Monday, November 29, 2010

hemishperes quilt...

I added another one to the needs-quilted pile! I started this quilt months ago, but lost a little momentum along the way. Following this tutorial over on cluck cluck sew, I used my handy dandy circle ruler with my rotary cutter.

This block goes together pretty quickly - there is alot of waste left over from trimming the excess fabric off the back of the quadrants. I'm not sure what to do with a million or so [not uniform] triangles.

I used up nearly all of my coveted bubbles in gray by Kaffe Fassett. I wanted to add on a border but couldn't find any additional yardage [that wasn't $20+/yard].

When I finished the individual blocks I was just not thrilled with the way they looked right next to one another. I am not sure if it was the fabrics I chose or what, it just looked too dark. Then a serendipitous moment, when I layed the blocks out on my sewing table I loved the off-white of the table separating the blocks. Enter Kona in bone... Sashing proved to be the perfect solution.

I would love to have it quilted with swirls in the circles and some kind of grid quilting or pebbles in the sashing. I have still not had any luck finding a machine quilter. Many of the quilters I have contacted don't do the free hand work and some I have emailed haven't responded at all! Do you have any recommendations for a quality quilter at a reasonable price??

Saturday, November 20, 2010

of benedryl & pillows...

Oh the agony of sick days... If I were to be forced to take nearly a week off of life, I would have preferred to be able to function! I mean how much fun is a week off where you can't manage to even sew?! [I think missing my sewing machine may even have made me sicker] But I am back in action [mostly]. I wanted to show you the latest addition to my pillow obsession. Meet the crabby pillow!

Inspired by the Caribbean. We have many grand adventures while cruising, some more comical than others. At one of the beaches, they had these collapsible 'tents' for shade. So we picked one up and when we did the tiniest, and daintiest of crabs wandered out. Surely, as a lover of nature and crabs, I lept for joy and scooched in for a closer look.... umm no, I squealed fearing certain death if it came near.

This crabby pillow is much more cuddly. I am very proud of my original design. He was a time consuming little number. I made about a billion half square triangles to make up the zig-zag wave. It was lots of fun to use up a bunch of scraps: Summer in the City, Amy Butler, Flights of Fancy, and MoMo coupled with kona in bone. Then the million lines of zig-zag quilting :)

I was disappointed to have to miss out on this round of the Pillow Talk Swap... Just too many other life commitments this time of year. But if my crabby pillow has peaked your interest, and you are looking for more pillows - check out the flickr group!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

berni's work wear...

With my craft space all decked out, Berni [my Bernina 1008] has a new home sitting flush with the my sewing table. This means that the on-the-go cover that I made is now too long. What can a girl do but stitch up a fab new cover?

This one is kind of special. The patchwork is actually a little quilt top that was rescued from the trash before my grandma's farm was auctioned. I just added a few more strips of fabric to make it the appropriate length. It is so fun to look at some of the colors and patterns and see how modern they look. I layered it with a warm and natural scrap and a fun repro print, quilted it, then bound it and used some twill tape/rug binding to make ties.

Don't look too close, this is my first time using a walking foot - I felt like this should be soooo simple, but tackling the walking foot is a bit of a challenge to me. Some stitches are super tight while others are really long. A skill in process for sure!

One of the great things about it is it fits over the back of my chair when I am working in there. Handy - one less thing on my sewing table is ALWAYS a good thing :)

I woke up to a white lawn this morning! Last night I did some baking and couldn't resist putting on some Christmas music; there must have been something in the air!

btw: I am still in need of a couple of pattern testers for Berni's New Digs sewing pattern... Let me know if you are interested and I will send you the pattern!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Yes, this is another post about swapping :) I'm not sure if you know Ayumi, if not then you definitely need to meet her! Maybe you just don't realize you know her, she has several projects that have been featured in the beloved Stitch magazine [which is going quarterly next year! yay!] She not only makes lovely things, she has a kind heart. I have been oohing and aahing over some Mister Donut fabric that keeps taunting me around blogland.

On special occasions my mom and I would go to Mister Donut before school. I always loved the twisted creamstick/glazed donut things covered in chocolate. They are special memories, the Mister Donut was replaced by a Donut Connection, and then finally a pizza shop. Many have forgotten the smell of fresh baked donuts [we don't even have a Dunkin Donuts in our area]. Anywho, I gushed over Ayumi's stash and she agreed to a swap. What did she want? A crabby pinnie of course :) So meet Miss Crabby, all decked out in pink!

If you want to make one for yourself, my humble attempt at a tutorial can be found here. I am pleased with how she turned out and glad that she has found a happy home!

For the Block Swap 2, miss rabidchipmunks asked us for a disappearing nine patch using some funky Halloween prints. A lot of fun, even if I did cut one of the blocks wrong :)

I am enjoying seeing all kinds of beautiful color outside my window - I love fall. Hoping to fit in a few more warm days though!

Friday, October 29, 2010

quilt festival...

