Monday, December 30, 2013

Wild Thing

Here is the first of quite a few quilts that have been on my to do list.  This one was made for a very special friend who finally married her Prince Charming. 

I made this quilt using Thimble Blossoms pint-sized Wild Thing pattern.  Obviously this isn't the pint sized version as I transferred the ratios up to bigger blocks.  These block came in at 16 inches finished. I used mostly Heather Bailey's Lottie Da, with a little bit of Scrumptious and few other prints thrown in. I liked it just how it was a decided to forgo the borders. I straight line quilted it at 1 inch apart. Quilt is also bound in Lottie Da and the back is a solid green to match the front.  This is the first quilt that I cut out and pieced all in one afternoon.  I count that as a great success considering the fact that I had five boys under 8 in my house that whole afternoon.

 I'm hoping that when this girl is done Honeymooning and gets around to opening her presents that she likes it as much as I do.  After all, she is kind of a wild thing herself…

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

 And the winner of the Moda Pre-cuts is…

Merrill Hogan who also likes aqua!

Merrill, I replied to your comment!  You can email me at to claim your fabric.  Thank you so very much to everyone who participated. I read every single comment and enjoyed them.  I am thankful for you, the wonderful online quilting community.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quilter's Gallery Giving Thanks Blog Hop (And Giveaway!)

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

***Giveaway is now closed! Thank you for all of your wonderful comments. ***

Hello there! Thanks for coming by for the Quilter's Gallery Giving Thanks Blog Hop. I am super excited to be participating in this blog hop and look forward to visiting some new sewing blogs and making some new quilter friends. In case you are new here, my name is Sara Birch. I am a late night quilter, DIY-er, and mother to four handsome little men.

I started this blog a little over a year ago as a way for me share some of the projects I've been working on.  You can read more about that, and me, in the About tab at the top of the page.

It seems like sewing has always been a part of my life.  My mom loves to sew and taught me how when I was in Middle School. I sure am thankful that she took the time to pass on a skill to me. Sewing started out as a hobby for me, turned into a college degree, and has now again become a hobby. My passion is in quilting.  I love to take a pile of fabric and turn it into something beautiful and useful. I truly am thankful for quilting. Some of my most favorite quilts from this year are my Swoon quilt:

And my Nova quilt (pattern coming soon).

I am also thankful for my amazing little family. They mean the world to me.

Today I am giving away some Moda pre-cuts. I love Moda and pre-cuts! Up for grabs is one charm pack of Freebird by MoMo and a mini charm of Marmalade by Bonnie and Camille.

The mandatory entry is to "like" The Aqua House on Facebook,  then come here, and leave a comment telling me that you've liked my page. You can access my Facebook page by clicking here or on the Facebook icon on the sidebar. Want a better chance to win? Additional (but NOT mandatory) entries include:

  • Leave me a comment telling me what you are thankful for
  • share this post on Facebook
  • follow me on Instagram @s_birch
  • comment on another Aqua House blog post (let me know which one!)
  • become a follower of my blog (on the side bar)
  • pin one of my projects to Pinterest
Leave me ONE comment on THIS POST for EACH additional entry.  Oh, and when you comment please click on the "Notify Me" button.  I will reply to the winning post and this will help me notify you as the the winner.  The winner will also be announced on Facebook, so if you've liked The Aqua House you should be able to see if you've won.  This giveaway is open until November 26th.  I will notify the winner on November 27th. Winner will be chosen via Thanks for stopping by and Happy Blog Hopping!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Over My Head

I think its safe to say that I may be in over my head.  Last week I mentioned that I was making jean quilts for our siblings (7 jean quilts to be exact).  I've now added onto that list another quilt for one of my very best friends who is getting married December 27th and a quilt for boy #1 for Christmas. Boy #1 has a rag quilt that I made him when he was a baby, but not a "real" (as he says) quilt.  My boys love to pull their quilts out and snuggle with them while they are watching movies or reading books. 

I've noticed that boy #1 is getting a little too big to snuggle up in his baby quilt.  Of course when I approached him about a quilt for Christmas (thinking he could pick out the fabric) he said "No" because he just wants Legos. So I guess I'm doing it without his approval.  Hopefully in years to come he'll appreciate it.

Oh and I'm also making some Quilt Scrap Hot Pads for my mom to give away as gifts. I'm hoping to get these done tonight so I can get those jean quilts finished up. I may be sleep deprived by the time Christmas gets here.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for a giveaway! I am participating in Quilting Gallery's Giving Thanks-Quilter's Blog Hop Party.  You won't want to miss it, I'll have some Moda precuts up for grabs.

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jean Quilts

A few posts ago I mentioned that I was working on some jean quilts for Christmas presents. Each year for Christmas we get each of our siblings a present.  Its often a little overwhelming for me and I hate giving gifts just to know that they aren't being used or they weren't liked. Plus it's more that a *little* stressful for me to get everyone a present (we tried drawing names for a few years but it was hard for some people to stick to that, I guess they are all just super generous). This fall I found myself with a giant stack of jeans (these are only part of them) and figured I could use them to make some jean quilts.  

And I'm not talking big, take on your camping trip quilts, but rather more of a lap-sized quilt that you could take on a picnic or to sit on at a sporting event. One thing I didn't want to do was make old-fashioned looking quilts.  Maybe its just me, or where I grew up, or my family, but all of the jean quilts I am familiar with are just plain jean squares sewn together, with maybe an occasional pocket thrown in. Some were backed in plain colored sheets and others had the occasional "woodsy" bear or moose print on it…rawr.  I wanted to do something more modern looking and am hoping to be able to back them with some more modern looking fabric. So far, I have one triangle quilt...

and two basket weave ones.  I'm also thinking of throwing on some monograms, because, well, I love a good monogram.

Three designs down, only four more to go. Any suggestions on a fun, modern looking pattern (that will sew well with the bulk of denim?  Oh and one more thing.  I've been sewing these together with my walking foot and it has made handling the bulk SO MUCH easier! Especially on the triangle quilt.

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stamped Give Thanks Banner

I know there are several of you who come here for quilting/sewing posts and to you I sincerely apologize for the lack of quilting posts. I have several quilts in the works right now and hopefully soon I'll have some finished enough to share with you.  In the meantime, here is another quick crafty tutorial.

This little Give Thanks banner will take you 20 minutes, 30 at most to make.  For this project you will need:

  • 10 burlap triangles 4 inches wide by 5 long.  These can be cut from burlap yardage.
  • Foam stamps
  • craft paint
  • sponge brush
  • Allene's fabric fusion
  • ribbon/trim to glue banner to

To start out put your paint on a plate so you can paint it onto your stamps.  The reason you will want to paint the stamps is so you can make sure the paint is only on the letter and doesn't get on the sides of the stamp.  You can also better control the amount of paint on each stamp so there is more uniformity in your lettering. Paint the stamp.

Make sure you have something behind your burlap when you stamp as the paint will bleed through.  Place stamp in the middle of the triangle and press firmly, making sure not to slide the stamp.

Continue until all of your letters have been stamped.

Grab your ribbon/trim and measure out how much you will need.  I chose to do one banner for "Give" and another for "Thanks".  You could put all of the letters onto the same banner too.

Next, using Allene's Fabric Fusion pen, fuse your ribbon/trim onto the back of the triangles.  You can also apply a small bit of the fabric fusion to the edges of your burlap to prevent fraying.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mini Raincheck

Do you ever have times when you are completely overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do? I'm kind of feeling that way right now with the Christmas season right around the corner. So naturally, I decided to start another project, this mini Raincheck quilt

I think every once in a while I need a project that will go quickly so I can feel like I am accomplishing something.  I've spent hours cutting up a pile of jeans into triangles for quilt tops and it was getting quite monotonous.  I have a huge stack of jeans just sitting in my basement and I got the crazy idea that I was going to use them up to make picnic throw blankets for all of our siblings for Christmas.  I'll let you know how that little project goes...

But for now, I'd better get back to cutting.  And admiring my mini quilt.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Halloween Pillow

Last night our family went to pick pumpkins. As we walked around the pumpkin patch in the chilly air, I finally came to the realization that Fall is here, and Halloween is just around the corner. I guess I've been somewhat in denial about Halloween being just a few weeks away.  Even though my one year old keeps dressing up in his Yoda costume (or Do-da, as he calls it) I still kept thinking we had a long time to go until Halloween.

I am part of a local Modern Quilt Guild and this month we are doing a Halloween pillow swap.  I thought and thought about what I wanted to do and finally came up with this simple little pillow.

