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Yellow

I’ve been wanting to make my mom something with the pretty Daisy Pat in Robin’s Egg from Sandi Henderson’s Meadowsweet II collection since I first saw it. She loves yellow and daisies, so it’s perfect. I haven’t seen a lot of projects made with this fabric line in this colorway, which surprises me.

I saw this on the Fussy Cut blog from Angela, so I used the Meadowsweet II fabrics and some yellow Kona cotton to make a pillow. The block pattern is called Arkansas Crossroads, and the scrappiness of it appealed to me. Don’t ask me why I ended up having the solid yellow pieces in squares rather than the bigger rectangles that I could have used–it was late at night and I forgot to think ahead. I didn’t take the time to look up the pattern, I just winged it.

I quite like the Arkansas Crossroads block, and I think it would make a great quilt sometime. If you would like to see a great free pattern with this block, check out this great list of block patterns from a place called Quilter’s Cache.

Is this picture a little better? The lighting wasn’t great when I took the pictures.

This was my finished project for Amy’s One Thing, One Week Challenge. I also made a wallet for myself, and it turned out okay. I made up the pattern, so there are a few things that I would do differently next time. But it works.

I love surprises

…which is why I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Because if I make a new year’s resolution, there is no surprise. I don’t carry through with it. That’s just what always happens. However, if I just carry on as usual, I am thrilled with little surprises here and there when I accomplish something that I’ve been wanting to get done.

This weekend, I put together a quilt top. Surprise!! It surprised me how quickly this went together.

I really like how it turned out, and I’m going to have it quilted by someone–although I haven’t figured out who yet. I have never had a quilt quilted by a long arm quilter before. So this is a first for me. Generally, I just can’t afford to do it, but I don’t have to pay for this one myself–woohoo!

I used the lovely new Greenfield Hill collection by Denyse Schmidt in the blue colorway. I was a little hesitant about this line at first, but now I really like it a lot. It’s prettier in person than the pictures show. And it’s got such a great balance of prints, which makes it really wonderful to use. There are some fabrics that are stunning but not so easy to use. This is a fabric line that will look great in so many projects!

This is a closer up view so that you can see the fabrics better. I don’t have a very good place for taking pictures, by the way. This is hanging sideways, so it looks a bit odd.

The pattern is Shadowbox from Mountainpeek Creations. The pattern says “intermediate” level, but I thought it was pretty easy and quick. Things are pieced together in a way that makes the best use of your time, although there are some leftovers of the shadow fabric.

If you are wanting some of these fabrics, head over to Ryan Walsh’s I’m Just a Guy Who Quilts blog. I’m sponsoring a giveaway over there. Good luck!

Merry Christmas!

It’s 10:00 pm on Christmas Eve, and I’m hoping the kids are about ready to wind down so that I can finish up my last few things before Christmas morning. I’m not doing any last minute sewing tonight, which is really nice!

Yesterday, my youngest and I made salt dough ornaments. Here he is painting them. There were lots of black ornaments such as the “black polar bear” he painted. We put on glittery sprinkles so that even the black looks festive!

I don’t know if it’s true, but I like to tell myself that there are very few people who really have one of those perfect Christmases where the kids are all perfectly behaved and easily entertained with toys while the grown ups relax and enjoy the holiday. Dinner goes off without a hitch, and the kids fall asleep on the way home from a peaceful church service and stay asleep until 8 am the next day. Stockings get filled while mom watches a late night Christmas movie–maybe Miracle on 34th Street. And then it’s lights out by midnight. It sounds pretty perfect, but that’s certainly never how it’s been for me since I’ve been a parent! Are your holidays perfect, or more like the “Christmas Vacation” type, like mine always seem to be?

Merry Christmas!!

(Please ignore the patch in the wall–I’ll fix it eventually!!)

 

I had pretty much decided not to make any handmade gifts this year with the exception of a quilt for each of my boys if I so desired.  That may seem to be a strange decision when so many people are making the opposite one–to do a Handmade Christmas. Last year, I did a lot of handmade gifts, but I just felt like I didn’t have the time and I didn’t want to stress myself out so much this year. So I let myself off the hook for the handmade holidays!

