Snowflakes and Such

I finished up this quilt last week and dropped it off to the owner yesterday.  This was the first quilt she has EVER made, can you believe it?!  This is a variation on my Jolly Holly quilt and she made it last year when I taught the class at A Touch of Thread.

I took over my sampler quilt (I’ll share more about this next week) and she picked out the designs she wanted.  She decided she wanted snowflakes in the outer border, vines in the inner border, overall meandering in the body of the quilt, and stitch-in-the-ditch around the snowflakes with tight meandering in the white background.

Megan Ziegler Cherry Valley Designs Longarm Quilting

Megan Ziegler Cherry Valley Designs Longarm Quilting

Megan Ziegler Cherry Valley Designs Longarm Quilting

Megan Ziegler Cherry Valley Designs Longarm Quilting

A few weeks ago I started working at A Touch of Thread one day a week to help out and have had the opportunity to “test drive” the Ellisimo by Baby Lock.  Wow!  All I can say is now I know how people feel who drive cadillacs … LOL 🙂  Anyways, I decided to make a matching pillowcase to go with this quilt and try out machine embroidery – something I’ve never tried.  It was a lot of fun and a nice surprise for Rose.

Megan Ziegler Cherry Valley Designs Longarm Quilting

Thanks Rose for letting me quilt your quilt!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Megan 

We’re linking up today with: Finish It Up FridayCan I Get a Whoop Whoop?Thank Goodness it’s Finished Friday.

July: Life’s A Charm – "X" Marks the Spot

Hi Everybody! For all of our US friends, we hope you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend.  This would be the reason why we’re a little late in getting our Life’s a Charm out, along with the fact that I’ve been sick the past few days and have been operating at a slower speed.  Did you do anything fun to celebrate?  We visited Gettysburg and I cooked a big meal for our family – marinated and grilled chicken; cole slaw; potato salad; and of course, homemade cherry pie!  It was so much fun to cook a big meal like that, I don’t get to do that nearly enough!

For this month’s Life’s a Charm we decided to make a quilt (imagine that! … our first for “Life’s a Charm”), something easy that could come together in a snap.  We’ve had 16 fat quarters of 30’s reproduction fabric sitting around in our stash for a long time and decided it was high time to do something with it.  So, I cut it up into 5″ charm squares and got 192 squares.  We ended up using most of these squares for this lap quilt.

For those of you making charm squares out of a fat quarter, it is very easy to do.  You will be able to get 3 rows vertically and 4 rows horizontally giving you 12 charm squares.

Here’s how it goes …

“X” Marks the Spot
Finished Size: 50″ x 50″
Cherry Valley Designs Hourglass Quilt

Materials:
– 4 color scraps of material for 162 – 5″ squares (this would be equivalent to 5 charm packs);
– 56″ x 56″ piece of batting;
– 56″ x 56″ piece of backing fabric;
– 220″ of binding;
– A 6 1/2″ x 24 1/2″ ruler (for cutting your 5″ squares out) – I prefer Creative Grids;
– A 2 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ ruler – again, Creative Grids; and
– A 6 1/2″ square ruler – of course, Creative Grids;
– Your favorite rotary cutter, cutting mat, sewing machine, iron and ironing board!

Step 1: 
Separate your color scraps and make two groups of two.  So, I put purple and blue together (group 1) and pink and green together (group 2).

Cherry Valley Designs Hourglass Quilt

Step 2:
Chain piece your squares together, right sides facing, and sew a quarter inch seam allowance down one side of all your pieces.  Next, sew a quarter inch seam allowance on the opposite side.  Yes, that’s right, just trust me on this one 😉

Cherry Valley Designs Hourglass Quilt

Cherry Valley Designs Hourglass Quilt

Step 3:
Using your 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ ruler, cut each square on the diagonal and iron the seam flat.

Cherry Valley Designs Hourglass Quilt

Cherry Valley Designs Hourglass Quilt

Cherry Valley Designs Hourglass Quilt

Step 4:
Pin your pieces back together, lining up your center point to create an hourglass block and sew together.  Your will need 49 blocks of your first group and 32 blocks of your second group.

Cherry Valley Designs Hourglass Quilt

Cherry Valley Designs Hourglass Quilt

Step 5:
Using your 6 1/2″ square ruler, proof your blocks to 6″ x 6″ squares.

Cherry Valley Designs Hourglass Quilt

Cherry Valley Designs Hourglass Quilt

Cherry Valley Designs Hourglass Quilt

Step 6: 
Iron your seams flat.  Lay your quilt out starting with one color in the center and lay the alternate color around the center block.  Keep alternating colors (around the world) until you have a 9 block x 9 block quilt.  Sew your rows together.  Your quilt top is complete!

