Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hands2Help - Tips, Tutes, and Tasty Things!!

Hi, all!

Welcome to one of my favorite weeks of the Hands2Help season!  This week is designed for us to share those things that make our lives easier - the sewing room tips, the great tutorials we've written or found on-line, and the wonderful food or snacks that we like to make to help keeping our home lives running smoothly (or to pacify us when we make a major sewing boo-boo and have to do some "frog-stitching" (i.e. ripping out - rippit rippit!).  I hope you'll share your favorites - you can do this by linking to a new post, an old post, even someone else's post (for example, a tutorial or recipe you love)!  So let's get started!!

This is a Hera marker, for those of you who don't have one yet.  And it may be the greatest tool in my quilt-y workbox!  It has made it so much easier to mark straight-line quilting lines on t-shirt quilts, which was always a problem before because chalk doesn't stay on very well, and what color do you use when your shirts are all different colors?  But I recently saw a very smart idea on Instagram, posted by Christa Watson...

She used hers to mark the center line of her squares before stitching her HSTs!  That. is. brilliant!!

And speaking of HSTs, here's a link to a great tutorial - Blossom Heart Quilts has charts that say how big to cut your fabric for different HST sizes, and there are two different methods for making HSTs - one that makes two at a time, and one that makes them four at a time.  And just for fun, here's a link to another of her tutorials that shows how to make HSTs eight at a time!  I have both of these posts bookmarked so I don't have to calculate my own measurements every time - very useful!

And now for the tasty thing!  This year for Christmas, I received an Instant Pot, and it has opened up a whole new world of cooking!  Look at all that yumminess - super simple and healthy too!  I found this recipe on the No. 2 Pencil blog, and it's amazing!  It's called Instant Pot ChickenNoodle Soup.  Definitely easy and a great way to cook a fabulous pot of soup totally from scratch (I mean, you start with a whole chicken!)  It's easy to cook the chicken ahead of time, then pull it together as soup shortly before dinner time.  I highly recommend it.  You can find the recipe by clicking here.

So now you have MY tips, tutes and tasty things for this year - what are yours?  Link up below and share them with us!  Anything that can make our lives easier as we make our H2H quilts is fair game - so let's see 'em!

And be sure to come back next Sunday, when we'll find out who our fabulous sponsors are this year!  You won't want to miss it!



Friday, March 24, 2017

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Graduation's Coming...

Hi, all!

Wow!  Can you believe that it's Friday again?  Where did the week go? But now that it's here, you know what it's time for - time to get our whoop whoop on!  Are you ready?  Let's get started!!


I am very very happy to say that I have now made a puzzle-style t-shirt quilt!  Here's where it started...

I laid the shirt pieces out on the floor in the little office off my sewing room - fortunately it wasn't in use and I could lay it out and leave it there as I worked to assemble it.

Then I pieced together the blocks across the top of the quilt, building it to the width needed for this quilt.

The next step was to establish the length of the quilt.  As you can see, I pieced together the left side, adding to or trimming blocks as needed to make it the proper length.

This is a time-consuming project - if you decide to take one on as a commission project, I would suggest you allow a good amount of time for piecing the blocks.  I exceeded the time I expected to spend on it by a good bit, although part of that was learning curve, since this was my first.

But I'm so happy with the result!

This is a fun, bright, colorful quilt...

...with blocks that span this girl's whole school career!

I used a gray Connecting Threads solid for the backing and binding - it's the recipient's favorite color!

Cross-hatch straight line quilting in Glide Battleship crosses all the blocks.  The quilting lines are 5" apart.

I'm happy to have this under my belt and in my repertoire - I'm not sure I'll make many more because of the time involved and the cost to the customer, but it was a great learning experience!

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

Oh - and one more thing I'm whooping about - we currently have 163 people signed up for Hands2Help!!  If you are thinking about joining in, there's still plenty of time - your finished quilts are due by early June - so sign up!  There are giveaways at the end for the folks who make and donate quilts!!


And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?

What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share - we want to dance right along 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, March 22, 2017

I May Have A Scrap Problem... But This Should Help!!!!

Hi, all!

I have decided that it's time to get serious about my scraps again, and just last week I found a really great way to use some of them up!  So here's what came in the mail yesterday...

If you've ever seen any of Jen Kingwell's other patterns, you'll understand the appeal of this one.  You may be familiar with her My Small World pattern...

