Friday, June 29, 2012

Done Leaping . . .

I've finished Leap Year!  

As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I wanted my Leap Year to be just a little bigger.

So step one, I added more blocks and a little black trim to all the blocks.

To make this project even bigger I decided I would add a couple of black borders and 3 background borders.  

So to start, I made my inner border the same width as the sashing .  

Then I added this thinnish black border, 

 with the intention of adding an even thinner background border, another thinnish black border, and wrap the whole project up by adding a wide outer border using the background fabric.  So it was at about this stage when I figured out I was taking away from the center of my quilt by adding all those borders.  Borders whose only purpose was to make the quilt bigger.

I also decided I really liked how the pattern had a wider border around those outer blocks, it set them off more.

So off came the first two borders and on came the wider border.

Isn't it amazing what a difference less than an inch makes!

Then to finish things off I added one last black border, not thin, not thinnish, but just right.

Sometimes a quilt needs to be its size, not the size you want it to be.

I've name my project Date Night, because once I jazzed up that little black dress fabric that's what popped into mind, like the fabric was all dressed up to go out.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 90!
It finished at 43" x 53"
It has approximately 427 pieces.
The pattern is Leap Year by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co
The print fabric is little Black Dress by basicgrey for Moda
The background fabric is American Jane Patterns by Sandy Klop for Moda.

The black flange was cut 1 1/4" wide then folded in half and pressed before adding it to each block.

I've not seen the usual number of finished projects out in blogland for this project as I've seen in past months.  I sure hope we have a good parade.  If you've not started yours, and you stick with the pattern, and don't change your mind 5 times about the border, you can have this done in a day, I swear!

See ya at the parade!  (Sinta's & Sherri's blogs)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Updates . . . . .

My Twister project is home from the quilter.  I contemplated quilting this myself, doing some straight lines or maybe some big stitch hand quilting,  I'm so glad I got over those ideas because I would not have done near the job that my quilter, Connie Lancaster at Quilts Plus in Indianapolis, IN did.

I didn't notice how plain that white space was until Connie filled it with pinwheels.

Pinwheels in the pinwheels and pinwheels in-between the pinwheels.

Here's the corner.  Thank  you Cosmo Cricket for designing the perfect fabric for the binding!

And thank you Connie for quilting such a clever pattern on my project!

For more information on my SaltAir Twister go to my Lifetime Quilt List tab, this is Lifetime Quilt Number 88.

When I was working on my Twister, I linked to Dawn's blog where she showed some pictures of some Twister projects she had pieced.   Due to popular demand Dawn has created a very detailed tutorial on how to make her heart twister, stop on by if you would like to give that project a try. (Click Here)

Yo Yo update, last week I had 8 yo-yos . . . . 

This week I have  . . . 9!  LOL!!

Not as many as you or I expected, but I did buy a vase!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Still Leaping . . .

So back to Leap Year, the June Schnibbles of the month.

This is where I left you on my last Leap Year post, wanting to make this bigger.

I got several great suggestions that I'm going to pass along just in case sometime you're wanting to make a project bigger; add sashing to the blocks, set the blocks on point, and add some outer borders.  Someone was even nice enough to track down a few more little Black Dress charm packs for me.  All great ideas and very helpful, thanks!  

But I didn't go with any of those ideas.  Instead I thought maybe I would like the looks of some blocks that had background fabric in half of the squares, so it would look like some of the fabric was free, and not part of a square.

It's hard to tell what a horrible idea that was from this picture.

The "free" blocks are the first block in row one, the third block in row two, the second block in row 4 and the last block in row five.  

Here's a better picture.

 It was at this point that I realized that my favorite thing about this pattern was the 16 patch blocks, and how I liked the blocks to look like blocks, not some squares floating off into space while the majority of the other blocks didn't.  I found those floater blocks distracting.

Then I came up with another idea.  What if I used the light fabric from the family that I hadn't used yet, because it blended in with the sashing fabric, and set it apart by adding a thin black border to each block?

And that's what I did!

And I like it. Not only does it help the blocks with the lighter colored fabric stand out, I think it adds a nice little something something to all the blocks, kind of like they're more dressed up!

So this is where I am now, not done, but definitely back on track.  Good thing too, the parade is just days away!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tools Tuesday . . . .

