Wednesday, April 20, 2016

String Quilts, they never get old

I ALWAYS have strings hanging around at my house.  You know, those thin little scraps you trim off of a finished quilt, or the end of a strip you are cutting for another project. I even have a cute little basket to collect them in.  It is always running over.  Here is a real life picture of it.

  I love this basket, so many possibilities...

About a year ago, I was working on a bright and happy string quilt for myself. I thought it would be anything goes, but as I started to play I realized that I didn't want to include any pastels, browns or primary novelties and not too much orange or purple.

As I pulled out those strings, I sorted them and made a couple of piles to use later, pastels, primary/boy themed and brown/orange and blues.  I just stuck them in ziplocs and every once in a while when I had a bunch I would take them out and sew a few string blocks.  A few weeks ago, I realized that I had enough to whip up a few little comfort quilts.

One from the brown, orange and blue strings.

Look closely and you will find cowboys, whales, boats, mice, airplanes and more.

I quilted it with some simple straight-ish lines.

I had a little oops while quilting and popped a seam.  No problem, I appliqued a little boat from the fabric I used on the back.  Problem solved and made even cuter.

And the sweet backing fabric.

Quilt number 2 from the primary and boy novelty fabrics.

Superheros, Star Wars, trucks, dinosaurs, baseballs, bugs....  So much to find in this quilt!

A very kind new longarmer wanted to try out her new machine and offered to quilt a few quilts for free, so I jumped at the offer!  She did a great job.   She even copied the pattern from the backing fabric in the sashing of the quilt.  So cute.

And here is the back of the quilt.

These are my April comfort quilts.  I am super excited to donate these because I know that boy quilts are harder to come by.  Girl fabrics are just so much more abundant.

Thanks for stopping by!!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Stars and Planets Aligned... and a Scrap Quilt GetsFinished


A dry, sunny day when 2 of my quilt holders were home.  Yay!  Time to drag out some recent finishes and take some pictures.

First up is a sweet little quilt top I finished today.

This little string quilt has been in the works for a while,  Every once in a while when the strings called, I pulled out the pastel ones and made a few blocks.  They called again today.  When I realized I just needed 2 more blocks to make a decent sized little quilt, I decided to finish it up.

I had just enough of this little rose fabric to border it.  With the border the quilt measures 45 x 57.

So soft and sweet.  I have been working on this one with the intention of donating it to our local foster care system.  It will be a tough one to give away.  I will just have to picture some sweet little girl hugging it tight.  Scrappy quilts really are the best!

Next up is my scrappy purple tulip quilt.  I used all the purples.  Every shade.  If it was purple, it went in.  And the background fabrics are scrappy too, lots of different low volume prints playing together in there.

The pattern is a free Cloud 9 pattern found on their website.  It is called the Amsterdam Quilt. I can definitely see myself making this one again, the blocks go together easily and are a great use of scraps.

I am tempted to hand quilt this one, I think that is what it wants.  I will be setting it aside for a while to see if that feeling sticks. :)

Next up is my scrappy bear paw quilt.  It just needed that final border and I got that on this morning.  This is such a bright fun scrappy quilt.  Anything went with these scraps as long as they were bright and colorful.  I used a brown background which is a new thing for me, but I really like it.  It allows the scraps to just pop.

This one is pretty big at about 92x94.  I really, really like scraps.  Can you tell?

And finally, a real finish.  I just got my Star BOTM back from being quilted by Cyndi at The Dancing Bobbin.  Since all of the colors I used were based on the amazing butterfly fabric featured in a couple of the stars as well as the backing fabric, I thought it only appropriate that it be quilted with butterflies.  And I just LOVE it!  Thank you Cyndi!

I mean seriously, is this fabric not AMAZING!!!  I just love it.  And yes, I did save every single tiny piece that was trimmed off.  It will find its way into many more scrap quilts.

Thanks for stopping by for some show and tell!!


Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April Stash Bee Fun

Helen over at is queen bee this month in our stashbee hive.  And she has requested the cutest little scrappy cross quilts in red.  I whipped these 2 up in no time!

