Monday, February 28, 2011

It's Almost Spring...

...and there are flowers in my sewing room!

I'm sure no one else but me has wished they had a maid, a cook, and a chauffeur so they could spend the weekend (or all week) doing what they wanted to... in my case, sewing.  Did you realize that housework is the only thing people notice if you don't to it? 

I did get some sewing done... finished the 26 flowers for the borders of the pink-n-white quilt...

...and started working on the leaves...

Once done, I'll start piecing the "flower border" together... math will be involved.   *lol*

And because we all need a little spring...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bottling Rainbows

Rachel from Stitched in Color  stores her small fabric scraps in jars, a good organizational strategy and decorative as well.

Yesterday, Mariliz of Mariliz' Musings bottled hers yesterday in preparation for the upcoming quilt along...

Needing to clear my cutting table of all the scraps from the mug rug marathon and, borrowing from both Rachel and Mariliz, I decided to bring in some quart canning jars from the garage and bottle these small scraps instead of putting them back into the drawers of the scrap bins.  Once that was done, I went through the bins and fished out all the small scraps and bottled them too.

Turns out I don’t think I’ll be too short of fabric scraps for my rainbow quilt top… but you never know.  I may just have to pick up a few more to make some of the squares work…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Crystal of Sonnet of the Moon has already completed her lime block.  Doesn't it look great?

 Crystal used pinked edges, which another option! 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's All Mariliz' Fault....

It's not like I don't have two quilts in progress to work on and my first BOM to begin... but Mariliz, a new blogging friend, told me about the Bottled Rainbows Quilt Along.  I checked it out and was immediately intrigued.   Fabric + color = what's not to like?

When I saw the sample block, I knew this would be PERFECT for all those itty-bitty fabric scraps in the bins under my cutting table...  you know, the ones so tiny that I felt I was stupid to save but just couldn't throw them out?

This project also uses a washable "school" glue stick, which I've not used before when quilting!   There will be scrap swaps to help folks accumulate a sufficient variety of each color to complete the blocks.  What fun!

I understand that the start date has been pushed back to the 2nd week in March in order for folks to get their Kona solids (ordered mine last night).   One block per week for 16 weeks and then sew the blocks together in June.

Yup, it's all Mariliz' fault that I'm starting another quilt when I have three in the works already....  but I'm so glad she let me know about this quilt along!  Thanks, Mariliz!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Good Medicine

It's been a long week and I am so looking forward to Le Weekend.   Thought I needed a little fabric therapy... and it was mug rug time!

I have been hitting my scrap bins to make mug rugs and challenged myself to use scraps of scraps because I didn't want the bits and pieces going back in the bins.

I also wanted to try my hand at some wonky-ness...

It was fun to figure out quilting options too...

I've put a nice dent on my scraps stash and it's darn good therapy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My First BOM

Yup, I went and did it… signed up for a 12-month BOM.  Yup, I am a crazy woman… just shoot me now!  

Seriously, my SIL will be heading off to minister school at Duke University this coming school year and I felt “called” to make Jan Patek’s Bible quilt for him.... even though he may be through with minister school by the time I finish this...

 Photo from Jan Patek's blog

Block #1 arrived in yesterday’s mail.  

 Photo from Jan Patek's blog

Let me just say that I’ve never met a pattern that I didn’t want to change in some way… and I will be changing this one as well.   Nothing that serious but I’m NOT doing needle-turn appliqué!  Not that I can’t, it’s just that 1) I’m a little ADHD,  and 2) I’m not willing to spend that amount of time with something that will give rise to latent perfectionism, semi-tamed after many, many years’ effort.

I foresee a lot of fun with fusible stuff and underlining… wish me luck!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yes, yes, I know I didn't post a mug rug yesterday when you all are waiting with baited-breath for me to do so...  *lol*

Here's your mug rug fix for the day...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Houston...We Have Flowers!

The math worked out over the weekend, it was time to try making a flower to see if my calculations worked... and they did!  I cut out all the segments and made eight flowers... 

They look a bit large to me so I will spread out the quilt top on the floor with the flowers around it before I make any more.

Yes, it's another mug rug...

Yesterday, a new blog friend asked how many mug rugs I had...  and I said that I had a couple.   I've mailed out eight as gifts and four have gone to a coworker as a house warming present.  Twelve will go out today in the school system's courier mail to other coworkers. 

This time of the school year is our "busy season"...  add to that the stress from the current State budget crisis and the underlying worry about whether or not we'll have jobs come fall. 

I thought my coworkers could use a little something to help brighten their day.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Progress in Pink

Between necessary weekend chores, I was able to sew on both the pink and white inner borders.  Took a pass on fiddling with the flowers for the next border because I can do small tasks like that after work during the week. 

Funny how adding two small borders makes the quilt top look so much larger.

To unwind, I made a mug rug... I know you are SO surprised!

All in all....  I'm moving along...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pottering Around

So surprised to have finished the binding on Friday night, I just pottered around yesterday and worked on a few things that needed doing.  Tried my hand at making a pot holder / hot pad and found that sewing through all the batting was a bit of a challenge even with a walking foot.  I do like how the hot pad turned out and used leftover binding strips from the quilt.

