Friday, December 31, 2010

January Monochromatic Challenge


I can’t believe it, this doesn’t actually start until tomorrow but I was in a sewing mood very early this morning.  All of the yellows came from my scrap bin.  These little “modern” art quilts are harder to sew than I thought!  It was so easy to get wonky piecing the strips but I like how it turned out (and I really don’t like yellow).  I even hand quilted it (gasp, I know, my fingers look like hamburger).  This is the best binding I’ve ever done too, I really took my time & used my Fiskars bias tape maker that I’ve had for 10 yrs and have maybe used once.  Just finished hand sewing the binding down & had to grab some pics!  Thank you Judy for a fun challenge!



I can’t wait for my new camera to arrive next week, these pics are awful.  Thanks for looking!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another set of gifts done


I’m spending Christmas with my kids next weekend so I have a little more time to finish the gifts.  Just put the last stitches in these for 2 of mine & 3 of their new siblings.  I hope they like them, I can’t believe how much time they took, just the embroidery & applique alone took most of a day.


They’re for 6 & 9 yr olds, I was originally thinking “library bags” but they do a lot of traveling & they’re the perfect size for stowing a few books, a gameboy, phone, coloring books, etc for road trips.  And with such original names I know they rarely see anything personalized just for them.  The lining fabric is also specific to each child and I used up a ton of denim yardage & scraps from turning jeans into shorts.

Paper Piecing Success


I finally got it!  I made some templates to make cutting my “scraps” more accurate & less wasteful and I traced my foundation paper so I could see the lines on the back too.  Adds another step to each 1/4 square but it makes it much easier.  I’d love to dive into this today but I have a few “must do” projects to wrap up first.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Design Wall Monday



I’ve wanted to do a paper pieced quilt for a while now…but whoever invented this technique was nuts!  I’m using thin, easy to tear paper but I can’t see through it worth a crap once I have some pieces sewn on, wish I could print an exact reverse image on it.  I’m going to try tracing the lines onto the back before I do the next 1/4 square.  I also don’t have much room around the edges of this first one, I’m into my 1/4” seam allowance a little too close.  Ugh!  Guess I’ll start all over. 

I still have some Christmas quilts to finish & the kids bags (they’re half done anyway) but I won’t see them for 2 more weeks so I have time…needed to do a little “me” sewing but those 9 tiny pieces above felt like homework, lol.  I’m going to edit my 2011 UFO list to include this quilt, at least a few squares a month, it’ll probably take me all year but if I can do it it’ll open up a whole new range of available quilting patterns.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

…and nothing was stirring, not even a mouse


I love being the only one up in the wee dark hours.  Mr Dog woke me up in time for the lunar eclipse.  I was the only fool person outside on my street in my pj’s in the 29 degree, windy night but it was worth it, what a gorgeous sight!  And let’s be honest, 29 is a heat wave after the cold we’ve had this month.

I’m feeling a little better after a tumble on the ice pond skating on Sunday.  My neck’s still a little stiff but the shoulder (that was already paining me) is getting there.  Sporting some lovely blue bruises!

I haven’t done crap for sewing in a week except 20 hrs of work stuff that I still haven’t been able to deliver or get paid for, I think someone went on vaca without telling me.  I’m finally getting the creative urge again, hopefully I can finish up a couple of Christmas things this week (crossing fingers).  I did cut a bunch of pieces for the library bags I’m making the kids.

I’m not really sure why I’m posting except no one’s on FB & I already blog surfed today & apparently I’m the only one up!  Off to mix some tuna salad for J’s lunchbox & putter in the kitchen until he wakes up in a half hour.  Hope you’re all well & ready for the Holidays!


Friday, December 17, 2010

2011 UFO Challenge

I’m not sure if I have enough to do one a month but here’s the start of my list of UFO’s (in quilt or knit-speak, that’s Unfinished Objects).

1. I’ve had this baby quilt top done for ohh, 3 yrs? It has HR Goldfish in Bags, a HR Beach print, a coordinating dot, denim & a cute pinstripe.

