Winner of Quilting Kit

A big thank you to all 717 of you for stopping by to enter my giveaway for Sew,Mama,Sew‘s semi-annual Giveaway Day event! What a thrill to meet so many wonderful sewers and quilters from all over the world.

The random number generator helped me pick the winner:

220 – Margie C. who commented:

What a pretty bag! Thanks for the chance :)
hugs, margie

I thought there were a couples things missing from my original kit, such as a pincushion and some sewing needles, so I will be including them in your package!

Thank you again to everyone who commented. Remember, Sew,Mama,Sew hosts this Giveaway Day twice a year, in May and December. Maybe we can do this again in a few months. Hope to see you between now and then!

Two Giveaway Winners

I can’t even begin to thank each and every single one of you who entered my giveaway for the the May Day Giveway, sponsored by Sew,Mama,Sew! Normally, I make it a practice to respond to every comment left on my blog. But with 574! comments, I had a hard time keeping up. I tried, I really did. Even though I wish I could have replied to all of you, I started to randomly reply and thank some of you. Then I ended up making a couple new friends, which was awesome.

I had no idea so many people would want these items I had to offer, so I am excited to announce a couple winners! My first item up for grabs was this honey bun of Snippets fabrics by American Jane. (a honey bun is a collection of 1.5″ x 44″ strips of fabric)

That item goes to commenter number 138, which was Jessie Hansen who replied:

“I am looking forward to getting out of NM this summer. We are going to Wyoming! Yay! Less heat!” Send me an email, Jessie, with your mailing address!

My second giveaway item was this charm pack of Flutterby fabrics by Tula Pink. (a charm pack is a pack of 5 inch 40-42 squares)

That item goes to commenter number 377, which was Emily responded:

“thanks for the giveaway! i am most looking forward to being an assisstant to a wonderful professor that i have at school!” Send me an email, Emily, with your mailing address!

I loved hearing what you are all looking forward to this summer. So many things I wanted to do too, like go to the beach or go on all those exotic vacations you listed, but also spending time with your family, catching up on your sewing projects, working in your garden, enjoying time off, even seeing Eclipse on June 30.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for entering and sharing. I sincerely hope you enjoy each and every moment of your summers! Stop by again soon to visit (even when I’m not offering something for free – wink wink).

Patchwork Progress

Remember a couple weeks ago when I asked for opinions on which patchwork arrangement you liked best for my sew-along project for Sew,Mama,Sew’s quilting month? The tally came out to this:

The simple triangles pattern received 11 votes.

The zig-zag pattern received 7 votes.

The diamond pattern received 4 votes.

The hourglass pattern received 3 votes.

When it came time for me to make a decision, I liked all of these patterns because they show the variety of patterns you can make with simple half-square triangles. Since I am going to make these blocks into placemats, I made one of each!

I continued with the sew-along, so the next block was a Spiderweb. I have never made a spiderweb block, but it was definitely on my list to try. It was an easy block to put together, kinda like the stringpieced blocks, which I really love making. It was magical to watch the white star shapes emerge in the centers as I lined up the pieced triangles.

The most recent block was a Dresden Plate, another patern I have always wanted to make. OMG, I adore this one!

I’m not sure which block will be next, but this is the last week for the sew-along, so I’m happy I was able to stay caught up. I can just imagine how cool this set is going to look on our table for summer.

Doll Quilt Sew-Along

One of my favorite toys as a kid was dolls.  Dolls, dolls, dolls!  I was crazy about dolls.  I used to love sewing clothes for them, crocheting granny squares for area rugs in their houses, and sewing bedding too.  I am still crazy about dolls, but it’s more of a nostalgic feeling than an urge to play with them today.

I was drawn to the February doll quilt sew-along at Sew,Mama,Sew to make a doll quilt with Alissa.  I bought these fabrics awhile ago with the idea in mind of making a mini quilt or a doll quilt.  Perfect!

Doll Quilt

(before quilting)

quilted doll quilt(after quilting)

I quilted a frame on the inside of each square and in the border, and then I tried that sketchy stitchy applique method around the flower.   

stitchy flower

I am so excited to report that I finally forced myself to sit still long enough to read the instructions on how to install the free-motion foot onto my sewing machine.  I even read the manual and did a little research on the Internet for tips on stippling.  Does this count as using fabrics in my stash?

Machine quilting practice

I noticed that the tension thread was off because the back isn’t as pretty, so I did more research today on how to tweak that too.  I’m off to practice more!

Portable Cushions – Perfectly Fun!

I found this fabulous tutorial for portable cushions on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog, and instantly knew I had the right fabric in my stash and the right sewing skills to make this project.

From the Drawing Room fabric collection, I used the Pressed Flowers fabric in teal and the Trellis fabric also in teal. I bought 20″ zippers in a natural color, a piece of 3″ thick foam that I cut into two 15-1/4″ pieces, and about 10 yards of cording for the piping.

Overall, the tutorial was easy to follow. Here are a few comments on the pattern:

*The section on cutting bias tape was quite helpful. Make sure to follow these steps exactly. It really was amazing how this bias strip worked out.

*Making the piping was much more fun that I thought. Definitely need a zipper foot to make the piping tight and smooth.

*I messed up the zipper part where you attach the zipper to the gusset but I made it work in the end. I attached the zipper to each piece of gusset fabric/zipper panels, then I got stuck. I looked in one of my sewing books (Sew & Stow by Betty Oppenheimer) to try to figure out what I did wrong. After staring at the directions for the cozy cushion cover instructions in that book, I figured it out. What you’re supposed to do is put the zipper panels right sides together, sew a short distances to the marks you made earlier where the zipper will start and stop, baste all the way down to the next mark, and sew to the end. Thus, basting the zipper panels to each other, but not including the zipper yet. Then, iron the seam allowance down/open. Adding the fusible tape seemed a little putsy to me, but I know it will hold that extra fabric down. Then sew the zipper to each side of the zipper panels (aligned between those marks you made), and open the basting stitching on the front. Maybe this part wasn’t a problem for others, but I got confused. I’m over it now.

*The handles were easy, but I had to leave the raw edges showing, since I couldn’t fold over the ends – too much bulk (four layers of fabric and a layer of interfacing, doubled when folded over). I tried trimming the interfacing off the ends but I had already fused it to the fabric. No big deal. I think it still looks cool.

Even though I did get stuck once or twice on the instructions, normal for the first time using a new pattern, I would highly recommend making these!

I love having handles on each side of the cushion,

making them portable to carry wherever you go, your backyard, the park, the beach, a tailgate party, wherever. I love them so much I just carry them around the house! (I secretly wish I could take them to a show-and-tell, so thank you for indulging me.) Mostly, I use them on my Adirondack chair.

The zipper on one the side allows for easy removal to clean the cover or replace the foam cushion as it wears out.

I have four yards of the Shadow fabric in Teal, so I will be making more of these.  Next up, a cushion for this bench my brother made.

Did I mention that I love these cushions?!