Monday, June 30, 2014

Little Lone Star and other June Adventures

June has been a busy month with the school year drawing to a close and a much anticipated trip to New England. I was not sure just how much time I'd be able to devote to sewing so I made sure I set my June ALYoF (A Lovely Year of Finishes) goal very do-able. Previously I'd stitched together a little lone star using English paper piecing, however it sat for more than a year waiting for the background pieces to be attached. So, my goal for June was to get the background attached so the star would be finished.

Little Lone Star 

Now I love it more than ever. Quite a while ago I purchased a half yard of the Etchings print by 3 Sisters just to stash. As I was looking through my fabrics for background for this patriotic lone star it stood out as the perfect choice. I'm so happy to be using this lovely fabric on something I really like :o) I'm not sure what the next step will be for this little lone star...will I just leave it this size and turn it into a wall hanging, or will more be added? I'm going to hang it on my design wall and look at it for awhile to see where inspiration leads.

Little Lone Star 

I always think it's fun to see what the back of a quilt top looks like, so here's how the back of Little Lone Star looks. The paper templates are still basted in...I have to admit I like the back as much as the front! I'm linking this post up to the June Finishes Party over at Sew Bittersweet Designs.

So, what else have I been doing this month? I'm so glad you asked because I have a couple fun things to share :o) 

Charley Harper & Jane Market Bag

I have a dear aunt & uncle who are so special to me and they enjoy birding. So, b
ack in January I bought this sweet bundle of Charley Harper organic cotton fabric thinking these prints would make a super fun Jane Market BagOne of my favorite "happy accidents" is the little Nuthatch peaking out from under the strap :o) If you've never made one of these bags I absolutely give it high scores for a well written, great pattern. There are a lot of options for adding custom touches, too. I like to top stitch the seams and add a strip of trim fabric across the top of the pockets. I also added featherweight interfacing to both the straps and the lining. The pattern does not call for interfacing, but I like the bit of structure it adds. On a previous bag I used a heavyweight (Pellon 809) interfacing which made the bag stand on it's own. 

Before leaving on my trip to New England I prepped a couple of hand work projects to take along for quiet moments here and there. I've made some progress on the hand stitched Flickering Stars pillow. 

2010 Issue of Sew Scrappy, Volume 1

This is the first of four stars. Again, I think it is so informative to see what the back looks like so here's a picture of this block being sewn together.


I grow to love hand sewing more with each new project. It is so relaxing and not at all hard to be precise in matching up star points and seams. In this picture you can see the pencil lines used to mark the stitching lines. Accurate pinning on these lines is the key. I learned a lot about hand piecing from one of my students at school ;o) She was in 7th grade and had a lot of experience with hand piecing. She explained how to stitch all the way around the seam allowances when joining rows together - it works beautifully!

June was a productive month in the sewing room. I'd love to hear about what you've been working on :o) 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Summer handwork {sewing & crochet}

Something about summer just makes me want to do handwork. Whether it's sewing or crochet it's just so relaxing to have a portable project to take outside. Last week I reached into my unfinished projects and pulled out my English paper pieced Lone Star and got started with adding the background fabric. I knew it wouldn't take me very long to get it done, and in fact it's almost finished. I'm getting ready to take a trip and have been searching for something to take with me for some down time. So...I guess I'll just have to start a new hand piecing project to take along...darn :o)


A couple years ago I bought this magazine, Sew Scrappy, by Better Homes & Gardens. I've looked through it many times - there are some really great scrap quilts in it. I've had my eye on a few of them...just waiting for the right "need" to come along :o)


This quilt, Autumn Twilight, really caught my eye! I've always been drawn to stars. I don't need a quilt, but I do need new covers for the pillows on our couch. The current covers fell victim to a teething puppy quite a while ago...we've just been living with them. I'm thinking four stars per side will do nicely for new covers. 


Temptation is always there to go out and buy new supplies, but I've got more than enough fabric to meet the needs of most any small project so I've reaching into my stash instead. My plan is to go with an assortment of red stars {the center one with the curling ribbons may not make the cut} and use the low volume cream for the background fabric. 


This is my little hand sewing kit. It's all stocked up ready to begin the pillow covers. I made the square and triangle templates from scraps of cardboard I keep on hand. The pattern in the magazine calls for 6" finished blocks, but I resized my hand stitched blocks to finish at 10" in order to fit the 20" couch pillows. 

Getting ready for some sock crocheting

I believe I'll also take along some sock yarn to get started with a new pair of socks. Ever since I made these mean-green hunting socks for my brother-in-law I've been wanting to make a pair like them for myself. I like the toe section from one pattern, and the heel section from another pattern. For the foot and ankle I'll probably follow what I made up for my brother-in-law's socks. 

I do believe that between these two projects I'll have enough handwork to last me through a summer of enjoying time outside on the deck. How about you? Do you like to fill your summer with any handwork projects? If so, I'd love to hear about them :o)

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Bit of Paper Piecing for June ALYoF

Well, as is evidenced by now the month of May got the better of me and I did not have a "finish" for my May Lovely Year of Finishes goal. Sometimes reality steps in and it calls for an honest assessment of what really can be accomplished. While I enjoy doing machine applique completing four borders is going to be a long-term undertaking. 

So, that brought me to the current month...June. Should I just continue on with the same goal and try to bring the borders to completion? Looking at the calendar and all that it contains I'm seeing a lot of time away from my sewing machine in June so I'm thinking a hand sewing project is more appropriate for June. Not wanting to begin anything new (well, I really do want to begin something new, but I'm not going to!) I came across my English Paper pieced Lone Star.

June ALYoF Goal

This star is waiting for the setting squares and triangles to be added so it is a complete block. It just so happens I even have the paper templates all cut out and ready to use. The background fabric for this patriotic Lone Star is going to be Etchings by 3 Sisters.

June ALYoF Goal

I've been holding on to this lovely Etchings fabric just waiting for just the right project to put it to use. It will be perfect with the Lone Star!

I'm linking up with the June Goals Party over at Sew Bittersweet Designs & Fiber of All Sorts. My Lone Star is entry No. 91. You should pop on over there and check out some of the other great projects going on this month!

Meanwhile, happy stitching!