Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

I've been listening to Christmas music to get in the mood for the holidays. One song I don't quite get making it into the mix is My Favorite Things.

Why that song says Christmas, I'm not sure.

But it did make me think. I have a few new notions that would be on the list of my favorite quilting things.

The first is Grip and Grip. Love it. Great for marking what needs marking.

I've used it for marking my applique and here I was using it to mark my half square triangles for the border of Tapestry.

It sticks to the surface it is on and grips the fabric too. It is smoother than a sand paper board, so it won't scratch up your ruler.

Since I'm making Tapestry king size, I need 28 border units which means 56 half square triangle units.

That made quite the long chain. Enter the Chain Ripper.

It has a weighted holder, which keeps the seam ripper upright. The point on the ripper is broken off, so you can't injure yourself.

Just with slight pressure the chain is broken and you have your units free for your next step.

Both these notions are affordable and would make great stocking stuffers for the quilter on your shopping list.

What are some of your favorite things?

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I'm a little hurt that no one commented on my last post.

Instead of stewing over it, I'll tell you about my new stew recipe.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew.

Steve and I used up stew meat that had been in the freezer for over a year. About time!

He froze the parsnips from our garden. Really what are you supposed to do with parsnips? Make a stew!

His big innovation was sucking out the extra air from the ziplock freezer bag with a straw. I think he might have got a little light headed.

I begrudgingly let Steve put in some parsnips in the stew. Really they weren't bad, until I had a bite with only parsnip in it. Not so good.

The flavor of the stew really was tasty. It was very flavorful today as a leftover lunch.

If anyone wants frozen parsnips, you know where to find some!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tapestry 2.0

Here are the contents of another one of my ArtBins.

I purchased the Traditions Tapestry kit. I've already made one kit into Tapestry and made the other kit into a different quilt.

I decided to take some artistic license with the pattern this time around.

Instead doing the nine-patches in the pattern, I'm going to do split rails. The first picture is my first block. I'm liking it!

I also decided to make it king size, so I will be making 19 extra blocks.

The layout from EQ7 illustrates the layout I'll be using. The direction of the split rails will alternate to add a little more interest.

I had enough of the dark fabrics to make the extra blocks, but needed to buy more of the two sashing fabrics.

I'm excited to experiment. We'll see how it turns out.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Unfortunately, Steve and I are not together for the holiday. Steve is spending the day with his family up north and I'm with Cheri spending time with her family.

I wanted to send Steve off prepared with food for a potluck dinner.

I made last year's Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce. It ended up more tart that Steve remembered but still very yummy.

Steve's family has very traditional tastes, so he wanted to keep the cheesecake flavor simple. We went with Strawberry Cheesecake.

We changed the baking a little. We wrapped the pan with tin foil and put the cheesecake in a bath. This left the cheesecake perfectly flat and without cracks.

We also baked the cheesecake for an extra half hour.

There is extra strawberry sauce for serving, so I think that will be even more delicious.

Steve will have to let you know how it tasted, since I don't think there will be any left to bring home.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Design

I've been getting lessons on EQ7 from Dee. Thanks for the tutorials, Dee!

Plus I've been playing around myself trying different stuff out on my own.

Cheri and I started talking about nine patch blocks and designing two block quilts, which was the inspiration to try my hand at designing.

This is the first one I came up with. Initially it colorized as a two color quilt in red and white.

Last night I was working with Mary and we started playing with fabrics. I was trying to come up with enough fabrics for a Glads quilt.

It wasn't happening, so Mary suggested that I get the fabrics that were working.

Of course, I have to do whatever the Glad ladies tell me to do.

I played around with the scanner today and scanned in all the fabrics I bought and recolorized the layout.

I'm super excited to work on a design that is all my own and to be working with such great fabrics. Now I just need to come up with a name.

I'm thinking this might be the start to a whole new chapter of my quilting career.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Broken Needle

I finished the sample of Candice for the shop, but not before I broke a couple of needles.

I have to admit that I'm hard on my machine, but there are a couple of seams that have a few too many layers. So be careful!

The finished product looks so good. The pattern was great and easy to follow.

The only thing I would change is add an extra 1/2" to the sleeve for the Bag-E-Bottom, so cut it at 5"x12 1/2".

This picture is to illustrate what the "fat" pocket looks like. It just leaves a little extra room in the pocket.

