Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nordic Christmas [Christmas in July]

Merry Christmas in July! This is a tutorial for a quick Christmas quilt. Seriously quick and fun. It is a Scandinavian inspired design I put together for Folk Art Holiday. This is something you can whip up quickly and enjoy all Christmas season! I just super sized this classic block for a fresh and fast Scandinavian inspired quilt.

Make sure to head over to the Sew Lux Blog to see the other fab tutorials.

As always, if you have any questions or if I made a mistake (known to happen, I am not a professional) let me know. I am happy to help and would love your input.

Nordic Christmas Tutorial

Finished Quilt Size: 65” x 65”
Finished Block Size: 25” x 25”
All seams are a scant ¼”
Skill level: Confident Beginner

Please read all of the instructions first before you start. 

8 Fat Quarters of Folk Art Holiday (Available here)
4 yards backing fabric
½ yard for binding
Coordinating Thread (I used this)

Basic quilting supplies (rotary cutter and mat, ruler, scissors, sewing machine, iron, etc)
6.5” Square Bloc-Loc Ruler (optional, but helpful)
Rotating cutting mat (optional, but helpful)

For each block cut (parenthesis note the prints from my example):
6 – 6 x 6” squares white
4 – 6 x 6” squares Print B (Green)
2 – 6 x 6” squares Print C (Blue Snowflake)
8 – 5.5 x 5.5” squares white
2 – 5.5 x 5.5” squares Print A (Blue Bird)
1 – 15.5 x 5.5” rectangle Print A (Blue Bird, cut this directionally so the birds stand upright, horizontally the long way)

1.    Make twelve (5.5 x 5.5”) half square triangles (HSTs) blocks, eight of Print B and four from Print C, using your 6 x 6” squares of the print fabrics paired with white. You can use your favorite method to make these HST blocks, I outline my favorite below (using your 6 x 6” squares):

a.     Draw a diagonal line through all six of the white squares using your fabric pen or a pencil.

b.     Pair the white squares with squares of Print B and C, right sides together.

c.      Sew ¼ inch on either side of the diagonal line for each pair of squares.

d.     Cut along pencil line.

e.     Press blocks, with seam toward darker fabric (print).

f.      Trim each HST unit to 5.5 x 5.5” (Use your Bloc-loc and rotating mat to make this painless and quick).

g.     You should have twelve half square triangle units (eight from Print B and four from Print C, all paired with white).

2.    Now it is time to layout your block. It is a 5 square by 5 square block unit. Lay the block out as pictured below (time to get Print A involved).

3.    Sew together in horizontal rows. When you are finished with rows 1 through 5, press the rows in opposite directions, row 1 to the right, row 2 to the left, row 3 to the right, etc. I used a technique called webbing my block (for a tutorial on that, see this video).

4.    Sew five rows together.

5.    Repeat to make four blocks. Each block measures 25.5” square.

Corner Stone Instructions:

Eight – 3” by approximately 15” strips of each print you would like to use (I chose two red, two gray, two blue, and two green, using the Print A from each block.)

1.     Sew strips of the blue print to the red print, then strips of gray print to green print. Make sure you check to ensure directional prints are facing the same direction.

2.     Press all of the seams to one side (up for the blue and red and down for the green and gray).

3.     Cut 3" strips from the long strips. You need nine from each fabric set.

4.     Take one from each combination and sew together so seams lock. If you want all of your cornerstones to look the same just make sure to sew them in the same orientation.

5.     You will finish with nine 5.5 x 5.5” four patch blocks.

Sashing/Layout and Assembly:

Twelve – 25.5 x 5.5” strips of white for the sashing.

1.     To the left of each 25.5” square block attach a sashing strip. Sew blocks together in large strips and add one more sashing strip at the end. So your block units look as pictured. Press seams towards sashing.

2.    With the remaining sashing strips attach them with the four patch corner stones in between each strip. You will have 3 long strips. Press seams towards sashing.

3.     Sew sashing onto blocks, use pins at this stage to line up seams (even if you never use pins, trust me, you'll want to here).

4.     Sew rows of blocks together to complete your quilt top (use pins, you may need to ease in some seams to your blocks line up perfectly).

5.     Press! Step back and enjoy!

Now you can baste, quilt and bind your quilt in your favorite way!

