My Sewful Retirement

A Quilting Journey

Hello Spring – Part 2

Happy Tuesday!

I hope everyone is enjoying staying at home and spending more time sewing!

My second favorite place to decorate is our coffee tables — all of them both inside and outside have glass tops. I think I secretly choose glass tops so that I have a reason to sew. Making table runners and coasters keep me from dusting on a daily basis πŸ™‚

Keeping the tulip theme going, I modified MSQC Totally Tulips tutorial to use as a table runner. I used scrap batiks to make the 22 x 43 inches table runner.

quilted spring table runner, totally tulips, spring home decor
Totally tulips table runner

You can watch the video explaining how to make Jenny’s totally tulip quilt block here.

Also, because of the glass tops I tend to make lots of coasters. This is the set I made to match the totally tulips table runner.

I purchased the spring tulip design from Embroidery Library. You can find it here. I used the smaller size — perfect for a 4 x 4 embroidery hoop.

Below you will find the steps I use to make coasters and a coaster cozy. Sometime I use embroidery most times I use scraps. This is definitely a great way to use up smaller scraps or charm packs.

The coaster and cozy make great gifts!

This tutorial will make four coasters and one coaster cozy. I hope you enjoy your set as much as I enjoy mine β™₯

Materials:

  •  Four (4) Embroidered designs trimmed to a 5 x 5 inch square per coaster
  • Or four(4) 5 x 5 inch of fabric to use as the front of each coaster
  • 1 fat quarter for backing fabric or fabric scraps at least 5 x 5 inches square
  • Scrap batting at least 5 x 5 inches per coaster

Step 1 – Embroider your design and trim down to 5 x 5 inch square.  If not using embroidery use fabric you selected to be the front of your coasters.

I usually hoop the fabric and batting — no stabilizer.

Step 2 – From your fat quarter or scraps, cut four 5 inch squares to use as the coaster backing.

quilted coaster tutorial
step 2

Step 3 – From your scrap batting, cut four 5 inch squares- only if not using embroidery.

Step 4 – Layer the coaster top fabric on the back fabric, right sides (pretty side) facing. Place the batting on top. Make sure all edges are aligned, use pins or wonder clips to keep everything in place.

Step 5 – Sew a ¼” seam around the outside of the coaster leaving at least a two inch opening along one side for turning inside out. Make sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end.

Step 6 – Using scissors or rotary cutter, trim the excess fabric at a diagonal from the corners.

quilted coaster tutorial

Step 7 – Through the 2” opening, turn inside out so that the batting is sandwiched in between the coaster top and backing fabric. To close the opening from step 5, fold the opening inward ¼”, press with an iron, and then top stitch 1/8’ around the entire coaster.

quilted coaster tutorial

Step 8 – To make the coaster cozy, sew enough fabric scraps together so that you can cut two 6.5” squares. From your scrap batting, cut one 6.5” square. Follow Steps 4 through 6 (above), but using these 6.5” squares.

After turning inside out I quilt straight lines forming an “X” corner to corner to stabilize the unit. Sorry for the bad photo — it was night time and I used matching thread.

quilted coaster tutorial

Step 9 – As shown below, pinch each corner so that aΒ  wall forms on each side. Clip or pin the corners to keep them in place. Place at least one of your coaster in the center of the pinched cozy to make sure they will fit after stitching.

quilted coaster tutorial

Step 10 – Stitch the pinched edges.

machine embroidered spring coasters,tulips
spring tulip coaster and cozy

Voila – enjoy your new coasters and cozy!

Feel free to ask any questions — I realize it’s not a detailed tutorial but hopefully it’s enough information to get you started!

β™₯β™₯ Enjoy your day and stay safe β™₯β™₯

Hello Spring

In light of the current world events like many others we’ve had to cancel our travel and vacation plans. Yes, it’s definitely a bummer but on the flipside I’ve gotten my sewing and blogging mojo back πŸ™‚

Ah, springtime! There’s something refreshing about this time of year – winter is fading away and spring is emerging! My tulips are blooming and the sunlight is lasting longer which is inspiring my creativity.

