Archives for March 2017

A Tribute to My Nana and Memory Quilts in Her Rememberance

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This month our family lost our sweet Nana at age 97.

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Nana has been a major part of my life since I was born.  She was a woman of faith and love, always caring more for others than herself.  She delighted in every day and found joy in the little things.

memory quilt 2We gathered as a family on March 20th, her birthday, to celebrate her life and to say our final goodbyes.  She lived an amazing life.

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Nana left a wonderful legacy especially to all her great-grandchildren who were blessed to be close to her.

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I wanted to make something to remember her by.  Nana was always a classy lady and always wore a blouse purchased from Macy’s.  She never owned a t-shirt or a sweatshirt, always a crisp blouse with a collar.  I had the idea to take all of her beautiful blouses and make them into memory quilts for each of the 4 women in our family.
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The process of laundering, pressing, cutting, and sewing all of these blouses was very healing and I needed the hours spent on this project to help me feel close to Nana.  I thought it would be fun to share some photos of her wearing the blouses we used in the quilt.  She was just the sweetest!
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How to Make a Memory Quilt

All seams 1/4″

Each quilt is made up of 6″ squares.  There are 10 rows by 14 rows.  You need 140 squares total: 70 squares from the blouse fabrics and 70 squares from the background fabric.

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Gather up all the shirts or blouses you want to use and give them a good washing.  I tried to use only 100% cotton.  I think one was a rayon blend, and a few had a linen blend.  If you find you have blouses with stretch in them, you will need to stabilize with a light weight fusible stabilizer before cutting.

Because I was making 4 quilts, I needed my blouse fabrics to go far so I choose a quilting cotton to act as the background for the checkerboard design.  You will need 2 yards of the background fabric.

Cutting the Blouses

First cut the sleeve off along the sleeve/shoulder seam.

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Next, cut the cuff off along the seam.  Discard the cuff.

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Cut along the sleeve/arm seam and press.  This give you a nice flat surface to lay on your rotary mat.  I cut four 6″ squares out of each sleeve.
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Cut off the button strip and the button hole strip.  I am having the quilts machine quilted so I didn’t want any buttons or button holes getting in the way.  If you are hand quilting, you could leave elements of the shirt intact to give the quilt character.  I had my daughter cut off all the buttons and put them in a little box.  I may come up with a keepsake button project in the future!

IMG_0743 Cut off the collar.  If the shirt has pleats in the back you need to cut along the back seam as well so the pleats lay flat.

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This should give you a nice big piece of fabric to cut from.  Start cutting strips of 6″ then cross cut to give you 6″ squares.

A note about darts…..Most of the shirts did not have darts, a few did, however.  I did not include the dart in the 6″ block because it made the fabric lay weird and uneven.  You could also pick out the seam of the dart so it lays flat.

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Once you have all your 6″ blouse squares, cut the 2 yards of background fabric up into 6″ squares.  I let my girls lay out the quilts on the floor.  I wanted them to have a random look, so we tried to space the blacks, and pinks so they didn’t make a pattern.  It’s also helpful if you let your cat in on the project 🙂

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Sew the squares together in rows, and press.  I pin numbers on to the first square in each row so I won’t get them mixed up.  I pressed the seams toward the odd number and away from the even number.  If I do this I don’t get mixed up either!  Pin each row together matching the seam intersections.  Sew the rows together and press all the seams going in one direction.  The finished quilt measures 55″ x 82.5″
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I choose matching minky to go on the back of each quilt so they are super soft and cuddly.  I envisioned these quilts becoming the quilts the family fights over when it’s movie night or the first quilt you grab when you are going to the park or the beach.  They are made to be used & loved so we can think of Nana often 🙂

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I hope this inspires you to make something special for your family!
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This one is my favorite picture because it looks like it might be on the farm in Kansas where Nana grew up….and now the tears 🙂
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Snuggle Bunny Quilt {Wonderland 2 Blog Tour}

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I’m super excited to be participating in the Riley Blake Designs Wonderland Two Blog Tour today.  Melissa Mortenson from the Polka Dot Chair is as sweet as her adorable bunny fabric!!  I can’t even begin to say how much I love this fabric line!!
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I wanted to make a little something that used most of the fabrics and showed off the bunnies!!

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My sister unintentionally raises bunnies and this sweet little baby bunny volunteered to be the quilt model 🙂

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I came up with this fun little wall/table quilt that is perfect to add to your spring decor.  Now I wish I had a big giant quilt of this!!!DSC_0472

The quilt measures 32″ square and the blocks are 9″ finished.IMG_0528

Let’s get started!

All seams 1/4″

Press Seams Open on all seams

Fabric Requirements:

1 yard white background fabric

9 fat quarters or quarter yards of assorted Wonderland 2 prints for blocks

1 fat quarter white bunny fabric

1 fat quarter or quarter yard corner squares

1/3 yard gingham for binding

1 yard backing

Fussy Cutting

Cut a 3 1/2″ window out of a piece of ugly gold card stock…….heeeeheee.

I label my windows with the size and save them so I don’t have to repeat this process.

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Lay the window over the rabbit and center.  With a pencil, draw a line following the window edge.  Cut roughly around it with scissors.

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Lay the rough cut square on the rotary mat and align the pencil lines with the grid lines.  Use the ruler and cutter to cut a nice even 3 1/2″ square.  Cut 9 of these.

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They are so cute!

Half Square Triangles

I use my Sizzix machine for making half square triangles (HSTs).  You can also use your preferred method to make the HSTs.  They need to measure 3 1/2″ .

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Press seams open.

For each block make (8) HSTs and one center rabbit.  You will need to make 9 blocks.IMG_0400

Sew together in rows and press seams open.  Pin rows together matching intersections.  Sew and press open.

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For easier open seam pressing, press seams to one side and then press open.  It saves you from burning your fingers.  Quilt block should measure 9 1/2″ at this point.IMG_0401

Ta Da!  Continue until you have made 9 blocks.  I made 4 pink and 5 teal.

Quilt Sashing

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Each of the 9 blocks are sashed.

Cut (24) 2″ x 9 1/2″ background rectangles

Cut (16) 2″ x 2″ floral setting squares

Lay the quilt out as pictured above.  Sew the sashing strips and setting squares together and press toward the sashing.

Sew the blocks with the white sashing strips and press toward the sashing.

Pin the rows together, matching seams and sew.
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Time to quilt!  I quilted loops and small 5 petal flowers in an all-over pattern. Mufasa supervised.IMG_0418

Once it’s quilted, add the gingham binding.  I love that the gingham is printed on the bias because it makes for easy cutting!IMG_0429

I love how this little quilt turned out!  It is so precious!  I can’t wait to sew something else with this fabric!!
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And now for all the baby bunny photos!!!!

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Sweetie Pie Sew Along {Strawberry Pie}

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It’s my turn on Lori Holt’s Sweetie Pie Sew Along!  It’s been so much fun to see everyone’s take on these adorable blocks.

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Of course I choose to make the strawberry block because I live in Southern California where we have strawberries all year round!

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Lori’s templates are super easy to use and I love her appliqué method of using sew-in light weight stabilizer.

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I normally machine appliqué everything, but for Lori, I did the whole thing by hand….which is saying a lot for me.  I loved every minute of it!

IMG_9969For my fabrics I grabbed a selection of Riley Blake Designs fabrics from all my favorite designers – I tried to get them all in there 🙂

IMG_9917If you haven’t joined in it’s not too late.  The free pattern is on  Lori’s blog and you can hop on over to read more!!

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I made my block into a little wallhanging.  I made 20 hourglass blocks with my Sizzix 4 1/2″ hourglass die (they finish 4″).  You can always make them the traditional way.

Cut the inside pie block 16 1/2″ square.

The hourglass blocks, unfinished are 4 1/2″, finished they are 4″.

The outer border is cut 2 1/2″.  I quilted it and added some red binding.  I LOVE it!!!!!

And since I was making a Quilty Pie, I also needed a real pie to eat!!!!  You can find the recipe of my favorite Fresh Strawberry Pie over at my food blog, The Rounded Teaspoon.

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There is a graham cracker crust with a cream cheese/whip cream filling…..yummmmm!

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DSC_0245 And of course, Mufasa helped 🙂

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Thanks for stopping by!!!!

EPIC Star Wars Throw Quilt

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I have been collecting Star Wars fabric for quite a while!  I just purchased some Rogue One fabrics from Fat Quarter Shop to complete my collection!  My daughter and I thought it would be fun to make a super nerdy Star Wars Quilt for her BFF and fellow Star Wars nerd!!  We found this gray fabric with silver hearts and we knew it would be the perfect touch for this girls Star Wars Quilt!  Each of the Star Wars movies is represented in this quilt – yes it’s EPIC!!!

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I modified the block from my Windy Girls Quilt Tutorial.  The center square is cut 8 1/2″ square.  I followed the instructions as to how to make the border strips.  Since this quilt is larger than the Windy Girls pattern, I added additional yardage and sewed more strip units.  It sews together super fast!!  There are 5 blocks across and 6 rows down.  Each block finishes 12″ so that makes the quilt 60″ x 72″.star wars quilt 3

This is such a great quilt to make for a graduation gift or a birthday gift and you can use your favorite theme prints and really customize it to the recipent.  I think I need to make another one!  We sent it off to the quilter today and we are putting magenta minky on the back – to complete the total nerdy-ness – the quilting will be rainbows and hearts – quilted by my friend Nicole of Kwiltit.com!  I can’t wait!!!!star wars quilt 4

All Stacked Up {5 Fat Quarter Fun Quilt}

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Welcome to the 4th edition of the Five Fat Quarter Fun Sewing Series!!  Amber and I have teamed up to bring you a super fun quilt that you can make with only 5 fat quarters and some additional background yardage!  This month we are focusing on theme prints.  This quilt pattern is great to use with large prints and puts them as the focus of the quilt.

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We each choose a collection of 5 fat quarters from one of Blend Fabrics’ current lines.  Amber used Flutter & Float FullSizeRender-2

and I used Born Wild.

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The finished quilt is approximately 62″ x 70″.  I put flannel on the back of mine and it’s the perfect lap quilt!!!

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I love how the quilt pattern will change a bit if you switch the dark and light background prints!!  The same pattern but two totally different looks!!
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You are going to love making this quilt!  Hop over to Amber’s blog to download the free pattern.  And remember….make sure to tag us on Instagram (@jedicraftgirl and @gigi’s_thimble)!  We want to see your fabrics and your process as well as the finished quilt!  Use the hashtag #fivefatquarterfun and #allstackedupquilt 🙂

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I quilted double loop-de-loos all over the quilt, don’t look too close – it’s so not perfect!!!

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Thanks for stopping by and we hope you love making this quilt!!!