I am off to finish this one. I will make it my personal goal to have this finished to show you by the end of the Christmas in July Challenge. I can’t wait to see what you make. 

Link up your projects by between July 21st and August 4th on the Sew Lux Blog for a chance to win fabulous prizes. More importantly, get a jump on the Christmas sewing and avoid the craziness that can come with that season! 

For complete challenge details see here.

Full Disclosure: This fabric was given to me in exchange for writing this tutorial, but I love Sew Lux and I buy fabric there all of the time. My endorsement of the shop is heartfelt and my opinions are my own. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cover the World in Quilts. Quilt Lemonade.

Good afternoon my dear friends! Today I am blogging at you from Buffalo, New York. My family had a little reunion in Niagara Falls this weekend and Derek and I are spending the night in Buffalo before we head back to North Carolina.

Yesterday, we rode a boat underneath Niagara Falls (EPIC! AMAZING!).

Today, we bought my husband hockey skates and ate Buffalo wings (when in Buffalo...).

Tomorrow, we journey home and do laundry.

Tuesday, I am heading to Alabama for work.

Life is funny sometimes.

To the point... I made this quilt.

In the world of quilting there are many very deserving charitable organizations that ask for your talents. It can be sort of hard to determine which organizations to support with your limited time and resources. I read my friend (and guild mate) Val's passionate request for quilts for the kids living in a safe house in La Limonada, a community in Guatemala, and I knew I had to make her a quilt. According to Val, many of these kids have nothing to call their own. Can you imagine having nothing? Can you imagine not feeling safe as a kid? Or your kid not being or feeling safe?

This scrappy coin quilt was made with a little boy in mind. The colors were inspired by a terribly destroyed quilt my father's grandmother had made for him. My dad loves this quilt!

I have been informed that this quilt has journeyed down to Guatemala and is in possession of a little boy who is very pleased with it. Actually, I was sent a little picture and thank you from Val herself, but I can't share it because this little boy's anonymity needs to be protected. I can share that the photo made me happy cry.

If you are interested in making a quilt for Quilt Lemonade, the details are here. The organization working in La Limonada is Lemonade International and there are many other ways you can help this community.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Cover the World in Quilts
Size: Approximately 50" x 55"
Fabric: Scraps
Quilting: Infinity Loops with Aurifil Thread
Finished: June 2014

If you like this quilt, see this quilt, which is very similar.

Monday, July 7, 2014

It's Christmas in July! 2014!

Hello there friends!

I am super excited to announce that Christmas in July is coming back to the Bacon Haus! July is when the manufacturers release the year's new Christmas fabrics. It seems crazy to be buying and sewing with Christmas fabrics when it is mid-summer, but getting a head start is never a bad idea. I am always running behind when it actually gets to holiday time!

To help you out with that, Chrissy and Linda of Sew Lux Fabrics have gathered together a group of bloggers to inspire you with tutorials with the 2014 Christmas lines.

I am sewing with Folk Art Holiday by Gina Martin. I have been smitten with this line since I first saw those birds and that shade of blue. This is my kind of Christmas line!

Here is a sneak peak of my project, which is actually finished, because I have to go to Alabama next week. But this tutorial is going to be epic, super fun and simple. Dare I say folksy? This quilt can be made with 8 fat quarters and 3 yards of solid (I found that Bella bleached white was the best match). It is super simple comes together fast (I promise).

Christmas is sneaky, and if you wait too long those fabrics will be sold out!

Never fear!

Sew Lux has you covered! The awesome mother and daughter team over at Sew Lux are offering 10% off all of the bundles featured in the Christmas in July bundles featured in the series. Bundles are on sale through 7/13 with coupon code NICELIST for 10% off.  This only applies to the bundles on the Christmas in July page - NOT all Christmas fabric. 

You should also go check out the Sew Lux website, it is shiny and new and definitely worth a perusal.

