Daisychain Sampler "Z"

Or rather "ZED" as we call it here in Canada ... to much irritation of some foreigners. ;)

Is it just me or is it kinda sad that my Sampler is done?

Well, I guess now I'm faced with deciding on how to finish it.

I know for sure it'll be a wall hanging of some sort.

But do I just stick it in a store-bought frame?

Or do I do some sort of patchwork frame around it?

'Cause remember, I based all my floss colors on these fabrics ...

and these ...

So, I've got a lot to work with.

Any suggestions?

Find original pattern here.


Daisychain Sampler "Y"

Find original pattern here.

This letter makes me smile.

Wanna know "Y"? 

(LOL!  Ah geez, sometimes I just crack myself up ... !)

It reminds me of Laura Ingalls from "Little House on the Prairie".  Laura had long brown braids.

I remember a scene from one of the books where Ma was in a hurry getting Laura and Mary ready for church and accidentally tied Laura's pink ribbons onto Mary's braids and Mary's blue ribbons onto Laura's. 

Laura noticed the mistake right away, but didn't say anything because she was so happy that she got to wear something different.  She stared at them all thru Mass.

I have absolutely NO idea WHY I remember that from some 35 years ago ... but I do.  And it makes me smile.

See?  Totally looks like braids.  That chain stitch is amazing ... one of the coolest stitches I know.


Daisychain Sampler "X"

Find original pattern here.

Ok you guys, here we go.  For all of you who've been waiting for me and gently nagging me ... I'm finishing the Sampler this week!  Cross my heart. 

Get it?  Cross?  X? ... ;)

X marks the spot.

The third last spot to be specific.

Slight modification again due to my smaller scale ...

only did 3 rows around instead of 4.

If I'd added the 4th row the letter wouldn't be hollow.  I kinda like the hollow.  Plus omitting the 4th row = less stitching. ;)



No, wait, I mean ... Xcellent!


"With Fabric & Thread" Cherry Blossom Quilt II  I just do.  I can't help it.

I love picking all the fabrics.

I love cutting all the pieces.

I love building the blocks.

I love pressing the seams.

I love perfectly nesting seams and clean points (when they happen ... 'cause they don't always ... happen, that is).

I love it when a quilt top is all put together.

I love pin basting. 

No, wait. 

That is a total lie. 

I reeeeally don't like that part at.all!

And yes I use a pink tupperware for my basting pins ... ;)

I love top-stitching.

Especially my true love grid-on-point ... people, you simply cannot argue with a classic.

I love binding ...

hmmmm ... no, that was another fib ...

I TOLERATE binding,

... when there's something good on tv.

But I FOR SURE FOR SURE love washing and drying a quilt for the first time to magically turn it into a family heirloom - all puckered & soft & loved.


Making things with fabric & thread. 

That's what I love. 

Oh and chocolate. 

Can't forget about chocolate.


Daisychain Sampler "W"

Ok, so how cool is this leaf?

I made it with really small, tight fly stitches. 

This is not how the leaves are stitched in the original pattern ... I just felt like making mine this way.

They're fun to stitch and look pretty realistic, I'd say.  Sorta like a Boston fern, maybe?

And I had to do more alterations to this letter.  The flowers on the original design are really cute, but because I've reduced the size of my Sampler by 30%, those flowers became too small to look good.


I came up with these tiny little pink bells.  I have a thing for bell/drop type flowers.  I just made 4 or 5 straight stitches for each flower.  Easy peasy.

I'm not sure these flowers exist in real life.  I think of them as stylized pink Lily-of-the-Valley.  I bought one once from a mail-order garden nursery.  It died.  I'm not a very good gardener. 

On the other hand, however, I'm a decent embroiderer ... happily these little pink bells will last forever!

Oh, and I added a little yellow knot - single strand only - to really emphasize the bell-ish-ness.

I think it worked out rather nicely.

Speaking of work, there are a TON of stitches in this little W ... (actual size is less than 1 1/2"!) ... and totally worth every single one.


Daisychain Sampler "V"

LOL!  V stands for VERY LONG TIME since I worked on this poor, neglected sampler! 