...or her Gypsy Wife design...

I absolutely adore both these patterns, and have actually started on three My Small World quilts for the grandkids (someday!)  I love the way Jen uses lots of different blocks combined together to create these wonderful sampler quilts.  They are appealing to me because I get bored making the same block over and over - this gives me plenty of variety to keep my interest!

So I decided to start on my own Long Time Gone quilt.  There are thirteen different block designs in this quilt. Most are simple patchwork; there is a template for the 60 degree triangles in the book, and also a paper-piecing template for a pineapple block. here are no curved seams in this quilt, making it fairly simple, even for a new quilter!

Today I started with the first block in the book, the Bow Tie block.  I started out by cutting my pieces from fabric in my scrap bins...

...then sewed the blocks up as directed!

I had a little more time to work, so I decided to cut out the pieces for the next block in the book, Square In A Square Stars.

I didn't have a chance to sew this one up yet, but it's all ready when I get a few minutes to sit down and sew!  I love having things ready and waiting...

This pattern book is set up so well for working a project over a long period of time.  Each block is well explained and diagrammed, and the pattern is printed in an 8.5" x 11" book format.  These patterns are expensive, but I've found them to be worth the cost.  There's plenty of room to make notes on each page, too!


So that's what I'm planning to work on now to help tame my scrap monster.  With any kind of luck I should be able to post new blocks each week and have it done in a couple of months?  Let's see how that works out...  😜

What are you working on these days to keep your scrap monster under control?  Enquiring minds want to know!!



Sew Fresh Quilts

Linking up with Let's Be Social today!!  Come join the fun!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Make-A-List Monday - Making Headway!!

Hi, all!

Welcome spring!  Today was absolutely gorgeous - warm, sunny, a little bit of wind, and absolutely the perfect day for the first day of spring!  And I finished a quilt today, which is a great way to start a season!  So let's take a look at last week's list and see how it went...

1.  Continue working on the commission quilt. Finish making all the t-shirt blocks and determine the arrangement of this puzzle style quilt, at a minimum.  If I'm lucky, I'll finish piecing it this week!
No only did I finish piecing it, I quilted it and put the binding on!  This quilt is ready to go!!  Woohoo!!

2.  File our income taxes. 
Done!  And my refund is on its way... I see fabric in my future!! 

3.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  We only gave away one quilt this week, and would you believe, I forgot to take a picture of it?  It's a shame, too, because it was a really beautiful quilt.  It went to a gentleman battling brain cancer.

OK!  Last week was a winner!  Love getting everything I needed to get done, and more!  Here's what's up for this week...

1.  Put the borders on the Dear Jane quilt I'm finishing up for a friend.

2.  Quilt and bind the Dear Jane quilt.

3.  Repair a vintage quilt for a customer.

4.  Start working on a scrappy quilt (details on Wednesday!)

5.  Get the guest room ready for a 3-day sleepover with the grandkids!

6.  Bind a quilt for the quilt ministry.

7.  Quilt a couple of quilts for Stash Builder Box.

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

That should definitely keep me out of trouble, right?  So now there's only one question...

What are YOU working on this week?



PS If anyone but me cares, the signup count for Hands2Help is up to 160 now!  Whoop whoop!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hands2Help - And We Have A Winner!

Hi, all!

Well, it's been one week now since we started the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge for 2017, and I am absolutely blown away by your response!  As of 8:30 last night, there are one hundred fifty one people signed up to participate!!  That. Is. Amazing!!!!

Now, if you are just arriving at the party, don't be sad - you can still enter and participate.  The only thing you've missed is a chance at winning the sign-up giveaway - but there are more giveaways at the end of the Challenge for those who finish and send in their quilts.  This is only the beginning!  If you want to sign up, click here and scroll down to the entry form and fill it out.  

And now, the moment you've been waiting for - 
who will be the winner of this beautiful jelly roll of Splendid by Amy Butler donated by Free Spirit Fabrics?

I gathered up all the names and extra entries and ran them through Little Miss Random...

...and the winner is - - - 
Beth Talmage!!  
Congratulations, Beth!  
I'll get your jelly roll in the mail sometime this week!


Next week is the Hands2Help Tips, Tutes & Tasty Things link-up week!  Start thinking about your best sewing or quilting tip, a great tutorial, or your favorite recipe for a yummy snack to sustain you while quilting, or a great easy meal to keep the family fed while you create!  I hope you'll share your favorites with us next Sunday by linking up a new post, old post, someone else's post, a link to a great recipe or tutorial - it's all good!  

