Category Archives: Quilting

Birds-in-a Box; a quilt recipe

I can finally share a quilt I have had sitting around for quite awhile. I made this for my neighbor to celebrate the birth of their daughter. These neighbors are awesome people and we are blessed that they moved in a few years ago, so I wanted to make something special for their baby girl!

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I call it Birds-in-a-Box, and it is a great use for one charm pack and a solid. To make this quilt top you will need:

40 patterned squares (one charm pack should do it)

24 solid squares (cut to charm pack size: 5×5 inches

contrasting scraps for the birds

1. Lay out your squares so that you love how they look. If you are me, you will do this about 20 times. You will also do  this with your children who will help you by rearranging them as soon as you find the perfect combination. Or, maybe you just give them to your children and let them plan it out. Now that I think about it, maybe I should have just done that in the first place….

2. Sew together to make blocks of 4 squares each, trying to keep them in the original order. If you are me, this means you will actually mix them up, forgetting your original design, say what the heck and put them together however…)

3. Sew your 4×4 blocks together to get four quarters of your quilt top, then sew those four together.

4. Make your birds. This is the fun part, and no, I’m not together enough to have an actual template to print out. You get to make it yourself! These guys are pretty easy to draw; you simple make a body and then the wing. I made three different sizes and traced them lightly with a pencil right onto my fabric, then cut with a scissors.

Bird-in-a-Box

5. Sew the birds onto your quilt top. Do do this, use a little glue stick on the back of each bird, then stick them down to the quilt top. To sew, drop your presser feet, and use the darning foot from your machine (this is the little round one). Then you simply free motion all around the edges, and add the feet. Done! Three sweet little birds! (Warning, this was much harder than I thought it would be…practice with some scraps first!)

There you go: Birds-in-a-Box! Throw together, quilt as you wish, bind off and give to your favorite baby.

Birds-in-a-Box

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Filed under Quilting, tutorial

Spring in Minnesota makes me feel all rambly…..

Edited to add: Boy, did I ramble. Anyone who actually reads through this entire post truly deserves some sort of prize, like having your favorite incredibly gorgeous actor/ress showing up on your doorstep with a case of wine and extra large box of chocolates. And yarn and fabric.

There is something about the springs rains in Minnesota. The sky is still the same gray you’ve been looking at all winter but suddenly there is green everywhere. Looking at all that green makes me realize what is just around the corner, if only I can make it through the mud, muck and cold wet jackets. It makes me unfocused and wandering around from task to task, a little of this, a little of that. So that’s the sort of blog post you’ll be getting from me today. A summary of sorts, since I haven’t done that in awhile anyway. I’ll even do bullets, just for kicks.

  • My screen free week was not as productive as I’d hoped. The combination of extreme sleepiness along with my discovery of  Patrick Rothfuss meant that I was either reading, falling asleep while reading, (terrible when all you want to do is read the book!), falling asleep while putting the boys to bed, or sleeping. Very little crafting happened, if any.
  • Speaking of Patrick Rothufss, I started his second book yesterday, and while looking at his blog today figured out that we both went to UWSP (where he now teaches and lives) at the same time. Not only that, but we studied some of the same subjects and more than likely crossed paths quite often, maybe even had a class together, as it’s a small school. This made me feel like I was about thirteen and had temptations to go to his Facebook page and say something dorky and stupid about going to school together.  I resisted. However it’s driving me nuts because I can’t remember if I knew him for sure. In fact, I realized that although I majored in history I can’t remember the name of one friend in the history department (despite being treasurer of the History Club and attending many pizza nights) and the names of only two professors. Do we really start to forget this stuff this young? Sheesh, I’m only thirty-seven!
  • Speaking of crafting, I do have pictures to share. I managed to squeak out four quilt blocks for Annik’s Log Cabin’s for Japan project. I pieced together one quilt and although I tried, fell asleep with the boys both nights that I had planned on quilting and binding it. Luckily Annik is a quilting maniac and finished it up. Be sure to look at the Flickr group to see them. How amazing to have all these beautiful squares from all over the country put together like this! Annik did a wonderful job organizing; I’m lucky to have her as a friend.
  • Because every blog post deserves pictures, we’ll have an interlude with my blocks….

