Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Handmade Holidays!

Tomorrow starts the "Handmade Holidays" series here at Spotted Dog Quilting Blog!

If you are anything like me, you have given everyone you know some sort of quilt.  Now that the holidays are quickly approaching, you need ideas for thoughtful, handmade gifts for you friends, family and neighbors.

Every Thursday from tomorrow through December 20th, I will have a tutorial for making handmade gifts.  Here is a list of the projects that we will be making:

November 1st: Oven Mitts and Pot Holders
November 8th: Christmas Tree Skirt
November 15th: Key Fobs
November 22nd: Gift Card Holders
November 29th: Ornaments (both sewn and not sewn)
December 6th: Pet Collars
December 13th: Curling Iron/Flat Iron Cozy
December 20th: Pajama Pants

There will be some giveaways with the tutorials, so make sure you are a follower to win!  Prizes are courtesy of Spotted Dog Quilting Blog and Michael Miller Fabrics.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Hello and welcome to my very first entry into Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side!

For my entry, I chose a quilt that I titled "The Passage of Time":

There are several elements of this quilt that appear decorative, but I also chose them for their cultural significance or symbolism.

This quilt was made using Dream Chair Quilts by my great friend, Alethea Ballard.  You can visit her website by clicking here.  She makes really stunning quilts that are truly ART.

I have also included photos of some of the details of the quilt:

Quilt Measurements: 39" x 37"
Special Techniques: Raw edge appliqué
Quilted By: Me!
Best Category: Art Quilt, Wall Hanging

I hope you all enjoy the Blogger's Quilt Festival!  Be sure to check all of the exciting entries - they really are inspirational!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Hello!  I am linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!

The majority of last week and last weekend were spent cleaning my sewing room...YUCK!  But, now that it is all finished and orderly it not only looks great, but it is ready to go for a frenzy of Christmas sewing!!!

I pulled a few small projects to work on:

I will have a few finishes to show you from these in a couple of days!

Also, don't forget, next Thursday starts my Handmade Holidays series sponsored by Michael Miller Fabrics!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Hello!  I am linking up to WIP Wednesday with Freshly Pieced!

I have been wanting to make a Thanksgiving table runner for a long time, but every time I was looking for fabric it was too "Thanksgivingy".  I wanted it to say Thanksgiving, but not scream Thanksgiving.  Does that make sense?

Last year, while visiting my great friend Alethea, I found an awesome vintage turkey fabric!  It was a little colonial for my taste, but I couldn't resist it!  I decided to use a very small piece of it and use fabrics that were not specifically for Thanksgiving.  This is the table runner so far:

Here is a detail of the vintage turkey fabric with some purple hand stitching details:

And the turkey star:

These flying geese are just pinned down, I haven't sewn them:

Here is another close up of some hand sticking that I have added:

I can't wait to finish this runner and get it on my dining room table for Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Introducing...Handmade Holidays

Hello and Happy Monday!  I am so delighted to share some very exciting news with you!

Starting on Thursday, November 1st, I will be posting a series of tutorials for Handmade Holiday projects.  This series will be one post per week (always on Thursday), with instructions and photos, to make handmade items for those on your Holiday list!  There are 8 projects in all, with the last being posted on December 20th.

I have a WONDERFUL sponsor for this series...

Please mark your calendars and join me for a fun and festive series!  Who knows...there just might be some giveaways that coordinate with the projects!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Project

Hi!  I hope all of you are doing well!  I have some new projects to share!

We have some great family friends that are relocating to Portland.  It is sad that they are leaving, but it is also an exciting time for them.  I wanted to make a little something for them, but they have asked that no one bring gifts to their Going Away Party.  I can't not do it....they have been friends of my in-laws for longer than my husband has been alive - they brought a birthday cake with a "zero" candle to the hospital when my husband was born.

The wife of the couple LOVES to cook....when I say LOVES, I mean that she is known for her cooking and her recipes.  So, what better to make someone who loves to cook than an apron and oven mitts???

I will miss them so much, but I am so excited for their new chapter in life!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

High Hampton Inn Apple Festival

Hello!  I hope you all are having a great weekend!  This weekend in Cashiers, North Carolina is the 2nd Annual High Hampton Inn Apple Festival.  For more information, click here.

If you are in the area, please stop by and say hello!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Blogger's Bar Hop Quilt Along

Good Morning!  Welcome to my stop on the Blogger's Bar Hop Quilt Along!  You can find the original post introducing the quilt along here.

When I was thinking about what block to design, I wanted a more abstract concept of bars (or rectangles).  I was looking everywhere for inspiration.  I finally found it in a most unlikely place...a tissue box.

I was really drawn to the graphics on this box and after looking at the fabrics supplied for the quilt along, I decided I wanted to make a version of this design using Fall colors.  These were the fabrics that were provided:

We were allowed to add either one print and one solid or two solids.  I decided to add one print and no solids because the two neutrals were so similar in value.  I added a pop of orange!

Here are the directions for making this block (disclaimer...I wanted this to be very organic, so you can change the measurements to fit your block and your style).

Start by cutting your two neutral fabrics into strips (bars) of various widths. 

Sew these strips together in a random order using a 1/4" seam.

Keep adding the strips until you have a piece that measures approximately 11-1/2" x 11-1/2".  This does not have to be exact.  We are just making the background, which should look something like this when finished:

Press all of your seams to your preference.  I pressed mine to one side.

Now we are going to add the stems.  Cut two strips from your brown fabric.  These need to be at least 1" wide to finish at 1/2", but they can be bigger if you prefer.  I cut one of mine at 1" and one at 1-1/2" because I didn't want them to be the same.

Lay your brown strips on top of your finished background piece and decide where you would like the placement of your stems to be.  I wanted mine to be asymmetrical, but you can make yours any way you like!

Once you decide your placement for the stems, use your rotary cutter and ruler to make the cuts into your background fabric to insert the stems.  Sew your stems into the background fabric using a 1/4" seam:

Here is how mine looked after I had sewn in the first stem:

When I wanted to insert my second stem, I decided to flip the background fabric to make the background a little more random, but you can keep it the same if you like.

Sew second stem into the background fabric using a 1/4" seam.  Your piece should look something like this:

Trim your block to measure 12-1/2" x 12-1/2".  The leaves are appliqué, so we won't need to piece anything else.  Here is the fun part!  Take the remaining fabric, use the template, and cut out your leaves!

*A note about the template.  I used the template to cut out my leaves for raw edge appliqué.  If you want to use the template for needle turn appliqué, please add a seam allowance.  Also, you can experiment with the size of your leaves by setting your printer to print at different percentages.  

After you appliqué your leaves, your block is finished!

So, did our inspiration match our final product?

I am very pleased with how this block turned out!  If you make this block, please send me a photo, I would love to see it!  

I hope all of you have a great weekend!!!