YearofHandmade

An eclectic mix of handmade gifts, sewing inspiration, reviews, books, needlework, crafts, homeschooling, baking, and recipes

this moment April 30, 2010

Filed under: April 2010,This Moment! — The Threaded Nest @ 7:53 am
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Always remember to take the time to stop and smell the flowers!

Happy Friday,
Colette

 

Wonky Star April 29, 2010

Filed under: Quilting,Sewing,Virtual Quilting Bees — The Threaded Nest @ 12:33 pm
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I can’t tell you just how elated I am to be part of several virtual quilting bees!

I tend to be one of those people who get into a groove and stay there…

and I don’t particularly care to push the creative envelope.

Being in a quilting bee pushes you right off your arse and out of your comfort zone.

I am learning new techniques,

experimenting with new quilt blocks,

and working with colors I never would have put together myself…

AND I am thrilled with the results!

A particular favorite of mine is the 3×6 Mini Sampler Bee.

It is a group (aka “beehive”) of 7 and you have 3 months to make and send 6 of the same block type (ie. log cabin, star, etc),

one for each of the other 6 members in your beehive, in their specified colors and fabric tastes (ie., modern, no batik, etc.),

and here is what I love…using your own fabrics!

Really, it couldn’t be easier, no sending fabrics and directions, you just make the block you are comfortable with,

and at the end of the three months YOU will receive 6 blocks in your color way =0)

If you would like to join, the reservation list for the 3rd and 4th quarters can be found here.

Getting on to the wonky star part…

I followed this very helpful tutorial over at The Silly BooDilly blog here to make my first ever Wonky Star Block.

Jennifer requested orange, purple, and brown for her blocks.

I chose to use a different fabric for each star point and linen fabric for my background.

I didn’t quite get the whole making your triangle larger by 1/2″ -1″ until I sewed up my first side…

aaahhha ~ cut your star point fabrics into 5″ (charm size!) or 5 1/2″ squares, instead of the 4.5″ she originally suggested!

I went ahead and chain sewed my blocks wherever possible.

And I simply adore how this block turned out ~ isn’t it just so fun?

Jennifer plans on donating her finished quilt to charity…

UNLESS she loves it too much ~ ha ha, gotta love her escape clause!

But for now she only gets to see this “sneak peek” pic on our flickr group.

Happy quilting,
Colette

 

Paper Pieced Laced Star Block April 27, 2010

Got a package from my Red and Aqua Bee 2 in the mail from Canada!

I kinda sorta freaked when I saw this paper piecing pattern sans instructions…

(original pattern here ~ she enlarged hers to make a 16.5 inch block)

I have NEVER done a quilt block quite this COMPLICATED before!

A few deep breaths were taken and I gathered my wits about me

(and courage ~ it is a bit worrisome when the fabric is NOT yours and is in very limited supply)

and I jumped right in (only after reading this tutorial here and this one here too).

Perforating the printer paper before sewing was definitely helpful when lining up the fabric on the reverse side before sewing

as well as making it easier to remove the paper after the block is finished.

I had to seam rip and resew about a thousand times…

alright, maybe only a hundred!

Really really REALLY wish she would have sent MORE fabric for nubes like me.

It took a while to get the hang of cutting the proper size and aligning it just right for sewing.

More fabric = much easier = saves tons of seam ripping

SO PLEASE BUY TONS OF FABRIC IF YOU PLAN TO PAPER PIECE!

Surely remember to lay your 1st piece right side UP and ALL OTHERS right side DOWN

because if you don’t that makes for tons more seam ripping.

OH and please lay out your pattern before you begin and mark on it with pencil the top bottom left and right pieces and then write on the shapes which color or fabric goes in it because it will make your life way easier (well maybe not your whole life).

AND even though it was totally frickin’ frustrating

and I cursed the whole time I was piecing it

I am so glad I did it and am totally in LOVE with this block!!!

Happy quilting,

Colette

 

Mother Daughter Scarves April 26, 2010

Filed under: April 2010,Gifts,Mother's Day,Sewing,Tutorials — The Threaded Nest @ 8:30 am

Over these past few weeks I have frantically searched for inspiration for my Mum’s Mother’s Day gift

ONLY to find it waiting in my email inbox a few days ago!

