The World's Largest RicRac...Schnibble That Is

July 31, 2012

Have you ever had an idea in your head that seemed so good, but then in reality wasn't so good??  Yeah, happens to me more times than I care to admit.  So last year I was going to make RicRac, a Schnibbles pattern from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co by Carrie Nelson.  I was making it for one of the month's Le Petite Parades.  Anyways, I had won a Layer Cake of Grace by 3 Sisters for Moda and thought I would use the layer cake instead of charm squares for the pattern.  Instead of cutting the layer cake into sizes equivalent to charm squares, I decided to just cut the layer cake up as if it was a large charm square pack.  I would follow the pattern, just substitute really big pieces for the small ones.  Doesn't sound so bad?  Yeah, that's where my brain and reality were on two different pages.  And for the record, Carrie kindly gives directions if you want to use a layer cake, but I thought I was sooooo clever and ignored them...HA!!!!!  For reference, here is the pattern.
It finishes at 38" x 40".  Well, actually I did adjust the pattern, I added more pieces to make my quilt even longer and wider.  So what did I end up with??
Ummmmm, these are about 111" long!!!  Yes, they are.  This has wonky, snake like rows written all over it!!  Why you ask was I thinking this was a good idea?  Simple.  I do not have a quilt for my bed.  I am the Queen of Small Quilts and giving quilts away, yet never take the time to make a quilt for my own bed.  We sleep under the most pathetic comforter EVER.  I will only reveal it, once I have a quilt on my bed, which I hope you all continue to read my blog for a very long time! :-)  So basically,  I was thinking this would be a great king size quilt for my bed. 

I was so nervous to join the two rows together.  I was afraid one would end up being longer or it would look like a giant "S".  Like a big "S" for Michigan State.  Normally, I would love that, but not so much in this case. :-)  Carrie gave a helpful hint to mark the center of each triangle and match them up, as too avoid "growing" rows.  I took the time to do that and carefully sew them together.
Well, look at that!!!!  Not so bad!!!!  Pretty straight and no growing!  No giant "S" here!  Once I square up the ends, it measures 102".  Exactly where I want them!  With borders and sashing, my surely World Record holding RicRac will finish at about 114" x 115".  One row down, only 9 more to go.  I haven't touched this in months, so I don't think a finish will be too soon.  Hopefully, before the next Summer Olympics! :-)

American Banner Rose Runner and Tea Dying

July 27, 2012

Since it is Olympic time again, I thought I would continue with this patriotic theme.   FYI, I LOVE watching the Olympics!!!!  American Banner Rose Runner!
 Kind of an interesting story of how this runner came to be.  I had a Layer Cake of American Banner Rose by Minnick and Simpson for Moda in my stash.  Wasn't sure what I was going to do with it until I saw this really cool template from Missouri Star Quilt Co.  The 10" Layer Cake Tumbler Template.  Easy peasy giant tumbler throw is what I was thinking!!
Took literally like 5 minutes to cut an entire Layer Cake. 
I had a pile of these scraps when I was done.  I planned on throwing them away, until Elaina started nesting them together and suggested I make a runner with them.  Smart cookie!! :-)
Squared it up and added a border. 
Scooter was more than happy to assist with some bindings. :-)

I have to admit, I didn't love it.  I liked the runner, but no love.  I thought it kind of looked like neckties.  I figured "no biggie" because it was like a free little quilt.  Throw away scraps and stash fabric.  It dawned on me that while I thought the fabrics were beautiful, they were a little bright for my taste, especially the light blue.  I had a light bulb moment.  Bring on the Tan Rit Dye!!!  I have never attempted such a thing, but figured I had nothing to lose by trying out the process on this.  Scott and the girls picked some dye up at the store for me.  
The store only had liquid.  Not sure if it makes a difference.  I used a little more than half the bottle and set the water level at a small load.   I should have taken a photo because the runner seemed pretty brown after the first wash!!!!  Granted it was wet, but still I was a little panicked that I went overboard with the dye.  I ran it through a second, regular wash with some Oxy Clean.  After it dried, it was PERFECT!!!!
Crinkly, aged and antiqued!!!!  Only LOVE for this runner now! :-)
Big difference from where it started!!!  The light blue is now my favorite fabric!!
I planned on using it on the kitchen island, but I think I like it on the back porch better! :-)
I highly recommend the Tan Rit Dye process!!!!  I will definitely use it when I make the tumbler throw from the Layer Cake.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Old Glory Itty Bitty Pinwheel Quilt

July 23, 2012

 In keeping with the mini theme, here is my next little morsel of yummy goodness, Old Glory Itty Bitty.  :-)
Again, this one stands up too, as if it has legs.
I believe it is around 10" square.  Itty Bitty is right!  This is a super cool little quilt to make!! 
It is so fun to see the transformation because it started out looking like this.  I really didn't want to cut it up.  I loved it just like this!!  I used 3 Candy packs of Old Glory (my new favorite fabric) and a little yardage from Seasonal Little Gatherings, both from Primitive Gatherings for Moda.  I have plenty of little squares left over for something else. :-)  After using the Itty Bitty Primitive Pinwheel Template, the design comes together easily, like butter. :-)  The pattern/fabric layout is included with the template here.

