My Sewful Retirement

A Quilting Journey

Friday Finishes

Happy Friday,

I have two more small finishes for the week.

Beach Ball Baby Quilt  measures 40 x 40.  I used Island Batiks from my stash.  The quilt block is the Shoo- Fly. A great beginner quilt block. I used the Simple Simon and Company tutorial for the block. One block finishes at 14 inches square. Very easy and quick.  If you’d like to make one the tutorial is here.

beach ball shoofly baby quilt

beach ball shoofly baby quilt

beach ball shoofly baby quilt cu

beach ball shoo fly baby quilt cu

I’ve always wanted to make something using the Hunter’s Star Quilt Block. I finally finished  a table runner today… The runner measures 15.5 x 34.5 inches.

Hunter Star

Hunter Star machine applique

 

Look closely — its applique! Again I used batiks this time spring greens and blue. Each block was made using my embroidery machine. Piecing and quilting with batting all done in the hoop. Each block measures 5 x 5 inches. Once you join the blocks the Hunter Star design is created. After all the blocks are assembled I added the backing, stitched in the ditch, and added the binding.

I used the 5 inch design for the table runner but a larger block can be used to make a larger quilt. I purchased the design from Chantell’s Creations. She offers other quilting designs as well.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend!

Until next time… Happy Sewing & Quilting 🙂

UFO Update

Happy Thursday!

I’m slowly working on finishing some of the quicker items on my UFO list. I am truly enjoying being semi – retired 🙂  I work on Etsy orders in the morning and if hubby and I don’t have errands I can work on quilting projects in the afternoon while he plays golf! So far it’s working great…

First I want to introduce you to my first grandchild — Evelyn.  Isn’t she a cutie?!!  She looks beautiful on the charm pack bear paw quilt I made for her!

img_0529

I’m calling the quilt below Rustic Christmas. When Joann Fabrics introduced their premium cotton line I purchased quarter yard pieces of several prints.  Rustic Christmas is made with 7 fabrics from one of their Christmas collections. I love the deep reds and greens — so warm and inviting! I often struggle with what to do with big prints – since I only had quarter yard cuts I had the brilliant idea of just sewing them all together.

The quilt measures 42 x 63. Very simple straight line quilting echoing the seams. I machine stitched the binding. Thankfully my local JoAnn’s still had fabric available that I was able to use for the backing. This quilt will be perfect for my office couch this Christmas!

rustic christmas quilt

rustic christmas quilt

rustic christmas backing

rustic christmas backing

close up of each of the prints I used. The Reindeer fabric is my favorite 🙂

 

We have friends visiting from Maryland so I made a gift for them for the Easter Season.  You know how much I love to mix in a little embroidery with my quilting! The designs I used were purchased from Embroidery Library. I used Sulky Rayon threads for the embroidery and quilting– it was a perfect match! The banner measures 12 x 21 inches.

I love florals — this blue and cream is beautiful!

Easter Banner

Easter Banner

banner cu

banner cu

banner backing

banner backing

 

Until next time – Happy Quilting and Sewing

Catching Up

Wow – I can’t believe how much time has passed since I lasted posted in my journal!

I spent most of January trying to stay warm, organizing my fabric and identifying UFO’s. When we made the big move last year I packed all of my jelly rolls, layer cakes, charms pack and a few fat quarters in 22 Hefty storage containers! I spent the first half of January going through the containers documenting what I have. In my previous life I was a cost accountant and Excel was my BFF so I quickly created a spreadsheet with all the necessary fabric info – labeled all of the containers.  Going forward I’m hoping/praying this will help me tremendously 🙂

I did manage to get some sewing done! I have spot in my entryway where I can display wall hangings that I make.

Winter Blues – 36 x 36.  I used various blue snowflake prints.  My quilt is a smaller version  inspired by Patchwork Posse tutorial found here.

winter blues quilt 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also finished my February entryway display.

Feb 2018 entry way

The heart quilt is 36 x 36.  I used scrap red batiks for the heart and in the background I used the Star Flower white yardage from Natalie Barnes Maker’s Home Fabric Line. I sew love that fabric line it has a great mix of black and whites and bright colors.  I sketched out the heart pattern on paper – I knew the finished size had to be 36 inches square or smaller.  The heart is a 32 inch square with borders.

The runner and pillow also made with scraps.  Pillow tutorial by Lindsey Weight with Fort Worth Fabric Studio you can find tutorial here.

XOXO table runner inspired from a Shabby Fabrics video on Youtube.

 

All 3 items were super easy and quick to make. I’m really happy with how they turned out.  Over the past few weeks I’ve seen more cute Valentine projects for me to make for next year.

