Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Stash Spain

I'm off galavanting in Spain right now. I thought this was as close to a fabric store as I was going to get

Across the street in Lisboa, Portugal. We did pass another tiny shop that had beautiful woolen plaids that we could see through the window. But as the price was 85 Euros plus a meter so we didn't even go in. We got back to Spain and heard there was a flea market each Monday in town so we headed off to see it. The sun was super bright and every person in every stall was yelling at the top of their voice. Crowds were talking and pushing and it was totally overwhelming. Good think I saw the fabric at the beginning because at the end I just wanted out of there. I bought an overpriced panel because I liked it and there were no more left :)

The bottom part of the panel is cut off, which isn't awesome. If I weren't leaving the country before I could go back to the market I'd have waited to buy a whole one. One always need a giant map of Spain on fabric don't you think? I've been mainly in the small purple blob in the middle, otherwise known as Castilla, but i've been up to Castilla y Leon and a bit south to La Mancha. The places I didn't make it to were Galicia and Valencia. If only I'd had another week and a different brain :)

Linking up to Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash Number 100

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Embroidery: I love little stitches!

I seem to always have a hand stitched embroidery project going on. I can embroider at night on those occasions when the sewing machine might be too loud. Like when there are guests and they aren't used to the mad scramblings of 2 AM sewing burst.

I can also occasionally do some at get togethers or other random places. I usually fold it up with a bit of padding and cart it around in a bag, tote or zip close bag. I think a travel work station case would be great. I've thought of how I'd like it to be and even looked at a few that others have made online. I haven't seen any that I love yet. Do you have any suggestions or ones you've made or seen?

This is a little bit I'm working on for the top half of a project. And the green stitching is for a swap I'm in, also In progress.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Traveling Stash Winner!

Random Number Generator came up with lucky number 5. Woot! I've notified the winner by email and thanks for throwing in your hat in everyone!

Monday, June 30, 2014

June Finish

This is a tote just as it seems :) I can't tell you more about it as its a secret gift. As soon as its received I'll tell you all about it.

There's also a Traveling Stash Box up for grabs on my previous post.

Traveling Stash Box, yay!

Fabric Stash Box Giveaway Closed!

I have wanted to join in on the Traveling Stash box fun ever since I first heard of them. There are a number of boxes literally traveling around the U.S. full of fabric and goods. I won the box from Deb at A Simple Life Quilts. So exciting! Here's a picture of the most of the fabric, notions and patterns that arrived including: Salt Air charm pack, partial charm pack, elastic chord, fat quarters, yardage, sparkle beaded decoration, ruler, twin needle, seam ripper, sewing kit, thread conditioner, needle threaders, a big zip lock full of tons of quilting patterns, a great embroidery booklet, buttons and Aurifil. There may be a few other things I've forgotten but there's a bunch of stuff. 

With things like traveling stash boxes you never know what you're going to get, really. There are many different tastes and choices for fabrics and notions. That's how the fabric business is worth probably billions of dollars. All that being said, many of the fabrics in this box were not my style. On the other hand, there was some great stuff that my LQS's don't carry and it was great to be able so have some. I did find things that worked for me and almost kept the Salt Air but decided to let someone else keep it. 

Here's what I'm keeping and what I'm giving. Top row is what I'm taking, bottom row is what I'm giving. Middle row I'm taking the Indigo Crossing charm pack and giving the Wishes by Moda, taking the pink washi and giving the neutral washi.

Here's the other thing about traveling stash boxes, they go to peoples houses. Some of those houses have fur babies. I am allergic to those and had a really hard time. Usually this box has a week turn around. You get it, take what you want and send it on. I had to air out the box many times before I could do a final switch out. So from friendly advice would be, if you have allergies be aware that this can be an issue and if you have pets please try and keep the goods away from your fur babies. 

There was a final third yard that I couldn't decide what to switch out. So I'll leave it up to you! Would you like the modern graphic Collage from Carrie Bloomston, the Riley Blake Pretty pinwheels from Country Girls, or the classic blue and white Swirly Girls design from Michael Miller in homage to our Independence Day July 4th. 

The rules to receive this box are fairly simple. You must be an active blogger to receive this box.

