Monday, February 29, 2016

Make-A-List Monday - Happy Leap Day!!

Hi, all!

Happy Leap Day!  This is always a big day around our house, because at 11:47 am 32 years ago, our beautiful daughter Nancy was born - and life hasn't been the same since!  My granddaughter Lilli is very excited about this particular Leap Day, since she says she and her mom are the same age now (having had the same number of birthdays) and on Lilli's next birthday, she'll be older than her mom!  Isn't it amazing what kids can think up?

Last week was really busy, and this week promises to be even busier!  Let's see how last week's list went...

1.  Finish the covers for the weighted blankets.
Done!  The blankets are finished, and at home with their new owners!  They both turned out really nicely...

2.  Quilt and bind the secret gift quilt.
Done!  This quilt was for my daughter for her birthday today, and I'll share the whole quilt this coming Friday!

3. Draft the pattern for the sixth Nifty Nines quilt.
In progress.  I'm still trying to work out a simple way to get the look I want - because the first way I thought of is so difficult to explain, I'll never get it down on paper!

4.  Start working on the sixth Nifty Nines quilt.
In progress!  I've put the nine-patches together - now I'm working on the layout.

5.  Work up an estimate for a baby t-shirt quilt.
Done!  Just waiting for a response from the customer.

6.  Finalize the scrap challenge parameters.
In progress!  I did get a button put together - you can grab it right there on the right side-bar for your own blog!

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

7.  Bind two quilts for the ministry.
Done!  And not only those two, but two more when we were working at church on Thursday!  Rita's been on a roll quilting, so I've been trying to keep up with the binding needs.

8.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  We gave away quite a few quilts this week...

This quilt went to a woman going through a whole lot of family issues right now, including a grown son returning home with his two small children...

And these two quilts went to her granddaughters, who are going through some family issues themselves.

This quilt went to a young mom experiencing some serious difficulties with her current pregnancy...

and this quilt went to a woman dealing with wide-spread cancer.

This quilt went to a gentleman who was just diagnosed with terminal cancer...

And this quilt went to a 14-month old who has been battling brain cancer for the past eight months.

And here's a happy quilt - one of our ministry members had her third daughter last week!

So all in all, not a bad week at all.  I didn't finish everything I wanted to, but I finished the things that absolutely had to get done.  Let's see what's on tap for this week now!

1.  Complete the 6th Nifty Nines quilt top.

2.  Write the tutorial for the 6th Nifty Nines quilt top.

3.  Complete the preparations for the scrap challenge.

4.  Finish the scrappy table runner.

5.  Begin the final preparations for the Hands2Help Challenge.

6.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

I'm going to stop there, because I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed this week.  I think a little less of a list pushing me will help get more done in the long run!  

So now the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



PS I do hope you'll come back Wednesday for the first post in the scrap challenge - I promise you it will be an eye-opening experience!!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Nifty Nines Quilt-Along - Daisy Chain!

Hi, all!

Welcome to Week 5 of the Nifty Nines Quilt-Along!  If this is your first time here, take a look at what you've missed...

Week 1 - Lattice Play...

Week 2 - Time For Chevrons...

Week 3 - Easy Peasy Giant Disappearing 9-Patch...

and Week 4 - Great Granny Grunt!

Each week's quilt utilizes nine-patch blocks in a different format. All the quilts are relatively easy, can be made from scraps, and are approximately 60" square or thereabouts, the perfect size for a lap quilt.

This week's quilt is no exception - it looks complicated, but is actually very simple!

So let's get started - here's the tutorial for Daisy Chain!


Nifty Nines Quilt-Along
Daisy Chain

Size - Approx. 60” x 60”

Fabric Requirements:

Background fabric - 3 yards.  This can be all one fabric, or a mix of several light colored solid fabrics if preferred.  From the background fabric, cut:

50 6.5” squares
200 2.5” squares

Scraps or a mix of fabrics totaling approximately 2 yards.  Cut 450   2.5” squares from print fabrics.

