Thursday, February 4, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

Sparkle and Spin!!

I am so excited to share these quilts with you!! Last summer, my daughter (8) came to me wanting a more grown up quilt for her bed. She has a pink & green quilt featuring frogs, a pink and black one featuring dogs, and a Pam Kitty quilt that includes the panel fabrics of kitties in pretty dresses. Maybe it was time.

We searched and searched patterns, and both fell in love with Red Pepper Quilts hummingbird pattern. I loved her use of two fabrics per block, and the negative space involved - I loved everything about it, except the work involved. She used paper piecing to achieve her pattern, and her blocks were only 6". I hate all manner of paper piecing - I've tried multiple times, including non-paper paper piecing - I just don't enjoy it at all. Plus, I wanted larger blocks.

I messed around with every ruler I have and tried many different methods, trying to find a way to make this block without templates or paper piecing. I found it, and the only snag is that you're making two quilts at a time rather than one. But I love the 2nd quilt just as much as the first.

My work is your gain, because in the upcoming issue of McCall's quilting (March/April 2016), there is a pattern for these quilts using super easy cutting and piecing. No paper piecing, and while McCall's gives you a template, you could easily use a ruler to make the kite shape without their template. I had a couple of rulers that worked and I'm betting you do too.

How pretty is that!! Their picture of course. I'm no photographer. And here is the Sparkle quilt by itself:

I just love this quilt!! Before they left to be photographed, my daughter couldn't decide which she wanted for her bed. I can't wait to get them back home and have one of them on there! And the other for myself, of course:)

If you do decide to make one, I'd love to see it. You can contact me through the blog, or use the hashtags #Sparkle or #Spin on Instagram. As a bonus, McCall's has a coloring guide to be used with this design on their web-site.

I'm linking this up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Goodbye Darling

Earlier this year, I had the fortune of having one of the most pleasant ladies I've ever met stumble into my ETSY shop to order a simple table runner and she has shouted my praises every since. I've been very blessed with the people I've worked with, especially considering they are complete strangers, but this one went far above just a pleasant transaction.

She contacted me again to make her daughter a lap quilt out of the Hello Darling line. Her daughter sent me a picture of a quilt that I couldn't immediately find the pattern for, but in my process of looking, we stumbled upon this quilt and both liked it better anyway. I contacted Ms. French to see if she ever made it into a pattern as she suggested she would, but she hadn't. I was on my own, and that, I believe, is where the troubles started with a very unpleasant quilt for a very pleasant person. I'm not going to bore you with the details, but I will say if it could be added wrong, or cut wrong, or sewn wrong, I did it all in this quilt right here.

Somehow, despite all my efforts to destroy it, I do still think it looks right cute. And with the closely spaced quilting lines, it feels amazing - my favorite type of quilting. You can tell by looking, it isn't a particularly difficult pattern. The only aspect I would consider challenging is narrow strip that serves as the "string" the pennants are hanging from, so I guess I'll have to accept all the blame for its difficulties.

Even the back gave me problems.

It looks fine, and I guess that's all that matters, but I made two errors that made it harder than it should have been, and the company I ordered the fabric from wasn't able to include one of the prints despite showing stock at the time I placed the order.

Seriously, one headache after another during the entire process. So, I've named it Goodbye Darling. I was so glad to mail that thing off yesterday!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on the blog, but my step-daughter is pregnant. So I'm off to sew lots of cute baby things! We're very excited to have another grandbaby join the family!

Edited to add: Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series. Love those coffee mugs she has this week!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Cargo Duffle Bag, by Noodlehead

Last week, we celebrated a friend's birthday and that friend is a bit hard to shop for. She's a bit of a work-a-holic and those are the hardest types, aren't they? But her job does require some travel, so I thought maybe a cute carry on type bag would be nice.

I'm going to admit, I struggled some with this. The making of the parts was ok. The assembly of the parts was only slightly harder, but the binding of the inside seams almost got my friend a gift card instead. That was my experience. I'm sure someone with actual bag sewing experience would have different results.

One comment I saw on another blog was that she chose a zippered pocket instead of the cargo pockets because they always seem to look homemade. Yep. It's not huge, but when you want someone to carry your gift from Tennessee to California, you don't really want sloppy details making it look "homemade."

You can see from the above picture that somehow my flaps are a bit more narrow than the pockets, and also on the right is a piece of pocket showing that shouldn't show:

And common sense should have told me to buy the kind of snaps that go through the fabric, so my stitches wouldn't show.

I just don't happen to be very big in the common sense department.

So, here are some of my "wish I'd done it differently" tips:

1. I would make the sections larger and then cut them down to size after quilting.

2. I'd have choose different snaps.

3. I'd spend a lot more time, and probably some fabric glue, making sure those pockets were perfect. They are the focal point of the whole bag, after all.

4. I'd line the whole bag rather than binding the seams.

One thing I did that varied from the instructions was to sew the bottom accent fabric on and then quilt over it. Her instructions were to iron the side under and just quilt over it - I liked sewing it down first.

Oh, and the other thing I did differently was to use headliner fabric - the stuff that goes in the roof of your car. I know, weird, right? I'd read on another blog that was the product of choice for all her bags, but when I checked it out at Hancock, not only was it not that much cheaper, but it was noticeably thinner than the Pellon foam interfacing. I was on the fence as to whether to use Pellon or fusible fleece when I noticed some headliner fabric in the remnant bin for just a couple dollars. So I snatched that up and gave it a try. It was perfect! I might have gotten even more frustrated with the thicker Pellon, and the headliner fabric sewed and ironed just as well. So, if you don't have ready access to the Pellon, or find some headliner fabric on sale, give it a try!

Minor imperfections aside, I do like the bag, and I really love my fabric choices for it.

My daughter has requested one in pink and purple. No matter what I sew, my daughter requests one in pink and purple, but this might be a practical make for her since she does spend every Friday night with her Grandmother.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

And the winners are...

Using the super scientific method of asking my daughter to pick two numbers between 1 & 17, I have determined the winners of the magazine issues to be Judy@quilt paradigm and stitchinpenny. Congratulations! I've sent e-mails to the winners and will mail those issues out as soon as I have addresses.

In the meantime, here's a pretty picture of my quilt, courtesy of McCalls. It's not often pictures of my quilts look good, in fact, this may be a first:)

I'm also guest blogging at McCalls today. You can check that out here.

If you make a quilt from my pattern, I would be thrilled to see it. Please either hashtag it #TwistedZags on Instagram, or just e-mail it to me, piecesofcotton @ And if you'd like to follow me on Instagram, I'm piecesofcottonquilting there.

Friday, August 7, 2015

This is happening

You may recognize the snippit of quilt you can see as being similar to the one I made for my grandson when he arrived in Chattanooga.

This one was made about a year ago and will be in the October/November issue of McCall's Quick Quilts.

If you don't want to wait until it hits the stands, I have a couple copies to give away. Leave me a comment, and I'll pick two random commentors to mail a full copy of the issue to.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Quicky finish

I'm in the middle of another large project, and as is typical of me, I needed a break from seeing the same fabrics and doing the same things.

I admire those who start something, and then finish it.

Of course, my method of starting something, stopping to make a baby quilt, going back to the first project - for a while - also has its benefits.

That binding fabric was a Christmas present from my daughter. What other than purple polka dots can you expect from a 7-year-old?

The other prints in this quilt were a Christmas present from my friend, Mandy. I love it all. This quilt is in the shop, but whatever I make next from these fabrics will be for me.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series.