Saturday, December 25, 2010


The winners of the Kona charm packs are sarah, rsm and 9PatchNurse. Thanks to everyone for playing along. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! xo

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Yesterday was winter solstice, which means as of today, the days start getting longer. Yipee! That's great news if you ask me. So, to celebrate, (yes, I  am serious, I'm celebrating!) I'm giving away a 2 charm packs of Kona cotton solids in the dusty and dark color palettes. I'll pick two winners, (one charm pack for each) on Christmas Eve. Here's to longer days!!! Hope you are ready for Christmas. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010


Laura J started the scrapbusters challenge 2011 group and if ever I needed a flickr group, this is the one!

Even though there are 101 other things I need to be doing today, I played.

I sewed a bunch of strings together and cut them down to 12.5" x 4.5".
They multiply rather quickly.
This is one possibility for a layout....inspired by the Band Together quilt (scroll down) by Fun Quilts.
I'll definitely need to make some more blocks before I decide for sure. :)

Happy Monday to you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Doris and I arranged a personal swap. We started talking about it in June, we got around to swapping in November. We decided to swap a pillow cover and a mug rug made from scraps.

Here's what she made:
A cute applique pillow (her original design, no less!) that matches my daughter's bed perfectly! Even down to the top of the flower...the blue and pink of the flower helps tie in the blue, pink and red pillowcase that doesn't really match her bed but I can't help but using it anyway. The throw pillow ties the whole room together! We didn't talk specific colors at all, so how wonderful that it matches oh-so-perfectly. I'm tickled pink! (The cute puppy was made by my sweet friend Linda.)

And she made the sweetest mug rug! With my initials embroidered on it and everything. I love that it can be used for a mug rug or as a mini placemat, too. Thanks so much, Doris! I love what you sent!
This is what I sent to Doris. The pillow cover may look slightly familiar. (This was my second of 3 far!) The mug rug was made using a block pattern from this magazine. (thank you, Tara!) Actually, the block that is shown on the cover. It was fun to experiment with a new to me block. It was an intense little baby to piece. Phew! But fun, nonetheless.

Terri, my fellow Wisconsin sewing pal, sent me a package of Christmas goodies! She is on the ball! I got these a few weeks ago. Right after HER birthday, she's sending me presents. What a good friend!

She made this cute little mini quilt. Again, perfect for a mini would be just the perfect size for a bowl of soup.
And she sent a bunch of other treats, too. So much cuteness! Thanks so much, Terri!

Ok, and just for a laugh....
I told my daughter to get dressed this morning. This is what she picked out.

HA! This gave me a good chuckle this morning.
I think she loves color as much as her mama does. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

snow! (and a new quilt top)

We had a good old-fashioned snow storm over the weekend. It was fun to be snowed in...until it came time for shoveling. Oh, my achin' back!
Thankfully my neighbor, Larry, came over with his snowblower on Sunday morning and helped us out immensely! We still had a chance to shovel a bunch. Hours!
We have snowpiles that are taller than a 4th grader. (Ha!)
I have more shoveling to do today. I hope to unearth the front door before the kids get home from school. Just trying to work up the courage to tackle that snow drift. Why on earth do I live here again???

Being snowed gave me plenty of time to cut into 70+ of my favorite fabrics.
It was something akin to a fabric massacre (or party?)....
and the results are a new, simple quilt top. I love it, love it, LOVE it!
My husband said that it looked like big chunks of fabric. (Cheryl, has he been talking to you???) I may have been slightly offended.
Later, he was kind enough to say about the quilt, "I'm sure that it will keep us nice and warm."
Much better. :)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

and the dots win!

 Thanks for your feedback...I used the dots. I'm so glad I did!
I bid on these at the auction, but I didn't win. They went to the same woman that bought this quilt, so that made me happy.
I definitely need to make some more for my house!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

liberty mini quilt

This little quilt is the result of the second round of my little scrap challenge. Anne sent me several gorgeous Liberty scraps, which I LOVE. (You can see some of what she sent here.) She challenged me to make a mini quilt that included triangles and hand quilting.
The triangle blocks finish at about 1.5", so they aren't big at all. The triangles were actually tolerable, even at that tiny size. The hand quilting, however, was very enjoyable. Although, I must learn how to bury my knots correctly. I know how to in theory, but in reality, I had a few knots pop through the front. It was not a big deal, I just had to re-do the stitching on those blocks. I used a variety of threads in a variety of colors (I have plenty), trying to match the patchwork as much as possible.
For the back, I used a fat quarter from my stash. I love how it matches the feel of the front even though it is a completely different fabric line/manufacturer. It's handy that the threads blend in, too. I got the loveliest thank you from Anne saying that the quilt made it safely to it's destination. This quilt now has a home in the UK, which delights me to no end for some reason. :) It measures about 18" square.

