Wicked Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Greetings and welcome to day 1 of the Wicked Blog Hop, brought to us by the wickedly fabulous Madame Samm and our devilishly delightful cheerleader, Wendy!

My project for this Halloween Hop is inspired by my handsome black and white cat and a pumpkin patch:

These two images combined in my creative cauldron, and I developed a wicked recipe for a quilted wall-hanging featuring a cat sitting amongst whimsical pumpkins!

Here’s a look at the completed quilt, called “Pumpkin Patch Cat.”

Pumpkin Patch Cat Completed Quilt Top

Pumpkin Patch Cat Completed Quilt Top

Pumpkin Patch Cat Quilt

Pumpkin Patch Cat Quilt

This little wall-hanging finishes at 11.5 inches x 13 inches and can be made in a day and quilted on your domestic sewing machine. I echo quilted around each pumpkin and the cat. I then quilted stars and a moon in the purple background.

Just look at the wickedly handsome cat!!

You can add your own details to this pattern very easily! My pattern tester and sister extraordinaire made the cat solid black and added a little witch’s hat:

Black Cat with Witch's Hat

Black Cat with Witch’s Hat

Giveaway Details!
One lucky blog hop commenter will win a free copy of my Pumpkin Patch Cat pattern! I will use a random number generator to pick the lucky winner on Halloween, which is the last day of the hop. Be sure to leave me a comment!

You can also purchase this pattern from my Craftsy shop.

Hop on over to these fellow bloggers today to enjoy some more Halloween treats:
Grammie Q’s
Stitchin by the Lake
Quilted Delights
Buzzing and Bumbling
Vrooman’s Quilts
Life in the Scrapatch
Patchouli Moon Studio
The Nosy Pepper
Sew Incredibly Crazy

If you get lost along the hop while admiring the many wicked treasures or if you want to see the full list of participants, just click on the Wicked Blog Hop button located in the right hand pane of my blog.

Grab a tasty goblin brew and enjoy!

Easy Charm Square Halloween Table Runner Tutorial

With Halloween just a couple weeks away, I thought my living room table needed a little festive decor! I decided to stitch up a quick and easy table runner using a charm pack.

Here’s a look at the completed runner:

Easy Charm Pack Halloween Table Runner

Easy Charm Pack Halloween Table Runner

I’ve created a tutorial if you want to make one of these fun Halloween table runners for yourself. I made my table runner single-sided, but you could easily make it double-sided and extend its use into the Thanksgiving holiday by picking out a second autumn-themed charm pack.

Supplies Needed
1 charm pack or 27 5-inch squares (Boo Crew by Sweetwater for Moda is used in my runner)
1/2 yard backing fabric (or make a double-sided runner)
1/2 yard batting
1/4 yard binding, black
black thread
ruler, rotary cutter, mat, pins, and marking pencil

Halloween Charm Pack and Fabric!

Halloween Charm Pack and Fabric!

Note: Use a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

1. Lay out your charm squares into 3 rows of 9 squares each. Move the charm squares around until you find a color arrangement that you like. Note: If you have a cat “assistant,” you may find your squares re-arranged! See figure 1.

3 Rows with 9 Charm Squares Each

3 Rows with 9 Charm Squares Each

2.Sew 9 charm squares into a row. Press seams open. Repeat for the other rows.

3. Sew the first row to the second row, taking care to match seams. Press seams open.

4. Sew the third row to the completed unit from step 3, taking care to match seams. Press seams open.

5. Cut each right and left end square on both the top and bottom rows so that the squares become triangles. Tip: Use your ruler and marking pencil to draw a diagonal line before cutting the triangles. See figure 2.

Cut End Squares into Triangles

Cut End Squares into Triangles

6. Press the quilt top. The quilt top should resemble figure 3.

Halloween Runner Quilt Top

Halloween Runner Quilt Top

7. Prepare quilt top for quilting by layering backing, batting, and quilt top. Baste with pins.

8. Quilt as desired. I quilted my runner using my domestic sewing machine by using my 1/4-inch foot and sewing square shapes in each charm square.

9. Prepare binding. I like to use 2-1/4″ binding strips and then press them in half.

10. Sew on binding strips. Press. Hand-stitch binding to the backing.

11. Remember to add a quilt label!

12. Optional: Add embellishments such as hot-fix crystals or Halloween themed buttons.

I think this little table runner really adds a festive touch to my coffee table. I added a pumpkin shaped bowl and filled it with chocolate candies. Mysteriously, those little candies seem to disappear quickly in my house!

Halloween Runner Closeup

Halloween Runner Closeup

I hope you enjoy this tutorial! Let me know if you make one by leaving a comment or linking up to your blog. I’d love to see pictures.

With Halloween charm,

Modern Trees QAL Top Finished and Beach Pic

Happy Sunday everyone!

This weekend, I worked on completing my table runner top for the Modern Trees QAL, hosted by Christa at Christa Quilts!

