Welcome to my blog! Add me as a friend on Facebook! You can also folow me on Twitter. If you have any questions on quilting, I can try to answer them for you, or you can check out my FAQ, or email me at skippitydodahquilts@yahoo.com

Happy Quilting!

About Me

My photo
I'm just a new wife who has an obsession with my sewing machine! In Oct. 2010, my mother and I created my first sewing project - Euro pillow shams. I was hooked! I read everything I could get my hands on that had to do with sewing! Books, magazines, online tutorials. I experimented and found that I get so much enjoyment from making quilts, and that it's where I found my niche. I'm still a beginner, but I've learned so much in just 5 short months, that I want to share it with someone!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

There is a quilter in all of us!

Today, a reader really inflated my ego and asked me a pretty interesting question, to which I have a fun answer!

"Question from a reader and friend: How did you learn to sew such pretty quilts?!"

Well, I am quite flattered, but I am far from a professional! :) But, I am mostly self-taught, and I learned much of my skills by sewing really badly! That, and for the past 5 months, I've been obsessed with sewing and quilting. I spend at least 5 hours a day, 5 days a week at my machine, consuming any kind of information I can get my hands on! Online tutorials, books, the lovely ladies at my local quilting shop, etc. play a huge role in my success. 

My mom (God love her) says that I have 'natural talent', but I just believe I'm bull-headed, stubborn, and determined to learn. There have been days (that go into nights) where I've locked myself in my sewing room and won't come out until I learn a new technique. 

Not to mention I have an amazing husband who understands my obsession and takes over the needs of the house when I'm 'in the zone'. He is truly a wonderful man!

A lot of practice, and a lot of trial and error is the most important piece of information I can tell you!

Trust me, there is a quilter and sewer in all of us, you just have to let it come out and play!

I am quite humbled when other quilters admire my quilts, but I still have so much more to learn, and I love soaking all the information in and trying it out! 

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A little bit of this, A little bit of that

It's snowing here, in Ohio. Uhhh? I don't really know what to say! But, while I'm being cooped up inside, I have found soo-oo many things I want to talk about today!

Do you ever walk into your sewing room and have to bypass the mountain of fabric, thread, books, and everything else standing in your way to get anything done? (Oh, me, me, me!!). Yeah, I have that problem. 

I don't enjoy being disorganized. We're starting to grow out of our 1,000 sq. ft. condo, but we're managing. In the meantime, I bought this book so I can curb some of my disorganization madness.

 I am very obsessed with this book. The information it has is completely invaluable, and you should all go to Connecting Threads and buy it. Now!

 While I was reading, there was a suggestion for stash organization, and I thought to myself, "Well, I could use that for thread!" 

Thread is, well was, a problem for me. I have a lot of thread. And, up until now, nowhere to store it.

And not only do I have a lot of thread, but I am really thrifty (as thrifty as a quilter can be, anyway). 

So, I went out and bought one of those shoe organizers that hang over the door! =)

 Isn't this fun?! I had enough pockets to organize the thread by color!

I even had room to put a few charm packs, embroidery floss, needles, and a bunch of other notions in there!

Another tip for today - Rulers. I have several, and for different reasons. 

The longest one, I use for making initial cuts of fabric, cutting selvages, etc. The other four are square rulers in sizes 12.5",  8.5", 6.5", and 3". I use the square rulers after the initial cuts to cut smaller pieces, and for trimming and squaring off blocks. I used to think, "Good heavens, why does that woman have SO many rulers! They all do the same thing!" Now, I'm one of those women :), because swinging around that big long ruler to cut off 2 inches of fabric isn't very...smart :). 

I hope you find these tips helpful! Happy Quilting!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fun with American Jane, Benjamin Bunny, and Peter Rabbit

The American Jane quilt top is done! I had a lot of fun making it, and I think it turned out quite nicely :).

I especially enjoy the label on the front. It adds something a little...extra, I think. 

