Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Figgy Pudding D9P My Way

I need to stop saying how much I love my own quilts. Sounds a little too self serving maybe? But then again I haven't posted the 'other' quilts yet. The ones that I don't really love. I am having a hard time saying I don't like them now that they are finished. I put too much work into them to not like them. But the reality is, some I just don't. But this one, this one I love.

It started with the disappearing 9-patch tutorial for a table runner at p.s. i quilt and a charm pack of Figgy Pudding. I made the 4 big 9 patches. And cut them up. And then - yuck. I didn't like any version of putting them all back together. Too scrappy for me. There really is a theme developing here that I have hard time with scrappy. I like a little more order and reason to things. (Not that you could tell that at all from the state of my house. Maybe it is a compensation thing.) So white sashing to the rescue.

And then I started adding borders. I did not really have a plan other than I wanted to end with a border using the other charm pack I had. So I would audition something and stand on top of my dining table to see how it looked. Make a little tweak, stand back up on the table, and so on. The goal was to fill the space until I used the charm pack and it would be the perfect size. Even squares all the way around, no trimming. Shouldn't be that hard, right? I have to admit that the borders did not go as easily as I thought they would. I invariable ended up with the wrong size of something. I had all the math figured out and voila! I was totally wrong. Quilt math seems to kick my butt. And I don't understand it because I am usually good at math. Maybe I underestimate how tricky it really is so it kicks my rear to teach me a lesson for judging.

This one I quilted myself as well. Straight lines on the diagonal. Turned out much easier than I had thought. And I pieced the back as well. I did it a little off center, using up all the yardage I had, but it is not quite off center enough. Know what I mean? It is not quite off enough to look intentionally, just like you kind of messed up. But that is okay. Know why? Because I love this quilt. Yay me.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spiderweb quilt for Halloween

This is one of the first quilts I made. I saw one like it at a show and thought the quilting was so clever. Although she had Boo written in hers. There was no way I was going to attempt words. I just stuck to the basic spiderweb. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I used a neon green thread for the quilting and I love it. You can't see it all that well in this photo though. If you click it to enlage it is a little better, but not much. Next thing to work on, better photography.

The fabric on the back is so dang cute.
As I write this I realize that I did this quilt before I took any classes. And I think that I might have been more hesitant to try the quilting myself if I had done the project during those classes. All (okay, most) of the women who shared their projects in that class were either professional LA quilters or had hired someone to LA for them. I also have to acknowledge here that I was the youngest person in the class. It was a senior adult education quilting class put on by the local community college. And it was free. My neighbor introduced me to the class and I loved it. And they didn't seem to care how old I was. But the point is that during that time I was too afraid to quilt anything myself. I did okay before the class, and I have done some since I stopped going to the class. But during that time period I think I thought everything had to be quilted on a LA to look 'professional'. Hmmm. Something to think about.

Now I just go for it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Butterfly Jar is done! (to a point)

It is just the top still. A flimsy so to speak. Still need to layer, pin and quilt for it to be officially done. Yeah, not too much left to do. Right.

(And in this photo I still needed to add just the top and bottom borders. Those have since been done. Now to get some other WIPs to a better stage in life.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

the coolest thing ever (to me)

My cousin gave me the coolest thing ever. She quilts and she knows all sorts of great tricks. I was complaining (what's new) that I really can't cut straight. My ruler veers off to the left as I get to the top of it, making all of my cuts really not straight. Which, combined with my less than perfect 1/4" seam and the fact that I really don't like to iron fabric before I cut it, makes for some harder than it has to be quilting.

So she gave me some wonder dots. To me they are wonder dots. In reality they are sandpaper dots you put on the bottom of your ruler so that it doesn't slide. It was one of those ta-da moments when I finally (found them again and) put them on the ruler. Huge difference. Amazing.

These are not actually the ones she gave me. Those are much smaller and there was no brand on them at all. But I am attempting to limit the posts I do with no photos. Not really blog savvy from what I can tell.

So go get you some dots. Works like a charm.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Peanut's quilt made with love

My neighbor did a sweet and wonderful thing when I was pregnant. She got a list of friends and family from my husband. She sent them a 6" muslin square and asked them to create a block. She encouraged sewing, quilting, applique, painting, whatever they felt comfortable with. And then they sent them back to her and she made me this. It hangs above Bug's Crib. (Although she is getting so tall that she can reach it now. It is only a matter of time before it comes flying off the wall.) It truly is a treasure for me, and hopefully will be for Bug as she gets older.

