Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fabric Tuesday!!

 Of course it's Tuesday, and that means that Quilt Story is hosting "Fabric Tuesday" Here's my fabric project:

A new pincushion - I wanted to try making a tiny star... after seeing some great ones on flickr here, here, and here. And I just so happened to have soem triangles around from the scraps given to me by my great aunt Let me tell you, much of the fabric scraps from her are... well old reproduction fabrics. This green polkadot one caught my eye (I definately have a dress that has the same green polkadots)... so I trimmed them down and ended up with this. The whole thing (flat) measures just under three inches. I love it! A little bit of hand stitching, and a little tag of my fav Anna Maria Horner print. Perfection.

I can't stop making these mug rugs.

Here's front & back of my newest one. Yes, it's my third one. Here are my other two. They're inspired by the mug rugs in this flickr swap group - signups just closed and we should be getting our partners names this week!

Monday, August 30, 2010

One Week One Challenge

Amy, from Amy's Creative Side has hosted One Week, One Challenge again this past week. I pledged to make some quilted coaster tops for a friend. It was really a challenge since my friend definately picked a color I'm not really into (and that I only had small triangles of fabric of). Here's what I came up with. Hopefully she likes them!
I ran out of the white fabric, otherwise I'd have them all finished! It was fun trying these new layouts!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Swaps starting soon!

Ever since joining the DQS at the beginning of the summer, I've been hanging around a couple other flickr groups, waiting for them to start another round of swapping. Two of these start up very soon. First, the Scrappy Pincushion Swap, which stops taking names at 6:00pm today (eek that's ten minutes from now!), will be announcing who's in this round/who their (secret) partners will be by Sept 5th... and swaps will be mailed out by the first of October. Pretty cool. I really hope I get in. :) These swaps are fun.

Next I started stalking the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap as soon as ms. flossy blossoms started it up. I believe for this one, everyone who signs up is in. For this one sign ups end the 31st, we'll have our partners by the 4th, and will send our swaps out by Oct 1st. Apparently Eminem is going to swap too... lol (at my excitement that I was the only "E" named swapper, suspiciously Eminem and the Easter Bunny decided to join... tricky ones them).

Why swaps? Well the community is great (a lot of the ladies from these swaps are also in the DQS), and it's really quite inspiring to see their creativity. Swapping makes me think more, try harder, push my boundaries, learn new things...etc. Pretty fun. Not to mention that these two new swaps (providing I get in) will be pretty quick once I decide what to make - since each project can be finished within a single nap time. :) Much more to come!

Also ---- My DQS9 partner, Rebecca, received her package in the mail this week! :) She loved it! And I'm glad!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hey readers...

It's free swap day at Spoonflower. Check it out! It was really simple, pick out a fabric, order a swatch of it, and they'll do the rest for free! :) I picked out a cool fabric with bicycles on it.
This is the one I ordered. But maybe I should have went with this TINY bike fabric?

Sorry I'm too lazy to really post the pictures. :)
Enjoy. This does end tomorrow afternoon though! So be speedy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mug Rugs and Other Stuff.

Mug rug #2. I love these. they're quick and fun and useable. :) This one actually, was my first flickr picture ever to be put on "explore" which for the record I really don't understand. (how do they pick them and where do I go to find mine?) I looked through pages of explore pics today, and didn't see mine. Figures. :) But I got a couple comments from random people saying they'd seen it there.
Also, my doll quilt for the DQS9 is all finished, pictures taken, wrapped, and sent! I keep checking the USPS site for tracking - obsessively. I really would cry if it got lost! I hope my partner likes it!!!!
Here's a stack of blocks for Rosemarie's Cancer Killin Quilt. :) I've got just about enough... all layed out, numbered and ready to be sewn together. I'm still expecting a couple more blocks from people who have said they're sending them. Those will go onto the back of this quilt, or into the one for Katee (Rosemarie's sister). As of now I have 15 remaining blocks for Katee's I'll do what it takes to fill in the gaps. It'll work. :) I love it so far. Here it is all laid out.
Please pardon the terrible dark picture. It was daytime and sunny when I took it... but the size and shadowyness of my living room just didn't work for it! :) This pic is mostly for me to reference should I loose a couple of those numbers in the sewing process. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fabric Tuesday

Here's something new. Fabric Tuesday hosted by Quiltstory.

