Sunday, December 31, 2017

January Color Challenge Block

The first month of the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge is finally here!

January's color is RED!  Oh red.  Wonderful, wonderful Red.
Red is one of those colors that is always an accent for me.  I don't think I have hardly anything that is just red.  The red in my life consists of
*a pair of heels
Well darn.  I was going to make a cute clever list about how red is the perfect accent for almost any color combination, but the truth is, other than that pair of heels (which are brand new and have only been worn twice), I don't have a lot of red in my home.  There is a little maroon in my living room rug, but it could almost be a brown.  I think I have a red shirt somewhere too.

This lack of red extends to my fabric stash as well.  I had a heck of a time finding any red fabric for this month's block.  I did find some though.  And the block turned out lovely.

I tend to lean towards reds that are dark rather than bright.  I decided to make the smaller block for January and had some perfectly lovely fabrics to make this small block.

Don't mind the wonkiness of this block....It straightened out with another press.  :D

Make sure to check out the others that are posting about this month's color:

There will be a fun Link-up at the end of the month so you can see all the different Red blocks (either this one or others) and share your own.  The Link-up with Patterns By Jen will be up January 24-January 31 and a winner will be drawn on February 1.  The Winner will be getting this lovely prize from Northcott Fabrics:

Have fun making  your RED blocks!  I can't wait to see them all!
Happy Quilting!

Friday, December 22, 2017

2018 Monthly Color Challenge Blog Hop

2018 is coming up quick and I am so excited to be a part of the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge Blog Hop created by Jen at Patterns by Jen.

Here is how it is going to work (shared directly from Jen's post):

On the first of each month I will be posting a quilt block with instructions for a finished size of 12" or 6". The blocks are beginner friendly and will feature one color. The bloggers for that month will either be making that block, OR they will be sharing their own free pattern which may or may NOT be a quilt block.

Towards the end of the year I will share a few different layouts, so you can finish your quilt.

The challenge is to make something in that color for that month, either the block (either size or both) or something else. A link up party will open ONE week before the end of the month, here on the Patterns By Jen blog. When you have made your block or something else, link it up and on the 1st I will choose a winner. There are fabric bundles and gift certificates that will be given all year long!

Oh, did you not know there would be prizes??  :D
Yes-oh-Yes.  Lots of prizes. 
Big shout out to all of our amazing Sponsors:

A super awesome Grand Prize:

Jen at Dizzy Quilter is providing the grand prize! 

For every month you enter the link up, you get an entry for the grand prize.

The generous prize provided is you will get your top quilted by her (up to 90" x 90"),  a $202.50 value!

You must provide the backing, 8" longer than width and length. Batting can be purchased from Jen, for $20, if you like.

Return shipping is included for US residents only.
**Please note, the quilt will not be trimmed or bound, those services are extra**

Thanks to Jen for putting this whole thing together(and for letting me copy some of your text :))!  It is going to be so much fun!!

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Plan

There are still three weeks to go before 2018 and I am anxious to start on my sewing/quilting plan already.  
We can't help but use January 1st as a day to re-evaluate and organize.  It is just part of our culture it seems.  Although in parts of my life I try to say "Just start today, why wait?", my 2018 quilting plan cannot be started too early.  Mostly because I still have stuff I need to do before Christmas.  *Cutting it just a little close here*
But also because a lot of my 2018 plan is based around monthly quilting.  I'll be joining Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation on her Classic Meets Modern Quilt A Long!  

I fell in love with this quilt the minute I saw it and I was beyond excited when I learned she was doing a Block of the Month style Quilt A Long for it.  I am struggling with fabric choices for this one.  I am still trying my hardest to not buy any new fabric, or at least not fabric for an entire quilt.  I have a couple of choices, but nothing is screaming at me.  What do you guys think?
  • Pinks, Oranges, White - Think Cherry Blossoms and Spring time
  • Mixed prints in Gold, Teal, Plum, White
  • Black and White with one color tone-on-tone in it
  • Neutrals & Browns
  • Dark Purple & Charcoal greys with a little golden yellow 
It is a tough decision for sure.  I need to be ready by January though because that is when the first block is made.  You should consider checking it out and joining us.  It is going to be an amazing quilt and lots of fun too!  

