Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Sticking It To The Cats ~ Sneak Peek

Have I become a crazy cat lady?  They aren't real cats, just cat quilt blocks.  Does that count?  How many cat blocks have I made?  Does test quilt block count in this equation?  I'm going to say test blocks don't count so there's six cat blocks.  Here's a peek at my newest quilt block.  Any guesses on what you think it might be?  The red is a clue to the theme, Christmas.  The next three after this one will also be Christmas themed.

So....How many cat blocks have I designed and plan to make?  Only 16,  with ideas for ....well a few more.  In my defense we must look at what it takes to make a good sized quilt.  Twelve is the industry standard for a basic quilt.  Two of the blocks I've designed(so far) and made are much larger than the others.  Designing more blocks is totally logical since we need 12 quilt blocks to make a standard quilt.  And if a quilter wants to make coordinating pillow shams, table runners, wall hangings and who knows what else, they need options.  You can't make the same quilt block over and over, everyone knows that.  

 So yes, I think I've officially hit the crazy cat lady standard.  And we won't even talk about my thoughts on making a new series of appliqued cat blocks.  It's not a definite plan but its being discussed by me, myself and I.  They can never agree on anything.  Now that's crazy.

While they hash it out lets move onto what's going on in the crazy cat lady quilt studio.  Lot's of cute fabric.  I tried only using fabric from the scrap basket but everything I liked didn't have enough scraps.  So it was time to dig into the yardage and fat quarter stashes.  The pink is from Lakehouse Drygoods, the green is by Kristyne Czepuryk for Moda.  And the background(B) I have no idea.

Here's another peek/clue of the next block as I prepare for the video making.  Labeling the pieces for the videos isn't easy.  The little labels were designed by me a few years ago.  If you would like a set they are free here,   It's in a Windows Microsoft Word document format so you can edit them.  Change the font and color to anything you like.

These have worked great for me over the years since I rarely made quilts with little pieces.  However some of the cat block pieces are smaller than the labels.  For my videos I need a  different way to label the many pieces and the tiny pieces.  If I were the only one seeing them it wouldn't be an issue, I don't mind the mess but I'm trying to look a not so messy.   Sure I could buy little stickers preprinted with letters and numbers.  I've seen them  and talk about sticker shock!  LOL!  I won't mention any brands but I will say when you add the word QUILT to any product the price rises.  

So being the thrifty old Crazy Cat Lady that I am I decided to see if I could make my own little stickers.  A quick trip to Amazon and TADA!  Stickers!  They have stickers as small as 1/4".  These are 3/4".  The price $7.95 for 1260 stickers.  Quilt stickers $9.50 for 250 stickers.  Of course there's a little cost in the ink to print my own.  The company has made it really easy to print.  You just go to their website download the template for your sized circles add your text and print. Here's a link to the stickers I purchased

Adding the letters to the template only took a few minutes. It was much easier and quicker than I thought it would be.   I think the next time I'll make the font a little bigger.  Maybe even use colors!  Pretty stickers!

Then I began thinking about waste.  It seems wasteful to use the stickers more than once.  So I pulled off the waste part of the sticker sheet. 

Now I can use my stickers then put them back on the sheet all willy-nilly if I want and they can be used again.  I may only get 2 or 3 uses out of them but it adds up over time.  I know.... more crazy cat lady behavior. 

In my head, in my dads voice I hear...
 "A penny saved is a penny earned"  
 "Waste not want not"  
"Pinch a Penny till it screams"

A coupon clipping crazy lady I am not.  I like a good deal but I don't won't to spend too much time getting a good deal dads voice

"Time is money"

Mission accomplish.  My design boards look a little less cluttered and I feel good about spending a little money in order to try to make money.  And the icing on cake will be if others find it to be a helpful tip too.

Until next time....

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

~ Lea Anne Brummett ~
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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Easy Scrap Buster Christmas Quilt ~ My Favorite Binding Tools

 It just doesn't get much easier than this.  I designed this quilt to use up my scrap stash.  As you all probably already know,  I didn't use it up but I did put a good dent in it even if I can't really tell by looking at the scrap basket.

