Monday, March 30, 2009

One Giant Step Closer

My Quilt as you go project is nearing completion. I am so excited! Once I get it trimmed and put on the binding, I will have a nice bright colorful new quilt for my bed.

I was told that I should have kept the first quilt I made. However, I was making that first quilt as a present for my niece. I had a deadline and even though I tried to machine quilt it, I gave up on that and tied it.

My second quilt top is still in the bag waiting for a trip to get longarm quilted. I am not sure when that will happen.

But, this one is bordering (pun intended) on a finish! I used a semi-crazy quilt technique. It is also a stack and whack technique. So there are four blocks of each "design." The blocks are nice and large, roughly 16 by 18 inches, so I could finish quickly. I basically used fat quarters and then trimmed the blocks to size.

The back of each block is made of a solid piece of fabric. For joining strips, I just cut strips off the edges of fabric in my stash and/or leftovers from making the blocks. (Hey, I didn't buy it all as fat quarters. Some of the FQs were cut from yardage as needed) Here is a peek at the back.

In case you are wondering, I have a room divider next to the sewing table. I use it as a place to hang strips or pin pieces if I need to. It is a frame with off-white fabric as the divider and it is very handy right there!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This Post was Delayed!

The following pictures show my niece working on a secret project. While she was home from college on spring break we had planned to to make a present for one of her friends in the Chi Omega sorority. I confess that I did some of the sewing. But I made her sit at the machine and run it too. She was a bit afraid of my sewing machine but she did GREAT. I think (hope) that she leaned a lot from it.

Now I know that some of these pictures looked posed but they aren't. (Honest Hannah, I know that you are reading this!) For everyone else, Hannah is the one who was given the finished product. It is a quilted journal -but I didn't get a picture of it. Oops!

Edited to add: She didn't just do the decorative stitches, I had her sew some of the pieceing as well. She can sew a decent quarter inch seam now.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the ?? Sisterhood ?? Award ---This Brother is honored.

I have been honored with the "Sisterhood (brotherhood) Award" by Barb at Barb's Bejeweled Quilts.

So, now I get to pass it on.
The rules are these:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate 10 or fewer blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.
I will nominate:
3. (last only because someone had to be) Chris at
Now I am off to do the commenting to let them know!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A glimpse of the QAYG project

Here is a glimpse of the project I am working on. I have all the blocks that go across the bed joined. (you can see the thin joining sashing.) There will be joining sashing between each row when it is finished. For now, the rows are just laid across my (yikes!) unmade bed (hence the lumps!) Still you can see the fabrics and the somewhat randomness of the piecing.

Now I will eat lunch and finally hit the showers! The quilt project will get a rest since I am going to visit with the Nana.

Friday, March 20, 2009


This is a quickie post. No pictures (sorry)

I have two rows of blocks joined in my "quilt as you go" project. I have three more rows to join.

THEN I will join the five rows together.

Finally, I will bind the quilt - and smile, and think "YES! I did an entire quilt start to finish, all by myself"

At that point I might even post a picture of me with the quilt. I am guessing you will be able to tell which is me in that picture by the HUGE GRIN I will be wearing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What a STASH I got in the mail!

I got a nice package in the mail today, while I was out "test-driving" a sewing machine (a machine that I can't even think about affording.) I did enter to win the machine though! Wish me luck.

I have already been very lucky in this life. I have a wonderful family, friends, and best of all BLOG Buddies. One gracious Blog Buddy (I hope she doesn't mind being called a "buddy" since she is a LADY!) ---where was I? Well anyway, Linda at
Fiber Fabrications
hosted a Gobs of Goodies giveaway. Guess which lucky old man won? That's right -I did! So I opened this lovely package today and found all sorts of treasures.

This adorable pincushion - with pins!

Linda and her family raise Alpacas. I have never had the pleasure of meeting an alpaca, but from Linda's descriptions they are very sweet. I do know firsthand, now, that their wool is soft and cuddly. How? Well for one thing there is this handpainted wool yarn in my package. Aren't the colors gorgeous? And how about the fabric behind all these prizes? A half yard of fabric any quilter would love. Coincidence, but the woman "touching" the wool and the kitty peeking out from under it show how I feel about this wool yarn. (happy!)

Now for the big picture -

There is a book, a handcrafted pencil cup -(going to my desk at my job)
three squares of wool felt (nice and thick) , finger puppets (for the kid in me), a lapel pin (someone will get that as a gift -it is too nice to just hide and keep for myself)

Did you notice that round package on the felt squares? I didn't know what it was so I had to email and ask. OOOOoooh, I am so glad I did. I knew that it smells lovely. I was thinking a drawer sachet, but no. Even better, it is a bar of soap that is felted. You use it like a loofah. When the soap is gone, you can cut a hole and put more soap in OR use the felted wool as an embellishment for some other project. I am thinking that Linda should sell these.

