Thursday, July 30, 2009

my studio

My husband and I share a studio/office/craft room...whatever you want to call it. It's not a large room-about 9' x 11'-but we make it work. I'll only share about my side of the room. :) My desk was custom built by my husband two houses ago. Every time we move, we talk about scraping it, but we end up moving it every time. It measures 6' on each side. I love gives me plenty of work space with plenty of storage beneath. He built it around some baskets that I already had from IKEA and roller carts that we had from Target. It's made from MDF (medium density fiber board). I painted it white.
There is a decent size closet (to the left) that had built in shelves when we moved in. It stores (some of) my fabric scraps, upholstery fabric, vintage sheets, thread, sewing notions, etc, etc, etc. I get 7/8 of the closet, my husband gets 1/8. Did I mention that he is a sweetie? The metal garbage can (from IKEA) holds fabric scraps. I used to color code them, but I recently combined most of them. Storage space was becoming an issue. :)
Most of my stash is in two places. The smaller pieces reside in a three drawer roller cart. (right) I use the happy zombie's folding method for pieces 1 yard or less. I'd highly recommend it.
The larger chunks of fabric are stored on the top right section of this shelf. I fold them around my 6" cutting ruler. They fit in the space so well. These are 2 yard pieces or larger. In the baskets are more scraps, completed blocks and binding strips.
This is my view several hours a week.
The walls were red when we moved in. I love the color. I love it even more that we didn't have to paint it ourselves. :) here's a more accurate photo of what i usually looks like.....

So there it is, my studio space. I'm so thankful to have a dedicated space in my home for my hobby. And I'm so very thankful for an understanding and handy husband.
Do you care to share your workspace? If you do, blog about it and leave me a link to your post in the comments. I'd love to see your setup.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

happy go lucky

it's done and i love it!!!

this is the best shot i could get of the quilt outside today. either it was too bright and all you could see is the texture, or it was not bright enough to get the full effect of the quilt. (photographing this quilt was quite frustrating!) but really, is there anything prettier than a quilt billowing in the breeze? what i need is a clothesline!

here's a close up of the quilting. i really like quilting in circles. it's fun! i used a katie jump rope fabric for the backing and a bright green flea market fancy print for the binding. I LOVE this print on the binding.

the wonky squares make me happy. :)
it measures 64" x 83".


The winner of the strings is Mandy!

I received an email from Sarah in Canada who also has a bunch of strings that she is offering up, so I picked a second winner. How sweet is that? Thank you so much, Sarah! The winner of Sarah's scraps is Karen.

Thanks to all of you for playing along.

Monday, July 27, 2009

inspired by a box of band aids

11" x 16"
for mini quilt monday. with little time to spare. :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

oh happy day!

I'm done piecing the strips for my spiderweb blocks. I have a *few* strips leftover. (Actually, a basket full.) They would work in any string quilt. If you want a chance to win them, leave me a comment on this post. I'll pick a name on Tuesday. One comment per person please.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

for my sister

My sister and her husband bought their first house last month. This is going to be their housewarming gift. I'm excited to hand deliver it today!

The nice thing about a scrappy quilt is that you can use almost anything to bind it as long as it matches the backing. I like using a bold busy print and then chopping it up for the binding.

This is a true scrappy quilt...all the blocks came from the scrap bins. I love that. And the white sashing (bleached muslin) does a wonderful job of tying them all together.

I love this quilt! Many thanks to Melanie for the inspiration.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

only 9 blocks left... make a twin size spiderweb quilt.

i cannot wait to see this one come together.
you'd think my scrap basket would be empty by now, but somehow that's not the case.

Monday, July 20, 2009

here we go again

Thank you to all of you who signed up to quilt along with me again. I had no idea if anyone would be interested at all (or as crazy as I am), but I'm so glad to have you along for round 2!

Here's my first block for round two:

I'm going scrappy again. This time I'm going to try my best to make one a day, not do them in batches of 7-10 like last time. Not that it's a bad thing, but I find I enjoy it more just doing one a day.

And I'm not feeling TOO guilty for starting round two, since I'm almost done with the first one.

