March 30, 2016

Custom Full Size Starboard in Summer Breeze {Progress + Photo Bombs!}

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I've made substantial progress on this custom quilt this week!  The quilt top is now assembled, awaiting quilting.  Unfortunately, the quilting is on hold because it didn't occur to me until I laid out the quilt top that the batting should be white rather than the standard beige, so I had to order some in.

Most custom quilt orders do not include matching pillow shams, so I'm tickled that this one does!  It makes the quilt feel complete to have matching pillows.  I offered my customer seven different star border options, and she chose this one, which I also would have chosen!  The outer border floral fabric will also be on the back of the pillows, and the binding of the quilt and the pillow shams will be a solid blue just a tad darker than the one shown.

Now for the photo bombs!  I actually did them on purpose and then teased them for jumping in!  Ya gotta make yer own fun!


Linking to:

WIPs on WednesdayLet's Bee SocialMidweek Makers ♥ Show Off Saturday ♥ MOP Monday ♥ Podunk Pickins ♥

March 29, 2016

Announcing Yard Sale Saturday! {Sell Your Stuff!}

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Announcing Yard Sale Saturday!  The first Saturday of every month I will be hosting a link-up to online craft yard sales!  Got extra fabric to sell?  Have handmade items you'd like to clear out?  Write a post listing your items for sale and link-up this Saturday, April 2nd!

Here's the nitty gritty:

  • Craft-related and handmade items only.  Books, patterns, fabric, kits all welcome!
  • This is a yard sale, so all prices must be below retail, including handmade items.
  • Post pictures, prices, shipping fees, and to what countries you will ship.
  • You may link to your Etsy shop in your blog post, but this is not required.  I will be linking to a Destash and/or Clearance section in my Etsy shop, so the list of what I have on my yard sale is always current.
  • Link back to the Yard Sale Saturday post at Busy Hands Quilts with either an image {see below} or a text link.  This link must be in the post; sidebar does not count.
  • Link-ups will be open for one week.
  • Any links not meeting these requirements will be deleted from the link-up.

There are two different sized buttons for you to grab:  125 and 250.

Busy Hands Quilts

Busy Hands Quilts

March 28, 2016

To-Do Monday

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My to-do list for the week of March 27th.

Here are 230-ish HSTs, pressed and ready to assemble!  An Accuquilt Go! makes a breeze of HSTs - to size with no trimming whatsoever!  This is a custom order for a full size quilt using Melissa Corey's Starboard pattern which can be found in 75 Fun Fat Quarter Quilts.  I'm adding an extra row of blocks to make the quilt long enough.  The fabric is Summer Breeze by Moda.

I've begun assembling the pinwheel blocks, and the three sections are ready to sew together.  To save time, I cut larger rectangles of the white background fabric rather than the smaller squares called for in the pattern since the squares would have to be sewn together later on.  This change meant the block could no longer be assembled in four rows; the center pinwheels needed assembled first with the larger rectangles sewn to the sides to make three rows to assemble the quilt block.

Saturday sewing time is almost always spent on a fun project for myself since much of my sewing during the week is for custom orders and designing quilt patterns.  I was able to get a few rows of my Bargello quilt top sewn together after finishing the house project goals I had set for the day.  This Bargello quilt is so fun that I could hardly stop at dinner time!  Hopefully I don't have to wait until Saturday to sew on this fun project again!  Fabric is Gelato Collection by Elite which is very similar to Gradations by Benartex.  

I am contributing a 9-patch tutorial during the Nifty Nines Quilt Along at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and need to get my quilt finished.  The tutorial is written, and I need to put the finishing touches on it.  I've been wanting to use the many Army browns and greens in my stash, and this tutorial is perfect for them.

I'm also working on some mystery sewing for an upcoming quilt pattern.  Trying to figure out setting triangle sizes and how to get the idea of a quilt on point into a diagram has doubled my gray hairs, and if I had a tail, it would be twisted as well!!  At least it's fun Daysail fabric in my favorite combo - red and aqua!

And if that's not enough projects for the week, there are still two other quilt tops on my design wall.  One is another rainbow awaiting quilting, and the second one is a triangle wall hanging made from this Craftsy table runner kit.  My quilts look different than the kit since I used isosceles triangles rather than HSTs. I made three quilts from the one kit because there was so much fabric included that wasn't used with the first table runner!  Two of them were gifts which I'll show you as soon as I finish up the third one!

