Welcome! If you are interested in seeing what I'm up to in between blog posts, head on over to my Instagram page where I regularly load photos of what I'm working on. You can also find me on Flickr and of course feel free to wander around the blog. Thank you kindly for taking the time to visit!

5.07.2014

modern ohio star


I am so happy to share this quilt with you!

Last Summer/Fall the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild issued a challenge to make a modern styled quilt with the traditional and classic pattern Ohio Star.  I love this kind of exercise - it really gets my wheels turning and I think it's so fun to play with the classics!

Using the Quilt Design Tool on Threadbias I came up with a fun star with in a star pattern that used value to create the pattern. Since low volume or quiet neutrals are so popular and I like the look, I knew I wanted to incorporate that into the quilt too.


This was my first attempt at using value in a quilt so I used the old trick of looking at my fabrics in black and white, which is so easy now with camera phones!  I just snapped a picture and quickly edited it to black and white via my phone's camera app.  It worked well as I could easily see what needed to be changed.  I was sometimes surprised at what read as light vs. medium etc.  


My design wall was a big help in assembling this pattern as it's easy to get the pieces turned around!  Even with that, I had to do quilt surgery after I pieced the top to turn two blocks around.  Doh!

I used scraps for the back just for fun, and my Mom kindly hand quilted a simple and sparse Ohio Star pattern on the quilt.  I knew I was going to hang this one up, so I pieced in triangles in each corner of the back so that I could insert a dowel rod for hanging any which way.


I didn't win the guild challenge; there were so many wonderful quilts! If you have a minute you should really check out Cindy Lammon's winning entry - her Ohio Star is stunning and oh so good!  Guild members brought their A-game to this challenge, I wish I had more pictures to share!

McCall's decided to pick up my quilt and offer the pattern in it's June/July 2014 issue that is on stands now!  Here is a picture of the cover so it will be easy to spot if you go look for it.  
I hope you'll check it out!


I am already humbled by some fun Instagram love for this pattern!

Thanks for stopping by!!


4.27.2014

donated



Several years ago my friend Kelli gave me a huge box of scraps.  All remnants from mass dress pattern cutting, odd shapes but lots of usable material.  Eventually I went through the box and cut squares, with the thought that someday I'd make a quilt.  3x3, 5x5, and 8.5x8.5 were the best sizes I could come up with in order to maximize the scraps, and after that bout of productivity…it sat.

The scraps were starting to get to me (as most lingering projects do) and I decided to use them for a charity auction quilt benefiting the American Cancer Society.  I've donated goods for several years now, and this year I donated in the name of my sister in law Dawn!  Dawn had surgery last fall to remove her cancer and is doing so well! Go Dawn! 

 

The planning is pretty un-glamorous.  Post-it with some pretty sad drawings.  It worked though!
I had enough to add a row to "the plan" and stitched it up at a St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild Sew-In Saturday event.  It's so much fun to sew with friends!


I added in some of my own stash fabrics to round out the scrap prints and make it a bit more interesting than using just three prints.  The donated scraps were all from an older Moda line called Hello Betty by Chloe's Closet.  It's a color departure for me, but I found that the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. 


My friend Jamie quilted this on her long arm for me and did an excellent job!  I chose an all over swirly design that I think you can see in some of the pictures.  
Check out her blog for more examples of her work!



Just a simple backing, using a scrap piece and some Moda Bella. You can see all those fun swirls!


Because my friend Kristy guilted me into keeping the scraps of the scraps (love ya Kristy!),  
I also made a matching pillow.  It's kinda fun to have them coordinate and a good way to use up scraps.


I turned this quilt in a week ago and the auction is coming up fast; I hope it makes a good chunk of change and makes someone happy to have won it!
Thanks to Kelli, Dawn, Jamie, and Kristy!

Oh and also to my Mom who hand sewed the binding on this quilt the night before I turned it in!



3.30.2014

easy mitered corner napkins


There are a lot of good online tutorials for making mitered corner napkins.  In the past my go-to was this one over at prudentbaby.  I've used it several times for napkins and even these pretty AMH baby blankets and had no issues.
When the ohsobeautiful Charlie Harper fabric came out I knew I wanted some yardage but also knew it wasn't fabric I was going to quilt with.  What to make what to make....pillowcase?  Towel?  Napkins?