Block Construction:

There are two basic blocks that form the body of this quilt.  

Block A looks like this: 

Block A is a simple 9-patch, with the print squares in the corners and the center.  Make 50.

Block B looks like this:

Block B is a simple snowball block.  To make this block, take a 6.5” background square and lay it right side up.  Lay a 2.5” print square right side down on each corner, lining up the outer edges.  Stitch from corner to corner of the print square, across the corners of the underlying background block.  If you need to draw a diagonal line on the print square to make this easier, please do.  You may find you are able to eyeball the straight line.  

After you have sewn the corners on, trim the outer part of the corner off 1/4” from the stitching line.**  Press the print corners out, making your square block a square again!  Make 50.

**NOTE:  You can make yourself a bunch of “bonus HSTs” with Block B by stitching a second line of stitching parallel to your first stitching line and about 3/8” to 1/2” towards the outside corner of each print square before cutting, and then cutting between the two lines of stitching to create your snowball block.  You will then have a tiny HST left over (mine trimmed out at 1 3/4”) to play with afterwards!

Quilt Construction 

This is the easiest kind of quilt to me - a simple checkerboard.  Alternating your 9-patch blocks and your snowball blocks, lay them out in a 10x10 grid.  The chain forms right before your eyes!  Sew your blocks together.  

TIP:   When I’m working on an easily assembled quilt such as this, I will lay it out on my design wall, then pull off a column of blocks to work on at my sewing machine.  Starting at the top, I will pull off the left top block in my left hand, and the block next to it in my right hand.  Continue down the column, laying the blocks in your hand on top of the one you are picking up.  Then go to your machine and lay the two piles down to the left of your machine in exactly the same orientation (right on right, left on left).  Lay the right hand block on the left hand block, face down, pick up the pair and sew the seam.  Do not break the thread!  Chain piece all of the blocks in your stacks this way.  Now I will usually go to the top pair of blocks and put a pin in the top left block so I don’t get the top and bottom mixed up.  Press if you want, alternating seams right and left, or just go ahead and sew your pairs of blocks together at this point, finger-pressing the seams to each side as you go.  Then take it to the sewing table, press your seams, and put the column back up on the design wall.  Do each column this way, then sew the columns together.  Easy peasy!

Quilt as desired, bind, and you are done!


I really enjoyed making this quilt - the beautiful colors and light, spring-y feel of the Chez Moi Mimi fabric I used made for a happy quilt.  I also used up several different light shades of solid cream fabric that I had in my stash.  I think it adds a little depth to the quilt to have some slight shade variations in the solids!  

I also did some playing around in EQ7 with a totally different fabric combination...

Isn't that fun?  I think it might be the perfect way to use some of those black and white fabrics I have stashed away!  I think the possibilities are endless with this design - possibly even playing with more negative space for a modern look.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

As always, remember that if you want a PDF version of this tutorial, please leave your email address in a comment below and I'll send one to you.  And if you make one of the Nifty Nines quilts, please post a picture to the Flickr group - I'd love to see what you make!

Just one more week of the Nifty Nines Quilt-Along - I hope you'll come back for a little more inspiration before the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge begins!



Friday, February 26, 2016

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Comfort Incoming!!!

Hi, all!

Welcome to Can I Get A Whoop Whoop Friday!  For a change, I'm actually writing this on Friday instead of Thursday night - I forgot my husband and I had a work-related obligation last night, so I'm up early this morning.  Excuse me if I'm a little bleary-eyed!!  But I'm chugging caffeine, so all will be well shortly!  Are you ready to get your dancing shoes on? I know I am!  So let's get started!!


If you follow me on Instagram (@fabricaddictquilts) you know that for the last two weeks or so I've been working on a pair of weighted blankets for a customer.  Many people on IG have been asking the purpose of weighted blankets, so I'll share a little info here that I found on the internet....

