2015 Second Quarter Finish Goals

I can hardly believe we are entering the second quarter of 2015!  This time around I have a unrealistically long list and a mix of goals: a dozen mini quilts, a few larger projects, a couple bags, a some smaller gifts.  2015 Finish Along Q2

I am excited to once again join in the Finish Along fun with Adrianne at On the Windy Side!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Goals 1-12

In order to keep up with Mini Quilt Mania I am planning to make a dozen more mini quilts for the second quarter of this year.  These are in various stages of completion: sketches, patterns drafted, fabrics chosen, and a couple are even being sewn!

Quilt 5 / 50

Goal 13

In January I started a starburst quilt based on my Happy New Year! mini quilt, and this project is a rollover from Q1.  I have this piece about half quilted right now, and I would really like to get this one finished up this quarter!Starburst process

Goal 14

For my Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake challenge quilt I am making a “potholder” style quilt using hexagonal bound blocks rather than the more traditional squares.  This quilt will be completely reversible, with one side being predominantly turquoise with the other side leaning toward the pinks in the collection.  Right now the quilt is about halfway pieced.Riley Blake process

Goal 15

I knew as soon as I saw the Viewfinder fabric in Melody Miller’s Playful collection by Cotton and Steel that I wanted a Quilted Purse made with it.  I am slightly scaling up the pattern I created for my current purse.  I have set the zipper into the top panel, quilted the main fabric, and made the handles.Purse process

Goal 16

Sometimes I wish I had a Cross-body bag to carry when I need a more hands-free shopping (or quilt show) experience.  I have sketched the design, pulled fabrics, and I am looking for a source for a double tab purse zipper that is at least 30″.  This shouldn’t be so hard to find- I mean- you must be able to buy luggage zippers, right?  Any sourcing suggestions?

Goal 17

I designed and made these cute little blocks for my Baubles Quilt months ago.  I need to put together a top and get this thing quilted and finished!Baubles Blocks

Goal 18

This Secret Project (roll over from Q1) is still quilted, ready for finishing, and needs to stop hanging out under my work table! Here’s hoping this quilt makes it into a finished pile this quarter!secret project process

Goal 19

I am going to be needing a few small thank you gifts for this summer, so I am hoping to get six (or more) cord/coin pouches made.Cord pouch fabric

Goal 20

This quilted pillow top needs a zippered back and finishing.Pillow Top

Goal 21

I bought this fabric last summer to make a skirt.  Now that it is warming up again I need to get this made up!Skirt Fabric

Goal 22

I recently started another Bionic Bag, and I will be finishing it up in Q2.  I have all my pieces cut, interfacing fused, zippers installed, sides assembled, and the outer panel quilted.Bionic Bag process

Goal 23

I started a set of placemats last fall.  I have a set of four that just need the binding finished.

placemat process

Goal 24

I started sewing this hexagon project when I needed some handwork.  I’m not entirely certain how large this is going to get, but I’m hoping to discover what exactly this wants to be.Hexagon process

Goal 25

In the first quarter I created a baby quilt sized Sweet and Simple Hashtag Quilt.  This quarter I will be making a lap quilt size version of this quilt.

Sweet and Simple Hashtag Quilt

Goal 26

This summer I’ll be working as a theatrical cutter/draper. (A draper uses the performer’s measurements to create patterns for a costume.)  I haven’t done this in awhile (I’m pretty excited to return to it!), and when I pulled out my sewing apron it was really worn.  I will definitely need to find time to make a replacement before I leave for this job!  I have some denim left over from another project, and I am still deciding what fabric to use for the accent.  These are my top choices right now.Apron fabric

This list is super long, and I recognize that a some of these projects may not get finished (or even touched) this quarter, but a lot of items are pretty far along, so once again I am cautiously optimistic!


Quilted Name Tag: Mini Quilt #14

I recently got up the nerve to go to a local quilt guild meeting (a goal for this year!) Everyone there was lovely and shared such amazing work.  I am really looking forward to becoming involved with a group of such creative and inspiring people.  This group encourages name tags, so this week’s mini is going to serve that purpose.Name Tag front

My quilt of the year for 2015 is red, orange, and pink flying geese on a white background.  While I didn’t want to make a copy of this quilt, I thought it would be fun to incorporate the same colors and some triangles into the design.  I also knew that I would probably want to put a few of my quilt pins on this little quilt.  I hadn’t looked at my pin collection in years, and I had a lot more than I remembered.  Not all of them made the cut- just the membership pins, my blog pin, and a couple show pins with sentimental meaning.

