8.31.2013

Strip Quilt (Quick and Easy)

I love how strip quilts look, they're clean, simple, and best of all EASY! (I like easy). I decided to make a baby quilt using this color palate. I didn't want any prints or anything too crazy. I bought 1/4 yard of 9 different fabrics. Then I cut the strips into random different sizes (I was making this up as I went along). I laid everything out and realized this was a BIG quilt!! I have a hard time gauging how much fabric is needed for my projects (which is one advantage to buying a pattern!). So this baby quilt started turning into an almost twin size quilt! I hate having left over fabric.... My sister came into town and said "Oh my heck those are the exact colors I am making Ezrah's (her 1 yr old) room". This then became Ez's quilt! YEAH! I put all the pieces together, decided to add one of the fabrics as a border (to make it wider), got my orange minky for the back, and then I did something really dumb, I decided to machine quilt this myself!
When I first started machine quilting, I thought I would be really clever and change out the thread so I could use my thread up (I get anxiety when I have too many threads or fabrics lying around, yes it's weird), and it would make the quilt super cute! That proved to be a pain the rear!! After a while of that I went back to just using orange thread. Also, I was using my walking foot to do zig zag lines, but also my free motion foot to make swirls. Another pain in the rear. I didn't anticipate the amount of time, and how annoying it would be since this quilt was a pretty large size! Don't look too closely at my stitches. They are NOT perfect. I keep telling myself it just adds to the charm of the quilt. The good news is, Lo loves the quilt, oh and so does Ezrah. In fact, we've all fought over who gets to use it when visiting her.
Will I machine quilt a large quilt again? I want to say no, but I probably will. I LOVE having my quilts done professionally, but it can really get expensive. I am all for machine quilting as long as it's not too complicated.

8.30.2013

One-Of-A-Kind Creations


When one has a myriad of children who are very close in ages, they tend to grow up, move out, get married and have children at the same time. Also, I've kind of gone on lawn-care strike, which fortunately has given me more time to persue one of my passions.....sewing baby clothes! I went to one of the many quilting stores with my friend and I told her what I wanted to sew but I didn't trust my taste in fabric so she picked out this pink and black. It wasn't my favorite until the dress was complete. Now I absolutely love it, especially the embellishments. I really wanted a big fancy black flower but couldn't find one, so I went to Google and typed in fabric flowers and found a tutorial for the one on the sash. It was extremely easy and I think it's adorable! Here is the site that I used. After I finished the flower I bought a button and covered it with black fabric. These are from JoAnn's and are very easy to do (no special tools needed). Fabric Flower Tutorial

Valentines Chevron quilt

OK so who out there doesn't like chevron?? Is there anyone???? Does such a person exist? I am a chevron lover. I knew I wanted to make a chevron quilt, but it seemed so complicated. Until I found this tutorial on pinterest (thank you pinterest!)
 CHEVRON HALLOWEEN QUILT

I LOVE everything about this tutorial, first off, it's a Halloween quilt and Halloween is my favorite! Secondly, look how EASY it is! Thirdly, look how CUTE it is! This is great because you can make the quilt as small or as big as you like. Mine is a small little throw for the couch, big enough to keep you warm, but small enough to be a throw. I love the blue and grey as an addition to Valentine colors. Since this is not made by using triangles, but strips, it comes together SO quickly!
 
The quilting is super cute, and I had a blue minky put on the back to make it that much cozier. I will for sure be using this technique again when I feel compelled to make more chevron!

8.29.2013

Easy Baby quilt




LET US PREFACE THIS POST: Be sure to iron your fabric with spray starch before cutting AND make sure your seams are truly 1/4". If not, your quilt will not measure up correctly. If you are a beginning quilter, check the position of your needle and make a note of where you set it so all seams will measure correctly.
The pattern given uses 1/4 inch seams, the measurements are for CUTTING fabric, which includes seam allowance. 


Fabric from JoAnns gets a bad rap, even from me! I normally only buy from joanns for one of the following uses:
-Aprons
-The back of quilts
-Minky (because let's face it, it's CHEAP)
-Kids clothes
-Flannel for jammies or pillow cases

But when it comes to my quilts, I've become a fabric snob, you can definitely feel the difference from joanns fabric and the overpriced fabric at the quilt store (OK maybe it's not overpriced, but I spend A LOT of money there!).

This quilt happened when my mom was in town and I needed to make a baby quilt ASAP since I would soon be going out of town as well. I knew I wanted this design since I saw it on pinterest (love the pinterest, I'm trying to get them to hire me as a professional pin tester). I knew that I needed 7 strips of fabric and some white. Shouldn't be too hard right! Unless you're me and you're very picky about what you buy. I found a couple cute prints and settled on the elephants since they're super adorable! Plus I love the grey with blue, orange, and green. I wanted stripes and polka dots, but that was proving to be challenging at joanns. They are (or were) quite limited on the stripe/polka dot selection. I finally decided on 6 other fabrics, and got 1/4 yard of each, except the green, I got a little extra since I knew I wanted it for binding. Then I grabbed some off-white... it had little vines of flowers or something in the print, but once I had the batting and back on, I couldn't even tell. My mom and I put it together in about and hour, and then we machine quilted it. I love machine quilting really small projects. Big projects.... That's another post for another day. This was easy since we just did lines, which is a look I really, really like. It's simple, cute, and best of all, I didn't have to pay to have this quilted!!! Binding on, washed and dried, and we had a SUPER CUTE & SIMPLE baby quilt!

