October 25, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival entry - A Mini Stitch (or Two)

I have wanted to enter a quilt finish in Amy's Creative Side's Blogger's Quilt Festival but never seem to have one ready.  So I'm happy to be able to enter my first quilt in the Festival, in the Mini category. 

I made a cute pink sewing machine for my friend's brand new sewing room (with pink carpet!) and then made another one in red for a friend's birthday.  I already have a few more in the works.  This sweet pattern is called Mini Stitch and it's designed by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts.  Both minis are made using fabrics from various Bonnie and Camille (Thimbleblossoms) fabrics and quilted in a 3/4" grid pattern using my home sewing machine.  Each measures about 12" x 14".

Please click the symbol to the left to visit Amy's Creative Side to see all of this fall's entries!   Vote for your favorites beginning November 1.

August 22, 2014

Good times!

I just returned from a week away, taking classes and meeting up with friends for the Buggy Barn's annual quilt show.  We didn't make it to the show this year, but we took some awesome classes, including 2 classes from Kim Diehl, which I've wanted to do forever!  I learned some new applique skills and can't want to try them out.

Here's a picture of Kim talking to us about one of our projects, the Idaho Lily.  (Sorry, Kim - I only took 2 pictures of you and neither was very flattering).

We also took a class with Stacy from Buttermilk Basin and learned some great wool applique tips and tricks.  I see a lot more of this in my future now that I have a clue about what I'm doing!

Shopping and eating were also involved, of course.

Now to get to school shopping and back into my routine.  Dang, why did it have to end?

PS:   I listed some FQ bundles for sale.  Please check my destash blog if interested.

August 8, 2014

All over the map

My sewing has been very unfocused of late!

I hit a wall with my Metro Hoops quilt, not just the fact that I seemed unable to get the corner squares to match (there's the perfectionist in me), but also that I didn't feel like the fabrics were me.  Too much pink!  It would seem obvious to anyone looking at the fabrics I chose before I started.  But I loved the Waterfront Park line and if you love a fabric, doesn't that mean you'd love the resulting quilt?  Apparently, not so for me.

I'm still determined to use the Quick Curve Ruler and actually produce a finished quilt top.  I've moved on to the Metro Twist pattern.  No corner setting squares to match (or not match, in my case).  This one seems more do-able to me.

I'm using Indelible by Katarina Roccella and love the colors, especially the dark grey background with a little bit of color.

I'm still trying to whittle down my stash to a more reasonable level.  This has meant making some hard choices about what stays and what goes.  I appreciate all of you that have helped me destash.  Beautiful fabric should not just sit in my closet when someone will actually use it.  I've added more items to the destash blog today.  Check it out!

I also joined an Instagram Strawberry Swap #thestrawberryswap   I haven't had good luck with swaps in the past, but when I saw the cute minis from the Schnitzel & Boo swap and then heard about this one with the strawberry theme, I couldn't resist.

I made this mini for my partner.  I used a combination of shrunken Strawberry Social blocks and the Berry Basket pattern found here.  I hope my partner likes the mini quilt and the other goodies I have gathered for her.

Awww Saturday....   I need to concentrate on getting my projects cut out for some classes that I'm taking with two of my best quilting buddies at the Buggy Barn the week after next.  Some fun ahead!!

August 2, 2014

Something Old, Something New

I made this quilt back in 2012.  I got the idea for it after reading I'm a Ginger Monkey's blog post here.  The tutorial I followed was from Jeni Baker's blog and is provided here.  This quilt was made from fat quarters of cotton velveteen by Anna Maria Horner and Amy Butler and I used a chocolate brown sketch print for the background.  This beautiful quilt top was languishing in my closet until last Friday, when I had another class at my long arm quilter's studio.

There was a whole lot that could have gone wrong with quilting this one, unbeknownst to a longarm newbie.  The velveteen is stretchy and the back is flannel, which was also stretchy.  Richla's machine Louise and I were in perfect sync, though.  I used a panto called Champagne and quilted a bubble pattern over the quilt.  I'm getting more comfortable and can't want for my next opportunity to quilt one of my own quilts on her machine.

