Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Three quilt tops, Mule Deer, Bison and A Rock Climbing Wall

I had a very productive weekend. I wanted to write this post on Sunday evening but I was too tired. Yesterday I was busy with volunteer activities so here I am on Tuesday. I got three quilt tops finished this past weekend! One of them was my Christmas "Penny Candy" quilt that I've had on my WIP list FOREVER! It's finally all pieced! Now I'm casting about for backing. I'll probably buy some flannel. I haven't taken photos with my "good" camera yet but you can see it on Instagram here.
Charm Dash Quilt designed by Ms. Midge Pieced by Anita LaHay. Fabrics are Ruby with a bit of April Showers by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. I have ordered some Miss Kate from Country Clothesline for borders, backing and binding.

I also got the top for my Charm Dash quilt pieced together for the upcoming quilt along on Ms. Midge's Blog. That's coming up in March so stay tuned to see my finished quilt on the blog hop.

I also pieced a "Piece of Cake 2" quilt for my Aunt who returned home from the hospital after a double mastectomy last week. Cancer sucks! I hope this quilt will bring some comfort. Again, no "good camera" photos yet but it is on Instagram here.

A rainbow hexagon quilt I made for the February Birthday girl in the #canuckbdayclub. She received it today so I can show it now. I hand sewed the hexagons together. Each side is one inch. Then I machine stitched it to the Kona black background. I cut away the black behind the hexagons from the back to reduce bulk and then quilted it.
This quilt was number 7 on my Q1 Goal Setting Post and I am linking it up with The 2015 Finish Along.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

I took a break from quilting on Saturday afternoon because the kids each had $5.00 from the aforementioned Aunt and they wanted to spend it on climbing the rock wall at the local fitness facility. I was so proud of them. They chose physical activity instead of candy!
My kids on the rock wall. (The baby was sleeping in her car seat carrier throughout.) I took this photo from the second floor of the fitness complex.

My son heading for the overhang which he did climb to the very top.

My daughter got scared at this point so her belayer brought her down.

My son grabbing for the rope to attach it to a a hook on the wall.

On our way back home we saw some cute little Mule Deer on the side of the road and then took a drive by the Buffalo paddock and got a good look at the "Big Daddy" buffalo and a smaller (but still big!) buffalo. It was a pretty great Saturday afternoon.

Mule Deer. Aww, look at the ears!

There were six of them.

Buffalo (Great Plains Bison).

Some of the herd.

Big Daddy buffalo on the move.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Fabric Giveaway and a Pieced Hexagon Pillow Cover Tutorial

Today is an exciting day at Daydreams of Quilts. We have a gorgeous giveaway of seven fat quarters sponsored by Country Clothesline. Sylvia, of Country Clothesline, was so kind to send me a bundle of these too so that I could create a tutorial for all of you readers of my blog to give you an idea of what you could make with these fabrics. Thank you so much Sylvia! This bundle is available for sale in the pre-cuts section of Country Clothesline and is called the China White bundle.

Okay let's get to it! The Rafflecopter for the giveaway will be at the bottom of this post.

This is what we will be making with this tutorial.
Take your seven fat quarters and press them. Select one fat quarter for the binding and two for the backing. The backing of the pillow will have a main fabric and an accent fabric. Cut five 2 1/2 inch strips from your binding fabric and set aside.

Cut 5 two and a half inch strips for binding.

If you have a hexagon template from a Moda Honeycomb it will make this very easy. If not, you can make a hexagon with template plastic. Each side is 3 inches.

Trace around your hexagon template with a Frixion pen or a water soluble fabric pen. Make sure to get the little dots in each corner a quarter inch from the traced lines.

Continue tracing all the way up the leftover piece of binding fabric butting up the hexagons to each other to reduce waste and also speed up cutting just a little bit.

When you can't trace anymore hexagons stop and set aside for now.

Take your main pillow backing fabric fat quarter and cut it in half to make two fat eighths 9 x 20 inches. Set aside.

Take your accent pillow backing fabric and cut in half. Set one half aside and cut the other half in half again so you have two pieces 4.5" x 22" and a fat eighth. Set aside the two narrower strips for now with the binding and main backing fabric. We don't need them until the end.

Pieces cut from backing accent fabric.

