Saturday, June 30, 2012


Check out what I finally cut into!!! :) I chopped a 2" strip off of nearly all my Sketch FQ's! You'll see this in action soon! I'm proud of myself. I was really nervous cutting into it! Aren't they lovely??? I think the top and bottom are my favorite (the deep blue, and the lipstick pink).

Friday, June 29, 2012

DO you have some things to finish?

We're always WIP WIP WIP here... I'm a finisher; I love the thrill of finishing things (and the cuddling in the new quilts). Yet I've got so many random things that are not close to the finish line. So naturally I need you all to encourage me.

I'm going to make next week a great big "finish it up week." Who's with me? If I knew how to do a linky party I would, but I'm too lazy to go figure it out (and let's face it it'd cut into my sewing time tonight). So if you're in just leave me a comment and go blog about it. Tell us what you're going to finish - it can be one item or a ton of them! :) 

As for me, I'd like to finish my Bella Parade Quilt, assemble my bee quilt top, finish my My Precious QAL quilt. I'm sure there are a zillion other finishes on my list too. I just want to finish them! 

ps  Feel free to grab the picture up there, or from flickr here. I tried to post a box with the code... but my brain hurts too much for that!

Also a little reminder that you can post your progress etc in my flickr group if you're into that sort of thing.

RATZ June swap received, and other odds and ends.

Here's the lovely little swap package I recieved from Kris for the June RATZ (Rapid, Tiny, Zakka, swap)! They are so cute and perfect, and they came all the way from Germany! Pretty awesome aren't they? Kris totally had me pegged with the tiny piecing and the Heirloom fabrics! :) I'm really glad that they're mine!

Here you can see them lined up on my white-board in my sewing room. Yes those are the ones to be sent out to my partner below them. I didn't find the time to make a whole set of tiny, so I do hope my partner enjoys the button ones. I'll be sending the HST one too. :) I can't believe June is nearly over now! 

I haven't had a lot of designated sewing time recently. It's hard since I used to sew (or nap) during Allie's school day (about 3 hrs a day). Now not only do I not get that time, but I am also working more hours over the summer which means I'm exhausted more often than not! I'm hoping to get some good sewing time this weekend though!

Here's something I did manage to make. Earlier this week my work friend Mary came to sew, and so did Emily-- they finally met! :) I again didn't get a lot done when they were over, but I did manage to check over my old Singer machine (Wilma) so that a friend could borrow her. She's working well, although she's a little loud and slow (compared to my Juki!). I felt the need to give her a good test run, since I haven't sewn on that machine in a long time - so I made a couple tissue holders. One of them is going with the machine to my friend Martha - who's going to be sewing some wedding related things! :) The tag says "Something Blue" hehe. Doesn't everyone cry at weddings? Tissues are a must!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WIP Wednesday!

Practice run of binding seams for Bella Parade Quilt. It's going to work!!

Have I ever told you guys how much I love lol. I'm not a crazy OCD person, but I do love checking things off my lists! I make these lists up all the time... more often then I actually check them off.

My WIP list this week is a screen shot of my checklist. Maybe it'll help me get some stuff done this week! I'd like to see a couple of them checked - at least by completing the next step in the project. Yes, I just noticed that there are 12 items on this list (and I forgot one!). Haha. Always a lot of projects going on here. :) I need a sewing day where Wally takes Allie out for the day and lets me sew for hours at a time! That's what I need. 

This magical box arrived at my door yesterday -- the contents will be used in at least three of my WIP's! Do you love that I took a picture of the giant Pellon box? I couldn't help myself!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chicago Modern Quilt Guild

Yesterday's Chicago Modern Quilt Guild meeting marked the beginning of a new challenge. We're calling it the "Modern Art Challenge" and while the art choice doesn't need to be classified as modern art, we're encouraging a modern quilting take on various forms of art.

CMQG Modern Art Challenge
My CMQG Modern Art Challenge inspiration pic and fabrics.
Each participant brought a postcard sized image of the art of their choice, some personal details (likes, dislikes etc), and a FQ of fabric that represents their style. We had everyone sign in and choose a bag other than the one they brought - and we're off! We'll have the next two months to finish a doll size quilt inspired by the art their partner chose! I'm really excited about this (which is good because myself and the other Emily are leading it!).

CMQG Modern Art Challenge
Emily guiding the sign-in process. We were very thorough.
Hopefully that pays off and we'll have a smooth running swap!
Above is a picture of my art and fabrics. I really didn't intentionally pick a hard work of art... it's just the first thing that struck me as my favorite work of art. It's Bernini's Baldacchino (inside St. Pete's Basilica in Rome), and I love the texture and details. I by no means want a literal representation of it - but rather think that a lot of that texture and design could be translated into quilting and piecing - fabulously! :) Well that will be up to Sarah who drew my bag!

Natalie's art inspiration
I drew Natalie's bag, and I'm really inspired by it... in a weird way. I know that she loves Jacquie's style, and she has an open mind about this project, so I have TONS of ideas. I'm thinking of doing a random pixelization to mimic the dots (art people what do we call this type of painting?) using lots of solids and a few prints. I'll be doing some sketching here soon!
Bella Parade Quilted Blocks
Blocks trimmed, fabrics on top are auditioning for the binding!
Other notes about the meeting, I got a lot of work done--- er. I got some work done. :) It was a sew-in day which pretty much means bring something to work on but be prepared to just chat the whole meeting away! I trimmed my Bella Solids quilted pieces - using Ebony's 20" square ruler (thanks Ebony!!). Man is it so much easier to square up big blocks with a HUGE ruler! :) The blocks are trimmed at 17" square and they're going to look great!
Bella Parade Quilted Blocks
All that trimming left me with this! A lovely pile of scraps to be put into a doggy bed - made for shelter dogs!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Father's Day!! ....yeah I know, I'm a week late!

I'd started this post last week -- then whatever happened it didn't get published. So there you have it, we're all human. 

Last weekend I was lucky enough to have my dad, mom, sister, and nieces in town for a visit. Really they were here to help out after my surgery since I wasn't allowed to lift Allie for a while after. (I'm pretty well healed up now by the way) The awesome thing though, is that this surgery went a zillion times better than the previous two, likely due to the fact that the anesthesiologist looked at my allergy info - who knew those drugs were full of propylene glycol --- I didn't! So my recovery has been much less gross and annoying. 

I didn't expect to be able to take my dad out on father's day! Here he is with the deli portion of his father's day gift -- there was a whole box full of the "hot counter" part too! :) We took him to this awesome little Italian deli nearby and he LOVED it! 

I had planned ahead for Wally's gift - Allie and I painted coffee mugs for him weeks before (and she may or may not have told him about the painting part)... either way the mugs turned out cute - dishwasher safe (as if we had a dishwasher), and useable. I wish I would have been able to find the paint pens (the ones I bought were all dried out), but the tubes of paint worked well enough and Allie enjoyed herself! She even painted the inside! lol. 

How to win 10 yards of Bella Solids!

Welcome guys to another episode of "How to win 10 yards of Bella Solids"

Here's what we had tutorials for in the past 5 weeks

 In Week # 1, Jane taught us how to make a cheat pillow or cushion cover!

Week # 2 had Kelly teaching us how to make this Chevron Rug

In Week # 3, Bryanna gave a wonderful demonstration of how to make this beautiful All Buttoned up Pouch

Week # 4, Elizabeth gave this wonderful tute to make a Chevron Laptop Sleeve

And in the last week, Shay showed us how to make this gorgeous Apron!

Now here's how you can win one HALF YARD bundle of the Bella Solids 2012.

You have to make something based on one of these 5 tutorials. It could be exactly like the ones shown here or it could be your own version of the tutorial.

You have to write a blog post ON YOUR OWN BLOG.

Fill this form to leave a link.

Last date of entries  July 01, 2012.

Winner will be announced on July 07, 2012.

Good luck!

FQS Bella Parade : Season 2 : Competition Entry Form

Please include as many details as possible. You can enter as many entries as you want. One form per entry.
* Required

Saturday, June 23, 2012

FQS Bella Parade : Season 2 : Guest Post 5

It's time for us to welcome the last guest of the Bella Parade...

Please welcome Shay from Quilting in my Pyjamas

Head over here to find out what fabrics she's chosen to work with...

And dont forget to drop by tomorrow and find out what she has in store for you. Hope you haven't forgotten that it is the key to win a Half Yard Bundle of the 2012 Bella Solids! 