To answer a few questions that came up:

It's not too late to join.

There is a tutorial here on how to piece a 9 patch using a strip piecing method if you would like to make multiple blocks at a time.

This is not a swap, just a quilt along.

For the backing you will need about 5 1/2 yards of fabric.
For the binding you will need about 3/4 yard of fabric.
For the other yardage requirements, please see the previous post.

The flickr group is here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

anyone up for round 2?

I know I'm not done with my first one a day quilt along quilt yet, but I'm going to start another one. (I have to since I'm gifting this one.) Anyone besides Heather care to join in round two?

Same deal as the first round...make one 9 patch block a day for 70 days. Each block is made from 9 2.5" squares. The finished block size will be 6" square. The quilt measures about 66" x 90". Sashing required is about 3.5 yards.

I'll add some sort of counter on my sidebar rather than posting about it each week. If you want to join in, leave a comment on this post. Post your progress photos on the flickr group. (I won't be adding names to the sidebar this time.)

If you want to use this as a motivator to catch up from round one, by all means, please do so. :)

We'll start (officially) on Monday.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

curtains, sheet or quilt back?

Today I used one of my curtains for a quilt backing. I think I just might be taking this "use what you have" thing a little too far. :) The curtain actually started out life as an IKEA flat sheet. I hope it works well in a quilt because a flat sheet for $2 is a GREAT deal for a lot of fabric! I guess you can see where my priorities are.
I had the chance to meet up with Victoria yesterday. She is so sweet!!! We had a wonderful time chatting while our kids ran and played for hours. We talked about quilting (of course), blogs and life in general. After chatting with her, I am so inspired to try new things with my quilting. I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all.

The drive was just gorgeous, too.

I think the photo above needs to become a quilt.
I love corn fields...can you tell I'm a farm girl at heart?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

quilting jitters

After procrastinating for 2 days, I finally bit the bullet and started quilting my happy go lucky quilt. I love the quilt top so much that I don't want to mess it up by quilting it. I'm doing a more relaxed version of the pebble quilting than I did on this one. Up until I hit the color blocks, the quilting reminded me of a cheap mattress pad, which is definitely NOT the look I'm going for. I think it's looking better now that I started quilting the colored blocks. Hopefully the binding helps pull it all together. I'll be holding my breath until it's done.

I made my block for Victoria's Pixie Dust Gather last night. I am going to give it to her when we meet up today. I'm so excited!!!

Also, there are still some open spots for the quilt retreat, if you are interested.

Monday, July 13, 2009


This quilt is going to be sent to some friends of mine who recently adopted a little girl. It was a particularly painful process that ended well. I'm so happy for them and I wanted to make a little quilt for the newest member of their family. The mama quilts, so I'm sure that it will be appreciated and used! :)

The top is made from all scraps. It continually amazes me just how far scraps go...even with the absence of sashing. The remainder of the quilt came from my stash. There was no pattern for this quilt, I just designed it as I went along.

I changed binding colors to match the color blocks. I love that detail.
To quilt it, I did a simple stipple in white thread.
The backing couldn't be a better match, could it?
After washing it measures 40" x 53".
I need to remember to make more baby quilts. They are so fun to make and easy to finish up quickly.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

my first quilt

Camille and Carrie are having a parade of quilts. Since I've enjoyed seeing so many first quilts, I thought I would join in the fun.

My first quilt was made 9 summers ago. I was pregnant with my first child and I wanted to make a baby quilt for him. Thankfully, a dear friend helped me each step of the way, because I had NO clue about quilting, but I really wanted to learn. I remember having the hardest time rotary cutting. (I was scared to death!) And I also remember having a very hard time sewing a straight quarter inch seam. (That eventually got easier.)

I didn't quilt or bind it. The layers were sewn together, then flipped. It's tied with perle cotton. It measures about 40" square. My son still loves it and after 9 years, it's still in one piece. :)

One of my most recent finishes is the oh cherry oh quilt. (more here.) I quilted this one so heavily that it makes up for the lack of quilting in my first (five) quilts. :)

I've learned so much since my first quilt. A good sewing machine really makes a difference. Quilting is hard at first, the learning curve is steep, but once you get over the hump it's so worth it. Practice really does help. Simple patterns are good. And a fabric addiction is hard to kick.

