Friday, November 30, 2007


We sold our house today!

The closing was this afternoon and some lovely couple in their 50's bought their first home today. Or so I hear. We didn't have to travel to Michigan to close, we did it all through the wonders of Fed-Ex. For that I am so thankful. The traveling we did over the Thanksgiving weekend nearly did me in.

Anyway, the selling of our home is reason to celebrate, don't you think? (Especially in this market.) What better way to celebrate, than to have a give away?

I sewed up this purse today in honor of this oh-so-very joyous occasion.
You know the drill.
Leave me a comment and I will pick a name on Sunday morning, December 2, 2007.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

8 random things

I was tagged by Libby to do the 8 random things meme. I love reading memes, so I am happy to play along. I get a lot of questions about quilting, fabric, etc. so I thought I would combine the two.

1. Where do you buy your fabric?

I buy about a quarter of it on-line. Otherwise, I buy some from JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby, Mill End Textiles (love!), and various quilt shops. I have done some fabric scrap swapping, which I love, because it rounds out my stash nicely. I used to be of the mindset that quilt shop/designer fabric was way too expensive, but now I am seeing how much better it is in quality and design. A little designer fabric goes a long way, especially when you combine it with a lot of solids, which I like to do.

2. I want to start quilting....where do I start?

I learned from a friend of mine (thank you, Nancy) and that is the best way to go, especially if you are pattern challenged like me. Having someone show me in person was the best route. If you don't know anyone personally who quilts, take a class. The teachers are usually passionate about quilting and will be happy to share their enthusiasm and knowledge. Then, after you have a good foundation, read, read, read. I love to READ quilt books. It makes me feel like such a nerd, but it is fun to learn tips, tricks and insight from other quilters. I gleaned a lot from this book, especially when it comes to design and color choices.

3. What type of batting do you use?

Warm and Natural. I buy it at JoAnn's and either use a coupon or wait until it goes on sale, otherwise it gets quite spendy. Once in a while I will use a higher loft polyester batting when I want a slightly thicker and bulkier quilt. Sometimes I use the needlepunch cotton batting from Wal-Mart. It comes in king size, so it works for large quilts.

4. Do you have any machine quilting tips?

Practice, practice, practice.
Then practice some more.

Don't expect perfection the first (or second or third or forth) time.

5. How do you baste your quilts?

I did a tutorial here.
Good basting is a large factor in quilting success, as well.

6. How do you get so much accomplished?

I am a work-aholic.

I stay home a lot.

I can't sit still.

I am always working on something.

I am a firm believer that you will find time to do what you want to do.

And also, I feel like I am pretty good at time management.

7. I am just starting to build a stash, how much yardage of each fabric should I buy?

This is purely personal preference. I like to buy a quarter yard cut of a large variety of fabrics rather than buying more yardage of fewer fabrics. Of course there are exceptions to this. I will buy more if I know that I really love it, that it is very versitile and that it will be unavaliable to me very soon. But you also have to consider that I love scrappy quilts-the more fabrics in a single quilt, the better. Usually. If I find a great deal on fabric that will work great as a backing fabric, I have been known to buy the end of the bolt. I think the largest chunk of fabric that I have bought is 7 yards and 11". Oh, that was a good day. :)

8. One quirky thing about me and fabric...when I buy new fabric, I have a hard time adding it in to my stash right away. I leave it in the pile that I bought it, separate from the stash for some time, thus preserving it's newish-ness. I guess once it is blended into the stash, I feel like it isn't quite so special anymore. Strange, eh? The fabrics in the photos are from various shopping trips in the last few months. One of my local quilt shops in Michigan still had lots of Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy fabric left, so I had to stock up before it was gone forever. (so sad.) I *heart* fabric.

I am not going to tag anyone, but please join in on the 8 random things meme if you would like-I would love to read your list.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

block of the week quilt

edit: the quilt is about a twin size

Marcia asked me if I could show a picture of the completed quilt-a-long quilt.

The quilt shown here was made from a block of the month program at my former local quilt shop a few years back. This is what I am basing the design of my 30's quilt-a-long project on. I will change several of the blocks to ones that are easier. (you can thank me later...some of these were buggers to piece!) I hesitate to show you the photo of this quilt, because I don't want to turn anyone off. The civil war fabrics aren't so much my style, but I really do like the quilt. And it does look better in person. I am excited to see how this quilt will look in 30's prints.

