Monday, December 8, 2014

Festive Triangles ::Baby Quilt::

I love making baby sized quilts!  Just enough fun playing with fabric combinations and designs without ever losing interest in the project.  My cousin had her baby shower on Sunday, and while I was not able to attend, I sent this along with my Mom.

I think Sean was a little jealous of this little baby girl to be!  He thought this quilt was for him and wouldn't let me take a photo without him on it.  After I handed the gift bag off to my mom I found the book that was supposed to go with it.   Of course, it's his new favorite book we have to read multiple times a day.

I used an equilateral traingle die for the accuquilt, which I borrowed from my friend Kari.  Thank you, Kari!  So easy to piece with notches to line up.  I love my sizzix and the accuquilt was just as awesome.

The fabric that started the whole thing was the citron background floral print from Carolyn Gavin.  From there I just pulled fabrics from my stash that matched.  The binding is from Lizzy House's Catnap and it's backed in hot pink minkee.

 I used batting besides the minkee, so this is a warm one!  It got all puckery/puffy out of the wash, but I think it makes it extra cozy.   Of course I did my FMQ standby, loop de loops across each row.  The minkee was not my favorite thing for FMQ as it did seem to drag more than a quilting cotton, but luckily it was a small enough quilt to handle!

 Okay, so just four more quilts left to baste, quilt and bind in my WIP pile!  Yep, probably not getting much more than the one that is a holiday gift finished by 2015.  Well, it would have been nice to start the new year with a clean slate, but that was probably a crazy unrealistic goal, ha ha!
xo, Courtney

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Merry Mug Rug Blog Hop

Hello!  I'm so excited that today is my stop on Ellison Lane's Merry Mug Rug Blog Hop. 
I love to make mug rugs for little presents and today I have an easy one for you that you can quickly make multiples of.  Never underestimate the impact of basic patchwork, it's a classic for a reason!

I'm not going to give you an in-depth tutorial here, I'm just going to tell you to cut a lot of 2.5" squares.  You will need 20 for each mug rug.  I used a combination of some cute, fussy cut Christmas motifs and near solids/prints to balance them out.

 * The best part about this size is that you can bind it with one WOF (42-44") x 2.5" strip, so no joining binding strips necessary!

mug rugs make cute placemats for the kids table, too!

I love to tuck these into a mug with a gift card and/or a candy bar or hot chocolate mix.  They make great gifts for teachers and we have a lot this year.  Main teachers, teacher assistants, piano teacher, gymboree teacher and Sunday school teacher!  I told you I cut a lot of 2.5" squares.

I had to show you a close up of the chocolates!  I found them at Target and they say "May this chocolate bring you peace (and quiet) these holidays, if only for a moment."  Great stuff for teacher or mom friend gifts, and easy enough to write or print it yourself and slip over a bar of chocolate.

We also usually tuck a little note in there that says something like "we hope you enjoy your little mug rug, we like to use these for a drink and a snack at our desk.  It's completely washable and dryer safe, so don't worry about spills."  I figure those outside of the online quilty world probably haven't come across too many mug rugs!  But I think they are so useful for everyone and make a thoughtful little gift.

Thanks so much for joining me on the blog hop today.  I hope you found some crafty inspiration for the Holidays!

 xo, Courtney

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Stash Bee :: Finished Quilt ::

Another quilt finish photographed yesterday and ready to share!  Now I just have five quilt tops waiting to be quilted and finished.  One is a baby quilt but the others are lap - twin size, so I'm trying to see how many I can get to before 2014 comes to a close! 

This one was made by the lovely ladies of Stash Bee Hive 6.  I saw a similar, lattice style quilt block a ways back and kept it in my brain, but could never find it again.  I think it used larger pieces, but I wanted scrappier and smaller.  I wrote a tutorial for it right here.

 Every one in the 11 person bee was supposed to make one bee, but a few people made me two.  I made a few extras to get to a 4x5 block setting.  

I just love all of the fabrics in this quilt - I could look at it forever!  I'm so glad I went with the gray cotton + steel basic for the binding fabric - I was really torn on what to do.  I think I'll be using these fabrics for bindings again.

Once again, I quilted this with all over swirls using FMQ.  I know, I'm kind of a one trick pony with my limited FMQ skills.  One of the aforementioned to-be-quilted tops may get something fancier, so watch out!

 I love how bright and cheery this one is.  Thanks to all of my Hive 6 Ladies, it has been a great year!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Circle 7 :: Finished Quilt ::

This quilt has been finished for a while and I have been enjoying snuggling with it on the couch immensely!  I've been holding off taking photographs for a while and finally just decided to do it myself this afternoon with the help of a clothesline. Luckily, it's not a huge quilt so I was able to capture most of it without a helper.

I used some hoarded Nicey Jane in my favorite print, Church Flowers, for the back.  

