Friday, January 30, 2015

Fresh Cut EQ Block Challenge

I saw on From My Carolina Home about a new block design challenge from Electronic Quilt using the Fresh Cut collection by Basic Gray for Moda.  I love designing blocks using EQ so I hopped right over to the challenge page and started playing around with the fabrics in the collection.

I decided to use a paper pieced block I already had designed in combination with the Fresh Cut fabrics.  It is a fun design that produces a some great secondary patterns when used in quilt top.

Here is my original design:

Here is my design using the Fresh Cut fabrics.  I love to see blocks in different colors, it is always so amazing to me how a block looks so different in bolder solids compared to softer prints.

Here is the Fresh Cut block and the original block in a quilt. (I love the bold graphic design of the original colors.)

I hope you have a chance to design a block and enter too :)

Sidekick tote

I have been getting my packing list together for QuiltCon next month and I want to travel as homemade as possible so in addition to the one top I have made (see Tova Top in Chicopee), I decided to make an across body bag so I could have my hands free for all the shopping and fun.

After much searching on the internet for bag patterns, reading comments and reviews, and searching for pictures of people's different versions, I settled on the Sidekick Tote by Noodlehead.  Every review I read about Anna's patterns talked about the wonderfully clear written and illustrated instructions and now having used one, I definitely agree.

I made the small version of the tote with the bias trimmed pocket combining Essex yarn dyed linen with a few of the fabrics from the Meadow Mist Designs bundle from Pile O'Fabric:

  • Essex yarn dyed linen in black (Robert Kaufman) - outside of bag and strap
  • Midnight Flora in Navy (Cloud 9 Fabrics) - outside of pocket
  • Script Watermelon (Art Gallery) - lining of pocket and recessed zipper area
  • Line Scratch in Blue (Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman) - inside of strap
  • Sketch in Fog (Timeless Treasures) - bias trim on pocket
  • Branches in Blue (Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman) - lining of bag
There were a number of firsts for me in the making of this bag including:
  • recessed zipper
  • magnetic snap
  • bias trim
  • purse strap hardware

The tote actually went together better than I had expected, the only real problem I had was that I repeatedly put the magnetic snaps on the incorrect sides of the pocket and pocket top.  Having to redo the pocket many times at least gave me some practice adding the bias trim around the pocket so that by the 4th time I got pretty decent at it :)  I was the most scared about the recessed zipper installation, but happily the zipper went in with absolutely no problems.

I made a just a few changes to the pattern, the biggest change being the interfacing.  The pattern calls for Pellon 101 (I did not have any of) which gives the bag a loose slouchy feel.  I really like a well structured bag so instead of the 101, I used Pellon 808 and Pellon fusible fleece on the outside of the tote and lined all of the other parts of the bag with Pellon 808.  I really like the stiffness in the finished bag (no slouching here), but it did make for some really thick seams to sew over.  The only other change I made was to add an additional pocket on the inside. 

I am very happy with how my new bag came out and am proudly using it at work and around town.  I hope to meet as many of you as I can at QuiltCon :)  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Etsy Store Highlight - MzSweetpeaStudio

Today I would like to share with you a new Etsy store from one of my sewing friends.  I met Laura Casey about a year ago through my local quilt guild's quilting show.  She shares my love of pincushions and awesome modern fabric.  She has been making and selling purses and totes locally in Asheville NC and just opened an Etsy store this month called .  

I just love how she combines different fabrics, trims, and hardware in her creations.  Her bags are perfect for carrying knitting projects, quilting notions, or just using as your everyday purse.

Laura has been kind enough to offer Meadow Mist Designs readers a 15% discount on everything in the store from now until January 31st using the code quilter1.  In addition, she also offers free shipping within the US for all her items in the store.

I hope you have a great quilting week!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tova Top in Chicopee

I decided that I was going to try to make some clothes and bags for QuiltCon and after much searching on the internet and reading pattern reviews I decided to try making a Tova Top by Wiksten.

Confession time...I am a quilter and like to deal with geometric designs and two dimensions.  I have made a total of 3 articles of clothing in my entire life, two Geranium dresses for my daughter and one Washi dress for myself.  The Tova Top is marked as intermediate, but I really liked its lines (a lot of the other patterns out there have empire waists which tend to look maternity on me) so I figured I would give it a try.

I used some yardage of a Chicopee fabric by Denyse Schimdt that I had purchased for $3.50 a yard in hopes to make a wearable muslin.  Prepping the pattern took a while as most pdf patterns do, having to tape all of the sheets of printer paper together and then trace the pattern pieces onto pattern paper.

I was measuring an XS in the bust area and a M in the hips (can you say pear shaped :), but I had heard that the shirt could run snug in the shoulder area so I went with a straight M.

