wip wednesday

First, I just want to make a little plug.  Voting has opened for the Totally Groovy QAL and you should check it out! There are some really beautiful quilts.  And of course I wouldn't mind if you vote for mine :)
So I have no finished projects to show you this week.  The only thing I finished was a passport sleeve I made for my cousin who just found out she was accepted into a study abroad program.
passport sleeve

Other than that, I have been spending a lot of time with my rotary cutter getting some new projects started.  

My current WIPs:
  • Habitat quilt for my sister.  I have to admit, I am really worried about how my sister will feel about this quilt.  She is pretty particular.  I love the fabrics, I just hope that she does too.  I ended up going with the Fire Drill pattern from Elizabeth Hartman's most recent book.  I finished trimming the last blocks this morning and I am going to start putting the blocks together today. Hopefully I will be quilting this one by this time next week.
habitat blocks
  • Quilt for my son.  I spent some time this week cutting strips and I will get started on this one as soon as I finish the Habitat quilt.  I am going to be using some of Ed Emberley's Happy Drawing collection and I am very excited to work with it.  So cute.
boy quilt

Future projects . . .
I have a few things I would like to start in the future, but I am just going to try to enjoy my current WIPs without worrying too much about those!

my thoughts on working with snuggles (minky) fabric

I have had a few people ask me about working with Moda Snuggles as a quilt backing.  Before I made this quilt I was nervous that I was going to have problems with the fabric stretching, but I had trouble finding any information about the fabric online.  I thought I would share my experience with you in case you are interested in giving this a try.  I have never used other types of minky fabrics so I can't compare snuggles with other brands, but the Moda version is wonderful!

moda snuggles pack
What is Moda snuggles?
It is a 60" wide, polyester fabric that is similar to minky.  It is fuzzy and soft and is great for a quilt for a baby or a child, or for an adult too :)  I really appreciate that it is so wide because I was about to use a 2 yard cut for my daughters quilt without having to piece any of the snuggles together.

Does it need to be prewashed?

Did you use batting?
Yes.  I saw a few places online where people had said that they had skipped the batting, but I really like the weight that the batting gave the quilt and would definitely use it again. I used a low loft, cotton batting.

Did you have to do anything different when basting?
I just basted like I normally do, but I was more careful and I used more pins.  What I did was spray baste my quilt top to my batting, and then roll up my batting/quilt top combo and set it aside.  I then spread the snuggles on the floor, right side down, and taped it to the floor while making sure that there wasn't any slack.  But you also make sure that you aren't making the fabric stretch.  This was actually easier to do than I had anticipated. I then rolled my batting/quilt top combo back onto the snuggles, smoothed everything out, and pinned like crazy.

Was it more difficult to FMQ?
I am going to say that it was, but it wasn't impossible to do.  The snuggles is a little heavier than a regular quilt back and it also creates more friction with the machine, so I thought it was a little more difficult to move around.  I did not have any problems with puckering though.

Where is it available?
I bought mine in a two yard roll from the Fat Quarter Shop.  It is $35 for two yards, which is actually pretty good considering that was my entire quilt back.  I just purchased a second roll for my son's quilt and I am going to be using it soon.

Anything else?
Yes, this fabric sheds quite a bit.  The biggest problem was when I was squaring up my quilt after I finished quilting.  All of a sudden there were little brown fuzzies all over my house.  I ended up zig zag stitching my raw edge before I hand sewed the binding down to prevent the fuzzies from taking over :)

I hope that is helpful!  If you have any  more questions, just ask in the comments and I will try to update the post with answers.

Questions asked in the comments . . .
Did you use any special needle and/or thread for quilting?
No, your regular needle and thread should be just fine.  I used Aurifil 50wt and a size 80 needle.  The thread is pretty well hidden on the snuggles fabric because of the fuzziness.  It creates a really nice look because you can see the quilting without really seeing the thread.