I also had an old quilt rack that I had purchased a couple of years ago, and a big blank wall in my now-clean sewing room.  My DH, DD and I put up the shelf this morning (what a team!) and - voila!  Something fun to look at while I'm at the ironing board.

Something else I hope is not getting old with my blog readers - I have more stash to sell.  Please follow this link to my destash blog and see if there is anything you would like to have.

Have a great weekend, all!

July 26, 2014

OOP 3 Sisters fabric

I've listed some older 3 Sisters lines on my destash page.  I have Gingham Rose, the original Chocolat and Seaside Rose.  Also a block of the month kit featuring Sanctuary.  Please take a look here!

July 18, 2014

Going batty!

I spent many years stockpiling Warm & Natural batting using my 40% coupons at JoAnn's.   Whenever I could, I'd buy the maximum number of yards allowed, 10 at a time.  I'm just now (more than 10 years later) running out of batting.

I haven't been using my batting stash consistently - sometimes it's just easier to have the longarm quilter provide it.  Sometimes I like a different batting.  My all time favorite is Dream Wool.  I love the way it quilts and washes, but it's expensive and not suitable for every quilt.

Recently I tried Warm & Plush batting.  It is awesome!  Thicker and softer than regular Warm & Natural, but it's not readily available.  I got a queen sized batt from fabric.com and used it in my last quilt.  The Warm Company's website says it's "available for a limited time" and you can only buy a crib size, queen size or by the yard.  As my leftovers weren't large enough for the next quilt I want to quilt, I started searching for some more Warm & Plush.  I found some reviews somewhere that mentioned an Amazon.com seller who had it on the roll - 25 yards x 90 inches and just over $6 per yard, about $100 off the retail price.

I hesitated a while, talked to some local friends who wanted to share and as a result, clicked it into my shopping cart.  Guess what arrived today?  I may be set for batting for another 10 years!

In other news, my Metro Hoops quilt is having a time out stuffed in a bag.  We may have parted ways for good.   But I am playing around with some strawberries I started for my first Instagram swap.  Still playing around with the final design, but these are from the Pattern Basket's Strawberry Social pattern, reduced in size by 25% - aren't they cute?

In other news - thanks to all who shopped my destash sale.  I will be adding items, probably once a week on Fridays.  Please check and see if you'd like any of my stash to be your stash!

July 11, 2014

Destash Sale!

I recently did a whole room makeover of my sewing room and came across a number of things that I probably won't ever finish.  In the interest of keeping my sewing space tidy, I'm having a destash sale.

Follow this link a separate blog page I created to list my items for sale, and please check back as I will add to it as I find more goodies.  Thanks for looking!

July 7, 2014

Not much progress

I thought I would get a lot accomplished over the 3-day weekend.  Turns out, not so much.  I did get all my arcs sewn and pressed.  Half my blocks are together (I'm only doing 16 "hoops" instead of 20 like the pattern).  I only need to sew corner triangles on the last half of the blocks and I have my eye on another Quick Curve Ruler pattern.

I really love the look of these Metro Hoop blocks, but I'm not sure I love the fabrics I used.  I'm going to keep plugging away to see how it all turns out!

Be sure you check in with Thelma and Nicole and see how their Quick Curve Ruler projects are coming along!

June 28, 2014

When sewing machines attack!

Nicole and I have been texting back and forth about our difficulties with the piecing of our Metro Hoops quilt.  Poor Nicole even suffered an injury when she was so focused on her piecing, she sewed her own finger!  Read about it here.  I'm hoping Nicole and her finger are better today!

I got through making my strip sets and cutting my arcs for Metro Hoops.  So far, so good.

My first attempts at piecing were a little less successful.  I had a number of blocks make it to the "discard" pile.  But now I think I'm getting the hang of it.  I'm glad that I cut some extra arcs!