One of my favorite places to decorate is the kitchen table. This year I designed a set of spring tulip placemats for our table. I used a small fat quarter bundle from my stash of Harper’s Garden by Sherri & Chelsi for Moda Fabrics to make a set of four place mats.

tulip quilted patchwork placemats,spring decor
Spring tulip placemats
spring tulip placemats backs

The simply lovely tulip flower quilt block is constructed as a simple nine patch.

Below are the instructions to make Two 6.5 inch unfinished tulip quilt blocks for one placemat.

*** The pictures shown were taken while I was making a 12 inch block.***

Cutting:

Tulip Fabric Quilt block
Tulip Fabric
  • Background Fabric
    • Cut (4) – 3 x 3-inch squares
    • Cut (6) – 2.5 x 2.5-inch squares
    • Cut (2) – 1.5 x 1.5 inch square
    • Cut (2) – 1.5 x 2.5 inch rectangle
  • Tulip Fabric
    • Cut (2) – 2.5 x 2.5 inch square
    • Cut (2) – 3 x 3 inch square
  • Tulip Bud or Stamen Fabric
    • Cut (2) – 1.5 x 1.5 inch square
  • Leaf Fabric
    • Cut (2) – 3 x 3 inch square

Assembly

  1. Draw a line from corner to corner on the wrong side of one of your 3×3 inch squares.
  2. Place the squares with the drawn line on top of the stem and tulip fabrics 3 x 3 inch squares.
  3. Sew 1/4 inch on each side of the drawn line.
half square triangle step 1
Draw line from corner to corner

4. Cut on the lines to make 2 half square triangles.

half square triangle step 2
Cut on the lines to make 2 half square triangles

5. Press seams on all of your half square triangles. I press my seams open.

half square triangle press seams
Press seams

6. Square up the half square triangles to 2 1/2 inches.

square up half square triangle
square up half square triangles

7. Arrange tulip nine patch as shown below.

8. Seam them together in rows. Keep track of the direction of the leaf blocks.

I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture of both tulip block layouts. please refer to the picture above for the second layout.

tulip quilt block layout - 9 patch
Tulip Block 2 Arrangement

9. Press and sew the rows together to form the completed tulip blocks. One completed block should measure 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches.

To turn your lovely tulip blocks into a placemat

tulip placemat
  • Join tulip blocks, vertically – top to bottom
  • sew on a 1.5 x 12.5 rectangle (the blue)- press seam
  • sew on a 9.5 x 12.5 rectangle (the floral) – press seam

Cut your batting and backing 14 inches tall and 20 inches wide per placemat. I use Pellon Fusible Thermolam Plus when making placemats and table runners.

Quilt as desired. I used my walking foot with one inch intervals.

Binding — you need approximately 2.25 x 62 inches of binding per placemat. I machine stitched the binding to the front, back and used the pocket method to join the ends.

pocket binding

Next time I will show you my other tulip inspired projects!

Happy Spring, stay safe and happy Sewing!

Friday Finishes – Cross Body Purse

Happy Friday!

I finished my purse last night — just in time to use it this weekend! YAY!! We are going to Atlanta to spend time with family.

My inspiration came from this video by the Fat Quarter Shop. No dimensions were given in the video because a pattern was available for purchase. The video was still very helpful allowing me to create my own design.

  1. My bag measures 13 inches tall and 14 inches wide with a 3 inch depth
  2. I used 24 black/gray/and white 5 inch squares to create the front and back of the purse from Moda’s ombre confetti metallic dots fabric line.
  3. The layout was a 3 x 4 grid for both front and back
  4. I quilted the front and back in a diamond cross hatch design using a light gold metallic thread
  5. To give the bag support and body I used Pellon TP971F Fusible Thermolam Plus and Pellon SF101 Shape Flex Woven Interfacing
  6. To make the adjustable strap I started with a 4 x 60 inch piece of fabric.
  7. I used an adjustable buckle, two lobster claws, and 2 D-rings all 1 inch for the hardware.
  8. Unfortunately I didn’t have any metal zippers on hand so I used a 12 inch nylon zipper — going forward I will definitely purchase purse zippers.
  9. The inside lining has three pockets — one pocket has a zipper.

