watched this masterpiece emerge this past Spring. I believe it was done by art students from Furman University.

I've been waiting for just the right quilt...

These are the only signatures we could find on the art work...

And a great message...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I Heart B&C Sampler

Over a year ago I participated in an Instagram Bee called "I Heart B&C" {Bonnie & Camille}. It was a talented group and each month we made 2 sampler blocks for 2 different members of the group. Which meant each month 2 beautiful blocks arrived in my mailbox. Yay for happy mail!

I added a few additional blocks and now have a super cute 20 block Sampler Quilt...

It took a while to decide how I wanted to set the blocks together. Some of them seemed to want to float {like that adorable Strawberry block} and others seemed to need a frame. After thinking and thinking, I came up with the idea to frame half the blocks in a solid aqua and half in the white background fabric. Then I alternated the two.

The back is a wide back check from Vintage Picnic, then bound with a diagonal stripe. 

I played with different quilting designs on each block. It was really good practice for both coming up with and idea and executing it. Some worked better than others :) This Dresden was a favorite...

We took advantage of this beautiful Fall day to photograph the quilt at one of our favorite locations ~ The Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery. The Swamp Rabbit Trail is a 21 mile walking/running/biking trail here in Greenville. This stop has a fantastic grocery with local products and a great cafe.

Biking is big in Greenville as is art on buildings {as is food!} and this is the side of the bike rental building. The rabbit's going very fast!...

But the tortoise has a spare!

It's a great stop if you're local! You can spot it by the giant bike on the roof!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sweet Stars Sewalong

I first "met" Peta, a lovely Australian quilter, on Instagram. I was drawn to her soft, fresh, pretty quilts and her sweet personality. She has a great blog - She Quilts A Lot - {which she does!} and has started patterning her original designs.

Today I'm here as a stop on her Sew Along for one of her newest designs Sweet Stars.

When she sent me the pattern, I decided I had to give this sweet quilt a go as it has 3 of my favorite blocks {is it crazy to have favorite blocks?} - Ohio Star, Sawtooth Star and Weathervane.

I pulled a small bundle of fabric called "Mimosa" that had been sitting in my stash, added a few extras and made a fun little quilt that will be going to our guild's charity project.

We've all been asked to share a bit of quilting basic advice and my topic is... 

Perfect, Wobble-Free Borders Every Time

I found this Dresden block sitting in my UFO pile and I think it's time it had some borders!

If you ever find that your quilt will not lie flat or the borders are a bit wavy, chances are the borders are not exactly the same size or cut exactly to fit.

The number one thing not to do is sew a border on one side, trim the excess and then sew a border to the other side and trim the excess. Chances are that after all your careful piecing, fabric being the stretchy thing that it is, the edges of your quilt are not exactly the same length. When you simply sew on a border and then trim it to the length of your quilt, your borders may be 1/4" - 1/2" or more different in length. And we all know from grade school math that squares are not squares and rectangles are not rectangles if the opposite sides are not exactly the same length.

You may have learned to measure your quilt with a tape measure and cut your borders to that length. That's great if you're a really good measurer! I must not be because for years, I measured and the borders still did not fit.

You've heard the phrase "measure twice, cut once". It's a good one, but for me the better advice is "don't measure at all". Here's what I mean and what I've started doing...

1 ~ Cut 2 borders a few inches longer than the side of your quilt {For a bigger quilt, you will have to piece your strips together}. Press the strips wrong sides together so they're nice and flat.

2 ~ Lay both strips along one edge of your quilt. If your quilt is longer than your table, pin both borders and slide it across the table.

note ~ some people like to do this along the center of the quilt - it's a great idea if you think your edges might be a bit wonky.

3 ~ Use a rotary cutter and a ruler to trim both borders the same size as your quilt, using the horizontal lines on the ruler to be sure the edge is nice and square.

4 ~ The bottom strip is perfectly placed and ready to be pinned along the length of your quilt. Flip the top border strip to the other edge and pin. This border may not fit exactly! Pin all along the edge easing in either the quilt or the border. It's actually really easy to ease in along a long border length. This is where our stretchy fabric is our friend :)

Once two sides are sewn and pressed, repeat the same technique on the other two sides.

Ta da! Perfectly flat borders and you didn't even have to search for your measuring tape!

