Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kaleidoscope Quilt Along

I just got home from a lovely vacation to see notice of a new quilt along hosted by Elizabeth of don't call me betsy! Fabric requirements and the quilt along schedule will be posted on Friday, June 3. I enjoy following Elizabeth's blog - she does beautiful work! And I'm looking forward to joining in her new quilt along!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Once, Twice, or More

Last month, I shared a table runner pattern that I had made several times, "Crossroads Table Runner" from Anka's TreasuresCharmed and Dangerous. It got me thinking, "What pattern have I made the most?" I'm pretty darn sure it has to be the Popular Topper (unfortunately, author unknown), shared by one of my quilting buddies back in 2003. I have made it 8 times now - one of those "I need a gift, and soon" projects that always turns out great.
Table toppers finish at 24"; if anyone knows who the author is, please leave a comment . . .

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Shop and A Book

Yesterday, while out and about, I visited a sweet little quilt shop, Glad Creations. I was welcomed by the most wonderful display of KONA cotton solids. Sooo lovely!
Mom was with me and fell in love with a sample table runner, so we had fun picking out some fabric for a project for her. So while this isn't exactly 'stash fabric', it'll be nice to have it hang out in the sewing room until I get started.
Lastly, I saw a new book I was interested in, which I didn't realize was even on the shelves yet! Couldn't resist buying a copy each for daughter dear and myself.
It features 12 different quilt bloggers who participated in a year-long "block party". The book is full of modern quilt blocks, 'taught' by several bloggers I follow - A Quilt is Nice, Film in the Fridge, Tall Grass Prairie, and Oh, Fransson - and more that I want to check out! What a great little quilty outing!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Little Fabric, A Little Chocolate {Swap!}

Last week, my partner in the A Little Fabric, A Little Chocolate {Swap!} on Flickr received her package from me. Yay! She liked it!

Well, today, I received my package from Nicole! It was full of some fantastic fabrics! (Love those grays! And can't wait to dig into that charm pack! And those threads!)
And some yummy chocolate and other fun goodies! (Such yumminess! And darling papergoods!)
Wow! My first A Little Fabric, A Little Chocolate {Swap!} was a real treat!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

W.i.P. Wednesday

It's W.i.P. Wednesday! 

Ongoing projects
Yay! I faced my nemesis
and basted my Comic Strip Quilt!
Dream Big got cut out during Friday Night Sew-In.

Cappuccino Bali Pop quilt is ready to start piecing. It's real name is "Light & Shadow" by Brenda Henning.

The last mini quilt in the Prairie Women's Sewing Circle series is cut out.
Just Swell sewing machine cover - fabric all chosen from stash and first pieced strip done.
Block-a-palooza quilt along needs basted and quilted. (This will probably be waiting a while.)

Need to do
* Shades of Grey.
* Stash quilt - Sew Katie Did's zig zag quilt.
* Quilts for our siblings.
* DS Fairgrounds.
Be sure and stop in over at Freshly Pieced to see lots of fantastic projects! Have a great day!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thinking Back

Last evening was somewhat traumatic. Since I knew I wouldn't be able to sew for several days, I seized the opportunity to take my sewing machine in for its (overdue) annual check-up. Its stitch regulator needed checked, among other minor adjustments and cleaning. Now I'm pretty used to being an empty-nester, but really, no kids and no sewing machine?! Yikes!

For some reason, I was reminded that it wasn't really true that there wasn't a sewing machine in the house. Right in the sewing room, where it always lives, is this little darling:
This Singer, which my grandma bought when she was a single young woman, is over 75 years old, and last I checked, still stiches with a hum. It is the machine I learned to sew on back in the 70's when I was just a teenager, and many a time over the years has been hauled out to sub in when my current machine was in the shop. It just may be again soon.

In 1977, for my 21st birthday, my parents gifted me with what was, at the time, as wonderful a gift as I could imagine.
Top of the line in her day, this precious one served me well for over 30 years. She was the friend I stayed up late with many a night, making my own clothes. Later, after I became a mommy, she made bibs, baby quilts, and teddy bears. Eventually, in the 80's, she learned to piece quilts, though never really mastered machine quilting. She travled to quilt classes and retreats, stitching up countless table runners, quilts, and other miscellaneous projects.