Since this quilt is going to someone else, I decided to leave it at 'Made with love'. That way, if they have more children, it can be a lovely hand-me-down! 

This quilt top was made with a kit, which I had never purchased one before. It has pro's a con's, as do all quilt projects. I love the fact that all the yardage is cut for me...However, that means there is very little room for error! So, if you plan to buy this kit (or any kit for that matter) make sure to measure twice and cut once! 
All the same, I love how it turned out, and I can't wait to get it quilted and sent to it's new home!

Also, when I was at the shop buying this kit, I saw this panel, by a company called Quilting Treasures.

It's a fabric book! How fun is that?! It's for another one of John's friend's who's wife is expecting (it must be something in the water!). It was very easy to make and I really like how it turned out. I will definitely be buying more of these panels!

Now, I think it's back to my aunt's quilt! With big projects like hers, I like to space them out so I don't get overwhelmed by the amount of fabric involved in something big like a bed quilt. Hopefully the top will be done in a week or two and I can get it quilted.

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wedding Shower Fun

Whew! It's been a fun and busy weekend so far! I hope you're all enjoying your weekends :). 

Today was my dear friend Lauren's wedding shower. 

I don't know about anyone else, but I had an awesome time :). She is a dear friend and she deserves nothing but happiness and love. 

In January, I had really begun my quilt obession, and decided to make a rag quilt for Lauren as her gift. 

I love how it turned out! I used fabrics from Fig Tree Quilt's Whimsy for Moda (can you tell I have an obsession?). It has been really difficult to keep this one under wraps and not blog, message, etc. whatsoever. 

Each block is approx 8" before sewing. The finished measurements are approx 48"x67". 

In other sewing news, I am still finishing up the top for the a-b-c quilt. It's taking a little more time than I anticipated, which is something to keep in mind if you plan on buying one of these awesome quilt kits. Either way, I am really liking how it's turning out. The 30's inspiration is really fun and a good change of pace. 

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday

We've been busy bee's the past couple days in Quilt-Land!

Half of the blocks for the bed quilt for my aunt are done! It's going by a lot faster than I anticipated, so of course, I needed something else to keep me busy :).

When I first began my quilting adventure, my first quilt was for my husband's friend and his wife, who just had a baby. At the time, she was pregnant, and I thought a quilt would be quite lovely. Needless to say, that is one of my 'what not to do' examples :). 

So, in my guilt-ridden state of not getting the little one a gift, I found this soo-ooo cute quilt kit!

It is so yummy! I am seriously considering buying another one to keep for myself, for the far-away future :). 

This kit features fabrics from Punctuation by American Jane for Moda (gotta love that Moda!). I love the 'old-world' charm of the a-b-c's!

The pattern is easy to follow, precise, and everything is included for the quilt top and binding. All you need is backing and batting (which I will get from stash!). The finished quilt will be approx 38''x48''. 

I was hoping to get this quilt top done today, but unfortunately some serious back issues have prevented me from whipping out anything too fast, and this weekend happens to be a very busy one for me, so possibly not much sewing after tomorrow :(. However, I will get this top done as quickly as I'm able and I'll be sure to post it! 

Happy Quilting!

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Beginnings!

I went to the fabric store today. I love the smell of the cotton on the bolt racks :). 

I bought the fabrics for a quilt I am starting for my aunt. I am so honored that she asked me :). I am by no means a professional, but she trusts my skills enough to have me make a bed quilt for her! How awesome is that?! 

After about two hours at the store, deliberating, and much advisement from the owners, I decided on these colors. Oh, good gracious, I reeeallyyy like them! 

The white is a lot less crisp, and more of an off-white. I think it brings a lot of softness to the whole scheme. And the floral print gives it an unexpected punch! I am so excited to get started! 

I am doing the same rail fence pattern that I did for Follow the Yellow Brick Road, but I'm thinking a little more 'grown-up' looking. It's for a full-size bed, so I think the rail fence will be an awesome pattern!

