Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy December!

Thought I'd start this holiday month with a photo of the four handmade ornaments I received in the 2012 Trim the Tree Handmade Ornament Swap on Flickr...

Felt ornaments---an owl from Lauree, the sweet baby mushroom from Leah, a polar bear from Kylie---and a vintage tart tin turned ornament from Leila.  They really look nice together, I think, and may have to be neighbors on our Christmas tree!
If you're looking for fun holiday crafting, may I recommend this fabulous book by John Adams (Quilt Dad)...

I have to admit to being a bit biased, however, because I'm excited to say that two of my very own projects are in this book---an insulated table runner and a spiral patchwork ornament!
The e-book version was released about this time last year, but was made available in August of this year in a paperback edition.  There are a wide range of projects featured, large and small, with beautiful photographs and great instructions.  So many of the projects can be adapted for making at other times of the year too--it's a great book for inspiration!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

QuiltCon Challenge Blocks

I made two quilt blocks for the QuiltCon Block Challenge.....

(12.5" x 15.5")
(8.5" x 12.5")
If I remember right, about 375 blocks were submitted!

Elizabeth Hartman is overseeing the challenge. And, bless her heart, she is photographing all of them for a series of blog posts on The Modern Quilt Guild.  Each of her posts highlights a particular piecing style. One of my blocks (the gray zigzag) is included in today's post, Diamonds and Other Angles.

**09-18-2012 Edited to add...My other block (the blue/green half-square-triangles) is part of today's post, Triangles.

It's been really fun seeing the blocks, all of them incredible, and who created them. The blog series continues through the third week of September, so even more yet to see!!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Build a Bundle!

It's like shopping without spending money!

1. BacktoSchool-C9070-ROYAL-450, 2. BusytownAtoZ-45699-S-450, 3. HappinessPeanuts-22064-J-450     (Created with fd's Flickr Toys)

A couple of Fridays ago, the Fat Quarter Shop's blog began a Build a Bundle contest.  A staff member chooses a favorite fabric and you choose 2 coordinating fabrics. The staff member selects the winning bundle and the winner receives one yard each of the three fabrics.

Soooo, imagine my surprise and excitement when I opened my email yesterday morning and saw one with the subject line "Jolly Jabber Winner!".  And now, 3 yards of fun fabric are on the way to my mailbox--what a great way to start the weekend!!  That, and some much needed rain as well!

There's a Flickr group where the bundles are posted--it's kind of fun to see so many different fabric combinations.

Hope you're having a good weekend too...


Monday, August 27, 2012

Texting While Sewing...

...don't you love that title?! It's actually a fun quilt block challenge from Amy, During Quiet Time.

I'm always up for a challenge and for trying something new so here's my entry:

I used Jednoiglec's "Christmas Truck" paper pieced pattern for this 12 inch block. The pattern was also my jumping off point.

Next came the fabric with the girls on it and from there, I knew I wanted it to reflect the fun of girlfriends. The text fabrics with names of beaches and cities seemed perfect for a universal theme.

But I was mostly inspired by my teenage years when girlfriends and I would pile as many of us as we could into someone's parent's car and head out for a good time. Carefree days, huh?

There's a linky party starting today on Amy's blog. Head on over and take a look at the clever and creative blocks being posted...and also the awesome prize list!!


My New Needlebook

I got a really fun package a couple of weeks ago from Wendy. It turns out she was my secret swap partner in the R.A.T.Z. needlebook swap. Wendy and I have swapped bitty blocks and so that added to the fun!
The needlebook she made for me is so wonderful and not a single detail is lost on me...I love the linen and the scrappy border...the embroidered piece on the front, complete with monogram, is lovely! I also love the button closure.
The back, with all of the linen, makes it tactile as well as pretty...and that gingham on the inside--so cute, so sweet!
There are pockets for embroidery floss (or other items, like the mini composition book that Wendy included) and 2 nice size pages of wool felt to hold needles and pins. I can sew on the go with everything I need in one place!

The same week my needlebook came in the mail, I enjoyed some time with my daughter and her kiddos (my grandchildren). Sadly, it was the end of our summer outings before she had to return to work---it seemed like summer break just started! We took them to Wonderscope and here's me with the little sweeties in the Lego room...
I love this photo. I take care of them while their mom is working and this photo pretty much says it all---they're bundles of energy! And I love it!!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Who knew a needlebook could be so much fun!!

These hexagons were the start to a needlebook I made for the July Rapid and Tiny Zakka Swap (RATZ Swap). The group is an offshoot of the Doll Quilt Swap group on Flickr and swaps a little something each month (like key fobs and magnets) with a Zakka style in mind. This is only my first month to join in, but I couldn't resist the needlebook project!

After I received my swap partner's name, I just started making several .75" hexies without an exact plan in mind. I ended up choosing 20 and stitched together 4 columns of 5 hexies. Still no plan, but as luck would have it, I had just purchased Tacha Bruecher's book, "Hexa-Go-Go", and in it she makes a lovely needlebook using hexagons.

Since I already had a hexie panel put together that was different from Tacha's, I needed to make a few minor changes, mostly to the measurements, but I thought her directions were easy to follow and I had a good time making it!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vacation Getaway

AKA "Women's Weekend" was a lot of fun! There was much laughter and conversation and great food and's no wonder I'm already looking forward to next year! We could see IKEA from our hotel room so it made sense for us to begin there. Sensory overload and some fabulous purchases!

