Friday, January 31, 2014

Its that time of year....

I took a bit of a hiatus from posting this week as my husband decided to share more than he should have....

Yup!  I picked up the cold that he had last week and I was down for a few days this week.

Being sick is no fun!  Especially when there isn't anyone to wait on you and make you feel better.  The house is a bit of a disaster right now with dirty dishes all over the kitchen.  It seems like whenever I'm sick, none of the dishes get done.  The only way the dishes get put in the dishwasher is if every available flat surface is completely covered and there's no where else to put the next dirty dish.....I know what I'll be doing tonight when I get home. :c)

Hope everyone else is staying healthy and not picking up any of the nasty little buggies going around.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Quilt #13 - Sweet Dreams

It definitely seems like everything comes in waves.... weddings.... babies.... graduations....

In 2009, a lot of our friends and co-workers were having children, so I ended up making a lot of baby quilts that year.  I still make baby quilts for folks, but only for those that we really know well and are true friends... not just acquaintances.

I don't have any pictures of the piecing on this quilt, but as you can tell from the semi-quilted pictures, it was a pretty simple design.  Its similar to an Irish chain design, but I put some bright yellow stars in the middle of the cross points.  I wanted something to liven it up even though I was using blues for a baby boy.

For the border quilting, I had two cookie cutters that I traced around for shapes of stars and moons.  The stitching between them was completely freehand.  Its not great quilting, but it was simple and perfect for a child.

Here's the completed quilt after washing it.  I used white thread for the stitching so the quilting does stand out pretty well against the dark blue fabrics.

Presentation time!  :c)  I always try to packing up the quilts in a nice way for the new owners to see it for the first time.  Sometimes I will try to highlight specific areas of the quilt by folding it a certain way.  It took me a while to get this such that the star was centered in the "square" of the folds.

Unfortunately, I no longer work with this individual, but we still keep in touch occasionally.  They loved the quilt and the baby used it for a long time as a play mat and then as a secondary blanket on their bed.  Apparently the boy wouldn't go anywhere without it, so it also went on many car rides. 

Its always nice to find out that the quilt was loved and the child really liked it.  :c)

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Friday, January 24, 2014

Quilt #12 - Charmed Stars

In another trip down memory lane, here's a quilt that I made in 2009.  One of my co-workers was expecting a baby, and at the last minute I decided to make a quilt for them.  I had a bunch of 5" squares left over from a prior baby quilt and this was a good time to use them!  :c)

I laid out the pieces in a relatively random fashion and pieced them together into this sweet little quilt:

The quilt got its name from the 5" squares (charms) and the quilting design which was a free-form star motif.

It was a very quick design that I put together in a single weekend.  The backing was a lovely pink flannel with letters and shapes (i.e. w for whale, b for ball, etc).

Here's one of the final pictures as I was getting the binding sewn down...

And the finished...err... masterpiece? ;-)

Bad picture, but it shows the embroidery I did on the binding.  I've tried a few different ways for labeling quilts and so far my favorite is to just stitch the information right onto the binding before its applied to the quilt.  It makes it a bit less obtrusive, but still provides the information of who and when the quilt was made.

Definitely not my best pictures, but it was a fun little quilt to make.  The baby loved it and once she grew out of it, she started using it as a blanket for her dolls.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mariner's Compass Update

I've slowly been making progress on my Mariner's Compass wall hanging.  A few weekends ago, I had all these blocks ready for sewing:

Here's a small stack of them all trimmed up.  Nice and neat looking! :c)

After having to take a step back to make the green squares (silly me... I forgot them when I was making all the others), I was able to get all blocks trimmed and into rows last weekend.  (Ignore the other stuff on my design wall...its a little cluttered in some spots.)

I quickly moved on to put the next borders on.....

....only to find out that the quilt is a bit smaller than my border units.  :-(  Its hard to see, but if you look at the top right of the picture below, you can see how the border is "wavy" to fit into the space.

So my next step this weekend is to go back and rip the stitches holding that blue border in place...then measure a few times to figure out what the width of the solid border needs to be in order to fit to the pieced border.

