Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Calico Days pincushion, zipped pouch and needle sleeve

Well, quilting friends, I've come to the conclusion that we all need at least a half yard bundle of every fabric line that we love!  (How I wish money were no object for all of us!) Since getting my half yard bundle of "Calico Days" (Lori Holt for Riley Blake Designs) from Lou Lou's Fabric Shop in December, I've made three small quilts, cut and began assembly of a large quilt, and I STILL have a super stash left.  It's wonderful!  

This past Saturday, I decided it was time for a little reunion with Calico Days. Luckily, my awesome husband got busy in the morning and whipped up a pot of potato soup for lunch.  Then he took both kids clothes shopping at the mall (ugh!).  I'm not sure what fishing or golf related purchase he is going to be asking for soon, but I don't care.  He earned a lot of brownie points from me, as I got to play with fabric most of the morning and afternoon.  Yeah!

I had a few small projects in mind:  a new pincushion, a zipped pouch for my binding supplies, and maybe a needle book.  But when it came right down to it, I realized what I really wanted was a simple "needle sleeve" that I could tuck into my new zipped pouch.  

I also had some doo-dads I wanted to include in my Saturday makes.  Barb, the owner of my local quilt shop Quilts on Broadway, gave me a worn and tattered fabric measuring tape that she had held onto for years.  I also had some of my Grandma Audrey's tatting that I'd been trying to work into a project.  Both of these items seemed to fit well with Calico Days!  So I pulled some pieces and began cutting.

First up was a new pin cushion.  Last summer I went on a pincushion making tirade (I need MORE pincushions).  But I gave most of those away, and a few were just decorative. When my old plastic magnetic pin dish broke a few months back, I began using one of my pincushions in earnest and it was already beginning to look pretty grungy. It was time for a new working pincushion for the sewing room.  In case you are wondering, I use crushed walnut shells from the pet store for my filling.

I have to show you a closeup of that worn fabric measuring tape Barb gave me.  The edge of the tape had been finished off with a thick stitch.  Isn't it just awesome?

Next up was a needle sleeve.  There are so many darling needle book patterns and tutorials out there, and someday I will likely make one.  But on Saturday, I made just what I needed, a sleeve to hold a few needles and pins for on-the-go binding or sewing. I actually had a piece of felted wool from a project I never started.  Imagine that!

This is the front of my needle sleeve.  How sweet are those little daisies and spring chicks?

Finally, I needed a small zipped pouch to hold my binding goodies.  I used Lori Holt's free tutorial for the Quilty Zip Pocket.  I have made these before and they are great fun!  I altered the size to make mine a bit smaller and used Pellon 987f fusible fleece to give it a little weight. My center block is a mini spool. The spool pattern is from Lori's Book Quilty Fun. I was so happy to use a bit of Grandma Audrey's tatting! I also included a sweet zipper charm from Lou Lou's Fabric Shop.

All in all it was a great day of sewing, friends.  Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my Saturday fun.  Please visit Lou Lou's Fabric Shop (banner ad in my left sidebar) to see all the lovely things Jamie has in store for you!  I hope you can carve out some hours for simple, sweet sewing and that you get carried away quilting often!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring quilts, a blog hop announcement, and a new sponsor!

Happy first day of spring to all my quilting friends.  I hope you'll indulge me today . . . as this post is a hodge podge of sorts.  A few weeks ago in Minnesota, we had some lovely, balmy weather with temps in the high 60s! But in the past few days we have seen the WHITE STUFF on our lawns in the mornings.  I am not impressed.  So, to bring a little springy sparkle into my life and yours, I wanted to share three of my favorite spring quilts from recent years.


First up is one of my most treasured quilts, "Sparkle" by Fig Tree & Company.  This quilt finds its home hanging in my sewing room, but I brought it down to photograph the quilting detail by the talented Nancy Jolene Quilting. Isn't the quilting just heavenly? Look at the tiny cross-hatching in the center of the stars. I just love that. This quilt is done in one of my all-time favorite lines by Fig Tree & Company:  "California Girl."  

Tip Toe through the Flowers

This spring quilt holds a special memory for me for a silly reason.  It was a few years ago and my son had just earned his driver's license. We decided it would be a good idea for him to accumulate some road miles by driving me to a quilt shop an hour away . . . via the multi-lane interstate highway!  Well, it was a white knuckle ride, but we made it without incident and he even walked around the quilt shop with me as I chose my fabrics.  What drew me to the Four Seasons Quilt Shop in Maple Grove, Minnesota was that they had "Clothesline Club" patterns by Darlene Zimmerman, as well as a great selection of her fabrics.  If memory serves me right, the pattern came free with my abundance of fat quarters that I purchased. Most of the fabrics were from her "Buttercup" line.  This was also quilted beautifully by Nancy Jolene Quilting.