I decided to quilt it using an all over swirly design.  My free motion quilting still has a lot of room for improvement, but it's come a long way!

This quilt was made by a circle of friends from the first Sew South.  I made the initial blocks (see the post here for more information) and the girls had free range to add whatever they decided.  I had a loose theme of "favorite things," instructing them to add their favorites, whether it be an object, word, fabric or block they love. What an amazing, talented group of ladies!  The quilts that came out of this bee just blew me away. 
 I thought I'd go through and show you each addition.

First up is Jennifer, of Ellison Lane, with her paper pieced sewing machine block and all of those adorable spools of thread.  Seriously, look how many spools there are! Each one is perfect, too. I knew this quilt was  going to be so special with that first addition.

 I may have lost track of the order, but I'll always know who made each section.  The next set of blocks were made by Lindsey of LR Stitched.  Oh, how I love the mason jar with the scallops and those fun, geeky glasses!  Such awesome piecing.

Dana, of Old Red Barn Co., is up next with her matroyshka doll, because she knows how much I love them and have a little collection. I love that she added a bit of fabric from her antique fabric collection.  The embroidered paisley is so special!

Susannah-Kate made this amazing paper pieced seed tray because she knows how much I love to garden.  The fabrics she picked are perfect and I love that she framed it in the architextures ledger print!

Valerie, of Val Between Quilts, did the entire right hand side of this photograph.  I love the economy squares with their special bits of fabric and the word "love."  And the coffee pot was the perfect block to put besides the little mugs I made.  I love this section so much!

Amy of Stitchery Dickory Dock, added the final section, featuring these envelope blocks because she loves mail, which is great because we share that love! I can't tell you how many pen pals I had when I was little and I still think there is nothing like the real thing. She also added a row of hourglass blocks and some more patchwork in the most perfect fabrics!

I added the row of apples at the bottom because one of my favorite things to do is go with my family each fall to the NC mountains to pick apples.  They were leftover, along with the mugs, from Lori Holt's Row Along, which is now in a cute little book.  I am so good at starting new things, but not so good at finishing.  Once I realized I was not going to be making the whole Row Along quilt, I'm glad I was able to use the super cute blocks here!  Let's hope I do better with her Christmas blocks - I'm already four in.

So, that's a wrap on this quilt!  Thank you so much to my lovely Circle 7 friends!  I will treasure this quilt forever!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

{sewing tutorial} Turkey Tea Towel

This post originally appeared on Ellison Lane last year.

Hello, my name is Courtney and I blog at petit lyons.  I'm so excited to be here on Ellison Lane today as part of the Holiday Hostess Series.  I have three little boys and am lucky to stay home with them.  I love to sew in my free time (which is much less now with the newest baby!).  I am happy to finally share a tutorial for an item I've been making for years.  This little linen and ribbon turkey made its first appearance when I had a booth at a BBQ festival several years ago on shirts.  Since then I've sold lots of tees, napkins and dish towels on etsy and have made even more for my friends.  I have taken a similar tea towel to my hostess at the last couple Thanksgiving dinners and they are always a hit.

Okay, let's get started with our supplies:
Dishtowel (you could also hem a rectangle of linen fabric)
Linen scrap 4x3" and similar size scrap of heat n' bond
Machine thread to coordinate with linen
Temporary marking pen, like pilot frixon
8-12 ribbon/ric rac scraps measuring about 5" in length in fall colors (yes, pink is a fall color for me!)
Orange and black or brown embroidery floss and hand sewing needle

Step One:
Iron your scrap of heat n' bond to the wrong side of your linen scrap.  I usually whip up a few turkeys at a time, so my scrap is 4" in height but longer.  I advise using a slightly smaller piece of heat n' bond than fabric, so that you don't gunk up your iron or ironing board.

Step Two:
Once it is cool, peel the paper off of the back and turn your fabric to the right side.  Now just draw a turkey shape with your temporary marking pen.  I don't bother tracing or making a template because they each have their own personality when done this way and it keeps it interesting.  Think of a figure eight or a bowling pin, but the bottom half should be much bigger.  Cut out the turkey body.

Step Three:
Time to audition ribbons!  Try to balance out colors and widths on each side.

Step Four:
Attach ribbons to turkey one at a time.  You could use pins, but I find it much easier to just hold it and then quickly get it to the sewing machine under the presser foot to baste the ribbons on.  Just go one at a time.  Each ribbon should be looped with raw edges positioned under the turkey body.  Easier to see than explain, I think!

Once you have all of the ribbons for that side carefully position the bundle under your presser foot and sew close to the edge to secure the ribbons (make sure you have your coordinating, linen-colored thread loaded).

Turn your turkey over and trim the excess ribbon close to the seam.

Repeat for the other side.

Step Five:
Your turkey is ready to get a face!

Get your trusty temporary marking tool out again and draw two dots for eyes and an upside down triangle beak.

