Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mummy Bars for a Fall Party!

Thank you, Pinterest, for giving me an easy, almost mess free FUN fall treat to make for Eli's class. {No, Eli did not help me, this was a post-bedtime project for Mommy only!}

A bag of assorted Googalie Eyes, 10 Hershey Bars, and a roll of white crepe paper {The trick is to fold the crepe paper in HALF, the long way.} Plus a glue gun and scotch tape. Easy. So Easy.  
I hope Eli's class loves them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Vice Versa Quilt Top - Complete!

I can't believe it!  I have a finished Vice Versa Quilt top!  Ten months, sixteen blocks, six Kona colors, and a few yards of Widescreen in grey and its done!  

Gen X Quilters Vice Versa BOM (block of the month) info can be found here - and its never too late to start!  And… AnneMarie just revealed she'll be heading up another BOM next year, named Moccasin, and an entire kit is available to purchase - so no anxiety on choosing fabrics! Seriously, you need to check it out!  A gorgeous quilt, to be sure!

And… a few more shots of this top: 

Measures 75" x 75"
I plan on quilting it at Sewtopia (Salt Lake City, UT!) as they'll have some HQ Sweet Sixteen mid-arm quilting machines available to use!  Not to mention a free batting station sponsored by Pellon, Bernina sewing machines threaded with AURIFIL 50wt thread, and even a discount on Moo cards that we get to pick up at the event.  Excited does not cover it, for me! So many extra goodies I never expected!

I've got to say, I'm really looking forward to it!  This little getaway will be my first time away from my sweet little 18mo old girls. A day hasn't gone by in the last year and a half where I wasn't known as "Mama!"   I think it will be good for my heart, mind, and soul to be reminded of who I am outside of motherhood.  And a nap. any. darn. time. I. want. 
Yes, please.  

But will I miss these little faces?  I am sure of it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Giant Star Baby Boy Quilt - Finished!

I was itching to make a quilt that was quick, gorgeous, and fun.  I've always admired the Vintage Giant Star from In Color Order so after browsing the color options I opted for four colors and decidedly masculine prints. All from my stash, too.  Shocking, I know!

Each block is 12" square, as I just did some quick math (and a colored pencil sketch) to make it come out to a crib size quilt.  Fabrics include all my favorites!
Lotta Jansdotter Bella in Turquoise

I love the black and white loopy binding (Ed Emberly Happy Drawing) machine stitched for extra strength.  Everyone has their own method for machine binding but I stitch it to the back first, then wrap around to the front and stitch it down.  No pins.  Just a long stitch and folding it over as I go.  The stitching shows on the back just a bit, but I like the sturdy construction especially for a baby quilt that will be washed a LOT. 

And without realizing that the binding and quilting were both loopy...
Some large Loopy quilting finished it off just right, softening up all those 90 and 45 degree angles.  Also, for a baby quilt, I couldn't resist black and white zig-zags for the backing.
You'll go cross-eyed if you stare at it for too long, but wittle infants will love it! haha

The background is Carolyn Friedlander "Widescreen" which I've been using for a lot of quilts lately… even as backing since its 108" wide!  The light grey crosshatch reads as a solid but still gives some interest and texture when you see it up close. 

This baby boy quilt measures 51" x 55" and is for sale in my Etsy shop!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Yummy Little Apples Quilt

After working on this quilt on and off (mostly off) for 18 months… its done!  The pattern is from Jaybird Quilts, called "Yummy."  This is the perfect pattern for a jelly roll, as its all 2.5" strips with a narrow strip in between.  So lots of strip piecing and it comes together rather quick and easy!  Being the OCD type that I am, I laid out each of the six sections before sewing rows together as two of the same print CANNOT be next to each other!  I know, I've got issues.

A few years ago I bought my first Jelly Roll.  Oh, I found one still for sale!  The fabric collection is "Little Apples" by Aneela Hoey of Comfortstitching.. I had no clue what to actually do with said jelly roll, so while in a Quilt Shop near Cincinnati, I stumbled upon this Yummy pattern that would whip up quickly and use my one lone roll. I made the twin size which required more than the 42 strips so I added six or seven other Modern fabrics and voila, it all works together quite nicely.

