Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Two at a Time Half Square Triangle Method

It has been raining so much lately and it is seriously draining all motivation out of me. I finished the Orchid Quilt top on Sunday and haven't been able to bring myself to baste and quilt it yet. Instead I decided to demonstrate my second technique for HST units the two at a time half square triangle method (this one is my method of choice). If you missed the eight at a time method make sure to go back and check it out, try both methods, and decide which one you like the most.

This time you will start with a square of each color 7/8 inch bigger than your finished square size. If, once it is all sewn into the top, you want your square to be 3 inches you will start with 3 7/8 inch squares. I start with 4 inch squares just in case.

Mark the lighter fabric with an air or water soluble marker diagonally.

Pin right sides together with the darker fabric and sew 1/4 inch from the line on both sides. I like to chain piece my sets together.

Cut on the diagonal line that you marked it should be 1/4 inch from the sew line.

Bring all of your triangles to the pressing surface and lay them darker fabric up. Set the seam and roll the darker fabric back pressing the seam to the dark side. Let your half square triangle units cool before moving them.

Trim the units to your finished square size + 1/2 inch so in this case 3 1/2 inch.

That's it! Here's some fun layouts you can make with your HST's.

There's a ton of different layouts you can make with HST's that is why it is one of my favorite blocks to use.  Do you have a favorite layout? If so I would love to see it!

Did you see my Quilt Along announcement?

Linking up with Handmade Tuesdays.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A personal post

I know not everyone likes to read personal posts so feel free to skip this one if you aren't comfortable with it. I feel like we are still in the getting to know me phase and this is something that is weighing on my heart and I just need to get out.

Two years ago today my father passed away. This time of the year is really hard for me. His birthday was May 31, the last time I ever saw him was June 16 which also happened to be Father's Day, and today the day that I got that horrible call from my mother. At the time I was living in Washington state. The visiting nurse told my sister that she needed to get all of the out of town kids back home because he didn't have much time left. I had to wait until my husband could get time away because flying across country (to Vermont) with three kids was not something I wanted to do alone but I knew my dad needed to see the girls.

My dad with Aubriana when she was about 8 months. June 2011

 My dad put on a brave face and he tried to act like he was fine but seeing him as a shell of the man I remember was really hard. He had been sick for a while but it always seemed like he came back from his bad times. He and my mother had visited us in WA right after Jamie was born in 2012 and he had seemed fine. I honestly thought I was going to get there and it wasn't going to be as bad as everyone said it was and he would bounce back.

Not my most flattering picture but one of my favorites. June 2008

He was able to hold on for his oldest grandson's high school graduation and was up visiting with our family. The next day I had to leave to go back home. I have never done something so hard in my life. Saying goodbye to someone that has always been there for me was heartbreaking. I knew I would never see my father again and walking out of that house knowing that was almost impossible. He died 11 days later.

The last picture the day I left.
I'm writing about this because my father was always so proud of me when he would see crafty things I did. I didn't start quilting until after he was gone but every time I finish a quilt I can hear him in my head saying how awesome it is. I know he would be blown away with some of the things I have accomplished. Although he died way too young, 62, he had a full life. He had 5 kids and 8 (now 9) grandchildren and okay we all don't always get along but we love each other.  This was a really hard post to write but it actually helped even if I was sobbing most of the time.

Me and my dad I was probably 2-3
I love you dad.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Orchid Quilt

Since Monday I have been working on the Orchid Quilt for my mother-in-law. Really, I didn't get much work done on it until yesterday. My rotary blade needed to be replaced so I picked one up Tuesday after my daughter's field trip. Then Wednesday I figured I should work on something for Addison's teacher since Thursday was her last day. I ended up finding this really cute bookshelf mini quilt on Elizabeth Dackson's blog, Don't Call Me Betsy. It ended up not quite as nice as I was hoping for and I should have taken more time to complete it but her teacher liked it so all is well. For the binding I just pulled the backing fabric around to the front to save myself a little time.

I only got a iPhone picture because I finished stitching the binding down right before the bus got here.