Fresh Poppy Design
Here's my submission. As you may know, last week we had the most spectacular family vacation at Disney World. It really made me loooove Disney so much more. And Allie kept saying "Mickey's house, play!!!" and, "I love you Mickey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Well, while we were there, we at at a spectacular restaurant The Flying Fish Cafe (Boardwalk Inn). They had the coolest floor (and steak mmm). I knew it had to be a quilt.
So when I came back I decided to make it so. I used some grey fabric (about 15" x 17" what I had laying around) and some scraps of various blues (with doublesided fusable web).

Turned out pretty great!!! (I need to trim a little off the bottom to make it less rainbow like down there).
Now for how to quilt it to secure all those little tiny pieces? I tested out two ways, and I think I've decided to go with the first way, which is to sew around each square rather than free motion quilting over them.

I have no idea what this will become... a doll quilt? A pillow? It's fun either way!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A little public service announcement:

Awesome giveaway listed on quiltstory. Check it out here: http://quiltstory.blogspot.com/2010/08/i-spy-ladybug-giveaway.html


I've been thinking here and there about starting an etsy shop. I feel very strongly about not wanting to do the whole "make a pattern, repeat a pattern" production that so many crafters do. I'm into sewing for me. If my things are all wild and not liked by others so be it... I like the ability to make lots of randomness just to try it out. But... I really don't need 18 doll quilts (ok...so I only have... 4 in my house now)... and fabric is expensive (and I want to buy more of it). I know I don't have the confidence to sell things for what they're really worth either (time, energy. planning, precision). I'm cheap, I would never pay $25 for a set of 4 coasters really? lol. So I feel like I'd cheat myself.

But. It'd be refreshing to have some money set aside just for me to spend on fabric. I hesitate every time I buy fabric. It'd be nice to just say, hey I like it I'll use it, and make more money. lol.

I'd also like to do something out of the ordinary. As you guys saw yesterday, I really loved making my mug rug coaster. I had a friend on facebook offer to pay me to make her some. But the thing is, I want to make my colors not hers. lol. I'll make her some, it'll be a bit of a challenge though not using grey. :)

The other thing is, if I were to sell some doll quilts on there... are people willing to pay what they're worth? Even $35 sounds like too expensive for people to want to spend ... yet too little for me to sell them at. Really? I just don't want to waste my time and energy if it's not going to sell. Any thoughts?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Scrappy Mug Rug Swap...

I wandered apon this flickr swap group the other day and I love it! The scrappy mug rug swap is beginning signups for the first round.... I love the idea, something I actually can use - since I do drink coffee almost everyday. Of course I had to give it a try. Here's my practice run:

Isn't it cute? I was initially just playing around with some scraps, trying out some different ways to get tiny sashed squares to line up easier (these squares are 1/2" sashed with 1/4") it worked out alright, but working that tiny size requires very very strict seam allowances (I gooffed on that first row a little bit). It certainly worked better than the way I did the pink quiltie though! After I'd finished that block of squares (which ended up being only 3" square!) I decided to add some sashing and then the extra length of the stripes... a little hedgie for good measure and bound up in what else, purple! I really love it! And... I think I need a cup of coffee to enjoy with it!

As you can see I'm still on my Disney high... I can't even begin to explain how good of a trip it was... AMAZING. Can I show you? How about a picture from the celebration of the girl's 2nd birthday?

I think that does it. :) It was really spactacular.

And the winners are....

LisaBee wins the first prize...the patterns and such, and Love.Sewn wins the set of cards etc. 
Please contact me with your addresses ladies! 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mod Bento Block Swap

The giveaway post is here.

As the Doll Quilt Swap 9 winds down (yep I just finished the quilt yesterday), I've been thinking about joining another swap or two. I'm not really sold on the whole "quilting bee" although I think I'd learn a lot, I don't really have the fabric or postage to be doing that sort of huge project. I like the idea of doll quilt swaps because I like the finished product... neet and tidy. I've decided to join the Scrappy Pincushion Swap, which not only inspired me to make these,
but it is also hosted by the same people as the Doll Quilt Swap (lots of the swappers are the same too). The scrappy pincushion swap starts up as the DQS9 winds down, which is perfect!

Then I started looking for other swaps... and a friend from the DQS9 swap told me about the Mod Bento Block Swap. It's a pretty cool setup. You make as many mod bento blocks as you'd like to recieve, then send them to the swap mama with a self addressed prepaid envelope, and she'll send you that many blocks from the ones other people send in! I like that there's really no rules other than fabric choice (which is right in my comfort zone), and date of sending (which is two weeks from now - perfect).

So yesterday I set out to give it a try! We're using Film in the Fridge's tutorial, which is awesome! Here is the block I made yesterday, and the two I made today! I've been taking extra care to measure/cut/sew/trim meticulously... and mine actually ended up at the prescribed 16" square! Pretty awesome!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Finishing up my swap quilt, and starting some other projects.

The giveaway post is here.
After trying out hand quilting/embroidery for the first time in ages (for my DQS9 quilt) I found that I actually really enjoy it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not all for the detail and perfection that most like... but some words here or there, and a nice running stitch, that's more me. After finishing my doll quilt swap quilt I wanted to play around a bit more with hand quilting/embroidering, so last night I whipped up this. It's about 16" x 18" (guessing) and is made up of my current favorite fabrics. I quilted in the ditch, and sewed on the binding, so I don't have to worry too much about the fabrics shifting. Notice that little hedgie, I love him. The bikes... awesomeness! :) I can't wait to play with this! lol.

As I mentioned above, I did indeed finish my quilt for DQS9 (yesterday). I sewed on my label and it's all ready to go. I'm not going to send it just yet though, I need more time to say goodbye! It's definately the most challenging quilt I've made, and I purposely chose aspects to add to it, so that I'd learn a lot as I went. It's awesome!!! Here's a snippet of the back - there's a rainbow of circles there, and pink because well, what else? lol. I did piped binding, and hand quilted it.

I'm sending some goodies along with it too. A handmade quilted card (for me to send my partner a little note), a needle book, scissors, a spool holder, and a mini tapemeasure. ...and more! :) Gotta keep them guessing!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Look what the mailman brought me!

(The giveaway post is here.)
That's right! More blocks for Rosemarie's Quilt! 13 more blocks to be exact... and some extra fabric for the back, because quilters are just that nice!

Today's blocks came from: Australia, Canada, Alaska, Connecticut, California, and New York! Amazing right? I can't get over it!
That totals us up to 33 blocks! This is really coming together! I won't be starting to form the quilt top for Rosemarie's quilt until the first week of September (because of other obligations). So the blocks can keep rolling in. I've decided that any extras will be made into a matching quilt for Rosemarie's sister Katee (aka my assistant). :) Way generous people WAY! Thanks!

Also, today my friend Michelle called to say that she received this quilt in the mail from me today, and she said it looks like something that could be bought in a store, it's so perfect! I'm so glad she doesn't have the eyes of a quilter to see those mistakes! :) Either way, she thinks it's great and that Leslie and Kevin will adore it. Pray for them as they grieve. You can read the original post here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

100th post giveaway!!