As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of my summer goals is to inventory and clean out my ruler, template and tools drawer.  

Well the first step is complete.  Here's everything that was in my drawer.  Tools I've been collecting ever since I started quilting seven years ago.  

I sorted the contents of the drawer into three groups, things I know I like and know how to use, things I may like but have never used, and things I don't like, use or will ever use!

My "Fit to be  . . " whatever rulers are rulers I use on almost every project.  I've tried several different ways to make flying geese, Monique's rulers are my preferred method.  These I'll keep.

Here are my Marti Michell templates and rulers.  The templates I bought for different projects or patterns, I like them, use them and loan them out.  They're staying.

The log cabin rulers have never been used.  After doing some research on their use I decided that I would not use that method to piece log cabin blocks, not keeping those.

I used these perfect circle templates for my Summer Fun dots.

If you need to make circles for a project, I recommend using these templates by  Karen Kay Buckley.

So this is where I stand right now.  The tools I know I'll use and like are back in the drawer, on the left. The tools I may like if I knew what the heck they were used for, I put in that project box on the right.

I've created a list of what is in the cleaned out tools drawer and put it on my phone so that I'll always know what I have at home when I'm out shopping.  This is because I have a couple rulers or tools that I've bought two of.  I have two easy angles, I have four 4 1/2 inch rulers!  No more of that!

The things I know I don't want are that stack on the floor.  Most of these I bought to use in a class and didn't use them or have found a method that works better for me and won't use them. I'm passing them along to a sewing group, for someone else to put in there tools drawer!

My next step is to take something out of the project box and figure out how to use it, by next Tuesday.   If I think I'll use it at some point I'll keep it, if not, out the door it goes.  So be sure to stop back by next Tuesday for another edition of  Tools Tuesday!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bounce . . . . .

There's a new quilt hanging in my living room, and when I say new quilt I mean new quilt!

This is this quilt's world premiere, from my living room to you!

This is Bounce, a new pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.

Earlier this year Carrie Nelson asked if I would be interested in sewing a quilt for her for spring market, this is the quilt I got to piece,  it didn't make it to market, but neither did Carrie!  So all those folks who went to spring market missed out on this quilt, but that means you get to see if first!

I figured Carrie would just send me some fabric and a pattern in the mail with a note that would basically say, "here it is".   But Carrie made her version the same time I worked on mine, which made it more of a sew along and a lot of fun. (For picture of Carrie's version go to Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. online store)

I also got to make a few of my own choices, Carrie was great that way, "do what you think looks best", she would say, so I  would.

This is the fabric Carrie selected.  Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt for Free Spirit Fabrics.

I got to decide whether to go totally scrappy or scrappy within each color way.  I chose scrappy within each color way.  This is fabric I would had never bought on my own, it's way outside my normal fabric comfort zone.  But I loved working with it, loved how it looked when I pieced the blocks, loved it more when it was done.  I am now more open minded about these colorful modern looking fabrics that are popular now and expect to buy and use more of them in my projects.

So here are all the blocks before the bounce effect.  

The pattern suggests you may want to put the blocks on a design wall before making them bounce, it's a good tip to follow.

You have several choices to make when you start on this pattern.  One is to go with scrappy stars with pieced blocks in the center, or  a star made using one piece of fabric.  My version has the scrappy stars.  You can also decide to go with all big stars, like Carrie did, or big and small stars like my version.

Here it is all pieced and bouncy.

You also have two choices on the border, here's a closeup of  my version.

I stayed scrappy but within color ways, like the stars, and all my strips are the same width.

Along the way I would suggest ideas to Carrie on how to make the pattern better.  She was great about listening to my ideas and even better about explaining why my ideas wouldn't work for this particular pattern.  (there's more to this pattern business than you would suspect!) One of my favorite ideas was to not provide a layout with the pattern, make folks do their own.  I was afraid everyone would try to cut their blocks exactly like mine, and I would like everyone's Bounce to have their own bounce.  Carrie very politely let me know that when folks buy patterns, they expect a layout page.  It makes me laugh to think about it now, yes even I expect a layout page, and some of you think I should design patterns? 