  • The definition of a Stash is a secret store of valuables. For quilters it is a collection of usable quality products. The stash contains fabric, patterns and notions. ALL FABRIC IN THE BOX IS AND MUST CONTINUE ON AS QUILT SHOP QUALITY. THE FABRIC SHOULD BE NEW AND UNWASHED. 
  • PATTERNS/BOOKS should be new or in a gently used condition. (No free patterns from the Internet) Books take up a lot of space and the box is limited, so please include fabric instead of a big book.
  • Other items such as tools or notions should be packaged and in new or gently used condition. Nothing should be old or tattered.
The Giveaway for this box will remain open for one week. YOU MUST BE AN ACTIVE BLOGGER to receive The Two Sisters Travelling Stash. This box is limited to travel within the United States only. Please leave a comment and the giveaway will be closed on July 9, 2014. *Edited* And the winner will be announced July 10, 2015. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ballet Shoes Paper Pieced Quilt Block Style

I Love love these ballet shoes! I got to pattern test for Tartankiwi again and the pattern was perfect. There are a few pieces to this one so it took me a few hours. I like to precut my fabric the rough size of the piece I'll be using. It seems to take longer to cut but then piecing goes so quickly. The colors are two shades of Kona Cotton pink and an aqua colored Sketch.

The pale pink is supposed to look like the pink tights little ballerina's use. I can just see this as the front of a tote bag for my niece. To put her ballet things in for class of course! Perfect :)

Tartankiwi has the best paper pieces patterns. Although this has a few pieces, sewing it together is straightforward and simple. All the sections meet up perfectly. There are also a couple of pages you can print off that help with fabric and piece placement.

I find the design elegant. Here's me deciding on skin color or tights color. Have you paper pieced any blocks lately?

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Block for Aneela Hoey and A Lotta Glimma with Collage

I bought a quarter yard of fabric that was not on sale. Why? I'm preparing to make a block for Aneela Hoey. There was some sad news Aneela released on IG that she was diagnosed with cancer. Pins and Bobbins is asking us to make a block or two and will make them into a quilt for Aneela. Here's the link for info and block specifications.

Why would this feel important to me? I, like many of you I'm sure, know someone close to me that has been diagnosed. There is nothing like that initial shock, immediate worry and sense of feeling lost and helpless. There's nothing you can really do in that moment. But after that, you can be there, be loving, be supportive, be strong, cry with them, wait with them and possibly wrap them up in a quilt hug. A tangible reminder that you are thinking of them that they're important and Loved.

If you are so inclined and have some Aneela Hoey fabrics you'd be welcome to make a block or two. Do you have a favorite fabric or line from her?

Sherbet Pips was one of the first lines I remember to cause a virtual furor of love and "gotta have it"-ness. I remember wanting to see some in real life to see what all the fuss was about. It really was charming and the square dots are still one of my favorite blenders. A charm pack of Sherbet Pips also made up my first twin sized quilt top after coming back to quilting in years. I'm grateful to her and all the other designers that make beautiful fabrics that impact my life and make it more enjoyable.

That little fold of fabric isn't the only thing I came home with. The more joy the better. I knew the store was having a clearance sale and it was worth going.

Lotta Jansdotter Glimma fabric for $2.99 a yard. Yep, you read that correctly, fabulous quilt shop fabric at $2.99 a yard. What else was on sale? Thanks for asking

Collage fabric by Carrie Bloomston. It's a bright mustardy yellow green in a large scale that I think would be great for bags or backing. I got three yards of each of the above. I mean, three yards was nine dollars. Nine! Sorry, I'm still excited about it.

A yard and a half of this Dear Stella got paid for as well. I find 1.5 the perfect length for a nice gathered skirt. I've already washed, cut and started to hem it.

This is how it looks. It's a hand sewn blind hem, or pick stitch hem. I pulled the fabric up so you could see the stitches and how far apart they are. Normally it lays nice and flat while you stitch. You pick up one or two threads on the skirt side so it's nearly invisible from the "right side" of the garment.

Do you do your hems like this or by machine?

Linking up to Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles

Gimma, fabric,  Lotta Jansdotter, Collage, Molli Sparkles, Sunday Stash, Jeifner, secondhanddiosaur, mid-century mod quilt fabric

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cherry Christmas in the Backyard Baby Sunday Monday Stash

There were two simultaneous shop hops happening locally, which means jack pot! I happened to be traveling a little further north and south than I normally would and decided to drop in. Boy I'm glad I did. These fabrics were on average $5.25 a yard. Most of them are from the line Cherry Christmas by Aneela Hoey.

The third from the left above and directly below is Birch Forest from the Backyard Baby line by Patty Sloniger. It was originally part of a loosely boy geared novelty line. I find that this print transcends boy novelty. It is so precisely, sparsely but beautifully designed. The minimal lines on the trees suggesting birch bark. The bird is a drawing yet manages to not be cartoonish. I think the color and linear quality are so cool and chic. I would love to do an entire backing from this. I also have a quilt design with grey Kona creating lots of negative space that's been floating around my head since the line came out a couple years ago. Look at this little guy! Such a pretty color of orange red on his cap.