This is how I chose to put my 12 blocks together, but when you get your 12 blocks (or 24 blocks, for some of you) completed, you can arrange them any way you choose. Otherwise, I will walk you through the process to achieve something similar to this.

One reason I am enjoying this quilt-a-long so much, (besides the fact that you are joining me and are sharing in the excitement!), is because it is giving me a chance to explore how changing the fabric changes the quilt. This is something that I have wanted to explore for a long time now, but I am not really into making multiple quilts in the same pattern. {Unlike some people I know. :) } It will be so much fun to see how your fabric combinations come together, too.

Thanks, Marcia, for asking the question, so I had something to post about today. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

quilt-a-long, week 3

Welcome to week 3 of the quilt-a-long. We are going to be done before we know it!

Today we tackle triangles. I am sorry-but it's inevitable. Triangles are not my favorite, I admit, but if you take it slow and if you pin well, you should have good results.

Cut one square 7 1/4" from your colored fabric.

Cut that square in half on the diagonal both ways. It is good to make both diagonal cuts before moving any of your fabric. (Does that make sense?) If you move your triangles before the second cut it will be difficult to know where to make the second cut.

Cut one square 7 1/4" from your background fabric.

Cut this square on the diagonal both ways as well.

Cut 2 squares 6 7/8" from your background fabric.

Cut those in half on the diagonal, but only once this time. Each square should make 2 triangles for a total of 4 triangles.

Sew together as shown.

And you have block #3. We are a quarter of the way done with our blocks.

If you have any questions, I will try to answer them in the comments. Thanks for quilting along with me. The response has been so positive-I still can't believe it. And if you are wondering, it's still not too late to join in. But no pressure! :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I flubbed up the NaBloPoMo thing, so I decided to take a few days off...I am feeling quite burnt out when it comes to just about everything right now. Any one else right there with me?

But you know what cheers a girl up?
Fabric in the mail!

Lovely Lera sent me a box FULL of fabric scraps and other goodies. I was grinning from ear to ear when I left the post office. Thank you Lera! I love it all. Again, I feel quite spoiled. :)

That left my husband pondering why on earth I would still need to buy more fabric this weekend. I guess I didn't NEED to. But I got some lovely additions for the stash.

I found the cutest little quilt shop ever. I gasped several times as I was discovering gorgeous bolts of fabric. The store is crammed full of fabric and vintage linens, gifts and antiques, so the shopping experience becomes like a treasure hunt. It was FUN! The owner's taste in fabric is simply wonderful. I was there an hour past was that good. There was a fabulous quilt sample in the shop, so I will be starting another quilt this week, most likely. It's a good thing that I am almost done with this one. And this one, too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

work in progress

Quilting this full size quilt was my project for the day.
I was hoping to get it all quilted and the binding machine stitched on, but that goal was a little lofty for a single day, apparently. I wanted to take it along to our multiple thanksgiving festivities tomorrow so I had something to stitch while I was visiting. I have a crochet blanket that I will probably cart along with me instead. (I have to be doing something!)

See, that's why it's important to have multiple projects going. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I made this quilt last year. It turned out ok, especially for using upholstery fabrics-some stretched and some didn't-so it was a bit tricky. But the quilting, quite frankly, is lackluster at best. Some squares are better than others.

So what's a girl to do? Rip it out and quilt it in squares.

That's much better.
It's not like I don't have 10 other quilts to work on or anything. But this is what I do.
(My poor husband...he deals with this quilting madness all the time.)
It's amazing to me how quilting really does make the quilt.

Monday, November 19, 2007

quilt-a-long, week 2

Welcome to week 2 of the quilt-a-long. I can not believe the response that I got from all of you-thank you so much! It's still not too late to join in if you would like. I am putting a link to the instructions from each week in the sidebar under the tutorials section so they will be easy to reference. I am using a 1/4" seam allowance throughout.

