September 13, 2015

Secret Sister

My annual pilgrimage to Amish Country in Pennsylvania is going on right now!  We have been assigned secret sisters and my "sister" likes elephants. Since I've already surprised her with not only the basket but the goodies too, I can show you what I made.

I finished this basket back in July and have been adding goodies to it for a while now.

Elephant Fabric Basket
One Hour Basket | Tutorial from Hearts and Bees

September 1, 2015

Welcome, September.

It is September already - can you believe it? Where does the time go?

star, hst

I have been a very busy bee.  Less then two weeks until I meet up with my very dear sewing friends.  We are meeting in Amish Country, in Pennsylvania.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it up there and can't wait to go back. 

But...there are a lot of projects that need to be completed first.  We got a bit overzealous last year and did a paper piecing bee, a birthday package, a traveling quilt and now that retreat is here, a secret sister.  I didn't even mention the make one take one swap.  Seriously no idea what I am going to make for that.

A lot of my projects can't be revealed yet (since my sewing girls read the blog) but I am sharing a block that I am proud of.  It's slightly different than most stars, but still complimentary to most standard stars.  This is for the traveling quilt that I am in charge of completing the top for.  Once we have presented them to one another, I'll show you the start and finish.  I expect them all to be fabulous!

Happy September to you. Thanks for stopping in.

August 21, 2015

Birthday Placemats

I belong to a wonderful sewing group, and this year we decided to shower each other with gifts. on our birthday.

For July, our woman of honor was Tiffany.  Now Tiffany is either really hard to design for or really easy.  She is always very specific in what she likes, and doesn't (which is the easy part), but I'm always afraid that if I don't follow her likes exactly then I'll mess it up and she won't like the project at all.  (the hard part)

I'm probably being too hard on myself, but that's where we are at. I was going to do a sew kitschy theme but couldn't find a color combo that I think she would like.  I had already committed to placemats so I had to think some more.  She does like the Tallahassee block and I like to paper piece, so this seemed like the perfect marriage of the two.

She loves eggplant purple, grass green, aqua (not blue) and coral (not orange).  Notice there is some pink in there? Well she loves Joel Dewberry too, so I added some Notting Hill too.
Tallahassee placemats
for Tiffany
These arrived safely and she said they are perfect.  The placemats finished at 12x12.

July 14, 2015

Quilt for Addi

This quilt is for a daughter of one of my co-workers.  He is such a positive, easy going guy and recently got news that his 8 year daughter has leukemia.

Every three weeks she has to go through chemo, which I hear is cold, so I am hoping this quilt can give her some warmth and comfort during those sessions.

When I asked about her style, I was told that she really likes pink. So pink it is.  Pink fabric, pink thread, pink binding.  I would have went searching for pink batting, too, if it would have been visible (thank goodness it isn't).

pink quilt rolls

I added her name, smack in the middle of the quilt, with one row of stitching in black thread.  I wasn't entirely sure it was going to show up, but after washing, for the crinkle factor, it turned out to be a nice touch, although understated.

I gave it to him this morning, so I hope this afternoon, when she unwraps it, it warms her heart.

I started out quilting this with straight lines, but as we all know, that takes time.  So...I decided to quilt part of it with a meander stitch.  It's true!  The more you do, the easier it gets.  I see more meandering in my future.  

The back of this project was more pink, with a scrappy pink border, hand bound (my favorite part of making a quilt) by yours truly.

This pattern is called Strip Tango, by designer Kelly over at Quilt Infatuation. Thanks Kelly!

July 10, 2015

Q3 2015 | Finish Along

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Hi! Although I have been quiet, I have been busy.  I didn't get my post up in time for the 2nd quarter FAL finish, so I just sat out, but 3rd quarter is different. I'm here, on time and am going to proclaim to the blogging world everything that I want to accomplish in the next 92.5 days!

< - - -  Finish Addison Quilt [1]

-finish quilting | label | bind | give away

Facing East [2]

-continue making blocks | hand applique | backing | quilt | bind | enjoy

One Hour Basket for Secret Sister [3]

-assemble | finish | fill with goodies

Placemats [4]
-start sewing | quilt | bind | wrap

(no pictures of this yet, it's a surprise, I can reveal at the end of the quarter)

Cathy Quilt [5]

-finish blocks | sew rows | baste | quilt | bind | give away   ---->

Simply Solids [6]
-quilt | bind | enjoy

Solids Challenge [7]
-finish backing | baste | quilt | bind

Bionic Bag | Sew together Bag [8]
order zippers | start | finish

Big Ten Quilt [9]
quilt | bind

July 7, 2015

Splendid Spring Blocks

String blocks for sweet Marika! She requested pink and yellow. These are going to be fabulous all together.  This was part of Anything Goes Bee and Book Club for May.