These next three are the Cherry Christmas presents print "All Wrapped Up." I think this may be one of my favorite blender designs of all time. What better fabric to include in bee blocks, tote swaps, birthday swaps, birthday presents, labor day presents, etc. Presents!

These are the red prints I picked up. Washing Line in red and the All Wrapped Up in red. I think this is one of the most charming Christmas lines to ever come out. Top 10 or top 5? Do you have a Christmas line that you love? Or a novelty fabric that you use as regular old fabric?

Linking up to Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash being held by Quilts From the Attic

Thursday, May 29, 2014

You're a Winner I can Feel It!

Two of you discerning and lovely readers have won my followers giveaway!

The lucky ducks randomly generated are 3 and 30! The winners have been notified, they responded, and I'm excited to send out fabric bundles to them.

Thank you so much for following the blog, I so enjoy my interactions with you all on here. And welcome to the new followers!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WIP: Wednesday Angled Frames,Traveling Stash

I'm in the midst of working on about mmm, a hundred projects. One that is coming fairly quickly and I have loved working on is my Angled Frames quilt. I started sewing it following the guidelines in the quilt a long on Flickr. You can come and play/sew too! It's part of the Old Red Barn quilt a long group.  DeeRoo G came up with this great design and her tutorial is here. You use long strips of fabric and the sewing and cutting go quite quickly. I could see how you could cut and sew one in an afternoon. Here are the strips and colors I've been working with

My table is covered with aqua and I love it. I've always thought it was a nice color but it turns out I really like it. I had a little private swap and my partner made me a gorgeous draw string bag that had a patchwork, improv-y aqua solids strip in the middle and it was perfect. Really, perfect. Who knew I had such a thing for it? This is how its coming along

I've been snapping these with my camera phone and the colors are not quite accurate. I've even edited them a bit but the fundamental hue recording is just wrong and the value difference is too big for a limited camera. I'll pull out my big camera when it's a bit further along to get accurate colors.

I also won one of the Traveling Stash boxes, hurray! I've decided to keep the charm pack so I went shopping to replace it and came home with Wishes by Moda and a few basics that were on sale.

On a sad note, the winner of my Hoop Sew Mama Sew giveaway has not contacted me or given me her email so I have to re-draw for a new winner. *update: she saw this post and we connected, yay!

Linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fabric for Followers! Your Eyes Only ;)

I have found such a perfect mix of art, utility, creativity and community in sewing and quilting and sharing online. I have loved reading hundreds of blogs and starting this one. I'm so happy you have joined me along the way. I want to give back to you a little of the love, support, fabric and goodness that I've received. This giveaway is just for you!

(Giveaway is closed)

1. Coordinated Cute

What kind of fabric would you like to win? I've got all these little bundles made. Do you like cute, coordinated, scrappy, traditional...

3. Traditional French General and Low Volume

I did say I'd throw in a little extra, so I'll throw in one of this kind of thread

Feel free to let me know if you like Aurifil in neutral or in color and what color family you might like. If I have that color, or neutral,  I'll throw it in. Or I can pick a color or neutral of my choice because I mean, Aurifil in any color is fantastic. I had heard about it online but none of my local stores carried it. Then I won a box and I really do love it. My machine sews beautifully with it, there is no breaking and piecing and quilting are speedy and work just as they should. I've no association with Aurifil I just really like the thread and bought these spools with my own hard earned cash. My local stores are starting to carry it so I picked some up when they were 10 percent off.

2. Lemon Summer Kitchen

Some pieces are fat quarters, some larger, some a bit smaller. All are brand spankin' new and looking for a loving home. I will stuff as much fabric as I can in an envelope as long as the shipping remains at or less than 10 dollars to domestic U.S. and at or less than 15 dollars for overseas. What do you need to do to win? You just need to be a follower and tell me what kind of fabric you like in general and specifically which stack, or stacks, you like and I'll send bundles along to two lucky winners.

4. Juvenile Novelty Fabrics

I'll leave the giveaway open until Sunday night May 25 at 11:59 pm MST. The random number generator will pick two winners who will be notified by email. Winners have to respond within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen as per aforementioned RNG. Because winners are notified by email, if you are a no-reply blogger you need to leave your email in your comment. If there is no email associated with your name I will re-draw with RNG for a new winner.