For block 2:

cut 10 squares 2.5" from the background fabric

cut 2 squares 4.5" from the background fabric

cut 6 squares 2.5" from fabric 1

cut 6 rectangles 2.5" x 4.5" from fabric 2

layout and sew together as shown

Each block should measure (approximately) 12.5" square when to this point.

If you have any questions, I will try to answer them in the comments once again.
I hope you all are having fun with this!

I've added a flickr group here for the quilt-a-long.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I made a new skirt this morning for church this morning. Man, am I glad that it worked out well. I had a baby shower to go to right after church and I wanted to make sure that I looked and felt extra cute today. My new skirt did the trick.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I have finally found the perfect pair of jeans.
And there was much rejoicing.
Thank you JCPenney!!!!
(It doesn't hurt that they come with a pretty pink ribbon on them either, right Anina?)

Friday, November 16, 2007

don't worry...I still quilt

It seems as if I am on a purse making frenzy, but I am really not. They are just so much quicker to start and finish than a quilt. So that's why I whip one out every few days...just to have something to blog about. (I wish I were only half kidding!)

This is a purse pattern that I drafted. The final one was here. So this is the final final draft. I love how it turned out. Having beautiful fabric in paisley and stripes helps a lot too. It is lined with interfacing (which I dislike) so the next time I try this purse most of the pieces will be quilted. And I plan to make one exactly like this one for me. (That is my friend in the photo...and it is her purse. She bought the fabric...isn't it perfect?)
It is my dear friend Amy Jo's birthday today, so if you have a minute why don't you stop over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday? I know she would appreciate it. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007


My friend Heather expressed some interest in quilting, so I jumped at the chance to teach another friend how to quilt. :) This was a joint project between Heather and I. She has a good friend that recently had a baby girl, and this is the quilt that we made for little Meah.

(Don't you love the little hands grabbing the quilt while I snapped the photo?)
The strips are cut 4" wide and random in length.
It is a crib size.

I did something other than my standard stippling for the quilting. (Not too much of a stretch, I realize....but still.)

And here is the back. I LOVE this fabric. I have had it stashed for quite some time already. Heather and I thought it made the perfect backing fabric for this sweet little quilt. And I have enough left to back a lap sized quilt, too.

About the title...this is my 13th completed quilt for the year. Hopefully more to come!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

binding (again)

I am one happy girl, working on this project. Especially with such a pretty back to stare at while I am stitching. Hope to have pictures of the completed quilt tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Susan said she was sending me a housewarming gift, but I didn't expect THIS! Amy Butler's Midwest Modern book is beautiful and inspiring. And the earrings that she sent (love them!) match the cover. :)

These earrings are fantastic. I am so excited to add more earrings to my fabulous sulu collection. woo-hoo! The blue and red ones will look fab with the shirt that I am wearing today, don't you think?

Man, I feel spoiled. Thanks soooo much Susan! You are a gem of a blogger friend.

and one more wow...I can't believe how many of you are joining in the quilt-a-long! Thanks for such a positive response.

Monday, November 12, 2007

quilt-a-long, week 1

Anyone care to do a quilt-a-long?

I'll give you instructions on how to make a quilt block each week.
At the end of 12 weeks you will have enough blocks for a great start on a quilt top. I was going to do a block of the month thingy with some friends back in Michigan, but before I got around to it, I moved away. So it has turned into a virtual quilt along, and you all are invited.

I chose some 30's prints from my stash and a cream tone on tone fabric.

Cut one square 4.5" from your print fabric

Cut 8 squares 2.5" from your print fabric

Cut 4 rectangles 2.5" x 4.5" from your background fabric

Cut 4 rectangles 2.5" x 8.5" from your background fabric

Sew together as shown

And there you have your first finished block.

So, who's in? I'll add a list to my sidebar linking to your blog (if you have one), assuming that anyone wants to join me.

edit: this would be a great stash buster quilt-definitely use what you have-I know I am. :) The one thing that I will be doing, (but you don't have to) is use the same background fabric for each block. You can make this as scrappy as you want. The accent fabric will use little pieces. For instance, I had a fat eighth of the red, and I still had some scraps leftover. This of course will vary with each block. Any further questions I will answer in the comments. (yay, I'm excited that you are joining in!)