April 29, 2011

Sew and Tell: Single Girl Mini Quilt

Hmm... what have I been working on this month. The answer is lots, but hardly a true finish in sight. :)  I really wanted to get going on some hand quilting so I started on the lonely Single Girl block I had in Katie Jump Rope fabrics.


It will reside in my sewing room until I finish quilting the queen sized one this fall. It makes me happy to have this little finish when I have a huge one to quilt. It took 2 days or 4/5 hours to quilt and I will admit I put on the binding at 11:30 last night. It seems wonkier than it is, because I took the picture below the quilt on the wall, not straight on!

For the larger quilt, I did eight blocks of the quilt and then repeated the process of templates, rings and quadrants making with the last nine. It was a big mistake since I knew how tedious the cutting could be. I looked at the fabric that needed to be randomly sorted in a a ring again and stopped in frustration.

I don't do random easily.

I told Anna, my 6 year old, to go 'quilt' for me and lay out the fabric the way she wanted it. I gave her the requirement that same fabric patterns and the same colors couldn't touch. This ring mini quilt and the additional 8 blocks in the quilt are in the fabric order that she chose. Oh my! I love my little girl.

I had to push through the project at the end since I was getting absolutely tired of the whole thing. I finally finished the Single Girl queen top here, with a poem of sorts for a smile or two.

I basted the mini quilt this Wednesday morning. I used DMC perle cotton 8 in ecru and an embroidery needle. This thread conditioner called Thread Heaven from 123stitch.com came earlier in the week. It stops the thread from shredding and the results were amazing!!! You lightly brush the thread between your finger and the conditioner, it looks like chap-stick (so much so I had to tell the kids not to use it like that), and brush off the excess.  I used it for the thread in the binding and it was a much faster process with less tangles and less wasted thread. I hope it doesn't create a problem in the long run, but the packaging said it was acid free and I did wash the quilt.


Two pieces of batting were whip-stitched together for this mini quilt. I thought it would leave a bump in the middle so I hide the stitching under the center seam of the block. Now you can't tell this was made from two separate pieces of batting. Yay!
Do you love the texture of making something stitched by hand? I wish all my quilts could be hand quilted this way. My stitches are way smaller that the stitches are on the front, but they are getting more uniform in size.  The quilt lines are 1 and 1/4 inches apart.


I also worked on another block for my postage stamp quilt this week. Each square measures 1 inch. My finished blocks are measuring 21 by 20 inches exactly, instead of 20.5 inches square, but I don't care. As long as this is consistent, all the blocks will fit together. I have bagged all the square units, cut from strips, and all I have to do is take one ziploc bag out and play with what's in there. I don't think the quilt would be consistent in color and fabric variation, if I didn't do that.


Fourteen blocks more to go...

Sharing the sewing week with friends here , here and here...

April 21, 2011

Mystery Plants

I use compost in my garden and keep it in my garage in the winter. It's in a plastic trash can of all things. This method really does work! Don't tell my HOA. My strawberries are twice as tall as they were last year and the berries look larger and healthier. I have also heard that you let compost rest for a couple of weeks before you plant. I think I know why. These healthy plant germinated and I had no idea what they were.

I racked my brain... green beans...peppers... cantelopes...zuchinni...??? A seed popped up with the leaves today and now I know what all of these are: Walmart watermelon! I am kicking myself for not buying those organic ones at Whole Foods.


More Walmart watermelon!

So much for putting that in the compost... So I might leave them, in this raised box, since I read they do not cross pollinate with my Wisconsin melon. Maybe I'll be wrong, but it will be a wonderful experiment for the summer. I suppose they need to be thinned now.

I am playing with fabric too. Old methods... new fabric...

Just thought you might actually want to see something made with this fabric instead of those glorious stacks popping up all over the place. ;)

April 18, 2011

Flea Market Fancy Collection Reprint

I hope you can forgive a second post in one day. This is what I found on my Facebook today.

Finally Flea Market Fancy that the rest of us can afford. I believe I may be on a fabric diet until then. Are you as excited as I am??

Thank you Denyse Schmidt!!!

Single Girl Verse

Finished Single Girl Top

A girl complains she has no quilt for her bed.
She sees one at Pottery Barn instead.
The price is too high and too dear.
Her fairy Godmother does not appear.
She buys up a stash of Katie Jump Rope.
For two years she feels like a complete dope.
A pattern is bought and put on a shelf to be made.
More fabric is needed, "how 'bout a trade."
She procrastinates on how it is to be done,
The directions seem too scary and not too much fun.
Three other girls sing their siren song,
"Why don't you join this Single Girl Quilt Along?"
She buys up Kona by the yard.
It really can't be that hard.
Templates and pieces of fabric are cut out.
Threads are flying everywhere, the husband pouts.
A test pillow soon turns into a quilt.
With some Garden Party, there can't be much guilt.
Now on to some Katie Jump Rope in plaid,
She tries not to cry and not become sad.
What if she cuts those daisies and dots all wrong?
She throws herself into the project headlong.
Rings to quadrants and quadrants to blocks,
She's up to midnight in her pajamas and socks.
Laundry, dishes and beds need to be made so,
Is this quilt going to be another UFO?!
The kids are fed pizza by husband with flair,
As she disappears into her sewing room lair.
Finally, the stripes, daisies and ribbon flowers,
Are sewn furiously into the wee hours.

Flickr support groups and blogging friends,
Certainly helped her reach this so happy end-
A Single Girl quilt is lying blissfully on her bed.
Isn't that quite enough to be said??