The weather was delightful and a nice break from the stifling temperatures we left in KC. A trip to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was a lovely way to enjoy it too.

I often found myself thinking there was an "Alice in Wonderland" feel to several of the sculptures/gardens.

We also did some local shopping in St. Paul. I loved the mix of restaurants, apartments, older homes and shops all on one avenue...especially the older houses that are now shops!

And of course, Mall of America.....

And whatever the reason, on this trip, I seemed to have a fascination with lighting fixtures and other ceiling decor, so I'll leave you now with a couple of them.....


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gotta Have a Tote Bag

Women's Weekend is coming soon. It's our annual getaway--my two daughters and me, just the three of us--and we always have a wonderful time! This year, we're taking a shopping trip, specifically to IKEA, but we're open to other spots that grab our attention too!

So I say tote bags for all, and thanks to this tutorial, we're set.

I wonder how many times we can fill them...


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Check Off One "To-Do"

So, one of the items on my summer break to-do list was clean up the craft room! The last time I had a major go-through-and-toss-away session with this room was three and a half years ago when I painted it. How bad could it be? Well, a week's worth of days over the past two weeks and many trash bags full, bad. But I was in the mood! And it felt good! Any sewing during that time was hand sewing (mostly hexies), but I did manage to recover my chair. It had gotten a little sad looking--10+ years and mega hours at the sewing machine will do that to a chair;) The fabric was some I had stashed away for pillows that never got made and I think it turned out to be just the right match for my chair.

I've received all of my Alice in Wonderland bitty blocks...

Aren't they adorable?! I added a teapot and teacups that I got in the Teapots & Teacups bitty swap and, of course, The Mad Hatter...

I'm looking forward to getting these put together.....and, hallelujah, I now have the space to get that done;)


Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Little Catching Up

I worked on a few smaller projects this week--things that were in the works that just needed to be finished up...ahhh, that word, finished!

Nikki, a friend in the KC Modern Quilt Guild, is very active with the Quilts of Valor project. Her group issued a QOV Firecracker Challenge for 12.5" star blocks to be used in sampler quilts. It's been a while since I've made a wonky star block and now I remember how fun it is--lots of possibilities.

I needed to print out some more paper pieces for my ongoing hexagon project. I make 1 inch "hexies", but I noticed there were .5" pieces available for printing also. Having seen these tiny hexagons--they're adorable--I wanted to give them a try. Not bad, but I think I'll stick with my big ol' 1 inchers!

And, just today, I finished this embroidered Mad Hatter, using a Wild Olive pattern.

Considering all of the swaps I've particpated in, I've been lucky. Maybe a couple of times, there's been a swapper who didn't follow through--I know, not nice, right? The flickr Bitty Block group is especially good about following through, but it looks like one of the people in the "Alice in Wonderland" swap isn't going to "be nice". And the bitty she said she would make is the Mad Hatter...well, I just don't think you can have a group of "Alice" anything without the Mad Hatter, so I made one for myself! I'm expecting one more block, the Cheshire Cat--coming from Australia--and when it arrives, I'll post pics of all of them--they're really cute!!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Trying Something New

When Weeks Ringle spoke to the KC Modern Quilt Guild last month, I was quite taken with the quilts she showed us.....the few that I photographed that evening (below) were just a handful of the ones we saw.  Beautiful!

Weeks even passed the quilts around so we could touch them and see them up close.  She talked about her quilting background and process and technique--all fascinating.  Binding the quilts was one of the things that caught my attention--it is a one-step machine sewn binding--and it turns out there are directions for this method in the latest book out by Weeks and her husband Bill Kerr, Transparency Quilts.  It also turns out that I recently purchased their book when I learned that Weeks was coming.

Now, in the past, I haven't had much luck with bindings sewn down by machine.  Granted, I haven't practiced much, which is probably one reason it ended up looking so sloppy--especially the back since you're stitching it down from the front.  But this method made sense to me, more than others had, and I wanted to try it.

I decided to whip up something small and quick, a mug rug (8.5" x 7"), then started on the binding.  You use a bias tape maker (although the fabric strip doesn't have to be cut on the bias), fold it in half and iron it,

slip it over the edge of the quilt, pin and stitch.

It felt a little fiddly at first, especially around the corners, but the directions are clear and easy to follow. I think it looks pretty good on the front...

...and on the back.

By the way, have you tried these Wonder Clips? I preferred the straight pins for this project, but I use the clips on my binding when I'm hand stitching it to the back and I love them!


Friday, June 8, 2012


I can hardly believe I won these...

A full fat quarter bundle of Zen Chic's "Juggling Summer" and "OHO" quilt pattern--an absolutely lovely surprise from a giveaway on bon bon atelier's blog!!  Bon Bon has a beautiful shop right here in Kansas City......and to them I say, THANKS SO MUCH!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Soooo, my last post was in December.....

and much has happened since then.  But what do you say we pick it up again with where I am right now.....

These little (3.5") blocks are for the June Bitty Block Committee "My Garden" swap. I used a pattern from Sublime Stitching for the tomatoes and a couple of text fabrics that seemed fitting to the theme.  I love their embroidered faces;-)

Summer break (from childcare for our 2.5 year old grandson, and since January, his new sister--now 7 months old) started this week--and I've got big plans to finish lots of projects before I start up again in early August!  Many of them involve bitty blocks from other fun themes the last several stay tuned!