6/14/2015

Le Challenge "single" toy





Le Challenge (click HERE) for this month is the theme SINGLE. 
I have not participated as of yesterday, but the email I got today put an idea into my mind right away.

I had taken instructions on how to use my new embroidery machine last week. 
I embroidered a single bug and put the single word "bug" on the fabric. 
I today decided I would make up this child's toy using that single embroidery. 


And if you would like to know how I sewed this in a mere 20 minutes, the short version is below:

Trim front and back fabric squares to same size (6" x 6" for mine).
Collect ribbons, elastic, cord, rick rack for the playful loops. 
But use things that can be sewn in and will not be easily chewed apart for the child to swallow. 
On the right side of the back square, 
fold and pin or twist, fold and pin the ribbons,etc. to the edges. 
I had the ends extend a good amount beyond the edge of the backing fabric 
in order to sew those pieces well. 


Sew with a small stitch length all around edge with approximately a 1/4" seam. 


With right sides of both fabrics facing each other and the ribbons, 
etc. pointing in toward center of the square, pin, pin, pin so the edges line up for sewing. 


Use a 1/2" seam and stitch length 2.5 to sew around the edges. 
Leave an opening in one side for turning right side out and stuffing. 

In the photo below, my opening is near the lower left corner.
I back stitched at the start and end of the opening so the stitches would not 
pull out when I turned the piece right sides out. 
You can see my small stitching line for holding the ribbons 
and the stitching line inside that for the actual construction stitches. 


Turn the piece right sides out.


I used polyester fiber fill for stuffing. 
I put some into the corners first.
You can see my small opening in the bottom right corner in the photo below. 


Sew the opening closed by hand or with your sewing machine. 


What a fun toy for a little child. 
A heavy satin or velour fabric would have been a good backing givng an interesting textural feel.

6/10/2015

Row-A-Long and Giveaways

Today I am happily announcing 
my participation in an upcoming 
Row-A-Long!

In April, Marian from Seams To Be Sew, sent an email to me and others asking for interest in joining her in the Row-A-Long she is hosting. 

I was excited. I had not been involved in a blog hop for awhile and thought it was time. 


It is called
EQ Seasons Row Along

You do not need to own Electric Quilt to create your quilt along with us.

There are 20 participating bloggers/designers!
I can't wait for my reveal date of September 22, 2015!

Each week, several designers will be featured, 
each offering patterns for a row of the quilt representing a season of the year.

You choose the rows you want to make for your quilt. 
Of course, you may want to make all the rows and a number of quilts!

Designers will supply PDF patterns to create your row. 
Some designers will also offer the PJ7 file for Electric Quilt.

There will be a linky day to show the progress on your quilt.

BUT---WAIT---THERE IS MORE NEWS for YOU! 

If you are quilting along with us, 
there will be giveaways during the 6 weeks of the Row-A-Long.

Fat Quarter Shop
The Fat Quarter Shop is generously providing each blogger with a $25.00 gift certificate to give away on their featured day of the Row-A-Long. 
That means 20 bloggers = 20 gift certificates = 20 winners! 
How cool is that?

Fat Quarter Shop

Klic-N-Kut
another great new sponsor,
is giving away a Zing Air Cutting System.

Zing Air

This looks a great tool for quilters. 
I can sure think of a number of ways to put it to use!

KNK USA



I want to thank our other gracious sponsors: 



Northcott Fabrics

Watch for updates about the Row-A-Long in the coming months!








6/09/2015

3 Fabric Baby Quilts


Tuesday Archives




This week the theme is receiving blankets. 



I posted a tutorial HERE. Use 3 cuts of fabric to make 3 small receiving size quilts, for a new baby. 




As an aside, to protect our precious little babies, I want to mention that I use 100% cotton, flannel and batting in any baby quilts I make. It was brought to my attention years ago that if polyesters and other man-made fibers (not natural fibers) get near a heat source, the material melts and sticks to the body. And, unfortunately, I was reminded of a 6-year-old girl I taught in class years ago. Flames started in their camper and a polyester blanket was used to smother the flames, but melted and stuck to her. She suffered severe burns. 

5/29/2015

Upper Peninsula Quilt Shop

While visiting relatives in Michigan's Upper Peninsula for the past few days, I was able to go to Marquette. I knew Alley Kat's Quilt Shop was in Marquette. 

However, my first stop was the Marquette Regional History Center where an exhibit in the lobby included costumed narrators sharing history about the Civil War--one of which was a quilter, Judy Parlato. Before the local students arrived, Judy and I were able to discuss quilting. She is very knowledgeable about historical quilting; but she is an art quilter at heart. She told me exactly where to find Alley Kat's Quilt Shop.