Continue tracing hexagons onto all your fat quarters and the remaining fat eighth from the backing accent fabric. The only fabric that won't be on the front of the pillow is the backing main fabric. You need 22 hexagons.
This is what I have leftover to put into another project (about four fat eighths). Make your hexagons in neat rows butted up together so you will have a nice bit of leftover fabric too. This could become another patchwork pillow front. We would just need to add a binding and backing from our stash (or order more from Country Clothesline!)
Lay out your hexagons in rows alternating 4, 5, 4, 5, 4. (My row second from bottom is missing a hexagon on the end in this photo.)

Start sewing the sides of the hexagons together in rows. Put your needle in on the dot at the top of the seam and take it out on the dot at the bottom of the seam. Do not sew past the dots into the seam allowance.
Your seam should look like this. If you want to take a little back stitch at the start and end it couldn't hurt. I always forget to do that.
When you have all your hexagons sewn into rows it will look like this. Now you can begin sewing the rows together. Note, we do not press yet. We need the fabric flexible so we can manipulate it for our Y seams and pressing it will erase our little dots that show us where to start and stop our seams.

Place the last hexagon on your second row over the last hexagon on your first row. Your second row will slant down on the right of the first row. Sew from dot to dot on your first seam.

Here I am showing you the hexagon from the first row underneath.

For your second seam on the first hexagon that you are sewing your second row will slant upwards to the left of your first row. Again sew from dot to dot.

When sewing these "Y" seams it is necessary to manipulate the fabrics so they are not in your way and you can get your two pieces that you are working on lying flat. Here I have pinched the white floral fabric and folded it in half to get my seam on my pink polka dot fabric to lie flat for stitching.

Here's a look at the white floral fabric from another angle so you can see how I have pinched it with my fingers by the seam allowance and folded it so the pink polka dot fabric is lying flat.

Here, going another direction, it found it easier to tuck the fabric in so I have tucked the pink polka dot fabric inside the other fabrics (not so much as to catch it in the seam though!)

Here is the pink polka dot fabric tucked in (on the left) so I can get my seam line that I want to sew (on the right) to lie flat.
Continue sewing all your rows together and then press them at the end. Normally we press our rows before we sew them together when quilting but that will not work for us here with the need to manipulate our fabric to make the Y seams. When you are pressing everything at the end just let the seams fall how they naturally want to fall. Then trim up the sides of your pillow top so they are even.

Your pillow top will measure about 19 inches square at this point. Layer it with batting and an inexpensive lining fabric (such as muslin) and quilt it to your liking. You don't have to have the lining but I think it's nice and it will probably wash up better if you have a lining on the back of your batting. Then create your pillow back by sewing your two accent strips into your main fabrics with a quarter inch seam. Fold down the raw edges a quarter inch and press. Then another quarter inch and press again to create a hem. Then stitch.

Lay your backing pieces wrong side up and overlap them by a couple of inches (or more if you can/want). This creates an envelope back. Lay your quilted and trimmed pillow top face up and pin all the way around.

Here is the back of the project after pinning all the way around. Working from the front sew all the way around your project twice with a 1/8 to a scant 1/4 inch seam (you will want this seam to end up inside the seam allowance of your binding so it doesn't show). Trim away excess backing fabric with your rotary cutter. Then make your binding with your five strips that you cut at the beginning. Fold in half wrong sides together and press. Attach your binding to the front as you would with a quilt and then fold around to the back and hand stitch down to the back of your project (just as with a quilt).

And you're done! Put in an 18" pillow form and enjoy your beautiful new hexagon pillow. 

Here it is in a Poang chair from IKEA to give you an idea of size. I have this as a decorative pillow on my bed now.

Here is the back.

I hope you will have a chance to sew up a pillow cover of your own. Please enter to win these lovely fabrics designed by 3 Sisters for Moda. If you cannot wait to get started you can order all seven of these fabrics from Country Clothesline. This giveaway is open to everyone including our international friends and will close in a week. The winner will be contacted by email. Best of luck to you and thank you for visiting us in our various online places. If you do not have Facebook you can sign in with your name and email on the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 9 February 2015

Hazel the Hedgehog Blog Hop

Hello! If you are visiting today from the Hazel the Hedgehog Quilt Along blog hop welcome to Daydreams of Quilts. I am so happy to be here today as part of Angie at Gnome Angel's quilt along to show you a couple of projects you can make with Elizabeth Hartman's fantastic "Hazel the Hedgehog" patterns. (Hazel the Hedgehog and Hazel the Hedgehog II). I bought both patterns but my projects here are made with the Hazel the Hedgehog II pattern using the large Hazel block and the giant Hazel block.

