Friday, June 23, 2017

Patriotic Blog Hop + {GIVEAWAY!}

UPDATE: 'Atomic Bloom' Block in three (3) sizes is now available for purchase in my Craftsy Shop!

Welcome to Day 2 of the Patriotic Palette Blog Hop!  It may not be the 4th of July, but it's never too early to start the celebration!  A Blog Hop for inspiration and a Giveaway!  Woo-Hoo!   



The instant I said yes to this Hop, I knew what I wanted to make!  The beginning of May I designed a paper pieced block called ATOMIC BLOOM , and this would give me a chance to play with the block, design and size for my mini quilt.

16" x 16"
Rockets Red Glare
EQ7 was invaluable for figuring out color and block placement.  The secondary design is always intriguing.  This mini quilt is a Kaleidoscope of red, white and blue...Rockets Red Glare, and gets you in a celebrating mood!

I was provided a bundle of fabric from the  Painter's Palette Solid collection and asked to kick off the celebration with a project inspired by the color palette.  If you know me, you know I love solids!  The Painter's Palette solids are amazing!  When I received my bundle, I couldn't stop touching them!  The quality and feel is just that good!  
  
We received three (3) blue, three (3) red and one (1) white fat quarter to work with.  These I can work with!
White, Patriot, French Blue, River, Claret, Crimson and Tomato
The first step was printing templates.  If I'm doing a complicated paper piecing project, I always color my template sections to match with my fabric choice.  It makes it easier for me to keep track of things.  My quilt will have 16 blocks, each one will be 4 1/2" unfinished.

And then there is cutting all the pieces!  For this piece alone there are 304 pieces!  I figured out the size I would need for each section before I did any cutting.  Even then, I still made a cutting error!  


All the parts and pieces came together pretty quickly!  There were no extra fabrics pieces or templates left over!


I added triangles to the sides and bottom of each block and trimmed all 16 squares to 4 1/2".  


I stitched four (4) 4 1/2" blocks together to make one 8 1/2" block, stitched the four (4) larger blocks to finish the top.  It made it a little easier to keep things lined up...as best I could! 


You know what the best part of this design and pattern to me is?  I can't believe I'm saying this, but it's the quilting.  With the shapes and lines of the block, I can quilt geometric lines with ease. It's almost like the seams are a quilting guide.

I like to plan out my quilting so that there isn't a lot of threads to bury.  I'll sit and trace my finger on a path until I'm satisfied I am making the best moves!  Is that weird?


Having the perfect thread colors to finish a perfect (perfectly finished!) project is the cherry on top for me!  I used Aurifil 50 wt in Lobster Red (2265), Delft Blue (2730) and Chalk (2026).   


I couldn't decide on one color to use, so I opted to use three!  It works...it's very patriotic! It can be fun playing with bindings.  So much work goes into our quilts why not put more into bindings once in a while?  Not all quilts, and mini's are a perfect way to scratch that binding creativity itch too!

  

I used the lightest blue for the backing as I couldn't work it into my design.  Each and every color in the bundle has been duly represented!    

The quilting detail!  I used my walking foot for this.  There was a lot of turning, but since the piece is small it still went pretty fast.  I think one day I'll attempt something like this using free motion quilting.  One day when I'm adequately relaxed so I can become one with my machine!!


In a way, these blocks in these colors remind me of bottle rockets.  When I was younger it seemed like we had hundreds and hundreds of bottle rockets.  We'd shoot them off all day and night for weeks before and after the 4th of July!  When I say we, I mean my brothers.  I was never a fan of lighting the fuse!  I was more of a sparkler kind of girl.  Drawing shapes in the dark with the sparks flying everywhere!


I had every intention of launching my 'Atomic Bloom' block pattern today, but I just couldn't pull it off!  I am working on it and hope to have the pattern available in my Craftsy Pattern Shop in the next few days.  There will be 8", 12" and 16" blocks in the pattern.  

UPDATE: 'Atomic Bloom' Block in three (3) sizes is now available for purchase in my Craftsy Shop!

Options for colors!  Of course I have some!
              



Before we get to the giveaway, here are the others blogs that are participating in the Patriotic Blog Hop.

6/23: Jayne of TwiggyandOpal (@twiggyandopal)  (YOU ARE HERE!)
6/26: Elizabeth of OPQuilt (@occasionalpiecequilt)
6/30: Cindy Wiens of Live a Colorful Life (@liveacolorfullife)
7/3: Stephanie of Peas in a Pod (@stephiepeterson)

There will be tutorials, inspiration, good clean fun...and they may have a giveaway going on too!

This Blog Hop and Giveaway is sponsored by PB Studios.  Thank you so much for including me in the challenge!  A huge thanks to Lisa Ruble, I appreciate all your hard work on putting this together!

And now the GIVEAWAY!!  Wouldn't you love to win a Fat Quarter Bundle of all seven (7) of these Patriotic solids?!  Sign me up!

Leave a comment telling me what your favorite 4th of July beverage is!  If it's Rosemary Peach Lemonade ... then you must give me the recipe!

 I'll pick the winner using the good old Random Number Generator 
✩ U.S. residents only
✩ Giveaway ends at 6PM CST on June 27th
If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave your email address in your comment
✩ I'll contact the winner by email on June 28th

UPDATE: 'Atomic Bloom' Block in three (3) sizes is now available for purchase in my Craftsy Shop!

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Oh The Glitter!

I've been quiet on the blog lately, or so it seems to me!  There are several things I'm working on that would love to have a dedicated post all to themselves, but alas...they must wait! Boo!  I don't like when that happens!

I have two quilts that need quilting that I haven't shared.  Although I have shared them on Instagram.  A mini quilt in the works using Painter's Palette Solids.  Totally patriotic colors. Another patriotic quilt that I was messing with for little or no reason.  A block pattern/tutorial that ties in with the Painter's Palette Solids quilt.  

Plus, I've been trying to work around the house painting walls from a drab horrible color to a crisp clean shade of gray.  All the while taking care of an elderly dog that cannot be left alone for fear of an accident, a fall or getting stuck in corners.  

And lastly, I've been planning/scheming on a trip the end of the month to Minnesota.  I'll be meeting up with two of my sisters and then packing up my Mom and shipping her back to Oregon.  She had moved to Minnesota in hopes of being around her relatives and family, but due to some unexpected developments things took a turn for the not so good.  

Busy I have been!  So, it seems fitting that I was still able to carve out a few precious moments to make something totally ridiculous, frivolous and probably destined for the trash heap!



Far be it for me not to share the 'good, the bad and the ugly'!  I still think it's important to share or show our not so perfect projects.  If only to show we are all human.  Or to get feedback, encouragement, tips and tricks or even for some simple conversation!  



I saw the Glitter Bomb Pouch in Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine issue 46 and tucked it away for a future fun project.  The pattern is by Laura Cunningham @laura_zuckerkuss on instagram.  Not long after this issue, I bought some clear vinyl for one project my daughter Britt and I were going to do with her god-child.  We would be making clear placemats full of glitter, glamour and gorgeousness!

With vinyl on hand, I set about making some pouches.  Not pouches.  Pouch.  One pouch.  No more.



I found the glitter we used in the placemats.  The easiest part I believe!  Supply collecting.



I settled on fabric for the outside, the lining and a zipper.  Moving along at the speed of sound!  My initial plan was to make this one for my daughter.  Once the fabric pieces were prepped it was time to roll out the vinyl and give it a cut.

 

Vinyl cut.  Note to self:  do not use a sharpie to trace on the vinyl for this project!  Pieces cut and ready to stitch together per the pattern instructions.  

Once they are stitched I can add the glitter.  That's when the party should start.  



It's looking like a party to me!  I was feeling pretty good at this point!  The zipper is a bit long!  Doesn't matter...it'll get cut off and no one will ever know!  Except that I have now broadcast it!



What did this little distraction teach me? 

Adding glitter in between vinyl created a sticky situation!  The glitter sticks to the vinyl and doesn't shake free.

Using a sharpie on something clear means...you will see the sharpie!

Vinyl is not easy to turn inside out.  It sticks, it's thick it's nearly impossible.  

Do not use a thick vinyl.  I used a 20 gauge.  Fine for placemats, not so much for pouches.

Think on your feet!  The pattern calls for square corners.  I tried.  There was no way they were going to be pretty, crisp and square.  I ended up giving the corners a curve.  Which was easier to turn, but still a sticky situation!

And...far be it from me to let this little pouch take me down!  It only made me want to try something different.  Give the already cute pattern a bit of a twist to it.  