As it turns out, I still made a gift for my mom. (So if you’re reading, Mother, stop now if you want to have a surprise at Christmas!) Last year I made my mom a last minute, super easy and quick holiday table runner. I had a Jelly Roll from the Madeleine Engelbright The Carolers line, so I picked out about 6 to 8 strips, and sewed them all together. I cut that into 3 pieces and sewed them back together so that the strips were all parallel. Then, I took two matching strips for a border down the sides of the piece. These were only about 43″ long–shorter than the length I had created, so I made the ends of the runner into a v-shape and left those tips un-bordered. To make it even easier, I sewed the top with the batting right sides together with the backing, and turned and top-stitched it–no binding. I did a small amount of “quilting” on the table runner. It’s hardly a “real” quilt, but it was super quick and easy and my mom really likes her festive holiday table runner. I don’t have a picture, or else I’d show it to you.

This year, I felt the urge to make a table runner that my mom could use year round, so I made another very easy one. I used one charm pack and yardage from Origins by BasicGrey (Moda) for borders, binding and backing. I sewed the charm squares into 4 9 patch blocks and then cut those into quarters to create Disappearing 9 Patch blocks.

Super easy and such neat results. I had enough for one very long and pretty wide table runner or two smaller ones. I opted for two smaller runners because I felt that would work better in my mom’s kitchen. I was able to cut and piece it all into one runner with borders and one without in just under 2 hours.  Wow–that is really fast for me!

I spray basted the top to the batting and backing and did some “straight” line stitching for quilting. Straight is in quotes because it’s not entirely straight–I didn’t mark the lines at all, just did it freehand, so that’s my excuse for why the lines aren’t exactly straight. I was so pleased with my binding! I did it all on the machine, and it turned out great. I think it’s because I was very careful to make sure that all the seam allowances were at 1/4 inch, and trimmed any excess. This part took about 2 1/2 hours–yes, I’m slow compared to many quilters who probably would have done this in an hour or less.  I didn’t finish the second table runner since I’m not sure exactly what I will do with it.

A Disappearing 9 Patch table runner with charm squares is a really quick and easy last minute gift. It also doesn’t take a lot of fabric, so it’s not too expensive. A great last minute gift that doesn’t look last minute!

In other news…I won a giveaway from Sew Inspired! A wonderful little holiday stocking mini-quilt and some sewing notions! This is really a perfect little quilt to hang on the wall and the perfect kind of decoration for my home that is so prone to breaking class decorations. Thank you Vicki!! (She has a great Simple Squares Quilt-along on her blog which is a fun and simple quilt that uses fat quarters!)

I hope you’re getting lots of sewing done! And having a fun holiday season!!

–Cathy

Whoops!!

I thought I had published this post, but apparently I had just written it. The winner of my drawing was notified and the Layer Cake sent. I hope she liked it! Here’s what I had written…

 

The winner of the Breakfast at Tiffany’s Layer Cake is MoeWest! She said:

“I would go to the Moda Bake Shop and look at the layer cake recipes. They have so many great choices it would be hard to pick one.”

Congratulations! I hope you have fun picking out a pattern at the Moda Bake Shop!

I have very little time to sew, as so many of us do. So I tried to think of something really quick to make for my 13 year old son in the way of a quilt for him for Christmas. I came up with a very simple pinwheel quilt using a layer cake from the Holly Taylor Classics collection from Moda. (I’ve got some in my shop, but not the entire line.) It’s got a nice, masculine outdoorsy fisherman-hunter theme to it, but is still colorful. This is the finished top.

Holly Taylor Classics Layer Cake Quilt

I’m going to use a flannel from the collection for the back and do the binding with the Cardinal Red fabric. This isn’t really quite a tutorial of how to do it, but just shows you basically how I worked it out. There are so many ideas for using a Layer cake!

For this quilt I used all but 2 squares from a Moda Layer Cake plus about 1 1/4 yard of the Cardinal Red fabric from the Holly Taylor Classics collection for binding and for 6 extra 10″ squares–I needed to have 2 sets of 2 squares of the same color for each finished pinwheel square, but there weren’t quite enough so I used the red. I could have done a smaller quilt using only the layer cake, but my son is 5′ 10″ and I wanted his feet to stay covered. Then fabric for the backing of a quilt that turns out to be 54″x 72″. I like the look without a border, so I’m going to just do the red binding.