June 23, 2014

Hooping it!

What better way to start summer than a sew-along with friends?  When Nicole and Thelma asked me to join them in making a quilt using the Quick Curve Ruler, I quickly signed on!  I've had the QCR for quite some time, but this was the final motivation I needed to get started.  I choose to make the Metro Hoops pattern and started pulling fabric.

I started with the Iris palette of Violet Craft's Waterfront Park collection, and added in some additional fabrics from my stash.

I made a test block (with scrap fabrics!  These are not my corners!)

Start your engines, girls!  I'm ready to go.  Please stop in at Cupcakes 'n Daisies and Sister's Choice Quilts to see what Thelma and Nicole are planning!

May 31, 2014

I came, I saw, I quilted!

My wonderful local quilter, Richla, recently added a studio on to her home and began to offer classes where you could come and use her longarm to quilt your own.  Oh, the projects I have....   I decided to start with this cute quilt I made as a shop sample for Keepsake Cottage Fabrics.

The pattern is Fishy Friends by Ribbon Candy Quilt Company.  The fabric is a Northcott line called Shark Attack.  The quilt pattern is Van Gogh, which makes nice, wavy looking swirls.  It was a little nerve wracking, but a lot of fun to quilt it myself.  I have another date scheduled in July to quilt a second one.
Here is  close-up of the quilting and the binding.  Have you ever made a Magic Binding?  So cool.  I will certainly be using this from now on with small quilts, especially kids' quilts.  Here's a link to the technique - all by machine and you get a little flange of contrast color under the binding.  The first three times, I followed the binding cutting instructions as written.  Next time I'm going to make my 'flange' fabric a skosh wider so a little more of it shows.

My other project for the last week has been a complete sewing room redo that involved taking out 3 pieces of furniture whose only purpose seemed to be collecting piles of junk!

The bookcase holds all my favorite patterns and bundles of fabric, as well as cute pincushions and gifts from friends.

I got a smaller sewing table and a pistachio green rolling cabinet for notions. Now my machine is under the window with lots of natural light.  Maybe now I won't need 4 lights when I sew.  At least not until winter!

I decluttered the junk - 3 donation bags and 2 bags of trash.

The center of the room is now wide open!  I can pull my cutting table out or move my Big Board ironing board into the center of the room when I need to press those long seams!.

OK, but here is my very favorite part.  All my rulers are hung on the closet door.  No more hunting for the right size square or trimming tool.  And really?  Did I need three 6-1/2" squares?

Here's to happy, clutter-free sewing!

May 19, 2014

Still Swooning!

Construction continues on my Swoon quilt.  I've made a couple of the 24" Swoon blocks to go with my 8" Mini Swoons.  I'm having a lot of fun fussy cutting special pieces of fabric to feature in the blocks.  I'm calling this my "Grown-Up I-Spy quilt" because I'm having fun burying some fun fabrics in the blocks.  Mustaches!  Mini Coopers!  Bingo Cards!  A girl in a tree!

Based on Camille Roskelley's wonderful Swoon and MINI Swoon patterns (find them here if you don't already have them!), I'm going to make up the layout as I go.  Still having fun and I love working with these bright colors!


April 29, 2014

Marching in the Parade!

I was excited to see that this month's "assignment" was a choice of any Thimble Blossoms mini pattern.  I have a few of Camille's adorable mini patterns in my collection, but it didn't take me long to decide on MINI Swoon, and on the fabrics.  I've been collecting fuchsia, pink, orange and yellow - citrus colors - and low volume/text prints.  How would these look together for a scrappy MINI Swoon?

I showed my friend Chelsey after making 2 blocks.  She told me I should make a whole quilt with 8" blocks!  Well, I'm not that ambitious, but it did give me the idea of making a Swoon quilt with my collection of citrus colors and 3 different sizes of Swoon blocks.  This quilt is still swimming around in my head.  But for now, here are my Baby/MINI Swoon blocks (8").  Soon to be joined by Big Sister (16") and Mama (24") Swoon blocks.