They solid grey is Kona in Coal, if you were wondering.  One of my go-to greys, for sure.
I quilted it in an all-over large meandering style on my little Janome, and it worked quite well! To hold the weight of the quilt, since it is rather large, I setup my ironing board to the left of my sewing table with the top flush, and whenever the majority of the quilt was to my left, it was resting comfortable on the ironing board, so as to not hang down and pull the whole thing down while quilting was in progress.  Worked like a charm, too!

Piecing the backing is not my idea of fun, so I usually try to find one large piece of fabric to do the job.  Widescreen by Carolyn Frielander is soft, grey, and a lovely crosshatch design… and measures in at 108" wide!!!  Perfect!  Sold!  And no piecing required.  

The pattern recommends a solid colored binding to match the outer sashing.  I couldn't NOT add one little scrappy piece to break the rules, er, I mean, to add interest.  

I rather enjoyed following an actual pattern instead of flying by the seat of my pants.  I should do that more often.  

Quilt Stats:

Size: twin, 70" x 90" 
Fabric: Little Apples plus a handful of other designers
Sashing and binding: Kona in Coal grey
Thread: Aurifil 50wt 
Pieced: by me
Quilted: by me

 * Available for purchase in my Etsy shop *

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dubious + a Dozen Blocks

It's August. Preschool has not quite begun, the weather has been odd (cold,) and the twins still take two naps a day so I felt the call to make lots and lots of blocks!  A dozen to be exact. 
Rather pretty all together, aren't they? 

I'll give you a brief synopsis on each set of blocks… because apparently I can't make just one of ANY kind of block now that I look at the above picture.  Hmmm…

These little cuties are called Braided Star Blocks, and come in at 6.5" square. Adorable!
Paper pieced, quick, and great for using up scraps!  The pattern can be found at Wombat Quilts - in the long list of star blocks!  
For the month of August in our little CMQG Bee, Joanna M. asked for each one of us to make our favorite star block.  Well, I don't really have a favorite so searched the web until one struck my fancy.  This little block did just that, and since its so small I made two. I hope they do the trick, Joanna!

Our Guild is also doing a fun little Block Raffle this month, and we can enter up to two blocks.  The winning person will win ALL the blocks… so entering two just seemed like a good idea.  If you can't tell - blocks must be wonky log cabin, in blue and/or green.  Well I just happen to have loads of blue and green scraps - so they were easy!

Modern Maples how I love you.  These will also be heading to our Guild meeting to pay a debt to a kind soul who gave me a stack of small floral prints that I had been searching for.  Her fabric choices for me were perfect so I wanted to do something kind and helpful for her.  She's working on a Modern Maples quilt and I know for a fact she needed more browns and fuchsias… so I made these up - and I love how they look!  
Thanks again Nicole! 

Last but not least, are my Vice Versa BOM blocks! 
July AND August are done! The bottom blocks are called "Fox and Geese" while the top two are called "Arkansas Snowflake" blocks. I'll be honest, these were tricky blocks, and I know they're not perfect but you know what? Once its quilted and washed, ain't nobody gonna notice.  Therefore I choose to be happy and move on.  Again, the colors just do not translate from real life to digital.  They are much more jewel-toned, really.

So there you have it!  I would like to dedicate these dozen blocks to my YouTube App, who carries a large assortment of AudioBooks, and makes my sewing time twice as enjoyable.  I'm creating something with my hands all the while escaping to other worlds/times/places via a book.  My new favorite word from said stories: "Dubious" 
Thank you, Diana Gabaldon!

And thank you for stopping by!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

DIY Buffet Refinish - From Wood to White

Welcome! I know I haven't been around much lately in terms of blogging, but well, three small kiddos always seem to get dibs on my time.  Hmmm.
Must. Remedy. Soon!  I rather miss my little Pear Tree Stitching world!

Today I'd like to share my little furniture upgrade!  
I snatched this gorgeous Dixon-Powdermaker buffet from Craigslist for $160.  I know I know, seems high for a old piece of furniture, but it is big, SOLID, heavy, and oh so useful!  I'm glad I bought it - and even more so now that its repainted!

Here she is in all her original glory.  Chipped, tape-marked, scratched, filthy, and generally grimy.  Gorgeous brass handles too.  

{Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a DIY furniture guru, nor have all the correct/proper answers in refinishing old furniture.  I'll tell you what I did, and it worked for me… but there are probably numerous other ways/methods out there as well. Pinterest and Google are your friend, when doing something like this.  Remember that.}

White and modernized!  I love the lines of her; the fancy trim at the bottom, the scroll feet, the carved doors and sides - and the wavy drawers.  Now, that makes for a much more intricate cleaning and painting process, but its worth it in the end to do a proper job and not try to do the whole project in one day.  This project, start to finish, took me over a month.  Keep in mind I only got to work on it if all these factors aligned:
- Twins were napping
- Big brother doing quiet time or playing well outside 
-Not too humid or raining (I worked on it in our garage.)

My process was as follows:
Remove all hardware, remove doors, scrape old glued down felt from top three drawers, Sand inside of drawers, remove two shelves, remove drawers, CLEAN all surfaces to be painted, use Liquid Sandpaper on all surfaces to be painted (easier than using actual sandpaper due to all the curves and grooves,) spray paint drawer handles dark grey (4 coats over about a weeks time,) use wood filler to fill in all scrapes, nicks, gouges, dings. 

Sand the top with a belt sander, wipe every surface with a tack cloth to remove dust and debris, apply primer to all drawer fronts, doors, and the buffet Itself, purchase four new pulls from Anthropologie, sand all surfaces again lightly, clean all surfaces with tack cloth.

For the actual white paint I used Sherwin Williams brand CABINET and DOOR paint, which we had left over from our old Condo.  I figured it would be a good strong finish to withstand everyday use.  And so far I'm very pleased with it!

After priming etc… PAINT.  I used a thin low loft roller on the top and sides, and a smaller roller everywhere else I could.  A foam brush helped with all the grooves.  I didn't care for how a bristle brush stroke looked, so I stayed away from brushes.
Let dry for a few days and paint EVERYTHING again.

Install newly painted drawer pulls and new pulls.  Install drawers, and doors.
Lug into house and ENJOY!

A few more tidbits...

Mod Podge is my new fav crafty item!  I added fabric to the top drawers to cover the yucky previous glue-covered wood.  After reading a few different methods of permanently lining drawers, I decided on the following method, which I cannot find the original source to:

Measure inside of drawer.
Get a piece of fabric about an inch taller and wider than said drawer measurement.
Cover your kitchen table with Wax Paper and tape to your table to protect the table and so the fabric pulls up easily once dry.
Lay out fabric and apply a GENEROUS amount of Decoupage (aka ModPodge) with a wide foam brush.  Seriously, go crazy here - use a heavy hand.
I went thru 1.5 jars of the stuff.
Let dry over night and wake up to a laminated looking piece of fabric that is stiff, sealed, and perfect to line a drawer!
Draw the exact dimension of drawer onto the sealed fabric and cut with scissors. Test size by placing in drawer, trim again as needed so it lays nice and flat.
Apply another thick coat of ModPodge to the actual inside of drawer, then lay sealed fabric on top - smooth with hand, DVD case, Tupperware Lid, or anything to get the bubbles out.
Apply one final coat of ModPodge being especially careful to get the edges and corners thoroughly.
Let dry another night and they're done!  I'm really happy with my fabric choices and how they turned out!

So our lovely new buffet sits in our living room and acts as changing table, kid book storage, clothes dresser for the twins, and craft storage as well. Ain't nobody got time to run upstairs to the nursery every time a new onesie or a pair of socks are needed.  
For now, I need handy, uncluttered, and sturdy.  Mission Accomplished, I'd say.