If you'd love to make this quilt just like Peta's, Fat Quarter Shop is offering a kit for it.

Follow along with the other bloggers for more great tips!

29 August
Peta from She Quilts A Lot
Let's get this party started!

1 Sept 
Amy from Diary of a Quilter 
Selecting fabrics to make a beautiful quilt

5 Sept 
Christine from Stitching Revival 
Learn the easiest (and most proven trick) to help with accuracy

8 Sept 
Kirsty from Bonjour Quilts 
Mastering the humble half square triangle

12 Sept 
Kimberly from the Fat Quarter Shop 
Sweet & simple: the Sawtooth Star block

15 Sept 
Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane 
Everything you need to know about easy corner triangles

19 Sept 
Nadra from Ellis and Higgs 
Pretty & Practical: Quarter square triangles & the Ohio Star block

22 Sept 
Cindy from Hyacinth Quilt Designs 
Perfect, wobble free, borders every time

26 Sept 
Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon 
Machine & free motion quilting tips

29 Sept 
Debbie from Happy Little Cottage 
Fast and accurate machine binding to get your project finished

30 Sept
Peta from She Quilts A Lot
Wrap Up & Giveaway

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chic Country Quilt Start

This is my first try with the Quick Curve Ruler, which has been out for quite a while. I'm always reluctant to buy a ruler that has only limited uses. Which is why I've put this one off for some time even though I love so many of the patterns created for it.

The Quick Curve Ruler is the brainchild of Jenny from Sew Kind of Wonderful.

So many of her patterns designed for the ruler are great, but I fell for Chic Country. The gray with a pop of orange quilt on the cover is beautiful, but me being me, I wanted to try a different look. I thought some of the smaller prints from Bonnie and Camille's new line "Little Ruby" would be soft, fresh and vintage looking in this pattern.

My plan is to make 3 red blocks with the rest of the quilt done in white and aqua. Here's my start - I wanted to see if I had the stamina to sew all those curves...

I wouldn't recommend this pattern to a brand new quilter, but the curves are gentle and pretty easy to stitch. The block components are squared up after stitching the curves, which leaves some wiggle room in the curvy piecing. The hardest part is matching up all those points on the blocks, but after finishing the set of nine blocks, I'm already better at it.

{And you won't see to many closeups of my points! We'll just say they're close!}

I think it's going to be really pretty - at least I hope so!

I finished up another little quilt this past week and donated it to my Greenville MQG for the ongoing quilts for kids charity project. The blocks were a start of the Reverse Sawtooth that I posted about here. They're the original 8" size from the pattern and were sitting once I changed my mind on the size and fabric.

It's so nice to send these potential UFOs off to be loved and cuddled!

Thank you all for engaging a bit here on the blog. I read and enjoy all your comments! If you need an answer from me, be sure to leave an email or email me directly as most comments come to me as "no-reply". My email address is

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Scrappy Trip

I'm probably the last quilter in this century to make a Scrappy Trip. I'm not a big fan of really scrappy quilts, so while the idea was great and so many of the quilts I've seen are beautiful, I didn't have an inclination to make one. Until I saw Allison's of Woodberry Way.

She made a gorgeous planned Scrappy Trip and I fell in love with it. I decided to go ahead and try one using a limited color palette of black, teal, mint and pinky red.

The top is done! I followed Allison's directions found here. She made the blocks larger than the original quilt design.

I made one slight variation to the directions because I wanted all my seams to nest, which makes it tons easier to put the blocks together.

When piecing the strips, I pressed all the seams away from the background fabric. This made the rows go together easily within each block.

With this design you make 2 different blocks {one with a print in the upper corner and one with a background}. I wanted the seams to nest as I sewed the blocks together, so instead of turning them, as Allison directs, I created 2 different blocks.  This also allowed me to keep the black squares going diagonally across the quilt.

The rows for each block are pressed in opposite directions making the seams nest as the blocks and rows are joined.

Block 1:

Block 2:

Block 1:

Block 2:

Thank you all for the advice on my bag {that many of you pointed out would make a great bin!}. I'm thinking the heavy quilting just shrunk {shrank?} the bag too much. Several of you suggested, measuring the finished outer portion and cutting the lining once the bag is quilted. Always adding interfacing to the lining fabric sounds like a good idea also! I still need to add the handles or maybe I'll just use it as a storage bin! Fat quarters maybe?