Rather than making a quilt sized project, I decided to make 5 improv tree blocks so I could have a cute little wintery table runner. I added a dark blue inner border which really complements the trees well. The next step will be to add the backing and do basting. Since my project is so small, I’ll probably do the machine quilting at the same time so stay tuned!

Here’s a look at the Modern Tree QAL table runner top:

Modern Tree QAL Table Runner

Modern Tree QAL Table Runner

Yesterday, I took a drive with my hubby and son to the Oregon Coast to pick up several more Sew Oregon quilt shop hop stamps on my passport. The weather was surprising nice – no wind and about 60 degrees! We took a picnic blanket and ate lunch on the beach near Haystack Rock. The tide was still out far enough that many families and children were exploring the exposed tidepools.

Here’s a pic of the “Needles” rock formations just to the left of Haystack Rock (not pictured).

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Hope you had a great weekend!

Modern Trees Quilt Along

I have a new-to-me dining room table that is just begging for a table runner. Since the holidays are coming up, I thought a Christmas themed one would be perfect, and I should have enough time to complete one before early December.

Then, I saw that Christa is hosting a Modern Tree Quilt Along (QAL) on her blog, Christa Quilts! She has instructions for a 30″ x 40″ finished quilt, but I decided to pare it down into a 5 block table runner.

I looked through my stash and found a Snowman Gatherings by Moda charm pack. You can find it online at the Fat Quarter Shop. This is such an adorable line of fabric that I decided to use it to make my improv trees. I found a nice solid light blue in my stash to use as a background.

Here’s a look at my 5 improv tree blocks:

Improv Modern Tree Blocks

Improv Modern Tree Blocks

I think this fabric combination will make a nice wintery table runner that I can display all season long. Next week, we’ll assemble the blocks as the second step in this QAL. There is still time to join this QAL and you can size the project to fit your space! You can make improv trees out of small scraps like I did or make solid trees from a 7-inch strip of fabric.

Happy quilting,

4th of July Dachshunds

Happy 4th of July, everyone! We started the day off with a neighborhood parade. I marched in the parade with my son and dog. Although my dog is not a dachshund, he is part hound!

Here’s a pic of my patriotic dog, getting ready to march in the parade:

4th of July Dog

4th of July Dog

This afternoon, I decided to paper-piece some little dachshund blocks for a quilt that I’m making as a wedding gift. These are the smallest paper-pieced blocks that I’ve made with a finished size of just 6-inches by 3-inches! I’ve completed 4 of 8 little pups so far.

Here are 4 together with 2 dogs running up and 2 dogs running down:

4 Little Dachshunds

4 Little Dachshunds

Aren’t these little dogs cute? Here’s a closeup with a 6-inch ruler to show the scale of the pieces:

Little Blue Dachshund

Little Blue Dachshund

I think the smallest piece is about 1/8-inch by 1/8-inch!! What a challenge to paper-piece! I used my add-an-eighth inch ruler for all these blocks since the add-a-quarter inch was a tad bit too large.

Tiny Fabric Pieces!

Tiny Fabric Pieces!

I have 4 more left-facing dogs to make. Once the quilting is complete, I’ll embroider little noses and add button eyes to each dog. This pattern is from Janet Kime’s book, It’s Raining Cats and Dogs. I definitely recommend that you have some paper-piecing experience before beginning the projects from this book!

This evening, we plan to have a little BBQ in the backyard and watch fireworks!

Happy 4th of July!

Red, White, and Blue Swap Block

Happy Flag Day everyone!

I’m the hostess for a red, white, and blue block swap on Carol Doak’s Yahoo group! This swap is so much fun to host because I love these colors and the 4th of July is my favorite holiday! Each participant makes 4, 8, or 12 blocks to swap with other members.

Here’s a look at the block that I made today:

Red, white, blue swap block

Red, white, blue swap block

This is the Austria block from Carol’s book called Mariner’s Compass Stars. The white fabric in the background is actually a white-on-white print featuring stars but the camera didn’t pick up the white stars very well.

Now I need to decide if I’ll make all my blocks the same or make 4 different ones.

Hope you enjoy this little red, white, and blue post today and stay tuned for more patriotic blocks!

Happy quilting!

Memorial Day Weekend: Quilting and Gardening

Over Memorial Day weekend, I had a little bit of time to work on several quilt projects.

The first project is a paper-pieced quilt that I’m planning on displaying at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show this July. I’ve pieced it, quilted it, and just need to finish up the binding.

Here’s a little teaser:

Rolled binding strips

Rolled binding strips

I’ll post some photos of the completed quilt soon!

My next project involves sewing together lots of hexie shapes! This is a pattern called Snack Time by Jaybird Quilts. I was piecing together some of the shapes when my orange cat made an unexpected move and came to sit behind my sewing machine! Normally, he will only sit on the floor of my sewing room to do his inspection work. The lighting wasn’t great, but I had to take a quick pic before he moved.

Quilt inspector, Tiger, in window

Quilt inspector, Tiger, in window

In between rain squalls this weekend, my husband, 7-year-old son, and I decided to build a second raised bed in our backyard to plant more veggies and herbs. We made our first one two years ago, but decided we wanted to have more fresh salads and veggies this summer. We went to the local home improvement store to pick up some supplies and got building.

