Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hello March!

February sewing:  1 big quilt, 1 small quilt, 1 mini quilt, and a pillow.  

I also started the Woodland Sampler.  This is my first cross stitch project and I've made about a million errors so far but I'm hopeful that my March square will be much improved.

My plan for this month is to start the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt.  Heidi is planning on making this quilt as well and I think it will be lots of fun to be tackling this at the same time.  Anyone else interested in joining us?  

Oh, and I totally missed my 1 year blog anniversary last week - crazy!

Linking up to Fresh Sewing Day.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The So Many Fun Fabrics Quilt

Back in November I shared a small version of a big quilt that I was planning on making slowly throughout 2013 for when my littlest moves into a bed.  Well, I have been slowly working on it since November but decided that my February sewing goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes was to finish half of the quilt top.  And then for some unknown reason last week, motivation struck and I finished not just the top but the entire quilt.

I had already sashed all of the novelty fabrics in both a print and the kona snow so all that was left was putting it all together.   And once I started, I just kept going.  Improv piecing with no specific plan is really my favorite way of piecing.  I just cut several strips of varying widths of kona snow and a handful of bright prints and then just randomly put it all together with the blocks.

Since I don't usually make quilts this large, I didn't have enough basting pins so instead I decided to thread baste and I think I will be doing so from now on.  For me, it didn't take any longer than pin basting and I really liked not having to worry about mistakenly sewing over the pins when quilting.

I decided to stick with FMQ swirly loops for the quilting and quilted the novelty prints a bit less than the rest of the quilt.  I used Aurifil 50wt in color 2600 - it is a light gray thread that I think works well with all the colors in this quilt.

I used the scrappy binding that I showed in this post.

And I used lots of bright, colorful prints for the back.

I really enjoyed having a big project that I could work on in bits and pieces when I had the time.  And now that it is finished, I've been thinking a lot about finding another project that I can slowly work on throughout the year.  Of course, my other daughters want their own version of this quilt but well, I reminded them that they also know how to sew!  Or maybe this could be something we can work on together!

Linking to A Lovely Year of Finishes and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Link Up

Plum and June

The Link Up today is being hosted today by Janice at Better off Thread.  After you add your link, I definitely recommend browsing around her fantastic blog.  She has so many beautiful projects and tutorials!  Click here for the Let's Get Acquainted Link Up post.

As for me, I just finished a fun quilt that I've been working on for awhile - it is in the wash right now and I'm excited to post about it later this week.  Until then, here is a photo of the extra binding that I made - yes, I said extra - I seriously overestimated - guess that is better than the alternative though.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


                                                                                      {starting to piece together the puzzle}

(linking to WIP Wednesday)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Low(er) Volume(ish) Pillow

Several months ago, I bought a large pillow form (26inch square.)  I know I bought it with a plan in mind but other things got in the way and now I can't even remember what that plan was.  What I do know is that the huge pillow form - even when rolled up in the package - was taking up a lot of precious room in my tiny sewing space.

I was determined to finally use the pillow form this weekend and get it out of my sewing space.  I kept going back and forth between different fabrics and designs and even considered just using one big piece of fabric - it was really looking like this pillow form would be spending more time in the package.    

So, I went back to my quilting roots - QAYG!  I cut a piece of batting at 28" square and a piece of backing a bit larger than that.  I grabbed a bunch of low(er) volume(ish) fabrics and just started putting it all together.  (Note:  if I was making anything other than a pillow, I wouldn't have added the backing until the end but since the backing would be hidden inside the pillow, I figured it didn't matter if I just added it at this point.)  

I trimmed the top to 25" before adding the envelope back but as you can see I still had lots of extra room despite it being a 26" form.  I even redid the stitching with a larger seam but it still had tons of room.  

Oh, well.  I don't usually topstitch around the edges afterwards but I decided to try it this time to see if it made a difference and while it is still not quite the best fit, I'm leaving it as is (at least for now.)

The pillow is now living on the "floor couch" in the tiny room that my daughters refer to as "the library" - they read so many books set in the olden days that I guess they think all houses have a library!  Of course, they also think I grew up in the olden days so . . .

(linking to Crazy Mom Quilts)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link Up

Plum and June

Martha from Weekend Doings is hosting this week's Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link Up.  I have always admired Martha's wondering photography skills and was excited to see that she wrote a post about her photography tips to go along with the link up today.  Click here to see her beautiful photos, read her tips, and add your link!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Liberty Baby Blanket

I'm not sure if this is a finish or a WIP.  A few weeks ago, I spotted some beautiful fabrics from the Liberty Bloomsbury line on sale so I decided to splurge and bought 1/4 yard cuts of 10 or so designs.  I knew that I wanted to make a simple patchwork baby-size quilt so I started working on it the day after the fabrics arrived.

Since I prefer to work with blocks instead of rows, I took the 4" squares I cut from each of the fabrics and just started randomly chain-piecing together pairs.  Then I took the pairs and chain-pieced 4-patch blocks - making sure to vary the fabrics in each block so that there were no repeats.  I basically just repeated this method of doubling the block size until all the fabrics were pieced together.