I love the fabrics I chose. They are from Kate Spain's Terrain line. They are just fun and bright.

The bag will be at the shop tomorrow, along with me getting more needles. Stop by and see it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sample Maker

I've finished my Mystery Weekend quilts. I love the pattern a lot.

I love it even more that I was able to get the quilts done so quickly.

In January, I will actually post pictures.

In the mean time, Nancy and Susan came back from market with the Candice pattern from Lazy Girls Designs.

Since I'm the resident sample maker of purses, I picked out two sets of fabrics to make the pattern out of.

The innovation in this pattern is that the inner pockets are made so that they aren't flat and can hold thicker items like glasses and taller pockets for E-readers.

As always the pattern is wonderful. Good directions with lots of illustrations.

The sad part is when I get done with the purses, I can't take them out for a test drive before they go on display at Glad Creations.

Maybe I'll take a spin around with the bags in the front room with the shades drawn before I take it in.

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Good Turn

It is nice every now and then to give back using quilting the means.

South Minneapolis Quilters will be having a booth at Mount Olivet's Holiday Bazaar and Art Fair tomorrow. Some of the proceeds will go to the church and the rest will be donated to charities.

We were challenged to do things we'd never done before. Well, I have quilted before, but it felt like I was doing it for the first time.

If you click on the picture of the table runner, you probably will be able to see my quilting. Doesn't quilting in the ditch feel like coloring within the lines did at age 5?

I found it very challenging to quilt a straight line. Although with each leaf, I got better and better.

I was also able to do an old stand by for another donation, wine totes. I found that if I bought two half yards, I could get 3 wine totes.

They go together so easily and really dress up a bottle of wine. The pattern is in Let's Do Lunch by Terry Atkinson.

I love the Winter Solstice line from Jason Yenter. It definitely put me in the holiday spirit.

I hope my runners and totes put the fair goers in
a spending mood.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Poor Steve!!

Steve was a little under the weather this weekend, so what did I do?

I went out and got him Nyquil then left for a quilting weekend at Debbie's.

The upside was that I got a lot done. I pulled out an ArtBin with projects from a retreat from a year ago.

I already the center of the blue quilt together and half the trees made.

At the sew-in, I got the border on the blue quilt. It is the fabric from the 2010 Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. The pattern is Frosted Window Panes from Six Halves Make a Whole Christmas.

The Christmas trees were made by stacking three fabrics and cutting out the tree and shuffling the order of the fabrics. I used a layer cake from Moda, Figgy Pudding.

I also used my left over blocks from my leaf quilt to make a table runner and table topper. I think the both turned out nice.

The challenge will be that they are for a fund raising bazaar this weekend. I need to get them quilted in the next couple of days.

Anyone who knows me, knows I don't quilt, so it should be interesting to see how these turn out.

Wish me luck! I'll need it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bin Tour

Since I'm working on a mystery quilt, about all I can say is that I've completed steps 1-3 for both of my color ways. With 5 steps in all, I'm making good progress.

While I'm working on the quilt that cannot be named, I thought I would take you through my stack of ArtBins.

I decided to organize the ArtBins so that all the project that I started sewing on would be at the top.

I'll be showing you my stack from the bottom, the cut out, but not started projects.

This will become Steps to the Stars. This has been cut out for a while. This dates back to Debbie coming over for my session of Rent-A-Friend in the summer of 2010.

I really loved the background fabric, the bird fabric. I picked my other fabrics based on the colors in the fabric. I have brown, blue, green and red fabrics. I tried to get a range of values and also a range of textures.

I tried to keep the dark fabric patterns simple because of the birds as a background are relatively busy.

I can't wait to finish all the projects I have started, so I can get to this one.

I want to see the stars in border. The birds will look so cute!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autumn Leaves

I just finished Mystery Weekend, and what a blast!

Thanks Nancy and Susan for another wonderful quilt.

I took both sets of mystery fabrics with me. I sewed a little on both. I didn't want to get too far ahead on one, because I thought I wouldn't stay motivated otherwise.

I think I'll probably have both quilts done here shortly, but remember these are mystery quilts. That means I won't be able to show them to you until Mystery by Mail finishes in January.

Check back then for pictures.

My favorite part of mystery weekend is the show and tell. It is fun to see what people have been working on and get inspired.

