Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side

After much hesitation, I decided join the fun to enter the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side. I haven't been quilting for a long time. Just this summer I completed my very first quilt: This is a very special quilt and I'm very excited to be sharing it with you. I made the quilt as a gift for my goddaughter's 2nd birthday. She is learning her ABC's and I wanted to make her something she would use and learn from it at the same time. I got the inspiration for the quilt from  this book (the book featured crib bumper/baby book and I thought it would be fun to make into a quilt).

The letters were hand drawn by me and machine appliqued to the quilt...

... and I used this super fun ice cream cone fabric for the backing. When my goddaughter saw it she kept pointing at it and saying "ice cream, ice cream!"

Finished Quilt Measurements: 35 X 35 Inches

Best Category: Baby Quilt

Quilted by: Me

Thank you Amy for this opportunity. I'm so inspired by all the wonderful quilts that had been entered. I'm having so much fun looking at the amazing work that everyone has created.


Slow Bloggers Linky Party


I'm very excited to be hosting this month's linky party for the Slow Bloggers organized by the very talented Catherine @ Knotted Cotton.
Knotted Cotton

Do you sometimes feel like the demands of your job, household chores or life in general keep you from sewing those beautiful creations you had envisioned? Juggling everyday life maintains you so occupied that you don't post in your blog as often as you would like? You are not alone, like us there are other bloggers out there that feel the same way. Come and join us on our Slow Bloggers movement and share with us what you have been up to this month. Weather you were very productive and you want to share all of your accomplishments or just want to tell us what has been keeping you away from your sewing machine, we'd love to hear.

This is what has been happening this month during my Weekend Doings: I finished a quilt (the pattern is call Jacob's Ladder), I finished the quilt top of the blue patchwork quilt that I wish to give to my dad for Christmas, tried my hand at English Paper Piecing (and loved it), and published my first tutorial

So for this month's Slow Bloggers meeting, link up your post telling us what your have been up to. Please include the Slow Bloggers button on your post, you can find it here, support others Slow Bloggers by leaving them a comment. The linky stays open for a week. 

Have a great week everyone!



The Traveling PicStitch Blog Hop

Today is my stop on The Traveling PicStitch Blog Hop organized by Laura from Quokka Quilts and Katy from The Littlest Thistle. Laura and Katy are on a road trip around Arizona, Utah and Nevada and  they are getting inspiration from the beautiful scenery they get to experience on their trip to do some stitching along the way. And that is exactly the idea behind this blog hop: to use color from a photograph as inspiration to create an English Paper Pieced block.
The inspiration for my block is this picture I took last spring at the beach. I love the light and subtle blues and grays. I have never used a palette builder before so I decided to give it a try (I have to say: it is quite fun). I used the palette generator from Play Crafts and these are the results that I got:

Then I moved  on to the fun part: choosing the fabrics. I found in my fabric stash these fabrics that matched the color palette very well (or close enough) and as a bonus they have a nautical theme.  Perfect!

The design of my block is a variation of this star rose block. I started drawing the template with a star rose in mind, but halfway through I realized the pentagons in the center were larger than the original star rose I had seen, so I decided to keep going and call my design a happy accident.I haven't done much paper piecing before (a few months ago I haven't even heard of it) but I find this technique super fun. I'm already planning a large project involving paper piecing.

And this is my finished block. I guess I'm going to call it a star, it is going to become a pillow. I already appliqued it to a piece of natural linen and began  the quilting.  I will share it you once I finished it.

You can find more details about The Traveling PicStitch Blog Hop here, including the schedule with all the blogs participating, the sponsors, a Flickr group and information about a linky party a the end of November.
Please take some time to check out Monday's post from Beth @ Plum and June and Wednesday's turn is Nannette @ YeahImadethat (sorry the link on the schedule is broken, maybe when she sees this she will fix it so we can stop by her blog).
Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon!

*Update: You can see the finished pillow using the star block here.*



Today I got up early to see the sun rise. I wanted to savor my Sunday as much as possible. I mostly spent the day at home hanging out with my husband and our dogs (Mini and Mona). I picked lavender  from the garden, worked on some sewing projects and an English Paper Piecing project for the Traveling PicStitch Blog Hop; my stop is this upcoming Tuesday.
(As I'm writing this a small earthquake just rattled us. Oh that is the 'beauty' of living in California! an earthquake can sneak up on you at any time!)
Did you have a nice weekend?
I wish you have a lovely week!