I would love to hear about your new projects, future projects, and what you have in the works!

Happy quilting!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's National Quilting Day!

It's National Quilting Day, here in the United States :).

How are you all celebrating the start (hopefully!) to an awesome spring?

I've taken the time to put together some of my favorite items that I've found from various sites like Etsy, Facebook, and other blogs! Enjoy!

This baby quilt is so-ooo cute :). It can be found, for sale, here.

Cosmo Cricket Lap/Throw Rag Quilt 56X62

Doesn't this one just make you want to curl up on the couch! It can be found, for sale, here.

Antique Victorian Rare Rhinestones Hat Pin 1800s

This antique hat pin is so couture! It's an orignal hat pin from the Victorian era, and I LOVE that time period. It was a time of class, with a little bit of subtle sex appeal thrown in. It's fantastic, and can be found here.

1950s circle skirt GORGEOUS navy and white FLORAL textured VOILE

This skirt reminds me of the mother in Leave it to Bever. I loved that show and always imagined that my life would be somewhat like hers :). Oh, how naive I was! It can be found here.

Family Tree

This applique design was done over at Red Pepper Quilts. She does AMAZING work in the quilting world, and I highly suggest you all jump on over to her blog!

Moda Bake Shop

Need I say more? Moda Bake Shop is a division of Moda fabrics that runs a website that posts tutorials for different fun things that you can sew with their pre-cut collections! From quilts, wine sleeves, bags, skirts, children's clothes, they've got it all! If you take nothing else away from this post, PLEASE visit their site, as you will find SO many fun, easy, and great projects!!

Have a blessed weekend! I wouldn't say this often, but take a break from sewing and enjoy the weather (if your region allows)! Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scraps...Oh, Lordy

Happy St. Patrick's Day! It's been a Bee-u-tiful day in Northwestern Ohio! I think this weather is spoiling me :). Now, onto a more serious issue...dun dun dun!!!! Scraps!!!

I love my mom. Really, I do! But, she taught me the, "If-I-Can-Use-It-Don't-Throw-It-Out" rule. 

This is where scraps come in to play. (sighs) Woohoo?
In my perfect, delusional, unrealistic world, scraps would be non-existent. We would all have the exact amount of fabric needed and the scraps would magically go to their Great Reward. Can you tell I'm not a fan? :)

God love the women who love scraps. The talented few have the ability to make amazing, eclectic, awesome quilts with a pile of this junk. I am not one of those talented few. 

I am, however, trying (really hard!) to grow to love scraps. I suppose my selection of scraps isn't the best. I have only made quilts for others, and none for myself (yet), so my selection is based on their style, not mine.

So, last week I picked, sorted, and found every last scrap I had of my Whimsy line. And this is what I came up with.

Lovely isn't it? :) (can you taste my sarcasm?)

My cutting table is soooooooo-oooooo messy. Par for the course? I think so.

Anyway, I'm not sure that I'll have enough from my scraps alone, for the entire quilt top. Hopefully I'll only need to get a few fat quarters for the very end.

This is what has become of the pile of....stuff you see :).

I'm quite pleased with how it's turning out! This will be my first scrap quilt, and it is VERY tedious. The scraps are 2" wide and several different lengths. So piecing them is...well...you know :). But, if you read my post about Whimsy, this fabric makes it all worth-while :). Hopefully I will get it done sometime in this lifetime. My husband brought home the stomach flu and thought it would be a lovely present to give to his loving wife, so not much quilting has gotten done today :(.

I'd love to see your scrap projects! 

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tip of the day!

I was just reminded of this in a comment in a previous blog post. 

 Vintage bed sheets make the BEST quilts! And they are SO cheap :).

You can find them at garage/yard sales and online at Etsy and Ebay, consignment stores, thrift stores, and Goodwill. I once found a bed sheet at a thrift store for $3!!!! And, it was a FULL size sheet! I thought I had died and gone to heaven :).

