A Halloween Centerpiece Craft

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything besides sewing or quilting projects! So I’m excited to share a Halloween craft!

If you have been following me for a while, you know I love Halloween! And crafting for Halloween! At our house we decorate almost as much for Halloween as we do for Christmas. We change our art wall, we hang a bunch of bats, decorate the porch (Of course),  bring out the bat and ghost pillows, switch out the mantel decorations…. And this year we even filled the fireplace with pumpkins! But today I wanted to share a centerpiece we made!

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It’s a pretty easy project! It involves a trip to the dollar store! And who doesn’t love that??? You need plastic skulls, black paint, hot glue and a round piece of plywood. The skulls are from the dollar store and the amount you need depends on the size  of your round piece of plywood. I got my plywood at Lowes. I got 7 skulls, but you can always get a few extra ot be safe. Who doesn’t need a few extra skulls to decorate with??

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The first thing I did was to paint the plywood. In hindsight, I might like a bit thinner piece of wood, but this came with the finished edges and I didn’t have to cut or sand anything! So I went with the slighter thicker piece!

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Next, I laid out the skulls on the plywood to confirm the right amount. Then just hot glue them to each other in a circle.

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And the third and last step (see I did mention it was pretty easy, right? Glue the top on! I used hot glue here as well!

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It’s ready to go with whatever decorations you want to use!

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What do you think? Is it something you’d want on your dinner table? Or is to creepy, staring at you while you eat? Maybe just bring it out for the party? It could also be a fun place to display party favor bags for your spooky party… We might have a spur of the moment party this coming weekend! I should probably make a decision about that!

 

 

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Inset Corners- A Quilting Tutorial

One more post about my Raindrops on Wildflowers Quilt! I’ll show you how I made all those inset corners!

I made the block up to start with, but then I had to figure out how to actually put it together. I thought about more piecing, but I had to make a lot and that would have been too many steps per block. So I had to figure out how to make with as few pieces as possible. I made a little video of how many steps there still are in the block!

Anyway… I digress… Back to the corners… Maybe everyone else knows how to do this. I did a lot of inset corners on the Weight of Love quilt I made, but for some reason it took me a little while to get it to make these blocks! I kept forgetting which way to sew them together… Finally it stuck and I was on a roll!

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First up, stack the two fabrics on top of each other so that they overlap.

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Then trim the two pieces of fabric. And you end up with the pieces above.

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Mark one piece, on the right side, 1/4″ down from your corner.

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Mark your second piece, on the wrong side, 1/4″ down from the corner.

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Stack your dots! I’m using solids, so it doesn’t really matter for me, but you’ll want these to be right sides together!

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Then sew, using a 1/4″ seam along the edge and stop at your dot.

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When you stop at the dot, leave your needle down, but raise your foot. Then pull your top fabric around to align with the bottom piece. Sometimes the fabric wants to bunch under the needle, sometimes it doesn’t. Not sure why… But when it does, I just go in with my tiny scissors and move the fabrics behind the needle so they aren’t bunching. If you watch the ‘video’ above, you’ll see these steps in action!

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Then continue sewing out to the other end!

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Here’s the kicker! Iron into the V. If you iron the other way, you’ll get bumps.

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Then you have this!

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Some pretty awesome looking inset corners! Oh, yea!

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Honestly, I kinda hated cutting the second one off to add the half circles. But it had to be done. I thought about not using the half circles on the back blocks, but I really like the half circles, too. Big Dilemma I had!

Hope this helps in your sewing fun!

Left and Right Quilt Tutorial

Remember my do Good Stitches Left and Right quilt that I wrote about last month?

Honestly, It’s pretty easy…. I’ll show you how we did it. You’ll need 3 colors of fabric for the flying geese, white and a pile of grey scraps. Unfortunately, I don’t have a quantity of how much of each fabric you’ll need. You’ll need to do the math on that based on how large of a quilt your looking for.

image via A Quilters Table

First, we’re making a big batch HST. Have you tried my friend Debbie’s tutorial for big batch HST’s? It’s awesome! You can find it here.