Do you think it would be easier to straight line quilt than FMQ?
Yes and I intend to do that with my son's quilt.  I probably wouldn't have done FMQ on my remixed geese quilt but my daughter had requested loopy quilting.  But I do think FMQ is fine, especially if you are familiar with it.  I have only done free motion on a few projects so I am certainly no expert!

go check it out!

I was featured on Follower Friday over at Knotted Thread today!

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Yay!  It's that time again! The last Blogger's Quilt Festival was shortly after I started my blog and made me feel so warm and fuzzy to be a tiny part of the quilting community, so I have been anxiously awaiting another round.

I debated which quilt to enter, but in the end I decided on my Remixed Geese quilt.  Forgive me if you are a regular reader of my blog because I just posted about this a couple weeks ago (the original post is here)!  I recently made my daughter this quilt using Ann Kelle's Remix line and a variety of solids.
remixed geese
I really love this quilt because it is so cheerful. It makes me happy to tuck my daughter in with it every night and I find myself "borrowing" it sometimes during the day.  I backed it with Moda Snuggles and it is so soft and just the right weight.  

My inspiration was this mini quilt.  My daughter (Harper) had already picked out the fabrics she wanted and had asked for triangles, so I thought this would be perfect.  

I free motion quilted it with lots of loops on my machine.  
geese closeup
I particularly love how the quilting looks on the snuggles fabric (it is very forgiving!). 
moda snuggles quilt back
My daughter had requested a rainbow-ish quilt, so I couldn't help myself with the binding.
fllying geese binding
And the best part about the quilt is that Harper loves it!  There is no greater satisfaction than that :)
harper's geese

I am looking forward to checking out all of the other quilts in the festival, thanks for stopping by!

Quilt Stats. . .

Designed and pieced by: Me :)
Quilted by: Me again, on my home machine
Dimensions: 55"x66"
Best categories: throw quilt, home machine quilted, ROYGBIV

not to tempt you or anything . . .

But you should go check out Paper Thread fabrics. They are clearing out all of their inventory and everything is at least 50% off.  I just put in an order for some Nursery Versery (only $10/yard, that's a good price for Heather Ross!) and some quilt batting.  They also have some Anna Maria Horner, Tula Pink, Lizzy House, etc and lots of patterns.  Their stock is already dwindling down but there are some good things left!

I just thought I would pass on a good deal!  I have bought from this website before and it is one of my favorites :)

WIP Wednesday

Well the big finish for this past week was my queen size wonky cross quilt.  I have been working on this on and off for several weeks and you are probably sick of seeing it by now, but it is now complete!
wonky cross quilt

I also made this Christmas tree table runner for my parents.  It is in the mail and should be arriving at their house today.
brrr christmas table runner

And guess what . . . that completed all of my current WIPs!  So of course I had to start 3 more.  

My current WIPs:
  • Habitat quilt.  This is going to be a twin sized quilt for my little sister as a high school graduation present and I am finally cutting into my precious Habitat stash so she better like it!  
Habitat quilt
  • Quilt for my son.  I pulled some fabric this week and decided to use Ed Emberley's Happy Drawing fabrics.  I only have a few of the prints, so I ordered a couple more and I am waiting for those to get here before I start cutting into the fabric.  I will probably narrow this down before I make the quilt, but this is what is currently on the table.
fabric pull for Jonah's quilt
  • Echo/Bella quilt for my bed.  Ok, I did start this one last week, but I am just working on cutting the squares here and there since it is low on the priority list.  I have cut most of my Echo stash and will be starting on Bella this week.  They are so pretty, I really enjoy handling them.  
Things that I need to get started:
  • November is my month for Do Good Stitches.  I saw this last night and I think we might give it a try!
  • Remaining Christmas gifts.  I'm not sure what I'm going to make yet, but I better figure it out!


impromptu Christmas project and a swap

My parents were in town visiting last weekend:

grandma and grandpa visit
I showed them some of the things that I was working on and it occurred to me that I should make them some sort of holiday related gift for Christmas.  Unlike me, they are very into decorating their house for the holidays.  I am still on a little bit of a triangle kick and I had so much fun working with Laurie Wisbrun's Brrr! fabrics last time that I thought I would include those in a table runner.
brrr christmas table runner
It ended up a little bit wide (I think the finished size was 20x42") so I added some sleeves to the back in case they wanted to hang it instead.  I am going to send to them a little early so they can actually use it for Christmas, so it is headed for the post office today.  

