Friday, March 30, 2012

Slowly Getting Back to Life

Almost 2 weeks ago I had this little guy:

After the hospital life seems like it is chaotic and in fast forward.  Slowly though I have been working on getting back into crafting.  My mom found this wonderful book at JoAnn's while she was here.  I had mentioned that I wanted to make a simple one and asked for her help finding the correct yarn to use.  I am so glad she found this book!  How fun!  I need more yarn - I want to try so many of the patterns in here.

Here is one I made (it is missing the final border - I had to tear it out because I just didn't reach).   It is easy enough to do hand work while I am breastfeeding and holding the baby.

I also started hand-sewing one of the Farmer's Wife blocks.  I will share a picture of that when it is finished.  I am hoping to get back to doing even more soon.  However, I am not rushing it too much. I am totally enjoying the quiet snuggling and feeding I spend most of my days doing currently.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Interlocking Square Dance tutorial

It is a fairly versitile pattern that is fun to arrange in many different ways.

The tutorial is going to show a two color variation but it is easy to add as many colors as you like once you have the basic block construction down.  I could only get as close as a little over a 12 1/2 inch it isn't exactly a 12 1/2 inch block.  If that is what I might suggest taking an 1/8 of an inch off of the initial block and adjusting your measurements from there.  If I try it again I will let you know the new increments.

Cut List


(4) 2 1/4" Squares (Center Square)
(8) 1 1/2" Squares
(8) 1 1/2" x  3 3/8" 
(8) 1 1/2" x  4 3/8"

Dark Blue:

(4) 1 1/2" x  3 3/8"
(4) 1 1/2" x  4 3/8"
(8) 1 1/2" Squares


(4) 1 1/2" x 2 1/4"
(4) 1 1/2" x  3 3/8"
(8) 1 1/2" Squares


1. Take your 2 1/4" White Center square and pair it with your gray 2 1/4" x 1 1/2" Gray.  With right sides together sew  (I use a 1/4 inch seam throughout) and then press your seams open.

2. Take your 1 1/2" x 3 3/8" rectangle and add it to the left hand side so that it creates a letter "L" when placed on top. Stitch and press seams open. 

I tend to do all of mine in one go so that I don't have to go back and repeat the directions from the beginning. 

3.  Now add your 1 1/2" x 3 3/8" Blue rectangle to the opposite side right sides facing making a letter "U". Stitch and press open.

4.  Add your 1 1/2" x 4 3/8 rectangle to the top exposed white and press open.  You should have a nice little square that looks like the picture below.   

5.  It is now exclamation point time!  Take one of your 1 1/2" x 3 3/8 White rectangles and piece them to one of your Gray 1 1/2" Squares.  Repeat with the Blue 1 1/2" Squares.  I do all mine at one time so I end up with  8 total Exclamation points (4 of each color square).

6.  Match up the small blue part of your exclamation point with the blue with the long blue side so that it extends your long blue line making it longer.  Place the Gray exclamation point over the short blue side so it matches up with the gray on the other side of the blue.  Pin in place, stitch, and press seams open. 

7.  Now you are going to make and another set of exclamation points with the long 1 1/2" x 4 3/8 White rectangles and your remaining colored 1 1/2" Squares.  After you piece them all together add another white 1 1/2" Square to the top of your colored square.

8.  Line the Blue square of the exclamation point once again so it extends your shorter blue rectangle side.  Add the gray to the opposite side so that it will match up with the long gray rectangle when pressed open. Pin, Sew, and Press.  You should have a square/squares like you see below.  

9.  Arrange pieces as desired.  And sew together. Add a border to finish off the mini or create more to make a larger quilt.  

Enjoy.  I hope I explained things well enough (let me know if I made a mistake - I am new at this).  Also please let me know if you make one.  I would love to see anything that is made from this pattern.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Will Be Back Monday

I was going to try that pattern I made up again before I posted the tutorial.  I had high hopes of getting it up by today but then with being sick and then getting bit by the nesting bug...well it will be more like Monday/Tuesday. My husband was a little scared when I said I was rearranging two rooms in the house. I got the first one done yesterday evening but was too worn out to tackle the second.  You think I would be able to sleep after all of that moving and then laundry...but no.  My husband saw the first room and was very impressed with all the children and I had accomplished.

While I was moving stuff around I took a little snapshot of quilts I have finished last year and the start of this year (with the exception of the top quilting of the Sherbet Pips quilt).  This stack is actually going to the Red Cross.  It is on my nesting list to get them all over there this next week while everyone is on Spring Break from school.   I am hoping to have tons more finishes this year or at least to continue making a dent in my WIP/UFO stash of quilts.

The other thing I did this past week was to sign up for the Over the Rainbow Charm Swap at Sweet Diesel Designs.  I got the color assignment of Green and so picked out these two beauties:

Green is actually a little hard for me.  I am really looking forward to creating a fun quilt of rainbow colors. Not sure what pattern I will use yet but I have time to figure it out before the charms all get here.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sick = Productive?

I have had a cold the past week and today it got worse...I was a faucet from my eyes and nose.  :(  I want to sleep more than anything but with 3 kiddos at home there is no resting...especially when one of them is a toddler.  So I have spent more time than usual today finishing projects. Here is the art girl quilt all finished up.  I call it "It was all Yellow":

I made this from a art girl kit I purchased from a fellow Modern Quilt Guild friend (Carrie).   Her kits include the girl heads, scraps of fabric, ribbons, and buttons.  I drew up the little dress, arms, and shoes from my imagination and pulled a bunch of little goodies from my stash (including the sunflower buttons) to add all the yellow I needed for this one.  If you are interested in her kits you can find them for sale here:


My oldest daughter was a little bummed that her little sister claimed the Evening Star pillow all for herself.  When she saw the Lone Starburst block that Faith had put together on she asked if I could make her one like that.  I agreed and let her pick through my scraps.  She has a taste for very bright fabrics!

Here the two pillows are together.  Of course the girls had to try a pillow fight with them shortly after this photo.  :)  

I am still hand-stitching.  I have added to my art girl quilt some hand-stitching and will post the final product soon.  The other hand-stitching I am working on is the the infamous lap quilt I have been slowly working on.  Here is a bit of it:

This is one of those WIP/UFOs I have been trying to work on since the December before last...yeah I know. But it is getting there.  Hopefully, I will be able to post a picture of the Dresden Plate quilt too.

My Submission for the Modern Mini Challenge

Ellison Lane Quilts is having a Modern Mini Challenge.  I barely got mine finished. It is a 13 inch quilt that I started and finished today.  Phew!  There are so many amazing entries that I am not expecting to win anything, but it was a fun challenge that motivated me to try something I have had sketched up and in a drawer. This is what I sketched up year ago:

I don't have the colors I originally envisioned for these but I figured I still wanted to try it out.  So you have a two color one above.  I have been photographing the process and writing down expect a tutorial as soon as I can perfect the measurements and directions.  Hope you are able to enter something too! Best of luck to all participants.