Adding the colors orange and brown required a dig through my larger fabric stash.  Both colors are not in my typical color pallet.  There were a few pieces of orange scraps but they didn't even come close to what was needed.  My thoughts on color were pretty simple...Christmas twinkle lights from my youth.  Mom loved to decorate for Christmas.  It took days for her to put up the one Christmas tree in our home.  Another three or four days to set up the nutcrackers and the Christmas village.  Then there was the outdoor d├ęcor.  Dad was in charge of those.  Of course mom supervised, making sure every bulb was perfectly placed.  What I remember the most was the twinkle of the many different colored lights.  For some reason the colors seamed richer and brighter than todays lights.  

There's a few Christmas prints in this quilt, maybe 3 or 4.   The low volume background fabrics also required a little digging in my yardage stash just so I could get a wide variety of prints.  The plan was to have no matching prints side by side.  Well it didn't work out.  There's two or three spots where it happened.  And since I can't tell you exactly how many times it happened that should tell you how much it bothered me...not much.

I love it!  It's happy, bright and simple.  Most of the fabrics are 2.5" wide.  The pinwheels are not.  They are made from 3" HST's finished in the quilt.  Then the frames on them are also 2.5" wide strips.  No seams to match up when sewing together the finished blocks into rows.  It really was a quick and easy scrap quilt.  It's taking me longer to hand sew the binding than it did to put the top together.  If you'd like to make this quilt I made a video for each block.  

Before making the quilt a few test blocks were made.  They were used to make a matching pillow.  The machine sewn green binding added a nice faux piping look.  I did a YouTube video on how I attach machine binding so the stitches land on the binding on both the front and the back of the quilt.  Watch the video by clicking here.   If nothing else you might get a few good laughs, I had some technical difficulties but the show must go on!

For the quilt I decided to hand stitch the binding to the back.  Binding is one of my favorite quilt making processes.  It means the quilt is nearly complete and I can set on  my rear for hours binge watching whatever I want.   Over the years this process has changed.  These days I need a few more tools due to the aging of my eyes and fingers.  Funny how my in mind I feel no different maybe even a little more "with it"  but my body has a different opinion.   Well all I can do is adapt to the difference of opinions.  The first greatest tool ever invented for aging quilters(like me) a good needle threader.  I love this little Prym Love Needle Threader Birdy found on Amazon.  It has saved me so much time.  Threading is nearly impossible without it.

I've tried many needle threaders over the last few years and this one is by far the best.  I sent one to best quilting buddy, Bev, and she too loved it.  By the way, she's in her 70's and her eyes are worse than mine.  Sorry Bev for telling all the things!  You know I love ya!  

It's hard to see but there's a notch at the end of the bird beak.  I can't see it, but all that matters is the thread will catch in the notch.

Then grab the needle, pull the bird.....

Works right the first time, every time!  And the best thing is it's cheap. 
Amazon non affiliated link to purchase a threader for you and your quilting friends.

Here's another must have for handwork.  Again I've owned and used two other around the neck lights and this one is AMAZING.  

Each lights brightness can be controlled separately with the buttons on side of he light.  High, medium and low.  I find the high is way to bright.

The button on the back controls the color of the lights.  White light, Soft yellowish light, and a sorta blue.  The light colors are the same as a regular light bulb.  You know we can have the old warmer yellow bulbs, daylight bulbs or that weird blue-ish one that makes everyone look dead.  Anyway I like the bright white light set on medium brightness.  And the best thing is this comes with a cord for recharging!  LOVE IT!  It's one of those things you won't use often but it's great to have when you need it.  Another great gift for yourself or friends.  Find it here.  As of today it's on sale.

A good needle also makes a world of difference.  Again, I've tried so many needles over the years and these are the best so far.  These came in a Fat Quarter Sew Sampler Box a year or two ago.  I wasn't impressed and stuck them in my notions drawer.  A few months later I finally gave them a try.  For the first time ever my needle did not have a bend in it when I finished my binding.  Amazing!  

