2-1/2" - The Perfect Strip
Hey there! It's been a while, hasn't it? I want to start this post with a pretty picture. This is my Curvy Log Cabin quilt that I made using the Creative Grids 8" Curvy Log Cabin Ruler. I purchased the dark blue background, and the other fabrics are all from my stash. I sorted through my fabrics and picked out ones that I liked together and cut them into 2-1/2" strips. Honestly, I found these blocks to be so addicting to make. I stopped because I ran out of background fabric. And I just knew this quilt would be perfect above my piano. I was right!
This quilt didn't even make a dent in my fabric stash. I have discovered that there are different kinds of "stash." Some people buy beautiful fabrics to save them up for just the right project or to make quilts look scrappy. I don't really have that kind of stash. My stash is all leftover pieces from the last 20+ years from other projects that I have made. I had BOXES and BOXES of fabric stacked up in my basement. As much as I love quilt shop retail therapy, I would be left sometimes feeling worse when I would look around and see how much fabric I already have. That is why I decided that I needed to find a way to make it manageable.
Please keep in mind that this has taken me months, and I'm not finished yet. I sorted through all of my stash, took out pieces that I would never use and donated them, threw some away, sorted out some larger pieces that might be useful the way they are, and the remainder is being cut into 2-1/2" strips. I sorted all of those scrappy pieces into color families. Each piece needs to be ironed and cut into strips.
And there's the not-so-pretty picture. That stack on the bottom right with the teal blues, yellows, and oranges is significantly smaller right now, and you'll soon see why. The other stacks are patiently waiting for their turn on the ironing board and cutting mat.
(Batik fabrics, Christmas fabrics, and Moda Grunge fabrics are not included in this process!! They have their own special storage places in my house.)
If you know me a little, it's no surprise that I have the perfect Creative Grids Ruler to cut 2-1/2" strips with. There is no guess work or accidentally lining things up wrong with this ruler. Look at that unfortunate piece of orange Moda fabric. For some reason years ago I cut an oval shape out of it. Well, now it has a useful future in a jelly roll quilt someday. The Creative Grids 2-1/2" x 24-1/2" ruler is also great for measuring 2-1/2" strips to the lengths needed for your quilt pattern, kind of horizontally as pictured above. I've been stacking the color family strips up very neatly and putting them in storage drawers.
How nice will it be to open these drawers and choose strips for some more great looking scrappy quilts? Log cabin blocks, curvy log cabin blocks, or pineapple blocks (just to name a few) will be great with these homemade jellyroll strips!
I recently purchased the very inspiring book "Jelly Filled" by Vanessa Goertzen, full of quilt patterns featuring 2-1/2" strips. Tempted to make a few of these quilts using my own 2-1/2" strips, I made a "quilt kit" for the future for the Heartthrob pattern. The pieces are all cut and ready to sew! I really love the Smart Cookie pattern and decided I had to make a kit for that one also. I cut all of the strip sets for the blocks, but I just couldn't wait to sew up a couple of blocks to see how they would look.
There's a little preview of what this quilt may look like. Even with bad lighting and ugly carpet underneath, I think it's going to be a fun one when it's all put together! And this was all - yes, ALL - from my stash of fabrics, including the white background. The binding strips are even cut already.
Oh, I have another surprise pandemic quilt top made entirely from my stash that I can't wait to show you, but there were no strips involved, only squares! Stay tuned!
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your collection of fabrics? Maybe you should give this a try! I know how hard it is to start cutting. I started this process and put it all away once because I couldn't bring myself to do it. Then I started again, and I feel great about it. These neatly organized strips are so much better than folded up, wrinkled up, odd-shaped chunks of fabric lost or forgotten about.
I'm so glad you stopped by today. Come back soon, and happy quilting!
Quarantine time = quilting time. Since I have some free time at home, I thought I'd do a post about a new quilt project that I started yesterday. I have finished up a couple of UFOs, so I gave myself permission to start something new, and I think it's really going to be pretty. Six blocks down, fourteen more to go!
