Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Terrific Tool Tuesday - Sixth Finger Stiletto

The other day, I read a great post from Live, Love and Create called "Terrific Tool Tuesday."  Kelly discussed the virtues of her favorite quilting tools.  I wanted to share one of my favorites with you as well!  I rarely see it mentioned in a list of "favorite" notions, so I thought it was time to share this little gem.

What's that on the star block I just made?  It looks like a dental instrument!  Nope, it's called the "Sixth Finger Stiletto" by Colonial Needle.  And it may look strange, but it's a great little tool!

The Sixth Finger Stiletto acts as an extra finger, guiding your fabric under the sewing machine foot, helping you iron really small areas, helping turn under corners with applique, and keeping ribbon/bias tape in place.  Most importantly, it saves your fingers!

Before I had this item, I used to place my fingers perilously close to the sewing machine needle and hot iron.  I knew it was just a matter of time before I sewed through or burnt my fingers.  This is much safer and easy to use!

Sewing tiny 1.5 inch squares...safely.

Keeps fabric in place.

No hot iron near these hands!

Some people use chopsticks to achieve the same goal.  I like that this has two "fingers" to keep fabric perfectly positioned, is sturdy and is made entirely out of metal (perfect for hot irons).  The official website even has examples of how to use the tool.  I hope this helps, and feel free to write up your own "Terrific Tuesday Tools" post to share your favorite tools!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Baby Carseat Cover - Tumbler Tiles Quilt

Last month, I completed a baby carseat cover quilt based off of THIS tutorial, and it was a big success!  I decided to make another version using the same concept.  I call it the "Tumbler Tiles Quilt."

I used a charm pack from Benartex called Arianna, which had some interesting color choices for a baby quilt (pink with blues, tans and olive colors)!  I cut a cardboard tumbler template, where the narrow top measured 3 inches wide and the wide bottom measured 5 inches wide.  Each white strip was 1.5 inches unfinished.  The quilt measures approximately 24 by 30 inches.

I quilted in the white sashing and washed it in Ivory Snow for crinkliness.  

The pattern was fun to make and showed off the charms really well.  I'm tempted to use this technique when I work on a charm square quilt one day (my swaps are almost complete)!

BTW, here is a photo of the first carseat cover in action.  Cute!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Quilt Blocks - Stars, States, Geese and Hedgehogs!

This past week, I've been busy finishing up quilt blocks for a number of groups.  They were a lot of fun to make and were quick hour-or-so quick projects that were perfect for evenings and quick breaks at the sewing machine!

1.  Star Block for NYC Mod Bee:
For the March month of our bee, we were asked to make wonky star blocks.  I used a pattern from Modern Blocks called "Three Wishes."  I love the double star effect!

Center is Kaffe Fassett folk art fabric...love the duck and the umbrella!

2. StitchCraft's Ten Buck BOM
StitchCraft (the fabulous quilt shop near me) recently started a "Ten Buck Block of the Month," where each member gets a pattern and fabric each month.  It is $10 to buy in, and free thereafter if you bring your completed block the next month.

The theme of the BOM quilt is a road trip, so this was called "Road to Alaska."  It is so colorful!

3.  South Florida Mod Bee - Flying Geese 
For the March month of the South Florida Mod Bee, we were asked to use beautiful blue shot cotton fabric and make a block featuring flying geese.  I used another pattern from Modern Blocks called "Follow the Leader."  I love the sense of motion...fun to make!

4.  Hedgehog Round Robin Block
For the South Florida Modern Quilt Guild's March meeting, I wanted to start a round robin project.  I decided to make a fun "center" block as a jumping off point for the round robin.  I hope someone takes it and adds onto the block...we plan on adding onto this until it hits a baby-sized quilt!

I used this beautiful free hedgehog paper-pieced pattern from Artisania.  It took a while to make, but I loved the result!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crazy Old Ladies Block Contest - Finalist!

I recently entered Crazy Old Ladies' block contest, which was running on her blog.  I entered a few blocks that I've created over the years for my various quilting bees (you can see all of the contest blocks HERE).

I just saw that one of my blocks is a finalist in the contest!  Here is a photo of the block:

I made this for the Hip 2 Bee Square Quilting Bee last August, when I was still fairly new to making wonky log cabins.  It is still one of my favorite blocks, mostly because of the colorful fabrics that we received from the Queen Bee.

If you'd like to vote for my block (I'd love to win!), please click HERE and vote on the right-hand side of the page.

Thanks to Crazy Old Ladies, and I wish the other contestants the best of luck!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lucky Liberty!

This afternoon, I attended a quilting tag sale hosted by the Gold Coast Quilt Guild.  It was an amazing tag sale, filled with a huge assortment of new and vintage fabrics, notions and sewing machines.  I also met a lot of lovely ladies from the Guild.

At one of the tables, I noticed some bundles of floral-print fabrics.  On closer inspection...could it be?....Liberty of London fabrics!  The woman selling the bundles explained that they were mostly vintage (60s-era) Liberty prints, but she couldn't use them because the dense weave made them too hard to hand-quilt through. 
The bundles...
I was tempted, but I knew that ultra-soft Liberty lawn prints typically cost about $35 per yard on Etsy.  Each bundle had about 7 fat quarter to half-yard pieces.  On a whim, I checked the price.

$4 for each bundle.

Yes, $4.

Wow!  Needless to say, I now own a beautiful stack of Liberty fabrics.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with them.  Any suggestions?


Tag sale photos.

Toy sewing machines!

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