Here's our Schedule of Events for the Series:
  • July 7th - Series Announcement & Bundle Sale
  • July 14th - Solstice Wreath Mini Tutorial (See that cute wreath in our series button image? We'll show you how to make it here on the Sew Lux Blog!)
  • July 21st - Sewing with Winter Wonderland - Lee of May Chappell
  • July 22nd - Sewing with Be Jolly - Chrissy of Sew Lux
  • July 23rd - Sewing the Folk Art Holiday - Sarah of Stitching & Bacon AND Megan of Quilt Story
  • July 24th - Sewing with 25th & Pine - Tessa of The Sewing Chick AND Tracey of traceyjay quilts
  • July 25th - Sewing with Solstice - Christen of Love by Hand AND Stephanie of Quarter Incher
  • July 21-August 4th - Linky open to link up your projects
  • August 5th - Winner Announced

Sew with Us!
To encourage you all to also get a start on your holiday sewing, we're offering up some prizes!  All you have to do is make a project using one of the tutorials from the series and link it up by August 4th!  You can use a bundle or fabric from your stash - it only has to use one of our 9 tutorials from this series!

There will be two winners chosen at random and announced on August 5th. International friends are welcome to participate - your prize will be included with your shipment upon redeeming your gift certificate.

  • Grand Prize: $50 gift certificate to Sew Lux Fabric, a set of 6 You're Sew Nice cards, and an assortment of three patterns by May Chappell
  • 1st Prize: $25 gift certificate to Sew Lux Fabric, a set of 6 You're Sew Nice cards, and a pattern by May Chappell

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Plus One. Green.

I know I am not supposed to apologize for absences in this space. I would like to apologize anyway. I am sorry. I feel like my lack of posts is symptomatic of my general inability to stay on top of things lately. And don't feel sorry for me... we all get in the hole sometimes. Being an adult is hard.

Enough whining.

I finished another quilt.

This one was for a very special little boy who is  expected any day now. In fact, I had dinner with his mother tonight and I am pretty sure she would love for him to make an appearance.

I really wanted to make a scrappy plus quilt. Then I did and it was adorable.

These fabrics are mostly scraps, although I had to cut into some of the "low volume" yardage to give it a little variety.

I tried to get some fun surprises in there too. Like the animals and the "G" because the baby's last name starts with the letter G (a first name has not been decided as of yet). The one green plus is significant too. I accidentally fussy cut some inappropriate fabric in there... nothing profane, just not baby appropriate. Ten points to Gryffindor if you find it.

Then I did some organic straight line quilting, but not too much (so it would still be snuggly, a huge concern for my husband). I had some problems with the feeds being unequal during quilting, even with the walking foot, maybe it has something to do with my presser foot pressure? I am not sure anyone would notice after washing. I can tell, but can't we always find our own mistakes? I am 100% the little buddy is not going to notice when he finally decides to come and meet us all.

Despite my extended absence you should all come back on Monday for an announcement.

PS - I am not pregnant

PPS - So many people in my life are pregnant I feel like I need to say that.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Plus one
Size: Approximately 36" x 42"
Fabric: Scraps! Lots of Kona Cotton for the solids
Quilting: Organic lines with Aurifil thread
Finished: June 2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Crazy Good, Crazy Quilt

I would like to start this blog post with some congratulations to myself. I writing a blog post, which is a win. I only found one tick on myself at work today and we saw no snakes.  I am awake and alive.

Life is awesome.

Today in this awesome successful blog post I am going to discuss a quilt I finished several weeks ago.  

It is a bigger, badder version of this quilt.

My friend Lauren asked me to make her a quilt. Normally, I do not make other people quilts on request. My fellow quilters may or may not agree with me, but quilts are a lot of work and gifting them is not something I do lightly. But something about Lauren's  quilt stuck with me and she allowed me complete creative control and no deadline. Plus she is awesome.

Her only request was green. I think I nailed it.

It only took me a year.

But she loves it.

What do you need to congratulate yourself for today?

Quilt Stats: 
Name: Crazy Good
Size: Approximately 60" x 60"
Fabrics: Scraps! with Ikea fabric on the back
Pattern: Roughly based on Crazy Star (from Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration)
Quilting: Figure eight loops with Aurifil thread
Finished: May 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Pink Chowder: Bloggers Quilt Festival Quilt

Hello old and new friends! I am so happy you are here. Welcome.

I am re-sharing Pink Chowder today as my entry in the Bloggers Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side. I decided to enter it as a large quilt.

This is my favorite quilt I have ever made. I finished it a couple of months ago and I still just stare at it sometimes thinking, "I made that" (picture a wondering look and an awed voice). 

This quilt is me. 