One of my favorite things about Craftsy quilt kits is there is often more fabric than needed!  Be sure to add up the amount of fabric included when analyzing the price of a kit; they are often rock-bottom prices per yard.  


Linking to:

Moving It ForwardMain Crush Monday ♥ Monday MakingBuilding Blocks TuesdayWIPs on Wednesday ♥ 

March 25, 2016

Scrappy Patches Rainbow Wall Hanging {a Finish!}

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This happy wall hanging is made from scraps leftover from the Scrappy Patches rainbow baby quilt I made from my pattern of the same name.  Scrappy Patches is on sale for you today! in my Craftsy shop!  This fun quilt will join the other rainbow quilts in the hallway!

I am so excited to be able to straight line quilt with my new sewing machine, a Brother cs6000i!  Don't let it's low price fool you into thinking it's a joke of a machine!  The walking foot works fantastically, and the needle-down position option is a dream!!  As I'm getting to know my new machine, I'm thinking of all of the features I love which I'll share with you in a future post.

Quilt Stats:
  • Pattern:  Blocks leftover from Scrappy Patches
  • Fabrics:  Kona Cotton Solids
  • Size:  24.5" square
  • Batting:  80/20 Hobbs fusible
  • Backing:  Amy Butler print with Kona Cotton blue.
  • Quilting:  Straight line quilting in gray thread on my new sewing machine, a Brother cs6000i which I ♥♥♥!!
  • Binding:  Kona Cotton Sour Apple
  • Value:  A ray of sunshine!

Today is Free Fabric Friday at Craftsy!  Enter to win this FreeSpirit fat quarter bundle!

Linking to:

March 17, 2016

Custom Quilting for Joyce

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This week I quilted this queen quilt for Joyce in an large allover meandering stitch in variegated Gutermann thread.  I was not thrilled to be using cotton thread in Mrs.Singer again since the cotton Aurifil I have tried in the past was a disaster with constant lint build-up.  I couldn't find a polyester thread that blended well, so cotton it was.  The Gutermann cotton thread performed just fine, and Mrs.Singer had no hiccups!

It is a pleasure to quilt for Joyce since her quilt tops lie flat, are square, and she removes all threads and strings.  She wanted the meander to be as big as possible, and this is it.  Going any bigger becomes a real problem near the end of the quilt when the bulk of the completed quilt on the front rail takes up more throat space on Mrs.Singer.  Now don't get your thread in a twist, Mrs.Singer, I love you dearly smaller throat and all!

Linking to:

March 16, 2016

Tips for Piecing Straight Strip Sets {a Tutorial!}

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While piecing the strip sets for the Bargello Quilt Along, I was pondering why some quilters struggle with piecing straight strip sets and I do not.  Straight strip sets cause a wonderful sense of inner satisfaction and joy, and I can't help but smile and giggle to myself when I see them.  The true satisfaction, though, comes when the quilt blocks are assembled and are so spot-on, so square - all because the strip sets started out straight.

I began to pay attention to exactly what I was doing that could be making the difference between bowed and nearly perfectly straight strip sets, and this is what I came up with, and it doesn't involve sewing from opposite ends of the strip set each time!

Step 1

Of course, the strips themselves must be straight.  An Accuquilt Go! makes perfect cuts every time!

Step 2

Place two strips right sides together (RST), lining up the edges.  Do not pull on either strip; simply lay them together without tension.  Place your index finger on the edge of the strip set a few inches from the presser foot as shown below.  Leave this finger in place and begin sewing, allowing the finger to move with the fabric toward the presser foot.  Do not pull on the strips at all.  The finger is just holding them together so both strips go through the feed dogs at the same pace. When the presser foot bumps into your finger, stop sewing.  Do not take your finger off the strips until the sewing machine is completely stopped.

Line up the edges of the strips and once again place your index finger on the edge of the strips a few inches from the presser foot.  Sew again as before, making sure to leave your finger there until the presser foot bumps it.  Repeat this step until the strip is sewn.

Don't worry - with practice this method becomes super fast!