It was a bit of an archeological dig to even find it buried under layers of Quilt Market sewing fabric & mending & ... stuff ... you know how it goes. ;)

ANYHOW, here's where I left off ... 3 months ago?  Yikes!

I used the same brown as U. 

And that long/short stitch again that I love so much.  You just can't beat that texture!

The palest pink makes for a sweet little scallop trim.

And pale blue for the dots.

Reminds me of a nursery.

Which reminds me of my babies.

Which makes my ovaries ache.

Better move on to the next letter quick!


"With Fabric & Thread" Cherry Blossom Quilt

The first several times I went thru Joanna Figueroa's new book, "With Fabric & Thread" I was CONVINCED I was going to make this quilt ...

... in solid pink and white.  Crisp, graphic & classic.  And beautiful.

A 2-solid-color quilt has been on my to do list for years now.  And I really thought it was gonna happen.

But then I realized I didn't have enough solid pink in my stash (what?!).  But I do have this very lovely pink tonal that refused to play nicely with my Farmer's Wife blocks - haven't totally forgiven it yet ...

so I'm gonna use it for this quilt.

And THEN I got another idea.  See, the book has another pattern that is very similar, but with smaller blocks, a reverse color scheme and little 9-patches.  (Love!)

So I got to thinking ... why not use the pink tonal for the background and different white prints for the blocks?

(Some days it really is a heavy burden ... you know ... being so clever and all ... tee hee!)

Please don't blame me if you get a cavity looking at my fabric selection ... it's VERY SWEET!

But I seriously love these white florals and dots all together. 

I'd understand if you thought I was making a baby quilt ... but no, this quilt - I've decided - is going to be for me. 

Just me. 

Unless one of my daughters ends up claiming it.  I could live with that. 

As long as she lets me share it with her on family movie night.


So, Like, I Totally Killed a Squirrel The Other Day ...

I know.  I'm very sorry.  As much as I hate the little rodents (yes, they're all cute and everything in an animated Disney movie, but they destroy gardens in my neighborhood), I don't like KILLING them!

In fact, I used to trap them in my yard and whenever I caught one, I'd drive to a very large park several miles from my house and set it free.

So this WAS an accident.  I swear.  The thing darted out from underneath a parked car and I didn't have enough time to react. 

Well, that's not entirely true ... I had enough time to lift my feet off the floor of my vehicle like I was trying to prevent it from running up my leg ... ??? ... !  Weird how that was my natural instinct.  It's not like the critter could get INSIDE my van while I ran over it.  But I still felt the pthump, pthump as my tires ... you know ... (shudder).

The worst part is that it's still lying on the side of the road and I have to drive by it at least a few times a day. 

(Did I cross the line with my crime scene photo?  Sorry.  I have an occasionally gross streak.  It escaped today.)


"With Fabric & Thread" Pin Cushion Buttercups

Today's Show & Tell is brought to you by ...

... Joanna Figueroa's new book "With Fabric & Thread".

Who can resist a cute pin cushion pattern? 

Certainly not me. 

I love 'em.

Joanna's "Pin Cushion Buttercups" are the epitomy of practicality & prettiness ...

... right up my alley.

I couldn't wait to start making one with Fig Tree's "Strawberry Fields" fabric leftovers from my Mystery quilt.

And then another ... with some beautiful Rachel Ashwell fabric ...

and then another! 

(with Lecien scraps)

You know how it goes. 

They're like potato chips ... "Betcha can't make just one!"  And of course the more you make, the faster you get.  I think this is my new "go to" gift for sewing friends for Christmas, birthdays, thank yous, something special ...

They are super fun to make.  And because they don't require much fabric, you won't mind using some of your extra special most very favoritest pieces either.

And since I think EVERY pincushion deserves at least a few pretty little decorative pintoppers (from my friend's Etsy shop Pinks and Needles) I found some for each of my buttercups.

I love these pins!

That shop is DANGEROUS ...

... consider yourself warned!

NOTE:  Pinks and Needles is undergoing a computer upgrade at the moment so if you're looking for something specific but don't see it in the shop, just ask ... she's more than happy to oblige!

