March 30, 2013

Charm Madness! Lattice Quilt Tutorial

I am so excited to be today's stop on the Sew Lux Fabric Charm Madness Blog Hop.  I've got a really fun project for you- we are going to make an adorable stroller/car seat quilt. 


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Charm Madness at Sew Lux FabricI have loved Honey, Honey by Kate Spain since its debut and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to cut into some.  Sew Lux Fabric carries the whole line! I suggest for this project two fabrics with a decent amount of contrast - as you will see below, it enhances the lattice effect of the quilt.  

You can definitely start with precut charm packs - solids would be great, or you can cut your own charms from yardage, like I did. You will need:


OK, let's get cutting!

You are going to cut all of your quilt top fabric into charm squares.  There are some great tutorials out there about cutting charm squares from yardage - one of the best is by Elizabeth Hartman and it can be found here.  This project will use 120 charms, (40 from each fabric). If you cut the entire yard into charms,  you may have a few extra at the end but I always like to have a few spares just in case I need them.



As with many techniques in quilting, there are several different methods to make Half Square Triangles (HST).  For this quilt, I use my favorite HST method and two of my favorite notions.

For this method, you place two charms, right sides together and mark a line across the diagonal of the wrong side of one charm. If you have a Fons&Porter Quarter-Inch seam marker like I do, you simply put the line of the  seam marker on the diagonal of the wrong side of one charm square and use a Frixion Pen (or other marking device) to mark the lines- 1/4" on either side of the center line.  You sew directly on the lines and them cut down the center to produce 2 HST.  If you don't have a seam marker one, simply draw a diagonal line across the charm square and then sew 1/4" on either side of the line to produce 2 HST. 

Create your first batch of HST's by placing a pink charm and white charm right sides together. Draw your line and sew as illustrated below. Chain piecing helps here - make 20 (to produce 40 HST).  

Your finished HST should measure 4 1/2". Trim as needed.




  Repeat with orange charms paired with white charms - make 20 (to produce 40 HST).



Next, cut each HST diagonally to create Quarter-Square Triangles (QST).  For this project, we will only use the units shown below with the white to the left and pink to the right (Solid/Pattern).  For the white/orange pairs, we will be using the orange to the left, and white to the right (Pattern/Solid).  
Set aside the others and I will show you a quick way to use these at the end. They won't go to waste - promise :)


Next, get 20 orange charms and 20 pink charms. We need to trim our charms that we are going to pair with our QST's down to 4 1/2 inches and cut them diagonally.



Pair an orange triangle with a pink/white QST (layout is important here - you want white on top and pink on bottom as pictured here).  Sew together to create "Unit A" which should measure 4 inches. Trim as needed.
Repeat with a pink triangle and an orange/white QST (again, make sure orange is on top here).   Sew together to create "Unit B".  

And those are the only two units you need to make the lattice quilt.  Now, it's all about the layout from here.  You will want to make use of a design wall and refer to it often to make sure you are assembling the blocks correctly.  

Take 2 Unit A's and 2 Unit B's and combine them as shown here to create the lattice block. This block measures 7 inches unfinished . 




I know, it doesn't look like much alone.  But when you combine it with her friends, the result is pretty fun!

Sewing a perfect 1/4 inch seam is VERY important in this block to ensure that all of your points line up.  Don't be afraid to pin, pin, pin to make sure your seams are lining up for you.




My finished quilt is a total of 80 units combined into 20 blocks (4 blocks across, 5 down).  


 Rather than use a traditional binding, I made a ruffle and added it instead.  You can add the binding of your choice and quilt as desired.  I chose simple straight line quilting.









You will have left over quarter square triangles left over from this project, ready to be used for another purpose.  It just so happens that one of our fellow Charm Madness hoppers last week posted a tutorial using an hourglass block, which is what you will get if you sew together your left over QST...  Check out Jenelle's tutorial here at Echinops and Aster.