Last week I received a package from Caitlin in our Wish Circle swap.  She did an absolutely fantastic job making something that I love and she sent along some beautiful scraps.  Thank you so much Caitlin!
wish circle swap gift received!
For the swap I had Kirsten, who is a mother of 3 little boys who lives in Oklahoma.  I was very excited when I saw her mosaic and decided to make her a big tote bag lined with my favorite Farmdale print (she said she loves turquoise and Farmdale, so I figured I couldn't go wrong with that).  I have already shared the exterior of the bag:
triangle tote
a little sneak peak . . .
But I didn't want to share the interior because I knew it would be a giveaway:
wish circle swap bag lining
I feel so grateful to be a part of this wonderful group of women.  Every time I participate in a swap I am completely amazed at what people can create and the time and effort that is put into making something for someone else.  

blogger bundles

If you haven't already checked it out, Alyce over at Blossom Heart Quilts is hosting a blogger bundle competition with Randi at Fresh Squeezed Fabrics.  I think these kinds of competitions are SO MUCH FUN.  As much as I enjoy all aspects (or at least most aspects) of making a quilt, picking out fabrics is definitely the best part.

I wanted to make a mosaic using some of my favorite prints right now.  I knew that I wanted to use the Cosmo Cricket text print; I love that it has all of these positive words and phrases and it is such a pretty shade of pink.  I also wanted to use an Oh Deer print (because it is so cute!), this Madrona Road print (which I love but I haven't been able to justify buying), and then some coordinating prints andsolid.

I am calling my mosaic Sunshine Road because I love all of the happy colors and words.  I am trying to focus more on the positive things in life and this group of fabrics feels very positive to me :)
sunshine road mosaic

it's done!

Today I finished up the queen sized wonky cross quilt I have been making for my sister- and brother-in-law for Christmas.  In my husband's family we rotate who we have for Christmas each year, and this year we have Denise and John.  Denise (my husband's sister) dropped a major hint that she would like a queen sized quilt for Christmas this year.  My first reaction was that I wasn't up for it, but then I thought . . . why not?

Denise and John are great and it makes me happy to make something for someone when I know that it is something they want.  She requested a quilt made up of different shades of blue and neutrals.  My plan was to make the quilt completely from fabrics in my stash (I have way too much fabric), and I was actually pretty successful.  I only bought 4 quarter yard cuts to kind of even the blues out since most of what I have is aqua and turquoise.

I have been wanting to try some wonky cross blocks for a while.  They are pretty easy and don't have much fabric waste, which was important because I was trying to work within my stash.
wonky cross quilt
I am really hoping that they love it.  I did enjoy making it, but queen sized quilts are a lot of work.  They get really heavy!

I quilted it with random organic (aka not completely straight) lines.  Even though it takes a lot of time and is a little tedious, I love the texture that it gives a quilt.  Each column took me 45 minutes to an hour to quilt (there are 11 columns) and took at least a bobbin of thread.  The finished quilt is about 90" square.  
wonky cross quilt
I was very happy when I remembered that I had fabric in my stash for the backing.  I bought this Moda 108" wide dottie a few months ago.  As much as I like a pieced back, it was nice to use one solid piece for a large quilt.  

This is the quilt after being washed.  It turned out so soft and crinkly!
wonky cross quilt back

I also finished up one smaller project today.  Yesterday I walked into Sew Modern and saw some Loulouthi velveteen in the remnant bin.  I almost squealed.  I even had the perfect voile at home to match up with the velveteen for some figure 8 scarves.  