And where do you think I'm going to keep all the templates I made?  (I prefer to trace a copy onto freezer paper and keep the originals intact.)

In the book's template pocket of course!  So I will never lose them. 

'Cause I'm gonna need them again.

(And again, and again.)


"With Fabric & Thread"

So I got an email a few weeks ago.  From Wiley.  A publishing company.  Asking if I'd like a review copy of Joanna Figueroa's new book (yes, THE amazing woman of Fig Tree fame.)

Seriously?  At first I thought it was spam.  Then I thought maybe I was being punked.  (That makes me sound paranoid, doesn't it?)  But no, the offer was genuine. 

Then the heavens opened and the angels sang ... and the UPS guy rang my doorbell with the best non-Christmas package EVER!

When I haven't been obsessing over my Mystery Block quilt layout and Farmer's Wife mishaps these past few weeks I've been obsessing over this amazing book.  No joke.  I've been carrying it around with me like a security blanket. 

And I've never "just watched tv" since I got it either.  I've been more listening/occasionally glancing at the tv while I read Joanna's charming and insightful anecdotes about her road to here as entrepreneur, employer, quilt designer, fabric designer, pattern designer, instructor, pattern writer, photographer, blogger ... and oh yeah, wife & mother as well.  Sheesh!  I feel productive when I've had a shower AND tidied the kitchen ... in the SAME DAY! 

Kidding ... maybe. ;)

I've met Joanna (briefly) a few times at Quilt Market but it was absolutely delightful to get to know her a little better through her stories.  You really feel like she's talking directly to you.  I'm sure I'll never think about buttons on an airplane or a yellow dress the same way!  (You have to read the book to understand those references ... )

Today, I'm going to share with you what I love about the book.  And then over the next few weeks I'm gonna make stuff from the book and show you.  'Cause that's what I live for (besides my family) ... to make pretty things ... with fabric & thread.

Ok.  For starters, love the hard cover. 

What's not to love about a hardcover book?  Sturdy and durable to withstand being lugged about in my purse and mercilessly & repeatedly thumbed thru.  And doesn't a hardcover book always look nicer on the bookshelf, coffee table, craft table, ottoman, kitchen table, kitchen counter, nightstand, ... passenger seat of a minivan ... ?  Trust me, it does.  I've checked.  In all those places and then some. ;)

Coil spine.  I love how the pages stay flat and open while I'm actually using the book. 

I don't have to crack the spine which wrecks the book or find one of my big quilting rulers to lay on top of the book (and still sorta see thru it) while I work my way through a pattern.  Very utilitarian.

Sturdy back pocket to hold all the ...

wait for it ...



That's right, people of earth!

No photocopying required. 


Photography.  Ok, this is where Joanna's book goes from being a terrific collection of projects to what I would classify as first rate craft pornography. 

One of my favorite things about her blog is the stunning photographs and this book is full of them ... pages and PAGES of 'em.

And not just beautiful pictures, but the objects & projects too.  Total.eye.candy ... can't stress that enough.

"With Fabric & Thread" is a smart craft book with an inspired twist - Joanna cleverly bridges the gap between "quilters" who are hesitant to try making something "not flat" and "sewers" who are nervous about straight seams and consistent seam allowances.  We've all met them.  And you might even BE one of them!  Joanna confesses that she used to be one.  But this book guides you very gently from one world to the other - no matter which one you live in currently - with tons of information, tips and beautiful/inspirational things to make. 

The book has 3 main project categories:  Sewing Projects like aprons, basket liners and pincushions ...

Dual Projects like woven floor mats, pillow shams and placemats ...

and Quilting Projects like slippers, a table runner and, well, quilts of course! 

There is definitely something for everyone here. 

And there are several somethings for me in this book. :) 

I'm gonna make & show you at least one thing from each of the 3 sections.  It was harder to decide what NOT to make than what TO make.

So check back to see what I made first.  I'll give you a hint:

And if you haven't already seen Joanna's cute video from Quilt Market, here's a link ... you can see many of the projects from the book.  I DARE you to NOT find something you want to make. 

No, wait, I DOUBLE DARE you!




I KNOW!!!!! 

I feel like a magician!

