05 October 2015

Monday Finish: Halloween Table Runner

I'm not a super fanatical Halloween person, but I love decorating for holidays, and my kids love it. I've had my Fourth of July gingham table runner on my piano for a while now, and it's time for a change.

I made this from the scraps from my Spiderweb quilt (you'll see that one once it's bound).

Checking this one off the 3QFAL list.

Color Monday: Back in full swing!

Where did I go this summer?

Um, the doctor. A lot. And then the doctor some more. It's been a rough summer. It's not over yet, but at least I've got my head wrapped around things these days.

And it's October! October! I love October. I've been pregnant through four Octobers (as in, my ninth month every time) and I still love October. I love apple picking and pumpkin patches and Halloween and leaves and pies and cookies and it's wonderful. And quilts. Let's not forget quilts!

I got a little carried away with the color palettes. But I make no apologies - I love them all!

So if you feel like it, join in the fun! After the holidays are past us, I'm thinking we need a Color Palette challenge. Something fun to get us through the winter, or summer if you're in that other hemisphere!

04 October 2015

Saturday Finish: Lori Holt Vintage Happy Mini

Okay, I'm a few days late shipping this one off, but I hope I'm making it worth it for my partner.

I used Vintage Happy, and then the white print from a Pam Kitty Morning line. I used this pattern to paper piece the arches and cut the footballs and center blocks. It was pretty simple, actually.

I backed it with the jar print from Lori Holt's new line. Bound with navy gingham (of course!).

Shipping on Monday with lots of fun goodies. See? Just one of the goodies, but I love that iron on jar:

Checking this girl off the 3QFAL list.

01 October 2015

Thursday Finish: Sew Cherry Pillow Shams

I've had these done for a while now, and I keep forgetting to blog them.

I've mentioned before that I like matchy matchy things, right?

It doesn't get matchier than this:

I used the cherry block pattern in Lori Holt's book "Farm Girl Vintage" and then added my own top and bottom borders to make it the right size. Sort of. I'm still searching for the perfect size pillow for these shams.

I used some of my Sew Cherry scraps for these and they go with my Sew Cherry Granny Squares quilt so perfectly. And my new nightstand!

And now it's time for fall and a fall quilt. Darn it. I really love these two!

Checking this one off the 3QFAL list. A few more things to finish up this week!

30 September 2015

Wednesday Finish: Harry Potter Mini

Whoa Nellie, it's been a while since I blogged. Sorry about those technical difficulties last week. My blog went wonky!

Okay, but back to this finish. It was for a Harry Potter Swap, and my partner had this pattern on her Pinterest board. I bought it and embroidered it in her colors (altered from the original). It was pretty easy and turned out well.

Checking this one off my 3QFAL list. Come back tomorrow and I'll show you my pillow shams!

25 August 2015

Wednesday Finish: Simple Life Dottie #2

Okay, someone needs to have a baby girl. Preferably one with a big sister. That way, they can have matching quilts!

I finished the larger version of this quilt last month. And now the smaller version is finished. Hooray!

Just like the other quilt, I fussy cut some of my favorite scenes from the prints.

I think the chicken with the pennant is my favorite!

Checking this quilt off my 3QFAL list. And getting back to the fair.

20 August 2015

Thursday Finish: Paris Bag


Deep breath. First I'll show you the cute bag. Then, if you're interested, I'll share my thoughts on the pattern (not good!).

This bag was not a lot of fun. It was fun to plan, certainly, but the actual execution? Not so much. 

The pattern: Cotton Way's Sew On the Go Bag. But don't rush off and buy it. Unless you like saying things like, "What?" and "Huh?" a lot. Because I said those a lot.

The problems:
  1. Illustrations were small photographs, no larger than 2X3, all on one page. I understand the need to save paper/ink, but I would have preferred to have larger pictures and just use my computer for viewing the illustrations. So frustrating to not understand things. Because of that front zipper pocket, you need clear instructions and illustrations. You get neither.
  2. Instructions. Big long paragraphs of instructions, with indications to view the tiny illustrations sprinkled throughout. Not a great way to write a bag pattern. 
  3. Method of doing things: there were two instances where I'm pretty sure I did things my own way, because I could never really figure out what she was getting at.
All this leads me to ask if this was even tested? Because my pattern tester would have caught all of this, and more! Kate would never let me get away with this kind of pattern writing.