Traditionally, weighted blankets are used as part of occupational therapy for children experiencing sensory disorders, anxiety, stress or issues related to autism.  But even kids without such a diagnosis find important benefits.  The extra pressure on the body is helpful for kids of all kinds, but particularly for kids with autism and sensory processing disorder.  The added weight causes the brain to release neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that improve moods and induce a calming effect.

A couple of years ago, at the request of a school teacher friend, I came up with a tutorial for a simple, inexpensive, weight-adjustable weighted blanket that she could make for her classroom.  I've also made these for my grandchildren (the deaf ones) and we've found that they help with some of the sensory issues they face, and improve their sleep.  However this was the first time I had made any as commission jobs.  I had to adjust the pattern for the larger twin size - and now I will need to add that info to the tutorial!  

Everything started with this enormous pile of 90" wide muslin...

...which got cut into strips and sewn into this (note to self: press as you go, not after assembly!)...

...and ended up looking like this!

Here's another view of the weight pockets.

Then it was off to the chain sewing races, putting together 140 little bean bags for the weights.  It helps if you remember that for 140 beanies, you need 280 pieces of fabric!

Whew!  That's a lot of chain stitching!!!

Then it's time to stuff those babies!  My postal scale came in very handy, because each beanie was filled with 1.3 ounces of pellets for the lighter blanket, and 1.6 ounces of pellets for the heavier one.  I use a weighting pellet similar to what you would find in a Beanie Baby - made of a poly substance, so liquid doesn't affect it.

140 weights, all sewed shut and serged around for added strength.  Did you know that sergers are v-e-r-y s-l-o-w??????  That took a LONG time!

Then it was time to stuff all the little pockets on the blanket.  There are ten rows of seven pockets on the twin size blanket.

Next comes loading the blanket into the cover.  The blanket has loops sewn into the bottom, top and sides, and the cover has tie strings sewn into the seams at coordinating spots to secure the blanket in place.  It's rather like putting on a rather complicated pillowcase!

And in the end, two finished weighted blankets, ready to go to their new home!  

For any who are interested, the tutorial for the crib size blanket can be found by clicking the Weighted Blanket Tutorial page tab under my blog header.  I probably won't get the twin size info on there for a couple of weeks, but if you need it, email me and I'll be glad to send you a pic of my notes!

And I learned a funny thing while working on these blankets - I really don't like the feel of fleece!  I actually found that handling fleece for any extended period of time (like folding, cutting, pinning, sewing, you know, all the important stuff!) totally sets my teeth on edge, like fingernails on a blackboard!  Who knew?

And one more fun thing to whoop about, even if it is a day late - Thursday was Cochlear Implant Day!  Having two grandchildren with cochlear implants, I can testify to what an amazing difference they make in the lives of people with hearing disabilities.  Hooray for cochlears!!!

Oh, and one more thing!  Remember this?

Well, on Savannah's Sweet 16 birthday, 2/23/16, my friend Robin filled up this truck.....

 with large storage tubs filled with 17,212 pairs of socks and took them to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital!!!!!  (If you want to see a video of the many tubs she filled, check out her Facebook page, Savannah's Sweet 16 Sock Drive.)  Savannah is surely smiling down from heaven at the sight of all those happy feet at Vandy.  The socks are still rolling in, so I imagine that number will increase, but what a wonderful showing of support from the global community!  She received socks from all over the world, including Spain and Australia.  Many of them came from readers of this blog. You should be proud of yourselves!!  
Good work!!

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop??


And now it's your turn!

What are you whooping about this week?

What's making you dance a little happy dance?

Share - we want to dance with you!
And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What's On The Bookshelf Wednesday - Purple Rocks!

Hi, all!

Welcome to What's On the Bookshelf Wednesday!  This will be the last one of these for a while - I've managed to go through all the books on my bookshelf, so it seems like a good time to stop.  I've enjoyed re-visiting all those books, and I've found many new projects to work on in the process.  And today, we're going to finish off a series of books I've reviewed previously  - with Purple by Vanesa Christensen!

