Monday, March 31, 2008

this one's for me

see, this is what happens when I try to take photos of my quilts.

and I'm really not complaining. :)

Yes, it's another happy hour quilt. This is a great pattern for a beginner. Aside from the cutting, (which is easy, but takes awhile) the quilt goes together in a snap. And it's a good way to show off fabrics with a larger print.

I used Heather Bailey Freshcut fabric, some Joel Dewberry and a few prints from Mill End Textiles. Oh, and there is some Denyse Schmidt fabric in there, too.

This time I used serger thread to quilt it. Although it's polyester, I love serger thread for a few reasons. It's thinner than the cotton stuff I usually use, so it blends in a bit better. And it comes on a spool with 3000 yards, so there is no danger of running out of thread during a project. I used light pink thread here and it blends in well, even with the green.

For the backing I used some Freshcut fabric that I got at my local quilt shop for 60% off. (It was difficult to stop from buying the whole bolt.)

The quilt measures about 70" square.
So this is the start of finish it up week for me. I have a bunch of projects that I need to complete, (pincushions, bunnies and quilts) so I am going to try to finish as many as possible. Anyone else care to join me?

Friday, March 28, 2008

happy friday!

I'm finally back from spring break and a blog break...I was feeling burnt out. I'm happy to report that after some time away, I am feeling refreshed! It's friday, the sun is shining, I have a few new projects in the works and I have some Neil Diamond playing in the studio. Good times, good times. I hope your day is going just as well!

Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my last few quilts. Each and every comment is much appreciated. Thank you! You guys are the best.

The block shown above is going to be for a charity quilt that Heather and I are working on. There is a fund raiser in my community for a woman how has melanoma and has an infant that was born in October. I can't imagine the scary times the family is experiencing. The donation list was pretty weak, so Heather and I are going to donate a quilt for the silent auction. We have 12 days to complete it. You may be seeing a lot of this one. You've been warned. ;)

For next week, I am planning on hosting some sort of finish it up week. I have LOTS of projects in the works and I need a kick in the pants to finish them up. So say tuned. I hope you join me.

Oh, and my grandma loved her quilt! yay! She doesn't have the best track record for gift receiving...even my sister warned me not to be too disappointed if she doesn't gush over it. (So it's not just me being paranoid.) It was nice to visit her and give her the quilt for her birthday on her birthday.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

that's more like it

Now, this quilt, I LOVE!

It was inspired by this flickr group.

It is a total scrap quilt except for a bit of the white.

It is a lap size, measuring 54" x 70".

I will be sending it to my friend, Jill, who lives in AZ, and is battling cancer.

I will be signing off for the rest of the week. We are on spring break (which means that we got dumped on with snow) and we are headed up to MN to spend some time with my sis.

See you next week.
Be good while I'm gone.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I finished the green quilt on Saturday during my virtual quiltathon with Anina. While I was uploading the photos to post about it, I realized that it's St. Patrick's Day today. Ha!

I'm not crazy about this quilt. Maybe I'm just not a green girl. I do like this version better than the first version, though. I like the gradient thing that's going on. It is about 42"x45". The backing is flannel, which I feel puckers extra well.

I usually have one quilt a year that I don't just love and I guess this one is it for me. Kind of early in the year to get that out of the way, but hey, what do you do?

Next up for my monochromatic challenge will be blue.

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 14, 2008

sometimes i am smart

sometimes not so much.


making 2 of these aprons right off the bat. I usually make one of anything when I am drafting a pattern, but I knew if I only made one, the other would never get sent. (because I am so keeping one of these for myself!)

see the backing fabric peeking out on the left side? it's a marvelous little cherry print made by Robert Kaufmann.

I had to bribe my little man to model this for me. one stick of gum does wonders.

not so smart

making 7 bunnies at once. I really dislike mass production.


making a prototype before making multiples of these pin cushions. I learned a few things the first time through. the pattern came from American Patchwork and Quilting magazine, December 2007.

not so smart
trying to tackle way too much gift making in one week's time. I only accomplished a fraction of what I wanted to and I am frazzled. oh, well. tomorrow Anina and I are having our own little quiltathon. woo-hoo!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

slow going

The gift making process is slow going. I keep getting sidetracked. And then I get all nervous wondering if anyone would even want the things that I am making. They seem so...insignificant. I am not feeling too sure of myself with my gifting plan so far.

This is the artsy clutch, again, from this book. I am going to be using this for a gift bag, essentially. For the loop closure I used the elastic thread that holds baby shoes in pairs when you buy them. Frugal or genius? Not sure. Miserly? Probably. It works well, because you only need a bit for each loop.

Inside the bag will be some handmade cards, inspired by this book.
(In case you are wondering, no, I can not come up with one single original way to stylize these photos.)
There is something really fun about sewing fabric to paper. If you haven't tried it, you really should!

And here is probably my favorite card of the lot. The selvage tucked in there makes me happy. It doesn't hurt that it's pink, either.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'm not afraid of pleats anymore

This week my goal was to make gifts for others. Like Jennifer and Melissa, I want a granny gift closet. But first I have to catch up. I am way behind and I need to send out several gifts. So what do I do? Make myself a present.

Isn't she a beauty?

This bag is a lot bigger than I guessed it would be from looking at the photos in the book and from the others that I saw. It measures 18" across the bottom. But I love the size and the shape. I love the fabric, too. It was in the bargain bonanza section for $1.29/yard. And it's decorator weight, so no interfacing required. Good news for me, as I loathe interfacing. The blue parts are cotton so I did need to interface those. They got all crispy and wrinkly. Any tips on what I am doing wrong? The interfacing is Pellon brand, so I don't know what the deal is.