No, it's not sewn together because the blocks are going to get mixed around when I decide on my layout, but I hope it's ok to enter the parade anyway, Sinta and Sherri!  I can't wait to see what everyone else makes for April, and to find out what's ahead for May!

April 26, 2014

Garden Medallion

I saw this beautiful quilt on my longarm quilter's blog after she quilted it for another customer.  She mentioned a kit available at a local shop.  I may have left work early that day so I could race right over and buy one, but - to my disappointment - they didn't have any kits.  They did have the pattern, Garden Medallion by Bloomin' Workshop, so I bought one and started planning my quilt.  I have quite a bit of Kaffe Fassett fabric stashed, so I started playing.  I decided I wanted to make mine larger than the pattern, and included another pieced border.

I love the large, colorful Kaffe prints, but they can be hard to work with.  Sometimes the big prints have colors that you don't want in your quilt.  Sometimes I changed the fabric in one border, then had to change all subsequent borders to get the look I wanted.

I made hourglass blocks for the fourth border instead of the pinwheels shown on the pattern.  I also added a pieced star in the upper left and lower right corners of the quilt.  My quilt is 70x70.  The pattern without one added border is 63x63.

March 29, 2014


I really liked the look of this month's Schnibbles pattern, Hook.  I got Basic Grey's fun new Christmas 2014 line, 25th and Pine.  Guess what goes perfectly with 25th & Pine?  This tone on tone green polka dot from Bonnie & Camille's April Showers line!

I ran out of the white fabric (and steam - I have 3 baby gifts to make!), so I left off the last 2 borders.  I'm going to get a fabulous striped binding to finish this off.

Love the pattern, CarrieSinta and Sherrie - I'm ready for the parade!

March 22, 2014

Seven years in the making!

Backstory, abbreviated:  I started this quilt in 2007 as a block of the month.  It's the Golden Memories sampler designed by Lori Smith, From My Heart to Your Hands.  Loved the fabrics and made the first 3 blocks immediately.  Following my usual block of the month M.O., the rest of the blocks were put in a project block since I was always in the middle of some other quilt project when they arrived in my mailbox.

Fast forward to November 2011, when I started to work on the blocks again.  I made many fabric substitutions when I found that the combinations were not always pleasing.  I was very happy to have a large Civil War reproduction fabrics stash that I could use to make this quilt my own.

I also discovered some sizing issues with some of the sampler blocks, and ended up having to remake 9 blocks in order to have them fit the 7-1/2" block size. 

My friend Joyce, upon seeing my finished top, told me I had to  have it hand quilted, so I did.  And I am so happy I took her advice.  I contacted a company called Plain and Simple Quilts and a lovely lady named Mary beautifully hand quilted my sampler.  Those log cabin strips are 3/4" finished, people!  And each patch is outline quilted. 32 sampler blocks, 31 log cabin blocks and pieced outer border.  2,980 pieces.

This.  This is my masterpiece.   I don't know if I will ever top this one (but I'm going to keep trying).

March 17, 2014

Embargo, Month 2

How did I do?   Well, suffice it to say, this picture says it all.   I did make it almost through the entire month of February with no fabric purchases.

What did me in?  I got a message that the Civil War sampler quilt I was having hand quilted was on its way home to me.  I intended to use the border fabric for the binding of this quilt, but when I found the fabric in my stash, I didn't think it was meant to be the binding.

There had to be something better.  A dig through my Civil War stash told me it wasn't anything I already had, so I went poking around at the Fat Quarter Shop.  I found what I thought would be a great binding, an olive green and black Jo Morton pinstripe, and it was on sale!  I bought it with less than a week to go before the end of the month, thereby losing my "no fabric" bet with my DD.

I wasn't even sure the fabric would be a match - you know how it is sometimes when you order online - the color you get isn't always the color you were expecting.

Was I happy?  Yes, it was a perfect match.  I will share a picture of this gorgeous quilt when the binding is done, later this week.