5. Cute and Polka Dots

I just noticed there's not a lot of modern graphic prints here so if you like that or texty let me know as I've some of those as well. (I know the numbers are out of order but as people had selected numbers they liked already, I'll leave it this way :) )

Good luck! I hope you win and get a good bunch of fabrics that you like :) I am responding to all of your comments so if you don't hear from me you are probably a no-reply blogger and I have no way to reach you and you won't be able to win. How do you check if you are no-reply? Wendy at On the Windy Side can help.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winners DCARGILL and 3 More!

Hi everyone! So happy to have you all visit me over the Giveaway Week. I do have an awesome giveaway for followers going up tomorrow. I was going to post it on Sunday but things happen (I'll tell ya if you want to know :) ). I'll throw in a few extras to make up for the extra day. We've got some winners.

Happy Sew Mama Sew Hoop Giveaway winner is Lucky Number 72! Who said:

dcargillMay 14, 2014 at 3:04 PM
I love bright colors but teal is my favorite. The combination you have already made with red & teal is great!

dcargill, I'm having a hard time finding a way to contact you, if you could email me your address that'd be great or let me know your name on bloglovin' so I can contact you. Thanks!

(full disclosure, I had to remove duplicate comments and my own comments to get a true number count.)

And the Heather Ross Flannel Giveaway winners are: 4, 113 and 109 who are respectively:

4- Sel who said. :SelMay 13, 2014 at 4:18 PM
Munki-munki! Cutest ever! Thanks for the giveaway!

113-MichelleMay 16, 2014 at 11:09 AM
I love fabric or gift cards to amazon or a fabric store

Julia GlotovaMay 16, 2014 at 7:44 AM
I like to get flowers as a present :)

Thanks for a chance to win! julia(dot)glotova(at)gmail(dot)com

I had a great time reading through everyone's answers. Some of you pick out what you want yourselves and help others give it to you, many of you would be happy with fabric or gift cards for fabric/supplies and some wish others would give them thoughtful gifts. I hope all of us have the chance to give or get presents that are just perfect, because you know people and are known, loved and appreciated. I love you and appreciate you :) Thanks for coming by future besties. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Supplies Giveaway!

Hi! I almost forgot I was saving this for the SMS Giveaway! Silly me :)
*Giveaway Now Closed*

I'd always thought it was an urban myth that people would walk into their local TJMaxx's and find Heather Ross prints on PJ's. Well guess what! Ok, you don't have to guess since you've seen already, but I found some and they were on sale for 10 dollars or so. And since there's probably around a yard or so of fabric once you cut them all up that's not bad :)

Now this is the flannel fabric so it's the teensiest bit fuzzy. I don't drink coffee but I do think the donuts, sticks and sugar are cute. As is the little tag

Would you like some? Since there are some sleeves and legs, how about we have 3 winners? I'll have the Random Number Generator select three different people. Since I love presents how about you answer this: What's a present would you like to receive? (or give, fine :) )

Celebratory Monkey! And just another shot of the price tag because it's fun too. No one will ever know if these are the perfect pajamas as I'm cuttin' 'em up, bahaha!

*Giveaway Now Closed*
 Giveaway ends May 16th at 12 a.m. MST (That's 12 midnight). Winner will be notified within three days. Winner  will be notified here and by email. Winning will be sent within 30 days. If winners do not respond within 24 hours new winners will be randomly selected as per above.

*I've already had a few no-reply bloggers enter.  If you are a no-reply blogger I will re-draw, sorry.  It's safer to leave your email in your answer like this: coolestpersonname {at} gmail [dot] com. If you don't get responses to blog comments you are probably no-reply. Only one comment per person counted in giveaway. 

I normally reply to all comments but for a Heather Ross giveaway I'll probably throw in the flannel monkey towel and just say I do so love that you've come all the way over to my blog, Thank you!  I'd love if you followed me and am doing a follower giveaway on Sunday :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

So I was messing around with my blog header to make it a bit more sew-y and came up with this

But in the process messed up did something not according to plan, so I had to revert to a text only header. Oh well! In the mean time, I was thinking I'd offer up a hand-made good! I'm Jennifer and I love to sew, quilt, swap and make.

And I've been making a hoop pocket sewing kit and making sure it's extra cute with a little embroidery

I'm not sure that this will end up being a hoop for the person I'm giving it to as they have one already and I have some other ideas I can use. (A-if you see this, don't worry, there are still surprises for you :) )

*Giveaway Now Closed*
Would you like one too? I'd like to make you your own. Let me know in the comments what color or colors you like and I'll make you one if you win! The only caveat is that I'm not sure a hoop would survive a trip overseas in an envelope. So if you win and you're overseas you have the choice of risking it or having me make you a non-hoop sewing kit. Your choice :)

Now if you'd like to become a new follower that'd be lovely but it's not required. If you do, make sure to come back Sunday and I'll do a giveaway just for you. Sew Mama Sew giveaway link here.