Finally, I was able to get all of the pieces cut Thursday night and all the half square triangle units sewn and trimmed today. I decided not to do the paper pieced center block because, honestly, I didn't want to do it. Dealing with twenty-two different shades of purple that are unmarked is not the easiest thing to do so I ended up not fully following the pattern but I did use the same layout. That is one of my favorite things about quilting; you do what works for you.

The top piecing should be done tomorrow. The borders will probably be my Sunday project. My goal is to start quilting it by Monday which I should be able to do.

What are you working on this weekend?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Eight Half Square Triangles at Once Tutorial

Since I will be doing a quilt along that is made up of half square triangle units I wanted to share a couple of different ways to create them and you guys can pick what works for you. This week I am demonstrating the eight half square triangles at once method.

Here is the formula to figure out what size to cut your starting squares:

Finished HST size + 7/8 x 2 = beginning squares

Lets break that down a little. We want to start with finished size once it is all sewn into the top. Say that number needs to be 3 (hint hint) then we add 7/8 for 3 7/8 multiply that by 2 which equals 7 3/4. Instead of using 7/8 I always round up to 1 inch to make for easier math and to give myself a little wiggle room. 

1. Cut two squares to 8 inches.

2. Mark diagonal lines corner to corner.

3. Sew 1/4 inch from both lines on each side of the line.

4. Cut along the marked lines. (Make sure not to move the fabric apart)
It's bugging me that I didn't flip my ruler around...

5. Cut a vertical line and a horizontal line straight through the center.

6. Lay your HST's on your ironing board dark side up. Set the seams and roll the top fabric back and press open. Make sure to press and not iron so don't move the iron around a lot it can distort the fabric.

7. Trim HST's to 3.5 (adding a half inch to the finished size for seam allowances) by making sure the 45 degree line on your square ruler is lined up with the diagonal line in your half square triangle.

8. You're finished! See that wasn't too hard was it? Check out the pretty confetti you created too.

Stay tuned for more HST tutorials! I'm linking up with Late Night Quilter so mosey on over there and check out the other tips and tutorials everyone is sharing.

Is there a method you want me to demonstrate? Is there a block you would really love to see how it is put together? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Stash and A Quilt Along Announcement!

I have been working on a series of patterns all based off of the Lady of The Lake block and I decided to share the first pattern on my shiny new blog! I ordered the fabric for it but when I got it in I realized it just wasn't going to work for the look I was going for. Normally I like to only buy fabric for the project I am working on and not just to squirrel it away (shocking I know). So three out of five of these are going in my newly formed stash. At least my stash is starting off really pretty!

Art Gallery Fabrics Etno by Pat Bravo
Now to the really exciting part the quilt along! Since this is my first ever QAL it is going to be pretty laid back. The pattern is made up of half square triangle units so leading up to the QAL I will do a few tutorials on different techniques to create your HST. I wanted to give you plenty of time to get your fabric so I'm setting the start date for July 20. The quilt along will take us five weeks with each step being posted on Monday.

Lost Lake Quilt Along
Quilt finishes to a 60" square.

Fabric Requirements:
Fabric A (upper left)- 3/4 yard
Fabric B (blue)- 1 1/4 yards
Fabric C (lower right)- 3/4 yard
Fabric D (grey)- 2 1/4 yards
Backing- 3 3/4 yards
Binding- 1/2 yard
Batting 68 x 68
I normally will round up to the nearest half or whole yard just to give myself some wiggle room with cutting. Unless you are super precise and never mess up I recommend doing that here too and hey if you don't have any mishaps then there is some more fabric for your stash. 

I hope you guys join me! Tag me on Instagram with your fabric choices and use #lostlakeqal so everyone can follow along with your progress.

Linking up with Sunday Stash

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Finished Kite Quilt

Kite Quilt Finished!
Yay! I finished the quilting last night and got to start my day making my binding. I followed the pattern on the amount of strips needed but instead of just using the white I used the leftover strips from the jelly roll and added some of the white in. I seamed the strips diagonally and pressed them open to keep the bulk down. When I was halfway through sewing the last strip down I realized there wasn't enough binding. No biggie I added on a white strip which made the last white section almost twice as long as any other section. If anyone asks I did that on purpose okay?

I may have gotten a little over zealous while sewing the rest, went a little too far down to be able to join, and had to pull out the seam ripper...

