Sunday, June 23, 2013


I'm sorry it's been so quiet over here the last couple of weeks!  Just after my last post we got an offer on our house (after 11 months on the market)!  Once we were under contract we spent about a week looking at houses (getting our internet list of 50 down to 30 that we went and looked at during the week around babysitters and work, and then saw 5 together on Saturday, put in an offer on Sunday).  This past week has been getting ready for inspections, finding a good mortgage and packing.  I'm nearly done with two rooms!  Next is my sewing area and the attic.

We are down sizing from 3100 square feet, two story house on 3.8 acres in the mountains:

To a 2100 square foot (including the sunroom), one level ranch, on a 10,000 square foot lot in the city.

And luckily it has a den, which should be perfect for sewing (once we brighten it up a bit lot).  Plus it's right next to the back door and the kitchen!  My current sewing space is upstairs, and I have to walk through EVERY damn hallway in the house to get to the kitchen downstairs (which are the two most used rooms in the house, naturally).  What a waste of time and space.

In addition to all of that, we've been having a particularly hot and dry June, so motivating myself to do any sewing has been difficult.  I did get to spend one nap time working on the TARDIS quilt, but only made one block.  I'll try to write up a post about it soon though, it is going to be a fun quilt!

Now that moving is a reality (finally!), I have been thinking about blog changes.  We will no longer be living on Sparrow Lane, so I feel that a new blog name is in order!  Not sure how to make the changes yet...or what the new name will be.  But I'll be sure to keep you all posted!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Double Sided Quilt Hanging Sleeve Tutorial

I had a few people ask me how I made the hanging sleeve for my double sided lone star quilt, so I decided to type up a tutorial using some of the left overs.  Sorry in advance that the fabric is black!

First, cut your fabric to about the width of your quilt by 5 1/2"-- if you will only be using a dowel or small rod to hang your quilt, only make it 3" wide.

This mini quilt (or practice quilt sandwich) is about 10 inches wide.

Then iron the ends down 1/4 inch, then again a 1/4 inch (leaving the long edges raw--they will get sewn under the binding), then top stitch as close to the inner edge as you can--this gives the ends of the hanging sleeve a finished end that a hanging rod won't catch on.

Top stitch it close to the edge!

Then fold the sleeve in half lengthwise and iron on the crease.  It is best if you now find the half way mark on your hanging sleeve and on your quilt, and match them up.  Pin it in place, then look at it--make sure it looks centered.   I just eye balled it with this little quilt.

When you pin, make sure the ends of the sleeve match up so you don't have this when you're finished:

Woops!  Didn't even think of making sure those edges matched up.

Then baste in place about 1/8 inch from the edge.

Then attach your binding to the same side of the quilt that the sleeve is sewn onto.   If you make narrow binding, it's a good idea to press it out from the quilt now:

Also press the hanging sleeve so it sticks UP now.

I highly recommend hand sewing the binding onto the other side (as I did with the star quilt) for double sided quilts, but for this one I used the machine, and was very slow and careful.  And I made sure the hanging sleeve was UP when I sewed the binding on so as to avoid to sewing it down.

Now go hang it up.

This is not my standard hanging method--I wanted it to be temporary, easy to remove, and free--I had the command hooks and rod on hand from another quilt that is in storage.

My sewing space, minus fabric storage, which still looks like this one the other side of the room.

In retrospect maybe I should have made this hanging sleeve the smaller size...oh well, I already had the fabric laying out.

Flip it over!

You're done!  Yay.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lone Star Quilt finished!

I started this quilt 3.5 months ago, and am so happy to have it finished!  It was one of those projects that snowballed from small, fast and easy to small, lengthy and challenging!  But I (mostly) love the way it turned out, and am excited to enter it in the state fair in August.

It measures 34 1/4" square.  The grey is Kona Charcoal.

The stars were made following Better Off Thread's tutorial.  I bought a design roll (only 12 strips of fabric) of Amy Butler's Alchemy just to make a star for fun.  I thought I was going to make a little wall hanging, but then I realized I had enough fabric to make 1.5 half(ish) stars.  So I decided to put a half(ish) star on the front and back, and quilt it to be double sided.  I used two layers of batting for the first time (warm and natural and some 80/20 scraps I had).  I added the hanging sleeve in the binding so that either side can be displayed (see my tutorial here)

Feather Plume quilting inspired by Angela Walters.

Detail of the mariner's compasses (I drew that out first following Green Fairy Quilts tutorial)--the sun is shining from behind it.

My biggest, and really only, regret is choice of fabric for the pink side:

Do you see all those shadow-y lines?  Ignore the spots, they are just raindrops.

The pink fabric is some hand-me-down fabric from a friend.  I'm not a pink person, but love how well it worked with the pinks in the star.  Since I was just planning on this being a little fun quilt (and not a show quilt), I didn't think about what kind of fabric I was using.  I'm sure it's some sort of poly/cotton blend.  I have no idea why the seams turned grey, but it is very frustrating and disappointing!  Makes me want to purge all of the questionable-quality fabrics from my stash and only get the good stuff!  Lesson learned:  don't use the thin, cheap-feeling fabrics for quilts.  Just don't!

This is my favorite part of the back!  

I love the curved part, and the half feathers!  They were inspired by this quilt.

A little harder to see with the pink thread, but still adds nice texture.

The only thing I haven't figured out is where to add my name and the date.  I think I'll write it somewhere tiny on the pink side.  And then I plan to hang it in my sewing room until August!  On to the next quilt!