Hooked on Needles

Monday, January 31, 2011

Layer Cake Quilt-Along Block Six

Oops! Somehow I forgot to post Block Six for this fun layer cake quilt along! So here it is...

Block number six was quick and easy to make. I like the three different size sections too. I followed the lead of someone else in the quilt along and positioned mine from smallest to biggest, instead of the other way around as shown in the instructions. I just like it better this way.

Here are the first six blocks together. If I don't figure out a way to work more white into some blocks, I think I will have to remake block four with a different background fabric. That white just stands out way too much for my taste, and I don't really think white sashing would be all that attractive for this quilt. I don't know what color would, but I know white would not!

We're in for another whopper of a snow storm starting Tuesday and going through Wednesday. I'm hoping to spend some time making some new crochet videos, but we'll have to wait and see if I'll get to do that, or if shoveling is what will be taking up my spare time!

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Layer Cake Quilt-Along Block Seven

Block Seven of the Layer Cake Quilt Along was posted this past week. Here is mine...

Layer Cake Quilt-Along Block SevenI love the teal color of the floral fabric I am using. I added that one after the first few blocks were already made, so I need to work on getting it into a few blocks as the focus.

Coming up this week, I am finally going to add some video tutorials to my crochet list. There are two that I have been wanting to do for a long time, but I've been so busy with my sewing machine these past few months, I have not done much yarn work down in my sewing room. I always have a knit or crochet project going up in the family room to work on in the evenings, but that's not the same as one I'm doing for Hooked On Needles. So be on the lookout for some crochet hooky goodness coming up very soon!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Postage Stamp Quilt Top Finished!

The Postage Stamp Quilt top is complete! 1200 two inch squares of pinks, reds, greens and white! And what a fun project this was, thanks to Rachel's easy piecing instructions and of course the use of a Moda jelly roll to start with!

Postage Stamp Quilt Top Finished!Doesn't this look just so delicious? I cannot even put into words how much I love how this turned out. And I was able to use up this jelly roll that I already had and some white yardage that I already had, so it fit in well with my project of using up what I have.

Postage Stamp Quilt Top Finished!I did have to purchase fabric for the backing and binding, which I have received and will show you shortly. But I will tell you now that I found just what I was looking for over at Allegro Fabrics on Etsy and I received excellent service from them. I love to share good things with my readers, and I think this little tip for online fabric shopping is certainly a good thing!

Now I just have to piece the backing and decide how I want to quilt this project. A lot of people on the Flickr group are talking about straight line quilting along the edges of the squares or diagonally through the solid squares only or other variations. But I'm thinking perhaps a pantograph design that has hearts as the main part of the design would be so appropriate for my quilt. How would you quilt this one?

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

9-patch Scrap Quilt ~ So Close To Finished!

Way back in July of 2008, not too long after I started Hooked On Needles, I shared a picture of a 9-patch scrap quilt that I had put together many years earlier. It is made of leftovers from sewing I had done for my daughter and others over the years. You can read the story of that project HERE if you like.

That quilt had been taking up a whole plastic bin in my sewing room for far too long, up until I pulled it out and brought it to my favorite long arm quilter. I had started hand quilting it years before, but knew I would never be able to finish, so Kathryn took a look at it and determined that she would be able to load it onto her machine and quilt it even though the quilting was already started.

This was the second project she quilted for me, the first being my charity quilt, and I am pleased to report that it came out so great and I cannot wait to bind it and be done with it!

9-patch Scrap Quilt ~ So Close To Finished!This is how it looked last week when I laid it out and trimmed off the extra batting and fabric from around the edges. It's a huge quilt measuring a little over 100 inches square! You can see that it is just a little bigger than the length of the playing surface of my husband's regulation size pool table!

Old picture of 9-patch scrap quiltHere is the picture I took of it when I was layering it and pinning it way back when I had just put it together. This picture was taken in the living room of our old house which was a darling little ranch style house. This room was the only one that had enough floor space to accommodate this quilt, and only after moving all the furniture to the edges of the room! Notice the polyester batting too. If I had not already done so much hand quilting on it, I would have removed this batting and replaced it with something newer like Warm and Natural.

9-patch Scrap Quilt ~ So Close To Finished!This is the back of the quilt where you can see the hand quilted butterfly there among the stitching lines that Kathryn did on her longarm. I had started quilting different designs into the center square of each 9-patch block, designs that were meaningful to Elizabeth, who was our only child at the time I made this quilt and whose leftover sewing fabrics this quilt is made of mostly.

9-patch Scrap Quilt ~ So Close To Finished!This is the very center square of the whole quilt where you can see that I quilted an A into it. My plan was to quilt her initials in the center of the quilt, and her middle name is Anne, so that's why it's in the center square! By the way, that red print fabric was leftover from the cutest little summer shorts and shirt outfit I made for her when she was little. Very bright and cheerful!

9-patch Scrap Quilt ~ So Close To Finished!So here we are in 2011, more than 15 years after I started cutting my leftovers into squares and piecing them together for this quilt. I went through my stash to see if I could find a fabric that would be suitable for binding this quilt, and in the process I kept remembering the story in the Bible where Jesus recalls, most likely having learned from his own mother, about not stitching new cloth onto old cloth for fear of the old cloth ripping even more. So it occurred to me that there was probably plenty of extra backing fabric from around the edges of the quilt to cut strips for binding. So I ripped 2 1/2 inch strips from the extra backing fabric and will use that to bind this old quilt. Whew! I'm hoping someday very soon to show you pictures of this quilt completely finished and ready to present to my daughter.

It's nice to have one more plastic bin in my sewing room now empty!

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Mug Rugs ~ These Little Things Are F-U-N!

Continuing my quest to use up fabric I have on hand, I jumped into a Mug Rug Swap over at Quilting Gallery recently. These little quilted Mug Rugs are all the rage these days, and I showed a few I had made just after Christmas HERE. They are fun and quick little projects and take very little fabric to make. They are also great for using up leftovers from other projects as you can see below...

More Mug RugsThese are my two mug rugs for the swap, although I like them both so much that I am actually tempted to keep them for myself! Do you recognize the fabrics I used?

More Mug RugsThis one is made with fabric scraps and selvages left over from the Eat Play Sleep Repeat quilt I made for a friend's new baby late last year. The fabric is Frolic by Sandy Gervais for Moda and even the selvages of this fabric are fun to look at!

I made this one using traditional quilting techniques of piecing, layering, quilting then binding and I really love how it turned out.

More Mug RugsHow about this bright and fun blue and white mug rug? Do you recognize this fabric? These tiny little one inch blocks are the leftovers of the siggy blocks I made about a year ago for the Modern Siggy Swap. For each block, a white and blue triangle was cut off the back of two corners, so I ended up with a couple hundred of them. At first I thought I would just throw them away because they were so small, but then I saw what other people were doing with theirs and I decided to save them for some future use. This little mug rug only uses up 32 of the half square triangle blocks, but now I know that even small scraps like this can become something fun and useful.

For this mug rug, I found a fat quarter of this same blue fabric in my stash so I used that for the backing. I wasn't sure I'd have enough to make bias binding for the project, so I cut the backing about an inch bigger on each side than the size of the mug rug and I turned the edges over to the front to make the binding. I don't think it gives quite as finished a look to the edges as traditional binding, but still I like how it turned out and I think I did a good enough job on it to feel good about sending it to my swap partner.

Mug Rug Swap
It's too late to jump into this swap now, but if you're interested in following along as swappers post pictures of their projects, you can click on the swap button and follow the links you'll find there. Over 300 people from all over the world joined this swap, so it should be fun to see all the different mug rugs that will soon be making their way around the globe.

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Postage Stamp Quilt coming along

After unrolling my first jelly roll of yummy Moda fabric, and then purchasing THIS time saving new cutting tool, my Postage Stamp Quilt is really starting to take shape. What do you think?

Postage Stamp Quilt coming alongHere are all 48 blocks, each made of 25 squares, laid out in random order. Each square ends up being 2 inches when finished.

Postage Stamp Quilt coming alongThat's a total of 1200 two inch squares! Of course using Rachel's easy instructions and that delicious jelly roll of fabric strips, I never had to handle a single 2 1/2 inch square of fabric!

Since these pictures were taken, I've made even more progress on the construction of this quilt top, so hopefully in the next few days I'll be able to share a picture of the finished quilt top.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Handy Helper for Quilting ~ Shape Cut Slotted Ruler

I've been having such fun working on my postage stamp quilt that I didn't realize it's been quite a few days since my last post! I'll thank Rachel over at p.s. i quilt for that! Thanks Rachel!

I recently joined up with Rachel's Postage Stamp Quilt Along to use up some fabric in my stash. When I got to the part where I had to cut apart my strip sets, those pretty little alternating print and white sections that I showed HERE, I knew there just had to be a faster, easier and more accurate way to do that job. I had read in the Flickr group discussion about some kind of special ruler that some people had used and it sounded like a tool I might want to add to my collection. So I checked it out, liked what I saw, then promptly took a trip to my local Joann Fabrics where all quilting cutting supplies were on sale 50% off.

Handy Helper for Quilting ~ Shape Cut Slotted RulerThis is the cutting ruler I started cutting my strips with. I only felt comfortable cutting one strip set at a time for fear of having them shift as I moved the ruler for each cut. It took me about 20 minutes to cut 3 strip sets. I knew my back would not hold out for long having to cut like this!

Handy Helper for Quilting ~ Shape Cut Slotted RulerAfter I came back from my little shopping trip, I got right to work using my new Shape Cut Slotted Ruler. Because of the slots in the ruler, I did not have to move it for each cut, so I was able to stack three strip sets for cutting all at one time. I might have even been able to do more, but three at a time was where I stopped!

Strip sets cut for postage stamp quiltIn no time at all, I had all my strip sets cut and stacked neatly! If you want to see a little video about this handy helper, you can go HERE and check it out. Then check your sale flyer for a good coupon to your local craft store and get yourself one of these great time savers. You'll love it!

After cutting all the strip sets, I collated them into piles for each 5 x 5 block and spent a few days sewing the blocks together. I had enough for about 53 blocks. That is where I stopped and now I'm waiting for Rachel's next instruction. I am pretty sure I know what it will be, but I'll wait anyway! I'll show you all my blocks laid out in random order next time. This is going to be an awesome quilt!

Do you have any super time saving tools that you can't live without? I'd love to hear about them in a comment!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All I needed was Christmas fabric...

...and look what I ended up bringing home...

Goodies from Black Cat Quilt ShopThe Black Cat Quilt Shop in Holden, MA was having a fabulous sale this past Saturday and I was in need of some Christmas fabric for an order of hand embroidered Christmas stockings. Being the frugal person I am, I thought it would be a good idea to see if I could get some yardage of Christmas fabric on sale. So off I went.

Goodies from Black Cat Quilt ShopI found this gorgeous Christmas yardage that will make a bunch of wonderful stockings for a wonderful family. And those two boxes from Moda Bake Shop each have thirteen cuts of fabric measuring 4 1/2 inches by WOF, along with a pattern sheet. They were on sale too! You might recognize that front box as holding cuts of the same Adoring fabric by Sandy Gervais that I used in my Christmas Tree Advent Calendar recently.

Goodies from Black Cat Quilt ShopThis quilt kit was 70% off and included the pattern and all the fabric for top and binding. It looks like a good project where I can practice my triangles!

Goodies from Black Cat Quilt ShopDeb Strain's Saltbox Harvest jelly roll was on sale 70% off as well as this quilt kit which included the basket with labels, the pattern and all the fabrics for her Saltbox Harvest quilt. The little dark blue label says "Wash me with mild detergent and don't agitate me." I'd like to put it on myself some days!

Goodies from Black Cat Quilt ShopAnd here's the cheerful Christmas fabric I got for that stocking order. I just love the colors and all the pretty packages with tags!

So I made the drive to this cute little quilt shop after finding out that their Christmas fabric was going to be marked down 70%, and thinking I could walk out with only Christmas fabric. I don't know what I was thinking! Actually I had no idea that all their fall fabric, kits and precuts were also marked down the same 70%! I just could not resist! So for about what I would have paid for the Christmas yardage alone at regular price, I came home with all this fun fabric to keep me busy into the next decade! And I was doing so well using up my stash.

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Postage Stamp Quilt Along

So you all know that I've been trying to use up what I have in the way of fabric, yarn and such for the past year or more. I've been doing a pretty good job of it too as you can see by all the cool stuff available in my Etsy shop and other projects I talk about now and then. I've had the scrumptious little item shown below sitting on my shelf for some time now, and recently found an opportunity to make good use of it...

Sent With Love Jelly RollThis is a jelly roll. Forty strips of fabric measuring 2 1/2 inches wide by the width of the fabric, all from the same line of fabric, in this case Sent With Love by Deb Strain for Moda. It's the very first jelly roll I ever owned and I have enjoyed every minute of our time together. It's such a nice little package, all colorful and swirly and it even feels good to hold. There's just something about a Moda jelly roll.

But then Rachel over at p.s. i quilt decided to have this Postage Stamp Quilt Along and I just couldn't resist. It called for one print jelly roll and one solid. I thought it was a good time to open this baby up and see what I could do with it.

Sent With Love Jelly RollSo I untied that pretty little Moda ribbon...

Sent With Love Jelly Roll...and discovered that a rubber band is what actually holds all this yumminess together! I always wondered about that!

Sent With Love Jelly RollThere it is. A little rubber band.

Sent With Love Jelly RollOooooh, this reminded me of how I like to eat a gooey buttery cinnamony buttery gooey cinnamon roll. Do you do this too? Unroll it to reveal all the scrumptious gooiness on the inside and then eat the very middle first? Excuse me while I grab a napkin!

Sent With Love Jelly RollOh, I forgot. We're talking about fabric here! So anyway, I unrolled a jelly roll for the very first time, and it was so exciting! Look at all those gorgeous strips of perfectly lovely Moda fabric. So much potential!

Here's what I did with them...

Strip sets for Postage Stamp Quilt AlongNot having a solid color jelly roll on hand, I cut strips of white fabric from my stash and sewed them together with my jelly roll strips according to Rachel's instructions for the Postage Stamp Quilt. So far, I am liking this project!

The next instruction will be posted very soon, so I'll be spending more time with my pretty little jelly roll strips again. But while I waited, I pieced together leftover fabric from this quilt project to make the backing and it is all ready to load up on my favorite long arm machine and quilt. I'll share a picture of that soon.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jelly Rolls ~ I won again!

Cozy flannel fabric isn't the only thing showing up on my doorstep lately. Two delicious Jelly Rolls of yummy Moda fabric showed up too! Check them out...

Jelly RollsViolette over at Hand Quilting drew my name for her December giveaway and this was the prize! Can you believe it? Two Moda jelly rolls, Maison De Garance and Fandango, and a beautiful card with a lovely handwritten note inside.

Jelly RollsWhen I received this package in the mail, I had yet to ever unwrap a jelly roll even though I had owned one for quite some time. I just love how they look and I love to look at them and hold them and dream of all the potential in those pretty little rolls.

Next time, I'll share with you my very first jelly roll unwrapping and what I'm doing with it. Oh my, it's so lovely!

Have you unwrapped any goodies lately?

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Log Cabin Quilt Top ~ I think it's time!

About 19 years ago, a friend of mine asked if I would help her make a quilt. She had purchased a book on a technique for log cabin quilt blocks that was what I would call 'assembly line'. It intrigued me, so we went fabric shopping together. She bought her fabric and I bought mine so we could each work the same pattern at the same time, only in different fabrics. Hers was to be a gift for some relative. Mine had no specific purpose except to help her make this quilt.

Since I am still in my 'use up what I have while making useful things and freeing up space in my sewing room' mode here, and this quilt and its associated extra fabric have been taking up space in my sewing room for far too many years, I decided this will be my next project to finish.

So I pulled it out, ironed it, ripped border strips, sewed them on, and now all I have left to do is piece the backing and make an appointment with my favorite long arm machine so I can quilt it myself. Here's how it looked just after the 'pull it out' step...

Log Cabin Quilt TopI spread it out on my husband's pool table (shhhh, don't tell him! He thinks I have enough space without moving into his!) just to get a good look at it and remember what it looked like.

Log Cabin Quilt TopPretty cool design, don't you think? Kind of plays tricks on your eyes.

Log Cabin Quilt TopI love the darker and lighter shades of the three colors, and the white square in the middle of each block really stands out.

As I recall, the instructions for this quilt called for all the fabric to be ripped into 2 1/2 inch strips and then stacked in a certain order. The white fabric was cut into squares and stacked. Then the first light color was sewn onto all the white squares and trimmed. After that the same light color was sewn onto the newly pieced blocks and trimmed, and so on until all the blocks were finished. It was a very fast and efficient way to piece these blocks and it did not require cutting and measuring each rectangle of fabric and then keeping track of what went where. I sure wish I had that book or remembered the name of it because it was full of quick and efficient piecing techniques like that. It also included lots of different layouts for log cabin blocks. I'm not sure I would choose this layout if I were to do it again today, but I'm certainly not going to rip out all that stitching and start over!

I had enough of the dark red fabric to do the first border around the whole thing. I also had enough of the light green fabric to do another border, so I think this will end up being a very generous twin size quilt. The backing will be pieced using all the leftover fabric except for what I need for the binding, which will be made from the dark blue fabric.

I am pretty sure my quilting partner from way back when finished her quilt and gave it as a gift shortly after our quilting time together. So now I think it's about time I finish mine!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Spy Quilts ~ Finally Finished!

Whew! I'm happy to announce that all my little I Spy quilts are finally complete! They have even been washed and have that cozy, scrunchy, quilty thing going on now! I'm quite happy with the way each of these quilts turned out too. Wanna see?

The blocks used in these quilts were from the I Spy block swap that Karen organized back in 2009. I received 120 different five inch blocks and originally thought I would make one quilt using all of them. But then I discovered I could divide them up into sets to make five different baby size quilts, so that's what I did. I made the first one, a boy's I Spy baby quilt, from beginning to end all by itself, but these four I made in assembly line fashion.

Here you can see the backings and bindings of all four quilts...such fun fabrics! These quilts were also some of my first long arm projects and I had such fun looping and meandering on that big machine.

So one more thing I can check off my list of projects to finish, and more yardage from my stash used up on useful items. Whew!

I'll be posting these in my Etsy shop soon, but if you're interested in one or more of them, feel free to contact me. My email is over there on my sidebar. They will be listed at $30 each.

We're in the middle of a gigantic snow storm right now, so I'm heading down to my sewing room to finish putting the borders on a quilt top before I put a chicken in the oven for dinner. Then the whole family will be suiting up in our winter garb to spend some quality time with our snow shovels clearing the driveway, deck and walkways. Oh what fun!

Happy Stitching!

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