Monday
Oct172011

Mini-Series Monday #5

Gee you guys, thanks so very much for all the tutorial love!   I'm so thrilled you like it and that it may have inspired some of you to give it a try ... dreaded zipper and all! :) 

I'm sorry I didn't get to replying to you all these past few days ... I've been laid up with a nasty head cold.  For the first time in 15 years of marriage, my husband and I have been sick at the same time.  We usually "tag" each other with our germs.  Haha!  Actually, more like hack hack, snork snork, please pass the Kleenex & Tylenol and "Honey, I'll pay you a million dollars to fix dinner for the children" ... he did it for free. ;)

                         *          *          *          *          *          *

Ok.  I'm fairly certain that if you don't already think I'm a special kind of crazy in the quilting department, this post will convince you FOR SURE.

Original "Spot-On" ...

Mini "Spot On" ...

Love it.

I'm particularly proud of the scalloped top-stitching around the border.

But at 19" square - and finished blocks at 3" - I just kept thinking, "Not small enough."

Soooooooo,

I kinda sorta accidentally went and made another one.

 

Itty-Bitty "Spot On" ...

I know! Even CUTER, right?!  She's only 14" x 17-1/2".

And the blocks are 2" (finished).

I decided to omit top-stitching altogether for this one.  (Except for around the inner border, just to keep everything together.)

Omg I can hardly STAND the cuteness of it all. 

(Is it ok for me to say that about my own stuff?  Does it sound obnoxious?)

Hope you enjoyed today's double-feature. ;)

Up next week?

Gimme some sugar ... lots and lots of sugar!  :)

Friday
Oct142011

Across the Pond Pouch Tutorial

 

Here is my tutorial on how to make a cute zippered pouch from this free Moda pattern called "Across the Pond Pouch" by Cabbages & Roses.

You will need to download & print the pattern first (for the template).  

SUPPLIES

  • 36 squares, 2-1/2" x 2-1/2"
  • 1 FQ (or 2 rectangles, at least 6" x 11")
  • 1 zipper, 9" (dress weight, nonseparable)

  • **2 squares, 2" x 2" (for zipper tabs)
  • **2 batting scraps, at least 6-1/2" x 12-12"

**These items are not part of the original pattern, but I used them for my pouch and this tutorial shows you how to add them.

36 Squares

Since Christmas is fast approaching, I thought I'd do a little multi-tasking here - write a tutorial AND get some Christmas sewing done.  You don't mind, do you?  So I dug into my "Roman Holiday" (3 Sisters Moda) leftovers and cut my 36 squares.

To make the cutting go faster, I selected 18 prints and cut 2 squares from each print.  But you could just as easily cut all 36 squares from only 2 prints to make a true checkerboard or dive into your scrap bin and go crazy!

Fat Quarter

The pattern calls for a FQ for the lining, but you really only need 2 rectangles that are at least 6" x 11".  They don't even have to match.  I often 'scrap up' the inside of bags and cases.

9" Zipper

I favor dressweight zippers for a few reasons:

  • teeth can be stitched over without breaking a needle
  • easily cut/trimmed with scissors
  • best variety of colors for matching to your fabric

I also suggest a non-separable zipper (doesn't open at the bottom).

**2 Squares, 2" x 2"

Here's a look at a zipper tab on my pouch - the little blue triangle patch of fabric. 

**2 Batting Scraps, 6-1/2" x 12-1/2"

I wanted my pouch to have a more quilted look so I added batting.  This is a great way to use up some of those trimmings from a quilt.

PATCHWORK ASSEMBLY

After you've cut your squares, lay 18 squares into 3 rows of 6 squares each. 

If you have any favorite prints, put them in the middle 4 spots of the top row (will be along the zipper) and the middle 4 spots of the middle the row.  The corner squares will all but disappear when the pouch is assembled.

Once you have the squares arranged, sew them together into 6 columns of 3 squares each.  I chain-pieced mine.

Press these seams in opposite directions to get nice nesting joints.

Now sew the 6 columns together.