Our Bee Inspired group has decided to continue on for another year and so I will have new blocks each month for that as well.  We had such a good time exchanging blocks.  We are all so easy going and forgiving that it makes it much less stressful than an intense Bee with lots and lots of people.  There are so few of us and I think we would consider each other friends, so we all have a really good time with it.

There are a few other things I will be doing in 2018, but I will have to cover those next time.  :D
Happy Quilting!

Monday, November 20, 2017

How to use up fabric scraps - Fabric Rope Bowls

As many of you know, I have been on a mission this year to clean up my overwhelming collection of fabric scraps and undesirable fabric.  Some of it is pretty ugly or of bad quality, so I haven't really donated any of it because if I don't think they would make good quilts, then why would I want someone to receive said quilt?
By far, my favorite use of the strips of fabric that are in my bin have been the coiled rope bowls.  They are just addicting to make.  You can use ANY fabric that is about 3/4" wide and any length longer than 7 or 8 inches.
I have had more than a few people say, "I wish I could make those" or "Can you show me how to make those?".  So, I decided to do a quick little tutorial on them.

*Cotton Rope - I like the small macrame cord that is on spools at Joann's but I have heard of others using clothes line from a Home Depot or Lowes or wider/thicker cotton rope.

*Fabric Strips - 3/4"-1" width.  Any wider and you end up getting too many wrinkles in my opinion, but this is by no means an exact measurement.  I prefer a length around 20".  I try to not go less than 7" or more than about 25".  Longer than 25" is ok, but it means you are handling the fabric more and end up with more of an unraveled look.

*Glue - I like using a glue stick or just plain school glue (Elmer's or generic).  As long as it dries clear.  You don't need much and could certainly do without, but I find it makes things a bit easier.

*Clip - I use one of my Wonder binding clips.  It helps keep things nice and snug when you are cruising along.

*Purple Thang, pencil, chopstick - basically any kind of pointy, but not stabby thing to reach under your foot while sewing the start of the bowl.

*Sewing machine (of course), thread (matching or contrasting), Zig-zag foot of some sort.

Now that you have all of your supplies ready, it is time to start sewing!  But wait!
You should have some idea going in what type of bowl you are looking for.  Is it going to be round?  Or more of an oval?  Is it going to have steep sides?
For your first one, I would suggest just winging it and seeing what happens.  It makes it a little more enjoyable in my opinion.
I am going to do my best to explain the process in photos with notes.  If you get confused at ANY part of this, please let me know and I will try to edit and correct the steps.  :)

  • Put a little glue on the wrong side of the end of the strip of fabric. Fold your strip of fabric over the end of the rope.  

  • Tuck the corners in and begin to wrap around the rope.  Direction only matters on what you end up being comfortable with.  I usually go from the right side over the top.

  • Make about three rounds of the fabric and clip it down to let the glue set a little. Continue making rounds with the strip of fabric until you have a few inches wrapped.  Clip there.

  • It is important to start with the loose end of the rope on the outside so your bowl is not stuck under the arm of your machine.  Set your machine to a fairly wide zig-zag stitch so it will reach back and forth between two pieces of rope.
  • Using your Purple Thang or chopstick, tuck the folded rope under your sewing foot in the shape you want your bowl.  The one in the image is a short oval.  If you want a circle, it is only a couple of stitches to start and you may want to wind a few rows. 
  • Be careful on this first set of stitches.  The pieces of rope have to be snug against one another so you don't have a hole in the bottom of your bowl.  Go slow and use your stick to squeeze them together. 
  • Then stitch back and forth with the zig-zag catching both sides of rope.

  • Continue until you get to the end of the short piece of rope.  If you are doing a tighter circle, this may only be 3 or 4 stitches.
  • Flip the stitched piece around (it should now be on the outside of your machine).  Get the next row of rope snug against the first and repeat.  Again, if doing a tighter circle, this will be more finicky now, but more fluid in a bit as the turn will be constant.

  • I wouldn't worry too much about getting the stitches perfect.  Especially on your first few bowls.  Goodness knows I don't.  What matters is that the stitch catches both sides of the rope.

    • Depending on the length of your strips, you are probably close to the end.  Don't let it get TOO close to the needle before you add another strip.  Just put a little glue on the wrong side and start wrapping, overlapping the previous piece of fabric a bit.  I add a touch of glue to the end of the previous piece as well.  Not much is needed.  This image shows a bit more than is needed.
    • Keep adding strips of fabric and turning your coil under the needle.  Slow is good.

    • Keep this going until you have the size of the base you want.  If you are using scraps or want to change it up, you can alternate different colors of fabric too.
    • Once you have the base size how big you want it, you want to tilt the base up.  The steepness determines how steep the walls of your bowl are.  If you want them almost straight up, then you almost have to put the new rope on top of the coiled rope for a few rounds.

    • This type of tilt will give you a bowl that gets much wider at the top and has a gradual slope.

    • Continue coiling the rope around the bowl until you have reached the size you like.  
    • As a side tip:  Don't wrap too much fabric ahead of time and be gentle with it.  The fabric will fray giving your bowl a more worn, fuzzy look. 

    • When you reach the end of where you want the bowl to be, cut your rope and leave the fabric a bit longer.  (Sorry, I forgot a photo here)
    • Then wrap the fabric around the end of the rope just like you did at the very beginning, covering the rope completely.
    • You can either sew the end of the rope directly onto the last coil of the bowl or you can make a little loop like I did in the photo, tucking the end piece under and going over it a few times connecting both pieces of rope to the one next to it.  I go back and forth a bit just to secure it.  - see photo below, but I am still perfecting this part and I am still a little messy with it.

    There you  go.  A finished bowl!  
    Now try another.  They get easier and you will get more creative with the styles.  
    I would just love to see what you come up with.  Share them with me!  
    Tag me on IG @adreamandastitch!

    Monday, November 13, 2017

    What to make for holiday gifts

    Bowls, bowls, and more bowls.

    That is what I have been working on the last week or so. I just can't get enough.  Each one is so unique and there are so many different shapes and sizes that comes out at the end.

    I have been slowly, but surely making my way through strips of fabric and yardage that wouldn't be much good for anything else.  You wouldn't believe the pretty bowls I am getting out of the ugliest fabrics!  It is like magic!

    I promise I am working on a tutorial for these bowls.  It just isn't finished yet.  :)  I get rolling along on one and forget to take any progress photos.

    I have quite the little collection building on my desktop:

    I think the thing I love most about these bowls it that everyone could use one.  Unless of course they are already super organized and have pretty containers for their hair ties, keys, office clips, candies, Wonder clips, phone chargers, guest bathroom lotions and soaps...need I go on?  :)  They can be used for just about everything. 

    How are you coming along with your holiday sewing?  Any new projects you are trying?

    Tuesday, October 24, 2017

    Scrappy mess and Baby quilt

    I made a complete mess of my room this weekend.  I was so scattered with my quilting projects and wanted to work on some scrappy stuff.
    These days, my goal has been us sort through and use up some of my ever-accumulating fabric.  I have stuff that has been in my stash for years and I don't know how or why I every bought it.  Many yards of "undesirable" fabric has been chopped into 5" squares to be made into a scrap quilt one of these days.  A "car quilt" as my aunt calls them.  They are never meant to be on display, but are meant to be used on picnics, and for looking at the stars with your honey.  ;)  Pretty it will not be, but useful always.
    I have other fabric that is of very, very poor quality.  I had no idea what I was doing when I first started.  This fabric is just not suitable for a quilt.  Some of it is pretty though, just not soft or durable.  I am taking some of these fabrics and cutting 3/4" strips and making rope/cord bowls to either sell or give as gifts.  Who cares that there are pirate skulls all over the tie-dye?  You can't even see them, all you see is the pretty teal of the bowl.

    I also have a wonky scrap banner-type thing I am making for a friend that calls for lots of little blue pieces (and yellow actually).

    So, as my tote of little scraps was becoming just a giant, overflowing pile in the corner, I decided to pull it out and dump it on my bed.  No photo, sorry.  :(
    I have created a monster.  My dog loved his afternoon nap buried in the pile though.
    My room has "projects" piled EVERYWHERE!!  It is ridiculous.  I need to just sit my butt at the machine and work on something until it is done.

    I am also starting on a quilt for my niece that is due at the end of December.  It will be my youngest sister's first little one and both me and my other sister are done, so Little Miss is going to get spoiled!  :) Starting with a LeMoyne Star quilt. (Thanks Paige for helping me out with that one).  It would probably be my favorite block and there is not much thinking required for each block.  It is a fun little project.  I'll keep you updated on the progress of this one.  I'm hoping to have it done before the shower in a couple of weeks.

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017

    I am Published!!

    Yesterday was a pretty exciting day for me.
    My very first magazine-published pattern came out.

    International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene 2017/2018 hit newstands yesterday.  My quilt Broken Path is one of the featured patterns!  It was a whirlwind of excitement from the moment I received the email from the magazine saying they would like to add my quilt to this publication. 

    It was all so crazy, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.  And I WILL do it again.  I don't have my copy yet, but I can't wait to see it in print.  Let me know if you have your copy!
    If you don't, you can order it here:

    I am so glad that friends supported me in my designing ventures enough to submit one of my patterns.  It is something I might not have done had I not been pushed by fellow quilters.  :)

    Wednesday, October 4, 2017

    Christmas Carol Row-a-Long: Up on a Housetop

    The weather is cooler and people are starting to think about the holidays. They start shopping for gifts and thinking about decorating their houses.  But for us quilters, the holiday season can be a time to let our craft shine.  Especially during Christmas, our craft allows us to make so many unique and special gifts.  Tree skirts, wall hangings, table runners, and of course quilts.

    This year, I was invited to participate in a Christmas Caroling Row Along put together by Marian at Seams to be Sew.  I had never designed a "row" before and thought it would be fun to bring my flavor into this group of talented quilters.  And boy are they talented!  There are some amazing rows that have already been shared.  If you haven't been following along, you can find the list of the blog hop HERE.

    There are also some incredible giveaways every day.  So make sure you check out the other bloggers today.  And hop over to Seams to be Sew to participate.

    For my Christmas Carol I chose Up on a Rooftop (or Housetop depending on your source)For this row, I decided to keep it simple.  It can easily be made with four fat quarters and a couple of scraps.  For my version, I used new fabrics from Northcott.  There are some pretty sweet new holiday lines and it was hard to limit myself to the fabric for this row.  :)  But here are the fabrics I used in my block:

    Bricks - Up on a Rooftop 9020-26
    Snow - Up on a Rooftop 21704-10
    Mortar - Hurry Up Santa 21712-11
    Sky - Hurry Up Santa 21711-92

    Here is the row made with the Northcott fabrics.  I haven't decided yet if I will quilt it as is and hang it on my wall or if I want to add some borders or other rows to make a larger piece.  What are you going to do with your row?
    It is a very simple straight forward row and I sure hope you enjoy the pattern which can be found on my Craftsy page.  Click that link or the button on the sidebar.  

    I would love to see your version of this row.  Tag me on IG!  @adreamandastitch

    Now for the amazing giveaways by the sponsors of the day!  
    Anita Goodesign

    Anita's Wonderland - Embroidery Party 4

    Enter the Rafflecopter below:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    And also thanks to Northcott and Calibre Arts for their amazing prizes during this entire hop!


    Make sure to visit all of these sponsors and show them your love by liking and following their pages.
    Reminder:  You can head over to Seams to be Sew to enter giveaways.

    And again here is the link to download (Free for a limited time) Up on Housetop

    Have fun with all of the rows!