Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bedrock

I stumbled upon this picture today. How cool is that!? This and more like is can be found in this Etsy shop. Give new meaning to the saying "I slept like a ROCK!" doesn't it?  :o)

Thanks for the Birthday wishes. I had a wonderful day. Since then I've been trying to wrap up a few projects. Really. I am working. (not sure who I'm trying to convince here: you or ME?) I hope to have something to show for it by the end of the week. :o)

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Riddle

What do I have in common with Robin Leach and Lea Michele?

Well we just happen to share the same birthday!

The hubs has the day off and we're spending it together. Nothing major planned. Just some quiet time during the day while the kids are at school. Oh, and maybe some shopping. :o)

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

comPLEATly cool!

I was just doing my Saturday morning blog-hopping (while the children screamed at eachother) and came across THIS. You've got to check it out. It is SO cute. I'm already scouting out color combinations for each room in my house. OK, now I have to go be a real Mom and pull my kids off of eachother. HAPPY SATURDAY! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pre-Season

The wonderful gals down at Bright Hopes Quilting in Mandeville, LA have been calling almost weekly for the past month or so. Why? Because they can't seem to keep this pattern in stock!
It's no wonder when you see the beautiful sample they've been working on:


I have to admit- I'm not a huge football follower. But you don't have to be a SAINTS fan to see how gorgeous this Black, White and Gold version is.

Thanks for sharing ladies! :o)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Too cool for...

 SCHOOL!!!
Last night they could hardly sleep. They kept saying "Mom, it's almost like Christmas!" And they were awake by quarter to 7 this morning. WOW!!  Too bad this is only going to last about a week. I'm going to be dragging them out of bed with little time to get ready in no time.

But they were right about the Christmas thing- I haven't been shy about the fact that I've been counting down the days until they went back to school. Mostly because of this girl:

 She just started First grade! (that means all-day school!)  And while I LOVE her, I also love my sanity.
She was SO excited to have her own desk in first grade. (In kindergarten they sat at tables)   :o)

 Then there's this guy- Mr. Fourth grader! He was super excited about his back-to-school clothes more than anything else. (Skinny jeans!?) Just before he left I remembered to give him a pep-talk about being the "Big Brother" at school this year and to take care of his sister since the other big brother wasn't going to be at that school anymore.

That's this guy. He's starting Sixth grade. He's still in grade school where we live, but he started today at a brand new school. We decided to try the local charter school and we are super excited about it. (He was already in the garage at this point and way too cool to have his picture taken.)

I'm so proud of these GIANT kids! They sure are growing up fast. Time just keeps slipping by.
Speaking of time, they'll be home in a few minutes! Ah!

:o)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Calling all

HOUSTONIANS!

I need YOUR help. The fall International Quilt Market is held in Houston, TX every year. It's 2 months away. I'm freaking out just a little bit. If you are from the Houston area and may be willing to help me track down some 'props' for my display- please send me an email. I'm sure we can figure out some way to make it worth you while.  *wink!*  ;o)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Scrip Scrap Horray!

Can you believe I almost forgot about picking a winner this morning!?
All this last minute back-to-school stuff has been keeping me BUSY!!!

Anyway, here's the results from the awesome Random.org

Annelies who said: "oh YES I am a follower....and LOVE Coastal ( more than you could ever know)!!! Favorite thing this summer was bringing our new Grandson to visit the beach. Another generation....Picure my Mom ( 88) me ( 58) sweet daugther and new Momma, and our adorable Donovan. What JOY!!!!"

Well Annelies, now you're gonna have some fun beachy scraps to play with to make a fun quilt for Donovan to remember his first trip to the beach!

Hey, if you didn't win this giveaway don't be too sad because I'm going to have another one next week! And you're NOT going to want to miss it!  :o)



Monday, August 15, 2011

A time to share

So I have this bag. This isn't a picture of the actual bag. My husband is off on an adventure in the mountains for the next few days and he has my camera. But the bag is very similar to this one. It's roughly 8 inches wide, 10 inches high and 4 inches deep. If you're good at math (geometry?) you can figure out how many square inches it can hold. I'm not. I just know that it is stuffed beyond capacity with

GOING COASTAL scraps!

And since I haven't had a giveaway in quite a while I thought I would give it to one of YOU!

Naturally you need to be a follower. If you're not- become one. If you already are, then AWESOME! Next, leave me a comment telling me the best/favorite thing you did this summer. (I'm trying to live vicariously through all of you!)

I'll pick a winner on FRIDAY!  :o)

Good luck!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Double Take


Maureen from Woodland Quilting Co. in Alberta Canada sent me this pic of a store sample they just made. I'm still trying to figure out how to convince her to send it to me. I love this!  I've seen Jovial before annd I liked it. But I have to admit I wasn't "in love" with it. But when I saw this picture I immediately started searching the web for a couple of layer cakes. It's GORGEOUS! The funny thing is- even though it's a Christmas line I am really drawn to the blue. LOVE the blue!

Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2 weeks!

I am counting down the days until school starts. I love my kids- but they need school. It has been difficult to get things done this summer with them home. They don't want to go to the quilt store with me. They don't want to go to the copy center. They don't want to stop playing their games so I can use my computer. And they definately don't want to get along long enough for me to sew a little. Oh, and they are always BORED!
So yes, I am a little excited. Maybe I'll miss them a little...but they need to be gone for a while before that can happen.  :o)

Anyway, I have a few things I hope to share in the next couple of days- so stay tuned!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Clambake - a Tutorial

As soon as I started cutting fabric for this quilt I knew I needed to write a tutorial. It is fun and easy and delivers great results! You should know by now that I don't like to do anything hard so believe me when I tell you "YOU can do this!" I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Fabric Requirements:
1 yard border fabric (I used white)
21 Fat Quarters- assorted prints and colors
(I used Felicity by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake)
1/2 yard for Binding
3 1/2 yards Backing
You will also need to download the PDF template for this pattern.

OK. Let's get started.

The first thing your're going to do is to press all your fat quarters. Then, fold them in half and in half again making a smaller square. This way you have 4 layers of the same print.

Next, print you PDF file onto plain paper and onto a medium-heavy weight cardstock. You'll need BOTH of these templates.

You're going to use the paper printout to make a template. I like to use the cardboard off the back of a notebook. Tape the paper printout on top of the cardboard and using a dull pencil or a medium point pen trace around the outside solid line on the template. You want to press hard enough to leave an indentation on the cardstock. Remove the paper and cut out the template using charp scissors. Your piece should look like the one below.

 Carefully cut just the edge off of one of the folded FQ's so that you have a clean edge to work with.
 Line the bottom point (for lack of a better term) of the template on this clean cut edge.
 Now you have two choices. You can A.) trace around the template and mark your lines afterwhich you'll need to pin like crazy through all 4 layers and cut out the clam shape with sharp scissors. OR....
B.) CAREFULLY! And I mean carefully cut out around the template. I used lots of pressure to make sure I was cutting through all 4 layers. I also moved very very slowly. I used my regular 45mm cutter and it worked fine- I just had to take my time. However, if I had been able to locate my 18mm cutter I think it would've been a little easier.
*If using a rotary cutter you may want to make more than one template. After a while I would occasionally trim a tiny bit away from my template. I ended up using 3 templates to cut out all my pieces.

 (Ignore the fact that I didn't line up the 'point'- I took this picture before I realized lining them to the edge was easier!)
 Cut out 4 Clamshells from each FQ giving you a total of 84 Clamshells
 Now you're going to get those cardstock templates you printed out. You want to cut on the SOLID line on the bottom curves and the point and on the DASHED line around the top curve as shown above.
Place a Clamshell print side down on your ironing board. Give a quick spray of starch or other pressing agent to the curve of your piece (I've found that this helps it hold it's shape better. I prefer using Magic Sizing). You don't want it saturated- just damp. Lay your template on top of the fabric clamshell like shown.

 Press the edges of the fabric back onto the template creating your 1/4" seam allowance.
Remove the template and turn the piece over. I usually do one more quick press at this point. See the little corner? You can see where the seam allowance is pressed under. Using a marking tool, make a little mark at the top of each curve that tells you where the center is. (It's on the templates)
Alright now repeat for each piece.

*I'll be honest- that's a lot of pressing. So here's what I did. Since there are 4 of each print I divided the pieces into 4 stacks. Each stack contained one of each print. Then I pressed all the pieces in one stack. I started building my quilt with those pieces and then moved on to stack 2. This also kept me from repeating a print too close to eachother.

Enough prep work- let's get started with this quilt top!

 You need a strip 8" x 45 1/2" long  for your top border. This is how you'll start the quilt. I was able to get a full 8" x 44" piece of fabric after trimming my selvages. I also cut a 1 1/4" x 8" strip to add to the end of my 44" piece to give me the complete 45 1/2" in length. (See above) Press seams OPEN.
 Remember that center mark I had you make? Well now it comes in handy. Press your 8" border piece in half so you have a seam marking the center. This is important so all your clamshells fit nicely into place. Line up that center mark on the seam and begin pinning the clamshell into place. Notice the bottom edges of the clamshell curve rest nicely on the edge of the fabric. Pin! Pin! Pin!

*A note about pins: I rarely use pins but I admit- they have their place. This is one of those places. If you absolutely refuse to use pins- this quilt is not for you. Pinning is a MUST. Sorry. But if I can get past it, so can you. It really is worth it!  :o)

Continue adding camshells to either side of the center shell until you've reached the edges of the border. Your border and the outer edge of each clamshell on either side should meet up perfectly- like it was meant to be *wink!*.
See that pretty row? Super cute! And the places for row 2's clamshells are already there!
Move the border piece to your sewing machine and topstitch as close to the edge of your clamshell as possible. I tried to zoom this picture as close as I could to show you. If you prefer a different applique stitch by all means use it. I want your finished project to be as much "you" as mine is "me".