Rapid and Tiny Zakka Swap - June

I haven't mentioned it much here, but I'm a swap mama in the new-ish Rapid and Tiny Zakka Swap (RATZ). It's a monthly swap where each round a different small and useful project is chosen. Each round starts at the beginning of the month and we have to mail before the end of the month. It's been pretty simple and fun so far.

RATZ Received!

You may remember the teeny key-chain that I made last time around, I also received a super adorable key-chain from Diane. Total cuteness!

RATZ Swap - June Magnets

For the month of June we're swapping magnets. I've been working on some covered button magnets, but my heart is set on making some of the awesome tiny pieced magnets that I've been seeing floating around. I just haven't have the time/energy to work on them. I made some matching button magnets yesterday just in case I don't find the time to do the pieced ones. I did make one trial run of a pieced one - it took some time, and I used 1/2" Thangles - it finishes at about 1.5" square! Can you believe that??

If you're interested in joining us next month for the RATZ swap head on over to our flickr group. You must have a semi-active flickr account which includes sewing pictures, there will be a sign-up discussion going up soon. Also, our theme next month is needlebooks. Very useful and you could even use this little tutorial here! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Recovery, Henna, Zip Pouches, etc...

I've had this week off work to recover from my sinus surgery (and the doc said yesterday that I'm healing well!) I've felt so much better this time around than the last two times, so I've actually had a chance to get some stuff done. Well, I'm still trying not to overdo it but, it is nice to have some free time! 

My mom, dad, sister, and two nieces came to help out last weekend right after my surgery and it was really nice to have them here! Mom made meatloaf - my favorite. And Roseann baked me a belated birthday cake with fresh strawberry butter-cream and chocolate covered strawberries (yum!). We took Dad to the local Italian deli for father's day and he LOVED it. :) 

My sister Roseann does henna so of course I got some henna on my arms -- and I made her sew a couple box pouches with me (since I'm always making them for her). She enjoyed it and I think we finally figured out an easier way to notch the corners. 

It's been a good week. Today is the last day of the Bella Parade - which has been really fun. And my brother is coming in to visit this weekend too. I'm glad I'm able to take naps though - I'm not quite back to normal yet. 

FQS Bella Parade : Season 2 : Post # 20

Bella Solids Platinum
Today's our last color of the day! Here's Shruti for the scoop on Platinum!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

FQS Bella Parade : Season 2 : Post # 19

Bella Solids Boysenberry
It's time to check out some awesome Boysenberry! Head to Shruti's to check it out!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

FQS Bella Parade : Season 2 : Post # 18

Bella Solids Berrylicious
Here we are today with Berrylicious! I love berrylicious it's vibrant and fun! Berrylicious is a warm pinkish magenta color and it really looks nice with so many different colors!!

Bella Solids Berrylicious
1. scrap attack quilt along, 2. FWQAL Top Done,, 4. Chaney's first quilt, 5. coffee pot cushion, 6. Ice Cream Dress #2, 7. DQS12 a picture in better light!, 8. pillows for my partner, 9. Partner! Here's your mini quilt ready for quilting!
Here are some examples of Berrylicious in action. I must say it was pretty hard to find a real close match around blogland. It seems like there aren't a lot of fabrics that are a right match for berrylicious! I'd take that as a good thing - adding a new color! The ones I pulled here are pretty close matches. I love how this color amps up the volume of these projects. I love the combination with other bright colors. Check out Heather's quilt blocks in picture 1 - the bright fabrics pair so well with that berrylicious! Also my favorite Farmer's Wife QAL quilt - Donna used a great pink as sashing in image two! Other favorites for me, the pillows by Jackie in photo 8, and a quilt top in photo 9 by "alixbroadfoot" on flickr. 

Sketch Lipstick
Sketch Citron
Sketch White and Black
Aqua medium chevron
Modernology blush avante garde
Modernology deep sea floralism
Modernology sachet impressions
Modernology raspberry mod vines
To pair with our berrylicious today I've got a bundle of magenta and blue with just a touch of yellow. I actually have several of these fabrics on hand here, and they go really nicely together. I've picked out a few of the Sketch Screen Textures (lipstick, citron, and black and white) as well as a couple prints from the Modernology fabric line by Pat Bravo. They're really vibrant and fun fabrics and that pop of yellow up there really draws out the fun factor!

For my FMQ sample today I was hugely inspired by a one of our pinterest submissions for the bella parade - quilted by Angela -- and I'm really glad that I gave it a try! I'm not exactly sure what we'd call these flowers - a mum or a peony? Maybe Angela will speak up on that -- but I started out with three or four little petals in the middle and kept making my way around until each one was big enough. The texture on these are great and even on the parts where I thought I was "losing it" it doesn't show in the finished product! Give this a try, it's worth it! I'd love to see this quilting on a purse or bag too! 

Now do you want to win a yard of Berrylicious? Here's your chance! Follow the rules for a chance!

1. Create a pinboard with the name "FQS Bella Parade : Season 2"
2. Pin at least one image with the "Color of the Day" onto the board. The image has to be sewing related. Notions, sewing rooms, finished products anything.
3. Leave a comment with a link to your board.
4. The winners will be selected randomly and announced in the weekend giveaway post.
5. All entries will qualify to win the Bella Solids 2012 Fat Quarter Bundle in the weekly giveaway.
6. Pin it! And you could win it!

Monday, June 18, 2012

FQS Bella Parade : Week 3 & 4 Winners!

Week 3 winners!





Week 4 Winners!



Petal Pink


I'll save the FQ bundles for Shruti to draw. :) There are two of them for these past two weeks!! Stay tuned!

FQS Bella Parade : Season 2 : Post # 17

Bella Solids Strawberry
Today's color is strawberry!! I have to say this is one of my favorites of the new bella solids (have I said that before? I have a lot of favorites). Strawberry is a bright cheery warm pinkish red. It's great to add a nice summertime feel to any project.

Bella Solids Strawberry
1the brood, 2. saturday afternoon, 3. DQS11 - more progress, 4. party napkin quilt, 5. trip around the world quilt - b, 6. Untitled, 7. August Stitch Along in Progress, 8. Fairy Tale Quilt: Block 5, 9. pink mod mosaic block for donna
Here are some fantastic examples of strawberry in use. As you can see it fares well with both pinks and oranges as well as a huge variety of other colors! Check out the beauty of those english paper pieced flowers (photo 1) by "yummy lavender" on flickr, and how fabulous is strawberry paired with orange blue and grey in Amy's log cabins in photo 3! I also love a good color story like pictures 4 and 7 - sticking with pinks, reds and oranges shows makes the colors really shine!!

Bella Solids Strawberry:
Andalucia II Turquoise Moorish Tile:
Sketch Coral Screen Texture:
Hello Luscious Rosemary Grunge:
Bella Solids Chartreuse:
Curious Nature Silver Dimitri Vine:
Cabana Blooms Gray Flower Dot:
Bespoken Citrus Stitchery:
Bella Solids Turquoise:
I'd really love to own this bundle of fabrics. I could say that twice too - it's so fun and cheerful and happy! Pairing strawberry with a coral sketch, a bit of a grunge, a pop of yellow grey and a tad bit of blue - it's perfection!

For my FMQ design of the day I chose to do some large open flowers - which I always love to add onto a quilt to quilt the label onto (I usually FMQ the recipient's name, my name, and the year inside the oval part). Once I had that part done it still looked a little too loosely quilted for me - so I added some loopy hearts and cursive words - "love" and "hope" that go around all the flowers. This is an example of using several techniques of FMQ in one project. You don't have to feel limited to one style, and you don't have to be afraid to go back and add to it later! 

Now would you like a chance to win some Strawberry?? To win one yard of Bella Solids Strawberry here's what you'll need to do:

Rules & Regulations :
1. Create a pinboard with the name "FQS Bella Parade : Season 2"
2. Pin at least one image with the "Color of the Day" onto the board. The image has to be sewing related. Notions, sewing rooms, finished products anything.
3. Leave a comment with a link to your board.
4. The winners will be selected randomly and announced in the weekend giveaway post.
5. All entries will qualify to win the Bella Solids 2012 Fat Quarter Bundle in the weekly giveaway.
6. Pin it! And you could win it!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

FQS Bella Parade : Season 2 : Guest Post # 4

This week we have been honored by having Elizabeth Dackson of Don't Call Me Betsy.
She is an amazing quilter, and a wonderful lady too!

She has been featured on Moda Bake Shop

Fat Quarterly

and she also writes patterns...

Aren't they gorgeous!

Now you know why we invited her as our guest!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Teacher Gifts: Pencil Pouches!

