Friday, March 30, 2012

finish it up Friday, week 21

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

On a whim yesterday, and because I desperately needed a finish, I quilted my one log cabin block and turned it into a throw pillow. I really like it!
It would have been cute as a baby quilt, but since I gave my strings away to a friend, it made sense to stop and turn it into a pillow cover. 
I finished it with an envelope backing. So easy! I used this great (and old) Amy Butler print that I had been hoarding for years. It felt good to finally use it!
I'm happy to report that all the pillows on my couch are covered. I'm loving the patchy goodness!
And dreaming of making more....of course!
How about you? Do you have a finish to share today? If so, please link up to a specific blog post so we can cheer you on!

Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


so, i decided to pebble quilt the rolling stone quilt
it's going to take awhile.
and it's going to take a lot of thread.
i really like how the pebbles can be any size and how they fit easily into small spaces.
besides....pebbles...rolling just makes sense. :)
the quilting really shows up on the back.
so i'm hoping i don't run into any tension issues.

i think these colors are so good together!
i'm guessing i'm going to love the back more than the front.
but it wouldn't be the first time that happened.

all fabrics in this quilt are from the mod basics collection by birch fabrics.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

on a roll

more improv/slab piecing today.
this time in greens and blues.
not so much a work in progress.
but more like play in progress.
hoping i never tire of quilting.
i'm feeling in my groove today.
and enjoying it very much.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday making

Today Cheryl and I are making an appearance on Pat Sloan's Radio show. Tune in here to listen to what we have to say about our new book Sunday Morning Quilts. (I was extrememly nervous when we recorded it. I'll be over here listening and cringing the whole time, I'm sure. I'm so shy about things like this!)
Another thing I'm making today is home made laundry soap. Have you ever tried it? It's super duper easy. Take one bar fels naptha soap, finely shred it. Add one cup borax and one cup Arm and Hammer super washing soda. Mix well and use. My hubby found this recipe on a blog somewhere, which I think is hilarious, because he is NOT a blog reader. He wanted to try it. I was very skeptical. I'll admit, he was right! I LOVE it! I only use a scant quarter cup per load for my washer size, so it goes a long way. It's "h e" friendly, too. I haven't calculated the exact cost per load, but it's very reasonable. We buy all the ingredients at our local Mills Fleet Farm store, which seems so "farm wife-ish". I love it. :)
Also, I'm making Anadama bread. Tara turned me on to this type of bread. I had never heard of it before, but it's mighty tasty! I'm hoping my bread turns out half as good as hers. I thought it would be good to serve with my sausage corn chowder I'm making tonight. The weather has turned chilly again, so I'm ready for some baking and comfort food.

What are YOU making today?

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, March 23, 2012

finish it up Friday, week 20

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
I finished my oatmeal quilt top!!! It measures 62" x 72". And it's 100% scraps!

this quilt was finished thanks to:

-My phenomonal neighbor, Martha, who stepped into my crazy 3 ring circus life yesterday to help me iron. She ironed and I sewed. For hours!! It was wonderful! Thank you so much, Martha!!

-My massive adrenaline rush after my first book signing last night. A HUGE thank you to all of you who came out to the library last night to listen to me share about my quilts and my new book. The evening totally excedded my expectations. YAY!!! After that, how could I sleep? The way I see it, if you can't sleep, why not quilt?!? :) I finished this top about 1 this morning. :)

-and all of YOU who join me in this challenge each week. If I didn't have the accountability, I have no doubt that just a few oatmeal blocks would be languishing in a basket somewhere, creating more chaos. So I thank YOU for keeping me motivated. It's just the push I need!