After making my first quilt, I recall thinking "I can't believe I just made a quilt!" I still get a thrill when finishing each one. It doesn't get old, even after one hundred and some odd times.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

grid quilting mini tutorial

I love stippling, there's no doubt about it. But there is life beyond stippling. (There's even a flickr group to prove it. hee hee) I like grid quilting a lot. It's fun, especially on a small piece. I thought I would share a quick tutorial on how I do it...

First, I made a quilt sandwich, using spray adhesive to baste the layers together.

Place a piece of painters tape (or masking tape) on your quilt top on the diagonal. Just eyeball measuring required. The tape shown here is 1" wide. You can use any tape width you would like. On a larger piece, like a baby quilt, 2" wide tape is ideal.

Sew on either side of the tape using a walking foot....

Remove the tape....

Move the tape to the outside of the quilting line. I added another line of tape to help speed up the process. Quilt on the outside of each line of tape. Repeat as many times as necessary. You can re-use the tape between 5-10 times.

Once you are done quilting in one direction, start the process for the other direction. Again, no measuring is required...just eyeball it. Repeat the process as many times as necessary.

And that's it. Easy, right?

I made this little piece for the placemat swap on flickr. (you can see all the wonderful goodies i received in the swap here. jennie is an awesome swap partner!)

I think I might have found a new obsession in maverick stars. They are so much fun!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

one a day quilt along-assembling the top

Are you all done with your one a day blocks? It's time to assemble your quilt top. Before jumping in, I think it's necessary to state that there are probably a dozen different ways that you can assemble it. This is the way I chose to do it.

You will need about 3.5 yards for the sashing.
All sashing strips are cut 2.5" wide.
(I am using bleached muslin.)
All seam allowances are 1/4".
I chose to press all seams toward the sashing.
Press after each step.

Cut 80 pieces of sashing 2.5" x 6.5".

Attach one piece of sashing to each 9 patch block. (You will have 10 left over.) For this step, I didn't bother pinning. I sewed all 70 at once and then pressed all 70.
Layout in a pleasing arrangement, 7 blocks wide by 10 rows high. It helps to take a digital photo after this step to check for color balance.

Sew the rows together. With the extra 10 sashing strips, add one to each row. Each row should start and end with a sashing piece and it should have 7 blocks in between.

Measure the length of your rows and take an average. For example, I had some rows that measured 58 1/2" and some that measured 59". So I cut all my pieces 58 3/4" long.

Cut 11 pieces.

This is where you will need to pin. And pin. And pin some more.

It is helpful to pin the sashing at each end. Then pin in the middle, then alternate the pinning from side to side. This will help you ease in the extra bulk if there is any and distribute it evenly along the seam.

Attach sashing to each strip. Then attach the strips together.

Next, you will need 142 2.5" blocks. Sew two strips 41 blocks long and two strips 31 blocks long. Attach the side borders first, then attach the top and the bottom borders.

Lastly, cut 4 long sashing strips for the outside and add them to the quilt. (For this step I didn't measure the length, I just sewed them on and pressed, then cut off the excess.)
Step back and admire your pretty new quilt top!
This one measures 66 1/2" x 91". A perfect twin size.

This does take some time to assemble because of all the took me about 2 1/2 days. But so worth it!

I've been detaching myself from this quilt ever since I started it, because I have a recipient in mind. But once I added the white sashing, I had to start the detachment process all over again.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

another one for my collection

my sweet, sweet friend Linda sent me this quilt for my birthday!!! isn't that so sweet? I LOVE IT!

I'm going to use the upcoming holiday as an excuse to take a little break from the blog. I'm gonna celebrate my birthday with my sis (and the entire country). You know, it sounds fun to have a birthday on a holiday, but in reality most of the time it's kind of a pain. But I'm going to try to make the best of it. :)

Have a great holiday weekend! And THANK YOU so much for all the well wishes for my retreat teaching opportunity. I appreciate it so much!