I can’t wait to get it on the longarm and get it quilted!  Check back next week for how we quilted this and bound this quilt! … There may even be a tutorial involved!

Until next time!
Megan

Life’s a Charm June: Fun Notebook Cover

This project is so incredibly easy …  it comes together in a snap, literally a few hours!  I think sometimes it’s nice to have a mindless project to just make you feel you accomplished something, at least this is true for me!

This month we simply sewed together 40 mini charms into an 8 by 5 rectangle to create a notebook cover.  How simple is that!  I can so see these for the beginning of school or baby shower gifts for moms-to-be to chronicle their months or just a fun way to scrapbook your family’s summer adventures!

You will simply need a Mead notebook, a mini charm pack, an iron, and your sewing machine – mine broke during this project 😦 so don’t look to closely at my stitching 😉

We cut out red, white and blue fabric from our own stash and then simply sew 8 blocks across horizontally and 5 blocks vertically.

Then fold under twice 1/8″, press down and stitch a straight line to hold your edge down.

Once this is complete, simply use your notebook as a template.  Iron down the top and bottom, then the sides.  Pin the sides down and using a zigzag stitch, stitch along the entire top and bottom at the edge of the cover.

Enjoy!
Megan

Life’s A Charm: Valentine’s Mug Rugs

Hello Everybody, I’m finally starting to feel back in the swing of things and it’s a good thing since it’s that time again for “Life’s A Charm,” our monthly series where we create a quick pattern using either a mini charm pack or charm pack.  Last month, we featured a table topper with nothing other than snowflakes, check it out here.  I’d also like to welcome visitors from the linky parties we’re participating in today:

February is all about love and what better way to share something with the one you love than over a hot cup of coffee, tea, hot cocoa … you get the idea.  There is one way to make it better, by using matching mug rugs featuring a pieced heart in the corner!  This month’s “Life’s a Charm” is a pattern for two matching Valentine’s Mug Rugs.  This has to be one of my favorite projects I’ve ever made and I love using my mug rug, it’s such a nice addition to my desk.
Valentines Mug Rugs
What You’ll Need:
  • (1) Mini Charm Pack (we used Odds and Ends by Cosmo Cricket)
  • (1) scrap of cream fabric (we used a 10″ x 10″ extra from a layer cake and had plenty left over)
  • (2) 8″ x 12″ pieces of batting
  • (2) 8″ x 12″ pieces of backing fabric
  • (2) 2 1/2″ x 50″ pieces of binding
  • A ruler with a 45 degree angle such as this one
Step 1: We’re going to start by assembling the pieced heart blocks. You will need to cut

  • A – 6 red mini charm pieces into (24) 1″ x 1″ squares; 
  • B – 2 red mini charm pieces into (4) 1″ x 2″ strips; 
  • C – 1 red mini charm piece into (2) 1″ x 2 1/2″ strips; and 
  • D – 1 red mini charm piece into (2) 1″ x 1 1/2″ strips.  

From your cream scrap fabric, cut

  • E – (12) 2 1/2″ x 1″ strips; 
  • F – (10) 1 1/2″ x 1″ strips; 
  • G – (4) 1″ x 1″ squares; and 
  • H – 2″ x 1″ strips.

Step 2: Next it will be helpful to lay your hearts out with all the pieces where they should be.  In the order listed below (from left to right), lay out your rows.  You can see from the picture below how I did mine.

  • Row 1: E -> E
  • Row 2: F -> A -> A -> A -> F -> A -> A -> A-> F 
  • Row 3: G -> B -> B -> G
  • Row 4: F -> A -> C -> A -> F
  • Row 5: H -> A -> D -> A -> H
  • Row 6: E -> A -> A -> E
  • Row 7: E -> E
Step 3: Rows 2, 4, 5, and 6 all have half square triangles to create “curved” edges of the heart.  This is when you will need a ruler with a 45 degree angle.  For Row 2, place the first F and A right sides together, and mark a 45 degree line on the red fabric’s back side from the upper right hand corner diagonally towards the bottom left hand corner (see Picture 1 below).  Next, using the center F piece mark the same as previously stated with the right side A piece.  Sew both pieces and press towards red fabric.  Cut off excess fabric on back side so there is 1/4″ seam (see Picture 2 below).
Finishing Row 2, place the left side of the center F piece and mark a 45 degree angle from the upper left hand corner diagonally towards the bottom right hand corner (see Picture 3 below).  Repeat with final A and F pieces. Sew both pieces and press towards red fabric.  Cut off excess fabric on back side so there is 1/4″ seam (see Picture 2 below).

