Monday, October 29, 2012

The Long Weekend Giveaway

If you haven't already heard, Heidi from Fabric Mutt and Lori from Lori H. Designs have teamed up to co-host a blog hop all about Amy Butler's fabulous Weekender Bag!  These bags have been popping up all over blog land lately and if you have considered making one yourself, this is the blog hop for you!  Starting November 9th, a great group of bloggers will be showing you their version of the bag and giving you some tips for making your own.  Check out the schedule here.

I've been contemplating making a Weekender Bag for awhile now after seeing so many beautiful patchwork ones.  Here are some of my favorites:

And fortunately it seems that every time someone makes one of these bags, they write a detailed blog post all about the experience.  The bags in the mosaic are no exception - here are the links to the posts about those bags:  (1) Providence Homemade, (2) One Shabby Chick, (3) Needles, Pins and Baking Tins, and (4) Lucy & Norman.  I've also found the posts from Sew AllegoricalDon't Call Me Betsy, and A Quilter's Table about their Weekender experience incredibly valuable (and I love all their amazing bags as well!)

I am really looking forward to this blog hop - after the informative weekender advice posts above and all the posts to come, I really have no excuse not to at least try, right?  I've already started thinking about fabric choices.

I'd add in more fabrics including some dark grays - maybe essex linen in black -  but I really like this color palette.  Or maybe something a bit like this:

Or maybe I'll just go totally scrappy with no specific color palette?  I have to first work up the courage to make one - all the talk of broken needles scares me a bit!


To help start off the blog hop, Pink Castle Fabrics is giving away 2 of their random fat eighth bundles to one lucky winner.  To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post.  Any comment will do but if you want a topic, how about whether you think you might make one of these bags and if so, if you've thought about fabrics yet.

The giveaway will remain open until November 3, 2012 at 8pm EDT and one winner will be chosen at random.  And please, unless you are sure that you are NOT a no-reply blogger, leave your email address in your comment.

This giveaway is now closed and the winner is #99 Judith.

Recent/Current posts:
Blogger's Quilt Festival:  All My Favorite Quilt-y Things Quilt
Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway and Monday Link-Up
The Travelling PicStitch Blog Hop

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Travelling PicStitch Blog Hop

Today is my turn on The Travelling PicStitch Blog Hop organized by Laura from Quokka Quilts and Katy from The Littlest Thistle.  The idea for this hop is that we are to pick a photo and then make an EPP block inspired by the color palette of the photo.

For my inspiration, I chose a photo that I took at the lake this summer.

I started making a block just using the blues and gray from the lake. Then I decided to do one in green (using these templates).  And then purple.  And yellow  . . .

Before I knew it, I had a whole rainbow of EPP blocks and a completed quilt!  And since the quilt was one of my most favorite so far, I decided to post about it for the Blogger's Quilt Festival going on right now (click here to see the finished quilt) so I took out my original inspiration photo and made this block for the PicStitch hop:

This block is almost the Georgetown Carnival block from Lily's Quilts but without the 12 squares between the outside triangles. I quilted this one to the background echoing the center hexagon and I'm thinking it will eventually be a pillow but I haven't quite decided yet.  And I so wish I chose a light gray for the background fabric - oh, well - that would be an awful lot of stitches to unpick!

You can find all the details about The Travelling PicStitch Blog Hop here including the schedule, the sponsors, and  information about the link up at the end of November.   And check out yesterday's (Sunday) post from Helen at Run Quilt Knit Write and tomorrow's (Tuesday) from Martha at Weekend Doings.

Recent posts:
Blogger's Quilt Festival:  All My Favorite Quilt-y Things Quilt
Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway and Monday Link-Up

Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway and Monday Link Up

Plum and June

This week's giveaway is from the wonderful Fat Quarter Shop.  I think the Fat Quarter Shop was one of the first online shops I found when I started quilting and I've always really liked their vast selection and easy to navigate website!  For today's giveaway, the Fat Quarter Shop is offering one lucky winner a $25 gift certificate to their shop.  

