Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Liberty Dainty Tote

I'm still working my way through the glorious bundle of Liberty I bought last year. After piecing a quilt top, I had little pieces left over, just big enough for 1/2" hexies. I combined them with a solid aqua and soon I had this pretty panel...
in my usual fashion, I had no plan for it! Then I realized it was the perfect size to incorporate into a dainty tote. I hadn't made one of these in ages and it's my favorite little bag to make. I ended up cutting the panel in half so I could feature it on both sides of my tote. I lined the cut edge up with the top edges of the background panel and hand appliqu├ęd all the way around the hexies.
I used a dark, denim blue grunge for the background and a blue & white check for the binding.

More Liberty Lawn for the handles, side gussets and top zipper placket. 
I'm so in love with this little tote! Oh, and this is finish #2 in the second quarter of the 2017 finish-along!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

bitsy boxes

This weekend I had some fun pattern testing for my friend Natalie over at Ticklegrass Designs. I added some props to the picture so you can see just how tiny her latest bags are!
The Bitsy Box pattern is now available as a PDF here. Seriously people, you need to make a few of these! They are so much fun, so quick (under an hour to make each one) and adorably cute at 2 1/2 inches cubed.
Wouldn't it be fun to fill one of these with binder clips for a sewing pal? or tiny animal toys for a child? 
Really, the possibilities are endless. I plan to make tons more. You probably should make some too.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

placemats and towels

I had a fun bridal shower to attend today for the daughter of a good friend. She had tried to make off with Mom's hand woven dish towels last time she was home, so I knew I needed to start off her gift by weaving her a set of towels of her own. Then I decided to make her a set of placemats to go with them.
My local quilt shop was selling some of the cap sets (these are the samples the sales reps bring when they are selling new fabrics) of Sweetwater's Sunday Supper line and I just loved it! I bought most of what they had, went home & started cutting 3 1/2" squares. It's really the perfect line for placemats!

I quilted a crosshatch in two colors on my Janome and I love the way they turned out
She was very happy with her gift!
And guess what? I had enough fabric for four more placemats!
And I still have some more fabric left over for another day!
This is my first finish for the second quarter of the 2017 finish-along.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Riley Blake challenge

The spring fabric challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild is wrapping up. Finishes are not due until the 30th of April, but since mine is done, I thought I'd share it with you. I loved the Riley Blake Rockstar fabrics because of the color way. Right up my alley! Truth be told, I had sworn off these challenges because I just wasn't that thrilled with the last couple of fabric bundles. Then I saw these fabrics and totally caved in!
I decided to do a collection of minis with my fabric. I did add in Riley Blake solids in Aqua and Red. The first mini I did is the bottom right mini, a Love All Around block by Lee Monroe (May Chappell) You can read about her block and get the free tutorial here. I had been wanting to try out this block and this seemed to be the perfect time. I really love this block and will surely be making more down the road!
The finished minis are all 14" square. Next up was a mini version of my own Funky Dresden
And then, because I have been having so much fun with dresdens, I did two more modern dresden interpretations. First a modern dresden quarter square triangle (inspired by Season 1, episode 4 episode of Fresh Quilting)
And then I used up every last scrap of fabric on this modern dresden sunrise...
So that's my submission for the challenge! I've had so much fun watching others pop up on Instagram (#mqgfabricchallenge). You really must check out all of the submissions! Some of them are truly amazing. I had a great time creating mine.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

2017 Finish-along second quarter goals

I love participating in the Finish-along! It forces encourages me to finish up projects that might otherwise go undone! I have four for the second quarter this year....

First up, these placemats, which just need to be quilted and bound.....
Second, this completed top using some of my Liberty Lawn and low volume stash, also needs to be quilted and bound...
Speaking of Liberty, I've been English paper piecing some of the smaller bits into 1/2" hexies and this needs to be squared up and sewn into a cute bag....
Last but not least, the fabrics I hand dyed back in October are crying out to become a quilt! I have decided to make a hashtag quilt, featuring these fabrics. I need to get my hands on a background fabric and get to it!
So that's my plan! Are you participating in the Finish-along? I'm linking up here.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Finish Along first quarter finishes

I'm so happy I have been playing along with the 2017 Finish-along! It really motivates me to get things done. This quarter I challenged myself to complete five specific items.
And I finished all five! Yay me! 

First up, my word of the year quilt (which still isn't hanging on the wall but it is FINISHED!)
My Liberty EPP Plus project became a beautiful pillow which I love to look at every day...
And another pillow finish! Our scrap swap project for the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild that now lives with Chris...
I love the way my Modern  Mystery Block of the Month quilt turned out!
And this shirt is too comfy! I'm almost sad it is quickly getting too warm to wear it here in Texas...
So that's it for the first quarter! I'm linking up at Rhonda's Ramblings.

Off I go to make a list for the second quarter!

Friday, March 17, 2017

towel binding tutorial

I have received many questions (on Instagram, here on the blog, and in a Facebook group I belong to) about how I bind my handwoven towels. I decided the easiest thing to do is to post a tutorial here. warning, this post is photo heavy!

When I take my towels off of the loom, the first thing I do is zigzag both ends of each towel and cut them apart. The zigzag prevents the ends of the towels from unravelling during the washing process. Since I want the recipients of my towels to be able to actually USE them, I throw them in the washing machine and dryer before I even bind them. This shrinks the towels, tightens the weave and makes them ready to bind. I do NOT prewash my binding fabric as I find most good quality cottons don't really shrink much when washed. This is my preference.... some might disagree with me.

After it's been washed and dried, measure the width of your towel.

You will need 2 strips of binding fabric, one for each end. I cut mine the width of the towel + 2" X 2". 
Now press your two strips in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together....

I love to use little gingham checks, plaids & stripes for my binding. You can use anything at all, as long as it is good quality cotton fabric. Sometimes I cut my binding on the bias just because I like the look of it cut this way. Since there are no curves being bound, bias cut is not necessary.

Now I use wonder clips to clip my binding to the edges of my towel. Be sure to leave an inch of binding hanging off each end. Oh, and all of those fuzzy edges? don't worry about those for now.
Now head on over to the sewing machine. Sew the raw edges together. I use a 1/4" seam and a straight stitch.
Now that the woven edges are securely stitched down, you can go ahead and trim off all the fuzzy bits...
Now back to the ironing board. First, fold the extra inch on each end in and press
Now press your whole binding strip up flat...

then flip it to the back of the towel, hiding the raw edges and tucking those little bits on the end under neatly, press and clip again with the wonder clips...
Back to the sewing machine (we're getting our steps in here girls!) where you will stitch close to the folded edge of the binding...
And you're done. Look, you can barely see the stitch line on the front of your towel. It disappears right into the weaving...
I love the nice, neat finish this gives to my handwoven towels!