I used the large Hazel block to make a 20 inch throw cushion. I have been waiting for the perfect project to use my yellow Geekly Glasses from the Geekly Chic line by Riley Blake and this was it!

The glasses! They go perfectly with the fabric! :) If you are using the smaller Hazels from the original pattern there is a free download for glasses that will fit those smaller blocks on Elizabeth's website. (Link in first paragraph.)

I used a newsprint collage for my background on the front from "Such Designs". For the back I used this script of menus from the 1800s called "Bon Appetit". The color matches the front background fabric perfectly and I like the juxtaposition between the modern newsprint and the antique script. (Confession... this is looking lumpy because I stuffed tea towels in the corners for the photo shoot. Gasp! I know! But my local Walmart only has 18" pillow forms and this is a 20" pillow... anyway, I digress.)

One last look at Hazel on my new Poang chair that my parents gave me for Christmas (from IKEA). I do love her!

Picture from Instagram of my 20" block ready for quilting.

Picture from Instagram of my giant block ready for quilting. (And my toes photo bombed this pic.)

I used the giant Hazel block to make a baby quilt for my new baby daughter (5 months old already!) How great is this? Sew one block and boom! You have a baby quilt!

Here is the Giant hazel hanging on her crib. I used Cotton + Steel arrows for the spikes. I had them all cut out and then the next day I saw that Angie did one of her hedgehogs this way too! Great minds think alike! I used Cotton + Steel pink Netorious from the Basics line for her face. I'm not sure of the name for her legs/body but it's not a Cotton + Steel print. I used Briar Rose by Heather Ross for the background because I thought one might actually find a hedgehog in a clover patch searching for clover flowers and crickets to eat.

Here you can see the quilt on a standard size crib mattress (sorry the lighting is not so great up in the bedroom).

This quilt was #12 on my Q1 Finish Along Goals List and I am linking it up with The 2015 Finish Along.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

I used coordinating Briar Rose prints for the binding and backing.

As far as tips for these projects I would say this: The pattern is very well written. If you follow it closely you will do fine. You absolutely must label your fabrics as you cut them. This will simplify things for you vastly. I would not attempt to sew this without labeling my cut pieces (A,B,C etc.) Also, the only part where I messed up was the last piece of spikes on the sides that also include her body. Pay close attention to the diagrams at that part and eliminate distractions.

There will be Prizes for linking up your Hazel quilts on the Gnome Angel blog at the end of the Quilt Along on February 27th so make sure you link up for a chance to win.

Here are all the dates for the bloggers on the blog hop in conjunction with the Hazel Hedgehog QAL.


Friday 6 February – Interview with Elizabeth Hartman @ GnomeAngel.com
Monday 9 February – Fiona @ Bendigo Lioness
Wednesday 11 February – Anita @ Daydreams of Quilts
Friday 13 February – Raylee @ Sunflower Quilting
Monday 16 February – Brandy @ M3 Quilts
Wednesday 18 February – Melissa @ Ms Midge
Friday 20 February – Tara @ Simply Crafted
Monday 23 February – Cassie @ Cassandra Madge
Wednesday 25 February – Kate @ Stitched with Love
Friday 27 February – QAL Finishes with a Link Up @ GnomeAngel.com & Gotham Quilts
Here are the discount codes that are offered for the Quilt Along (copied from Angie's blog):


If you’re keen to get your hands on the Hazel Hedgehog pattern, the fabulous Elizabeth Hartman has given us a fabulous 25% off for those wanting to purchase the pattern. All you have to do is use the coupon codeHazelQAL25 at the checkout and you’ll save 25% off either (or both) Hazel Hedgehog patterns. Coupon code is valid until the end of February.
If you’d like to get some fabulous new fabrics to make your Hazel’s then I’ve also got some discount codes for you.
If you like to buy your fabrics in the US you can get 20% off at Gotham Quilts by using the code, HazelQAL, the code is valid until the end of February and cannot be used with gift certificates or sale items.
If you like to buy your fabrics in Australia you can get 20% off at Cotton Factory by using the code, Hazel20, at checkout. The code is valid until the end of March and cannot be used with gift certificates.
So I hope you join in the fun of this Quilt Along. It's a really great pattern and I highly recommend it. Thank you for visiting my blog today! Make sure you check out the Gnome Angel post for all the details, information and prizes.