Rosehill Cottage

The pattern for this next quilt was designed by the owners of the Sweetwater Cotton Shoppe in Paynesville, Minnesota.  If you are ever in central Minnesota, this shop is a MUST STOP! The store is decorated so pretty, with lots of vintage items and antiques propped with the quilts . . . it is really inviting and inspiring.  I purchased Rosehill Cottage as a kit at their shop in 2008 and worked on it during a retreat.  I cannot believe she is 8 years old already.  I'm not sure what that is in "quilt years," but I don't think she looks a day over 1!  The fabric is "Simplicity" by 3 Sisters and the quilting was done by Nancy Jolene Quilting.

Blog Hop Announcements

To keep the happy spring mood going, I wanted to also share with you that I will be participating in two spring blog hops for Riley Blake Designs!  In April I will have a spot on Elea Lutz' blog hop tour featuring her upcoming line, Strawberry Biscuit.  I have already made one project with this fabric, a Coffee Time Quilt.  It is such tender, sweet fabric.  I just know you would enjoy sewing a project with Strawberry Biscuit for a young person in your life!  I have some fun projects planned for little girls going to tea.

Then in May, I will have a spot on the blog hop for Nadra Ridgeway's cheerful new line, "Backyard Roses."  I'm so excited to sew with this fabric.  I will be using it in one of my own patterns "Crossing Petals."  Crossing Petals done in Backyard Roses . . . that seems perfectly fitting to me! Mixed in with Nadra's beautiful floral prints will be some Riley Blake basics: their buttery yellow Swiss dot and small gingham.  I hope you will visit me again during both of those blog hops!

New Sponsor

Finally, I would like to welcome a new Carried Away Quilting Sponsor, Stitches 'n Giggles! Shop owner Lori carries all of the new and popular fabric lines that we love (both precuts and yardage) and her store is also full of great notions and thread choices.  I've seen several quilters on Instagram raving about the Bloc Loc rulers.  Stitches 'n Giggles carries those as well . . . something I may need to add to my shopping list!  I hope you will visit Stitches 'n Giggles soon!  Just click on their banner ad in my left sidebar!

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog.  I hope lovely spring weather is finding its way to you, and that you get carried away quilting very soon!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Crossroads Quilt Along: The Diamond Block

Hello quilting friends!  I hope you enjoyed making last month's darling House Blocks in the Fat Quarter Shop's Crossroads Quilt Along. Now we are on to block number two, the pretty Diamond Block.  If you haven't joined the quilt along yet, it's not too late.  I encourage you to jump right in and join this great fellowship of quilters. You can learn all the details from the Fat Quarter Shop!  Here are my diamond blocks for March.

While I was sewing up these pastel blocks in Strawberry Fields Revisited by Fig Tree & Company, I kept thinking how I'd like to make one in my bolder Fig Tree scraps. So I pulled some red, green and black from my stash (a bit of Honeysweet, Farmhouse and Somerset I believe) and I just love this version.  I'm not sure if this little guy will be a mug rug or if he will just sit in my Fig Tree corner and smile at me.  Either way, I guess I win! ;)

I do have two little tips for you today because they helped me along the way.  First of all, take the time to square up these blocks.  Squaring up to a perfect 3" x 3" will make all the difference in the next step!

I also did a lot of "peeking and pinning" when trying to match these diamond points.  My seam ripper came out a few times, but that's okay.  I can handle seam ripping an inch or two! I don't think these are the kind of blocks where we can skip the pinning!

Who else is quilting along?
Below is a list of the talented quilters who will be sharing their progress each month on their own blogs.  Some will be using Strawberry Fields Revisited, while others will be using different fabric.  I hope you'll stop by their blogs to see their creations as well!

The Crossroads Quilt Along is a great way to connect with other enthusiastic quilters and donate to a wonderful cause, the March of Dimes.  You can also share your progress and creations on the Crossroads Facebook Group. And be sure to post your own blocks using #crossroadsquiltalong on Instagram!   

Thanks for stopping by the blog!  I hope you get carried away quilting often!


Monday, March 7, 2016

Coffee Time Quilt in Strawberry Biscuit (Tutorial)

In January I shared a little project with you, my Coffee Time Quilt made up in “Calico Days” fabric by Lori Holt for Riley Blake Designs.  This was a simple project . . . just four patches and some sashing and borders . . . but I really enjoyed the process of making this mini quilt.  No pattern, no pressure, just creating what my heart felt moved to create.

As it turns out, this little quilt touched a chord with many of you also, and several people requested a pattern.  Due to the simple construction and the addition of embellishments, I decided a picture tutorial would be the best route, so I am offering that here on my blog. I hope you will enjoy this quick and easy project.

The kind folks at Riley Blake Designs recently sent me some yardage of “Strawberry Biscuit,” and I knew I had the perfect bundle for making a second Coffee Time Quilt. This darling fabric line was designed by the talented Elea Lutz for Riley Blake's sister company, Penny Rose Fabrics.  

