January 24, 2014

A Wonderful Thread Catcher

I've been sewing for only about 22 years now and I've never had a thread catcher.

Say WHAT??

I know, right??

So, since I've been a good little crafter lately, I decided I just needed one. Something about the resident almost 2 year old loving thread piles....

What do you think??

There are only about 30 free tutorials out in internetland of how to make one, but I just loved the Thread Catcher Bag that Rachel Griffith did.

You should make one, you'll love it too!

The outer fabric is a Robert Kaufman print, the lining is a Denise Schmit Free Market Fancy print, and the accent/base was a scrap of something I'm not sure of.

This is a great Attack Your Scraps project since the largest piece is only 6 1/2" by 17 1/2". It also utilizes fusible fleece, which is one of my most favorite products!

What's that in the background you ask? Just a little pattern testing, post coming soon.

January 13, 2014

Sawtooth Start QAYG Tutorial - Mini!

For the project I'm working on my first thought was to go with a QAYG (Quilt As You Go) block since I was aiming for a more structured piece. How many of you have done QAYG? You should try it if you haven't, it's way fun. Although, I think almost all of quilting is way fun, so maybe that's a biased statement. ;)

Since this is a small block, it can very easily use up scraps without looking scrappy if you stick to a color theme. So, go ahead and Attack Your Scraps!

Either way, here's one way to to it:

- 5 inch square of batting (cotton is the easiest to QAYG)
- 2 1/2 inch square for center
- 1 1/2 inch squares for star points, 8 total
- 2 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch rectangles of background fabric, 4 total
- 1 1/2 inch squares of background fabric, 4 total

For the background fabric you will need at least 16 inches total of a 1 1/2 inch strip.

The very fist thing we need to do is make flying geese for the points of your star. They are in the bottom center of the photo above.

To make a flying geese, you take one 1 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch rectangle and sew one of the 1 1/2 inch squares on both ends of the rectangle. Your seam will go diagonally across the star square (the white in my block). I did not trim the excess fabric off the back of the flying geese since I want more structure, but that is totally up to you! For a photo tutorial check out: Fat Quarterly. All you need to make from this tutorial is the basic flying geese block unit.

Take 2 of your flying geese blocks and sew a 1 1/2 inch background square to both ends. You will now have 2 lone flying geese, and 2 strips that have: one 1 1/2 inch square, flying geese in the center, then another 1 1/2 inch square.

Next you take the 2 1/2 inch center square and place it in the center of your piece of batting. Take one of the lone flying geese blocks and lay it right side down on one side of the center square and stitch if down like so:

Take the other lone flying geese block and it to the opposite side of the 2 1/2 inch center block. It will now look like this:

At this point you want to stitch down the flying geese that you've attached. I simply echo stitched 1/8 inch below the V seam in the flying geese block. No way did I eyeball this, there was a little notch on my sewing machine foot that I just lined up with the seam. Gotta love a helping tool! Feel free to stitch it down how ever you prefer as long as you sew down the outer corners down (that's the only goal for now, we will fill in the rest of the quilting later). Here's what it will look like. Also in the photo below are the flying geese strips you already sewed simply placed on either side of what you're progress should look like at this point.

Next you want to sew the strips with the flying geese in the center to the other sides of your center square. I just sewed both of them on one right after another. See:

Here's what it looks like pinned open.

Next I simply echo quilted 1/8 inch below the V seam in the last 2 flying geese blocks, just like I did before. I love how this looks, and because of the scale you could definitely stop here if you wanted. I, however, love love extra quilting on smaller items, so do what your heart desires!

I continued the echo quilting 1/4 inch from the quilting that was already done, and a 1/4 inch from the seams of the corner blocks. Don't worry about filing the blocks completely with quilting to the edges, there is still a 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around. With that being said, definitely continue any quilting lines completely onto the batting. It was cut a little larger for that reason!

Here's my set of finished (untrimmed) blocks:

I would LOVE to see any blocks/projects you create with this tutorial! Feel free to share in my Flickr group: Your Lyanna Jean Designs.