"Bonnie, you are my Fairy Godmother."  And to all you other oh so very lovely people who shared remedy ideas, "Thank you from the bottom of my heart."  You guys totally rock! :)

Bonnie was the first person to leave me a comment on my scorched block crisis post last week who not only suggested there was hope for removing scorch marks (I thought they were forEVER!) but recommended I Google peroxide as a remedy.  I found this link.  As per the instructions I used hydrogen peroxide and a clean cloth.  (I used an old flannel burp cloth from when my kids were babies.  They make THE best pressing cloths!)

And an hour later my block was cured!

Well, maybe not 100% ... but I'd say a good 90 to 95%. 

I think if you look closely you might detect the slightest hint of yellow.  (I did replace the sashing strips.)  But that doesn't bother me because I have a few other "whites" in the quilt that aren't "white white" either.

And in the interest of full discosure, the peroxide made the red bleed a little.  But I was warned about that.  And quite frankly I don't care ... I'm just so happy I don't need to remake the block!!!

And now I'm MOST happy knowing that A) I HAVE THE BEST INTERNET FRIENDS EVERRRRRR and B) I learned through this ordeal that scorch marks CAN be removed - or at least faded - from fabric.  There are other remedies involving things like OxyClean, vinegar, salt, lemon, sunlight, onions (?!) ... just Google "scorched fabric remedies" and you'll come up with something!

This is me raising my glass of champagne ... or rather cup of tea, as the case may be ... (I don't drink & blog) ... to happy endings.



PS:  Just how DID we survive as a species without Google?


Oh You Have GOT to be Kidding Me!




I got a new iron.  Which boasted - among other features to justify the $160 price tag - that it WOULD NOT scorch fabric.

May I present to you Exhibit A ...

Seriously?  Are you KIDDING me? 

I think I might have used every bad word in the English language. 

More than once.

Because "picklejuice" and "fiddlesticks" weren't cutting it.

Don't worry, I spared the children by using my inside-my-head voice.

But I'm pretty sure Martin Scorsese woulda been impressed.

So now do I use one of my reject blocks?  Or replace this one ... because it WAS one of my favorites ...

I think I need a break from this quilt.  Clearly I'm being punished by the quilting gods for not making that 111th block.

Besides, I got a fun new book I want to show you next week.

And I really need some fun right about now. 

"Look out Weekend, here I come!"



Just channeling my inner Madonna with that title ... ;)

Thanks for all your sympathy yesterday.  It felt just as good as the cheesecake tasted. ;)  But as you'll see today, I chickened out and ran to the safety of white sashing ... not exactly the look I wanted, but at least I know it will look ... nice.

                           *                *               *               *

With lost motivation/inspiration, block reductions & that disappointing sashing failure my FQ quilt is really giving me a run for my money!

And my side-setting triangles for the border have proven just as difficult.  I'd always had it in my mind's eye - based on pink sashing, mind you - that the triangles would be white with flowers to make the blocks look like they were surrounded by a garden ... sorta.

Well, I think this print would have worked very well with pink sashing, but with white ... not so much.  I think it looks too ... I dunno ... bedroomy? ... I find it VERY Laura Ashley circa late 80s/early90s ... which I would normally be all over like white on rice, but it just isn't holding up here for some reason.

So I tried a few other fabrics and it was unanimous (with me and my daughters) this blue/white print was perfect. 

Not too heavy, but with enough definition to frame the blocks nicely.

But, of course, THE ONE BLOCK of NINETY EIGHT that has the EXACT fabric as the triangles is RIGHT IN THE CORNER!!! AAAGH! You can just imagine me and my OCD "Fabrics Can't Touch" thing EXPLODING ALL OVER this!

I'm starting to wonder if I should have my seam ripper surgically implanted because I've been using it WAY TOO MUCH LATELY!

(Sorry, I'll stop yelling now.)


Sashing Situation

Ok, ok, ok.  You were right.  I was wrong. 

Remember a few months ago when I showed you the fabrics I was contemplating for my FW sashing & posts?  All ya'll said the pink didn't look right.

In my defense, the color on my computer screen doesn't quite match the fabric in real life.

So stubborn me went ahead and cut like 100 sashing strips and sewed about 70 of them on ...

... because you guys I really, REALLY wanted my quilt to look like THIS!

This is the cover of one of my favorite Japanese craft books and was largely the inspiration for me choosing Flower Sugar fabric for my FW quilt in the first place.

Isn't it just the happiest quilt you've ever seen?  I mean come ON!

But then I laid my partly sashed blocks out on the floor.

And then I started to pout as my pink sashing dream faded before my very eyes.

So I sulked for a bit.

And then I did this ...

Which is why god created Tivo.

And Madmen.

And New York style cheesecake.


Farmer's Wife Favorites, Fussy Cuts & Failures

That's right.  I've got some of each.  Wanna see?


All time favorite:

Other all time favorite:

Honorable Mentions:

(reminds me of my wedding)

(has the most pieces ... at 64 ... )

(because I went all surreal and it.felt.GOOD!)

Fussy Cuts:

Best Fussy Cut:

I was gonna pick this one because it's SUPPOSED to be a tea cup sitting on a doily,

but my nine year old offered her opinion that this block "looks like a fancy apron worn by someone very rich who was cleaning her really big house".

(cricket chirps ...)

I know.  I don't get it either ... but I thought it was funny. 


This is my solution to being short one block ... remove another 12!  LOL!!! 

Ah geez, I crack myself up sometimes.

But seriously, I got to thinkin' ... just because I MADE these blocks doesn't mean I have to put then IN my quilt, right?  And I simply don't love - or even really like - these blocks.  Life is too short to live with a quilt with blocks that don't make your heart smile.  (It's interesting to me how all but one of them are "heavy".)

So they're going on the back ... 'cause I don't want to WASTE them.

All right.  That was quite enough farting around with mosaic making ... now it's on to sashing and posting and rowing and side-setting triangle ... ing ...


FWQAL Last 2 Blocks

Ok.  I admit it.  This Farmer's Wife is defeated.  By one block. 


I know. 

But I am nothing if not an excellent problem solver when it comes to quilting.  So I have a solution for my insufficient # of blocks.  If it works, I'll show you.  If not, I'll tell you about it and then show you Plan B ... or C ... however many it takes to get this quilt done!

So here are my last.two.blocks.  And like the last few weeks you won't find them in the book either.

I'd been thinking for a while it might be kinda cool to include a bit of "Flower Sugar" selvedge, since all the fabrics I used are from that line (except the white).

I made the stripes deliberately askew.  Just for fun.  I also threw in a few of the color legends ... which I love.

And now for the Grand Finale Block!

I've known right from the start I was going to embroider my name etc. on an album-type block.

But I couldn't find one I liked.  So I made this one up for myself.  (I did find it a little odd there wasn't a single album block in the entire book ... I can't be the ONLY person who wants to put my name on the front of the quilt rather than hiding it on the back!)

To keep the details fine I used only 1 ply of floss with a backstitch (even though the backstitch and I aren't exactly best friends 'cause my stitches aren't terribly uniform in length and that bugs me ... it just doesn't bug me enough to stitch slower for better accuracy ... ). 

A little part of me thinks it would have been more "authentic" to use my own handwriting.  But my penmanship was ruined by 5 years of University.  (Yes, I'm so old I remember the dark ages of laboriously taking notes in class BY HAND!)  But it's awful.  I did try doing my very best writing/printing, but it just looked ... I dunno ... goofy.  So I resorted to my favorite trick of typing out text on my computer, finding a nice font, resizing it and printing it out as my embroidery template. 

And I don't mind fooling anyone from the future who sees this quilt into thinking I had amazingly feminine & delicate penmanship.  Maybe they will also (erroneously) imagine I had a personality to match.

So this is them.  All 110 of them.  All nearly 6" of them! 

Can hardly wait to put 'em all together.

I guess the pressure is really on to finish now ... since I ambitiously EMBROIDERED the year!  LOL!


Quilt Block Layout Trauma

You guys I nearly drove myself completely mental yesterday.  My original layout playing around was fun ... yeah, not so much anymore.  At some point, this exercise turned from playful to painful.