See you next week!!!



PS - I sent an email last night to everyone on the sign-up list.  Please check to see if you received it - if you don't see it in your regular email box, check your spam!  If you didn't get one, you aren't on the sign-up list, so please email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com so we can get you properly signed up!!  And there were a few of you who left comments last Sunday that were no-reply bloggers - you might check to see if I left a reply to your email to contact me!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? Not Finished, but Progress!

Hi, all!

Hey, everyone - it's Friday!!!  And not only Friday, but the day where EVERYONE is Irish!  Happy St. Patrick's Day to one and all.  And you know what else that means - it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on once again!!  Are you ready?  Let's get started!


This week, once I did the Modernist post, I got to work on a project with a looming deadline - a puzzle style t-shirt quilt.  After deconstructing all the shirts and making all the t-shirt blocks, I laid it all out on the floor....

I sure am thankful I had a room where I could clear off the rug and lay this out until I could get it sewn up.  My husband hasn't been using his home office lately, so I took it over for this project!  I laid it out and let it sit overnight so I could look at it in the morning with fresh eyes.  

Everything still looked good in the morning, so I decided to start assembling the quilt top.  With the random placement of all the squares, this one is going to be really difficult to size up, so I started by assembling the top of the quilt, making sure it reached the size I needed it to be.

By the end of the day, I hadn't finished, but I did have a really good start on the quilt.  As you can see, I've done the left side all the way down, so that establishes the quilt's length.  Now I have a few more pieces to work in tomorrow, and the top will be finished!

Oh, and remember that Tuesday was Pi Day?  If the logic escapes you, it's called that because it was 3/14. Well, I got inspired and made a peach blueberry pie using some of the blueberries and peaches we collected all summer and put in the freezer - and oh my goodness is it yummy!!  

And one more really big whoop - as of this moment, thee are already 126 people signed up for the Hands2Help Challenge! Now that's something to really cheer about! 

And there's still time for you to sign up if you want to be in time for the signup giveaway - I'll be drawing a winner on Saturday evening, so hop on over and sign up now!! If you've missed the deadline, no worries - you can still sign up, and there will be more prizes at the end for those who participate!  Click here to go to the signup post.

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop?


And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?

What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share - because we want to dance right along with you,
And it's alway more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until midnight Sunday.

Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Use Up Those Orphans!

Hi, all!

Well, I still have a scrap problem, and I haven't had much time to work on correcting it in the last month... but I did have two finishes in the last couple of weeks that kept some things from making their way into the scrap bin, so I'm calling that a win!!

First up, two pillows made from the HSTs left over from my most recent Supernova quilt...

Rather than throw them in the orphan block bin, I decided to take a few minutes and sew them up into pillow covers.  By doing the straight line quilting on my long arm, I was able to quilt them up really quickly, and an envelope closure on the back and some binding to finish the edge made this a fast finish - and they match the quilt!

Then, I had leftover wedges from my Wedge Play quilt, and the shape was so interesting, I really wanted to save them rather than toss them... so I took off the smallest part of the wedge and put sashing between them, then assembled them into a pretty table runner I call Chopsticks!

The straight line quilting on this took a bit longer - I did it on my tabletop machine, and actually did matchstick quilting in the sashing between the wedges to make the prints stand out more.  That takes a lot of time - - - and thread!  But it's so worth it.

And it's so nice to have some new pieces to decorate my house instead of more scraps in my scrap bin!!  


I also want to share a really unique version of one of the Stunning Stars quilts made by Meredith!

I really love the way she used the bonus HSTs to create the pinwheels in her border - way to go, Meredith!  Wish I'd thought of that myself!!

Now - go forth and slay that scrap monster!!



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Make-A-List Monday - the Tuesday Edition!!

Hi, all!

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of Make-A-List Monday!  I had a special post for Monday this week - projects made from Modernist by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit Fabrics - so MALM had to hit the back burner for a day.  But I'm back on track again, so let's see how last week went...

1.  Keep working on projects for the Free Spirit Fabric post.
Done!  You can see all of them on this blogpost - but here's a peek, just to tease you!!

2.  Arrange a photo shoot for those projects.
Done!  Had a lot of fun taking the pictures for this project - the smokehouse came back into the picture again!

