Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring Lambs Mug Rug

Spring is here!

Yay for spring's arrival!  Today we are getting rain, and I am not even complaining a wee bit.   We do need the rain for flowers to bloom in May!  ( And hey, it isn't snow!!)

In March, I wanted to make a small project for my sister's  (Amy) birthday.  I remembered seeing a cute little mug rug,  called "Spring Lambs."  Isn't this the just the dearest thing?  Have you already guessed who the designer might be?
                         Yes, of course, it's Amanda, The Patchsmith!

Spring Lambs  Mug Rug    pattern by The Patchsmith
photo courtesy of The Patchsmith
Don't their little  blanket coats look so cute??

Here is my version of  "Spring Lambs"  ....

Spring Lambs     by Susie's Sunroom

Fabrics used:     Various DS Quilts   by Denyse Schmidt    from my stash
                        Felt -   cream for the bodies and black for their heads and legs

I love how the field grass has  little flowers spread throughout .
The  cream colored felt for the little sheep bodies, gave them some texture.
I cut out a little flower and appliqued it to the mama's blanket coat.

I machine blanket stitched around the bodies and the blankets.  I used a straight stitch for the black stitches, since they were very small and curved.
I used the gray polka dot fabric as backing AND the  binding... by folding the excess over and  then machine stitching it on the front.   This kept it all neat and tidy.

If you need a small project , with big heart, for a gift, that can be embellished a little or a lot, these mug rug projects can't be beat!  When I am  adding the details ,that give each pattern their  "heart", I feel like I have just  made a mini quilt!   To date,  Amanda  has 71 different patterns in her Craftsy shop.   There are  2 e- booklets (that have 10 patterns each- for Special Days and Christmas !).... There's bound to be something there to "fit your occasion" ! 

"We'll be baaaaah-ck  when Susie makes one for her desk!"

I'm off to my sewing room!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Farmer's Wife Blocks

Loving these Farmer's Wife Sampler Blocks

I've  just completed two more Farmer's Wife Sampler Blocks....
Making blocks from the book...
in no hurry

Block # 19 :  Checkerboard -

FWSQ block #19   Checkerboard       Susie's Sunroom

I love how this block turned out!!   I really enjoy piecing them by the foundation paper pieced method! 

Block # 20:  Churn Dash -

FWSQ block #20  Churn Dash     Susie's Sunroom

These have been my favorite blocks so far.   And this was the first time I made a Churn Dash block.... so I feel like I have passed a little "classic quilting" landmark , having finally made a churn dash.  I am using various DS Quilts fabrics  (Denyse Schmidt fabrics predominantly), with some other stash fabrics.  The blue is Quilter's Linen (Robert Kaufman.)  I just LOVE any color of the Quilter's Linen!

#19 Checkerboard on top of pile of FWSQ blocks                         Susie's Sunroom

If you want to see other FWSQ blocks,  hop on over to my Flickr group to see what we are all making!  I may be going at a snail's pace, but it is a lot of fun so far! 

Yay, Churn Dash!!
Is anybody else making any big project , with a lot of pieces, but you don't have a  deadline to finish it?                    Enjoy the journey!
I'm off to my sewing room!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Learning to Crochet

Learning some Crochet Basics

I have been a basic knitter for many years now.  I don't knit all of the time.  And I don't know many complicated stitches.   I may let my needles sit for a year, but then I  find a project that I love (and think I can handle) and I find myself knitting again for awhile. I have enjoyed knitting  many blankets and scarves.  

 Erin, at Why Not Sew?  blog , has so  many adorable projects with beautiful  crochet touches. Whenever she makes a new , adorable project with some crocheting in it, I say to myself..." At least learn how to crochet a little something!!"  So  I finally  started  collecting the tutorials that I ran across, in hopes  that when I do  learn how to crochet ,  I will have some cute projects to work on.  
And you know how awesome it is to find a friend, who lives close by, who will help you  figure out things with knitting and crocheting?  I found  my Judy in my choir , and she patiently has  showed me many of the basics of crocheting .  Judy is in the Prayer Shawl group at our church,and she is always knitting or crocheting blankets and shawls to give away, through this touching ministry.  

By the way, Judy was carrying her scissors around in a zip-lock baggie.  When I found this  out, I knew what I wanted to make her as a little thank you gift ...

Easy Snap Clutch    Pattern by  Sweet Pea Patterns                      Susie's Sunroom

They are bigger than they seem....  my large scissors fit inside of it! 