I thought I had a nice block layout ... until Sue & Louise pointed out a problem  - the bottom left block was red roundy and the other 3 corners were red pointy ...  I spent way too much time trying to fix the problem.

First, I switched the 2nd and 4th rows. 


Uh, wait a minute.  The 2 blocks with the most pink were beside each other in the top row.  No good.

So switched the top 2 blocks in the middle column.

But then I had the same red fabric touching each other in the top row.  No good. 

So I swapped the outer columns.

THEN I realized I had the 2 roundy flowers touching in the second row ...

(Someone, PLEASE make this STOP!!!)

So I switched the 2 middle column blocks.

Crap.  NOW I have 2 "lots of pink" blocks touching again.

Ok.  One more try.  Switch a few more times ...

This is the final layout.  For sure.  I really mean it this time.

Yes, I'm aware there are few little issues remaining.  But I no longer care.  And don't any of you DARE point out any other problems. 

If you do, I'll hold you personally responsible for coming up with THE perfect layout that satisfies all my "seemingly ridiculous but to me and my OCD streak very logical quilt layout" rules. 

Just sayin'. ;)

Hope you all have a nice weekend.  I'll be working on this quilt ... and FW if I'm lucky.


Mystery Block of the Month Trial Layouts

Here are all my blocks in chronological order from left to right ...

Slightly different arrangement - chronological order from top to bottom ... I think I like this one better because it puts the tulip in the middle column.

(These mosaics are so fun to make!)

Ok.  You can't tell from looking, but I just wasted like 1/2 hour playing around with different arrangements until I came up with this one ...

I am SUCH a symmetrical-aholic when it comes to block placement in a quilt.  I looked for the strongest or most similar feature between 2 blocks and placed them opposite each other. 

Top row - pointy/leafy green corner thingies and a strong, secondary red design in the middle. 

Second row - lots of yellow. 

Third row - red pointies around the outside of the blocks. 

Bottom row - red in the corners.

If you go down the outside columns you'll notice I alternated the red prints ... floral then polka dot.

And for the middle row I just put them where they looked nice.  I wanted the second block to be in the bottom row, but then I'd have that blueish dot in every block across the bottom.  That simply will not do.

Oh geez, I could probably go on for another hour explaining all my bizarre decision-making rules here ... but I'll spare you any further gory details.  I don't want you to think I'm like weird or something.

What was that?  Too late?



Mystery Block of the Month 12

Well, seems I'm having 2 big projects ending at the same time here ... FWQAL and this one!

This block was used to promote this Mystery Block quilt and was largely the reason I signed up to do it in the first place.

So you know the saying "saving the best for last"?  That's what the Fat Quarter Shop did with this block.  It is most DEFINITELY my favorite. 

For sure. 


I think.

Ok, no for sure.  I really mean it.

It was designed by the ever popular Sandy Gervais.  She is one talented lady.

I had to chuckle, though, when I was making this block.  Do you remember when I said how I felt about piecing gingham here and here

And I just can't get enough of this print with the sweet little flowers and tiny dots.  I think it's my all-time favorite Fig Tree print.  And Joanna doesn't do a lot of pink so I'm savoring the pinkness here. ;)

Now I just need to decide how to put them all together.  To follow the pattern or to NOT follow the pattern ... that is the question.

I did buy the finishing kit.

AND I also shared a FQ bundle of Strawberry Fields with my friend ... "just in case" ...


Mystery Block of the Month 11


I made this block a little while ago and I forgot to show you. 

Totally cute, eh?  I like how it sorta looks like a wheel ... or maybe a great big 4-holed button.

Designed by Heather Mulder Peterson.  (She's gonna be a new mum any day now!)

And you know, I was a little on the fence with this green floral print ... that is until I saw what Sherri did with it as a border for her MBOM quilt. 

Can you say "green with envy"?  LOL!

I also deliberately fussy cut this larger floral, just like I did with Block 10 only with the red (left) I tried to get as much flower as possible and for green (right) I avoided them.


It's the exact same print ... but it looks totally different because of the way I cut it.

I finished the last block yesterday.  (That's how I was reminded I forgot about this one!)  I'll show you tomorrow.