Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

...from my little family to yours.

We're off to celebrate my favorite holiday with our families.
I'll be back (and I hope to answer your questions from the past two posts) in a few days.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas coins

This is what I came up with for the silent auction quilt. I started yesterday morning after I woke up in a panic...there is SO MUCH to do before Christmas. I only have week to get this done and with Thanksgiving coming up, well, that will seriously cut into my quilting time.

I pieced it completely from my scraps, except for the cream sashing. Many of the scraps were leftover from this quilt. While I was working on it, I remembered that I don't like making stacked coin quilts. They look easy, but lining up the rows isn't, at least for me. I think it came out ok....I guess I'll know for sure when I quilt it. I made one row skinnier than the rest because I ran out of wider scraps. I like the effect a lot.

On an unrelated note....

...I took down my daughter's crib yesterday.
I almost cried. She's growing up way too fast.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas charm

Happy Monday! I am so excited, because I now have a Christmas quilt of my very own. It only took me 8 years to make one to keep.
This quilt is made from 5 charm packs.
It uses 192 squares in a 12 x 16 layout.
It measures 54" x 72".
Here's the back. See, this is exactly why I love putting myself on a fabric buying ban. Had I been buying fabric, I would have went to the store and picked out something new, while this lovely back was sitting in my stash. The green print is from Jennifer Paganelli's Sis Boom line. I LOVE IT!!! Since I had exactly 2 yards of the green, I considered putting a strip of contrasting fabric along one side, but I just wasn't feeling it. Then I pulled the cream from my stash and decided that if I bordered it, I would have 2 quilts in one...patchwork on the front and (nearly) a whole cloth quilt on the back. I was nervous because I wasn't sure I'd be able to line it up precisely enough, but it worked out fine and dandy. Yay!

I used a bold stripe for the binding...

and did small stippling all over in cream thread.

I'm so pleased with the final result!
Now, onto the next Christmas quilt....

Friday, November 21, 2008

sewing with Linda

My dear friend Linda came down to visit me yesterday. We did some sewing, quilt basting and lots of catching up. We had a great time. Before she left this morning she gave me a few serger lessons and we sewed up a little garment for my girl.

We used this vintage pattern, which came from my grandmother's house. Isn't that so great?

Since we had to shorten the pattern a bit, we first made a copy of it unto freezer paper, then trimmed the excess length. It was Linda's brilliant idea to iron the freezer paper to the flannel fabric. There was no pinning before we cut out the pieces, thus no distortion from the pins. It worked out beautifully!!! I'll definitely be trying this method again.

And here is the final top. She's got a little room to grow.


We did a rolled hem around all the raw edges, then used an overlock stitch for all the seams. (I think I have my terminology right?) It was nice to be able to work on this project with the garment making expert! Thanks so much, Linda.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas quilt top

Thanks for all your charity quilt suggestions from my last post. I'm feeling much more inspired, I'm happy to say. I had to laugh at those of you who poked fun at me and told me to look through my archives for inspiration. I have quilter's block (hee hee) from time to time, too. :)

It's official. I LOVE charm packs. Yesterday afternoon I started sewing up a quilt top from these 5 charm packs...

3 packs of Merry & Bright (many many thanks to Sherry for sending them!)
2 packs of Holly Jolly, which I picked up from my LQS during their sale
things I love about this quilt:
it's just plain squares
it came together so very quickly
there is a LOT going on in this quilt top

This quilt (so far) is for me. But I reserve the right to change my mind. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the last of the year

I've been very wanty (to use Melissa's term) lately, especially in terms of fabric. And it occured to me if I kept ordering fabric I would have something to post about every day. That's dangerous territory to tread. But it sure would be fun! :)

Here are the results of my last fabric buying hurrah for the year.

These came from the Fabric Shack. I am so happy to finally have some of the Farmer's Market fabric. It's so lovely. There is also some Kaffe Fassett, some Ginger Blossom, a little Bijoux and Park Slope in this mix. I sure have been on a green and blue kick lately. And orange! I love orange. Most of these are just quarter yard cuts. A few are half yards.

and these came from Cia's Palette.
Her customer service and speed were outstanding!!!
These are yard and half yard cuts.

So now I'm done. Until next year.
Does anyone have any great ideas for a quick and fun quilt? I would like to donate a quilt to the silent auction at my church's Women's Christmas Dinner. At first I thought I would make a Christmas quilt, but not having a Christmas quilt of my own, I'm afraid I wouldn't want to part with it after I make it. I'm thinking lap size. And it has to be fairly easy, because I need to have it done by Dec. 2. Any suggestions? Please? I'm drawing a blank.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

cherry pie

I finished another quilt that I started back during baby quilt week. I think this is finally the last one of that batch. (Yay!)

You all know I have such a hard time naming quilts, so I cheated and looked back at this post with all the name suggestions and used one Erin came up with...cherry pie. (thank you, e!)
For the quilting I deviated from my standby stippling for a few reasons. One, I knew I wanted to finish this quickly. Two, with the pieced back (see photo below) I knew all those seams would give me trouble if I were stippling.