For this project you will need:

  • pillow form, or stuffing
  • 2 fat quarters
  • scrap fabric for banner and numbers
  • 12 inches trim
  • numbers 3 and 1 printed off in font of your choice at 500pt
  • rotary cutter, scissors, and triangle ruler (optional)

To start off I printed off my numbers (Noteworthy font in Pages) and cut them out.  I laid them backwards on the wrong side my fabric and traced them then cut them out.

Next I trimmed up my fat quarters to 18 1/2 inches square, as my pillow form was 18 inches.

Then I used my triangle ruler to make 3 1/2 triangles.  You will need four triangles. If you don't have a triangle ruler you can use the method I described here.

First place the 31 in the bottom left corner.  Appliqué on with stitch of your choice.  I chose to do a straight stitch at 4.0 stitch length.

Next, lay out your triangles to form a banner.  Appliqué.

Attach trim of your choice above the triangles. I decided to use a contrasting thread to attach my trim and ended up not liking it as well as if I'd used a matching thread.

Stitch your pillow top to the bottom leaving the bottom open enough to insert pillow form. Press, turn right side out, and press your seam on the bottom that you left open. Hand stitch shut.

Easy, peasy! Enjoy.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Burlap and Lace

Have you seen the super cute burlap and lace table runner that has been making the rounds on Pinterest? I instantly fell in love with the idea of mixing rustic burlap and dainty lace. This table runner functions great for Fall festivities, but really could be used year round. I think this would make a super cute table runner for Thanksgiving, and if I end up hosting this year, it will definitely be on my table.

For this project you will need:

  • 1/2 yard of burlap
  • 2 1/2 yards lace
  • 1 package double fold bias tape
  • thread to match lace color 
  This table runner will measure 15" wide by 45" long.  To start out, you will fold your burlap in half, selvage to selvage. Make sure you have no folds or creases in your fabric and be careful as you cut because burlap tends to shift easily. After evening up the burlap on one side, measure over 15 inches and cut.  This is the table runner.

Once you have your 15" wide strip it is time to pin the lace along each side.  Make sure you overlap your lace (as pictured below) so you are sure to catch the edge of it when you sew. I started and ended my lace on half scallops.

Next you will pin on the double fold bias tape. Carefully pull out the pins you used on the lace and move them to the bias tape as you come to that point. When you come to the end of the table runner, fold your bias tape back 3/4", then pin it onto the table runner so the fold ends by the selvage of the burlap.

After you have everything pinned on, its time to sew! Make sure to adjust your machine to a 4.0 stitch length (this is a standard top stitch length).

Sew as closely to the edge as possible making sure to catch all layers, especially the underside of the bias tape.  Its okay to go slowly so you can make sure your top stitching looks nice.

Once you come to the end of the bias tape, put your needle position down, and rotate the table runner 90 degrees.  Continue stitching up the side of the lace and back stitching once and the very end. Clip threads. Repeat on all four corners.

 That's it!  You are done!  If you want to tack down the inside of the lace you can continue stitching along the edge of your lace, or you can use a fabric glue like Aleene's Fabric Fusion to tack down the edge of the lace.  Press your table runner and then decide which way you want to put it on your table...

I still can't decide.  And yes, I pressed it, burlap just wrinkles very easily:).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Little Subway Art

Lately I've been shopping around for some subway art for my little boys' room.  After I painted the stripes, I knew it was time to get serious about finding the perfect subway art. I'd loved this stretched canvas I bought at Target about two years ago, but I thought it was looking a little childish and nursery like.

After combing the internet (mainly Etsy) for some Star Wars subway art (my boys sure love Star Wars right now), I realized that I was going to have to budget a whole lot more than I wanted to. So I decided to design my own and I came up with these:

 I printed them off at 8x10's and framed them with IKEA Ribba frames.  The total cost of the project was just under $24...and $20 of that was the frames. You could definitely do this project for under $10 by choosing different frames or using some you already have. Another bonus of designing my own subway art is that as my boys grow, and their tastes change, I can quickly change up the art to match their current likes.

You can make your own subway art with these free printables.  Just right click on them, save them to your computer, then upload to your favorite photo printing service ( I used Costco).  These crop down best to an 8x10.  Also, mine printed out a little darker than they look on screen. Enjoy!