February 23, 2011

See you in a bit...

So sick. All the best laid plans, ideas, goals... are being ignored for some good rest. I don't feel like doing anything. I am hoping the antibiotics help the bronchitis. All the kids have bad coughs in one form or another too. The good news is the Love quilt is was done last Friday except for the binding. It will have just have to be patient.

I will catch up with you all soon.

February 16, 2011

Single Girl Fabric Choice

This pile of fabric, collected over two years, is good and bad.

Single Girl Fabric

Good, because I love just patting it and looking at it this way. Bad, because I have to cut into it this week and I am overcome with the usual anxiety of cutting into a super pretty stack. You need to have 'that' perfect quilt.  Do you know what I mean? I guess I can't get any perfect than the Single Girl. Err...

I think I need to hire some cheerleaders...

February 14, 2011

The Love Quilt

This quilt top was finished this weekend.

I have had this fabric since last year and needed to make something cute out of it. It'sL'amour by Sandy Gervais. It's the "everyone else made something inspiring with and I had to have it because it was steal on sale, but a year later I was wondering what I bought it for" fabric.

It was made of fabric cuts, selvage to selvage, from 1.5 inches to 3 inches, in half inch increments. It measures 68 inches by 41 inches, perfect for snuggling under the couch with a sweetheart. It was cut and sewn in one day and is perfect for a beginner. I added the love applique, raw edged, since I couldn't stop humming the Beatles song All You Need Is Love.  I am torn as to which quilting method to use, but I am going to decide tonight and try to finish it by Friday. Nana comes! And Great Nana!!! We love you and can't wait!

Happy Valentine's Day all!!

p.s. My Cathedral Window quilt block won over at QuiltStory! :))  Look over there for some serious block inspiration.

I am adding this to Sew Mondern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations and at Fabric Tuesday at QuiltStory.

February 13, 2011


These were the best cookies in the world...

Zoe kept asking for coo-coo's. We now know where the family saying, "Coo-coo all gone", comes from.

 (Note: I added 1 cup chopped walnuts.)

I blame Dana and Jessica with their recent chocolate chip cookie posts! Jessica's recipe suggestion, check out her post, is going into the 5 star recipe vault!!

February 11, 2011

Noontime Naps With My Noodle

Wow! This week went fast. This is the rocking chair where I have spent my noontimes. My hexagon box has come in handy while waiting for Zoe to slowly fall asleep. She fights sleep so badly between each eye rubbing with her tiny fist.

It goes to show you that you need nothing fancy to do some hand sewing. A pincushion, needles, thread and a good pair of scissors. I think I am up to twenty flowers. My Cathedral Window block is curled up underneath all of those hexagons. It's a good mess.

This shoebox is my favorite sewing container and those shoes from LL Bean were totally worth it! 

February 7, 2011

A Block Party!

QuiltStory is hosting a Block Party. I have decided to enter these two blocks.

Fresh Poppy Design

The first is my postage stamp block.

Postage Stamp block

It measures 20 by 20 inches and is made of 400 random one inch pieces. I plan to make more of these in a block of the month format to have a finished quilt at the end of the year. It has some has favorites from 2010: Kona, Michael Miller and, my favorite, Holiday Happy from Happy Zombie.

Postage Stamp Block closeup

The next block is from my Cathedral Window quilt. The units are sewn by machine and each window is hand appliqued. My goal this year is one-window-a-day and so far I have kept up and have 38 windows completed. Whoohoo! I am usually a terrible procrastinator.

Cathedral Windows

Both will be entered in the traditional category.

Have you entered a block? Make sure to visit all the wonderful blocks entered here.

February 6, 2011

Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial Part 2

Now that you have your units... How do you piece a Cathedral Window Quilt???

Take six and line up the edges that are the same length. There may be some that are too long so decide which units match best with each other.

Why six? It fits in my hand comfortably and if you like more- go for it.

By folding and ironing them, there is a crease to sew on.  Lay wrong sides together to sew.

Lightly mark creases with a marking pencil. Match each fold and pin the end if needed. (I don't use pins or marks. I use my seam ripper as a stiletto to feed the fabric into the machine.)

Backstitch at each end for about 5 stitches, taking care to go over the same stitches. Trim the thread. There is no need for any knots.

Some corners will not match and so you will have to pin them. Ease the longer to match the shorter edge.

You might have a corner like this:

As long as there is no hole, the corner is fine and will roll. Ideally, the corner should lay flat and match.

Here is a prepped "block" without any "window" or insert fabric added. Press with steam. This will be the last time an iron will touch the fabric. Whoohoo!!

Temporarily sew the corners of all flaps together. Do this with some extra "ugly" bobbin thread. This will be temporary and will be removed, once the windows are filled in this block, and replaced with matching thread.

Now that the units are secured, lay your fabric in each square pictured here.