Annoying...but I'd rather have it right than have to keep fudging things.  I really don't want wavy borders when I go to try to quilt this puppy.

Its all part of the process, right?  :c)

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Winding Ways

This past summer, I finally got around to trying out the Go! die for the Winding Ways pattern.  Out of the pieces of fabric I had from a 1/2 yard sampler, I was able to get a total of 12 blocks for the design (I still have lots of smaller strips left over from the 1/2 yard sampler). 

I pieced together 9 of the blocks to make a wall hanging, but I wasn't quite sure what to do with the top 3.

After letting the blocks sit there on the design wall for awhile, I finally decided to make a simple table runner out of it.  I put the 3 remaining blocks on point and then cut setting triangles to go between them.  Instead of doing a typical quilt "sandwich" and then binding the runner, I did something a little different.  I layered the batting on the bottom, then the backing (face up) and then the top fabric (face down) and top-stitched all around the edges while leaving a 6" opening on one side.  After trimming some of the excess batting and backing away, I turned it inside out to make the table runner.

I hand-stitched the opening closed and then did another round of top-stitching around the edge of the table runner.  I also did some stitch-in-the-ditch between the pieced blocks and the setting triangles to anchor things down.

I haven't decided whether I want to actually do any other stitching or just leave it very simple like it is.  I'm leaning more towards the simple!  :c)  The good thing is that if I change my mind, I can always add more stitching later and this counts as my first finish for 2014. LOL.

Its another cold week here in upstate NY.  I don't know what the low temperature was last night, but this morning coming into work it was -11F.  With the wind blowing, the "feel like" temperature was -21F! 

I don't typically mind the cold; after all, I live in the northeast and its winter!  :c)  The wind is a bit brutal these past few weeks and we're supposed to stay cold like this for another week or two.  Its a good thing we have lots of wood stockpiled so we can keep the fireplace running at night!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Slow Stitching

About 2 weeks ago, I picked up another project (not that I needed another one).  This one is a free BOM from Morning Glory Designs.  This BOM is originally designed for machine applique, but I decided to try my hand at doing it with needle-turn applique.  Here's the block all traced out on my background fabric.

This is an "old" method, but new to me.  Basically, you put trace out your design on the back of your background piece and then use a thick thread to baste your fabric in place.  Then as you do your needle turn, you clip the threads and turn under your seam allowance.  The perforations from the thread are supposed to make it easier for the fabric to turn....we'll see about that. ;-)

The center portion of the block is completely turned now and I just have to do the pieces on the edge.  The perforations don't work as well as I thought they would, but that may be because I'm using a thicker fabric for the appliques.

Overall, I do like how its turning out so far and I'm learning as I go as to what works and doesn't work for turning under the edges.  Its all about practice!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quick Update

Somehow it was a busy weekend despite not really doing anything.  I did some quilting over the weekend.  I have 80 square-in-square blocks to make for the outer border of the Mariner's Compass wall hanging.  As I was trimming up a bunch of them.... I realized I completely forgot to make some with a green center.  Argh!

Back to pressing and cutting strips so I could make the 14 green square-in-square blocks.  I cut all the fabric, but then ran out of steam and just didn't have it in me to actually sew up the blocks.

There have been a lot of people out sick at my work.  I think that's part of why I feel run down, but I'm hoping that I don't get this cold that's been going around.  It typically has been knocking people down for 3-4 days.

On a good side, I thought I'd share a picture of my parents' Christmas tree from this year.  They used to get real trees when I was kid, but then my mom found out she was allergic to mold.  Surprisingly, evergreens are absolutely covered in wonder my mom was always sick around the holidays!  They ended up finding a very nice artificial tree... which is hard to do when you're looking for a 12-foot tree!!

Hope everyone is having a great week so far  :c)

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


About a week ago, we had a pretty hefty snow storm come through the northeast.  Here in upstate New York, we ended up with about 15" of snow.

This was the view out my back door after the snow finally stopped

And the view out the front door....

The trees are absolutely beautiful after it snows.  :c)

All the time while it was snowing and bitterly cold... our cat had the right idea.