Press the seams to one side.

Repeat to make another patchwork panel.  Your panels should measure 6-1/2" x 12-1/2" each.

**QUILTING THE PATCHWORK (Optional)

If you want to quilt your patchwork, now is the time to do it.  Simply lay one patchwork panel on a batting piece, pin in place and quilt as desired.  Repeat for the second panel.

I did a cross-hatch - simple and effective.  But really anything goes.

USING THE TEMPLATE

Trace the template onto a sheet of paper and cut it out.  Lay it on a patchwork panel - centered - and pin in place. 

Cut it out and repeat for the other patchwork panel.  The more accurate you are with centering the template, the easier it will be to line up your seams from one side of the pouch to the other.

And see what I mean about the corner squares almost disappearing?

Cut out 2 lining pieces with the template.  I layered mine and cut them both out at the same time.

I used a rotary cutter, but you can use scissors, if you prefer.

MAKING THE DARTS

If you've never sewn a dart, don't panic - they're super easy.  Trust me. ;)

Here's a dart cutout.

Take one patchwork piece and fold it - right sides together - so the two dart edges line up.  Pin.

Starting at the outside edge, sew a 1/4" seam - keep sewing a straight line past the cut point of the dart until you get to the folded edge. 

Press your dart seams towards the middle of the pouch.

Repeat for the other patchwork piece.

And both lining pieces.

**ADDING ZIPPER TABS - Optional

This next bit here is not in the pattern.  If you want to skip it, just scroll down to the ZIPPER INSTALLATION section.  It's ok.  We can still be friends. ;)

You need the 2 extra 2" squares.

Fold the squares in half and press.  Fold in half again and press.  This second fold is referred to as the "second folded edge".  Brought to you by the Queen of the Obvious. ;)

Lay the second folded edge to the inside of the metal tab on the bottom end of the zipper. (Right-side view)

Open the second folded edge and pin the fabric in place.  (Right-side view)

(Wrong-side view)

Sew along the fold mark.  (Right-side view)

(Wrong-side view) MAKE SURE YOU DON'T HIT THE METAL THINGY ON THE ZIPPER WITH YOUR NEEDLE ... IT WILL BREAK.  (Just sayin'.)

Refold the tab. 

Baste the raw edges.

To position the second tab, measure 7-1/2" from the fold of the first tab and mark that spot with a pin.  This is where the fold of the second tab will be located.

FIRST OPEN THE ZIPPER HALFWAY!  And keep it open.  Kay?

Attach the second tab the same way as the first.

Trim away the excess zipper.

 

ZIPPER INSTALLATION

All right.  Still with me?  Ok.  :)

First, attach your zipper foot to your sewing machine.

Fold the zipper in half and mark the center point with a pin.  With right sides together, lay the zipper along the top edge of one body piece - matching the center points - and pin in place. 

Pin the rest of the zipper to the body.

Sew the zipper to the body.

With right sides of the body (with the zipper) and lining together, center one lining piece and pin along the top edge. 

The zipper should be sandwiched between the patchwork and the lining.

Do not sew directly on top of your previous seam (red thread shown below).  Rather sew just a tiny bit towards the top edge (blue thread shown below).

You should have something that looks like this ...

Repeat the above to add the second body and lining pieces to the other side of the zipper.

Center the second body piece onto the zipper - right sides together - and pin in place.

Sew the second body to the zipper.

Next, center the second lining piece to the zipper - right sides together, and pin in place.

Sew the second lining to the zipper.

Now you should have something that looks like this ...

and this.

Press the body pieces and the lining pieces away from the zipper.

FORMING THE POUCH

Home stretch. :)

Now you're going to place the patchwork pieces right sides together,

and the lining pieces right sides together. 

Pin all the way around, doing your best to line up the darts and patchwork seams. 

The zipper will be a little weird so try to make the teeth go towards the patchwork side and the seam allowances towards the lining side.

Leaving a 4" opening along the bottom of the lining, sew all the way around the entire pouch, lining and patchwork.

