Saturday, January 21, 2017

Even More Rainbow Fun

So, I really thought that this year I would only be working on two quilts for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Silly me. LOL!

When I saw the Slow Sewing Quilt Along with Pen and Paper Pattern's new Garden Snail Pattern, I knew that I had to make them.  So, it looks like I will be playing with some snails this year.  First up are some cute little purple snails.

Marching this way...

marching that way.

And if the snails weren't enough, I decided to pull out my copy of the Forest Friends pattern.  The RSC will be a great way to work my way through these cuties. 

Here are my purple friends.

Here is to another fun year of working through those scraps and turning into something beautiful!

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, January 20, 2017

Finishes and a Quilty Goal

I've got TWO finishes to share this week!  Whoop!  And a new quilty goal for 2017.

First up is my 2016 Stash Bee quilt.  I asked my beemates to make a spool block for me with a mix of strings and novelty fabric.  They did an AMAZING job.  They shared some precious fabrics and went above and beyond even sending me extra blcoks.  This menat that I was able to make a HUGE quilt.  so big that I cannot get the whole thing in a single shot without my trusty quilt holders.  LOL!

So.. Much.  Fun.

And the quilting is perfect!  I wanted quilting that looked like spilled thread unspooling all over.  Nailed it!  Thank you Cyndi!

And it is LABELED!  Which means it is really, really done.

This leads me to my 2017 quilty goal.  LABEL ALL THE QUILTS!

My goal this year is to label every new quilt I make and to go back and add labels to all of my old quilts.  Some will be fancy and some will just be a signature right on the quilt.  Excited to get started on that.

My second finish is this cute little scrappy quilt called Sweet Love.

Perfect for Valentine's Day!  It was a great way to use some stash.  I picked purply-pinks for crosses and for the bsackground a white with tiny gold pluses.  Love it!

 And I had yards of this simply perfect Heather Ross fabric for the backing.

And some more labels ...

 And one with a funny story..

So, one of my very first quilts, the one I consider to be my first REAL quilt, with an intricate pattern and small pieces was made for my husband.  I even hand quilted the whole thing with tiny stitches.  I was very proud of that quilt and he loved it.  BUT, he has also always called it his "kneecap quilt" because it is quite small.  LOL! He has given me quite a hard time over the years about some of the giant quilts I've made and compared them to the tiny quilt that is his.  So, this year I made a quilt just for him and this was the label.  He laughed AND he got a little teary eyed.  It was a success.  And that cemented my desire to LABEL ALL THE QUILTS.  Because they really do all have a story.

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2017

A new year, a new rainbow of scraps!

January's color is Purple.  I have plenty of purple scraps, but before I could dig into the bins I had to come up with a plan.

I searched through my Pinterest boards and quilt books and finally settled on 2 new blocks to work on this year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

First up is a simple cross quilt with lots of low volume fabrics.  I love playing with low volume so this should be a lot of fun.

And my second block was inspired by this amazing quilt by Lynn Harris from her book Every Last Piece.  So beautiful!!

I have lots of scrappy solid pieces and lots of cut off triangles that I just can't bring myself to throw away.  Perfect.


My first month of scrappy blocks are done.

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hive Crashing

Since I had pulled a bunch of fabric inspiration for my Stash Bee blocks already, and the fabric was just staring at me, I decided to go ahead and whip up a few more blocks.  LOVE them!!

I'm loving this color palette!!

And then I decided to crash a few of the other hives.

Diana chose a purple and grey disappearing 4 patch which was super quick and easy.  And Cyndi picked a simple heart block in red.  Both came together very quickly.

And then I saw Stephanie's pick.  It is a fantastic scrap block!!  And since I am always looking for a great scrap quilt, I knew that I had to give it a try!  I just love it, and have decided to use this as a leaders and enders quilt for the year. 

My basket of 2 1/2 inch scrappy strips is always growing and this will be a great way to try and tame it!!  Just look at this overflowing basket...