You have 3 chances to win.

1. Leave a comment on this post (any comment but if you would like a topic, how about your favorite kona color(s))

2.  My followers - old and new - get a second entry (leave a comment indicating that you are a follower.)

3.  For a third entry, visit the Fat Quarter Shop and leave a comment about which fat quarter bundle is one of your favorites.

The giveaway will remain open until November 3, 2012 at 8pm EDT and one winner will be chosen at random and announced thereafter.  And please, unless you are sure that you are NOT a no-reply commenter, include an email address.

This giveaway is now closed - the winner is #179: dianeOctober 28, 2012 8:21 PM
I've been eyeing the Chicopee bundles by Denyse Schmidt at the Fat Quarter Shop!
The winner of last week's giveaway from Contemporary Cloth is #205 JoyceLM.  Congrats Joyce - I've sent you an email.

Plum and June

Click here for the current schedule of bloggers who will be posting this week.

Plum and June

And for this week, again link up your recent sewing and quilting posts, visit each other, promote the link up with a text link or the button on my sidebar and when the link tool asks for your name, what about the name of one of your favorite children's books.

If you are here from the Blogger's Quilt Festival, here is my quilt.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

All my favorite quilt-y things quilt!

Here is my entry into this fall's Blogger Quilt Festival.  This is a very recent finish so I haven't even mentioned it on my blog yet.  I chose this quilt because it has so many of my favorite quilt related things all combined into one!

I started by making several different styles of EPP blocks.  This one is the Spring Carnival block from I'm a Ginger Monkey.  Then I took each block, a piece of Kona Snow, and a large piece of batting and just stitched organic lines to attach them all together using 50wt Aurifil in a light silver grey color (is this considered applique?)

I then used the quilt-as-you-go method and made each EPP block the center block of a log cabin using mostly light colors but adding in the occasional pop of color.

Next, I improv pieced them all together (I found QAYG and Improv piecing to be a bit of a tricky combination!)

I also added this little scrappy rainbow of fabrics to the bottom left corner.

I backed it with a wonderfully soft flannel from Amy Butler's Love Collection.  (And yes, I pre-washed the red fabrics - I actually pre-wash all my fabric anyway!)

And then I added just a tiny bit of hand-quilting to each EPP block in a coordinating color (I had to take some of the photos in this post before adding the hand-quilting.)

That's it - almost all of my favorite types of quilting - EPP, QAYG, log cabins, hand-quilting, scrappy fabrics combinations, and rainbows.

Quilt Measurements:  approx. 36 x 38

Special Techniques:  Hand-piecing (EPP) and hand-quilting.

Quilted by:  Me on my home machine and by hand.

Best Category:  Baby Quilt, Scrap Quilt, Home Machine Quilted

My quilt is #315

Amy's Creative Side

Linking to the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.  There are already over 300 quilts so if you haven't already, go take a look.  And if you are visiting from the Quilt Festival, welcome!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Three Little Chevron Quilts

Last week, autumn seemed to really be here - the air was crisp and in the mornings, we needed sweaters and blankets for the walk to school.  So, I decided I "needed" to make a few stroller blankets for my little one.  I finished these over the weekend and surprise, surprise - it was 80 degrees yesterday!    

Since I was making these with a clear purpose and recipient, I decided it was a good time to try the chevron/zig zag quilt that has been on my list for awhile.  For this green/white version, I used the HST method.  I cut 8 inch squares of each fabric and then used this technique to make 4 HSTs at a time - I think they ended up about 5 inch square.

When you look close up, you can see I really missed at most of the points but from afar, I really like the way this type of chevron looks.  Oh, and do you see my super thin binding?  I thought I would try to preserve this fabric that I love by cutting thinner binding strips - I cut them at 1.75 inches!  It was actually counterintuitive because even though I used less of the fabric, you can barely see the binding!  Oh, well!

For the second quilt, I decided to try this method for the zig zag which does not involve any HSTs and therefore, no trimming of the HSTs.  For a true comparison, I should have also used solid colors for this one but I didn't have enough left in my stash (what kind of stash doesn't have white?!?), so I had to go with prints.  

