Wednesday, July 23, 2014


A quilt for Little Bear!!!

Vehicles Vroom, front view

The design is from Abbey Lane Quilts and is called "Meter Maid." The pattern was straightforward and easy to follow. I also appreciated that it accounts for directional prints in the cutting directions (a big plus since I was using some directional prints!).

The bulk of the fabric was from a fat quarter set I purchased at Quilt Festival last fall from Hearts to Holly Quilt Shop. I added a couple more from my stash, and chose Kona cream for the solid frames.

Vehicles Vroom, front quilting detail

Since the frames were solid, I really wanted to do something interesting quilting-wise as I knew it would show up really well. I decided to do circles (traced from a spool of thread) in the narrow parts of the frame and outside border, and the fun loopy design in the wider frame parts and border. I used Aurifil Mako 50/2 in Pale Flesh (2315) for all of that. Then I quilted the prints with a simple meander using Aurifil Make 50/2 in Dove (2600).

Vehicles Vroom, back quilting detail

I love that the quilting is so visible on the back!

Vehicles Vroom, back view

I also love that I was able to use up the last bits of fabric from the front in the back. They add some nice color, too.

Vehicles Vroom, label

And the label... I decided to name this one, "Vehicles Vroom!!!"

As I was taking pictures, I noticed this:

Vehicles Vroom, obnoxious stain

Doh! I think that happened in the wash. I prewashed all of my fabrics, so didn't think to put a color catcher in with it when I gave it a wash after completion. At first I thought it might be the wash-out blue marker I used-- except that I didn't mark that part at all (I only marked the circles), and that is the only spot in the quilt where the stain appears. I'll definitely be more careful in the future and use a color catcher. Fortunately, Little Bear doesn't care about the stain. :)

Vehicles Vroom, Little Bear jumping for joy view

It only took four years. Ha! But, he finally has his own quilt made especially for him. Yay!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fancy tote bag

A friend of ours recently turned four-- the perfect excuse for me to make something fun and frilly!

tote bag hanging from my hand

She had recently seen a tote bag at a local farmer's market and fallen in love with it. Her mama was not in love with the price and so they did not pick it up that day. I said, "Hey! I can make something like that!"

side-ish view of bag

Using purple fabrics from my stash (because that is her favorite color), and a couple yards of purchased trim, I designed and put this together. It is very similar to a bag I made for myself a few years ago-- just a wee bit smaller (and much fancier looking!).

detail view of stitching on the beaded trim

This girl is all about the bling, so I found some super-sparkly pink trim that I layered atop some ribbon for the mid-section of the bag. Then I used one of my machine's fancy stitches to attach the beaded trim along the top.

inside view of bag

Even the lining is purple. And, of course, I had to put a little pocket in there.

front view of tote bag

Best of all-- our friend LOVED it! Yay!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Digging out the next UFO

I finished up the top and backing for my triangle quilt and it is ready for basting. I've also got a plan for quilting it up. So I'm feeling ready to tackle something "new."

a bunch of 9-patches on the design wall

A few(!) years ago, I joined an online 9-patch swap. As a result, I have this pile of 60 9-patches. I've been thinking about how to go about using them for awhile now and have narrowed it down to two options.

Option 1:

9-patch with sashing

My first thought was to do something pretty straightforward and simple. Classic! I'm definitely thinking navy/dark blue sashing and borders. It would be about 60" square. I might even have enough in my stash to make this one happen.

Option 2:

9-patch on-point

This, however, is the option I'm leaning toward: an on-point square of sashed 9-patches with setting triangles. It is more interesting to me visually, and would give me some fun quilting space, and be a little bigger, finishing about 80" square. The downside is that I would definitely have to buy some fabric.

Either way, I need a few more 9-patches to make it work, so I dug through my little 2.5" scrap box.

a pile of scraps

If nothing else, I think I'll be putting together a few of those this week as I ponder the options.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A couple more clutches...

At the beginning of this year, I signed up for one of those "Pay-It-Forward" gigs on Facebook wherein I committed to send out a friendly surprise sometime within the calendar year to peeps who agreed to do the same for others. Two people agreed. As I had so much fun making the Noodlehead Gathered Clutch for my son's teacher, I went ahead and made a couple more for my pay-it-forward friends.

Noodlehead Gathered Clutch, outer and inner views, Asian flower version

I purchased the swivel clasp hardware from Etsy seller, BeingBags. I gotta say-- the prices are reasonable, the shipping was fast (and free!), and the hardware is solid. I definitely recommend this shop!

Noodlehead Gathered Clutch, outer and inner views, red batik version

Bonus: All the fabrics are from my stash. Yay!

Also, I cannot recommend the Noodlehead Gathered Clutch pattern enough! The clutch is a great design, the instructions are easy to follow, it is quick to put together, and it offers a fun way to use up scraps or small cuts of fabric.

a pair of Noodlehead Gathered Clutches

I plan to mail these out this week-- hopefully my friends will enjoy them!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Right now...

There's a number of things I want to blog about, but I am feeling overwhelmed at where to start. Since I have to start somewhere, here is what I've been doing this week:

pile of quilts waiting to be bound

Here are a few quilts that need binding, including my Raspberry Rabbits BOM, a quilt for Little Bear, and my Framed Coins (which I finished quilting on Sunday, 6/29). Okay. Technically, I've not actually been doing any binding this week, but this pile has been weighing heavily in my mind. I really need to just. do. it.

Anyway, after all of the intense quilting my Framed Coins, I needed something quick and easy-- a palette cleanser:

I threw this together on Monday, from cutting to basting. It is the "Playpen" design from the Me & My Sister Designs book, Crazy for Baby. Now it is ready for quilting.

After getting the baby quilt put together, I was ready to jump into something new:

In progress triangle quilt on the design wall

A triangle quilt! The Sassy Quilter's Triangle Quilt Along caught my attention back in April, but I just wasn't ready to join in at that point. But triangles have remained on my mind, so I've finally started in on one. I used Julie Herman's Hex N More ruler to cut 4.5" equilateral triangles and Electric Quilt to help me figure out how many I needed. The print fabrics are all from Patty Young's Sanctuary collection from Michael Miller Fabrics that came out a few years ago. The solids are Kona cottons in Glacier, Medium Gray, Spring Green, and Bahama Blue. I've pieced all the rows and am now working on joining those rows together.

Now I am off to squeeze some limes. We're making margaritas. Woo! Happy Independence Day!

Friday, June 20, 2014

End of Year Teacher Gift

Stuff is still being stitched here in Crafty Musings land. I may have failed to post in time for the Sew Sweetness Jaybird Quilts sew along June 13 deadline, but I have been working on the quilt. In fact, I'm in the process of quilting it. Woo! And I have two other projects that are all quilted up and just waiting for binding. So, yes, stuff is happening-- I'm just a bad blogger. :(

Anyway, one of my recent projects was an end-of-year gift for Big Bear's 1st grade teacher:

Noodlehead clutch, front view

This is the Noodlehead Gathered Clutch. There is a free tutorial for the main body of the clutch, but I actually went ahead and purchased the pattern so I could also easily add the strap, inner divider, and card pockets. And knowing that my purchase is also supporting a fabulous independent blogger/designer made this purchase an excellent value, indeed!

Noodlehead clutch, back view

I used fabrics from my stash. The outer main body is an oh-so-pretty Lila Tueller floral print and the accent is from Julie Paschkis's "Folklorica" collection a few years ago. Really, this little clutch is a great scrap buster because it only requires small amounts of each fabric. I was easily able to do the main body with just a fat-eighth cut.

The pattern went together without a hitch. I was especially appreciative of the detailed instructions for cutting a zipper to size. I think this is the first time I really "got" the whole zipper tab thing right. (*Finally.*)

Noodlehead clutch, inside view

The inside is pretty and practical!

Noodlehead clutch, another front view

Big Bear presented it to his teacher on the last day and reported back to me that she loved it. Yay!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

When the mood strikes...

Not a lot has been happening here in Crafty Musings land lately. I have been lacking motivation to baste or quilt. So even though that pile of unfinished stuff continues to taunt me, I finally decided I just need to get sewing again. So I'm starting something new! Woo!

I'm going with another Julie Herman (of Jaybird Quilts) design called "Framed Coins." It is from her book, Skip the Borders. I'm definitely getting my money's worth out of this book-- this will be my third project from it!

Jaybird Quilts Sew Along button

I'm hopeful that I may even get it put together in time to join in with the Jaybird Quilts Sew Along being hosted by Sew Sweetness. Everything is cut and I have until June 13th, so it is possible, right?