Although we only had to make 3 each, I feel bad because the picture looks funny, it isn't balanced and nobody wants to see my carpet.  Next time, I'll just make 4.

July 2, 2015

Mix Tape Blocks

Aren't these retro and fun? They are for a bee mate, actually she is much more than that, she is my friend, Lyanna.  

She requested these for our Anything Goes sewing bee and this is what I sent her.  I am a bit worried about the bottom right one though.  If she wants to use low volume for the sashing or a border, then this one might fade away, but of all six, that one is my favorite.  These were a blast to make and also to see the variations that other folks made. Take a look here!

May 17, 2015

Great Pillow Fight | Spring 2015

This round of the Great Pillow Fight was delightful!

I received this beauty from Stephanie of Creative Reveries.  It is perfect for me.  Rainbow colors with text fabric.  I love love love it!
Just need to add a label, but otherwise done!  Hope you like it, partner! #thegreatpillowfightswap

This is the pillow that I made for Kelleigh
Hi Partner. I have been quiet this round but I hope this is perfect for you.

From the sounds of her post, it was as much of a hit for her as what Stephanie made for me.  I LOVE to swap and this round was absolutely perfect, on both sides!

May 14, 2015

Sneak Peak at Sisterhood

I belong to a sewing circle with an absolute perfect group of ladies.  We live all over the US (and Canada too) and get together once a year for a retreat in Amish Country.

For 2015, we are doing a traveling quilt.  Each person participating started their quilt with 4 blocks and a roadmap for what they envision.  Every 45 days, the quilt gets passed along to the next person in line.

During April I was working on a Sisterhood quilt and made a couple of granny square blocks along with another large scale block too.

Here are the two granny square blocks, along with my thoughts.

Originally, when I saw these blocks I didn't like them.  You know why? Because when I first saw them they were in a traditional quilt in traditional fabrics, which just isn't my preference.  But over the past couple of years, as I have seen them more and more and especially in modern fabrics, I have really started to like them. have to cut off so much fabric on the edges - Owwza! That hurts me.  I know I save too many scraps but I'm not sure that I will make more of these just because of that.

What do you think? Do you like Granny Squares? Does it bother you to cut off so much fabric?

May 12, 2015

Baby Quilt Top

My friend, Jane and I both quilt.  Although she prefers traditional quilts (I like modern) and can't stand all over quilting (my #1 preference) we enjoy hearing about what each of us is working on.

One of the gals in our book club is having her first baby in or around July, so we decided rather than buying something we would make a quilt.  The catch, she doesn't know if they are having a girl or a boy.  My job was to order the fabric and make the top and she will baste, and quilt it.

Our conversation went like this:
Me: Yes, yes, that sounds great. I'll do the top
Jane: Perfect, then I'll baste, quilt and bind it
Me: No, I want to bind it, that is my favorite part
Jane: Well how do you bind?
Me: Hand of course
Jane: Can you do an invisible binding?
Me: Is there any other kind?

Then we both laughed. She really wasn't going to let me bind unless I did an invisible hand binding.

It is currently getting quilted, but this is the top.  I love this pattern.  Finally, I have learned to read past the pattern.  I chain pieced with each color and then, cut them apart.  The directions have you cutting each piece separately and then sewing, but it takes longer.

April 7, 2015

Q1 2015 Finish Along Check in {Progress}

Did you participate in the Finish-Along for First Quarter?
I'm usually very driven and finish most, if not all of the goals I set out to do.
This time, not so much.

The projects that I did finish include the following:

Beach House Mini - this was a challenge for the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild where I did my first matched binding. I love the result and will do this again on a future project.

Mug Rug - this was a swap that I joined that not only included a mug rug, but also a Starbucks "You are Here" mug, which I collect. This is the mug rug I made for my partner, in her three favorite colors, along with a New Orleans mug.

