Thursday, January 31, 2013

My First Block of the Month

I'm participating in my first BOM!  I'm excited to be a part of a group, it makes feel like I belong to something special.  The reason I signed up for this one is because I really like paper piecing and want to continue to build my skills.  Every month Kristy (from Quiet Play) is posting a new block in her Craftsy shop. Here is the best part: it's free!  Well, it's free for one month but then,  if you need more than one month to complete it, it will cost you some moola.  As you can see, I waited until the very last day in the month to make mine.  I don't recommend doing it this way.  The good news is tomorrow she'll reveal February's BOM.

Here's January's BOM:

Measure Twice Paper Piecing block

The top, bottom and flowered fabrics are from Laura Gunn's collection, Garden Wall.  Top is Grass Bamboo Thicket, flowered fabric is Mural Wee Spring and bottom is Spice Painters.  I purchased the tape measure ribbon years ago and this is the first time I had a use for it.  Of course, what makes this one special is that I managed to sew the end of tape on crooked!  I was going to rip it out and fix it but then I kinda like it being a bit off... It's sort of like me: not perfect but totally within the norm!   

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Bit of Sewing and Stuff

Good Morning!  

Since I have started having weekends off, Sundays have a new meaning to me.  One, I'm no longer dreading this day because now it is my day off!  Two, it's a  day to spend with my honey, sew some and do whatever I want!  Who wouldn't want that...  My day always starts off the same way:  


After the first cup all is good with the world (and me).  

I'm making progress with my Hex on the Beach EPP quilt.  I started the first step, putting the paper on each piece.  Well, this is gonna take me a while since there are 1008 pieces!  I purchased some Clover Wonder Clips and I LOVE THEM!  They are wonderful to use and make my life easier.  The clips hold the paper and fabric together with no fuss. They stay put and are much safer (for my fingers) to use than pins.  I use them for most of my projects so if you don't have any... get some!  You won't regret it.  I have never sewn hexagons that have only 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around.  I have always given myself a generous 1/2 inch seam allowance so learning to hand sew around each one with such a VERY small seam allowance has challenged me.  At first, it felt like 1/4 inch wasn't enough to work with but as time goes on I'm getting faster and coping with it.  I love that I don't have to cut any fabric.  Plus, since the fabric was cut on a machine, they are perfectly cut and the pattern is always in the right direction.  

(Image from Clover Website)

 (it's a start!)

Moving along... 

Star Blossom

Remember when I was going to add a plain back to my table runner?

Well, once again, I changed my mind.   Originally, I was going to use fabric I had on hand but then I went to a fabric shop.  You know how hard it is to resist once there.  When I was talking to the quilt ladies, they convinced me I could hand quilt with a pattern fabric.  I also decided to add a dark blue binding  to help tone it down a bit; the orange and green are pretty loud.  

So I tried hand quilting and had to rip it out.  My stitches weren't even and were very wonky so I'll try again.  But for now, this is how it looks, pins and all:

Another project I finished this weekend were lined drawstring bags.  I purchased the pattern from In Color Order where you can find a free tutorial for this bag!  I bought the pattern, which allows me to sell the bags.  I would like to try and sell them on Etsy.

When I was sewing these together I found that my ironing board was way too big to iron the little bags so I bought a mini.  I purchased it from Joann's Fabric and Craft Store.  It was $19.99 but with a 40% discount coupon I paid $12.  I'm sure I'll be using this for many future projects; it's very handy to have.

On another note...
I won a contest at work this week!  We had a chowder and soup contest.  People brought in crockpots of their favorite recipes and coworkers voted on their favorite.  A winner from each category was picked and I won!  My soup: Deconstructed Lasagna.  I found the recipe on Pinterest:

                                               Source: via Heather on Pinterest

I hope everyone in blogosphere is having a great weekend :)


Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Brand New Year and Plenty of Happy Sewing

Happy New Year!!

I love this month just because it's a fresh new year, which means new beginnings.  It also means letting go of all the things I don't need.  This year I'm letting go of thoughts of things I cannot change no matter of much I want to.  

My changes this year:

1.)  Don't bring home work issues.
2.) Sew more.
3.) Blog often.
4.) Smile.
5.) Believe in my abilities.
6.) Laugh.

Out with 2012, In with 2013!!!!

I'm on a great sewing roll right now.  Last year I learned English Paper Piecing and love sewing this way.  I like that it's portable and I can do it almost anywhere.  I have chosen a huge EPP project this year, a quilt:

(image from

This is a really cool kit that I purchased from Pink Chalk Fabrics.  

The kit cost $89, a real steal if you ask me since it's all precut!

The fabrics in the kit are from the Salt Water collection from designer Tula Pink.   The prints feature a maritime theme: shells, octopi, waves and lifebouys. It's colorways are aqua, coral and seaweed.  The fabric included 24 different prints and 12 different solids and came all pre-cut (who doesn't love that!) in 1 1/4" hexagons.  There are approximately 28 hexagons per group, adding up to a total of 1008 precut hexagons!  OMG, that's a lot of hand sewing!  I added up the number of stitches and came up with a rough estimate of 72,000.  At first, I thought I could finish this in about a year but now I might want to give myself more time!  The size is 43 x 60 but I may make it bigger by adding borders.  I am making this quilt for me.  I don't think I could part with it after sewing so many stitches!

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

I just finished this top for a table runner using the EPP method:

Star Blossom Table Runner

I'm trying to figure out how I want to finish the runner.  I would like to try hand-quilting the top. I'm thinking of sewing around each of the stars.  Because of the pattern the quilting will make, I think I should use a solid color fabric on the back; the stitches then would make a nice pattern.

This pattern is from  Stitched in Color blog  by Rachel Hauser.  I took a class from her and was introduced to hand sewing.  I almost love it as much as machine sewing!