I finished sewing the binding on with the machine and flipped it over to start hand sewing it to the back. I got about halfway through doing this part before I realized that I finished the binding straight across and not diagonally like all of the other seams. So, again, if anyone asks I totally did that on purpose to add a little interest!

I think the quilting looks pretty neat on the back.

My tip for today? When you are working on a project and things start going wrong take a break. Walk away from the quilt for a little while, drink some water, go for a walk whatever will calm your nerves. Once you have had a few minutes to reflect you will realize it really isn't the end of the world. The little mishaps add some character to the quilt and most of the time if you refrain from pointing it out to everyone they are unlikely to even notice a small mistake.

I'm linking up with Sew Fresh QuiltsConfessions of A Fabric Addict, TGIFF, and Crazy Mom Quilts go check out all of the fun posts!

Check out Part One and Part Two

Monday, June 15, 2015

2015 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop

Hi! Thank you for coming by as part of the 2015 New Quilt Blogger blog hop. I want to thank Stephanie (Late Night Quilter), Cheryl (Meadow Mist Designs), Yvonne (Quilting Jetgirl), and Terri Ann (Childlike Fascination) for hosting this year and for helping all of us newbies. 

So a little bit about me...

My name is Kelly, my husband is in the army and we have three daughters. We live in New York, upstate, nowhere near the city. I love to bake and craft (knitting, crocheting, and of course quilting). I get to stay at home with my girls which is so rewarding but can be equally exhausting!

Have you ever been on Youtube and gotten so far down a rabbit hole, watching random videos, that you don't know how you got there? That happened to me. I really got into watching quilting videos by Jenny Doan and Eleanor Burns. I decided I had to try it and jumped in with both feet. I had so many problems with my first quilt but I love it and Jamie doesn't seem to mind the mistakes. After that I was hooked and didn't want to stop.

This blog was started two weeks ago to keep me busy and distracted while my husband is deployed. It has been really fun to meet a big group of people that love to do the same things I do.

Sadly this is the only semi recent picture of me and my husband, a selfie from last summer.

Our daughters Aubriana (4), Jamie (3), and Addison (6). 
Yes, that is chocolate ice cream on Jamie's face.

 A couple of my favorite quilts:

Log Cabin Quilt that I made for our bed. I used manly black and white with the traditional red centers so my husband didn't feel it was too girly. He's a manly man we can't have any of those flowers or girly prints.

This quilt was a kit from Craftsy, Late Night Stars, using fabric from Lakeside Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings for Moda. It was originally on Addison's bed but since she has made her own quilt I stole it for our bed in the camper.

Some random trivia:

Dream Vacation Spot- I have a few. I really want to go to Ireland, London, Italy, and Greece. Oh and Australia wouldn't be too bad either!

Favorite Book- Hands down without a doubt The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I love that book it had my attention from the very beginning to the last word. I was so sad to be finished.

Favorite Movie- This one is a little harder. I enjoyed the Harry Potter movies but I don't watch them over and over. For a comfy winter movie I like The Holiday and when I want to laugh and recite most of the lines The Proposal.

Favorite TV Shows- I have all of the seasons of Friends, Will & Grace, Dead Like Me, Charmed (well not all of these I have up until like season 5 maybe), Friday Night Lights, and The Office. I currently watch The Originals, General Hospital, and sometimes Young and The Restless though I probably shouldn't admit to my soap opera guilty pleasures.

Random Fact- When my husband is home my favorite part of the day is getting up to make him his breakfast and coffee. It is such a wifely domestic thing that I really enjoy.

Quilting Tip:
When you change your needle (which you should with every new project I usually use a different one for piecing and quilting) put the old needle in a cleaned out medicine bottle. You can fill it up with used sewing needles and throw them out all at once without worrying about someone getting pricked with a rogue needle.

Blogging Tip:
Since I'm very new to blogging and I'm still trying to figure things out I am going to share a tip that I need to remind myself of frequently. Molli Sparkles wrote a post filled with advice for new bloggers that I printed out because I new that having a reminder handy would be helpful. One of the tips is to stop apologizing. Even in the short amount of time I have been blogging I have felt the need to apologize a few times. Sometimes I get excited about a project and want to post pictures of it from my cellphone and in horrible lighting. I don't need to ask forgiveness for that and neither do you! If you haven't read that post stop what you are doing and go read it. I'll be here when you get back.

