Friday, March 10, 2017

Another rainbow quilt

I'm 3 for 3! Still on track to finish an average of one quilt per month this year. Also, 3 for 3 on rainbow quilts. Rainbows make everything better!

This one is a baby quilt for a dear friend of mine. I had so, so much fun making it. I think I made twice as many hexies as I needed for this quilt... so I'm saving those for my fourth rainbow quilt this year ;)

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I didn't measure this after washing, but I think it started at 37" x 52" - it will fit a standard toddler bed. This size gets a lot of milage at my house - my oldest at 6 is still using toddler-size quilts on his twin bed.

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I love this Swedish text print in the corner.

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One of the yellow hexies says "BEER" - I swear it was an accident. But I liked it, so I left it. It's from Emily Herrick's Sodalicious line.

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An octopus from Heather Ross' reprinted Mendocino line.

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An octopus from Tula Pink's Saltwater line.

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Super cute origami dog!

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It's kinda hard to see in the pictures, but I swapped out my top thread for each section - red, orange, yellow, green and blue. I kept the bottom thread grey to match the backing fabric. I made an extra-scrappy binding to match the rainbow hexies.

This is the third quilt I've made like this and I've got the process down. First, I make approximately a million hexies because they're fun to make, and also easy (for me) to lose. Many of mine have been lost on bus rides, road trips, airplanes, etc and I recently found some that my kid repurposed into an art project. Sigh. Note to self: invest in a better organization system for next time. I iron and starch the hexies so they keep their shape, then whipstitch groups of hexies together by hand. I pin-baste the quilt sandwich. Then I spend hours arranging and rearranging the hexies on the quilt before I finally commit to pinning the hexies in place. If I have enough safety pins handy, I use those and then go straight to quilting. If I use straight pins I go to the ironing board and glue-baste the hexies in place so I can remove the straight pins before quilting.

I use a walking foot to quilt around the edges of each hexie and between groups of hexies. I have to do a lot of quilt-wrangling for this since I turn the quilt 360 degrees to quilt each hexie. That's why I use safety pins or glue-basting to hold the hexies in place. Gluesticks don't hold up to the quilt-wrangling, and then my carefully placed hexies end up falling off. And it's no fun to wrangle a quilt with a bunch of straight pins in it. I tried, and quickly switched to glue-basting.

This quilt was incredibly fun to make and I'm so pleased with it. I think I made so many extra hexies because I didn't want the project to end. I'm rolling all the extra hexies over into another epic rainbow project - more details on that soon(ish).

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ohio star baby quilt

I'm 2 for 2 - on track to finish an average of one quilt per month this year! I'm optimistic that I can keep up this momentum.

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This is a 35" square baby quilt that I finished back in February, using the same Ohio star design as my last finished quilt. I used the leftovers from the flying geese and a little extra grey yardage. I pieced bits of the binding (again) to match the colors of the star points.

I donated this quilt to an art auction hosted by (and benefiting) my kid's elementary school. It went home with a generous bidder and I know it's being gifted to a lucky baby. Everyone wins :)



Monday, January 30, 2017

First finish of 2017

I'm so happy to share my first finish of 2017 - a first anniversary quilt for a dear friend and her wife.

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I love the bright rainbow colors on the quilt. They're the opposite of this grey and occasionally snowy Minnesota winter weather we've been having. I spent a little extra time piecing the binding for this - I included 9" strips of each color in the binding.

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The quilt measures 60 inches square. I quilted it with my walking foot, making straight lines 2 inches apart. I marked the lines with a hera marker so I didn't have to worry about ink, chalk or pencil lines that may or may not wash out. I sometimes have nightmares about marking lines not washing out.

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The back is pieced with leftovers from the front, plus a second color of Kona yellow - I only had a small scrap of the yellow leftover and I had to make up the difference.

I'm so pleased with this quilt. I'm already working on a second (smaller) one with the scraps that will be auctioned off for a school fundraiser. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

2016 recap

It's kind of a bad habit of mine to set really ambitious New Year's resolutions. This year I'm taking a moment to reflect on what I accomplished last year before making plans for this year.

I published two new patterns, one embroidery pattern (available as a printed sampler on Spoonflower, and as a PDF on Craftsy) and one quilt block pattern (available on Craftsy and Etsy).
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I did more mending, courtesy of a Heidi Parkes workshop through the MMQG.
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I finished a few quilts.
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A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

I also made many sets of pot holders, sewed a few garments for myself and the kids, completed the #30daysofquiltdesign challenge, and finished knitting a scarf for myself. I'm sure there are a lot of things I'm forgetting - I forget and/or neglect to photograph a lot of projects. Sigh. That's probably the thing I'm hoping to improve most in 2017 - the quantity and quality of my photos. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Christmas recap


Before looking forward to the new year, I wanted to do a quick recap of the holidays. I did a lot of sewing for friends and family for Christmas! I remembered to take photographs of (almost) everything I made, which is itself an accomplishment :) I made 8 pairs of mittens for nieces and nephews using the Oliver and S pattern in the book Little Things to Sew.

A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

A photo posted by @carriebee04 on


I made an envelope needlebook for a friend who recently picked up embroidery.


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I made a set of Pixie Baskets for Isaac's kindergarten teacher. The pattern by Fabric Mutt can be found here.


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And I finished two pairs of Oliver and S Sleepover Pajamas for the kiddos.


A photo posted by @carriebee04 on


A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

Not pictured is a mini quilt I made for my sister with Oh Frannson's pattern.  I think this is my most handmade-holiday yet!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Camp counselor t-shirts

A couple months back my mother-in-law dropped off a stack of my husband's old t-shirts including five from his summer as a counselor at Camp Unistar. Joel was going to turn them into rags, but I secretly rescued them from the rag pile and re-purposed them as kid's t-shirts.

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I used the Skinny Flashback Tee pattern from Made By Rae. I changed the long sleeves into short sleeves, but otherwise left the pattern unaltered. Size 2T fits Ethan and 5T fits Isaac perfectly.

I used my serger for the shoulder and side seams and then hand-stitched the collar and hems - I think it was actually quicker that way! I've struggled for hours to serge a blind hem, with mediocre results. I used Wonder Clips to fold under and secure the hems, and a doubled length of heavy duty Coats and Clark thread for hand-stitching. It looks like a serged blind hem, but soooo much sturdier! I will be shocked if my kids can rip these hems.

I used a running stitch to attach the collars, being careful not to pull the thread taut. Toddlers have big noggins! I did have to redo one of the 2T collars that I'd stitched too tightly. I used flat seams in the ribbed collar to avoid bulky seam allowances.

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I finished these shirts just in time for the kids to wear them on Father's Day.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

La Passacaglia quilt

The first time I saw a La Passacaglia quilt on Instagram, I thought "wow, that's beautiful!" My next thoughts were "those pieces are tiny," "that is a LOT of work," and "that whole project is crazy-pants. I'm not doing that."

Well... here I am... making one of those. There are too many cute cogs popping up on my Instagram feed. A bunch of fellow MMQG members have started. And last fall when I visited my friend Julie we jumped on the bandwagon, too.



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The pieces are tiny. And it will take a lot of time. But it's so fun!

I'm using templates from Sunset Seams, precut papers from Paper Pieces, a SewLine glue pen and fancy Tulip needles from a recent Massdrop. I bought some vintage Tupperware on eBay to hold all my supplies.

My La Passacaglia supplies.

I've made a little progress in the last 8 months. I still need to choose fabrics for the diamonds in cog #1.



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My plan is to sew the first three rounds of a bunch of cogs, then decide on a layout and start the next rounds. Here's cog #2.





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I'm drawing the line at fussy-cutting star points. I still think that's crazy-pants.