Though this post may look familiar, I assure you it is new :) I didn't expect to be chatting about this quilt again so soon, but I am excited to be participating in Amy's Online Quilt Festival. I loved looking at the quilts last year, but was new to the online seen, so I didn't jump in. I wanted to share this quilt because it was my introduction to the online quilting community. I had just started blogging and fallen head over heels for the new modern look; the brights, geometric shapes, lots of white, random/free-form piecing - I was hooked. I joined in Quilt Dad's round of the Old Red Barn Quilt Along and this quilt is my finished product! Life is better with my flickr and blog friends around, I enjoy the inspiration and community I find. This is the first modern bed sized quilt I have finished and the first quilt I have completely finished since Derrick and I were married. Definitely a memorable quilt in many ways!
Be sure to check out the many beautiful quilts that have been entered this year! Amy does such a wonderful job of organizing the Quilt Festival!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

mon espace de création...

Amazing how translating a title into another language makes the post seem so much more interesting :) I wanted to show you around my newly improved creative space. If you have been following me for a while [that always sounds like a stalker to me], you may remember the crafty disaster that I posted here. I am happy to say the mess is gone, and in its place a space I truly want to create in!

Take a moment to 'oooh' and 'aaah' over my table - my wonderful husband made it! The sewing machine sits on a shelf held on with carriage bolts [that made it easy to achieve the perfect height]. I borrowed my mil's extension table [until I save up enough to buy my own] and took off the legs. Sewing with a nice open surface really spoils a girl! It was also built to accommodate a large cutting mat - goodbye 18"x22" cutting mat! [of course I actually throw nothing away, even if I should - the little mat is 7+ years old and I am beginning to see daylight through the back]

My two caddys, one with patterns and one with crafty bits, fit perfectly under the table with a little space on the top for my rotary tools/rulers. I love the 'x' cross beams on the sides of the table. ooh, there is my ikea jules chair - a swivel chair makes it much easier to move from sewing to pressing. And, yes, that is a design wall with a project on it in the background. I used blue insulation board and two layers of white felt to construct it. The lint roller has found a new home in my craft room for cleaning the wall in between projects.

Colorful spools really brighten up the table, and I am surprised how much a $6 investment can save me time. I had a little vintage spool bag, it meant searching through tangled strings with each thread change. I also keep necessities handy: a scrap bowl, a little trash can, pins, basting supplies, bobbins, seam ripper, labels, etc.

Search around flickr and you will come to the conclusion that you simply cannot have a craft room without an expedit bookcase from ikea. Why? Because they are affordable, BIG, and a great storage space for fabric. We actually have two of these in our house and, get this, the other one actually has books on it - go figure!

In this corner I store my scrapbooking supplies in the cupboard on the right and all of my stamping supplies are in/on the green tin. It's actually a holder for flour, sugar, etc. that was my grandma's we found it in one of the outbuildings when we auctioned her farm. Lots of wonderful memories, I am glad I was able to use it somewhere I see almost everyday.

Now my only problem is I really can't spend all day in this space [even though I want to]!

Friday, October 22, 2010

pièce de résistance...

How very international of me to have a blog post title in French :D I am so excited to FINALLY be able to share my finished wonky log cabin! All quilted up by the wonderful ladies in the quilting group at UCC. I love the finished look - clean, modern, fun, bright.

The quilting is simple and clean - a diagonal grid. The grid on the center is slightly larger than the one used on the border. A quick job of marking with a quilting ruler!

And no bed is complete without a mountain of pillows! These were some of the first pillows I made [and clearly I liked them as I haven't been able to stop making pillows since!]

Best of all, the warm and white batting is so cozy; and that's important as the nights get colder! Sophie definitely approves :D I have to add that, even though this photo looks posed - there is no other photo I could have taken. I tried to take a pic without her in it, but she is a persistent little bug and kept jumping on the bed!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

another one bites the dust...

It's official - I completed another unfinished object [ufo]! Last year I set off on a mission, a brave mission to root through my box of half-finished projects and work on those before starting any new projects.

Happily this lasted for a while until I remembered why I had thrown these projects to the side originally - no longer my taste, ran out of fabric, too tedious, or just plain bored... Perhaps, [and these are the words of a fabric/craft addict for sure] it isn't my fault - it is the blogs, magazines, fabric designers, etc. who flood my world with way too many exciting and inticing projects that I just CAN'T pass up! I press on, though, using the box of neglected and rejected craftiness as my 'go to projects' whenever I need to grab a quick take along craft. But today, today is a good day - this post is about a finish after all :D

Judging by my fabric choices, I put the checkerboards and appliques together about 4 years ago. I pulled them from the ufo abyss, added borders, quilting, backing, and piping... et voila, lovely little pillows [I actually made 2 of them, so yes pillowS].

They turned out well, and I am surprised to see so many elements that are me now as a crafter: little checkerboard, somewhat bright colors, modern tree design. My house is beginning to overflow with pillows, so this little number is in my etsy. [I think my new motto is: a chicken in every pot and a pillow on every chair. Thanks HH :D]

Monday, October 11, 2010

pinnie & pillow love...