Completely zonked out in front of the fireplace.

In the picture below, you can see the ash on her feet and legs.  We're going to have to really wipe down everything after the winter since she tends to carry the ash with her wherever she goes.

All the while she was sleeping, I was thinking it must be tough to be a cat in her position. ;c)  Her biggest worry is having to get up from the fireplace to go eat or use the litter pan.

Hope everyone is staying warm this wee!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mariner's Compass Progress and Needlepoint

I've been making more progress on the Mariner's Compass quilt.  The setting triangles are now in place and the quilt is very square and very flat, which is a little bit of a surprise.

I also started making the 80 square-in-square blocks that are in the pieced border for the quilt.  I did two test blocks before I cut everything and they came out just right.  I love seeing the stacks of fabric waiting and ready to be sewn. :c)

I also did some needlework this past week and finished up another page on this pattern.  I've now completed 12 pages and am a little over 1/3 done.  Its going to be quite a while before this puppy is finished!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Stashbusting 2014 - Week 1

Its another new year for stash busting!  I ended 2013 in fairly decent shape and starting out 2014 in the black.  :c)

Most of my stash used this week is for the Mariner's Compass wall hanging.  I was able to get the large setting triangles cut, pressed and sewn onto the center section.  In order to make the triangles, I had to cut two squares at 26.25" and then cut that along the diagonal.  Its not an easy task to cut something that is larger than your ruler!

The other part of my used stash is actually for a BOM that I recently found on Morning Glory Designs.  Its a free BOM, but you have to download each block during the month that it is up.  If you miss a month, you'll have to purchase it from the site.  This is what the BOM will look like per the pattern.  Looks pretty fun!

I prepped the first block and glue basted the pieces in place.  We'll see if I can keep up at doing a block a month. :c)

So here are my stash numbers:

Added This Week:       0 yards
Added Year to Date:    0 yards
Used This Week:          1.58 yards
Used Year to Date:       1.58 yards
Net Year to Date:         1.58 yards

Go on over to Judy's blog to see how others are doing.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mariner's Compass Progress

 Just before the Christmas break and a little bit during, I was able to spend some quality time with my sewing machine, iron and bunch of fabric. :c)

A few weeks ago, I showed this picture with a small section of the compass completed.

Shortly thereafter, the small pieces became 1/4 sections of the full compass.

Then it came time to do the dreaded curved seam....and a huge one at that!

In order to make sure it was spread evenly throughout the arc, I made the sure edges were square and lined up a boatload of pins to make sure that curved seam was right!

Half of the circle now all together.  :c)

After getting those curved seams done, it was relatively easy to put all four sections together.  I did have to remove the paper from the paper-piecing first as there was a ton of bulk in that center seam.  As it was, it was difficult to get it "just right" due to the amount of fabric there.  I played around a bit, but then decided to stop messing with it and it was good enough.

Next up was cutting the pieces for the ribbon border that goes around the center compass.  I love seeing the stacks of cut fabric ready for sewing.

Then with the borders pinned up around the compass on my design wall....

Finally, an on-point picture since that's how it will be in the final quilt.

After getting back from visiting family over Christmas, I sewed on the 4th border...then proceeded to remove all four borders. 

They weren't quite lying as flat as I wanted them to be and in checking a few of the individual seams, I realized I had accidentally sewn all the ribbon blocks together with a scant 1/4" seam versus a regular 1/4" seam.  That 1/16-inch added up quickly and caused my borders to be a bit wavy.

Not my ideal way to spend 3 hours, but I fixed the borders and they are now back on the quilt and the thing is completely flat again.  Yay!

I'll be showing more in the next week or so.

For anyone in the Northeast.... hope you're staying warm and in from the snow.  We were forecasted to only have 4" by this evening, but we have 6" with another 10-15" on its way overnight.  Put bone-chilling cold on top of that (the high Friday is only 4F and the low is -15F), and its a recipe for lots of issues.  Thankfully I can work my first two days of the year from home and not have to venture out in the cold and snow.

Stay warm!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations