Saturday, February 26, 2011

Memory Tree Pillow 2 and a giveaway! (CLOSED)

Remember the first Memory Tree Pillow?

The reason it's special is because of the sources of the fabric and the thought behind the design, right? It's special to me because it honors the people I love and miss. The fun in design comes when there is true inspiration. For the first Memory Tree Pillow, my inspiration primarily came from my late Aunt Nan. Every time I look at the quilted wind, I'm reminded of her.

Memory Tree Pillow#2 is inspired by my grandmother - Aunt Nan's sister. (Aunt Nan is my great-aunt, I suppose I should clarify so y'all don't get confused by my lineage.) My grandmother has always had a love for birds. She has bird houses, birdbaths, bird feeders. You can always hear the sweet songs of different birds when you're sitting on her back porch. So, naturally, a bird emerged as the companion pillow to the first Memory Tree Pillow.

Creating this pillow used up some of my 275 leaves! Awesome, right?!! I cut a ton!

I still have a whole bunch of these puppies left. About 140, actually. They're pre-fused, pre-cut, AND pre-peeled for you, so all you have to do is put them down with the interfacing side down and iron into place. That, my friends - saves you lots of work!

So up for grabs is the remaining leaves, a 17" square of linen to get you started on your own pillow, and a Modern Workshop Moda Candy bar donated by - if you guys haven't checked this site out yet, I highly recommend it. You can add her to your Google Reader and follow her posts just like any other blog. I always check there for deals before buying fabric.

(Modern Workshop image borrowed from

(Disclaimer: we were not paid or compensated in any way to host this giveaway. The Candy Bar will be shipped separately, directly from the Donkey herself)

So, how to enter?

1) Leave a comment. Any comment. Tell me what you had for dinner. Or don't, because that's going to make me hungry and annoyed that I'm stuck at work.

2) Head over to - leave me a comment telling me what you can win if you become a Donkey.

3) Add the Donkey to your Google Reader! (2 entries)

4) Become a fan of the Donkey on facebook! (2 entries)

5) Blog, tweet, or put up a facebook post about this giveaway. Leave a link in your comment.

Make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry! If you have two entries for becoming a fan of the Donkey or adding her to your reader - leave two separate comments!

Comments will be monitored and any excess comments or comments not following the rules will be deleted.

Giveaway is open until Friday, March 11th, at 9pm EST. Winner will be drawn using Random Number Generator. Good Luck!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pay it Forward #1 received!

I got word last night that my friend received the pay it forward that I shared a sneak peek of the other day. So now I can show it off! 

I wish I could say that the idea was all mine. I found the actual idea here, but the design was all my idea.

Bree and a couple of other friends want to make one too so I'll be posting a tutorial soon. Don't forget to check back!

Monday, February 21, 2011

String Quilt WIP

I was reading through some old blog posts from Ashley at Film in the Fridge when I happened upon this one and fell in love.

How bright and colorful, and right up my alley!

Except I don't quite have the stash that she does, I'm slowly building that up. While I have a TON of scraps, I just didn't have much variety.

But I did have this

I bought it without having any plan for it, I just knew I had to have it! 

My first thought for it was a bento box following this tutorial. She used It's a Hoot and I love it! But I was talking to a friend about it and she thought it was too busy. While I agreed that it was a bit busy I still wanted to proceed. But I put it off.

Then I decided that the Lollipop layer cake I had would be awesome as a bento box, so I made that one into one. I know, what does that have to do with anything? Give me a sec, I'm getting there.

While I was arranging the Lollipop blocks onto my design wall, I had a small strip of white showing in between them and thought, hey, what if I did one with the It's a Hoot layer cake after all and just put a teeny strip of sashing in between them? Wouldn't that break up the busyness?

Insert happening upon Ashley's blog post here and problem solved! I'll just do a string quilt like hers!

So I got out my layer cake and separated the prints.

I removed the ones that were so large I would lose the print by cutting them into strips. I have them put aside to use somewhere else. 

Then I separated the piles again. One of them was larger scale prints. I cut those into 2.5" strips.

The last pile was everything else. I split that one into two more piles. I wanted to get as many different sizes in all of the different prints and colors that I could, so I tried to make sure there was a good sampling in the two different piles. Then I cut them into random sized strips, varying from 1.5" to 2.5". I had a plan of course before I started cutting to make sure I got full use of each 10" piece.