(I will be sharing this with some friends this friday at Sarah's blog. Take a peek! )

April 14, 2011

In Color Order

Why did I take a picture of it? 'Cause.

American Jane Hexagon Flowers
American Jane hexagons (60)

I just love color order. Don't you?

These are a nice in front of the TV project. Lately I have bored with TV shows.... Any movies or shows on online/Netflix good to rent?

And on my last post about Denyse's fabrics, they will be online mid-May... :)

April 13, 2011

So, if it were you...

vintage charm or the greens and blues...?

Denyse Schmdt- new line at Jo-anns

Or is it a question of how much do they have?

April 12, 2011

Single Girling Along

The Singles Girl quilt top is almost completed. Here is a sneak peak. I am shocked at the size of it, having to hand quilt it up, but I think it may be my most favorite quilt by far!

Andrew said, "Wow!! How you make this?" My response was and is usually "Carefully" or "Lots of pins." I have got to get better answers... 

It has to come up off the living room floor soon. Zoe started to do her dancing thing on it with her two year old bare feeties. I had to tell her no, :(, and her reaction was, "But it fun!!" OK, you have my heart there...

The first thing we will do, when it is finished my sweet Zoe, is dance on it.

April 11, 2011

Sharpie attack!

I thought I might share this trick with those of you who have kids and have lost hope in having nice furniture. We do love the vintage charm right? I have a nice Ethan Allen hutch in the dining room and I found my oldest name and date on it in Sharpie. The date, really? Can you see where I removed it below?

Here is a letter removed...

with a simple eraser from a pencil!!

She will remove the rest when she comes home from school.

How is your Monday going?

April 8, 2011

If you have been wondering...

this is where I have been for the past few days...

Have you ever been this desperate to finish piecing something with matching thread?

I messed with the tension and it actually worked. Shussh... please don't tell my Bernina dealer...

BTW... 206 followers... you like me, you really like me... :) Thank you for reading my blog! It really does make me so happy! xoxo Have a happy weekend!

April 4, 2011

Art Gallery Fabrics Giveaway Winner

The winner of this beautiful pile of fabric, randomly picked,  is

Alhambra and Girly Girl Art- Gallery Fabrics

Diane H said... From the Moda Bakeshop I really like these
Thanks for a chance.

Congratulations Diane! Don't forget, if these catch your fancy, TheFabStore is having a sale. Just mention SOHAPPY10 in your custom order to recieve a 10% discount on anything in her store until April 11!

You all convinced me to try out my luck with zippers and I even made 12 blocks, lickety split, in two naptimes.


The pattern is super easy and beginning quilter friendly! There are so many reasons why I like Kelly's pattern at Blue Bird Sews. I used these 4 fat quarters and two coordinating Kona solids, aqua and peony! I am going to set them on point randomly. You'll see soon!

April 1, 2011

Happy Dresden Flowers

I made these Dresdens last year in the spring time in my quilt along. The kids call this the flower quilt: Happy Dresden Flowers. I was too lazy to take pictures of it earlier in winter light. I've been a terribly lazy photographer and actually have two finished quilts that met the same fate. Once a finished quilt ends up on a bed it doesn't get its picture taken. It might take another year to get this finished so I'd better share the work in progress.

30s Irish Chain Dresden Plate Quilt 

I chose the Irish chain because there was space and I was on a nine-patch kick for a while last year. It just seemed more fun than sashing. I already have the hand quilting pictured in my head for those spaces.

30s Irish Chain Dresden Plate Quilt 

I figured out how to paper piece the traditional ice cream border using Golden Threads tracing paper. Yeah... I have to get to that part. There doesn't seem to be a tutorial on this at all and most Dresden quilts today use a solid border! I spent hours looking in frustration, but I didn't find anything that looked right. Michelle had a beautiful picture of her grandmother's quilt that she sent me a pattern tracing of, but I realized that I had to increase or decrease the size to make it work along two 18 inch blocks. So...

On the copier, I messed with this pattern, called the Friendship Ring or Aster Quilt in this book,  until I had the right widths to fit my quilt. Yeah, fancy borders have lots of math.

I am not sure you have heard of Ruby McKim and her patterns, but she was one of the top quilters of the 30s. Her work was published in One Hundred and One Patchwork Patterns in 1931. Many of her patterns were released in magazines and newspapers and she sold quilt kits and precut kits associated with her book. I bet you she would have been a popular blogger today. The book is free online now at her family's website and worth a look through! Some of her embroidery patterns like Roly Poly Circus are still being sold. I adore Monica's. When I saw the hand writing on most of the patterns I let out an squeak since I had it in my sewing room the whole time! (The garish 1962 version instead of the soft lavender 1931 version.)

Here is one of my favorite parts.

A PICTURESQUE quilt named for exquisite old-world china comes to us as the Dresden Plate. It must be of dainty colors, irregularly placed so the whole will blend as a flower garden.

Our pattern, No. 419 at 10c, gives cutting units for blocks and border, even for the border corner, with instructions. Or this pattern sheet is included in order 419A at 20c which also has twenty different ready-cut prints for one block. These are finest 80-square prints, specially selected patterns in lovely light colors, and enough for 20 blocks ready-cut is order No. 419X at $.2.00; or No. 419M at $4.00 includes the 20 background squares and ready-cut border for foot and sides. It is left straight across the top.

So, if you were wondering if I got to play with my fabric yesterday, I did at 11:00 at night and should have my units completed for a Supernova block today. Yay! My giveaway comments will also close today. If you haven't entered today is your last chance!

I am adding this to Whoop Whoop Friday and see you Monday!