Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Coasters as Sewing Therapy

While I'm a long way from an empty nest (my youngest is ten years old), we helped my oldest move to her first apartment this past weekend. All those years of schooling and parenting were supposed to lead to this, right? I'm very happy for her and I'm sure she's going to be quite successful in her adulthood, but still, I miss her. She's five hours from home, too, so it's not like I can drop by for a visit or that she can easily run home or that we can meet for lunch every couple of weeks.

While we were helping her set up her apartment, I made note of the table topper she had made and decided to use on her kitchen table. I also noted that there were no coasters. This mom needed a little sewing therapy and a special something to send in the mail for special love.

She doesn't have her own sewing machine (yet) and left all her fabric at home. I raided it when we got home and found a scrap of this fabric, which was the focus fabric in the table topper. There was enough left to cut two 4 1/2" squares. I also found a scrap of the same fabric with a white background and cut two 4 1/2" squares from it as well. That was enough raiding of her fabric, so my stash provided the rest.

Everything is cut in 4 1/2" squares, with each piece on the bottom pressed in half. This common coaster pattern is very easy to make.

The key to remember is that the fold goes toward the center and the raw edges go toward the outside.

Add the second piece.

 Add the third piece.
Add the fourth piece and tuck it up under the first. Lay the backing wrong side down on top of that, then a layer of batting. Sew all the way around the outside, then turn it right side out through the center of the folded pieces. I usually curve the corners rather than try to make sharp points.
 In about an hour, start to finish, a set of four coasters was finished.
Cute from the front and the back.

Finished them with a ribbon, and shipped them off. Good therapy for mom, and a good addition to a new apartment for the daughter.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wonky Bulls Eye Blocks

When the sewing table gets this messy, you know there's something fun going on. This Wonky Bulls Eye Block is the June project for the do. Good Stitches Believe Circle. It had been a while since I tried any curved piecing, and this was improv curves, too. 

I'm not sure I would have been able to make enough of these for an entire quilt, so I'm glad I was able to contribute two blocks to the group. This is going to be one fun quilt. The block design comes from Katy Jones of I'm a Ginger Monkey. She granted permission for our group to use her design.

Our instructions were to use yellow, gray, white, and cream. My stash isn't strong in yellow or gray, but I managed to pull it off without making any additional fabric purchases. Another win for making use of what I have on hand.

This is my third month as part of the do. Good Stitches organization. I am enjoying the challenge of completing blocks based on the instructions of others, the opportunity to get to know other quilters, and the chance to do a little something for someone else.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Circular Reasoning - A Finish

At the beginning of May, I committed to finishing this quilt as part of the Lovely Year of Finishes. While I didn't meet the May 31 deadline, it's still a lovely finish.

The pattern is Circular Reasoning by Emily Cier at Carolina Patchworks. I fell in love with it from the moment I saw it. It's been a great stash buster and the perfect project for practicing machine quilting.

I reduced the backing size to 58" square so that it will fit perfectly on a wall in my office. I work in an IT department so a quilt with the title "Circular Reasoning" seems appropriate.

The binding is scrappy, made from the same fabrics that were used for the letters. And, just for fun, they are in alphabetical order. The fabric used for letter "a" is first, then the fabric used for letter "b" is next...all the way to about the letter "v". I didn't measure the segments to make sure they would all fit, so there were a few letters at the end that were left out. It's still a fun piece of trivia to go along with a fun quilt.

The quilting is done with 50 wt Cream Aurifil thread. I love the way it looks on the back. The quilting really stands out on the solid backing and shows off all the letters in reverse.

I am very happy with this finish. Work has started taking more time and the kids are out of school for the summer so for now, the quilting and blogging have slowed down. It's okay though...I like my job...I love my kids...there will be time for quilting...just not so much right now.

I expect there will be a finish or two during the summer months and I'll be sure to share them when they happen. Enjoy your summer, and enjoy your time, be it working, spending time with the family, or quilting.
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