Eat, Grow, Sew: Make a Feature!

Well Hello There! I'll be honest with you (since you all are so awesome at being honest with me!) and tell you I really wanted to make a big ole batch of tie-dye t-shirts for the Eat, Grow, Sew Feature. I had it all planned out but then it got to be the second week in August, then the materials for what I wanted were not on sale (how is that possible, when everything is always on sale at JoAnn's?) But I digress because what I did make this month has grown itself and was just waiting for me in the back yard ready to photograph! It's my summer veggie garden, probably a lot like what you've got in your yard.....I know it's a lot like Leslie's garden in Ohio.

Sage Endeavors linked up her wonderful growing garden in June...
Pretty sure a big rock came  out of this hole!
And in July....
Rainy day in Ohio
And now what it looks like August.... Yeah, everything is green and bushy!
We've all got unwanted garden visitors (I have a mole to chase away)...and Leslie has a pesky visitor too - a ground hog who keeps eating the choice sweet potatoes! These guys really do look like little funny! There he is bottom left next to the apple crate.

And what I really love is that she cooks with all that bounty! She's shared a few recipes with us over at Eat, Grow, Sew straight from the summer garden. There's Summer Relish..mmmmm!
and Zucchini Orange Bread (you've got some laying around I know!)
and one that would be perfect for all my peppers, Street Tacos (I love me a roast in the crock pot Mexican style!)

I  love me a little time lapse photography too, don't you? Those PBS specials back in the 80's with seeds spouting kept me enthralled, enthralled I tell you! So here is my little version from the summer's garden here in Portland, Oregon....where it's been a good summer for tomatoes, beans, kale, lettuce and cucumbers!
Here we begin in early May
Getting going in June
Sunny at the end of July
And a cloudy August day, but look - there's red tomatoes in there!
Thanks to all who shared with me your projects at Eat, Grow, Sew! It's been a lovely month for the link party and I've got tons of new tutes, recipes and good old re-do's to check out, won't you stop on by and join our party!


Friday Photo Inspiration: What's on my Mind

1. IMGP3993, 2. summer vegetables, 3. warmcool-detail, 4. again with the kitty and the sewing machine(s), 5. Pinwheel Blocks, 6. Strips for a Warm Cool Quilt

This week Hubby was out of town for work, and you'd think that would mean 5 straight days of sewing. And you'd be right, expect for the fact that Astrid, my wonderful sewing machine, is out of commission. Big Time. I've only had her 6 short months, but in that time I've made so many memories! I wish it wasn't so, but it looks like I'm in the market for a brand spanking new sewing machine. I just might be getting one that free motion quilts, for reals.
I'm thinking of that, and I'm thinking of how to go about selling my wares. Living in Portland there is such a huge market for handmade goods that I know I will have better luck through small retails stores and street fairs. The internet is such a big place, and etsy is such a big place I need to try the home front and see where it takes me. I'm still developing my brand and product lines but I am very happy with where I am headed.
The summer garden is in swing, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes the size of baseballs. It's a good summer for veggies here and I can't wait to can tomatoes for winter pasta.
I'd love to sew my warm/cool quilt and I'm designing a pinwheel quilt, but these will come later....the baby isn't due till 2012.
Have a lovely weekend, the last few before fall......

Eat, Grow, Sew: August Features

Hello Everyone! I know I say this every month, but can you believe that August is already more than half way over! Holy Smokes! It's been a wonderful summer, the garden is growing, I've gotten a bunch of quilting done and we even took a 2 week NY vacation. But summer isn't over yet and the height of the summer veggies has just begun.

It's time once again to feature your projects being linked up at Eat, Grow, Sew: A Month Long Link Party. Thanks to everyone for linking up with me this month! I love, love, love to see your projects! You'll have been busy this summer it was hard to pick which ones to share! But here they are:

Sage Endeavors shares a yummy veggie relish, perfect for the extra veggies coming on right now!

Impera Magna linked up a super cute project to do with the kiddos, place mats from fabric scraps and children's creative and such a great present!
Okay, this might be favoritism but The Sunflower Patch posted her Stashtacular projects, that clothes pin keeper from Spontaneous Threads tute turned out so great! Love the fabrics together!
Teje always has beautiful creations, and her bird blocks are no exception. The way she's captured the movement of the wings is amazing! If you haven't checked out Nero's Post and Patch hop over over, her amazing pictures of the Greek Island where she lives keeps me coming back ;)
AnneMarie can crochet! She shared a couple patterns with us, and I really like her Japanese flower...again I need to learn to crochet (remind me to ask Grandma!) Aren't they adorable!
Do you love beets too? If you said no, it's because you haven't tried them pickled yet...they are so sweet, soft and yummy! Suzy share's her recipe and method for canning them over at the them coming out of the caner!
And we can't leave without something's a recipe for a super quick peanut butter cake that the hubby will love and won't leave you with an entire cake left over! Thanks to Denise at Extreme Personal Measures for sharing this one!