Step 3

These instructions are for right-handed quilters; reverse for you lefty's.  

After a strip is sewn to the strip set and before adding another strip, open the strips and aim the seam allowance in the direction you want it to go.  In the picture below, the seam is facing to the left.  Begin working at either end of the strip set.  Place the left hand on the strip set, holding it open, and run the nail of the right hand index finger down the seam.  Be sure the seam is fully opened.  If it's not, gently open it fully and run your nail along the seam again.  Move down the strip set and repeat this process until the entire strip is nail-pressed open.  I learned this tip in Craftsy's Strip Your Stash class.  See below for how to get this class at a great price today!

Step 4

Lay the strip set on the ironing board.  Gently smoothing the strips to make sure they are straight and fully open.  Do not force the edge of the iron into the seams; rather, set the iron on top of the strips.  Iron gently.  Step back and admire your work!

A few clarifications after feedback in the comments:
  • An inset table is not required; I've tried this out on three different machines, one inset, one with a large table space, and one with a small space, and it worked on each machine.
  • I sew all strips from the same end and do NOT alternate the direction I sew, i.e., top to bottom then bottom to top.
  • If you have a method that works that is unlike mine, we can still be friends, really!!  Find a method that works for you even if it's different than mine.

March 15, 2016

Sweet Hill Farm Baby Quilt {A Finish!}

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A sweet finish - all from the stash!

I made these blocks as part of the Urban Neighborhood Sew Along in January.  There were just enough left for this baby quilt after making my Country Cottage Twin quilt.

The backing is a super sweet coordinate from the Hill Farm line.

 Quilt Stats:
  • Pattern:  Urban Neighborhood by Mishkas Playground
  • Size:  40" x 41"
  • Fabric:  Hill Farm by Brenda Riddle for Lecein
  • Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 cotton/poly
  • Quilting:  Allover small meandering stitch in white thread on Mrs.Bernina, my old 830 which was my grandma's.
  • Backing:  Hill Farm by Brenda Riddle for Lecein
  • Binding:  Hill Farm by Brenda Riddle for Lecein, double fold with mitered corners, attached by machine.
Linking to:

March 14, 2016

Happy Pi Day!

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In celebration of Pi Day, I made a cherry pie!  Cherry is my husband's favorite pie, and we sure miss the cherry tree at our old house!  I finally found some tart cherries that do not have sugar in them.  The brand is Oregon Cherries.

As readers of my blog, you are invited to save 50% off all pie-related classes at Craftsy!  Offer expires March 21st.  I watched Craftsy's Perfecting the Pie Crust back in October with my All Class Access Pass and used the recipe included with the class to make the crust today.  

March 11, 2016

Sweet Aprons {Gift Finishes!}

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I love giving handmade gifts!  I made these aprons for my Mom and my three sisters and was able to gift them in person when I was in Yuma last month.  It was so nice to be all together with my parents and my sisters and brother and some spouses for a few days of my three-week vacation.

One of my sisters cannot have stand to have anything around her neck, so her apron style is different than the others {top left}.  It's the Scalloped Apron by The Paisley Pincushion.  I remember the older women wearing this style when I was young, and I think it's still quite cute.  This apron is reversible with bicycles and pink with red dots.

The other three aprons are made from The Sassy Little Apron pattern which claims to be a slimming design, and it's so true!!  My local quilt shop had samples made up, and I tried one on and lost 10 pounds, so I had to buy the pattern!  It's that sassy little ruffle, I tell you!  One apron is owls and red with aqua dots, another is purple hydrangeas, and the third one is a light yellow with flowers.  Some of the buttons are antiques from my grandmother's collection.

ALL Class Collections are on sale this weekend at Craftsy!  You will save 50% or more on all bundles of Craftsy classes in all categories!  Pre-Cut Piecing Made Simple and Playful Piecing Techniques by Camille Roskelley are two of my favorite Craftsy quilting classes, and they are bundled together for a special deal this weekend, along with over 140 other Class Collections!  Gift yourself a breath of spring and don't miss this sale!

Linking to:

March 10, 2016

Rainbow Quilts From GRAVITY Scraps!! + a Big Sale on a Brother Sewing Machine!

