Stardust Melodies – Adventures in Crochet Texture

Good morning!  I am excited to finally have a moment to share my progress on my Stardust Melodies blocks. They are all so textured and beautiful 🙂


One of the things I really like about this CAL is that each block is a mini afghan in and of itself.  


I can easily finish one in an evening of sewing or a short road trip with my DH.


I am using yarn that has been in my stash for way too long.  I’m glad to have a project where I can use it up without the need of matching perfectly:)


Most of the blocks are quite easy to just jump right in and crochet away.


Don’t they look fantastic?! — But one block in particular took a little more patience.


This one filled with “x”s was an adventure in stitch and frog, stitch and frog until I finally got it!


I have also learned that scratchier yarn is better than soft, silky yarn on this project.


This block is super soft, but very flimsy, and the pattern kind of gets lost.  I don’t know if I will make another with this yarn or not.  I definitely need the lighter block color….we’ll see:)


Here are my blocks neatly blocked and stacked.  Yum! Yum!  They are so SWEET!!


And this is my current block that will be done tonight.   It may be my favorite yet:)  And now there are only 12 more to go!

If any of you are interested in joining along in this crochet texture adventure, you can join in here.

Thank you for stopping by:). I hope you have a great day filled with all kinds of creative adventures!

Learn to Quilt – Lesson #5 -Lay Out

Hello again!  Today is going to be a fun day. We are going to be laying out all of our blocks and sewing them together to make our quilt! Fun!!!:)

We have a lot to do so let’s get started.  

Take all of your finished blocks to a place in your house that has a large enough floor space to lay out about 70″x80″.  Start laying each block down with one block having the stripes go vertically and the next block having the stripes go horizontally.


Look at how the pin wheels magically appear!  Lay your blocks into 12 rows of 10 blocks each.  Lay them out and arrange the blocks so the colors are the way you like them.  

Woo hoo!  We are ready to sew:)!!   It is a little tricky to make sure all of these blocks are sewn exactly in the place we have put them.  But don’t worry, if you are patient with walking back and forth from your machine to your laid out blocks, you will have no problems at all.


The first thing we have to do is mark the left side of the first block of each row.  I like to use clover clips, but you could use stickers, safety pins, or bobby pins.  Whatever you have to mark that side of that square is fine.  In fact, if you use stickers, you could even write the number of the row.   That would be the BEST way:)


Starting on the top #1 row,  place the left square on top of the square to the right.  Place those squares on top of the next square, and those on top of the next. Keep placing your squares on top of each other until the whole row is in a pile.  Take this pile to your sewing area.  

  • Move the top square to the left of the pile
  • Flip the next square over on top of that square like turning the page of a book
  • Sew the right edge of these blocks together.  
  • Open the blocks up and add the next block to the right side of the last block
  • As you are sewing, check to make sure the flipped cream pieces are snug together tightly or as I like to say, “kissing” each other. You can feel this with your fingers as you go, or you can pin them if you need to.
  • The half  pinwheel should have the point 1/4″ up from the edge and look like this:
  • Repeat this process until all 10 blocks are sewn together.
  • Take your row to the ironing board and press the seams flat and smooth.

Yea!  Our first row is done!  


Take it back to our layed quilt and lay it in its place and repeat the process for all of the rest  rows.  Whew!  That is a lot of walking back and forth.  But believe me, you won’t get lost in your quilt this way.

Now let’s take row #1 and #2 to our sewing machine.  Be sure to mark #1 row with an extra clip or sticker to be able to keep them in the right order.  Here is why the stickers with the row # written on it would be the best method of marking that left edge.


Sew the bottom of row #1 to the top of  row #2.  Make sure that the blocks are kissing each other at the seams as you go.


Sew the whole row together and press it open.

Just look at this beautiful, magical pinwheel! SWEET!!


Sew and press all of the rows together in this same manner.    

Woo hoo!!!!  Your quilt is all sewn together and it looks FANTASTIC!!

