Friday, February 24, 2012

A Great Tip for you...

I was talking with my friend Linda the other day, lamenting how I need to go to the J and buy some iron cleaner. She told me she learned a tip, where you can use a Magic  Eraser! I love Magic Eraser. As soon as I got off the phone, I tried it. Brilliant!  I heated up the iron, then got the magic eraser damp. I put the magic eraser on the ironing board, and ironed right over it (the magic eraser gets hot fast, so careful with it.) I didn't take a before, but this an after.

All shiney and clean!

Then, I thought I'd really put it to the test with my 12 year old, totally gunked up Rowenta.

Here's the before:  

 And here's the after:

Not perfect, but a heck of a lot better! I think if I spent a little more time, I could work out those stubborn spots. Give it a try!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Plus Quilt

I've wanted to make a plus quilt for a while. But I really don't want a big one, so I stitched up this mini. Right now, it measures about 20 x 30. There's something about it that's bugging me. It feels kind of puny. It feels like it needs to be square. Maybe it just feels weird, because I have no purpose for it. I mean, what exactly do you do with a mini? Wall hanging? Table topper? Or, gift it away and let the recipient worry about it? Ha! That's the ticket!

Advice welcome.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

When Other Crafts Threaten

I like crafts. I like a lot of crafts. I've done a lot of crafts. However, I know my limits. I can only handle one, maybe two time consuming crafts at a time. For the past few years, I've concentrated mostly on quilting. This year, I've added some scrap booking back into the mix. Not a lot. Maybe once a week. And because I do it all digitally, no supplies to get out, no mess to clean up. A very fine craft.

This weekend, I went with my  friend Gayne to a bead show. She's a real beader. She has beads like I have fabric. I'm a former beader. I beaded for a few years, even taught classes. Nothing fancy, just basic stringing. It never really grabbed me. But seeing all those pretties at the bead show tempted me. 

I stayed strong and walked away.

Now, knitting is threatening. I've been thinking a lot about knitting. I drool over blog posts and Flickr posts and think, I want I want. And then I see beautiful yarns like this

Purl Soho
 I want, I want.

No, resist, resist.

I caved. My friend Nina found us a teacher. Linda is teaching us to make baby hats for the NICU unit of the hospital. This is the extent of my knitting:

It's a start. Or, maybe I'll just leave it at that (not the hat, I'll finish the hat!) Maybe this is enough.

What do you do when other crafts try to sneak their way in? Do you succumb, or stay strong and true?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On My Design Wall

I haven't posted forever, and I know that I've sewn a bit here and there, but hard to find anything finished. So, here's a bunch of unfinished.

On the left, blocks from the 3 x 6 and 4 x 5 bees. Aren't they beautiful? My colors are aqua, green, blue ~ oceany colors. I have about 6 more coming from the Baltimore MQG, which will give me about 30 blocks, perfect for a nice lap/sofa quilt.

In the middle, the start of a +plus+ quilt. So many quilts, so little time. This will be a mini, just to get it out of my system. To make all of the quilts I want to make, some will need to just be a mini, or a pillow cover, or a zippy pouch size. I still have about 4 or 5 large quilts to finish, so not ready to start a big project yet. And I really really want to make a Swoon. Question is, will one block be enough, or will I want to make all nine? I'm leaning toward a queen sized Swoon  for Katie. We'll see.

Below the pluses, and idea for a pattern I'm working on. When it's finished, I'll post a tutorial for ya!

On the right, just a bunch of random bits and pieces. A little hexie flower, some free form scrappy stuff...

I feel the need for some finishes again. Clear some space before I dive into something new.Maybe this weekend.

Whatcha working on?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Vintage Sheet Heart Shaped Baby Quilt Tutorial

In case you missed this over on Tammie's blog, here's a little valentine tutorial for you! She's hosting a week long "Sew Full of Love" week, with great guests and giveaways, including a gc to the Fat Quarter Shop!

Hi All! I'm Heather from quilt.cook.keep. I'm so excited that Tammie invited me to share this baby quilt tutorial with you. Tammie and I met almost two years ago via flickr, when I was hosting the Bee Vintage quilting bee. Since then, we've kept in touch via our blogs and flickr. 
5 things I love:

Holding "my" babies at South East Early Head Start (I volunteer twice a week)  you can read about it here and here

Dark Chocolate


Thrift store finds

Those final two minutes on the treadmill
Since Tammie and  I share a love of vintage sheets, I decided my "week of love" project should be made from them.

