Hi, I'm Beth. Welcome to my day on the Blog Hop! I can't remember exactly when I started quilting - it was in the past two years - but I didn't get "addicted" to it until last summer and now I'm at my sewing machine most every day.
Favorite Quilting Tip: Enjoy the process AND what I hear myself telling my daughters when they are sewing - take it slow and steady. Oh, and try new things - you never know what you are going to like until you try it!
Favorite Blogging Tip: Blog because it is fun and don't be afraid! I started my blog in late February and I really didn't realize what an awesome experience it would be. I have made so many great blogging friends and am so happy to be part of such a fun and supportive community. And just like in quilting, don't be afraid to try new things with your blog. When I thought about organizing a blog hop for new bloggers, I was hesitant to put it out there - thinking no one would be interested - especially since I had only been blogging for about two months. But as you can tell, the response was amazing! Same with the advice series - my email to the guest bloggers bordered on being apologetic for even asking but as you can see, I got a very positive response to that as well. So, my tip is just go for it!
Book I am currently reading: The Invisible Bridge (I love giving and receiving good book suggestions so I try to keep my reading list up to date on goodreads.)
Favorite children's book: Too many to list but the first to come to mind: The Phantom Tollbooth, From the Mixed-Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler, Harry Potter, and anything by Mo Willems and Oliver Jeffers.
Favorite music to listen to while quilting: I usually just put on Pandora - the station I have on right now is Josh Radin (but like some other bloggers I follow, I've also been known to listen to Glee.) And I listen to audiobooks.
Favorite TV show to watch while hand stitching: Like so many other blog hoppers, I love the Big Bang Theory. I also like Modern Family, Parenthood, Downton Abbey - oh, and The Walking Dead (seriously - LOVE that show!)
One more thing about me? I'm married to a supportive man who is like an enabler to my fabric buying habits - as he often can be heard saying "Yes, honey, you should take advantage of that sale and order another 10 yards of fabric - you've only received three fabric packages in the mail so far this week!" (Um - yes, he proofread this post for me and wanted to know why I didn't mention him so I'm adding this in last minute but really, he doesn't even say that sarcastically!) Oh, and we have three daughters - ages 9, 7, and 9 months. And, actually, they encourage my fabric habit as well. Hm . . .
Okay, onto the tutorial.
16 5in square charms (including a few novelty prints fussy cut to 5")
20"x 20" piece of white fabric (middle fabric)
24" x 24" piece of batting (I used warm and natural)
26" x 26" piece of fabric for backing
fabric for binding (120" x 2.5")
thread in pink, blue, and neutral
stamps, fabric markers, or fabric paint
Start by laying out your charm squares and middle fabric on the batting to determine your preferred layout. Trim your middle fabric so that it just slightly overlaps the charm squares on all sides. I knew that I wanted to use the stamps to add some words near the typewriter so I added a plain aqua charm under the typewriters (not shown here) and I added some light fabric to make the little clock measure 5".
Piece together the following into strips: 5 charms for the top row, 5 charms for the bottom row, and 3 charms for each of the side columns.
Place your middle fabric on top of the batting and strips (baste if preferred.) I angled mine slightly. Note - now that I am looking at all the photos I took, I notice that the bottom fabrics really show through. I don't think it looks so glaring offline but if you would rather not have this happen, I would suggest either using a darker fabric for the middle (maybe a linen color), using two pieces of fabric for the middle - either both white or a darker piece underneath, or covering the batting entirely in patchwork and placing the white piece on top of that. Or, you could just cut the top and bottom patchwork squares to allow for them to go around the middle fabric.
Using the pink thread, stitch a vertical line on the white fabric. Switch to the blue fabric and stitch horizontal lines. Since I was going for a scrappy look, I just stitched random lines but if you want more precision, you can mark them first. Also, since I am still using my old sewing machine that does not have an auto-thread cutter, when I get to the end of a line, I lift my pressure foot and my needle and rotate the fabric around to sew the next line (not sure if this is a common or even a proper technique but it works for me.)
Lay your backing fabric wrong side up and center the batting/quilt top on it right side up - thus, making a quilt sandwich. Take each of your side strips and place them so they overlap the middle fabric and the previously placed strips (make sure no batting is showing around the middle piece.)
Using a zig zag and neutral thread, stitch all the seams and the edges of the middle piece.
Add in the hanging corners (Nicole from Mama Loves Quilts did a great tutorial on this for her blog hop day) and bind the quilt (I attached the binding to the back of the quilt first, pressed it to the front and then used a zig zag to attach by machine.) And seeing this photo, I realized I missed a bit with the zig zag on the edge under the clock - fortunately, with this type of style and quilting, I was able to go back and stitch over that line - my kind of fix - no seam ripper!
If you are making this for a gift, you can stop here and gift it with a set of fabric markers and stamps. However, for this tutorial, I went ahead and wrote in some school rules/sayings. I just used a fabric marker to color in stamps but you can also use stencils, fabric paint, or even handwriting with the fabric markers. Of course, if you are feeling very ambitious, I think the rules would look great embroidered! I think another great alternative would be to use fabric for the words "school" and "rules" - either applique or pieced.
And that's that. Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check out what Svetlana from Sotak Handmade made today for her blog hop day. And be sure to visit both Julie from Jolie Maxtin and Lori from Adventures in Fabric on Thursday. And if you haven't already, stop by last Thursday's bloggers: Suzanne from SuzClaas and Mina from Kindaquilty. Actually, I highly recommend catching up on all the great posts and tutorials from the past 6 weeks. Here is the list.
And, also click here to read my post yesterday that included an interview for the Advice for New Bloggers Series with Angela from Cut to Pieces and a fabric giveaway.
Linking up to Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts (pretty much all my favorite recent projects are in the mosaic), Quilt Story, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.