Christmas finishes

A couple of special Christmas present finishes today:

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First up, this adorable gnome pillow! The pattern is by Kristy at Quiet Play (maven of all things paper piecing). I actually first spotted it last week when Amanda at What the Bobbin? posted a test block she’d done for Kristy. I told Amanda I was in the market for just such a pattern and the next thing I knew Kristy sent it to me! Quilt friends! Gotta love ’em.

The gnome pattern isn’t available yet but you can find many other adorable paper-piecing patterns in her shop.

I used this great Anna Maria Horner print on the back.

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A couple of little procedural tidbits you might find useful:

  • I implemented a couple of straight-line quilting tips Rachel at Stitched in Color posted last week:
    • start by quilting a loose grid and then gradually fill it in 
    • increase the stitch length to 3-4

She had other fantastic tips but those are the 2 that were new to me and that I specifically tested on this pillow. Now, obviously, a pillow is rather easier to quilt than a large quilt. But nonetheless I think my quilting results were improved and I’ll definitely be trying these tips again on a larger quilt soon.

  • I’ve been using 2 1/4 inch binding (rather than 2 1/2) when I do small projects like this and I think it’s rather nicer. It’s a small difference but I like it.
  • Purely hypothetically, a “friend” told me that if she (hypothetically) bled on this pillow it came out with a little scrub by a cold, damp cloth sprayed with Shout spray n’ wash. Purely hypothetically because I of course would never bleed on one of my projects. Ahem.

It should come as a surprise to no one that I also made another Noodle-head divided basket. I know. I love these!

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I switched it up a little this time by using different fabrics for the front panel and pocket (last time they were constructed from the same fabric) and by using different fabrics on either side of the divider. You can see my previous version here.

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I used mostly Anna Maria Horner fabrics because the recipient is a bit of a fan.

Once again, I lined the pocket.

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I don’t know why I get so much joy out of that little detail.

I won’t be spending much time on the computer for the next couple of weeks, as I’m sure you guys won’t be either. I hope you have a very blessed holiday season and I can’t wait to sew with you again next year! In particular, I am very excited for you guys to quilt-a-long with me!

Here’s a recap of the schedule:

  • November /December – fabric requirements & selection
  • January 6 – cutting
  • January 13 – assembling the HSTs and hourglass unit
  • January 20 – assembling the strips
  • January 27 – piecing the X
  • February 3 – adding the top and bottom borders
  • February 10 – quilting & finishing
  • February 24 – final link party celebration (with at least one giveaway, possibly more!)

See you next year!

(Linking up with Crazy Mom and, appropriately, Kristy at Quiet Play for her Paper Piecing Party).

Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Part I

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My first entry for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival is this wall hanging I just completed as part of the machine paper piecing portion of the Penny Sampler class. I intentionally chose a much different style and feeling than my main penny sampler quilt (you can see my most recent blocks here). This quilt is softer and prettier with a somewhat matchy and limited color scheme. It also employs cream and beige whereas my penny sampler uses bright bleached whites. I was going for a bit of a vintagey vibe, can you tell?

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I like that I can picture this fitting into a real kitchen without trying too hard and stealing the whole show.

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This was only my second-ever attempt at machine paper piecing (the first being these pretty awesome airplane pillows). It’s not as hard as it looks! I love the crispness and precision of it. For me, it will never replace traditional piecing and appliqué but I definitely think it’s a great tool to tackle tricky shapes. And it’s just plain fun.

Oh, and for those of you who are worried that I am not going to follow through on this teaser, do not fear! My second entry in the BQF is coming. Watch for that sometime over the weekend!

I’m linking up with the Blogger’s Quilt Festival (of course!) but also with Finish it up Friday and the Paper Piecing Party at Quiet Play.