January 28, 2014

Modern Maple Piecing

I just thought, I would post my process for getting this block together. Maybe, it will be helpful or fun to see my process. I was really glad that I was sewing with friends, and they told me how they put it together (meaning the stem). It was easier with their help. I made this one this morning. Which brings me to 3 maples. Woohoo!
Linking up with Lee 
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I know everyone has seen these beautiful modern maples quilts all over the web. The free pattern is here, and it was designed by Amanda Woodward-Jennings.

 I draw my 1/4 inch, sew on either side of that line 1/4 inch. Cut them in half on the center line.

 I use the  the 45 degree line on my ruler and line it up on the seam. I make sure all sides are within the 4.5 inches needed for the block size and trim.

 Sometimes, when ironing, the seam can shift because of being cut on the bias. I just try to line it up as close as possible.

  I cut a 4 1/2 inch block from point to point. I just tried to line up the triangles and center it on each side of the stem. Also trying to make sure that they are sewn on at the same spot on each side.

  I lined up the  45 degree line on the ruler and kind of guessed at the middle of the stem. I made sure that there was plenty of room around the block to cut it down to 4.5 inches.

This is the reason for sewing the triangles onto the middle of the stem too, that part is key.

 I lay out my block right by my machine.

I sewed them into 3 rows.


 When I pin the rows, I pin the seams together by I nesting them. That's the picture where I have my fingers on the seam. Each seam needs to go the opposite direction. You can kind of lock them up closer by moving your fingers back and forth. (sounds silly, but true). Pin right at the seam.

 Then, when sewing , I sew right up to the needle. I have the needle in the down position. I pull out the pin. Sometimes, they can still be a hair off. It gets better with practice.


This is really how I sew in general. I love this pattern. It's pretty simple. The hardest part is the stem. I got passed that, and it has been smooth sailing. I am going to knock this off the finish along list. Then, I may have to make another, cause they're soo darn cute. ;)
Keep calm and sew on.

January 24, 2014

Mini Journal Cover in 30 Minutes Tutorial

I made an owl mini cover here for a Christmas gift, and I mentioned that I would post a tutorial. I am so happy to get this done and put this one in my purse for a quick note here or there.  It's not often that I make things for me. How could I resist when it only takes 30 minutes. Yes, I said 30 minutes. It was the 3rd one. During that time I pieced the top, lost some scissors,  did a clean up to find said scissors. Plus, taking a few photos. So, it may take a bit longer, or you may be super fast and whippity do dah, you're done.

The pictures are a little on the dark side, I apologize, it was a bit rainy out. Maybe, I can get the hubby to get me a new camera soon. That would be awesome...we'll see. Then, I will have to learn how to use it.
 Just a side note, we had snow flurries in the panhandle of Florida today. It isn't normal for that to happen. That's what was going on in my backyard.

Materials:  Rotary cutter, ruler, scissors, elastic (to match if you like) Mid weight interfacing and fabric.

First, I cut all pieces:
Exterior fabric  Interior fabric Interfacing  Cut 1 of each: 5 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches
* If you want to piece it together like I did, I started with the interfacing and used the quilt as you go method building it out until it covers the interfacing and trim any extras off.
Two flaps Cut: 5 1/2 x 5 inches.
Elastic Cut: 6 inches
One mini composition book. 4.5x 3.25 inch book

I already did my piecing to the interfacing above and all my items are ready to go. You have done most of the work at this point. :)
I have taken the two flaps here and folded the 5 inch side in half. I top stitched each one 1/8 inch to the right of the fold. Then I laid them on each side of the interior fabric matching the outer edges. I sewed each flap around the top, outer edge and bottom at 1/8 inch (close to the edge) just to stabilize the flaps to the interior fabric.

So, it's like a little pocket.

Now, I took pictures of the first one, and in this photo the elastic is too close to the edge and a little tight. I didn't take photos of the 2nd mini until the finish, but you can see in the photo that I placed this on the right side of the exterior fabric. I placed the elastic 1 inch from the right edge on the amended version. I also amended the second mini, so that there was room to put a finger underneath it comfortably. I tacked it down on top and bottom 1/8 inch from the edge by sewing back and forth over the elastic a  couple times to make sure that the elastic is secure.
Now, I have placed the right sides of the fabric together.  I am going to sew all the way around with a generous 1/4 inch  seam leaving about 3 to 4 inches opening for turning. This is  shown in picture above between where my fingers are at the bottom.