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3 

Step 4: For rows 4, 5, and 6, the left hand side of the heart’s angles will all be the same and the right hand side of the heart’s angles will all be the same.  For the left hand side place red fabric right side together with cream fabric and draw a 45 degree angle from the upper left hand corner diagonally to the lower right hand corner on the back side of the red fabric.  Sew both pieces and press towards red fabric.  Cut off excess fabric on back side so there is 1/4″ seam.

For the right hand side place red fabric right side together with cream fabric and draw a 45 degree angle from the upper right hand side to the lower left hand side on the back side of the red fabric.  Sew both pieces and press towards red fabric.  Cut off excess fabric on back side so there a 1/4″ seam.  Once complete lay out your rows with angled pieces in place.

Step 5: Sew your rows together and your pieced hearts are complete. Next lay out the rest of your mug rug pieces and arrange as desired.  Row 1 will consist of 5 mini charm pack pieces; rows 2 and 3 will consist of 3 pieces across, finished with the pieced heart block.

Step 6: Sew all pieces across for rows 1, 2 and 3.

Step 7: Finish by sewing pieced rows 2 to 3, then sew to the pieced heart block.  You will need to proof this piece to 4″ wide!  Finally sew row 1 to rows 2 and 3.  Quilt and bind as desired, your mug rugs are complete!

Hope you enjoy making and using these, thanks for stopping by!
Megan

Sew You’ve Always Wanted to Quilt!

Happy New Year!

In the spirit of the new year, have you always wanted to learn to quilt and not been certain what you might need or where to begin?  Last week Megan and I were on Pinterest (that is so addicting!) and we noticed how many people were pinning quilts with the captions “Things we wish our mom had taught us” and “Things we’ll have our moms make.”  That got us to thinking that there are a lot of aspiring quilters out there. In that vain we thought the first day of the new year would be the perfect time to introduce our new series “Life’s A Charm” and share the absolute necessary tools of the trade.  No fears, this year, 2013,  can be the beginning of your exciting adventure into the wonderful world of quilting!  If you are new to sewing, we will walk you through as much as possible so by the end of 2013, you will be well versed in not only sewing but also quilting!

On the 5th of every month we will be unveiling a new project in our “Life’s A Charm” series.  We will be offering you a free project along with tips and tricks to make it easy for you to complete each project.  Each project can be using either a mini charm pack (which is 42-2 1/2 inch squares) or a charm pack (which is 42-5 inch squares) – always choose 100% cotton fabric.  In addition, should you have any questions along the way, please feel free to leave a comment with your question and we will gladly answer each and every one!

Today, we are listing the basic necessities you will need to begin quilting – while it is a bit of an investment initially, after rounding these items up – you should be good to go for quilting.  The basic things that you will need to get started include:

Quilting+Tools
  1. Basic sewing machine
  2. Straight pins with heads
  3. Good pair of 8″ or 9″ scissors for cutting fabric*
  4. 4″ or 5″ pair of  sharp tipped scissors for cutting threads, etc.*
  5. Seam ripper
  6. 45 mm Olfa rotary cutter*
  7. Resealable cutting mat*
  8. 24″ ruler (and 6″ square ruler, if you want)*
  9. An iron that can be both a dry iron and a steam iron
  10. An ironing board
  11. Starch
  12. Spool of cotton thread in a neutral color (like tan or cream)

* You can find our picks for these items in our Amazon shop!

You see, so far, not too scary!  Again, if you should have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with us … we will be glad to help!!

We hope that you will join us on the 5th of each month for a fun filled journey into the wonderful world of quilting!

Until the 5th ~

Penny

Gift Basket Ideas

When one of my friends has a special celebration I love to find something they really like and create a themed gift basket.  I always try to add something handmade.  It’s fun for me and they are always a huge hit!  This past spring a friend of our family’s graduated from high school.  She started cosmetology school this summer to become an esthetician, so I created a basket with fun skin care products for her.  This basket included three wash clothes with a rose applique on each and a hand towel with a three tier ruffle.  Check out the pictures below!
The finished basket.
A close-up of the hand towel with ruffles.
A close-up of the wash clothes with a rose applique on each.
A couple of years ago I made a friend a cupcake-themed basket for her wedding shower.  She loves to host parties and do lots of baking, so I made a basket liner trimmed with jumbo-sized, pink ric rac.  I appliqued it with the initial of her married last name and a cupcake complete with sprinkles (glass beads).
The cupcake themed basket.
A close-up of the appliqued cupcake and initial.      
Don’t forget to check out this week’s designers with the Glorious Autumn Quilter’s Block Party which you can find here.