Lindsay, from Hawthorne Threads (here), sends out a lovely little Newsletter

filled with inspiring projects and beautiful fabrics (of course you can sign up too!)

and in her last one she gave the instructions for a very easy scarf she made for her sister

from “The New Handmade” (here).

My Mum looks beautiful in this Lavender top she wore for R.’s birthday tea

and it happens to be my favorite color

and the Four Square print reminds me of all the Amish quilts we oohed and awed over on our recent trip

so I knew I HAD to use these fabrics to make our Mother Daughter scarves!

I purchased 2/3 of a yard of each of these Anna Maria Horner’s “Little Folks” cotton voile fabrics:

On the left ~ Four Square in Lilac (here)

On the right ~ Village Path in Lilac (here)

which is enough fabric to make TWO scarves!

The great thing about using this voile is that it is 54″ wide so you only need a 9 1/2 piece for each side.

Wash and press (with steam) the fabric well before cutting.

To cut, simply line up your fabric, right sides together, selvage to selvage,

and cut both of your fabrics into a 9 1/2″ long x width of fabric (cutting off your selvage) strip.

With right sides of fabric together and using lots of pins

pin your two fabrics together about 1/4″ from the edge

making sure to go in and out of the fabric a couple of times

AND making sure that the flower (pin head) is always facing AWAY from the needle of your sewing machine (towards YOU).

Pin really REALLY really well because this voile is buttery soft and extremely slippery!

I know it is a pain in the tush, but it is well worth your time!!!

If you have a walking foot for your sewing machine I highly recommend using it.

Lindsay’s instructions said to use a 1/2″ seam (I marked off 1/2″ from my machine’s needle by using painter’s tape).

Staring about 2″ from the bottom of one of the long sides (the one with the pin heads facing you)

begin sewing (don’t forget to back stitch!) and remove each of the pins as your needle approaches it

by stopping your machine with the needle still DOWN in the fabric and gently slide the pin towards you.

Continue until you get about 1 1/2″ from where you began and end by back stitching.

Clip each of the corners at a diagonal (not too close to the seam!)

Press (with steam) well to set the seam.

Using a chopstick (or other turning tool) turn the scarf right side out.

Again press very well with steam, making sure your opening is turned in and even with the seams.

Pin the opening closed and ladder stitch it shut (tutorial here).

One will get sent to my Mum and one will be kept for me

and each time I wear it I will think of our sweet trip we spent together =0)

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

Turning Twenty Class 3 April 24, 2010

My new Rowenta iron (here) finally arrived and it presses/steams perfectly!

I did a bit of research and considered going with another brand but in the end I stuck with Rowenta.

My past two irons were Rowentas and I didn’t have any trouble with them…other than smashing into my wood floors, ha ha.

I love how heavy they are and they get really hot and give a good steam.

Remember my “B” block?

Finally finished up those “A” blocks which completes my Turning Twenty Class 3!

I spent the afternoon yesterday moving into my new sewing loft,

(spent most of the time moving my daughter’s stuff out of it!)

but managed to squeeze in some time to start working on a Mother’s Day gift for my Mom.

Here’s a sneak peek at the fabrics…

Everything has been cut and pinned and is ready to sew…

of course I do not have the color thread I need and will have to pick some up today =0)

Hoping to finish it up tomorrow and will post a quick and easy tutorial so you can make one for your Mom (or yourself!) too.

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

this moment! April 23, 2010

Filed under: April 2010,This Moment! — The Threaded Nest @ 6:36 am
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What is it with cats and fabric???

Happy Friday,

Colette

 

Mishaps April 22, 2010

So I think I earned the dunce award in my Virtual Turning Twenty quilting class!

Remember these stacks of blocks I sewed up for class 2 here?

The ones I was soooo proud of?  ha ha

Well, I sewed the rectangle to the wrong side of the square.

Ended up having to seam rip and resew 14 of the 20 blocks.

(thanks Molly for chatting on the phone with me with while I did this mundane task!)