I have clipped the corners for less bulk. When you are turning it out. You can use something pointy like a chopstick or something like that to poke into the corners.
Now, I topstitched 1/8 around the edge just to give it a finished look. I didn't topstitch on the elastic. I moved the elastic out to the right to avoid sewing. It wasn't that hard to maneuver. Now, I topstitched with the inside up. Really, I should have topstitched on the outside. Seriously, rookie mistake, but I didn't want to make a 3rd one, today. I love them, but 2 is good for one day.

Here's the outside. I tried some craft fuse. It's what I had on hand. I had some interfacing, but it was on top in the drawer. So, that's what I used. I didn't like it because it didn't hold up well on the corners when I wrapped the elastic around it. So, in this photo, it's mid weight will be fine. It is a little fussy to turn, but not bad. I think if you use heavy weight, it would make it more difficult to turn.
I hope that this tutorial is easy to follow and you enjoy making some of your own. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
Linking up with

January 16, 2014

Q1 for 2014 FInish Along

I am making the list. Hopefully, I will resist the urge to start new projects. That's a laugh out loud moment for me.  I really hope that I can complete more than a couple projects at least. So, here they are again.

Finish Along 2014
I'm linking up here. Check it out.
1. Finish Galaxy. It is Queen size. It needs to be quilted. I have been debating forever about the quilt motif.  Decisions, decisions...I am ready to cross this off the list.

2. Hemisperes- I started the QAL in October. This will be the lap size version. I am really on a time line since this will be gifted. Can't say more or they will know who they are. ;)

3. Margaritaville quilt- I have lost the love for this one, but I have 8 of these blocks. I am going to get some more fabric and turn it into a lap quilt. This has migrated from list to list.

4. Swoon- This is the one I want to make. I have been struggling on fabric choices. This is going to be the full on king version and the biggest quilt to date. 


 5. Double Flower EPP- I am going to put this on the list. My EPP will  be a queen size. There will be progress, I just don't know how much because I love hand stitching, but my hands do not agree. (Arthritis) So, for the others out there struggling, I totally get it.

6. Farmer's Wife Quilt- It's also going to be a queen. I have 10 done and  more than I would like to count left to make.

7. Pixelated quilt with my 2 inch scraps. A wall hanging size is what I have in mind for this one.

8. Riley Blake Challenge-Pillow 

9. Modern Maples- These are my fabric pulls for the Modern Maples. I think that the layout is for a lap quilt. I am looking forward to this quilt. I may add a red and change a couple out, but this is very close to what I will be using.

I wish you all luck on your list.


January 8, 2014

Double Ring EPP

I have seen some really beautiful EPP's popping up all over blogland. I shied away from this for long enough. If there's anything that I want to do sewing wise or anything, I do a little research including blogs, youtube, and google. It has worked pretty good on most occasions, this one included. Sometimes, I find out info from MIL. She has recently done a couple EPP (English Paper Piecing) projects. So, I did see what she does, and it's all relatively similar.

I learned my  basting technique here and the same lady does the piecing here with Katherine Ringo. I really like both techniques and chose this out of several videos.

My tips: the bigger the bite that you take the more that your thread is going to show. Also, when I am sewing one side, even when I can sew up the next side continuously. I like to knot it at the corner before continuing on with the sewing. I found that if I just continuously sewed different sides that the thread loosens.
I like threading with cotton thread. I agree with Katherine on her youtube video about the length being no longer than 18 inches to decrease knots.

I chose to use cardstock, and I am really enjoying that. I like the stiffness. I haven't tried plastic templates. I also know that MIL uses magazine paper. It seems to work for her, but I haven't tried that either. Cardstock seemed to work, and I stuck with it. I love sewing while watching and listening to the tv, and I take it with me.

It's funny that I was scared of this, and it's easy. I wouldn't say fast. It takes a couple hours to complete one double ring. I have sped up a little, but not that much. Happy sewing!

Linking up with Lee @

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

January 4, 2014

New Fabric for Pouch Swap

I am doing a pouch swap with ECMQG. It's a secret swap. I love those. I got some AMH Dowry 5 inch charm patch for a patchwork boxy pouch. I think it will look great, and I hope that my partner will like it. They are even better in person.

Whatever is leftover, I get to keep. Yay! I may use some in my 100 modern city  blocks quilt with some True Colors. I think that will be nice. I may throw in some Art Gallery. I can't wait til next week. I scope some awesome Robert Kauffman in our local store. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

I love seeing what's in other people's stash. Linking up over at...
Molli Sparkles
© Quilty Dream
Maira Gall