Thursday, July 13, 2017

12 Days of Christmas in July - Tutorial and Giveaway

Welcome to the first day of the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop!  I am excited to share my pillow sham tutorial with you and hope you will also visit Carole at From My Carolina Home and Sharon at Vroomans Quilts to see what they have made.  You can see the full line up of blogs here.  If you leave us all comments on our featured days you will be entered to win a prize and there will be prizes for each day of the hop!  Be sure to also swing by and thank Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for putting all this together.
Pillow shams are a great way to use up scraps and practice free-motion quilting (FMQ). I made my pillow sham to fit a 16 inch pillow form, wanting something larger to cuddle with during the winter. Winter seems very far away at the moment with this 100° weather!
I used 1.5-inch strips of Christmas fabric to create strippy half-square triangle blocks that finished at 4 inches, then arranged them in a pinwheel pattern according to my husband's input (he said it made him happy, which is important of course).
I then basically made a table runner that measured 16.5 inches by 35.5 inches unfinished.  You can see I added a 3.5 inch strip to one end of my top, this was to make it long enough to overlap in the back.
 Here is a good shot of my FMQ.  I was able to do a continuous line pattern so I only had to bury a couple threads, a very nice time saver!
After your top is quilted, trim the batting leaving a quarter inch of batting around the edges.  Then bind the short ends.
Place the quilted piece right side up on the table. Fold the end that you want to see when the sham is turned right side out approximately 8 inches towards the center.  With the pattern I used I folded it two blocks width.
Then fold the other side in so that there is about a 3-inch overlap.  Again, with the pattern I used I folded two blocks width plus the strip.
 Here is a close-up of the overlap.
I have found I like to clip my edges together using Wonder Clips for the next sewing step because it's pretty thick with four layers of fabric and two layers of batting, and even more so where the flaps overlap.  Using a walking foot, sew a straight seam about half an inch from the edge (I used the edge of my walking foot as measurement).  Take your time as you go over the bound ends so you don't break a needle.  I also suggest backstitching a couple times where the bound ends are to strengthen where the sham will experience the most stress when putting the pillow form in.
Next, trim the corners down so that they will be less bulky when turned inside out.  Then sew a wide zigzag along the edge to clean it up and keep the fabric from fraying.
 Here is a close-up of my stitching.  The long straight stitch right next to the zigzag is my basting stitch, not the stitch to enclose the pillow sham.
 All that is left is to turn the pillow sham inside out!
 View from the back.
View from the front.
I hope you will try making a pillow sham using this method.  Send me a photo if you do!  My email is brandizzle7133 at gmail dot com.
Remember to leave a comment on our blogs as you visit to be entered in the giveaways.  There are twelve(!) prizes to be won!
If you need comment inspiration, how about telling me your favorite small, homemade Christmas gift to give or receive, I'm always looking for more ideas!
Merry Christmas in July!
And in case anyone was wondering where the quilt inspectors were during this process, well you can find them near a window, soaking up as much sunshine as possible!
Linking up to Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Pattern Testing Reveal - Gradient Stars from Patterns by Jen

I am so happy to share a pattern I tested for Jen at Patterns by Jen.  She released her Gradient Stars pattern on Friday and I hope you will visit her site to see the other testers quilts and check out her other patterns.
Here is my completed quilt top, I am still contemplating how I want to quilt it.  John was kind enough to step outside into 100° weather and hold the quilt up for me.
One thing I did a little different from the original instructions was to cut my pieces from a strip as shown above.  I was working from my stash so needed to make the best use of my fabrics since I didn't have much extra.
Pinning was important for this one, and I had to rework some of my seams to nest better but it was worth it.
My stacks ready to be sewn together.
The 15-91 works so well for piecing.

Here's a close-up of the quilt, I am so happy with how this turned out!  I think that this may be one of the more intense patterns I've made so far and the results are incredible.  If you have any ideas for how I could quilt this I would love to hear them.
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Christmas is Coming...

Christmas in July that is!

I'm super excited to be participating in the Christmas in July blog hop this year, hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Here is the list of everyone who is participating with links to their page:

 Friday, July 14th

Saturday, July 15th

Sunday, July 16th

Monday, July 17th

Tuesday, July 18th

Wednesday, July 19th

Thursday, July 20th

Friday, July 21st

Saturday, July 22nd

Sunday, July 23rd

Monday, July 24th

Tuesday, July 25th
Everyone is showing different project ideas and some are having tutorials, it will be great to get a lot of ideas earlier in the year so we can all be ready for December!  Sarah is also having a quilt-a-long during the blog hop that looks great for using up some scraps.  Come visit me Friday the 14th to see what I make with this: