Friday, March 29, 2013

kid potential

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
I have a quilt in the March/April issue of Quilty! They called it Kid Potential...but in my mind it will always be 'end of the line'. That's what I called it for the past 2+ years when it was a WIP. :) Whatever the name, it's all about using up those scraps! The finished size is 41" x 56" those scraps are pretty tiny. Just the way I like it!
When I was snapping photos, I happened to notice that it looks pretty wonderful with my choose joy pillow! Love it when that happens! Anyway, having to meet the deadline for publication was the perfect push I needed to turn this WIP into a finished quilt. Hurray for finishing!
How about you? Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank you for joining me for finish it up Friday! I so appreciate it!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

mystery quilt top

If ever there was a mystery quilt that is up my alley, this one would be it! It was the perfect pattern for my first foray into the world of mystery quilts. I love the fabrics I picked. I loved the process. I love the results. There was no strip piecing (yay!) and there is a 2" square border around the outside. Perfection!!!
(She's a bright one, isn't she?)
The mystery quilt reveal meeting was held at the library last evening and it was great fun to see all the quilts. I never tire of seeing the options that one pattern can produce. It always astonishes me, and in the best possible way.

The quilt top measures 58" x 78".

Now, I'd better get to quilting something...that stack of tops is piling up!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

road trip

Before we jump into the post for today, I want to let you know that Anna from Noodlehead is giving away a copy of Sunday Morning Quilts. Head over and say hi for a chance to win!
Last Saturday my friend Brianne and I were able to take a road trip down to the La Crosse area to visit Olive Juice Quilts. The trip was something that we had talked about doing for a long time, but the details were planned at the very last minute. Thankfully everything worked out and we had a blast! Not to mention that it was the most beautiful day for a road trip.
Tula Pink spoke about her fabric designing process and she also did a trunk show. It was a very neat event to take part in! (We didn't have tickets, but we got in under the wire....with permission. :) It was awesome. Thanks Diane!)
The quilt shop itself was worth the drive down. Such a great shop! I was impressed! If you ever get the chance, or are in a hundred mile radius from there, I'd recommend that you stop in for a visit. So many great fabrics in one spot. A bit overwhelming, but in the best way possible!
Brianne and I also had the chance to meet up with Anna and Megan. We had lunch together before the Tula event and coffee with them afterwards. It is wonderful to meet up with fellow bloggers and visit in real life. We had fun laughing, enjoyed getting to know each other better and had fun comparing notes. We may have shopped a little, as well!
All in all it was an incredible day. The timing was pretty wonderful, too. My kids are on spring break this week, so it was nice to have a recharge day beforehand. It has helped a lot.
Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I came home with TONS of scraps from Anna. (Thanks, Anna!) There was a very happy scrap party in my living room yesterday. Good times!

Friday, March 22, 2013

soft kitty!

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
So, I turned my little embroidered pieces from yesterday's post into a pillow. (Be sure to sign up for the book giveaway if you haven't yet.) I had plans for a zip pouch, but the pieces were a little big for that. Turns out they work nicely on a 20" pillow cover. Sometimes my projects take on a mind of their own. (That never happens to you, right?) Turns out I really like it as a pillow.
The words of the song come from the Big Bang Theory.
We like to sing soft kitty at our house.
I enjoy making envelope backed pillow. Such a simple finish!
It looks pretty good on my daughter's bed, but I have plans to send it off to a friend. My husband was relieved. He seems to think that a bed full of pillows is a little much for my daughter. I say, what's the problem with her sleeping at the end of the bed? ;)
There are a few little things I'd change if I made this project again, but I'm not going to pick it apart. Literally OR figuratively. Ha!
Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

S is for Stitch blog tour

Today I am happy to be a stop on the S is for Stitch blog tour.
S is for Stitch is written by Kristyne Czepuryk, who is the lovely and talented woman behind the blog Pretty By Hand. Her work is amazing! It's ALL so pretty and inspiring to me. I think she may love pink even more than I do!

I'm not normally an embroiderer, even though I have all the supplies. (Funny how that works, isn't it?) As a child I embroidered a few dish towels, but not much beyond that. It is a skill that I would like to have in my repertoire.
This book gave me the confidence to try my hand at it once again. My first project was to embroider this little kitty, which is one of the many patterns in the book. I am pretty excited with the results!
My kids saw me stitching and they all wanted to embroider something, too. (Even my boys!) They enjoyed paging through the book and picked out projects. I helped my 12 year old get started on the inch worm. He is doing a great job so far and he enjoyed it! The other two are still waiting for their first lesson. :)
After the success of my kitty, I had to try my hand at words. I wrote out the lyrics to soft kitty (from the Big Bang Theory) and stitched them up. (I have fun plans for these!) The words were a little tricky. Next time I would make the letters a bit larger and leave more space between some of them. But, all in all, not too bad.