Ok, now it's your turn! Link up your finishes for the week and cheer on someone else, too. :)
Happy Friday to you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

oatmeal quilt and retreat signup deadline

I started yet another quilt....the third start in one week's time. Sheesh! I'm using my neutral scraps and sewing them together using the slab technique, as shown in my book Sunday Morning Quilts. (yay!!!) I bet I run out of steam on this project before I run out of scraps! :)

On another note....
If you are interested in the Mother's Day Quilt Retreat, in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, there are still spots available. The deadline for signing up is March 28, so in one week from today. It's only $250 for the entire weekend, including meals, lodging and the classes. I will be teaching my machine quilting sampler class, which covers free motion quilting, quilting with a walking foot and a quilt as you go technique. I hope you can join me there! You can read all the details here. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

my design wall

This is actually a good representation of what runs through my head on a daily basis. Can anyone say "chaos?"
Thanks to all of you who shared quilting ideas for my rolling stones quilt top. You all seem to have much for confidence in my quilting abilities than I do....which I appreciate, by the way. :) I haven't settled on a quilting design yet, but it's percolating. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 19, 2012

rolling stone quilt top

I finished my rolling stone quilt top on Saturday.
It's BIG! About 68" x 90".
Now I need to figure out how to quilt it.
Any ideas? Anyone?

Friday, March 16, 2012

finish it up Friday, week 19

Welcome to finish it up Friday! I hope you are having a productive week!

I have no finish to share, but I did start one of the two quilt tops I was hoping to get finished this week.
I'm starting with this beautiful stack of organic fabric from Birch Fabrics. This is all from the Mod basics line. It is oh-so-lovely! The teal is going to be the background. The lime will be the backing.
Look at those dots! They are so, so good!
I'm making traditional rolling stone blocks. The dark background is a stretch for me. But I'm liking it!
The blocks are about 15". It's fun making bigger blocks! They go together pretty fast. I've got 3 of the 12 done. I'm still hoping to get the entire quilt top done this week....but we shall see! After all, it IS spring break. :)

How about you? Do you have a finish to share? If you do, please link up! Happy Friday to you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

spring break

My kids are on spring break this week. The fantastic thing is that it actually feels like spring! Usually we seem to get a snowstorm during this week, so we've really been enjoying the warmth! All the while, I'm still trying to get things done. About the time I find my groove, the week will be over.
Yesterday we had a play date with some friends. The play date involved sewing machines for the mamas, which is the best kind of play date! I made this log cabin block. I'm still trying to decide whether or not I should turn it into a pillow or go for a full sized baby quilt? I waffle back and forth.

Today I'm trying to tie up loose ends for the fab little quilt swap.
I have the mini quilt almost done. I just need to add the label. It measures 21" x 24". About. :)
I made a little wonky cross pin cushion to go in with it. I LOVE it! I'm not going to have any cohesive color scheme going on, but I think it's ok. (I can over think ANYthing!!! It drives me crazy!)
I also made a quilt block for a community quilt. The color scheme requested was yellow, gray and aqua/turquoise. I really like this color combo...I could have kept going! This one was made and mailed in the same day. New record!

So, lots of little patchwork stuff going on here. Just like I like it! I'm being highly ambitious and hoping to get two quilt tops made during the rest of the week. Are you laughing with me yet??? ;)

One more thing....over on the Stash Books blog they are giving away a copy of Sunday Morning Quilts! There is a fun little background story about the book, too. You may want to check it out!

Hope you are having a terrific Tuesday!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

crazy mom quilts: one way to knit a rag rug

First off, thanks to all of you who left such kind comments on my book. They are all so very appreciated!

Also, thanks to all of you who loved my rug! Here's a little tutorial so you can make your own!
Collect (or cut) strips of fabric. The fabric widths can vary quite a bit, but anywhere from 1/2" to 1" is ideal. I use selvages-both the pretty and not so pretty ones-and skinny strings. The more color the better!