I'm working with some charm packs of the fabric line Canyon by Kate Spain (one of my favorite designers). I paired those up with some solid background and sashing fabrics. The pattern is "Love Letter" from the Charm School book written by Vanessa Goertzen. If you are a charm pack collector, you need to check out this book! I'm also making great use of my Creative Grids Half Square 4-in-1 Triangle Ruler to make the quarter square units in these blocks. I thought I'd share how I am doing that.
The first step is making half square triangles, where you draw a line diagonally across a square, pair it up with another square right sides together, and stitch 1/4" away on each side of the drawn line. This is a familiar technique, but I found that I would rather draw a line down each side, 1/4" from the center, and stitch on the line. I find this to be much more accurate and easier to keep the stitching line straight. No matter how many clever quilting tools you have to use, sewing a straight line is key!
Cut down the center between the drawn lines. I pressed toward the green background triangle.
On the back of one of the new half square triangles repeat the line drawing process as you can see above. Pair it with the other new half square triangle right sides together, being sure that the opposite colors are facing each other. The pressed seams should be going opposite directions also and need to be "nested" very snugly together. This is what makes the center of the unit come together crisply. Stitch on the lines and cut down the middle again.
I pressed this seam open.
Trimming with the Half Square 4-in-1 Triangle Ruler worked out great. There are lines to match up on both diagonal seams, and I calculated what should be the center point (this would vary depending on the size of the unit you need to make). Trim on the first two sides, turn the fabric and trim on the last two sides. Perfect!
A phrase that can be heard a lot in the quilting world today is "finished is better than perfect." In many ways that is true, and most quilts don't need to be perfect. Quilting should be enjoyable! I find that accuracy in piecing makes it more fun! It is very stressful, I think, when you are trying to make a block and the units are not consistent sizes or wonky, and then you have to try and fit them - dare I say stretch them - to make everything go together. Wonky-shaped blocks usually make for an even more wonky, non-flat quilt top. That's one of the main reasons I personally love working with Creative Grids products. There are so many tools available for quilters in the world today. Find what helps you make cutting and stitching as accurate as possible and enjoy the process!
I wish everyone good health, and please make safe choices for yourself and the people around you. Happy quilting!
This weekend I finished up a wall hanging that I have been working on for myself. It is a project that is made up of a few different patterns that I have tried with batiks - all from my favorite drawer of my stash. I really do love some of these fabrics so much that I don't want to use them. These purple-blue star points are a great example. Oh boy, and that one in the center is pretty special, too.
Sew4Sanity was the name of my Etsy shop. The phrase came to be when my daughter was a baby with lots of health issues. I often times had to be a nurse more than I could just be a mom, and life could be unbelievably stressful. My husband didn't mind that I had my sewing desk and ironing board set up in the living room (he knew that it was necessary :-). My family joked that I had to "sew for my sanity." Sometimes it was only for 10-15 minutes a day, but I sewed a lot of purses and little bags at the time. It was something that I could do for myself to give my brain something else to focus on for a while. I sold them locally, and I thought I would open an Etsy shop. I never actually even listed a purse in my shop, but I have sold some table runners and a couple of quilts there. I still sew for my sanity!
The sewing machine block was from the Snapshots block of the month from Fat Quarter Shop back in 2015 (oh my!). The spools are from the pattern called Spools from Thimble Blossoms by Camille Roskelley. The letters are from the Spelling Bee book by Lori Holt. I'm not sure where I found the pattern for those star blocks. Can you believe that backing fabric came from a clearance rack somewhere in Ohio?
We even got the quilt hung up above my sewing desk. I love it!
That's my happy place where I do all of my sewing. I have a nice big ironing board set up just to the right, too.
I bet I'm not the only quilter out there who sews for her sanity. Most of us probably know that quilting can be great therapy - thinking about color, design, patterns, and making things for the people we love - and maybe even a little escape from the hard stuff of life.