Things I like about this book....
The stitch guide is straightforward and very clear. I learned what an outline stitch is and how to do it. I also worked my way through a few colonial knots. (Don't look too closely...still more practice needed there.)

There are tons of cute patterns! A set for girls and a whole other set for boys. It's really hard to find good boy stuff, if you ask me. It totally passed the test with my boys.

Kristyne offers basic guidelines and options, then she encourages you to choose the method that works best for you. I love that! It's so much better than a rigid set of do's and don'ts.

The book is wonderful for beginners (that's me!) but I would imagine that it would be equally wonderful for a well experienced stitcher.

I love that the projects are stitched up into QUILTS! (A big shock there, huh?) Beyond that, there are other options shown: pillows, soft toys, clothing and framed pieces. So many fun ideas!

If you would like a chance to win your very own copy of the book, please leave me a comment in this post. In your comment, I'd love to hear your thoughts on embroidery, since that's the subject of the day. I'll pick one winner on April 4th. US resident winner will receive a hard copy of the book or an international resident will receive an eBook. Oh! Please be sure to leave your email in your comment, so I can contact you should you win.

Please be sure to follow along the tour for more chances to win.

Allison Rosen - - Tuesday, March 19
Allison Harris - - Wednesday, March 20
Amanda Jean Nyberg - - Thursday, March 21
Amy Sinibaldi - - Friday, March 22
Anne Sutton - - Monday, March 25
Lori Holt - - Tuesday, March 26
Sherri McConnell - - Wednesday, March 27
Kristyne - - Monday, March 28

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

mystery quilt progress

Thanks for all your nice comments on the mystery quilt post yesterday. I LOVED reading them! It's good to know that I'm not the only control freak out there!!! :) But I have to say, I am enjoying this project SO very much!

Here's what I've done so far....
First, I cut my strips. I really love this fabric pull! From what I read in the comments yesterday, I believe this is a must!
Then I sub cut all my strips.
And then I cut some more. (That was a whole LOT of cutting all at once.) See those lovely piles of 2.5" squares? That is a great sign that this quilt is right up my alley! I almost did a jig when I read that there was no strip piecing involved.
I pulled out a paper bag to aid in random piecing. Well, I started out this way. Before the last few blocks were sewn up, I planned them out in order stitch rip as little as possible. It worked beautifully.
I was so excited to finally start sewing. Having each step broken down into sections allowed (forced) me to do other tasks in between. You know, like helping with homework, shoveling snow and cooking dinner. :)
I worked on this off and on all day long. I loved having all the steps ready and waiting for me rather than waiting for the steps each week. Not only am I a control freak, I'm impatient, too.
And here are my blocks. I'm half done with the clues...and I can't wait to see what happens next! So far so good!

As I was sewing yesterday, I kept thinking about how symbolic this quilt is for me at this stage in life. I haven't shared a ton about my current personal situation, but here it is in a nutshell. Last October my husband took a new job in central Minnesota. He started working there 5 days after he accepted the job. We live in Wisconsin and he's been commuting daily for 5 months now. It's an hour and a half drive (on a good weather day) each way. Many days he gets home around the time the kids are going to bed. We have our house on the market (that was/is a huge task in and of itself) and we are beyond anxious to sell it so we can move. I haven't been handling the stress all that well. (To those of you who know me in real life, you can laugh at that statement. I totally would.) To say that I'm impatient would be an understatement. And that whole giving up control thing? I'm pretty terrible at it. It's been a long and hard road. Lots of dark days and many tears. I know we have a lot to be thankful for (a home, employment, food, and so much more) and I am beyond excited to think of the day when this will all be behind us. I can't wait. All that to say, I'm calling this quilt relinquishing control. Maybe I will have that all figured out by the time I get this quilt done? One can only hope.

Monday, March 18, 2013

mystery quilt Monday

I've never done a mystery quilt before, but I always thought it would be fun...and completely challenging. I'm a bit of a control freak. Heh.
There is a library in a neighboring town that runs a mystery quilt program a few times a year. Each week a new clue for the quilt is given, then several weeks later they host a night of show and tell. A friend picked up the clues and kindly sealed them up in a series of envelopes so I couldn't peek. :) The reveal meeting is next Tuesday night. Today I'm jumping in with both feet. I've got my fabric pulled, so it's time to start cutting. I'm excited!

Have you ever made a mystery quilt? What was your experience? Did you like it? Love it? Was it challenging? I'd love to hear your experience!

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, March 15, 2013

mini Sunday morning

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

This was a great week of finishing for me. The biggie was getting my rainbow log cabin quilt finished. (Hurray for meeting a deadline!) I was able to finish this low volume mini, too.
I'm (slowly) sewing up mini samples based on the projects in Sunday Morning Quilts to hang at my LQS. This one is an instant favorite! There is something so special about low volume quilts. Probably because they look instantly vintage....aged, faded, sweet.
I did more of this swirly quilting....what I like to call cinnamon roll quilting. :) 
The backing is a sweet dot from Connecting Threads.
(I'm sorry to say that it's now out of print.)
I bound it in a lovely Henna garden print. Just like a cherry on top. :)

It's based on Cheryl's quilt titled Sunday Morning. I had lots of scraps leftover from making my own large version last summer. I love LOVE love low volume! I can not wait to play some more!

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

sewing Saturday

Last Saturday Heather and I headed up a sew day at our church. We both have the desire to make quilts to help others in need. There are so many people going through dire situations that could use a quilt. So, the Wednesday before the scheduled sewing day we got together and pooled a bunch of our fabric. We had a massive round of fabric with friends (yay!!!) and pulled these stacks for potential quilts. It was so. much. fun!

On Saturday we ironed, cut, sewed, pressed, and sewed some more. The 6 of us that got together made lots of progress! As far as patterns go, we kept things nice and simple.
Baby bricks.
And good old patchwork. (These rows still need to be sewn together. That's today's project.)

In addition to the quilts shown above, two other quilts were cut out and started. It felt great to get this fabric out into the daylight and to finally use it! Plus, it's always fun to sew with friends. For a good cause? Even better.

Monday, March 11, 2013



I started this quilt on Wednesday and I finished it about 3 this afternoon. Yahoo!!! I was fueled by plenty of coffee and mountain dew. :) So much I could say about this one, but I'll just let the photos speak for themselves. One thing I do have to say is hurray for machine binding! I fell in love with it all over again today.

The quilt measures 60" x 72".

Happy HAPPY Monday to you!

Friday, March 08, 2013

log cabin

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
I have no finish to share today, so I'll show you this work in progress instead. I'm remaking my rainbow log cabin quilt, only not wonky this time (for pattern writing purposes). It's been awhile since I've put myself through a last minute marathon sewing session. It's kind of fun and kind of nerve wracking all at once. House showings thrown into the mix add a new level of crazy, but I'll take it! (I'm soooooooo anxious to sell. this. house.)

Anyway, I'm glad that the quilt is finally to this point. Only borders and finishing to go! I LOVE how it looks like stained glass in the window.

How about you? Any finishes to share? Please link up! Thanks for joining me and happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

leftovers quilt top

I finished my leftovers quilt top last night. I REALLY LOVE this one! The odd ball block in warm colors is a very fun addition. It adds just the right amount of ZING!
Today is a snow day and my kids are home from school, which means I had photography help. (Yay!!!) It's really hard to convey the scale of the quilt in the photo. It doesn't look that big, but I was standing on a 4' pile of snow. The top measures 68" x 90 something. So, it's a decent size. :)

Too bad I couldn't spend the rest of the day quilting it........

Monday, March 04, 2013

leftovers (in progress)

I came this close to starting a new project today, but my sensible side won out and I decided to work on a WIP instead. If I buckle down, my WIP list could be in the single digits soon. That would something!!! (It's been ages.)
This quilt is called leftovers, because that's exactly what they are. Leftovers from this quilt on a background of Kona Ash.
It looks simple enough. But oh, man. It has been a challenge! I'm will. not. beat. me. :)

One nice thing....the back is already pieced! (The bits of blue on each side in the photo above.) The back is actually more was the first attempt at a backing for my drano quilt. Handy, wouldn't you say?

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, March 01, 2013

hexagon pin cushion

Welcome to finish it up Friday! And a very happy March to you!

I stitched up this vintage hexagon pin cushion yesterday just so I'd have something to share today. This is my very first hexagon project ever, which is kind of hard to believe.
About a year or so ago someone from a quilting group that I belong to gave me a bag of pre-cut vintage hexagons. What a treasure! Many many years ago someone had painstakingly cut out each one of these pieces of fabric by hand. (there are a LOT of them!) I even found a sand paper template and a hand drawn cardboard template amid the fabric pieces. Super fun!
I made my own hexagon templates from card stock so I could English paper piece the flower shape. Then I appliqued the hexagon flower onto a linen background. I love the vintage bits on the's like they were made for each other!
It is filled with crushed walnut shells, so it has a lovely weight to it. (Crushed walnut shells can be found in the reptile section of pet stores.) To finish I usually just whip stitch the opening closed and it's sufficient. This time I used a ladder stitch and silk thread to close the opening instead. The combination of the two made the final seam nearly invisible!! I'm pleased as punch!
The pin cushion is 4 1/2" finished. And you guessed it....I LOVE it!!!
Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Happy Friday!