Let’s Get Acquainted New Blogger Blog Hop Stop

I know it’s not Festivus, but I’m going to begin with the Airing of Grievances anyway (anyone watch Seinfeld?).

Today is July 26th, the day we were supposed to close on our new house after being transient since school let out. This date had already been moved back from our original closing the 19th. Guess what? We’re still waiting. As of now, we’ve got another week to wait. I’m trying to roll with it, but I’m frustrated because my husband begins his new job on the 5th, which is also the day of my oldest child’s kindergarten orientation. I was supposed to have a glorious 8 days to paint and prep before we unloaded and began the unpacking. Then, when the date moved, we figured we could spare 5 before we had to unload our belongings. And now I have none. Zero. The afternoon we close, we will have to begin moving in so that we can at least have our moving containers unloaded before new job and new school begin. Le sigh. Silver lining: I will have a very small room all to myself as my sewing room. Yay!

I’m Em. I learned to sew forever ago, but found a passion for it about 4 years ago. You can read more about me here. Some of my favorite sewing projects are below, with most links leading to the project posts if you want see more.

Project mosaic

1. Patchwork diaper bag, 2. Baby pants with Heather Ross accents, 3. Pincushion caddy tutorial, 4. Double layer knit baby blanket, 5. quilt square pouch: sunset squared block, 6. Winter table runner: half square triangles, 7. Tina Givens Opal Owl mei tai, 8. Civil War Love Letter Quilt, 9. Hoopie swap, 10. Cathedral window pin cushion, 11. Ba{M}S mini swap, 12. Road Trip Quilt Along 2012

This blog began when I discovered the amazing online community of sewing and quilting blogs. I wanted a space to share what I’m working on, and maybe even inspire someone with some of my projects as I’ve been inspired by others. Most of my sewing is done in the hours after my girls are in bed, and I would love if you would join me, sewing by moonlight. I just posted the 4th tutorial for Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

There will be 8 more tutorials for quilt blocks representing states in the northeastern United States before I’m finished. I’d really love if you’d join in and share your blocks in the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group. Jump in now, or back up and try out Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware!

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

Don’t need another quilt along to join (oh, come on, yes you do!)? Well stick around. When we’re in our house, I’m going to host another Sewing Room Clean Up Along (#sewingroomcleanup). I’ll set up my new space and you can get yours in order. My sewing space in our last house was so bad it was crushing my sewing mojo (sewjo). Nothing like a neat space to inspire you to get sewing!

sewingroomcleanup2

Make sure you know when it’s time to clean up with me or get the new state quilt block tutorials by subscribing in your favorite reader, or, I’ll make it easy on you if you use Bloglovin:

Follow on Bloglovin

 I’d also love to catch up with you on social media. Instagram is my favorite, but I need to work on being more active. I love to lurk, though, so feel free to leave your IG name in the comments if you’re on there. I’m @moonlightsewing.

How about some non-sewing fun facts?

1. I’ve lived in 5 states and 2 countries, and I hope that this move is my last. My very last. (until I retire and move to Colorado or Montana or someplace equally lovely)
2. This fall, I plan to run my 11th and 12th half marathons. I’m not sure if I ever want to run a full marathon, though.
3. I was on a PhD track in Botany, but stopped with my Master’s when I realized I didn’t like the solitary part of experimental design and data analysis. I love the field work, though.
4. My hometown has 3500 residents, an awesome historical downtown and is the home of Ulysses S Grant. (bonus points if you know what it is!)
5. Our family has spent the past 5 years living on campus at an all boys boarding school (good thing we moved on before my 3 daughters became 3 teenage daughters!)
6. My second child was born in the back of the car in an IHOP parking lot.

It’s been great meeting so many new bloggers on this hop. Be sure to jump over to Plum and June and check out who you missed and be sure to visit the other hop stops today!

Vicki @ A Quilter’s Mission
RobinSue @ RobinSue Quilts
Elisa Lea @ Lovelea Designs
Elizabeth @ In The Boon Docks
Jenny @ A Note To Follow Sew
Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Sonia @ Fabric & Flowers
Emily @ Sew E.T.
Em @ Sewing by Moonlight  <<<< You are here!

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Okay, time to head to New Jersey. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about New Jersey, but I’ve got a good friend who lives there and it’s called the “garden state” so it sounds lovely enough, right? (Let’s just forget about all the Jersey Shore stereotype and focus on the “garden”, okay? We all love a nice garden, and you are going to love this block!)

There are a number of different ways this block could be put together. Possibilities I’m using include use mostly half square triangles or make the “legs” of the x a single piece of fabric. Instead, I’ll show you how to construct this block as a 3×3 grid made up of flying geese and half square triangles.

Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: New Jersey

Cutting directions for New Jersey quilt block:

From background fabric (gray for me):
(4) 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch rectangles

From fabric 2 (dark pink):
(1) 3-1/8 inch square (for center on point square)
(6) 3-inch squares (to use in the corner half square triangles)

From fabric 3 (yellow-gold):
(4) 2.5-inch squares
(12) 3-inch squares
*6 of these will be paired with dark pink to make HSTs
*sub-cut 2 of these on the diagonal to make 4 triangles to use around the center on-point square
*4 of these will be used to make flying geese

From fabric 4 (dark orange):
(1) 5.25 inch square (used to make 4 flying geese)

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Construct the block

1. Make the center square.
Use the 3-1/8 inch square of Fabric 2. Along each edge, sew a triangle from 1/2 of a 3-inch square. Trim the center square to 4.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

2. Make 12 half square triangles using (6) 3-inch squares of Fabric 2 and (6) 3-inch squares of Fabric 3. For a review of how to make HSTs, please revisit the Maryland tutorial. Trim each finished HST to 2.5-inches.

3. Make 4 flying geese using the 5.25 inch square of Fabric 4 and (4) 3-inch squares of Fabric 3. This is my favorite method for flying geese, but it works best when you need 4 (or multiples of 4) geese.

The first step is similar to how you make a HST. Begin by aligning two 3-inch squares in opposite corners of the 5.25-inch square. Draw a line from corner to corner, bisecting both of the smaller squares.

Sew a 1/4 inch line of stitches to each side of line you just drew. Cut the piece apart on the drawn line.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Iron the small triangles up away from the large triangle you created with your cut.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Align the remaining 3-inch squares in the remaining “empty” corner of the larger triangles. Again, draw a line bisecting the square into 2 triangles. The line will begin at the “empty” corner of the large triangle and end between where the two smaller triangles are attached.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Sew a line of stitches 1/4 inch to each side of the line you drew and cut the piece apart on the drawn line.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Iron the final small triangle open. Trim the flying goose to 4.5 inches x 2.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

4. Put together the sub-units of the block.
4a. Sew each flying goose unit to a 4.5 x 2.5 inch rectangle of background fabric along the long edge of the center triangle.
4b. Combine 3 half square triangles with (1) 2.5 inch square of Fabric 3 as seen below.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

5. Sew the 9 sub-units into rows, sew the rows together, and your done! Don’t forget to share your block in the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group!

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Linking this up as my finish this week.

Last week for the Let’s Get Acquainted Blog Hop

Put a whole bunch of bloggers that haven’t been doing this for very long together and you have a great group of people who are excited to be sharing their quilty and sewing pursuits. If you didn’t know this was going on, this is the very last week for the Let’s Get Acquainted Blog Hop hosted at Plum and June. And Friday, the very last day, Sewing by Moonlight is one of the stops.

letsgetacquaintedhopbutton

I’d love to be interesting and charming and relevant for my hop stop, but the most I can offer is honest. Being in the midst of a move with a temporary little sewing space in a temporary living arrange and currently “on vacation” (at my parents’ house) from the temporary space, and the fact that we also close on our house on Friday means I’ve got a few other things on my mind this week. Check out the line-up for Friday:

July 26

RobinSue @ RobinSue Quilts
Elisa Lea @ Lovelea Designs
Elizabeth @ In The Boon Docks
And for a whole slew of other new bloggers who want to be part of this great online community, check out the earlier line up at Plum and June.

Sunday Stash: Tri-state Shop Hop

Look! Two posts in one day! But only because the Delaware tutorial from this morning should have been up on Friday.

I’m visiting my parents, and my mom, who is also a quilter, told me there is a little shop hop happening in her area. Well, what a great what to spend some quality time with my mother. Friday, while hubby watched the girls, we went to shops in Galena IL, Plattville WI and Dubuque IA. Saturday, we brought along my three girls and travelled through farm country Iowa to Bellvue, Cascade, and Dyersville. We had extra stops for a playground and a long lunch, which made the day fun for the girls as well.

I loved the forest scene in this print and bought a yard. I kind of wish that I would have purchased 2; it would make a really cool back for a little boy quilt.

IMG_8844

These are some yellow and gray fabrics by Riley Blake. I’m thinking accent pillows in the living room of the new house. I plan on painting the walls a color similar to that yellow in the middle.

IMG_8845

And a couple more fat quarters because I liked them, and one yard because it was cute and on sale.

IMG_8846

Have anything exciting you want to share? Go link up with Sunday Stash.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Delaware

I have not actually spent any significant time in Delaware. At most, I’ve driven through a portion. So, if you’ve been there, tell me something fun to do in Delaware.

This block is pretty straight forward and should come together really easily for you.

Cutting directions:

From background fabric:
Cut (1) 2.5 inch square
Cut (2) 6 inch squares, then sub-cut each of these on the diagonal to make 2 triangles (4 total)

From each of two focus fabrics:
Cut (2) 5.5 x 2.5 inch rectangles
Cut (1) 6.25 inch square

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

Making the block

Create half square triangles from the 6.25 inch squares.  Place the fabric right sides together. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. Sew a line 1/4 inch to each side of the drawn line. Cut the square apart on the drawn line. Iron open. For instructions with photos, go back to the Maryland tutorial.

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

When you’ve finished the HSTs, cut them apart on the diagonal through both fabrics as shown below.

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

Place each 2-color triangle right sides together with one of the triangles of background fabric and sew along the long edge. Iron open. Trim this piece to 5.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

From here, it’s just laying out the remaining pieces of the block and sewing them together.

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

Easy! But remember to sew the pieces together so your background HSTs all point to the center? See that line at the top of this block: that’s where I sewed the last row on upside down. The seam ripper is my most important sewing tool!

Road Trip Quilt Along: Delaware

Another way to baste: craft foam

Hello, hello! Welcome to the Monday Link Up at Plum and June. Please share your link below and remember:

1. Link up any recent sewing/quilting post.
2. In your post or on your blog, please include either a text link or a button letting people know about this link up.
3. Visit at least the two bloggers who link up before you and everyone who visits you from this post.

Monday link up

If you’re looking for some fun blocks to add to your sewing list, I’d love it you would join me in the Road Trip Quilt Along, going on right now! If you’d like to see the plan, you can find it here. You can see what’s already happening by checking out the tutorials for Virginia Reel and Maryland Beauty. I’d love it if you wanted to make a couple of these lovelies and share in the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial  Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Today, I wanted to show you the method I use for basting. There are many ways to get this done of course: spray basting, bent safety pins, needle and thread. But I prefer to baste with straight pins. In fact, I’ve always basted with straight pins. When I made my first quilt, that was all I had, but then I just never got around to buying the bent safety pins that are preferred by many.

Problem 1: the pins can fall out and then the quilt sandwich is not secure.
Problem 2: Maneuvering the quilt through the machine means you will get jabbed once or twice. Ouch!

I took a Leah Day class on Craftsy and was thrilled to learn that she prefers straight pins, too. But Leah has it all figured out. She secured the pointy pin tips with a product called a pinmoor. Brilliant! Solves both of the problem. But, now a new problem: pinmoors are expensive!! Almost $20 for a pack of 50.

However, I bought this 12×18 inch sheet of 5mm craft foam for $1.27.

baste a quilt with craft foam

With a  straight edge, a utility knife and a little bit of time, I had 192 anchors to use with my straight pins to baste a quilt. The craft foam is not as thick as the pinmoor, but I found it worked just fine. I wouldn’t go thinner than 5mm, but if you could find thicker craft foam, that would be great, too.

baste a quilt with craft foam

I cut the craft foam into 1.5 inch strips.

baste a quilt with craft foam

Then I sliced each strip into a 3/4 inch rectangle. If you want to be precise, you could mark the foam before cutting, but I just aligned my ruler with the edge and dove in.

baste a quilt with craft foam

Now, use straight pins to baste and cap each pin tip with a piece of craft foam. They are quick to put in, stay put, come out easily, and don’t make your fingers hurt with opening and closing all those safety pins.

baste a quilt with craft foam

Hope this helps with the next quilt you have to baste.

Now, link up below with what you’ve been up to this week! Don’t forget to visit a couple other links and maybe make a new sewing friend.

 

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland

From Virginia, our road trip takes us north into Maryland. During last year’s road trip, we made a Maryland Star, so this year, we’ll try something different. I’ve seen this called “Maryland Beauty” and it involves a series of “feathered triangles” with the feathers measuring just one inch. My husband saw me making this block with teeny tiny triangles and he said: “Why would you do that to yourself.”

Me: “Because. Doesn’t it look awesome?”
Hubs: “Yes. But … why would you do that to yourself?”

It’s worth the reward!

Cutting direction for Maryland Beauty quilt block:

Background fabric:
1/2 of a 13-inch square cut on the diagonal
1/2 of a 7-inch square cut on the diagonal
(18) 2-inch squares

From each of 3 focus fabrics:
1/2 of a 6-inch square cut on the diagonal (3, 1/2 squares in total)
(5) 2-inch squares (15 in total)
Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Create Half Square Triangles

From the (15) 2-inch squares of focus fabric and 15 of the 2-inch squares of background fabric, create half square triangles. Here’s how:

Align 1 square of focus fabric and 1 square of background fabric right sides together.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Draw a diagonal line through the square.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Sew a line 1/4 from each side of the marked line.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Cut the square in two along the line.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Iron each of the 2 halves open.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Trim each to 1.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Repeat 14 times. You will end up with 10 half square triangles from each of 3 fabrics, but you only need 9 of them.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Cut the remaining 3 squares of background fabric in half on the diagonal.