Napkins!

I could just see a table set simply with those charming birds...it had to be.  Not to disappoint those of you who know I love to make multiples, I ended up making 16 napkins and in the process figured out way to make mitered corners just a tad bit simpler than the other tutes I've seen.  Most tutes require lots of folding and and pressing and marking...some of which I found unnecessary.  I figured I would share my simpler methods with you here today.

It's been a loooong time since I've posted a tutorial here so hopefully I'm not too rusty at my instruction!

I started with about a 17 inch square of fabric and ended up with around a 15.5 inch napkin.  The size you want to start with depends on what size you want your finished napkin to be and the measurement of your first fold (step 1) and your miter (step 3).  So the math would be...

(measurement of your fold in step 1) multiplied by  2
plus
(measurement of your finished miter in step 3) multiplied by 2
plus
the size you want your finished napkin to be
equals
the size of the square you want to start with

What?  Yeah, if you aren't into that math..I'd just start with an 18 inch square and roll with it.

Step 1.  Turn and press all edges of your fabric in towards the wrong side about 1/4 of an inch.
You don't have to be crazy accurate, but consistent is good.
The corners will overlap and that is A-OK!

Step 2.  Take a corner and fold it right sides together, matching your recently pressed 1/4 inch edges.
Pin. Repeat for all your corners.
Just another picture of Step 2.

Step 3. Using a ruler and a pencil mark a line perpendicular from the fold you just created to the matched edge you just pinned.  *Be sure you mark perpendicular to the fold - if you mark perpendicular to the ironed edged you won't get a miter*
You will mark the line where it measures 7/8 of an inch from top to bottom.
Using this measurement results in about a 5/8 inch hem.

You can play with the math to get different widths for your specific mitering needs.
Longer line = wider hem.
6/8 line gets you a 1/2 inch hem
7/8 line gets you a 5/8 inch hem
1 inch line gets you a 3/4 inch hem

Step 4.  Sew on top of the lines you drew, taking care to make sure the 1/4 ironed edges are even.  If they are offset your miter will not be perfect.  Gasp!  It's really ok if it's a tad off.  I know I'm not inspecting napkins when enjoying dinner.  I like to back stitch at the beginnings and ends for security.
Trim the little ends off to about 1/8 of an inch.  That is just my preference, a little bigger I think would still be ok, but too much and you won't be able to get a nice point on your turned corner.  

Step 6.  Turn your miter out and use a turning tool to get nice points and press your work.

Step 7. Top stitch about 1/8 of an inch around your pressed mitered hem to hold it all in place.

Step 8.  Admire your handiwork!  You did it!




3.03.2014

new tricks AKA I bought a lot of yarn

I finally got bit by the knitting bug.  It started innocently enough.  About a year ago a friend made a crochet  bobble clutch and I loved it - had to make it.  Bought yarn, bought the pattern, and it sat.  For a year it sat, until late in 2013 I finally decided to give it a go.
It turned out pretty cute!  I liked working with the yarn...it was growing on me.  Add to that I kept seeing sock after amazing sock on Instagram and was really getting the itch to try knitting.  After Christmas my Mom and I went to Knitorious in St. Louis and I found another pretty yarn to try.  I made another bobble clutch (slightly modified the pattern).
Now I was ready to try knitting.  I am lucky in that my Mom is a very experienced knitter and a patient teacher.  She set me up and I started knitting a washcloth pattern from my dear friends Aunt.  I probably started over 10 times or more on that first washcloth but eventually found a rhythm and made a handful. I moved on to a slightly more involved pattern so I could learn yarn overs and purling.  Then I tried the same pattern again only bigger.
This project gave me the confidence boost I needed to start a real project!  I had seen the most beautiful scarf on Instagram and set about recreating it.  It's called the Great Divide Shawl.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and already on to new projects!  Knitting is kind of addictive...just one more row you find your self saying.  It's also kinda zen in that repetitive motion kinda way.  The fabric budget is going to take a hit now that I want all the yarn too! 

I'm keeping track of my projects on Ravelry - I'm splendorfalls if you are on Ravelry stop by!