I must say that once all of the pieces were cut out and marked, the shirt went together more quickly and easily than I had thought it would.  The only really difficult part was getting the corners of the placket correct.  My corners are more rounded than they are supposed to be, but I am okay with that.

After putting the placket in, the shoulders and sides are sewn and you get to try the shirt on for the first time.  The top was gaping at the arm pits and billowing around my middle.  I took off an inch from each side under the arms and 6 inches total off the middle area. I then added the sleeves and hemmed the bottom.

I am very happy with the way it came out and am already planning my next Tova using some DOE yardage that I just purchased.  Even my husband really liked it (he did not have as many nice things to say about the washi dress).  The fit is overall pretty good, I think that the shoulder area is a bit wide so the shoulder seam actually sits off of my shoulders.  For my next Tova, I am going to go with a XS at the top and grade out to a M on the bottom.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Blogger's Bee Blocks August through January

As part of the New Blogger's Hop back in the summer of 2014 hosted by Beth of Plum and June, a number of bees were created by the members.  I joined a US based bee that we are calling the New Blogger's Group Bee.

For this bee, the queen of the month sends out block instructions and we make two blocks from our own fabrics and send them to her by the end of the month. I have not posted any bee blocks in a while so here are some from the last few many months...

I blogged about the July blocks and finished quilt by Pam @ Sewing Wilde previously here.

For August, Pam @ Quilting Makes My Heart Sing wanted some dash churn blocks using medium value prints.  My blocks are shown below and you can see her finished quilt here.

For September, Marcia @ Cozy Capatiller wanted some 9 patch blocks.  I totally forgot to take pictures of these before I sent them away.

For OctoberKate @ Thread Everywhere wanted either two 12" maple leaf blocks or one 18" maple leaf block.  I used some Free Spirit green fabric on a gray background for the larger version of the leaf.  You can see her finished quilt top in this post.

For NovemberJill @ Pie Lady Quilts wanted some free pieced trees on a neutral background.  I have not done much improv sewing so these blocks were a lot of fun for me.  They wound up measuring about 12" x 18".

For DecemberStephanie @ Late Night Quilter wanted some feathers using jewel tones.  She is going to applique them onto a quilt so we did not have to make a background for the feather blocks.

For JanuaryChristina @ Wips and Tuts wanted what she called the $2,000 dollar bee block.  This was a fun, but complex block to make having 20 flying geese in each block.

The bee has been a great way to meet new wonderful quilty women, I am looking forward to being the "queen bee" in next month!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January Foothills Mystery Quilt - My Blocks

The January instructions for the Foothills Mystery Quilt were to make some whole hourglass blocks and half hourglass blocks using the hourglass units and the last of the HST.  (All of the instructions for previous months can be found in the tab above.)

Here is a picture of my blocks, in all of their scrappy goodness.

This is the last of the blocks, February's instructions are for putting all of the blocks together and adding borders.

Thanks for quilting along with me :)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Building Blocks quilt variation by Shari from Bear Creek Quilting Company

Shari, the owner of the Bear Creek Quilt Company and one of my sponsors, was kind enough to offer to test and review my pattern Building Blocks that was posted over at the Moda Bake Shop earlier this week.

Shari made her version over the winter holiday using Somerset by Fig Tree & Co by Moda.  She used a more complex middle block adding a fussy cut flower print and a small border.  Shari also added extra print strips and charm square strips to the top and bottom of the quilt to bring it from the original baby size to a nice lap size.  I love her changes and the resultant quilt top! 

Thank you so much Shari for testing the pattern for me and allowing me to share your wonderful quilt top!

By the way, the Bear Creek Quilting Company just announced its new Block of the Month, Aura Morning Glory starting in February and just got in a fat quarter bundle of all of the new 2014 Kona colors (I am drooling just a little over this one).

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Building Blocks at the Moda Bake Shop

I am very excited to have another Moda Bake Shop tutorial posted today!!! Please hop over and check out Building Blocks. Thank you to all who are visiting from the Bake Shop!

I love all of Bonnie & Camille's fabric collections so I was incredibly excited to get to play with their new line Daysail.  I especially love the dark blues in the line, the are so rich and saturated.  

From my survey during the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day I found that many many people had trouble deciding what to with the charm packs they had hanging out in their sewing rooms.  For the pattern, my goal was to create a fun and beginner friendly quilt that uses only 1 charm pack.

The quilt is actually pieced as one large court house block with a center square and a number of borders.  The center square is also perfect to personalize using an appliqued or embroidered name.