I absolutely loved working on this project and I love this challenge concept in and of itself. It's been a great exercise in breaking out of my rut. I know I get stuck in my rut and it's quite refreshing to break out of it every once in awhile. I plan/hope to open up the challenge for round 3 sometime early next year.

Friday, December 03, 2010

can't decide

Thanks for all your gentle comments on my post yesterday. I was sooo nervous to post those photos, but at the same time I really wanted to. It's good to keep it real! And it felt good to get that off my chest. I cleaned up last night and took a little break. Just what I needed.

Today I'm back at it! :)

I'm making a pair of throw pillows for the annual Women's Christmas Dinner silent auction at my church. The auction is on Tuesday. I'm stuck at what to back them with.
Originally, I planned on backing them with white and binding them in the red bliss dot. It would look lovely, but I got to thinking that it may be too much white? I'm not afraid of white-I use it a lot-but maybe other people would think they are too impractical?
So I rummaged through my stash and I found this red katie jump rope print. It matches well in color, but are the flowers too non-Christmasy? Again, it wouldn't bother me, but would other people think it's weird on a Christmas pillow?

Those are my two options, because I really want (and need!) to use what I have. Oh, and I should add, they are pillow covers, so they will be totally removable and washable. What would you choose?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

full disclosure

My husband is out of town this week.
I haven't cooked a meal for days.
We've been eating turkey sandwiches and turkey noodle soup from last Saturday. I LOVE leftovers. I'm coasting on that front as long as I can.
I've been doing a LOT of playing, but progress is slow.
Every inch of my sewing room is a mess.
This is what my buffet really looks like most of the time.
I can't focus on a single thing.
So, I just hover and try to decide what to do next.
I love and hate it all at the same time.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

crop circles

This quilt has taught me a lot. I pieced circles, which was way easier than I thought, thanks my great teacher and neighbor Marcia.
I quilted circles (on solids-doh! what was I thinking?) for the first time, which was a lot harder than I thought. I learned to let go of some of my perfectionist tendencies. Just a little bit.
I so appreciated everyone's comments on this post. It helped me immensely! I was able to objectively see that I was being too hard on myself. The quilting never got ripped out. I went with it, mainly due to the time factor. Someone had commented that I would be able to finish a few more quilts in the time that it would take to rip out the stitching in this one. That did it! This was basically a practice quilt anyway. The bubble in the backing that I was so worried about shrunk quite a bit, thanks to the homespun fabric that I used. What a relief.

After all is said and done, I rather like this little quilt. It measures 41" x 54" after washing.

Happy December to you!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We enjoyed a lovely day with my side of the family. It was a fairly small gathering, and everyone managed to get along. (That isn't always the case...we all tend to speak our mind a little too freely at times.) We had good food, good laughs and good company. I'm sad that my favorite holiday is over for another year, but I'm thankful that I had a chance to spend it with family.

While I was home, I found some vintage wool skirts in my mom's cedar chest that actually fit me. I'm excited to be able to add them to my wardrobe! We also messed around with a vintage Smith Corona typewriter, which was a hoot! Come to think of it, most of the things at my dad's house are vintage now. :)

This is my 700th (!!!) post. Thank you for visiting, reading and commenting on my little old blog. I am sooooooooooo thankful for each one...because without you, blogging would get very boring very quickly! :) So, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

I'm also so very thankful that I have the chance and ability to create. Sounds a little corny, doesn't it? But I am thankful for it because creating adds so much to my life. It's so fulfilling!

I started a new quilt today. The idea has been rattling around in my head for months and months. It's getting kind of full up there....I think I need to get faster at translating some of those ideas into fabric. :) I have a full story behind this quilt, but that's for another day.
Hope you are having a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

connecting threads

I've been meaning to write a post about Connecting Threads (not as an advertisement, but as a quilter/consumer), and after all the questions I got about it on my last post about thread, I thought it was a good time.
Yes, the majority of my thread stash is from the Essential Threads collection.

What I love about this thread:
-It's cheap, er, economical. :) At just $2.49 per spool, it's a great bargain.
-It's 100% cotton.
-The color selection is great.
-Since it's so reasonably priced, it's easy to stock up on many different colors.
-A $50 order=free US shipping. (Always a plus!)
-The spools are 1200 yards! (I've already talked about how much I hate tiny spools, haven't I?)
-It works great for hand quilting, top stitching and piecing.
-I've used it for some applique, when the color was just right.
-It's great for some quilting applications.

