Thursday, September 29, 2011

Birthday gifts and Blocks

My birthday was almost 2 weeks ago. I used it as an excuse to do a little online shopping. I got the above Origins fabric from Stitch Steals. I had been pricing this fabric as I was going to buy some for the back of a quilt top I just finished, when I discovered it was the steal of the day... I bought more than planned. The top 2 I bought for my stash. The bottom flower fabric I bought enough to use as a backing.

Connecting Threads and KnitPicks are having book sales on now until the end of October. I picked up some for me (and a couple as gifts). Above are the ones for me. A Rose of Sharon quilt is on my bucket list so I decided it was time to start one.

Yarn... probably for me. The colourful one on the left will either be socks or a scarf. The 2 blue ones are lace weight - my first time knitting with such fine yarn - and will hopefully become beaded cuffs/bracelets.

After I finished opening all the boxes left on my doorstep today, I made blocks. Above is the first block of the Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along hosted by Moose on the Porch Quilts. Still time to join in on the fun and win some prizes - like me!

I finished the last 12 of 40 of these blocks. I used a Terrain layer cake and this tutorial from Moda Bakeshop. Instead of 1.5" white strips in the block, I used the strips from a white jelly roll, helping to make the blocks a little bigger. I also used all 40, and not just 20 of the fabrics.

Here are 28 of them spread out on our bed.

I'm hoping there will be enough strips leftover for the sashing. I placed some strips over the blocks to see what it will look like. My biggest fear is that the beautiful Terrain fabrics will be lost in a sea of white.

I placed some fabrics at the corners to see if that helped. I have a charm pack of Terrain that I could cut up and use. Or I thought of making them all the same colour (yellow?orange?). Needless to say, I need to think about this one some more. Glad to have the blocks finished and off my quilt table. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Couple Finishes for Wednesday

Today I really started attacking my WIP pile. The holidays are coming up way too fast and since all gifts have to be mailed to Canada, I aim to get most gifts completed by the first week of December. I want to finish a lot of my WIP's (so I don't have to move them around while making gifts) and start finishing up the gift list. Some things appear on both lists and luckily I was able to complete some projects and leave them in Canada this summer. However, the gift list is still long.  Got these 2 table runners, basted, quilted and bound today. The top one is a gift (something to cross off both lists!) and the bottom one is for me.

Did X's with black thread. Made with an Origins charm pack. This will be going on my dresser.

Used white thread for the gift table runner and a Hemming House charm pack. I used the tutorial from Cluck.Cluck.Sew.

Backs. Gift table runner is blue vintage fabric and mine is probably vintage fabric from my aunt.

After I was done these runners, I also quilted my September UFO. All I need to do is sew down the hanging sleeve. I'll post it on Saturday after Judy picks the UFO# for October. I also basted another quilt, and ironed some fabrics. A very productive day... and I still have the evening left. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm doing something, just not what I should be doing

I made a list the other day of all the projects I am working on - quilting, knitting, crocheting. The list was way too long. I have almost 20 WIP's! How did that happen? It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have them covering my quilt table, ironing board, floor and every space I can shove a project in the living room. Time to complete some things. Unfortunately, with a bug of some kid working its way through our house, I haven't used my sewing machine much. I have made some progress on my knitting WIP's.

Last night I finished the body of the cardigan I was working on. Just needs sleeves. Not sure what length I am going to make them yet.

Turned the heel and started the foot of this sock. Would like to have it and its mate finished by this time next week. My plan was to make 3-4 pairs of socks for myself during October so I would be set for the winter. We'll see.

And since I didn't finish any WIP's, I guess I can add another. The first block was posted today, you can find it here. Instructions on the quilt along can be found here.

Hopefully by Friday, I will have a couple finishes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The week so far

Bought this last weekend on clearance at Michael's. I hope this will be something neat to do with the kids. Debating whether I should go back and try to get another. It seems like a fun introduction to dying.

On Monday, a birthday present arrived from my sister (only a day late). This was made from the challenge fabric she had bought us. Visit her blog to see the 2 projects together. I think she picked bow-ties because of the love I have for the quilt made by our great-grandma that I posted about here.

The back with some leftover bow-ties. Thanks Sarah! I love it.

I had started this cardigan at the end of July on our train trip. I hadn't touched it for awhile and got it back out to work on this week. I had started this to have for the fall soccer season... which starts tomorrow. Hopefully I can get it finished before the season ends at the end of October when it's a little chillier. I got several inches knitted this week and my goal is to have the body complete by the end of this weekend.

I have now completed 5 dishcloths. Weaved in all the loose ends today. 2 on the left are for me. The other 3 will be gifts.

Monday, September 19, 2011

County Fair Quilt Show

This past weekend was our local County Fair and Quilt Show. Enjoy the pictures.

I think this one was also at the Spring show but I had put my kids in front for the picture. Still love this quilt.

My son with his favourite quilt.

My daughter couldn't pick between these 2.

You can now find me on Pinterest. It's very addicting. You should join, if you haven't already.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In

It's here! I finally wrote up a tutorial for this quilt. Click here or scroll down to the post after this one. Please use the tutorial for personal use only.  Enjoy. There is also a button on my sidebar that will take you to it.

