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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Free Spider Pattern (Paper Pieced)

This is the finished six-inch block that I was working on.

This is a fun block. Perfect for a Halloween project, like the center of a trick-or-treat bag, if you have children.  I am not sure what I will use mine for. 

You can get the pattern free from Paper Panache.  If I were to make another, I would use a solid color background so the legs would pop.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Best Laid Plans go Astray

Yesterday I turned my dining room table into my sewing table so I could machine quilt a few items.

I never got around to machine quilting as I spent 5 hours in a marathon cooking session. After that I only had the energy to finish these 3 tiny pieces of a 6-inch block I recently found on the net.
 After working 9 hours today, I  had no energy to make the last two sections.  I hope to have this 6-inch block finished very soon so stay tuned to see what it is. I think you will like it!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cat in Pumpkin 3-inch Block

I was in the mood to do a"fallish" project. I have tons of UFO's, so I did not want to start a big project.  Some place on my net travels, I came across a link for this tiny 3-inch foundation pieced block.  I thought it was cute and not too Halloweenish, so I printed it out.

It's a fast and easy block to piece and it's also a  free pattern from Carol Doak. .  . gotta love free! If you like it, you can  get here.

Once I had it made I had to come up with a way to use it in my fall decor.  I decided to add some burlap to all sides and wrap it around a candle!
It worked nicely on my Happy Fall Y'all accent table in my living room.
If you are feeling like you want to do a quick autumn project, you may enjoy this tiny little paper-pieced block.  If you decide to make it, I would love for you to post a link in the comments so I can see how you decided to use this cute block.

Another big thank you to Carol Doak for all the great foundation pieced patterns she makes for our pure enjoyment.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Halloween Tablescape using Quilted Runner

I love to do posts that show me using some of the quilted items I make.  I make tons of table runners and I really do use them.

 I will show you my current tablescape in black and white first, so those of you with sensitive eyes can get your sunglasses.  It looks pretty tame here. :)
Got those sunglasses on?  OK, here is the same picture in color....
Orange, chartreuse, black, purple & yellow are the main colors. The glasses are actually purple, but you can't tell that in these pictures.

  I went out on the deck and cut the foliage for the centerpiece.  I used a similar foliage bouquet a few years ago and really liked it. 

I made the paper-pieced table runner  and chair backs a couple of years ago.
I really like this bright runner.
This table is not really all that Halloweeny...only the skeleton straws and the spider candles suggest Halloween...unless you glance over at the curio cabinet... 
The purple glasses are stored there. Since I put them on the table, I could not leave the cabinet bare, so I  replaced them with orange pumpkins and a silver skeleton head.  If I had not done that, this table could be used for any fall dinner party. 

I think this table runner shows that quilting can be used for fun home decor.  It's not just for bedcovers anymore...though I do love my quilted bed covers, too!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Butterflies are Free

At least this paper pieced pattern is free at Double Nickel Quilts.  It was designed by Candace Moore.  Thanks, Candace!

It's an easy block to make once you figure out your color scheme and which pattern piece is which color.  I would strongly suggest you write the color on each section before you begin to sew.  I decided on pink and yellow.  I am thinking that three or four butterflies in different colors would make cute pillows for the deck furniture.

It felt good to do a little sewing. I expect to do a lot more once the cold weather sets in and my perennial gardens are put to bed for another season.  I have a lot of UFO's to complete!

Some of you may remember in June that I was planning to hand quilt my Autumn Stars quilt this summer.  I had good intentions...really, I did.
I even hand quilted one star area, then I moved the hoop to get ready for star #2, set it aside-- and have not  picked it up since!  Time has escaped...with working full time, I could barely keep up with the flower garden.

Early this morning I did put the binding on one of the animal placemats that I machine quilted last spring.
I used one of the fancy stitches on my machine. I think it will be just fine.  I have three more placemats to do. I hope to get those done tomorrow.  I made these placemats to go with these animal skin dishes:

I have been calling them leopard dishes, but I think they may be Cheetah.  Whatever they are, I am looking forward to a fall dinner party setting with my new placemats.

If anyone is still around reading this blog, thanks for stopping by! I know I have neglected this blog for quite some time.  I hope to resume more regular postings soon

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Quilt Decor

I was off for a few days last month. During that time,  I finally put the binding on my pink star quilt. I put this on with the sewing machine and I am pretty content with how it turned out.
I made this one to match my living room sofa and love seat. It was a very detailed star quilt with the tiny center star being an exact replica of the large star around it. I almost cried after I ruined it by machine quilting it. I am a terrible machine quilter! After it sat unused for over a year, I finally came up with idea to add a second backing and add ties to hold it together. That worked wonderfully to hide the hideous machine quilting on the back. I am now happy that I can display this one without shame.