(Great Aunt Donna, Kristin, Cousin CeCe, Great Aunt Donna, Great Aunt Martha, Jenifer, Great Aunt Marie, Great Aunt Elizabeth, Grandma Grace, AmyGrace and Michelle, Paula, Cousin Kelly, Great Aunt Rozy, Ariana, Aunt Caroline, Great Aunt Gayle, Great Aunt Jeanne, Jacque, Aunt Michelle, Grandma Sandy)

When I was pregnant with Bug we called her Peanut. We did not announce her name until people were introduced to her. So that is why it is Peanut's quilt. And why that name is embroidered on there as well.

This was supposed to be a secret project. But a few of my friends started talking about it. And these were separate friends that this happened with. When I called them on it they said, yeah but you knew anyhow, didn't you. And I admitted that I did. I guess they know me pretty well....


I love my hedgies! They are so cute. I loved them the minute I saw this post at Darling Petunia. I knew I had to make them. Just had to.

It took me awhile to scope out the hand mits. I have to limit my trips to the dollar store. I know each item is only a dollar, but man, can I spend way too much money in that store. It is amazing! So I am wary about going too often.

And of course I couldn't get just one color. I had to get all three. I mean, they're only a dollar.

The Bug loves them. And bless my friends, they humor me and tell me they like them too.
This week I decided to join Sew & Tell over at AmyLouWho. Go see what other people have created this week. Be inspired.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beautiful eggs - wish I had seen this a few weeks ago....

Oh my gosh! These are beautiful! You have to go see. They are Silk-Dyed Eggs {aka TIE-Dyed!} at Our Best Bites.

I first saw them at Count it *all* Joy as I was just browsing around. Wow - so cool. Hers are beautiful. I am off to find photos of more that I can drool over and be inspired by, but needed to share first. Isn't the internet wonderful?

Good thing I have 18 blown eggs that we didn't decorate this year. All I need now are the ties. I am off to thrift!

(I really want to post photos here instead of sending you off, but I don't feel right about stealing someone's photo to do it. So please, go to the links. You'll love them.)

The 'net really is great. I mean, think about it. I started out the evening just poking around, looking here and there. Enjoying, but really more like killing time. And then Bam - I run across this page of awesomeness. I am totally inspired. My heart is racing a bit. My mind is spinning on when I can tackle this project. My hopes are up that it will turn out to be beautiful. I am excited! Love it!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Princess and the Pea - Done!

I love this quilt. I really do. It was one of those that I saw (on Moda Bake Shop) and instantly said - I have to make that. And I did.

The honey bun is Soiree by Lila Tueller for Moda. And I added lace, large and small ric-rac and other trims between some of the layers. The one thing I have not done is add the pea. My bug would have that thing off and in her mouth in a heartbeat, so that will get added a little bit later in life.

This was one of my first times doing applique. I don't know if I am a fan or not. Although I do like how this turned out. I know you are supposed to stitch down the applique before you put the quilt together, but I didn't so the outline is quilted through all layers and I love it. The only other quilting was a few curvy lines and I chose to do it only on certain fabric strips. This was very thick to get through my little sewing machine so I used the wavy stitch on my machine with my walking foot to get as much help as possible.

I used an uber soft pink minky for the back and hi-loft poly batting so that it stayed as soft and fluffy and cuddly as possible. And believe me, it is. I am often found snuggling with this cutie. Even without the bug around.

The ruffle is a fabric that is turning up in most things I make for her. I bought a bolt of the colorful stripe when we were decorating the nursery. I had big plans for curtains, dust ruffle, basket liners, crib type things and other accessories. She has a valance. That's it. But that fabric is the backing on a twin size quilt, in this one, on her alphabet letters, and now that I think about it will probably be the binding on the butterfly jars as well. Love it.

(And I have to apologize for the wrinkles. I pretty much had to pry this from little hands to get photos and so we will just consider it well loved, not slovenly and wrinkled.)

