Sunday, July 22, 2018

12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop - Day 9! More Giveaways!

Hi, all!

I'm thinking that I need to rework the words to my favorite Christmas song to be, "I want a bunch of minions for Christmas, only a bunch of minions will do..." because we've seen so many great ideas so far, and there just aren't enough hours in the day to do them all - but I'm going to try!  

And today we've got two more creative bloggers to share their ideas with us.  Anja of Anja Quilts has a beautiful Christmas decor idea to share with us, and Moira, who blogs over at The Quilted Snail, has a great, fun project that anyone can do!  And guess what?  There are more giveaways!  So hop on over to see what's happening on Anja and Moira's blogs, then come back here for the next set of instructions for Rejoice!

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Woohoo!  Today we get to assemble the center section of the quilt! From here on out, it's pretty simple and all downhill, so don't worry too much if you need to do some catching up.  Easy days ahead!

If you didn't do it already, lay out your A and B blocks in a 5 x 5 checkerboard layout, with Block B in the corners and alternating with Block A throughout the quilt.  Join the blocks together in columns or rows (or however you prefer), matching seams throughout.  Press the seams, spinning the intersections as you did in the blocks themselves.  This is where that careful pressing will pay off - all your intersections should spin, which will give you a wonderfully flat top to quilt!  Once your columns or rows are completely, join together to finish assembly of the quilt top center.  Press the seams, spinning the intersections once again.  And you're done!  


Just to share, I put mine together by webbing two columns together at a time. I take the blocks of two adjacent columns off the design wall, stacking the top block in each column onto the blocks below it.  Laying the two stacks on my sewing table side by side, I mark the top left block in the upper left hand corner with a pin.  This is so I don't forget which is the top when I press my sewing.  Then I chain piece each pair together, so that all the blocks for the two columns are sewn in one long strip.  Then leaving the chain stitching intact, I press the seams, spinning the intersections again.  Take the whole piece back to the sewing machine, and sew the rows between the block pairs, once again matching intersections.  Cut the tiny chain piecing thread holding the pairs together on each seam, then press the seams, spinning the intersections again.  And voila, you have two strips sewn together - in this case, more than a third of the center finished!  It may not be faster, but it seems faster, as you have a completed section instead of two columns to sew together.  Repeat for the next two columns, then sew the remaining five blocks together into a column.  Sew those three large pieces together and your quilt top center is complete!

Wow!  Your top is GORGEOUS!!  I can say this without even seeing it because I just know all your versions are going to ROCK! But tomorrow we're going to take it up a notch when we start working on the borders.  See you then!!

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Well, we're in the home stretch now, both on the hop and the quilt-along.  I'm kind of sad - this has been fun!  But I'm looking forward to having time to make some of these fabulous projects - how about you?  Remember to stop by today's blogs, enjoy their projects and enter into the giveaways as you find them, and I'll see you tomorrow!

Hugs!

Sarah

Saturday, July 14th

Selina @ Selina Quilts

Sunday, July 15th


Monday, July 16th

Jamie @ L'Fair Quilts

Tuesday, July 17th

Sharon @ Vrooman's Quilts

Wednesday, July 18th

Thursday, July 19th

Danice @ Homespun Hannah

Friday, July 20th


Saturday, July 21st

Marian @ Seams To Be Sew

Sunday, July 22nd

Anja @ Anja Quilts
Moira @ Quilted Snail

Monday, July 23rd

Brenda @ Songbird Designs

Tuesday, July 24th


Wednesday, July 25th




Saturday, July 21, 2018

12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop - Day 8! And More Giveaways!

Hi, all!

It just occurred to me that by the 8th day of Christmas in the song, the poor object of the singer's affection had received 120 gifts - actually 128 if you count the 8 cows today's "maids a-milking" were milking!  Wow!  Now, we haven't had the same quantity of gifts through this hop as in the song, but we've certainly had some great quality, haven't we?  Fabulous projects so far, and so many more great ones to come! 

Today we are joined by Marian, who blogs over at Seams to Be Sew.  She has some great ornaments and holiday decorations to share with us that I can't wait to see, and Meloney of Mel's Quilting Blog has another great gift idea to share.  And there are giveaways today, so be sure to hop on over to their blogs and throw your name in the hat!

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And now, let's finish up all those B Blocks!  Today is pretty simple - isn't it nice to have an easy day?  The first thing we need to do is press the webbed blocks we made on Thursday.


Lay the block on your ironing board with the pieced columns running vertically (up and down).  Press the seams on the outer columns away from the center block in the strip.  Press the seams on the center column in towards the center block in the strip.  Repeat for all 13 B blocks.


Now sew the final two seams on your block, nesting the seams to match the intersections on each row.  Repeat for all 13 blocks.


Now for the final pressing.  Spin the seams at each intersection (view this short video if you need a refresher on how to do that) to reduce bulk and then press the block carefully.  Repeat for all 13 blocks.

And now you have completed all the blocks for your quilt!  Tomorrow we'll work on assembling the quilt top center.  For now, put all your blocks up on your design wall and pat yourself on the back - aren't they gorgeous?

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It's so exciting when we get to the home stretch of the quilt-along quilt - but while that's winding down, there's a lot more going on in the blog hop!  Be sure to check back tomorrow to see what's new, and if you haven't seen all the previous days' posts, don't miss them!!

Hugs!

Sarah
Saturday, July 14th

Selina @ Selina Quilts

Sunday, July 15th


Monday, July 16th

Jamie @ L'Fair Quilts

Tuesday, July 17th

Sharon @ Vrooman's Quilts

Wednesday, July 18th

Thursday, July 19th

Danice @ Homespun Hannah

Friday, July 20th


Saturday, July 21st

Marian @ Seams To Be Sew

Sunday, July 22nd

Anja @ Anja Quilts
Moira @ Quilted Snail

Monday, July 23rd

Brenda @ Songbird Designs

Tuesday, July 24th


Wednesday, July 25th

Friday, July 20, 2018

12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop, Day 7 - A Blog Hijack and Giveaway!

Hi, all!

Day Seven!  I feel like a little kid again, opening all kinds of wonderful gifts on Christmas morning!  So many wonderful ideas from our creative bloggers, and still more to come!  Today Wendy of Peaceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life will be sharing her Christmas vision with us.  Wendy is so fun and creative, I can't wait to see what she has to show us. 

And my blog is being "hijacked" today by Kristi, who has a fun project to share.  I'll be yielding the floor to her in a few minutes, but first I want to announce that we'll be having another giveaway here today!  



I have two of these bundles to give away today.  Each bundle has a canvas tote bag, a zip pouch, and a water bottle, all coordinated to go together. Aren't they fun?  I think they'd be perfect to take on a retreat, to guild meetings, or even just to express your quilty, crafty, self to the world!  If you'd like one of these bundles for yourself, leave a comment (and email address) below.  Today, tell me the most memorable Christmas present you ever got.  It's probably the first thing that jumped to mind when you read that sentence, and I'll share mine with you... I remember getting up one Christmas morning, going into the living room (before my parents got up!), and finding the whole Flintstone gang in stuffed pillow dolls - Fred, Barnie, Wilma, Betty, BamBam and Pebbles - that my mom had made for me that year.  Isn't it funny the things you remember?  So share yours in the comments below and I'll draw two winners for this giveaway.  Winners for all my blog's giveaways will be announced on Wednesday July 25th, the final day of the hop.

And now, here's Kristi!

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Hello friends! I’m pleased to be guest blogging today for Sarah’s Christmas in July blog hop. I’ll confess, Christmas is my family’s favorite time of year. We’ve even been known to listen to Christmas music even mid-summer! So it’s no surprise that I enjoy making Christmas crafts.
Last fall, when I was visiting my mother (whom I see in person only a couple times a year because she lives two states away), we decided to peruse her fabric stash, most of it from the 1990’s. Among many soft florals, she had lots of Christmas fabrics. We found many larger cuts of Christmas yardage, and then we hit the jackpot with a stash of already-cut 4 ½ inch squares in a variety of coordinating Christmas fabrics. 
I love the challenge of creating a quilt with an interesting pile of scraps! I love Sarah’s blog especially because she is a master at making odds and ends into something beautiful. Quilty ideas started forming. We looked around a little more and I found some chunks of solid cranberry red and various printed muslins that looked great with the 4 ½ inch squares. I cut the cranberry and muslins into 2 ½ inch squares.