When you get to the zipper teeth, stop with your needle down and do a little pivot to make a "V". 

Trim the "V" point seam allowances.

Turn the entire pouch right side out through the 4" opening.

Stitch the opening closed, either by hand or machine.  (I'm lazy.)

Turn the lining into the pouch.

Add a little scrap of fabric or a ribbon to the zipper pull.

Tada!!!

Now go make a few dozen.

You will be fully stocked with lovely hostess/teacher/friend/neighbor/mother/daughter gifts for the entire Christmas season!

Thursday
Oct132011

Half-Moon Case

Ok.  I switched things up again for the third mini-charm pack. :)

I love half-moon shaped cases.  This is another design I've been turning around in my head and I loved putting it together with the prettiest little fabrics - "Northcote Range" by Cabbages & Roses for Moda.  It's so new the yardage just arrived here a few days ago!

It reminds me so much of vintage 80's Laura Ashley.  (I miss Laura Ashley!)

Layout - I added a little "Paris Flea Market" (older Moda) for the zipper binding and a few "Simplicity" (more Moda) scraps for the finger tabs.

What can I say, I'm a creature of habit - more cross-hatch.  I did it 'cause I WANTED to, not 'cause I HAD to ... ;)  C'mon, it's a classic! 

Zipper pull (again ... I just LOVE adding these!)

Pretty in pink ...

Not just for pencils.  I think this case looks quite "cosmetic-ey" with the romantic-style fabrics ... which I LOVE!

But big sister really wanted this one and she's not old enough for makeup.

So I'm pretty sure it's going to school to hold scissors & glue sticks ... in very sophisticated style! ;)

From these little 2 1/2" squares ...

to these pretty, useful & versatile pouches.

Who says size matters?  ;)

It feels so good to make something out of (almost) nothing. 

Projects like these really make me wonder why on earth I'm afraid to use my fabric. 

Geez Louise!  I can make super cute things that don't use up much fabric at all!

Wednesday
Oct122011

Daisychain Sampler "C"

Ok.  I LOVE this letter.  I've never done this weaving through a backstitch before and it is SO COOL!  It reminds me of ricrac.

And I can't even TELL you how much I love this color blue.  I know, I know, it's not pink.  But aside from that, I get such a strong emotional response when I see this color. 

I can't explain it.  I just love it so much.

Omg, I just noticed how this letter matches my blog banner!  Haha!

Tuesday
Oct112011

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 20

(Pink), Green, Blue & White

#20 - Churn Dash

I really needed to use this blue again. 

This is just a nice, quiet, happy little block.  I need to remember to make more quiet ones to balance out all the ...

#26 - Cut Glass Dish

... SUPER LOUD ONES like this!

Actually this version was a reject.  I didn't like how the large blue squares looked so blotchy with the large flowers.  Plus one of my seams was all wonky :( .

So I switched the fabric and straightened the seam.

MUCH better!

I love how all the tiny triangles in this block are so reminiscent of the name, "Cut Glass Dish".  I was a little disappointed with this one at first.  I thought it would have looked sharper with a solid white instead of the white/blue print for the triangles.  But then I got to thinkin' ... you know how when you look at cut glass and you can sorta see through it, but not really?  I think this lacy blue/white print makes the "cuts" look semi-transparent. 

I like thinking of things that way - assigning meaning in relatable ways.  Like with the Chrysler Building last week.  Don't know why.  Just the way I roll, I guess. :)

Monday
Oct102011

Mini-Series Monday #4

I had to make this week's mini-quilt (or rather "quiltlet") in fabrics OTHER than the original 'cause I didn't have enough leftover charm squares and I didn't want to cut into my big FQ bundle of Scarborough Fair by Robyn Pandolph.  (You know you wouldn't do it either ... !)

So I scrounged around in my stash and found a little stack of leftovers from Moda's Sandy Gervais' "Whispers in the Wind" line (from a few years back).

This block is 2" square unfinished.

You know, I like purple well enough ...  

'Cept for here.  LOVE it here!