What I would like to know from you guys is what is your favorite quilting must have or weird quilting quirk? Is there a ruler that you can't live without? Do you have to have an audible book or podcast playing? Can you not quilt unless you have everything in alphabetical order? Please comment and let me know!

Please be sure to check out all the other bloggers in this week’s blog hop:

Tessa@ Half Square Quilts

Sandra@ Musings of a Menopausal Melon
Jinger@ Trials of a Newbie Quilter

Johanna @ Sewing Time With Brownie

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kite Quilt Part 2

Since my last update I have completed the quilt top, basted it, and started quilting. If you follow me on Instagram (if you don't you should!) I posted a picture of the top before basting. I'm still working out ideas on how I want this quilted as I'm doing it. As of right now I am working on straight lines within the white sections and I'm thinking about doing straight lines in alternating directions within the kite blocks. If anyone has a really good idea for the kite blocks please share I am always open to suggestions.

The backing is a turquoise solid that is also used in the top. I was able to try out a tip that I learned from one of my awesome blogging mentors Stephanie at Late Night Quilter. When piecing the backing fabric open it, so you have the full width of fabric, then fold it lengthwise right sides together and sew along the selvage with an inch seam allowance. Cut the folded edge and the selvage, press the seam open, and you have a perfect backing. Up until now I was measuring, cutting, then sewing together. This way is so much easier once you give it a try.

How do you guys baste your quilts? I have always used pins but lately I have been wanting to try spray basting. If you spray baste what kind do you use? I love hearing everyones opinion on the subject.

Check out Part One and The Big Finish

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Kite Quilt

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I hate pressing seams open. There I said it. I'll press seams to one side all day long but the second you ask me to press them open I turn into a preschooler that doesn't want to pick up their toys. "But Moooommmmm do I have to do it?" The answer is yes it definitely needs to be done but that doesn't mean we can't complain while we do it.

I said that I would have The Kite Quilt (affiliate link) top done today...yeah not so much. All of the seams need to be pressed open. Yesterday I spent more time than I am willing to admit pressing the seams because I'm a genius and didn't do it while I was sewing the strip sets together. All together I had 12 sets of 4 seams that were width of fabric. 

Once that was done I cut each strip into four blocks.

The blocks were then cut into triangles.

A lot of triangles.

I only ended up getting eight setting triangles done. Once I get the last two done I need to work on the seven blocks that will be set on point. I'm thinking maybe Friday I will be done with the top if I don't get distracted by my shiny blog. That may have been what happened to me today but I did get some stuff done on here so there is that! Speaking of which...check me out I figured out how to get my picture in the side bar and a short description. I also completed my About Me page so go take a look and learn a little bit about my life. 

Check out Part Two and The Big Finish

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Camping and Quilting

I spent the weekend down at the camper with my daughters. Since my husband wasn't there to keep me company I brought sewing supplies.

See the cone of Gutermann Thread in the coffee mug? I have been told you don't really need a cone holder just put it in a mug and it will be fine...nope. I tried and it just wasn't working for me. I even used a banana hanger thingy to stop it from jamming. My solution? Fill a bunch of bobbins and use those on top too.

Progress Report: I was able to get all of the strip sets sewn together for The Kite Quilt. I started pressing the seams open but decided that could wait until I was in an air conditioned house. 

Tonight I will work on pressing the seams and cutting the sets up into blocks. The quilt top should hopefully be done tomorrow night or Tuesday.

What did you work on this weekend?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

New projects coming up

Sometimes I like things easy. 
Picking out everything for a quilt can be daunting at times.
Times like these I turn to quilt kits.
There is a pattern with everything picked out and I can already see how it will look.

I recently splurged and got two quilt kits, batting, and backing from Craftsy.
They came in the mail today and I wanted to share.

This is the New Colors Kite Flight Quilt (that's a mouthful). 
I wanted something bright and cheery for my living room.

Next up is the Orchid Mega Quilt.
This one will be for my mother-in-law. 
My husband is deployed and his mother deserves a pick me up.

I will probably start with the throw first since its a smaller project.
Should I share pictures of them while I work on them?

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