*Giveaway Now Closed*
Giveaway ends May 16th at 12 a.m. MST (That's 12 midnight). Winner will be notified within three days. Winner picked by Random Number Generator and will be notified here and by email. Winning will be sent within 30 days. If winner does not respond within 24 hours a new winner will be randomly selected as per above.

*I've already had a few no-reply bloggers enter.  I can't contact you if you're no-reply, so you won't be able to win. If you are a no-reply blogger I will re-draw, sorry.  It's safer to leave your email in your answer like this: coolestpersonname {at} gmail [dot] com. Duplicate comments will be deleted or not-counted. One comment per person. 

Would you all just believe that I super love that you've come all the way over to my blog and I heart you! I'll try and keep up with giveaway day comments but it's a lot! I'm also giving away some Heather Ross in the supplies SMS giveaway here. *Giveaway now closed*

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Full Apron in Fall Colors

A bit retro (happy birthday!) full apron made in Autumn colors.

I made it for a Birthday swap on Flickr. Each month one person gets presents for their birthday from everyone else. What fun to have your birthday be all month! CosbyGryffin said that she likes fall colors, orange, mustard, purple, green and red. When she said she also likes to cook I thought I'd take a dive right in and make an apron.

When I thought of my fabrics I thought of the Metro Cafe utensils since it seemed like it was full of the evening colors of fall. The sun setting low on the horizon with melting golds, oranges and mustards, with aqua creeping in on the edges of night. Perfect. I thought of the Alexander Henry Farmdale mustard fabric to be the accompaniment with an accent ruffle of orange. Don't quite remember what that one is. Might be a halloween fabric?

I like to keep all the seams neat and covered in something like an apron. I think it lasts longer, possibly, and since you might get peeks as you move around the kitchen I like it to be finished.

The top is fairly straight forward with the bottom curved out to meet the waist band. That seems to help it fit better and balance the weight of the gathered skirt.

Just a basic strap for the neck. Two long pieces of fabric, folded over a quarter inch on each side and sewed around the edges. You just tuck the two pieces of the strap up against the already sewn together inside out of the top. I like to do a little top stitching to finish it off and help strengthen the straps.

Here's how the back looks

The seams are folded a quarter inch, then again. The ruffle and mustard are sewn on with the mustard piece a bit longer to fold over then seam in the back then get top stitched from the front. Sort of a faux french seam.

I like the ties less than 2 inches wide and fairly long. That way you can have a big bow in back or loop and tie it in the front. That'd give a nice accent to the metro cafe brown. Also, lets be frank. When you're gifting an item to wear and are not sure the size and length of the receiver it's good to have some leeway :)

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kona Cotton Quilt Blocks for Jaybird Quilt's Julie

When there is Kona, one must sew. So I did! I got a couple more blocks done for Julie of Jaybird Quilts. Her huppah, or wedding canopy, will be made of quilt blocks. The first one I made I blogged about here. I didn't see many traditional quilt blocks in the ones she'd gotten already so I decided a log cabin would be perfect.

It's a classic quilt block and is supposed to symbolize home or a hearth and home. Perfect for a new marriage :)

The third one I made using the scraps from the first two plus a few other bits added in. A little modern improv thrown in with the traditional and structured.

Add them together with the half size Hack Slash Star from #badskirt Amy

I think it's a fun little group to add to the others. I wrote my name in the seam allowance and the date I sent them off. Hurray for weddings and Kona!Kona Stash and Jaybird Quilts Wedding Block

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sunday Monday Kona Cottons Stash

There are only two days left! For what? To make a quilt block for Julie from Jaybird Quilts. She is asking for triangle blocks to make into the huppa for her wedding. How exciting! What better way to celebrate all your loves :)

There are specific shades of Kona Corron requested so I had to so a spot of shopping. I did stick to my goal of only buying solids on sale. This so the stack I ended up with at the end of the day.

Not all of these are for the wedding huppa. I felt I needed more aquas for my frames quilt. Not yet cut or in any sort of stage beyond planning in my head. These are the colors that match the wedding request

From left to right the Kona Cotton colors are: surf, turquoise, lagoon, Caribbean, honeydew and pistachio. There are bunches more to choose from in Julie's palette. Serendipitously Badskirt Amy came out with a new paper pieced star patter called Hack Slash. It makes a 9 inch star so I thought, why not make it half sized so it can be the center of a triangle? I printed the free PDF at 50 percent. Actually I printed it full sized and copied it at 50 percent that way I had a regular star pattern and a mini me star. The pieces aren't very small so the reduced size is easy peasy to work with.

