Thursday, September 30, 2010

i have no new tricks

My daughter and I were invited to a little birthday party over the weekend. Our little friend just turned 3. The party and all the little girls were a-dor-a-ble. Think of little girls running around playing in pink tutus! Normally, I have gift giving anxiety, which I chalk up to one of my hundreds of insecurities. However, on Sunday, I was excited to be toting this little gift to the party, knowing that her mama appreciates hand made things. Hurray for that!
First off, I knit up some leg warmies. I adore these! This is proof positive that stripes are not only good for binding quilts. These are modeled by my daughter. It's very helpful to have a little one to try things on for size. And for photos, too. :)
I must knit a pair of these for my girl, too. MUST!!!
I made a little ticker tape quilt with coordinating pillow. I couldn't make it match exactly, since ticker tape quilts use scraps that are already at the bottom of the scrap food chain, so coordinating fabrics have to do. :)
Let's look at that little pillow closer....
 I don't know why I have such a hard time using really nice always makes things so much better. (Maybe someday I will learn!) The striped print for the cuff of the case was just perfect.
 And I made an owl box to hold it all. (Thanks to Chen for the adorable fabric! It was part of a Pottery Barn sheet.) The mama and the 3 year old both adore owls and this will match the little one's bedroom perfectly.
 It makes a pretty good gift box, to boot.

edited to add: the tutorial for the storage cubes is here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Edge Blog Hop

Welcome to day 3 of Pat Sloan's Cutting Edge blog hop! I'm so happy to be a part of the fun!

I had a chance to test out a few of the new Cutting Edge rulers by Sullivan's and Pat Sloan. They have a sharpening edge on one side, so it sharpens your blade while you cut. They are non-skid without having those little grippy feet, which is great, because I don't care for grippy feet on my ruler! Another great thing I like about them is that they are so in they don't have a zillion little hash marks per inch. Simple is good! My most favorite thing, which is probably really silly, is the size of this little's 4.5" x 8.5". I've used it a ton already. I work with lots of little pieces and this is the perfect size for trimming off ends and odd bits. In fact, it's my new favorite tool! Being a left handed quilter, the cutting edge didn't get utilized a ton, maybe one cut out of every 10? But being a lefty in a right handed's nothing that I can't handle. :)
Now, I'm not a gadget girl. In fact, I completed my first quilt using my friend's rotary cutting supplies. I wasn't sure if I would get really "into" quilting, (are you all laughing now?) so I didn't want to invest in the supplies until I made a quilt totally on my own. This is the little test quilt that I made.

I cut it out using a cardboard template and scissors. It measures 30" square. I tied it with perle cotton and added buttons at each intersection. It's look at my color selections. Like Jackie, my tastes sure have changed! I guess that makes sense, though, because it was 10 years. I guess we all have to start somewhere, and I'm glad I have this reminder of where I started. (Although I must confess, I have thought about throwing out this old thing a few different times over the years.) After finishing this quilt, without the use of any rotary cutters or mats or rulers, I acquired some rotary cutting supplies and kept on quilting. (Like you couldn't have predicted that!) And I am so thankful to be quilting with useful tools like rulers, mats and rotary cutters!

Pat requested that we share a recipe, too. It just happens that over the weekend, I tried out a new to me recipe for pumpkin bars. Oh, my, are they dangerous! If you make these, make sure you have about 47 of your closest friends over to help you eat them, or you may be tempted to finish off the pan yourself. If you want to start by licking the frosting right off the top of your bar, by all means, go right ahead. My daughter does and she recommends it!

Pumpkin Bars

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15 oz) can solid pack pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
3 oz cream cheese, softened (i used a little bit extra, because you can't go wrong with more cream cheese)
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the pumpkin, oil and eggs. Spread in a greased 10" x 15" baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges pull from the sides of the pan. Let cool. Combine cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla in a medium bowl. Beat at medium high speed until smooth. Add the powered sugar, beating constantly until it is of spreading consistency. Spread over the cooled bars. Chill, covered, until serving time. Serves 48.


