Thursday, November 28, 2013

Scrap wreath

My machine is fixed and hums along as it should again. Yay!

So, onto the next project!  I took those leftover squares from the Christmas Twister I made, and cut up some more red and some more green from my yard sale box of Christmas fabric, and made a big stack of half square triangles. Then I was at a crossroads of what to do with them. I hadn't thought that far in advance.

Pinterest to the rescue! I found this image that I fell in love with, but no pattern, (edit: I have since found a pattern, here, for a much smaller version) so I dug up my graph paper and drew it out.

I had no measurements from the original, so I just used the hst's I'd made and cut squares the same size in various reds and greens from that yard sale box of fabric. A special trip was made to buy enough white and a few more bits of green from my local quilt shop.

It took about a week to assemble the top, and I tried to let it be random, as long as two of the same fabric were not next to each other.

Some of the fabrics I love, some are ok, and some are just downright ugly. They are not all quilt shop quality, and I'm not even sure they are all cotton, but when they are all put together, it makes for a stunning quilt top.

(Oops, it's upside down, but we'll pretend we don't notice.)  Finished size is about six feet on each side.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


These aren't cotton, and have nothing to do with quilting, but I've been waiting a couple of weeks for my sewing machine to be serviced, and this is how I've passed the time.

They were a special order request, and I will be popping them in the mail later today.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Christmas twister

I had found an advertisement for a box of assorted Christmas fabric scraps for ten dollars. Who could resist that kind of deal? I snatched it up in a hurry! Unfortunately, many of the fabrics are not my usual kind of quilting colors, so it has sat untouched for almost a year now... 

Today, the snow is falling and it's looking a little blustery outside, so the itch to make wintery things has hit me. I have a Twister ruler that I've never used, and thought these Christmas fabrics might be just the thing to give it a try. I needed 36 ten inch squares plus a border. There were 42 different fabrics in the box, in all different conditions; some seemed brand new and untouched, some were prewashed, some had pieces cut out of them, some were just leftover scraps from someone else's projects. I just pulled one fabric out at a time, and if it was big enough to cut a ten inch square, I cut it out. It was easy to come up with 36 different squares this way.

I laid them out on the floor and tried to go for a pleasing, but random arrangement. For a border, I opted to go with white.

This is how the pattern instructs me to begin. All the squares are sewn together, and a border is added all the way around.

Then I use this fancy ruler to cut up all the blocks I just put together.

Then I sew them back together in the new arrangement, and I have a completed quilt top like this one. It finishes about a third smaller than it started, and I have a 4" square of each color leftover from the cutting process. I can leave it as is, or I can add a border or two to make it bigger. 

Here's what I would do differently next time: 

  • watch the placement of similar colors next to each other (the two browns in the bottom row, for example)
  • if using white as a border, put darker blocks along the edges where the border joins to avoid lights next to white
  • solid colors and small prints look best (large prints are just too busy and the pinwheel effect gets lost)
I enjoyed the simplicity of this pattern. The instructions were easy to follow. The ruler has these little grippy feet that makes it a breeze to work with. The blocks were large. It was made in one day, in about 8 hours from start to finish (would be even faster if you used a layer cake precut). 

I think I would be inclined to do another one.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I took some time out from quilting this week to work on a Halloween costume for a friend's little girl. If you are familiar with Pixar's movie Monsters, Inc., you might remember the character named Boo.

I had no pattern to work with. I googled, and pinned, and googled some more. It was trial and error, hit and miss, but eventually, a final product appeared.

As soon as I have a pic of her wearing it, I will post it, but I'm sure she'll be adorable for her first trick or treat session. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Quilting by hand

Thanks to YouTube and Google, I am trying hand quilting. I don't know anybody who does it, so I have to use the resources I can find. I ordered supplies online and they arrived today; a hoop, some perle cotton, a couple different thimbles, the "right" needles. I was so excited, I began right away.

The stitches aren't even or straight, and my "seam allowances" vary, but I'm enjoying this. I like the peacefulness of it. And all of the websites assure me that perfection will come with practice, and just to give it a few hours. 

Earlier today, before my package arrived in the mail, I was working on some more Farmer's Wife blocks. 

My camera doesn't capture the colors or patterns of the fabric well, so take my word for it that these turned out lovely. This brings my total number of blocks to 16 out of 110. A little progress is better than no progress.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Working on the Farmer's Wife blocks

I decided to go back to a project I started earlier this year, and try to whittle down my scrap bin at the same time. When I started making the Farmer's Wife blocks, I decided that my only condition was that every block had to have pink in it somewhere.

These are the four I finished today. They are bright and lively, and done completely with what I had in my stash. I have a basket of pinks, specifically for this project, and another basket that has other bits of leftovers in it.

So far, I am just piecing the blocks together in the order they are in the book. According to others that have followed this fad, there are more patterns than are needed, so we can pick and choose the ones we like. I'll probably skip over ones with curves, but that's speculation at this point. 

I'm only twelve blocks in and each finishes at only six inches, so at this point I can't fathom having more than I'll need.

Friday, October 4, 2013

New facebook page and more bags

I've been trying to keep busy, and at the same time, use up some of my fabric stash. These are this week's completed projects:

It's been fun. Then my friend L said I should try to sell them... So I sat on that idea for awhile, and then said, OK, why not try?