Have a wonderful day!!
Little Pumpkin Quilt
A few weeks ago our awesome LQS Little Foot Quilt Shoppe announced that they got in stock Lori Holt's Farm Girl Vintage 2 books. I saw that pumpkin block, and it's fall time, and I couldn't resist. I hopped in my car and drove down and bought it along with that sweet orange polka dot fabric. I thought it would make a great little quilt to hang in my cubicle at work.
The book has instructions for all of those blocks in 12" and 6" finished size. I decided to mix and match a 12" pumpkin with a 6" crow and 6" stars. There are several other beautiful project ideas including some larger "barn quilt" style blocks. I love these kinds of quilt books for inspiration!
If you've never made these kinds of quilt blocks before - you notice that they look like they are pieced with many different odd shapes, especially in that crow block, but all the pieces you cut are squares and rectangles. You must be careful with cutting the right sizes and labeling the pieces. Read the instructions closely - it could be very easy to mess things up!
Tools that were very helpful for this project:
I actually quilted this on my good old little Janome with straight stitching and a walking foot. I'm really happy with how the finished quilt looks. I have to admit that my star block and crow block did not finish to be the same size like they should. I don't know what went wrong to cause that to happen and haven't taken the time to go back and check the pattern, but it came out just fine in the end.
This autumn quilt looks nice above my desk at work. Now I have to make something for winter... hmm...
There is a giant gaggle of geese about to form at my house - 160 geese to be exact. I'm going to put my Ultimate Flying Geese ruler from Creative Grids to work.
What are you stitching? Thanks for visiting!!
Vice Versa Quilt for Jakob
Hello, friends. I'm not sure how to get started with this post! It's been quite a while since I posted anything here. I don't have any detailed explanation, just that this blog has had to take a back seat with everything else going on in life! Earlier this year I've had two patterns published with Cut Loose Press and am exploring the possibilities writing more quilt patterns. It has been very interesting, and I have a lot to learn. So I'll be sharing more of that in the future. I made this quilt for my son Jakob, and it seems to have taken forever to finish. It's already been used and washed a couple of times. Showing it to the world is long overdue!
Back in 2014 (holy cow 5 years ago!) this was a block of the month pattern by Ann Marie Chaney. It is now available for purchase on her site here. I wanted to make this quilt because I thought the block setting was so different and interesting. I also loved the idea of the "vice versa" - 2 blocks of each pattern, one with the color in the background, one with the color in the foreground. You can see some of them paired above. More details can be found in my original post about this quilt.
I quilted this one with an edge-to-edge design called Aquarius. It seems perfect for the quilt and the beach theme that inspired Jakob's color choices. I'll share a couple more photos...
That kitty loves to help take pictures! Overall I am really happy with the way this quilt turned out. The instructions were well written, but I have to admit that one of the blocks would not come out to the correct size no matter how many times I re-did the math and tried to fix it. So I decided to eliminate it from the quilt and found a different block to replace it with. I'm so glad it is done after 5 years, and Jakob uses it on his bed every night!
Today I needed some quilt shop therapy, so I went to the Little Foot Quilt Shoppe and got myself a present - this new book and a piece of orange fabric. I'm going to make a little project, maybe I'll show you next week.
Thanks for coming back to visit! Happy quilting!
Brenda's Amazing Winter Quilt
This quilt was made by my talented Aunt Brenda and her embroidery machine. The detail is outstanding throughout the whole quilt. I don't know what the design or pattern name is, so sorry I don't have that info to share. I custom quilted it for her, and I can share pictures of that (though I wish the lighting was better - taking good pictures in winter is harder than you may think!)
Brenda said, "Don't stress about quilting this, Terri. It doesn't have to be perfect." I thought to myself - RIIIIIIIGHT! Once I decided on what I was going to do I wasn't stressed, though. I did a lot of wintry, windy swirls, some stippling, a little ruler work, feathers around the border, and I had to do some cross hatching around that centerpiece.