I can't really believe it, but this is my 100th post! To celebrate my 100th post I'm giving way all this loot (and more). One lucky winner will get one handmade pincushion (made by me), an inspirational copy of Miniature Quilters (from the 90's), 1/2 yd of this crazy batick fabric, and the three quilt patterns shown. I have the fortunate experience of working at a used bookstore, where we really don't have the shelfspace or demand to keep quilt patterns on the shelf - so they all go home to me! I'll be sure to add some odds and ends too... whatever I have around that looks pleasing. :)


One lucky winner will get this set of notecards (12, blank inside), and some purple/pink/grey scraps to make your own set of quilted cards. I'll send a little how-to as well. All you'll need is your sewing machine and a glue stick!

So here's the deal; I will be chosing the winners on August 21st. That leaves you a little more than a week to sign up. The first giveaway is only open to central US residents (sorry it's just too heavy). But the second is open to everyone. Here's how to sign up:

  • Leave a comment (tell me about something... your latest project, how much you love my blog ...hehe... anything, or just say hi) (1 entry)
  • Follow my blog & let me know in the comments (1 additional entry)
  • Post about it on your blogflickr/facebook etc (1 extra entry total) - don't forget to leave me a link to your post)
Thanks for stopping by! :)

A post about color...in a weird way.

So I looove making mosaics over at Big Huge Labs. I could entertain myself for days with it. I was thinking about all the pink things I've been making recently. Mostly because of the scraps from Ali's quilt I have laying around. Comparatively I had been making everything in purple a few weeks ago, because I'd just finished the string part of my purple string quilt, and had so many scraps of purple strings. And ultimately, ever since my Little folks Quilt, I've been so in love with grey that it's hard to make a single project without it. So here it is guys... My crafting in perspective of color.
Pink sewing.
Purple sewing.
Grey sewing.
Notice how the grey mosaic looks more disjointed than the others? Because grey is a neutral color, it makes the other colors really pop!

Lastly, look at the coolest thing I've ever made - ever!
She just turned two! I can't believe it! :)

Oh and stay tuned tomorrw or thursday I'll be announcing the giveaway for my 100th post! It's going to be great so tell all your friends!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Quilting Math: Part 1

Whenever I make a quilt, my sketchbook starts to look like a math book. I don't like to buy more fabric than I need for a project, and I hate to have to run to the store to buy more mid-project if I run out. So before I buy fabric to sash, bind, and for the back, I do the math.

Today I'm going to break down for you how I figure out how much fabric to buy to sash a quilt. This sample I'm using is the measurements and sketches for my DQS9 quilt... so it's doll size.
Here's the sketch. The shaded area is made up of my blocks, and will be sashed in a lattice style. The sashing will be strips that are cut 2" wide, and finished at 1.5"

To determine how much fabric is needed for the sashing, I first add up all the areas sewn horizontally to the sashing.
3+3+3+3+9+9 = 30

Then I add up the total height of the finished quilt (from the top down I've got: 3+1.5+12+1.5+3= 21
Then I add one inch (for wiggle room), and multiply this number by 2 (since I'm using two strips of this length). 21+1 = 22
22 x 2 = 44

Now add the two numbers together 30 + 44 = 74
So you'll need a strip that measures 74" x 2" to sash this quilt.

Since quilting cotton usually is printed on the bolt as 44" wide, we'll take our strip length (74") and divide it by the usable inches of the fabric (I usually bet on having 42" of usable fabric once the selvages are removed). So.
74 ÷ 42 = 1.76 (round up to the nearest number, 2)
Meaning you'll need two cuts, selvage to selvage to equal 74 inches.

Now if you've already got that fabric by the yard on hand, you'd go ahead and cut two strips that are two inches wide each. Sew them together, sash your project and go on your way.

If you have to buy fabric for this project, it's easiest to buy a 1/4th of a yard.


Here's how to figure out the yardage if you've got a larger project. For instance for this string quilt I'm working on, I'm doing just a basic border around all four edges (the string part is 45" x 31") I'm putting an 8" border around the string section.

For this project I'll end up needing 5 strips (selvage to selvage) that are 8" wide.

