Friday, October 31, 2008

bits of business

Happy Halloween!

I'm not a big fan of this holiday, but somehow I get sucked in a little bit each year. The kids and I carved our pumpkin last night. I had to check out this photo and this one for inspiration. I really wanted to make our pumpkin polka dotted, but my kids vetoed that idea quickly. And now I realize that if you make the face bigger, you can actually see the light through the face. Um, yeah. I'll have to remember that for next year.

I finished the second star wars robe on Wednesday....

and realize that it might not have been such a good idea.
At least they are having fun with their costumes. :)
The winning entries of the Candy Corn Contest are:


and here.

And this one deserves honorable mention.

Thanks to everyone who participated! It was fun to see all the candy corn projects. You guys are so creative!!!!
Also, thanks to all of you for your kind comments on the binding tutorial. I'm glad it was so helpful to all of you, because it was the hardest tutorial I have ever written. I had to upload the photos one at a time. All 41 of them. I think blogger hated me that night. So, all your positive comments are MUCH appreciated. To answer the question that kept coming up..."Why don't you miter the last seam at an angle like the rest of the seams?" Well, because I never learned how and I am afraid to attempt it. Someday, maybe I'll try it.


  1. Cute little Jedis there!

    There were so many great projects submitted for the CCC. It was so hard to pick just a few. Maybe we'll do it again next year?!?!? lol

  2. Anonymous12:53 PM

    Happy Halloween.

    And I just checked out the binding tutorial after being MIA for a while and I have to say THANK YOU. I have such a hard time with the binding! This will really help.

  3. Anonymous12:54 PM

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for the star wars robe idea!! I made one last night for my son to wear for Halloween. It turned out so much better then I thought it would!! Thanks for the inspiration, once I get a good picture, I'll show it to you!! :) :)


  4. Anonymous1:01 PM

    I saw a Fons & Porter episode (#1013) that shows how to use their special binding tool. I purchased it ($5-8) and it makes it so easy to do a diagonal seam at the very end of binding. I used it on my last quilt and had no problems and it was only my 4th quilt (so I'm a newbie). The tool is really simple and easy.

    LOVE your blog.

  5. Anonymous1:05 PM

    also want to thank you for the tutorial. i will certainly refer to it the next time i have a quilt to bind. your are one talented quilter! love reading your blog.

  6. Thanks for that binding tutorial! I'm going to try your method of using smaller stitches on the back. I finally got brave enough to miter the binding ends following quiltville's instructions ( Once I got the hang of it, it's much easier than I thought and I won't go back to my old way again!

  7. i don't miter that last seam either...i think it would be really hard. until you actually DO it, i don't think people realize how hard that last seam is so sew, you're working with a very small area, most of which is already sewn to your quilt. you don't have a lot of room for fiddling around.

  8. Anonymous1:28 PM

    I love reading your blog and getting inspiration from your projects. What type of sewing machine do you use? I'm sure you've mentioned it somewhere, but I haven't found it yet.

  9. have a happy halloween night! the little jedi knights are pretty cute!

  10. Anonymous2:34 PM

    Thanks for your lovely and inspiring blog! You are one of the blogs I check-in with daily in hopes of seeing something wonderful!
    I printed up directions from The Dread Pirate Rodgers blog( on finishing your binding without bulges and it works like a dream. I was terrified the first time to make that last mitered cut...but her directions were picture-perfect and clear. I have used this method with ease on all my quilts and it really makes them look that much more professional.
    Again, thank you for all the time and effort that you put into your blog. It is appreciated!

  11. Love your pumpkin and Happy Halloween!! In reference to your binding. I don't even angle my strips that way everything looks cohesive. I just join them end to end and then you can't tell where I actually stopped and started. Plus there is a little less fabric waste. You should give it a try... and stick to the finishing method it works great!!

  12. Thanks for binding info, it made me go buy material GRIN.
    I have a scrappy quilt that needs finishing & your scrappy binding gave me inspiration to go to the quilt shop sale & buy 40% off fat quarters - so will do it in strips like your binding.

    thanks heaps.

