Monday, July 30, 2012

~ Christmas in July: Barely ~

Whew!! Please tell me that there is still time in July for me to put in my two cents worth with a happy (scrappy) holiday quilt.  This pattern was originally published under my old pattern name (simplehappy designs).

Now that it's being published under my Sea Quilts name ...
I like to call it a "landlubber edition."

If you think you have seen this before it's because ... um ... you have.
Last December I posted it as part of a give-away.  I had oodles of requests for the pattern, but no real venue to sell it and I wasn't on PayPal ... yet.

So, now that I have an official place to sell it ... well ... I am.
Please go here to my Etsy shop where this pattern is currently listed.

This quilt was an absolute joy to make.

We're talking polka dots and stripe-y candy canes and gingerbread houses (and men) that are a heck of a lot easier to make than an actual gingerbread house. (At least for me.)

And far less sticky.

I cannot lie.  I have already started to think about next Christmas and have some plans to make a Coastal Christmas quilt.
Thank heavens it's still July.

Merry Merry!!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

~ Half Square Triangle Tutorial: Pinwheel Perfection ~

I am still up to my elbows in these bright and happy colors.  These oh-so-happy pinwheels are just the border to my latest pattern ... wait until you see the seashore center.
Here's a hint:  I'm thinking of calling it "Ode to the Target Dollar Bin".

The first thing I had to do was find my handy-dandy "Quilt-in-a-day" ruler.  That may have been the most difficult part of the whole process.

My pinwheels consist of 4 'half-square triangles'.  Each unit needs to measure 2" square, unfinished. So I added 1/2" to that measurement and cut strips of the two coordinating halves that are 2 1/2" wide.
Your measurements can be whatever you need. Do the math to adjust, adding that 1/2".

Put the two strips with right sides together before making the next cut to save a step. Steam them with the edges matching exactly and they won't wiggle apart in the process.  Now cut those strips into 2 1/2" square pairs.  They are pretty much wed for life, so don't separate them.

Draw a line down the center of the (back of the) top square, as shown, with a permanent type marker.  You will cut on this line so it matters not that it is permanent.

But ... don't cut yet.

Now -- using your 1/4" foot, sew 1/4" to the right of the line you have drawn.

Then flip it around and sew down the other side as before.

You may choose to do this in a strip-piecing frenzy if you would like.

Now cut down that center line.  I personally just use scissors and not a ruler and rotary cutter.  The seam line is already set, so it matters not if you don't have a perfect straight edge here.
Although ... do your best to make it straight.
Just in case your 7th grade Home-Ec teacher stops by.

Now get out your ruler that is just made for this process. You can purchase it here, or at your local quilt store.
Why another special ruler?
Have you ever tried to sew a square from two triangles?  They almost never actually look like or measure like a square.  That is because a) you are sewing on bias edges which are known to misbehave and b) you are a human being.
Moving right along ...

Place  the line (indicating the size in inches of unfinished square to are striving to create) directly on your seamline, with the diagonal line marching exactly through the corner to your left.  You see that there is a slight excess of fabric, not to mention those pesky notches hanging out the end.

Holding the ruler steady, with your fingers completely landlocked, cut off both of those edges to the top with your rotary cutter.
Then ... flip it around ... and do the same for the other two edges.

If you would be more comfortable cutting off a slightly larger amount, then add 3/4" to your original measurement instead of 1/2".

Either way ... you end up with a lot of confetti.

And a pile of perfectly square ...  squares.

 Told you so.

To make some happy pinwheels lay them out as shown here and sew them together.

If you press the center seam all to one side it can be awfully bulky in the center (what with six [6!] seams coming together) so I "twist and pop" the center to even out the bulk. Ooh, I see that I have made another pinwheel in the process.  Cool.

I have had SO much fun working on this quilt.  I may have a hard time sewing on any colors again that don't serve as a woven alarm clock.

Stay tuned to see the finished product and pattern.

Happy Pin(wheel) - ing!
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Friday, July 20, 2012

~ Of Sun & Shells ~

I have only one eensy-beensy complaint about living in Southern California.


In the summertime, one tends to wake up to a "marine layer" ... meaning ... cloudy skies.

Meaning ... no sunshine until nearly noon.

Unfortunately, this girl needs sunshine in her blood ... stat.

This morning it is streaming through the windows.


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Monday, July 16, 2012

~ Solid Evidence ~

Prints are charming, let's face it.

However ...

.... there is something to be said for solids.

Actually, they speak very well for themselves, thank you very much.

Lately I have felt the need to have more solid fabrics in my stash.
This new direction may or may not have started when I purchased these file folders.

They spoke to me.  And what they said was --
"Buy some solid fabrics for the stash."
So I did.

Then I found myself pairing some of them up with some two-tone graphic prints to accentuate the bright colors.

Now they are part of my "project basket" which sits on the cutting table and tries to keep things organized.

This particular project makes me feel giddy.

What is your feeling on solid colored fabrics?
Are you feelin' the need?

EEK!  My Shore Thing pillows were featured over here. Woo. Hoo.
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Friday, July 13, 2012

~ words of wisdom ~

I have a board on Pinterest with quotes and sayings. (Um ... who doesn't have that board?)
I love words.

I've noticed that they tend to fall into two different categories:

First ... Work. Working hard.  Inspiration to just get to work .

I keep wondering if there is something I'm not getting to that I feel guilty about.

The second category is just about being Happy ... in the moment ... the way things are.


I'll work.  It just might not have the perfect result I had originally pictured.

And that's OK.
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Sunday, July 8, 2012

~ Sea Pillows ~

When we last spoke I was working on this little number, seen above.

My third quick project in the form of a pillow slipcover.

Ummm ... make that two (count 'em 2!) pillow slipcovers.
Each a mirror image of the other.
Each stuffed with cushy down/feathers.

I am in the process of making the pattern for these (very simple) beauties. I used some non-traditional methods for my madness (and my applique) which I will pass on.

But ... I am selling these very pillows ... not just the pattern ... on my Etsy Shop.
No sewing machine required. Instant fluff.

This is an absolutely one-of-a-kind duo.  Even if I made them again, I would not be using the same fabrics.

The pattern for this one has been up for a couple of weeks.  This one-of-a-kind pillow is also on sale now.

Ditto for the Dots ... here.

The pattern for the "Shore Thing" pillow slips at the top will be available as a free download with the purchase of any other pattern. Convo/email me to let me know you are expecting it.

The Summer Sand and Sea can be with you year 'round.
Even if you don't ... Sew.

Really. It's a shore thing.

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