What I could live without:
-The red thread bleeds. I'm pretty sure of it anyway.
-It looks a little thready when quilting. It's 50 weight (which is standard), but it seems fairly thick to me. Sometimes thready is ok, like on the blue quilt it was just fine, because that quilt was about the quilting. On other quilts, sometimes it's nice to have the thread blend in a bit more and let the fabric/design shine.
-A few people I've recommended it to have had problems using it in their machine, but I've had very few problems using it. I bet it all depends on your machine.
Connecting Threads has recently come out with a new thread line Essential PRO thread designed for long arm quilters (which I am not) but the cones work just fine on my Juki. I was excited to try this because it's a 70 weight thread, so it's thinner than the other thread. It is polyester, but that doesn't bother me a bit. These cones are over 3300 yards! Yay! No danger of running out of thread. I'm still in the testing stages, but so far, so good. I used it for free motion quilting and for walking foot quilting, and I really, really like it! It just so happens that my 3300 yards of thread matches my bolt of aqua fabric perfectly. I may need to get another bolt or two of that fabric. :)

CT also sell fabric, which piqued my curiosity. I ordered a bit of it and while I haven't sewn with it yet, I love what I see (and feel). I've heard lots of good things about it.

Oh, and they have 58 colors of solids! (For $3.96 a yard!) I ordered a charm pack to test them out. I love the colors in person. The charms don't have a pinked edge, so they fray a bit. Not a big deal, just makes it a bit harder to take a pretty photo. I'm looking forward to trying these out, too.

So, to sum up: I love Connecting Threads. I love supporting a decent company with a good product that helps keep quilting affordable!

I'd love to hear what you think about their thread/fabrics if you've used them.

Friday, November 19, 2010

thread storage

I was in the thrift store the other day buying mittens and shirts for my boy when I happened to come across this old (and dirty!) shelf. I bought it thinking it would be perfect for thread storage. My original intent was to repair the few holes it had and paint it white. You know, someday. Well, after cleaning it up, I decided to leave it as is. It matches my grandmother's old buffet finish perfectly. How handy that it fits my (extensive) thread collection perfectly, too! 
It was just the incentive that I needed to clean off my buffet and organize the top of it. Can I tell you just how happy this makes me? Very, VERY happy. I LOVE this!!!!
I have a deep love for color coding things. But I think that may go without saying. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

playing catch up

I've been trying to find the time (and the words) to do a retreat recap. It's so difficult, because one really can't describe the fun that happens in a few short days. The retreat was AMAZING! Tara was a FABULOUS hostess. It was apparent that she worked very hard on all the behind the scenes details. The Inn was lovely. Colorado was a bit snowy and beautiful. My students were WONDERFUL! We laughed and laughed and had an amazing time. I have a bunch of new friends. :) I think everyone learned a lot, too. (I know I did!) I can't wait to do it again next year.

cutest name tags ever! made by Tara.

My little family is so great. My husband had the house spic and span when I got home. He's so good to me!! My oldest son crawled into bed with me on Monday morning and he told me how much he missed me over the weekend. Then he told me that he wore my coat for awhile. I asked him if that helped, and he said, "A little bit." Oh, my. Such sweetness. My heart melted completely. I have a wonderful family, I am so very blessed.

new fabric! bought at Mama Said Sew
On the flight home, I ended up sitting by a dear sweet woman (Hi Christie!) that loves to quilt, who also has a JUKI. (!!!!!) I don't know about you, but things like that NEVER happen to me! It was so fun to get to know her and share stories. What an incredible way to wrap up an already wonderful trip.

cutest pot holder ever! a gift from Penny.

This week at home has been completely crazy. So many things going on, my head is spinning. Today I got up at 6 am just so I could blog. (Sick, I tell you! Hee hee.) I have jury duty today and tomorrow, which I am looking forward to, but it's putting a serious cramp in my quilting time! After this busy, busy week I have a newfound respect for all the working moms out there. I could never do it. I have too much new fabric to sew up! :)

Innocent Crush fat eighths from Tara

Thursday, November 11, 2010


 I've got PIPS!!!! Many many MANY thanks to Thimbleanna for hooking me up with these fat quarters. How I will EVER cut into these little lovelies??? I do not have a clue. Anna, you are a darling! I'm seriously excited for this fabric.
I'm also seriously excited because I've packed up my Juki (in my super cute new suitcase!) and I'm headed to COLORADO!!! I'm teaching (machine quilting) at a retreat this weekend. My stomach has been flip flopping all day. I'm very excited. And a little bit nervous, too.

See you in a few days!

Edited to Add: My suitcase came from Target. It can be found here.