 

I had to have a new table runner for February also!  When Project Red by Sweetwater came out I thought it was perfect for a Valentine’s table runner the prints are beautiful reds and taupe.  I bought a charm pack and a couple of fat quarters to make this table runner.

I used the Flirty pattern by Missouri Star Quilt Company.

flirty project red 1

flirty TR

 

I love the backing I used from my stash! Big florals make the best backings — do you agree?

flirty project red 4

flirty TR back

 

I used the scrap half square triangles to make coasters.

 

Lastly a  couple of heart felt mug rugs for hubby and me!

heart mug rugs 2018

heart mug rugs 2018

I hope you all have a happy and wonderful Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course I had to have a new table runner for February 🙂

When the Project Red fabric line from Sweetwater

Happy New Year

Hello! Happy Friday and Happy New Year!  I’m sure 2018 will be full of great and creative adventures for each of us. 🙂

Hubby and I had a quiet relaxing holiday, surprised to have cold weather here in Florida. I’m loving the cold without the snow.

I’ve been catching up with the blogs I follow. I loved reading the “year in review” posts. There are so many talented quilters out there who produce beautiful items, seeing their creative efforts make my heart smile.

My only resolution for 2017 was to not purchase new fabric unless I needed backing or binding to finish a project I was currently working on. Honestly, that worked perfectly for me! It kept me focused – downside I didn’t get any new fabric 😦

I’m thinking my plan for 2018 will be the same. I have the same three UFO’s from 2016 that need finishing.  I’ve been wanting to make a few items for our home and I need to make a quilt for my youngest son — that should take care of the BIG items on my to do list for 2018. Now that I’m semi-retired I’m hoping that I can get more accomplished.

Remember these scraps?

jingle xmas tree scraps

Jingle Xmas tree scraps

 

I cut them into 1.5 inch strips and created this log cabin wall hanging! Fortunately I did have it done before Christmas and proudly hung it my foyer. I so love the reds, green and turquoise! You can’t tell in the photo but the white tonal print has an allover holly design. Because the scraps had an odd shape to them I did have to piece some of them together, the beauty of it — you can’t tell!

Christmas 2017 Log Cabin CU

2017 Christmas Log Cabin CU

 

Christmas 2017 Log Cabin

 

I used my Creative Grids log cabin trim tool. I know I’m a ruler/template fanatic but this tool was so worth the money! Each block was a perfect 6.5  x 6.5 square unfinished. The beauty of this ruler is squaring up after each round. Sewing was pretty quick once I cut the strips to length I needed. This particular version of the tool includes both 6 inch and 12 inch blocks. You can create log cabin blocks, courthouse steps and half log cabin quilt blocks. I was so impressed that I asked Santa to get me the curvy log cabin and the pineapple log cabin trim tools for Christmas.

My goal in December was to use up the Kate Spain Jingle layer cake. First was the modern Christmas Tree quilt, next the log cabin wall hanging. My third finish using the layer cake was a wonky nine patch wall hanging — sew cute! I used the Willy Wonky pattern from Fons and Porter Quickly Quilting magazine as my inspiration. I modified the layout from the pattern so I could include the tree applique blocks. Sorry for the blurry photo.  This was a fun wall hanging to create and I will definitely use the pattern again!

Jingle Wonky Nine Patch

My fourth project using the Jingle layer cake and finish was a rag hexi wall mini quilt. Using the Creative Grids hexagon trim tool I was able to cut (3)  hexagons from a 10 inch square. I used the smaller 3.5 inch hexagons for the  hexi raggy Christmas tree. The edges around each hexi has been snipped; I haven’t washed it yet to get the true raggy look.

 

 

My fifth project – not finished was a table runner.  I bought a few of the Moda Layer Cake Recipe packets. Using one of the layouts from recipe #2 I pieced this table runner. I loved the layout because I can add embroidery to the center of each block. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed this type of paper piecing. Kudos to Carrie Nelson for creating the recipe booklets – if you like easy and have a layer cake on hand this is for you! Three practice sheets are included with each recipe booklet. The design I used you get two blocks with one 10 inch square of print and one 10 inch square of background.

Jingle Cake Recipe WiP

Jingle Cake Recipe 2 WIP

 

I still have 6 ten inch squares remaining from the Jingle Layer Cake — enough for at least one more project!

Again Happy New Year!

Until next time….

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Finishes

Hello and happy Sunday!

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and enjoying the time leading up to the big day — December 25!

This past week was really busy for me finishing up customer orders promised with before Christmas delivery dates.

I finished a gift  for one of my neighbors this week. They helped my hubby and I survive hurricane Irma this  past summer. The tube quilting technique that Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt company demonstrated intrigued me and I decided to give it a try. The steps are easy enough but working with a bias edge can be tricky so extra care is needed. If you are unfamiliar with tube quilting you can watch the you tube video here.