Here is the full schedule for the  Charm Madness blog hop:


Tuesday 3/19 - Jennie at Clover & Violet
Wednesday, 3/20 - Jess at Sew Crafty Jess
Thursday, 3/21 - Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap
Friday, 3/22 - Jenelle at Echinops &Aster
Sunday, 3/24 - Week 1 Giveaway Post


Tuesday, 3/26 - Lori at Lori H Designs
Wednesday, 3/27 - Kelsey at Kelsey Sews
Thursday, 3/28 - Lindsay at CraftBuds/LindsaySews
Friday - 3/29 - Jennifer at That Girl, ThatQuilt
Saturday, 3/30 - Stacey at The Tilted Quilt
Sunday, 3/31 - Leona at Leona's Quilting Adventure & Week 2 Giveaway Post

Monday, 4/1 - Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts 
Tuesday, 4/2 - Wendi at prsd4tim2
Wednesday, 4/3 - Elizabeth at Don't Call Me Betsy
Thursday, 4/4 - Ginny at Fish Creek Studio
Saturday, 4/6 - Last day to enter projects on the Linky Post
Sunday, 4/7 - Week 3 Giveaway Post

Three Ways to Win Prizes


  • Enter the three weekly giveaway drawings on Sundays during the blog hop here at the Sew Lux blog.
  • Link up your own charm project -  Linky post will be open for entries between 3/28 – 4/6.
  • Enter the Grand Prize Winner Giveaway by counting the total number of charms used in all the blog hop tutorials.  Complete the entry form on 4/7 or 4/8.  Keep track with our tracker sheet.

All entry posts for prizes will be on the Sew Lux blog

Thanks for stopping in today - Happy Easter!!



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March 27, 2013

Almost Wordless WIP Wednesday

I've got a lot going on and not a whole lot of time to blog about it today.  Here's a summary:

 The quilt retreat was awesome - I got so much done and was even sporting a super cool tattoo for the weekend.  I've never sewn so much in such a short period of time. 3 1/2 days of sewing bliss...




 I completed my "Oh, the Places You'll Go" top - working on quilting that tonight...




Block for Color Bee Shocked is completed and will be mailed in just under the wire by the end of March.



 Started my Swoon quilt for our guest room and put a pretty decent dent in it - 4 of 9 blocks done.





I actually completed 8 of these Cartwheel blocks, but for some reason, didn't take a picture of the full set.  Here are 5 of them.  I am really loving this - made for my friend Amy from her daughter's baby clothes.


Got this lovely package in the mail - will be cutting into it for a secret project to be revealed next month...





Linking up with Freshly Pieced today - like Lee I have been in HST mode with these projects.  Between the Swoon and the pinwheels, I've made about 1000 HST's this week.  I will be back on Saturday with a project for the Charm Madness blog hop hosted by Sew Lux Fabric - hope to see you then!!



WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced














March 22, 2013

Thank you!!

Thank you for a great week sharing your machines and sewing spaces.  A big, huge thank you to Erin from Sew at Home Mummy for inviting me to host such a fun event.  I'm at a sewing retreat so every minute typing is one minute less that I'm sewing, so I'm off ~ I'm going to post some photos on Instagram, so if you'd like, pop on over there and see what my lovely fellow retreaters are working on.

Happy Weekend!

March 20, 2013

meet: My Machine! and a GIVEAWAY

Welcome to my stop on the meet: My Machine! blog hop.   If you are looking for the linky party, click here. I have had such fun reading about everyone's machines this week and I'm excited to tell you about my Baby Lock Ellure Plus.  I will admit, I'm really digging all of the vintage machines you guys are using - I started stalking Craigslist this week and may have to make a purchase soon.  But for now, I'm going to talk about my Baby Lock.

About two years ago, I decided I was ready to upgrade from a Sears Kenmore machine I'd had for about 10 years.  It was great, worked like a charm, but I was ready for a few additional bells and whistles. 

