Little, tiny hexies

I learned to quilt the old fashioned way — tracing templates onto fabric, cutting out the shapes with scissors and then stitching them together by hand. While I have since learned to machine piece and quilt (it was really rather necessary if I wanted to finish more than five or six quilts in my lifetime), I still enjoy working on hand projects.

In the last week or so, I was itching to do some English paper piecing, but didn’t want to work on my giant hexies, which are in the sew together stage. I decided to print out some hexagon paper piecing patterns online. I pulled out some scraps and have been working on them a few nights here and there as I chill in bed, surf online and watch TV.

hexagon detail

Hexagon detail

I’ve really been enjoying working on these! These hexies are a half-inch on each side. They’re small, but not too small. I definitely have been thinking more of making a little mini quilt or a wallhanging. I have been known to take on some ridiculous craft projects in my life, but I don’t think I’d ever be crazy enough to attempt a bed-size quilt of half-inch hexagons.

The first time I laid them out, here was the result. I obviously hadn’t been making the same number of each color!

In rainbow order

The next time I tried laying them out, wow! I loved the effect (even though I was annoyed I forgot all the turquoise ones). Forgetting that row wasn’t enough of an annoyance to lay them out again that evening, however.

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Next up, I tried little flowers. The first quilt I ever finished was a traditional grandmother’s flower garden quilt, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go down this route again. But oh, these little flowers are so cute. I’m not sure if the petals are too scrappy, though.

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So, at this stage, I’m torn. I like both options. What do you think?

— Christy

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Finished owl Kindle cover, or, how I finally used some of my brown fabric

I’ve been doing lots of little bits of projects here and there, including organizing some of my scraps, but I really haven’t finished many actual projects lately. Luckily, I’ve at least finished this little Kindle cover.

I love the cute little owl fabric I planned the design around; I think it’s from a bundle of Japanese fabric scraps I bought on Etsy quite a while ago.

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I don’t normally use brown fabric very much (ever), so it was kind of nice to make use of some of the brown and rust scraps I have in my stash (most were left overs other people gave me). Since this is the third Kindle cover I’ve worked on, I’m starting to figure out some easier ways to put them together and a better idea of what size is perfect to trim the panels to.

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This is the first one I’ve made that uses a flap and Velcro to close it. I have previously had issues getting Velcro sewn onto items cleanly, so I tried a new Velcro that is adhesive and made for fabrics. The package says it can be washed and closed/opened more than 1,000 times. Obviously I have not put that claim to the test, but so far, so good.

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The lining even looks (almost) perfect inside! It’s always satisfying to work out a design for something that turns out like you want it to!

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Last weekend I got to spend a day at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. It was so amazing and inspirational. I took a TON of photos … hopefully I’ll get some of them posted soon!

— Christy

 

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Covering my Kindle, or alternately titled, How to gather 8 pounds of fabric when you need about 8 ounces

I’ve currently been working on making a couple of quilted Kindle covers as gifts and I thought I’d write about the first one I made a while ago.

While sorting through some of my quilting and crafting photos, I found a series I took when I was in the planning stage of my Kindle sleeve. As you’ll understand when you see the photos, I totally cracked up when I saw the photo of the (gigantic) fabric pile I put together for this (really small) project.

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I decided to feature a fussy-cut piece of a cool typewriter fabric and use pink, turquoise and gray as my main colors. As you may have noticed, I pulled quite a bit of fabric for a project that’s about the size of a small book. I always seem to do this for every project: find it completely necessary to go through a big portion of my fabric stash and pull any fabrics that might work, way overestimating what I will actually use. It’s not really shown here, but I also like to go through my scraps and do the same, so in this instance, very little of the above fabric actually made the final cut. If it’s not obvious, I love the planning stage, especially picking out fabrics.

I made the front and back panels into improvisational pieced log cabins and then quilted them with a loopy squiggle. For the closure, I just used a fuchsia ponytail holder and a button.

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This project uses some of my favorite fabrics: polka dots and anything with letters. It was a lot of fun to make and not very time-consuming, either! When I post about the other Kindle covers I’m making, I’ll show what I’m doing the same and different, and what is working better or not as well.

— Christy

Quick quilted gift for a cool kid

Here’s yet another of my previously finished projects that was really quick and fun to make! A while ago I started a quilt-as-you-go project with wonky log cabin blocks made out of scraps. I made a few blocks but then got distracted, as I so often do.