Last year, elna went to live with daughter dear, and a brother took her place.
Sleek and shiny, brother is up to the challenge of the machine quilting that sweet elna was not. She's kept up with her predecessors, this one, and has worked hard in the year she's lived with me. Truly, I miss her already! But she'll be back home soon, ready to face those W.i.P.s and who knows what else. Can't wait.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Just Swell

Why is it? You have oodles of projects to work on, but what you really want is to start something "not even on the list" new? Well I am quite the fan of Camille Roskelley of Simplify. When I saw her new patterns this weekend, I was immediately drawn to "Just Swell." I've been wanting to make a cover for my machine for a while, and "Just Swell" seemed perfect. I dug into my stash and so far, have the first pieced strip done.
My machine is off for its annual check-up, so once it's back home all clean and sparkly, I'll keep it that way with a new quilty cover!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

FQS Bella Parade

Throughout May, Shruti of 13 Woodhouse Road has been highlighting a color of a Bella Solid fabric and asking her readers to share inspiration photos that somehow feature that color. You may remember that I was asked to suggest coordinating fabrics for Lavender. Well yesterday was my day!

One thing about doing something for the first time is that you don't always 'get it.' After reading posts from other participants, I realized how simplistic mine was, not really reflecting on the use of lavender in quilting. Not that I have much of an opinion there! Anway, {here} is Shruti's post on lavender, with my comment and fabric suggestions (which I think I did ok on). Katy of I'm a Ginger Monkey was the 'expert' for lavender, and {here} is her post.

I looked back in my own quilting archive and lavender isn't a color I've used alot, but here are several projects I did find with lavender in them . . .


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cut, Sort, Cut

Well, last evening was Friday Night Sew-In. For some reason, I was in the mood to prep projects. Soooo, I took this perfect little jelly roll
and this lovely stack of KONA solids
(for daughter dear ~ cyan, azure, aqua, cerise, lupine, petunia)
and cut them into this:
These fabrics are for a plus quilt called Dream Big, from the book, Simplify with Camille Roskelley: Quilts for the Modern Home (Stash Books).

Meanwhile, if you've visited on a W.i.P. Wednesday, you might have noticed that these two projects have been on the list for quite some time:
* The last project from the Pioneer Women Sewing Circle.
So I decided to get them going while I was at it.
I opened up the Bali Pop to find the most amazing batiks!
I was pleasantly surprised to find several fabrics I had used in this quilt last year ("Waffles" by Aardvark Quilts):
Anyway, I got so far as to read thru the directions (a special template will be involved!) and pair up the strips for sewing, allowing for as much contrast as possible. So those strips are sitting by my machine ready to go.
Lastly, I have really wanted to complete the Pioneer series I started last year. There are six minis in the series - see the first five here. The last one is a bow tie quilt. I opened up the kit to find an amazing array of Civil War era fabrics
and got so far as to cut the shirtings that will be used as block backgrounds.
Well, that's a long post for a couple of hours of work, but it feels good to have dug into the pile and gotten a few more projects underway!
Now to go see what other Friday Nighters worked on! Photos will also be posted on Flickr. Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mug Rugs and Friday Night

Well, as you may have seen in my A Little Fabric, A Little Chocolate {Swap!} package, I took a foray into the land of mug rugs last weekend! I've been eyeing these little quilts with a mixture of suspicion and delight. It was these mug rugs by Mary at Pin. Sew. Press. that finally convinced me to try one myself. I began with one for my swap partner. She loves owls, & I had a little owl print from my scrap swap a few months ago, and turned it into this!
That was fun! So I kept going and made one for my friend's birthday - she loves bunnies
I was hooked now and remembered my daughter saying she loved mug rugs. And it's her birthday this week! So I rummaged through my scrap bin again to find some blues for my sweet girl and made her this:
Ok, so honestly, mug rugs may not be serious quilts, but they are alot of fun and nearly instant gratification, and sometimes there is really a place for that!

So it's finally Friday night, and I'm hoping to sneak into the tail end of Friday Night Sew-In, sponsored by Handmade by Heidi and Crafty Vegas Mom. Join us if you can and report tomorrow about what you worked on!

Handmade by Heidi

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Little Fabric, A Little Chocolate {Swap!}

A couple of weeks ago, I joined A Little Fabric, A Little Chocolate {Swap!} on Flickr. A couple of us newbies were paired together, and I had a great time making up a swap package for my partner, Nicole. The deal is, your swap package is to include:

~ Three fat quarters
~ Chocolate!
~ An extra little "treat" ~ something hand made would be awesome, or thread, buttons, notions, anything!
~ A hand-written note
~ A photograph or a blank postcard

Easy enough! My extra little "treat" was a couple of hand made somethings. This mug rug (my first!), since I knew Nicole likes owls:
and this table runner, made out of what I knew was one of Nicole's favorite fabric lines, Moda's "Dream On" by Urban Chiks:

Well, she received her package today and seems to be quite pleased. Well then, so am I!

