June 30, 2010

Scrap Happy Summer Challenge

I am making a few things out of scraps for em's scrap challenge. I started with some really small scraps. It also feels good to take a bit out of fabrics that you are waiting to find the perfect project for.

The hexagons are from one and a half inch squares of fabric. I had to break into those Katie Jump Rope fabrics somehow. I won some of these scraps at Meg's blog, the Mad Quilting Librarian, a few weeks back. I figure out how to baste them properly from Melanie at Texas Freckles.When basting, you don't go through the paper template. Whoops!

half inch hexagons

The rest of my lovelies are finished at 3" or 4". I varied the sizes based on the initial scrap. I "framed" them with neutral linen.

more possible pin cushions

One of them became a pincushion last night.

strawberry polka dot pin cushion

I have a red and aqua scrap project I'll share with you next week. Maybe these will morph into something fun other than a bunch of pincushions. My book giveaway is still going on here.

Go visit em's scrapbag and see what the other happy scrapper's are doing.

Scrap Happy

June 29, 2010

Week 9ish: Dresden Plate Party

I think I am on week ten, but who's counting now. You must be bored of this, but I learned a few things this last week.

I stayed up until 10:30 last night and pieced all the strips in an hour. I thought it would take so much longer, but minus the child interruption factor it was quick! I think I will stay up more to quilt.

I can take decent pictures at night, because there is a menu item called color preview. All of these were taken late last night.

You need a numbering system to work on this many strips (check the pins).

Lots of pictures always help to keep things in order. I wanted the red and aqua not to be concentrated in on area of the quilt and some motifs had an up and a down.

I shocked myself when I saw how many polka dots I have added to this quilt!

I realized that a scant 1/4 inch is very important. If you are off  by 1/32" 18 times that is a half an inch! I averaged a 1/4" or more loss every 9 blocks. I will have pick some two or three squares and make a very scant 1/4" with them to compensate for this loss. I don't think anyone will notice. I did half my strips until I noticed this. Opps...

I still don't know what to do for a border. Dark represents red and aqua and light blue white. I thought a couple of dollar fat quarters were easier to sacrifice that the real goods.

Choice A: I used my Dresden template for these trapezoids. They can be longer like this quilt.

Choice B: Using the largest measures, I took my Dresden plate ruler and made stubby plates. I wanted it too look like this border here.

Choice C: This is the traditonal ice cream cone border using a EZ template for 45 degree petals. I am not sure it complements the points of my Dresdens. I am kinda heart broken. There is not one tutorial on this on the internet. Yes, there are some generic templates, but that's about it.

Choice D: Isosceles triangles.

I think I like choice A from my Dresden plate ruler. I'll have to play with it until I find the sweet spot that will give me a good look for my pieced border. I can see how no one uses pieced borders anymore. The math is off the hook!

Now I will ask the audience. If you read all of this could you take the survey? What do you think?

June 28, 2010

Summer Reading Giveaway

Do you have a fabric stash or books that you really liked at the time you bought them, but now ask yourself what was I thinking? I really think we buy things and skill sets increase or tastes change. What was a good fit years ago, doesn't match who we are anymore.

I would love to give these books, soft cover pamphlets actually, to someone who would love them and use them! They are gathering dust in my sewing room and that is just wrong! I would be happy to give it to someone who is just quilting or someone that is helping someone quilt for the first time.

The first book is the Turning Twenty series. There is little waste in the 20 fat quarters that are used for the quilt. They are super simple and I can believe how someone could finish a large quilt in just a few hours. Sure, IF you are not interrupted by random child wants and pressing issues like, "Moooommm, he took the pink crayon and that is NOT a boy color!" "Moooomm, she's put my toy in the toilet water!" Or dropping everything and finding out what this Dr. Seuss conversation means. " Stop! Stop! Stop!" " No, no I will not stop!"

The next book is 48 traditional quilt blocks that are made with templates for potholders. I think you can easily convert them to rotary cutting directions. My favorite name for one of the blocks is Contrary Wife. *giggle*

The last book is an applique book with some step by step directions on multiple ways to applique. I like the pattern, but I'll never get around to it.

So here's the deal. One winner takes all and leaves one comment. That's that. Maybe leave me an interesting comment about what you are working on this summer or help me decide what to do with a Christmas jelly roll? Ohh, the undecisiveness...

