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.

Supplies:
*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!









    Wednesday, September 20, 2017

    Are Ya Having That?

    The majority of us have found ourselves getting caught up in watching YouTube videos for undisclosed amounts of time.  Sometimes we discover new things or learn something.  Sometimes the videos give us a quick giggle.  A few months ago, I came across a channel that I fell in love with.  This crew is so amazingly talented.  They are so funny and I can't wait for their next video to be posted.  

    Now, this particular YouTube channel is not something you would think the stereotypical quilter would enjoy, but I know better because I am that quilter that enjoys both of these lifestyles/interests/communities and I know there has to be more of you out there.  Fair warning, this channel is not for those easily offended or for anyone that takes life too seriously.  They can be extremely slightly vulgar and drink quite a bit and that is part of the reason I love it.

    The Are Ya Having That channel is a crew of three Irish folks that review food and drinks and play games and just generally have a good time for our entertainment.  Leather Jacket Guy, Johnny Bullshit, and Levi Jeans have gained a loyal follower in me because watching them have fun makes my day.  They are always good for a laugh and I would love nothing better than to come across them in a bar pub and buy them a pint.  Unfortunately, they are on the other side of the world, so how could I show my appreciation for their hard work at creating such an amazing source of entertainment? Well, I was inspired one day.  The quilting community is very supportive of fellow makers and creators across all genres, and I figured I would support them the best way I know how.  By making them something in my own creative medium in return of course.

    Many people from the US send them care packages full of goodies and treats from their local areas.  I packed the box full of local brews, as well as a couple from my home state of Montana.  Then added in chips and chocolates and a few other edible treats.  But, to top it all off I made each one of them a personalized mug rug beer mat.  Now, most regular readers of my blog know that I have not done much applique, but I have been wanting to add it to my skill set.  I quickly set out to make a pattern and mat unique to each of the Are Ya Having That crew.  These turned out so cute, that I just had to make some notes and make a pattern so that others could make their own beer mats.

    I have the pattern all written and up in my Crafty site.  I present to you Drinks on Me v.1 (and yes, there will be more versions soon).


    The pattern includes the templates for all three drinks and the full alphabet.





    So....
    Please, please, please (you'll only get the joke if you check them out :) ) let them know Are Ya Having That!!

    Links to check out:
    YouTube: Are Ya Having That
    Twitter: Are Ya Having That
    Craftsy: A Dream and A Stitch

    Tuesday, September 19, 2017

    Two days - Make it count

    How is it possibly Tuesday already?!?!
    I just said LAST week that I would post every Monday.  Oh goodness.  Can you please forgive me? Have I lost your trust?  :(
    Truth is, most of my quilting time takes place on the weekends and this weekend, I spent a whopping total of 10 minutes at my machine before my back made some major protests. Ugh....nothing like an unexpected muscle (I don't even know if that is what it was) tweek to ruin your plans.

    I know quite a few of you follow me on other social media channels.  If you don't and want to, feel free.  :)  I always love making new friends.

          

    Anyway, if you do, you may have noticed the changes I have made in my life the last few months.  I have been focusing on my own health and happiness.  Part of that leads me to make the most of every day.  To find joy in the things I do.  Sometimes (like this weekend), I get tripped up and lose focus.  Lately though, that doesn't hold me back for long and I am back to working towards my goals with a vengeance.

    This is where the Two Days come in.  My quilting has taken a back burner and I want to move it up again.  I am ready for it.  To fit it into my new lifestyle I need to have a bit of a plan.  No more lolly-gagging and puttering around making a mess of my fabric.  I need to have a project and work on it from start to finish.  I need the gratification that comes from using what you have on hand and finishing a project quickly.

    So, tell me.  What are your favorite two day (or less) projects that don't require any special equipment or supplies?  It helps immensely if they are actually useful or can be used for a gift.  Help me fellow quilters!!  :)

    Monday, September 11, 2017

    Cooler weather means more quilting time

    With the cooler temperatures starting to roll in, thoughts of curling up under a lovely home-made quilt fill my thoughts.  I know many people that get this feeling in September and October.  As much as I hate to see the summer leave us yet again, I do spend a lot more time at my machine when it is cool and dark out.

    I am also hoping to have a lot more to share blog-wise.  I am really, really going to try to start blogging every Monday again.  I PROMISE!!  :)

    This weekend I was able to almost finish a quick quilt for a friend of a friend that tragically had a house fire and lost everything.  I don't know them, but I knew that I needed to work on something like this to get my mojo back.  And I am sure they could use some replacement items.

    I had most of these blocks leftover from a quilt I made some time ago and they were just in a box on the shelf, so I added a couple more colors and started chain piecing blocks. It came together pretty quickly with a little sewing done most nights.  I am about 3/4 the way done with the quilting and I finally decided on the darker teal color after polling friends and family on Facebook and Instagram.  If I get enough time this week, then I should have it done by Monday and I'll share the completed version.






    Happy Quilting Everyone!