"Over the hills and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go!" I hope you enjoyed those pictures. Thank you, Aunt Brenda, for trusting me with your masterpiece.
Thanks for visiting. I'll have more to share soon, so please come back!! Happy quilting, friends!
This is my llama Lola. She is at the top of my basement steps to greet me when I get home. I'm not a Barry Manilow fan at all, but she quite frequently has me singing Copacabana. Lola was supposed to go to the Farm Show this summer, but we went on vacation instead. I think she is cute enough to have won a ribbon, though.
The quilt pattern Lloyd & Lola is designed by Elizabeth Hartman. I just love all of her pieced animal patterns. They are definitely fun to make! Below are a few more pictures. She is tall and narrow which makes it difficult to get her all in one pic.
L:ola's blanket is actually a scrap left over from a table runner that I made years ago. Just the right size. It was fun to quilt her curly fur, too.
Since I didn't make Lloyd to keep her company, Lola seemed like she needed something else around her in the quilt. I added some applique flowers and feathers for leaves. I used the Accuquilt Go to cut some of them out.
Thanks for visiting today. I'm linking up over at Crazy Mom Quilts Finish It Up Friday. Have a great day!
Oh, my! It's been 3 months since I last posted anything here, but I'm just going to jump right back in and share this quilt that I finished several weeks ago. This is my own quilt called "Opposites Attract." The pattern can be found in the book Sizzlin' Sixties by Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka's Treasures. I also used the Creative Grids 60 Degree Double Strip Ruler and a jelly roll of For You by Zen Chic for Moda.
This ruler is great, especially if you love jelly roll strips. I've made several quilts using it, and I've made the quilt on the cover of the book twice - I love the pattern so much! I have the perfect fabric stored away to make a third one.
The backing on this quilt is gray Minky, and it's pretty soft and wonderful. I custom quilted the top which really stands out on the back. It was fun to quilt out some different designs in each hexagon.
There are a lot more quilting projects here at my house to share. Please come back and visit soon!
I finished quilting this beautiful quilt for Marilyn several weeks ago, and I'm finally getting to show it off because life has been busy here. Marilyn had this beautiful peony fabric waiting for just the right project, and she created this design herself. Even with a simple 4-patch design, the fabrics - especially that black background - make it stunning!
I quilted it with a pale yellow thread and an edge-to-edge pattern called Daydream.
Thank you, Marilyn, for letting me quilt this lovely one for you!
And here's the #1 reason life has been busy around here! We got a Goldendoodle puppy around 4 weeks ago. His name is Jack. I knew having a puppy would be a lot of work but wasn't quite expecting the stress that comes along with it. He's fun and cute and doing great, though. We've gotten used to each other, so I've been able to get a little sewing and quilting time in. Unfortunately, Jack isn't interested in watching quilting videos with me at all, and what he likes best about sewing is trying to run off with the foot pedal :-)
Thanks for stopping by. I'm taking a little break for a few months from quilting for others, so I'll have some of my own projects that I'm excited to show you in the coming weeks. See you soon!
Darlene's Rhombus Star
If you like the video tutorials from Missouri Star Quilt Company, you may have seen the Rhombus Star. Some of the ladies at my church have been having a good time making their own Rhombus Star quilts, and this one belongs to Darlene. She had this pretty floral fabric stashed at home for a while just because she loved it, and so she decided to make a quilt for herself with it.
I quilted this one with cream colored thread and a pattern with birds and flowers called Tweet Tweet.
It's a big, beautiful quilt. Thanks for letting me quilt for you, Darlene!
There is a lot of sewing and quilting still going on at my house. You'll probably see another Rhombus Star quilt here in the near future! I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish It UP Friday. Thanks for visiting!
This is me...
I LOVE to quilt, and every day I must sew for my sanity!