My sister Carly is turning 19 at the end of the month and she actually lives in a place where it gets cold (Provo) so I thought this would be a good gift for her (of course I have enough fabric to make 2 so I am going to keep one for myself even though it is perpetually warm in Southern California).  I had my husband take quick shot of me wearing it today, even though it was 80 degrees outside.  
figure 8 scarf
I am linking up with TGIFF over at Echinops & Aster.  

WIP Wednesday

First, I just want to say that I am really enjoying participating in the weekly WIP posts.  It is very helpful in keeping me focused and motivated on what I am working on, and I love seeing what everyone else is doing!

With all of the posts about Sewing Summit this week (I wish I could have been there!) it has really made me think about how wonderful the quilting community is and how grateful I am to be a very tiny part of it.  Thank you so much for visiting my blog; I started it to try to meet new people and share what I am working on, and I am so very glad to have this space.

Finished projects:
  • Remixed geese quilt for my daughter.  I have been slowly working on this for several weeks but I had a sudden burst of energy to finish this one up.  
remixed geese
  • October do good stitches blocks.  They are scrappy chevron blocks made from this tutorial
do good stitches october blocks
Ongoing projects:
  • Wonky cross quilt.  I finished quilting this one last night (yay, it's queen size and took A LONG TIME) and sewed the binding on the front.  I am definitely looking forward to spending some time this week hand sewing the binding to the back.  This quilt is a Christmas present for my husband's sister and her family, but they are moving into a new place this weekend so I wanted to finish the quilt up in case they want it early.
  • Quilt for our bed.  This has been planned for a long time, but I had originally intended to make a Single Girl quilt.  That idea just didn't feel right so last week I started cutting 5" squares for a simple patchwork quilt using Lotta Jansdotter's two lines, Echo and Bella.  Even just cutting the fabric this week has made me happy, it is so beautiful!  
Future projects:
  • Quilt for my son.  I am planning on doing something with chevrons, I was definitely inspired by working on those chevron quilt blocks this week!
  • High school graduation quilt for my sister.  I finally ordered some Kona ash this week and I am excited to get this one started.  


october blocks

I just finished my october blocks for the do good stitches wish circle.  Sonya was in charge this month and she chose scrappy herringbone blocks made using the tutorial at Bijou Lovely.

I did have one issue when making them.  In Holly's tutorial she uses a 6.5x24.5" ruler to trim her blocks.  Apparently I wasn't paying very good attention because I trimmed my blocks with my 6x24" ruler and my first attempt at these blocks were too small.  Boo!  Luckily these are pretty easy to put together!

These are headed to the post office this afternoon!
do good stitches october blocks

remixed geese

A free pattern for this quilt is now available from Robert Kaufman.
remixed geese
A few weeks ago I started this quilt on a little bit of a whim.  I wanted something to work on that was really fun and I wanted something that my daughter could be involved in.  She requested rainbow colors and triangles, and I had just seen this quilt, so I thought I'd give flying geese a try.
geese closeup
I have been collecting these Ann Kelle Remix prints since they were first released.  They are so vibrant and fun.  I let my daughter pick the prints that she wanted (she pretty much chose everything that had pink or flowers on it) and then we picked some coordinating solids from my stash.
harper's geese
I also wanted to give something else a try: I backed this quilt in Moda Snuggles.  This was a little bit scary because I have read that others have had issues using minky-like fabric because it stretches, but I am happy to report that it was much easier to work with than I anticipated.  I spent longer-than-normal making sure that everything was basted well and I ended up with a nice, smooth, pucker-free quilt.
moda snuggles quilt back
The main drawback about the Snuggles was that it is heavier and caused more friction with the machine when I was free motion quilting.  I probably should have just stuck with straight lines for the quilting, but I knew my 4 year old would prefer swirls no matter how imperfect they were.
geese closeup
I originally planned to use a solid for the binding, but my daughter asked for a rainbow quilt so I decided not to hold back.  It needed to be over the top!
fllying geese binding
This guy thinks he needs a blanket now, how can I turn down this face?