So you can visit my new facebook page, or try my Etsy store (click the Etsy button on the right side of the page), or if you have the app, I may have something on Varage Sale.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunflower bag

This bag was super easy and quick, and finishes up a nice size to take to work with a lunch and a sweater in it. Do you go to the library? It could easily be a book bag. 

This one is lined, but I like that it uses interfacing instead of batting between the layers, so it's lightweight and can be folded up.

I adore the single handle, which fits comfortably over the shoulder, but is short enough not to drag on the ground if held at the side. For a child, it could be a crossbody bag.

And it has this cute little button detail on the bottom corners for some character. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A new bag

I didn't know what I was going to do with the blocks, but they managed to turn into a new tote bag, and it's lovely. 

I made a bunch of totes years ago when I first got into quilting. The pattern was from my first quilting book, The Quilting Bible, and it helped me to learn to piece blocks and quilt them on a smaller scale than doing a whole quilt.

Since those days, I have become much more adept at taking an idea and running with it, to make it more my own style, and I don't have to follow a pattern exactly. So, for this tote, I took aspects of the pattern that I liked (it is made in one long piece, folded in half, and sewn up the sides), and changed it slightly (to accommodate the blocks I had already made, different handles, and also made it deeper from front to back).

I still have one more block put together, and a few more 2 1/2" squares, but I'm not sure what they want to be yet.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I could do that

I saw a picture of a scrappy block on Pinterest, without a pattern, and thought, I could do that. It doesn't look so hard...  So I did.

(Does the fabric look familiar? I was going through the stacks of little containers on my sewing table, trying to make room, and came across a shoe box with a bunch of 2 1/2" squares of hydrangea fabric, leftover from my mom's quilt.)

I easily pieced it together by using 2 blocks: a 4 patch of the print, and a 4 1/2" square of the solid with 2 1/2" squares sewn diagonally on its corners. 

After I figured it out, I went in search of what it might be called, and found an even easier way to piece it, here, if you were going to make it as a whole quilt. It says to make a 16 patch block and an X block, and alternate them. I don't think I have enough squares for a whole quilt, but I could make a few more of these and put them together as pillows, or maybe a baby blanket or couch quilt.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Now that's a bag

I saw it on Pinterest, and it was so adorable. The pattern looked easy. Let's give it a whirl, I said to myself. I bought some new fabric, and some fusible fleece (never heard of that before) and got to work... 

It whipped up in no time. I had it finished in two evenings. Was it easy? Yes. Would I make it again? Probably not, at least not without modifications. I don't like the front pockets, although they were appealing in the photo. I don't like how the fusible fleece makes it so stiff it can stand up by itself. And it's too big for me. I like a smaller bag. But this one is going to a good friend with 3 little ones, and I'm sure there will be room for all the swimming gear in this tote!

Knitted socks

It's not a quilt, or even quilt related, but I made these:

One of them I made many years ago. The second one was started and then they were put away, to be forgotten over time. I'm glad I put them away with the pattern, so when I came across them, I could just pick up and finish them... Which is what I did. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I've never embroidered before, but have plenty of experience with hand sewing, and when I was young I did cross stitch and plastic canvas crafts. It can't be much different, can it?

Nope, not much different, thanks to Pinterest and the lovely world of the internet, which can teach anyone anything they would like to know.

So I think now this I Spy quilt top may finally be ready for putting together with a batting and backing.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How about a pillow?

It made a lovely pillow for my couch.

Type A personality strikes again. I decided I didn't like the order I put the strips in; the pretty leaf pattern got lost with the bright red right beside it. So, with the pieces that I had already cut out, I put together this pillow and it is now on my couch. A nice pop of brightness next to the olive green.

I also came across a chevron quilt on Pinterest (it uses strips and not half square triangles) that has sparked my fancy. I think these fabrics would work wonderfully. 

And this is the progress on my flower garden project, all hand sewn. I work on it while watching TV or when I'm in the car, if I thought to bring it with me.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Strips... and snips

The final piece of border is on the I Spy.

I am juggling with ideas of how to embellish it... Maybe embroidering more words ("with my little eye")? or maybe buttons? some bling perhaps (beads, sequins)? a combination of all? It will require more thought.

In the meantime, I was rummaging in my closet and came across this tote.

What a find! This is a stash that goes back at least 7 years. It's full of fabric that I bought for specific quilts. In each bag or box is a book or magazine paperclipped to a particular page, and sufficient fabric to make that quilt. All that is, except this one bag:

A ziplock bag full of 2 inch strips, but no pattern... And so many strips! I have no idea what my plan was for this, but it seemed like a challenge to figure it out, so, I got to work!

Maybe a trip around the world?

Maybe a basket weave style?


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Not done

My type A personality won... The I Spy quilt isn't done yet... If I have to debate whether or not it's finished, I should just realize that means there's more to do.

So I made more word blocks and lined the bottom of the quilt, so now the search words are along the left and on the bottom.

Then I added a solid purple to the top, and appliqued these letters. I've only done applique once before, and that was many years ago, but from this distance it looks just fine. Definitely something to practice for future projects.

One more side border to put on, then it will be ready to finish.... finally. I'm thinking I might tie this one...