Ok, now back to the rulers....

If you would like to win a complete set of the rulers, you must to leave a comment on ALL the featured blogs on their day. Make sure your comment is on the blog hop post, not just any post from that week.

Comments will be open on each stop of the blog tour through Sunday.
The schedule is below:

Mon Sept 27

Tues Sept 28

Wed Sept 29
Amanda Jean

Thur Sept 30

Fri Oct 1

Sat Oct 2
Good luck and happy commenting! :)
You can also purchase the rulers here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

the eleanor quilt

a friend of a friend just had a baby. the family has gone through quite a lot recently, including a miscarriage right before this pregnancy and their apartment burned down. they lost EVERYTHING. i can't imagine going through either one of those situations, not to mention both.

so i asked my friend if her friend would want/need a quilt. YES! was the answer. i asked about colors and style. these are the 3 words that i got for direction: orange, olive and earthy. also, i knew that the new baby would be sharing the room with her 9 year old brother, so it shouldn't be over the top girly.

now, i love a challenge, so i got to work. i used 11" blocks, so the quilt measures 33" x 44".

i used Kona cottons and a few dots and tone on tone fabrics. i took the liberty of adding in some lime solids as well. it was a fun quilt to put together, even though it is very much out of my color scheme comfort zone. that's good once in awhile!

after the top was done, i went to my LQS knowing that the back would need to be something special since the top is very simple. i wanted to have some sort of girly twist somewhere in the quilt.

i found this fabric that has a very organic feeling, but not over the top sweet. perfection!
i used simple concentric square quilting and michael miller dots for binding. love those dots.

this little quilt needs a trip through the washer and dryer, a label and then it will be packed up and shipped to little eleanor.

i'm down to 15 quilts in progress. woo-hoo! once i finish one more, i'm starting another!

and one aside i need to get of my chest:
when i first started blogging, i vowed that i wouldn't complain about blogger. after all, it's a free service and i appreciate what they do so much. what a great thing! well, whatever blogger did to change their formatting last week is testing my patience and almost making me go back on my vow. blogger, thanks for all you do, but you are making me want to pull out all my hair out at the moment. (that's technically complaining, is it???)

Friday, September 24, 2010

and the winner is....

Lauren, from North Carolina!

Thanks to all of you for playing along!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I made these bibs for a friend. Well, for her little boy, actually. It's his baby gift. He's 9 months old. I gave them to her two weeks ago. What can I say...I am be-hind! (I feel like it's confessional time, apparently.)

I made this style of bibs for my last baby and I got a ton of use out the them. They wash and wear so well. And they are so versatile-you can customize them any way you please. I used my tutorial here. (go easy on me, it was my first tutorial ever.)

The "e" one is my absolute favorite. It's up there in my top 10 favorite projects I've ever made. I did a great deal of squealing over it before gifting it.

I ended up making this one in the middle of the night. My daughter was sick, my husband was out of town, I had soooooo much on my mind, I couldn't sleep. My way of coping? I got up and I sewed from 2-4 am. It doesn't bode well for accuracy, I can tell you that. I was quilting and I estimated where my next quilting line should go. I was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off. But rather than stitch ripping (who needs THAT at 3 am?), I went with the uneven widths for the quilting and I love the results! Hurray for happy accidents.
I used steam a seam lite 2 for the applique letter and although I'm not sure what font I used, I do know that the type size is 375 pt. The geeky printer girl in me remembers stuff like that.

I also made this one, in a slightly different style. I swiped this scrap from Kelli at the summer work party. (Thank you, Kelli!) It was already cut into bib shape, I just added the bottom bit and added a nice curve shape to the bottom.

The reverse side was pieced, too. This one is significantly larger than the other two, but bigger=more coverage=less ruined clothing.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It feels like a giveaway day to me! I have one bright colorstory jelly roll to give away, compliments of Robert Kaufman. If you would like to win, let me know where you are from and what you are up to today. Here's an example for you: I'm Amanda Jean from Wisconsin. Today I'm going to start quilting my blue quilt. I have a sick boy at home (he has a cold, poor thing) and I'm listening to pandora, hoping my two little ones don't argue too much. Sounds lovely doesn't it? ;) Actually, the sun is shining, which helps immensely.