On the upside, I learned how to do a proper pinning =0)

See how my pins go in and out of the fabric a few times?

Also learned to NOT sew over pins, but to remove them instead.

AND to think I have been doing it wrong for all of these years ~ yeesh!

Rhea (our teacher from Alewives Fabrics here) is full of “little pearls of wisdom” (I love her term), such as proper pinning, and I highly recommend taking this class the next time she offers it.

A proper finished “B block” with the small rectangle now on the left side.

So where are all the “A Blocks”?

Laying in a stack on my ironing board.

My new iron did NOT show up yesterday =0(

R. has dropped mine on our wood floors half a dozen times, each time smashing a piece off of it, and it officially will no longer produce steam without water leaking everywhere.

Ran into town and picked up a spray bottle (I know, right, I couldn’t believe it myself that we didn’t already have one!) to try my hand at steaming the old fashion way.

Let’s just say I prefer using a steam iron and leave it at that.

Will finish pressing those “A Blocks” when my new iron finally arrives.

AND not to worry about her dropping this one…

I AM GETTING MY OWN SEWING NOOK IN THE LOFT UPSTAIRS and it is carpeted!

YIPPEE ~ SKIPPY!

Received this sewing table (here) as an early birthday present!

I love that the sewing machine drops in for a flat sewing/quilting surface.

Hoping to get working on my sewing room and do a little tagsaleing for some shelving and a chair this weekend.

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

More Echino? April 21, 2010

Remember I blogged a bit here about the Sew Liberated Mischievous Gnome Messenger Bag?

Right, I was going to use Heather Ross Gnomes in plum…

until I came across these fabulous scooters from Echino!

Alright, I admit it…I have a slight infatuation with Echino fabrics!

What can I say?  They make me smile.

Echino fabrics available here at superbuzzy

from top to bottom:  Dots – Olive, Scooter – Grape, and Solids – Grape.

Got my fabrics washed and ready to press so I could begin cutting out my pieces.

AND then my iron wouldn’t cooperate ~ ARRGGHHH!

Ordered new iron and hope it will show up today.

Guess I’ll have to go on a bicycle ride with R. instead =0)

Have  a lovely afternoon!

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

Turning Twenty Class 2 April 19, 2010

Yippee Skippy ~ I am all caught up in my Virtual Turning Twenty class!

The idea to add some Kona solids to the blocks was tossed around for a bit…

but I decided to stop procrastinating (way over thinking it!) and start sewing.

My heap of chain pieced blocks.

My beautiful (almost flawless, but not quite) stack of blocks.

Oh la la ~ stacks of neatly pressed Echino fabrics!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love to iron???

Really, feel free to send anything over that needs a proper ironing.

Finished just in time to start lesson three =0)

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

first quilting bee! April 18, 2010

Filed under: April 2010,Quilting,Sewing,Virtual Quilting Bees — The Threaded Nest @ 7:20 am
Tags: , ,

Look what came in the mail on Friday???

A bunch of scrap fabrics from Mary with a request for a pieced row for our Red and Aqua Bee Part Two!

This is my first virtual quilting bee (more on that here) and I was all too excited to jump in and get started on her row!

There was a slight problem though…

she wanted it improvised and requested the row to be anywhere from 2 to 6″ wide and 40″ long…

Have I mentioned I have never improvised a block before???

I kind of got a bit freaked and went searching tutorials on the Web with no such luck.

I took a few deep breaths and decided to start piecing the “girl” blocks and figured I would build on those.

Look what I came up with?

I wanted them to be similar but not too matchy-matchy.

I think they turned out adorable!

Once those were made, I used the width (4 1/4 “) as my foundation and then began piecing the rest of the blocks and strips of fabric from there…

And before I knew it VOILA I had the whole row done!

Can I toot my own horn for a minute please?

I love the simple geometric shapes and how the colors and shapes are balanced!

I pretty much used up every scrap of fabric and the row was 2 1/2″ short of her 40″ request.

Had I had some more light value red fabric I would have added a 1 1/4″ (1 1/2″ cut) strip to the top and bottom.

Off it goes into the mail ~ enjoy Mary!

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

 
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