2. This one coordinates, originally I planned to give these to a friend with twin boys. Then I discovered Bargellos & made 2 totally different quilts instead. The top is actually done, just no nice pic like the other one.


3. Another finished top, this one is for me. I started it when I was still married though and I’ve been hesitant to finish it because it has some emotional garbage attached. I love it, no clue what to back it with. I have 2 matching throw pillows all done & tucked away somewhere.

4. These are hmm, not sure. I started with the larger ones on the left, hated it, bought more fabric & made the blocks on the right. There’s not enough of either for a whole quilt (even baby size like I intended). I just need to somehow use the blocks instead of throwing them away, I have quite a few of each though I’ve raided some of the extra fabric for other projects. No telling what they’ll become!


5. This is a small Halloween throw/wallhanging top. I made a similar one for a friend that I finished & gifted. Didn’t get this pieced until after the holiday so it’s been bagged with my Hallo fabrics for a while. Using scraps, I’m not thrilled with it, just need it done.


6. I bought this bag at least 5 years ago on some ridiculously low clearance, it’s pre-cut fleece for a baby quilt. I don’t like the included pattern though, need to spice it up a bit. Maybe a rag quilt eventually.


7. These are the Bargellos I made for the twins…I also made the one below with a brocade back for another baby. Loved all 3, adding a Bargello for ME to the list.

8. Another “I’d like to make” is a cathedral window quilt. Scratch that one...Insert instead a paper pieced quilt. I got started on this right after Christmas.

9. I made this for one of my daughters & have always liked the result, might have to do another similar one. I shy away from triangles for the most part but I like the modern look with repro-type prints & the satin back.

10. I thought for sure I had more UFO’s or must-makes! I’ll add to my list later Smile

Monday, December 13, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I haven’t done much sewing this week…you’d think for someone who hasn’t had any work for a month I’d be sewing away on Christmas projects but it’s got me depressed.  When I started this part-time gig they promised I’d have so much work I’d have to hire help…uhh, no.  It’s either 2 or 3 days in a row of steady sewing or absolutely zip for days (or weeks) on end.

Here’s what I do have in progress.  I found this flames fabric at goodwill, brand new, about 5 yards, for only $3.50!  I used flannel for the batting & I really like how much easier it is to FMQ, less bulk to wrestle through the machine.  I only have about 20 minutes work to go before I bind it…gotta finish it today.


I got a bright idea (sarcasm…) to make another gift for 5 of the 7 kids on my list, personalized book bags for the library.  I have a ton of denim scraps & some leftovers from their quilts, haven’t started the bags themselves but I made their names with my Brother Applique Station thing I’ve had for years.  This isn’t much of an “embroidery” machine but I’ve used it for the same purpose for last minute birthday gifts for kids & they came out cute.  I used ultrex for most of the squares & I fuse some interfacing to the back to lock the stitches before trimming & appliqueing them to the finished item.


I made a few extra with a Christmas theme for quickie ornaments/hostess gifts too.

Then I got caught up in this ornament thing with 9 million little scraps & straight pins.  I have to rip the ribbon off the bigger one, it came out looking really tacky…the tiny one isn’t going to work, the squares I started with were too large.  Probably won’t do many more of these, there’s enough on my list but it kept me entertained one afternoon while J was hunting, lol.


I’m playing with Windows Live Writer for blogging…here goes my first upload, fingers crossed.  Thanks for visiting, stop by Judy’s blog to see more Design Wall Mondays from around the world!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Another finish

