Friday, May 22, 2015

The Dumpling Pouch

I picked up this fabric last year at Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA.  It has been sitting on my shelves since then waiting for me to come up with a good use for it.
I have been seeing these dumpling pouches all over Instagram.  There were a few swaps and they are cute.  So I decided to go find the pattern and get sewing.  (You can find this free pattern on Michelle Patterns site.)
Until I printed the pattern, I didn't realize how tiny these pouches are.  How tiny?  Too small to get my phone into.  (This is where I do not helpfully point out that my Samsung flip-phone or my Motorola Razor would have fit in here while my Samsung S4 does not.  That's progress for you.)

These pouches are so darling.  They don't offer much room to show off quilting, but they would be perfect for small gifts.  I think my future swap partners will be getting these as a great little extra.
I got a hot tip that you can super-size this pouch with minimal modification.  This one is going to be big enough for my smart phone.

I recommend you go check out more from Michelle Patterns.  She has loads of fun bags, pouches and clutches to choose from and more tutorials, too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Charity Quilts: May 16th Quilts for Kids

This is just a quick post to cover the quilts I dropped off at the last meeting of Annapolis Quilts for Kids.
Since the meeting on April 18th I made two quilt tops and quilted eight for Annapolis Quilts for Kids.  I usually set my monthly goal at four quilts quilted for charity.

You can go back and see a couple of these quilts in their own posts.
Exotic Animals
Totally Blue

Monday, May 18, 2015

Charity Quilting: Dancing Nine-Patch

Sometimes I need a project that doesn't require too much thinking.  This one required a good amount of prep work but after that it was pretty smooth sailing.
I've been trimming some of the leftovers from other Quilts for Kids quilts into 2.5" squares.  I spent four days one week sewing them into blocks.  These are my Monday blocks, 6.5" by 6.5".  I only pieced for about an hour each day and would have a few pieces ready for the next day.
Tuesday blocks.
Wednesday blocks.
Thursday blocks.  I love having things like this sitting to the side of my sewing machine.  I can work in a nine-patch here and there as a leader-ender project.  I pieced over 60 blocks in one week.
About a week later I pulled out my stacks of finished 9-patch blocks, some yardage and my quick and dirty layout (layout done with EQ7 so I could make sure I had the right number of blocks and didn't have to calculate quilt size myself).  This pattern is from Bonnie Hunter's blog Quiltville but I've changed the size of the blocks.  I highly recommend you check out the Dancing Nine-Patch and her other free patterns.  Her tutorials are great and even if you are not new to quilting you may learn something.
I picked out the 30 blocks I wanted for this quilt, cut my block borders and got sewing.  The strips were cut at 1.5" wide.  The blocks will measure 7.5" by 7.5" and finish at 7" by 7".
Adding the strips to these is quick if you assembly line through the machine.  I had them ready for layout rather quickly.  I had a friendship star that sneaked in.  This top is made up of 30 blocks.
I added a 2.5" border to give the blocks a bit of room to float and to bring the size up to about 37" by 46".  A great size for Quilts for Kids.
I didn't do any fancy quilting on this one since the scrappy blocks give it such wonderful movement.  The backing is a fun toon print that I've had hanging around here for a while.

Do you have a fun way of working with scraps?  Do you sneak a project in on the side when chain piecing?  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Charity Quilting: Exotic Animals

Sometimes when I'm getting ready to quilt something I pull out all the threads that I think will work with the top.
I usually match my top and bobbin threads to each other and don't worry about what is going on on the back of the quilt.  There are other schools of thought, but this is what works for me.
I pulled out a bunch of threads and picked the one I thought would be best and then grabbed a coordinating thread for the bobbin.  The top thread is King Tut from Superior Threads and the bobbin thread is Tailor Made 27 (this thread has been discontinued, Omni is a great substitute).  Both of these threads are great for long arm quilting.
This quilt top was pieced by another member of the Annapolis Quilts for Kids.
I quilted this one with a rolling wave that runs vertically in the quilt.  I think this really gives it a good sense of movement without being heavily quilted.  I would definitely use this as an all-over quilting design again.
I'll hand it over to another member of chapter for the binding and label to be attached.

What kind of group projects have you been doing?