August/September Block of the Month – 2013 and My Best Friend’s Wedding

You can’t see me..but I’m covering my face in shame right now…

I can’t believe the last time I posted was a month ago!! Yikes!! But in my defense August was a very chaotic and event filled month. So I apologize for any of you following along with the progress of my BOM, but check this out…

August and September’s BOM blocks make a super cute pair!! His and hers CHICKENS!!

August’s block was the hen in pink, orange and yellow tones…

Chicken Animal Whimsy Block of the Month

and September’s block is the rooster in whites, yellows and blues.

Rooster Animal Whimsy Block of the Month

Don’t they make a great his and hers set of blocks? Amy Bradley’s pattern had them both as white chickens on different colored backgrounds but I thought it would be cute to do a girl hen and boy rooster to mix it up a bit. I love how they both turned out and it worked out well that I could post them both along side each other this month. :)

I guess this “his” and “hers” theme was very present on my mind recently because the reason I was soooooo busy last month was actually because my best friend got married. I was her Maid of Honor and had many duties to take care of over the last month in preparation of the wedding.

First off, I was in charge of arranging her bridal shower. Her wedding was country themed and the venue she was to have her wedding at couldn’t incorporate too many decorations and details as she would have liked to include so I decided to throw an all out Bridal Shower Barbecue to really give her what she wanted. I designed the invites, quizzes, games, as well as all the signs for the shower to be western looking. I also collected mason jars and arranged a backyard barbecue lunch for 12 women. It was a lot of fun but boy! I never knew planning and coordinating a bridal shower was so much work.

In addition to arranging the shower, I also had to make sure I had a gift ready for her. So I ever so subtly asked her, “Uhhh, if I were to make you something….you know…that I make a lot of….what colors would you want it to be?” She laughed..and I’m POSITIVE she knew what was to come but as a quilter it was important to me she got a wedding quilt for this special occasion. So I put this pretty thing together…

Morning, Noon, and Night Quilt

(Sorry for the crumby picture. I only just remembered to snap a picture of it
on my phone right before I wrapped it the day before the wedding.)

My best friend’s favorite color is black and she’s not traditional at all, so when I found this pattern called “Morning, Noon, and Night” by Atkinson Designs I thought it would be perfect for them; their two favorite colors in a modern setting. Also, I thought it was very symbolic — kind of like “his” and “hers” coming together and meeting in the middle. I even managed to sew a label on the back…

Heart Quilt Label

When the wedding rolled around just over a week ago, I was a nervous wreck. I was even more nervous than the bride! While we were getting ready that morning, driving over to the venue, and eventually standing in the waiting room before heading out to walk down the aisle…I just couldn’t keep it together. I’m pretty sure my best friend was regretting picking me as her Maid of Honor at that point as I was no help keeping her relaxed that day. She just kept asking me, “If you’re this nervous at MY wedding, I’d like to see you the day of your wedding!” I don’t even want to think about it…

The ceremony was just before sunset, outside at a golf course. The venue was gorgeous and we partied the night away. I read my Maid of Honor speech (which was what I was really the most nervous about all day) and it went over well but I was shaking like a leaf through the whole thing. I hope my mother (who just HAD to film it) buries that footage for a LONG LONG time. Everyone told me it was great…but I really don’t hope to relive that moment for a very long time. Haha!

Anywho…I hope to not be so absent this month now that the craziness has past. I have A LOT that I’m working on at the moment too! So check back soon!

Winter Wonderland Table Topper Giveaway Winner!

First I want to say a big thank you to everyone who stopped by and left a comment on my Winter Wonderland Table Topper these past couple of weeks. It’s been great to hear all of your gift giving plans! Seems this table topper will be making quite a few friends and family’s homes a little more festive for the holiday season!

NOW!! On to the good stuff….

Using the True Random Number Generator, the winner of the giveaway is……#43 – Louise!

