Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hands2Help - Tips, Tutes, and Tasty Things!!


Hi, all!

Welcome to one of my favorite weeks of the Hands2Help season!  This week is designed for us to share those things that make our lives easier - the sewing room tips, the great tutorials we've written or found on-line, and the wonderful food or snacks that we like to make to help keeping our home lives running smoothly (or to pacify us when we make a major sewing boo-boo and have to do some "frog-stitching" (i.e. ripping out - rippit rippit!).  I hope you'll share your favorites - you can do this by linking to a new post, an old post, even someone else's post (for example, a tutorial or recipe you love)!  So let's get started!!




This is a Hera marker, for those of you who don't have one yet.  And it may be the greatest tool in my quilt-y workbox!  It has made it so much easier to mark straight-line quilting lines on t-shirt quilts, which was always a problem before because chalk doesn't stay on very well, and what color do you use when your shirts are all different colors?  But I recently saw a very smart idea on Instagram, posted by Christa Watson...


She used hers to mark the center line of her squares before stitching her HSTs!  That. is. brilliant!!


And speaking of HSTs, here's a link to a great tutorial - Blossom Heart Quilts has charts that say how big to cut your fabric for different HST sizes, and there are two different methods for making HSTs - one that makes two at a time, and one that makes them four at a time.  And just for fun, here's a link to another of her tutorials that shows how to make HSTs eight at a time!  I have both of these posts bookmarked so I don't have to calculate my own measurements every time - very useful!


And now for the tasty thing!  This year for Christmas, I received an Instant Pot, and it has opened up a whole new world of cooking!  Look at all that yumminess - super simple and healthy too!  I found this recipe on the No. 2 Pencil blog, and it's amazing!  It's called Instant Pot ChickenNoodle Soup.  Definitely easy and a great way to cook a fabulous pot of soup totally from scratch (I mean, you start with a whole chicken!)  It's easy to cook the chicken ahead of time, then pull it together as soup shortly before dinner time.  I highly recommend it.  You can find the recipe by clicking here.

So now you have MY tips, tutes and tasty things for this year - what are yours?  Link up below and share them with us!  Anything that can make our lives easier as we make our H2H quilts is fair game - so let's see 'em!

And be sure to come back next Sunday, when we'll find out who our fabulous sponsors are this year!  You won't want to miss it!

Hugs!

Sarah

PS If you are just now finding out about the Hands2Help Challenge, you can read more about it and sign up here!  There's still time!!



Friday, March 24, 2017

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Graduation's Coming...

Hi, all!

Wow!  Can you believe that it's Friday again?  Where did the week go? But now that it's here, you know what it's time for - time to get our whoop whoop on!  Are you ready?  Let's get started!!

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I am very very happy to say that I have now made a puzzle-style t-shirt quilt!  Here's where it started...


I laid the shirt pieces out on the floor in the little office off my sewing room - fortunately it wasn't in use and I could lay it out and leave it there as I worked to assemble it.


Then I pieced together the blocks across the top of the quilt, building it to the width needed for this quilt.


The next step was to establish the length of the quilt.  As you can see, I pieced together the left side, adding to or trimming blocks as needed to make it the proper length.

This is a time-consuming project - if you decide to take one on as a commission project, I would suggest you allow a good amount of time for piecing the blocks.  I exceeded the time I expected to spend on it by a good bit, although part of that was learning curve, since this was my first.



But I'm so happy with the result!


This is a fun, bright, colorful quilt...


...with blocks that span this girl's whole school career!


I used a gray Connecting Threads solid for the backing and binding - it's the recipient's favorite color!


Cross-hatch straight line quilting in Glide Battleship crosses all the blocks.  The quilting lines are 5" apart.


I'm happy to have this under my belt and in my repertoire - I'm not sure I'll make many more because of the time involved and the cost to the customer, but it was a great learning experience!

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop??

Oh - and one more thing I'm whooping about - we currently have 163 people signed up for Hands2Help!!  If you are thinking about joining in, there's still plenty of time - your finished quilts are due by early June - so sign up!  There are giveaways at the end for the folks who make and donate quilts!!

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And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?


What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share - we want to dance right along with you - 
And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!!

Hugs!

Sarah



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I May Have A Scrap Problem... But This Should Help!!!!

Hi, all!

I have decided that it's time to get serious about my scraps again, and just last week I found a really great way to use some of them up!  So here's what came in the mail yesterday...



If you've ever seen any of Jen Kingwell's other patterns, you'll understand the appeal of this one.  You may be familiar with her My Small World pattern...


...or her Gypsy Wife design...


I absolutely adore both these patterns, and have actually started on three My Small World quilts for the grandkids (someday!)  I love the way Jen uses lots of different blocks combined together to create these wonderful sampler quilts.  They are appealing to me because I get bored making the same block over and over - this gives me plenty of variety to keep my interest!

So I decided to start on my own Long Time Gone quilt.  There are thirteen different block designs in this quilt. Most are simple patchwork; there is a template for the 60 degree triangles in the book, and also a paper-piecing template for a pineapple block. here are no curved seams in this quilt, making it fairly simple, even for a new quilter!

Today I started with the first block in the book, the Bow Tie block.  I started out by cutting my pieces from fabric in my scrap bins...


...then sewed the blocks up as directed!


I had a little more time to work, so I decided to cut out the pieces for the next block in the book, Square In A Square Stars.


I didn't have a chance to sew this one up yet, but it's all ready when I get a few minutes to sit down and sew!  I love having things ready and waiting...

This pattern book is set up so well for working a project over a long period of time.  Each block is well explained and diagrammed, and the pattern is printed in an 8.5" x 11" book format.  These patterns are expensive, but I've found them to be worth the cost.  There's plenty of room to make notes on each page, too!

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So that's what I'm planning to work on now to help tame my scrap monster.  With any kind of luck I should be able to post new blocks each week and have it done in a couple of months?  Let's see how that works out...  😜

What are you working on these days to keep your scrap monster under control?  Enquiring minds want to know!!

Hugs!

Sarah


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