As I worked on the design for the quilt, I decided that I wanted to break up the overall shape so it wasn’t just a rectangle.  Then it came to me- prairie points!  I feel like I have made prairie points at some point in my past, but I cannot remember what project it would have been for!  These tiny prairie points across the bottom of this mini quilt make me very happy, and I hope that the rounded top corners won’t flop down quite as quickly as square corners may./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Quilt Drafti

I considered several options for adding my name to the quilt.  Embroidery, fused lettering, writing with a fabric pen, and printing all seemed to be within the realm of possibility.  I wanted the lettering to be clear, bold, and easy to read.  I ended up deciding to go with the printed name.  I had drafted the name tag to scale and then used Photoshop to experiment with font size and style.  To print the name I used white Kona cotton which had been soaked in a Bubble Jet prep liquid, dried, and then ironed to freezer paper to stabilize it.  Once trimmed to the size of letter paper, all I had to do was hit print and watch the lettering appear directly on my fabric.

Since the pieces were so small on this project, the top was foundation paper pieced.

The backing fabric is a reprise from the quilt of the year.  Since this project is so small, I “bagged it out” prior to quilting so I wouldn’t have a binding strip taking up any space on the front of the quilt.  Simple, linear quilting finished off this little project.


Name Tag back

Quilt Stats

Title:  Name Tag

Size:  4″x4.5″

Techniques:  Foundation Paper Piecing, Prairie Points

Quilting:  Straight line quilting with a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  White Kona cotton and assorted scraps of prints and batiks

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  Pieced with Gutermann Mara 100 in white, and white cotton machine quilting thread

Binding: None! (quilt was stitched with right sides together and then turned out)

What was new:

A wearable mini quilt!

Small prairie point edging

Quilt 14 / 50

Quilt 14 / 50


I’m linking this up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop by to see all of the fantastic work being shared!

Triple Heart: Mini Quilt #4

I had originally planned to post this sweet little mini quilt a bit closer to Valentine’s Day, but ultimately decided that there may be someone who could draw inspiration for their own heart-based endeavors in the coming weeks!

Triple Heart Front View

I recently did a quilt with a lot of hexagons that were made by cutting a circle and folding the edges in to create the hexagon shape.  In creating these pieces, I became curious about how these shapes would look if I omitted the final fold.  The result is a vaguely ice-cream-cone-shaped piece.  Two of these together make an adorable heart!

  1. To make these shapes you will want to start with a circle.  I used a container from a round of Brie cheese, but this technique will work with any size circle.
  2. With the wrong side of the fabric out, fold the circle into quarters to find the center point of the shape.
  3. With a needle and knotted basting thread, catch 1-2 threads at the tip of the fold and pull the thread through to the knot.
  4. Unfold the circle with the wrong side of the fabric facing up and your thread coming up from the center of the circle.
  5. Take a small stitch at a point on the outer edge of the circle.  You will want to insert the needle as close to the edge of the fabric as possible without the stitch pulling out of the cut edge.  The needle goes in on the wrong side of the fabric and emerges on the right side.
  6. Now pull the thread through, bringing the edge of the circle to meet the center.  Press the fold you have created with your fingers.
  7. At the end of the fold you just created, take another stitch and pull that point on the edge of the circle to the center.  Finger press this fold, and take another stitch at the end of it.  Pull this point into the center.
  8. Continue around the circle in this manor until you have an ice-cream-cone-shape.
  9. Knot off your basting thread or backstitch at the center point and take the shape to the ironing board to give it a good press.

Triple Heart Construction InstructionTo form the center design, place the shapes right side together and whip stitch them together.

Whip Stitching

You will end up with a shape that looks like this.

Triple Heart Shape The back is almost as pretty!

Heart Medallion Back View I was originally planning to hand appliqué the shape to the background, but after thinking it over, I decided the hearts needed some additional emphasis in the form of more decorative stitches.  I liked using decorative machine stitches on Fibonacci on the Seashore, and I was eager to experiment with using machine stitching for appliqué.  For this project, I used a blanket stitch in a different color to stitch around the edge of each heart.