We are almost done with our quilt.  In our next lesson we will add the border.  See you then:)

Don’t forget to post pictures of your fabric and progress on Instagram #pinsandstripesqal I will be giving away a jelly roll to someone who posts a picture from all seven lessons and a picture of themselves with their new quilt by the end of July 2017!!

If any of you are just joining us, you can find the previous lessons here:

Long Time Gone Quilt-Pineapple Block Love

I have been absolutely LOVING this Long Time Gone Quilt designed by Jen Kingwell!  It is so fun to try my hand at her fun color combinations:). I am glad that Gnome Angel organized this SAL.  Having the deadlines really keeps me motivated:)

I have two weeks worth of sewing to share with you today.  The first set of blocks was the 60 degree triangles.

These went together very quickly.  I like how they look kind of like an argyle sock or a diamond  pattern when they are all put together:). 

Fun, fun, fun!  The next set of 16 blocks took quite a bit longer.

They took longer, but my oh my I LOVE them!!!  I have never made a full pineapple block before. It was a test of patience in sewing around, cutting, and then sewing around again.


I didn’t mind though.  I just sat and sewed away while listening to a book.  I am listening to “What is the What” by Dave Eggers.  It is a very good read and helped the time to just fly by.


Look at how cute these blocks look all put together!  They are my favorite block by far:)


I like them so much that I may design a quilt myself with a bunch of them…. we’ll see.

I hope you are having a SWEET day!  Thank you for dropping by and following my quilting adventure:)

Learn to Quilt- Lesson #4 -Stitch and Flip 

Hello again and welcome back!  We are really moving along on our beautiful quilt.  Last lesson left us with our 1.5″ blues and reds all sewn together.  They are so pretty:)

Today we are going to tackle the 2″ reds and cream squares.   So let’s take them all over to our sewing space .

For this step, we need to change back to our regular sewing foot.  The 1/4″ one will get caught on the fabric.

We are going to be learning a technique called “stitch and flip”.   It is very easy and you are going to LOVE how it looks in the end!  But first we need to mark our machines.

  • Raise your presser foot and lower your needle.  
  • Place a ruler or straight edge right up against the needle.  The arrow in the picture above shows the needle against the ruler.  Make sure the ruler is straight.
  • Place a piece of painters tape right against that edge of the ruler to give you the center line of your needle mark all the way to the edge of your machine.

Now we are ready to stitch and flip!


Place a square right sides together on the edge of your  rectangle as shown above.  We are going to be stitching from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.   

Some people like to draw a line to help them sew a straight line.  

But we don’t have to do that because we have marked our machine. All we have to do is line the bottom right corner on the masking tape and sew from corner to corner.   Perfect!!

Sew all 240 rectangles and squares together this way.

Yep, that’s what I said.  Chain sew all of them together.  Just keep adding another rectangle/square pair under your presser foot until they are all sewn together.  You will have a very large bundle of fabric behind your machine when you are done. Yea!!  You are doing fantastic!!:)


Cut them all apart, and take them to the ironing board.


Now for the flip part of the stitch and flip.  Flip the bottom left side of the square up and press it even with the top right edges.  How easy is that?!  No trimming is needed. 

Don’t worry if the flip isn’t EXACTLY up to the corner.  As long as it is CLOSE, within 1/8 of an inch or so, it will be covered  when we sew them together:)

Now we are ready to sew them to our blue stripped pieces.  Take everything to your sewing area and set them up as in the above picture.  We are going to sew the right red piece to the middle blue piece first.


Change back to your 1/4″ foot.


Fold that right, red piece over on top of the blue piece and sew them together.  Chain sew all 120 of them this way.  Cut them all apart and bring them to the ironing board.

  • Place the fabric with the larger piece on top
  • Lift it up and press it open.  This makes the seam allowance go to the blue fabric and away from the bulky part of our stitch and  flip piece.
  • Make sure that the seam is very open before you press

Take these blocks back to your machine. 


Place the block on your space with the free blue side on the right with the rest of the red flipped pieces also to the right as shown above.  Sew these just like we did on the other side,  

Cut them apart and press open.

Remember to put the larger piece on top and then press open.

Congratulations!  We have 120 pretty, finished blocks.  SWEET!!