Lord knows, I LOVE a bargin, and there is no better bargain than something with history, originality, and quality.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Question of the day....well of the month, really.

I get asked this ALL the time - How do I not get the pleating with all the grid quilting I do???????

Well, ask and ye shall receive! 

Safety pins. And lots of 'em. It's how I baste ALL my quilts. I've never spray basted because I've heard it's one of the big reasons quilters get pleats. 
Another tip - As I'm quilting, I pull the fabric on either side of where I'm stitching really tight, all the way up to and through the machine, and I keep doing it until I get to the end of a line. It helps A LOT.

A walking foot is a big thing too. A walking foot pulls the top and bottom fabrics at the same rate, so you get no pleats or puckering. Well worth the investment if you are serious about any kind of sewing or quilting. 

I know there are some quilters who swear by spray basting, or what have you. To each their own :). 

Happy quilting!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm a sucker for a good cause. But who isn't?

I've got a couple of things to donate this week.

1. A blanket made for Project Linus. This pulls at my heartstrings terribly. Their mission is to provide handmade blankets and afghans to children that are seriously ill, victims of a violent crime, or in need of warmth, comfort, and the security that a warm blanket can give them. I love, love, love it. You can go to their website and find a local chapter near you, and I encourage you to do so.

2. On a more personal note, I am donating a block to Moda Fabrics for their 'Just One Star Can Comfort a Solider' campaign. You can read more about it, get the pattern, and the address of where to send it here. My wonderful, loving, awesome hubby is a former Navy Sailor, and was medically discharged last October. The whole ordeal was the most difficult, trying time of our entire relationship and marriage, but we've become so much closer, and have developed a stronger relationship. I get a little teary when I read about a soldier who is coming home to their family broken, beaten, and forever changed. I hope that my contribution will change the life of at least one man or woman fighting for the country I love.

In the meantime, Have a lovely day and Happy Quilting!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I need a little more Whimsy in my life

Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts for Moda designed a new line for this spring.

Whimsy is quite possibly my favorite spring print for this year. It's so fresh, light, and airy. 

I've made several quilts with this line, and have a ton of scraps of it! I can't get enough of this fabric. It's so soft and beautifully made (true to Moda), and I will most definitely be looking for a fat quarter bundle to make an awesome lap quilt!

Ebay has this line in jelly rolls, honey buns, layer cakes, charm packs, fat quarters, and by the yard. Unfortunately, Fat Quarter Shop doesn't carry it anymore (yeah, I was disappointed too!). But they do have some too cute patterns by Fig Tree Quilts that would compliment this fabric wonderfully here

In other news, I'm on my spring break from school (woohoo!). A much needed break from learning, but it gives me more creative time :) :). I am hoping to tackle some of my scraps from the Whimsy line I noted earlier, and make a cute scrappy quilt.

Have a blessed week, and Happy Quilting!

Friday, March 11, 2011

I may have some exciting news!!

So, I love my sewing machine. He's been a great stepping stone. BUT, I do believe it's time to move on to bigger and possibly better things :) :) :).

My mom and I went to the Janome store today...oh yes, you know where this is going. Fabric and sewing machine stores, and me, is like asking for trouble to come knocking at your door :).

So, we went to the sewing machine store. And me, being the so subtle (yeah, right) young lady I am, I was talking about how I wanted something a little more heavy duty with a bigger throat space. And you know how I said I wanted this machine? Well, I was shown something better. That's right...better. I wasn't even aware that this machine even existed! I have seen the light.

This is the mother of all quilting machines. It's a Janome Memory Craft 6300P. It's got 63 (!!!!!!!) stitches, 4 buttonholes, auto thread cutter, knee-lifter, speed control, a 9 inch throat. It's a beast. Had I been aware of this machine when I published the post about the 1600P-QC, I would have made that post about this machine!