In this round, I got Phoenix mug - along with some great goodies! Yeah!
2015-03 YAH Mug Rug Swap - Received

That's it! Well actually, I did 2 birthday club projects but I forgot to take pictures so I won't get credit for them.  One was a set of placemats and another was one of those cute hexagon quilts. I made a mini for a friend of mine, for her sewing room.

Stay tuned in Quarter 2 as I try to finish up Quarter 1, and the new goals for quarter 2!
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

March 24, 2015

Pattern Test: StarGazing

I tested this for Diane of fromblankpages and this pattern is the Cadillac version.

One, it is available in 6", 12" 18" and 24".  Yes, that 24" is a whopper and the size I tested. I wanted to also use this as a pillow cover, but am not sure if it will make the cut. I think my color choices were perhaps a bit off.

Enough about color and back to the pattern! All of the following is included with this pattern: links to paper piecing and color and design as well as cutting templates, coloring pages, design and color inspiration.

Let's talk about cutting templates.  I usually think they are a waste and I don't need them.
But you know that feeling, in the pit of your stomach, when you flip over a piece of fabric and it isn't quite (big, long, tall) enough - ugh!  hate that. Well, cutting templates eliminate that completely. Yes, you have some fabric waste, but that is better than having to rip out a seam with a 1.5 stitch length - you hear me?

Another advantage to her cutting templates is that she has exact instructions on how to orient the cutting templates with your fabric if directional.

What I am trying to say is that I appreciate that the cutting templates were included in this pattern. Not all pattern authors include that component.

If you want one, go check out her etsy store here!

March 23, 2015

Beach House Mini | Challenge

I belong to the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild and our challenge for February included mini-charm squares, generously provided by Moda {Thank you United Notions!}.

We had a lot of latitude, make a mini quilt which doesn't exceed 24 x 24.  Gah! It was so hard for me.  Why? Well, The squares were too small to do HST's,  every pattern I looked at was quite a bit larger than 24" square and my mind just wasn't in this.  I had these laid out in so many configurations - really I thought an idea would just come to me and presto - it would be awesome. It didn't happen that way.

My favorite part of the quilting is the yellow (variegated orange/yellow thread) through the red and orange.  In the first picture you can see it better, but I love how it blends and pops at the same time.

Working in Finance I utilize graphs and charts frequently so I attempted to make this into a chart, but it seems like a big fail to me.  When I look at it I see no creativity, especially compared to the awesomeness that a bunch of ladies in my guild showed up with.  Look at all these varieties!

yeah, mine is basic basic basic. How could sewing little squares together be so difficult?

Well, I had to turn this into a positive. When I showed it at our meeting, it wasn't bound yet (call me a slacker, I deserve it) so after the meeting I was determined to finish this and make a positive out of it.  Binding! My favorite part - I love binding (by hand) so, I challenged myself to match the binding to the design.  See? Bet you didn't notice it earlier or did you? The blue around the red and orange and the orange (my special stash of pezzy print) around the blue and green. What do you think of that?

The bottom is 1/8" off, but I'm ok with that. I really like this look of matched binding and I hope to use it in the future..

March 22, 2015

Starbucks Mug Rug and Mug Swap

This is the mug rug that I made for my {secret} partner in the Spring Round of the Starbucks Mug Rug and Mug Swap.  

You swap a Starbucks You are Here Mug, along with a mug rug.  My partner really wanted a New Orleans mug, which I happen to have an extra of, so...she's getting it! I will say, although the swap was on both Flickr and Instagram, I much prefer Flickr.  I know the app is less than desirable, but my partner had a private IG account.  Really? How am I supposed to stalk you with a private IG?

Lesson learned - no IG swaps for me. If it isn't Flickr, I'm not doing it.  Another reason for that is because I feel like the IG swaps are a bit more willy-nilly, yes, such a technical definition.  It's just that on IG I think they go for volume and not necessarily a good match.  I'm in quite a few private swaps with girls I admire and respect and who appreciate the time it takes to make something, but this has a different flavor.

Oh well, I made a mug rug in her favorite colors, and I hope it is well received!
It feels good to move another project to the completed list.

February 24, 2015

Diamonds are a girl's best friend

It's back - Modern She Made - Round 5

This is a swap that Lori and I started in 2012 and it is still going! This is a private swap, hosted on Flickr, and the projects these ladies create are amazing! This round, you must incorporate the specified shape, which is a diamond, in the creation/construction of your project. If you are on Flickr, have a stellar swap history and can't resist - then go sign up!