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A few evenings ago I needed some brainless sewing and found it in the leftover 10" strips from my GRAVITY quilt.  Fifty-four colors out of the original 108 had a 10" wide piece left.  After semi-carelessly placing them in rainbow order {remember, this was a brainless project!}, I began sewing the varying length pieces together, thinking I'd have a nice table runner for my long dining room table.  It measured 215" long.  Ummm, a bit longer than anticipated! I decided to cut the strip in half lengthwise and then cut seven strips out of those two long strips. Voila!  I have two sparkling rainbow quilt tops - one for myself and one to sell!

I was excited to see this super buy on a Brother sewing machine on Amazon today {which I purchased!!!!}. The machine has a walking foot and 60 stitches, and I have been so longing for a machine whose walking foot works and which can sew the serpentine stitch!  The Brother CS6000i has a rating of 4.5 stars out of over 5700 ratings which built my confidence enough to buy it.  The throat space isn't huge, but I'm okay with that since I have Mrs.Singer for quilting larger quilts and will use this one for piecing and quilting baby size and smaller.  It's 74% off today as a Daily Deal, but that's a bit misleading since it sells for a lot less than retail at most shops.

I was inspired to keep making small quilt tops to have ready to quilt when the machine comes.  The leftover pieces from my Scrappy Patches quilt were sewn together.  Another wall hanging for my collection of rainbow quilts in the hallway.

I have these leftover pieces, and if you'd like them as a gift, please leave me a comment.  Ask first and ye shall receive.  US address only.

And now I'm off to see what other quilt tops I can finish up today!

Linking to:

Design Wall ♥ 

Win a Mystery Box For You and a Friend {Worth $700!!}

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March is National Craft Month, and Craftsy is giving away a mystery box to a person and one of their friends.  The box will be themed toward your favorite craft - quilting, no doubt!  And since we're such good friends, you'd think of me when you win, right??  LOL!!

March 9, 2016

Bargello Quilt Along {Fabric Selection}

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I've had this half-yard bundle of Benartex Gradations fabrics for awhile, waiting for the perfect pattern, and I've found it in the Bargello Quilt Along over at Elm Street Quilts.  I will be enlarging the quilt by a few strips, as well as making it wider.  It should still end up baby size if I've done my figuring correctly.  The first two gray ombres will be the background fabric.  With all the fabrics being ombres that change colors across the strips, I'm hoping the quilt sparkles rather than vomits.

Elm Street Quilts


March 8, 2016

Finished in 5 Days - King Size Sparkle Plenty in Dogwood Trail

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I began cutting out this king size quilt on Saturday and finished it on Wednesday - yes, five days!!  This is what an Accuquilt does to quilting, especially HSTs, friends - it drastically reduces the amount of time spent cutting and sometimes eliminates trimming!  It also shows me how much I can accomplish when I get off the computer and sew!

This is a custom gift quilt for my aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary. My aunt picked out the fabrics and paid for all of the materials, and my labor was a gift to them.

I matched the colors in the border strips as shown below, placing pink flowers next to pink and white flowers next to white.

The backing is from Marshall Dry Goods.  I hadn't handled this brand before, so I was very happy to find it has a tight weave and is so soft.  I ♥ extra-wide backing - they save so much time, and since I've learned to rip the raw edges, they go on the quilting rails so nicely.

Quilt Stats:
  • Pattern:  Sparkle Plenty, enlarged and block size changed.
  • Size:  King, 113" x 98"
  • Fabric:  Dogwood Trail by Sentimental Studios for Moda, 2012
  • Batting:  100% cotton
  • Quilting:  Allover medium meandering stitch in white thread on Mrs.Singer, my antique 31-15 mounted on a long-arm quilting frame.
  • Backing:  Classic quilt backing, extra wide.
  • Binding:  Dogwood Trail print.
  • Value:  Springtime sweet!

All Class Collections are on sale this weekend at Craftsy!  You will save 50% or more on all bundles of Craftsy classes in all categories!  If you'd like to improve your quilting skills, there is a fantastic bundle of 5 classes by Angela Walters at 50% off!!  You'll learn about free motion quilting borders and backgrounds, quilting feathers, dot-to-dot quilting, quilting negative space, and perhaps most important, deciding how to quilt your specific quilt top!

Linking to: