Entries in Fabric (34)


2012 Holiday Tag-a-Long Week 4

Well here we are, the last week of our Holiday Tag-a-Long.  Wow.  Is it just me or did the last 4 Wednesday's go by really super fast?

So. I have a small confession to make.  Remember how I said I wasn't going to buy any new supplies for my tags ... just use what I already had?  Well, I kinda sorta cheated a little.  I didn't mean to, but I met a friend for lunch last week.  And the cafe was "conveniently" located next to one of our favorite shops that happens to carry some crazy beautiful embellishments, like these sequins. 

Aaaagh!  They're like jewels!!!  And I didn't even buy them with my tags in mind.  I just bought them ... just ... 'cause.  I was feeling a little guilty 'bout that, but then my lack of discipline led to a lovely moment of inspiration for this week's color theme ...

Hot Pink & Kelly Green

Yeah, baby!

For some reason I had "Baltimore Album" on my mind and I've always loved this classic laurel wreath.  I started with the embroidered branches, then added my pretty new colorful sequins, a few pink knots and some green leaves and voila! 

It's a bit bigger than the template because I wasn't going to frame it.  But it didn't look finished so I added the pink border and the ribbon trim  ... which you can't really see except up close.  But it makes for a more elegant finish.

I also thought a lot about embroidering the year or a monogram or a little festive word in the middle, but I couldn't make up my mind.  So I left it blank.

Next was this stitched wreath with the teensiest little irridescent flower sequins ever. 

I embroidered a simple feather stitch wreath and randomly added the flowers with greens knot. 

It looked a little naked so I added the white knots in the middle.  Not sure if I like them, but they're staying.  And solid pink for the entire tag was too much for me, so I added the green fabric and then covered the seam with a pretty white ribbon/bow.

Last but not least ... I used the fabric as the feature. 

I was just going to add the 2 ribbon stripes and be done with it.


But it reminded me too much of the ugly tube socks I used to wear for gym class.  NOT the look I was going for.  So I girlied them up with little embroidered bows and some sequin hearts.

I love them.

In fact, I'm pleased with all my tags.

And I LOVE Amy's tags too, of course. 

We hope we've inspired you to make some pretty tags too.  Or that you've at least enjoyed seeing our creations.  If so, then we have succeeded in our mission to spread some pretty, crafty holiday cheer.  Thank you to everyone who participated!  Please keep adding your lovely tags to the 2012 Holiday Tag-a-Long Flickr Group.

But you know what?  I've decided to sell my tags.  I know, you might think I'm crazy.  But I've already had my fun designing and making them and for me, it's always more about the making than the having.  I've listed them in my shop as their original sets, if you're interested.   UPDATE:  SOLD OUT!




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!"


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.


Happy Camper

My little dresdan blades have gone from these ...

to these ...

to this ... (wheeeeeeeeeee!  Yes, I totally squealed out loud when I pressed this little section together and flipped it over on my ironing board!!!)

(There may have also been clapping and jumping.)

And then this ...

Amy, if you were here right now I'd kiss you on the mouth!  LOL!


Maybe. ;)

And now I'm moving on to the embroidery.

I am one SERIOUSLY happy camper right now!


For the Fun & the Pretty

I've mentioned more than once how much I admire this girl.  I mean, seriously.  As far as I'm concerned, she is commander-in-chief of all things pretty. 

Just sayin'.

So when she posted this free pattern last week I practically knocked my chair over as I jumped up to grab fabric from my stash so I could start making this thing already!!!

I've had these FQs of old "Durham" prints from Lecien since it came out about 5 (?) years ago ... 

Until now I just didn't have the nerve to cut into it because I love them so much.  Sometimes I would pick them up, look at them, inspect them, arrange them on my cutting table, smile at them, study them, admire them, imagine making something with them ... break out into a cold sweat ... and then put them back on the shelf.

But if EVER there was a perfect project for my prized fabric ... am I right or am I right?

I've started on the dresdan blades using a new-to-me method I learned from another lovely lady I admire.

And I've tentatively selected these Cosmo embroidery floss colors ...

Very excited over here! :)


Farmer's wife Quilt Along Week 34

YAY!!! I'm back!  Oh this feels so good. :)

Thank you so much for your all your responses to my request for feedback on my blog banner.  Wow you guys are so nice!  I wasn't expecting so many of you to tell me to do what pleases me.  That is pure generosity and I am totally grateful. 

My favorite comments were ones that suggested I do "the same but different".  So now I'm working on a new banner that you will recognize as me ... for sure ... promise.  It will be the same, but different.  Not sure when it will be ready.  But you'll be the first to know when it's done. :)

And now back to our regularly scheduled program.

I have some MAJOR catching up to do here on the farm and beLIEVE me, I've been farming!  I'm going to spend this week showing you (some of) my new FW blocks ... and there are some beauties I tell ya, like today.

Green, Gray & White

#67 - Pine Tree

I live nestled in the foothills of the Great Canadian Rockies.  I suppose I should appreciate the landscape more, but I'm not into rocks & mountains and the indigenous flora that isn't anywhere NEAR my preferred English Cottage look ...

We have an abundance of pine trees and I think almost every other species of tree with needles & cones.  I bet there isn't a single residential street in the city without at least ONE.  Again, I suppose some people would find that charming and romantic.  Not me.  I only like these trees at Christmas time.

However, THIS is the kind of pine tree I can get jiggy with ...

all covered with flowers! :)

#105 - Wild Goose Chase

I had the.hardest.time deciding how to make this block in terms of print/color.  Should I go two-tone? Symmetrical?  Totally scrappy? And all the beautiful and inspiring versions I found on the FWQAL Flickr group didn't make my decision an easier.

But I finally went with these colors, scrapped "the snot" out of the green and I EL-OH-VEE-EE it!

YUM! :) 

(Just so we're clear here I mean yum the color ... not yum the snot.)


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 33

Pink & Gray

I think all my FW blocks this month will have gray because, well, I liked last week's blocks so much and I really need to catch up with this color for my quilt.

#40 - Friendship Block

Yeah, this block and I are DEFINITELY friends! :)


#80 - Single Wedding Star

Yep.  I totally love pink.


Sorry guys, no funny in me today ... I looked EVERYWHERE for it.

But I got nothin'.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  Zilch.

Maybe if I had a glass of wine or something.  Naw, it'll just make me sleepy and then I won't be able to feel the end of my nose.

And then I'll have to pee.

Never mind ... I'll keep lookin'.  Maybe it'll show up tomorrow.


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.


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. 


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!


Pretty Pencil Case

Today is the first day of school for us and I'm happy knowing both my girls will have a little something made with love from me in their desks ...

You see, fairsies math rules in my house.  So just because I bought little sister's backpack doesn't mean I can't make her a pretty pencil case too.

Lecien's Flower Sugar fabric.  I know.  You're totally shocked. ;)  She picked them.  She wanted polka dots to go with her backpack.   She was sooooo happy when I told her she could have it because it was in the "forbidden" pile with my FWQAL fabrics.

FYI, the polka dot/floral/stripe is one print ... no piecing required!  I love using unusual stripes like this.  Can you say "cheater panel" at its finest? :)

I LOVE this print.  However, I can't use it for my FWQAL blocks because the print is too big. 

But it's absolutely PERFECT for a sweet little Grade 3er's pencil case!

Did you notice my boo boo with the lining?  When I was cutting out a piece of batting, somehow the lining got stuck to the batting underneath and I didn't notice it until it was too late.  So I had to piece it ...

I still have a few more back to school projects to show you next week.


Scrap Pencil Case

Ok.  First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the Messenger Bag love yesterday!  Wow.  You guys made me blush & tear up ... all at the same time.  A girl could get used to that kind of affirmation!  I'll try to not let it go to my head. ;) 

And I've heard the hue & cry for a pattern/tutorial.  Gee whiz!  I'm totally blown away.  This feels so nice to have people not only like what I made, but want to make one too.  I think I should wait and let my daughter "test drive" the bag for a bit ... see if any fatal design flaws show up.  I'll keep you posted.

Now I'm afraid that Messenger Bag is a hard act to follow.  Today's project isn't quite a spectacular, but I think just as cute. ;)

               *          *          *          *          *          *          *

I'm always surprised by what can be done with scraps. 

Explains why my scrap bin is overflowing ...

Here's what I managed to eke out from the Messenger Bag leftovers.

A coordinating pencil case!

Cute, eh?  She said she wanted to sleep with it. ;)  I think that means she likes it.

Even the zipper pull is a fabric scrap ... 3/8" x 6".  Little fingers really appreciate them.  FYI, 1/4" is just a bit too narrow.  It will rip apart.  Just sayin'.

I'll show you little sister's pencil case tomorrow.


PS:  Thank you :)


Back To School Prep

Five years ago when my oldest daughter started Kindergarten, I made her a backpack for school.  (Sorry, no picture ... it was salvaged for parts a few years ago.)  It was the prettiest backpack ever.  I vowed to myself that my girls were going to have brand new handmade backpacks every September for the rest of their lives. ;) 

So far, I've kept that promise.  But I'm about to break it.

I had a weird moment of weakness this summer when we were shopping for school clothes and I saw this ...

I thought it was perfect for my little one! 

I dunno.  Something about the pink & happy polka dots.  And the navy.  I couldn't even believe the words coming out of my mouth as I asked her if she'd like it for school.  She said yes.  I wasn't sure how I felt about that.

So right now I'm sorta sad that I broke my informal promise to make two new backpacks every year (until they flat out refuse to take ANYTHING homemade to school because "that is SO NOT COOL ... no one ELSE does, MOM!")  (Ouch! Stick a knife in my heart already!)  But I'm also sorta relieved that I only have to make one this year.

So.  My Grade 5er decided she needs something more sophisticated this year ... because she's not a little kid anymore - she's TEN.  So she's requested a messenger bag. 

Ok.  I can do that.

I also gave her freedom to pick anything (well, ALMOST anything) from my stash.  She went straight for these ...

The grays from Bonnie & Camille's new "Ruby" line.  She thinks this is a very grown up color.  I agree.

(I know!  She isn't a pink girl like her mom.  I'm slowly coming to terms with that ... although sometimes I wonder if she was accidentally switched in the hospital.)

I don't have any yardage - just these FQs.  So it will look sorta patchy.  But not TOO patchy (so I've been directed).

She also wants just a little bit of decoration on the flap.  We're thinking about either applique or embroidery in red.  Perhaps a monogram.  Or a heart.  Or flowers.  Or a combination.  Or something else we haven't thought of yet.  I'm workin' without a net here ... or a pattern. 

I've actually never made a messenger bag before.  This is my rough sketch which has been approved by my client.

I can hardly wait to get sewing.  I hope it turns out!  I'll show it to you when it's done ... if it looks good.  If not, then I'll lie and tell you the dog ate it. 

'Cept we don't have a dog ...


The Cost of Vanity ...

is measured in fabric? 

          *          *          *          *          *          *          *           *

Have you ever gone on an extended vacation for oh, I dunno, let's just throw a number out there ... say, 43 days ... for example.  But you forgot to pack this seemingly insignificant little device that lives quietly in your medicine cabinet in the bathroom.

After about a week, you realize this beauty accessory was left behind and the internal argument begins.  See, you've bought cheap tweezers in the past and over the years you've established a general policy, that for such things, either invest in the good stuff or don't bother. 

But good tweezers are about $10.  And you go through life comparing the price of just about every non-essential purchase to the cost of fabric - in this case, 3 or 4 fat quarters.  You reason that you already have a perfectly good pair at home.  Why buy another pair and be stuck with two?  Because graying hair aside, there is NO WAY you're EVER going to forget to pack them again.  What a waste of ... fabric, right? 

So I pose the question to all you hard core fabric lovers:  would YOU be prepared to spend most of your vacation looking like the love child of hers

and his

for the sake of fabric?