They are absolutely gorgeous!


I’m looking forward to next time when we will be putting them all together:)

If any of you are just joining us, you can find the previous lessons here:

I hope you all are having as much fun as I am!  Until Thursday, –Happy sewing:)

Don’t forget to post pictures of your fabric and progress on Instagram #pinsandstripesqal I will be giving away a jelly roll to someone who posts a picture from all seven lessons and a picture of themselves with their new quilt by the end of July 2017!!

Fantastic Bake Along – Pizza Party Results!

I don’t know about you, but my family LOVED our Fantastic Pizza Party:)!   Brenna@crochet539 and her family chose the theme and the recipe this month.  Yum!  Thank you Brenna:)! 

You can find the details and the recipe here.

For my pizza, I decided on an Arizona themed version.  Mine is a type of Navajo Taco or Navajo Pizza!   It was really quick and easy, not to mention DELICIOUS!!


The dough was easy to make, but I did have to add a few tablespoons of olive oil to it to get it to this lovely ball stage.   

I covered it and left it on the counter while I ran to the store.  It definitely over proofed, but thankfully, it didn’t affect the end result:)


I rolled it back into a ball and cut the ball into 10 or so smaller balls.  My daughter in law took the job of rolling out the dough into small mini pizzas about 1/4″ thick.


My son took the job of frying the dough into these beautiful discs of fry bread.  Mmmmm!  I can’t wait!  Here is another shot just to make your mouth water:) 

I was in charge of the Navajo Toppings.  

I browned some meat and onions.  I added a large can of beans, green chiles, and salt and pepper.  It is kind of a quick type of chile beans.

I put the crust on a round pan, and spooned about 1.5 c of the chile beans onto the crust and sprinkled cheese over the top.  I then placed the pizza under the broiler to get the cheese all melted and gooey.  Broiling also added a delicious char to the crust as well:)


Here are a few of my family’s Navajo Pizzas.  Oh my oh my were they yummy!!  We topped them with sliced cabbage and tomatoes.


It really was a party at my house.  Just look at the smile on my son’s friend’s face!!

And a Navajo Pizza Party wouldn’t be complete without SWEET fried bread.  

This is the classic way to serve Navajo fried bread, with honey.  I added a sprinkle of powdered sugar as well.


I am so excited to hear how all of your pizza parties turned out.  I am off to go read about them.  Here are the links:

If you didn’t join in the fun this month, I hope you will hop in next month. We bake the second week of the month and would LOVE to Bake along with you!

Patio Chair Make-Over Scrap Happy Style!

It a Scrap Happy day around my house today:). Each month Kate @ Tall Tales from Chiconia hosts a use your scraps party called Scrap Happy.  It has been a great motivator for me to use what I have.   Waste not, want not is always a good idea:)

I have been working on my backyard lately.  Every now and then I do get out of the sewing room believe it or not!:).  Our patio table was in extreme need of replacement.

The cushions were destroyed by the sun, the webbing felt a bit weak, and the color was dated.  Yep, time to go!

I wanted an all metal table and chairs with large pillows. I started looking online, around stores and on Craigslist for new or almost new sets in the burnt orange-red and greens that are a bit more trendy.  But wow, they were pricey!  Some were as high as $4,000.00!

Nope, that’s not my way.   I will not spend full price on something I can make almost as nice myself.   I bought 8 wrought iron chairs on Craig’s List with two extra tables for $500.00.  

These chairs are never going to weaken in the Arizona sun and heat:)!  They gently rock and are comfortable to sit in even without the cushions.  Yea!  


I scrubbed and cleaned them up, and bought 10 cans of Rust-Oleum. $60.00  I spray painted everything, including my old table with this lovely hammered bronze.  I love it!

Now, on to the pillows.  Thick chair covers were anywhere from $35-50  each.  Ouch!  Nope.  Not gunna do it!  I found these large Solarium pillows at Costco.

They were two for $15.00.  Now we’re talking!  I stuck eight of them in my cart and smiled all the way home:).  $60.00 for eight!  The only thing they needed to make them into chair cushions was ties in two corners to keep them from blowing away in the wind.  I can do that!