I love scrappy and low volume, so this little gem of an idea will be going in my "someday" pile.  I may even whip up a few more before I get these shipped off to her.

I heard all about Stash Bee last year from my friend and owner of our LQS where I work.  She had such a good experience last year that we all signed up to join this year.  And we ALL made it in! So now, if I see a cute block in one of their hives, I make one for them as well.  They are mailing their own blocks anyway right? :)

Here are a few more that will be heading out across the quilty world.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, April 4, 2016

Comfort quilt and tutorial

Yesterday I shared with you my quilty girlfriends' new tradition of working together to create 2 quilts each quarter for our local foster kids.  The blocks we picked for this quarter will be "donut" blocks.

This block is quick and easy to make as it is basically just a simple 9-patch with a few HSTs thrown in.  And if you use my following tutorial then you will end up with 2 blocks in reverse!

For this quarter's quilts we chose pink and green for the girl version and grey/black and orange for the boy.

1. Chose 2 fabrics for your blocks.  From each fabric cut:

(4) 5 1/2 " squares and (5) 5" squares.

2. Pull the lighter 5 1/2" squares of fabric.  You will be drawing a diagonal line down the back of each.
TIP: If you are using a directional fabric, make sure that you are drawing on the directional fabric. When you turn the fabric over make sure all four are facing in the same direction.

Then, rotate 2 to the left and 2 to the right.  This will ensure that they all line up correctly on the final  block.  Can you see how 2 are facing left and 2 are facing right?

3. Lay your (4) 5 1/2" squares of fabric right sides together and sew 1/4" on either side of the drawn line.

4. Cut on the drawn line and press. Trim your HST to 5".

5. You should now have 5 each of fabric 1 and 2, and 8 HSTs. Now the fun part...

6.Lay out your blocks to create 2 blocks with reverse fabrics as the donut/background.

7. Sew together as you would a 9-patch.

Here are the first 4 girl blocks.

And the first 4 boy blocks.

I am so excited to see what all of the other girls will come up with.  These are going to be so scrappy and cute together!!

Thanks for stopping by!!
And if you are on Instagram, stop by and see me there @tracysbitsnpieces


Linking up to Let's Bee Social and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Dancing Bobbin Quilt Retreat

I am lucky enough to work at The Dancing Bobbin, our LQS with some fabulous, generous and fun ladies.  Once a quarter we meet to spend the whole day together eating, laughing and of course quilting.  This last quarter we started our new tradition of making and donating 2 quilts to a local organization for foster children.

When we met in January we chose a block and colors for both a boy quilt and a girl quilt.  Then we all contributed to sash, quilt and bind them. So much fun to work together on a quilt and the final results are just fabuous!

We chose the free blocks from Robert Kauffman called Genny & Ruth. They are super simple and quick to put together.  And they finish up big making a nice sized quilt.

For the girls quilt we chose navy, aqua and pink.

We sashed the blocks with all the leftover greys we used in the blocks and then  bordered it withe the navy fabric used in the center block.


It turned out so cute, with ballerinas, purses, Paris, macaroons, polka dots and flowers.

For the boys we chose navy, country blue, brown and orange.

It is so much fun to see all the fun fabrics coming out of everyone's stashes.
This quilt is full of cowboys, mice, dogs, bears, boats and fun plaids and geometrics.

We sashed it with a great brown and backed it with a  brown flannel.  This is going to be so cozy and comforting for some sweet little boy.

And here we all are with out finished quilts ready to be sent off and loved!

We also shared our finished log cabin swap quilts.  If you have been here before you might remember that we were inspired by a swap we saw happening on Instagram and decided to do one of our own.  So we chose colors and a finished size, created log cabin blocks, quartered them and then swapped.

Then we put them together however we wanted to. I put mine back together into squares and separated them with white sashing. 

This picture is awesome because this is probably the only time it will ever happen.  My binding finished perfectly!! 

It was so fun to see all the different ways that everyone put their blocks together.  All were beautiful!!

Show and Tell rocks!!

Check in tomorrow for our next quarter challenge.  I will even include a little tutorial for the simple blocks we will be creating!

Thanks for stopping by!


Linking up to Let's Bee Social and Crazy Mom Quilts