It was born from a late evening desire to start a new project, when I just started randomly grabbing some of my favorite and most precious fabrics. I brought that giant stack of fabric to a retreat with my best sewing people and then I met the Accuquilt die cutter and the, then brand new, clam die. I knew I had to learn to sew curves just so I could turn my stack of fabric into a clam quilt. 

The reasons this is my favorite quilt of all time:

1.) I learned so much sewing this quilt. These are my first curves ever. It was my first time using the Accuquilt.

2.) I used some of my most hoarded fabrics on this quilt. Now when I look at it I get so see little happy surprises everywhere. Reminding me to use my hoarded fabrics!

3.) Some of my best sewing people gave me scraps to use in this quilt. Now every time I see those clams, I think of them. 

4.) It is pink and aqua. 

5.) There are cats on it. 

6.) I did it. I felt like I was really starting to get this quilting thing while working on this quilt. The quilting looks so good, the clams came together so well, and the colors just make me smile. It gives me such a sense of accomplishment.

Thanks for stopping by! Thanks for being patient about seeing this quilt twice on here. I think you are the best. I love this community and this festival illustrates everything that is good about the online quilting world. I only just wish we were at a real quilt festival 'cause then we could meet. Maybe have a coffee? I would love to hear about your day. 

Pink Chowder Stats
Size: 72" by 72"
Pattern: I used the Accuquilt to cut my clams, but you check out The Quilt Engineer's pattern on Craftsy here
Fabric: Too many to list. Just so many bits of precious in this one. 
Quilting: Organic matchstick quilting with Aurifil Thread done by me on my home machine.
Finished: January 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sewing People are the Best People. Creeper and Rainbow Dash Pillows.

Rainbow Dash and Creeper Pillows

I sat down to recap my past couple of weeks and then I started to feel a bit overwhelmed trying to remember everything and commit everything that has happened to pixels. What if I forget something important?

Then I realized, you won't know if I forget something. In fact, you may secretly be hoping I forget something so I just get on with this post already. I am not Tolstoy, we can keep this down to a quick read.

So here you go, I went to Austin, Texas.

I went to Austin to attend the Society for American Archaeology's annual meeting. At this meeting, my coworker and I were co-chairing a session (!!!!!). Writing about this I realize I have residual butterflies in my stomach. This is a sewing blog, so you all don't care that people came to my session or that it was well received. You may care to note that I did not vomit in the conference.

This post is not about a boring archaeology conference, it is about how sewing people are the best people. Before my conference, I spent two nights and approximately two days hanging with one of my bestest internet/real life sewing friends Amy. Amy and her two little boys picked me up from the airport, we ate lots of queso, drank some tequila drinks, I got to read a bedtime story (omg, the cuteness), we drank some beer, we ate some queso, went fabric shopping, did some sewing, did some hanging out, and ate some more.

Amy and her family really know how to show a girl a good time.

Before I left for Austin, I asked Amy what her boys liked. She told me they and just gotten bunk beds and we decided they could use new pillows. I had so much fun tailoring these pillows to each boy's taste.

Gus is five. He loves Rainbow Dash, sparkly things, and rainbows. I decided to make him a Rainbow Dash cutie mark pillow. I also fount this rainbow dash ribbon on Etsy. The rainbow lightning bolt is unfortunately something I sketched out and did not save my original. But, paper piecing for the win!

Bowie is eight. He love science, Minecraft, and paracord knot tying (????). I went with the creeper design I found through Amy's help and some google searches. I love this so much! Those patchwork pixels make me so happy.

I put their first initials on the back. Each pillow measures approximately 19" to fit in a 20" pillow form. They are all quilted with Aurifil thread and mostly pieced with Kona solids.

If anyone here has kids (or is around kids) you know presents are hit and miss. Let's be real and say at five or eight I might have thought a pillow was a totally lame present. As Amy put it, you just never know when they will forget their manners. But that was totally not the case with Bowie and Gus! They loved the pillows! They were bringing them all over the house with them while I was there and they slept with them at night! Bowie even played a game of Minecraft on his Minecraft pillow, just because he loved it. It made me happy (As a side note, they were also super polite and well-mannered).

This post is long enough. I will stop here, happy boys, happy Sarah. Amy is a rock star. Sewing people are the best people.

Love you all.

Hugs and kisses.