Where have you been all my quilting life?  Worth every dime!  Find them here on the Fat Quarter Shop Website.   They also sell smaller packages of Bohin Needles, so if you prefer a specific size they might have just what you need.

The last thing on my must have for hand sewing list is a strong pair of reading glasses.  These are a few years old and have been put through the ringer.  The tape isn't pretty but I really don't mind.  I only wear them when doing handwork.  They are stronger than my everyday reading glasses.  However I still can't see well enough to thread a needle without my handy dandy little bird threader.

Until next time....

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Monday, November 29, 2021

Here Kitty Kitty!

 Hello Quilting Friends!  It's been awhile since my last blog post.  So this week I'm going to fill you in on everything that's gone on here in Podunk over the last few weeks.  

I'll also TRY to get back to blogging everyday, I miss it!  As you can see I've went down a Cat Quilt Block rabbit hole.  This cute little wall hanging quilt(above) (35 x35) is my latest creation.  It's a FREE quilt pattern on my YouTube Channel in the video Cat Quilt Block 6.

Each quilt block in the quilt is a separate video.  The Santa Cat block being the newest video.  The videos are numbered instead of being given a name.  This one is Cat Block Tutorial 6.  To make the quilt above you'll also need the Wreath Quilt block and the Present Quilt block.

Most of the blocks will be 12 x 12.  However the two cutest (or so I think) are larger.  I wanted them all to finish at 12 inches but the pieces would have been way to small.  This Stocking Cat block is 10 x 18.  The smallest piece in the block is 1.5 x 1...WHOA!  As you can see making the block smaller would have been almost impossible.  Video for block is here.

Here's one of the ideas I drew up for using two of the quilt block tutorials.  It's mentioned in the Stocking Cat video.  However I don't give measurements to make the quilt.   We'll just call it quilt inspiration.  Video for the Cat Wreath Block is here.

How did this Cat Quilt Block series come to be?  Well it was this little block.  A momma cat and her kitten in a basket.  A quick and fun quilt block for Halloween.  Inspired by the new line of fabric called Kitty Korn by Riley Blake.  As you may already know I'm not a big fan of novelty print fabrics but the Kitty Korn was so cute.  Not purchasing it was hard.  Should I find a really good deal on a bundle it may end up in my stash anyway.  Video for the Cat Basket is here.

After making one cute cat block the ideas just kept coming.  I've designed enough blocks for one block a week over the next couple of months and the ideas just keep coming.  So many ideas that I can't make videos fast enough before the season/theme changes.  Video for the Pumpkin Cat Block is here.

If you prefer to watch the entire series without stopping (binge watch) here's a link to the entire series playlist.  Just click here to watch them all.

Today is the last day to cash in on the last sale of the year for instant download PDF Patterns in my shop.  50% off all PDF's!  No code needed.  Sale ends midnight tonight, EST Zone.



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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Not Spooky But Cute!

It's amazing how color can make a big difference in a quilt block.  My latest quilt was designed around black, gray and orange. I liked the design so much I decided to make it in a brighter, more me, colorway.

The difference is night and day.  Not that I don't like the black version, I do.  But the one above makes me a little happier.   

The orange and yellow fabrics I'm using in the blocks above are scraps leftover from my Autumn Memories Quilt.  I designed my Autumn Memories quilt pattern for the fabric line Autumn Love by Lori Holt for Riley Blake. 

I loved Autumn Love line so much I had buy more it and make a second quilt called Podunk Plaid.  Both of these quilts are available in my pattern shop.

Speaking of plaid, have you seen her newest line called Bee Plaid?  Oh my goodness!  This line was made just for me!  You all know how much I love plaids and ginghams.  Wonder how much it would cost for a bolt of each?  I suppose I'll need to settle for just a little of a few(one or two) of them.    

For now I need to stay focused on the project at hand.  The internet with all it's pretty pictures can be so distracting.  I stumbled upon the Bee Plaids while going down a rabbit hole looking for the name of the block in my current project.  

I've searched the internet high and low for days and  looked in four different quilt block encyclopedia books I own. Not one of them has this block in it.  Do you know the name?  I know I've seen it somewhere but for the life of me I can't remember where.

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