I absolutely love this series of books, and Purple was the perfect book to cap it off.  I've talked before about all the color theory in these books, and Purple has a great section dealing with all of that.  But my favorite part of this book?

There are some amazing projects in this book!  It has some tried-and-true basic quilting made punchy with curves...

But it also branches out into some different techniques, such as Cathedral Windows, which I've always wanted to try!

There's also a lovely quilt made with paper piecing, and a great tutorial introducing you to the technique.  

But my favorite quilt by far is this beautiful quilt using Flying Geese - it's a wonderful experiment in color theory, utilizing the lessons learned in the theory section to combine colors with purple for a stunning result!

As always, the patterns in this book can be adapted to different colors - which makes them very useful indeed!  All six books are now available and make a great (and beautiful) addition to any bookshelf!


So that's what's on my bookshelf today!  I hope you'll remember to check out your own bookshelf often and find the hidden jewels on it.

And starting next week, there will be a new feature on Wednesdays - a scrap challenge designed to help us all get our scrap stash under control and into our quilts!  I hope you'll join me - I'm looking forward to it!



Monday, February 22, 2016

Make-A-List Monday - No Rest For the Wicked

Hi, all!

Monday came so fast this week!  Time just flew by and I had to do some scrambling today to get things on my list done... but that's okay - it felt good to focus on completing things.  So let's see how last week's list went...

1.  Finish the two weighted blankets.
Well, technically, the blankets are finished - I have two of these...

...and two baskets full of the weights for each of the blankets.  They are slightly different in weight, so I have to keep them separate, and I don't want to put them in the blankets until I've got the covers finished, just to be sure they don't get mixed up!

But I still need to make the covers - probably an afternoon's worth of work, and then they'll be done!

2.  Make the back for the secret gift quilt.
Done!  Isn't this gorgeous?  It turned out even better than I thought it would...

3.  Finish the fifth Nifty Nines quilt top.
Done!  I finished it up this afternoon, and I think you're going to love it!  There will be a reveal and tutorial on Sunday...

4.  Choose the design for the sixth and final Nifty Nines top.
Done!  No teasers on this one - I think it's going to be something special!

5.  Contact potential sponsors for the Hands2Help Challenge.
Done!  Keeping my fingers crossed as I wait for responses...

6.  Write the tutorial for the fourth Nifty Nines quilt top.
Done!  You can see it here.... and here's a pic of the quilt itself!

7.  Bind four ministry quilts.
Done - and of course, I forgot to take pics!

8.  Keep up with any quilt ministry need that come up.
Done!  February has been a quiet month, all around, but we did give away a few quilts this week...

This quilt went to a woman who just underwent a double mastectomy...

This quilt went to a baby boy who was just diagnosed with neuroblastoma in his chest that is also invading his spinal column.

And this quilt went to the baby boy's mother, who can wrap up in it in the hospital and feel the love and comfort of lots of prayers for her and her little boy.


And I did get to spend some time with these two little munchkins...

...they were really hamming it up for the camera this morning!

So with a big push today, I did manage to get a good bit done this week! Hopefully I can do as well this week.  I've got lots of deadlines coming up in a hurry - so let's see what's on tap for the week.

1.  Finish the covers for the weighted blankets.

2.  Quilt and bind the secret gift quilt.

3.  Draft the pattern for the sixth Nifty Nines quilt.

4.  Start working on the sixth Nifty Nines quilt.

5.  Work up an estimate for a baby t-shirt quilt.

6.  Finalize the scrap challenge parameters.

7.  Bind two quilts for the ministry.

8.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

Whew! I think that's definitely enough to keep me out of trouble - I'm going to have to start getting up earlier, at least if I want to get in any exercise this week!!  It's a crying shame that quilting and piecing don't burn calories....  

So now, the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?