Friday, March 25, 2011

a low calorie addiction

I've been avoiding these. Mainly because I knew if I started I might not be able to stop. I searched around and found some great directions and printed up some hexi paper and then I was hooked. As a disclaimer, I do not like cutting out all those paper hexagons. But once that is done, OHHHHH!  I have found a new thing to do in the car while waiting for school pick up, tennis lessons, violin lessons etc., etc. I might actually be able to turn those endless hours into something beautiful. Perhaps I secretly wish I had know about these sooner- perhaps not. To top it off, concurrent with the hexi's,  I stumbled upon an addition that's taking over the on line sewing/crafting/quilting world- I mentioned this is a previous blog...... mug rugs. I've made one, have one minus the binding done and 2 tops without their batting, backing and binding. I'll show you what I've done so far and you can decide....... if you get the mug rug madness click on the mug rug swap on my side bar and sign up.

hexi's and the front of my almost finished mug rug

back of the mug rug

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I've been busy, you?????

That about says it all. BUSY!!!! A couple of bee's, a mug rug swap, quilts for Japan, the Robert Kaufman solids challenge,  and my  Flickr sewn spaces project- a sewing machine cover for my secret swapper. I know who they are but they don't know who I am. So, as a tease, I'm posting a few pictures of my work in progress. Perhaps my partner will see them and and leave a comment.... you never know, she may be busy too!

pieced front

adding the flowers, they are pieced too

grass at the bottom, 3-D leaves, flowers

I still have to make 2 sides, the top and the back.  Then sew them all together, put a nice binding on the bottom and take a deep breath. I REALLY hope she likes this........ and I'm linking this up at Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory just go and click on their button on my side bar.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mug Rug Swap

Here ye, here ye, Mug Rug Madness is contagious (in a GOOD way). Join in the fun and "catch" a mug rug of your very own- you have to make one to give, but you get one back. So worth it!  Click on the Mug Rug Swap button on my side bar, sponsored by Sew Happy Geek and sign up. Do it now or miss out on the fun. The link has tutorials you can browse through for inspiration or just go to Flickr and search out mug rugs.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Just One Star

I read about this amazing program just the other day. Please link to the Just One Star page over at Moda Fabrics and you can find more information about this project. The link for the star block and the fabric recommendations is there as well. I made a star for every member of my family and one extra, just because. If you have the time and some extra material on hand I encourage you to do the same. The deadline for the blocks to be received by the volunteers piecing all the blocks into finished quilts is May 1st, 2011. Their goal is 100 quilts by Flag Day, June 14, 2011, so lend them a hand and get sewing!!!!

fabric cut and ready for piecing

Signed blocks ready to go into the mail

Timing is everything

Tonight is quiet at my house, sleepovers and friends taking kids off to other places. So, I'm participating in the Friday night sew in. Lucky for me, I have several swaps and UFO's that need some attention. So, here are some of the things I did:
1. FRMQG Mug Rug Swap  I have Jodi and she was a teacher in her former life. Our challenge was to learn something about another guild member, and then make a mug rug. The gifting of the mug rug had to come with a hand written note and a "something" (not otherwise specified) to put on (in my case in) the mug rug.

Mug Rug for Jodi
So, I used an Alexander Henry fabric (apples and pears) I had in my stash for a while and fussy cut 2 apples. Apples for the teacher, right? Then I used the quilt-as-you-go technique to attach the pieces of my design to the batting. I saved the selvage edge and added the "apples and pears" to the mix. And since it said pears, I added a pear pocket. My nod to a love of garment making and my contribution to the "something" on/(in) the mug rug is some paper and a pencil so that Jodi can jot down important thoughts and musings while sipping hot chocolate (her favorite hot beverage).  The No. 2 pencil is another nod to her years of teaching.  The remainder of the fabrics are from my stash, past and present.  I used a Kona solid for the base color and it reminds me of a Granny Smith Apple- are you feeling the theme here???? 

Pear pocket for paper and No. 2 pencil

I finished the back with another design, simpler, but then you have a choice of which side is up, based on your mood. I pieced the binding with left over bits and pieces from the project.

back of Jodi's mug rug

I hope Jodi likes this, I had never made a mug rug before and it was great fun. It was nice to have a project that I could start and finish in one sitting. I posted a picture of this on the Mug Rug Madness Flickr Group.

2. Two fabric blocks for a Christmas Fabric Bee for Singings. I just got my fabric the other day and in my package was a tea bag. I made my tea and got sewing.......

testing the mug rug for Jodi

Christmas bee block for Singings
3. last but not least, need to work on my quilt in progress.....

I'm getting tired, perhaps only a little sewing on this.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

and just in case you missed it the last time.......

This will be featured on...... (drum roll please)
Sew Happy Geek tomorrow, FRIDAY, March 18th. (Go check it out).
Needles(s) to say, I'm "sew" happy!!!!!!!!!

Mom, all because of you......

Mom, this...............

sewing machine cover is all because of you. Let me explain. I remember you telling me a few things when I was younger. (I'm sure there were lots of other things you told me that I don't remember, but then,  since I don't remember those, I can't hold you accountable). One: don't ask anyone to do something for you that you can do yourself. Two: Company over for dinner is NOT the time to try a new recipe. I know some of you are scratching your heads wondering what those words of wisdom have to do with sewing. Well, I am participating in the Sewn Spaces Swap. This swap is for a sewing machine cover. I make one for someone and someone makes one for me. I am asking someone to make a sewing machine cover for me when, I'm pretty sure I could (if motivated enough) make one for myself. Sorry mom, it just seemed nicer if someone else did it. And to top it off...... I was sending (equal to company) someone a machine cover and I had never tried the recipe (think making a sewing machine cover) before. So, Mom, heading your sage advice, I decided to tackle a sewing machine cover BEFORE I gave a sewing machine cover to someone in the swap.  The photos are my attempt to perfect my skills. I had a ball making it and feel somewhat better that at least I've tried before I gifted.
Here are some other views......

looking at the front and right sides

looking from the left side

close up of the birds in frames (background fabric is actually a lovely spring green see above photos)

more up close birds

hiding in the corner

Fabric selection:
Cage Free- Michael Miller (birdie fabric)
Jungle Fever, Swirls- Freespirit (blue border)
Pink dot
Garden Pindot- Michael Miller (black dot)
Tula Pink Parisville- Freespirit
Kona solid- Robert Kaufman (green background)

Monday, March 14, 2011

I started cleaning and then, well......

So, before tackling today's block #15 for the Block-a-palooza, I thought I'd give my work area a quick tidy-up. I started finding all those little triangles that I cut off when making flying geese. They were randomly stacked into scattered semi-neat piles all over my work desk. Despite my attempt at making a bunch of goslings a few weeks back, and using them in this block, they have reproduced again. (The goslings are hiding in the center 9-patch. They were not the stars of that show.)

But lately I've been making these......

definitely NOT goslings, but what to do with them (I have a few, like 10). So, I made this!

5 and 3/4 pinwheels and one bewildered fish, were incorporated into this block which turned out to be fun to make. I know I should be focusing on the task at hand (block #15), but I just HAD to clean up all those triangles that were loitering on my work space. Progress or procrastination? Call it what you will-  but I'm calling it done.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Trying my hand at a tutorial

If you would like to learn more about what these are all about.......

click here.  (or go to the tabs at the top of my blog and click on Tutorials). Any questions? Pose them here. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Well, this is a follow up on my scrap swap hand off to Kelly Miller the other day at Starbucks. Not only did I get a envelope STUFFED with goodies, Kelly gave me a bag with fat quarters, none of which I had in my collection!!! Needless to say, I felt the need to beef up my original offering, and Kelly mentioned that she liked one of the fabric scraps in the little sack I gave her, so...... (Kelly cover your eyes if you want to wait for the mail), but this is what I did. (Kelly was knitting when I met her- and knitters always need little bags for all those needles and stitch markers etc., etc.).

Zippered "stuff" bag

I hope you like it Kelly. I used the Fabric you mentioned, Alexander Henry's "Sew Now, Sew Wow",  as well as 3 more of my fav's. Robert Kaufman's "Tufted Tweets" and Kaffe Fassett's "Clover" (my pink tribute to St. Patrick's Day). I'm putting it in the mail Monday. (PS: The lovely polka-dotty fabric is one that Kelly gave me). Makes for a nice picture no?

More trouble choosing

There is a new quilt store in my neck of the woods. I was just over mourning the loss of a icon (The Great American Quilt Factory) when, Snappy Quilts comes along to fill the void. Boy, this is just the place if you are looking for just the right piece of fabric. The place is bright and welcoming and has some beautiful quilts on the wall, that you can learn to make. I browsed,  I bought some fabric, I thought about other fabric I would like to buy (like the one I saw right by the door as I was leaving), and then went home to sew. Perfect!!! If you live in my neck of the woods, you need to visit Snappy Quilts. (Clicking on the link will give you much better directions than you could ever get from me!).

Friday, March 11, 2011

Giveaways in giveaway land

I will add to these as I collect them. Here are some of the great giveaways up for grabs. Go check them out.
2 great opportunities at The Plaid Scottie.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I hate to do this's a small world after all, it's a small world after all....

I know I know, the song has been over done, however in some instances, it is the gosh darn truth. True story, I participated in a really cool scrap swap organized by a very busy quilter, Sara at  Sew Sara. She had LOTS of quilters and crafters sign up and agree to share scraps with strangers from all around the world no less.  So, I got my swap partner yesterday (Kelly Miller) and guess what, she lives in Denver, CO (my home "town") and we are meeting today to swap our scraps! No mailing (sorry USPS).  So, I broke my scraps out of their dreary envelope and decided to make a little fabric sack to send them away in.
cute chicken sack and my scraps-to-go

I used the cute tutorial from Purl Soho but didn't cut the corners (so if Kelly wants, she can undo the stitching in the sack and use that fabric too!!!!).  I stuffed it full of scraps.....

