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 ;)


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.


I love this Swedish text print in the corner.


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.


An octopus from Heather Ross' reprinted Mendocino line.


An octopus from Tula Pink's Saltwater line.


Super cute origami dog!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.
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.

A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

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

A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

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.


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.


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.

A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

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.

A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

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.

A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

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