You can follow me or blog about it if you want to, but only if you want to make me smile. No extra entries, OK? I'll announce the winner on Monday next week. The next few weeks I will be giving away fabric, new from this season, and some handmade goodies. They will be yummy!

(Leave your email address if you use another format of blogging. I would be so sad to have you come up as the winner and not be able to contact you. Same with you "no-reply bloggers";)

June 26, 2010

Cirque des Saturday

I made a mess...

Making a mess

And some progress was made...

Beginning of June:
May progress- Cirque des Cercles 5/31

June progress- Cirque des Cercles 6/26

See you on Monday...

June 25, 2010

I'm back!

What a week! I need to definitely say thanks to PC Touch who did a fabulous job on my computer. Apparently, one too many drops from the living room coffee table is not good! They replaced the entire hard drive and it looks like they saved everything. And... it didn't cost a fortune! *happy dance* (I am not sure what that looks like, but I'm thinking Snoopy.)

I realized I spend way too much time on the computer and need to schedule my time more efficiently. I know you know what I mean. I waste a lot of time that needs to be spent otherwise. I really enjoyed this break, because writing is not my strength and it takes real effort to write my posts. I can spot any literary device a mile a way, but can't seem to see my own fragments and run-ons. Damn it Jim, I'm an math geek, not a writer...

I will have a little celebration on Monday and I am going to pay it forward to all of you who still come and visit, even while I am not even writing posts. This will be good trust me! I won some giveaways and I will share them with you. You'll see what I mean.

This is what I am sharing for Sew and Tell this week. My Cathedral window mini quilt has been a UFO for years. I originally intended it to be crib size, but life got in the way. I actually remember planning the random square placement in the last few weeks of school. It is pre-children! You do the math. It has been weighing on me every time I opened that Rubbermaid container. I got brave, last week at 9 pm at night, and I started to rip out a long hand stitched seam to rotate each piece make it almost square.

Adding the last few pieces...

I added a row to the top and bottom and here you go.

Finished Cathedral Mini

All of it was hand stitched and appliqued except for the original white units. My original pieces of fabric  measured 7 1/2" square. Each window pane was made from a 2" square. The finished result is about 20" by 20".

Close up of Cathedral Mini

What I realized though out this is, "Just do it!"  It doesn't have to be perfect and the quilt police won't come after you. You'll feel better that it is done and less worried about the small stuff. I remember being very particular and so critical. This time, I just stitched. It was fun and I enjoyed it a lot more. I also learned your hand stitching and applique do get better and faster over time.  And... the chocolate spot on the back adds character.

If you see an expensive cathedral window quilt, don't quibble about the price.  Pay it. Whoever made it spent years and years making it. What a newbie I was. I thought it would be easy since it didn't have batting or hand quilting in it! Laugh, if you must. I am not sure how long a full sized quilt would take. Oh my!

I also learned I want to make another one day. Uh-oh... Kona snow and patriotic colors. Someone stop me please! :)

Can you see why it is called a cathedral window quilt?

Is this why they call it a Cathedral Window Quilt?

Light through Cathedral Window Mini Quilt

I love how you can see the opened seams.

Since I've been a bad bloggy friend I am off to visit you today. I'll try to answer all those old emails during naptime today!

The rest of you make sure to visit  Sew and Tell. There are more talented and crafty people than me out there.

June 15, 2010

Black Screen of Doom

Crash and dump, coupled with the black screen of doom, are words you do not want to see on your computer screen. I really am laughing because I just made a laptop cover to protect it from little fingers. It doesn't work for viruses. I backed up all my pictures on the network backup drive so I won't lose much if it needs to be wiped.

I will be back shortly. Until then....

Week 8: Dresden Plate Party

No Dresdens this week. I've been jamming. I've been working on other UFOs and 16 pints of yummy apricot love. You need four pounds of apricots and a lemon to make 4 pints.   I was all motivated to take pictures and blog about the recipe. I'm not. I realized this recipe is from a stitcher from Australia called Lenna. It's called Little Green Cottage Designs. She has a wonderful tutorial on how to make this jam, great pics, and some sweet embroidery projects on her blog.

I have 4 lbs left and I am out of jars. Any yummy apricot recipes out there?

What have you done this week on your Dresden plates? I have a pile of squares and some blocks I will get squared up soon. They are staring me in the face and scaring me. One wrong cut with the rotary cutter and...

I am not using the linky anymore. Just comment. I love hearing what are you up to.

ps. I was thinking of using some happy Moda charm squares to cover the lids. I think I will buy some happy red gingham today.

June 14, 2010

Better late then never...

Just a UFO that will be a mini wall quilt soon.

June 12, 2010

CdC and Friday Night Sew-In

Friday Night Sew-In results:

Two Potholders that need Insul-Bright. (Let me know where you get yours.)


All 64 8 inch pinwheels done! (I worked on the last ten or so last night.)

Pinwheels Finished!

I even cleaned my sewing area and I can see the table is made of wood not fabric scraps!

I worked on the Cirque des Cercles this week.

Beginning of the month:

May progress- Cirque des Cercles 5/31


June progress- Cirque des Cercles 6/12

My beautiful haul from the farm:

20 lbs! It was a lot more fun at 78F instead of 100F. It's only noontime. I need a nap. Maybe the kids will take one so I can get one. Have a great weekend!

June 11, 2010

Sew and Tell- Laptop Cover

My little babe seems to think a computer mouse are pacifiers as well as anything in my computer's data ports. I'm on my second mouse. The last straw was last week when, in a 20-30 second interval, she grabbed the embroidery scissors and scratched the closed laptop. This is not her usual behavior, but it made a nice 'fingernails scratching the blackboard' sound. I wasn't too mad since I was the one who left it out, right?


Using My Folklore by Lecien, I made a laptop cover. The outside is durable Osnaburg.


Huh? Osnaburg replicates linen without the price tag and gives the look of being made with flax like linen. I like the look of it. I added some aqua and red accents. Rick rack for a button loop and a polka dot mushroom.

Mushroom Applique

I used Lite Steam-A-Seam for the raw edged applique and then added a button hole embroidery stitch to border the baby mushroom.

If you get bored of one side it is reversible and doesn't need binding of any type! Bonus. And it is about an inch or two wider than the laptop so I could slip my mouse and charger inside.


Here is the phone cover I made to test my thoughts.


I won't be able to hear my phone ring, but when the kids play with the phone, this one may have a chance when they drop it on the floor. Any ideas on where to get the perfect mushroom button for it?

There is no tutorial that I used, I just played around with the idea until it worked. It felt like a topology project! I am making a rotary cutter cover next, with a loop, to hide it up high on the wall out of reach for good! Zoe moved the kitchen stool to reach my dinner plate last night. She now says, "so sad, so sad", when she can't get what she wants. Chairs and drawers in my sewing room will be her next adventure.

Remember to go visit Sew and Tell. There are more talented and crafty people than me out there.

p.s. I read this again and though you might be worried. I currently keep the rotary cover in a plastic Walmart tea container in a shoe box in the drawer of my sewing cabinet. I just want it to to be Mommy accessible too!

June 10, 2010

Free Motion Dropout

I still cannot wrap my brain around free motion quilting. It's like asking my five year old to tap her head and rub her tummy at the same time. Both result in giggles and failures! My stippling remind me of little Lochness monsters and the stitch length is terrible. Yes, I know practice helps, but ...I do! I practice on lots of sandwiches, that's  fabric pieces with batting between them for relatives unaware of quilting terms. The practice seems a waste of good thread and time because I like perfection too much. I don't want to wreak my quilt. With hand quilting, I can pull out the last terrible stitch without too much guilt.

I prefer straight line stitching with the walking foot. Every stitch is the same and without worry. I saw wavy line quilting last week and thought, "Hmm..." Could I do that with the walking foot? Apparently you can, at maximum sewing machine speed while twisting the fabric at 45 degrees to the right and the left. I realized I looked like Dwight Schrute on his fitness orb... in front of the sewing machine. So wrong...

Quilted Lecien  My Folklore with Walking Foot

I like this organic look if that the word? I am wondering how it would look on a regular sized quilt.

I'll show you what I did with this tomorrow because... the dog ate my homework. No. My camera battery just died and I haven't taken a picture of the finished product. Until tomorrow...

June 8, 2010

Week 7: Dresden Plate Party

It was 110 yesterday and that is just hot! I'm sweating in the dining room and laundry room since there is only one air vent in each of them. That does makes sense in the overall design of the house, but not when the rooms are my designated sewing areas! Oh well... My plants have been reacting well in the back yard and I am waiting to go to the local farm this weekend to buy pounds and pounds of apricots to make jam. Can't wait. *drool*

I finished my blue Dresden plate.


I'm going to take a break from applique and work on the layout for the red and aqua. Welcome to the design wall of my bed.



I think the the second one looks less busy. I leaning towards picking that one. What do you think?

On another note, I have been pretty discouraged by looking at many instant quilts. I think some people must have a maid and some ghost staff making some of these quilts. Do you feel this way? Don't get me wrong, I love what I see, but I am keeping it real here! Kids at home keep me super busy. I wrote this during Sesame Street! I like biking or jumping in the sprinkler better than a finished project. I think my tops will be pieced by the end of the summer, but hand quilted this winter. Do you sometimes not blog just because your quilt/project is unfinished?

I took the process pledge, because I like the process as much as the final result.

I have been working on some small projects and will share them later this week. I finally designed something original! It's Lecien AND red and aqua! Woohoo!

Linkup here or join the group on flickr. Incomplete quilts welcome!

June 5, 2010

Cirque des Saturday

I been working on UFOs this week. I haven't been blogging about stitching so I thought I might do my Cirque Des Cercles on a weekly basis to get it done.


May progress- Cirque des Cercles 5/31


June progress- Cirque des Cercles 6/5

We went to the local farm and checked out what was available. There is a ton of crops almost ready. We found some peas, potatoes, apricots and zucchini. Our own potatoes are flowering in the potato box and the second box is ready to be hilled. In other words, nail new 2 by 4 boards and add dirt until you think you killed the plant. (I have no idea what I am doing, and it will be a miracle if it works.) They should be ready soon. My tomatoes are a foot high and they are flowering in some beds too.

La Ratte Fingerling Potato Blossoms

We also decided, in addition to the dirt we bought at the nursery, we should buy a sprinkler. It's 102F today and that's a bit hot especially when you are wandering around a farm. I enjoyed myself a bit in the water too.

Sprinkler Fun

Next time we will try bathing suits. 

Our Old/New Kitchen Chair

And that last pic was just for fun.

June 2, 2010

Whatever you do, don't enter this giveaway!

Flea Market Fancy, Fabricworm, Pink Chalk Fabrics, Fresh Squeezed Fabrics, Fabric Shoppe, Hawthorne Threads are just some of the sponsors. Ok, well FMF isn't a sponsor, but I bet it got your attention. Oh my gosh! Talk about beautiful fabrics. A girl can wish, can't she?

Film in the Fridge is celebrating two years of blogging with 21 beautiful items and it is an incredible two years.  I've always looked at her blog for inspiration and eye candy.

So please, don't enter this giveaway!

June 1, 2010

Week 6: Dresden Plate Party

I have finished 4 aqua and red blocks and two 30s vintage look blocks.The pink one has been finished for a while now.


I am working on the blue one this week.


If you look carefully, the Aurifil Mako 50 thread hide the applique stitches in these wedges very well! I adore that thread!

I am also thinking of dropping the yo-yo's and bordering each of the red and aqua blocks with 2 inch squares. I also want to add a traditional border. I would have to figure out how do bias binding on the curves. New skills are good to learn.

I also want to share an image from Anna Maria Horner's blog. Aren't these chairs gorgeous? I love the use of Dresden plates and vintage blocks all mixed together. You can read her post here.

I am seriously kicking myself about the five dollar chair I overlooked at a yard sale a month ago.

I couldn't help it and bought some of the Good Folks line. I think I enjoy her fabric so much since it is such a celebration of color!

On another note, we spent the 3 day weekend relaxing. We ate BBQ, corn on the cob and apple pie. We watched a baseball game on Saturday.  How many gummy worms can two children eat!? Sometimes events are all about the food for them. We also met Cosmo! He's suppose to be an alien for the Vegas 51s.

I hope you had a good week! What have you accomplished on your Dresden Plates? Leave a comment or link up. You can also drop some pictures in the flickr pool here.