The math you'll have to do for this is 5 (number of strips) times 8 (width of strips)
5 x 8 = 40

I'll need 40" of fabric... divide this number by 36 (the number of inches per yard).
40 ÷ 36 = 1.11 

I round up to the nearest quarter of a yard, so I'll be buying 1 1/4 yards of fabric for the sashing of my string quilt.

100th post coming up soon!

I'm thinking of doing a little giveaway... although, well, lets be truthful, I only have about 20 readers... and some of those are my family. lol. So I'm going to think about that, and hopefully decide before I hit the 100th post (I'm at 97 now I think)... We'll see.

I just whipped up some little pincushions - possibly to give away for my 100th... maybe plus some bits of fabric + some other goodies. :) Take a look:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rosemarie's Quilt - update and housekeeping.

You guys rock!!! Check out all the blocks that have already been made (some of them already in the mail) for Rosemarie's quilt! There are quite a few more up already on the flickr page too! I can't believe how much response I've gotten with this project! You guys are all the best! I think that one of you guys said it best - in a flickr mail note, so often we hear about things like this (Rosemarie having cancer) and there's nothing we can do but feel sorry for the situation - at least this is something we can do! I couldn't agree more, I feel helpless in this battle - the doctors, they can do stuff. The most I can do is support Rosemarie's mom and dad and sister... and even then, I'm 300 miles from them. This is something I can do. :) Thank you for helping me!

Today is the three year anniversary of the day we found out that Rosemarie has cancer. It's hard to think that it's been that long. She had barely even learned to walk yet! On the bright side, for the first time ever this week's scans showed a slight decrease in cancer cells! Which at the very least means that she's not allergic to the new treatment! At best it means it could be working!!!! :)


Ok on to the housekeeping. I didn't really know what goals or plans to make when first starting the Rosemarie quilt project; now that I have a better idea of how things are going to work here's the game plan. I've already started receiving blocks (!!!) and will continue to take them for a couple weeks... once again I'm leaving this pretty open since I'd like anyone who'd like to help to be able to. I will be -for lack of better words- away from my sewing machine for a few days the week of Aug 16th, so I won't plan on sewing them all together until at least the week of the 23rd. Hopefully that gives you all plenty of time to submit blocks if you'd like to. My goal will be to get the blocks together into a quilt top during the last week of August (as I'm having sinus surgery - ugh - the first week of Sept.). Any extra blocks will be made into a matching quilt for Katee (Rosemarie's big sister), and depending on what the treatments are like for Rosemarie, I'll be kidnapping Katee to help in the assembly process. Any further blocks, should there be any remaining, will be added into a quilt to be raffled off for Rosemarie, or for a Project Linus quilt.

I hope I've covered all the bases here. Please let me know if I forgot anything, or if you've got a question (or still need my address). Thanks guys!!

And in parting --- Pics of the first package of blocks I received yesterday!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

French Seams!

I just made something with french seams! Really! For some reason I thought they'd be harder than they were! Earlier this week I had made a pillowcase for DH... with awesome bike fabric trim. Well today I wanted to sew, but being that I just embarked on a huge project for Rosemarie, I don't want to start anything else big. So I decided to make myself a pillowcase. I used this great fabric that I got from the One Yard Wonders sweepstakes win (one yard of fabric delivered to my door each month for a year - awesome right?), "Sparrow" by Alexander Henry. I love the fabric but the colors aren't really something I can see myself using in a quilt... so I chopped into it and used almost the entire yard for my pillowcase (just a little two inch strip left, from the selvedge).
I used a 1.5" strip of black and white saftey pin fabric as an accent, and used this tutorial from Film in the Fridge. It took just a little more time and energy than the other pillowcase I made, but it was well worth it. I wish I had seen this tutorial before I'd made DH's pillowcase!
Notice the bike fabric on Wally's pillow. AMAZING! I loooove it! Now to go sleep.
You're probably wondering why there's no pictures? My camera battery is dead and I've had to order a new charger since it has been lost in the land of "the two year old picked it up." lol. I'll have Wally take a pic on his cell phone tonight to be posted.