February 28, 2014

Science Fair

I finished this quilt some time ago, but forgot to blog about it.  It's the Science Fair pattern designed by Jaybird Quilts, and I used V&Company's Simply Style for Moda.  The background is an ombre from the first V&Company collection, Simply Color.

I love how this quilt turned out.  I can't take credit for the ombre idea.  I blatantly lifted it after seeing several versions using the ombre background on Quilting is My Bliss.

This quilt was fun and very easy to make, really - it only looks complicated!  I added an extra background piece to the top and bottom of each vertical row, then trimmed them off square, but the pattern as designed follows the shape of the hexagons for a fun ziggy zaggy edge.

This doesn't match anything in my house, but will get a Minky backing and it will make a fun rec room cuddle-up-on-the-couch quilt.

February 26, 2014

Mixed Bag

I volunteered to make this sample for the shop because I wanted to work with the fun Mixed Bag fabrics.  Such happy, bright colors!

Made with just one charm pack of Mixed Bag by Studio M for Moda and a little yardage, this quilt is called Which Way and measures 42 x 54.  It's available on Moda's website, one of their free pattern downloads.

February 1, 2014

Embargo, one month down!

How did I do?  I made it 31 days!  I bought some fabric for the baby quilt, which was my one exception to the no buying pledge.  Oh, how sorely I was tempted while shopping for navy blue and green.  I could just get a fat quarter of this.  Nope, not for the baby quilt!  No can do!

I succeeded!  No fabric except the purchases I allowed myself for the baby quilt.  And some of the fabric I did buy, I bought with a gift certificate at one shop and a store credit at another.

I can't say it was easy.  I work at a quilt store, for Heaven's sake, and every time I go to work, there are more beauties to tempt me (Flower Sugar!  Text fabrics!)  But so far, so good!

Check back soon to see my progress on the baby quilt.

January 26, 2014

Double Hubble, Fini!

I don't think I've ever finished TWO good-sized quilts in less than a month before, but this month I have!  Two Hubble quilts, both ready for the quilter!  (Just showing one because it was quite the feat getting it on the design wall with my injured arm.)

Maybe it's because I made both quilts at once that it didn't seem like all that much extra work.  Hmm, I'll have to keep that in mind for the future, although I seldom make the same pattern twice.  I think this Miss Rosie's pattern using Little Black Dress was totally worth making twice.

Now on to the baby quilt!  I have so many ideas swimming around in my head!

January 20, 2014

Double Hubble!

I was lucky enough to have a 3-day weekend, and I also had Sunday off from the quilt shop.  I spent most of the day Saturday organizing my sewing room.  It was a disaster, but now is very tidy and inviting.  I love it so much when it's like this, why do I ever let it get to disaster stage in the first place?

After organizing, I was able to finish my second Hubble quilt.  This one the more simplified version using squares instead of half square triangles.  I think they both look amazing!  One will be a gift and one for me (the HST version).  They are both at the "run for the border" stage, so that's my next task.  After I finish that, I have a BABY BOY quilt to make for my niece.

Hubble is a great pattern from Carrie Nelson at Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.  It's one of her Schnibbles and can be made with charm squares!  You need 102 charm squares and yardage for the background.  I made mine with a layer cake of Little Black Dress and a fat-eighth bundle of Little Black Dress 2 - both by Basic Grey for Moda fabrics and great neutrals for a striking quilt.  I used the LBD light grunge for my backgrounds.

I am absolutely LOVING using my older sewing machine again.  Perfect seam allowances.  Both my centers measure exactly 56-3/4" square.  OK, enough blabbing, I'm back to work on my borders.

January 11, 2014

Hubble progress

I've finished the center portion of the first Hubble quilt!  This photo looks a little odd towards the bottom, but that's because I'm already using my design wall to lay out this Hubble's Double, made with plain squares instead of half square triangles.  I'll get them both to this stage, then add borders to both at the same time.  Progress!