So now I have piles of strips

And a few blocks completed.

These are a bit tedious to put together so I'm taking it slow and just sewing a couple at a time. I'm really loving how it's turning out so far!

And here is a sneak peek of a project I just finished. 

I was chain sewing and I ended up with this at one point. I thought it was really cool looking so I snapped a pic. I'll show the finished product soon, it's on it's way to it's new owner and I can't reveal it until she receives it. Just know that Bree has demanded a tutorial, so there will be a full workup!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Trim it and Finish it up!

OK, I know I said I was going to quilt mine before showing how to trim it. But I was asked oh so nicely to trim it first because some ladies wanted to add borders.

Then I felt bad because I originally was going to add borders to mine, but decided not to, then forgot that others may want to. Sorry!

So, here is how to trim the quilt top.

Lay your top out on a nice big surface

It actually helps to iron your top first. I was in a major hurry as I had three kids sitting on the recliner behind me ready to run!

I usually start in the bottom right corner when I trim, so that's where we're going to start. 

I sincerely apologize for the quality of some of these photos. I took some of them with my little point and shoot and I have no idea what happened. I need to check my settings, I recall seeing it in little hands one day.

Line your ruler up with the corner of the bottom block like pictured
I promise I did line mine up better than that, like I said, small children, in a hurry...

You want the ruler to run along the side of the quilt to where it lines up with the sides of the solid squares and the side of the print. It will cut right through your half blocks.

Trim along the length of the ruler

The square you created by adding triangles to your two middle rows become your top right corner

Line your ruler up again the same way you did before and trim

Follow all the way around until you have a square top

You may end up with some little flaps left over from trimming on the seams, just snip those off with your scissors. Or use your seam ripper if your inner perfectionist comes out to play.

That's it, you just made your quilt top! Now go ahead and add your borders if you'd like, and then quilt it and bind it.

You can find instructions for that here.

As always, we're in the Flickr discussion group if you need any help. Don't forget to post pictures!

I hope you enjoyed making this top, I definitely learned a few new things!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Creating the Turtle Shell

Ready to lay it out?

Ok, here we go!

We're going to do some more cutting first.

Grab your solid and cut out six 3.5" squares

Then slice them in half diagonally

You'll end up with 12 triangles

Now, grab two of your half blocks, two triangles and one of your full blocks

Lay them out like so

Do you see the two triangles on the end?

 Then take 5 full blocks, two half blocks and two triangles, and lay them out like this

Note the position of the two triangles and how the three middle blocks are going to line up with the three blocks from the first row (pictured above the row)
The next few pictures aren't going to be the best, and the rows are laid out on a diagonal because my design wall isn't wide enough, so bear with me.

For the third row you need 9 full blocks, 2 half blocks and 2 triangles. Note the layout of the triangles

The next row will use the same amount of blocks, 9 full ones, 2 half and 2 triangles. Look at the half blocks and the triangles in this one though, they are reversed and at the TOP, not the bottom

Here are the two middle rows together

See how the triangles are going to make a full square at the ends?

For row 5, you will do it exactly like row 2, except the half blocks and triangles will be reversed again

And row 6, same as row 1 but reversed

Here are rows 5 and 6 together

Go ahead and sew the rows together after you have a layout that you like. Take special note of how the rows line up, particularly row 2 with 3 and row 4 with 5.

And I do apologize that some of my prints blend right into my design wall. I hope you can see them ok.

When sewing the blocks together make sure you line up the seams between the 6" block and your HSTs

And then match the points when sewing rows together. I like to pin right before and right after each one

For your triangles, easy peasy. Match the triangle up

Then flip it onto the block, pin it and sew

Next step is going to be trimming the top to make it a square. I'm going to do mine after I quilt it. You have the option of quilting yours first, or trimming it first and then quilting it, only to trim it again.

If you want to quilt yours first go ahead, mine will be quilted before I show how to trim it down. Just letting you know so you can get a jump start if you want to :)

I'm in the middle of painting and my house is in shambles so I took this opportunity to send my machine in for it's annual check up. The next and final post will be up as soon as possible but it may be later than next Monday. I'll keep y'all posted in the Flickr group.