Wednesday was Allie's last day of preschool for the year so a teacher appreciation gift was in order. 

After much thought and some discussions with others on Facebook I decided to go with fabrics that match my Pretty Pleats Tote because they were fun and summery. 

I grabbed the dimensions from this tutorial, but winged the rest - they're lined but with the bottom raw edges covered with ribbon. 

Also - for the first time - I used my Mini Moo cards as a little tag. They looked too cute there (and we won't go into how long it took me to find the hole punch for them!)

Allie was super cute - and while she didn't exactly get all her thank you's out, she did graciously help with the gift unwrapping. lol. :)

I'm glad that Allie has had such a good experience for her first year in school - and that's all thanks to her teachers!! 

FQS Bella Parade : Season 2 : Guest Post 4!

Today we've got a real treat for you guys! We've got Elizabeth from Don't Call Me Betsy here to show you some color combinations that are great with this week's Bella Solids! I'm sure you all know who Elizabeth is, but for those of you who don't go check out her completed quilts here. (be ready for your jaws to drop in awe!) And feel free to take a look at her awesome list of quilt blocks and other tutorials here

I'm pretty lucky and honored to be in a quilting bee with some very talented ladies, and Elizabeth is one of them -- I'm pretty much in love with her bee quilt from last year

So please go on and take a look at her fabric choices, and stay tuned tomorrow for her super awesome tutorial!! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

FQS Bella Parade : Season 2 : Post # 16

Bella Solids Wisteria
Here we are today with Wisteria! Wisteria is a calm light purple. It's very tranquil, soothing, and even has a little bit of a vintage feel to it.

Bella Solids Wisteria
1. A peek inside, 2. PLPS3 - side 1, 3. Plaid Quilt Top, 4. Circle Stroller Quilt, 5. Tangerine and Wine top, 6. Innocent Crush Rectangle Squared quilt, 7. Bee Imaginative Block for Ashley, 8. Pinwheel pillow, 9.Mini Patchwork Prism Quilt - Front

Wow aren't those so beautiful?? First off I want to say that Wisteria isn't my top pick out of all the gorgeous colors Moda produces... but this mosaic has started to change my mind! Terri and Michelle's pouches up there in spots #1 and 2 are fantastic! I love how sweet and pretty they are! Then there are projects like #5 by Linda - that brings a whole other light to this color! How perfect it is with a nice tangerine! Lastly, #9 is the coolest all solids patchwork prism quilt I've seen! And she actually used the bundle of the new Bella Solids for this quilt -- so it really is true Wisteria in there!

Bella Solids Wistera:
Bella Solids Peacock:
Bella Solids Boysenberry:
Bespoken Aqua Stitchery:
Bespoken Fresh Floral Silhouettes:
Bespoken Dreams Woven:
Bespoken Amethyst Sequins:
Bohemian Soul Pearl Lace:
Salt Air Mist Half Shell:

Now if I were to make a quilt with wisteria as a key component, I'd add in some peacock and boysenberry - It'd be mostly purples with some shots of blue. Light, airy and divine. As a true purple lover I'm pretty sure my daughter would love it! 

For our FMQ design of the day we have a basket weave of sorts that is playfully freemotion quilted. You'll notice it's not perfect, I winged it completely (didn't even draw a grid). Also notice that all the segments are attached - this saves time and energy burying (or gasp! Cutting) those thread tails! It has a perfectly dense texture without all the headache of turning the quilt so much as you'd have to do if you used a walking foot for this! Go on and give it a try - it's so much fun!

Now to giveaway a yard of Bella Wisteria... you know the deal - here are the rules!
(PS - Did anyone notice that we didn't announce last weeks winners yet? We'll get that posted soon - Shruti is doing some fabric shopping in Dubai - and I can't figure out how to get the FQ bundle drawing to work. :) No worries -- you'll have your winners soon!)

Rules & Regulations :
1. Create a pinboard with the name "FQS Bella Parade : Season 2"
2. Pin at least one image with the "Color of the Day" onto the board. The image has to be sewing related. Notions, sewing rooms, finished products anything.
3. Leave a comment with a link to your board.
4. The winners will be selected randomly and announced in the weekend giveaway post.
5. All entries will qualify to win the Bella Solids 2012 Fat Quarter Bundle in the weekly giveaway.
6. Pin it! And you could win it!