I'm stuffed

and added a treat or 2 (I don't want to ruin the surprise). Next it's off to Starbucks to meet my swap partner. Yay!

For today.... a give away!

Still, alas, not mine, but probably better...... Jump on over to Jaybird Quilts and see what Wondrous  Woven Fabrics is giving away. It's way better than just a regular Thursday.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

3 little bears

They look cute in the snow! I made these bears for a friend who was sending her 3 daughters off on a school trip (I also made one for my daughter who was going on the same trip). We hid them in their luggage so they would find them when they arrived and were (perhaps) missing home- or not! Each bear has a little pocket that a wee message would fit into. I bought the pattern for the bears at Denver's Sewing Expo. It's by Bunny Hill Design. I am submitting this cute trio to Quilt Story's -Fabric Tuesday.  and The Creative Itch. You can click on the links on their blogs and go see some other amazing submissions. Or... you can click on the Fabric Tuesday button  and the Creative Itch button on the right side bar of my blog.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Who knew

I thought I would categorize myself as a more modern quilter. Something edgy with lots of colors and patterns (bring 'em on- the more the merrier). Today I had the opportunity to make a more traditional block (actually blocks) for another quilter, Fairly Merry- in our Christmas Quilting Bee exchange. WHAT you say, Christmas already- hey, you can never plan too far in advance. Mary ( aka Fairly Merry)  chose a Russian inspired  block and even provided the pattern and then went to the awesome trouble of cutting all the fabric, which actually made the sewing of her 2 blocks rather fun. Here are the results. I did learn a better way to handle geese and  always, I'd love to know what you think. 

Russian Christmas, 2 blocks side by side

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Running full tilt sometimes works.

Today was busy, sewing class till noon and then my trials and tribulations detailed in a prior post. Now, it's post tennis lesson drop off (eldest) and post violin lesson drop off (youngest) and current fencing lesson drop off (still youngest).  The Block-a-palooza quilt block #12 had some design elements that have appeared in some of the other blocks. And one thing I do like about the overall 9-patch design are that the subsections are interchangeable. Perhaps this has occurred to everyone but me, but I am finally getting the hang of this. So, I get to thinking that the large diamonds could be made by not splitting the initial center fabric block and sewing it back together. I love the 8 flying geese, but I love pinwheels too, so why not both. And although mostly everyone seems to sew those tiny squares with perfection, that skill escapes my best efforts. So, with all that whining now released, here is my solution/contribution.
"Oh, I remember", block variation (blocks 6, 11&12)

Block 12, we are in the home stretch....

Todays block gave me the fits, it shouldn't have, but yikes today I could not cut, 5.25" became 5.5" and when your making geese that seriously throws everything out of whack. I should have realized that on goose numero uno, but it took me to goose #6 before it dawned on me that perhaps something was off (yup, by precisely 1/4 inch-if I do say so myself). So, after cutting some more fabric,  again,  and spending some serious time with my seam ripper, this is what emerged.

Block 12
I do like it, but alas, the battery on my camera is low so the photo is dark. I hope to make an additional block (with a minor design change) and a variation on this block, once I take a deep breath an go cut some more fabric. Stayed tuned.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It was messy but so worth it!

 It was messy, as you can see. But now it's cleaner. I have more horizontal surface to work on and big 2 bags of stuff went out of my work space. It felt soooooo good that I made something. Something with a really fun fabric I bought last year because I liked it, but didn't have a plan in mind as how I might actually use it. Problem solved. I used the Lilly Apron by Busy Bee Quilt Designs and I must confess, my main objective was not to spare my clothes from inadvertent spills while whipping up a fab meal for my family. Primary goal, to keep all those threads off my clothes and spare my children the constant duty of reminding me that I have "something" stuck on my sweater, shoe, pants etc., etc. You get the picture.
I used Alexander Henry's "sew now! sew wow! fabric and took a few hours to complete a perfect project that is THE solution to my thread problem.  I used a lovely cream and black polka-dot contrasting fabric on the straps and pockets and voila! I love the bow in the back but think it will only look that way on the mannequin. (I'm not that adept at making bows behind my back, but we'll see). It was nice to take a bit of a break from making quilt blocks. Now I have something to wear when I "sew now!". And if all goes well, I might actually venture up and cook some dinner too.

Block-a-palooza updates and some artful breakfast

Got to start the day off on the right foot, especially when, today, I HAVE to clean and organize my work space. I am involved in several projects and as they are won't to do, everything is intermingling and I can't find anything. So, a little birdie told me,  have a nice bite to eat, then GET TO WORK!!!

 oh, but before, here are my latest Block-a-palooza blocks. (Just in case you are wondering why my workspace is so messy).

Block 10 (1)

Block 10 (2)

Block 11

Variation block