Friday, February 24, 2017

Liberty EPP plus pillow

One of my first quarter goals for the finish-along was to take strips of this beautiful stack of Liberty:
make them into plus blocks:
And make it into "something" which quickly became a pillow:
there's something about Liberty prints that's just so yummy, isn't there? And English Paper Piecing with Liberty Lawn? Oh man! they stitch so beautifully. I really enjoyed this project.

I used a pretty pink grunge from my stash for the back, and bound the edges in one of the Liberty prints that was just too big for the EPP piecing:

This is my fourth finish for the first quarter in the Finish-along. One more to go!




Saturday, February 18, 2017

springtime towels

In an effort to use up some of my scrap cotton yarn, I warped my loom in a rainbow of stripes that made me believe in spring...
of course, in the process of "using up scrap yarn" I ran out of some colors prematurely and had to run to Walmart and buy more. LOL

Some quick plain weaving later and I have four lovely towels...
one plaid towel (with a slightly incorrect color order, but if I hadn't told you, you wouldn't have noticed, right?)
And three striped towels...
yes, I know there are only two in the photo. trust me there are three total
All of the ends bound in a bright & cheerful striped fabric...

yarn: peaches & cream cotton from Walmart
heddle: 8 dent, warped at 20 inches





Thursday, February 16, 2017

MQG Mini Swap

Now that Sandi has received the mini I made her in the Modern Quilt Guild  mini swap, I am happy to share it here with you! This was the MQGs first swap and I was happy to be a part of it.

My graph paper notebook has been getting a real workout lately. As usual, that's where my ideas for Sandi's mini started. She had said she liked alternate gridwork, solids and low volume so that was my jumping off point.
I've been having some fun with wonky churn dashes for a while now, and I decided to explore these a little more. The small churn dashes in this mini are only 3" square!

Once I had it all pieced, I machine quilted with some straight line grids...
Then I added some big stitch triangles here and there...
I had a lot of fun with this one! I hope you enjoy it Sandi!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

pillow swap

One of my favorite swaps we do occaisionally at the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild is the scrap swap. We each bring a big bag of our own scraps, swap them at the meeting, then make something for the original scrap owner. Last month we swapped bags to make pillow covers. I came home with this yummy bag of scraps from my friend Chris....
Chris loves all things scrappy, and stars, so I set to work to make a scrappy star pillow for her. I really love the way it turned out...
Honestly, it was hard to give this one back to her last night! I even had some fun with the back...

see that little English Paper Pieced star at the bottom? It's a label!
I can't really help but include a little EPP in just about everything I do. 

Checking this fun project off of my 2017 Finish-along first quarter list!
see how pretty it looks on my front porch? sigh....



Saturday, February 4, 2017

I made a shirt...

I've had this piece of gray cotton interlock in my stash for a long time. Who knows where I bought it or what it was originally intended for. One day I decided it needed to become a shirt. Dug through my patterns and found New Look S0184 (again, I've had it forever and never made it!). By the end of the day I had this awesome, comfy shirt which fits me PERFECTLY (how often does that happen???). The back is super cute...
I'm pretty sure I'll be wearing this a lot. I should probably make a few more actually! Anybody have a good source for cute cotton knits? Oh, and this was on my first quarter Finish-along list so yay! There's that!

Have a great weekend friends! Hope you get some creative time.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

tiny dresses

I have a new great niece due to arrive next month. I thought she could use some tiny geranium dresses for summer so I set to work. I love this pattern by Made by Rae, it goes together beautifully and is a perfect dress for every size girl. I picked up 2 pretty, old fashioned florals from the quilt shop & set to work.....
Love the pink polka dot I lined this one with, and the little bit of pink ricrac poking out above the gathered skirt...
Itty bitty buttons up the back are the perfect finishing touch.
This lavender and yellow floral worked it's way to the cutting table too...
This one is lined with lavender solid and I opted for a pleated skirt instead of gathers...
and again with the itty bitty buttons!
I made them in size 3-6 months which only takes a yard of the main fabric (less really! I had plenty left over) and 1/4 yard of the contrast. I hope they are well loved.




Friday, January 27, 2017

funky dresden tutorial part two.... let's sew!

At the end of the last post, we had all of our pieces for the funky dresden cut and were ready to put them together. If you're just now joining us, hop back there for all of the cutting instructions. Today we sew!

We'll start by sewing our dresden wedges into a circle. Flip your pieced wedges over on top of the next-door solid wedges...
flip the pink ones too, like I did the white ones here...
and chain piece them together. begin at the top and sew to the bottom of each pair...
Once you have them all sewn in pairs, lay them back out in your circle. This is your last chance to move them around and change the layout! 


Happy with the way you have them? Ok, now sew your pairs into fours, fours into eights and so on, until you have a complete dresden circle...
I have to admit to you, when I got to this point in my first funky dresden quilt I searched my house for something that was a perfect 20 inch circle. I found nothing. Then I realized, all I needed to do was go back and carefully trim the little triangles that popped up at each seam, smoothing the edges. 
Once I smoothed them out, I was ready to appliqué it onto my background. First, join your two background pieces (the 16 1/2 x 30 inch pieces) along the 30 inch side with a 1/4 inch seam. Press the seam open. Now lay your dresden circle on top, carefully matching the top and bottom when the dark and light backgrounds come together...
At this point, applique your dresden on top however you like to appliqué. I confess, I am not an appliqué genius! I chose to pin mine down, really really well, making sure it was laying completely flat, then I raw edge machine appliqued using the buttonhole stitch on my machine.
I changed my thread color to match each background fabric...
Turn your quilt top upside down and carefully trim away the excess circle in the center, leaving a good seam allowance (mine is about 1/2 inch). Be very very careful not to cut your dresden circle. This will reduce the bulk of your quilt top.

Now we need to deal with the hole in the middle!

I auditioned lots of different center ideas. On my first funky dresden, this was the subject of debate on my instagram page. For that quilt, I ended up going with a 2 1/2 inch wonky square. This time I decided it wasn't my favorite option...
The 2 1/4 inch split circle was ok...
I even tried that one reversed, as was suggested to me on instagram. not bad...
In the end, this time I decided to go with an orange center that matched my pieced dresdens...
Again, I pinned it down really well and blanket stitched around it....

And your quilt top is done! 
Ready to quilt as you wish. I did my first one with radiating lines from the center. I really want to try spiral quilting on this one.... we'll see if I can get my nerve up!

After quilting, trim your topper to 30 inches square. On my first quilt, I trimmed the excess off of one side, leaving my circle uncentered, just the way I wanted it! I think I will do the same with this one.

Finish off with matched binding to keep the background uncluttered. Or do something different! If you decide to go with matched binding, I recommend Debbie's tutorial here

If you make a funky dresden quilt, I hope you'll post pictures on instagram. Tag me (ellynz) and use the hashtag #funkydresden. Have fun with it!