Also of note today, my friend, Kaye at NanaB follows NanaT is a doing a giveaway as part of the Eggstra SpecialGive-a-Way you should go and comment to enter. Kaye is a wonderfully sweet lady and I am sure the prizes will be a delight. Good luck to you. I hear she is making some of the prizes. Handcrafted goodies are the BEST.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Joining Up

Ha ha.. no, I am not going in the military, nor am I about to become part of a cult. I just thought I would show you a little bit about where the quilt as you go quilt is going. (was that as confusing to read as it was to type?)

Just to see how it works, I joined up two of the big old blocks with the sashing. Since this is a somewhat scrappy quilt anyway, I am going to use strips that I have trimmed off of various projects to use as the sashing; although I may cut some larger pieces and have repeated fabrics in the joining too.

I haven't really discussed the BACKS of the blocks. I am using FQs trimmed to size (which tends to leave me a sashing strip!) for the backs. I think the back of this quilt will be as fun to look at as the front. The first picture show both the front AND the back of the two joined blocks. What you see between the two is just what was under it when I took the picture. I was lazy and didn't edit that out. I love the bright blue and yellow "squares" with the pink (although it looks red in this picture) strip between them.

This smaller picture is just to show a little detail of the join. I opted to not do a deco stitch over the finished seam and to only do it on the one where it actually fastens down the sashing.

In the book she used many different decorative stitches to do attach this seam. I just used the zigzag for this one. I am planning to do them with several different deco stitches. But, I love the zigzag with this multicolored thread. I also have some bright aqua thread and some red that will be used for some of the other seams. I think I could have just done a straight stitch and it would have worked perfectly. But the deco stitching adds some pizazz to the quilt. I like a little eye candy.

This is going to be a very fun quilt to make. Plus when I get it all joined there is just the binding to sew on and it is ready to use. How awesome is that?

More "As you go" squares

Here are a couple more "quilt as you go" squares (16 by 18 inches) that I finished yesterday/last night. I have two more in these fabrics to be quilted yet.
You layer the fabrics, make one cut, move the top piece on ONE pile to the bottom then join the pieces. After they are joined and ironed, make the second cut and repeat for as many cuts as you want to make and sew. Then layer with batting and backing and quilt - why not use the fancy stitches on your machine? Finally, trim to size.

I will be joining them with sashing strips.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Quilt As You Go

I am trying a new (to me) method. I have had the book "Crazy Shortcut Quilts" Marguerita Mcmanus & Sarah Raffuse for some time. I have looked at it, and looked at it some more. Ha. So when I decided to try the method, I was sure I knew how it is done. (always follow along STEP BY STEP) I didn't. I think it would have worked better following the directions.

None the less, I made the squares from FQs and then just trimmed them to size. I know that I have some puckering in some of the quilted squares. You should tell me that those make it look "old fashioned, and home-made" like a Gee's Bend type thing. I am going to keep going and use them anyway to finish this project quilt. I consider it a learning experience. Heck, I am not entering it in any show! Someone will love it, I think. Even if it is just me.

Here are the squares I have finished right now. They trimmed out to 18 by 16 inches.

Friday, March 13, 2009

String Quilt Block instructions

One of my wonderful readers asked how I make these string quilt blocks.
So for anyone that wants to know how I do it, here are some simple instructions. If it isn't clear enough let me know and I will try to post step by step pictures in the text.

For the string quilt blocks, I cut an over-sized muslin square (about an inch larger than the block+seam allowances) That means for a nine inch finished block, the muslin is ten and a half inches. Then I place a strip diagonally from corner to corner face up. I place a strip on top if it face down (three layers of fabric (muslin, face up strip, face down strip) then I do a 1/4th inch seam. After each strip, I iron it open. This ironing is important!!! If you don't iron it flat your block will be unattractively puffy. You know, like your eyes look after a good cry. now you don't want that do you?

I just keep adding more strips in the same manner until I finish to the corner on one side. Then I repeat for the other side. Trim it to nine and a half inches and it is ready to join.
I usually do two at a time so I don't have to jump up to iron so frequently. I am not organized enough to do more than two or maybe three at a time

Thursday, March 12, 2009

So how do ya make 'em ?