P.S. Table runner pattern is Skinny Verna by Vickie Eapen at spunsugarquilt.com, found on at modabakeshop.com.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

W.i.P. Wednesday

It's W.i.P. Wednesday again already! Unfortunately, some of what I've been working on can't be shown until my A Little Fabric, A Little Chocolate {Swap!} partner receives the package I sent off today. I'll give you another sneak peek, though, to prove I have been sewing!
Ongoing projects
I pieced the backing for my sherbet pips Comic Strip Quilt top so it's ready for basting and quilting. I used up my last pips charm squares to make an 'extra' block and put it on the back - kind of gets lost there - live and learn.
The KONA solids came for the Dream Big quilt for my daughter. So now I can cut fabric and really get going!

Block-a-palooza quilt along needs basted and quilted. (This will probably be waiting a while.)

Need to do
* Shades of Grey.
* Stash quilt - Sew Katie Did's zig zag quilt.
* Quilts for our siblings.
* The last project from the Pioneer Women Sewing Circle.

Be sure and stop in over at Freshly Pieced to see lots of fantastic projects! Have a great day!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I added a couple of goodies to my Stash recently. First was a fat quarter pack of Just Wing It stripes by MoMo. I've had my eye on these for a while, just because.
Next is a beautiful fat quarter pack of Daisy Janie's Shades of Grey, which I won in a give-away this week! What a treat to actually WIN something you've really wanted! I've admired these organic cottons since the moment I saw them. In the comments of the give-away, we were supposed to tell what we would do with the fabrics if we won them. My comment was, "I would definitely use them in a quilt, most likely all together. I'd like to try a monochromatic quilt with a 'pop' of color. Love these fabrics!" And that's still what I would like to do! Now to choose a pattern . . .

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Odds & Ends

Well, it's time to say goodbye to Supernova. It's been great fun, and it has ended with a bang. First, on Wednesday, a photo of my completed quilt was selected for its "interestingness" and posted on Flickr/ Explore - what an honor!

Thursday, Lee of Freshly Pieced, posted a gallery of all the completed Supernovas, complete with links, if you'd like to see them in greater detail.
Then Friday, I entered the quilt in the virtual Bloggers' Quilt Festival. It's been great fun seeing many of the entries!

This last week, I've been gathering goodies & working on projects for my swap partner in A Little Fabric, A Little Chocolate {Swap!}. Here's a little sneak peek ~ hope to have her package in the mail early this week!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side | Bloggers' Quilt Festival
Today begins the Bloggers' Quilt Festival sponsored by Amy's Creative Side. I'm excited to participate for the first time and would like to share my Supernova quilt.
I made this quilt "quilting along" with Lee of Freshly Pieced. When the quilt along was announced, I was on my way to Hawaii for my niece's wedding. I was mulling over if I could manage to participate and if so, what fabric I would use. Then it dawned on me that it would be great fun to combine the quilt along and my vacation, by visiting some quilt shops in Hawaii and purchasing my fabric there!

I confess that while I was in Hawaii (near paradise!) for a wonderful occassion (a wedding!), my time there was bittersweet. While we were away, my step-dad  back at home was put on hospice care. Shopping and planning for the Supernova was a pleasant distraction from life's realities. Hubby was a real encouragement, caught the vision, and helped me put together a fun stack of fabric. As we gathered our stash, we looked for blues and greens and teals to remember the beautiful waves that soothed us; some golds for the sun that warmed us; some black for the lava rock seen all over The Big Island; and then we surrounded all that with KONA Sand. 
I got home just in time to plan my layout and start cutting! Lee's instructions were so helpful in planning my blocks, and before long, I had all my block fabrics ready to go.
This quilt is special to me for several reasons - that hubby and I planned it together, that it was a comfort to me when I was able to sneak snatches of time to work on it during a very emotional family time, and because every step of this project was like an "ah-ha" moment! I mentioned in an earlier post that there was "drama at every turn", and that was seriously so. 
What I learned during the Supernova process was not to scrimp. If there's any disappointment in my final project, it's that I threw the back together rather than take the time to do what I really wanted - put an extra supernova block there or something more creative (love what some of the others did!). But time was of the essence if I wanted to get it done on time. 
All in all, this was one of the most rewarding quilts I've worked on in some time. Every step of the process (except basting - I dread that every time!) was a pleasure. And it will always be a reminder that joy and heartache walk together. Maybe because of my intense sadness while I worked on this project, the enjoyment was increased; I don't know. But I do know that I treasure this quilt and the journey that brought it to be.
Additional notes about this quilt ~ Batting is Warm and White Cotton Batting; I machine-quilted it on my Brother Innov-is QC-1000, with a wavy stitch; Binding is Hoffman ‘Sea Grass’; Finished size is 62" square.