Large enough for scissors and more

So , after a few months of practicing the basics of crochet,  I ventured out into making a few yarn baskets.   (I'll show you them soon.)  

But this cute Easter Basket pattern caught my eye, and  so I decided to try to make it.
I knew it wouldn't be perfect, but I could learn  by trying to make  it.


Lion Brand  Patterns website -     Amigurumi Bunny Basket  Pattern #:  80092AD
Yarn:   Vanna's Choice   white and pink
Level:  Easy level 2



I was thrilled to get the ears to look like ears!  This is the first time I made something other than a circle for a basket.   (The ears were a bit floppy, so I put some white pipe cleaners in them to give them some stiffness.)

I made a little pompom for his tail.  (I now  know I can add LOTS more yarn on the next one that I make.)

I looked up the word Amigurumi.....    The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and  nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll,   typical in Japanese culture.  (Amigurumi really became popular worldwide  in 2003.)

So I hope this is the start of a fun journey into the crocheting world.... in hopes of learning  how to embellish lots of cute projects.

I'm off to my sewing room!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Patchique' blocks 27 and 114

Patchique' blocks #27 and #114

Today , Amanda and I have passed the halfway mark in  making the blocks in her "Patchique'  Quilt Project" Journey.   
Listen... Is that my dear hubby calling out to me, " I say, dear,  this calls for a celebration....  time to place a huge fabric order  in honor of this momentous occasion!  "
{Oh wait...  I was just daydreaming for a minute there...} 

Sewing applique and patchwork blocks with Amanda, The Patchsmith
  This week's patchwork block:  #27    Hira yotsu me  (translated Four flat squares)

Four Flat squares    from the Japanese Taupe Quilts book

This block as 27 pieces, and since I have my scant quarter inch foot and machine settings "nailed", it came together so smoothly!

Block #27  Four Flat Squares     Susie's Sunroom
 The applique' block:   #114  Kikuhs  (Chrysanthemum circle)

Chrysanthemum circle   from the Japanese Taupe Quilts book

I had fun making this large flower into a block!  I got to  pick out 8 different fabrics, and a center feature fabric , to fussy cut.  I used my Moda Martinique fabric for the center.
(Hey, I just noticed "Martinique" has the "-ique" ending like applique!  A perfect fabric for this quilt!)  (You can see that I am easily amused!)

#114  Chrysanthemum circle    Susie's Sunroom

And here are the two blocks, side by side.  Two fun to make blocks!  I just know I'll be making these blocks again in the future.

Chrysanthemum circle and Four flat squares

My completed Patchique' blocks so far!
You can see the blocks that Amanda, The Patchsmith, is making here.  Her fabrics are so pretty and her quilt is going to be gorgeous,... and so Patchsmith!!
I'm off to my sewing room!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Looking Back a Year

May the Best Block Win....

One of my goals as I journey through the sewing world  ....   Learn by experiences and  from others... how to make things  with more accuracy and precision.

An observation:

Last May, I jumped  in to sew with  the Modern Blocks Sew Along  ( at  And Sew We Craft) , making one block per month,  from this book-

Compiled by Susanne Woods
I was really nervous, because the first block , called " Follow The Leader" (by Sherri McConnell), was really hard for me!  It has 16 flying geese sections in it.  My geese were not uniform in size and the finished block size was a little too small.

I thought, "  if this is the FIRST block,  I may not be able to make the last blocks when we get to them ! My blocks are going to be really bad..."

But to my surprise, the blocks varied in difficulty,  and were fun to make! 

So , after I finished  April's block  (here),  I put all 12 blocks out together, and had an idea.

Remake the first block.... and see if this remade block is better than the original.
And put the best block in the quilt!  LOL

(Uh-oh.... this could be a cool thing .... or turn out to be depressing if the newest block shows no improvement!)

So I got busy and  remade the block.  I realized that really do look at this block differently than I did the first time last year.   I used the 3D Flying Geese method, explained in an excellent tutorial by Amanda, The Patchsmith,  to make the flying geese units.  I am going to use this method whenever I can.  I am also  going to use my seam ripper when I am not happy with a section, too.  Gonna correct it early in the process!

The Follow The Leader Block..... made one year apart

 I gathered my courage (vowing not to get upset if he liked last year's block better ) and asked my husband if one block looked better than the other.  He picked block A, saying that the triangles looked more uniform in size. Yay! { Happy Wife... happy Life for the hubby! }  I hope you were able to look above and pick block A , too.   It isn't perfect, but I am happy with the small changes.