There are several things I like about this pattern.  First, you don't have to worry about cutting off those star points when you connect the blocks, they're floaters.  Second, any style of fabric would make a great Bounce. Additionally, this pattern can be made using a layer cake, 24 fat eighths, or 12 fat quarters, who doesn't have some of that!  And most importantly, it's fun! (perfect for your Summer of Fun)

Here's the pattern.  Lucky you, it's available for purchase in Carrie's online shop, today, now!  You can select  a PDF version (click here) if you can't wait a single second to own this pattern, or you can buy the paper version (click here), which will be mailed to you.  I'm sure it will be showing up in your local quilt shop also, but why wait when you can have it now!

This is Bounce
It finishes at 70" x 70"
It is Lifetime Quilt Number 84
It has approximately 956 pieces.

I can hardly wait to see new and different versions of Bounce.  I'm really wanting to see one with a scrappy background.  I may try that myself. (PLEASE someone make a Minick and Simpson Bounce for the 4th of July!)  Be sure to send me a picture when you finish your Bounce!

What better way to celebrate a new pattern than with a giveaway.  Even though I didn't name this pattern, the name has nothing to do with me at all really,  I'm the sort of person who wakes up happy most every day, it's just my nature to get out of bed with a bounce in my step.  So while it was really just luck that I got to make this particular quilt for Carrie, it was a perfect fit, this pattern suits me and my personality.  If you would like to win this pattern (donated by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.) and a layer cake of your choice to make your own Bounce, leave a comment on this post by Friday, June 29th.  I'll announce the winner on Saturday.  In your comment I would like to know what puts a bounce in your step!

My Bounce was quilted by Linda Hrcka at the Quilted Pineapple.  Today she's going to talk about how she quilted Bounce and show you lots of nice close-up quilty pictures.  The quilting on this project is amazing, be sure to stop on over.

So thanks Carrie for what I would consider the opportunity of a lifetime, a quilt I pieced on the cover of a pattern, it could not have been more fun!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

National Pink Day . . .

Did you know you were supposed to sew something pink today?  I love pink, I wear pink a lot, my running shoes are most always pink, my phone has a pink polkadot cover, if there was ever a day for me, it would be today.  (well this day and that national cupcake day!)  Maybe today would be the perfect day to start on my sewing machine cover, I plan to throw some pink in it!  At a minimum, I'll make a few pink yo-yos to go with my red ones.  Any reason to turn a ho hum normal day into a let's have a little pink fun day fits right in with my Summer of Fun program.  

If I could I would sew on this adorable pink sewing machine.

But it's a charm the size of a quarter, so I'll guess I'll have to settle for wearing it on a bracelet, today!  
(Isn't it perfect that it uses red thread!)

Do you have anything pink you can sew today?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Leap Year . . .

I've started the June Schnibbles of the month, 

I've decided to use Little Black Dress by basicgrey for Moda for my project.

And that pretty tiny dot fabric for my sashing.

The pattern has a couple of block options and block size options.

I'm going with the larger (7 1/2") sixteen patch version.

I like all my blocks but want to make my Leap Year bigger.  Unfortunately I'm out of medium and dark toned charm squares.  I don't think I can get any more charm packs until August.  I'm sure I'll think of something, stay tuned!

Housekeeping - 

I'll take guesses on my summer yo-yo production giveaway (yesterday's post) through the weekend, then I'll close the blog to comments so I can provide weekly updates.  The last time I checked Nancy was the low with 103 and Shelley was the high with 1,832.  Your confidence in my ability, time and commitment are inspiring, I'll give it my best shot!

Beth, that adorable sewing machine cover pattern is in the August 2012 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.  I get my issues in the mail, I wonder if it just hasn't made it to your store yet.  The Fat Quarter Shop is selling the magazine, take a look so you'll recognize the cover when it does show up in your neck of the woods.

Enjoy your weekend,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer 2012, The Summer of Fun . . . .

It's officially summer.  I don't know how your weather has been where you are, but it has felt like summer here for a good while.

Since this is the first day of summer, I figured today would be a good day to set some summer sewing goals.  I'm calling this summer "The Summer of Fun"!  

The summer of 2011 was spent on my Red and White Tribute quilt, it was all consuming and challenging.  And while I'm up for a good challenge every now and then, I'm not up for another summer like that.  For 2012 I'm planning on a stress free simple summer, and here are the projects that are going to see me through it.