To make your big batch HST’s you’ll need (1) 9×9 square of white for every color 9×9 square. (1) set of 9×9 squares will give you 18 HSTs.

You’ll also need to cut:

(9) 2.5×3.5 white rectangles- (1) for each set of HST (which will make 1 flying geese).
And grey scraps

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Once you’ve got your HST’s, we need to add the grey bits! Then line up the ruler so that you are cutting off the tip of the colored edge of the HST, 1.25″ away from the center.

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Add small scraps of grey to each corner. I suggest chain piecing at this point. I also didn’t trim the grey scraps. I just made sure they were big enough that once they are folded over, they cover the corner.

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Trim each HST block to 2.5 inch squares.

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Next, let’s make some flying geese! Sew together 2 HST’s to make your flying geese blocks. Chain piece again.

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Sew the 2.5×3.5 rectangles on to the left side of each HST block. Make sure they are all pointing in the right direction.

Then do it again and again and again for each of the three colors.

OK, from here on out, I don’t have very good pictures!

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Sew the blocks together along line 1, shown above, first. Do this with all the flying geese blocks.

Next take the double flying geese blocks and sew them together along line 2, shown above. Be sure to backstitch at the top and bottom of each!

And do that until you get length you want of the each of the rows of each color. Add strips of white between and you’re done!

There are a lot of little blocks, but they go pretty fast, especially if you chain piece them!

What do you think? Will you make it? If you do, please let me know! Can’t wait to see it!

Sew Ready to Play 2016 Recap!

Time to say goodbye to this year’s season of Sew Ready to Play! it’s been another great one! Which project are you going to make? We’d love to know! I want to give a HUGE shout out to all the amazing guests that agreed to join me and play along this year! THANK YOU!!!

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Sept 9th- Liz and LiZ  from Simple Simon and Co

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Sept 14th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

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Sept 16th- Narelle from Threadistry

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Sept 19th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

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Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

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Sept 23rd- Al from Shaffer Sisters

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Sept 26th- Michelle from Factotum of Arts

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Sept 28th- Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne

Sept 30th- The Recap!

Angry Birds with Shaffer Sisters

Welcome back to another fun day of Sew Ready to Play! Today’s guest is another one of my favorite online friends, Al, from the Shaffer Sisters! Al has been awesome to also be a returning Sew Ready to Play guest for a few years now! I always love seeing what she sends over!

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And this year it’s Angry Birds! Come On!! Let’s head over to the Shaffer Sisters blog and learn more about what she did to make these guys! I love it!

 

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Sept 9th- Liz and LiZ  from Simple Simon and Co

Sept 14th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Sept 16th- Narelle from Threadistry

Sept 19th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Sept 23rd- Al from Shaffer Sisters

Sept 26th- Michelle from Factotum of Arts

Sept 28th- Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne

Sept 30th- The Recap!

Zeus on the Loose with Me!

It’s my turn!! Yeah!! Have you ever played Zeus on the Loose?? We love it! It’s basically a counting strategy game. That description doesn’t do much for it, but take my word for it. It’s fun!

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Originally I wanted to make a notebook cover for my son, but my Improv Lightening Bolts kept being too big, so it turned into a pillow! It was really hard to get it as small as I wanted it to be!

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I went through a few plans of projects to make this year. Usually I know exactly what I want to make. Not this year. Then I remembered our new favorite game. But what to make?? At first I got my Greek Gods confused and for a minute I was designing something with a trident… Um, hello, my to ‘I minored in Ancient History’ self…. Zeus and tridents do not go together. Lightening Bolt my friend!!!  Then I was all over it!

I’ll give you a super quick idea of how I made it! Since it’s improv, there are no dimensions or anything to go with! To make the Improv Lightening bolt is simple!

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First, cut out a ‘leaning’ triangle, then sew on a thin layer of the ‘bright light’ fabric and then a thicker layer of the background fabric. So that you end up with two ‘leaning’ triangles. And you want them to both be leaning in the same direction!