Now, on to row 2. 
Using that center mark again, line up a clamshell's center mark at the junction between 2 clamshells from the first row. The bottom edge of the clamshell curve from row 2 will nest nicely on the 'points' from row 1. This keeps the quilt from getting wonky. I was worried that the curves were going to be a problem, but since each row sets up for the one to follow the quilt has a nice way of staying smooth.
Just remember:  Pin! Pin! Pin!

But what to do when you come to the end of the row you ask? Simple. Find a clamshell you wish to use and cut it down the center. Use the half that fits into that side as your half piece. You can use the other half on the other side, or cut another piece for more variety. You'll use the rest of the pieces later on in the quilt. Pin this half piece in place too. Then top stitch the entire row at one time as you did the first row.

*(you'll notice in the picture below that my clamshell extends beyond the border fabric- IGNORE THIS!  Originally I was going to trim the whole top down, then I realized adding a tiny bit of fabric would be easier and yield better results. Hey, we learn as we go sometimes!)
 Now a word if I may about the top-stitching. When you get to the bottom of those curves where they're so gently resting on the 'points' of the piece below- GO SLOW!!!  If you have a needle down option on your machine- USE IT. I don't so I manually turned my needle down, pivoted my work and made ONE STITCH from one clamshell to the next. This kept them nice and close. Again, leaving my needle down, pivoted the piece and began stitching the next curve. I tried to get a picture of this but it really wasn't showing well. I think my description is enough.

Did I mention to GO SLOW!? 

I could add 4 rows of clamshells before I ran out of pieces. Then, like I mentioned before I would press the next set and continue. The quilt top gets large, but not too large to handle if you take your time.

Here is a picture of the back after a few rows so you can see how nicely the pieces fit onto eachother.

After you have run out of clamshell pieces it's time to finish that quilt top. My quilt top had 16 rows (with a few extra clamshells leftover).

I pressed my entire quilt top just to be sure. Then it was time to trim. Using a LARGE ruler I trimed each side. Only a tiny bit was needed to clean up the edges.  
 Now for the bottom. Line that large ruler up along the bottom edge of those clamshell curves (see photo) and trim off the points.

 You'll use a 5" x 45 1/2" strip of border fabric along the bottom. Piece it together just as we did the top. Attach the bottom border to the quilt top.

 See that beauty? Now we'll add the side borders. I cut (3) 5" x WOF strips for the side borders. I cut one in half and pieced each half to the other full strips, attached it to the quilt top sides and trimmed the excess. I know there's other ways of doing this so do whatever suits you. The yard of fabric I required is plenty for the borders.
And here is that finished quilt top.

As always, Quilt, Bind and Enjoy!

Check out my Flickr group to see more finished pictures of my quilt top and to see details of the quilting.

(p.s.- if you find any mistakes or something doesn't make sense, please email me so I can fix it. Thanks!)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fresh from the wash

I know I said I wouold post more on this quilt Monday but you know how things go. My weekend got away from me and then there were other pressing matters that needed to be addressed here on the blog. But I have not forgotten! 

I just pulled the quilt from my dryer. I don't always wash and dry quilts right after I finish them. Sometimes they get folded and stacked. Other times they need to be shipped right away. And there's other times that it goes right from machine to snuggling. This one was different. I quilted a free-hand arched rainbow pattern in each clam. I liked the idea but once I started doing it I lost faith in my abilities. Still I pressed on knowing that often it looks better after the whole quilt it done. And it did...at least a little more than when I started.

 I had the idea to quilt the border in a grid pattern but kept trying to talk myself out of it. SO glad I didn't. I LOVE IT!  It may have taken a while to mark all those lines (another reason I needed to wash it) but I made up for the time because I just used my free motion foot instead of the usual suggested walking foot for this application. I love the slight wonky-ness of the lines- it just adds so much character. The whole grid idea reminds me of a fishing net  :o)

I'm calling this one CLAMBAKE! And guess what? I wrote a tutorial for it that I'm posting tomorrow. See, I've been making good use of my summer. :o)  Hmmm... Clambake....I can think of the perfect fabric for this quilt....  *wink!*

Monday, August 1, 2011

Clarification

Just to clarify- I DO NOT have Going Coastal fabric for sale. It seems there has been some confusion about this. The fabric can be found in your local quilt shop (hopefully) and at several shops online. In my neck of the woods The Corn Wagon quilt shop and Gracie Lou's quilt shop will be carrying the entire line. Please understand that at certain times I may have fabric bundles or kits of one kind or another for sale but at this time that does not include any Going Coastal fabric. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at crazyoldladies@gmail.com

Thank You