Monday, February 28, 2011

Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilt

Every year on the third Saturday in March the National Quilting Association sponsors National Quilting Day.  This year it's coming up on Saturday, March 19th.  The theme they are putting out there this year is "Build Your Own Log Cabin" ~ there's even a free pattern available for download here on their website!

In honor of National Quilting Day, the Quiltsy Team on Etsy (which I'm a member of) has joined together in a fun promotion...The Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilt Project!  Members from the Quiltsy Team from all over are making their own version of a log cabin block, then sending it on to the next person in their assigned row.  The blocks, then the rows will all be sewn together to make one quilt made by many! 

The colors agreed on were blue and green.  I'm assigned the last leg of the North East member's row.  I'm still awaiting the rest of the row to arrive for me to add mine, but in the meantime her's a sneak peek of my block that I just made!

Another fun aspect is that people are taking pictures of their block in their part of the world before sending it off to join the rest of the quilt.  When I get a nice weather day here, I'll take a picture of my block (and my row when I receive it) in a couple of places in Maryland that are special to me.  Check out the Quiltsy Team Blog to see some of the other blocks that have been added and where the participants are from ~ so far there have been block sightings in Maine and Texas in the USA, and Canada and Israel...How cool is that!  I'll keep you posted on the Sisterhood as the quilt progresses :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Fun & Flirty Apron

Wow, I've been still fighting this cough that I've had for two and a half weeks now, and thus haven't really been doing any of my regular things that I love to do.  I've just taken a total break, even from the computer (I find I need a computer break every now and again anyway).  In the early mornings and evenings when I do a lot of my computer work, I've been so wiped out, I've just been vegging in front of the TV ~ and often times napping...So anyway, now I'm ready to get back into the swing of things and catch up on the goings on in the Quilty neighborhood of Blog Land.

I've done a little bit of sewing this week, but nothing that I can show just yet, so I thought I'd share my newest pattern offering :)  This is my Fun and Flirty Apron made with the Still fabric collection from Loralie Designs.  The apron is fully adjustable, has a cute little pocket flap on the front (I always have to have pockets on me), and a built in loop to hang a dish/dust rag.  The ruffle and little touch of ric rac, gives it some fun, the floral is perfect for upcoming Spring entertaining, and the black background gives the roses a more flirty appeal. 

For instant gratification, you can purchase a down-loadable pattern here from The Quilt Pattern Shoppe, or you can get a kit that includes the pattern and the fabrics pictured above here from the Spring Water Designs website.  And don't forget, aprons make a great Mother's Day gift too ;)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Puppy Love

It never fails, just when I have a busy week with lots of deadlines looming, that's when I tend to get sick.  Well that's what happened last week.  With a week already full with things to do, I decided that Wednesday night I needed to make it more interesting by starting to come down with the flu.  Luckily I had picked a design for my Project Quilting project that was not too complicated, and I was able to finish it by Friday before I really became worthless for the rest of the weekend. 

The challenge was to go for a Valentine theme without it being overtly pink/red.  Right away I came up with "Puppy Love", a quilt that can hang on a door, or the wall in a mud room, that has plenty of pockets for holding all of those dog supplies that need to be kept together and handy when needed, but up and out of the way when not.

I like to make quilts that are functional and this one has four square pockets are made of wool for nice texture and sturdiness, then two larger pockets that are made of cotton, and sectioned off.  

Along with wool appliques, I embellished it with cute twill ribbon with paw prints and dog bones,

and the little stacked heart/flower wool embellishment that I made the other day ended up here :)

The Project Quilting voting is up now.  Go Here and check out all of the wonderfully creative entries, I'm always in awe of what everyone comes up with ~ and make sure you leave a comment to be entered in the give away!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine Mug Rug

I wanted to make a quick and easy project for Valentines Day, and for me that means something I can cut out quickly with my Accuquilt Go! cutter.  Mug rugs/mats are really popular right now, and I didn't have one yet, so I made one just for me...and one for my Etsy Shop :)

I started with (36) 2 1/2" squares that I cut using my Value Die (#55018) that came with my Accuquilt Go!  I totally used scraps, just randomly stacking about 4 layers at a time and running them through the cutter.  I arranged the squares in (4) rows of 7 squares, (1) row of 5 squares, and (1) row of 3 squares.  Press the seam allowances of each row in the same direction, and the row next to it in the opposite direction.  Then sew the rows together.

I clipped the seam allowances on each side of an intersecting seam and pressed the seams open to help it all lay a little flatter.

Then using my handy dandy Whitman's Sampler candy box, I traced around it to mark my overall heart shape, and cut out on the line.

Before I layered my little quilt, (this picture shows the finished quilt top later after it's quilted), first fuse some paper backed fusible web to the back of some red  fabric, then cut out a medium heart shape from the Accuquilt Go Heart Die #55029.  Fuse the little heart to the front of the pieced heart quilt top, and blanket stitch around the red heart. 

I didn't snap a picture of this step either (sorry - been sick and I'm very unorganized this week), but I layered this pink floral backing fabric right sides together with the heart front that I cut out (and under the backing fabric, I had a layer of batting).  I sewed all around the outside edge at a scant quarter inch seam allowance, leaving about a two inch opening for turning.  Trim the seam allowance, clip corners and at the inside point of the heart, and turn right side out.  Make sure the entire seam is completely turned out,  press (tucking in the opening), and top stitch all around the outside edge of the heart about a 1/4 inch from the edge. 