What a nice, fun shop. The website is under construction HERE. The changing banner on the home page shows much of what the shop offers.The Facebook page HERE. The staff was very friendly and Kat, the owner, so bubbly. I was happy to be allowed to take photos so I could share with you a little of what this shop is all about. 

They offer a variety of sewing supplies for all interests: quilting, home decor, doll making, art quilting, garments. 

They have a longarm quilter who works in a room (with two large windows) 
off the main entrance.


They sell Elna machines, Handi Quilter and Horn Cabinets.


At the checkout items could be purchased for one's self or gifts. 
They carry Siesta Silver Jewelry (some of my favorite jewelry) by Karla Piper!


Of course, the bright, fun fabrics drew me in for a closer look.
There were books and patterns for every interest, too. 




The art quilting area included fabric paints, Lutrador, everything an art quilter would need. 


Just inside the classroom area I found wools and patterns for projects.


The Children's Fabric Room was set up in a very cute manner with fun fabrics, 
cute samples and many, many patterns!





I just love to collect hedgehogs. 
Here is the finger puppet I bought at the History Center that day:


I found a cute hedgehog fabric 


that I will use to border this Hazel Hedgehog pattern by Elizabeth Hartman.  


I like little panels that can be made into quilts 
with the addition of fabric from my stash, so I bought this alphabet panel. 


I look forward to my next visit to the relatives as well as the chance to return to Alley Kat's Quilt Shop. I hope you are able to visit the shop as well. 

I will add that we had lunch at Donker's, and later in the day had a snack at Babycakes Muffin Factory. Both eateries were pleasant to dine in and had good food. 

What new quilt shop(s) have you visited?


5/25/2015

Purple Petals Quilt Completed

For such a small quilt, there was a great amount of time taken to finish it. 
And a great lesson learned!


It measures 25.5" x 25.5" and I really think it is beautiful!

HOWEVER....

This project is my "Live and Learn Project". 

It began when I saw the Electric Quilt Scrap Challenge on May 1st. 
The submissions were due by May 31.
Yes, a way to use my scraps (I have scraps!), and submit one of my creations for the quilting world to see (well, atleast the EQ world)!
Taking into consideration a week for my mother-in-laws memorial 
with people staying at our house in the middle of May, 
working at the store a once a week 
and a wedding last weekend -- Yes! I was sure I could get it done.

I chose the Scrappier 25.5" x 25.5" quilt design.


EQ asked us:  "Like this one best? Download and open it in EQ7. Then, click the “View Sketchbook” button to view this quilt. Remember: You can print the blocks, rotary cutting instructions, foundation patterns and templates right from EQ7!"

I downloaded it...BUT...I did not want to use foundation patterns or use a template. 

This is how the block is sewn in the EQ file. How would I make those blocks quick and easy?


I decided to use the Creative Grids 2-1/2" Trapezoid Strip Ruler.
I knew I would have to trim the blocks down, but I thought that would be easier than tearing paper off the blocks or trying to use the rotary cutter with a template.

I figured I could make the quilt with blocks that were sewn this way:


And the Trapezoid tool really did work well. I will post about how I did it next week.

The design wall would aide me in the arrangement of the blocks.
Away I went. And things were going very well indeed. 
I used up many scraps of purple fabrics and greens. 
(I know it didn't made a dent in my scrap bins!)


I enjoyed the quilting process. It went easily. 
Of course after I made the first pass with the swirls, 
I realized I could have quilted more blocks in fewer passes
by using a different path with my free motion movement.


I got it done with time to spare! It looks lovely, wouldn't you say?  

Ready for submission!

Except, I made a BIG error! 
I looked at the EQ quilt diagram and
I looked at my quilt and it hit me like a brick!

Follow the Rules: 

And Rule #1 is very clear!
You must follow the design exactly.

I changed the position of the blocks even with the diagram on my design wall. 
I wanted to focused so much on the flowers in this pattern,
that I didn't seem my mistake in the design! 
I did not follow the patterns given because I wanted to make blocks easier.

I learned a valuable lesson. 
And when this type of mistake happens, it is ingrained in the mind.
I will remember this! 
I will not be able to submit this quilt for the Scrap Challenge.
 I will send it to the EQ Gallery where it will be visible to the EQ World after all.

Note:  I have been inspired by the quilt photos that my friend Elizabeth, at OpQuilt.com  
posts on her website; so I gave it a try. 


Lupines and iris,


 hanging in nature, 




 and dappled by sunshine on my dining room floor.
 

Have a wonderful day and I hope a hobby is part of it.