Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Modern Block

Our family had a busy,  happy and blessed time together over the holidays, and I hope that your family did as well!

Somebody in my family (I am not mentioning any names)....
got a little tuckered out after opening all of our presents....
I just need a wee little rest before we put our gifts away, Mom.....

I have been able to add a few more blocks to my growing pile of blocks, which always brings a smile to my face

December's  And Sew We Craft   Modern Blocks  Quilt Along block

December- Modern Blocks Quilt Along block :
Crosswalk    designed by Angela Pingel
Blogged by Actually Amy 
Block by Amy @ Actually 
I used my yellow and orange fabrics, to get more of these colors  into the quilt.  After all, it is block number 8 already!

Block 8    Crosswalk      Susie's Sunroom

Ok , Whiskers, let's leave it laying there!

Eight blocks along in the Sew Along already!

The next block:  a Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt block
# 10  Bowtie    (I used the paper pieced pattern in the yahoo FWSQ group)

#10  Bowtie      a FWSQ block  page 137 in the book
This block was fun and simple to put together.  

Hey, I finished the top row now!
If you love looking at  FWSQ blocks, you can see the blocks added to my Share your  FWSQ Flickr Group , and view the beautiful blocks being made by Elaine , the Summercrafter ,  and by Amanda, The Patchsmith .

I'm off to my sewing room!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Laptop Case

Trying a new pattern...

A quilted laptop case     pattern by Jennifer at Sewplicity
Last week, I had the chance to try out a new pattern , that I found at Sewplicity  blog.
A friend of mine asked me to make her a case for her laptop.  She wanted a zipper at the top, so she could slide her laptop in and out easily, and store the cord along with it.

I looked on the net, and found this great tutorial, by Jennifer, at Sewplicity blog.  I gathered up some dark fabric , by  Susan Winget, for the outer fabric , and another coordinated  ' texty' and bird sketchy  fabric for the lining.   

Fabric used:                                 
Le Cerise Script Black    Susan Winget

Le Cerise Bird   Susan Winget
Interfacing:  Pellon fusible fleece FF987

 Zipper:  Sport  Coats&Clark   24 inch  black separating 
Velcro:  for easy outer pocket closure
I quilted some simple  parallel lines , on the diagonal, two inches apart, for the outer pocket.

The pattern is easy to follow and  the laptop sleeve didn't take long to make.
 My friend did not want handles, but the pattern includes  directions to add handles to this sleeve.

The outer pocket easily holds her power cord

Some thoughts and observations:
  • I did wish that I had a surger, to finish the raw edges of the material, as the seams show in the interior of the case.  I used zigzag stitches on the raw edges.  
  • And I would make my zipper thread the same color as the zipper, as you  can see the thread when you look inside the case. 
  •  After using the case for a week, a tiny bit of the outside pocket became loose from the seam,  at the bottom seam .   I simply restitched the area with a satin stich, and then made another STURDY seam above this original seam, all along the bottom.  (To make sure this area could withstand the weight of the laptop . I had room to do this,  because the case was oversized.)  Whew!  An easy save.
  • This winter, I might try to make a zippered pouch, with lining that doesn't show the seams.  Adding that to my "someday, when I have time.." list
She loves the zipper top

 The Quilted Laptop Case          

This was a fun project to make.  Thanks, Jennifer, for a great pattern!
You may be seeing more of this fabric...  just sayin' I love it!!
I'm off to my sewing room!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Patchique Week 5 Block Talk Time

Patchique Blocks 10 and 110
This part of December is decidedly busy, with shopping,   preparing things for the holidays, and making gifts.  But I have found a pleasant "oasis" amid all of this hurriedness ... making some Patchique  blocks, along with Amanda, The Patchsmith.

It is Patchique' Week 5 (already!)~

Block #10:  a patchwork block

Block 10   from book, page 41.  Kauri kawari hana  ( means Kasuri flower variation)

This is my Kasuri flower variation block:
My block went together pretty smoothly.