My next quilt to finish will be this green double star quilt:

 I plan to hand quilt this one, so I had better get busy as it will take quite some time just to remove the paper  backing. Any of you familiar with foundation piecing will wince when you see this:
Yes, tiny little 3-inch blocks with 5 to 9 teeny pieces of paper on each that I need to remove. I have decided to spend 15 minutes each morning before leaving for work standing at the kitchen counter with the garbage container at my side as I pick each piece off.  

Yesterday morning I worked on this section:

I finished this much yesterday in 15 minutes:

The paper does come off easily, but it will still take a bit of time before I am able to sandwich it and begin quilting.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Still working on the String Thing

  Here is where I am now:
Still don't know what it will end up as, but eventually it will be something. :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Scrappy String Blocks

For the past few weeks, I have been trying to find a pattern to use up my scraps. I tried this diamond pattern:
It takes four blocks together to get the diamond:

I am not totally thrilled with this one.  The diamonds are too big and  I really want a white background. Also the majority of the scraps I have are a bit too narrow for this size block.  I may continue later to make enough of these to use for a border; right now I am just not feelin' the scrappy luv for this one.

I recently visited  Outside the Lines blog and saw a string quilt quilt she is working on in this post.  I liked the center star and decided to find a pattern to try it out.  I found a few patterns on the net, but ended up using a smaller one (4.5 inches finished) from my own book collection so I could use some of my 1.5-inch string scraps.

Again it takes four of these to make a finished 9-inch block:
I do like the white background. 

 I toned down the "scrappiness" by making each of the three stars around the center in the same fabric.  I am making each 9-inch star block in different fabrics.  All the blocks will have the same white background with a black fabric for the outer star and black for the four corners:
So far I have made three sets.  It takes about 30 minutes to sew one set if you have all the pieces already cut.
 I am liking this pattern.  The aqua and purple block is a bit off. I changed it to black and white and you can see why.  I need more contrast between the aqua and purple.

It's not enough to make me toss the block, but I will pay more attention to the next set of colors.

All in all, I am having fun sewing these. So I will continue on until I get bored and then I will figure out exactly what to do with them.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Jewel Tone Metallic Autumn Table Runner

Last fall I purchased some metallic fat quarters at a local bazaar.
This week I finally started a project using them.
I must say that I do not like working with metallics!  I melted one of the blocks because my iron was too hot. 

Nonetheless, I persevered and finally decided on this simple block :
 I used this color combination for eight 7.5-inch blocks and  made a variation of the color and stripe pattern for 4 additional blocks.  When I had 12 completed, I decided that was all I wanted to make, so I played with arrangements to see what I could do with them. I tried this layout.
 I did not like it. So went with this, which was my original plan.
 I sewed them all together, added some red triangles on each end, then sandwiched and machine quilted it. I ended up with a table runner that measures 56 inches long and 14 inches wide. 
 This size is good for my large dining room  table.
Now I can't wait for fall so I can see how it works with a fully-set jewel-tone table.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pink and Black Table Runner

I had the urge to design another table runner to go with some dishes. This time I decided to use these pink and black plates.
I chain paper pieced a twelve 6-inch blocks.

and sewed three sets of four into 12-inch blocks.
I added two black fabric triangle ends and now I have this:
This runner went together very quickly. Now I can't wait to try it on a full table setting of pink, black and white. Of course, I will sandwich and machine quilt it first. :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Counter mats (Huge Potholders) Galore

I did do some quilting in February.  I was trying to use up orphan blocks and I used up quite a few for these counter mats. 
Then I got bored with that and started a new project.  I found a fabric I loved and made six dining room chair covers for spring.

As my next project, I am hoping to finish an apron I cut out in January.  The top has the cutest paper-pieced tulips.

For some reason I am just not motivated to sew this one.  I think it's too much like sewing  clothing and I don't enjoy that at all. 

I really hope I can kick it in gear and get this done before next weekend disappears.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Making Heat Resistant Counter Mats

When I was cleaning my sewing room, I found this length of log cabins that I made to use for a border, but decided it just didn't work, so it was set aside. It's been residing in a bin for a few years now.

I decided to pick out a few seams and ended up with 3 sets of two blocks.  I added a few more strips to make them wider and then turned them into counter protector mats.
These are nice and long. You can see that a 9 x 13-inch cake pan fits nicely.  I love these big counter mats.

I also found two orphan heart blocks that have been waiting for a purpose.  They, too, are now counter mats.
I used an unusual filling for these. I was given a never-used car engine heat resistant mat thing (for a corvette) and I cut it up (GASP! I hope no corvette owner reads this). It worked perfectly--nice and thick and easy to sew through.
I have to say it's the best batting I have used thus far. 
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