Please, one comment per person. Include your email address in case I need to contact you! I'll pick a winner sometime on Friday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Annie....come on down!!!!

Hello there and happy Monday to you! I'm finally picking a winner for the second round of my scrap challenge. Man, it was hard to decide (thus the delay), but I'm going to pick Annie, who would like me to play with her Liberty tana lawn scraps. Twist my arm!!! :) She would like me to include triangles and some hand quilting, too. I'm excited to play! Annie, please email me so we can work through the details.

I also wanted to say thank you to each of you who stops by to visit and comment on my little blog. It means so very much. (Ironically, I'm closing the comments for this post. Ha!)

Hope you have a happy day!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Originally, this quilt was intended to be my "on the go" summer project. I told myself that I will make as many blocks as I have time to do throughout the summer and then when the kids start school, I'll sew them up, whatever the size may be: doll quilt, king sized or anywhere in between.

Yesterday was a dreary day and it felt like an applique day, so I thought I would get out this quilt and see how big my quilt would end up being.

Well, it's a pretty good size (42" x 53.5") considering the block construction and considering that this is my first applique project. However, it's not large enough to wrap up in, and it would be a shame to never be able to do so.
This morning I did a little math to see how many more blocks I would need to make it a decent sized lap quilt. Part of me REALLY wants to finish this right now. Part of me knows I'll be forever kicking myself if I don't make it just a little bit (107 blocks, to be precise) larger. Oh, the trials of a quilter.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

a pair of plaids

I finally got the plaid quilts done! I'm working on depleting my WIP (work in progress) list, which means I've been basting and quilting my tops in pairs. Yes, pairs. That just doesn't seem right, does it? But I have to say, it feels good to see some quilts finished! In fact, I haven't started a new quilt in a few weeks now. I know it's only a matter of time though. ;)

These quilts will be headed to Margaret's Hope Chest. I used the pattern that I designed especially for their organization this past summer. I *heart* MHC. They are spreading HOPE in Jesus' name, and it's exciting to see how they are impacting lives. So inspiring. I had a chance to meet the women behind MHC this past summer and they are amazing!

Now, more about these quilts....

I stippled one and did some straight line "plaid" quilting on the other. Thanks goes to Cheryl, who gave me the plaid idea. It's fun to see how the different quilting looks on the same pattern.

For the binding I used these awesome pixie dust fabrics. I had the blue and the red stripe and I couldn't decide which to use, so I used both. I mimicked the colors of the squares with the binding. I love adding little details like that. And I love stripey bindings. A lot.

When I went shopping for backings nothing jumped out at me, so I went with simple muslin. I already had on hand AND it was 60" wide so no piecing! Bonus! The quilting shows up nicely on the back, too. I'll admit that can be good AND bad.

I am very pleased with how these quilts turned out. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who contributed plaid squares to this project. I couldn't have done it without you!

Now, I'm down to only (ha!!!) 17 wips.

How about you? What's your wip number? Or are you of the persuasion that it's better not to count? ;)

Monday, September 13, 2010


Last Friday my husband had an engine for his truck delivered to the house.
It wasn't just any normal Fex Ex truck that delivered it, but a larger truck complete with a hydraulic lift on the back. At some point my daughter, who is 4, excitedly said,

"I hope it's FABRIC!"

Friday, September 10, 2010

round and round

I finished up my quilt along quilt last week and I've been sleeping under it every night since. Fall is here and it's officially "two quilt weather". Yahoo! The arrival of fall also means that my feet will be perpetually cold for the next 8-9 months, which is far less exciting.