“Strawberry Biscuit” will be released to stores in April. Like “Calico Days,” this fabric has the ability to tug at my sentimental side.  The combination of Elea's sweet little vintage characters and the soft nurturing colors  . . . well they just say “tender” to me. Elea's new book Pretty Playtime Quilts includes 6 quilt projects featuring “Strawberry Biscuit.”  It is published by “It’s Sew Emma” and is available as a pre-order through the Fat Quarter Shop.

Here are some shots of my latest version of the Coffee Time Quilt.  Wouldn't this make a sweet little mat for some children setting up a tea party?

In my original Coffee Time Quilt I used an ecru colored vintage trim I found at an antique store.  I was lucky enough to find some darling pink and white crocheted trim at the same antique store (Prairie Mercantile Antique Store in Granite Falls, MN).  I think it is the perfect complement to this fabric.  I was also able to use more mismatched buttons from my grandmother's button jar.  I just love it when I can do that!

Instructions are included below.  If you are on Instagram, please post your finished project using the hashtag #coffeetimequilt.  I’d love to see your quilt! 

Thanks for stopping by the blog today! I hope you get carried away quilting soon!


Coffee Time Quilt Tutorial
Finished size: 18 ½” x 18 ½”

Step 1:  Collect all the goodies:
  • (36) 2 ½” squares
  • 1/4 yard sashing fabric, sub cut as follows:
    • Cut 2 strips 1 ½” x WOF. 
      • Sub cut into (6) 1 ½” x 4 ½” strips and (2) 1 ½” x 14 ½” strips.
    • Cut 2 strips 2 ½” x WOF.
      • Sub cut into (2) 2 ½” x 14 ½” strips and (2) 2 ½” x 18 ½” strips.
  • 1/6 yard binding fabric, sub cut as follows:
    • Cut 2 strips 2 ¼” wide and piece together for binding.
  • 26 ½” x 26 ½” backing piece (or as required per your quilter)
  • 2 yards of decorative trim (crocheted trim, lace, ribbon)
  • buttons

Note: WOF (Width of Fabric); RST (Right Sides Together)

Step 2: Create the Four-Patch Squares
Lay out the (36) 2 ½” squares into (9) four-patch squares so that you have a nice mix of color and patterns.

Sew each group into a four patch.  First sew the top two squares together and press to one direction.  Then sew the bottom two squares together and press to the other direction.

Nest the seams and sew these two units together.  Press this horizontal seam open.  Repeat to create 9 four patches.  Each four patch should measure 4 1/2" x 4 1/2".


Step 3: Add the sashing

Lay out the four patches and vertical sashing.  Sew each row together working from left to right.  Press seams toward the sashing.


Lay out the completed rows and the horizontal sashing. Sew these units together, moving from top to bottom. Press seams toward the sashing.  Note: When I placed one row RST on top of another row, I pulled the top unit back a bit to take a look and make sure the vertical sashings were lined up.  (see image below)

Step 4: Add the borders
Sew the 2 1/2" x 14 1/2" border to the top and bottom of the quilt.  Press to the border.
Sew the 2 1/2" x 18 1/2" border to the left and right of the quilt.  Press to the border.

Step 5: Quilt as desired
Layer your quilt top, batting, and backing using your preferred method of pinning, thread or spray basting.  Since this is such a small piece, I found that fabric adhesive was enough to keep my quilt in place and flat during quilting.  I kept my quilting simple, using a pleasing grid design and allowing the fabric to be the star of the show.  When you have finished the quilting, trim the backing and batting.

Step 6: Binding

The next step is to bind your quilt as desired.  I used 2 ¼” strips for my binding.  My preferred method is to machine bind to the top, and hand stitch the binding to the back to finish.

Step 7: Embellish with trim and buttons

NOTE: Typically the final step is to bind the quilt, but I chose to add the embellishments after binding since I was using a more delicate, vintage trim.
The methods for attaching any kind of trim (crochet work, lace, ribbon) may need to vary depending on the design and condition of the trim.  If it is very delicate or intricate, you may need to attach by hand.  

I used a spray adhesive on the back of my trim pieces to temporarily adhere them to the top of the quilt.   I use 505 Spray Adhesive, which is acid free and temporary.  This adhesive is sticky enough to hold the trim in place, but it also allows you to pick up a piece to reposition it.

When I got to the corners, I simply turned the trim as best I could and did a bit of tucking. My pink and white trim came in two pieces, so unfortunately I had to match two seams.  I put the seams on the corners as I knew I would also be attaching vintage buttons. 

After I had the trim lying flat and looking nice, I sewed it in place using matching thread and my walking foot.  I sewed very slowly to ensure that the trim did not get caught and bunch up.  

Finally, I hand stitched the corners just a bit to keep the trim in place and then added the buttons.