A friend asked how I make the yo-yos. I know you can cut circles and do it the old-fashioned way, but MAN that is hard to do. Besides, I can't do that when I am watching TV - I would stick myself too much. AND I can't do it while riding in the car - same reason. Besides it would take me twelve forevers to do it that way!

The truth is, I have a magic helper to make them. There is a little fairy that has sprinkled magic dust on my golden needle.... oh wait, this is NOT a fairy tale (or even a fairy tail!) Okay I will confess.

My friend Chris at sells yo-yo makers in her SHOP The are so simple to use that I can make them and watch TV too. I even got an extra one and drafted a NON-QUILTING friend to help me make the yo-yos so it doesn't take me as long to get it done.

So if you are wanting to make the yo-yos and want to do it the modern EASY way, visit Chris and buy my secret for yourself. Hmm.... What? Okay, you are right - the secret is out. I hope you still respect me!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Like a yo yo You're spinning me up and down Like a yo yo

I know that I have been rather quiet on here lately. I am trying to remember to post even though I am experiencing "Time Change stress disorder" (I made up the name but it seems to describe what is happening with me) My creativity is active in my head but I can't seem to get it to my fingers. Hey wait, that happened before the time change. Oh well, the time change always messes with me so I am STILL going to blame it on that! Ha.

Since I haven't started a new project, I have this one that has been hanging around for a while. Some call them UFOs - unfinished objects. It is true that they are, but then, sometimes you need a project that is kind of ongoing to have a fall back for the dry spells. Am I right? You know I am! ha ha

How do you usually make a quilt? You make quilt blocks and join them, right?

I have been making some blocks but I have yet to join any of them. My blocks are made of fabric yo-yos --ahhhh that is where the title of this post came from. Not the fact that the time change has yanked me around like a spinning disk on a string that can't decide where to be.

I can see this project going on for a long loooonnnnggggg time. That is okay. Eventually I will have a yo-yo "quilt." There is no deadline so I am cool with it. Meanwhile, here are the blocks that I have made.

If I ever decide that I am not finishing this, I can tell that nine of these blocks (which is what I have right now!) would make a nice big pillow top. At this time, I am still planning on a quilt. Only time will tell. Now, take a look.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Fabric Sale - Lucky me

Today was a lovely day here in Alabama. The temperature got to at least 74 degrees F. So it was wonderful to go out in a thin polo type shirt. I had gotten a card in the mail from a local fabric shop. The Saturday "percent off" was a lovely 50%. (Thurday was 33% and Friday was 40% but I couldn't go either of those days) Oh my. And here I am thinking "I said I wouldn't buy any fabric until I make something out of what I have." Well ladies and gents, that idea went on "hold and ignore" for the day. I do love some batik and batik style fabric. So I picked out four of those. I also saw this delightful rich purple fabric that called out to me and said "You know you have to have me." What could I do? A zombie-like look crossed my face and I said "yes, must have the pretty purple fabric, I must ...I must!"

Thank goodness I was in a hurry..or well, it would have been pretty until the credit card bill came! That bill wouldn't have been so pretty.

Below are my new sta-dditions (for the uninformed that is a combo word that means "Stash Additions" - it is a portmanteau word -like in Alice in Wonderland)

Two yards of the Palm Trees and purple (hey it talked to me, what was I going to do?)
One yard of each of the other three.

I just had to do an extra of these two - I love the Palm tree
and Fish patterns.

I also got six spools of quilting thread. All this fabric and thread for less than twenty bucks, US.

must sew, must sew, must sew, must sew

Sunday, March 01, 2009

More of them

Just to let you know that I wasn't a total sloth on snow day, here is a picture of some string quilt blocks I made.

Notice the lone block at the top - it is on a different I have to figure out what to do with it! haha.

UPDATE: a few people said to use it as a label..but it is pretty big for that (in my opinion.) I am thinking that maybe I will make a few more and scatter them throughout the quilt for a little wonky variety.

The snow is melting...meeeelllllltttting..... just like the Wicked Witch of the West after Dorothy so innocently threw water on her.

What is that White stuff ?

The birds are feeding heavily. There is even a waiting list to get on the feeder.

You can hardly see the trees in the distance and there is big white thingys falling out of the sky.
(Hey, I am in Alabama, we don't see that stuff enough to remember the name!)

See that stuff on the rails, Wait I think I remember that it is called SNOW!

one more feeder picture.

When I got up this morning there was a very light dusting on the deck. By the time the coffee brewed it was starting to look white..but you could see the cracks between the planks.
Before I finished the first cuppa, you could no longer make out the distinct lines of the cracks, the south end was a solid white blanket.
It is still coming down two hours later. I am wondering if we will be Snow Bound