Friday, September 13, 2013

New Blog....

I've moved my blog over to Julie B at Home. Please visit me whenever you get a chance. You can subscribe via e-mail too. Make it a great day!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer Knitting

Lately, I have been knitting to my heart's desire. Usually, I don't knit much in the summer but we've had such a cool summer this year, I've been keeping the needles warm. This is Coco's fall sweater knit up with Noro's Silk Garden. I have more information about it on Ravelry here
Doesn't he look so handsome?

This project is the beginning of the Sarah's tube socks for winter in an Encore self striping yarn. The pattern is from a little book I love called Projects for Community Knitting

This is a picture of Sarah's well-loved blankie. Her great-grandmother gave this to her when she was born. As you can see, blankie has been loved to almost death. Sarah has requested that I knit her another one in the same exact yarn and pattern. I know the yarn but I will have to play around with the pattern. I don't think it will be too hard to figure out. Thoughts?

A few weeks ago, I went to the Kane County Flea Market with my son and my dad who was visiting from California. The place is huge and there are so many vendors you could spend the whole weekend there. I found this pretty Dansk-Kobenstyle pot in good condition. And I got it at a great price! I have the casserole pan in the same color which I found a couple years ago at Savers for $7!

Happy knitting and thrifting!

Julie B 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Judy Hopkins 501 Rotary Cut Quilt Blocks

I am definitely getting my money's worth out of Judy Hopkins 501 Rotary Cut Quilt Blocks. Here are a couple blocks I've made practicing my half square triangles.
 Block : X Quartet

Block: Eccentric Star

After I piece 12 blocks, I'll make a lovely quilt for my family room. These blocks are 12" finished.

I'm still working on my veggie and fruit quilt but I'm starting to second guess myself. As you can see, I've laid out the pieces for the lemon block using a light background. Hmmm....  I'm wondering if I should use a light background for the whole quilt or stick to my Kona solids. If I stick to the Kona solids, I could replace the light background with a pale yellow. 
The blocks are 10-1/2" finished using Judy Hopkins' book. 

Here are two blocks from Saturday Soiree BOM by Marcus Brothers. The quilt store that I was doing this thru has since closed. I bought a good amount of the red and white fabric (at a great discount) from the store before it closed. Then, I started selecting my own blocks from, you guessed it, my Judy Hopkins' book! I matched a few that are in the finished quilt and chose a few that would give the quilt the same feel. 

And of course I couldn't finish my post without showing you more lined drawstring bags! These are my new bags for knitting projects. The tutorial is over at In Color Order by Jeni. 

Happy quilting and sewing!

Julie B

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Little This and That...

Today, I'm starting off with a This and That pattern called Nifty Notes. It truly is nifty in that you can put together some of your fabric scraps and make a great little note keeper. The second picture shows the inside where you can insert a paper tablet on the right side and a writing instrument on the left. I think the left side would be great for a gift card too. I'll have to remember these for teacher gifts next year. Also, my daughter and her friends are getting to the age when it's hard to shop for their birthdays so gift cards are becoming more prevalent. The ones pictured are for my daughters but I have some fabric in mind for me for my knitting bag. I like to write down and cross out rows and such while knitting so this would be just right! I think I'll make one for my sewing projects too as you never know when an idea will surface. 

Finished size is 3-3/4x6

I have lots of different collections of fabric including a civil war one. I got a crazy urge to cut some up and make a table topper for my coffee table. This is what I came up with - a brick wall quilt. Just something I did over a weekend for fun. I wasn't too excited about it at first but it's growing on me.

On the table topper I have this book I found recently at a secondhand book store - In Celebration of Quilting 20 Years of My Best by Lynette Jensen. There are some really great, traditional quilts in this book that I have put on my to-do list, including the holiday wreath below.

A little knitting too... this was made with one of those crazy zauberballs using a pattern on ravelry called Citron. One thing I learned the hard way is that you should never start a zauberball in the middle of the ball unless you want a tangled mess! Always start these on the outside. Overall, this is an easy project that you can travel with or knit in front of your favorite tv show.

Remember the lined drawstring bags I've been making from the free tutorial over at In Color Order? Well, I'm making more because they are so fun and addicting. I had these paper pieced tumbler blocks that I made last summer still on my sewing table. I've been saving them for something special or in other words, I just didn't know what to do with them... until I started making the drawstring bags. These will be great for the girls for summer at the pool! There's enough room for some spending money, their pool passes, googles, and a snack. Now I just need to finish Sarah's!