You must have created a mosaic, which is quite helpful to your partner, so she can make something you will love forever (at least that is what we are hoping anyway). Then you fill out a questionnare to to help the swap mamas match you up with someone special. We'll come back to that in a bit.

Mail dates are in May so you have a solid two months + to make something fantastic!

The swap mamas this round are pros so things will run very smoothly. Tiffany, of This Crafty Fox and Marika, of Marika Makes along with me will be hosting this. Swap mamas match up partners, make sure everyone is on track, answer questions, and generally make sure all is well.

Join us!

February 1, 2015

Fresh Sewing Day | February

January was busy, and we've already moved on to February. The older I get the faster time flies. My biggest finish was a football quilt. I came across a quilt that looked like a football in a magazine a year or so ago, and thought to myself - I can do that.

I don't have any Illustrator programs or electronic quilt programs. I just used Excel, but in this case, it was sufficient.

University of Nebraska is where I went to college so I am very proud of this one as it will make a home with me. I had pondered giving this away for a raffle, but I love it too much.

This quilt will be special to me because I created my own pattern and it turned out. Have you ever written a pattern and then made a quilt? It is a great feeling of accomplishment.

Fresh Sewing Day

January 18, 2015

The first of 2015

This is my first completion of the year! I have signed up for a paper piecing bee where we make 3/4 blocks for each person, for 6 months, as well as read a book or watch a movie. The book/movie for January is "The Giver". I haven't made time to get the movie yet, but I will!

These blocks are a fantastic way to use up scraps and are going to Tiffany. They were fun to make and I think this quilt will be beautiful!

January 16, 2015

Christmas Swap 2014

There are a handful of us quilty/crafty/sewing gals that participated in a swap for Christmas and I hit the jackpot!

Last year I mentioned that I really wanted a sew-together bag, but was afraid to sew it myself because all those zippers!

Well well well, I got one - and the special touches are so perfectly suited to my style.

The colors are fabulous and the outside is a minimal design with a pop of color, in this case a granny square and a tea wallet too (I LOVE tea). As I opened each zipper another treat was hidden. I was like a kid at Christmas. Some washi tape and a jumbo bag of chewy sprees too - yippee!

Thank you Lyanna - it's perfect and you are awesome. That is all.

January 6, 2015

Q1 2015 | Finish Along

I love the Finish-A-long! Something about publically putting out there what I want to accomplish really does make me get it done! Other than the pillow swap (which may be delayed to later in the year so it won't count), I have started all of these - yikes! That's a lot of projects. I'm looking forward to all of them for various reasons so stay tuned for many finishes.

How has your new year started? Do you have any UFO projects you are looking to finish up? What about the sew your stash movement? I am on a fabric diet myself...we'll see how long that lasts, but I really do want to not purchase any more - I'm running out of room. Happy New Year!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

January 5, 2015

Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to another stop on the Around the World Blog Hop!

I was asked to join in by Lori of Lori Hartman Designs. We have hosted swaps together as well as helped along young chapters of our respective Modern Quilt Guilds. She is uber creative and you should swing by to see what she has been working on lately.

What am I working on:

This being the new year, I have some grand plans. About half a dozen UFO's that I would really love to finish as well as a Husker t-shirt quilt and a very personal quilt for one of my dearest friends. And, because I can't say no to my great sewing circle, I am signed up for a paper piecing bee (3 blocks a month), a traveling quilt, a pillow swap and birthday club. Quarter 1 will be busy. I love it!

Here is a progress shot of those paper pieced blocks I was telling you about. They will have a low volume background and this quilt will be stunning!

Why do you create:

I love making things for other people and also for myself. The process of selecting fabrics, contemplating designs, auditioning fabrics and then seeing a finished product fills me with great satisfaction. Additionally, when you make something for someone and they love it, it just warms my heart.

This is a great time to introduce you to Lyanna of Blue Striped Room. We met a couple of years ago at a Sewing Retreat and I am in awe of how productive she is while being a mom to five kids. Head on over to see her recent projects which include a cargo bag and a sew-together bag, along with lots of quilts for Christmas gifts.
Here is a great shot of her holiday finishes - gorgeous!

Wishing you a productive week!