Scrap Happy to the rescue!!   I have a bunch of old orange fabric that I have used to make pioneer skirts and quilts out of.  It is the fabric that never reduces no matter how often I use it.  Here it is in the quilt I made for my niece.  Remember?

I cut a bunch, well really ripped a bunch of 3″ strips.

I cut them in half.  Then I  folded them in half lengthwise and sewed them into a tube


Next I took out my handy Turn-it All.   

This is a wonderful little tool.  

You place the plastic tube into your fabric tube and sew the fabric tube end closed.

Next, you use the dowel to push the sewn end into the tube and pushed it through.  The fabric magically turns!  You can use the dowel to push out the edges.  How easy is that?!


I made 16 of these.  I then pushed in the open edges, and edge stitched all the way around.

 

Pretty!

Now I just had to sew them to my pillow cushions.

I folded the ties in half and sewed them to corners of the pillow.  They were easy and turned out PERFECT!


I promptly ran outside and tied them to my chairs.  They look great!

Woo hoo!!  So for a total of $620.00 I now have an all metal table with 8 rocking chairs and large squishy cushions.  I saved up to $3500.00!   That’s what I’m talking about!!:)

From this–

To this–

It was definitely worth the elbow grease:). I know we will be enjoying this new set for many many years to come.   

I think I may have to eat my pizza from the Fantastic Bake Along pizza party out here on the patio!  SWEET!!

Learn to Quilt -Lesson #3 – Chain Sewing

So here we are at Lesson #3 of this 7 part Learn to Quilt series.  We are almost halfway done with our Pins and Stripes Quilt. Yea!  


After our last lesson, we finished cutting all of our rectangles and squares.  It always makes me so happy to look at neatly stacked fabric that is patiently waiting to be all sewn together. They are so pretty!

We will be sewing the center three strips of our blocks together today.  We will use all of the blue and red  1.5″ rectangles.  

Go ahead and take all of them over to your sewing space. But  before we start sewing, we have a few things to get ready ready first.

  • It is always a good idea to wind a few extra bobbins before sewing.  You will be happy you took the time to do this at the beginning.  When your bobbin runs out, you can quickly pop in another and keep right on sewing:)
  • Thread your machine
  • Place a 1/4″ sewing foot on your machine.

Now we are ready to sew!  Take one rectangle of each color and place them right sides together. Make sure the edges are even all the way around.  

  • Place your layered fabric under the presser foot with the long edge butting up against the 1/4″ marker plate on your foot.
  • Chain sew all of the red or color #1 rectangles to a blue color #2 rectangle. You do not need to stop after each rectangle.  Just ease another fabric set under the foot at the end of the previous set.  
  •  There will be a very large bundle of fabric pairs all chained together at the back of  your machine as you sew along.
  • Cut all of these apart and take them to the ironing board.
  • Place the lighter or red fabric on the bottom with the darker or blue fabric on the top.
  • Press the blue fabric up which will cause the seam allowance to be towards the darker color.  Be careful here.  It is easy to not open the fabric completely.  Use your left hand to finger press the seam open as you go.
  • You will have 120 blue and red rectangles. Now, back  to the machine!
  • Match the remaining blue rectangles to the other side of the red rectangle.  This will sandwich the red between two blues.
  • Chain sew all of the 120 blocks the same as before using the 1/4″ foot as your guide.
  • The center piece should have a 1/4″ stitching line on both sides.
  • Pressing is a very important part of quilting.  It is imperative that the seam is fully opened.  If it isn’t, your finished block will not be the right size.  
  • So once again, finger press the blue up and iron press it open.

Done!!  Just look at how perfect these turned out:). You are doing a fantastic job!  Isn’t this fun?!

We will be sewing the squares and larger rectangles next time.  I can’t wait!

Until then, 

Don’t forget to post pictures of your fabric and progress on Instagram #pinsandstripesqal I will be giving away a jelly roll to someone who posts a picture from all seven lessons and a picture of themselves with their new quilt by the end of July 2017!!

Here are the links to the lessons if you are wanting to join along: