March 23, 2015

General Conference Book Ring Books

Twice a year our family watches our church worldwide conference. (What is General Conference? Brief explanation here. ) Watching it via internet/roku/tv from the comforts of our home is so great and I try to have one new conference activity for the kids to help them pay attention better. Sometimes a new activity happens, sometimes not, but we have favorites we bring out only for those special conference weekends and repeats are fun too.

Since I haven't been crafting or creating much, this totally counts- I have my new activity done early and ready for Easter Saturday and Sunday- Book Ring Books! I'm so excited and so are the kids. Two weeks seems way too long to wait.

The idea is to have a card for each speaker during the four sessions of conference. When that speaker is talking, the kids will put stickers on the back of the speaker card according to their speaking subject. If he/she speaks about Easter, they put the Easter sticker. If he/she focuses on the topics of prayer and families then those two stickers go on the back of that speaker card. Similar activities like this have really helped my kids listen for the mention of those key words and topics.

How I did it:
I printed off pictures of the first presidency and quorum of the 12 apostles from Rachael's BookNook that she made. Cutting them all the same size to fit nicely in the book rings meant 3.5 inches by 2 5/8 inches.

Then I went through past conferences to count how many other speakers there are so I knew how many other cards to add to the books- In April there are usually 11 other speakers. Since we don't know who from the different auxiliaries or the quorum of the Seventy will be speaking we plan on writing the speakers' names on the front of the colored cards and then applying stickers to the back just like our photo cards. The stickers I just copied and pasted from the gospel pictures from Then printed on sticker paper and cut out- ready to go! Enjoy conference!

March 28 & April 4-5, 2015 General Conference

March 13, 2015

Super Fast Baby Quilt (Using the Scrappy Trip Method)

 "Scrappy Trip Around the World" is a quilt pattern that, as far as I can tell, originates here. It uses a very unique piecing method involving unpicking seams (on purpose!). It's a great way to use scraps, and delightful to see how the different patterns emerge as you go. I am making a classic "Scrappy Trip" right now, you can see my progress on Instagram @woodberry_way (#marquittascrappytrip).

I received a quilt order for twins this week that needed to be finished rather quickly, so I thought I'd use this method to save time, and it worked wonderfully. I've created this tutorial with very beginning quilters in mind.


12 different 1/4 yard cuts in coordinating prints (I used Cottage Garden by The Quilted Fish, plus some blenders.)
1/2 yd for binding
1 1/2 yds for backing
You will also need your trusty seam ripper:)

1. Cut strips to 4.5" by WOF. (You can technically make two of these quilts out of 1/4 yd cuts, if your cuts are very careful and straight.) You should have 12 strips, one of each print.

2. Arrange the the strips however you'd like. I do this on the ironing board because I have little fabric stompers at my house. You can blend the colors to achieve an ombre look, or go for high contrast with distinct stripes. The stripes you see here will be the same as the diagonal stripes in the end. Also, keep in mind that the top and bottom rows will touch eventually, so make sure you like the way they look together.

 You can see here I arranged the colors with two different results in mind- one with blended colors and one with contrasting.

3. Sew strips together.

You'll have what could be a simple striped quilt top. Don't trim it yet! The fabric widths vary depending on manufacturer, and that's alright. 

4. Press seams, alternating the direction on every row. This will ensure that your seams nest in the end, making it much easier to match up corners.

5. Fold in half, right sides together, and sew the top and bottom strip together. You will create a tube of strips. You can see I don't fuss about threads until the end.

6. Lay the "tube" flat, and cut perpendicularly into 4.5" strips. I fold it in half again for easier cutting, just make sure it's lined up! You should have 9 tube strips.

7. Take a tube strip and unpick one of the seams. Keep in mind that wherever you start unpicking will determine which print will start the pattern in the upper corner. Lay that strip flat.

8. Determine which seam needs to be unpicked in the second row by looking at the first two prints of your first flat strip. Unpick the seam between those two first prints. When you lay this one next to the first you will see that the prints have all shifted over one spot. Continue to do this, laying them out with the first color from the last row in the last spot on the next, and you will see the diagonal stripes emerge. (You can see I have highly qualified help!)

*Note: You can't rotate the layout (like in the original Scrappy Trip block) unless you reduce the pattern to a 9 by 9 grid. It will only work with a square layout. I highly recommend trying that too, it's super fun!

9. Sew your strips together, "nesting" the seams as you go. As you put your strips right sides together to join them, you'll see that the seams you ironed will alternate, making them easy to tuck into each other as you go. This eliminates the need to pin, and you can feel that the seams are lined up perfectly, making perfect corner points. Press your rows all one direction and trim any threads.

Voila! You have a lovely 36" by 48" quilt top ready to go-  the perfect baby size. Layer, baste, and bind with your favorite method. There are lots of wonderful tutorials out there for these steps if you are still learning.

Thank you for following along, have fun sewing!