Happy sewing and knitting!

Julie B.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Quilting with Fruits and Vegetables

Like most quilters, I have various fabric collections that grow and grow until I have enough to make a quilt. Some of my collections are red and whites, black and whites, 30's repro, civil war, solids, and music. The one I am working on now really does grow in real life - fruits and vegetables! I am using Judy Hopkin's book 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks which I just discovered a couple months ago. The book is so great with color illustrations of each block in alphabetical order and several sizes to make each block. I sorted thru my collection of fruits and vegetables and picked out the more realistic-looking ones. Then, I pulled out some solids that would look good with the collection. Here are my first few blocks...
Carrot Block - Split Nine Patch 

Artichoke Block - Boxes

Avocado Block - Aunt Dinah

It's one of the those quilts that is evolving during the quilting process. Usually, I like to have somewhat of a plan but I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and making it up as I go. I kind of like it! It's fun... like one of those mystery quilts that I have yet to try. Have you tried one? If so, which one? I'd love to hear about it!

I work at a fabric and yarn shop that also services sewing machines. We have a great sewing tech guy who has been servicing all brands of sewing machines for over 20 years. This spring he was doing a huge clean up of his shop (which is his house) and found a couple of old Singers. So, look what I brought home! Isn't is cool? And it works! I haven't got around to testing it but he assured me it works. Not sure I'll use it much but it looks so neat on a side table in my bedroom. I think I need to drape a vintage quilt under the sewing needle. 

Happy sewing and quilting!

Julie B.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My First Giveaway Winner...

Another bag finished using byAnnie's Soft and Stable and a Lazy Girl Designs pattern called Newport Tote. A few years ago, I used the same pattern for another bag which I still use and really love but it's always been a bit flimsy. This time, I used Soft and Stable and look.... it stands upright! Yeah!
The fabric collection is from Blend Fabrics called Timber and Leaf by Sarah Watts.

Now, what you've all been waiting for since my last post... the winner is... #9!

Congratulations to Sherry from Quilts, Fabric, and Thread Tales! Send me your mailing address and Annie from byAnnie will send you a Trendy Tote 2.0 pattern and Soft and Stable! Hooray! You'll have so much fun making a new bag!

On Mother's Day, I got out a quilt block I had done using a pattern from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book. This block was fitting for the day as the word "Mother" was in the center piece. I don't think I had planned this when piecing the block. It was happenstance. So, I decided I needed to do something with this block. I added a couple long pieces on the ends to lengthen it, added some binding, and had myself a new sewing mat. You probably have seen lots of these projects done as mug rugs (which I have made many for teacher gifts) but I like to use mine as a sewing mat where I put my little scissors, sewing feet, thread, needles, and whatever little tools I am using in the moment.
 The mat lays next to my sewing machine where I can easily reach whatever I may need.  

I liked it so much I had to make a pincushion to match. 

Oh, happy day! They make me smile :)

To all the mothers who care tirelessly for their children early in the morning, in the middle of the night, and every minute in between; to all the mothers who cook and clean and cook and clean and cook and clean; to all the mothers who give big hugs and send lots of kisses; to all the mothers who still find time, in the midst of it all, to sew, quilt, and knit! I give you a little of my flowerbed.
Bleeding Hearts - my favorite in the spring  

Mr. Gnome still looking for a Mrs. Gnome.  


Happy spring!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Nine Patch Variation Quilt and Give Away

Have you ever discovered a long lost quilt in a bag that was never finished? I did last week and decided this lovely nine patch variation quilt had to be finished and displayed for all to see! I pieced the top about 8 years ago, put it in a bag, and sadly left it among all my other UFO projects or what some quilters now call their PhD (projects half done).
 The pattern is in Alex Anderson's book Start Quilting.

This is my first time ever feeling confident enough to put my free motion quilting in a quilt.

This is a smaller version of Leah Day's Flower Ball.

This is another project I started awhile ago and never finished. I think I started it last summer so not bad compared to my Nine Patch quilt, although this is a much smaller project! The block is called Eddystone Light and in the book Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts by Pam Lintott. 
These are doll blankets for S's American Girl dolls. They sleep in bunk beds so the matching bedding is nice.

I played around with straight line quilting. The picture is not that great but you can see the quilting better on the bottom half of the block.

The quilting on this one is much simpler. 
I prefer the quilting on the other one even though it took a lot longer to complete. But it really makes a difference, doesn't it?

 I had to show the pillows inside the pillowcases. They are made with a piece from my vintage bedsheet collection. 