This quiltlet (12-1/4" square) was too small for me to comfortably copy the same FMQing as on the big one. 

So I ... you know ...

And if this quilt doesn't make you think of Easter, you are dead inside. 

Just sayin'.
Tune in next time for "Spot On". 

Rumor has it there's a double feature next week ... wink wink, nudge, nudge!

Saturday
Oct082011

The Unforgiven

Remember this back in April?

Yeah, I totally take back the "almost forgive" part and change it to "definitely do NOT forgive".

She killed our 3 year old Elm Tree. 

Well, just the top half.  But the arborist says it will only grow sideways now and really should come out.

Sorry.

Friday
Oct072011

Mystery Block of the Month

Here's my Block #4 from the Fat Quarter Shop's Designer Mystery BOM - (my first BOM EVER).  So far, so good. 

Now I'm all caught up.  Yay!  Hurry up Block #5 and please show up in my mailbox soon ... I need to make you!

Today's confessional:  thanks to this block, I've decided to change the border fabric that came with the finishing kit from a taupe/red floral to this delicious pink strawberry print.  What?  Me change a pattern?  In favor of pink?  I know.   I should warn you to sit down before springing something like that on you ... ;)

This block was designed by the super talented Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs.  Of all the quilts I've made in my lifetime (over 200 so far) one of my favorites is this ...

"All Things Christmas" is a beautiful quilt made with a fun combination of piecing, applique and a little bit of embroidery & sweet embellishments like ribbons & buttons ... all framed with an elegantly scalloped border.  Home run, in my opinion. :)

In fact, this very quilt is responsible for all this fabric winding up in my stash!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all my fellow Canadians!

Thursday
Oct062011

Puzzles - Quilting Style

As a mom, I think doing puzzles is very good exercise for growing brains.  When I was a kid, I loved doing puzzles.  It was one of a VERY few things I was better at than my big sister.  Which is probably why I liked doing them ...  ;)

So naturally, I encourage my girls to do things that are good for them but that I also like to do. 

Now, I'm trying not to force quilting on them.  I don't want them to hate it because I made them do it.  But if I can figure out how to trick them into doing something educational while wrapping it up in a pretty package full of fun, I will.

That's right, I'm sneaky.  I'll admit it. 

Here's my latest triumph.

Math puzzles.

Cleverly disguised as last week's FW blocks.

Can't believe I didn't think of this earlier!

Oh, and did I mention they both had so much fun they're BEGGING me to cut more blocks?!  Mwah ah ah ah ... some things about parenting you just can't put a price tag on!

The only downside to this whole exercise?  Watching them man-handle the triangles.

Bias cut edges should be respected.

And feared.

Wednesday
Oct052011

Daisychain Sampler "B"

At the risk of being rude, I didn't like this letter ... at first.  Lemme 'splain.

Compared to all the other letters in this alphabet sampler - which I would describe as romantic, feminine, antique, etc. - B just sorta looked out of place to me. 

I didn't get it - which is not altogether unusual.  I often arrive late to the party.

I just kept thinking about this movie from 1980.

Now don't get me wrong.  I have a VERY strong sentimental attachment to Xanadu - or more specifically the soundtrack.  LOVE ELO!  You can go ahead and make fun of me.  I don't mind.  It will just make me feel sorry for you that you can't appreciate the total awesomeness of this song.

 

But back to the letter ... it just didn't say Daisychain Sampler to me.  I even contemplated coming up with a different design.

Then suddenly the heavens opened and I had a moment of clarity.  It's not electric disco, you doofus who still spends WAY too much time in the 80s, it's CLASSIC ART DECO ... as in the Chrysler Building!

Just gotta spin it for myself sometimes and then I'm all good. :)

How do you like me now?  Darlin' I like you just fine.  ;)

Again, pattern available here and COSMO floss available here ... just sayin'.

And now I'm going to hit replay on that video like 10 more times and sing & dance in ways that make my husband so embarrassed to admit he knows me, let alone married me.