I used a different quilt pattern for each of the types of borders:

In the center, I quilted pebbles using a white thread.  For the background borders, I quilted straight lines using a white thread.  For the charm square borders, I quilted a wood grain pattern using a light gray thread.  For the print borders (the dark blue boat print), I quilted a stipple pattern using a dark blue thread.

I hope you hope over to the Moda Bake Shop to check out the quilt and tutorial :)

I am linking up to Link a Finish FridayWhoop Whoop FridayThank Goodness Its Finished FridayFinish It Up FridayFabric Frenzy Friday,  Sewjo @ My Go Go Life, and Show Off Saturday @ Sew She Can.

This was also my January goal for ALYoF  Here was my January goal setting post.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Turning a Duvet into Matching Pillows and a Quilt

My sister, Lisa, had a duvet cover that she loved for many years. She loved it until it literally fell apart, with huge holes around the seams. She sent the duvet home with me one time when I was visiting her and said that she would love to have some pillows, big 24” pillows, made from the fabric. I was able to not only get two large pillows out of the fabric, but also a throw sized quilt.

The front of the duvet is a tan colored linen/cotton blend with embroidery and the back is a green 100% cotton (more like a sateen though rather than a regular quilting cotton). Both of the fabrics were a little difficult to work with; they were a looser weave and stretched more than the fabrics I am used to which made squaring things up very interesting.

For the pillows I backed the pillow fronts with batting for a little extra structure and finished with an invisible zipper. Here are some pictures of the pillows without the inserts (because I had the inserts shipped directly to my sister's house so she would not have to try to get them home on an airplane.

For the quilt, I simply sandwiched a layer of batting between the duvet front and back and then quilted by outlining the embroidery and adding some feathers. (I learned the feathers at Debbie @ Stitchin' Therapy’s awesome feathers class).

I will close with a picture of my cat, Abby, doing a little quality assurance testing of the quilt before gifting :)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Giveaway Winners and ALYOF January Goal

This post is to announce the winners from my two new sponsors over the holiday break and to link up my A Lovely Year of Finishes Goal for January.

First up, the giveaways... The Pile O'Fabric giveaway was for a 12 fat quarter Meadow Mist bundle.  

The winner was comment # 48, Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl.  I was very excited when Yvonne's number was generated, she is a wonderful women and is quilting along with me in the Foothills Mystery Quilt.

The Bear Creek Quilting Company giveaway was for a $20 gift certificate.

The winner was comment # 23, Breanna S.

And now for ALYOF...I started 2014 out really well setting and making my goals for A Lovely Year of Finishes (which I am also a sponsor) for the almost half of the year and then failed to link up after that.  I am going to try to be better this year and try to link up each month.  It is a fun linky party and a great way to keep on track with work-in-progresses.

This month I have as my goal to finish my baby quilt and tutorial using Daysail by Bonnie and Camille by Moda for the Moda Bake Shop.  I am sure to complete this goal as my scheduled day for the tutorial and quilt to be published is January 15th.  Here are the fabrics I am using for the quilt.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Foothills Mystery Quilt - January Instructions

Happy New Year and welcome to January's instructions for the Foothills Mystery Quilt-a-long! The instructions for previous months can be found in the Foothills Mystery Quilt tab above.  The monthly instructions will be posted on the first Thursday of each month.

Please share your in-progress pictures on our flicker group Meadow Mist Designs and on Instagram using the hastag #FoothillsMystery so that everyone can see your progress :)

We are getting closer to the finish of the quilt, I hope that you are as excited as I am!  Just as a little look ahead, this is the last month of block instructions.  In February the instructions will be on the quilt top assembly and border.  You will then have 2 months to finish the quilt top and finish the quilt (there will be no instructions in March).  In April we will have our reveal with a parade of Mystery Quilts.  The parade will consist of completed quilt tops and finished quilts. 
And now onto January's instructions, we will be making some whole hourglass blocks and half hourglass blocks using the hourglass units and the last of the HST.

Whole Hourglass Blocks

Using 7 hourglass units (6½” x 6½”) and 28 HST units (3½” x 3½”), form 7 whole hourglass blocks (6½” x 12½).

a.  Sew 28 HST units into 14 double HST units (3½ x 6½”).

b.  Arrange units as shown below, sew together pressing seams open.  Form a total of 7 whole hourglass blocks (6½” x 12½”).

Half Hourglass Blocks

Using 10 hourglass units (6½” x 6½”), 20 HST units (3½” x 3½”), and 10 fabric set B rectangles (3½” x 6½”), form 10 whole hourglass blocks (6½” x 12½).
a.  Sew 20 HST units into 10 double HST units (3½ x 6½”).

b.  Arrange units as shown below, sew together pressing seams open.  Form a total of 10 half hourglass blocks (6½” x 12½”).

Thanks so much for quilting along with me!