This project started so well...and then I hit the borders & it went downhill fast. They came out a little rippled because the body was so stretchy in all directions (and that border of tiny squares didn't help, all cut from scraps so the bias was nuts). After much pressing the borders are better (really, it's better in real life, lol) & after a wash & dry it should be fine. The binding is just the back folded to the front but I was short on about half of one edge & had to add fabric back on to have enough to flip. Ugh! Thank goodness it was a good print that you have to really look for it to see where I improvised. I quilted it on my regular machine, around some of the pinwheels & the borders, not stitch-in-the-ditch there, just a rough 1/4" from them. I left the wider outer border with no quilting, it's within the allowance for the batting, quilting is just going to make the ripple worse. It's a little smaller than I'd hoped for (46x60, pictured on full size bed) but I guess it's a decent couch/throw size. It'll have to do, I'm off to deliver it this morning & I hope it makes some money for the fire dept.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Oh man, they're so cute I can barely stand it! Pinking the edges wasn't my first idea but they looked so much skinnier turned & stitched I did a lot of seam ripping & I adore the finished product. Someone asked in the last comments about the selvage--that's just a lettered fabric scrap I had in my Christmas stash. The trim is some insanely fuzzy stuff I bought years ago to trim a hat or something, I don't know, it's moved with me a couple times :p I think it's time to bust out the Christmas decorations! I'm not adding names to them...we're not married & I don't want to jinx it, ya know? On to the pet stockings :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Well, it's technically still Sunday here but I'm sleeping in tomorrow when J goes hunting at 4am! Another couple near-finishes this week, I've been chained to the machine. Excuse this photo on the dining room table but here's a top for Christmas, inspired by Diary of a Quilter's Retro Christmas Quilt (she has her pattern for sale, go check it out!). I'm not big on borders so I'm calling it a day, hoping to stack & quilt it next week. It's going on a bunk bed, should be plenty big enough.

And I'm about 20 hrs into this one & probably have 10 more to go...this is a charity quilt I'd love to finish completely this week so it can be donated to the fire company. I hope it makes them lots of money! This is a "magic" pinwheel quilt made with a homemade ruler. Some pinwheel sections are "proper" and others are just plain old scrappy. I like how my little sampler section went dead center, this was totally designed on the fly and I love it! I'm working on those little 2" square border strips right now (cut from the pinwheel scraps) & then it'll get another black border & then some more of the black, white & red prints. So much for me not being into borders, lol. I have a good amount of one print left for the binding/back. I need to get this larger, right now I'd call it crib size, it should be at least a decent "adult on the couch" size. This is as crazy scrappy as I get, it makes me smile, I think Bonnie Hunter would approve of my use of every little piece of fabric, I leader/ended it too :p I got a great deal on the fabric, it was a pre-packaged kit at AC Moore for a very simple patchwork quilt, $40 but I had a 50% off coupon. They're very nice quality, I added the reds and the black & white dots from my stash.

I'm tired! My studio is a shambles but I got a ton done this week and a few more checks off my list. Thanks for visiting!

Edited to add: after a night of no sleep I was up early in my freezing cold studio working on these :) J & I didn't have stockings, I'm actually planning these as a Christmas morning gift. We don't have any children in the house but I'll make little tiny ones for the critters too. I like the retro-ish fabrics, I used these to make a quilt for J's mom last year. Editing again--the stockings are done, click my blog title to see them :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


J's coming home from a 5 day hunting trip today, I've really missed him (and how much he does around the house, apparently I'm a pig when left on my own, lol). I've got a ton of housework to knock out, nothing real serious but basic maintenance I ignored.

I'm in panic-mode about the impending holiday deadline. I finally came up with an idea for the 9 yr old boy quilt I promised, it's not the original plan but I'm into it now (with a lot more tiny pieces than I usually work with but what the heck, I love a challenge). The coffee table is covered with squares I cut last night watching a movie. I totally had a great idea using my Ikea cutting board from the kitchen with my rotary cutter, brilliance!! I didn't have to drag my 2x3 ft monster out of the sewing room & I could cut on my lap. We have 3 more cutting boards, this one won't be missed.

I didn't make much progress on J's landscape wall quilt...apparently this takes a real artist and I'm just a hack. I had grand plans of a little mountain scene with a pond & a black bear in the foreground. Ha! After all day yesterday back and forth to the dining room table where I had it laid out, snipping & gluing with a glue stick, digging in bins for more greens (sadly not a great variety), defending the whole mess from 2 lonely cats looking for their daddy, I think I have a start on it. Pinned everything, rolled it up and tossed it in a pile in my sewing room for tomorrow while he's at work. I hope it all comes together with lots of creative thread use. I still haven't figured out the many trees required...

