Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ava's Wall Hanging

My step-daughter is moving into a new apartment on July 1 with her boyfriend, who has a little girl: Ava. I thought it would be nice to make a little wall hanging to decorate Ava's new bedroom.


I used the Spell It with Fabric patterns by Moda Fabrics for the letters. They are so easy to make and I love the size; each letter measures about 9 1/2" high by 8" wide. For the diamond, I downloaded Libs Elliott's Electric Diamond paper-pieced pattern by Sariella.com.


I used pink and purple scraps as well as a fun black and white print for the background. 


For the quilting, I used Aurifil thread in colour #2479 (pink) in 50 wt. The stitching lines are about 1/4" apart and I quilted them with my walking foot.  


The backing is a super cute Cotton & Steel print I purchased a long time ago.

I sure hope my step-daughter and Ava's dad like the wall hanging!


Quilt Stats:

Pattern: Letters were from the Spell it with Fabric patterns by Moda Fabrics and Electric Diamond by Sariella.com
Size: 18” x 40”
Fabrics: All scraps
Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2479 in 50 wt
Recipient:  Little Ava


I will be linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Slice of Pi Quilts for TGIFF.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Meet the 2017 FAL Hosts: Marci from Marci Girl Designs


Hello!  My name is Marci Debetaz and I blog over at Marci Girl Designs and this month it is my turn to share all about myself as one of the 2017 Global Finish-A-Long hosts.  So here it goes...


Here I am, 4' 11.5" tall, so yeah I'm short and this photo was taken a little over a year ago but I mostly look the same, or at least I like to think so.  I am currently 36 years old in case any of you were wondering because I know I have somewhat of a baby face.  I was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA but have lived most of my life now in Louisiana.  My family moved a lot when I was growing up, back and forth between Florida and Louisiana to finally settle in Louisiana much to my disliking, because honestly who wants to leave the beach for swampland?  Not me.  Anyways I went to Middle and High School in New Iberia, Louisiana and then attended College in Lafayette, Louisiana (about a 40 minute drive.)  I met my husband in my second year of College, we both were majoring in Industrial Design and we fell in love.  (Oh so sweet!)  So we dated a few years, got engaged and then married all before we finished College.  We graduated College together a semester after the wedding, both with degrees in Industrial Design.  We found jobs, worked, you know, regular married life and then a few years later we bought our first house.


Here is our MAJOR fixer upper 13 years ago when we bought it (though this photo was taken after some serious cleaning up of the yard.)


Here is our home today, and what you can't see on the back corner of this house is the major addition we are adding and have been working on since February of this year, doing ALL of the work ourselves.  We are hoping to be finished by Christmas, but who knows,  fingers crossed.  I had to mention our house because it has been a major focus of all my free time this year, which stinks because I miss sewing and quilting but will totally be worth it when we are done.

Ok, I got off track.  So after we bought our house we had three kids, two boys, 9 and 5 and our little girl who just turned 2.  I don't post about them directly on social media for their privacy but I promise they are super cute.  It was after my first child was born that I really picked up the sewing/quilting bug again.  I say "again" because I grew up sewing and quilting.  My mom did both and taught me.  I started by making Barbie doll clothing, then that turned into small quilts and sewing my own clothes through High School.  Then when I was in College (and falling in love) I didn't have much time for those hobbies and they fell by the wayside.  After my first was born I became a stay at home mom and discovered I had lots of free time during naps.  Thus my hobbies began anew!


I started up my hobby again making handbags and pouches which I quickly realized I had way too many handbags and pouches, so I opened up an Etsy shop.  I had my shop open for a few years until I closed it at the end of 2011 right before my second son was born.  I always had intentions of opening again after his birth but alas it never happened.  I do hope to one day open up my shop but for now I am enjoying sewing for my family and friends.

  
It wasn't long after I started sewing again that I discovered the world of blogs and designer fabric.  Let's just say that was a total game changer for me and the true obsession began.  I decided to start my own blog in February of 2010 and have been doing so on and off ever since.  I use my blog as a form of diary or portfolio of things I have made through the years and though I find the writing difficult I am glad that I push myself to do so because it is so nice to go back and read about my own projects, many of which I have already forgotten about.


 I love participating in Quilt and Sew Alongs and the occasional competition (for fun, I don't want to stress about it.)  The above quilt was created for the Emerald Pantone Quilt Challenge (I can't remember the year.)  It currently hangs in my bedroom.  This quilt is my original design and entitled, "Emerald Cut."


I will still occasionally make handbags and pouches, I design my own patterns plus make them from independent pattern designers.  The pouch above is one of my designs.


I make way more quilt tops than finished quilts, sadly I have a huge WIP pile.  The photos above and below are examples of two of these quilt tops awaiting quilting.  The top is a One Block Wonder quilt created from just one large scaled print fabric. The quilt below is another Pantone Quilt Challenge, the color that year was Radiant Orchid, this quilt is also my own design.  It is one of my personal favorites.


In 2014 I was chosen to be a contestant in an online sewing challenge called "Sewvivor."  The bag below was my entry for the very first round, which was nautically themed.  Though I didn't make it past the first round, I made a great new set of online sewing friends and had a ton of fun in the process.


Within the first year or so of blogging I also found Flickr and through Flickr I found out about online Quilting Bee's.  I quickly joined several and have never looked back.  I made friends in those first groups, that I still have today and we are still sewing bee blocks for each other.  Though Flickr isn't as predominant these days, things have shifted over to Instagram and the fun continues.  A few years ago most of my quilting bees were coming to a finish and two of my fellow bee mates decided to create a new hand picked group that they named Bee Sewcial.  The concept of the group is that we stay connected and in touch, use only solids and work in improv.  This is our third year together and honestly one of my favorite things to do every month.  The creativity involved and the friendship is just so fantastic.  At the end of our first year together we opened up the sewing prompts to everyone interested and anyone can now sew along with us using the hashtag #inspiredbybeesewcial.


I guess that about sums of my life.  Stay at home mom to three, in between running the kids to school and nap times I sew and quilt.  I have tried crochet, knitting, tatting, beading and about every other craft you can think of but in the end I always return to sewing and quilting.  I love improv but I also love traditional quilt blocks.  I love to sew clothes, handbags and pouches.  Don't ask me to alter your clothes or to iron like normal people.  It isn't going to happen.  I have a huge pile of WIP's and have been participating in the Finish-A-Long since its inception.  I was thrilled to be asked to host this year and I have been slowly working through that pile.  I do so hope you join us this year!

I'll end my post reminding everyone that in 10 days the second quarter finishes link up opens, you still have time to finish those projects so get to work!

Thank you for joining me today, Marci

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A new table runner

A few years ago, Josée Carrier who blogs at The Charming Needle and is one of the founders of the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild, gave me a copy of this book:


Josée has a project in that book and this past weekend, because the weather was horrible, I found the book again and decided it was time to make a new table runner for our dining room.

For my version of Josée's design, I decided to use blue scraps and Kona Cloud for the background.  The binding is Kona Kumquat.


The quilting is straight lines done with my walking foot.  I used Aurifil 50 wt thread in #2720 (blue).


I love how this runner looks on our dining room table.  This was a super easy and quick make and I love that I was able to use scraps again.  I can totally imagine making more of these as kits for Christmas!  A table runner and 4 placemats - wouldn't that be an awesome present?


Quilt Stats:
  • Pattern:  Stand Out by Josée Carrier from the book Set the Table
  • Size: 12 1/2" x 48”
  • Fabrics: Blue scraps, Kona Cloud and Kona Kumquat
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2720 in 50 wt
Linking up at:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Jelly Lanterns Finish

Last Fall, I purchased a series of patterns published by Quilt Theory.  I just loved the modern designs, the fact that the patterns were simple and most of them would be quick makes for last minute gifts or when I needed a fast, easy finish.  I made a baby quilt from the Strip it Down pattern just before Christmas and had a lot of fun putting it together.

About a week before my trip to Denver, I wanted to work on something, but didn't feel starting anything too complicated. I went through my patterns and landed on Jelly Lanterns designed by Cheryl Brickey for Quilt Theory. I had the perfect jelly roll for this and just enough Kona White so got started right away.


The pattern is for a lap quilt - about 48" x 60" - and only requires half the jelly roll.  I really wanted to use the whole thing so "super sized" the pattern to make 42 blocks.  And I'm really glad I did.  I now have a beautiful twin size quilt for my daughter's room.  She thinks she's getting my Missing the U quilt, but I really, really want to keep that one.  :-)

As soon as I got back from Denver, I basted it and started quilting. I wanted a quick finish, so went with a soft, big meander in Aurifil 50 wt in #2021.


And for the backing, I used a sweet print I purchased a while ago from Connecting Threads.


It's in the dryer right now and I can't wait to see how nice and crinkly it gets!


Quilt Stats:
  • Pattern:  Jelly Lanterns by Cheryl Brickey for Quilt Theory
  • Size: 72" x 84”
  • Fabrics: Flirt by Sandy Gervais and Kona White
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2021 in 50 wt
  • Recipient:  My daughter Marianne


I will be linking up over at these fun linky parties:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

New Zipper Pouch for Trip to Denver

I've been in Denver this week for work and last weekend, I realized I needed a new zipper pouch for my makeup.  I tried a few tutorials and patterns for zipper pouches in the past, but while scrolling through Pinterest, I saw this one.  It looked really quick and easy so I went ahead and got started.


I picked a fat quarter from my stash for the body of the bag and paired it with a pink Kona.  I even had the pale pink zipper in my stash!

The lining is a fun pink print I've had forever.



This was such an easy make! I don't love that the seams are visible on the inside of the bag but I guess you could easily bind the raw edges to encase them and make the inside look as nice as the outside.

I love how the tutorial shows you how to add the zipper tabs before sewing the zipper in.  They add such a nice touch to the bag.


I really like this pouch and it came together so quickly, I think I might need to make a bunch more!



I will be linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Meet the 2017 FAL Hosts: Judith from Just Jude Designs


Hi everyone, my name is Judith of Just Jude Designs and it's my turn this month to tell you a little about myself as one of the 2017 Finish-A-Long hosts.



I was born in Northern Ireland, and apart from 7 years living in England, I have lived here all my life. I currently live 5 minutes away from where the famous RMS Titanic was built in Belfast 1911.

 

I started sewing when I inherited my Nanny Maud's singer treadle sewing machine at the age of 11. I had already been crocheting clothes for my dolls from the age of 9, but now I could sew them blankets too!




When I started high school (11) I took Needlework. On my first day, I walked into the Needlework room and saw it was filled with electric sewing machines, but tucked away in the corner was a Singer Treadle machine! I pleaded with the teacher to let me use it, and then spent the next 3 years making garments on it! The start of my happy place!  


I continued sewing on my Singer Treadle, teaching myself naive patchwork from recycled clothes, curtains and scraps. (I still love working with recycled textiles today!) I made my first little quilt, a pram quilt, when I was pregnant with my first daughter (1995).

 

2 days before my 3rd daughter was born, I turned 30, and my family bought me my first electric sewing machine. I'd been sewing for 20 years and had never used an electric machine! I fell in love with my Brother machine, and then upgraded to a Pfaff Quilt Expression a few years later, which I still use today.

​​


When my youngest daughter started school, I went 'back to school' myself, studying City & Guilds Textile and Design. I thought it was time I learned how to sew and quilt properly! My motivation for taking this 2 year course was therapeutic, a kind of 'play therapy', recommended by my counsellor to overcome depression. It worked!

 

I finished and passed my course and was invited to teach patchwork to a group of women with mental health issues at a local community centre. I didn't even know how to teach patchwork, but I overcame my nerves and quickly started on a new passion for teaching and inspiring others to love patchwork too.

     

For 2 years I taught women suffering from a wide range of mental health problems and saw first hand the therapeutic benefits they experienced after only a few short weeks of sewing. One lady in particular, old before her time, stooped with low self worth and heavily reliant on a walking stick, made her first patchwork cushion and within 6 weeks was coming to class without her stick and walking tall!! Like many others, learning a new skill within a caring community, and having something to show and be proud of, elevated her self-esteem and ignited hope and positivity in many areas of her life.


Over the past 10 years I have continued teaching in different venues, running my own programme of classes and also teaching for others. I also design quilts, cushions and bags for a number of UK based quilting magazines, and sell my patterns via my website, Etsy and Craftsy.


   

As a sole trader it is important for me to connect with other creatives, both professionally and personally. Being part of the quilting blogging community for the past 6 and a half years has been a hugely positive and affirming experience for me, and it has been my privilege to be a part of many bees, swaps and charity groups.

 
Brit Bee 2012  

If you have made it this far, thank you! Thank you for taking the time to read this and being part of Finish-A-Long 2017.

  ​​

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lunch Bag for Debbie

Things are slowly getting back to normal at work so I've been spending a little bit more time at my sewing machine. I wasn't in the mood to work on a big quilt plus I have a business trip to Denver coming up at the end of the month so decided to make myself a laptop bag.

I found a tutorial, purchased some interfacing and some fusible fleece, cut up some long hoarded fabric and then disaster struck...  The tutorial was written for experienced bag makers, did not have clear instructions and skipped some pretty vital steps.  Anyhow, I got extremely frustrated and gave up on the bag.

Then a good friend came over and noticed I had a quilted lunch bag...  She loved it and asked if I'd be willing to make her one.  I was already in a bag making kind of mood and knew I would be able to make that bag because I'd done one before so I said yes!!

Ignore the poor dying plant - it's been really cold here!

I made no changes to the tutorial and it turned out great!  With the insulbright and the interfacing, the bag is pretty sturdy (a lot better than my original one which only had one layer of batting).

I used Aneela Hoey charm packs for the exterior and a fat quarter for the lining fabric and handles.


I quilted it with some simple straight lines.


I was really happy with how the bag turned out and Debbie loved it!

And now that I've had my bag fix, I can get back to making quilts.

I will be linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Lisa in Port Hope for TGIFF.

 
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