Before the great flickr incident of 2010 [where I accidentally deleted all my flickr photos], I had plans to show you the phenom pillow that I got in the Pillow Talk Swap! So without further ado, here it is:

This pillow was made by the wonderful Louise [she has a primo blog: lululollylegs], she also included some of her own patterns - I am so excited to give them a whirl! The colors are so bright and clear and really stand out on the black and white background. I just l-o-v-e it!

Another round of the Scrappy Pincushion swap has also come to a close, and check out the goods! I am super impressed with Michelle's crochet abilities and the blues and greens are just perfect! Swaps are so fun - I think what I enjoy most is getting in touch with people from across the country and the world! Makes our online community seem a little closer when you get a package in the mail.

Well, back to it - Mondays are super busy days around here, plus I am keeping an extra watchful eye on our little pooch who stole a box of raisins from the trash last night...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

pinnie swapping [round 2]...

Well, my pincushion for the scrappy pincushion swap is officially on its way! As with every swap I participate in, I was overwhelmed with all the options and want to make just the right thing for my partner. I got the book Pretty Little Pincushions from the library - and it was too wonderful, ack! even more options! Recently I have been drawn to the simple 'tomato' style pincushion. They are great for showcasing pretty pins and gorgeous fabric. I focused in on making a little sewing kit!

Fro those who sew alot on the go, this little tube is perfect! The pincushion is attached to the underside of the cap.

Contents: tiny fold-up metal scissors, thimble, white/black thread for repairs, a variety of safety pins, some needles in a scrap of pinked wool, a needle threader in its own little case, a tape measure, and a sampling of white buttons. I made one for myself and it is wonderful for perle cotton or a skein of embroidery floss!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

summer swappin'...

[can you hear the Grease music?] summer swappin' had me a blast, summer swappin' happened so fast... Those of us in the Block Swap 2 are headed into the final stretch, the bee started in January and will end in December. I have really enjoyed tackling new challenges and learning loads of new techniques! My month was August and I fell in love with the New York Beauty blocks that Jennie was making! [check her beauties out here! The tutorials are here] [more details on my blocks when I receive them all]

For July, Cindy wanted to make a color wheel quilt using the Pieced Scrap Border Quilt tutorial over on Red Pepper Quilts. It went together really easy and I love the final look - this will be great once the rainbow of colors is set together!

In September, I got to refine my curved piecing skills with a drunkards path block for Frieda. She sent us over to the Sometimes Crafter tutorial and all the pictures made it super easy to follow.

I love stalking all of the wonderful swaps over on flickr, but am hesitant to commit to 'one more thing' - what swaps do you just love?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

in search of + a winner...

Have you seen this fabric? I am in process with a quilt and am nearing the end of my stash. I have scoured the web and only come up with one site that has it listed. I am not sure that they are in business any more as they have not responded to my emails. So here is my plea: do you know of any Kaffe Fassett Bubbles in Grey GP15?? I am looking for at least a yard - email me if you have some to sell or if you have a source.

Also: I drew a winner for the pillow giveaway! Congrats Nannette, the pillow will soon be traveling to you!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

pillow basics: three...

If you've just tuned in, I have been laying out a few ground rules for making fab pillows and cushions in the Pillow Basics Series. Today will be the final installment [Hurrah!]. I typically finish my pillows with either piping or a traditional quilt binding.

If you are binding your pillow...
Take your 2.5" strips and press it in half so that you have a long 1.25" strip. Layer your pillow with wrong sides together and the binding on top of the front. Sew the strip around the edge of the pillow using a 1/4" seam allowance. [Here is a great tutorial for mitered corners] flip the folded edge of the binding over to the back of the pillow and handstitch in place - yes, handstitching does take a while, but you have a very pro looking end result!

If you want to use piping...
First we are going to make our own piping using the 1.5" strips you cut. I generally use 3/8" cording from JoAnns, but you can choose the thickness you like best. Lay the cording in the center of your fabric strip.

Fold the strip in half around the cording, pin.

I have an ab-fab foot that is made for sewing piping - it has a groove in the center that holds the cording in place. You can make piping this way with a zipper foot as well. I like to set the needle position to as far right as it will go and the stitch length as long as it will go. Begin stitching 1" from the 'start end' [rember when we talked about the selvage in lesson two?]; stitch.

Pin the cording in place along the edge of the top of the pillow. Ease the corners by snipping into the piping. Tuck the end under the 'start end'

Using a wide zig-zag stitch [with the regular sewing foot], sew along the edge of the piping to secure it into place.

Layer the pillow back over the pillow front with right sides together, pin. With the zipper or cording foot attached, move the needle position all the way to the right and then move it back to the left one click. [This will ensure that none of those basting stitches show on your finished pillow] Stitch tightly along the edge of the piping. If you are using a thick fabric for your piping, you may want to switch to a denim needle in this step.

Trim the corners, rounding them to match the piping. Turn. VOILA! You're pillow is finished and ready to spice up your sofa!

This wonky star pillow is up for a new home in my shop!
THERE'S STILL TIME! Don't forget to sign up for the pillow giveaway!! Comment on this post...
ps: If you are enjoying these tutorials, feel free to add my button to your blog :]