Tag Archives: crafting

Project Pinterest: Flying North Quilt

I go through phases of obsession with different quilt designs… remember my ode to Half Square Triangles?  Lately I’ve been all about flying geese.  I guess I’ve experimented before – remember my wonky tree ornaments?  (I still love those little things.)  I’ve been pinning all sorts of flying geese quilts, and here are some of my favorites:

 

Eventually I stumbled on this flying geese block on a blog and had to pin it… and then I couldn’t rest until I got started!

Flying North Quilt 

The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt

Finished Size: 40″ x 48″

I decided to go with a cool palette of greens, blues, and purples with grey as my neutral.  Each block calls for six 2×3 geese and eight 4×6 geese.  Sometimes (most of the time) I don’t feel like bothering with the math part, so I just pulled some fabric and started cutting.  I really like this tutorial for making flying geese – all four different techniques in one place, with lots of measurements already worked out for you.  I still like the Four-at-a-time method the best, the same one I learned a couple years ago.
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
My ironing station… works better than an ironing board!
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
I made a whole bunch of flying geese, then counted to see how many I had… and I made way too many.  More is always a happy mistake, though – I’m sure I’ll use them up eventually!
I used my dinky “design wall” to play around with the arrangement.  (Air quotes necessary until I put up something more legit… But really, even though I make fun of my poor piece of batting thumb tacked to the wall, it’s so helpful for taking a step back and looking at a project in progress.)
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
I made a pieced back with some leftover geese and a few panels of fabric used in the quilt top.  The blocks are pretty big at 16″ so I only made four, and decided to add borders.  First a narrow strip of navy, then a wider strip of grey.  I added a few leftover geese to the grey border, which I really like.  (Reminds me of the borders on my Modern Wedding Quilt.)
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
I used the geese in the borders as a guide for a loose grid.  I’m trying to experiment a bit more with my straight line quilting, so I like that it’s not the same grid I do all the time and a bit off-center.
I’m still working on getting better at binding.  This time I used pre-made double folded binding tape… love it!  It’s so much quicker and turned out perfectly.  I don’t mind making binding, but it was nice to skip a step and it worked out really well.  I liked this Youtube tutorial, if you’ve never used it before (like me!).
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt
I like these flying geese so much that I switched out my Hillside Houses in the living room so my geese can have their day in the sun.  Still loving the no-sew quilt hanger!  I’ve been calling this quilt “Flying North” in my head all along, I guess because of the cool colors, so that’s the name!
The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt

Hubby helped me out with a photo shoot on the porch – not the best lighting with the sun behind him, but better than what I could get inside.

The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flying North Quilt

Three cheers for Pinterest, once again!   I’m  also linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday… it’s been a while!

Project Pinterest: Sticker Mandala

I’ve had this DIY Sticker Mandala pinned for quite a while now, and I finally tried it at home.  I just love it!  I really like how it looks colorful and symmetrical from far away, and then the closer you get you notice the random mix of stickers – footballs and butterflies and giraffes, oh my!

The stars aligned this past weekend to do this project because of two events: (1) a sale on stickers at JoAnn’s when I already needed to stop by for some fabric and (2) a rainy Sunday with nothing else to do.  This is the perfect meditative indoor activity to kill some time and make some fun art!

Sticker Mandala

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

Time: half an hour

Cost: About $15

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

Supplies:

  • 12 x 12 cardstock ($0.79)
  • stickers ($10 for several sets)
  • compass and protractor ($5)
  • pencil
  • eraser
  • ruler

Instructions:

Follow this link for a more in-depth tutorial. But basically, use a compass and protractor to draw concentric circles that fill up the cardstock.  Use a ruler to draw straight lines at every 30 degrees.  Use the guidelines for sticker placement to create a mandala shape.

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

Then start arranging stickers symmetrically.  Just keep adding stickers round after round until you reach the edges, keeping to the marked lines to form a mandala.  But really, you can make any shape you want instead of a circle.

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

Joann’s had a big sale on stickers with most sets marked down to $0.50 or $0.99, so I limited myself to $10 and just picked interesting shapes and colors.  One tip from the original tutorial is to look for mirrored stickers, so you can place them facing each other to be symmetrical.  They also had 5/$1 sheets of cardstock, so I picked up this shimmery blue.

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

So much fun!  I made another one using alphabet stickers too.

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Sticker Mandala

 

Great rainy day activity – sometimes it’s fun just to make something without any purpose.  I’m hanging up these two above my sewing machine until some other crafty whim tickles my fancy.  Three cheers for Pinterest!

Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler: July

I’m still keeping up with the Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  Each month features a different fairy tale, and it’s so fun to find out what story will be revealed next!

Another adorable month… Thumbelina in her walnut boat!  I got a late start this month and wasn’t sure I’d finish in time, but it was still manageable before the end of the month rolled around. My favorite details this month were the extra little animals – the mouse on the sidelines, fish in the lake, and butterfly overhead. You know I love teeny tiny things, so this was fun to stitch up for sure.  Lots of couch time this month spent watching the World Cup and hanging out with my stitching buddies the cats.

Below are a few progress pics…

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

And here are all the blocks completed so far:

The Amateur Librarian // OUAT Sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

 

 

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

The August block will be revealed tomorrow… can’t wait to see what fairy tale it will be!  I’ll try to keep up each month, so stay tuned for monthly updates…

Project Pinterest: Little Houses Mini Quilt

Remember my Hillside Houses quilt?  I found the Esch House pattern via Pinterest… here it is again!

The source link takes you to the Esch House Quilts pattern called Third Street neighborhood.  I loved the pattern so much that I made a mini version too!

I made a navy+white version first but liked it enough to make a mini version with the original black+white color combo too.
Little Houses Mini Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
Pattern: Third Street Neighborhood by Esch House Quilts
Finished Size: 24″ x 28″
Below are a few progress pics:
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
I used this tutorial for the houses, but then I used the placement order from the Third Street Neighborhood pattern.
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
I quilted with an organic grid.  “Organic” just means I didn’t mark anything so the lines are wonky.  I need to pick up some painters tape or a hera tool so I can actually mark some straight lines one of these days…
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
I’m still determined to work on my binding.  The biggest problem I have is joining the two ends.  I’ve used the binding tool a couple times and it works fine, but if every little detail isn’t right then it doesn’t work at all.  So I’m still trying to figure out the easiest technique… and so far it hasn’t clicked, but I’m trying!
I’ve started using Stitched in Color’s zigzag binding tutorial because I also have a problem with the binding fraying and pulling apart after washing.  So far the zigzag holds up better, so that’s one step in the right direction!
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt

I didn’t have any plans for this mini quilt, but when my parents were visiting Mama reminded me that it would make a good wedding present, so that’s what it is!  We’re all traveling to a dear family friend’s wedding this weekend, so it was perfect timing… plus it’s fun giving something handmade.  I added a label to the back and now it’s making the journey with us!

Three cheers for Pinterest, once again!   I’m  also linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday… it’s been a while!

Michael Miller Fabric Challenge

The Music City Modern Quilt Guild is participating in the Michael Miller fabric challenge, so I got a fat-eighths pack of the Petal Pinwheels fabric line to play with.  Solid colors and other fabrics from Michael Miller lines are allowed, but I decided to just make a mini quilt so I didn’t need to buy anything extra.

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

Here are a few progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

I thought of making tiny patchwork at first, but I gave up on that idea and just used the little strips instead.  I made a little sketch but it changed a lot by the end.

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

I improv-pieced as I went along and added scraps to each row of borders.

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

I quilted a double cross hatch with “organic lines” which just means I didn’t mark anything so they’re a bit wonky.

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

I hate binding and I usually try to cheat with cheater binding or a pillowcase finish, but I’m determined to get better this year so I’m forcing myself to practice on small projects.  I bought a Binding Tool a while back but it’s pretty confusing, so I had to watch a Youtube tutorial about fifty million times to get it right. But once I did it correctly it actually helped, woohoo!

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

 

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

On the back I pieced scraps from the fat-eighths, making the final size 16 x 18.

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

 

Another card added to the project box!

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

Fun stuff!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday!

 

Project Pinterest: Quilt Ladder

Most of the quilts I make are given away as gifts, but the few that I keep end up folded and stacked out of sight. I’ve been looking for some way to display my quilts and keep them handy… Enter Pinterest to the rescue!  I’ve collected quite a few pins of ladders like this:

And hey… if I ever need more shoe storage I suppose this is another idea!

Quilt Ladder

The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Ladder

I love the idea of a rustic ladder for quilt displays, and we happened to have an empty wall space out of direct sunlight, so the hunt began!
Turns out… old ladders are expensive!  I guess there are lots of other people who have caught the Pinterest bug.  But the more I thought about it, the less I wanted an actual antique ladder… too risky if it’s full of splinters or rust or lead paint.  So I started focusing on refurbished or new ladders made for display.  I couldn’t find any in local stores, so I turned to Etsy and eBay and found lots of cute options… but the shipping was pretty steep.  Finally I found Willow Island Primitives on Etsy with a variety of sizes, colors, and the best part – free shipping!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Ladder
The ladder just arrived the other week and I absolutely love it!  I chose the “colonial blue” color and love how it blends right in with the colors of the quilts and other colors in the living room.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Ladder
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Ladder
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Ladder

Once again… three cheers for Pinterest!

To Craft List: Updated!

Back in April, I shared a To Craft list of all the ideas swirling in my head… now it’s been a couple months, so it’s time for an update!

Some things I tackled, others faded from my head when something new grabbed me… as usual!  So I updated the original list with a couple new ideas that I’m currently working on, and even a teeny tiny finished project that I forgot to blog about.  (If I never took a picture then it never really happened, right?! Right.)

On to the list!

To Craft:

  • Biscornu

Still on the list.  I have the pattern and the supplies… I think I even have the fabric, floss, and buttons set aside somewhere… but I haven’t started yet.  I started thinking that maybe I need to invest in a couple more Q-snaps so I can have a few projects going at once, but actually… no, that’s the last thing I need, ha!  I should be trying to keep my works-in-progress to a minimum so they actually get finished!  Eventually I will get to this, because biscornus are so cool (and fun to say!).

(I bought this exact pattern from Satsuma Street and she has a tutorial on her blog for putting it together!)

  • House quilt.The Amateur Librarian // Hillside Houses Quilt
Yes!  I can happily cross this off the list – and there’s a blog post to prove it!  My house quilt is hanging in the living room and I love it.  Actually, I started making a mini version too, so here’s a peek of the layout and up on the “design wall”:
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
I just need to finish up the quilting and then I’ll do a post about it. (“Design Wall” deserves air quotes because it’s just a scrap of batting thumb tacked to the wall but one of these days I hope to make something better!)

  • Jelly Roll Race quilt.The Amateur Librarian // One Jelly Roll Race = Two Baby Quilts

Another yes!  Although it didn’t turn out quite how I expected… here’s the blog post explaining how I made the top and then decided I didn’t like it, so I sliced it up and made two baby quilts instead (one Rail Fence and one Chinese Coins).  I kept one and gave one to my BFF when she got married.

  • Strippy Table Runner.The Amateur Librarian // Strippy Table Runner

Yes!  Another wedding present for my BFF, in MSU colors since all of us share the same alma mater.  (Here’s the blog post for more details)

  • Mermaid Cross Stitch.The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

Started!  I pick this one up when I’m not working on the Once Upon a Time or Quilty Stitches samplers… so almost never.  But I still plan to use the finished product in another mini quilt to add to my nautical mini collection.

  • Hoop Art.

Nope.  Maybe some day… But I realized I already have a ton of extra art hanging around, so I probably don’t need to add to the piles!

And now for a few new additions to the list!

  • Flying Geese

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
I’ve been obsessed with flying geese lately, and after seeing this block through another blogger’s bee challenge, I decided to give it a whirl!  Trying to decide now if I should add more blocks (I made enough for 4 more) or leave it at that with a big solid border for a baby quilt.  So these blocks are sitting on the design wall while I ponder.