It is amazing!  Could even stand up on its own before quilting! LOL!  I also quilted this on my longarm.  It was quite the sight too!!  LOL!!  It took all of 5 minutes.  A little stitch in the ditch and meandering.  Batting is Hobbs 80/20.  Pattern called for a single fold binding, which I DID do.  I never use binding clips, but they were incredibly helpful in this case!
Until I have a few more minis completed (for my wall of smalls), I will decorate with them.
Fits in with all my patriotic decor!  The heart bowl fillers are another wonderful creation from Denise of KKL Primitives.  She is so creative!!
I went hunting for treasures again in my stash (basement storage) and came up with this antique library chair.  It is one of those chairs that flips over and becomes a ladder.  Another treasure from my grandma.  It used to have green paint.  Scott started refinishing it years ago, but never finished.  I am so glad too.  I love how it looks now!!  Primitive and worn.  Perfect!!  I just cleaned it up.  Above is a new pineapple sign.
Mary of The Gettysburg Mercantile did a beautiful job.  Mary makes and sells gorgeous primitive goods!!!!  Very talented!

Thank you for all the comments on Little Red!  I hope some of you have also caught the mini bug!!

Little Red

July 20, 2012

Woo-hoo, happy Friday all!!!  We finally had some rain!!!  We need more, but I will take it!  It was so nice not to have to water my flowers for once.

 I have a tiny finish of my own to share!! :-)  A while back Kathie, of Inspired By Antique Quilts shared her wall of little quilts in her sewing room.  I am not going to lie, I have been obsessed or inspired :-) ...either this photo!!!  I LOVE it!!!  If you haven't seen it, go immediately here.  This photo just makes me happy.  Now, I am on a mission to create some little quilts myself.  Thank you, Kathie!!  I went through my books and patterns to see what I had in the form of little quilts.  Let me introduce you to Little Red or as I refer to it as Lil' Dumplin because it is so sweet...I could eat it!! LOL!
Seriously.  Is this not the cutest, sweetest little quilt??  It measures about 9 1/2" X 11 1/2".
I had quite the little photo shoot going.  I never play with the special effects in the photo software, but I think the next photo is supposed to be an antique type whatever.
The quilt is a pattern out of the book Nine-Patch Gatherings by Lisa Bongean and Carole Charles.  Available here.
This book is a treasure chest of gorgeous little quilts.  In the book, there are directions for this really cool way to make 9-Patch blocks.  From 2 squares you end up with two 9-Patch blocks, one negative and one positive.
So cool!!!!!  It is like a 2 for 1 deal!  Like having twins.  LOL!  FYI, these little 9-Patches finish at 1 1/2"!!!  Teeny tiny.  The book gives directions for 2 different size 9-Patch blocks.
I love this quilt because it is like instant gratification.  Once your 9-Patches are done, this little quilt goes together super fast!!!  Like if I have time to do it, anyone can do it!! 
Scooter was more than happy to be my assistant.  He did a lot of rearranging.  I told him to enjoy because he is going to be moving back with Kristin in a few months!!
All pieced.  Now to the quilting.  Yes, I loaded it on the longarm!!!  I should have taken a better pic because it looked a little ridiculous!! LOL!
I loved the diagonal lines so much, I almost just left it as is.  Then I decided to crosshatch the red squares.
And finished!!
The pattern called for a single fold binding, but I just went with a narrow (I cut my strips 1.75") traditional double fold.  You can even see a peek in this photo of another little finish too. :-) 
You can see how tiny the blocks are with a little spool of thread next to them!!

Little Red uses negative blocks, so I still have 12 positive blocks to make another little quilt up! :-)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Pennies From Heaven

July 16, 2012

Where did July go?  I feel like it should be July 5th still.  I am staying busy, busy.  I haven't been busy watering the grass, though.  All of you that have been reading my blog know that I love me some hot, summer weather, but this drought business has got to stop!!  My trees are dropping leaves likes it's October!  I won't even mention my garden, or lack of.  The deer have been ruthless!!  Nothing like some sweet, succulent green beans to quench their thirst!!

I am staying super cool quilting.  My studio is in the lower level.  Sometimes I even have to go outside to warm up!!  Speaking of quilting,   I was out of town for a bit, but couldn't wait to get home to share a recent quilt, Pennies From Heaven.  It is a design from Gretchen Gibbons.  Lisa Bongean/Primitive Gatherings did a gorgeous primitive version with their fabrics and wool!!!  You may have already read about it on Lisa's blog here.  Thanks LB.
I know I may have said this before about quilts that I have quilted but...I LOVE this quilt!!!  I even had Scott walk around the house and model it in different spots!!  I could not decide where it looked best because it looked good everywhere!!!  Before I forget because I know some of you will want to know  where you can find this beauty, Primitive Gatherings has a limited number of full kits available here!!!

Lots of eye candy ahead...
I added a little surprise quilted star.
Penny flowers in the corners.
I love every part of this quilt, but the center is my favorite!!
Feathers are always a great addition!! :-)

Love the back!!
 Specifics...Dream Blend batting, So Fine threads top and bobbin...4 of them.  All quilting is freehand.  I used my straight ruler and little curved cross hatch ruler.  I DID stitch on the wool where needed.  It really helps the wool applique pop.

I was hoping Lisa might forget that she sent me this one...didn't happen.  :-)