Looking forward to using the purse this weekend before I start making gifts for my girls!

Have a wonderful weekend and happy sewing!

Gingham Pumpkin Quilt – Finished

Happy Halloween!

I finished my custom quilt order today. My customer wanted a pumpkin quilt to use as a coverlet on her guest bed, matching pillow and topper for a round table.

The complete gift —

Quilted Gingham Pumpkin Gift Set

The gingham pumpkin quilt measures 46 x 60 inches. I used Luxe Fleece for the backing fabric. The feel of this heavy weight fleece is soft and thick so no batting was necessary. I did use a Schmetz Microtex 100/16 needle for quilting.

Gingham Pumpkin Quilt

Pillow – 14 inch scrappy log cabin block with pumpkin applique using the same pumpkin fabric as the quilt. I added binding to the pillow.

Topper – I used scraps to make the hexagon topper – perfect for left over jelly rolls strips . Starting with a 6 inch equilateral triangle, I added 2.5 inch wide strips in 10 inches (round 1), 12 inches (round 2) and 14 inches (round 3) to the bottom of the triangle. After each round I trimmed the strip keeping the same angle as the triangle. I made 6 sets then arranged in the hexagon shape, and sewed them together. The topper measures 28 inches across at the widest point.

strip pieced hexagon triangle
Pieced Triangles for Hexagon Topper
hexagon quilted table topper

Happy Sewing!

Recent Finishes and Weekly To Do

Happy Tuesday!

Between traveling and hurry up sewing I haven’t taken the time to post.

Today is my first time joining the To-Do Tuesday Linky party hosted by fellow blogger and friend, Roseanne at Home Sewn By Us.

Currently I find myself with several projects and deadlines looming so I’m hoping keeping a list will keep me organized and focused πŸ™‚

Sit back grab a drink …this will be a long post πŸ™‚

First I’d like to share the projects I’ve finished over the past two weeks.

  • Bella’s Shooting Stars – quilt finishes at 52 x 52 inches. I originally wrote about this quilt here.
Ombre Mettalic Baby Quilt, Charming Stars
  • October projects from our LQS ruler/template club
    • Creative Grids 60 degree Equilateral Ruler – strip pieced hexagon table runner
    • Creative Grids Spider Web Ruler – Striped pieced spider web wall hanging with applique
  • Quilt As You Go Improv Log Cabin Wall Hanging with machine embroidery. This quilt finished at 32 x 32 inches. I used larger scraps from borders in previous projects and Jera Brandvig tutorial from the Pellon site as a guide. You can find the tutorial here.
QAYG Improv log cabin
  • Quilt as Go Improv Wall Hanging- up until now my quilting journey has only included traditional piecing. Slowly I’m trying new techniques. I’m having a hard time with Improv — my OCD tendencies won’t allow me to work with out structure. I watched a video of Nicole from Mama Loves Quilts about improv piecing and finally had the aha moment! I pulled out a bunch of batik scraps to match a wooden plaque and gave it a try. I struggled with the angles to give it a wonky look but got better by block 9. Like everything else in quilting I’ll get better with practice.
improv piecing quilt as you go wall hanging

To -Do List for the week of October 29th through November 4th, 2019

  • Autumn Jubliee Placemats – Tutorial found here
  • Autumn Fly Away Table Runner – inspired by Missouri Star Quilt Company – video tutorial found here. Tutorial uses a jelly roll, I’m using a charm pack.
charm pack flying geese quilt wip
  • Finish test purse using my own cross body purse pattern
cross body charm pack purse
  • Finish commissioned gingham pumpkin/star quilt – customer showed me a picture of what she wanted so I created a pattern. The stars are created in the sashing.

Happy Sewing/Quilting – thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Home Sewn By Us To-Do Tuesday!

Spooky Minis

I love Halloween – it’s my favorite holiday. With a costume and a little make up I can pretend to be something or someone else for a day πŸ™‚

We don’t have any kids or grand-kids around to spook but I still like having a little Halloween decor around the house.

Pumpkin Curvy Log Cabin Table Runner :

Curvy log cabin table runner Halloween

Pillows are always great for holiday pops of color:

quilted embroidered Halloween pillow
quilted embroidered Halloween pillow

Mug rugs for my morning coffee:

spooky quilted mug rugs

Smiling Greeters for the front door:

quilted Halloween mini quilt

I entered a Halloween mini quilt in a local contest . The category I chose was “Make Modern” . I selected the quilt block Dutchman puzzle and attempted to give it a modern spin.

Traditionally the Dutchman puzzle is arranged as in the first picture below.

fall 2018 candle mat

I simply rotated the direction of the flying geese to get the secondary friendship star design instead of the pinwheel.

Viola…my entry! I purposely put the Jack Skellington fabric on top to give the illusion the text was coming from them!

modern mini quilt Halloween

How cool?

Happy Sewing & Quilting!

Friday- Finishes and Almost Finished

Happy Friday!

This has been a super busy sewing week for me. When time permits I try to make seasonal table runners for my daughter and daughter-in-law. I’ll be seeing them soon so I got busy!

I love the simplicity of the Ohio Star Quilt Block. I used Fig Tree’s All Hallows Eve fabric to make the 16 x 40 inch table runner. I added a small machined appliqued pumpkin with the text Live Love Laugh to the center of each block —

Ohio Star embroidery
Ohio Star Pumpkin

I made matching placemats. Two of the mats I built a courthouse quilt block around the embroidery, the other two I added a simple border alongside the embroidery.

Pumpkin Embroidery
Pumpkin Placemats

Using V&Co metallic confetti fabric in black and white I made a simple 17 x 41 inch pumpkin table runner with the text – Blessed, Grateful, Thankful embroidered to the center of each block.

pumpkin embroidery
pumpkin tbl runner

I made another table runner using the maple leaf quilt block. I was inspired by the pattern Pressed Leaves from the McCalls Quilting Sept/October 2015 magazine designed by Tonya Alexander. I modified the pattern to use a charm pack to make a larger leaf block. No surprise I made a matching placemat!

My daughter’s best friend had a baby girl this week. I started a quilt for baby Bella using Jordan Fabrics shooting star quilt pattern.

Using the Scan N Cut DX, I was able to quickly cut my confetti dots fat quarters into 5 inch squares. I opted to go with a piano key board border.

Shooting stars wip
Shooting Stars WIP

Happy Sewing — and have a wonderful weekend!

Tri Recs Ruler Fun

Happy Thursday!

Our embroidery/quilt club this week focused on using the Tri-Recs tool.

tri recs ruler combo
tri recs ruler combo

The Tri-Recs ruler combination is the easy way to make triangles with in a square – a popular feature in many patchwork quilt patterns. I find it to be one of the handiest ruler sets I own. There is a cut off angle on the recs portion of the combo set that makes aligning and sewing the units extremely accurate.

Initially I had trouble with the set but after watching Bonnie Hunter’s videos the light bulb came on and I’ve loved the Tri-Recs rulers ever since.

The recs portion of the tool allows you to make half rectangle triangles — which is my favorite. The tricky part is understanding if you need a right or left diagonal seam – it’s best to sketch out your design before cutting the fabric — I learned the hard way 😦

Our first project was piecing simple hrt units for placemats using the recs only portion of the tool. The placemats are 12 x 18 inches, each half rectangle unit measures 3 x 6 inches – you need 12 units to make one placemat. The fabric I used was from Moda’s V&Co ombre basics line.