  • Michael Miller fabric challenge

I recently joined the Music City Modern Quilt Guild, and they’re participating in the Michael Miller fabric challenge, so I got a little pack of fat-eighths to play with.  I want to try to use what I have, so I’ll probably make a mini quilt of some sort.  Here’s a couple pics of what I started working on:

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

 

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

 

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

 

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

  • Craft Room

This falls under crafts, right?? I have lots of thoughts but I don’t quite know where to start.  It’s not a huge space, but it’s so nice to have a little room that’s not smack in the middle of the living room to house all my crafty stuff. I definitely want to make a bigger and better design wall, find a better organization system for my craft stuff and the closet in general, and put up some kind of art.  I’m thinking I might bring the bakers twine clothesline back, but maybe hang my mini quilt collection instead of photos.  And for over the sewing table, I found this cute Coke crate at a local antique store and I think it’ll be great for thread storage.

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

Definitely a work in progress!

  • WIPs
I unearthed a few quilt tops that never became quilts – this Disappearing Nine Patch which was one of my very first quilts, the Moving on Up Piece by Piece top that I made in San Francisco, this tree skirt that I’ve been trying to finish since 2010, and now the Mini Houses quilt top has been added to the list.  I need to make a big trip to the fabric store for more batting and quilt backing and power through the pile… it’s not a huge stack so hopefully it’s still manageable.
And a finish!  A little needlebook kit came with one of my Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine issues, so in the days before starting my new job I spent a couple hours with the teeny tiny hexis and put it together.  Somehow I never blogged about it, so here it is!
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

And that’s all for this update!  Does anybody else have too many ideas and too little time?

Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler: June

I’m doing the Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  Each month features a different fairy tale, and it’s so fun to find out what story will be revealed next!

I know I say it every month, but I think June is my favorite yet! I love the mattresses piled up and the pink chandelier!

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

Below are a few progress pics…And here are all the blocks completed so far:

The Amateur Librarian // OUAT Sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

 

The June block will be revealed soon… I can’t wait to get started!  I’ll try to keep up each month, so stay tuned for monthly updates…

Project Pinterest: DIY Watercolor Sailboats

Another watercolor project!  I’m not sure what sparked my interest in watercolors lately, but I have a set that I’ve never used before and thought it’d be something fun to learn a bit about.  Like I’ve said before, I regularly pin lots of ideas from the Art Projects for Kids blog, so that’s exactly where I started hunting.  I love her art projects because they’re extremely simple but also yield beautiful results!

I really loved the watercolor flower garden, so I looked for something similar.  Here’s the pin that I chose for my second watercolor project:

You know I have a thing for sailboats and all things nautical – I couldn’t resist!

DIY Watercolor Sailboats

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

Time: 30 min-1 hour, and then several hours to dry

Cost: $10-15 if you buy everything new

Supplies:

  • water color set
  • paint brush
  • watercolor paper
  • black permanent market
  • white crayon
  • glass of water
  • newspaper/paper towels to protect your workspace

Instructions:

Go to the source for the tutorial… once again, the description is short and sweet because it’s pretty simple!  (Side note: my watercolor set didn’t come with a regular brush for some reason, so I used a foarm brush that I had on hand.)  Here are a few progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

Basically: draw a simple outline of a boat with a black marker (or do it in pencil first and then trace with the marker).  Add a horizon and trees.  Use a white crayon to add details in the water like a reflection under the boat and waves.  Paint with watercolors.  Let dry.  Ta da!

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

I love simple projects like this – they don’t take a ton of time but doing it takes an entirely different kind of focus which feels so refreshing.  I’m definitely looking for more ideas like this one to keep using my watercolors!

Once again… three cheers for Pinterest!

Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler: May

I’m doing the Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  Each month features a different fairy tale, and it’s so fun to find out what story will be revealed next!

May’s block is Jack and the Beanstalk – complete with a cow, a magic bean, and a few gold coins!  I love having an ongoing project that can be completed in the little moments between work and the weekend and all that goes on… it’s manageable and so much fun to anticipate the next month!

Below are a few progress pics…

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

And here are all the blocks completed so far:

The Amateur Librarian // OUAT Sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The June block will be revealed soon… I can’t wait to get started!  I’ll try to keep up each month, so stay tuned for monthly updates…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 410 other followers