Now I'm not admitting anything here, but let's just say my husband values personality over looks.  ;)


Project Simplify - Day 27

Well, after MUCH fabric play & yardage consideration (I kept running into the "crap, I don't have enough of that fabric" problem) I surprised myself by going with this two-color grouping which is mostly Roman Holiday, and the blue and cream tonals from Glace - another 3 Sisters Christmas line (the same line Camille used for this quilt in the book) that came in a kit I've had for a while.

I mean, I love two-tone quilts and I really love this smokey blue-gray & cream combo (with little hits of red!).  But for some reason I was trying really hard to use the entire Roman Holiday line. 

For years I'd walk into a store, see a quilt and want those.exact.fabrics to make it for myself.  I had trouble imagining quilts in different colors.  I know lots of other quilters struggle with the same issue.  Let's face it, fabric ain't cheap and making quilts - especially big ones - is an investment in both time & money.  And believe me, I've made my fair share of costly "experimenting with fabric" mistakes.

I'm still not the world's best fabric picker for quilts.  I really admire people who can walk through a quilt store, "cherry pick" bolts from all over the place and put together a fabulous fabric collection for a quilt. More often than not, I rely on a fabric line when I make a quilt.  But time and experience has made me a little more comfortable & confident with my personal fabric likes & dislikes.

Plus - just a personal goal - I'd like most of the quilts I make for Project Simplify to look at least a little - and preferably a lot - different from the ones in the book, if only for those of you who are still learning to visualize quilts in different fabrics.  Maybe you'll be inspired to give future quilt designs a second look if they're made up in colors & prints that don't appeal to you.  You just might find an unexpected treasure!


Project Simplify - Day 23

Sometimes I can think outside the box and come up with good ideas on my own.  But for now, I still need a crutch for deciding on a FMQing design.  So why not copy (again) what is shown in the book?

Camille's used three different FMQ designs on this cute little quilt:  stippling, that loop-dee-loop from "Little Man" and a sort of scalloped flower thing.  At first glance, I thought that was a bit ambitious for me to attempt, but it is a small quilt and if I want to improve my skills, I might as well go for it.  (You know, broadening ones horizons and all ...)

Here's my practice run.  Not bad, eh? 

The results:  not perfect - still a little jerky here and there.

And a little accidental loop ...

Is it just me, or is it easier to get out of a tight spot with swirly twirly?  Stippling just seems a bit less forgiving.

And then there's my old nemesis - tension.  Hmmph.

One of these days I'll remember that if you practice your FMQ stitching with fabric/batting/thread that's not exactly the same as your quilt, you must double check your tension when you start sewing on the actual quilt!  At least this stuff was easy to pull out.  I gave the fun to you-know-who ... little Miss Loves-A-Ripper.

I'll show you the embarrassing part next time.  That's right, dear friends, I'm not through humiliating myself for your entertainment!


Project Simplify - Day 21

Chapter Four is a sweet little table topper called Coming Home.

At Quilt Market in Houston last fall I met Robyn Pandolph and got a charm pack of her new line "Scarborough Fair". 

I love it. 

I also bought the FQ bundle. 

I know, you're shocked ... ;)

Except for a few squares that I used in Last Chapter's quilt I haven't made anything with this fabric yet and I'm excited that I finally get to play with it.

Since the taupe/cream background fabric I'd planned for the last quilt didn't turn out, I'm going to give it another try for this quilt. 

And FOR SURE this time I'm going to use pink for the border.

Promise! :)


Project Simplify - Day 20

Woohoo!  Look who's getting all fancy with her swirly twirly FMQing by throwing in the occasional heart ...


This was fun (after I got over the trauma of my really lousy daisies and breaking thread and all).

When I was putting the binding on I did that silly thing of twisting the two joining ends ...

I love this gently scalloped edge.  It's so much easier than severe scallops with all the inside corners to manouver.

The jury is still out as to whether the variegated thread was a good idea or not.  What do you think?

Do you ever play that game with yourself where you try to pick your favorite block in a quilt you made?  I thought it would be fun to ask my helper which was her favorite .  She had a hard time deciding, but she chose this one ...

and this one ...

and this one ...

and this one ...

and this one ... :)

Mine is this one ...  In fact, it was the inspiration for the name my helper gave this quilt.

