Friday, November 18, 2011

Better on my second try

Remember my first attempt using a flex frame?  I readjusted the measurements for the top band ...


and came up with a new coin purse!  There's still some minor tweaking I think is necessary, to make my next one even better, but you have to start somewhere, right? ;o)

I'm delighted that in my second attempt at this purse, I got to use some of my winnings from Kelly's giveaway, mixed in with scrap fabric pretties from my friend Jacqueline.  The happy, bright colours of this patchwork combined with my FMQ flower design makes me smile. 

I'm also smiling because I get the day off and that means I might be found in my sewing room after spending most of the week too tired to be creative. I've been working as the cleaner at the 3 plex my husband helped build. It will be nice to have a day away from wielding a cleaning cloth, vacuum, mop or window cleaning miscellany. I'm looking forward to a day where I'll end up covered in threads not construction dust!  ;o)

Here's hoping you find time today to do something that you love, too.
Want to see what others have accomplished this week? Click over to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and be prepared to be inspired.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I've made more progress on my colourful crochet project over the past couple of days.  Oh, how I'm loving these colours together!

Meanwhile, it seems like winter has found us.  Here's a shot from my kitchen window yesterday...

with the forecast indicating that there'll be more of this today.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quilt or Crochet?

My WIPs list has grown this past week.  The block tutorial started me back into stitching  scrappy bento box blocks. 
 It's as if these blocks hold some magical power though. Every time I stitch one, I immediately want to make another, just to see what it will look like.  Then another. 
Does that explain how I went from one to six?  I hadn't planned on that!

  Do I see if I have enough scraps for a quilt? 
 I can forget making more pillows from them.  I know more pillows would be overkill.... the living room is awash in pillows (and I'm hearing a few complaints from the menfolk about the burgeoning pillow population... lol).
  Forget about making more place mats,  I've already made them and even two table runners in scrappy red as well. I guess a quilt is the only logical choice.  ;o)

Coincidentally, I also have wandered into a crochet project.   Inspired by Laura's colourful crochet, I decided to treat myself to some colourful crochet threads.  I'm loving this project, but still have a ways to go before it's finished. 

Now I can't decide, should I quilt or crochet? ;o)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Getting it right

Sometimes, despite my best efforts, simple mistakes slip right past me.   Remember my debut jitters being asked to do a tutorial for Sew We Quilt? I somehow missed a simple dimension in the cutting list.  The error has been fixed, but I just wanted to let all of you know that if you printed that tutorial prior to this morning, you will have to edit my typo.  My apologies!

 The correct measurement for piece is 3.5" x 6.5"

As if one mistake wasn't enough for today, here's another.  I was playing around with a bag design that would use up scraps left from making 9-patch blocks.  Everything went well with the piecing,

the quilting,

even with the cute retro fabric I used for the lining.

The mistake wasn't realized until I tried to insert one of these clever flex frames into the band at the top of my little purse.
Giveaway win from Lisa's lovely shop This and That from Japan (thanks, Lisa!!!)

I was more than a little disappointed.  My math seemed to be off for the band at the top and the frame won't quite fit.  Aw, nuts.  Apparently, numbers are getting the best of me.  ;o)

 I'm off to see about making a new purse (I'll just leave the first with a ribbon drawstring... sigh) because I really want to see the flex frame in action.  Here's to getting it right. (fingers

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scrappy Bento Box Block Pillow Tutorial

Let's make a pillow!

You will need one block made from my
 Scrappy Bento Box Block Tutorial (click here)

Cutting List:

Cut 4 corner stones - 2" x 2"
Cut 4 sashing piece 2" x 12.5"
Cut 1 piece of batting 17" x 17"
Cut 1 backing (used for quilting the pillow front) 17" x 17"
Cut 2 pieces 10" x 15" for pillow back
65" of double fold 1/2" binding (I used self made)
1 zipper - 16" (or longer, can trim later); to match pillow back

*seams are scant 1/4"

Here's the layout for the sashing and corner stones you will add to the Bento Box Block, to make it into a 15" pillow.

Step 1: Stitch corner stones to both ends of two sashing strips. Press seams towards sashing strips.

Step 2: Sew remaining two sashing strips to opposite sides of Bento Box block. Press seam towards sashing strips.

 Step 3: Sew sashing strips with attached corner stones to Bento Box block; top and bottom.  Press seams towards sashing strips.