I added a loop at the top, to which I will attach a key ring, so I can hook my keys on it. (I usually spend 10 minutes rummaging in the bottom of my bag to find them. And in a bag this size, with all that it will hold, it would take even longer.) I put a plastic rectangle (template plastic) in the bottom to help hold the shape.

If you want to make one yourself, the pattern is in this book. I did add length to the handles...mine are about 28" long compared to the recommended 22" in the book. Other than that, I pretty much stuck to the pattern.

Hopefully this week I will have more projects from the same book and more gifts to show you. For someone other than me.

Monday, March 10, 2008


this quilt is going to my grandmother

for her birthday, which is next week
some quilts are harder to give away than others
for some reason, I have become quite attached to this one
but I am also excited to give it to her

Friday, March 07, 2008

nothing finished yet or what I did today during nap time

These are all ready for quilting.
Two are mine and two are Heather's.
Oh, man, I am a sucker for a pretty pile of quilts.
They don't even need to be finished.
I'm not picky. :)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

making me happy

I am suffering from the winter blahs. I know, I know, everyone is. yesterday was particularly bad. I haven't even felt like quilting (much), so you know it's got to be bad! I have a bunch of nearly finished projects, but nothing complete, and nothing is grabbing my attention. I keep telling myself that it has to get better. it has to, right?

here are a few things that are cheering me up this week....

a thank you package from Marcia for hosting the quilt-a-long. the piece on the left is the sweetest alphabet panel. I can't wait to make it into a quilt. and she sent coordinating fabrics. best of all, it's in my all time favorite color scheme-pink+yellow+ green! thanks Marcia!!!

thrifted sheet for $1. I think it will become a quilt back at some point. (the thrifting is great in these parts, I tell you.) or maybe it will become some lounge pants.

and...50% off 30's prints at my local quilt shop. how timely for me! the red fabric on the right is the binding on my quilt-a-long quilt. I am half done hand stitching on the binding. hopefully I will have finished pictures tomorrow.

I'll leave you with some of my favorite links from yesterday...

have you seen this seriously cute bag? oh, my, i love it!

and this little dress up outfit made me swoon

and I thought these boats were adorable

happy thursday to you all!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I am not a knitter...

...but sometimes I try to pretend that I am anyway.

pattern here

(and I thought photographing quilts was hard. scarves take the cake.)
for those of you who asked questions about quilting in my last post, I tried to answer them in the comments.
have a great day!

Monday, March 03, 2008

free motion quilting

Welcome to the last week of our quilt-a-long!
Today it's all about finishing up your quilt.

OK, so first off, I'd like to state, I am not an expert on free motion quilting, by any means! My husband (he is such a sweet man) helped me put together a video for today's post.

A few things to note....

For free motion quilting you will need to use a darning foot and drop your feed dogs. This will allow you to freely move your quilt with your hands rather than have the machine move it for you.

If you ever have a chance to take a machine quilting class, I would highly recommend it.

A few tips:

use the same color of thread on the front and back, so if the tension is a little off, it won't be very noticeable. I have found it's very hard to quilt something using one color thread for the front and a different colored thread for the back.

use a busy patterned fabric for the back of your quilt to help disguise mistakes.

if your thread keeps breaking, change your needle.

about managing bulk...I don't use any kind of clips or anything. I re-adjust the position of my quilt as needed. (which is a lot.) I let the quilt bunch up wherever it needs to and work on a small portion at a time. only half of the quilt bulk (or less) should be between the needle and the machine at any one time. I do not start in the middle of the quilt as some do. I start at one edge, and start stippling randomly, continually filling in the empty spaces.

A few links:

there is some great discussion on free motion quilting over on flickr

there are binding tutorials here and here. I'd recommend cutting your binding strips 2.5" wide.
Label your quilt and enjoy! Oh, and if you want to instantly age your quilt, wash + dry it and enjoy the puckery goodness.

A few winners:

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for all of you who quilted along with me. It's been quite a journey, and I appreciate each and every one of you who have been on this journey along with me. It's been lots of fun and I appreciate you cheering me on and encouraging me along the way. It has FAR exceeded my expectations.

I'd like to send a little something to the following people, picked randomly from the participants: Suze and Mikilana.

Now, dare I say, any questions?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

quiltathon update

I had a very productive quiltathon.
When I posted my list I knew I was setting some pretty lofty goals.
Here is what I got done.

quilt Heather's "Becky quilt"
I worked on this Friday night and Saturday

quilt my 30's quilt
worked on this Saturday and Sunday....finished about 4pm

assemble the green quilt top
finished on Sunday evening

I started cutting out my happy hour quilt. I got 7 out of 25 blocks cut.

binding for my log cabin scrap quilt
made on Sunday evening
(I am in love with this pink gingham. I don't know why I didn't buy the rest of the bolt.)

Many many many thanks go to my husband who didn't complain one single bit about all the quilting that went on this weekend. He is a wonderful man.

Just a few other notes about the weekend...I did go out on Saturday to deliver the quilt to Heather and pick up a pizza. On Sunday I went to church, so it's not like I stayed home all weekend chained to my sewing machine. :) The fridge was full of leftovers so there was very little cooking to be done. The kids played very well in their clubhouse (IKEA tent) set up in the living room and my husband worked on the computer while I was quilting. It was lots of fun.

Thanks to Judy for hosting!

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Happy March everyone!

I am taking part in this quiltathon this weekend.

Just a few things I wouldn't mind accomplishing:

1. I'd like to finish quilting Heather's "Becky quilt". (shown above)

2. Quilt my 30's quilt.

3. Assemble my green quilt top.

4. Making this stack of fabric into a happy hour quilt top.

5. Make the binding for this quilt.