The larger raised bed is about 8 feet long! We planted zucchini, yellow squash, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, lettuce, and kale. We also planted some herbs in smaller containers as well as sugar snap peas in a round container. Our cat, Cow, decided to test the catnip.

Hope you enjoyed your long weekend and a thanks to all who have served our country!

Easter Bunny Hopping in Early!

I purchased an Easter Bunny table runner kit several years ago, opened it to admire the pattern and fabrics, and then packed it away in my to-do-someday stash. Last week, I decided to work on it since Easter is just around the corner, and I wanted something bright and cheerful.

This table runner is called “Hopping Hares” by Connecting Threads. It uses a combination of appliqued bunnies with pieced borders.

I embroidered the bunny whiskers and mouth using a gold-toned floss. I plan to add button eyes once the quilting is complete. The binding will be the same striped fabric as the inner border.

It was a pretty easy project, and I’m really happy to see the spring colors. Spring itself is trying to make an appearance here in Oregon with buds appearing on trees and early bulbs peeking up through the soil. I have some purple and white crocus blooming in the garden and several early daffodils are just waiting for a sunny day to burst open!

Here’s a pic of the bunny table runner before quilting and binding:

Easter Bunny Table Runner

Easter Bunny Table Runner

Bunny Close-Up

Bunny Close-Up

Hopefully, we’ll get some more sunshine soon and chase away all the winter blues!

Enjoy the bunnies!

Winter Snowman Quilt

I had a very “sewful” New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day and was able to finish up some quilt tops. Woo hoo!

This Winter Snowman Quilt is one of those projects! I had started and completed the 4 inner shooting star blocks in December, but then set them aside to finish up Christmas gifts. I originally planned on making more of the shooting star blocks, but ran out of my white snowflake print fabric. I like the smaller sized quilt as I can use it as a winter decoration on a table top or a wall.

You can read about the shooting star block designed by Carol Doak in my post here. I encourage you to join Carol’s Yahoo group by clicking the link in the right sidebar of my blog. She has a valentine heart challenge going on right now so it’s a perfect way to start paper piecing!

Right now, I only have pics of the quilt top but hope to have it quilted and bound soon! All the fabric in my quilt top is from the Fresh Fallen Snow line by Maywood Studio. I have a quilt recipe following the pictures below.

Here’s a look at the finished quilt top inside my sewing room:

Winter Snowman Quilt - Inside

Winter Snowman Quilt – Inside

I took the quilt outside to try and get a better photo of it, but it was a bit breezy:

Winter Snowman Quilt - outside

Winter Snowman Quilt – outside

A close-up view of the shooting star blocks:

Shooting Star blocks

Shooting Star blocks

And finally a close-up view of the snowman border fabric. The snowmen are so cute and have little red birds sitting on their stick arms!

Snowman border

Snowman border

Quilt Recipe
If you’re interested in creating this cute Winter Snowman quilt, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Join Carol’s Yahoo Group to get the shooting star block.
  • Print out 16 of the 4″ shooting star paper piecing patterns.
  • Blue snowflake print fabric. Approx 2/3 yard.
  • White snowflake print fabric. Approx 1/2 yard.
  • Red accent fabric. Approx 1/3 yard.
  • Blue snowman print fabric. Approx 2 yards for both the outer border and backing.
  • Basic sewing and paper piecing supplies.

Here’s how to assemble the quilt:

  • Use a 1/4″ seam allowance. If you don’t already have basic paper piecing skills, then I recommend Carol’s excellent instructional DVD.
  • Cut out all the fabric pieces for the 16 shooting star blocks.
  • Sew the shooting star blocks.
  • Assemble each large block by sewing 4 individual shooting star blocks together. Make 4 large blocks.
  • Sew the 4 large blocks together to form the quilt center.
  • Cut 3.5-inch strips from the white snowflake fabric for the inner border and sew around the quilt center.
  • Cut 2-inch strips from the red accent fabric for the second border and sew to the quilt center.
  • Cut 5.5-inch strips from the blue snowman fabric for the outer border and sew to the quilt center.
  • Quilt as desired and bind.

My quilt top is approximately 35 inches by 35 inches. You can make your quilt smaller or larger by resizing the shooting star blocks.

Hope you enjoy this little winter project!

Holiday Cold Process Soap Batch #2 – Gingerbread Men!!

For my second batch of holiday soaps, I decided to use a fun gingerbread man mold. I started with a single batch of soap using a gingerbread fragrance – absolutely delicious! My house smells so good while these soaps are sitting on the rack to cure.

I went ahead and made a second batch using goat milk and a light honey and green tea fragrance. I did make a batch of these earlier and talked about them here, but needed a few more to fill out some baskets.

Gingerbread Holiday Soaps

Gingerbread Holiday Soaps

For the final touch, I added some sparkly ribbon to dress up the gingerbread men!

I think these soaps will add the perfect accent to my holiday soap baskets.