I used a bunch of kid-friendly novelty prints to piece the backing.  I thought about putting it together like a regular quilt with binding but the front was so busy, I decided to do a no-binding quilt.  Most of my early quilts used this method (does that make them blankets?) - usually in combination with hand quilting or tying.  However, for this one I used Rita from Red Pepper Quilts' method of first quilting the top and batting together before sewing right sides together with the backing.  

Everything was going well until I was almost done with the quilting and realized that my batting was too short on two sides (near the same corner.)  I knew I would be close because the batting I had wasn't that much bigger than the quilt top but I thought I would be okay - wrong!  Thinking about it now, I'm sure there was a better fix but at the time, I just decided that I would use a larger seam allowance when I attached the backing to make up for it.  Unfortunately, it ended up being a patchwork squares blanket bordered in patchwork rectangles!  

I've thought about chopping off the edges and binding it (using a solid gray fabric) but it has been about two weeks since I finished the quilt and I haven't done anything.  So, like I said, I'm not sure if this is a WIP or a finish but it is very soft and cuddly and I do still really love these fabrics!

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts and WIP Wednesday (I think this counts as a WIP???)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Link Up

Plum and June

The Let's Get Acquainted Link Up is over at Bold Goods this week.  Click over to Nicole's fun blog to read about her style and to share yours!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


                                                                                                      {Liberty Quilt - more on this later}

                                               {quick hat for my littlest since I underestimated how much cotton yarn
                                                                                               shrinks when it is washed several times}

                                                               {testing another of Kristy's awesome paper pieced patterns}

                                                                             {my February goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes}

Fabric giveaway post here.

Linking to WIP Wednesday and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Heart Mini Quilt and the Monday Link Up

In my Wordless Wednesday post last week, I showed this photo:

Inspired by patchwork hearts I'd seen online, I made the green heart pillow last summer (I blogged about it here - back when my mother was probably the only person reading my blog!)  The pillow has been happily sitting on my couch ever since and I've always planned on making another.  Lately, I've seen some beautiful heart quilts popping up around blog land (and Instagram) with patchwork backgrounds and more HSTs (including here and here among others.)  Inspired again, I gathered all the red and pink left in my fabric stash (things have certainly changed since this mosaic,) took out the green pillow for a guide, and started making HSTs.

The squares are all 2".

My original plan was to hang it on this wall in my 1 year old's room but after seeing the embroidery, my 7 year old asked if this could be in her room (I guess when you are 7 and the middle sister, you want to wake up to this reminder everyday!)

Can't say the littlest was exactly willing to let it go, though!  

If you missed it, click here to enter the great fabric giveaway from Tactile Fabrics.

Plum and June

1. Link up any recent sewing/quilting post.

2. In your post or on your blog, please include either a text link or a button letting people know about this link up.

3. Visit at least the two bloggers who link up before you and everyone who visits you from this post.

4. When the link tool asks for your name, write down ANOTHER random fact about yourself that has nothing to do with sewing or quilting (this was fun last week so I figured we could repeat it again this time - everyone has more than one random fact, right?)

Tactile Fabrics Giveaway

Have you visited Tactile Fabrics lately?  Jennifer, the owner, stocks a fantastic selection of beautiful fabrics.  I was just on her site looking around and saw lots of fun fabrics from Birch and Cloud 9 and some great fabrics from Anthology.  She also has Architextures, Type, and Field Study - and if you are looking for solids, she has a nice variety of Art Gallery's Pure Elements.

And right now Tactile Fabrics is having a winter sale with a huge variety of fabrics marked 25% off.  Looking through the sale section, I saw Chicopee, Velocity, The Red Thread, and many more.

Tactile Fabrics also stocks New Leaf, the new organic Daisy Janie collection.  I have been seeing a lot of this collection online lately and it looks beautiful!  

Tactile Fabrics is generously offering the chance to win some of this fun fabric!  One lucky winner* will win 7 fat quarters plus one 1/2 yard panel from the New Leaf collection.  
Additionally, until February 9, 2013, Tactile Fabrics is offering 15% orders with code PLUMJUNE15. 
Also, they are offering $3.00 off international shipping as a partial refund after purchase (end date:  unknown.)
The Giveaway is now closed.  The lucky winner is #102 Marla who likes to bake!  Congrats Marla - I'm sending you a email.
1. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. Any comment will do but if you'd like a topic, how about writing about what crafts besides sewing you either do now or are interested in learning. (one entry)

Bonus Entries
2. Plum and June followers - old and new - get a second entry. Leave a comment indicating how you are following. (one entry)

3. Tactile Fabrics followers -old and new- get a third entry. You can follow them on Facebook here or Twitter here. And if you are not on Facebook or Twitter, you can get this third entry by visiting Tactile Fabrics and coming back here to leave a comment about your favorite thing from their shop. Leave a comment indicating which one of these you did and/or your favorite thing from Tactile Fabrics. (one entry)

So there are THREE possible entries! This giveaway will remain open until February 9, 2013 at 8pm EST and a winner will be picked at random and notified by email.  And unless you are sure that you are NOT a no-reply comment, please leave your email address in your comment.

*Sorry but this giveaway is open to U.S. only.