Because my mom and I were just hanging out enjoying each other’s company for the day, I pulled out her 1970s, all-metal Elna SU sewing machine and started in. Having just one remaining day for sewing on our trip, I went with a simple and graphic block: a Double 4-Patch. As I was planning on rotating the blocks around in a variety of ways, I didn’t worry about the orientation of the directional fabrics. The quilt will look good from all sides.
After a few experimental blocks I realized I had enough fabric squares to make a small lap quilt. I invite you to take a ‘shopping trip’ through your Christmas fabric stash and join me in this project!
Vintage Lap Quilt
Finished Quilt Size: 48 inches square
Block Size: 8 inches finished
Number of Blocks: 36 total (6 by 6 square)
  • Assorted Red Squares (4½ cut): 36 or cut from about ½ yard
  • Assorted Green Squares (4½ cut): 36 or cut from about ½ yard
  • Cranberry yardage, cut into 144 2½ inch squares from about 5/8 yard
  • Printed Muslin, cut into 144 2½ inch squares from about 5/8 yard
  • Binding at your desired size (I used extra cranberry)

The first step is to create the cranberry and muslin 4-patches. Start by chain-sewing all the muslin 2½ inch squares to the cranberry squares. Press to the cranberry.

After you have all the muslin-cranberry pairs, divide them in half and lay them out as 4-patches. The first pair goes on the top with the cranberry on the right. The second pair goes on the bottom with the cranberry to the left. Make a stack of these and chain sew into 4-patches. Each 4-patch unit should be 4½ inches square. Square them up if you need to.
Now the fun part comes with 4-patches for the pressing. We are going to spin the seams! After you sew the 4-patch together, hold it up and inspect the last seam you did. Where that seam crosses the two seams (that you had to match), remove that little bit of seam in the seam allowance on both sides (using your fingers or a seam ripper). The part you want to remove is shown as the green line in the picture below.
 
When you get that little bit of extra seam removed, you can then spin them. With the unit face down, fiddle with the seams that meet in the middle to make them look like a little checkerboard. This time the cranberry presses toward the muslin.


Finish the rest of the 4-patches, spinning the seams as you go.

Now you’re going to do the same to make the double 4-patches out of the 4½ inch squares and the 4½ inch 4-patch units.
First layout the block.
Sew the top row together, then sew the bottom, pressing toward the 4½ inch squares.

 
Now sew the top to the bottom. Then remove the little stitches in the middle and spin the seams!


Now you have the finished block! Repeat to make all 36 blocks.


It’s fun to experiment with the layout. These blocks can be rotated around in a variety of ways to make different patterns. Here are some options:
Option #1

Option #2
Option #3 

I chose option #1 and decided not to add a border. I like the diagonal rows of alternating green and red squares with the muslin creating another diagonal the other direction.


Sew the blocks into rows and then the rows together and you have a finished top! I quilted the quilt on my Juki 2010Q mounted on my Gracie King frame in wavy lines across the quilt. After doing one direction, I loaded the quilt rotated 90 degrees and quilted the other direction. It gives the quilting a wavy checkerboard feeling, which seemed apt for all the squares.


And here’s my finished quilt, ready for snuggling by the tree!   


Hope you enjoy making yours as much as I enjoyed making mine! My 11 year old son has already claimed it! Happy Sewing!



Kristi, a fourth-generation quilter, has been quilting actively since 2013. She loves sewing quilts for kids and using up all her scraps! When not working as a Database Administrator during the day or sewing in her free time, she can be found enjoying the outdoors near her Northern California home with her husband of 30 years and their 11-year-old son. You can follow her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/kristiquilts/ 

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Wow!  Who knew that being hijacked could be so much fun? Thanks, Kristi, for a fun post and great tutorial. Now I'm wishing I hadn't given away all my Christmas scraps - but maybe there are some more hanging around in there somewhere..... (SQUIRREL!!!) 

Remember to check out Wendy's blog, and enter the giveaway below, too!  And for those of you doing the quilt-along, use your catch-up day well - we're almost done!

Hugs!

Sarah

Saturday, July 14th

Selina @ Selina Quilts

Sunday, July 15th


Monday, July 16th

Jamie @ L'Fair Quilts

Tuesday, July 17th

Sharon @ Vrooman's Quilts

Wednesday, July 18th

Thursday, July 19th

Danice @ Homespun Hannah

Friday, July 20th


Saturday, July 21st

Marian @ Seams To Be Sew

Sunday, July 22nd

Anja @ Anja Quilts
Moira @ Quilted Snail

Monday, July 23rd

Brenda @ Songbird Designs

Tuesday, July 24th


Wednesday, July 25th