Monday, September 28, 2009

Easy-Peasy Pincushion

Whip up a bunch of these for quick and easy gifts!
Start with an eight-inch square of your favorite fabric.

Fold in half right sides together and stitch up both sides.

Fold in half the opposite way and stitch seams leaving a one-inch opening
on either side of the previously stitched seams.

Your pincushion should look like this:

Turn inside out making sure to push out the corners.

Fill with your favorite stuffing material. I used raw wool fleece for mine but you can also use polyester batting or even those popular crushed walnut shells.

After filling to desired 'stuffiness', ladder stitch the opening closed.

From two shades of green wool felt cut two leaf shapes, with one leaf slightly smaller
than the other. Stitch a center seam through both leaves.

Attach leaf to pincushion by drawing the thread through
both the bottom and the top of the cushion.

Find some cute buttons and attach them in the same manner, poking through the leaf into the bottom of the cushion and back up. Wind the thread around the top button a few times, take a few stitches through the threads and tie a knot. Clip thread.

And voila! One cute pincushion with its own leaf-shaped needle book!

How easy was that?
* If you would like to make a smaller pincushion, use your leftover charm squares! The result is a perky, three-inch square pillow ready for poking with your favorite pins.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When The Rains Come Down...

...the hands get busy.

It has been raining on and off for a week here in Georgia, with no sign of it letting up any time soon. We haven't had rain like this in a long time. It tends to make one a bit stir-crazy, if you know what I mean.
That said, I am grateful to have a room designated to sewing and crafts. I mean you can only clean your house so much, watch so many movies, play so many games. I've baked cakes and made cookies to the point that, if I don't stop, I could open up a bakery. Taking my dad to his doctor appointments has been a highlight of the past week! It's time for getting my hands busy doing something a little less fattening.
This dish towel is for a swap, a Fall Embroidered Tea Towel Swap, in fact. Since it was a fall theme, I chose to use caramel, chocolate and rust for my color scheme. I used cotton waffle fabric and bound it in homemade bias tape. Then I stitched the birds onto the background with a blanket stitch on my sewing machine, stitched it to the towel likewise, handstitched the black outline and legs (don't look at the legs I cut off. The bird was supposed to be lying down but it looked silly, like it was floating.) and added a little yoyo trim with a vintage button. Voila! Finis!
This is heading off to a farmgirl in Tennessee. I hope she like it. :)
Since I am looking at gray skies yet again today, my friend and I will be working on our strip club quilts. That will definitely be a little ray of sunshine on this gloomy day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Red Onion

One of my favorite onions is the red or Spanish onion. They are sassy in a salad with their slightly peppery flavor and you can't beat them caramelized. Oh. My. Gosh. Lovely.

We happen to have a Red Onion of our own in the quilt gallery at AST! I'm pretty sure that this is the caramelized version.

Quilt pieced and quilted by Harriet Williams

From the book Stack a New Deck, by Karla Alexander, this quilt has everything going for it. First, it's made with batiks. Second, it has lots of play and movement. You know I love a quilt with energy. Third, it's a whopping challenge. Did you see all of those curves? I've not ventured into curved piecing yet. They scare me. But I want to make this quilt!

So, does anyone have any suggestions for getting over my fear? Do I just plow in or are there some little tricks that will help me as I sew? I'm sure there's someone out there who can run onion rings around a curve.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


If you were alive in 1938, you would probably think of this when you heard the word Jitterbug:

The dance was wildly popular, as you can see. Starting as the Jitterbug, it soon became known as the Lindy Hop and then Swing Dancing. It looks like a lot of fun.

So, what does this have to do with quilting? This is what it has to do with quilting:

The Jitterbug Quilt
Quilt pieced and quilted by Sheri Curtis

Isn't this beautiful? The quilt has been made using Windham Fabrics Storybook feed sack reproduction prints. Beginning with a simple four-patch center block, the block radiates out giving it lots of movement and energy, just like the dance.
The pattern came from this book- Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott. The entire book is full of charming quilts, each and every one. Jitterbug happens to be the cover girl.

If you live close by, stop in and take a peek at this incredible quilt. We have strip packs made up just for you, all you need is your background and borders! How nice is that?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Wonky Bits

I'm participating in Quilt Dad's Wonky Log Cabin quilt-along. I've never intentionally made a wonky block, so this has been a challenge for me.
I decided to practice first using a scrap bag that I purchased last spring. It's about time I cut into it anyway and let go of admiring the lovely roll of fabric through its little plastic window.
John has a wonderful wonky log cabin tutorial. It is well-written and very easy to follow. Once you get over the fact that you are making something crooked on purpose, it just goes against my nature, I tell you!

Here is my first block..

and here is my finished runner top. Once I got over my fear of doing it wrong, it is actually quite fun to make these blocks.

I will quickly quilt and bind this as it is going to be a gift for my Aunt Marie, my mother's sister, in Massachusetts. Mom leaves Wednesday for a seven-week visit so I need to get crack-a-lackin'!
Now to choose the fabric for my real Wonky Log Cabin quilt. Should it be brights? Jewel tones? (Not such a fan of those really.) Neutrals? Pastels? Black and white? Brown and cream? Batiks?
Come back in a few weeks to see what I chose. It's going to be wonky-licious!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It's Going To Be A Cozy Christmas!

It looks like the Scarlet Strippers were very busy this month! We had quite a showing of the August strip club quilt, Cactus Wreath. Without and further ado, I give you the offerings from the hands of these amazing women.

This is Barbara's quilt shown by Wendy and Sherrie.
I'm not sure why she didn't want to share it because it is beautiful!

Sandy finished her Transitions quilt. Love those colors.

And her Cactus Wreath quilt. Maybe it should be called Christmas Gold.

The crisp white makes Karen's quilt a classic.

Today was Ann's first time at strip club,
but she brought her lovely Autumn Feather quilt to share.

It always surprises me at how different each quilt turns out.

I love the light and shadow effect in Euberta's quilt.

Lynne took her strips from June's strip club and used the
Gift Boxes pattern to create a delightful quilt.

And here is her Cactus Wreath done with subtle neutrals. Beautiful.

Let me just tell you that I want to be Kathy Tedder when I grow up.

And seriously, how stunning is this quilt? It is for Kathy's niece. If you could see my dining room you would understand why I am simply drooling over this quilt. My back wall is papered in aged book pages and this quilt mimics the feel perfectly, from the subtlety of the creams to that pop of black. I love a pop of black.

Mary, from Miss Mary's Charm School, joined us today as a stripper! This is her first completed strip club top, Transitions. Yay, Mary, you rock!!

DeAnna calls her quilt Midnight Cactus Wreath, having used bold black and white as her background and border fabrics. Wow!

This quilt was made sixty years ago for a then ten-year-old boy. It is hand-pieced and hand-quilted, a true labor of love. Timeless.

Here is Cindy's beauty...

and her mom, Sandra's. Do you see how they planned where their blocks would go?
Really lovely.

And now, because I know you cannot wait to see what we will be making next month, here is Southern Comfort from Cozy Quilt Designs.

Pieced and quilted by Sherrie Curtis.

Oh. My. Gosh. This one is going to challenge me. My friend, Cilla, and I have already planned to sew together so we can guide each other through every single step. I think it's going to be a doozy, but fun nonetheless.
Here are the fabrics that I chose to use in my quilt:

My light and dark for the blocks and

my borders.
Who knows, if it turns out okay, I might share a photo. Maybe.

Hope everyone has a very nice Labor day. Don't work too hard. ;)