Knot the strings end to end. I do this on the go, so the "yarn" doesn't get tangled. Use two strings held together as one "yarn" throughout. Using size 35 needles, cast on 38 stitches (or as many as you can fit on your needle). Knit in garter stitch until you reach the desired length of your rug. This will require a bit of wrestling from time to time. :) Bind off using a stretchy bind off technique. Then enjoy the wonderful texture!
My rug ended up approximately 28" x 35".
If you make a rug using this technique, I'd love to see it. Please consider adding your photos the quilting with crazy mom flickr group. Knit rugs will be allowed there, too. :)

**Just a note about my flickr groups...In order to simplify things a bit, I've decided to merge my "quilt a long" and "inspired by crazymomquilts" group into one big happy group. PLEASE feel free to share any projects you've made inspired by my tutorials, quilt alongs, classes or patterns there. I'd love to see what you are making!

Friday, March 09, 2012

finish it up Friday, week 18

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

Today I'm delighted to share a very special finish.
After two plus years in the making....the books (plural!!!) JUST arrived at my doorstep! It's a very happy finish indeed.

I'm not sure that the Fed Ex delivery woman cared that I'm an author, but she knows now. Actually, she was very gracious and kind and congratulated me. Hey! It's not every day your new book (!!!) gets shipped. I'm going to celebrate this for all it's worth!

I'm selling signed copies in my shop. For those of you who pre-ordered them, thank you! I'll be working my way though the orders soon!

Now it's your turn! You know the drill. Link away with your finishes! And a very happy Friday to you!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

a new pillow

I'm working on covering all my couch pillows with fun and colorful cushion covers. This certainly fits the bill for colorful! It's a welcome bright spot in an otherwise dreary day.
I started off with these fabrics. I still can't believe that I cracked open a jelly roll AND a layer cake in the same day! Crazy!!! ;) I think the lime green was a natural choice, because of Malka's fabulous green wall that she photographs her work against so often. I love it! Although now I'm wishing my lime green fabric was a little more lime.
For the back I used some old (and so, so good) Flea Market Fancy fabric. I layered it with some batting and quilted it following the grid of the print along every other line. It worked very well. No marking required! It has enough stability and just the right texture for the back.
This was my first attempt at an invisible zipper in a pillow. My son thinks it's inappropriately named, because it isn't quite invisible. Close enough, I say! At least for the first shot. I'm going to have to try it again with an invisible zipper foot next time.

When I made the cover, the pillow was too small. Or should I say the cover was too big? So, I used a little trick that I read somewhere awhile ago. Wrap the pillow with scraps of batting to fill it out just a bit. Perfect! What a good use for leftover batting! The corners were still a little droopy, so I stuffed in some additional squares in the bottom corners, just to add some form. I could help but laugh because I felt like I was stuffing my bra or something! Not that I know ANYthing about that.

The pillow cover measures about 18" x 27". It looks pretty snazzy next to this one!

Friday, March 02, 2012

finish it up Friday, week 17

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

What a week I've had!! Today is the first day of the week that everyone in my family has been to school/work. We've had illness, snow/ice day, kindergarten registration day (therefore no school for my kindergartener). It's been....interesting. :)
All that to say, I don't have much to share today. But I did manage to finish my February bee blocks for the Two's Company quilt bee. These flying geese blocks are for Jackie. I've done more paper piecing in this bee than I had anticipated. But that's great! It keeps me from getting rusty. Now I just need to mail them! Why does that seem to be the hardest part of a bee? Or is it just me?

Now it's your turn! Link up your finishes for the week and then go visit some others and cheer them on, too. Thanks for linking up with me. Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

pretty close

I like to piece my quilt backs, especially when one of the prints repeats in a certain way (such as this fabric), so I don't need to worry about lining up the repeat. Well, I adore this print, and I had JUST the right amount to back my quilt. I took it as a sign that I should try to piece it together, rather than adding in another print or solid. It was a little tricky (I pinned a lot and re-sewed a bit) but totally worth the effort. It feels like a great accomplishment! Woo-hoo!

This is one step closer to finishing an old WIP. But there is one problem. I love the back so much that I decided I'm going to have to re-work the front now. I want to LOVE the front, rather than just like it. One step forward, one step back.