Remember the cute tote bag I made using Totally Trendy Totes 2.0 pattern and Soft and Stable stabilizer, both byAnnie? Now, I'm making another bag putting Soft and Stable to the test once again. The pattern is Newport Tote by Lazy Girl Designs. I made one a few years ago and I love the bag but it turned out a bit flimsy... so let's see if Soft and Stable can give my new bag some shape and body! I've started quilting the bag body with some wavy lines. I'm hoping to try some more free motion quilting for the tree trunks. 
The fabric collection is from Blend Fabrics called Timber and Leaf by Sarah Watts.

To make things really fun, I'm giving away a Totally Trendy Totes 2.0 pattern and an 18x58 package of Soft and Stable to one lucky follower! Just leave a comment and the random generator will pick the winner. If you'd like to follow my blog too that would be great but I'm not going to persuade you by offering an incentive. I'd like you to follow my blog because you like it :) Check back in 2 weeks (May 22nd) to find out if you will be receiving a lovely package in the mail from byAnnie

Happy sewing and quilting! 

Julie B.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Looking In Quilt Finished

Oh happy day! The Looking In quilt is complete and ready for my sweet, baby niece. The pattern is by Cluck, Cluck, Sew. I had so much fun using different novelty prints to display in the windows. I hope big brother will show her all the animals, flowers, yummy treats, and letters. My favorite is the hedgehog!

Funny how the sashing looks so much more purple in this picture. I sent the quilt to a friend who did fun swirls and butterflies throughout the quilt.
This picture shows the fabric I used for the backing... a sweet floral.Now, I need to add a label to the quilt back. I think I'll handwrite a label using fabric pens to give it a personal touch.  

E's curtains are finally done! I wanted to add a little something to each window. The fabric is from the same line that I made E's quilt with (not the one on her bed but this one that is on her wall).

 I found these lovely floral holdbacks from Country Curtains. They are hand stamped glass that come in several colors. These are the amethyst color.

Ta da! A new handbag for me! Have you heard of ByAnnie's Soft and Stable? I wanted to put it to the test and see how much body it would give my bag. I give Soft and Stable a very high rating! My new handbag can stand on its own. No more flimsy bags.
 The pattern is also By Annie called Totally Trendy Totes 2.0.

 There is an option in the pattern to add a zipper closure which I did!

Lastly, I leave you with another Lined Drawstring Bag - pattern by Jeni over at In Color Order. This one was for E's birthday. I made several for her friends to take home after the big sleepover. 

I hope you are having a wonderful day!
Happy sewing! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Birthday Bags and a Doll Dress

This month has been busy with S's 9th birthday party, E's chorus concerts, and A's music concerts. Somehow I've managed to squeeze in sewing and knitting between (and during) these events. This week, I was seen knitting a cowl at A's jazz concert. This concert was 1-1/2 hours long (several schools took turns performing) so I was able to get quite a bit done! Still, it's taking awhile because I am using a fingering weight yarn; it's a very long cowl that when worn has a pretty layered look.

Here is an American Girl doll dress that I finished this month, also using fingering weight yarn. This yarn is Lorna's Laces 811 Lincoln Park Zoo. The project is called Summer Party Frock and in the book Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders. More information is on my ravelry account.
Julie is ready for a summer party!

Have you seen the awesome (and free) lined drawstring bag tutorial on Jeni's blog, In Color Order? I've been wanting to try these for a few months and finally had a great reason to make some - my daughter's birthday party bags. The tutorial is very easy to follow and I love the way the whole bag is put together, very creative! I used Moda's fabric line Cherry on Top.
I put fun girlie stuff in the bags (candy, rings, kleenex packs, etc.) 

I plan to make many more of these bags. I found some great cotton sheep fabric at Pink Chalk Fabrics that would make great knitting project bags.

Last summer, I paper pieced these tumbler blocks using this tutorial. I was not sure what to do with them so they have been sitting on my sewing table for the last few months. Now, I'm thinking they would look great on the drawstring bags for the girls when they go to the pool this summer!

Here is a peek at my Looking In quilt (pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew). It's with a longarm quilter now and I can't wait to get it back! She is quilting an overall pattern with butterflies. This one is for my niece, Addison, who was born last month and has a butterfly nursery theme in purple.
I love the "I Spy" feel of this quilt pattern. I had fun picking out different prints to put in the quilt. 

I hope you are having a great week with all your sewing and knitting endeavors!

Happy sewing and knitting! 
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