I only need to make 4 more squares on my daughter's wonky log cabin top, the rest are still pinned to the wall. Need a clue on sashing but that's my easiest project, it *should* come together without much fuss.

Then I've got this Breast Cancer Awareness quilt in progress for a charity raffle...oh my. I'm well into it, all handsewing, what was I thinking, I hate hand work! I bought a new machine a few weeks ago, I'm thinking of using some of the cool decorative stitches to finish the thing so I can pass it on to the organizer and just be done with it. It's back burner at the moment with no deadline but I feel bad I started it and told her about it over a month ago.

And then I have no ideas whatsoever for a gift for my best friend. He's the cleanest, most spartan guy I ever met, I made him a quilt earlier in the year. And then there's J's mom, I made her a Christmas quilt last year (finished it right before we went out the door to her house, ugh). I may just show up with some yummy homemade dessert and some jellies I canned this summer. And present shopping? I have 4 kids, plus their 3 new brothers & sister, 3 of the quilts I'm making are for the group (one top complete last week), I bought one little stocking stuffer & knit 2 pairs of mittens. I need my real job to really pick up so I can go shopping for ?? Something, dang what do kids play with these days? The age range is pretty huge, I'm good with teenage girls & clothes, aside from that I'm clueless.

I'm flipping out for real, less than a month! I need 30 hrs a day for a couple wks, lol. How's everyone else doing?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Sports another near-finish, I just need to stitch down the binding (backing wraps to front so it's easy). This thing weighs a TON! One of my daughters has a "bisquit quilt" that her great-grandma made when she was born, it took her 8 months to hand sew it. This one is thanks to a tutorial from HoneyBear Lane and only took 2 days, though I totally measured wrong for the borders so I couldn't do the cute miters without recutting them or adding an ugly seam so I did the math & went another direction. I also forgot to turn the borders into puffs because I was so mad at myself for the miscut so I added the batting after they were attached to the top with spray adhesive, skipped the border muslin & went on to the next step. I think it came out pretty good. I machine tacked the intersection of every puff, quilted down one of the stripes in each border strip & did a little stitch in the ditch at the corners. There's lots of flannel in this puppy which I prewashed but I hope nothing shrinks funny after the fact, there's just so much going on with this one. I'll deliver it next week to the new mama-to-be :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Something New

I got side tracked from my baby quilt (though there are a dozen more puffs done now). I had to try this craft your own ruler twisted pinwheel thing I saw on Quilting Board. My ruler is a little wonky but all I had was a hacksaw I rummaged up in the garage to cut it with. No loss there, I hated this particular ruler & rarely used it. Hand dyed scraps from my bin that I didn't even iron until AFTER I sewed it all together twice, lol. Love this technique and it'd be super easy if I had any charm packs.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Sigh, it took me all day...I started with something different last night for a new baby gift quilt, this morning I realized it wasn't going to work, bought more fabric & started over. This is all I have done...I hadn't done HST's in so long I had to look it up. Now I know why I so rarely do triangle anything, they take soooo long. This will become a Puff Quilt ala Honey Bear Lane's nice tutorial. One of my daughters had a puff quilt her great grandma made but it was done by hand, I like this method much better :)

I'm hoping to get this done quickly & delivered on Thursday (they won't all be HST's, thank goodness). Thanks for stopping by, don't forget to swing by Judy's for more Design Wall Monday posts!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Finished Top!

Whew, this was a lot of work. Each square requires 20 pins...and normally I don't use any pins when I piece. I'm debating a simple border but for now, that's a great big check off my holiday sewing list. I need to pick up some batting so I can finish it up before I'm sewing at the last minute like most years. This is the 4th or 5th time I've done this pattern, one of these days I need to attempt "real" curves.