Tuesday
Oct042011

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week #19

Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue & White

#7 Birds in the Air

I think I want to marry this block.  Seriously.  If I didn't hate triangles so much I'd make a giant king-sized quilt with this exact block repeated over & over & over ...

 

# 18 Century of Progress

Ok.  The fabric placement in the book for this block TOTALLY drove me banana-nuts-crazy. 

I mean, I get random, deliberate mistakes and even symbolism (I think I read on the Flickr Group that this block has something to do with a Ferris Wheel), but I usually crave symmetry.  And this block just looked like ... like ... well, like someone should stop messing around and fix it already!  So that's what I did for mine. 

And I'm not the only one with this problem 'cause I've seen LOTS of FWQALers alter this block too.  I consider myself to be in good company here. :)

So with all due respect to the very lovely person who designed this block, here's my "century" that progressed to "symmetry".

Monday
Oct032011

Mini-Series Monday #3

Tee hee!  Isn't this just the cutest little block EVER?

She's 1-3/4".  Unfinished.

I love this "quiltlet" version if Sweet Pea - 15" square.  It just might be my favorite ...

... scalloped edge and all!

Here's the big version.  Both were made with scraps from my unruly scrap bin.

I did have a little oopsies with this one, though.

Kay.  You know how you need to clean your iron sometimes?  (I use a lot of fusible batting & fusible interfacing so my iron gets gummed up regularly.) 

But you never remember it's dirty until AFTER you've turned it on and it's hot.  So you tell yourself you'll clean it when it cools down and you go ahead and use it ... 'cause, you know ... you hate waiting.  And then forget to clean it later.  Vicious cycle ensues and the iron gets dirtier and dirtier.

Yeah.  That's what happened here.  And I paid for it ... dearly.  See the ugly black marks on the ribbon?  They look worse in real life.

Ugh.

But I'm also a scrapbooker.  And scrapbookers know "there are no mistakes, only opportunities for embellishing."  Ladies, am I right? 

Lucky me, this quilt includes a sweet little bow detail.  And it just so happens to hide (most of) the stain.

Yay!  (But if you're familiar with this pattern, just you never mind that the bow is supposed to be on the OTHER side.  It took me a while to come to terms with this ... necessary modification.)

And check out the itty-bitty FMQ flowers!

Eeeep! :)  AND I have a clean iron now too ... for a few days.

Teaser ...

Friday
Sep302011

Repentant Quilter

Forgive me Father for I have sinned. 

I've never participated in a Block of the Month Club.  Ever.  In 25 years of quilting.  Can you believe that?

I've watched many a BOM Club project unfold - from a safe distance.  Some even start out promising.  Really promising.  But just when I think I'll jump onboard, a super ugly block and/or fabric shows up and I turn and run for the hills, thanking my lucky stars that I escaped unharmed.  I chalk it up to an (un)healthy dose of "perfectionism" (or control-freak-ism ... whichever you prefer.  I'll admit to both). 

I started one once - about 15 years ago.  The first block had a white background.  But then the next one had a cream background.  Couldn't do it.  So I quit.

If I'm gonna spend that much time on a quilt, I want to like it when it's done.  I don't want to make (yet another) quilt I can't stand and then end up giving it to my brother who lives in a cabin in the woods ... where no one who knows me will see it.  Ever.  Because it's so ugly. 

(No, he's not the unabomber.  He owns a ski lodge/touring company for extreme skiiers.  And his "cabin" is a pretty nice lodge ... )

See, I've long referred to myself as a "Line Whore" - meaning I'm most comfortable making quilts with fabrics that are all from the same designer/collection.

I know, I know.  Some quilters think that's a lazy/boring way to sew.  I understand.  And I deeply respect those who can throw fabrics from here and there and everywhere into a quilt and have it be the most stunning thing EVER.  I envy that skill.  But I can't help it.  I've just made too many costly mistakes and I'm very gun shy about experimenting.

Told ya ... perfectionism at its worst.  :(

Well, I finally found a BOM - "Mystery" no less - that I'm excited to do.  It uses a TO-DIE-FOR fabric line ...