It was really fun working with a limited palette. The colors and fabrics were already chosen so you just decide where to put them. I have pistachio on the first border as I needed the overall block to be bigger. I just used the outer line as my stitching line to add them.

One note about reducing patterns, you have to ignore the marked seam allowances and keep them at a quarter inch. Otherwise they'd be crazy super tiny. Here's how it looks all done and pressed. (Although the colors aren't quite reading correctly.)

You should try it! Wouldn't it be fun to have a bunch of tiny little stars? Now to start on the rest of the bunch :)

Linking up to Molli Sparkles

Friday, April 25, 2014

Keep Calm or Freak Out

I've seen so many of these Keep Calm signs. I believe the originals were from the United Kingdom during WWII and now variations litter the interwebs. While some of them are quite clever and I get a kick out of them, I often feel like they don't quite fit. So I came up with this:

(free vector crown by rones 099348 British)

Friday, April 18, 2014

How to Pin Paper Pieced Quilt Blocks

Hello all! I'm sharing how to pin paper pieced quilt blocks to ensure accuracy and section matching. I'm showing you with a great new quilt block from Tartankiwi that I got to pattern test. We'll start with non-ironing and pinning in each section.

I don't find ironing paper piecing in each section necessary. I finger press it. That just means pushing on it, or pushing back and forth, like your fingertip is a tiny iron. Then push a pin through the new seam and bring it up through the middle of the new section. This holds the fabric in place until the new part is sewn or sections are joined. It also helps keep the seam "ironed" flat. This is what the pin looks like.

The best way to make sure the sections fit together and everything lines up is to pin before you sew. Place a pin through each end point of the section and any parts that need to line up exactly. This means the pin is sticking straight up and down into the air. I push all the pins about half way through the first piece then pick up the piece that needs to be joined. Put them right sides together with the pinned section in back and the section to be matched in front. I keep a finger between the sections to help line up each pin one by one. Push each pin through the corresponding point all the way through. 

Once all the points are lined up and pinned, hold the block in your left hand (if you're right handed) and pin the sections together. The new pins are horizontal and perpendicular to the section you're lining up. 
It can be a little tricky but is doable. (If you need more detailed pictures, let me know.) I place them close to the sewing line but far enough away so that the pins are totally clear of the sewing machine foot. This way the sections stay together and lined up without having to worry about moving pins while sewing. If you have to move the pins to sew, you risk moving the sections out of alignment.

If you need more help with pinning, or it's not clear what to do, just let me know. I'd be glad to help! Now a few notes about the egret.

There is a charm and realism to Juliet's quilt blocks that perfectly captures each animal.  It took me a while to decide what fabrics to use as there are actually a few different colors of egrets. There are the snowy white ones that have a gorgeous long cloud of feathers at times. The white ones can have dark beaks and legs, yellow beaks and legs or a mash up of the two. Then there are the grey and red egrets. They were all tempting but I settled on a yellow beak. I think it's a yellow Sketch fabric, but I may be wrong. The top part of the beak is a darker yellow than the bottom so that you can see the two pieces of the beak.See the pin on the bottom right that is pushed through the seam and brought up in the middle of the section?

Since I went with the yellow beak I picked a white bird. The Architexture text fabric for the body still reads as white, just with some visual interest. In the next picture I have the sections I've started to piece on the right and the fabric I've pre-cut on the left. When I want the piecing to go fast I pre-cut all the fabric ahead of time. You also get the special treat, ooh la la! , of seeing my current sewing space. This tre chic studio is my coffee table. I sit oh so elegantly on the floor whilst I piece.

See, I told you, such a treat. You're welcome.

There are some tiny pieces around the eye which makes for small pieces of paper to remove on the back. I can usually pinch the paper, then pull it off. If I can't quite pinch it or there's a stubborn corner piece I just grab a pin and slide it under to lift it up. I use a short stitch length, meaning the stitches are close together and small, which on my machine is about 1.75. This allows the paper to rip off easily without pulling the fabric so there's no distortion in the block.

Paper piecing allows for great accuracy and fantastic patterns that would otherwise be impossible. The yellow pieces around the eye are less than a sixteenth of an inch wide but they were easy to do with paper piecing. I highly recommend giving it a go if you haven't already. Are you working on any paper piecing or would like to be? Let's talk.