 My local dealer sells Bernina, Elna and Baby Lock so I went in knowing I would probably get one of those brands.  I highly recommend buying locally so you can find a dealer to service your machines and who offers accessories that you might want in the future. I was leaning towards a Baby Lock Melody but got sold on the idea of a combo sewing/embroidery machine (even though I had never done embroidery before).  We looked at all of the Baby Locks and settled on the Ellure Plus.  It had all of the features I wanted (and then some). I went in with a friend and we both walked away with the same machine - subsequently our other friend and two neighbors have also bought this same machine, so I should be getting finder's fees at this point!


Rather than purchase the quilting extension table that is offered as an add on to my machine, I bought a Sew Steady table.  When you order it, they cut it custom based on your machine's dimensions.  It was about $99 and totally worth it.  I keep this on all the time and I love having the extra space to lay out my work. Seriously love that table!
Some of the features I wanted in a new machine were: needle up/down, an automatic thread cutter, and a knee lift.  This machine had all of that and more.







See that little button that says "Start/Stop" - that allows you to unplug your foot pedal and start/stop with the push of a button.  I never thought I would use it and I really was surprised how much I like it.  I almost never use my presser foot anymore!

Once I got my machine home and got to play with it, I discovered a few feet/tools I can't live without:







OK, I could probably live without this ruffle foot because I don't use it all that often, but when I do - boy is this one a lifesaver.  I will be sharing a project soon that uses it and you'll see why it's so great to have in the toolbox!


And, then there's this little thing.  Lord help me if I ever lose it - it helps screw/unscrew all of my feet and I like it so much more than a traditional screwdriver.  It's easy to hold on to and you can really get everything on super-tight!



I haven't really discovered any features of the machine that I don't like - she's been ultra reliable, and has done every little thing that I've asked her to do for me.  She doesn't have a name, but I know she's a she.


The Sewing Space

I'm so lucky to have a "mom cave" in my house.  There is a bonus room right off of our bedroom and master bath. For the first year or so we lived in this house, it was where the baby slept.  Now, it's all mine!!




And here's where my hubby gets MAJOR bloggy props from me.  I saw a table on Pinterest (where I get all of my design ideas of course) that was an ironing surface with storage.  We copied the idea and turned this into a cutting table/ironing surface/storage unit.  I love it!




Embroidery

I've had more fun with my embroidery unit than I ever thought I would  - I now have a go-to last minute gift option any time I need it! I've made tea towels, t-shirts for the kids and their friends, and monogrammed baby quilts as well.  The Baby Lock Ellure Plus is definitely a starter embroidery machine - it comes with a 5x7 hoop so you won't be doing massive embroidery, but for my needs it was perfect. 

Lasagna Quilt - March 2012Baby Lock produces a line of software to go with the embroidery units - I purchased Quilt LabelWorks so I can make customized quilt labels for all of my quilts. It's been so versatile and easy.  That feature alone was worth the upgrade to the combo sewing/embroidery machine.


I highly recommend it as an option for anyone who thinks they might be interested in adding embroidery to your work - and with my machine, the added cost to do this combo machine versus a traditional sewing machine was pretty insignificant.

One of my favorite websites for embroidery designs (both hand and machine) is Urban Threads.  Each of these designs below came from their website.  Their designs are original, funny and even a little edgy (see their Sinbonnet Sue collection - so awesome!!)


Josh's Christmas PJ'sIMG_8357.jpgIMG_1903

There are lots of options out there for embroidery designs, and Urban Threads has generously offered a $25 gift certificate for you to use on their site. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter - the giveaway is open until March 25 at midnight. Whether you are a machine or hand stitcher, you will love this - most of their designs are available in machine or hand embroidery options so there is something for everyone.  Their designs also come in a range of sizes that would work for those of you with all different size embroidery machines.   I hope you enjoy and that this inspires you to try something new!  Thanks for hopping in today to hear about my machine - don't forget our linky party is still going on as well!!






WIP Wednesday - Jumping On Board with Marcelle Medallion

If you are looking for the meet: my Machine linky party, click here.