wip wednesday

Completed this week:
  • Pillow Talk Swap pillow.  I am going to have a hard time sending this away :(
PTS round 9
  • Halloween baskets for my kids

halloween buckets
puzzled triangles brrr mini
In progress:
  • Wonky cross quilt.  My original plan was to finish this before working on anything else, but I haven't touched it this week.  Oops.
wonky cross quilt progress
  • Flying geese quilt for my daughter.  I finished piecing the top yesterday and then basted the quilt last night.  Woohoo!  I showed it to my daughter yesterday after I finished the quilt top and she said, "I love it, it's so rainbow-ish."  She had asked for a rainbow quilt so I guess that's a success.

To be started:
  • Do good stitches blocks for October.  We are making these blocks.
  • Scrap quilt.  It has to happen, the scrap bin is overflowing everywhere.  
  • Graduation quilt for my sister.  
I now have 3 swap projects completed that need to be mailed in the upcoming week.  I really enjoyed working on them and will definitely be doing more swaps in the future, but I think I will take a little time to focus on my projects first.  I am going to have family in town this week, but I am hoping to be able to finish my daughter's quilt and my do good stitches blocks so I can get those in the mail.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

puzzled triangles tutorial

After I posted a photo of my pillow talk swap pillow, a couple of people asked how I put all of those triangles together.  So I thought I'd write a little how-to using some Brrr (I adore those polar bears!).
PTS round 9
Don't be afraid, this really doesn't require math. It does require a little planning. Here we go . . .
  • Instead of "blocks" we are going to base this on triangles.  I used 12" triangles, which is made IMMENSELY easier by this ruler. It is a little pricey, but if you plan on working with 60 degree triangles again in the future, it is well worth it.  The ruler is amazing.  To plan your triangles, you can make up a grid of triangles in Photoshop or you can print one here.  
  • Forgive my amateur Photoshop skills.  I considered each small triangle as 2" and then drew in the larger triangles.  But instead of placing them in an even grid like this:
I offset the diagonal columns.  
I think this is more interesting.  Since you are going to assemble the diagonal columns, you could offset them in different ways.

Each of these 12" triangles can be made however you want.  It can be one piece of fabric, it can be log cabin triangles, or it can be composed of smaller triangles.  

I wanted to make a mini quilt, so mine is smaller, but here is my mockup.
The darker black lines mark my 12" triangles.  

To make the smaller triangles, it is easy to tell how big to make them since the smallest triangles are 2". The triangles that have 4 small triangles on one side should be 8" (8.5" unfinished), the ones with 3 triangles on one side should be 6" (6.5" unfinished), etc.  

If you want to do log cabins, it is really easy.  Just add a strip, trim, add a strip, trim, etc.  You can also add strips of different widths (like I did here) to make the triangle off center.  
Once your triangle is larger than 12.5" on each side, you can "triangle" it up.  
If you don't have a triangle ruler, you can use the 60 degree line on another ruler.  Just line up the 60 degree line with the bottom of your triangle, and trim along the long side.
Once you have all of your triangles made, lay them out . . .
And then separate them into their 12" triangles.  You will want to sew them together in these groupings to avoid having to do any Y seams.  
Within the triangles, sew together the smaller pieces first and work up to the bigger pieces.  When you have all of your 12" triangles sewn together, sew them into diagonal columns.
And then sew the columns together.  You should now be able to trim it to your desired shape.  See, not so bad, right?

puzzled triangles brrr mini
I have never written a tutorial before, so I am not sure if this was thorough enough.  Let me know if you have any questions!

ETA: I just saw this tutorial by Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts which gives directions on cutting equilateral triangles without a triangle ruler.  
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