So I am content to have improved, a bit, in my block construction during this sew along journey.
 Maybe I'll make this block every year.... and see if I can get all of those darn seams lined up perfectly someday!!

I'm off to my sewing room!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April Blocks

April Blocks... Farmer's Wife Quilt Sampler blocks and Modern Blocks Quilt Along

I am really enjoying making blocks from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Book
                                                   ( by Laurie Aaron Hird)

The Farmer's Wfie Sample Quilt book   
 I am not in a rush to complete the book.  My strategy is :    make a block "in between" my projects.   I enjoy knowing that I make the blocks in alphabetical order (that's one less decision to make ). And  I have  all of the fabric gathered into a laundry basket.  This makes the process relaxing.  I end up usually making 2 blocks at a sitting , using the paper pieced patterns (available after buying the book , through the Yahoo groups FWSQ group.)
Ready to see my latest two blocks?

Here's block # 17:  Cats & Mice

FWSQ Block # 17  Cats & Mice     Susie's Sunroom

 Block # 18 :  Century of Progress

FWSQ Block # 18  Century of Progress     Susie's Sunroom

 I really like how Century of Progress turned out.

FWSQ Blocks  Cats & Mice   and  Century of Progress             Susie's Sunroom

My Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Blocks so far.....    Susie's Sunroom

If you want to see other FWSQ blocks, hop on over to my  Share Your FWSQ Blocks Flickr Group.
And Sew We Craft's quilt along  

Now here is April's block for the Modern Blocks Quilt Along at  And Sew We Craft  :

The Stacked Squares Block   designed by Amanda Sasikirana   page 176 in book
Tutorial  by Ros at   Sew Delicious

Here is my Stacked Squares Block.  This is the last block in the sew along!

Stacked Squares     design by Amanda Sasikarana  page 176 in book

This block has four Flying Geese units in it .  I decided to use the 3 D  Flying Geese Method, that Amanda,  The Patchsmith , has made directions for!  I understand them when she writes them up!    In the past, I have had "issues"  making flying geese the correct size. Happily, they are turning out the correct size when I use Amanda's directions!  Yay!

And here is a picture of all 12 blocks!

My Blocks in the Modern QAL

I like how they turned out!   They are 12 inch finished blocks.    Now, I'll be figuring out if I want to have strips between the blocks, and if so , what fabric to use...  I think I'll make the backing pieced in some way...   Stay tuned for the final quilt!

I'm off to my sewing room!

Linking up at:  Modern Blocks Quilt Along @  And Sew We Craft

Sunday, April 6, 2014

An Easter Basket for April

A Paper Pieced Easter Basket for April

I'm excited to share April's block, from the book ,"  A Year of Paper Piecing  "  , by Beverly A. Maxvill  !  You might remember that the last seasonal block from this book was my snowman...

January's Snowman

A Year of Paper Piecing   book available at Amazon.com

This holiday block works out perfectly this year, as Easter happens to fall in April.

Easter Basket  April's paper pieced block   Design by Beverly A. Maxvill

Fabrics used:   A Fat Quarter Bundle of Mary's Blenders   by Windham -                                                                            -eggs
                           Quilters Linen  Rafia   by Kaufman  - bunny fur
                       Essential Dots   Sage  by Moda     -  border and bow on handle
                     Farmer's Market Large Basket Weave Brown   by RJR  - basket
                       Mixmasters Dot-to-Dot   Ice Blue  by Kaufman    -bunny bow

I decided to try the blender fabrics in the bundle, called Mary's Blenders.  I ADORE THESE colors!  They are subtle and yet rich.  I used them for the decorated eggs.  And I was very happy to have stashed away the Basket Weave fabric ... for "someday".  

The eggs were fun to make with their tiny triangles!

The bow on the basket looked a little "plain", so I decided to add a yoyo 
to it to liven it up!

I'm very happy with my version of Easter Basket, and will enjoy bringing it out every year to celebrate Easter.

Easter Basket

                                       I'm off to my sewing room!

Linking up at:    Can I Get a Whoop Whoop @  Confessions of a Fabric Addict   and
                    Friday Paper Piecing Party      @ Quiet Play  and
                        Sew Cute Tuesday  @ Blossom Heart Quilts  and
                   Sew Darn Crafty  @  Sew Many Ways