Have you seen the Marcelle Medallion quilts popping up on Instagram with the hashtag #marcellemedallion? I'm fascinated and will be joining the latest Instagram Quilt-A-Long soon because I just ordered my book (Liberty Love by Alexia Abegg)!! If you're not on Instagram, here's a sampling of what some amazingly talented quilters are working on:

  
(photos embedded from Instagram via Snapwidget)

Truly, I need another project like I need a hole in the head, but when inspiration calls, you must answer! 

After I get my pattern book, I'll be posting on Instagram with the hashtag #marcellemedallion.  Does anyone want to join me?

March 18, 2013

Charm Madness Preview Post

If you are looking for the meet: My Machine! linky party - click here.

Charm Madness at Sew Lux Fabric


I'm really excited to announce that later this month I will be a stop on the Charm Madness Blog Hop! sponsored by Sew Lux Fabrics.  Sew Lux is one of my "go to" online fabric stores - I am sort of addicted to their great monthly curated bundles.  It's a fun, albeit dangerous, addiction! 

Tutorials, a Linky, giveaways, and prizes ... see the complete schedule below. And find updated links to all the posts as the blog hop progresses over the next three weeks here.

The Charm Madness Blog Hop Participants & Schedule

Tuesday 3/19 - Jennie at Clover & Violet
Wednesday, 3/20 - Jess at Sew Crafty Jess
Thursday, 3/21 - Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap
Friday, 3/22 - Jenelle at Echinops &Aster
Sunday, 3/24 - Week 1 Giveaway Post


Tuesday, 3/26 - Lori at Lori H Designs
Wednesday, 3/27 - Kelsey at Kelsey Sews
Thursday, 3/28 - Lindsay at CraftBuds/LindsaySews
Friday - 3/29 - Jennifer at That Girl, ThatQuilt
Saturday, 3/30 - Stacey at The Tilted Quilt
Sunday, 3/31 - Week 2 Giveaway Post


Monday, 4/1 - Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts 
Tuesday, 4/2 - Wendi at prsd4tim2
Wednesday, 4/3 - Elizabeth at Don't Call Me Betsy
Thursday, 4/4 - Ginny at Fish Creek Studio
Saturday, 4/6 - Leona at Leona's Quilting Adventure
Sunday, 4/7 - Week 3 Giveaway Post

Three Ways to Win Prizes

  • Enter the three weekly giveaway drawings on Sundays during the blog hop  at the Sew Lux blog.
  • Link up your own charm project -  Linky post will be open for entries between 3/23 – 4/6.
  • Enter the Grand Prize Winner Giveaway by counting the total number of charms used in all the blog hop tutorials.  Complete the entry form on 4/7 or 4/8.
All entry posts for prizes will be on the Sew Lux blog

Save on Charm Packs!  In honor of the blog hop, they are having a great promotion on the website...



Save 10% on all charm packs and mini charm packs now through 3/22 at sewluxfabric.com.  Discount will be automatically applied at checkout.

March 16, 2013

meet: My Machine! Linky Party

The Tilted Quilt


Welcome to Day 1 of the meet: My Machine! blog hop.  Erin from Sew at Home Mummy and I have teamed up to bring you a whole week of fabulous quilters who are going to share all of the details about their sewing machines.  Here's the lineup:



But there's more! We want to hear from you. So, we are also hosting a week-long link party right here.  Any time this week, head back to this post and add a link from a recent blog post talking about your machine.  Here are some ideas of topics you can cover in your post:


  • Please tell us about your current machine - make, model, etc. (and if there's any story behind you obtaining it, etc.)
  • What's your favorite machine accessory/doo-dad? 


  • Does your machine have a name? What is it? Have you tatted your machine up with fancy stickers, decals, etc? let's see 'um!


  • Tell us a little about your first sewing machine - is that the one you still use today?
  • How many machines do you own (don't be shy, fess up) & tell us a bit about them - domestic, serger, embroidery, long arm, vintage, antique? Do you use your vintage/antique machines, or are they eye-candy only?


  • What are your favorite features of your current machine
  • What feature could you not live without?
  • What features do you wish you had on that machine, but don't? How could your machine be improved upon? Would you recommend this machine to a friend (be diplomatic here, lol)
  • If you could have any machine (let's say you win one for FREE tomorrow...) what would it be??
  • Show us your sewing space - what are your favorite parts of that space and what do you want to change? Where did you find your (table/chair/shelving, etc. if they've got a great story, [I found it in a dumpster behind the Walmart! Ya! New coat of paint and look at it!] [it's an Ikea Hack!!! It was a (weird Swedish name here) table and now look at it!], etc, we'd love to hear about it) 
  • What's your favorite method for storing (scraps, FQBs, Jelly Rolls, etc.)
  • And, anything else machine/space/person related you'd like to share!
We are looking forward to hearing from you - As with all blog hops and linky parties, the real fun is in commenting on others posts, so check out what everyone is talking about today and check back during the week as well.


Now, get hopping!


March 12, 2013

WIP - the Project List

OK, time to get out my pencil and update the project list! I've got a quilting retreat coming up in two weeks and I've got to admit to myself that I cannot possibly pack up my entire sewing room and take it with me.  I've got 3 whole days of sewing so I can get a lot done, but I should really prioritize for maximum productiveness.  Now, I also know that several of the ladies, like me, will be drinking a little wine at said retreat, so I may not be QUITE as productive as I hope I will be, but nevertheless... here it goes:

Fabric Selected

Swoon - I recently purchased two FQ  bundles that I'm thinking about using for a Swoon quilt - I've admired this quilt from afar and now I'm going to tackle it.  I may have to sideline this until after the retreat because as you will see below I've got more pressing matters!!

Being Pieced


Baby Clothes Quilt for Amy - my friend asked me to make a quilt from her daughter's baby clothes.  This is a new one for me and I have to admit was a little unnerving.  As you know, not all baby clothes are made out of quilting-grade cotton! I knew I would have to stabilize a lot of the items first so that they would finish consistently.  I decided to paper piece for additional accuracy and the Cartwheels pattern by Lee at Freshly Pieced immediately came to mind.  I liked that the pieces were big enough to really see the pattern and I'm trying to get special little pieces of the clothes, like the embroidered butterfly.  Much of the work of this quilt will be on the front end - deconstructing the clothes, stabilizing and then cutting into pieces for the blocks.  I knocked out the first two blocks yesterday to see how I felt about it - I like the randomness of the clothes.  I think it will be really adorable when it's all done.  Amy chose Apple Jacks in Gray for the background and she chose a flannel for the backing from Marmalade.


Making a baby clothes memory quilt for my friend using the Cartwheel block pattern by Lee at Freshly Pieced.  Loving it so far...Making a baby clothes memory quilt for my friend using the Cartwheel block pattern by Lee at Freshly Pieced.  Loving it so far... 



Baby Quilt for Stephanie -  I couldn't resist this adorable Dr. Seuss fabric for my friend Stephanie who is due with her second child in a few months.  I'm going to mix the cheater blocks from the quilt panel with the Pinwheel Sampler by Rachel Griffith of P.S. I Quilt.  I whipped up the first block tonight and I'm thinking this is going to be really cute when done.


Oh the places you will go!



Russian Rubix Christmas for Josh - yet another Christmas quilt for my family.  Each child is demanding his own Christmas quilt, plus I made one for the whole family and just finished it in January! I had the fabrics already for this one, so I"m going to make this Russian Rubix in Christmas sock monkey - so fun!  But honestly, I'm kind of not feeling like a Christmas quilt yet, so this one might get tabled for a few months :(



Russian Rubix - Monkey Style!

Blocks Done
Finish Valentines Hexies - all of my hexie Valentines from Get Your Hex On! have been returned to me and now, I've got to combine all the blocks. Am considering sashing and backing options at this time.

Small Projects
April Showers Mug Rug - no progress
Color Bee Shocked March Block - no progress


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced Photobucket


Linking up with Freshly Pieced and Quiltsy today - it's been a while!!  Go over and check out what everyone is working on for a weekly dose of inspiration.

I'm also going to join Bloglovin' today so if you would like to follow me there, click here: 
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