Luckily I finished up my autumn leaves quilt to show. I think it turned out really nice. I'm liking the softness of the chain blocks. They let the focus be on the leaves.

Originally I thought I'd do a 7x9 block arrangement, until I figured out that with 12" blocks the quilt would be 84"x108" without any borders. I ditched a row of blocks to get a better size.

The discardered row left me with three orphaned leaf blocks with no home. Mary Brady, the president of South Minneapolis Quilters and Monday night co-worker, suggested making a donation table runner.

I love doing a good deed and can't pass up a challenge. Stay tuned for a picture of the table runner!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lessons Learned

Sometimes when you pull out a UFO, you find you've come a long way since you left it.

This happened to me when I pulled out this ArtBin. The points in the leaves are all paper pieced.

I started this project at a sew-in at my place over two years ago. I hadn't done much paper piecing at the time and certainly wasn't doing it right.

I got frustrated on my first piece. I couldn't get the pieces of fabric to cover the pattern. I figured I'd not cut the fabric big enough and put it aside.

Along comes a Judy Neimeyer pattern, Sylvia's Bridal Sampler and a paper piecing class at Glads. After paper piecing 30 different blocks, I'm a professional.

In my quest to empty bins, I reluctantly decided to pull this out.

It turns out that first piece had at half inch seam, which might have explained the pieces not covering the pattern.

Using my new learned skills, I have finished all the parts that are paper pieced and now I'm assembling the leaves. I'm in complete production mode. As you can see, I have all 32 leaf blocks laid out.

This is a pattern is called Autumn Splendor from Cotton Tales. It is a nice pattern with about 5 different projects that use this basic leaf pattern.

I'm doing a single chain arrangement surrounding the leaves. After the leaves are made, the get a two inch border of more background to make them float. I also need to make the chain blocks.

I have to say that it is very nice to be on a fall themed quilt this time of year. Also, it is an excuse not to go out a rake the actual leaves outside.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Showing Off

I just picked up my quilts from Kars Quilting. They did a rush job, so I would have them in time to show at South Minneapolis Quilters tomorrow.

A quilt always looks better quilted.

Kim did a really nice job helping me pick out quilting patterns and thread color.

On my Sew Many Stars, we used a pattern called Denali and orange thread.

On my Sky Dancer, we did a pattern called Sunflower and used a light blue thread.

Both of them turned out great. You should click on the pictures and zoom in to see the quilting.

Thanks Kim and Kerry for the great job!

Nancy, Susan and Glad are the program for tomorrow's meeting. They will be will be showing quilts and telling their story. I'll be helping them vend before and after the program.

The members of the group have been encouraged to bring their quilts made from Glad Creation patterns, so there will be lots of beautiful quilts to see. I'm very happy that I get to bring these two beauties.

It is tomorrow night at 7:00 pm at Southwest Community Church at the Corner of 54th and Humbolt. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Missing My Mom

I lost my Mom a year ago today.

I'm missing her a little bit. A lot bit.

I miss her calls and our chats about my latest quilt project.

I owe my first exposure to quilting to my Mom. She and my grandmother would put quilts on the frame and quilt while us kids would play underneath it.

I remember laying on my back looking up at the stitches on the back side.

She and I made baby quilts for my Eagle scout project. She didn't trust me with her sewing machine, but I would pass her the pieces.

She was also an excellent cook. I got my love of food and cooking from her.

And of course I owe my good looks to her.

I begged my sisters to let me have my Mom's shirts, so I could make a quilt.

I brought the shirts into Glad's and Nancy suggested Slide Show by Atkinson Designs, to show off the shirts' fabric.

The ladies also had the bright idea to sew shirt parts into the squares to showcase the shirts. I used a collar, a placket and a pocket in squares.

Judy Remiger quilted the quilt for me. I told her about my Mom's love of flowers which she incorporated into the quilting. There is even a rose inside of the collar.

She also quilted mine and my siblings' names into the border.
I think it turned out well. When I look at this quilt, it reminds me of my mother's warmth.

I miss you Mom!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall to Pieces

Is everyone as excited for Mystery Weekend as me?

I'm all ready to roll with my cutting completed.

It has been interesting for me to look at the pieces being cut and start guessing at the quilt design. I've come up with some interesting possibilities.

I'm sure the actual quilt with be much better!
I also cut out both sizes, so here are some interesting facts.

