IMG_3359

I have done beehives and swaps but last year I signed up for too many.  You remember the Bonnie and Camille beehives- times two.  Plus Lizzy House,  C+S, AMH, a few more B&C swaps  and a dozen other choices last year!  Thanks heavens I didn’t join every single one.  Trust me there was a lot of temptation, but I tried to be realistic about my life and abilities.  So I joined just enough to cause me … STRESS.  :)

Now we are at the end of May and my friend Denise and I were talking how we want to do something… Ay yai yai!  (How do you spell crazy sounds?!)

I have been making Dwell blocks and almost have enough for a quilt.  But… it would be so much more fun with friends!!!  Want to join Denise and I and make some Dwell blocks?

*Sign ups are open now until June 1, 2016

*Pattern is Dwell by Camille @Thimbleblossoms – from the book Simply Retro

*International is ok.  Mailing deadline is August 1, 2016

*US mail deadline is August 15, 2016

*Bonnie and Camille fabrics are required

*Make as many as you want and get the same number back

**Include a PRE PAID and self addressed return envelope when you mail your blocks to me

*Just make the house, no sashing

*Background is Bella 98 – You only need a little for both sides of the roof

*#bandcdwellswap

Once sign ups close I will send an email with the mailing address for the swap.  I can’t wait to see all the cute little houses!!

Sign up-   http://goo.gl/forms/t13uhzqUWRAY2CQa2

Update:  I just learned there was a correction to one of the Dwell houses.  Here is the correction:

Page 64 – Block assembly instructions for House C
Step 1 says to cut 1 piece 3 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ for the header; it should be 3″ x 9 1/2″.

 

 

 

I’m afraid need to improve my dedication when it comes to blogging.  However, out of the meager amount of posts there is a clear favorite.  Even after most of the pictures went missing when there was a computer hiccup!  The winner is the post titled Pineapples.  In response to people requesting the pattern I thought it would be easier if I just posted it here.  If you are unable to download this to your computer, drop me a note and I will email it.  Have fun creating memories!!  Don’t forget to share you quilt when you’ve finished!

A shout out goes to Jackie Padesky who is the creator of this fun Pineapple quilt pattern!

IMG_0075

 

Pineapple quilt

 

 

splendid sampler

I decided to try something new this year.  Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson are hosting The Splendid Sampler.  Over the course of a year there will be 100 free quilt blocks that require different techniques.  Every Sunday and Thursday a new block is put on the website that you can download and then create your own block.

Trying and learning new things are good!  I’m hoping to try something that I haven’t done before, or maybe brush up some skills I don’t use very often.

The first block was released on Sunday.  I can tell my sampler quilt is already changing, I only used one of the original fabrics I started with!!  Goodness sake, it’s a good thing I have a stash!!

FullSizeRender

You can still join in the fun too!!  Go to thesplendidsampler.com and sign up for the emails.  Easy-peasy.  There are no deadlines or pressure, except the ones you set for yourself. :)

 

 

FullSizeRenderNicole at LillyElla Stitchery made another great pattern, named Love Story.  Love story has two options- Poetry and Prose.  I made the Poetry version in the 10 inch and 16 inch size.  The picture below is from Nicole’s blog, Poetry is the pink and white block, while Prose is the navy and white block.Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 2.10.28 PM

I followed the directions in the pattern and made my blocks in shades of red, pink and aqua.  Then they became the front side of a couple of pillows.

Supplies for the 16 inch pillow:

10 inch block

fabric (estimating 1/2 yard, but this was in my stash)

pillow form (this one is 16 inch)

TIP:  I like to cut my fabrics about 1 inch larger than the size of the pillow form.  This gives me 1/2 seam allowance and a little wiggle room if I need or want it.

In this case I decided to frame the heart with some red Riley Blake fabric by Carina Gardner.  I added four inches to each side, then trimmed down to my 17 inch goal.IMG_1349

The back is done a little differently because I do overlapping flaps. Just in case I ever want to wash the cover, or put a new one on the same pillow form.  For the back I cut 2 pieces of fabric 17 inches x 11.5 inches.  Take them to the iron and press the long side down 1/2 inch.  IMG_1372

Take that same edge and fold it over 2 inches and iron flat.IMG_1373

Stitch this down about a 1/4 inch from the edge.  It makes a nice finish and holds the folded edges in place.

Then take the front side of your pillow and lay it face up.  Then take one of the back pieces and lay it face down, directly on the front.  I put this first section on the bottom half of the project.IMG_1375

Then you take the second back section and lay it face side down, matching corners and over the TOP of the first back section.  Pin in place.  Stitch 1/2 inch around the entire project.IMG_1374

Sniped all the corners, just a bit.  Then when you turn it right side out the corners won’t have the extra bulk. IMG_1376

Stuff the pillow form inside of your freshly minted pillow cover.  Wiggle and push – you know like you are stuffing your post Thanksgiving body into jeans!  (giggle!)   Here is the back- the flaps overlap and hide the pillow form inside.IMG_1377

Here are the two sizes I made…. The blue one moved into our house for Valentine’s Day.  The red one is going to a friend who is having a wedding in a couple of weeks!FullSizeRender

I love pattern testing for Nicole, this pattern has lots of choices- I love choices!  They are easy to follow, so even a newbie can give them a try. :) Go check out Nicole’s patterns, she has some cute ones!!

 

 

We own a couple of Ikea chairs, including a Poäng.  They have a canvas type cover over the padding.  The only drawback is that dirt and spills show up really well on the light fabric.  The solution I came up with was to stitch some fabric right on top of the existing fabric and padding.Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 2.41.52 PM

Supplies needed:

The chair pad – ours is the childrens Poäng chair

fabric – approximately a half yard cotton fabric

sewing machine, thread, scissors and pins

Process:

I started by laying the fabric out and putting the pad on top.  I did a really rough cut around the pad, adding a couple of inches to each side.