If you still really want to make this bag, I recommend going to Three Owls Handmade. This list of tips and tricks was pretty helpful at times. But the best advice I can give is to just not bother. There are far better bag patterns out there. Don't waste your time and money. A bag like this should have taken just a couple of hours, tops. I can make a Weekender bag in less time!

Checking this one off the 3QFAL list. Now time to finish some minis!

11 August 2015

Fabric Tuesday: Iron Man Basket and Zipper Pouches

My youngest son turns six on Friday, and he's been counting down the days for months. Seriously. He's more than a little excited about his birthday.

At our house, you get Legos. No more other toys that get broken and lost and become useless. It's all about the Legos around here. And he's getting some. But you also get at least one handmade gift from mom or dad, and I thought he'd like a basket for his bed. To put "stuff" in. Most likely books.

He's currently a HUGE fan of the Hulk, but no Hulk fabric, so I went with his second favorite: Iron Man.

I used the One Hour Basket tutorial (free on Craftsy) by Hearts and Bees. Super simple, y'all. Probably less than one hour!

And then there was leftover Iron Man fabric, so I made him two Open Wide pouches (smallest size) for his cash. And slipped some cash in one, treats in the other.

I know I said I'd make him a messenger bag, but he never liked any of the patterns I showed him. So a basket it is.

Checking this one off the 3QFAL list.

10 August 2015

Make-A-List Monday: Mini week!

Yikes! Looking back, I have totally neglected my Monday posts. Must have been the surgery and recovery.

But I'm back, with ambition! I've actually been able to get things done, I just haven't blogged my list.

See these pretties I made? Needed some "thank you" gifts for all the wonderful girls and women who helped me out during my recovery.

The girls get the Snappy Mani cases, complete with one nail polish and a manicure kit. The ladies get a dumpling with some lotion and hand sanitizer from the Body Shop. Hope they like them!

This week's list:

  • Cut and sew a bag for the Paris Swap on Instagram
  • Prep for a quilting day!
  • Cut and start sewing Four Patch Star, a new quilt pattern
  • Cut Macarons, a new quilt pattern as well
That's it. That's plenty. With a husband coming home for the weekend, a little boy's birthday to celebrate with grandparents also coming to town for the weekend, it's going to be a busy time around here. 

08 August 2015

Saturday Finish: Elizabeth Bag

I've gotten a little hooked on Instagram swaps. I've learned a few things, now that I've got a few of them under my belt. There's all sorts of rules, but I've got three:

  1. Follow the swap mama rules. That's pretty easy. Check in. Make mosaics. Cooperate. Ship on time. All that. I confess I totally forgot to make a mosaic for one of my swaps. Felt like such a dork. But I quickly e-mailed my swap mama, apologized, and posted a mosaic. 
  2. Make something awesome. Like seriously awesome. Something you would be really excited to receive.
  3. Please please please use fabrics and colors your partner likes. This sometimes means buying some new fabric (unless it's a "sew from your stash" swap). That's okay. You want them thrilled, not disappointed.
That's it. Those are my personal rules for the swaps.

And y'all, I rocked this one.

My partner is a fan of the Elizabeth line from Tula Pink. She didn't specify what she'd like to receive, but I've always wanted to make this bag from By Annie. It's called the Everything In Its Place bag and it's some kind of awesome. It might very well replace my Sew Together Bag. It can hold SO MUCH more!

I waited until the class at Craftsy went on sale ($19.99), which would have been the cost of the two patterns alone, so it was totally worth it. And you need the class. This is a challenging bag, with some complicated components (gusseted vinyl, a stabilizer sleeve, a billion zippers), and the videos just help. Promise.

So, what do you think? Will she be thrilled?

I even added a little teapot zipper charm, since she's English. And it's ELIZABETH.

I'm thinking I'll make myself a few patchwork ones. Or ten. And give away half of them! If you decide to give this bag a go, I've got some pointers myself for it. Might just include it in my Tutorials up there. 

Checking this one off the 3QFAL list. Making slow progress these days.

31 July 2015

Friday Finish: Happy Go Lucky Briar Rose Quilt

I fell in love with the Happy Go Lucky line when it first came out. I made several (yet-to-be-finished) quilts with it. This is my first, and possibly last, king-sized quilt.

I made it using the Briar Rose quilt pattern from England Street Quilts.