Sew the fabric squares down. Baste through the fabric at least four times. This works better for me than one pin. I also don't need to lose pins on the floor with kids or a pet to find them.

To sew the window, pop the knot through the underside of the fabric that will be rolled.

With the Kona Snow, I am using Auriful 50/2 in the color 2000. It matches very well and is very thin. This hides applique stitches. (The red is so you can see it here in the pictures.) The window does not need pins.

Use the left thumb and index finger to hold and constantly adjust the fabric to get a nice curve. ( Lefty will hold with right hand and applique with left hand.) The genius of the window is all the edges are bias edges and will fold and give nicely.

From here, applique to the corner. If you have hand stitched binding before, it is the same idea. See this post for hand applique tips.

red is for demonstration purposes only :)

The corner is difficult since the fabric can shred or slip. (Edited: I have had no problems at all with Robert Kaufman Kona cotton in Snow. Use this over muslin with confidence!) Make the size of the insert fabric bigger if you have this problem. I add an eighth inch more.

Remember this?

Starting Fabric Square ---- Resulting Unit Made ---- Fabric insert needed

10.5-----5-----3 1/8





Pick the size of insert fabric that works for you. Here's a formula: Divide the length of the unit by the square root of 2 and then subtract a half inch to get an idea of what size fabric insert to start with. (Mine: 5/sqrt(2) - .5 = 3.03 or 3 1/8 in)

At the corner, stitch through the two white folded edges three or four times depending on the thickness of the thread.

It will show and that's OK. Continue around the window and repeat for the other corners. (Counterclockwise for righties, clockwise for lefties? Pick a way that works.)

When two blocks are completed, remove the temporary basting thread. Open the unit flaps that do not have fabric added to them.

Sew blocks together, using the same sewing method at the top of this page.

To permanently hold down the window corners sew a cross stitch though the corners to the backing. I go through the first layer, but not to the back of the quilt. I am at a loss at what is traditionally done so let me know it there is a better way.

When I get to the edges, I will show you a great way to finish your quilting with some hand quilting.

Anybody up for making cathedral windows? Part 1 can be found here.

February 4, 2011

January and February Quilty Goals

I always wanted to show my sewing room all tidy and neat, but it 'seams' not to be. It always ends up being a mess 5 minutes after 'that' idea. So what have I been up to?

Sewing Room Mess:

Dining Room Mess:

First, I have had some success in helping Zoe stay in her room during naptime. Of course that doesn't mean sleeping in bed. I hear "Wee wee wee..." and then I find her asleep in her glider. Some days she tries on all her shoes before she is overcome by sleep. That's my girl!

So Happy Sewing This January:

Postage Stamp Quilt: The directions are strip piece the 1 1/2 inch strips to the Kona White and cut into confetti. Iron and piece randomly as desired. Easy right?

Actually, once the cutting and ironing is done the block finishes in about a couple of hours and I don't have too much trouble getting the corners to line up. The Kona does not stretch. It's all the prep work that's tedious. How big? Dunno. I'm not sure how much fabric I have. I am thinking 16 blocks to make it 80 by 80. I might throw in a block of some 2 inch squares to show off some of the fabrics better.

Amercian Jane Hexagon Quilt: I have about 90-100 hexagon flowers to piece so I finished 11 this month.

The Good Folks Hexagon Quilt: It is being prepped. That means a lot of cutting out hexagons and using a template. The top will come together in matter of weeks once that is done.

Single Girl Quilt: I have been staring at the Katie Jump Rope fabric and wondering how to start this. I have cut out all the templates. Whoohoo! Not as hard as one would think. I did them during Play-Doh time in the mornings this week.

Cathedral Window Quilt: I have been keeping up it have 35 windows done. It takes a half an hour to finish a window now.

For February, I am going to try to
1. cut out and sew a test block of the Single Girl in Garden Party,
2. keep up with One-Window-A-Day Cathedral Window Quilt,
3. make a postage stamp block,
4. cut out all the Good Folks hexagons to machine sew,
5. try to finish ten more of the hexagon flowers, and
6. finish a pillow with the crazy nines.

I am going to stick to a block a month schedule.  Oh and blow all February and March's fabric budget on Kona. It's 7.00 at evil franchise store! Anybody know a great place to buy it online? I'm not going to buy anything until the SG rings are finished.

I did have luck finding the rest of Katie Jump Rope Fabric for the SG.  Over the summer I saw these on sale and ignored these great boyish fabrics.

I bought the top four at Sew Fabulous Fabric last week. (The other two are from stash.) Stephanie is great and the prices are reasonable. It was nice to find what I was missing all in the same spot.  I may use up the scraps and add some solids for a boyish looking quilt. What do you think? Do yah got goals for February?

February 2, 2011

I'm on a little break

Just look at the company. Can you blame me?

Garden Party- AMH

I'll be back by Friday. Pinkie swear. 'K?