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  • Making log cabin blocks is very, very addicting. I had to make myself stop at 1:30am.
  • So here’s more random…..I had a very nice and interestingcomment from a new reader. She said she’d really like to follow my blog, but wished I allowed the full post in my RSS feed. Now I also agree how annoying it is when you subscribe to everything in a reader but still have to click on the blogs to go and read the full post, so I understand how she feels. But, I know when I changed it to a short feed a few years ago it was because someone told me my blog was being reprinted in some sort of other feed, without my name/consent and that a shortened feed was the only was to stop it. Honestly, I can barely even remember the details. It seems half the bloggers out there these days have shortened feeds and half do not. Anyone know the latest these days? Anyone have a preference? I’m considering making it a full feed again but don’t want to if it means all my work is ripped off….
  • Onto more crafting, Project Spectrum starts this weekend!! And this year, I am determined to do the whole darn thing.
  • Lolly’s suggestions made me sign up for Tumblr although I’m not quite sure that I need more sites to clog my brain. Maybe I don’t quite get the draw yet. Anyway, if you’re on there come and find me. I’m Knittymama, as usual!
  • Speaking of technology, I broke my Nook. And no, I didn’t buy the extended warranty even though I have three small people in my house. Because my brain is on such massive overload I seriously can’t keep anything else in it, like remembering to buy a warranty. Let’s hope the Skeptic’s extreme tech skills will allow him to replace the screen successfully.
  • Speaking of my small people, I have to report that Spinner is finally talking away. I can’t remember how much I blogged about this, but last November, when he was about 26 months, he had a vocabulary of about 10 words, all which pretty much sounded the same. After a few months of speech therapy he’s talking all the time, which is a joy to hear. He’s got a lot of work left yet, as his articulation is pretty bad, but just the fact that he’s talking now is awesome; he’s come a log way already.  Sentences are hard for him, and he says them in a very cute way that makes it sound like he puts a period after each word. So today when I brought home a giant bag of cat food (which I guess was exciting for some reason) he said, “Big. Cat. Food. Mama?” So sweet, and so nice to hear.
  • And although I could probably do ten more bullets (spinning! red stuff! my newly finished vest! pants for boys! food allergies! kids and mud and worms! Dr. Who!) I’ll spare you the rest, for today, and save it for a later date.

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Filed under friends, giving, Project Spectrum, Quilting, random

Welcome!

I’m so excited to have made it into  Whip Up this week! If this is your first visit over here, welcome!! Feel free to take a look around and say “hello!” And if you’re already a regular reader here but not familiar with Whip Up, I highly recommend you take a peek over there. It’s my favorite go-to site for news and ideas in the crafting world.

Just a quick sneak peek today at what I call The Drag Around Family Blanket. I’ll have a simple tutorial coming up for it next week sometime. If you have some basic sewing skills and have been wanting to try your hand at a bigger  but very doable project, this one is for you!
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More important, I’m very, very remiss to not have mentioned this earlier, since it’s a project organized by one of my best friends. Annik over at Mini Mushrooms has organized Log Cabins for Japan. Make a log cabin block or two (or ten!) and mail them in by next week. She has a great tutorial up if you’ve never made one before. I know what I’ll be sewing this weekend!

Log Cabins for Japan

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Filed under friends, giving, Quilting, sewing

A Quilt

Mod Sampler Quilt.

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First quilt ever pieced, second to be completed.

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This quilt is for ME. It is girly and pink and most certainly to have pizza sauce fingerprints smeared on it any day now. I am insisting on keeping it in the sunroom and using it despite its delicate nature.
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Obligatory “boys jumping around on the quilt” photos.

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And yes, I did free motion this baby, and hand bind it was well, thank you. I’ve very brave like that.

And thank you to my dear friend Annik for forcing convincing me to make this quilt and pushing me off the quilting cliff. I like it here.

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Filed under Quilting

A wedding quilt

This was down to the wire, finished up at 1am the night before my brother’s wedding in December. A quilt for two very amazing people, the first quilt I’ve ever finished up completely. A quilt that I hope will see my wonderful brother and sister-in-law through many, many years of love, joy and happiness.

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I wish I had a better picture, but I barely had a chance to snap this one at the gift opening. You can see Knittykid being very thoughtful about it. I think he was actually quite impressed with his mother.

The pattern is called Sanctuary and it’s in the second issue of Fat Quarterly. (My new favorite online quilting magazine). Quilt Dad is it’s creator, and it was a fairly easy pattern to put together. I’d recommend it highly if you’re a new quilter.

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Filed under giving, Quilting

I Cast On

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Thank you, Marsha, for wondering why I had all that sweater yarn in my stash when I was not knitting sweaters. This will now be sweater number two for 2009, Diminishing Ribs Cardigan. That’s Knitpicks Andean Silk.

As for the quilt, I went with a mix of the warm and cool, thanks to a Quilt-Along member over on Flickr who clipped them and moved them around….Now I need to press and cut!

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Filed under knitting, Quilting, sweaters

New Territory

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I’m quilting along in full force. I have no idea what I’m doing, as this is my first quilt ever. So I’m going by the wise instructions of Elizabeth Hartman at Oh Fransson! and then figuring things out with Annik (the instigator) and our friend, (blogless) Karen who actually knows what she’s doing as far as quilting goes. (She’s taken classes and therefore is our Quilting Expert). So far, I’ve done nothing but sort fabric and figure out supplies but I’m having a jolly old time.

The fabric selection is more challenging than I thought it would be. The only fabric I’m letting myself buy is the linen/cotton blend I’d like for the sashing, as well as some extra for the back as I don’t think I’ll have big enough chunks of fabric to match. That leaves my stash for all the actual blocks. Here’s what I came up with last night. And yes, I need opinions…

Option one, warm, pinks/reds/greens:
Warm set

Warm set

One cool set, pinks, blues, greens….
Cool set

Cool set

I’m leaning towards the cool set, although it would be nice to use the warm set since it is made up of a lot of fat quarters. The cool set is all full yardage. Thoughts? Any certain fabrics that work or don’t work? (I should have numbered them). I’m not sure I’m totally happy with either as nothing is really saying “that’s it!” to me. I might have to dig through the stash some more to see….

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Filed under joining, Quilting