I mean, come ON.  HOW can you NOT love Strawberry Fields by Fig Tree

And with blocks designed by super awesomely nice & talented ladies like these?

Can't go wrong. :)

This Club started in June but I'm a little behind because I entered my address wrong when I signed up online (graying hair strikes again!) with the Fat Quarter Shop and ... long story short, I got my first block & finishing kit 3 months late. 

TOTALLY MY FAULT! 

And the ladies at Fat Quarter Shop were so nice about it too.  (Thank you, Cheryl!)  :)

The best thing about this BOM for me?  I joined with a friend of mine.  We got together a few days ago to play catch up.  She was nice and waited for my stuff to arrive in the mail. 

I have good friends. ;)

Oh, and the OTHER best thing about this project?  We split a fat quarter bundle ... in case we screw up. 

Any excuse to buy more fabric, right?!  (Although it's possible I threatened her into the joint purchase). 

But I'm finding that the fabric provided in the monthly kits seem to be VERY generous so we probably didn't really NEED the extra fabric.  (Since when did I ever worry about NEED?) tee hee

Block #1 - by Bonnie of Cotton Way & Camille of Thimbleblossoms

Block #2 by Pam of Heartspun Quilts

Block #3 by Carrie of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.

These blocks were fun to make ... but at 12" they are positively GINORMOUS next to all my little 4.5" FWQAL blocks!

Thursday
Sep292011

Sunkissed Circle Case

Ok.  I really did have fun making this cute little pouch.   And wowzers you guys!  Okay!  I'll write up a tutorial for this free Moda pattern I showed you last week.  Hopefully I'll have it ready for some time next week.  Kay?

My original plan was to make the same pattern three times using these mini charm packs - one for me and one for each of my daughters.

But I changed my mind because ... well ... I just thought it would be a little more interesting for you AND me if I came up with different designs using these squares instead of making the exact same thing over again. 

(And just as an aside, Sherri posted a tutorial for a drawstring gift bag yesterday using these little charm packs!  It's a great project.)

So for today I decided to make my own little round pencil case design (see it here and here).  Thought it might look cute made with squares.

Here's what happened.

The layout.  I had the perfect hot pink fabric from Lakehouse (few years old) in my stash for the zipper binding to coordinate with the super cute "Sunkissed" fabric by Sweetwater for Moda.

The mini charm pack came with 42 squares and I only needed 25 for the body.  So to use up even more squares, I pieced the ends.  LOVE how they look!

Yes, I cross-hatched.  I thought it was so perfect for the checkerboard!  And I used a sunshiny-yellow thread.

Always have to make the inside pretty (Robert Kaufmann upholstery scrap).

And, of course, a little zipper pull too.

My 8 year old has claimed this for ... what else ... ?

Princess Pencils!

PS:  I can't even TELL you how happy I was to find that three of her pencils had erasers in colors that match the fabric EXACTLY ... ! 

Love it when a photo-op comes together :)

Wednesday
Sep282011

Daisychain Sampler "A"

I thought I'd start today by talking about how I transfer embroidery designs onto cotton fabric.  Please note there are different tools and techniques out there.  I'm just sharing MY preferred method.

I stayed away from embroidery for many years (decades?) because I didn't like the printed or marked drawing to show underneath my stitches.  It bugged me.  (It's a thing.) 

So I stuck with counted cross-stitch.  I think you could wrap the earth a few times with the amount of embroidery floss I've cross-stitched!  Seriously.  I would cross-stitch on a bench in a shopping mall downtown during my lunch hours in my teens & 20s (& 30s).  (Yes, I'm that nerdy!)

And now as a mom, I'm often spotted stitching while my girls are at their extra-curricular activites.  (Although a friend informed me that toting my needlework around in a large wicker basket was going a little overboard ... just because I WATCHED "Little House on the Prairie" on tv as a kid doesn't mean I need to RE-ENACT it as an adult.)

But a few years ago I was introduced to these PERMANENT pens.  Pigma Micron pens.  They come in assorted colors and "fine-ness-es".