****Edited to add pics****
(magically neither pillowcase matches anything else in our bedroom... they don't even match eachother. lol.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rosemarie's Cancer Killin' Quilt - Please help!

Ever since a few weeks ago, when I was teaching my niece Katee (10) more about sewing/quilting the thought keeps popping into my mind that Katee and I should work together on a quilt for her little sister, Rosemarie. Rosemarie is four years old, and she has been fighting cancer since she was just a year old. She's been through numerous rounds of chemo, radiation, several surgeries, a stem cell harvest, stem cell transplants, bone marrow transplants, an MIBG therapy, and now is in a stage one study. In this new study she's being seen at the children's hospital in Cincinnati Ohio, which is several hours from home.

Well, while I keep returning to the thought of making Rosemarie (Ro-ro as my daughter calls her) a quilt, I came across a group on flickr asking for help in a similar task, making a spirit lifting - cancer kicking quilt. :) I've seen the great response that Lucia from lulubloom has gotten from her flickr group, Trudy's Arse Kicking Quilt so I'm going to see what response I might get for some help in making the warmest sweetest, anti-cancer quilt eve.
Here is what kind of blocks I'm looking for:
  • Size: 9" square (8.5" finished)
  • Color: pinks and/or purples (girly)
  • Style: either cross / plus (wonky, squared up, pieced, single, multiple)
  • or square in square.
Here's the flickr group link. Please feel free to share this with anyone and everyone... and please say a prayer for Rosemarie!
Here's a link for more info on Rosemarie.

Feel free to email me/comment here if you'd like more info or my address to send to.
Thank you crafty blogger/flickr friends!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lots of progress!!!!

Naptime is just about over (the babe is making a bit of noise), and I totally accomplished my goal for this week in one naptime! I got the remaining windows sewn into place on my Doll Quilt Swap quilt... and the sashing has been chosen and sewn into place. I decided on a whim to test out Trisha's tutorial for faux piped binding... which turned out AWESOME! That took a bit more time, but I managed to get it all sewn together, attached, and sewn down! So, all that is remaining for this quilt is a bit of free hand quilting and a label. All to be done on our upcoming vacation (if I don't get it done sooner).

The only bad thing is that my camera battery died before I finished... I seem to have lost my battery charger so I ordered one on amazon... only $5 but it's going to take until next monday to get here!

While we wait for the pics of the finished product, here are some pics of the auditioning of sashing fabrics. I chose green (Kona grass green).


Look what arrived via Amazon.com today!
Now I'm off to drool!

And hopefully get some huge progress going on my DQS9 quilt. I need it to be finished (minus the hand quilting) by the end of next week. I still have all the edge windows (on the middle section) to sew down, sashing to be done, and basting/binding/etc! More pictures to come!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Progress on the DQS9 quilt and some playing around.

Here's the center piece of my quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap 9... It's turning out really great! I'm really in love with the colors and the grey. It is a lot of work though, and I do hope my swap partner loves it! I think that I am going to leave those edge triangles grey and just fold them down and sew them blank. Then embroider in them... we'll see how it goes. I have to finish all the border pieces though, which include a lot of half windows... which is a lot of time. I need to buckle down and finish the machine sewing part of this soon so I can work on the embroidery/hand quilting... which I'm not very practiced at. Give myself time for the inevitable mess-ups/re-do's.

Here's a little fun quiltie I made up the other day. I have been admiring the close, strait line quilting on these pieces here. So I had to try it out myself. I love that multi-colored floral fabric at the top - the stiching is in a verigated baby-colored thread and it matches just perfectly. I need to remember that color combo. This is about 7" square.
How cute!!!?? These little squares are all half an inch square. I used the tutorial here. It all started at about nine inches square... and ended up here!
I backed this little piece, quilted in the ditch, and bound it with a satin stitch on my machine. Now Nancy (my sewing machine) has her own little quilt to show off! How sweet!