In all my ModPodge hysteria, I also covered the two shelves on either side of the buffet - they were just plain ol' wood - but now look super cute!

A fresh Hydrangea bloom from the backyard and my precious Poinsettia mini quilt finished the space and makes me smile every time I'm changing a diaper or looking for a fresh pair of baby pants.  Seriously.

As projects go - this took forever - but I'm so happy with the results, I will overlook the MONTH it took me to finish it.  Remember, I'm a quilter and sewist… not a furniture guru.  
I will not be attempting to revamp another piece of furniture for… well… forever, if I can help it.  Unless all it involves is a can of spray paint.  THAT I could handle.  Truly.

And here she is in real life.  Changing pad with a bin of diapering essentials for quick access.  If the girls can be potty-trained by next summer, the vase of Hydrangea will be returning for good.  

If you have further questions, I'll try to answer them via the comments section so everyone can benefit, if possible.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Circle of Geese - July's Bee Block!

If you follow me on Instagram (I go by, er, PearTreeStitching,) you will have noticed I am a fan of a block called "Circle of Geese."  Its a great little paper pieced block created by Christina over at The Sometimes Crafter.  My month for the Columbus MQG Bee is July - and you guessed it - I'll be requesting this gorgeous block from my fellow bee participants!

Here is the sample block I made up a few weeks ago - and have been staring at ever since:

I've had some time to consider parameters when asking ya'll to create this block so here goes nothing.

  1. If you've never paper pieced before, do NOT freak out.  Excellent tutorial here and here.  Also check out YouTube.  I repeat, DO NOT freak out and become overwhelmed before even starting.
  2. For the geese, choose your two favorite colors and go scrappy, if possible.  Each fabric should read as a single color.  Saturated colors are ideal - but not mandatory.
  3. Divide your two colors to each half of the circle of geese, as shown.
  4. For the background fabric, use a "mostly neutral" print… text, geometric, solid, floral - take your pick.  I do love Modern prints as I've been hoarding this MamaSaidSew newsprint for years… and finally chopped into it!  So use what you think will look good!
The completed block should measure 12.5" square (unfinished.)

Now for a few tips on paper piecing that are somewhat important, and will make your paper piecing experience hassle-free, hopefully.  The tutes will probably mention all of this, but I'll reiterate just in case:
  1. Plain old printer paper works fine, do NOT go out and buy a product that's specially made for paper piecing.  Seriously.
  2. I'll request the "Clockwise" circle of geese… but if you do the "Counter Clockwise" instead, I won't fuss.
  3. Check the 1" square on the printout to make sure it's EXACTLY 1".  Do it.
  4. Change your stitch length to itty bitty bitty, like on my Janome, the length of 1.0 is perfect for paper piecing. The only shorter line is 0, which is not moving.  Looks like a perforated line, as it should, and tearing it away will be easy.
  5. Start with a brand new needle.  
  6. Backstitch at beginning and end of each piece.
  7. Stitch about 1/8" into each seam allowance.  
  8.  Cut each piece of fabric LARGER than you think you'll need.  There will be a bit of waste, but it will save you from having to start over… since itty bitty bitty stitches cannot be ripped out (easily.)  Ahem - trust me.  ;)
If you love this block, check out more inspiration on Flickr

And because I am currently addicted to mini quilts - I blew up the pattern size to 125% and created this:

All of the prints are from various DS Quilts Collections (from Joanns.)  I am rather in love with how it turned out!  I chose some simple straight line quilting that echoes the two short sides of each, um, goose.  Twenty Four total lines make a pretty little geometric design, don't you think?

This mini measures about 15" square and the background is Essex Linen.  Yum.
Aurifil Cotton Mako Thread in 28 wt (thicker than the 50 I use for piecing) makes distinct quilting lines, as I wanted to show how geometric a circle of geese can be. 

Are you a fan of paper piecing?  If you've never tried it, why? 

Thanks for stopping by!