Because of the heat n' bond you shouldn't need to worry about a hoop to do your embroidery in.
I usually use black or brown thread to make two french knots for eyes.  For the beak, I first outline the triangle shape and then satin stitch over it to fill in.

Step Six:
We are ready to attach the turkey to the tea towel!  Place the turkey in the center of the towel near the bottom.  Iron carefully, avoiding the ribbons - some of them are melty or have paint (those dots on the grosgrain) that can make quite a mess.  We will be securing the turkey by sewing, so it is more important not to melt ribbons than to make sure he is completely attached.  Think of it more as just holding him in place to sew.

We are ready for the final step. I use a narrow zig zag stitch and go slowly around the curves. If you have a needle down setting, you will want to take advantage of it.  Make sure your outer zig zag edge is going into the dishtowel beyond the turkey body.  Go all the way around and overlap just a half inch, then I like to change my stitch setting to a straight stitch go in reverse a little to lock in your seam. 

I hope you had fun making this turkey.  Remember, that he is pretty cute on tees and napkins and probably lots of other things too, so have fun!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Read Between the Lines {Quilt Block Tutorial}

Some time ago I made this mini quilt for the Modern Mini Quilt challenge and I always thought it would be fun to have a go at a larger quilt with a block like this.  I recently stepped up to fill in a quilter position in my do. Good Stitches circle, Haven, and November is my first month as quilter.  I really want to make a really cool quilt, but since November is a busy month I don't want to cause a burden for my bee-mates by having something uber complicated.  Enter the "Between the Lines Block."

Between the lines block for #dgs #havendgs November

You can probably figure this block out without a tutorial, but I'll make it easy if you are interested in making one (or a quilt's worth).

9 - 5" square blocks
6 - 14" x 1" strips of text fabric
cutting mat & rotary cutter (can be made without it, but this makes it much easier)

1.  Make a nine patch block using 5" square blocks, sewn with 1/4" seams.  Press everything nicely.  It should measure 14" square once you have them sewn together.

Between the lines block - step 1

2. Next we will be cutting each of the nine blocks in half vertically.  Since the blocks are 4.5" finished, you want to measure 2.25" from the seam.  Start with the center row and slice down the middle, 2.25" from each seam.  The outer rows have an extra 1/4" on the outside since they haven't been sewn to anything yet, so measure 2.25" from the seam, not the outside edge.  Now sew 3 of the 14"x1" text strips where you made the cuts and put the block back together like so:

Between the lines step 2

3. Now you just need to repeat step two, but this time make the cuts on the horizontal axis. 

If you make a block (or use any of the other tutorials on my blog) I would love to see it in the petit lyons flickr group!  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Patchwork, Please {you need this book!}

Once again, I have long neglected this space.  To the point where it is overwhelming to try to catch up.  There has been no lack of sewing around here, if you follow me on IG you know I've been a busy bee.  As I perused my photos to try to decide where to start I noticed that an awful lot of my projects have come from Ayumi's book, Patchwork, Please!  This is not a paid post, or anything like that, I just love this book and keep finding more projects to make from it.

One of the first projects I made was table runner for a swap using the Swedish Blooms paper pieced blocks.  I would love to make a whole quilt with this pretty flowers!

One of the most often used patterns from this book has to be the envelopes! I'm in a flickr swap called SWAK swap (Sealed With A Kiss) that exchanges these blocks, plus some cute little postage stamps made from the tutorial on the Nana Co blog. Here are a few blocks I made for members:


 And here are some blocks that have arrived for me! I'm trying to make a quilt for Sean's woodland nursery, so the color scheme and critters are all based on that.

 Another project I've made multiples of (I think four) is the travel embroidery case.  The first one I actually made for myself!  The biggest change I've made to this pattern is to use up some of my Farmer's Wife Quilt Along blocks for the front.  It has been really fun to use them for these.

 Here are some pictures from the others I've made.  They are really fun to pick fabric combinations for since you can highlight so many without using large pieces.  For the vinyl I just cut up those zipper bags that sheet sets/mattress pads/etc. come in and it's been working great.  I put my scissors and floss in the vinyl pocket.  The slotted pockets on the right hand side fit a folded pattern piece perfectly.

Oh, and I've found the back is a perfect spot to use some of those cute stamps from the SWAK swap!

 Finally, the most recent project I've made from the book is a pillow using the Books for Baby pattern.  I was in a fairytale themed swap on IG and I had so much fun using some hoarded japanese prints (and a good excuse to add a few to the collection).

 Once again, I'd love to make a whole quilt of these blocks!  Add another one to my quilty bucket list!

I should be back again next week with an update post as I got tagged for the Around the World Blog Hop.  I figure if I have a few bloggy obligations it will help me to get back into the routine, as I do miss sharing here!  Have a fantastic weekend!