For the back I used all scraps.
I love how the diagonal quilting shows up nicely on the back.

I finished it up with red star binding. Also from the scrap bin.
The quilt measures 45" square.

This one goes on the "to donate to charity" pile.

Monday, November 17, 2008

pants made from pants

Thanks for all the get well wishes. I am happy to report that I am feeling much better. It was good to take a little break, but I am so happy to be back. I missed you guys!

This project has been in my head for months. It's simple, quick and inexpensive.
I took a pair of my pants that no longer fit me properly, placed pattern pieces (in my daughter's size) at the bottom hem of the pants, cut and sewed these up in a jiffy.

Adding a casing and some elastic at the top was all I needed to do to finish them up since the hem was already in place. These will compliment my daughter's many pink sweaters. I love pink and brown together.

I think the entire process took less than one hour, which included drafting a pattern from an existing pair of her pants and testing the pattern using a vintage pillow case.

Man, it feels good to cross this project off my list.

Monday, November 10, 2008

logging in sick

My husband gives me a hard time about lots of things, but one of his favorite things to tease me about is that my blog is my full time unpaid job. (He's not far off.) With that being said, I'm logging in sick for the week. I've got a cold and I'm going to take the rest of the week off of blogging.

For those of you who asked about where I got the fabric in the previous post, I'll check with my supplier (hee hee) and if it's ok with her, I'll share her info by updating that blog post.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

new "old" fabric

Last week I called my former local quilt shop in Michigan (since they have no website to order from) and I was able to get my hands on this lovely Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy fabric. It's from Denyse's first fabric line, which came out a few years ago. I was so excited that the quilt shop still had the elusive blues and greens left. I ordered a bunch, as you can see. And when I called, she just happened to be having a sale.

I am one very happy fabric loving girl.

edited to add: I bought my fabric from So South Haven. Her phone number is (269) 637-0603. She is no longer holding the sale for this line of fabric, so the price is now $9.00 per yard. Please have an idea of which fabrics you would like to order from this line before calling the shop. You can see the line here.
She does have some fabric lines on sale including:

Summer Night (brushed cottons) by Holly Taylor for Moda
Grandma's Pastels by Benartex
Christmas Treasures by Benartex
Star of Wonder by Nancy Halvorson by Benartex
Peppermint and Holly Berries by Nancy Halvorson by Benartex
So You Sew Fun by RJR
Whimsey by Free Spirit
Adventures of Sunny Bear by Red Rooster
River Bed by Benartex
Fleurish by Valorie Wells

if you buy 10 one yard cuts the price per yard is $6.00.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

more new fabric + wip

My favorite local quilt shop had a sale last week.
I had to participate.
The large yellow floral will be the back of my swell zig zag quilt.
The stripe will be the binding.
The rest is for my stash.
I'm building a lovely green polka dot collection.
I need to go on a fabric buying ban soon.
And here is said zig zag quilt in progress.
I'm using swell charm packs.
This is less than half the quilt.
I really don't like working with triangles.
I love the effect, though.

Monday, November 03, 2008

what a bunch of squares

This is the quilt that I was working on with the pieced binding. I didn't want to give away too many sneak peeks before the quilt was finished.
It was inspired by Denyse Schmidt's Lazy Gal quilt. This is the third quilt in this style that I have made. The first one is on my bed. The second (quilt top only) I swapped for fabric with Jacquie.

This just may be my favorite one of this style yet. There is no pattern for's just free pieced. First I made the colored blocks, then I added white borders to make the blocks 16.5". I joined all 12 blocks together, then I added white borders (4.5" cut) around the edges of the quilt to make the squares pop. The quilt measures 57" x 73".

The white fabric is bleached muslin that I bought it at JoAnn's ($1/yard with a coupon.) When I first starting working with it I thought it was a little thin, but now I'm sold on this fabric. It's lightweight but strong. I love that it IS thinner, because it makes the quilting process so much easier-there are fewer bumps (where the seams join) to quilt over. And it doesn't fray like crazy, which is another huge plus in my book.
For the back I used solids with a strip of frog fabric that came from Carolyn. The solid green fabric was from a duvet cover set I bought at IKEA. The grey came from Mill End Textiles in Fargo. It's a PERFECT grey. Isn't that frog fabric fabulous??? It's from Alexander Henry. I love it. Thanks Carolyn!
I stippled the whole quilt in white serger thread (which happens to be 100% polyester-but I don't mind-I'm not a cotton thread purist). I like to use serger thread at times, especially if I don't want the quilting to look thready and stand out. It's a thinner thread, so it blends in, which is exactly what I was looking for.

I LOVE mixing designer fabric with lots of solids.
It's a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck.
Because let's face it, when you make a lot of quilts, that really matters.

I love a pieced binding...
and here it is all folded up. I haven't washed this one yet.
That's on the agenda for today!

I'm keeping this one.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

the status of my quilt cupboard

45 quilts

this does not include the ones I have hanging on the walls (3)
or the ones that are on our beds (4)

just a side note, several of these are in use in our home at any given time. I rotate several of them periodically, especially the lap quilts.