There are more backgroud pieces than dark fabrics, 184 vs 160 for the small quilt and 240 vs 208 for the large quilt.

The small quilt is 68"x84" and the large is 84"x100", which is 1.5625 times bigger. The small quilt has 344 cut pieces while the large has 448, which is 1.3023 times as many.

Now I need to decide what to do with my time until Mystery!?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mystery Weekend 2.0

I know I have fabric for Mystery Weekend #48, but now I have options.

Tonight was my last with Cheri. She isn't working Monday nights with me any more.

To commemorate the occasion, I just had to buy the fabric she picked out for me.

I love it! My other option is a bit on the feminine side. This option is definitely masculine.

I got all the fabrics tonight at Glad's, so if you don't have your fabric yet, we can have twinner quilts.

I'm looking forward to working with Mary. She is my new partner in crime Monday nights. I hope she doesn't tempt me as much to buy fabric.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Malted Sky Dancer

Cheri when she saw this collection of fabric said that it looks like malted milk. I think she is right. The fabrics are very soft.

As you can see, I was able to lay out the quilt and get it sewed together.

I'd have to say that I love this pattern. Really simple components that went together quickly!

I also really like the secondary pattern that happens with the sashing and the corners of the blocks. You get these fun little gem like shapes.

I would definitely recommend Sky Dancer to anyone.

I also think it is fun to see the fabrics from one quilt used in a different pattern.

My next project will be to cut out my Mystery Weekend fabrics. Got to keep those ArtBins full of projects.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Making Room

I'm signed up for Mystery Weekend #48. I'll be attending the October 22 and 23 session.

If you like good company and a good surprise, feel free to join me. There is still room available.

I selected my fabrics from my stash. I got the fabrics from two kits and a fat quarter bundle. The fabrics are from Amy Butler, Erin McMorris and Anna Maria Horner.

I think the fabrics go together really well, even if they are slightly feminine. Of course, I went into the shop and Debbie found me the perfect background.

I now have my cutting instructions and I'm not buying a new ArtBin to store this quilt, so I need to finish another project.

I've decided to finish up the contents of this ArtBin since it is almost done anyway. The fabrics might look familiar. They are from the kit for Tapestry.

I loved all the kits for the particular quilt, so I ended up with all three. I've made one already.

Three quilts from the same pattern is a bit of an overkill, so I got inventive. I'm making Sky Dancer with the fabrics.

Steve liked it because of the circles. Once I made the blocks he was disappointed to find out they were just fake circles.

At this point I have the center quilt blocks made and the border pieces. I need to still make the sashing pieces and the corner blocks. A cinch right?

I'd like to get it laid out this weekend. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Start of a New Mystery

I've already filled up my empty ArtBin.

Tell me what you think?

This is going to be the Scrap Tamer's Mystery Quilt. We got cutting instructions at the last session.

The quilt will end up being 60"x66", a nice throw size. I'll be getting clues every month until May 2012.

Since it is a mystery, I won't be able to post pictures until after it is completed. Stay tuned!

I got the fabrics completely from stash. From mine and Cheri's. The fabrics came from over buying for an earlier project. I'll have to post pictures of it as well.

I still have lots more of these fabrics, so I need to find an additional project to use up the leftovers.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

End of the Mystery

I finished piecing my Mystery Weekend #47 Quilt. It has since been reveal to be named "Sew Many Stars", which is now available as a pattern. Very cute name!

When I was choosing my fabric, I cannibalized two separate Kaffe Fasset throw sized quilts to get the dark fabrics for this quilt. Very nice to use up stash.

I came into the shop with my fabrics and Debbie found the background, which is perfect.

I think the quilt turned out really well.

The larger print fabrics cut up really interestingly. This is Steve's favorite star. Love the dimensionality of the melon coming out of the quilt!

I now have one empty bin that I'm sure will soon be filled with a new project. I wonder what it will be?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Little Flare

So I've got a question. Why have a round cheesecake when you can have a heart shaped one?

I made the treat today for quilt group. Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Carmel Swirl.

I already posted the recipe on here but thought the heart shape warranted a picture.

So along the lines of living life with a little flare, why have a plain quilt back when you can have a designer back?

This is going to be the back for my Halloween quilt. The quilt group suggested naming it "Trick and Treat".

And really, a fun quilt deserves a fun back.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

One Weekend Later

I had a wonderful time at the retreat this weekend. Thanks to everyone in attendance.

