Monday, June 28, 2010

Black & White Quilt Along- Block 4

Here is the next quilt block tutorial you have all been waiting for!

Block #4- Shooting Star


If you are looking for black & white fabric to join in on the quilty fun check out the selection at our sponsor's website!  They have black & white fabrics as well as black & white with a pop of color!
hmmmm.. maybe I'll make a black, red, and white quilt with some of these fabrics they carry.
 Those are my favorite colors, afterall!

Block #4 is suuuuper simple. Here goes!

You'll need:

Now you need to make some half-square triangles. 
If you have been following along with the other blocks you should be a pro at making these HSTs. 

Take both of the white squares (measuring 4 7/8" x 4 7/8") and the two black squares (measuring 4 7/8" x 4 7/8") 
Now lay one white square on top of one black square so that the pretty sides of both the fabrics are touching each other. Pin one corner in place.  Now trace a line with a ruler from one point to the other diagonally across the square. Repeat on other white and black square. See pics below.

 Now stitch 1/4" to the right and to the left of the pencil line. Like this:


With your rotary cutter and a ruler slice down the pencil line like this: 
Press your HSTs open and press the seam towards the darker (black in this case) fabric. Don't forget to trim off those dog ears!

Almost done!
Now, arrange all your pieces to look like this:

Stitch the blocks together in rows first.


Then combine the rows to complete your Shooting Star block!

We are almost done with our Black & White Quilt Along.  Only one more block left to learn!  
I hope you have been busy making all the blocks in this quilt along. 
Now you have one more block to add to your repertoire! yay!

Stay tuned for Block #5!

Happy Quilting!



Big quilts

...are definitely not my favorite kind of quilts to make.  :o/ 
They bore me to death more than anything.
I am still working on the queen sized quilt I was commissioned to make.
It's due by July 18th. 
I have 21 out of the 30 blocks made. phew.


I still have to connect all the blocks, add borders, piece the backing, quilt the entire thing....
AND make and stitch on the binding.
Oh, and did I mention I always hand-stitch my binding on the backside.
I don't even want to imagine how long it is going to take me to hand-stitch the binding on a QUEEN sized quilt.
bleh.
But no worries... it will get done.  I'm aiming for July 10th.  Pray for me.

What I do like about being bored with a quilt is that my mind starts wandering and thinking of new projects I can start (like I don't have enough projects to finish right now!).... 
and my wandering = creative ideas =
you know...
MORE FABRIC SHOPPING!!
I have been surfing around on our sponsors' online shops and wow! Is it me or are new fabrics, and designers popping up everyday?!
Just when you think there is every kind of possible fabric print out there you wake up to find even more!
If you know anything about me you know I ♥ COLOR!
After some surfing look what I found:
Check out some of the new Moda Layer Cakes at the Fat Quarter Shop! ADORABLE!  
"Layer cakes" are 42 10" x 10" squares.  Although they are usually used to make quilt blocks, you could make all kinds of  projects--- tote bags, patchwork skirts, patchwork dresses for little girls, etc.
If you're on a tighter budget but can still use the extra fabric in your stash (who doesn't love fabric?!)... the SALE page has ridiculous prices...  
Designer fabric for $4.50 a yard?!
Quilt patterns for $3.25?!
they even have crafting magazines for $3.00!
----------------------------------------
I've made my list of stuff to buy.... but I'll have to run it by the hubby first.
In the meantime.... back to working on this big ol' monotonous quilt.
Luckily for me, when I need a break from the big ol' quilt I have an adorable walking running 10 month old super hero to chase after.
  
I ♥ him so much!!
(super hero cape tutorial coming soon.....) 
 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Crafty Gemini featured in the paper!


WOO-HOO!!!!
Remember the online video competition that I entered?
The one for a chance to win my own show on Oprah's new network- OWN.

Well, my local paper- The Gainesville Sun ran an article today in the Features section about two of us from this area that are trying to win the competition.

Check out the article- HERE!

The photographer came to my home sewing studio and took a picture of me with my longarm quilting machine and some of my quilts!

The online voting is open until July 3rd.  You can vote over and over again as many times as you want!
If you're ready for a fresh new sewing & quilting show on tv vote for my show idea- Patch Works
Patch Works is a fun and innovative new show that reintroduces the art of quilting and sewing crafts in a fresh new light! My show will feature tons of easy-to-follow, step-by-step tutorials for even the most clueless beginner. Sewing & quilting are making a comeback and I want to be the one to walk you through all the latest trends and techniques as the host of my OWN show! If you want to see a fresh and hip new crafting show on OWN, vote for me!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day!!

I am blessed to have such a great husband.  He looooves his little family!   My husband is a very hands-on dad and loves spending time with his baby boy.  He works a regular office day job and I get to stay at home with baby. So, I always make him little scrapbooking-type photo albums for him to display on his work desk.

You may remember the last accordion photo album I made him in this post. That one had pictures of the baby from the day he was born to about 3 months.  I decided to make him an updated one for Father's Day so he could show people what his big boy looks like now.  Plus, he kept telling me stories about how he constantly has to tell people, "he doesn't look like that anymore.... he is much bigger.  Our DS (darling son) turned 10 months old today! I've been slacking, I know.   But sheesh, how time flies!!

Well, here it is.  His Father's Day accordion photo album.  
I love the tie print paper! I thought it was very appropriate but still young and bright!
The ribbon stamp says: "World's Greatest Dad"

This is one side of the album opened up.
The other side opened up.
My little bug and I! 

My 2 guys!  Don't you love a babywearing daddy?!
TOOOOOOO CUTE!

Happy Father's Day, love!
...and a Happy Father's Day to all the amazing daddies and single mommies out there, too! 
I know how tough it was for my mom to be both the mother and father to my three sisters and I.

THANK YOU! 


Saturday, June 19, 2010

I love Fabric!

Don't you?! I always go to the fabric shop to buy one thing and end up walking out with tons more than I expected... what a surprise, eh?

Last week I was at my local Joann's and came across this gorgeous lightweight blue cotton fabric with the prettiest white embroidery and scalloped edge! The craziest part was that it was in the clearance section and marked down to $5/yd!  Even better, the clearance was markdown another 50%.  All in all, this dress cost me $1.50 to make, ribbon and all! You see, people....you can be creative on a budget!  As soon as I saw it I immediately thought of making a pillowcase dress with it! But for who??......read on.

Tomorrow is Father's Day and we are headed to Deltona, FL to see some old college friends of mine and to celebrate their daughter's 2nd birthday. (I'll blog about what I made my hubby for his day tomorrow.)

When their daughter, Sayuri (means Lily in Japanese), was born I made her a quilt with her name quilted on it.  So, for her 2nd birthday I had to make her something, of course! I didn't have to think too hard about what I would make since I have been doing nothing but teaching pillowcase dressmaking classes for the last month!

I didn't want to use fabric from my stash so, I convinced myself I had to buy MORE fabric! I jumped through cyberspace right on over to the Quilting Lodge online shop and surfed through the new Timeless Treasures fabric line they have.  I ordered some of this gorgeous black, white, and yellow floral print a few weeks back and I am sooooo glad I did because I popped on over today and this fabric is already gone! phew! That was close. But they still have a ton more fabric, including some other super cute black, white, and yellow fabrics from the same collection.

Quilting Lodge's prices are great!  1/2 yd of fabric for only $4.00! And their shipping rates start at $2.00!  Pretty ridiculous, if you ask me!  Their customer service is amazing, too!  I have ordered from them and within the hour of me paying, I have received an email letting me know my stuff has shipped! wow!  Vicki is great and always available for questions or concerns.  Check them out!

This dress has a black trim with matching ruffle and I used some black satin ribbon for the shoulder straps. If you have seen my other pillow case dresses you know that this one is a bit different because of the ruffle.  I am working on the pattern and tutorial for this specific dress so, look out for a blog posting about it soon.  In the meantime you can get my pattern and tutorial for the dress without the ruffle here. My patterns come with a link to a video tutorial to help those of you that are more visual learners.  The video tutorial for the pillowcase dress is here: Pillowcase Dress Video Tutorial.