Yes I know, the word 'permanent' gives some of you a case of the vapors just thinking about it.  It did me for years too.  But then I did something else.   I started tracing my designs using tiny dots instead of solid lines.  Now I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for eyes that don't cooperate all the time (I can always tell if I need a new prescription for my eyeglasses when I embroider.)  And it doesn't always work depending on the color/design of your fabric & threads, etc.  But I usually stitch on white or light cotton and my markings are (almost) always totally invisible.  I'll show you as I go along.

Now to Letter A.

Ok.  You know that scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when they remove the ceiling tile from that tomb and Indiana Jones rolls onto his back and says "Snakes ... why'd it have to be snakes?" 

Well, that's kinda how I feel about this letter.  Only instead of snakes it's "Satin stitch ... why'd it have to be satin stitch?"  I've never gotten along well with the satin stitch.  I mean, it's gorgeous and all.  But it takes me too much time to make it look really nice.  Other stitches you can kinda fudge a bit and not be quite so exact and your work still looks good.  But satin stitch?  No can do.

I'm not in the mood right now to tackle it.  So I'm just doing the chain stitch part of this letter and skipping the rest for now.  I'll come back later ...

If you feel like joining the dark side, the pattern is available here.

And I got a few requests to share the floss colors I'm using so here they are (COSMO brand, available here):

103A, 104, 105, 2105, 2251, 252, 683, 684, 533, 534, 535, 142, 143, 144A, 368, 714

And my fabric is ... well, in the picture just up there. ;)  It's a Moda 3 Sisters print from the "Simplicity" line.  It's a few years old and probably difficult to find in stores (just sayin').  But any white, light cream or something light with a subtle print (like mine) will work with the floss colors I'm using.

Tuesday
Sep272011

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 18

Yellow & Blue

Yep.  More yellow. :)

#15 Buzzard's Roost

I think of one thing and one thing only when I hear the word "Buzzards" ... dating my husband. 

No, it's not like THAT.  He wasn't some half-dead carcass I was circling.  We started dating in high school ... well, HE was still in high school ... I was in University.  That's right, I got me a younger man. ;)  But I've always looked really young for my age and people used to think he was dating "jail-bait".  Tee hee!

In fact, when we went out for our 15th wedding anniversary earlier this year, I ordered a beer and was asked to produce my ID!  It's been years since I stopped taking my wallet when I go out with him.  (He never lets me drive when he's in the vehicle ... can't really blame him, can you?)  But the waitress actually sent the manager over to make sure I was "legal".  For the love of all things holy, there's just NO WAY I look under 21 - hair color can only work so much magic.  It was kinda nice, though. :)

Anyhow, the point - that has taken me 2 paragraphs to get to - is that one of our favorite places to go when we were dating was a pub called "Buzzards".  Good times. :)

#12 Broken Sugar Bowl

I gotta use more of this blue!  It's tricky because this print is a rather large scale floral and I have to be careful cutting little pieces. 

Super happy, isn't it?!  I think I'm getting over my yellow thing. ;)

Monday
Sep262011

Mini-Series Monday #2

Happy Mini-Monday everyone!

Remember Little Lady? 

Well, here she is all LITTLE little ... 11" x 15".

A block measures 4" x 4".

I repeated the same FMQ design from the big version seen here...

Cute, huh?

And I even added the ric rac.

This detail wasn't part of the original pattern in the book.

But I got the idea from other quilts designed by Camille like this one and this one. :)

Used up more scraps on the back ...

Again ... this is NOT a placemat, people.  (Could you even IMAGINE letting someone spill spaghetti sauce on this?!)

Next week ...

Sunday
Sep252011

Mr. Martha?

Ok.  Has this ever happened to you where you walk into the kitchen on a Sunday morning only to find your husband doing something he's NEVER IN HIS LIFE EVER DONE before ...

 

 

... making homemade vanilla of all things?  Since when was I married to Martha Stewart??!!  (Although note HIS idea of a "decorative bottle" - LOL!)

Disturbing, hilarious and endearing, all at the same time ...  ;)

Friday
Sep232011

Daisychain Alphabet Sampler

This past Spring, I was visiting one of my very favorite blogs and nearly fell over when I saw this beautiful sampler (pattern available as a PDF)!

I HAD TO MAKE IT!  I just HAD to.  I mean come ON people! 

Now you may or may not know that I like little.  Remember my obnoxious decision to make my FWQAL blocks 5" instead of 6 1/2"?  And the Mini-Series I started this week?  Well, I'm doing it again. 

But lemme 'splain .. there is a method to my madness.

See, Alicia's sampler is stitched with crewel wool which is thicker than embroidery floss.  I'm a flosser.  However, if I use the original pattern size with floss, the letters will look a little too "skinny" for me.  Plus, I want my sampler to fit easily in an 8 1/2" x 11" pre-made frame.

So I reduced the size of the pattern to about 70%.

Now I love Alicia's sense of style, but the colors she used for her version just wouldn't work in my house.  So I picked these little pretties. 

Have you tried COSMO embroidery floss yet?  I was a hard-core DMC girl until I tried these ... now I'm a Cosmo girl!  (Tee hee!)  But seriously, this stuff is awesome.  Super Buzzy is one online store that carries the entire collection of solids. 

I based the colors on my all.time.FAVORITE fabric lines - Paris Flea Market by Moda (2004?). 

You guys, if I could be reincarneted as fabric, THIS is what I would look like. 

So for the next little while I'll be sharing my progress with you here and there in amongst my Mini-Series & FQWAL and other silly things.  Not quite as big an undertaking as Project Simplify, but I hope it will entertain you a little.  And maybe inspire you to get the pattern and start stitching up one for yourself.  ;)

Thursday
Sep222011

More About Me

I've been blogging for a little while now, talking mostly quilting & motherhood ... and being an occasional bad driver

I should qualify that last thing by saying I've never hurt myself or any one else with a vehicle.  I've just damaged my vehicle(s).  And my husband's.  And maybe my dad's. 

And maybe my neighbor's truck.  (Dude, he shoulda KNOWN better than to park at the bottom of an icy hill in the winter in Canada ... just sayin'.)

Oh yeah, and maybe my sister's brand new car.  Word to the wise ... if you're driving through the mountains, go AROUND big rocks that have fallen onto the highway - not OVER them.  Boulder vs. oil pan ... guess who's gonna win.  That might seem obvious now, but it wasn't so much when I was going like 90kph (55mph) very early one morning ... maybe ... (sorry, Sister!)

But there's more to me than just quilts and insurance claims.  I embroider.  Yep, I do.

So why haven't I mentioned this before?  Well, last summer (2010) I kinda messed up my hand by embroidering WAAAAAY too much.  (One WOULD think embroidery is safer than driving ... unless you've met me.)

I ended up looking like this for a few months ...

I know.  Super attractive, right?  I felt sorta like this ...

... just without the cool.  (But it does get you out of doing dishes and stuff for a little while!)

And then after a cortizone injection (for De Quervain tendonitis if you're curious), I looked like this for a few more months.

Only slightly less ridiculous. 

After months and months (and months) of physio ... and by the way, I was my physiotherapist's very first embroidery injury - an honor I mention with great pride ... my hand is almost back to normal. 

But I have to be very careful.  No more sitting on my butt for 10 hours straight with a needle & thread in hand.  I'm having to employ things like "balance" and "moderation" in my daily activities.  (Yuck.  Hate those words.  Have I ever mentioned that I'm also sometimes a little immature?)

So back to being careful, I still get into trouble if I spend a few evenings in a row watching an entire season of "Weeds" on DVD (for example) while doing this ...

My hand was very cranky for a few day's after all that cutting. 

(And my mouth needed a bar of soap!  Sheesh.  "Showtime" (not HBO, my bad!) tends to bring out the sailor in me ...)

But never mind that.

The reason I'm bringing up the embroidery thing is because if you happen to stop by tomorrow, I don't want you to think you came to the wrong blog when you see this ...