I quilted a "star-flower" in each of the patchwork blocks, mimicking the flowers in the fabric line. Sort of. It works for me. Backed in butter yellow minky and bound in the red checkered print. And big enough for a seriously huge fort in my living room!

Checking this girl off the 3QFAL list. And resting my shoulders a bit. It was quite the wrestling session getting this one bound this afternoon!

26 July 2015

A little finish

I got to sit at my sewing machine for a little while yesterday and so I finished this mug rug as an extra for my 80s/90s Swap partner.

She's a fan of the Beastie Boys, and this lyric seemed to fit perfectly.

Now to gather extras and ship her off!

24 July 2015

Friday Finish: HocusPocusVille #7

I'm honestly trying to lay low, but five kids make that next to impossible. Still, I have lots of wonderful helpers who are bringing meals and taking kids to play for the afternoon so I get a smidgen of a break most days.

So while I'm healing, I'm stitching. And I finished up the  "Hermione's Split End" panel of my HocusPocusVille quilt. I'm now working on the quilt shop (Witches Stitches) and it's going well.
A photo posted by Jennie (@porchswingquilts) on
Back to stitching and healing. At least the husband will be home this weekend so I can really rest. I hope!

21 July 2015

Fabric Tuesday: Solstice Table Runner

I'm recovering from surgery, but I had this finished last weekend.

I had a bunch of squares left over from making my Taffy Maxi quilt . . .

 . . . and I've begun to enjoy having a table runner atop my piano (wouldn't last on my actual table!). So I stitched these together and now I've one more decoration for the holidays. For the record, I thought about getting out some cute decorations to make it look Christmas-y, but honestly, just no. Not happening.

Crossing this one off the 3QFAL list. And getting back to resting. Good times, over here!

20 July 2015

Make-A-List Color Monday: Surgery!

Oh, I'll 'splain. Promise.

But first, my list from last week:
  • Finish the Giveaway Weekender - DONE and blogged here!
  • Finish cousin's Weekender - DONE! Blogging this week!
  • Bind Wee Wander Pillow Shams - DONE and blogged here!
  • Bind Solstice Table Runner - DONE! Blogging this week!
Hey! Four things done last week! That's great, because I won't be getting a whole lot done this week.

I'm checking in this morning for gall bladder surgery, so I'll be laying low and healing this week. 

But I still need a list, and fortunately, I have embroidery to do!

To complete this week:
That is all. If I am feeling better by Friday, I'll get some cutting done, but I'm not pushing it. 

And just for fun, I'm having a "help me pay the anesthesiologist" sale on all my patterns. $5, Etsy and Craftsy shop. Recovery week only!

So what kind of color palette do you do when you're having surgery?

A good friend told me that she craved fruit right after her surgery (and I have to follow a low-fat diet for a while anyway!). So I chose melons. I LOVE all melons, especially watermelon and those yummy Tuscan cantaloupes. 

What about you? What would you crave after surgery? 

17 July 2015

Friday Finish: The Giveaway Weekender!

I'm so grateful that the winner of my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Weekender is a patient woman. I got hit with a ton of medical issues in June and it totally threw me off my sewing game.

But things are getting figured out (that's a whole 'nother post) and I'm back at my machine. Although moving that piano has messed up my back!

But here she is! A patchwork Weekender bag, made with Aloha Girl by Fig Tree. With one specially pieced pocket: Mini Stitch.

I've also updated my "Tips and Tricks" on my tutorial page. I learned a little bit more about making this bag. This time, skipped stitches were a plague! Isacord Polyester thread to the rescue!

Checking this girl off the 3QFAL list. Now to finish my Cousin's Weekender!

14 July 2015

Fabric Tuesday: Wee Wander Pillow Shams

I've mentioned my love for matchy-matchy bedroom sets. And fabric leftovers make for perfect opportunities to make those matching pillow shams.

I had fabric left over from my Taffy quilt, and also my Five Spot Maxi quilt. Especially the Five Spot Maxi, with those fussy cut squares.

So I used them all to make a couple of shams to go with them.

Did I say "couple of shams?" Yes. Yes I did. But some little girly swiped the other one!

And am I the only one who looks at that little girl riding the horse (bottom left corner square) and think of a U2 song? Just me? 'Kay.

Checking these off my 3QFAL list. Let's see if I can get more done in the BEGINNING of the quarter instead of the end!