These blocks were very quick to make but I have to admit I spent a little too long figuring out the block placement (I had to call in my puzzle-loving daughter to help.)  This was probably because I used two different prints with the linen for some of the blocks instead of one print and one solid and then had to match them up for the look I wanted.  And for this one, you don't even need to look closely to see that most of my points do not match.  I definitely plan on trying this method again but using only solid colors.

For the last stroller quilt, I used chevron fabric!!!  Actually, this one came about because I wanted to participate in the Scrappy Stash Quilt Along but I don't have nearly enough scraps.  If you read my blog at all, you might have noticed that I have two daughters that love to sew AND they love to sew using my scraps (um, well, the ones that I don't hide away!)  But seeing all the scrappy rainbow log cabins around blog land last week inspired me and this was the end result.

Since these were all small quilts, I decided to practice FMQ on all three.  And, yes, I still need lots more practice!!!  

There are still a few days left to enter the Contemporary Cloth fabric giveaway, click here.

Linking up to TGIFF and Crazy Mom Quilts.

*edited to add:  I've had several people ask which technique I prefer and the answer is: I'm not sure yet - I've ordered more solid fabrics so I am going to try the second technique again using those for a better comparison and then I'll write another post with my conclusions!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Contemporary Cloth Giveaway and Monday Link Up

This week's giveaway is from Contemporary Cloth.  Sondra, the owner, stocks an excellent collection of modern fabrics including many organic lines and fun fabrics from Japan!  

For today's giveaway, Sondra is offering this beautiful bundle of Cloud 9 Organic Fabrics.  The bundle includes one yard of the fabric in the center of the above mosaic which is a soft flannel.  The bundle also includes one half yard of each of the other 8 quilting weight cotton fabrics shown.  You can find more information about these lovely fabrics here.

You have 3 chances to win!

1.  Leave a comment (any comment will do but if you'd like, why don't you comment about what you've been sewing lately.) 

2.  My followers - old and new - get a second entry. (leave a comment saying that you follow.)

3.  For a third entry, subscribe to Contemporary Cloth's newsletter.  Their newsletter is a great way to learn about their great fabric specials/sales and new arrivals - this week it is 20% off Echo and Bella!  To sign up, visit Contemporary Cloth and look for the sign up about 3/4 down the page on the left side.  (leave a comment saying that you signed up or that you are already on their mailing list.)

And please, unless you are sure that you are NOT a no-reply blogger, leave your email address in your comment so that you can be contacted if you win. The giveaway will remain open until October 27, 2012 at 8pm EDT and one winner will be selected at random. 

Click here for the list of bloggers posting this week.
Plum and June

And for this week, again link up your recent sewing and quilting posts, visit each other, promote the link up with a text link or the button on my sidebar and when the link tool asks for your name, what about your nickname for your sewing machine???  or just the color thread you used this weekend.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Patchwork Squares Quilt

After seeing all the low-volume quilts around blog land lately, I was inspired to make my own.  I went through my small but growing stash and pulled out everything I thought qualified as low-volume.  Then, since I wasn't planning on making a quilt for a tiny doll, I added some fabrics that kind-of qualified as low-volume.  I cut them into 5" squares, stitched a few together and put a picture on Instagram asking if it was looking low-volume or baby - well, the answer from my IG friends was pretty unanimous that it was baby - oh, well!  

So, I'll try low-volume again in a few months when I have some different fabrics in my stash but fortunately, my middle daughter who has been patiently waiting for me to make her a quilt for cuddling loved this fabric combination.  

We kept choosing fabrics and adding squares until it was her perfect size - we included some darker prints at the end.  And she requested a cozy flannel backing.

I think this is the largest quilt I've ever made and for some reason, I decided to do some free-motion quilting.  Well, after three rows of completely awful quilting and an evening of unpicking, I sat down to hand-quilt it.  I figured I'd ask my daughter if she had a preference for floss colors and she told me that she would like to do the hand-quilting herself!