    Love Leanne
    PS linked you from my blog hope thats ok

  13. Had your Jedis been at my school today they would have fit in with Luke, Princess Leah, and the clone troopers in my third grade class. I am sugared up and I didn't even have to go trick or treating.

  14. awwww..your pumpkin is so cute!!

  15. Anonymous4:53 PM

    I didn't say so before, but want to add to the chorus of thank yous. So many books/websites give instructions for every step of the piecing and quilting process, then just say, "then bind the quilt and it's done." It's a huge help to have expert guidance. Thank you!

    - Jenny

  16. HI, here is another great tutorial Kellie does amazing quilting, this turoial shows how to do the last seam mitred and she uses striped fabric for the binding. THANKS for all your wonderful tutorials, helped my friend cut out her first quilt yesterday usuing your ragged squares tutorial.

  17. Those costumes are so great. As are the candy corn contest winners! And I also wanted to mention, mitering the last seam on the binding is my single LEAST favorite thing about making a quilt. I find it super tough to do so I was SO happy to see you not doing it. I'm never ever going to ever again!!

  18. Anonymous8:35 PM

    HI Amanda Jean

    You do your bindings exactly like i do, but where you do straight, I miter, where you miter, I do straight .. when i do my next miter join, I'll send you some pics with an explanation .. it's really simple to do - no tools required

    and a great job on the tutorial .. exactly how I do my bindings and easy peasy


  19. Anonymous10:15 PM

    I took some time to make up a sample of how to join the ends on a bias. You can see it here:

  20. I can only imagine how much work went into that tutorial. I am just amazed by how much effort you put into your tutorials. To take all those pictures when you could just be whipping these things out (even though you are a total machine anyway) -- what a lot of work. You are so awesome for doing that.

  21. Your pumpkin looks great & those little Jedis are adorable! Happy Halloween!!!

  22. Anonymous6:51 AM

    What a cute pumpkin!! The kids look so adorable in the action shot :)
    Hope you had lots of fun!


    Try this. It's very easier and reduces the bulk.

  24. Anonymous8:09 AM

    I love your blog and all your tuts are great. I will try your method of finishing the binding. I must say I have always mitred the last bit, which can get a bit fiddly if you don't leave enough unsewn binding, but saying that I have never had any bulk problems. I have found that I have adapted the method I use to make it easier for me. I got the instructions from the quilters encyclopedia (what a great book, recommend it to any new quilter). Thanks for all the work you put into your tuts. The pumpkin and robes look great, well done.

  25. YEah! Halloween is over! I'm with you on it not being a favorite... now I just have to get through the 2 hour school party today... Oh well, we all had fun. love the round pumpkin eyes!
    polka dots woudl have been great!

  26. Your boys are having fun! I'm not a huge fan of the holiday either but fun I can get behind :)

    Your binding tut was so complete! I recently found this - which had it explained the best I had seen. I actually managed to miter binding on my last quilt. Hopefully it'll make sense to you too :)

  27. I was having a tough time mitering the final piece of binding too. Then I used Stephanie's (Loft Creations) method - and it was the easiest one that I've used. I tried some of the other methods, and ended up resewing that darn end 3 or 4 times. But with Stephanie's method - easy peasy! Done right the first time.

  28. How cute are your two boys?!? They must have had so much fun in their costumes. Another reason that you are one great mom!

  29. your pumpkin is so cute...I love the tiny face!

  30. I love the photos of the little Jedi Knights :-)
    And your candy corn quilt on the couch!
    The winners of your challenge are beautiful projects, thanks for sharing!

  31. haven't read your tutorial yet but i don't miter my last seam for the same reason lol!

  32. I love those little Jedi!

  33. I'm not much of a Halloween fan, either. But it was more exciting having the Monster get worked up - once she realized treats were part of the whole affair. A plus? Trick or treating is really a community activity and I enjoyed that aspect - sheesh, I'm grown up now.
    Gorgeous kids!

  34. Anonymous9:36 AM

    I say keep doing it that way, it sounds much easier.

  35. What adorable little Jedis! My friend's little brother was a jedi too...somehow he managed to loose his light saber while trick or treating. :-S He's a boy, lol.
    I love the pumpkin too! We don't celebrate halloween, but some jack-o-lanterns are so cute...I actually like the smaller face. :-)