Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tutorial: square on point in square.. out of triangles...

In my last post, I showed the blocks I'm working on for a quilt for my master bedroom, and I've had a request for a tutorial on the block,
so here goes......
Cut out 4 squares. Mine are 6".
Just depends on how big of a block you are going for.
Pair them up, right sides together and pin.
Even if you're not a person who usually pins stuff, I'd pin here since you're going to be sewing on the diagonal.
Take a straightedge and draw a line corner to corner. I use black ink so I can see it.
You're going to cut on this line later, so don't worry about using permanent ink.
Using the line as a guide, sew 1/4" away from it on one side,
then flip it over and sew 1/4" on the other side.
(Chain piecing works really well here. I generally sew 20 or so at at time, all the way on one side, then back on the other side)
Cut off the corners to take out excess bulk.
We'll be doing this a few times. It makes it easier to quilt later.
Use your rotary cutter and cut down the line you drew. Now you have 2 triangles.
open them up and press them, and voila! magic squares made up of 2 triangles each!
Arrange 2 of these.
I like setting the dark next to the light here, with a medium tone on the outer corners.
You can create a lot of different looks with this technique depending on how you choose fabrics and arrange the blocks.....
Lay them right sides together and pin.
Even if you're not a pinner, the pins will help you know which side to sew.
My seam ripper would tell you that it's easy to get it confused.....
Sew them.
Again, chain piecing is really efficient here, so I pin a stack of them and sew them all at once.
Cut off the little corner excess.
And press them out.
They should be exactly the same.
Turn one around, and voila!
You have a square set on point!
Lay right sides together and pin. Again with the chain piecing....
And cut off the little corner excess.
And press it out!
My block measures right at 11"

Monday, December 28, 2009

What I'm working on this week...

I love Christmas. I also love the week after Christmas. It's when you get to start on all the fun things you were putting off until after Christmas.....
I'm separating up the squares for the fall and Christmas swaps. So fun. I LOVE swaps. I LOVE doing the work on them. All the giant piles of squares just bring me joy. And I love packaging them up to send out to the swappers.
I'm working on a quilt for my bed. I have the basic block laid out and I'm happy with it, and I've been steadily working on cutting out the squares. I bought the coolest fabric to use for the backing. Very excited about that.
And you'll notice I'm using more of my Michael Miller Word Search. I tell you, I'm obsessed with that fabric.....

And if I didn't have enough to do, I am now compelled to start this project because it seems like a good option for the tons of artwork produced at my house every day.....

I'm getting ready to post 2 things I'm very excited about: my 100th post and a Valentine's swap! And there will be some sort of giveaway on the 100th post.... and I'm going to tell you a little more about why I started this blog. And for those who don't want to read about that, I'll put in some pretty pictures!

So what are you working on this week?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Twas the night before
Christmas.... and all through the house
not a creature was stirring,
not even a ....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Skidding into Christmas on two wheels...

Finished! I just finished the binding on my girls' quilt for Christmas. That was the 3rd quilt that had to get done this week.... whew!
This was my I-Spy quilt from the I-Spy swap earlier this year. It was so much fun working with all the different squares. I really enjoyed putting this one together.
These were some of my favorite parts of the quilt. Love the buttons!
and the singing pigs are awesome!
Here's the backing. I had a few extra squares that I put in the middle with a dancing vegetable print on one side and my beets on the other. The dancing vegetables make me laugh, and my older daughter will think they are funny too.

I tried 2 new things on this quilt that I had never done before:
1. no sashing.
2. a scrappy binding.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2 finishes and 2 days to Christmas!

Finished up 2 quilts in the last 24 hours. Not that I'm cutting it close to Christmas or anything..... Yikes! I still have one more to complete before Christmas Eve.
The first one is my first I-Spy quilt. This one isn't staying with me--it's for my cousin Monica's little girls. Monica participated in the I-Spy swap and then commissioned me to make her quilt. It was a lot of fun!
This is one of my favorite squares--the green with black and white shoes!
For the backing, I used a vintage-y kitchen-y print and a beet print. I LOVE the beets. Not sure why.
This one.... well I'm kind of in love with it. It's a jelly roll... wait, no. It's a honey bun. Moda Oh Cherry Oh! Love it. I did a basketweave pattern and then a border. Backed it with the same pattern as the border. The binding was an unrelated red and white dot.
It's a baby gift for my cousin's little daughter who is 12 weeks old!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A potato soup recipe.

Hi friends! Confession is good for the soul, right. I am not an excellent cook. I am, at best, a mediocre cook.

I like to cook. I have to do it a lot, so I might as well like it, right?

So here's a recipe, but not because I'm a fabulous cook. It's because I have many other things I'd rather do besides cook and making cooking easy makes my life more fun.

Potato soup

You'll need: a bag of potatoes (red, preferably), a packet of onion soup mix (or a box of chicken or vegetable broth), a stick of butter (or margarine), half an onion and 8 oz. of sour cream.

To garnish you'll need: bacon (turkey bacon is fine), cheddar cheese, chives, and/or sour cream.

Get out a crock pot. Put the onion soup in the bottom and crush any lumps. Then get out your potatoes and peel about half of them. Cut them into quarters and chunk them in the crock pot. Finely cut about half an onion up. Fill with water to cover them. Let it cook on high for about 2 hours.

Get a slotted spoon. Fish out about 2/3 of the chunks and put them in a bowl--this will be the soup part. Put the other 1/3 on a cutting board (this will be the chunks part--we'll deal with it in a minute).