Oh, and it gets better. I THINK I might have convinced the hubs that this machine is imperative to my sewing and quilting pleasure (!!!!!!!!!). I told him this is a birthday/anniversary/Christmas present for the next year. I will let you know more as the situation develops.

How many of you are upgrading your sewing machines (or anything for that matter) this year? Do you have any reviews for this machine??

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Finding things online

I found this site today. You can select from bazillions (okay, maybe not that much, but a lot!) of quilt blocks, design colors, and even get tutorials on how to piece the blocks. You can then order the entire 'order' where they show you how much fabric you'll need, how big you need to cut each piece, etc. It's an awesome find.

I designed a pattern from this site today. I am beginning to look at fabrics for a quilt like Follow the Yellow Brick Road, but big enough for a full-size bed, with shams. It gave me a much better visual of how much fabric I will need and how big I will have to cut the fabric. This is a great tool!

I would also like to direct your attention over to Crafty Gemini. She is the lady who is responsible for getting me going on my sewing obsession! I used her tutorial to learn how to make my first sewing project, my euro shams. She is SO talented, she has dozens of tutorials on awesome projects, and she does it all at no cost to you. 

To end the day on a cute note, here is a picture of my dog, Sam. Since my husband and I don't have children, Sam is my furry baby. He is totally cool.

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

I've finished a quilt for my niece that I mentioned in my first post. I LOVE it!

I used Oz fabrics by Sanae for Moda for the rail fence pattern, outer border, and part of the backing. The orange inner border and the larger part of the backing and binding, I used Marble solids for Moda in a beautiful orange color. The white in the rail fence pattern is bleached muslin. I used a simple straight line quilt pattern throughout, and hand-stitched the binding to the back of the quilt.

It's name, Follow the yellow brick road, was inspired by the movie The Wizard of Oz. Since the name of the fabric design is Oz, I thought it would be fitting. I also decided on this name to remind my niece to always follow a path of righteousness, goodness, and to never give up on herself.

I had so much fun making this quilt and I hope she loves it as much as I loved making it!

Love, Love, Love!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One way to bind your quilt

This is my favorite part of making a quilt. It means that the project is almost finished! When I first started binding, it was VERY intimidating, but after a couple tries I think I have it down pretty good, and you will too!

I almost always use a cross-grain binding, unless I have a curved quilt, in which case I use bias binding. That is a tutorial for a different day. Today we'll be doing cross-grain. Cross-grain binding is cutting the fabric perpendicular to the selvage. It has a little more stretch than length-wise binding (cutting the fabric parallel to the selvage making the strips very stiff), so it's more durable, but not as stretchy as bias binding, so it's easier to work with. Plus, this method is very cost-effective, and so easy.

Materials needed:

Rotary cutter and mat
Sewing machine
Walking foot
Hand-quilting thread and needle
Binding clips (they look like those hair clips that snap on), or pins
First, I cut the excess batting and backing from the quilt. You can either discard the scraps, or save them. I discard the scrap batting and keep the fabric scraps. 

Next, you will want to cut your strips approx. 2.25"-2.5", perpendicular to the selvage.. I tend to cut mine 2.25" because I use cotton batting that has a low loft (it's thinner), but if you use a high loft batting, you will need to cut your strips to 2.5" to account for the bulk. Remember to cut your selvage after you cut your strips!

To calculate how many strips you will need, there is some math involved (ew). I hate math too, but it's a necessary evil.

You will want to measure all four sides of your quilt and add them together plus 12. So for example, my quilt is 51.5"x56". So your math should look like this - 51.5 + 51.5 +56 + 56 + 12 = 227.

227 is the amount of inches of binding I will need.

Now, divide this number by 40 (an approx. measurement of the width of your fabric, as most cottons are 40" wide). So, 227/40=  5.675.

This number is the amount of strips I need, which you should always round UP to the next whole number. So for my quilt, I will need 6 strips of 2.25"x40" fabric.