I made up this sweet little heart quilt for you. It's super simple, and can be make in an afternoon. Make one up for a little sweetheart in your life!

What you'll need:

In blue vintage sheet fabric** (5) 6" squares and (6) 5.5" squares (I used 3 different blues)
In yellow vintage sheet fabric** (5) 6" squares and (20) 5.5" squares (I used 7 different yellows)

For borders: (2) 3.5" x 30.5" and (2) 3.5" x 36.5" of blue VS (a different blue than above)

For binding: approximately 160" double fold binding (I cut my binding strips at 2.25") of blue VS (same as border)

Batting and Backing: pieces: 42" x 42"

**Want to play with vintage sheets, but don't have any, or not enough variety? I have kits available in my Etsy store! See below for a special offer for craftytammie followers!

All right, let's get started!

First we'll make half square triangles. We're making them a tad over sized, so we can trim to the correct size. This allows for a little wiggle room (meaning we don't have to be perfect!) Take your 5 blue and 5 yellow 6" squares and make pairs of one yellow, one blue. Put these right sides together. Using a ruler and sharp pencil (I like mechanical pencils for this) draw a line down the diagonal of the wrong side of one of the paired fabrics. This line will be your sewing guide. At your sewing machine, sew a 1/4" seam on both sides of the drawn line. Cut the squares apart, on the drawn line. Press open (press towards the blue, or your darkest fabric) and trim to 5.5". Do this for all 5 pairs. We just make half square triangles!

Next arrange your squares as above, or use the diagram below.
(my weak attempt at drawing in photoshop!)

Now, we sew the blocks together to make the quilt top. I like to sew two columns together, then return those sewn pieces to my layout ~ mainly because I'm easily confused. Take the squares in column B and flip over to the squares in column A. Chain stitch these together, lay them back on your design space (wall, floor, where ever) and clip connecting threads. Then flip row D over to row C and sew. Repeat with F and E. Then sew the AB unit to the CD unit. Then sew ABCD unit to EF unit. You should now have 6 complete rows, numbered 1-6. You'll want to press the seams on your rows. If you like to press your seams open, go for it. Me, not so much. For ease of construction (to reduce bulk and get pretty matching corners) press the odd numbered rows in one direction, and the even numbered rows in the opposite direction. This will create lovely nested seams.

Sew the rows in similar fashion to the columns. Flip row1 over row 2, sew. Etc, etc. Press your seams again (your choice of direction!) and our top is almost finished!

Add the borders. Add the two shorter border to the sides. Press seams towards the outside. Then add the two side borders.

Almost done! Layer your quilt top, batting and backing. Baste. Quilt as desired. I did a simple cross hatch for the quilting. I used my longest ruler and an air dissolving type marker to mark the lines, then quilted on the drawn lines. Trim, bind and you have a precious little quilt, for a precious little "love" in your life. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via my blog.

So, about that special offer! I've wanted to open an Etsy store for ages, offering up Vintage Sheet yardage and quilt kits. Doing this tutorial for you was the incentive I needed. If you'd like to purchase a kit to make this quilt, please visit my Etsy store. As a special Thank You, all of craftytammie readers will receive free shipping on quilt kits. Just enter CraftyTammie for your discount at checkout.

Thanks for reading and hopefully checking out my shop! I'd also love it if you'd stop by my blog and say "hi" ~ you may see some other tutorials you like!

And a huge thanks to Tammie! She's put together a terrific week for us. Be sure to check out her giveaways and her other guest's blogs. Tammie, you're the best!

Here's wishing you lots of love this week and always!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Guest Blogging and a Tutorial

I'm guest blogging over at my friend Tammie's blog. She's hosting a Sew Full of Love week, with lots of guests, plus great giveaways ~ a $50 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop, and other wonderful things! I've made up a little Vintage Sheet Heart Baby Quilt  tutorial just for the occasion. Please stop by and say "hi"!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sneak Peek

I've been working on a little something....

Reveal on Wednesday!

(hint: look to the right >>>>>>)