Step 4:  Place fabric selected to be backing for quilting the pillow front, face down and layer quilt batting and then finished block on top (right side up).   Make sure there's no wrinkles and pin to secure.

Step 5:   Machine quilt the pillow front.

Here's a close-up of the gently curved lines I quilted onto my pillow front.

Step 6:  After quilting is complete, trim the finished pillow front to measure 15" x 15".

Step 7:  Take one of the pieces cut for the pillow back and press a 1.25" hem along one 15" side.

Step 8:  Lay zipper face down matching the right edge of zipper tape with the raw edge of the hem on piece 1 of pillow back.  Stitch 1/4" in from this raw edge to secure zipper to piece one.  This seam will also secure the hem.

Step 9:  Lay piece 1 of the pillow back right side up - the zipper will be right side up as well, but the hem will be covering it.  Push the hem out to the side so it will not get caught  in the seam you will stitch to secure piece 2 to the other half of the zipper tape.   Place piece 2 right side down, matching the 15" raw edge with the edge of the zipper tape.  Sew with a 1/4" seam.

Step 10:  Top stitch along the right edge of the zipper and then baste across the hem *top and bottom* (making sure the zipper pull is placed so that it won't be above the basting stitches)The hem actually laps over to cover the zipper .

Step 11:  Trim any of the zipper tape that extends past the length of the backing pieces (shown below).

Step 12: Lay the quilted pillow front wrong side to wrong side with the finished backing (zipper has been sewn in).   Pin, matching edges and corners.  Backing will be larger, that was intentional.  Time to trim the backing to match the front.  Both will be 15" square. Baste the pillow front to the pillow back (and at this point, make sure the zipper pull has been lowered a couple of inches from the top edge).

Step 13:  Adding the binding.  Unfold the binding and place right sides facing, with the pillow back.  Don't start sewing the binding down at a corner.   Start sewing about half way along one side of the pillow.  Leave the first 3" of the binding unsewn (to make joining easier once you have bound all around the pillow).

With the raw edge of the binding matched to the raw edge of the pillow, sew 1/8" to the right of the first fold of the binding (this will be a seam of just under 1/2").

Step 14:  Mark 1/2" from the corner with a pin.  Stitch right to the pin, back stitch and then cut threads.

Step 15: Turn the pillow, so the seam completed is parallel to front edge of sewing machine...

 fold the binding at a 45 degree angle and hold this folded angle in place while extending unsewn binding past the top edge (previously sewn along).

Now, make a fold in the binding at the top edge, matching this fold with the top edge and matching the binding with the raw edge on the right.  Start stitching at the top edge - back stitch to secure - and continue sewing this side of the pillow.

All corners are completed using this method.  Once the fourth corner has been bound, the two ends of binding need to be stitched together.  Stop stitching about 2" from the point where the binding should end.

 Step 16:  Lay the cut edge from the start of the binding over the uncut length left.  Mark the uncut length at the two angle points from the binding's start.  Add 1/2" to account for seam allowance.  Cut this angled line.

Step 17:  Stitch the binding ends together with a 1/4" seam.  Seam is on the bias, so no bulk will be added.  After the binding ends have been sewn, finish sewing the remaining unattached binding to the pillow.

Step 18:  Place pillow with quilted top facing up, and wrap the binding around to the front.  Cover the stitch line (used to secure binding to pillow) and pin in place.  Stitch close to the edge of the binding to secure.

Congratulations!  The pillow is finished.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm here and I'm there.

Today, I get to be in two places at once. ;o)  My tutorial for a favourite quilt block is over at Sew We Quilt.   Have you seen it? Yes?  My fingers have been crossed and I'm holding my breath  anticipating hearing what you think of it. ;o)  Before that, though,  I want to make you welcome.  Hi! Hello.  Good to see you! I'm happy you're here, both old friends and new.  Blog land has been so kind to me, allowing me to find friendship around the globe, with those that share some of the same creative loves as I do.  So I mean it when I tell you I'm happy you're here.

Anyway, you may have guessed by now that I just love making scrappy blocks (especially if you clicked on my links at the bottom of my block tutorial).  In case none of those projects inspired you, I thought I would give you one more idea of what to make with your newly sewn scrappy block.  How about a pillow?

Something patchwork and quilty good. :o)

I promise you that they're simple to make.

I will admit that a project this easy, usually means I don't stop at making one (here is my Bento Box block pillow alongside a couple of 9-patch pillows.  I did mention I love scrappy...).

Would you like a tutorial for making your own pillow?  Sew your Scrappy Bento Box block today, and I'll be back here tomorrow, with the pillow tutorial.  Happy sewing!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sew Excited!

Having just finished up two weeks in the Ghastlie Blog Hop , I'm now leaping into more sewing adventures.  Have you heard about the Block Party for the month of November?

Well, believe it or not, I've been invited to guest post over at Sew We Quilt - Stash Manicure as a part of the Block Party.  Yeah, li'l ole me.  Even more staggering for me to comprehend, is that I'm the first guest and that means tomorrow. Tomorrow.  One sleep away... Eeep (she says in a high, squeaky voice... ;o) Now can you understand why I'm both excited and a wee bit nervous (must get over myself and not worry that I sound like an  The exciting and fun part is that I've written up a block tutorial from one of my favourite blocks to sew (can you guess what that block might be?).  Sharing it with you makes me happy and hopefully it will inspire you to sew some as well.  Will you come by and let me know what you think?   Thanks. I'd really, really appreciate your friendly support.

Friday, November 4, 2011

You don't want to miss the Last Day of Ghastlies Blog Hop

I'm off, hammer toting, again today (I seem to have a lot in common with Prudence Ghastlie at the moment ;o),  but I will be checking in with the Ghastlie sistahs showing their stuff on the last day of the Blog Hop.  Go check out the newest serving of  Ghastlies delights and be sure to comment when you visit.  You just know that Madame Samm has lined up something wonderful for today's grand prize giveaway!

ON Friday November 4th
Day 10

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hammer toting and Day 9 of the Ghastlies Blog Hop

Just like Prudence Ghastlie, I've been toting around a hammer the past couple of days.  Probably not for the same reasons (if the look on Prudence's face is anything to go  I've been on the jobsite with my husband as he finishes up some kitchen installations, finished carpentry tasks and other carpentry work.  As his "sometimes" assistant, I get to join him in the land of sawdust, paint fumes and power tools.  Quite a different environment than my usual. I come home looking like I've been rolled in sawdust and pulled backwards through a knot hole about 10 times, so I may resemble Prudence a bit afterall. lol
 My long preamble is my attempt to explain why I've been MIA around here, with no sewing finishes to share just yet.  I have been too knackered after days spent on the contruction site to do any stitching.  Forgive me.  Anyways,  I hope you're ready for the second to last day on the Ghastlie Blog hop!
ON Thursday November 3rd
Day 9

Mrs. Sharon Ghastlie ( has pc problems...may be back tomorrow)
Mrs Corrie Ghastlie

DAY 9 GiveawayS

WE will have 3 winners.
3 prizes..

Corrie @ Quilt Taffy is offering

yes yes yes $51.12 Gift Certificate
for one lucky Winner...

2nd prize......OH look a BEAM n READ,
Some Presencia threads
and is that, is it really
some Ghastlie coordinated buttons.
YES all 10 for YOU.

And 3rd winner will win 4 yds of assorted
Ghastlies Fabric from Alexander Henry Fabrics

Wow!  There's new Ghastlie sistahs to visit today and chances for 3 giveaway prizes as well.  Let's go blog hopping...
 I'll be back to hammer toting again tomorrow, but will get the link list up so you won't miss the last day of the hop, which is tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ghastlies Blog Hop - Day 8

On Wednesday, Nov. 2
Mrs. Jane Ghastlie
Mrs. Laura Ghastlie ( sadly she will not be available)

 DAY 8 Giveaway
This beautiful KONA bundle
in PINK is from our very
own Jane from Jane's Fabrics.
This is her sweet....giveaway..
Oh and some Presencia threads too!
From her to YOU!

There's more Ghastlie goodness on Day 8, awaiting you... so go visit today's Ghastlie sistahs and be sure to leave your comments to enter the day's grand prize giveaway.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ghastlie Blog Hop - Day 7

Here's today's list of Ghastlie sistahs...

Tuesday November 1st
Day 7

and the grand prize for today...
DAY 7 Giveaway

These wonderful Auriful Threads
from IHAN...Kelly at I Have A Notion
is sending 1 winner this collection
of some pretty colorful threads.

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