The table runner I finished using the tube quilting techniques measures 19 x 60 inches.  I used fabric from my Christmas stash.  The colors  used complement her Christmas decor perfectly. I love the fabrics and the design layout — I didn’t want to ruin it with my not perfect free motion quilting so I opted for safe “stitch in the ditch”. Seeing her face after opening the gift was priceless — definitely made my day 🙂

tube table runner 2

Tube table runner 2

tube table runner 1

tube table runner cu

 

Other small gift finishes:

Flag tumbler table topper:

Flag tumbler tr

Green Bay Packer Modern Christmas Tree wall hanging: made entirely with my embroidery machine.

Packer Modern Xmas Tree

Green Bay Packer Modern Xmas Tree

Mini wall hanging with embroidery:

Christmas mini embroidery

Christmas mini embroidery

Quilted Pillow with embroidery:

Christmas pillow embroidery

Christmas pillow embroidery

 

 

Until next time — happy sewing!

Kate Spain Christmas

Hello and happy Monday!

I’m sure everyone is crazy busy with Christmas quickly approaching!

We are not traveling this year nor are we hosting a Christmas gathering this year, so we’ve decided not to decorate outside and unfortunately have become the odd ball house in the neighborhood.

I gave away all of my Christmas decorations before moving not realizing how expensive it would be to replace. I’m waiting for the end of season clearance pricing so I can start over and be prepared for Christmas 2018.

I am a big fan of Kate Spain, especially her Christmas fabric lines – Joy, Solstice and Jingle. I love her modern prints in bright red and greens with a splash of aqua. Last year I made a table runner, quilt and pillows using Joy and Solstice.

 

I still had a layer cake of Jingle in my stash and decided to make a few more items in the same color way. This was the year I had planned to make Christa Watson’s Modern Christmas Trees wall hanging. Unfortunately the quilt along tutorial was no longer available.

Using 15 ten inch layer cake squares below I sketched out my own triangle in a square modern tree design.

jingle xmas tree layout

Jingle Xmas Tree Layout

 

Jingle Xmas Tree

Jingle Christmas Tree

 

The only positive thing I can say is it’s finished— the individual “tree blocks” were simple enough to create and measured accurately. My math was off on the calculations for the background fabric side pieces for completing each row.  The design shape still resembles a tree but not what I had hoped it would be. I will definitely chalk this one up to experience.

To get the larger triangle in square blocks I used my Creative Grids Triangle Squared and Perfect Rectangle rulers.  You don’t have to have both rulers to make the modern tree block but there is less fabric waste using the set as a companion. These Creative Grids rulers are similar to the tri recs ruler which I used to create the wall hanging below last year. The creative grids perfect rectangle ruler offers an additional notch for perfect placement making the triangle in a square block super easy to create.

Christmas Tree Tri Recs

Christmas Tree Tri Recs Ruler

After cutting the triangle shape from my ten inch squares I had the following scrap pieces.

jingle xmas tree scraps

Jingle Xmas tree scraps

 

I can’t wait to show you how I used  those scraps!

Until next time…

Churn Dash or Churn Dash ?

Hello and happy Wednesday!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Relax time over; back to work for me!

I should use my free time to work on UFO’s but what fun is that when starting something new is SEW exciting 🙂

On my list of quilt blocks to make is the Churn Dash – a simple classic pattern which has many variations and known by many other names such as hole in the barn door, monkey wrench and Lincoln’s Platform, I’m sure there are many more names.

The churn dash quilt block pattern is a simple nine patch comprised of half square triangles, strip piecing and solid squares – quilting basics!

For me churn dash equals charm pack opportunity!

I used 9 charm squares (5 x 5 inch squares) to make one 12.5 unfinished churn dash quilt block. Using one Crazy for Red by Minick and Simpson charm pack I created 4 blocks. I love the barn red and tan color combination.

20171106_214814086_iOS

Crazy For Red Churn Dash

Not sure if I will turn the four blocks into a small table topper or create something larger. I have one more Crazy for Red charm pack plus a couple of French General favorites charm packs that are similar in color. I’ll keep you posted!

As I mentioned earlier the churn dash has many variations. One of the blogs I follow GenXquilters.com has a section titled “Patchwork Auditions” where she offers different layout options for a few classic quilt blocks including the churn dash.

I was really intrigued with her “H” option for the churn dash. I printed out the coloring sheets, pulled out a few Kate Spain Solstice fat quarters and got busy!

The table runner below is 4 blocks using her “H” option.

Amazing — I can’t believe its the same block!  The secondary diamond design in the center is so cool.  The entire layout has an overall “X” like look — I just love it!

20171109_212600623_iOS

Solstice Churn Dash Variation

 

What do you think?