Then lightly quilt the little quilt, and enjoy!   This makes a generous sized mug rug, or a cute little candle mat.  Check out Sew Cal Gal's blog for links to other Valentine themed projects from the Bloggers Who Love Their Accuquilts Team.  Happy Valentines Day!!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Heart Pin

Here's a quicky little project that can be made up as a last minute gifty for your favorite Valentine...or for yourself :)

I started by cutting out two pieces each of these three shapes from wool scraps.  Any heart and flower shapes would work, but I used my Accuquilt Go! to cut two each of the large heart and smallest heart from die #55029 Hearts, and two of the large flower from die #55045 Rose of Sharon.

I sewed a scant quarter inch all around the outside edge, then carefully cut a slit in only one layer.

I clipped the seam allowances along the curves and then turned the shapes right side out through the slit, and using a ball point bodkin (a knitting needle would work too) I pushed out all the points and slid it around the seam to smooth all the edges.  Then slip stitch the little slit closed on the back side. 

Finally, embellish with a cute little button or other decorative item, sewing through all the layers to hold the pieces together.  This would make a cute pin, or a nice embellishment for a hat or bag.  I'm going to attach mine to a project that I'm currently working on...hopefully I'll have it finished soon!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Soft Hearts to Warm Cold Days

With only a few days left before Valentine's Day, love is definitely in the air ~ and it's a good thing too, because it's darn cold here!  So I've got my warm and cuddly heart quilts out for the season.  This is my Soft Hearts quilt, and it's available now as a downloadable pattern here at The Quilt Pattern Shoppe!  Downloadable patterns are great for instant gratification, and you save money on shipping too :)

Any fabrics can be used, but I love it with the vintage looking Valentine fabrics, and I'm a sucker for a striped inner border :)

These are the bonus pillows that are included in the pattern with the quilt.  Right now this arrangement is layed out in my guest room. 

I like to make quilted fabric post cards too.  This is my version of a little Valentine card tucked into a pocket on one of the pillows.  It's inspired by the little pockets we used to make to hang on our desks in elementary school, and other students would drop their little Valentine cards in there ~ fun memories :)

This quilt is so quick and easy to make up, I had started it in these shabby country colors too.  Being the overly ambitious person that I am, when I got too bogged down with other things, my friend Mary bailed me out and finished it for me...and quilted it!  Now it's hanging on the banister at the top of my stairs for Valentine's Day ~ and every time I walk by it I think of you Mary :)

I like the versatility of this pattern so much, that now I've picked out some fabrics to make it in juvenile prints for a big girl Mountain Baby Blanket donation...and I think maybe my grand daughter needs a heart quilt too...I think I can squeeze in a couple more in between other things ~ that's not too ambitious is it?  

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Life for an Old Girl

In between other projects I've been working on patching up this Old Girl.  This is an example of one of the blocks where the fabrics have torn away.  Searching all the local stores trying to match the old fabrics has been quite an adventure.  Notice that the "batting" was an old blanket ~ I love that!

So here is the block all patched up.  My new fabrics added on top are not exact matches.  The little check is a bit lighter, and I couldn't find any plaids like the ones in the quilt, but I did find a shirt at Goodwill that had the same colors and feel.  I think it'll work since the over all quilt is very scrappy, and just a little wonky.  At least my patching will give her new life.  I'll show you the whole quilt when I have her all finished :)

And for the winner of my quilt book give gave me #2 ~ Pamela!  
Pamela said...
"I may have made a Resolution not to BUY any new books, but never said anything about winning them, right?" Yea for winning them!!  Pam I'll be emailing you for your address :) Enjoy the day! ~ Dawn

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A February Give Away Just for Fun!

So now that my hubby and I have grown up to become "a couple of a certain age", it's time to quit playing around and take on some grown up responsible habits, and we figured the beginning of 2011 was the perfect time for it.  Over the years we've saved little dribs of money here, and little drabs there ~ Not that we are rich by any stretch of the imagination! ~ but we thought it was time to organize the dribs and drabs, and tomorrow we are meeting with a financial adviser.  Thus, the only thing I've created in the last few days is the pile pictured above.  I've been wallowing in 1040s and Schedule Cs, Inventory and Prospectus', Insurance Policies and Pension Plans...but I have been able to organize and make sense of all this mess, and get our taxes ready for filing, so that's a good thing :)

But because the start of February should be about much more fun things like Hearts and Love ~ and because now I have a math headache, and can only be soo grown up in one week ~ I thought I'd change the pace with a little blog give away!  So spread the word!  It's easy, leave a comment at the end of this post, and on Friday I'll choose one random winner to receive these two quilt books :)

I also wanted to mention the voting is up for Challenge 2 of Project Quilting.  My Laurel Quilt, pictured above is my humble entry this week.  You can see all of this week's fabulous entries and vote for your favorite, and leave a comment there for more give aways!

And, My Chutes and Ladders kits (pattern found in Quilt Almanac 2011) are selling fast, so don't miss out on the kit in this beautiful Oasis fabric collection!

...Now, I'll get back to finishing up the finances and math stuff.  After the financial advisor, we're going to be really grown up and get our Will done ~ who knows what kind of give away I'll have for that :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn