Saturday, December 14, 2013

November and December

Somewhere in my messy sewing room is the November Block for Hello Moon. I know it's there and I could have sworn I took a picture. So here we go with sketches only...

Here are the the November Instructions

Here are the December Instructions with a cute little fox.

Thanks again for hanging in there with me. I can't wait to see how you all finish your quilts. I'll be working on finishing my quilt soon too. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A-R-T or J-O-B

I did mention that I got a job right?  It's an actual job with an actual paycheck and actual hours. I've been working extra hours to cover my trip to market. Thank you to those of you who have hung in there with me!  I also discovered this thing called Instagram - it's amazing. Blogging lazy style. If you want to follow me, my name is aprilmaedesigns.  I've just include one of those snazzy follow me widgets on the side bar.  :)

So are you ready for more catch up on Hello Moon?  Eventually I'll get a few posts in here or there.  I just feel bad posting about all the fun I'm having and not posting the patterns on time.  So here we go...September and October or should I just say the next two blocks since September and October 1st are long gone!

Speaking of market, are you going? Be sure to look me up if you do.  I'll be hanging out by this quilt...
hoping to sell a pattern or two. For those of you not attending market, these are now available in my Etsy Shop for instant download. I would love it if you left a comment, I've missed you all!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Abducted by Aliens

That is my story and I'm sticking to it! Thank you to everyone who wrote in asking if I was alright, and when the next block patterns would be done. I can't really say where the time went or what the delay was (maybe the end of summer, company and school starting up again?)....
Aliens I tell you! This is the August block for the Hello Moon block of the month.  The instructions are available here.

Just a note on this wee alien, I used french knots for his eyes.  There are a lot of good tutorials online if you want to give it a try. Otherwise, you can use a little white fabric, button or some other method.

Hopefully you get yours done sooner than I did! I'll post September in a few days.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

She's Moving

Alas, it is true, my dear friend Maggie is moving on.  She's moving to the other side of the country, somewhere near New York.  Sad face. As much as I will miss her, this is a really positive move for her and she has promised to make a trip back or meet up at a retreat somewhere.

In true quilter's fashion, we made a churn dash quilt for her.  Each one of our quilty friends made a 12" block with prints that would remind Maggie of us. The wilder the better :)
Needless to say, she loved it!

I was still having a hard time saying good-bye, so I made her a weekender bag. I made one with mustaches on it for my last market trip.  I'm sure I told you about it, and swore I would never make another one.  Maggie asked if I would help her make one and we never really got around to it.

 Happy Trails Maggie!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Round Robins

No, that is not a typo, I've done lost my mind and have joined two Round Robins.  Basically, we had too many people that wanted to participate in our first Round Robin, so Robyn made a second one.

What happens is, each person makes an 18" square center for our own quilt. We send it along with a little fabric and a note listing our likes and dislikes.  Each month, we trade blocks and each person adds a border to the block that they've received.  We don't see our block again until the end, when we've received a full quilt back that all of our friends have worked on.  Make sense?

Here is an example...Here is Natalie's original block, I don't think she has my blog address. Natalie, if you do...look away now!!!

This is what I did with it:

I just love it! I actually wanted to keep this one, but I passed it on to the next person.  My center was a (boring) Dresden plate, and believe it or not, I didn't take a picture of it. It was grays and yellows on a white background. With the pressure on, I couldn't figure out what to make and I was afraid of sending something out there that I was really attached to. When we all met to exchange, everyone was saying that they had the same problem. It is a good exercise in giving up creative control :)

For Robyn's Round Robin, I went with the Ghastly's. This fabric has been laying around just waiting for me to figure out what to do with.
It really is quite fun. We're all sneaking around showing each other what we've done and asking for advice. We'll be exchanging these next week, so I'll be sure to get pictures :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

July Moon

At this point, I'm sure you just expect to see these monthly blocks late. You're all on vacation having wonderful family adventures anyway right? Maybe a campfire or two?

I feel like these guys are floating a little and thought about adding a hill or some hand stitched grass by the tent.  I will on the next go round - feel free to do the same! Now go roast some marshmallows, wash your sticky hands and enjoy making your July (ahem) block.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

June Moon

I'm always a little embarrassed when I post to my blog and realize that it has been a month since my last post!  Ugh!

This month's block might look a little familiar.  I just love the June Bug theme!  A cricket seemed to be the right night time bug to say hello to our Moon.
By the way, what color is a cricket? In Las Vegas they were brown and here in Utah, I've seen dark black ones...Jiminy was green or tan depending on the image you find. I ended up going with gray, since it seemed to stand out well against the green leaf and the dark sky.   I can't wait to see what cute colored little crickets you come up with!
This little guy takes a little patients. If you trace out the outline of the body shape and cut it out all as one piece, then fill in the details with a combination of machine stitching and hand stitching, you should be good.  I outlined the body and the line on the body with machine stitching, then hand embroidered the face, legs and antenna. Here is the link to the Hello Moon June Instructions.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May Hello Moon

How have you been doing on your blocks? Everyone caught up?
I will tell you, the May Block is a little challenging in that it has a lot of little pieces.  Don't loose heart, all of the little pieces are worth it for the cute little mouse.  If you really wanted to, you could find a piece of fabric that resembles cheese (dots maybe) and leave off the little cheese hole pieces.
I ended up leaving off the mouse's smile.  Oh well, he's still cute :) 

Monday, April 29, 2013

May the Force Be With You

A few weeks back, my cousin Anna, commissioned me to make the crib bedding for her soon to be son. She was having trouble finding just what she wanted. Anna and her husband are game programmers and self proclaimed nerds :)

She bought this fabric from Spoonflower and sent it to me.

This is a Southern CA baby, so I left the batting out and just went with minky on the back.
Baby Bumpers were a first for me, but they were a lot easier than you would think. I think little Ben likes it. You can buy the foam at Joann's (with your 40% off coupon) and they have instructions inside. This tutorial was really helpful too.

Ben is enjoying his new bedding

He needed a matching diaper cover, even if they are a little too big. Oh well, if you can count on one thing for sure, it's that babies do grow :)
The fabric store had some grey chevron fabric that was perfect for the Crib skirt. Amazingly, I found one on Amazon already made. Thankfully Anna is a good sport and bought it from Amazon
Ben has one of the most incredible nurseries I have ever seen! He has artwork on the walls that match the fabric in the quilt, a jedi lamp, light saber night lights and a big furry Woompa rug.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A lot of sCRAP Happening

I got into a groove last night, and finished up some sCRAP blocks. Sitting at the sewing machine for long periods of time hasn't been happening since my misstep with the stairs. Did I mention that before? I thought it was just a sprain, but two weeks later I'm in a boot. It just happens to be my sewing foot too.

The good news is my Bernina has this amazing foot free option. You unplug the pedal and sew with a stop/go button.  It took a little getting used to, but is a lot easier than you would imagine.

These sCRAPPY blocks take just the right amount of time for my fickle foot.

Here is sCRAP block #2 (pun intended). These scraps are from Avery's car seat cover, a couple of left over Dresden plate pieces, and a few miscellaneous scraps.
 #3, my favorite so far, has left overs from a quilt that I'm making for Anne. (A get well soon gift for her back surgery that won't be quilted until I can stand at the quilting machine for more than ten minutes). Don't you just love the gray and yellow?
#4 is just OK, but I think the brown will help pull in some of the browns from block #1. The picture is not so great either. More left overs from Anne's quilt and a couple of squares from a swap.
I've added these to the new Use That sCRAP Up flickr group. Be sure to add your sCRAP projects as well, I would love to see them :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I am so doing this!

I am so excited! Have you seen the Dr. Who Stitch Along? With all of the wonderful projects out there and so little time to fit them all in, I've been very selective with my commitments this year. I couldn't resist this one that I stumbled across today!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Use Up That sCRAP!

The week before my Mom's 64th birthday, she was laid off - I know! Then about two weeks later, her sister passed away unexpectedly. It has obviously been a really hard few weeks for her. I thought she could use a pick me up so I pulled out a layer cake that I had laying around. It was one that I bought on sale, but never got around to using. I cut the layer cake up to make a Block of the Month project for my mom. Every two to three weeks, she'll receive a package in the mail with a block pattern and precut pieces. Hopefully it will give her a little something to keep her hands busy.
 Anywho...I was left with a bunch of scraps that were too big to toss and too few to keep.
Marion and I were talking about what to do with these types of scraps, then we came up with a fun idea.  Rather than store the scraps for some future project that we may never get to, we could make a 12" block. We'll just keep using up the scraps as we go. Eventually, we'll have enough 12" blocks for a scrappy quilt. Here is my first block.
We're committed to use up the crap Scraps! Feel free to join us and use the button on your blog.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Sue!

So my friend Sue had a birthday coming up and I needed to find the perfect gift for her.  She's a sewie friend, so it had to be a sewie gift.  In true quilters fashion, I decided on a wall hanging about four days before her birthday.  If I had decided on something sooner, I would have procrastinated until four days before her birthday anyway, right?
The pattern came from the talented Charise Randell from Charise Creates. It was in QuiltMaker's quilts from 100 blocks 2013 Spring edition.  Since Elephante and Friends was in the same magazine, I already had it on hand.
It was a little intimidating at first since there were a lot of small pieces, but once I stopped worrying and actually started, it was slick as a whistle! It was great to scrap buster too.
My layout was a little different than the original pattern because I wanted to put the name of Sue's business on it.  She sews more garments than quilts and loves dress forms.

When it came time for the border fabric, I knew just what I wanted...a good neutral color with dress patterns on it.  I couldn't find anything (remember that I waited until the last minute). All the shops were closing and the next day was Sunday.  What to do?

Then it dawned on me, call Sue! She has more fabric than any of us could use in a lifetime.  So I called her and asked if she had anything of the sort.  She did but was a little reluctant to give it up because she loved it.  I told her she would get it back in some form.

 It was perfect, don't you think!

 I can't quite tell, but I think she liked it...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Zombie Apocalypse

It's coming....

 Are you ready?
Walking Dead cloth pad now available in my Etsy Shop.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Hello Moon

You've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to send them off to the quilter! I have been working on this quilt for a magazine for some time now, and decided it was time to get a few things off my plate.  I handed it off to Konda for some wonderful machine quilting. It felt good to get it off of my to do list for a while!
With the quilting taken care of, I spent most of my time catching up on orders. The pads were stacking up like hot cakes!

I did have time to squeeze in the April block for Hello Moon :)

You can find the instructions here. For the background, I've been using Silver Dot from Laura Burch Basics by Clothworks Fabric. Have fun sewing!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hello Moon March

It has been so much fun to see all of the moons appearing in the Flickr group! I love the way the different fabric choices make each block so unique.

We're still playing catch up...Are you ready for March?

I guess this should have been the April block, since Earth Day is in April. When I was putting the pattern together, that didn't even occur to me. Oh, wait...I just read this so we're good: "The United Nations celebrates Earth Day each year on the March equinox, which is often March 20."

Here are the Hello Moon March Block Instructions.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Raw Edge Free Motion(ish) Applique Tutorial

Many people have asked how I do the free motion outline on my raw edge applique, so I thought I would write up a quick tutorial.

First of all, I don't free motion :).  I use an open toed foot and leave my feed dogs up. I make a total of three trips around the applique piece. 

Let's start with an easy shape.  The first time around, roughly outline the shape.

The second time around, weave back and forth across the first line.

The third and final time around, fill in any of the big gaps.

Now try a more difficult shape.

First time around - roughly outline

Second time around - weave back and forth.  Remember, you do not have to be perfect.

Last time around - fill in the gaps. Feel free to overlap onto the background fabric.

 Now your done!