To make the half square triangles, I put two 10″ squares right sides together and drew a cutting line diagonally. I then sewed 1/4″ from the cutting line on both sides of the line, so that each set had two seams. It’s kind of hard to see in the picture. Also, I chain sew things whenever possible.

Then, I cut on the cutting line between the two seams, and I ended up with two 9 1/2″ squares that are each two triangles sewn together. I placed the new squares so they’d make pinwheels by sewing 4 squares together. Then sewed the 18 1/2″ squares together to get my finished quilt top!

Of course, there was some ironing and squaring up the 9 1/2″ squares, and that type of thing, too. But it really came together quickly, and I think it looks nice. I know it’s nothing fancy or intricate, but that is just not possible with the time I have available–so my only option is something quick! I hope my son likes it! Of course, I’ve still got to actually finish it before Christmas–I don’t think he will want just a quilt top!

So, what would you make with a layer cake? I know there are so many great patterns out there and tons of ideas that are not patterns! I like the idea of a snowball quilt someday…maybe that’s my idea for my next quilt. A snowball quilt that uses a layer cake and a charm pack–easy peasy!

Let me know what you’d make with a layer cake in a comment below, and you will be entered in a drawing for a Breakfast at Tiffany’s Layer Cake–or you may choose 2 charm packs instead if you’d like. You can see this beautiful collection designed by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda here. Please just comment once for one entry per person in the giveaway. I will do a drawing on Tuesday, December 7th, so it’s a pretty quick giveaway.

You may enter if you are outside the US, but in order to ship the layer cake, I may have to take it out of it’s package. They are too big to fit in a Flat Rate Envelope for shipping, but kind of heavy. In fact, I may take it out of the packaging even for the US if it means that I can ship it Priority Mail to get it to the winner quickly. Hopefully, whoever wins it might even be able to use it for a quick holiday gift! Good luck & thank you for all your comments and ideas for layer cakes!

–Cathy

Comments are closed and winner will be announced!

There is a new collection of fabrics coming to my shop soon. It’s A Morris Tapestry by quilt historian and designer Barbara Brackman for Moda Fabrics. Don’t you just love it?

From A Morris Tapestry Fabric by Barbara Brackman

William Morris started The Arts & Crafts Movement in Britain as a move toward handmade items and was anti-industrial in nature. It was most influential from the 1880’s to the early 1900’s, and had influence in Britain and also in the US where the style was called the Craftsman Style. The push was towards things that are simple and beautiful and handmade by craftsmen and artisans rather than big factories–for William Morris it grew to be a political effort. In the US, it was more of a style for decorating and design aimed at modern living–think Craftsman style homes if the early 1900’s. (Arts & Crafts info in Wikipedia)

I am struck by how much this notion sounds like the current movement to buy handmade items and to buy locally. Etsy and Big Cartel are great places to shop for handmade items, and they are extremely popular. For those of you in Seattle, the Urban Craft Uprising is this Saturday, December 4th at the Seattle Center–a great place to buy handmade for the holidays. I know many, many sewists and crafters are creating “Handmade Holidays” and various other ways of celebrating the winter holidays that are less commercial have less impact on the environment.

American Express recently held Small Business Saturday where small, non-franchises could promote their businesses and individual had a $25 rebate incentive to shop at a small business (using your American Express card, of course). They are apparently planning to promote this for future years, too.

I just find it interesting that history is repeating itself as it so often does. People still feel the need to create and connect with people like they have throughout history. Even though I can find a t-shirt on sale at Target for my son for $1.50, and it costs me more than that to make (especially if you consider my time), I still make a few for him. Because he loves them and there is something about homemade that you just can’t find at the big stores, and it is very satisfying to me, too.

Barbara Brackman has really created a beautiful line of fabrics inspired by the work from William Morris.  She had an interesting post on her blog about it yesterday, too. So here are some more pictures of this wonderful collection of fabrics for you to enjoy. Do you like them?? Do you have any ideas of what you’d like to make? Do you think I should do a giveaway once they arrive in the shop?