Tri Recs placemat
Tri Recs placemat

For our table runner I created a petal block and used the 6.5 x 6.5 inch square of background fabric in the center for the embroidery. The petal block finishes at 12 x 12 inches. Each triangle in a square finishes at 3 inches — you need 8 units to make the petal block, you also need (4) 3.5 x 3.5 unfinished squares of background fabric for the corners.

tri recs petaal
tri recs petal

Again using recs only portion I designed a funky pinwheel block that also finishes at 12 inches. Each quarter section of the pinwheel is made with a 3 x 6 half rectangle triangle, a 3.5 x 3.5 inch half square triangle, plus (1) 3.5 x 3.5 unfinished squares of background fabric for the corners.

Tri Recs Pinwheel
tri recs pinwheel

After adding sashing and border the table runner measures 15 x 41 inches.

tri recs
tri recs table runner

I absolutely loved the backing fabric used for both placemats and table runner. I found it a JoAnn’s!

I also displayed another table topper using the tool — I hope to have it finished soon.

tri recs
tri recs wip

If you are interested in making larger triangle in a square units or half rectangle units, Creative Grids offers the Perfect Rectangle and the Triangle Squared Rulers. Definitely more pricey and aren’t sold as a set.

I used the Creative Grids rulers to create a candy corn pinwheel – my sample pillow block is pictured below.

tri recs candy corn
tri recs

Have you tried the Tri-Recs tool? If so what’s your favorite quilt block to make using this ruler set?

Happy Sewing!

Sew Ready for Autumn

Happy Friday!

While planning my fall themed projects for our home this year I decided to use ombre fabrics with a black grunge background. Hubby likes bright colors and I like rust/gold/burgundy for fall. So to keep peace and make both of us happy I chose ombre/black fabric combinations.

Are you wondering what ombre fabrics are? Ombre fabricΒ fades from light to dark over a length of theΒ fabric. It’s all the same hue but different tints and shades over the length.

I used both Moda’s Basic Ombre and Wilmington’s Ombre Washart fabrics along with Moda’s Grunge in Onyx for most of my projects.

I fell in love with fellow blogger and friend Roseanne’s Las Vegas Leaves Quilt and knew I wanted to make my own version. I decided to go smaller and make a table runner for the family room.

ombre fabric fall table runner
maple table runner

When I was sketching out potential layouts for the maple leaf quilt block, I discovered if I removed the stem block I was able to get really cool secondary designs — the plus sign and a cross — how cool! My wall hanging was created from that realization!

ombre fabric maple quilt
maple wh

Of course I had to make a few pillows

and coasters….

scrap coasters
fall coasters

Finally for myself a wall hanging in rust, gold and dark redβ™₯β™₯

hst fall wall hanging
fall wall hanging

Have you started decorating for fall?

Hope you have a great weekend and happy sewing!

Sharing Techniques

Happy Friday!

Life in our small town here in Florida has been quite feverish with the anticipation of Hurricane Dorian! I haven’t gotten nervous yet….

Our embroidery/quilt club meeting focused on techniques this week. The ladies wanted to know how I design my quilt projects using embroidery.

I am self taught so I’m sure there are better ways of designing quilt projects incorporating machine embroidery but I was happy to share my techniques with the group.

I brought in a few smaller quilt samples. I gave each member graph paper, pencils and crayons to follow along as we discussed each sample. I talked about:

  • should you create the quilt first
  • should you do the the embroidery first
  • simple quilt math
  • stabilizing the fabric before embroidery
  • using heavy weight rayon threads
  • Centering designs
  • the importance/value of printing embroidery templates when designing quilt projects

Samples I displayed:

It was a good class, the two hours went by quickly — we had fun and I really could tell they were absorbing what I had to say — they asked excellent questions!

The “homework” assignment was to create the wall hanging almost a log cabin using their own designs similar to the layout I used below.

Log cabin mini
Log cabin mini

Hope you have a wonderful weekend — be safe!

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