Oh I should mention that I did NOT use a pattern for this. I started quilting about 13 months ago, and after about 3 quilts I stopped buying patterns. YES it is a lot harder to have to think about measurements, and seams, and how much fabric needed. This pattern might not be perfect since my mom and I just kind of figured it out, but here are the measurements.

You will need 1/4 yard of  7 different fabrics, 3/4 yard of white, 1/2 yard for the binding, and about 1 2/3 yards for the back and batting

For your WHITE

4 white strips 1 1/2 x 43 1/2 inches
7 whites 1 1/2 x 27/1/2 inches
9 white strips 1 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches


In your color fabric you need
6 fabrics 6 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches
the same 6 fabrics cut 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches for the block on the right side of the quilt
1 fabric for your vertical strip 6 1/2 x 41 1/2 inches





Your finished quilt will be
43 1/2 x 43 1/2


I ended up being in love with this quilt (even with joanns fabric) and this is a pattern I would definitely use again!

I have seen many versions of this quilt, if you use this pattern to make one, I would LOVE to see it! I love how quilters can take a pattern, but turn it into something completely unique and their own! Please post any pics! 
Cheers to quilting!

Find me on Pinterest
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P.S. If you would like to see more tutorials quilting check these out
SUMMER DAZE BABY QUILT
HERRINGBONE QUILT
MINKY RAG QUILT
GRAY & YELLOW QUILT

Tree OF Seasons


There is a tree picture floating around on pinterest called the tree of life. It's very beautifully done, & anyone who knows me, knows that I love trees, & birds, & Halloween, & baking, & chocolate, well I love a lot of things but I really have a thing for trees right now. You can order the painting online for $350!! Yikes, it didn't look too complicated so.. I saved up for 40% off michaels coupons to start buying canvas. I used the long rectangular canvas for this project, but I did see another blogger do it with square canvas, so it depends on the look you're going for. I liked the uniqueness of the rectangle canvas, and the fact that the tree would be tall (like a tree is, on the square canvas the tree was more spread out and shorter). After going to michaels, 4 days in a row, I was ready to start painting!!! I went with the original paintings background colors, blue, green, red, and yellow. It has a gradient effect which seems like no big deal. But if you're like me (& you like to make things harder than they should be) it was a big deal! My advice is to purchase the acrylic paint in the color you want, don't mix the color and then add white to get the gradient effect, otherwise your color won't match and you'll get to paint 4 canvases 3 times each. Ya fun right!! I also recommend a roller, I bought a cheap Martha Stewart one at michaels, and it sucked, but got the job done. After I figured out not to mix my colors, I began with my pure blue, painted a few strips, then added a little white, painted a few strips, added more white, etc. Same with red, green, & yellow. This was the hardest part!! But you can choose to make it really gradient, or not at all. Its very subtle and most people may not even notice the effect right away since there's a big tree over it!

Whew.. I figured out the gradient then I needed to decide the order of canvas. This sounds straight forward, but it's not! The original had it red, yellow, blue, & green. I wanted mine to go along with the seasons & red is not Winter to me.. Ideally I wanted Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. Blue, green, yellow, red. I just didn't like how that ordered looked, yes I'm crazy, but it didn't jive with me.. I don't know why! After staring at it in different orders for many hours I decided on red, yellow, green, blue. That is almost the same as the original! Ya I know, & my seasons are backwards. Fall, Summer, Winter, Spring. That's how I preferred it, & that's how I did it.




OK now onto the fun part, & this was really fun, well it gets more fun later.. So if you've never seen a sharpie paint pen, get one! Oh my goodness they are the more amazing things (I say that a lot, but I really mean it with these!). I would not recommend trying to paint the outline of the tree using a paint brush onto your canvas, unless you're a pro painter, which I am not. The sharpie made it SO easy, no stress, no mess!! I just shook it, and went to work. Tape the edges of each canvas then push them all together so you can get the branches exact. Draw your tree on. After I had the outline I added some little slightly curled branches to make it look more tree-like. Then I filled it in with my brown paint. At first I was trying to add texture & detail by using 2 shades of brown then I realized my canvas was so dark & it was blending so much that I couldn't even tell. I gave that up & just used 1 color, easy!



OK OK now for the super awesome really fun part! Grab all the acrylic colors you want to use for your leaves (swirls) & squirt them onto a paper plate (if you're like me, or a nice paint palette, if you're a pro). I thought about using a circular sponge brush to do this, but it wouldn't achieve the swirl look I was going for... So next best thing? Finger paint!!! Yes I finger,painted all my swirls & it was so much fun! I just dipped my finger (index) into a few colors & swirled it on. I really like the effect because I could use dark blue & light blue on one swirl, then dark blue, white, & green on the next. I used greens, blues, purples, & white for the green & blue canvas. Reds, yellows, oranges, pinks, & white for the red & yellow canvas. I decided I wanted some smaller swirls too so I used a Q-tip dipped in the paint swirl. It worked & I didn't have to go buy more supplies!!



Final product, I have a tree!!




& you can too!!!

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