She was telling me how she didn't like this one block because it was the only one with a dress on it.  All the others had flowers.  I told her I liked that one little block because it was daring to be different from the rest and that it looked like it was going to a party.  Then my helper said, "Hey!  I'm going to call this quilt Garden Party!" 

Love it.  Hope you do too. :)

I'm regretting a little bit that I went with the yellow border instead of the pink (I already got an "I told you so, Mom!").  I think it turned out a bit too quiet.  Oh well.  It still looks nice.

Now, I usually try to use up leftovers for the back, but since the fabrics came from my scrap bin, I luckily found some older Robyn Pandolph yardage that did the trick.

Stash Redux:

  • Yardage - 4.4 yds / 4.1 m
  • Weight - 1.2 lbs / 0.5 kg

For a grand total of:

  • Yardage - 35.9 yds / 32.8 m
  • Weight - 12.6 lbs / 6.9 kg

Feeling good!


Project Simplify - Day 19

And now back to our regularly scheduled blogging. :)


Remember this sweet, innocent-looking spool of lilac variegated RAYON thread?

Yeah.  It's evil.  But I'll get back to that in a minute.

I decided that after my poor "daisy flower" FMQ results I should stick to what I know for now - which is the "swirly twirly".  Fine.

But things were not going well.  I'd only done about 5 minutes worth of stitching and the thread broke, like, at least 20 times!  I rethreaded, checked the tension, everything I could think of to fix the problem.  I was having a serious hate-on for the thread.  But when I started testing out different thread I discovered that the lilac rayon was only half the problem.  The other half?  Well, turns out you really do need A DARNING FOOT on your machine to do FMQing.  The open-toed applique foot won't work.  (Oops!)

When I finally clued in to THAT little oversight, my darning foot decided to punish me for ignoring it by falling off and breaking (another) needle.

Sigh.  So by this time there were so many stops & starts in my top-stitching I figured I should prob'ly take it all out.  I hate unpicking almost as much as I hate practicing.

But ...

Guess who discovered that the little helper girl L.O.V.E.S using a stitch ripper?  (This photo was her idea.)

She was all over that job!  Especially after I showed her how to cut every third or fourth thread and then after a few minutes do that oh-so-satisfying long thread pull.  :)  drrrdrrrdrrrdrrrdrrr!

I sent her off to her Grandmas with the quilt and the ripper and she happily undid my mess.

Then I showed her my secret weapon for removing all those annoying little bits of thread ... masking tape.

If you've ever had body hair waxed ... you get the picture ;)

I love this girl.  Who knew 24 hours of labour followed by a C-section would pay off this way?


Project Simplify - Day 18

I changed my mind (again) and picked a different background fabric.  Both my helper and I agreed that the small taupe print was too "busy" with all the scrappy piecing action going on.  But I just so happened ... ;) ... to have a tonal from the same fabric line (Simplicity by 3 Sisters) and it works much better.

For a border I was going back & forth between these two delicate checkered Susan Branch prints.  I thought I'd like the pink better, but again the piecing in the middle is just so ... noisy ... that I chose the yellow (much to my helper's disappointment - she's a pink girl like her mama).

So I've been back practicing FMQing.  I was so happy with the results of "Little Lady" (I'm inserting this picture now as a defense for the next picture) ...

... that I thought I'd be a little adventurous.  If you look closely at the picture of this quilt in the book you'll see that Camille incorporated the sweetest daisy-like flowers with her "swirly-twirly" top-stitching.  Here's how mine are turning out.  (In a word - laughable.)

I admit that I'm biting off a bit more than I can chew right now.  I need to match my execution with my skill level - not my lofty ambition - and clearly I ain't there ... yet.

In keeping with the premise of this project - simplifying my stash - it occurred to me that I should be including thread.  I bought this lilac variagated thread ... oh, maybe 5 years ago ... and have never used it.  I think it might look really pretty for the top-stitching. 

I admit it's a bit risky, but what the heck, I'm feeling brave ...