Check out the finished pillowcase dress I made with the embroidered fabric I mentioned above.  I love it! I hope Sayuri does too! It's girly, lightweight, and perfect for HOT Florida summers! ::smile::
Happy Father's Day to all the great daddy's and single mommies (like mine) out there!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My first Queen sized quilt

::sigh::
I was recently commissioned to make a Queen sized quilt.  Yea, I know what you are thinking.... I'm insane for taking on this job. I know I am but I figured why not? I love a challenge! Remember the quilting software I always blog about...it's fabulous! But like everything it has its pros and cons. The one con I can find with it is that it tricks you!  You start designing your quilt in the software program and it's sooooo easy that it tricks you into thinking that making the actual quilt will be as easy as designing it! It looks so perfect on my computer screen that I forget how many blocks I will have to cut, press, and piece to get to the actual finished product!

Here is my sewing machine taking a break from piecing some of the 480 half square triangles I had to make.  I, of course, chain piece my blocks.  In other words I sew all my blocks together continuously like a chain without having to cut the thread after finishing with each one.  I just stitch one seam, then stop when I get to the end, lift up my presser foot, slip the next two blocks underneath it, put it back down and stitch that seam.  You save a lot of 1) TIME and 2) THREAD--two very important things to any quilter!

Let me paint you a better of picture of what exactly this Queen sized quilt project entails.  I had to wash, press and starch a ton of fabric to begin with.  Then I had to cut out 480 squares total from four different fabrics.  The quilt is made up of 30 blocks that measure 16" x 16" each.  Each one of those blocks is made up of 16 smaller blocks.  And those 16 smaller blocks are made up of 32 individual triangles.  So, all in all the quilt is made up of 960 triangle patches.

This is the design I created in EQ6.  The colors are just used to give me an idea because the chances of me finding fabrics to match exactly are slim to none. 

Here is the finished block.  The white fabric has tiny silver sprinkles. 


This is my first (and probably my last) Queen sized quilt.  Did I mention the entire thing needs to be done, quilted, and bound by July 19th?
::sigh::
I'm off to sew...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Picnic Quilt

Woo-hoo!! I finished the quilt top for my baby boy's picnic quilt! You know which one... the one I blogged about a few months ago. I used my EQ6 quilting software (I bought mine from our sponsor, Quilting Lodge) to design it.  Here is the design:
The finished quilt top doesn't look identical to the design but its close enough.  My fabrics weren't exactly the same because I used the software program just give me an idea of the color palette.  The blocks are the same but I just added more fabrics to the pinwheel blocks and alternated the windmill variation blocks.

Did I tell you it only took me 5 1/2 hours to make this one!? I'm talking about from pressing and cutting my fabrics to having the borders on and all!  I knew I was fast, but wow! Eleanor Burns doesn't have anything on me with MY "Quilt in a Day," literally!!  

If you happened to notice the pieced borders.... sssshhhhhh!! Don't tell anybody!  I only had 1/2 yd of each fabric I needed! What was I thinking when I only bought that little bit of fabric for borders on a 60+ inch quilt!?? LOL.  I tell ya... my brain goes on vacation (without letting me know) sometimes.  But that's (one of) the beautiful things about quilting!! It's YOUR piece of art and you can design and re-design and then re-design some more! 

Here is the finished quilt top.

I am very happy with the way it turned out and I am sooooo excited to quilt it!  I bought the navy denim fabric I am going to use for the backing.  If you have never tried denim as a quilt backing... give it a try! I love it! My husband has a picnic quilt I made for him as a birthday present two years ago and that was the first time I tried denim as a backing.  It is sturdier and holds up nicely for picnic quilts that get dirty and thrown around a lot.

Tomorrow is my local quilt guild meeting and I'm taking this one for show & tell! :o)





In other quilty news: I'm still working on the Queen sized quilt I was commissioned to make... ah!! I have 400 of the 480 half-square triangle blocks finished and have pieced two strips for each block.  I'm almost there!  And it's gotta be DONE by July 19th!  I got a lot of work to do! Please send some happy quilty thoughts my way!

THANKS!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Black & White Quilt Along- Block 3

Here it is, everybody!!
Block #3- Black & White Quilt Along

Here is the picture of the one I designed:

You can use any combination you want.  In this tutorial I will use the same fabric for the entire center part of the block but you can do two and two like you see in this design picture, it's your choice!
What you'll need for one 12.5" x 12.5" block that will end up being 12" x 12" when in a quilt:

4 strips that measure  9 3/8" x 4 3/4" of your light colored fabric
1 square that measures 7 1/4" x 7 1/4" of your dark fabric
You'll need to prep both fabrics by doing a little cutting before you actually start sewing. 
The next step is to cut the Black (7 1/4" x 7 1/4" square) in 4 parts.  You should measure from one corner to another on the diagonal (on the ugly side of your block)and mark along that line.  Then repeat this with the other two corners so that you have an "X" marked on the ugly side of your black block. 

Now you want to cut along the lines you just marked so you end up with 4 triangles out this square.

Now let's prep the other fabric (white)...
This may seem a little tricky but it's really not. If you have a ruler that has built-in degree measurements (like mine) this is simple.   
Line up your ruler with the 45 degree angle on the bottom left corner of one strip of the white fabric.  The center-most point of the ruler's angle measurement should be on the top edge.  Make a mark where the ruler meets the top edge of your strip (see blue mark in picture.)


Now line up your ruler from that bottom left corner to the point you marked (blue mark) and cut.  Repeat this to the 3 other strips. You will be using the longest part of the strip for this block.  Save that other little triangle for another project!




Here are all the pieces you should have to make your block:

Now layout your pieces as shown in this picture.

Now we start sewing! YAY!
When lining up your fabrics to sew you will notice that the black (small triangle) is a bit bigger that the edge of your white fabric.  No worries.  Just make sure you line up your fabrics as I show you in this picture.  The squared edges of the blocks should match and then one extra little corner of the black will stick out. Stitch down using a 1/4" seam.

Stitch each white strip to it's coordinating black triangle FIRST. 
Like this:
Then you will sew two of these units together, like this:
And then finally the last center seam!  Make sure you match that center point and pin it in place so it doesn't move on you while you stitch.
The final outcome: 
Cute, eh?!

Can you imagine this in pastels for a fun baby quilt! I really like this block and I hope you do, too!

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My OWN show on Oprah's Network!

You all know how passionate I am about sewing and quilting and I have had such a great response worldwide to the dozens of video tutorials I have on my YouTube channel.

In only 6 months since I started posting my tutorials, I've reached almost 70,000 hits and close to 500 subscribers!

Now, I'm ready to take it to the next level and I NEED YOUR HELP!!! 
Oprah is looking for great new hosts and show ideas for her new network- OWN. And I want to win with my show Patch Works!
Patch Works


Click HERE to vote for my video pitch!!
**p.s.- you can vote as many times as you want. Just click on the green "VOTE" button over and over again so I can move into the second round of auditions, please!**
Feel free to re-post to your facebook, twitter, etc.  I really appreciate your support!

Thank you!!

-Vanessa

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Sponsor and giveaway winners update!

We have a NEW Charter Sponsor on board!

THE FAT QUARTER SHOP
FatQuarterShop

If you aren't familiar with the Fat Quarter Shop, you are in for a treat!
They have everything! ... and I mean everything! Quilt kits, Fat Quarter bundles, patterns, and so much fabric I was shocked when I saw they have hundreds of different quality fabric collections!

Check out their SALE page to surf through the inventory that is currently 10%- 50% off!

__________________________________________________________

Just a quick congratulations to the winners of my Mother's Day Giveaway!
Here are some pics of the cosmetic pouches these ladies won!



Teresa won the Leopard print one and Mary Beth won a custom made version of the same pouch from the fabric she chose: Timeless Treasures Poppy Lane Fabric Large Poppy Print

One of our other sponsors, Quilting Lodge, was kind enough to donate the fabric and the fusible fleece for me to make this cosmetic pouch!

I had never used fusible fleece  until I received it for this project.  It is fabulous!  The best way to describe it is a mid-weight batting type of fleece with some adhesive on the back.  When activate with the heat of an iron it fuses to your fabric like some of the other types of fusible web that are commonly found it your fabric shops.  This stuff is great for bags, pouches, phone cases, and other craft projects that require some sort of internal layer for body and strength.  If you've never used it I recommend buying a chunk and trying it out. 

{The fusible fleece is  the white sheet that looks like batting below. }

Have a great weekend, everybody!
 
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