(You will do the main body of the pad first, then do the ‘pillow’ section separately.)

On the backside of the pad I used some safety pins to hold down the pockets.  The pockets slip over the chair frame to hold it in place, so you don’t want to stitch them.

IMG_8350

Next, I lifted up the pillow up and laid the fabric right side up over the front of the padding.  Starting in the seam where the pillow is attached to the pad I folded the fabric under and pinned in place.   Continue folding and pinning the fabric around the rest of the pad.

I used lots and lots of pins on the curves.  Tuck and pin.  If necessary use the tip of a pin to push, pull and wiggle the fabric in place.

Then you ‘stitch in the ditch’.  This is simply stitching in an existing seam. Take it slowly and go right through your fabric and through the padding.  It looks like a topstitch, but remember to backstitch so it won’t unravel.  I chose to start under the pillow so any mistakes I made while experimenting would be covered.IMG_8338

TIP:  Change your needle to a strong one.  My quilting needle curved, so I had to change it mid project.  Thankfully I had a denim needle in my supplies, so I switched and didn’t have another problem.

Do the same process for the pillow.  Then slip the pad back on the chair.UISI6126 (1)

I love when my experiments actually work!!  The possibilities are endless!  There are hundreds of fabrics to chose from, you can  personalize it by adding a monogram or ric-rac or ribbon.  Have fun being creative!

 

We had a foreign exchange student that lived with us for a year.  Camille spoke French and had the most wonderful accent.  She rapidly grew tired of everyone imitating her pronunciation of each English word she spoke.  We told her that French was the language of love and she looked at us like we were odd.  A fact already known to many, including my very own family.   Camille didn’t know she spoke the language of love.

My husband and I were able to spend a few days in France last fall, I was in enamored!  The blue eyed guy by my side might have played a part in that…..  But…I just loved, everything!

We took a taxi to our hotel, but when I realized we were driving through Montmartre I pleaded that we pull over and start walking.  In my spontaneous moment I hadn’t considered how many stairs we would have to climb with our luggage.  We left most of our things in England and brought a large backpack for France.  We were backpacking our way through Europe!  Thank heavens he was carrying….

(Truth: no one else carries this type of backpack in Paris.  I might have giggled…..)IMG_7014

We climbed a billion or two stairs to the Sacre Coeur, this amazing brilliant church on the hill.  There is a carousel at the base, and below that the fabric district.  I touched every rolled bolt in every single shop.    IMG_6639

We walked and walked and explored every nook and cranny, we made memories exploring the Louvre, walking along the Seine River, riding the metro to Versailles and standing in the light of the Eiffel Tower at night.  So many cobblestones, stairs, statues, painted doors and pastries. Friendly “Bonjour’s” in every shop we visited.  Endless surprises to discover and explore.

IMG_6738

Paris hypnotized me.  I long to return.

This week my heavy heart is with Paris.  Sending prayers, love, and hope your way.

Well, at least the foundation paper piecing ones appear to be, but I’ve found a great one!  LillyElla Stitchery has a new pattern called Midnight Bite that I was lucky enough to pattern test.  If you look on Instagram you can can see so many different  personalities and color interpretations of this cute bat.

Credit: LillyElla Boutique
Credit: LillyElla Boutique

Nicole’s directions are straightforward and easy to follow.  I have a few things I do when paper piecing that might come in handy for you.  The first is to read the entire pattern, print and cut it out.  Then I lay out the pattern and label the sections with the color names I intend to use.  This way when I’m sewing and in the groove, I don’t have to stop and consider which color belongs in the next section.  Plus, I learned the hard way.  I did a great rainbow color wheel once that ended up being randomly placed colors since I stitched them in the wrong order.  That was a head shaking, “dang, it” kind of day!!

IMG_7741

Another thing I do is to tack down the corners when there is a large piece of fabric.  I didn’t want the corner section of the background to fold over when I was sewing sections together.  I doubled the amount of stitches for this picture, but placing a few stitches in the seam allowance will help keep it in place. Plus you won’t have to unpick them later.

IMG_7792

The next thing I do is use a lot of pins.  Generally I don’t pin too much, but when I’m paper piecing it is my best friend.  I take a pin and poke it through the first seam line, through the fabric and into the seam line of the second piece- the one I will be stitching it to. (aqua pin)  Once I have the seams lined up, I securely pin- a lot. (yellow pins)  Then I stitch the two side together.

IMG_7797

Here is a picture of one of the bat wings, two sections were stitched together here.

Oh, and I just remembered another tip.  Horizontal patterns are tricky to maintain! I didn’t realize it until the end, but I have a couple of diagonal sections. (See the section by the wing tip.)  I love the effect the words have in this project.

IMG_7753

Once all the pieces are stitched together it will look something like this… IMG_7798

At this point you can trim it and turn it into whatever your heart desires.  Trick or Treat bags, table runners, banners, or in my case a pillow.  I quilted it with silver Gutermann thread, and then cut a piece of fabric the size of the bat.  With the right side of the bat facing the right side of the back fabric, I stitched almost around the entire bat.  Leaving several inches unstitched to turn it right side out.  Then filled it with batting and hand stitch the opening shut.

If you still feel a little uncertain about starting this project there are lots of tutorials and videos about foundation paper piecing. I really love how my bat turned out.  Psych yourself up, you can try paper piecing and succeed!

IMG_7810