My New Fabric

I have been trying to build my fabric stash. As you know, it takes time to build a good collection of fabrics. But this week I was very lucky and my collection grew a little bit. My wonderful husband suggested I should go to Jo-Ann. we were running errands near the store and he said -You haven't been at Jo-Ann in a while, do you want to stop by?- ( It had only been less than a week, but that is a long time for me).Well, that is an offer I can't  resist! I ended up buying these beautiful fabrics in  the green and brown tones. Then a package arrived in the mail... more fabric. Last week I won a giveaway hosted by Beth from Plum and June and sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop. I was so excited when Beth e-mailed me that I had won the gift card, but then I couldn't decide what to get... I ordered these charm packs of fabrics that had been on my wish list for a while. The are so beautiful, I love how they look all the pieces of fabric neatly stacked together.
Thank you Beth (Plum and June), the Fat Quarter Shop and of course to my wonderful husband, you made me very happy this week.



So, This Was My Weekend

Oh! the weekend is over... it went by so fast. I wish weekends were longer. Well if I'm wishing for stuff, I wish I didn't have to go to work tomorrow. But enough complaining. This weekend was really great. I got a lot of sewing done. I finished the top for my blue patchwork quilt. 
In between sewing the quilt top I made a fabric pumpkin to decorate for Halloween and a new pincushion to match my fabric covered tin can I made a few days ago. I added a loop on top of the pincushion so I can hang it by my sewing machine. I used the same Alexander Henry fabric I used for my tin can; I think it is so whimsical.
This afternoon I took a little break from sewing to make a bread pudding. I had a stale loaf of french bread and I decided to put it to good use. I flavored the custard for the pudding with spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) and while it was baking the perfume of the spices filled the whole house... I find bread pudding to be such a comforting food.
I hope you had a lovely weekend as well.

Note: I'm linking up to Freshly Pieced


Work In Progress

As I mentioned on my last post, I started a new quilt. It is going to be a patchwork quilt for my dad. Blue is his favorite color and I want to surprise him this Christmas with a handmade gift. I have been on the look for blue fabrics for a few weeks and I finally completed a good selection: enough for the quilt top. Over the weekend I cut up the fabric and began piecing. I hope to make some more progress in the next few days and hopefully finish the quilt top next weekend. 
Have a lovely week!



Saturday At Home

Today I spend a lovely day at home. It had been raining here in California for the past three days; we even got thunderstorms and hail two days ago, which is a bit unusual for this area. So it was such a nice surprise to see the sun shine again today. Beautiful light was coming through my window, I  couldn't resist taking a picture to share with you. Also, I went to the market and picked up some guavas. I don't even know it if  it is guava season right now, but they smelled so good I just had to take some home.
Then, I worked on organizing my new embroidery floss that I bought the other day. The colors are so pretty, don't you think? And I started a new quilt, but I will tell you more about later...
I hope you are having a nice weekend.



Quilt Finish

It is finally finished! I made it my goal to finish my Jacob's Ladder quilt this weekend. I had been working on   this quilt on and off for several weeks already and I was so anxious to finish it. I'm so pleased with the results... The quilt measures about 65X65 inches, perfect for a lap quilt. I was going to use plain white cotton for the backing, but then I decided to add some color. I added a wonky star right in the center (the first one I ever made) and I love it! I think I want to make a quilt  using just one large wonky star (maybe that should be my next project...). To finish it off, I used yellow and white polka dot fabric for the binding; as I mentioned before, I have a soft spot for polka dots. 
As the weather cools down it will come in handy to snuggle by the fireplace or to keep us warm while watching TV.
I hope you have a lovely week



A Picture... A Moment

Finally made some progress on my Jacob's Ladder quilt. I got the basting done and  is ready to start the quilting process... Lots to do today.



Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop

Hello fellow Blog Hoppers and welcome to my Weekend Doings. I have been looking forward to this day for a few months and it is finally here! My name is Martha.  I live in California with my husband and our two beloved dogs. I am an accountant and  currently work full time as a business administrator for a construction company On my free time (on the weekends) I enjoy cooking, baking, gardening, taking photos, and my new found love: quilting. I'm so glad you are here, please look around and I hope you visit again.
Thank you so much to Beth from Plum and June for organizing the Blog Hop it is such fun event. And for giving us these questions to make it easier for us to get acquainted: 

How long you have been quilting?
Not long. My husband bought me my first sewing machine on January of this year. I was looking for a new hobby to keep my mind occupied to help me overcome the loss of my mother (she passed away last year just two months after been diagnosed with breast cancer). So I decided to venture into sewing which then led to quilting. I learned to embroider and hand stitch from my mom. She was a very talented tailor. Growing up I spent many afternoons sitting by her side looking at her do wonders with fabric, playing with the scraps and rearranging the pins on her pincushion. But I never asked her to teach me how to sew; I guess I figured I had time, and I now regret it... I think it would had been wonderful if we had discovered quilting together.

Favorite quilting tips?
I still have a lot of things to learn, but in my short experience sewing I have learned that is important not to stress out if a project doesn't turn out "perfect" the fact that it is handmade is what makes it perfect and more precious.

Favorite blogging tips?
Be yourself and enjoy the process. 

Favorite fabric?
Oh there are so many... Linen is a must have and right now on my wish list are Aneela Hoey's So Stitchy, Denyse Schmidt and Liberty of London Fabrics. 

Favorite craft book?
I love collecting books and it is hard to pick a favorite, but right now I have been using a lot Pretty in Patchwork: Doll Quilts

Favorite quilting tool?
My rotary cutter. It just makes cutting fabric so easy!

Favorite music while quilting?
I like to listen to a mix of country music, soft rock and  love songs

Favorite TV show while hand stitching?
Re-runs of Gilmore Girls and Friends. The Big Bang Theory and the Mentalist.

Binding - by hand or by machine?
Both, I first attach the binding to the front of the quilt by machine and finish it off by hand.

If I'd had known -  what you wish you knew before you started your blog?
If I had known how embracing the blogging community would be I would had started my blog a lot sooner. I'm amazed everyday at how friendly and talented everyone is.

I prepared a tutorial to make this fabric covered tin can. You can find it here

Thank you so much for stopping by and please visit these blogs that are participating with me this week:
October 2: Melissa from Sew Bitter Sweet Designs 
October 4: Catherine from My Life in Binding and Patricia from Quilting Lines



Tutorial: Fabric Covered Tin Can

Fabric Covered Can

I have been obsessed about covering tin cans lately. It all started about a month ago when I was looking for affordable yet beautiful containers to organize my sewing room. When I blogged about my fabric covered tin cans I got such very lovely comments that I decided to write a tutorial on how to make them.

This is what you need:

  • 1 tin can rinsed and all labels removed. Make sure it has no sharp edges on the rim
  • A piece of linen fabric at least 10X6 inches
  • Fabric scraps
  • Batting
  • Embroidery floss

Measure the circumference and height of you can. The can I used is a 16 oz can and it measures 9 1/4 inches around and 3 5/8 inches high so all the measurements will be based on that.

Cutting fabric:
Background: Cut 1 piece 10X3.5 inches of the linen.
Closing End: Cut 1 piece 4.5X2 inches of the linen
Binding: Cut 2 pieces 10X1.5 inches of a contrasting fabric
Hexies; Fussy cut 4 pieces from your fabric scraps and make 4 2 inches hexies
Batting: Cut 1 piece 10X3 inches 
Trace the bottom of your can on the felt to cut a circle

Assembling the pieces together:

  • Lay your batting on our table, then place the background fabric on top, then place a piece of of your binding fabric right side facing down and align  to the edge. Sew all pieces together using a 1/2 inch seam. Repeat on the other side. Fold the binding fabric outwards and iron the seams. You are going to have bout 1/2 inch of fabric overhang: fold over the back of the panel and iron. Now your binding is complete.

    • Now we are going to attach the closing end. Fold your fabric that you cut for the closing end in half and iron. Attach to one end of the panel using a 1/4 inch seam, fold over the seam and iron. Then fold the overhangs from each side underneath the panel, iron and hand stitch to the back to secure.

      • Arrange your hexies the way you would like them on your panel. Hand-applique them to the background fabric. Optional; using embroidery floss quilt around the hexies using a running stitch.

        • Almost done... Warp your finished panel around the tin can making sure the the side where you sewed the closing end sits on top of the unfinished side. Using a blind stitch, sew the edge of the closing end to the panel. Then place the felt circle that you cut earlier in the bottom of the can.

          Fabric Covered  Can

          And there you have it a beautiful container to keep things organized.