Excuse the ugly curtains and towel hanging on the boyfriend's idea of decorating :p

A Productive Day

I spent most of the day working on a birthday/Christmas quilt for a great little guy (pesky holiday birthday, I better figure out which it's for!). I got another pile of squares done last night but it was too late for a pic. Here's my mid-afternoon layout. I went with Kona ash for the neutral...I usually don't cave to a trend...I'm not sure if I approve or not, though it'll surely look clean longer than stark white, right? Hmm, I really don't like the gray, the "new black" my rear :p

And I finished a few more pink wonky log cabin squares for another gift quilt. Had a little helper soaking up the sun on my cutting table ;)

Puppy dog woke me before 4am and now I'm wide awake, guess I'll get back to quilting!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some past quilts

Some of these are 3-4 years ago but haven't been shared. I have many pics on an older computer that's not cooperating, hopefully I'll be able to rescue them someday.

I didn't get a finished pic of this top but it came out gorgeous! I can't remember whose pattern (perhaps Bonnie Hunter?). I believe it's named Strip Twist and I know I assembled it wrong (oops!) but I just went with it. This was gifted last fall to my boyfriend's brother's new baby boy & mom told me a few weeks ago when we visited how much she loves it :)

This was a birthday gift for one of my tween daughter's best friends. My daughter drew the horses and I did a lot of swearing with all the applique but I think it came out ok and it was very well received :) I had an inspiration pic from somewhere online to guide me, I wish I'd saved her name/site to properly credit her idea!

This top is still just a top. I'd love to finish it for my own bed but it's got weird vibes...I made it right before I separated from my ex-husband and now I'm not sure I want to sleep with it every night no matter how much I love it, lol...

This got finished & gifted but I only have a pic of the top. Experiment with black & white & some pretty hot pink & Heather Ross fabric (I still have a good amount of that I'm hoarding). Given to a friend's baby girl. I LOVE this style quilt and am planning another for a Christmas gift.

I wish I had a pic of this after quilting (my first free motion, I used a variegated thread). This crazy cat quilt was for one of my daughters.

I made 2 of these Bargellos for a friend's twin boys! The quilts were nearly identical, I used some hand dyed FQ's, some batiks & a variety of kids prints that I thought fit her personality. I tied instead of quilting them and they're backed with a plush white flannel with rainbow dots.

And I believe it was Judy who asked recently about our favorite quilt we've made. It's hard to choose but this is one of my favs, for another of my daughters. I had a bunch of triangles cut & just played until I liked the arrangement. It's backed with a pretty satin that was a bear to work with but so worth it in the end.

Before I overload blogger I better get to work! I'll share more pics another time. Thanks for visiting :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Design Wall Monday

This is my first design wall post. I don't even have a wall, these squares are for a Christmas quilt for one of my daughters (pinned on my sewing room wall quilt). I think 6 more...but I'm not sure about sashing or anything yet.

And a (really bad photo) finish, I started this little quilted fall table runner 2 months ago. I was working on it the night my best friend called and told me he'd been in a horrible motorcycle accident. I had to do the binding twice and it's still not perfect but I like it and I hope he does too, I'll deliver it tomorrow.

Back to work before I run out of steam!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Knit along progress

I haven't gotten very far on my toe up 2 socks at once...a little too much work & running around and not enough "parked on the couch" time. This is some sport weight wool from Knitpicks that I dyed a few weeks ago. I'm knitting along with Judy

And part of the blame for the poor knitting is the learning curve on my new machine, she's got a few quirks but this is by far the nicest machine I've ever owned & I got a heck of a deal.

Back to work!