I plan to just keep a stack of 2 1/2 inch squares next to the machine and sew them into pairs between other projects.  In no time at all this basket should make a pretty little quilt.  :)

Thanks for the inspiration Stephanie!


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Stash Bee

Happy New Year!

Lucky me, I get to start the year as Queen Bee for my Hive in the Stash Bee.  Which means that I get to pick the block.  Yay!!

Here is my write up for our Hive:

I am so in love with my quilt from last year's Bee,  (It is at the long-armers now, so I will be able to share it soon), that I wanted to pick something for this year that would be just as special. I love taking traditional blocks and playing around with them, and I LOVE scrap quilts!

So, I started out with a traditional bear paw block.

Then decided to take out the sashing.

Then tried flipping the paws around.

Then I thought that if I was going to break it apart, it should be scrappy, of course!

Winner! Winner!

To make things easier on you, I am going to have you make all 4 quadrants in the same fabrics just like I did, but ask you NOT to sew them together.  That way I can mix them all up when they get here and make it super scrappy!

Now on to colors!

I have chosen a color palette based on that gorgeous Les Fleurs fabric.  So dreamy.

Navy, shades of cornflower blue, shades of peachy pink and a hint of gold.
Here are some thread colors to help.

And a few bolts I pulled as examples. As far as fabric, pretty much anything is fair game.  I love dots, plaids, stripes, florals and even novelty - just no batiks please.

Now on to the tutorial:

You will need 3 different fabrics.

From fabric 1 - cut (4) 5 1/2 inch blocks
From fabric 2 - cut (8) 3 1/2 inch blocks
From fabric 3 - cut (8) 3 1/2 inch blocks and
                          cut (4) 3 inch block

Choose the lighter set of your 3 1/2 inch blocks and draw a diagonal line on the back of each.

Pair them up with the darker set, right sides together and sew 1/4 inch on each side of your drawn lines.

Cut on the drawn lines and press to the darker side.  You should have 16 HSTs.  Trim to 3 inches.

Lay out your 4 quadrants as shown. I stack them together so that I can chain piece.

Sew together.

Easy Peasy!!
You should have (4) 8" square sections.  Remember you do NOT need to sew them together.  That way, I can play around with the settings and mix them all up.

I can't wait to see what you guys come up with!!

Let me know if you have any questions.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2016

I finished my last RSC quilt top on the very last day of the year.  Nothing like a self-imposed deadline to get you motivated!

At the beginning of 2016, I picked 4 different blocks to help me work through my stash of scraps.  And by the end of the year that stack of blocks was huge!

I spent most of December either preparing for or entertaining company.  Once everyone headed home on the 29th, I realized that I only had 2 1/2 days to turn that pile into 4 quilt tops.  Motivated by 3 weeks of not sewing and determinations I got to it.

I picked the easiest first.  I ended up with 38 birch tree blocks.  So I could take 2 out and make it a 6x6 layout or make 4 more to make it a 6x7 layout.  Since this one was smallish, I decided to make the extra blocks.  Luckily these don't take too long and this went together quickly.  So fun and colorful!  And a great way to use up those random solids and tiny little pieces that I can't bring myself to throw out.

Next up was my stack of wonky stars.  I had 37 blocks.  These blocks are pretty big and a little more time consuming to make since they are made from slabs of tiny scraps, so I quickly decided to leave one out and make it a 6x6 layout.  No sashing involved so it was another quick finish.

Next up was the medallion log cabins.  I had exactly 56 blocks, so 7x8 layout it was. Yay!  I had fun playing with the layout.  And it went together quickly since again there was no sashing. So much fun to look at all the different fabrics.

And finally, my Geese Migration quilt.  I saved this one for last, since it might take a little longer to put it together.   But once I cut the sashing and triangles it went together very quickly - just 7 diagonal rows.  Don't tell the others, but I think this one is my favorite.  :)

Hopefully they will all be quilted by the end of 2017.

I can't wait to see what the new year brings.  My mind is already coming up with ideas for RSC 2017.  See you next year!!


Visit me on Instagram @tracysbitsnpieces

Saturday, July 2, 2016

My turn to be Queen Bee!

I joined Stash Bee this year and have had so much fun making blocks for all of my bee mates.  And now it is my turn!  July is my turn to be Queen Bee, which means I get to pick out a block for my beemates to make for me. 

Here is what I picked, along with a quick tutorial.  If you decide to play along, I'd love to see what you make.  Tag me on Instagram @tracysbitsnpieces

July block for Hive 6

Hi Quilty Friends!!
I am so excited to have my turn at being Queen Bee! This is my first time in a bee and I have had such fun making blocks for all of you.  I can't wait to see the quilts you make from these blocks.
I LOVE scrappy quilts and fun fabrics.  And I couldn't decide if I wanted my blocks to be really scrappy or a fun way to show off what fabrics my beemates had hidden in their stashes.  So, I decided to do both.  
I will be making a spool quilt using a combination of string blocks and novelty prints.  I love spool blocks; they are quick to make and are a great way to show off fun fabric.  Each block contains 4 spools.  I would like you to include at least 1 novelty print and at least 1 string block in your block.  So that means you could have...
1 novelty spool and 3 string spools...
 2 novelty and 2 strings...

OR 3 novelty and 1 string.

Pick whatever suits your stash and mood best.

Now, let's talk fabrics.

I am using white on white. (Please no colors on the whites)  Use as many different fabrics as you like, the scrappier the better.  This is a great way to use up those little odds and ends you've got lying around.  If you only have 1 or 2, that's okay too.  Use what you have.

Spool tops and bottoms:
Please use blacks and greys.  Again, scrappier is better.  I'd love for you to use 4 different fabrics, but if you only own 2 different blacks or greys, that is okay.  Don't stress, this should be fun.  And I want this block to represent YOU!!

Spool centers:
Fun, novelty prints!! Pretty much anything goes, use what makes you happy - unicorns, pirates, mermaids, fruit, flowers, animals... The only thing I ask not to be included would be licensed characters like Elmo and Disney princesses etc...

And of course, happy, scrappy strings.

Let's get started!

For the entire block you will need to cut the following:

(8) 2" x 5"
(16) 2" squares
(2) 1 1/2 "x 8"
(1) 1 1/2" x 16 1/2"

Spool tops and bottoms:
4 pairs of  2" x 8"

Spool centers:
(1-3) 5" squares of fun novelty fabric
A variety of strings

Let's start with the novelty spool.

You will need:
(1) novelty 5" square
(2) background 2"x 5"
(2) spool 2" x 8"
(4) background 2" squares

 Draw a diagonal line on the back of 4 background squares.

On both ends of your spool pieces, sew on your marked line, trim 1/4" from the edge of your sewn line and trim.  Press towards the white.  Pay attention to the direction that you sew your squares on, so that your spool is shaped correctly.

Now, sew your background rectangles to either side of your novelty print, pressing towards the white.  Sew the top and bottom pieces on and you are done!

Ta-Da!  Easy peasy!

Now, to make the string block.

Gather your little string bits together.  I have lots of pink, so I am going to start with that.

Pull strings that are about 1-2 inches wide. (Don't worry if they aren't straight, it adds to the character) and trim them to about 5 1/2" in length. I got excited and forgot to take a picture of my strings laid out at this point.
Now, sew them all together (Hint:put your thickest strings on the top and bottom to make trimming easier).  Don't worry about sewing perfectly straight lines, thread is messy after all!

Trim it to 5" square.

Now, you can build your spool just like we did with the novelty fabric.


Build 2 more spools of your choice, for a total of 4.

To put your 4 spools together you will need that last few background pieces.

(2) 1 1/2" x 8" and (1) 1 1/2" x 16 1/2"

Sew together as shown in the picture.

That's it!!

I can't wait to see your block!  Thank you for digging into your stash and sharing some of your time and effort with me.  Please let me know if you have any questions!!