After auditioning fabrics for the inner border of the pink and white double 4-patch quilt, I finally decided on one... and worked on figuring out the proportions of the flowers in the border.  That was a bit of a challenge because I didn't want to end up with odd measurements such as 1.667" or worse.   I plan to get the pink border sewn on today and start working on sewing together the "flowers" for the border.

March is almost upon us and I also need to do some math to figure out how much fabric I will need for the borders of the Lilac Hill quilt top.  I understand that the fabric line pre-cuts have been very popular and don't want to miss out on my first choices when the yardage becomes available!

But first... another refill on the coffee...   *lol*

Saturday, February 19, 2011

FSNI: The Morning After

Thanks to a very watchable BBC series to watch, I was able to finish binding a queen-size Turning Twenty quilt using Deb Strain's "Cherish Nature" line.   Yes, it's 3:00 am... I can't believe I'm still awake...  *lol*

This quilt was a PIGS... or actually a PIT (project in tote) and wanted to finish it this weekend.  So, the plan was: get the binding sewn to the quilt...

...get settled on the sofa to sew and watch Cranford (the entire series on DVD)...

...and see how much of the binding I could sew down before I nodded off.  

Surprised myself and got it all done!  I need to finish drawing the decoration on the label (didn't want to do the lower corner b/c I wanted to make sure I had enough room once the binding was sewn down)... then run it thru the washer and dryer.  My first finish of this year and one Christmas present completed! 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now that the quilt label is finished, thought you'd like to see what it looks like..

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In

It’s that time… and tonight’s project will include:

…and this…

…as well as…

Stay tuned.....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fabric Therapy

Have I sewn anything since the last post?  No…  but a little fabric therapy arrived in yesterday's mail…

There was a SALE this past weekend at one of my favorite online stores and I couldn’t resist… PLUS… I have two projects in mind for this fabric so it’s not just adding to stash.  Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!


Linda of Stray Stitches is having a THINK SPRING GIVE-AWAY ending midnight Monday, February 21st for FIVE yards of “Cute As A Button” by Ro Gregg for Northcott Studio that is just beautiful!  Hurry on over and sign up… and THINK SPRING!


I’m looking forward to the FRIDAY NIGHT SEW-IN tomorrow night… and have finally decided  what I’m gonna work on, too!

Hope you all have a great day!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Letting Go

A coworker and her hubby of less than a year recently purchased their first home.  Being young and hip is very much reflected in their décor and I do like it.  

I thought I’d make them several mug rugs as a house warming gift… and have been trying to expand my “little old lady” style to a more hip and happenin’ mode.  It hasn’t been easy.   

First, I tried to loosen up with wild prints with strong colors but had a hard time with the design and quilting part… still kinda “old fogey-ish”…  so tonight… I quilted without painter’s tape or following seams and not much planning… it was weird to let go but it turned out pretty good, I thought.

Then I tried another… but, when sewing together scraps to make a back for the mug rug, I liked the back better than the front.  So I let go and went with the flow… even used lime green thread to do the quilting.

Not sure if Renee will like the mug rugs…   it was certainly interesting trying not to be so structured and organized!


PS – Ian has been serving in Afghanistan since last October and will be home to Renee and his new, never-seen-in-real-life home this weekend.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Being Crafty

The scrap bin created by Chris of Weekend Wisdom is brilliant imho... and knew I could use something like that when I’m sitting on the living room sofa, watching a movie, and hand-sewing quilt binding.  I typically just put the bits of thread on the arm of the sofa and, when done, gather them all up to dispose of.  But having a bin would be so convenient… not only handy but MUCH more attractive than having a nest of threads on the sofa arm.

So, yesterday afternoon was craft time!

I pulled out my can of spray glue, which can be used on “paper, cardboard, plastic, fabric, wood, photos, metal, wrapping paper, and tissue paper.”  I particularly like the “30-minute” drying time.  
 (I am in no way, shape, form, or manner affiliated with Aleene’s products or any craft store.)

Chris’ directions are clear and the photos helpful.  I tweaked them a bit since I was using spray glue.

See the wrinkles on the right side of the tissue box?  Because the glue is tacky at first, I was able to lift the fabric off the box and reposition it easily.

Yes, I got some glue on my fingers but I didn't have to wash my hands until I was finished gluing the fabric to the box.

I stood the tissue box on its end and let it dry under the ceiling fan while I returned my attention to the laundry.

The only thing "challenging" about the Velcro was fitting the box under the arm of my sewing machine on one side.

I like that the bin folds up and may be taken to classes and retreats.  It’s pretty, too!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Week in Review

Although I don't have a lot to show for it really, some stuff was accomplished this past week.  For me, the biggest thing was locating fabric I would be happy with for the leaves and stems of the pieced flower border for the pink-and-white double four patch.

Had a great day shopping yesterday and found four fun fat quarters to play with...   (How's that for alliteration?)

Also found some magazine storage bins to store quilting magazines and books that will look nice on the shelf...

I will be organized if it kills me...   *lol*

I also made a few mug rugs... a quick project that I can do after work when I'm too tired to tackle a large project but a nice way to be productive while I relax...


Today, I'll work on the math part of the pieced flower border and try making a folding scrap bin following the tutorial posted by Chris of Weekend Wisdom.

This coming Friday is the Friday Night Sew In and I'm looking forward to it.  Hope you will think about joining in too!