Friday, October 22, 2010


I've been sick for 2 or 3 wks, I've lost count. After one day prostrate on the couch I've been up & around but there've been so many sleepless nights I'm not sure what day it is. I've been busy sewing this week but no pics as I cleaned my desk and I can't find anything, including the camera. My "2nd job" that I mentioned is an opportunity with a startup company, courtesy of a contact at my last paying gig. I'm their only seamstress & I went from knocking out a few very simple items for their website to designing & sewing samples for some new products. I love it, it's interesting work, lots of math & puzzles, not the brain-is-mush thing that goes with factory sewing. I suggested yet another product I've tried to find that just isn't available that they're working on producing and a whole other group to market their products to. I have my fingers crossed that this might develop into my running a production group instead of being one of the drones, I got in at the right time :) If I can just get my stupid serger working right I'll be golden, I thought I had it last night but I had too many distractions & blew it up again. I need to get my butt in gear for holiday sewing, I have 2 quilts (of 3) in progress but not far enough, a charity quilt I'm well into but behind on, 2 baby quilts to plan & sew in the near future & who knows what else. I finished my latest pair of socks (2 at once on one circular needle), started another pair that are crawling along, but I also have a hat for a friend almost done I need to suck it up and finish before it's truly cold out. The house is a mess & must be cleaned before I go anywhere so I better get moving! (this post is all about me trying to hold myself accountable to projects in progress, lol)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

That was different

This is one of the odder items I've been asked to sew...a "sock" for Jim's half-cast. He'll be getting a new full cast next week (we think) but right now he's got exposed toes & ace bandages holding on a fiberglass cast that covers the bottom of his foot & back of the leg. He wants to go out on the town a little tonight but it's been in the 40s & he needs to keep it warm & clean. I lined this with a soft cotton flannel (skulls of course!). The outer is a black poly PUL fabric, shiny side in. He can do a little "walking" on it without harm and it's water repellant & washable. Closure is 1 1/2" aplix (velcro) and I added some clear elastic to the calf area to snug it in a little more. I sure hope it fits!! My only pattern was a quick tracing I made onto newspaper this morning. It opens fully so it should be easy on, easy off.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I can't stop knitting these things! I finally finished the red pair I started last winter. I love the yarn, soooo soft, I got it from Knitpicks but I can't remember what it's called. Not the best colors here, they're shades of red with a lime green stripe. Unfortunately it's not superwash, within 2 hrs of wearing them the soles were felting in my boots, lol. I did 2 different style heels because I don't know if I had a pattern for the first sock or what but after a year I just wanted to wear them. I threw in a short row heel & didn't do the gusset decrease whatever part right but they fit so who cares, right? I love them! I've done this style cast on a few times, the toes are actually started flat in garter stitch. Knit a tiny swatch, then pick up stitches on the sides & increase on opposite points to create a diamond & start knitting in the round. It makes for an easy, well fitting toe.

And I picked up the yarn for these on Monday & I'm kicking right along. This is Paton's Kroy Sock, 2 at once, toe up on one circular needle. My first time with the technique, so far so good & no orphan sock that's a year late to the party ;) I like my socks kinda big & baggy because I wear boots 99% of the time, tight socks make me nuts. I probably should have used a smaller needle (this is a 3) but what the heck, I'm not starting over. I can't get over how boxy the toe part looks but they do fit perfectly when they're on so I guess I'm doing it right. I like non-matching socks, they're the same dye lot but I didn't match up the repeat for twins. I used Judy's Magic Cast-on, after watching the video a few times I found it surprisingly simple. Like my little pumpkin basket? A thrifted find yesterday, full of gourds I grew this summer :)
We won't talk about the baby blanket & hat I also have in progress, and the 4 quilts & the table runner AND I need to knock out a birthday gift by next week...I can't put the socks down!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A few new things

I really need to start writing here more...I've been busy every morning for the last week helping a friend who was in a bad motorcycle accident. Cooking, cleaning, running errands. It's wearing me out! I come home and collapse every afternoon & things are suffering, like cleaning, laundry & cooking. I managed to get a couple things done though.

Here are the last of the canned, diced tomatoes

And a couple jars of bell & banana peppers, not canned, these went straight into the fridge.

I played with some scraps ('scuse the crappy picture & my dirty ironing board cover).

J found a couple boxes of treasures for me when he was cleaning the garage (hundreds of needles in there, one pack dating from the 20s). Most are the kind I use for my treadle machines :)
And I pulled out a treasured scrap & threw these little squares together this evening, inspired by a pic found here. I think this may become a fall table runner.