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Use your scraps Bee Quilt

I belong to a quilt guild that holds a monthly bee.  I decided to join the group Easy and Elegant because I didn't had the time to devote to making complicated blocks every month.

Then it was my turn, I went way easy!  Use your scraps to make colorful 2.5 inch squares and sew them together 5 x 5 to make a 10 inch block!

How hard could that be?

It wasn't except for everyone uses a different machine and since you can't guarantee that everyone cut exactly precise there was room for error. It didn't matter really.   Use what you have and make it how you want and the rest comes out in the wash!
These were the blocks I received!

I then made additional scrappy block using Leather Essex Linen to make sawtooth star blocks. 
Sawtooth Stars were a staple in my Mennonite quilt upbringing 

Piecing it all together
After laying out the scrappy blocks with the star blocks.  It started to become a beautifully scrappy! And perfectly cuddly on a cool morning!

Lily's Quilt

I was so excited to become an aunt a few years ago but when it came to the baby quilt my lovely grandmother was still the queen bee!  I decided that my niece and any new babies would receive a twin or full sized quilt when they turned two.  This way as they transitioned from a crib or toddler bed they would have a quilt that was made especially for them for their new bed.  It would be a quilt they could cherish for years to come!

For Lily I choose an owl themed collection from Adorn it all.  I started with a charm pack and added several yards of the vibrant turquoise and corals to finish it off.  Moda Bella Solids in Tea Rose and Porcelain made for perfect sashing and background choices again the friendship stars.

I also made two pillow shams.  This quilt will be loved for a long time!  

Updated:  Or at least until she is old enough to make her own with me.  She seems to have taken quite the interest in sewing!

And then there was Essex Linen!

I have absolutely grown to adore Essex Linen by Robert Kaufman.  I am literally using it in everything!  From pouches to bags to quilts it has become my most versatile basic.  Here are a few examples using Essex Yarn Dyed Black  You will see in each example that the Essex is combined with cotton.

Zipper Pouch 
Bag Swap at Mod - Everyone got a yard of Essex to create a bag for the giveaway!
This was the bag I made 
Pillow for an gift exchange

Back to school pencil pouch

This year my daughter entered the fifth grade.   She didn't need a new backpack or lunch bag because she was quite content using the ones from the previous year. (That's my girl). However she did ask me to make her a large pencil pouch.  Of course I said sure.  What surprised me was when she asked for it to be neon! And boy was it ever loud! Lots of bolt prints and colors.  For a few hours the 80's were definitely back! Thankfully they quickly found a place in my daughters backpack because I've been there done that!

I used a Riley Blake neon collection role polie for the outside and some old demin for a nice, sturdy lining.  I am big on up-cycling Demin for projects like this.  They really provide the sturdiness and durability you need for a bag like this.  The last thing I wanted was for pencils to poke through the inside.  

Update - 10/30/2014:  Eventually her friends started asking for bags too so with the remaining 2.5 inch strips, I was able to make this one for her friends birthday! The flower pin credit goes to my neighbor, who is a master at fabric flowers....I'm getting there :)

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Patriotic Table Runner Gift for Mom

My parents are huge NASCAR fans. They have a camper and go to several races a year along the east coast. This year for my moms birthday I decided to make her a small table runner for the campers kitchen table. I used the jelly roll pattern from this jelly roll quilt along blog. The only thing I changed was to use only five strips.  The stars and firework fabric is from A Nation's Song  collection and the checkered fabric is from the 2014 Thomas the Train line.  Both are from Quilting Treasures. I really like the checkered fabric because it reminded me of the checker flag and when it all came together I felt it looked like a racetrack. This sort of happened by accident but really came together nicely.  

I only did two sets of jelly roll strips matching two in the center and pointing the other two on the outside facing in.  I added two rows of borders and finished it off with a red binding. 

Needless to say my mom loved it and currently displays it proudly on the dining room table.  It will make it to the camper in the Spring when the racing begins!

The table runner top.  I'll take a photo of the finish product next time I visit.

Musical Wall Hanging

Amongst my passions in life I hold music very near and dear to my heart.  I am thrilled to share that passion with my daughter.  Recently she had the honor of taking an after-school singer-songwriter club. Throughout the five months thee group collaborated and wrote songs. They presented their songs on a few Friday's ago as a group in a coffeehouse type setting in the lobby of their school. Their teacher, Ryan Peters, who is an accomplished singer/songwriter himself lead the group to an impressive level!  To thank this wonderful teacher for his hard work in creating the club and being a true inspiration and role model for the students, I designed a music themed wall hanging and had all the kids sign it. 

I used Basic Grey's Sweet Serenade collection for Moda. I appliqued a guitar and used the fun label prints by Sweetwater with the definition of "original." I also framed a piece of Bella solids fig tree cream with black borders to allow for a place for the kids to sign. 

Here is the song my daughter wrote and sung about the importance of friends! It's amazing what touching lyrics this group of fourth and fifth graders wrote!

If you'd like to read more about the event please check out this article in the East Penn Press. They have recorded CD's to sell over the next few weeks with all the proceeds going to charity.  What a wonderful way to see the music of these children benefit so many people. 

Birthday present for the boy next door

I always think homemade gifts are the most fun to give.  When our neighbor invited us for her sons birthday I new just the right present to make. He loved cars and most importantly he loved matbox cars and racing them around them anywhere he could.

I used some Thomas the Train fabric from Quilting Treasures and made him a car holder that when unrolled became a race track.  It has 6 wide 2.5 inch slots for the cars and a ribbon to tie it all together.  I even personalized it with his initial.

It was perfect for this little guy who was turning two.  His mom said it was great to bring along for long car rides and playdates too.  I couldn't agree more!

Matchbox Car Roll-Up

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