Blanket Stitch Detail

The hearts in this project are created without using curves, and I selected a gridded background for the piece.  Given all the linear aspects of this mini, I thought it would be interesting to make the overall shape a circle.  The radius for this 4.5 inches.

Triple Heart Back View

The hearts are quilted a quarter inch inside the appliqué.  The background is a radiating hexagon shape, with diamonds filling in the gaps.  The binding matches the background and backing, and I love the linear effect.  It was worth the effort I made to match up the design.

Binding and Blanket Stitch Detail

Quilt Stats

Title:  Triple Heart

Size:  9″x9″  (circumference is about 28- 1/4″)

Techniques:  Hand piecing, folded “hexagons” (without the final fold), Machine appliqué

Quilting:  Machine Quilted.  Hearts: Offset quilting 1/4″ inside the edge  Background: Spiraling hexagon

Fabrics:  Background from Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe line.  Hearts are 100% cotton prints and batiks.

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced by hand using Magenta Gutermann Mara 100 (and Thread Heaven); Machine appliquéd with red, magenta, and violet Cotton Mettler Quilting Thread; Quilted with navy cotton machine quilting thread; red, magenta, and violet Cotton Mettler Quilting Thread.

Binding:  Bias strips cut at 2 inches, machine straight stitched to the back, machine blanket stitched to the front.

What Was New:

  • A round quilt!
  • 5- sided “hexagons”
  • Machine appliqué with a blanket stitch
  • Finishing the binding on the front with a machine blanket stitch
Quilt 4 / 50

Quilt 4 / 50

Goal #3 is Finished!

Goal #3 is Finished!

I am linking this post up with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday at From Bolt to Beauty, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts, and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I hope you take a moment to see all of the wonderful work being created!

New Blogger Series

Last Minute Gifts: Cord/Coin Pouch

As my nieces and nephews have gotten older, cash or gift cards have become the favored gifts for the holidays because money always fits!  I try to get a little creative in the presentation of this not-particularly-original gift, so this year I am making cord pouches that hook onto a keyring.  These pouches finish at a little under 4″ from side to side, so they can easily hold a thumb drive, USB cord, some change, or even most phone chargers.  Come to think of it, I may need to make a couple for myself!

Finished Cord Pouches

Finished Cord Pouches

I knew that I wanted to put a grommet in each pouch to attach a key ring. (If you don’t have grommets laying about, a ribbon loop inserted into a seam would also do the trick.)  I thought that the grommet would look nice in a corner, so I experimented with a couple different shapes before settling on an octagon.  This project will work with most shapes, but if you would like to play along using the octagon, I have included a pattern here.  This Octagon Pattern  is a PDF File you are welcome to download.

I made six pouches, choosing an outer fabric and a lining fabric for each.  Orange tends to be pretty popular among my nephews, so I used a lot of it this year!  I cut one octagon out of each fabric, but for the front side I cut rectangles to set the zipper into before cutting it into shape.  I like to give myself some wiggle room when dealing with zippers, so I cut the rectangles to about 3″x5″.  For each pouch you should have 2 outer fabric rectangles, 2 lining fabric rectangles, 1 outer fabric octagon, and 1 lining fabric octagon.  You will also need a zipper and either a grommet or a small loop of ribbon.

Pieces cut for cord pouches

Pieces cut for cord pouches

For an exposed zipper I like to sandwich each side of the zipper between the outer and lining fabrics along the long edge of the rectangle.  I like to pin the layers in place so nothing moves out of place while I’m stitching.  The navy floral fabric will become the outside of this pouch, so it is laying with the right side of the fabric facing the top of the zipper.  The right side of the lining fabric faces the back of the zipper.  This leaves the wrong side of the fabric exposed on each side of your zipper sandwich.  I like my fabric edges to line up with the edge of the zipper.  I also place the fabric in the center of the zipper so I can sew it in place without the pull getting in the way.

A "Zipper Sandwich"

A “Zipper Sandwich”

Now you are ready to start stitching!  You will want to use your zipper foot and stitch a consistent distance from the teeth of the zipper.  I like to line up the right side of the zipper foot with the edge of the zipper, but machines can vary, so choose a means of measuring that works for you.

Using the zipper foot to stitch a zipper in place

Using the zipper foot to stitch a zipper in place

Now you are ready to press the fabric out to expose the zipper.  I like to press the outer fabric into place first.