Until next time…

Thankful

Hello everyone!

A few months ago the talented ladies from Gray Barn Designs released a free pattern “Thankful Table Runner”.

It was love at first sight for me and knew it would be the perfect display on our dessert table for Thanksgiving.  The pattern is super easy, and well written.

thankful tr

Thankful table runner

 

I also made matching courthouse quilt block placemats to use as hot pads.

thankful placemat

Courthouse Quilt Block Placemant

 

thankful tr placemat

Quilted Thankful Set

 

I had hoped to make a pumpkin quilt this fall but never found time, instead I made a mini quilt wall hanging.

 

November 2017 wall hanging

November 2017 wall hanging

My first grandchild was born this week and I am extremely thankful! We are leaving in the morning to meet her and spend time with the family.

I wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

 

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

New Tool – New Quilty Love

Hello — I hope everyone had a great week!

I am really enjoying learning to use the specialty rulers I’ve collected over the past few years.

This past week I’ve been focusing on the Creative Grids Round Up Tool.

round up tool

Creative Grids describes the usages for the round up tool as:

  1. Rounding corners
  2. Cutting 8 & 10 inch Circles
  3. Creating appliqué shapes
    • Drunkards Path
    • Orange peel
    • Petals
    •  
  4. Great for pre- cut charm squares and layer cakes

It’s no secret that I have an obsession for pre cuts! I also love the look of curved quilt patterns but am terrible with sewing curves. After watching the Creative Grids You Tube video I knew the round up tool would be perfect for me!

Fast forward 3 years and I’m finally using the ruler!

Below is my practice block sunflower drunkard path block measuring 18.5 x 18.5 inches.

sunflower mini 2

I used 5 inch squares for the background and the 4 inch drunkard path shape found on the round up tool. Cutting the shapes was extremely easy and smooth. I used both a 45mm and 28mm rotary blade cutter – both worked. I do recommend having a rotating  mat which definitely enhanced the smooth cutting.

I felt my test block was successful so it was time to move on to a charm pack project. I fell in love with several butterfly mini quilts made with the drunkards path block on Pinterest and wanted one badly for my sewing room.

roundup butterfly

I used the charm pack Modern Roses by Stephanie Ryan for Moda for my mini.  It measures 24 x 24 inches.  This time I used 4.5 inches with the 4 inch drunkards path applique shape. I found the border fabric in the red tag section at JoAnn’s it was a perfect match!

While on a roll I made another table runner using the round up tool. This time I used the 5 inch drunkards path shape with 5.5 inch background squares. I used batik fabrics with floral prints in green and rust. The rust is a leafy print and the green has both sunflowers and leaves.  Sorry not the best photo!

fall drunkards path TR

fall drunkard path TR

fall drunkards path TR CU

Below are my sample projects using the petal and orange peel shapes on the round up tool. I used the Bonnie & Camille Miss Kate charm pack for the orange peel and yardage from my stash for the petal shape. Hopefully I will be able to finish them in the near future 🙂

round up tool orange peel

round up tool orange peel

 

round up tool petals

round up tool petal

 

As you can tell I’m so loving the versatility of this tool — if you enjoy these applique shapes as much as I do add this ruler to your list of must have tools!

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

Small Finishes Using Pre-Cuts

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  This past week was hectic, it is the busy season for my Etsy Shop.

I did manage to find a little time here and there for “me sewing” 🙂

I began piecing my Gardenvale  Dizzy Daisy wall hanging in January of this year and finally finished it earlier this week.  The quilt measures 35 x 35 inches and definitely added some color to this room. I love the funky retro floral prints in this line!

Gardenvale Ditzy Daisy

Gardenvale Ditzy Daisy

 

I used 9 ten inch squares from my Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell layer cake. I made my wall hanging before Missouri Star offered a tutorial for the same block. If you’d like to make one for yourself here is the link to the YouTube video.

We recently purchased a new washer and dryer – I had to make runners to cover them! I had two charm packs of Basic Mixologie by Studio M for Moda, I felt would be perfect for this quick project.  I love the colors and the cool modern prints .

Super easy block to make — the runner measures  approximately 18 x 36.  I used 36 charms. Twelve of the charms are cut in half and then sewn to the remaining 24 charms. I alternated the rotation of the blocks to make the arrangement more interesting.

laundry runner 1 charm pack

Laundry Runner 1

Second runner is a simple coin stack with borders.  Measures 14 x 32. I used 9 charms for the coin stack with 4.5 inch borders.

laundry runner 2 charm pack

Laundry Runner 2

 

What do you think?

 

With the remaining charms I made a color wheel dresden.   I really love it!

Quilt measures 22 x 22 inches.

Be The Good Color Wheel

 

Until next time….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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