My Sewful Retirement

A Quilting Journey

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….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Has Arrived

Happy Monday!

Fall has finally arrived in our area of Florida.  It was wonderful to wake up and feel chill in the air. I do miss having the piles of leaves we had in our yard in Maryland, but I don’t miss raking them!

Hubby had to have minor surgery on Friday so I got to spend the entire weekend sewing 🙂 while he slept.

My family are big football fans especially Big Ten College Football. I finished a baby quilt for friends that are both Purdue graduates.

Quilt Measures 38 x 38.  I used  10 inch squares from my Simply Colorful – Yellow layer cake by V&Co for Moda. Some of the blocks are rectangles some squares to match the wonky star in the center. I used one of the prints from the Modern Background – Ink line by Zen Chic for the star and binding. The print of the black fabric has math calculations all over which I thought was perfect since the dad is an engineer.  I added a little embroidery “You Are My Sunshine” to one of the blocks.  I’m happy with the results.

 

2017 wonky star finished

2017 Wonky Star Finished

 

 

2017 Wonky Star Embroidery

2017 Wonky Star Embroidery

 

My youngest son graduated from University of Michigan and also played football for them- so I am a BIG BIG fan. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I love the maple leaf quilt block, I made a table runner in Blue and Maize — I hope my son likes it.

I used the QAYG technique where you create the block traditionally and quilt each block individually before joining. Below are the individual blocks.

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The finished table runner measures 14 x 68.

Batik Table Runner 6

Batik Maple Leaf Table Runner

I quilted with straight lines alternating the direction on each block.

Batik Table Runner 5

Batik Table Runner block 3

 

I stitched in the ditch with mono-filament thread on top and matching navy thread in the bobbin to attach the backing.

Batik Table Runner 4

Batik Table Runner Back

 

My favorite block 🙂

Batik Table Runner 3

Batik TR CU

 

Of course I made placemats and coasters to match!

Batik Table Runner 7

Batik Maple Placemat Coasters

 

Hope you had a great weekend also!

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Jack

Hello and happy Wednesday!

I seldom have time to start and finish a project in one day!  I wanted a little something near the front door for Halloween- nothing like waiting till the last minute 🙂

While drinking my coffee this morning I sketched out a jack o lantern, by dinner time I’d come up with this:

Happy Jack measures 22 x 27.  I used fabrics from my stash.

2017 Happy Jack CU

Happy Jack CU

Isn’t he cute?

Until next time….

 

 

 

 

Plus Side of Halloween

One of my favorite sites for inspiration is Fort Worth Fabric Studio. Every Friday Lindsey Weight has a lovely fat quarter bundle for sale. As a bonus she offers a free project to go along with the bundle.

I love making quilted table runners. They are a quick way to dress up a kitchen table or dining area. One of my favorite table runner projects from Fort Worth Fabric Studio is “A Spot of Tea”.

I love any quilt block that showcases a plus sign or a cross. Fortunately for me this table runner design has both!

I went with orange black fabrics to get the fall festive look with a hint of Halloween.

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The blocks are large and go together very quickly. My table runner measures 13.5 x 40. I used Spooktacular Scaredy Cat by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics as the backing. Isn’t it gorgeous!

Halloween Plus Cross TR 1

I used the scraps to make coasters.

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It was the first time I used the folded corner clipper tool for the diagonal seams. It was perfect! We all have our own preferred method of doing stitch n flip seams. A friend suggested I give this tool a try and I’m really glad I did.

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Folded Corner Clipper

 

If you get chance stop by Fort Worth Fabric Studio to see all the lovely projects and mystery quilt-a-longs they offer.

Until next time 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quilt As You Go

I am fascinated with the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) technique.  Cutting and piecing are my favorite parts of the quilt making process – I truly dread the actual “quilting”.

Fortunately there are several books, online articles and tutorials teaching this unique technique. My go to reference is Jera Brandvig books Quilt As You Go Made Vintage and  Quilt As You Go Made Modern.

In both books she teaches different joining methods.

With the placemats below I stitched six 3.5 x 12.5 inch strips directly onto a 13 x 19 piece of batting and backing. After stitching I trimmed the placemats to 12 x 18, then I added binding.

QAYG P2

QAYG Batik Placemats

 

QAYG P3

QAYG Batik Placemat Front

For the table runner – I stitched/quilted jelly roll strips on to twelve individual 9.5 inch squares of batting, trimmed squares to 8.5 x 8.5, joined the squares to create the table runner, added backing, stitched in the ditch and added binding. Finished size for my table runner is 16.5 x 46.5.

QAYG TR2

QAYG Batik Table Runner

 

QAYG TR1

QAYG Batik TR Close Up

Both projects were quick and easy, I’m happy with the results.

I really, really love QAYG 🙂

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Doodle Quilt

I love Fall! October being my favorite month with the color combination of orange and black being at the top of the list.

I needed a new throw in my office/tv room for the couch. I purchased a few really cute quick stitch Halloween embroidery designs from Embroidery Library last year and never got a chance to use them.

I wanted the throw to be simple, quick, show case the embroidery designs and most importantly made in  black and orange fabrics. Although you can’t see in the photo the black fabric is a tonal leaf pattern same as the orange.

Halloween 2017 Doodle

Halloween Doodle 2017 CUHalloween Doodle 2017 pillow

2017 Halloween Doodle Quilt Back

The quilt measures 52 x 52 inches. I’m so loving the black and white plaid fleece on the back.  I didn’t use any batting and the fleece was wonderful to work with.  I used a Sulky variegated orange rayon thread for quilting on the top and Aurifil black as the bobbin thread. I used my home machine and stitched quarter of inch away from the seam lines. I machine stitched the binding to the front and back.

Every sofa throw needs a matching pillow!

2017 Halloween courthouse pillow

This courthouse style quilt block pillow measures 20 x 20.  The embroidery design (also from Embroidery Library) was stitched on 8.5 inch square of Kona White cotton. I used 2.5 inch strips to create the logs.  The backing is a simple envelope style.

2017 Halloween courthouse pillow back

 

This Dresden quilt block used to be a pillow but I converted it to a wall hanging. I used a charm pack of Deb Strain’s Midnight Masquerade. The wall hanging measures 21 x 21 square. The embroidery applique design (BOO) was purchased from Embroidery Library also.

My office is completely decorated to finish out October!

During my packing/unpacking I found several rulers that I didn’t even remember that I had!  I’m slowing figuring out how to use use them.

First up : Creative Grids Spider Web Ruler

4 point star ruler

Creative Grids Spider Web Ruler

 

You can make 4 different style of blocks with this ruler in many sizes.  My first test was a 4 point star.

 

I used left over charm squares —  To create the star ( 4 blocks) I used 12 squares. I found the written instructions to be more helpful than the video. I had to take apart a couple of times before I got it right. After I finally understood how to stitch correctly it was easy to put together.  I’m looking forward to making something larger!

My finished size is 9 inches.  I plan to use as a mug rug.

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charming Bear Paw

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I am a pre-cut junkie! Charm packs are my weakness and I have several waiting to become quilted projects.

I fell in love with the Fat Quarter Shop classic and vintage video demonstrating how to create the Bear Paw Quilt Block. After printing the pattern I realized I could make one supersized block using a charm pack.

I’m sure this isn’t an original idea — I used 24 charms from the Fresh Cut line by Basic Grey for Moda and some yardage.  I loved how it turned out and I can’t wait to wrap baby Evelyn in it once she arrives.

 

The quilt measures 38 x 38 inches. I machine quilted it myself with a crazy stipple stitch. I loved the backing fabric! I found it at Hobby Lobby ! The colors in the Fresh Cut line remind me of France so when I saw the backing fabric I knew it was a perfect match!

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Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Time No Sew!!

Hello everyone ! It’s hard to believe 7 months have passed since I last posted anything to my quilting journal.

Life has come between me and my sewing passion!

Hubby and I both had unexpected surgeries in February. We put our house in Maryland up for sale in March – sold in 4 days – the buyer needed/wanted a quick closing and move in – an unexpected surprise:)  Packing and moving was a whirlwind experience I hope not to repeat.

My girlfriend has a daughter who enjoys sewing as much as I do – I gave her  lots of fabric and my extra serger! The appreciation on their faces made my heart do somersaults.

I spent the next 6 weeks in our empty house in Florida ( I did have TV and internet) so I wasn’t completely alone 🙂 supervising the remodeling. Finally in June hubby retired, we moved into the Florida home. We are 25 miles from Disney and have a swimming pool,therefore, our kids and a few friends have visited us this summer.

We survived Irma — had roof damage, lost a couple of trees, no electricity, no AC but learned a lot about hurricanes quickly — welcome to Florida!

My big news: Daughter got engaged, Son #1 and wife are pregnant due in November, Son #2 retired from NFL ( 30 years old, retired and set for life) — no shame in mentioning I’m jealous.

Now that were somewhat settled in I’m finding time to sew. My sewing room is so much smaller but I like it.  I have seven machines but only have 4 set up. I’m finally getting cabinets –so the setup right now is not ideal but workable. I have a cutting table in the center of the room and an ironing station (not shown) . I’m glad I put hardwood flooring throughout the house — basting my projects is much easier!

 

sewing room 3

sewing room 2

 

sewing room 1

 

Organized yes — tidy no!  Can’t have everything 🙂

Can’t wait to share my new projects with you!

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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