Pressing the outer fabric into place around the zipper

Pressing the outer fabric into place around the zipper

Then you will press the lining fabric toward the back.

Fabric Pressed in place once the zipper is sewn

Fabric Pressed in place once the zipper is sewn

Next you will perform the same steps to sew the remaining rectangles to the other side of the zipper.

For added stability, I like to topstitch the fabric about 1/16″ from the seams we just sewed.  If you have an edge stitching foot, it will make this step easier, but it can also be done with a regular foot (and a little patience!)

Top Stitching the zipper

Top Stitching the zipper

Once you have the topstitching done on both sides of the zipper, take a moment to admire your work!  Now trace your octagon pattern onto the fabric, paying carful attention to where you want the zipper placed.  I decided to center the zipper across the octagon for this set of pouches.  Do NOT cut yet!

Tracing the octagon onto the front of the pouch

Tracing the octagon onto the front of the pouch

We are going to use a very small seam allowance for these pouches, so I decided it would be easier to sew first, cut later.  Move the zipper pull tab into the center of the octagon!  (If you are going to insert a ribbon loop, now is the time.  Place the loop toward the center of the octagon, with the ends sticking into the seam allowance.  Pin or Baste into place.)  Take the octagons you cut out at the beginning of this process and place the outer fabric piece right side down onto the zippered section.  Carefully line up the cut shape with the traced shape.  Layer the lining fabric octagon, right side up, on top of the outer fabric octagon.  With the zipper pull in the center of the octagon, the cut pieces may not naturally line up with all corners.  This is an instance where you should make the fabric line up the way you want.  (If you don’t, the zipper may gap in an unpleasant manner.)  I pin in each corner, but add as many pins as you need to feel comfortable.

Pinning the front and back together

Pinning the front and back together

Stitch all the way around the octagon using a seam allowance of a generous 1/8″

Stitch around the shape using a seam allowance of 1/8"

Stitch around the shape using a seam allowance of 1/8″

Check around the edges of your shape to make sure that all layers have been stitched properly.  Now cut away the excess material in the zipper layer leaving the 1/8″ seam allowance.

Pouch with Edges Trimmed

Pouch with Edges Trimmed

Carefully clip the corners in order to achieve nice points when the shape is turned.

Pouch with clipped corners

Pouch with clipped corners

Turn the shape right side out using the zipper opening.  Press to flatten the shape.  Make sure you have pretty corners!

Pouch turned right side out

Pouch turned right side out

To enclose the raw edges of the seam allowance, you will now want to top stitch 1/4″ from all edges of the octagon.  I started and ended the stitching in the corner I was planning to place the grommet since the stitching won’t be visible at that point.  When stitching over the zipper, I chose to turn the machine side wheel by hand, taking a large stitch over the zipper teeth, lifting the presser foot, moving back, and taking another large stitch over the zipper teeth.  I repeat this several times to secure the zipper.  (This should act as the equivalent of several zig zag stitches in a single spot often used to shorten a zipper.)

Top Stitching the Pouch

Top Stitching the Pouch

Since we used such a small seam allowance, I like to add another row of top stitching just under 1/8″ from the edge of the octagon.

Now that everything is sewn, it is time to add the grommet.  A grommet has two pieces: a grommet, and a washer.  You will also need a hammer, punch, and a setter to install a grommet.  I used the 00 size for this project.

Once you have decided where to place the grommet, lay the pouch on a piece of scrap wood, position the punch, and give it a couple whacks with the hammer.  You should now have a nice clean opening to insert the grommet.

Top Stitched Pouch with hole punched and grommet ready to install

Top Stitched Pouch with hole punched and grommet ready to install

Place the grommet through the hole you punched in the pouch, then place the washer over the center of grommet.  The grommet will be placed in the anvil portion of the setter.  The setter will fit into the center opening of the grommet (on the washer side), and it should then be tapped firmly several times to set the grommet.  You want to hit the setter hard enough to set the grommet, but not so hard that the grommet splits.  When in doubt, start with moderate force and increase as necessary.



Grommet with Washer

Grommet with Washer

Pouch in Grommet Setter

Pouch in Grommet Setter

There you have it- A useful little gift that practically everyone will find a use for.  I added some candy to sweeten the deal!

Finished Pouch, All wrapped up!

Finished Pouch, All wrapped up!