Linking up to Paper Piecing Part at Quiet Play and TGIFF at Blossom Heart Quilts, the finished project being pattern testing and setting up a pinning tutorial.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

This is What Falling Off the Wagon Looks like or Sunday Stash

Yep, either these fell off the back of a truck or I fell off the wagon. See, I'm not supposed to be buying fabric. Who says? Well me, my mom and Making Rebecca Lynne at the Fabriholics Anonymous Group on Flickr.

What had happened was... :) I was testing a quilt pattern for Blossom Heart Quilts and I started pulling fabrics. I kept pulling out these really minty aquas. It looked like I had almost enough to not repeat any fabrics. Almost. So the next time I happened to be in front of the fabric store I parked and went and got some, just two. It's actually a little hard to find very minty aquas. Then since I'm making a cream and red block for myself for the Stash Fabulous Bee I probably needed some more creams.

Low volume and creams are good blenders right? And this one is a Christmas fabric so it was on super sale. And it has a metallic shimmer.

Mmm, gold. So here they are, my beautiful walk of fabri-shame and stash guilt. Know why? I ended up having enough minty aqua already in my stash for there to be no repeats. Now I have extra aqua for no good reason. Except maybe scraps and goodies for swaps.

The cream crosshatch I sent off for background fabric for the Stash Fab Bee and the text/sew fabric I've been using as background on my pattern test animal blocks for Juliet at Tartankiwi (also on major sale). So, very necessary that :) And they do all look nice together.

Happy Stash and Sunday to You! Linking up to Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Badger Paper Piece Quilt Block

The nice big post about paper piecing and pattern testing for Tartankiwi seems to have gone the way of the world. It's hiding from me. In the mean time this badger is a paper pieced pattern that I tested a while ago.

If you get the chance to do pattern testing for someone I would recommend it. I have become a better paper piecer for having done it. While I had done some paper piecing before it was more along the lines of compass or mariners blocks. Those are fairly straight forward and all of the sections are exactly the same. Blocks like the flying geese circle or intricate ones were out of my comfort zone and seemed too difficult and intricate for me. I was intimidated by them and hesitated even trying to sew them. Testing for Tartankiwi made all the difference for me.

One day I saw on her blog a call for people to test her patterns. If there's one thing I had learned about paper piecing its that if you can sew on a line, you can make a block. So I volunteered myself. I like to stretch my boundaries and learn new things. It feels great having conquered something that seemed really hard or impossible.

By the time I tested this pattern I felt 100 % capable to sew it up with no problems or hesitation. It is a straight forward and easy block to sew up and I think he is so charming. I totally fell for him while I was sewing him together. I'd like to introduce you to him. Here's Boris the Badger.

If you'd like to make one, head on over to Tartankiwi.

Linking up to Quiet Play's paper piece Friday. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Radiant Orchid Sunday Stash, Warp and Weft

I'm not going to buy more fabric. Probably. So this edition of stash is brought to you by Winning! Warp and Weft and Quilter in the Closet
Ty Pennington Damask Aubergine, Not Sure?, Bromley, Glimma Marby Mineral Dust Lotta Jansdotter, Tula Pink Birds and the Bees Squirrel, Not Sure?

Warp and Weft had a Radiant Orchid bundle giveaway and the requirement was to say what you would use the bundle for and how you are planning on putting Radiant Orchid, the Pantone Color of the Year, to use in your life. I answered:

‘First I would throw a welcome Radiant Orchid party this December, in conjunction with my birthday. After all, the announcement of the new Pantone color is just as important as my very birth. I would hand cut pennants for an orchid birthday banner for me and if these fabrics arrived in time make a table runner featuring tula squirrels that would nigh on float above a cloud of snowy white so that the orchid-ness shines. I’d make a floral orchid hair piece (mayhap with a feather in my cap? fascinator), pull out the orchid colored rose earrings I have, don those. I would bedeck mine eyes with the ‘enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones” and bring out the green. I would grace my guests with the radiance of orchid accessories in the water closet. While they are freshening up I would tie my new hostess apron on, made with layers of light and dark orchid tulle in a retro modern feel. Then I’d put the finishing touches on my purple potato aperitif and straighten the bouquet of orchid flori-bundance and bring out the lavender scented sugar to sprinkle atop the nights purple dessert. The whole while we would let our new beau orchid beguile us with it’s charm, it’s savoir faire. We would luxuriate in it, bath in it’s essence as you were. I welcome it’s radiance with open arms.’ – Jeifner, Second Hand Dinosaur

Little crazy but totally doable :) Unfortunately the post didn't get here until after my birthday, so I couldn't go with the original plan. We did have purple potatoes that day, though. Yum. I'm still planning on a Radiant Orchid party and will blog about it and what we were able to do on my birthday but it will have to wait. Look how great the package is from Warp and Weft. It's a brown paper package tied up in string! It is also, coincidentally a favorite thing, fabric that is, but also parcels.