Block 10     Kasuri kawari hana    by Susie's Sunroom
And Block #110:  an applique' block

Block #110 , page 98     Matsu guruma  (means Pine wheel)
This block intimidated me a little bit at first.  It has 12 bias-cut strips, those skinny strips on each petal, and a yoyo. This would be  my very first yoyo that I made! I did have the handy dandy Clover yoyo maker, though!

Also, I had not planned on any striped material in my basket of fabrics for this quilt.  Luckily, there was a  taupe and red striped Moda fabric in my fabric stash for making the flower petals!
Naturally, I read Amanda's blog  first, to see how she approached making the flower petals.
I  decided to cut my striped fabric in strips , 2 1/2 inches wide, on the bias (Yay for me trying this!) ,  for a length of 5 inches. Then I sewed  these bias strips  together, and cut the flower petal shape out around the template, like Amanda did.  (I just LOVE Amanda's helpful tips and  the way she constructs blocks with piecing!! That's why her mug rug patterns are so popular.... she makes it easy to make beautiful patchwork and applique' mug rugs, using patterns that she expertly designs!!)

Block #110  Pine wheel     by Susie's Sunroom

I  blanket stitched around each piece of the applique, by machine. And sewed my little 1 1/4 inch yoyo on to the center of the flower.
I like the way my block turned out!  And my first yoyo was fun to make!!  

Here are my completed blocks so far:

Block #110  turned out to be my favorite block so far!  I can see making a pillow , featuring this block...
This experience  is exactly why I am attempting to make the blocks from this book.  I will find little gems of patterns that I would've completely overlooked if doing them on my own!  (Yes, there will be some blocks that don't turn out very well.... I accept that as part of the learning curve.)
Thank you, Amanda, for starting  your fun (and educational) Patchique' Quilt Project Sew Along.... I love working on several blocks a month from this book, alongside  you!

I'm off to my sewing room!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snowball Time

We have just experienced our second winter storm  this year.  It made traveling to church for some special services a bit tricky, and even  led to a cancellation of a night time concert.

However, the extra time at home turned out to be a great time for me to catch up on making two more Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt blocks!

See photos at  Flickr

Block # 81: 
I whipped out the first one, "lickety split!"  It was even  appropriately name #81 Snowball  (variation):  I was on a roll...

#81  Snowball  page 208 

I pulled off the foundation paper backing, as I made it by the paper pieced pattern, and while I was ironing it,  I realized that something was not quite right with my Snowball block....

#81  Snowball             by Susie's Sunroom
Then it hit me.... are you ready for a snowball in the face! ( sorry for the bad pun)  
I realized that I had mixed up two  of my Sew Alongs... I  made this Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt pattern with the  fabrics from my other sew along, The Patchique Quilt Project !

 Luckily, it is an easy block to put together. ( I knew that I had been running around busily for almost a week, but didn't think I could become that distracted!)

#81 Snowball  ...this one is made in some turqouise DS Quilts

 The other "non-quilters"in the family didn't think it was as funny as I thought it was....

** Note to self:  keep "mistake" blocks for a "mistake pillow or wallhanging" (hopefully there won't be enough "mistake"  blocks to make a queen size quilt! )

Block #8:

I double checked that I had the right fabrics,  when I started sewing the pieces together on this block!

#8  Bouquet    page 135 in the FWSQ Book

This block was a simple and fun block to make , using a paper pieced pattern.
Here's my progress on the completed blocks so far: 

Completed FWSQ Blocks     by   Susie's Sunroom
Click here to hop on over to the  Share your FWSQ  Block Flickr group to see beautiful  blocks being shared by Amanda and Elaine!  We'd love to see yours, too.  

I'm off to my sewing room!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Patchique' Week 4 Block Talk

Patchique Quilt Project  Week 4 
I 've been busy this past week, but had time to work on a few blocks for my  Patchique' Quilt Project, sewing along with Amanda, The Patchsmith.

Block 8 :   a Patchwork block 

Block 8     photo from Japanese Taupe Quilts

This is my block 8~

Block 8 is called Uroko  , which means scales     Susie's Sunroom
Block 73 :  an applique block

Block 73  from Japanese Taupe Quilts

Block 73 is called Yama fubuki , and means mountain snowstorm
by Susie's Sunroom

Completed Patique blocks so far:

Slowly, but surely, I am making a nice pile of blocks from the book!  
Amanda's blocks are really so beautiful.... hop on over to The Patchsmith to see hers!
I'm off to my sewing room!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December's Across The Pond Sew Along Project

Across The Pond Sew Along for December
Across The Pond Sew Along

It's the beginning of a month, and that means time for a new project in the Across The Pond Sew Along !

This month we'll be making Coffee cup  sleeves,  or Mug Hugs, as Amanda, The Patchsmith calls her cute little "mini quilts" that hug around a cup or mug!  There are lots of patterns online to choose from when you start looking for them.  
Amy, of Amy Made That!, made this coffee cup sleeve for me as a gift last year

I began to notice that there are several general shapes:   the curved shape, which tapers a bit for the "to go" cups,   and  the straight edged rectangle for the mugs with the straight sides.

Amy's pattern shape is this:

Amy made this sleeve with the curved sides

I jumped at this first project, when Amanda said she was making a cute fox shaped coffee cup sleeve.    She found this link  from Crafty Staci  : Crafty Staci coffee cup sleeves . There are oodles of different patterns to make here!  The Fox is just one of the patterns she has tutorials for.

Crafty Staci's  Fox Coffee Cup Sleeve   and The Patchsmith's Fox Mug Rug
photo courtesy of The Patchsmith
Aren't these just so sweet when paired together??!!  

Here is my Fox Coffee Cup Sleeve:

The back side of the coffee sleeve

The Fox Coffee Sleeve   made by Susie's Sunroom
Well, I have a confession to make.... I made this little fox while my daughter was home for a visit over the holiday.  We were watching a movie and chatting, while I was sewing.  I did not read all of the directions carefully,  and I attached my cute little fox head to the body BEFORE the body was sewn,  front and back together.  It is supposed to be attached AT THE END, like the button on the tail.   ooops!!  (There is a bit of tight turning out the right side,  using my chop sticks, so I didn't undo it.)

Hmmm,   this little "fox" looks more like.....

....Yep!  a Scottish Terrier !!
Obviously, the "fox-like"  outer corners of his  "chops", or like my husband described it as "football shaped head", got lost in the side seams of his body, when I attached him too early!!  And I think I made his nose a little big for a fox.  

So if you want to make a cute Scottie Dog coffee sleeve, you know how to do it now!!

Amy has wittily  suggested that I name this blog post, " The Fox and the Hound !"  

Another note~  When I make another "almost fox, more scottie dog" coffee cup sleeve, the  one difference from Staci's pattern that I would make, is to leave out using the Insulbrite batting.  I like my coffee sleeves thinner, as I am clutzy enough without handling  thick spots around a cup. 

Since this was so much fun, I made another sleeve.  
My goal-  make it for a straight sided mug, with minimal bulk.

The pattern, that sweety pie Amanda found for us, is called Coffee Cup Cozy, from Embroidery Library
Coffee Cup Cozy     from Embroidery Library

I got an idea to make a coffee cup cozy for my daughter, that can be used for 2 different months.   (I took out the embroidery, and made it dual sided)
* ( Have you seen Amy, of Amy Made That! 's , reversible mug rugs ? Such a great idea!!) ** 

Achieved by:  
  •   measure the mug, per directions
  •  make outside one fabric (Christmas) 
  • make  inside another fabric (January)
  • sew 2 buttons (back to back), so loop can hook on either side

Christmas side  

January side

Reversible Coffee cup sleeve  

Mission Accomplished!  Two fun coffee mug sleeves scarfed up by happy daughter before she left for her home!  
These are fun and quick gifts, by the way.

If you make any coffee cup sleeves, or mug hugs,  post your pictures to share in the Across The Pond Sew Along Flickr Group!!
And, go on over to see The Patchsmith's post about her adorable Fox Coffee Sleeve.  She has a giveaway this month!!

I'm off to my sewing room!

PS      Charlene McCullough.... email me with your mailing info, as you won my Blog Hop Giveway in November, but I can't find your email address!  Help !