Put the block together

Begin with one of you 6-inch half square of focus fabric. You will add the small half square triangles along two edges. Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

All small HSTs will face the same direction. Sew 4 of them together horizontally, and add an extra half square of background fabric to the end. Sew 5 more small HSTs together vertically and add an extra half square of background fabric to the bottom.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Attach first the shorter piece and then the longer pieces to the large half square of focus fabric. Trim the long edge of the triangle so it is 45-degrees from each of the other edges.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Sew this piece to the 7-inch half square of background fabric.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Trim the resulting square to 6.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Create 2 additional feathered triangles by the same method and sew one to each remaining edge of the background fabric half square. Sew this entire piece to the half 13-inch square of background fabric.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Trim your Maryland Beauty block to 12.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Maryland Beauty block: the cheater way

If you agree with my husband and think “why would I do that to myself?”, there is a short cut to this block. It’s much easier to put together, but just remember: it’s not nearly as awesome!

You’ll need:
From background fabric:
1/2 of a 13-inch square cut on the diagonal
1/2 of a 7-inch square cut on the diagonal

From each of 3 focus fabrics:
1/2 of a 7-inch square cut on the diagonal (3, 1/2 squares in total)

Put the block together just as the direction indicate, but instead of constructing and then using the feathered triangles, you’ll just use the 1/2 7-inch squares.
Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial Road Trip Quilt Along

My temporary sewing space

As I have mentioned, we are between homes right now. We’ve moved out of our home in Virginia and are currently living with my in-laws in Missouri. We do have a contract on a home here, but while we are waiting to close and then move in and get settled, I have a little temporary sewing space along one wall in my mother-in-law’s living room.

Let me show you around: Temporary sewing space

Okay, that was it. That was the extent of the tour!

How about from another angle: Temporary sewing space

The smaller dresser in the above photo is the one with the top I made into an ironing surface. When I’m not using it to iron, my 12 x 24 inch cutting mat goes up there and it’s the cutting table.

Box o’ notions: did I miss anything?Temporary sewing space

Inside the dresser are the few WiPs and fabric I brought with me to work on until I have all my fabric and projects back in my immediate possession.

Temporary sewing space

After we move, and as I’m setting up my new sewing space, I thought it might be fun to have another Sewing Space Clean-Up Along. Do you need to clean up your sewing space? Would you link up before and after?

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia

Hello and welcome to the first stop on the Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia. This quilt along was born last summer when my family travelled through a total of 16 states in 8 weeks. In order to keep myself sewing while we were away, I decided to make a quilt block to represent each state we travelled through. This year, the road trip isn’t really happening, but the blocks we’ll be making represent states that are contiguous, so this is a hypothetical road trip, and you really could travel this route if you desired. When we are finished, we will have 12 blocks representing states from the northeastern United States.

Last year’s road trip also began in Virginia, and I showed you how to make a Virginia Star. This year, we’ll make something else to represent Virginia: the Virginia Reel (though, as of 2 weeks ago, I no longer live in Virginia. Perhaps next year we’ll begin our road trip in Missouri!).

Cutting directions:

*note: the block can be made with 2 different fabrics, rather than 4, as I used. If using 2 fabrics, you will need 2 center squares of each color.*

Center: Cut a 2-inch square of each color.

Radiating triangles: *You will need 1/2 squares (cut in half on the diagonal) of each color. If you are using 2 fabrics, you will use both halves. If you are using 4 fabrics, you will only use one half.*

Cut a square of each color in each of the following sizes:
3-1/8 inch
4 inch
5-1/4 inch
7 inch

Cut each square in half on the diagonal to make two triangles.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Construct the Virginia Reel block

All seams are 1/4 inch.

Sew the 4 center squares into a 4-patch. If using 2 fabrics, alternate their placement so a square is not adjacent to one of the same fabric. If your seam allowances are accurate, you should have a 3.5 inch 4-patch block.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Add the first round (smallest) triangles. The bottom left corner of each triangle should be touching the square of the same fabric. Trim this block to 4.75 inches square.

IMG_8513

 

Add the next larger size triangle. Again, the bottom left corner of the triangle should be touching the triangle from the same fabric.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Trim the block to 6.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Continue in the same manner for the two remaining rounds of triangles. Trim the resulting block to 9 inches, and finally to 12.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

I cut out a second center square of each color and used my other 1/2 square triangles to make a second block.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Easy, right? I thought this was a really fun block. Come and share yours in the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group!