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Next, I folded over the top of the triangle to get an overlap. Once I liked where the overlap was, I ironed it flat. This ironed line is where I sew-ed it together.

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And then I trimmed a quarter inch seam. Repeat these last two steps over and over until you have each side of the lightening bolt how you like them. then sew the two halves together!

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Add in the rest of the background fabric for the shape you need for either a notebook cover, a pillow top or quilt blocks…. And quilt away!

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I thought it turned out pretty cool. And once I got my husbands seal of approval, I knew it was pretty cool! (yes, he’s very honest and has no qualms telling the truth about his feelings on my work! Usually he likes it, but not all the time!) I think it’s going to be loved, along with it’s inspiring game!

 

 

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Sept 9th- Liz and LiZ  from Simple Simon and Co

Sept 14th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Sept 16th- Narelle from Threadistry

Sept 19th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Sept 23rd- Al from Shaffer Sisters

Sept 26th- Michelle from Factotum of Arts

Sept 28th- Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne

Sept 30th- The Recap!

 

 

 

Ultimate Frisbee with A Quilters Table

Let’s kick off another week of Sew Ready to Play with my quilty friend, Debbie, from A Quilter’s Table!

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Debbie and I have become great friends over the years participating in Seattle Modern Quilt Guild activities. And just recently we were roommates again at our retreat. I can’t wait to show you more about that weekend. Debbie came to retreat with a bunch of triangles and left with a finished quilt top! She’s speedy! And I’m so glad she decided to play along again this year!

Be sure to go to her blog to learn more about it!

 

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Sept 9th- Liz and LiZ  from Simple Simon and Co

Sept 14th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Sept 16th- Narelle from Threadistry

Sept 19th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Sept 23rd- Al from Shaffer Sisters

Sept 26th- Michelle from Factotum of Arts

Sept 28th- Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne

Sept 30th- The Recap!

Snakes and Ladders with Threadistry

Yeah! Another Day of Sew Ready to Play!

Today we have a long term Sew Ready to Play player! She’s played along every year! Yea! Today is my blogger friend Narelle. She was originally from Cook, Clean Craft, but now blogs over at Threadistry.

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She has a tutorial today for making a Snakes and Ladders game board. I’m used to Chutes and Ladders, so I had to google Snakes and Ladders! All sorts of interesting articles! What did we do before Google?? Sounds like it’s what Milton Bradley based Chutes and Ladders on! Head on over to her blog, Threadistry, to learn more!!!

 

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Sept 9th- Liz and LiZ  from Simple Simon and Co

Sept 14th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Sept 16th- Narelle from Threadistry

Sept 19th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Sept 23rd- Al from Shaffer Sisters

Sept 26th- Michelle from Factotum of Arts

Sept 28th- Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne

Sept 30th- The Recap!

Pokemon Go with Simple Simon and Co

It’s time to really kick off this season of Sew Ready to Play! And to start us off right, our first guests are the ladies behind Simple Simon and Co!

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Simple Simon and Co have a lovely blog chock full of fun inspiration! They are the ones behind the Skirting the Issue series I participated in earlier this year. The series collects skirts for foster kids. But not only skirts, blankets too!

Head on over to their blog to learn more about their Pokemon Go inspired project!

This year the ‘rules’ to game are a little different. Traditionally, the guest posted all the details on my blog. This year, I’m posting the teaser and sending you to their blog for more details! Enjoy!

 

Skirting the Issue with a QAYG Row by Row Tutorial

I’m honored to have been invited by Simple Simon to participate in their yearly series, Skirting The Issue! Skirting the Issue is a  month long event every July where you are invited to sew along with us to make skirts (and quilts)  to donate to local Foster Care centers for the girls to receive just in time for back to school.

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Of course, I was excited that quilts are now included in their series. As most of you know that I also participate in a quilting bee that used to donate our quilts to a foster child organization. We no longer do, which is another reason I was excited to make another quilt for foster kids. Can you imagine not having anything? Not even a blanket? That’s what so many of these foster kids move from house to house with. Nothing. I’m hoping I can change that for at least one kiddo! And hoping I’ll inspire others to also participate and help another kiddo!

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This quilt started as a office meeting doodle. I doodle so that I don’t day dream in meetings! I think some people think I’m not paying attention, but really the doodling helps me focus on the meeting…. So I doodled this and a co-worker asked if it was going to be another quilt design. No…. I mean YES! That would make a cool quilt! I had grand plans of piecing each block with strips of fabric… Then I came to my senses and realized, they make striped fabric! Hello!

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I wanted to make an easy quilt for new quilters to be able to make and share with the kids! This quilt uses blocks cut from striped fabric using a modified Quilt As You Go method. There are many QAYG tutorials out there. But my biggest thing with QAYG is the bulk at the seam allowance. I found a way to get around that and I’ll show you how I do it. So here’s how I do QAYG….

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First, I cut all the pieces. This fabric has 1″ stripes. And a shout out to It’s Just Sewing for the awesome fabric! I want 8″ blocks for this quilt to really show off the stripes. So cute your blocks to be 8 3/4″ blocks. Here’s my biggest QAYG secret…. I don’t use 1/4″ seam allowances. I use 3/8″ seam allowances! Why? I’ll tell you… It’s hard to iron flat 1/4″ seams when you have both the fabric and the batting to be ironing open. And if it’s not ironed flat, it’s hard to catch the seam allowance when you’re quilting….

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Next I quilt the batting to the fabric, but not a full QAYG style! I chain pieced each row with just one row of quilting. Just enough to hold the fabric to the batting. I’ll tell you why later!

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Combine the blocks into rows. Are you wondering why I have quilted yet??? Hold on… Keep with me!

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Then combine the first two rows….

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NOW QUILT the top row only! I know it’s hard to see in this picture, but the top row is actually quilted.

Now here’s the thing. You could combine all the rows and then quilt the whole thing. But… For me, with all the quilting in this quilt and all the moving around of the quilt, it is easier to me to quilt a row, then another row, etc…. I’m avoiding stuffing my whole quilt through the machine over and over and over each time I change directions.

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I’m doing this same technique with my SMQG BOM quilt. So this may look familiar to you… (Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the backside of this blue and green quilt once I started quilting it!) So this is what the back will look like.

As you are quilting the lines, you will be stitching in the ditch between each quilt line and then quilting over the seam allowance as you continue quilting the stripes.

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Now we continue on. Top row is quilted and combined with the second row. Then add another row. Quilt the second row. And on and on.

This quilt has 8 rows. So again to eliminate a lot of quilt being moved around and stuffed through my sewing machine, I did four rows. Then started again with the bottom row and worked my way up. Then I combined the two pieces and quilted down the middle.

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And you end up with this! Yea!

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Add your back and quilt in the ditch. and you don’t have the bulk of the seam allowances!

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Another way to do it would be to quilt all the lines on your blocks. Combine them all and then not quilt in the ditch, but do your quilting over the seam allowances. Easy Peasy…

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So why didn’t I do it this way? The plain and simple reason…. Aesthetics. I didn’t want the straight lines at the seam allowance to be quilted over the quilting of each stripe. Make sense?

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My son asked why I take pictures of the labels… Because I do! ha!

Recap:

So the two things I do a little different with quilt as you go.

1. 3/8 seam allowances.

2. I don’t ‘quilt as you go’ prior to combining blocks. I quilt as I go, row by row. (or as with the SMQG BOM, block by block.) I don’t do the quilting until at least a couple of the blocks are joined  so that I can quilt over the seam allowance.

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Where is this quilt going? I haven’t figured that out yet. There’s a great organization, My Very Own Blanket, in Ohio that organizing matching quilts with foster kids. I’m looking for a local group here in Seattle that does the same thing.

Here’s another secret… I got the fabric for this quilt Friday night. Then I marathon quilted all weekend to get it done by Sunday night. I thought I had until August 26th to share my project with the Skirting the Issue series…. So I’m a bit behind on finding the right home for this quilt….

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And this is also a finish on my Quarter 3 Finish Along!

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