I think I did pretty good.

I finished my Halloween All About Me quilt. I think it turned out well. I loved all my fabrics before I started sewing, but the frames added so much to the quilt.

I love it!

After I finished that quilt, I pulled out my Mystery Quilt and finished all the steps.

Now I'm ready to lay it out and sew it up.

I'm loving all the patterns and fabric. I think it is going to be bold and crazy.

Stay tuned for a picture of the finished quilt. I'm going to try to finish up sewing it together this week.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Retreat Bin

So first off, minor correction. I walked into my storage room and found a misplaced bin. I actually have 13 bins.

I am headed to a retreat at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center organized by Carol Wilder.

When I was getting ready for the retreat, I noticed I had an empty bin and decided it needed filling.

I like to be prepped and ready to sew, with a quilt all cut and ready to sew. In this case two.

I had a collection of Halloween fabric, and thought that All About Me by Atkinson Designs would be a nice way to show case the fabric.

The timing of the retreat is perfect, so if I make good progress the quilt will be done in time for the holiday.

The second quilt I cut out is Urban Cabin, also by Atkinson Designs. I used a Bali Pop and the soft green back ground. I'm kind of excited to see how it turns out.

Probably too much for the retreat but doesn't hurt to be prepared. I'll post pictures of my progress when I return.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rental Fee

Luckily I got my machine back in time for my retreat this weekend. Thanks Gratz!

And thanks to Cheri for the week with your machine. I thought I would post what I did as a thank you.

I made her a Sylvia's Bridal Sampler block. If you are familiar with the blocks in the book, you won't recognize this one.

I pulled it from the Fancy That! quilt from Glad Creations. With a little math, I shrunk the block to 6". I think it turned out very nice.

I also made some paper piecing kits for her to put blocks together on her own.

Good luck Cheri!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One of 12

I have a confession. I'm addicted to Art Bins.

I now have 12 of them, each containing a UFO. Some with multiple projects.

I got so many bins because every time I started a new project and an empty one wasn't available, I got a new one.

All of them are in various stages of completion. My goal for this year, Sept 2011 to Aug 2012, is to empty the bins.

The first bin I'm introducing you to is the last Mystery Quilt from Glad Creations.

Before a couple of weeks ago, I hadn't worked on it since leaving class.

The nice thing about pulling out a Glad's quilt in progress, is that is like getting reacquainted with an old friend.

The bad thing is trying to figure out where you are. Right now I have my 16 Ohio stars and 48 sawtooth stars done. Now I need to go back to the first step.

60 Four-Patches.

My plan is for the next few postings is to open each bin and let you know what is inside. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Loaner

Last week, I handed over my Bernina to the Gratz Sewing for some much needed TLC. My top thread was looping on my bobbin side.

When you are without your machine, doesn't it feel like having your arm cut off?

Well, it went from bad to worse. I was trying to learn my 1/4" seam allowance on my new machine, and started switching feet. My needle position didn't like the foot.

The foot was plastic and the needle went all the way through the foot. Even after changing the needle, I had skipped stitches. Needless to say, I turned over that machine to Gratz as well.

Now, I would have been armless. Apparently two sewing machines is not enough for me.

Luckily, my best quilting buddy, Cheri loaned me her Bernina. My goal is to give it back to her in working order.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

One Year and 4 Months Later

It has been a long while since I've posted anything to the blog, so I think it is about time I did.

I had been posting percentages of the Sylvia's Bridal Sampler blocks that I had done. Well, I stopped making them.

I got to applique, Y-seams and curves and called it quits. I still feel like I got a lot done. Just over 100 blocks.

I used a Glad Creations pattern, Homestead Stars as the pattern for my setting. I used 80 blocks for the quilt top.

I mixed it up a bit by adding a black batik with the jewel tones of the fabrics that I had used for my blocks.

It took some doing but I got scrappy diamonds of the same color to coordinate with the color of a sampler block.

The sampler blocks with lighter background are surrounded by a diamond of the dark batik. They also make a secondary pattern of Ohio Stars around the other diamonds.

My remaining 30 blocks ended up pieced into the back. I think it turned out well too.

I have a quilt date with Judy Remiger for the second half of October, so I'll post a picture of the quilting when I get it back.

It will be a part of the Sylvia's Club quilt show at Glad Creations in January 2012. See you there!