Last night, I pieced this table runner. I had pieced and trimmed the blocks earlier in the week. Last night I ironed and pieced them together. I used a tutorial from Cluck.Cluck.Sew., which you can find here. This will be a Christmas present.

I pieced together this quilt top. This will be a lap quilt for a family friend who was diagnosed with cancer this week. I hope to get it quilted and mailed out by next weekend. I'm just glad I had this layer cake lying around so I could make this quilt really fast.

Jelly Roll Bargello Tutorial

Want to make this quilt? I have finally gotten around to writing a tutorial for it. 

These are notes to the specific quilt I made. Adding or deleting jelly roll strips will alter the size of your quilt. You can use my quilt as a guide to create yours. You may use the pattern for personal use (i.e. to make a quilt for yourself  or as a gift) but please do not use this pattern to make quilts to sell.
One jelly roll makes 27.5 inches of the bargello. I used 2 jelly rolls, to make the width 54 inches, finished. If you want to make a wider quilt, use more jelly rolls, or add borders.

My quilt finished as a twin; 54 x 88 inches
The size of this quilt will depend on how many jelly strips you use. I only used 36 of 40, so before borders my quilt was 72 inches long. If you use all 40 strips of a typical jelly roll, your quilt will be 80 inches long. If you use all the strips you may not need to add borders, if you use less, you may need to add more fabric. Your length will be # of jelly strips X 2. Add borders to meet the size you want.

Fabric requirements
2 Jelly rolls - don't trim off selvages
Fabric for borders - 1 yard - cut 3 strips 8.5 inches wide. Make 2 pieces that are 8.5 x 54.5 inches long. I also cut 4 strips, 2.5 inches wide to be used for binding.
Yardage for backing - 6 yards (this is generous - I just pieced big scrap pieces together until it was big enough)
Batting - 58 x 92 inches
Binding - I used the 4 leftover jelly roll strips, along with strips cut from the border fabric.

Step 1: Picking your fabric order.

This might be the hardest part for some. Most jelly rolls are already sorted from lightest to darkest, it really is finding what you like best. For me, I picked 5 or 6 strips of 2 different colours that I thought looked good together, then added 1 or 2 strips to go in between them for contrast.

In this set, there are 2 blue strips between the green and purple strips. This set has 13 strips.

In this set, 1 green strip is between the pink and blue strips. There are 11 strips in this set. 

Step 2: Piecing the strip sets
Instead of piecing all 36 strips together and then try to cut them for the bargello strips, I made 3 different sets that were then cut and joined together to make the bargello strips. This just makes it easier to handle. 

For each set, I first sewed them in pairs - selvages at the same end.

Then sew the pairs together, starting at the lengthwise grain edge. Starting from opposite edges will help prevent the fabric from being stretched during the piecing process.

When you're done, you will have a set with all the selvages at one end. 

Lay your sets down. This is your last chance to change the order (without creating major frustration for yourself). If you are happy with your sets, it's time to iron and cut them. Press the seams how you like - open might be the best way. I pressed each set a little differently and open seams went together better.

Step 3 - Cutting the Bargello Strips
Now is the time to trim off your selvages to give yourself a straight edge. 
From each set cut: 4 strips - 2.5 inches wide
10 strips - 2 inches wide
6 strips - 1.5 inches long
You will have about 3 inches leftover in case you cut one wrong and need to cut another.

Put your strips into groups based on size and set (2.5 at the top, 2 in the middle and 1.5 at the bottom)

Doing one size at a time, you are going to sew the strips in their correct order to make one long strip. Then sew the 2 ends together to make a ring. Above are the 1.5 strips lined up waiting to be sewn together.

I chained pieced my strips, causing the middle strip to make a loop between the 1st and 3rd strips.

This is what you should have after piecing. Keep all loops of the same width together.

Step 4: Piecing the Bargello strips
This is where you really need to pay attention, or you will be using your seam ripper. Trust me. To make it easy, I made the first strip start with the first fabric. I number the top fabric as #1 and the bottom fabric as #36. 

Click to enlarge.

Using the chart above as a guide, sew the strips together, ripping the seam of each loop between the top and the bottom fabrics. The top number tells you which fabric will be at the top of your strip, while the bottom number, tells you which fabric is at the bottom. The middle number tells you the width of the strip to use. 

Here is the first 2 strips sewn together with the next 4 waiting to be pieced. Take your time to make sure the pattern is going the right way.

First bargello section all sewn together (just realized this picture was taken upside down - oops). The pattern is set up so you can add as many sections as you want and the bargello pattern will continue.

Here are both sets done and sewn together - and the picture taken from the right way.
Add borders if you want. Quilt as desired. Bind and enjoy.

Finished quilt.

Pieced binding.

Enjoy my first tutorial. Thanks to all the other bloggers who have offered free patterns and tutorials. I really appreciate them.
 Please let me know of any errors. I hope to make a printer friendly, pdf version in the future and would appreciate any comments on anything that is hard to understand. 

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