I wasn't exactly sure of the best way to do this but for some reason, I decided to first add the binding  to the quilt.

Then, since I wanted my basting pins back, I machine-quilted a few of the squares randomly throughout the quilt.

She is now very slowly hand-quilting the squares - she told me her goal is one square each day - so,  yes, it will be awhile!  But at least it will keep her warm in the meantime!

And while I'm on the subject of sewing for my middle daughter, I tested this adorable paper pieced pattern for Kristy from Quiet Play.  She just listed this one in her Craftsy shop.  And, I was totally inspired by the other pattern tester, my friend Heidi from Fabric Mutt, whose idea it was to use a text print for the fence! 

And last, but so not least - a few weeks ago, I got the most wonderful emails from Kerry from veryberrykerry and Ali of Very Berry Fabrics informing me that I was going to be receiving 20 9x12 pieces of this beautiful Liberty Lawn fabric from Ali's lovely Folksy shop Very Berry Fabrics!  Any suggestions for what I should make with these beauties???

Linking up to TGIFF which is at Echinops and Aster this week and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog Hop News 22 and Link Up

Plum and June

Just a quick post today.

Bloggers to visit this week:

Oct 16
        Vicki from Quilting Lodge Blog
         Liz from Dandelion Daydreams

Oct 18
         Melissa from issa.ino: handmade
         Julie from The Crafty Quilter

Also, the winner of the Sweet Treats Blog Hop $25 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop is Martha from Weekend Doings.

Plum and June

Link up any recent sewing posts, visit each other, promote the link up with a text link or button (if you want), and when the link tool asks for your name, write down a cool costume idea.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tula Pink Sew Along Cartwheels

Just wanted to let you know that I have a post at Sew Sweetness today for my turn in her Tula Pink Sew Along.

Over at Sara's blog, I share my process making two mini's using Tula Pink's Cartwheels pattern (my two little gymnastics enthusiasts LOVE the name!)  I made the rainbow version shown here as well as one using Lotta Jansdotter's Bella fabrics.

This one has already found a home right next to my first EPP mini quilt that I just realized that I never actually quilted!  Hmm . . .

Linking to TGIFF which is at M-R's this week and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Photo Corner Frame Blocks Mini Quilt

Sweet Treats Blog Hop

As you probably know by now - I love a good blog hop so I was very excited when Alyce from Blossom Hearts Quilts organized a hop to showcase the new mini charm packs and invited me to join in (Thanks Alyce!!!)  If you don't already know, the new mini charm packs from Moda have just started making their way to the shops and are a pack of 42 2.5" charms.  

The charm pack that I received was Deb Strain's Spa.  If you read my blog at all, you know that most of my projects contain lots of color - so not surprisingly, it was a challenge for me to decide what to make with this line.

My first thought was to make something for my mother who would very much like the color and patterns in the Spa line.  But then in walks my 9 year old with a drawing of a mini quilt that she would like me to help her make as a gift for a friend's birthday.  Yep - you caught me - I admit it - the project I'm about to show you was 100% my daughter's idea!  But I have to say, I loved her idea and I immediately got started figuring out how to make her drawing a reality.  And then I realized - this would be the absolute perfect project to use the 2.5" mini's.  

So, this is it - a mini quilt that can be used as an interchangeable photo frame.  (I can't find the original drawing but I think the major difference between hers and mine is that her plan finished at about 5 x 10 FEET with room for about 50 photos!)

Click to the end of this post for the step by step tutorial.

Here are a few of the details:  see that frame in the lower right hand corner - well, if you look closely, you'll see it is actually a pocket to hold the rest of your photos.

Oh, and did you notice another great use for those mini charms that I used for this quilt???  Well, if you cut your binding strips 2.5 inches wide (like I pretty much always do) then these 2.5" squares are just perfect for scrappy binding.  