Put in the stick of butter and the sour cream in the soup part. Add some of the broth from the crock pot, but not all of it. Use a hand mixer on high to blend the soup part. It will start out looking like mashed potatoes. Keep adding broth until it's the consistency you want--a thick soup consistency, a little thicker than tomato soup. If you run out of broth, you can use water. It will work fine.

Back to the 1/3 that we put on the cutting board for chunks. Cut them up. Put them in the soup.

At this point, I usually take out any of the broth that's left over and discard it. Then I put the soup (with chunks) back in the crockpot and leave it on warm until we're ready to eat it.

Then to garnish it: I cook bacon until it's crispy and crumble it, shred cheddar cheese, cut up green onions (scallions). Put this all on top and add a dollop of sour cream if you wish!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Monogrammed Baby Blankie

Here's a little project I completed today. It's a gift for a friend who just had a baby. The monkey fabric is ultra cuddle from Jo-Ann's (which is 50% off this weekend, by the way, and comes in quite a few fun prints). The cool thing is that it's 2-sided. I appliqued fleece letters using a technique I found online and now can't locate again...
I used red fleece for the binding as well. This was fun and super easy, so I think I'll probably post a tutorial for this when I make the next one. I didn't take step-by-step pics on this one!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I-Spy a Christmas present....

{click photo to make larger}
I'm planning on finishing my girls' I-Spy quilt in time for Christmas.
Here's the top.
I have the backing.
I even have sufficient batting.
I also have a bunch of responsibilities this week that are going to make sewing a challenge!

So one thing I tried out this time.... I knew I needed a way to break up the sheer busy-ness of this quilt. I did another one for my cousin with sashing, and I liked the way it came out. But I don't like to reproduce anything I've already done..... so this time instead of sashing, I worked in a neutral print (Michael Miller's Word Search in black and cream--the link is to the pastel version, I can't find the black and cream one anywhere.....). I have a crush on that fabric. I think I bought the last of it on the internet (or at least I attempted to) and I'd buy a bolt if I could get my hands on one! Anyway, I added in squares of that fabric to have a "grounding" effect on the quilt. I used 1 square of the Word Search to every 7 or so of the other squares. And Word Search is the only pattern that is repeated in the whole quilt.

P.S. I think we should plan on I-SPY SWAP PART 2 in the next few months! It was so much FUN!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Oh, what fun it was to participate in Giveaway Day. I can't believe we had a total of 403 entries on the Moda Wee Play charm pack. Awesome.

The winner of the charm pack was Eleanor:

Eleanor said...
I adore Wee Play but started quilting after it was already hard to find so I've only managed to get a few fat quarters here and there. A whole charm pack of it would be the greatest thing ever! Anyway, for the holidays I'm making a fabric pin cushion/sewing caddy out of Christmas Snow Flower fabric. The bright greens and reds will be so cheery while I work on all my projects!
December 2, 2009 3:43 PM

And I had a scrap giveaway going at the same time..... for some lovely little Christmas scraps.
That winner was Jacque:

Jacque. said...
oh! oh! OH! I am making mini-mini quilts...4-5" as tree decorations. These scraps would be PERFECT!!! I made a mini quilt yesterday and I liked it so much that I decided to make bitty ones for extra gifts. I was planning to go to the store later this week for more Christmas fabric. But, I'll wait to see if I am fortunate enough to win this giveaway. You rock!
November 29, 2009 10:29 PM

Ladies, I've sent you both e-mails letting you know you are the winner!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Just in Time!

Well, here's what got finished up today. I'm so excited about it! It's our family Christmas quilt. The top 2 are my husband and me, and the bottom 2 are our little girls. Love it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Zig-Zagging my way on through....

Remember this quilt with the elf feet? You guys were so helpful, and I really appreciate it!
You see, I really felt like I HAD to put the lettering on it, but I didn't really want to. For one thing, it was going to take forever! So I'm glad I asked, because most of you guys didn't think the lettering was a good idea. So I left it off. And I'm so pleased with it!
I basted it first, and then went back and zig-zagged around each piece. This was a Bad Idea. I mean, it's going to work out fine, but I'm turning a whole basted quilt around in circles to get around each elf foot.... well, you can imagine.
But it's nearly quilted, and the binding is made, and so.... almost done! So I hope to have a finished picture up soon!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas craft + toy = hours of entertainment!

I LOVE crafts that are cheap, easy, fun to do and provide my daughter something to play with. Can't get any better than that, right?
So start with a cookie sheet from the dollar store. Make sure it's a steel one, not aluminum. Magnets won't stick to aluminum.
Then I cut out a tree shape and Mod Podged it to the cookie sheet.
Then coat it with a thick layer of Mod Podge. I think this would look extra cool with the glitter Mod Podge, but I didn't have any on hand....
Now get out your scrapbook paper scraps, your buttons, rhinestones, and some magnet strips.
I cut out some to look like presents, and some to look like ornaments, and one for the star. I glued the paper to cardboard, then stuck magnets on the back and put a layer of mod podge on the top.
You can see the magnets on the back. Then I found my glitter glue (also from the dollar store) and embellished the ornaments and made ribbons on the presents. I glued rhinestone hearts to the buttons as well. Here it is, all ready for a little girl to play with!This was so easy to create, it was cheap, and it will store relatively flat when she's not playing with.
My daughter has really enjoyed it. I'm thinking of lots of variations for her to play with!