Farmers Wife

I've not touched this project since this time last year.  Someone recently asked me about these blocks which prompted me to dig out my Farmer's Wife project box.  For some reason I remember not liking my first blocks, I don't know why, these little 4 1/2 inch blocks are adorable.  I'm not going to make all the blocks in that book, but I am going to make enough to at least have a decent size wall hanging. Since  I'm not making all the blocks I'm going to pick out and only make the blocks I like the best, because it's The Summer of Fun!


This is my tools drawer.  Some folks buy fabric, I buy rulers, templates, and any sort of gadget that is supposed to make my quilt blocks easier to make and more importantly, the exact size.  I'm guessing I've not used half the tools in this drawer, I don't even know what's in this drawer.  This summer I plan to inventory this drawer and figure out how to use these tools.  Lucky you, you'll get demonstrations and reviews as I make my way through this stack. I think learning something new is fun and at a minimum, having a clean tools drawer by the end of the summer will be fun.


I'll blog more about this another day but I plan to make as many of these as I can.


I've got some blocks that my Mamaw made by hand that I plan to stitch to some backing and to make a few new ones to add to the project.  This is another project that fell by the wayside once I started Evening Bloom,  I'm looking forward to getting back to it.

Memories of Provence

This block of the month, designed by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts, is too pretty and too fun not to include in my summer.  Plus Sinta's hosting a BOM Rehab that's fun too, so I figure to make a few more of these blocks.

I'm also going to make a sewing machine cover!

Monique also designed this pattern, it's on the last page of the August 2012 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.    They saved the best for last in this issue.  I'm not one to make zippy bags, pin cushions, purses, and the like, but my sewing machine would be so happy to get to wear this cover, I'm going to give this project a try.  

I also plan to make this project for my sewing room, using the same fabric as my sewing machine cover!

I think this pattern by Camille Rosekelly for thimble blossoms is required sewing for a summer of fun.

Northern Lights

This was a BOM where the fabric I received each month looked nothing like the fabric in this pattern.  I  hope to find some nice neutrals that would work for this top and to make some blocks.  I think it feels cool and calm, perfect for a summer of fun!  It may be the colors, but it reminds me of sand!

I also plan to participate in Sinta and Sherri's Another Year of Schnibbles sew along.

Leap Year is June's project.

These little projects are perfect for experimenting with some of those fabrics that are outside your comfort zone, take little time to make, plus you get to be in a parade when you're done.  What's a summer without a parade!

I have a Kate Spain for Moda Terrain bundle that I plan to leave out on my shelf and look at all summer long, and if I stumble across a fun and easy pattern that I think is worth opening up this little bundle of loveliness for, I 'll make it.

And what's a summer without some Minick and Simpson, that would be a summer with no fun!

So that's it, summer officially ends for me Labor Day weekend, I wonder how much I'll accomplish!  But this summer, it's not really about what I accomplish, but about having fun!

Join me, let's all have fun!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Done Twister'n . . . . . .

So my little Twister experiment is over.

I decided to go with a simple layout.  

(FYI - This measured 55" x 55")

I kept the tip about looking at the four corners of the blocks in my mind as I positioned my fabric squares, to make sure the twister blocks wouldn't blend together.

So once you've cut your blocks and sew them together, you cut your blocks and sew them together again!

Carrie left a comment on my last Twister post about using a small rotary cutter for cutting the blocks, and she's right!

You don't have much room for error, or a wild rotary cutter as you cut.  I recommend a sharp small rotary cutter.

Here it is, all done!

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 87.
It finished at 35" x 35"and has approximately 363 pieces.
The fabric is Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket for Moda.

Here's my review of the Twister template.  It works, it easily makes neat, precise looking projects, but they all sort of have that same look.  The look that I think folks who sew look at a project and say, "that was made with a Twister".  Not that that's a bad thing, but I would prefer folks said something else about my projects. But it was fun and easy, a nice change of pace after finishing Evening Bloom and Settlers Trail.  If you don't own a Twister template and are getting an itch to try it, ask a friend if she has one you can borrow, I bet she does.  There seems to be a lot of folks who own them and it's not the type tool someone uses all the time, or keeps on their sewing table.  Most folks are probably thinking, I have one, but I'm not sure where I put it.  I'm thinking this may be my first and last Twister.

Dawn, at First Light Designs, has a post today about her Twister experiences and is working on a tutorial for her heart Twister that I blogged about last week.  Stop by for more Twister info!