Random-Generator-Winner

Louise’s comment:

I am going straight to my sewing room! I give Christmas runners or table toppers as shower gifts for new brides. I always include a “our first Christmas ornament”. Thanks for the great project!!

Christmas Table Topper Give Away

Thanks for your comment Louise! You will receive this lovely kit of fabric to make a table-topper of your own! I have emailed you to get your mailing address so I can ship this pretty little package off to you!

And again, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU ALL for your lovely comments! I read through every single one and am so glad to hear your feedback. I hope you all had a great time on the Christmas in July Blog Hop. It was great to be a part of it and share these projects with you! :)

Winter Wonderland Table Topper

Hello and welcome to the next stop on the Christmas in July Blog Hop being hosted by The Crafty Quilter! If you’re new here, welcome! I’m so happy to be sharing a lovely tutorial on my project for the hop, this Winter Wonderland Table Topper!

Winter Wonderland Christmas Table Topper

This table topper is really easy and quick to put together – making it a great gift idea for the holidays! Let’s jump right in!

This tutorial is made using a handful of pieces from a Layer Cake. I thought it would be fun to use a precut set of fabrics (1) because they already coordinate so well and (2) because it would be a challenge to make something with one of the MANY Layer Cakes I have in my stash. Also, because this project only requires using a handful of pieces from a usually 40-42 count Layer Cake, you could make several of these table toppers to share with your friends and family for the holidays. How perfect is that?

Finished Size: 23 1/2″ x 23 1/2″

Fabric Requirements:

5 – 10″ x 10″ squares for pieced squares center
2 – 10″ x 10″ squares for setting triangles (My layer cake included doubles of the entire line, making it possible to use two of the same fabric for each of the four setting triangles. If you do not have doubles in your Layer Cake, I suggest choosing two squares that are similar in color/print scale if you want your sample to look close to mine.)
1 – 10″ x 10″ square for corner triangles
1/8 yard of white for center sashing
7/8 yard for backing
7/8 yard batting (I used a scrap piece of Hobbs 80/20 batting that I had lying around, but I also like Pellon Thermolam for table toppers and runners. It’s a good weight and holds it’s shape really well.)
1/4 yard for binding

Cutting Instructions:

For Pieced Center:
Cut 2 – 2 1/2″ strips from each of your 5 – 10″ squares. (*You will not need the rest of these fabrics for this table topper, but don’t fear! You can use the rest of these pieces to make a second table topper later!)

Cut 1

For Setting Triangles:
Trim your 2 – 10″ squares down to make each of them 9″ squares. Then, cut each of them in half once diagonally. (Each square should yield two triangles, for a total of four triangles.)

Cut 2

For Corner Triangles:
Cut your 1 – 10″ square in half twice diagonally (Your one square should yield four triangles.)

For your Center Sashing:
Cut 2 – 1 1/4″ strips x WOF
Subcut into: 2 – 10 1/2″ strips and 2 – 12″ strips

Table Topper Assembly:

Step 1: It’s important to take a second (if you’re picky like me) before you start piecing to lay out your strips to see color placement. Lay out one of each of the coordinating 2 1/2″ strips as shown below.

Table Topper Color Placement

*Keep in mind that your first piece and last piece will touch each other too when laying these out.

Once you’ve decided on color placement, sew all of your strips together. DON’T PRESS as you’re piecing these together. I know you’ll want to because it’ll make it easier to sew them all to each other, but in the following steps they’ll need to alternate directions. If you need to, finger press them gently to one side.

Step 2: Once your strips are sewn together, take your first and last strips and sew them together, creating a tube. (If you’re looking at my strips above, I sewed my (1st) beige strip to my (last) red strip.)

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 with your remaining 5 – 2 1/2 strips for pieced center. You should be laying out the fabrics in the EXACT same layout as done in step 1 or the pattern will not repeat correctly. You should have two tubes that look identical.

Step 4: Now that you have your two tubes, lay one out on your cutting mat and measure 2 1/2″ from the edge and cut. You should be able to get 4 – 2 1/2″ stripped tubes from this larger tube (if you’re careful). If you’re like me, I needed to clean up one side and then make my first cut. I got 3 strips from my first tube and cut two additional tubes from my second tube. – Whichever way you choose, you need 5 pieced tubes. (*You will have a leftover piece from your second larger tube. You will not be using the rest of this piece in this tutorial. You can set it aside for the rest of this project.)

Cutting Strip Tubes

Step 5: Once you’ve cut 5 stripped tubes, take out those seam rippers or snippers and get ready to un-sew. Don’t worry though! You’ll only be taking out one seam from each of your five strips.

For your first tube, take out the seam between your first fabric and your last fabric. Open your strip up and lay it down on your mat. Then pick up the next tube and rotate it one square over, remove this seam. You should be picking out the seam between your last fabric and fourth fabric. Lie it on the mat next to your last strip.

Step3-2

Follow this method until you have five strips that chain across the quilt diagonally. (See Step 7 for what your center layout should look like.) Once you’ve seam ripped and laid out your five strips, NOW you can press. Press each row in opposite directions. Rows 1, 3 and 5 I pressed upward and rows 2 and 4 I pressed down.  They should nest into each other when pieced together in next step.

Step 6: Piece these pieced strips together. Press your rows all in one direction and admire all those perfect matching seams! (*I gave my final pieced center a good press with some Best Press so it would lie nice and flat as I moved forward in the following steps.)

Step 7: Take your 2 – 1 1/4″ x 10 1/2″ sashing strips and piece to either side of your pieced center. Press away from the center. Then take your  2 – 1 1/4″ x 12″ sashing strips and piece to the top and bottom of your pieced center. Press away from center block.

Center of Table Topper

Step 8: Grab 2 of your 4 setting triangles and fold them in half just at the long end. Pinch/finger press to create crease at the halfway point to find the center of the triangle. Fold your pieced center block in half and pinch/finger press the halfway mark.

Pinch to find centers

Step 9: Once you’ve found the centers, fold your setting triangle onto your pieced center (right sides together) and pin where these two creases meet. Pin once more (or more) on either side of the center pin to keep triangle lined up on edge. Your triangle should extend past either end of your pieced center by 1/4″. Sew your two setting triangles down and press them away from the center block.

Repeat steps 8 and 9 to piece top and bottom triangles onto pieced center to create the following block.

Winter Wonderland Christmas Table Topper Pieced Center

Step 10: Next, take your four corner triangles and pinch/finger press to find their centers along each of their long ends, just as you did for the setting triangles. Again, find the centers on each of the sides of the pieced center of the table topper. Match both of your pinched creases to each other and pin in place, RST. (*Note: I was mindful about which direction my birds all faced when piecing these final four corner squares down since the fabric was directional. Feel free to do the same if you’re as picky as me.)

Step7

Sew all four corner triangles down and press away from pieced center.

Winter Wonderland Christmas Table Topper

Finishing Instructions:

Layer your backing, batting, and table topper top, baste, quilt and then bind.

I used straight line stitching in a variation of ways on my top including crosshatching over the center squares, echoing inside the sashing and triangles…

Winter Wonderland Christmas Table Topper Quilting

…as well as some created some ray-like quilting on the setting triangles. I’ve always been more partial to piecing rather than quilting, but this table topper was a lot of fun and totally manageable to quilt…even for ME!!

Winter Wonderland Christmas Table Topper Quilting

And there you have it! A beautiful and super simple quilted table topper that will make any home festive for the holiday season!

Christmas Table Topper Give Away

Update (Sunday, July 28): Thanks to all who submitted a comment and entered to win this lovely giveaway gift. The winner will be revealed on Monday, July 29! Thanks so much for stopping by and please come back and visit again soon!

Winter Wonderland Christmas Table Topper