Friday, November 17, 2017

Black Friday comes early at Havel's Sewing

Psst...I have a secret for you. Havel's Sewing, my favorite source for sewing scissors, cutters, and mats, has started their Black Friday sale early, and there are all kinds of sweet deals up on their site. We’re talking rotary cutters for $7.95, people. And, as always, you can use coupon code “blueskycrafter7” for $7 off a purchase of $25 or more. So treat yo' self (or your friends!).
I highly recommend that giant pink cutting mat to help with your holiday projects, like this fun felty goodness from Benzie Design that I’m about to cut into. Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Park mini quilt: A finish (and a class)!

A few weeks back, I finished up this fun Park mini quilt, my latest hand-applique project.
I used Carolyn Friedlander's Park pattern and made the wall quilt size, just four easy blocks, two of each version. It measures 27" square.

Most of the fabrics are from the Big Sky collection by Annie Brady. I'm pretty obsessed with this collection. I mean, just look at those bears peeking out. And I love that citrony yellow overall print with all of the animals.

I paired them with a little Essex homespun in navy, a Greek key print from Sweet Marion, a Dear Stella print from the Timberland collection, and the citron Add It Up print from Cotton + Steel.

I decided to machine and hand quilt this one, and I really love how the big-stitch quilting makes the applique pop. For the hand quilting, I used a variety of perle cottons and DMC embroidery floss.
This mini is a sample for a hand-applique class I'm teaching locally this Saturday at Janie Lou from 1-4 pm. There are still a few spots left if you have a little free time and want to enjoy a few laughs and lots of learning. You can sign up right here. Back to the sewing!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fall table runner

Ever since I saw (and bought) this super cute fall print by Pen & Paint last year, I've dreamt of a fall table runner in similar colors. I love that it uses the fall "standards" -- reddish orange, golden yellow, tan -- but then pops in the unexpected teal and bright blue. So this fall, I decided I was finally going to make it happen, and I'm so happy with the result.
The center panel is a delicious print (Reflect in natural) from Carolyn Friedlander's Euclid line, printed on Essex yarn-dyed linen. I kept it simple by just lining the outside with a patchwork of prints.

For the quilting, I outlined the seams on every few prints to create a generously spaced crosshatch.
I like my table runners to be reversible (because why not?), so this was the perfect opportunity to use this fabulous Cotton + Steel Halloween print (Lil Monsters Party in mint) I'd been hoarding for a Halloween-y but not too Halloween-y look (I don't really decorate for Halloween).
I had exactly one-third of a yard of the print, so I cut the Euclid linen on the front to the same size. Then, I surrounded the Halloween print with a border of Essex Homespun in navy in the same dimensions as the patchwork on the front, so the quilting would all line up.

I stuck with the Essex Homespun for the binding because it looked great on both sides, but I wanted to add a little something to the back, so I finished it off with some big-stitch quilting on the binding to make it pop. I love the little orange border it created.
I gotta say, I'm going to be pretty reluctant to take this one off the table for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Summer String quilt: A finish!

This quilt has been a long time coming on the blog (I finally finished it back over the summer), but you know how things go. I'm still pretty obsessed with it, though! Meet the not-co-creatively-titled Summer String quilt!
If you have an amazing memory, you may remember that I chose this string block for the August 2016 do.Good Stitches block for our Emerge circle. Yes, I realize that was a long time ago. It sat for awhile because I needed to make a few extra blocks, and then I couldn't decide on sashing, and then life.
But I finally managed to wrap it up over the summer in time to gift it for Project Linus's quilt drive for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, so I hope this cheery quilt has been able to bring a smile to someone down there.
As the original blog post details, I got the design from a quilt I fell in love with by Amy of the Badskirt blog. I ended up even using the same sashing (the fabulous Architextures ledger print by Carolyn Friedlander) because it just worked so well.
For the backing, I used Carolyn's gray crosshatch and a fun flower print that's been in my stash since my earliest sewing days. The binding is a bright pink solid (exact color unknown).

I kept the quilting pretty simple in an offset half-diamond with the lines spaced about 1.5" apart. You can see it best on the back.

The final quilt measures 43" x 51", just right for a child. Thanks to my beemates for the fun blocks!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

September and October do.Good Stitches blocks

Sticking with our fruit theme, for the September block for the Emerge Circle of do.Good Stitches, Melanie chose a fun pineapple block. She posted a great tutorial on her blog and asked for two pineapples, one pieced and one solid, in yellow, pink, and/or mint fabrics. 
I gotta say, I loved putting these together. They're just so darn happy.
The mint is definitely my favorite. And look at those seams!
Wanda gave us a jump start on October, posting her tutorial early so we could finish our blocks as soon as we wanted. It turned out I had a window of time to knock them out pretty quickly, which always feels good.
She chose a super simple improv stripe block in a color scheme inspired by the solar eclipse we had back in August -- grays, black, navy, and white. This should make a great boy quilt (always in short supply in charity projects!). I promise I didn't use a ruler (as instructed) for my stripes, but it's hard for me to go wonky. ;)