And, of course, after this was finished, my middle daughter requested one to hang on her side of the bedroom.  She chose some charms I had left over from a Lucy's Crab Shack pack ( I cut these into the 2.5" squares as I don't know if this line comes in mini's.)   I also made one of the frames 8.5x11 so it can hold either pictures she has drawn or stories she writes (the regular paper is a bit flimsy in the frame so I would recommend backing it with card stock.)  We are going to use stamps to add some words/labels to the solid gray squares - I'm still waiting to hear what words I'm supposed to write!

A few notes:  

(1) There are a few changes I made to the second quilt that I wish I hadn't.  When (if) I make another one of these, I'll choose solids for the background fabrics because I think the prints (even in the same colorway) distract too much from the photos.  Also, I much prefer how in the first quilt, I used an obvious border for each of the photo frame blocks as opposed to in the second where I used the same fabrics to border the blocks and for the background. 

(2) Actually, if I had thought about it, I would have used more of the mini charms to make the border for the frame blocks - oh, well.  

(3) If you want to quilt the pocket - you have to do that BEFORE you attach it to the rest of the quilt!!!

(4) I would like at some point to make a third one of these with the changes above and my daughter is about 1/3 of the way through the one she is making for her friend (things like school, soccer, and gymnastics seem to be getting in her way) but if/when we get done, I'll post both our finishes.

Want to see what everyone else made with their charms?  Here is the schedule:

Sunday 7th - Right here at Blossom Heart Quilts
Monday 8th - me
Tuesday 9th - Jennie and Clara at Clover and Violet
Wednesday 10th - Lindsey at Happier Than A Bird
Thursday 11th - Kristy at Quiet Play
Friday 12th - Jane at Want It, Need It, Quilt
Saturday 13th - Wrap up back here at Blossom Heart Quilts

Plum and June

I want to thank the Fat Quarter Shop for generously sponsoring this blog hop. They are also sponsoring giveaways on all the blogs in the Sweet Treats Blog Hop this week.  The giveaway is for a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop. 

To enter: 

1.  Leave a comment on this post (any comment!) 

2.   My followers - old and new - get a second entry - just be sure to leave a separate comment indicating that you are following.  

And as always, unless you are sure that you are NOT a no-reply blogger, please leave your email address in your comment so that you can be contacted if you win.  The giveaway will remain open until October 13, 2012 at 8pm EDT a winner will be selected at random.

This giveaway is now closed!

This is how I made the photo corner frame blocks:

1.  Take 6 mini charms (I picked randomly) and lay them out as shown below.

2.  Sew together two rows of three charms.

3.  Press the seams and sew the two rows together.  Press the seams.

4.  Take 4 charms and press in half to make triangles (do not cut.)

5.  Cut a piece of card stock according to the measurements of your photos.  I would have thought my photos were all 4 x 6 but they were actually 4 x 5 7/8.  Place the card stock on top of your rectangle from step 2 and arrange the triangles as shown below.  Depending on the size of your photos and how well (or not well) you stitch a 1/4 seam, you may need to place your triangle closer or farther apart than shown.  Use your preferred method to mark the placement and remove the card stock.

6.  Using a 1/8 seam allowance, baste/stitch around all four sides of the rectangle.

7.  Put your card stock into the "frame" and make sure it fits - it should not be too snug yet because you'll be stitching another line in the next step that will make the opening smaller.  If not, stitch another line inside the previous one - no need to unpick the first because it will be covered up later.

8.  Cut a piece of contrasting fabric the same width as your completed frame - it should be approximately 6.5 x 1.5".  

9.  Attach the contrasting fabric to the frame using a scant 1/4 seam - make sure that your line of stitching is below the line that you stitched to attach the triangles.

10.  Attach strips the rest of the way around the frame - I attached them using the log cabin method.  I usually press my seams open but for this, I pressed all my seams toward the middle rectangle since it made the border appear more like a frame.

11.  Get out your card stock again to make sure it still fits!  And trim.

That's about it - for this first mini, I made 5 frames 

and basically improv pieced them together.

Add your photos and you are done!

Let me know if you have any questions.