It's okay if your fabric is a little wider than 40 inches, as this will just be overlap.

Now that you have your strips cut out, I will sew them together into one long strip of fabric.

Line up the two ends of 2 strips of fabric, at a 90 degree angle, pretty sides together, like the picture. 

Next, fold the corner of the top piece down on itself, like the picture, and press with a hot iron (no steam).

When you fold the corner back, you will see a line from the iron. This will be the seam guide when you sew the two pieces together. 

Pin the two pieces together

And sew along the seam guide. Be sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end of your seam to ensure the stitches lock. I use my walking foot for the entire tutorial, and it's a good idea so your fabric feeds evenly.

Cut the excess, on the right, to about 1/4". You don't need to be exact, as it will be pressed.

Press the seam to one side with a hot iron (no steam). 

And now you've attached two pieces of your binding together! Continue to do this to the rest of the strips, using the same method, making one long strip of fabric. 

Once your strips are attached together, iron your strip in half, length-wise, making sure the strip has the pretty side facing out.

Now, you are ready to attach the binding! 

Begin by placing the start of the strip about 10 inches from the top of the front of the quilt. You will then start sewing approx 10 inches from the start of the binding strip. (hint - if you don't want to worry about getting stuck with pins, use binding clips. They look like hair clips, and you can  clip the binding to your quilt quite easily). Using a walking foot, continue sewing until you get approx 1/4" from the next corner.

When you get 1/4" from the first corner, turn the quilt 90 degrees and back-stitch, and front-stitch to lock your seams. Cut your threads.

Flip your binding strip straight up, and bring it down again, making a square (this is what makes the mitered border...well, mtered). Start stitching again approx. 1/4" from the top of this side. 

It should look like this when you've sewn it (this picture was taken after I had attached the entire binding and after I had cut the corners. DO NOT cut the corners until you've attached the entire length of the binding).

Continue attaching the binding, using the same method, along the perimeter of your quilt, until you get approx 8 inches from where the binding strip begins, NOT where you started sewing.

When you get approx. 8 inches from the beginning of the binding strip, back stitch and cut your threads. You will now have two long (ish) flaps of binding, overlapping quite a bit. Cut the end of your binding so that it overlaps by about 1/2" over the beginning of your binding. 

Open your binding and sew, right sides together, using a 1/4" seam. 

Now, your binding is attached, end to end. 

You will now finish attaching your binding to the quilt, laying the unsewn strip flat against the quilt. Starting where you left off, back-stitching and continuing on until you get to where you started sewing, and back stitch again. 

And now your binding is attached!
Hand stitching the binding. 
This is not as intimidating as you might think! Just pop in a movie and your done in no time. 

At this point, your binding is attached to the front of the quilt. Snip each corner off, being careful not to cut any stitches that hold the binding to the quilt. 

Take your quilting thread, thread the needle, and tie a knot. Pull the knot through the binding seam. The white dot just under the binding stitches is the knot. I don't recommend using thread more than 18" long. Much longer than that, and your thread will knot as you pull it through the fabric.

Flip your binding over, and clip it to the back of the quilt using those binding clips we used earlier. At the corners, you will want to turn the binding so it goes over the corners as neatly as possible.

Start sewing. Take your needle through the backing fabric, and up into the binding. Repeat this until you get to the first corner. I recommend starting in the middle of a side. It's much easier than to have to miter a corner first thing

Once you get to a corner, fold the flaps as neatly as you can and tack a few stitches to hold it together.

Continue to do this through the length of your quilt, and your binding is done!!

Tip - When you have to tie a knot when you run out of thread, I tie it underneath the binding, so as to not create a yucky mess on the outside. 

I am not, by any means, a professional quilt binder. I don't put my quilts in shows, they are meant to be curled up on the couch, snuggled underneath when sick, and a comfort to those who need it.

If you have any questions or comments, just send me a message, email, or leave a comment in the comments section!!