January 9, 2014

Lets Get This Party Started - Summer 2013

I found this post from last summer. For some reason it never got published and I simply love these photos. I don't know about you, but in all this dreary cold weather we're having I could use some reminders of summer fun, so here it is:

Is it possible to have too much fun with your kids during the summer?? I don't think so!

So far, we've checked out the new Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia (with Mom, NO WAY would I go alone with 5 kids), gone to 3 pools, and of course a few playgrounds. All in about a week and a half.

Yes, we like to be busy and have fun!

Thanks Mom for joining us on our escapades!

January 6, 2014

Well Hello January

This year came in with a 'ho-hum' in our home. Only my husband stayed up to see the ball drop. Sick and recovering kids makes for somewhat boring holidays. No worries, everyone is much better now and it seems like we've all finally got a little spunk back in our step.

Now that I'm done dealing with something that lasted for the better part of last year I finally feel like I'm back to my usual self again and it is GREAT!

Three posts in one week, holy smokes!

On to the goods though, I'm going to join up with the Lovely Year Of Finishes thing going on over at Fiber of All Sorts again this year. Yea, I tapered off around July last year, just couldn't hang anymore with everything else going on. It happens that way sometimes.

I have this lovely stack of quilts (up there ^ ) that only one of them actually got quilted and bound last year (the Bargello), so my January goal is to quilt the scrappy one in the pile AND bind it. Oh yea, done and done it shall be! Here is it, but I did add two wide stripes to the top and bottom (left and right in photo) - sorry for the basement photo with toys included, but that's the way we roll.

This year has got to be more awesome than last year. I mean, there were a lot of totally rockin times last year, I just want to figure out how to do that more days than not this year. Wish me luck!

What are your project goals for this month?

January 3, 2014

9 Square Knitted Preemie Blanket Pattern

I feel like I'm kinda jumping all around right now with blogging, but this post has been waiting a while. And I absolutely love the whole quilt block inspired knitted preemie blankets I'm working on! So, here it is:

One of my absolute things to make is baby blankets! Seriously, I am excited just thinking about making one!! Whether it's knitted, crocheted, quilted, you name it and it's right up my alley.

I figured it would be fun to make up some preemie sized blankets for a few reasons. 1- Why not?? 2- Little babies need blankets too!! 3- You can always put smaller squares together to make a bigger blanket (lots of options here). 4- Who doesn't love a quick & easy project sometimes that would totally benefit someone else??

Combining the look of basic quilt blocks with knitting just seemed so awesome, and thus the idea for these blankets arose. I also have a free pattern for a 4 square knitted preemie blanket if you're interested in that too.

This blanket measures about 18 inches square.

Edited to add: 

-Aran weight yarn, I used 2 skeins of Adriafil Fluo which is 220 yards
-Size 7 needles


Cast on 87 stitches. Knit 6 rows. (The photo only shows 4 rows knit, but 6 looks/works much better)

Rows 7: knit 30 stitches, purl 27 stitches, knit 30 stitches.

Rows 8: knit 3 stitches, purl 27 stitches, knit 30 stitches, purl 27 stitches, knit 3 stitches.

Repeat last 2 rows until you get to row 42.

Row 43: same as row 7.

Row 44: same as row 8.

Repeat rows 7 and 8 again until row 77.

Row 78: same as row 7.

Row 79: same as row 8.

Repeat rows 7 and 8 again until row 112.

Knit 4 rows. Weave in ends.

Now you have a wonderful preemie sized blanket!

If you are looking for a wonderful group to donate these to you can look on the Giving Artfully, Greyson's Gift, and Project Linus websites. Feel free to email me with any more charities that accept donated preemie sized blankets, I will be more than happy to add them to my charities page!

Edited to add:  I would LOVE to see any blocks/projects you create with this pattern! Feel free to join & share in my Flickr group: Your Lyanna Jean Designs.
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