Again thanks to all the ladies for linking up at Eat, Grow, Sew! It's always happening so get on over and share your latest and greatest projects! If you were featured grab a button and show off!

Eat Grow Sew at Blue Bird Sews


Shrinking Squares Scrap Quilt Back & Quilting Tutorial

Here comes the second part of the Shrinking Squares Scrap Quilt.  (You can find the Quilt Top Tutorial here) There's been two weeks between tutorials so there's no excuse not to have that top finished. Ha! Just kidding, I can think of a thousand reasons to get in between you and the sewing machine, mostly because I have experienced them all this week! Okay, but when you do get your top ready to go the next step is all ready for you to follow along! Aren't I sweet!
Once that top is finished (Really, you made one? Yippee!) it's time to put it all together -- using even more scraps from the top for the back. Here's a peek at my back and top all quilted up, isn't it lovely! (oh and ladies the men like a black quilt, my hubby really likes the dark colors of this one, fyi!) I love the little windows the straight lines make not only around the colorful squares but also in the corners of the sashing.

So to get started let's talk scraps, and direction. I wanted my quilt back to be vertical so I chose two long black skinny pieces to anchor the design and sewed a whole bunch of other scraps together all in a vertical pattern. I cut the black strips to cover about 1/2 of the quilt back...approx 64" long and 12-18" wide.
To start I laid those black strips and a whole bunch a scraps on the table.....

And I cut the scraps down into long strips, like so.....
Then I started sewing the strips together, in the same chain piecing fashion as the top....
More sewing together, and playing with the layout....
Trimming and sewing until a quilt back was coming together....a lot like a puzzle!
And then *bam* I had a finished quilt back....
Yeah! Looks pretty good against the garden fence....
So now you have a quilt back and a quilt top ready to become a quilt sandwich to be sewn together. If you need to know how to make a quilt sandwich refer to my quilting tutorial for a simple spray basting method. It's the way I prefer to machine quilt. I'm done with all those safety pins!
So set yourself up at the o'l sewing machine.
And get those supplies ready. I like to wind all my bobbins up before hand and put that walking foot on. I used a long stitch to make the quilting stand out more (A 5 stitch length on my sewing machine).
Roll up the end and start in the middle of the quilt on the short side. I find starting on the short side leaves less room for shifting and movement when quilting.
Line up your walking foot with inside of the right side edge of the seam so that there is less than a 1/4" from needle to seam. I used the window in my presser foot as a reference point. Start sewing down the line nice and evenly.
When you finish the row turn the quilt around so that you are on the same side as when you finished but you are now ready to go in the opposite direction. This way the walking foot is still on the inside of right side of the seam....check out the picture....
After both sides have a stitch down them it's time to break out the quilting guide and sew down the middle of the strip. The strip is 2" across....
So you'll want to position the quilting guide 1" from the sewing machine needle.
And then line up the guide with the seam like shown below....Continue sewing the quilt top from side to side and then down the middle for all strips until you get to the ends....
At the ends it's a little tricky, start by switching the guide to the left hand side and then move your needle position to such a place that it is about the same less than 1/4" from the inside of the left seam. Then make two stitches down the ends one at the seam and one in the middle. The third stitch will come when you attach the binding.
Here's a little bit blurry shot of the top once all the strips have three rows of stitches. Looks good, but now it's time to make the little windows and stitch down the long way....
For the length wise quilting there isn't a seam on the end so you will want to use a ruler to line up the walking foot with the seam....Do like we did on the short side: Once down the right side, turn the quilt, another down the right side and then in the middle.
Here's a shot of the guide being lined up for the middle stitch of quilting. Notice I've got the gloves on for quilt wrangling.....
At some point you will run out of bobbin and when you do just pop a new bobbin in and pull up the thread from below and keep on quilting. Also watch out for the spot where you sew over the horizontal quilting lines as this is where puckering can occur, just make sure to go slow and pull taught.
Continue quilting back and forth and then down the middle on all rows until the ends where you do just the same method as the the horizontal stitching and switch the quilting guide...until *another bam* you're all done! Look at those pretty little windows!
Then trim up the sides and make your binding (220" x 2.5") Refer to my binding tute for details on how to bind your quilt up nice a neat!

Hooray! You've got another quilt done and ready to snuggle with! 

Thanks so much for checking out my tute, I hope you like this method of a quilt back and window pane quilting. Shrinking Squares is one of my favorite designs, it's so versatile. It makes a great I-spy quilt and it's also wonderful for mismatched scraps like I used here -- or for one fabric line or just one color for the squares and one color for the sashing....really there are so many possibilities and they'd all  look good!
I hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you come up with!


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