Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Turquoise Facets

It was quite a productive spring break, sewing-wise, in our house last week. Not only did my son make his first quilting project (more on that next week!), but I finished up my Stash Bee quilt from last year.  Introducing Turquoise Facets:

I love how this turned out and it's exactly what I'd planned for. You can check out all the details here on the Stash Bee blog, but here was one of my inspiration photos, along with my EQ7 rendering.

I kept the quilting very simple, opting for organic wavy lines, using Aurifil 50 weight white cotton thread. Of course, when I say simple, I mean in look only. This quilt isn't huge, it only measures 60" x 60" square, but it was a pain to quilt long rows on a DSM. I can really see where this would have gone much easier and quicker on a long arm machine. I used Carolyn Friedlander's Widescreen in gray for the backing.

It's the perfect addition to my living room and I'm now working on some coordinating throw pillows.

This is my One Monthly Goal finish for March and another finish for the first quarter of the 2016 Finish Along.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Spanish Tiles Block Tutorial

Hello and welcome to my stop on the 2016 New Block Blog Hop sponsored by Paintbrush Studio. This is my second year participating (you can check out last year's blocks here) and I'm really excited to share with you a new quilt block tutorial, featuring their new line of solids, Painter's Palette. Be sure to check out all the other participant links at the end of this post for some other great blocks. Now on to the block I designed!

Spanish Tiles Block Tutorial

This block finishes at 12-inches square (12.5-inches unfinished) and uses 5 of the colors in the ocean sunrise palette (Midnight, Daydream, White, Coral, Bordeaux). I like the secondary "plus" pattern that you get when you repeat this block in a quilt.

NOTE: I pre-washed all of my Paintbrush Studio fabrics before sewing. All seam allowances should be 1/4-inch, unless otherwise noted. 

Cutting Instructions

Fabric A - Bordeaux

  • Cut (4)  2.5"  x 4.5" rectangles 
  • Cut (4)  2.5" x 2.5" squares

Fabric B - Daydream

  • Cut (4)  3" x 3" squares (for flying geese corners)
  • Cut (1)  6" x 6" square  (for hourglass block)

Fabric C - Coral

  • Cut (4)  2.5" x 2.5" squares

Fabric D - Midnight
  • Cut (1)  5.5" x 5.5" square (for flying geese)
  • Cut (4)  3" x 3" squares (for flying geese corners)

Fabric E  - White
  • Cut (1)  5.5" x 5.5" square (for flying geese)
  • Cut (1)  6" x 6" square (for hourglass block)

Piecing Instructions

Step 1 - Make Hourglass Block

a) Place your 6" white (fabric E) and 6" daydream (fabric B) squares right sides together. Draw a diagonal line on the back.

b) Sew a 1/4-inch on both sides of the drawn line, cut on the solid line (see the illustration below) and press. This will give you 2 half square triangles (HST)

c) Place your HSTs, right sides together with the white color on top of the blue color, as shown below.

d) Draw a diagonal line, bisecting the seams, and sew 1/4-inch on either side. Cut on the solid line and press open to reduce bulk.  This will give you 2 hourglass blocks, but we will only be using one. Trim one down to 4.5" square.

Step 2 - Make Flying Geese Units (4 at a time)

NOTE: This is the only step that I use a scant 1/4-inch seam, to give me a little more wiggle room for trimming.

a) Place your 3" midnight blue squares (fabric D) on opposite corners of your 5.5" white square (fabric E), with right sides together. There will some overlap of your smaller squares.

b) Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner, over your blue squares, and sew a scant 1/4-inch on either side of the drawn line.  TIP: A great tool for marking lines on really dark fabric is a sliver of white soap.

c) Cut on the drawn line and press.

d) Place another blue square on the white corner of one of the units you just pressed, right sides together, and draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.

e) Sew a scant 1/4-inch on either side of the drawn line. Cut on the drawn line and press open. You will now have 2 flying geese units. Repeat with your remaining blue/white unit to give you a total of 4 flying geese units. Trim them down to 4.25" x 2.5" and set aside.

f) Make 4 more flying geese units using the 3" daydream (fabric B) squares and the 5.5" midnight blue (fabric D) square.

Step 3 - Piece Together Double Flying Geese Units

a)  Place a white/midnight blue flying goose block on top of a midnight blue/daydream flying goose block, right sides together, and sew a 1/4-inch along the long side. Press to the dark side, to reduce bulk. Make remaining 3 units.

Step 4 - Piece Together 4 Corner Units

a)  Place a 2.5" coral square (fabric C) and a 2.5" bordeaux square (fabric A), right sides together, and sew a 1/4-inch along one side. Press seam open.

b) Place a bordeaux rectangle (2.5" x 4.5") on top of the unit above, right sides together, and sew a 1/4-inch along the long side. Press seam open. Make remaining 3 units.

Step 4 - Piece Together Entire Block

a)  Lay out your units as follows and piece together each row, using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Press open.

b) Now piece together the 3 rows, using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Press open.

And you're done! You should now have a block that measures 12.5" x 12.5" (unfinished).

If you decide to make this block, please let me know, I'd love to see it.  Definitely check out all the other participants on today's hop and those later this week:

Host: Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
Jess @Quilty Habit
Silvia @A Stranger View
Cristy @Love You Sew
Kelly @Quilting It Out
Renee @Quilts of a Feather
Bernie @Needle and Foot
Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination
Chelsea @Patch the Giraffe
Mary @Quilting is in my Blood
Sarah @123 Quilt

Tuesday, March 29th
Host: Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

Wednesday, March 30th
Host: Stephanie @Late Night Quilter

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Piano Bench Makeover

I've had this piano bench for years. I don't even own a piano anymore but it's always come in handy for something. In our current house, we have a vanity nook in our master bathroom and this bench fits perfectly, but since it was looking rather run down I decided to give it a makeover. A little paint and a pad covered in some plaid fabric from Ikea and it will be good as new!

I first sanded it a bit and then my trusty sidekick helped me paint it an espresso brown to match the bathroom cabinets.

Next up, was to buy a foam remnant for the seat cushion and to trim it down to size. I discovered that the ideal cutting tool for high density foam is an electric carving knife. Who knew, right? And now mine will get used 3 times this year!

To cover it, I just stretched the fabric taut over the foam and bench and used 10mm staples to staple it directly to the bench. I think this will be okay for now, but if it ever needs to be redone, I think I'll make a removable cover and attach it to the bench using velcro strips.  Here's the finished project!

With my brother's help last month, he showed me how to wire an additional outlet so now there's one underneath the cabinet for my hairdryer to stay tucked out of sight. It's the little things that make me happy. :)

Friday, March 04, 2016

Monthly Goal for March


I'm determined to get my 2015 Stash Bee quilted and bound as my OMG project for March. I want to keep the quilting very simple so it's just a matter of setting other things aside and getting it done. The hardest part is going to be deciding on which thread to use. Time to focus and do this!

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Improv Block for Orlando MQG

We had our monthly quilt guild meeting here in Orlando this morning and I had the pleasure of designing a block for our April block of the month. Each month, our guild members make a block and bring them in and we have a random drawing to see who will get to take all of the blocks home. Here is the block I designed. You can check out my quick tutorial on our guild's blog here.