And...since I'm a cheapskate...still allow me to use the thick vinyl I already have on hand. Why buy more, right?

What are your adventures in vinyl?  Good, bad, never tried it?!

Stay tuned.  I'm determined to make a couple more in the next couple days!  I want to make something...decent...good...cool for my sisters!


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Stash :: Impulse + Urge

...it began when I started the Glam Clam quilt...Or so it seems.  It felt incredibly good to finally use a lot of fabric from my stash, and what wouldn't be used for the clams would be used in the backing.  

I vowed that when I buy fabric, specifically prints, I would try to buy in order to enhance what I already have.  I'm not sure I have done that with this latest purchase.  It was totally impulse.  I had this urge.  I couldn't help myself!!

Do you ever have that kind of urge?  The kind where you look and look and look.  You keep going back to look some more.  Where you want fabric so bad you might go crazy!  Me!  I don't know what came over me.  I just knew I wouldn't rest until I did it.



My first batch I acquired on Instagram.  Probably not the best place to look, but I did.  I'm probably one of the last people on earth to catch the Cotton + Steel bug!  I figured it was a good road to take.  Can you go wrong with C+S?



For me, fat quarters are the perfect size when I buy prints.  I don't use them that often, and it lets me build a stash that has a lot of variety.



This is my favorite! It's pretty darn cute isn't it?!  The color got my attention, that aqua is gorgeous!

I came across a screaming deal from Stitch Supply Company.  Cotton + Steel again.  But look! They came in a lovely project bag...for free!    



There was a sale on fat quarters, random prints.  The kind of sale where you don't know what your gonna get until you get it kind of sale.  I'm fully aware that many of these prints are 'older' models, but they are very, very new to me!

  

That's a pretty good variety of color don't you think?  I'm drooling on the aqua/minty goodness colors!



I like that the fat quarters are different fabric lines.  That variety thing again!



There are some prints I'm less stoked about.  That's the risk one takes when getting a 'grab bag'.



With that, my impulse and urge has be duly scratched!  A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!

Are you an impulse shopper?  I know!  I'm preaching to the choir!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Hot Hot Hot Pads!

I've made a few hundred (I'm guessing!) pot holders in my day, but I have never ever made a set that was round!  Go figure!  



Round pot holders aren't something weird or strange.  Let's face it, most pots and pans are round not square.  Yet it never occurred to me to make anything other than square.  I take that back, one time I made a couple sets that were really a weird and funky shape.  But not round!!



I had a request for round red pot holders using improv.  At first I hesitated, but not because they wanted round.  Again that is not weird!  Because of red.  I have red fabric.  I was worried I wouldn't have enough contrast between each shade.  And they were going to need at least a spot or three of something else.  I ended up picking a few woven stripes that had red tones and also black and dark grey.      



I pieced some strips together trying to follow an imaginary curve hoping I wasn't wasting my time. For this particular design, I felt it was important to have curves to keep the round flow. Like the wheels on a bus.  (I know, you are singing it now!)



When making pot holders, I make a tidy little pot holder sandwich before quilting.  Starting with the backing, then a layer of Insul-Bright, cotton batting and the top.  Insul-bright has a reflective film inside poly fibers that reflects hot and cold energy.    



With the layers secure, the quilting can begin!  With small 'quilts' like these, you can really get creative with the quilting.  Machine quilt or free motion.  These were a combination of both.  It that the best of both worlds?!  I think so!



I just happened to have the perfect thread for the quilting!  Not always the case with me.  I'm slowly trying to build my thread stash, as there is nothing more frustrating than not having that perfect match for a project.  

Aurifil Burgundy #1103 was just right.  These pot holders have a lot of different shades of red. The burgundy thread was perfect!

I will admit that I may have shied away from round pot holders because I didn't want to deal with cutting something round...that was until I found the perfect tool, the perfect sized tool! Kitchens are the best place to look for tool alternatives!  

The pot lid is round, which made my job a whole lot easier!  I used a marker to trace the circle and cut it out with scissors.  Scissors just to be safe.  I could see the rotary cutter slipping and slicing off part of my curve...nightmare!!



With that, circles aren't so bad!  One thing that was easier was stitching the binding to the back. I didn't have to worry about mitered corners!  Hopefully I won't be asked to make oval pot holders...I do not have an oval lid!


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