As you know, this quilt ended up being more than I bargained for. Had I made the quilt before hand, there is no way I would have put all you "quilt along-ers" through all that trouble. But it ended well....I have a summery twin sized quilt out of the deal.
I quilted this one with my walking foot, as planned, right after I quilted my spiderweb. I had a marathon quilting weekend and I did both of these in a few days. It was pretty ambitious, but I was on a roll. (And hey, look, I'm not the only one who is getting sick of stippling!) I love the grid quilting on this pattern. It was handy to have such small squares, because I didn't have to mark anything.
The backing ended up being PERFECT for this quilt. The binding came from my stash and I LOVE how that matches, too. In the end, a very coordinated quilt, but still not too matchy-matchy.

But the thing I am most proud of is that I bought the fabric at Spring Quilt Market and I have a completed quilt before Fall Quilt Market arrived. THAT may be a once in a lifetime event.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

scrap challenge results and round 2

I finished Tammy's mini quilt yesterday. In the end, I used layout A, which got the most votes. I love how this little quilt came out. I sure hope Tammy likes it, too. Isn't it so fun to see what you can make from scraps? I NEVER tire of seeing the results. Never, ever!
To quilt it, I stitched next to the zig zags with my walking foot. It looked a little plain, so I added the swirly quilting to the white spaces. I like the swirls a lot!

I used more scraps for the back and some flea market fancy for the binding. I love the back as much as the front! Instead of adding a label, I just wrote right on the back. A little risky, but it turned out ok. It measures 14" x 19".

I also got my mini quilt from Shelly last week, the other half of the batik challenge. I challenged her to use white in a quilt. She didn't even have any in her stash! Yikes! (Sorry, Shelly. I couldn't resist one last jab. ;) )

She did some fancy pants quilting on it, which is so much fun!
And of course she made a pieced back, as she always does.

Thanks so much Shelly! I love this mini! It's going to go great in my craft room.
I had so much fun with these scrap challenges that I'm going to open it up for round two. If there is anyone out there who would like me to make a mini for you from your scraps, leave me a comment letting me know what kind of scraps you would send me if you are chosen or how you would like to challenge me. Instead of using a random number generator, I'll pick based on the comments this time.

Monday, September 06, 2010


Remember me? I'm the girl that used to blog (regularly) in this space. I'm feeling funky today and I always find it hard to blog when I'm in a mood like this.

However...I've been making things...

a hexagon needle book (eeek! i love this!)
tutorial here. thank you Angela!
hexagon templates printed from here.

I also made a crochet roll for my sister, for her birthday last week.

I love this one, too. It came together super quick. The dimensions are my own, made up on the fly.

It was inspired by Kathy's colored pencil roll that is in this book, but I didn't bother piecing the background pieces. The quilting design is genius!

I've been reading this book over the weekend. Wow. It's rocking my world a little bit. In a good way. It came recommended by Shelly and Andrea.

I'm getting ready for teaching my machine quilting class in November. (Still a few spots left if you are interested. More info here.) Making samples is fun! 4 down and many to go. I thought about doing a quilting stitches quilt along, however I see that Heather beat me to the punch. So I guess that's one thing I can cross off my to do list. :)

Also, I wanted to answer a few questions that came up repeatedly.

Several people wanted to know if I had a pattern for my lunch bag. (see previous post.) I made that up as I went, too. Generally, if I use a tutorial or a pattern for something that I show on my blog, I'll post the link or the source. If there is no info, chances are, I made it up. I'm thinking of making a few more lunch bags and if I do, I'll try to do a quick run down of the steps and share the how to. I did get a chance to test drive my lunch bag last Friday when I went to eat lunch with my boys. I found the dimensions to meet my needs perfectly. No tweaking required. LOVE that.

Several people asked about how I did the quilting on my spiderweb quilt.

I added lines to this photo to blatantly show where I quilted. I echoed the lines from the piecing, leaving about a quarter inch from the edge of my walking foot to the seam, so the quilting lines are 1/2" from the seam lines. Plenty of room to avoid those bulky centers. I used warm and white batting, which doesn't require close stitching (10" or less), so it worked perfectly.

And I dreamed about quilting my blue quilt last night. I'm stumped on thread choice, though. That, and I have 101 other projects vying for my attention. I'm sure you know how it goes. :)

Happy Monday to you!