3.  Take photos of t-shirts for a commission job.
Done!  I'm already working on turning them into interfaced blocks with about half of them done so far.

4.  Write the first post for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge (which starts THIS SUNDAY!)
Done!  If you haven't signed up already, there's still time - there is a giveaway for people who sign up before the end of the first week of the Challenge!  There's already 115 people signed up - woohoo!!  Click here to go to the signup post...

5.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Well, it was a very quiet week - no quilts went out, but we finished about six to add to the stash so we have them on hand when they are needed!

So I got all my Modernist projects finished, photographed, and written up, got Hands2Help up and running, and started on the commission quilt!  A VERY good week!  Here's what's on tap for this week...

1.  Continue working on the commission quilt. Finish making all the t-shirt blocks and determine the arrangement of this puzzle style quilt, at a minimum.  If I'm lucky, I'll finish piecing it this week!

2.  File our income taxes.  

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

That's a ridiculously short list, but I really need to get as much done as possible on that commission quilt, so I'm going to leave it as it stands.  I've got plenty to throw in the mix if I should happen to get finished sooner than I think, though!

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



Monday, March 13, 2017

Are You Ready for Modernist? Beautiful New Fabric!

Hi, all!

I am so excited today to be introducing a new fabric line from Free Spirit Fabrics - Modernist by Joel Dewberry!  

Look at these beautiful colors and prints! Teals and plums, tans and aquas...

...even some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle green, which made my grandson very happy!!!

I knew right away when I saw this fabric that I wanted to make him a shirt, because it is absolutely his favorite color.  I think he likes it!  In fact, he liked it so much he wouldn't stop jumping up and down, making for a very blurry picture.  So here's a clearer shot!

This shirt was made using the Arrowhead print in Emerald.

But with all these beautiful fabrics to hand, I knew I wanted to make some other things. And of course, the first thing that sprang to mind was a quilt!   I needed a baby quilt for a little girl, and I really loved the Prismatic print in pink...

I paired it up with some low volume prints for the background - you can see them better in this photo...

...and backed it with some beautiful white linen.   Lots of swirl quilting made this quilt super cuddly - perfect for a new baby!  If you want to make one of your own, there's a tutorial for it here.

And then this happened!  I took a class at QuiltCon - Wedge Play with Christina Cameli.  I decided to use some of the Modernist fabrics in my design, and this is the end result!  

The front is made using six different Modernist prints sashed by a solid cream fabric.  I appliquéd the half circle to a field of natural linen, which was a bit challenging to work with but made for a beautiful top!

The back is made with more of the Modernist prints in a strip bisecting some white linen.

I had so much fun quilting this one, doing both straight line quilting on my tabletop machine and then loading it on the long arm for some custom quilting.

Look at that gorgeous texture!

But - - - there were still so many beautiful fabrics left, and I still wanted to play!  So I gathered up the teal and green fabrics and paired them up with a mid-range gray solid...

...and made this version of my Supernova quilt!  I love the way the blues, greens, and gray complement each other.  

It's quilted with a simple loose loopy curving meander that lets the colors and design shine!  If you want to make one of your own, there's a tutorial here, and you can see it in another color scheme, too.

I had some leftover half-square triangles when I finished this quilt, so rather than let them go to waste, I put together a couple of pillows to go with the quilt!

Some simple straight line quilting, a little binding, and these were ready to show off!

And I had some little wedges left over from cutting the wedges for the first quilt - and who can bear to throw away pretty fabric?  So here's a cute little table runner I like to call Chopsticks...

Some matchstick quilting helped the sashing recede into the background, allowing the fabrics to take center stage.

And one last shot, just because it's pretty!

Many thanks to the folks at Free Spirit Fabric for giving me the opportunity to share these beautiful fabrics with you!  I hope I'll be sharing more creations with you soon, because I didn't have a chance to play with this little bundle of Modernist...

...or with this one!

I'm thinking there may be some Easter dresses hiding in there!


If you're interested in getting some Modernist for yourself, I've seen it at several on-line fabric stores in the last few days, including but probably not limited to Fabricworm and Hawthorne Threads.  Several of the prints also come in voile... yummy!!

Thanks for bearing with my picture-heavy post - I hope you found some inspiration here today!!



And just a reminder - there's still time to join in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!  Signups started yesterday, and there's a giveaway you will be entered in if you sign up by March 18th.  You can read more about it by clicking here!