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Neighborhood is on its way to NY

A while ago I saw this post on Bumble Beans asking for help. All you have to do is make a house block or two, no problem.

Well let me tell you, I had problems. I am a relatively new quilter. And I have a somewhat casual relationship with my 1/4" seam. Usually that is fine. I can get by, make it work, compensate, etc. But I had not worked with triangles. I don't think I like triangles. And they most definitely are not appreciative of my not-always-exactly-spot-on 1/4" seams.

After the first evening of puzzling through this I realized I had the wrong measurements. Duh. My next available evening I spent trying to salvage what I had already cut and started strip piecing. (I like to assembly-line anything I can. That's the lazy in me; or shall I say efficient.) But after great frustration I realized that was not going to happen. This block was kicking my butt. And that is not a good feeling.

So I pondered for a few days, looked at some other options, made more calculations and acknowledged that I don't like triangles. And found another way to get basically the same look. I got to it again and this time I cut all my peices too large so I had some wiggle room. And then I made one block. And it worked. So I made another block, and that one worked as well. So now I had to prove that I had mastered this house block thing so I made a neighborhood of houses. They are now on their way to NY to join the other houses. These are going to be some beautiful 'painted lady' quilts!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

WIPs - Yikes

Okay, when I started this quilting thing I told myself that I would not start a new project until I had finished my last one. And I stuck with that for quite some time, I think maybe 2 years or so. But that is all out the window now. In order to make the point more obvious to myself I made a list and put it on this blog, top right I think, for everyone to see. I am hoping that this will motivate me to GET SOME THINGS FINISHED! (Although I don't often see that page of my blog. I am in the editor more than anything. Hmmm.)

I really don't like having this many projects going at once. Of course, I do have a few excuses. Really.

I have no idea what I am going to do with the pinwheels. The next step is to put some sashing on them and then lay them out. But I don't have a design wall. And the blocks are huge so I'm not sure how I am going to work that one out. I originally thought I would make 3 separate quilts from the one layer cake of City Girl. But now, I have no idea....

For the Butterfly Jars I unfortunately keep finding great butterfly fabric, so I have to catch up on some blocks so I can put it together. But it should happen sooner rather than later so I don't have an excuse to buy more butterfly fabric. Hmmm. That may be my next goal - get that one done. Which means I will get the bug jar I am donating done as well. It is basically the same parts and pieces so it is much easier to do them both at the same time.

Authentic coins I really don't like. I did get the background fabric just recently. It just needs to get put together so I can get the big picture. I don't like the elements separately. I am hoping I will like it all together.

And I could go on. And I probably will, but later. The Butterfly jars are the first on the list to get done. (Mainly because I have black thread in my machine right now and they need black thread!)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bug Jar Quilts

My cousin CeCe, or officially Diane, and if you want to get really official, she is actually my cousin-in-law, had a great idea to make bug jar quilts for my nephews in memory of their brother Anthony. And she asked if I wanted to help. And yes, I did want to help.

We got help from some other people as well. CeCe is in a guild here (cannot for the life of me remember which one! sorry!) and many of the members donated bug fabrics. And a friend of a friend donated quite a few fabrics as well. (Thank you so much Mariealena! Check out her blog at Sam Quilts.)

Anthony was always coming home with some kind of creature to share, so these were very appropriate for his brothers. Here is the label CeCe created for the quilt I made for the youngest. The other label was similar, but for Anthony's older brother.

These were hard to make. And I don't mean technically, that was the easy part. (Well to be honest, quilt math got the best of us both a few times. I really should keep my mouth shut more often - I do not always have the right answer. Shocking, but true.) The hard part was all the emotions that were at play each time I sat down to sew. I'm pretty sure it was the same for CeCe. I suppose it was a bit cathartic as well. Because it helps to feel like you are doing something.

A lot of love went into these quilts.

Chocolate Calculator

Okay, I got this as an email. You know, those emails that go around and around and around. Well this one is pretty neat. Here are the direction to calculate Your Age by Chocolate Math. (Humor me here, its pretty cool.)


1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1760 ..
If you haven't, add 1759..

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number

The first digit of this was your original number
(i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are

YOUR AGE! (Yep, pretty cool, huh?)


Thank you for endulging me. I am always fascinated by this kind of thing. And by the person who thought this up.