Then I needed a gift for the daughter of a good friend of mine. Just like me as a kid (and uh, still now), Sydney loves stuffed animals. My friend often posted cute photos of her on Facebook, with Sydney’s animals being put to bed in a variety of funny locations around the house. My favorite was when a few of her animals found a bed inside her soccer shin guards. 🙂 This inspired me to make her some bedding for them.

I used one of the quilt-as-you-go blocks as a mini-quilt for her animals and also made a few pillows to go along with the quilt. Since the block was already quilted, I just had to bind it and then make the pillows, although it would be a quick go-to project from start to finish as well.

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I really need to make more small quilts! They are so quick to finish and also give me a chance to try out new blocks, quilting patterns and other techniques. I love the idea of having more of them hanging up around the house as decoration, too. So many ideas, not nearly enough time!

— Christy

Photo Friday

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I have so, so many works in progress and here is just one, a giant hexagon project that I am (slowly) paper piecing. I am using some of my very favorite fabrics in this one (I seriously love those fuchsia dots!), including a lot of large scale prints. I don’t have a ton of these hexies sewn together yet, but with blocks this big, I hope this will make for a large bed-size quilt.

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We’re doing another craft day tomorrow, so I hope to have some more photos to post of progress of some sort this weekend! I am so close to having a hand quilting project ready to bind, and I also have some other projects more than halfway finished. I hope it’s a productive weekend for you, too!

— Christy

Back(b)logged — wonky log cabin quilt for Melinda

Hi again! I’m back with another quilt that I made quite a while ago, but hey, it’s new to everyone else, I guess.

This was a fun project for one of my friends as a wedding gift. I can’t imagine my time living in Texas without my friend Melinda. We had so much fun working together and hanging out. Sadly though, we both ended up moving away, and while it’s worked out great for each of us, I’m sad I don’t get to see her in person anymore. More than anyone I’ve ever met, Melinda loved college basketball, especially the University of Kansas, where she went to school. She also loves dogs more than anyone I know, so when I made this quilt for her and her husband, Robby, I knew I had to combine the two.

The quilt was planned around some KU fabric I found (here in Indiana, I think, which was kind of odd). From that, I got my color scheme, red, yellow, blue, black and white. I also used some dog fabric I had been collecting for another project, and then mixed in a bunch of other coordinating fabrics from my stash.

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These wonky log cabins were a lot of fun to make, but oh, did I underestimate the time it would take to make them. It probably didn’t help that the strips were cut really narrow, and the random piecing didn’t make the process any faster. I also remember that this quilt was one of the messiest and most disorganized I ever worked on, with piles of strips laying around, and me rooting through them looking for the right size, color and pattern for the next seam I planned to sew.

Despite the challenges, I love the way this turned out. Kind of wild, crazy and fun like my friend, Melinda. I really hope she and her husband are enjoying the quilt as much as I enjoyed making it for her!

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I quilted it with some wavy horizontal lines. I wanted to keep that part of it simple, so it wouldn’t distract from the craziness of the blocks. I used some spare blocks on the back along with a blue patterned fabric. I bound it with a cute red polka dot.

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I miss you, Melinda! I hope you’re doing well!

— Christy

From the back(b)log — quilted red pillow

I love to quilt and craft. There’s no question about that. And I love the idea of quilt/craft blogs. I love to read them, constantly finding new items that inspire me. I also love the idea of me blogging, but historically (and honestly), I suck as a blogger.

I mean well. I really do. I work on projects, I take photos, I download them to my computer, but that’s kind of where I grind to an all-too-familiar halt. Hence, I have a TON of backlogged quilts and projects I never got around to posting about. So forgive me if some of my projects for this new blog are kinda old. I hope I can get a more complete record of my quilting and crafting efforts and maybe become a more regular blogger in the meantime!

Anyway. Speaking of old projects, here’s the first of many.

I made this pillow on a whim, uh, quite a while ago. If it helps put a time frame on it, I think it was one of the first projects I machine quilted. (Oh lord, that’s been a few years. But at least less than 8. I don’t know if that makes me feel better or worse. Haha.)

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It was a really simple design, just some solid red with some small red scraps, that mostly came from a small roll of fat eighths I got at Joann Fabrics in a bunch of different colors. (Oh, those fabrics have been used in a LOT of projects over the years.) I quilted the body of the pillow in simple wavy lines, but used a different pattern on the strip of scraps.

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The pillow is currently not being used because my couch is a dark red floral that really doesn’t go with much of anything, including this pillow. Sigh. Someday though, I am bound and determined to get a simple, monochromatic couch and I will have a nice backdrop for all the pillows I have made (and am dying to make).

— Christy