Just in case that wasn't enough stash for you, I'll share another Sew Mama Sew win. What, you don't spend all that week spending every spare second and moving into sleep deprivation to enter every single one? Me either. I do have to say that I only enter the ones I would really like to win. So not actually every single one. The
Quilter in the Closet had a book giveaway for SMS giveaway week as well.

That one! It's the Angela Walters one. Now I have an at home, in the 
book flesh book I can poor over and handle and twist and turn until it
makes sense quilting guide. Also that cute note and the extra charm 
squares. Love it. She also kindly wished me luck on my One Block
Wonder QAL quilt and suggested I'd possibly be able to use the book
to inspire my quilting. Very nice that. About that quilt... still not even
one seam is sewn. I suppose that's how it goes with a purely for fun
for me quilt. The back burner's a nice place to keep warm during
winter anyways :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Moments for the Week, Letter L, Easy as ABC

There were a few special moments this week but I only have pictures of two of them. Hmm. Must take more pictures.

I tried out a version of Blossom Heart Quilts Easy as ABC's patterns for the letter "L". There was this space to the right of the L that was just sitting there so I figured it'd be great for a little fussy cut showcasing. I have a little friend that is just so very girly and loving things pink and sparkly, so I made it in her colors with Mirror Ball Dot sparkle. This is one of my special moments because it worked exactly how I wanted it to.

My other special moment this week was receiving a sweet letter from one of my good friends. We really haven't seen each other over the last month, when normally I see her at least once a week. What a wonderful surprise to see a real letter in the mail and it was all for me. It made me feel loved and appreciated and just brightened up my whole week. I think I may just write back. Maybe have a pen-pal slash real friend all at the same time, ha!

Now, I was thinking of moments because there is a new linky starting over at Weekend Doings. It made me think a bit more in depth about the past week and what my sewing/quilting moment was and my life moment. Have a wonderful week and recognize some moments for yourself. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

First Quarter Finish Myself Along: Quilts, Zip Pouches, Paper Piecing and Crochet

There are a lot of projects that I've been working on. I really like to have various projects going on at the same time. When something doesn't quite work with one, I switch to another so my subconscious can figure it all out (she's clever like that).

Here we go:
A triple zip pouch for the Triple Zip Pouch Swap on Flickr .

A small pouch or drawstring bag for a little swap between soon to be besties.

Finish this quilt that has been waiting patiently for me for a long time. The top is good to go, just the rest of it needs to get done.

I'm working on a crocheted scarf that is part of a small challenge that my friend Lysa and I gave ourselves. It has to include a certain piece of trim that she bought on a trip.

There are a few that don't have pictures yet:
  • Secret Tote Swap- Don't have my partners info so I haven't pulled fabrics for it yet
  • Pattern test a block for Tartankiwi- needs to be done within about a week. You should really check out her patterns if you haven't already. 
  • 4 Bee blocks- I'm planning on making at least one extra bee block for each of the ladies in my hive that sent out blocks. I may need to ask for some angel blocks as well from the larger group so they receive, hopefully, as many blocks as they sent out. 

  • Finish setting up and getting started on a new bee called Stash Fabulous Bee that my friend MissRiain and I are starting. It'll be a year long bee from February to February. That way there's a little flexibility with the holidays and everyone's schedule. Gosh, that means I'm planning into 2015 already. Wow. 
On that astonishing note I'll add that I originally wanted to link up to the Finish-A-long on Littlest Thistle but my computer refused to pull up her website. Silly computer. I wish you a lovely weekend. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Lovely Year of Finishes Blocks and Lovely Gift Cards

Last day to get your Lovely Year of Finishes goals posted for January! Mine is to get 4 bee blocks done. Two of them will look something like this:

It's another of my Cairo Star blocks and I still need to do some tiny tweaks to the pattern. I also joined a new bee and want to get my two blocks for February done this month. I'm to make two 12.5" high blocks that have wonky triangle trees. They can be any width. I'm thinking this is going to be a great break from all the preciseness needed for paper piecing. So those are my 4 blocks for my January making goal.

I also had a lovely break from the routine of normal life and had a girls night out. We gathered at a friends house and had dinner. We talked and shared which was just what my heart needed. Good friends make life light and joyful. Then our hostess pulled out paper and we made cards as we chatted. These are most of the ones I made. Paper making, card making, block piecing it's all from the same part of myself. Feels good to just make and to feel prepared for future greeting card emergencies, ha!